Now that the weather is cooling down, it’s the perfect time of year to go for a stroll. The only problem is the theme parks are all busy and likely not very relaxing. The ideal solution for this is a trip to one of the resort hotels. There will be holiday decorations everywhere you go on park property. Last weekend we wanted to go for a walk, get a coffee and take in some of the holiday spirit, so we headed to Fuel at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort.
The Dolphin is nearby the Boardwalk and in between Hollywood Studios and Epcot. We parked at Hollywood Studios and made the long walk over to get some steps in. The weather was cold and breezy, so it was a pleasant experience. The Dolphin is just off the main loop that the Boardwalk and Beach Club are located on. The boat transportation between the parks and hotels also stops at The Dolphin. If you are visiting any of those hotels, Hollywood Studios or Epcot, the Dolphin is a nearby, quiet detour. You can easily park at Disney Springs for free and take a bus over as well. There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area to make the trip worthwhile.
The Dolphin is across from the Swan, and it’s somewhat easy to confuse the two. The Dolphin entrance immediately has an escalator to take you up to the main lobby while the Swan does not. In the lobby, there currently is a giant Christmas tree just outside of Fuel. There is also an excellent cocktail lounge here if you’re specifically looking for alcoholic drinks. We were looking to grab a coffee and some brunch. The last time we tried getting a nitro cold brew outside of the UK in Epcot, the line was ten people long. We did our research and found that Fuel in the Dolphin is one of the few places nearby that carries nitro cold brew as well.
Fuel is a coffee shop, cafe, bakery, and store that also houses a froyo bar. There was activity in and out while we were there, but not enough to cause any lines. They serve hot and cold sandwiches, that can either be quickly grabbed or heated up for you. The sandwiches run about $10 but are decent sized. There’s not really a kids menu here. Still, I spotted Uncrustables and a few other simple items such as bagels kids may enjoy. The sandwiches do come in a package so you could easily travel with it to your room or on your way back to Epcot. I was intrigued by the grilled pimento cheese, mainly because it was cold outside. We ordered the sandwich first and then continued down the line towards checkout.
There’s a selection of baked goods such as giant cookies, brownies, and muffins here as well. These are all in the $5 range and are definitely enough to share. The We Stuck a Reese’s Cup in A Peanut Butter Cookie looked especially enticing as a peanut butter fan. We decided on the Cherry Filled Bundt Cake for dessert, though, as it’s a little out of the ordinary. The cashier advised us that there are additional sweets, including a seasonal bundt cake that’s even better, that they sell out of in the mornings. If you’re not in the mood for baked goods, you could always build your own cup of frozen yogurt. There were 6 different flavors and a well-kept supply of fresh toppings.
At the register, we ordered our nitro cold brew. The nitro comes in two sizes, and the cashier even asked if we wanted to add a shot of espresso! Although we got a small black nitro for $6, most of the other staple coffee selections are available. The only thing I didn’t see was a frozen blended coffee option, but I also didn’t ask. Our coffee and cake were ready right away, and they took my name for when the sandwich was available. There was plenty of space to sit, so we chose a table by a picture of their coffee-fueled superhero mascot. As we sat, we noticed the sign for charging your devices at the table. This would be great for someone walking around the parks all day, just be sure to bring your own plug. A minute later, our sandwich was hot and ready.
The nitro cold brew is tasty, the lid doesn’t leak, and we didn’t have to wait in a long line. I am a grilled cheese fan, but I’ve only had pimento cold with crackers. The grilled pimento cheese was a little bit of a surprise for me. Kim liked the sandwich, but she has more experience with pimento cheese. I thought it was alright, but the sweetness and texture threw me off a little. I wanted to try something unusual, and I did so that’s on me. There are at least three other sandwiches that I’m more confident I’ll like that I’d love to try eventually, including the Ham & Jam. The Bundt Cake was very dense and moist. It wasn’t too sweet but had a good flavor. I really liked the cherry filling though I wish there were more of it.
Although we ordered coffee, there is a whole refrigerated section of other drink options. There’s everything from coconut water to specialty sodas to wine. I spotted the Phin and Feather Pale Ale, which is a solid hoppy beer that’s exclusive to the Swan and Dolphin. Any of these drinks could easily be grabbed to go for a walk over to the Boardwalk or for the long walk back to Hollywood Studios. There is also a candy station here, just in case you want to load up on some sweets to go. While in the parks, these stations are always hectic, there was no crowd here.
Overall I see Fuel as an oasis in the middle of the Disney resorts. It’s quiet, although Christmas music was playing softly in the background while we were there, it’s uncrowded and filled with options. It would be a quick detour to grab lunch, a coffee, or a beer and take a sit break indoors. There’s also a fancy lounge and lobby just outside if you want an even more intimate setting to enjoy your purchases. The only downside I noticed is the theme park prices, but the quality of the products and experience were well worth it. I recommend Fuel at Disney’s Dolphin Resort for anyone looking for a unique coffee shop or a quiet break from the crowds while visiting Epcot or Hollywood Studios.