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Sunday Brunch

Plunder me Brunch on the Day of the Sun
May 15, 2011

Avast ye, scallywags!  Hoist anchor, swab the poop decks, it be Pirate Week for From Screen to Theme's Disney Days of the Week.  The crew be setting sail towards the prem-ear of the greatest new adventure 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' and this first day at sea starts with 'Sunday Brunch.'

Now that that scurvy pirate is out of the way, we'll be docking the ship at 'El Pirata y el Perico,' known today as 'Tortuga Tavern,' but more commonly known as 'The Adventureland restaurant you know is there because you've never been in it.'  In the magical world of Disney, die-hard Disney fans come to know of the random places most everyday guests have no idea about, because it is only the repeat visitor who tends to notice things that are always there, but at the same time are not.  On the attractions side, it was the Timekeeper of Tomorrowland.  Over on the dining side, it was Lumiere's Kitchen (read all about this place by scrolling down the March 20th post); yes, I speak of those marked with WDW's black spot: Seasonal opening!

During my last visit to Walt Disney World in May 2010, I had the great fortune of stepping through the threshold of this wondrous eatery for the first time-ever.  That trip was my 11th trip to the World and not once had 'El Pirata y el Perico' ever been open during my previous trips, which oddly enough had all taken place during the busy season.  My group chose to eat lunch at Pecos Bill's in Frontierland and we decided we should probably stake out a table before grabbing our nom-noms.  My friend Alex (of Hidden Mickey Mondays fame) and I walked towards the main dining area, discovering the mess of wooden tables full to capacity; next we checked out the quaint little night time caf' area, only to find it was also full, so we kept going around, finding the side tables full'then up a ramp'wait a minute'why haven't we been stopped by a wall, a closed door, a cast member-before we knew it, we were in Adventureland in an unknown dining area with outdoor and indoor seating.  Alex and I were as puzzled as a pirate missing his parrot because lo and behold, we were in the much fabled 'El Pirata y el Perico'!

Alex points excitedly to the sign of the restaurant that had nary been filled with a soul!

We were quite stoked to find the place was finally opened and we concluded that the park must really be crowded if they opened this place up.  It was, after all, the opening week for Star Wars Weekend, and logic would indicate that the guests who filled their weekends up at Hollywood Studios were now continuing their vacation at the Magic Kingdom.  Throughout the day, we joked about random spots we found that would probably open up if it were more crowded than today (e.g. there's a completely random bar and counter in Liberty Square while waiting in line at Tiana's Garden Glen).

'El Pirata y el Perico' started out as a counter service snack stand selling hot dogs and snacks, though the menu evolved to better match its Mexican influenced title by later offering some 'Mexican' food (well, the Americanized version) such as beef empanadas with black beans and rice, tacos, taco salad, chips and salsa, and churros.

This year, the often closed for the season restaurant changed names and added a few more pirate touches to tie in with the movie franchise.  Now called 'Tortuga Tavern' (after the pillaged town you see in the attraction and where Captain Jack and Will Turner gather their crew), the menu was simplified, offering Beef Tacos, Burritos, Taco Salad, and Vegetarian Tacos.

As we had seen with the evolving Lancer's Inn to the Friar's Nook, 'El Pirata y el Perico' is another Magic Kingdom eatery to be given the royal makeover to change with the times.  While Friar's Nook pays tribute to a lesser known Disney animated feature, 'Tortuga Tavern' takes its change due to the popularity with the latest Disney movie franchise, with its latest installment premiering this week.  With an event like that coming up, you can be most certain that the pirates will not be closing their tavern doors for the season.

I be pillaging from these spider's webs:


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