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The Story Of Olivia From Disney's Old Key West Resort

In classic Disney fashion, Olivia's at Disney's Old Key West Resort came complete with its own history and legends which will give you a feel for its atmosphere. Sometimes called Olivia's Cafe and other times just Olivia's, it opened on December 17, 1991 along with Old Key West Resort itself...except it wasn't called Old Key West. It was first known as Disney Vacation Club. And, when it was decided that there would be more than one DVC resort, it became known as Conch Flats...and later took on its current name:

"Olivia Farnsworth is sixty going on twenty. She arrived in Conch Flats longer ago than you'll get her to talk about. She moved into a small cottage along Turtle Krawl, turned on her stove, and changed everything around here for the better. Upwind from downtown, Olivia's cooking was a hard secret to keep. Dinner traffic boomed. Soon she began doubling recipes, then double doubling. Then triple doubling, until the math got ugly. She pulled up more chairs, added more tables, and sat people on the porch, until the floor plan got all cattywhumpus. Finally, to the town's great relief, Olivia made it official, cinched up her apron and hung out her shingle."
And there's "A Little Note From Miss Olivia" herself:
"How I came to be here in Conch Flats is a whole other story. Besides that was more than a few home-cooked meals ago and I've got other fish to fry, if you know what I mean.
The long and short of it is, I never intended to be any kind of big-time restaurant owner. I just happened to have this cozy cottage I called home and my kitchen just happened to be on the leeward side where aromas could wander out along Turtle Krawl. Seems like every time I turned on the stove, 'specially early in the morning, folks would drop by with a friendly smile and a healthy appetite. I didn't mind. I'd just pull another chair up to the table. Then one more chair, and one more chair...
'Fore long, I found myself setting a second kitchen table and practically inviting passers-by to "come on in and sit down". Whether it's for two or twenty, I have it on pretty good authority that I can cook with the best of 'em, and I know you won't find better company to keep this side of the Dry Tortugas.
'Course, I admit I've sure had my share of helping hands from more than a few friends along the way. Miss Vickey, for instance, is my kind of people. She may not exactly fit into any proper pigeonhole, but she's been a true friend to me. In fact, I owe the whole look of Olivia's to Miss V's artistic eye for coordinated color combinations.
Then there's captain Wahoo. He often doesn't have a nickel to his name, but his fish tales have kept me laughing through some lean times, and he's always made sure I get first choice of the bounty his boat brings home to the Flats.
There are lots of others who made Olivia's what it is--like Frenchie who's sometimes a pest but always a pal, and hank, and...well, I could go on, but I've a kitchen to keep up with and a passel of people to feed. So let me let you get on with your life with this closing thought--you're always welcome at Olivia's cafe, where the food's always good and the atmosphere's always 100% Conch Flats."

Olivia's face still graces the menu and for several years Miss Vickey was represented by a manequin dressed in a matronly outfit standing near the check-in podium. A second manequin of Captain Wahoo, dressed in a yellow rain slicker and cap, started out seated in the rear booth with a cup of coffee until the seating was needed for guests, when he joined Miss Vickey at the podium. Both of these characters have now left the scene.
Ah, progress...


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Thanks for sharing the story of Olivia's!!! OKW is my home resort, and Olivia's is a family favorite. Thanks for sharing ALL of your adventures!!!

Thanks for your comment, Chrissy. There's a photo of three of my girls still on the wall in Olivia's...it's like they grew up there. This post really reminds me of the good old days!

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