Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort has unveiled the newest addition to its complete list of luxury resident amenities – unique food and beverage experiences delivered by world-class Disney cast members at Summerhouse, the luxury residential community’s private clubhouse for residents.
With the opening of Markham’s, a full-service dining room and the relaxing Tyler’s Lounge, Summerhouse fulfills the vision of being the recreational and social centerpiece of Golden Oak. Casual elegance sets the tone throughout the clubhouse, which is styled after a Tuscan farmhouse.
In addition to the new restaurant and lounge, Summerhouse is home to the Golden Oak fitness center, pool facilities, recreation rooms, and event lawns, as well as the offices of the renowned Golden Oak Resident Services team.
“The addition of food and beverage service at Summerhouse was a highly anticipated milestone for Golden Oak,” says Page Pierce, vice president of Disney Resort Real Estate Development. “While we’ve created a beautiful dining environment for our residents, what’s really special is the caliber of our team members who embody the level of commitment we have to this remarkable community.”
Exceptional service is just one example of how Golden Oak evokes the best of Disney heritage and culture. Another example is found in the Disney history and stories behind the names of the community’s neighborhoods, parks, and roadways. The new dining room and lounge continue that tradition. Markham’s was inspired by “Spin and Marty,” the popular series of TV shorts that aired as part of ABC’s “The Mickey Mouse Club” show of the mid-1950s. The series was produced by Walt Disney and filmed at his Golden Oak Ranch in California. Similarly, Tyler’s Lounge was inspired by the 1960 movie “Toby Tyler,” also filmed at the Golden Oak Ranch.
At Markham’s, adults discover a range of culinary choices served in an upscale but relaxed setting. Culinary options include house-made charcuterie, seasonal offerings, including local and sustainable when possible, and fresh produce from the Summerhouse garden. Chef Christian Rumpler also puts a creative spin on casual favorites like the Golden Oak signature burger with caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, and thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon. The Markham’s children’s menu features dishes such as hand-made cheese ravioli or petit filet with fresh vegetables in season, and healthier twists to traditional desserts.
“The Summerhouse dining experience is ever-changing to achieve the highest quality and continually satisfy the tastes of our sophisticated residents. We have taken into account many factors, such as seasonality, sustainability, use of local purveyors, and resident preferences,” says Melissa Schreiber, Golden Oak food and beverage operations manager. “We want to exceed resident expectations and make them feel at home every time they dine at Markham’s.”
Summerhouse boasts an impressive roster of world-class culinary experts and Disney veterans who lead the Golden Oak Food and Beverage and Resident Services teams.
- Barry Jacobson, the Golden Oak operations general manager, brings with him more than 30 years of Disney experience, including serving as director of meetings and special events for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Previously Jacobson was resident manager and food and beverage manager at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and, before that, led numerous areas in Disney’s conventions department including Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings, Park and Event catering, and convention services director at Disney's Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. He also recently served as vice president, special events, for Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
- Christian Rumpler, chef of Golden Oak, has 18 years of Disney culinary experience. Rumpler has served in chef roles at Disney dining establishments such as Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, Liberty Tree Tavern, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Coral Reef Restaurant, Le Cellier Steakhouse and, most recently, the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. A certified spirits professional, he also successfully completed the Level One Introductory Sommelier Course and Exam, governed by the Court of Master Sommeliers, Rumpler has developed resident-inspired food and beverage menus for Summerhouse that focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. He’s also earning a reputation for his inspired dessert surprises.
- Melissa Schreiber, Golden Oak food and beverage operations manager, has 15 years of Disney experience, most recently serving as guest service manager of Victoria & Albert’s, the AAA Five-Diamond restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Prior to Victoria & Albert’s, Melissa held roles with Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, The ESPN Club at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, and Pleasure Island. A beverage enthusiast and sommelier, Schreiber has successfully completed the Level One Introductory Sommelier Course and Exam, governed by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Schreiber is a certified spirits professional, and a certified Cicerone Beer Server.
- Jamie Kneebone, Golden Oak Resident Services manager, has more than 12 years of Disney experience in Guest Relations and service-focused leadership roles. Early in her career, Jamie was a Disney Special Activities tour guide delivering personalized tours of the Disney theme parks. Her enthusiasm for guest service led her to leadership roles in each of the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. In 2011 Kneebone joined Golden Oak to lead the Resident Services team. Recognized by her peers and leaders by receiving both the Partners in Excellence and the Walt Disney Legacy awards, Jamie is proud to bring her commitment to unparalleled service and creating unforgettable Disney moments to the residents of Golden Oak.