Recently our Globetrotting TravelingGrandmom visited Wyndham Disney Springs as part of our TravelingMom conference. The plan was to have breakfast, tour the property and attend a few sessions with our group. Her assignment was to meet the chef and talk about the Wyndham breakfast – and maybe score a recipe. She met the chef, and several other Wyndham representatives. What she learned went far beyond the ingredients of a recipe.
A Breakfast for Champions
Going out to breakfast is always a treat. Who has time to make a big breakfast at home? When I get the chance to go out to breakfast, I take it. That’s one of the great things about staying in resorts that offer an expanded breakfast. Wyndham Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs is one of those resorts.
Although I didn’t have the opportunity to stay at the Wyndham resort during my visit to Orlando, I was treated to a delicious breakfast as part of our TravelingMom conference. It was the kind of breakfast you can’t help but love. There were bowls filled with fruit, omelet stations with spinach, onions, peppers, tomatoes, cheeses and meats. An assortment of pastries, biscuits with gravy and grits rounded out the choices. And, of course, there were Mickey waffles!
Meet Chef Mark Lewandowski, a Man with Talent and Heart
But eating wasn’t the main objective for this visit. I wanted to meet the chef and see if he would share one of his recipes with the TravelingMom readers. Chef Mark Lewandowski wasn’t hard to find. He was in the center of the breakfast buffet whipping up big Mickey Mouse waffles – shouting out “there’s a hot Mickey ready” with each completed waffle. Chef Lewandowski was more than happy to chat about the restaurant, its menu and his role as the chef in charge.
He shared information on how he chooses various recipes for the breakfast buffet to keep things interesting. More importantly, Chef Lewandowski takes guest satisfaction seriously. This is especially evident when guests have particular dietary requirements. Chef Lewandowski plans gluten free menus, diabetic friendly options and much more to keep the guests satisfied and happy.
In fact, when Chef Lewandowski learned about a family staying at the resort with their daughter who suffered from Phenylketonuria (PKU), he took matters into his own hands. PKU is a metabolic disorder where the patient cannot eat protein. When Chef Lewandowski learned of the child’s condition, he didn’t just jot down a list of foods to prepare – he researched the disease to get the full story. From his research he began to develop menus that would complement the child’s required diet.
Chef Lewandowski also took the time to e-mail the family and speak with them on the phone to be certain he understood the child’s dietary needs. I didn’t walk away with a recipe – instead I walked away with a story about a chef that really cares.
The chef’s not the only Wyndham employee with a heart
Meet Jill Arnold, the Director of Fun for Wyndham Disney Springs. A former server at the restaurant, Jill was promoted to Director of Fun after the hotel’s General Manager witnessed her building pyramids out of creamer cups to entertain the kids. She is creative, imaginative, and committed to keeping the little ones happy and fully entertained. Jill is passionate about her work. That passion was awarded this year when she was presented with the Golden Pineapple Award by the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association at its annual awards dinner in January. The Academy Awards-style event recognizes hospitality’s front line employees for exemplary service with a VIP reception, featuring City of Orlando’s Mayor, Buddy Dyer, followed by dinner and award presentations. Over 275 nominations were received from Central Florida lodging establishments and Jill was chosen as the Recreational Employee of the Year!
You’ll find Jill at the hotel’s Oasis Aquatic Playground which features a zero entry pool and interactive water features for the kids – including spraying water cannons. Jill will be the one entertaining the kids with arts and crafts and smiles all around!
More Reasons to choose Wyndham Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs
Besides good hearted employees, there are additional reasons to choose Wyndham Lake Buena Vista while visiting the Orlando area. First, the hotel is located on Disney property but isn’t owned by Disney. There is definitely a cost savings without sacrificing convenience. The hotel offers shuttle service provides guests an easy route to all of the Disney parks. And you can walk to Disney Springs since the Wyndham its closest hotel.
The hotel’s Lakeview Restaurant features fine cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere with beautiful lakefront views. Besides the daily breakfast buffet, the Wyndham Disney Springs offers a real Disney character breakfast – without the long lines at many Disney resorts. The Disney Character Breakfast delivers a delicious buffet and a memorable opportunity to interact with two Disney favorites – Goofy and Pluto. The popular event is available Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Pricing: $26.95/adult, $12.95/kids 4 to 11, children under 4 eat free.