We were invited to the kickoff of The Great Irish Hooley at Raglan Road in Disney Springs, which is now in its 7th year. The event “celebrates Irish song, dance, food and drink over the long Labor Day Weekend” and ends September 3rd, 2018. There is no cover charge for The Great Irish Hooley, but I do recommend reservations if you plan to dine. The restaurant was getting busy by the time we left yesterday evening. Here is a look at what you can find – both in food, drink and entertainment!
Raglan Road is located in the Landing at Disney Springs, around the corner from the Marketplace. Raglan Road was built in Ireland, shipped here and rebuilt – it opened in 2005, when this area was still part of Pleasure Island. It is an authentic Irish pub, making it such a unique part of Disney Springs and the Orlando area. I first visited back when it opened and was a regular back then – and so much is still the same since opening, with Raglan Road serving up pub food and offering lively entertainment from Ireland.
The Great Irish Hooley is noted on banners around the restaurant.
We arrived at 4:00pm – it wasn’t yet too busy, and entertainment was set to start at 4:30pm.
One of the performers was at the door later on as we left.
This is a look inside the main area around the stage. We were located in a room at the back. At the time this was taken, the dancers had brought up children from the audience to interact with.
The Raglan Road Irish Dancers dancers and musicians perform the new Rhythms of Raglan 2018 suite of shows, and the entertainment was pretty continuous from the time we arrived.
We were in this comfortable room off the main area.
Here is one of the bars. There are four bars, all made of antique mahogany and walnut and each more than 130 years old and imported from Ireland.
Glasses were waiting for one of the new drinks.
There are two new drinks on the menu for The Great Irish Hooley. They are both going to be on the menu after this, not just for the weekend – this is the Leitrim Lemon Fellow. It has Gunpowder Irish Gin, Wild About cinnamon syrup, egg white and lemon juice. This is a light, delicious drink with a frothy top from the egg white. The cinnamon is noticeable but not too heavy. It is a very nice summer drink.
The other drink we tried is The Botanic Garden. It includes Jameson Black, sugar, orange bitters, water, thyme, orange twist, and Wild About nettle syrup. This is a much heavier drink, Jeff preferred it while I stuck with the Leitrim Lemon Fellow.
We sampled a variety of items off the Raglan Road menu. This is the Chick n’ Pea Skewer, with spiced marinated skewered chicken, Julienne salad, toasted chickpeas with a chickepea cream. It is spicy, almost on the edge of what I can eat but still one of my favorite items from our tasting.
Next up is the Chunky Monk, which is beer battered monkfish and zucchini chips with chunky tarter sauce. The menu really has something for everyone, whether it is fish, steak, salads, chicken and more. A friend next to me was trying items that were vegan.
Next, we tried the Pork Blah Blaa. It includes shaved porchetta, Wild About Celtic chutney, carmelized onions, crispy crackling on a blah bun and served with skinny chips. I am very picky on what type of pork I like (I eat very little of it), and this was a really nice dish.
The Lusty Lobster – this was Jeff’s favorite item, with lobster, avacado, egg, mayo, pancetta, and watercress on a multigrain roll.
This is Wild About Wild, with wild mushroom & herb goats cheese terrene along with pickled, candied and purple beets, Wild About nettle and buttermilk dressing, and quinoa crumbles. This was in my top 3 items that I tried, a very unique dish.
The Super-Cauli-Caponata-Tasty-N-Delicious with spiced cauliflower, eggplant caponata with lentil & pumpkin seed dressing was maybe my #1 on this visit. Really tasty, as the name suggests.
The Bangin’ Bangers and Mighty Mash with Guiness & onion bangers, mashed potatoes and traditional onion gravy. I don’t eat bangers and mash (I eat the mash), Jeff found it a solid offering.
The StewBaa is braised lamb with root vegetables in a white stew with herb dumplings and mint coulis. I don’t eat lamb but Jeff enjoyed it.
We tried more than one dessert. The Pumpkin Creme Brulee Tart is a good choice for autumn but there is honestly only one dessert I ever order from Raglan Road and that is the one in the next photo.
Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding has been one of my favorite desserts on Walt Disney World property for years. There wasn’t as much of the sauce as usual but it has me wanting to head back and have the full serving! Save room for this at the end of your meal.
Lisa Canny is fantastic and will be performing not only during the Great Irish Hooley, but will make appearances at Raglan Road over the next few months. Her music is bold and combines a variety of styles. She told us her influences included the Spice Girls and Red Hot Chili Peppers, along with Irish musicians. Her style was unlike anything I’ve ever heard on a harp.
The Raglan Road Irish Dancers took to the stage a number of times during our visit. The dancing here is always so much fun to watch. The Rhythms of Raglan show was produced in Ireland, and “tells the musical and visual stories of Ireland’s culture that spans thousands of years from ancient times to today”. The dancers have a Facebook page as well!
Guests can purchase a shirt featuring The Great Irish Hooley, or a myriad of other items.
Wild About products are used in many of the dishes we tried.
Raglan Road is known for its food and entertainment all year long, but The Great Irish Hooley kicks it up a few notches. Check out the Raglan Road website for more information on The Great Irish Hooley or the food and entertainment all year long!