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News! 2015 Disney Dining Plans Announced

Details for the 2015 Disney Dining Plans are starting to emerge!

2015 Disney Dining Plans

2015 Disney Dining Plans

We’re not seeing many changes so far in the 2015 plans, but take a look at a few updates that we want to share with you.

2015 Quick-Service Disney Dining Plan Changes

Disney has added the new Starbucks at Downtown Disney West Side to the plan for 2015. Only breakfast can be redeemed as a quick service meal.

2015 Table-Service Disney Dining Plan Changes

  • Las Ventanas at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has been added to the line-up. Breakfast and lunch can be redeemed for a table-service credit.
  • Photos are no longer included at Cinderella’s Royal Table and will now have an extra charge.
Cinderella's Royal Table Sign

Cinderella’s Royal Table Sign

2015 Premium and Platinum Disney Dining Plan Changes

Here’s an update:

  • Two tours — Wild by Design and Backstage Safari — are no longer offered.
  • The cost has Continue reading →

News! TWO Brand New Events added to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival!

Okay, Food & Wine Festival fans, IT’S ON…

Booking for the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Special Events is officially open to the public! Have you perused the menus? Are you busy booking your Demonstrations and Seminars?

Well, guess what? Now you’ve got two BRAND NEW EVENTS to consider: Epcot Food & Wine Late Nights LIVE! AND the Epcot Food & Wine Premium Package!

Food & Wine Festival 2014 Graphic

Epcot Food & Wine Late Nights LIVE!

Epcot Food & Wine Late Nights LIVE! is an after-hours street party, running every Tuesday and Thursday (beginning September 23rd) throughout the Festival.

From 9:45 pm – 1:00 am, guests will enjoy the late-night atmosphere of World Showcase between the United Kingdom Pavilion and Showcase Plaza!

The cost is $79 (plus tax), and includes music, entertainment, and a live DJ to add to the festive atmosphere, along with six items from several of the Festival marketplace booths.

If you are entering Epcot for the event only (after the park closes) Epcot admission is not required.

Epcot Food & Wine Premium Package

Running Mondays through Thursdays throughout the Festival, the Epcot Food & Wine Premium Package gives guests the opportunity to “sip and savor dozens of unique, fresh flavors from six continents.” The Premium Package is offered exclusively to guests staying at Walt Disney World Resorts, the Swan & Dolphin Resorts, and Golden Oak.

Seafood Fisherman’s Pie from Epcot's Food and Wine Festival

Seafood Fisherman’s Pie from Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival

There is a LOT going on here, so be sure to read all of the inclusions below!

The cost is $199 (plus tax) and includes an in-room gift bag with a select bottle of wine, a Food & Wine Festival wine glass, truffles, and a “Premium Package Area credential.”

A themed Food & Wine Magic Band and a $50 gift card is also included, as well as access to Premium Package Areas around World Showcase where Premium Package guests will order items from select marketplace booths and have them delivered directly. No waiting in line!

Additionally, the Premium Package includes admission to one Epcot Food & Wine Late Nights LIVE! event.

Epcot admission is required for the Premium Package.

“Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce

“Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce

Remember, booking for all special events is open as of 7:00 am ET TODAY!

2014 Food and Wine Guide 3D

Visit www.epcotfoodfestival.com to book your choice of special events and seminars and demonstrations. Or dial (407) WDW-FEST (939-3378) to book those, or either of the two new events.

And don’t forget to order your copy of the The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book! In addition to all the best Food & Wine Festival tips and information, you’ll also be able to check out exactly what’s happening at Continue reading →

Last Day! Enter to Win A Ceramic Dole Whip from the Disney Food Blog Newsletter

There’s so much going on in the world of Disney Food, and we don’t want you to miss out on any of it!!

DFB Newsletter

Whether you’re planning your next vacation to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, or you’re just dreaming about the Happiest Place on Earth, we want you to have all of the Disney Food News that’s important to you.

In every color issue of the Disney Food Blog Newsletter, we share highlights of all the latest news as well as the reviews that you rely on Disney Food Blog to bring you.

And here’s a reminder, we’re giving away this must-have Ceramic Dole Whip to a DFB Newsletter subscriber TOMORROW! If you’re subscribed to our newsletter, you’re automatically entered into our drawing!

Ceramic Dole Whip!

Ceramic Dole Whip!

But hurry — today is the last day that you can subscribe to be entered into the drawing!

And as news continues to break about the Continue reading →

Guest Review: Dinner at The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Join us in welcoming back Guest Author Paul Kuconis! His latest review features dinner at The Wave… of American Flavors located at the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World.

When I think of Contemporary Resort-based restaurants, California Grill and Chef Mickey’s immediately come to mind. It’s hard to miss the glass dome sitting atop the Resort — ‘Oooh, there’s California Grill!’; and Chef Mickey is always in sight from the monorail.

