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BREAKING NEWS: Disney Springs Adds Yet Another Celebrity Restaurant

If you’ve been to Disney Springs lately, you’ve probably noticed a couple things. First, you’ve noticed between the design, live entertainment, great new shopping and general atmosphere, it’s a really cool place to be. More importantly, you’ve probably noticed that Disney Springs is turning into a mecca of sorts for lovers of great food and drink. The dining scene at Disney recently took a serious step up with the addition of Morimoto Asia, creation Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto; and with the opening of STK Steakhouse just around the corner it’s hard to imagine how things could get better. Well, Disney isn’t stopping there.


Disney World has announced this morning the addition of another celebrity chef to the Disney Springs line up and this one has our mouths watering. Chef Art Smith, best known for being Oprah’s chef, will bring Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine. Featuring southern inspired favorites, Chef Smith will capitalize on the currently popular farm to table trend offering diners the freshest ingredients and seasonal choices. The location is expected to open in the Summer of 2016.

Here’s what the Disney Parks Blog had to say:

“You might remember Chef Smith from his years as Oprah’s chef, or for his appearances in “Iron Chef America,” “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters.” The James Beard Foundation award winner was born and reared in the town of Jasper, Fla., on the Florida-Georgia border, where his family still raises cattle, pecans and heirloom vegetables. And after 25 years of preparing award-winning meals for celebrities and heads of state and appearing on television, he is making Florida his home once again.

The Homecoming menu will feature Southern favorites like homemade pimento cheese, Church Lady deviled eggs, low country shrimp and grits, kale salad with Sweet Grass Dairy cheese and spiced pecans and a grilled Blackstrap pork chop with sawmill gravy. “Each dish has a little Florida twist and make guests feel like they’re on the back porch with me for every meal,” says Smith. Desserts will be a specialty, with cakes, pies and delectable sweets made daily and shipped from a bakery in Hamilton County, including the restaurant’s signature Mockingbird Cake.


The “rustic-chic” restaurant has a glass-walled show kitchen and the Southern Shine bar, featuring whimsical cocktails, punches and coolers that celebrate an era where characters might have created some homegrown spirits on their homesteads just beyond the springs.”

Disney World is setting a new bar for dining in Orlando and this addition certainly seems to up the game further. With so many menus at so many Disney World restaurants looking pretty similar, we’re most excited to see a new and unique style being added to the line up.

About Cindy E. Nykamp

After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Cindy wears many hats for As a content creator, she has written over six hundred articles providing news, tips, planning and more, for trips to Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line to our followers. She directs a team of authors to bring our fans up to date information so that they can have the best Disney vacation experience. Cindy manages's Instagram account, sharing photos and videos to bring some Disney magic into our followers feeds. She is also our chief photographer and has her photos featured on the official Walt Disney World Instagram account. Finally, Cindy regularly represents at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, she gets an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World and passes this information and tips to our followers.