Friday, May 21, 2010

'Cause it's Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

I am a girl; I swear.  I mention this because I fear my femininity may be called into question at some point during this post.

You see, I love sports; particularly football and baseball.  Watching them, that is.  Playing them?  Not so much.  I mean, I can establish my dominance on the offensive line with the best of them, but am absolutely useless at any position involving hand-eye coordination.  There was a reason I was always picked last in gym class.

Because of this arm-chair quarterbacking addiction of mine, one of my absolute favorite places to hang out is at the ESPN Club at Disney’s Boardwalk. I love it there.  I’ve visited numerous times: alone, as part of a couple, and with my family, and have always had a blast.

The menu is nothing special; sandwiches, burgers, chili, etc., but it’s exactly the food you want when sitting down with a large draft beer to watch the game.  Speaking of sitting: good luck with that.  This restaurant/bar is always packed whenever I go (which tends to be during Monday Night Football or baseball playoffs; go figure).  Waits for tables in the restaurant usually exceed wait times for Peter Pan’s Flight, and there are generally patrons standing three deep at the bar, hoping for a bar stool.

This brings me to the bartenders.  They are probably my favorite on property.  Despite the fact that they are extremely busy, they take wonderful care of me when I’m there alone.  The last time I went, one of the bartenders knew that a customer had asked for his bill and would be leaving soon.  The bartender tipped me off to this, so that I could be positioned to snag this man’s seat as soon as he left.  How sweet is that?  Another time, I arrived at the club ravenously hungry.  It was after 8:00 PM and I had been in conferences all day with no chance to eat.  My eyes tend to be larger than my stomach at times like that, and I ordered the wings and the nachos.  The bartender took one look at me and said “No.  You’re never going to eat all of that.  I’ll bring you the nachos, and if you still want the wings, I’ll bring them then.”  He was right.  The nachos were huge; I didn’t even finish those.  I thought that it was incredibly nice that he was looking out for me, instead of trying to get a larger bill, and thus a larger tip. 

The service is also great in the restaurant half of the club.  My husband and I went there on our honeymoon, and our waiter was great.  He even arranged for Ray and I to receive Mickey groom and Minnie bride ears the following day. Oh, and they were doing a sports show during halftime that night, and the MC interviewed me.  Of course, he probably wishes he hadn’t. (Let me give you all a little tip: if you ever meet me and you have a microphone and I don’t, do not under any circumstances relinquish control of the mic to me.  You’ll never see it again.)  

Even my daughter has fun there, and she hates sports.  Fortunately, there’s an arcade attached to the club, so we just keep feeding her money, and she stays happily entertained while my husband and I watch the game.  Talk about your win/win!

Joy of all joys, there’s even some shopping to be done there.  Mostly small ESPN stuff, but I still regret not buying the jersey that said “You Can’t Spell “Princess” Without ESPN”.  How “me” is that?

Have you ever visited the ESPN Club?  What did you think?  Let me know at!  

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha! I too wish that I had bought that shirt a few years ago. I use the saying all the time. I love ESPN Club but I don't love it as much as I used to. In the early 2000s, it was great! Great menu, staff, etc. Now it is a little more expensive, the discounts are now lunch only and it seems very rushed and unfriendly now. The trivia contests and such were fun. We still go there just not as much.