But there is a hidden gem neatly tucked away — The Wave…of American Flavors — and entering through the front door makes it easy to miss. We always arrive by boat from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge so we walk by it often. Well, we finally decided to stop ‘passing by’ and made reservations during our last visit.

Atmosphere

The first thing I saw was a video marquee highlighting the culinary options presented inside. To me this presentation is very much in keeping with the ‘contemporary’ theme of the resort. OK, now I know what they serve, so let’s head inside.

Video Marquee

Video Marquee

The entrance is rather neat. First, it establishes the stainless steel theme I noticed throughout my meal, and the tunnel takes me to a different place — that of sustainable and locally-sourced ingredients.

Entrance to The Wave

Entrance to The Wave

As we approached the reception desk, I noticed the earth tones in keeping with the sustainable theme. Also, the wall partition presents the wave theme.

Reception Desk

Reception Desk

We had nice wall art to look at while we waited for our table. A very contemporary rendition, in keeping with the resort.

Wall Art

Wall Art

Even the ceiling features carry the wave theme with contemporary light fixtures. It all works well together as the earth tones carry throughout the restaurant.

The Wave Themed Ceiling

The Wave Themed Ceiling

A nice touch, and a very subtle one, is the wave embroidered on the linen napkin.

Themed Linen Napkin

Themed Linen Napkin

Eats

After we sat down and perused the wine list, we decided on a bottle of Bonterra Chardonnay 2012. I enjoy a nice chardonnay and this wine fits the bill. It’s from Mendocino, one of California’s better known wine regions with predominant vineyard acreage in chardonnay.

Bonterra Chardonnay 2012

Bonterra Chardonnay 2012

A very nice wine. An initial impression of rich, buttery cream quickly turns to aromas of honey and lightly toasted almonds, followed by tropical aromas of pineapple, citrusy lemon and crème brulee. The wine is refreshing on the palate, with a minerality that is both bright and clean, drawing you into a vibrant tartness and lemon zest.

Although that description sounds very complex, it’s not. Bottom line for me is, does it have a nice flavor? And yes, this one does! Notice the stainless steel wine cooler.

A Nice Pour

A Nice Pour

After we ordered we were served bread and butter — Multi grain bread with ground flax seeds and butter with Hawaiian sea salt. (Notice the stainless steel bread bowl.) The bread was nice and fresh and the butter was just soft enough to spread easily and allowed the salt to mix in giving each bite a nice crunch. The ground flax seeds provided a visual balance to the sea salt atop the butter. Nicely done!

Bread and Butter

Bread and Butter

I always look for menu offerings that I haven’t had before. The Sustainable Fish Taco fit the bill. To me, it also fit the theme of the restaurant, sustainable and locally sourced. I’ll try that!

Sustainable Fish Taco Menu Item

Sustainable Fish Taco Menu Item

Oooh! Very nicely plated with a stainless steel taco tray! The fish used were Snapper and Swordfish and fit nicely with the Apple-Jicama slaw and a mild white sauce drizzle, topped with micro greens.

The apples used were Pink Lady (a trademark and the variety is more correctly known as Cripps Pink). Cripps Pink apples are a cross between the Australian Lady Williams and the Golden Delicious. At any rate, this variety was new to me and had a very nice flavor and texture.

The slaw and sauce complemented the mildness of the fish and made for a nice bite. Providing a contrast in textures; the crunch of the apple and jicama worked well against the smoothness of the fish.

Sustainable Fish Taco Appetizer

Sustainable Fish Taco Appetizer

Yuzu Gelato was served providing a palette cleanser and a nice finisher. Yuzu a citrus fruit, originates in East Asia and looks like a very small grapefruit. The yuzu’s flavor is tart, closely resembling that of a grapefruit with hints of mandarin orange. A very nice way to end an awesome appetizer!

OK, how can my entrée top my appetizer? A tough task indeed.

I settled on the Continue reading →

News! Dole Whip Now Available in The Lava Shack at Aulani

Guests of Aulani, Disney Vacation Club’s Hawaii resort, will now enjoy a little taste of the parks as they bask paradise! In a move that only seems logical, Aulani is now offering Dole Whip!

Dole Whip (Almost) 24-7 at Captain Cook's!

Dole Whip in Now Available Self-Serve at The Lava Shack in Aulani!

The cult favorite is available at The Lava Shack in Aulani. The poolside shop is your spot to stock up on beach and pool gear, but they also offer a selection of snacks, beverages, and frozen treats. This is also a great stop for grabbing a Continue reading →

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!” Snacks (Vol. II)

We’re back with another installment in The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney series!

Snacks are a big deal around here. Heck, we plan entire events and crawls around them! And it’s clear Disney thinks snacking is where it’s at, too. We’re seeing more and more small plates restaurants open. Spots like Tutto Gusto, Spice Road Table, and The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge cater to the grazing crowd.

Today, we’re talking about some of our favorite snacks that we enjoy nearly every time we visit Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Dig out your stretchy pants, or plan to do an extra lap on the treadmill, and let’s do this!

Cheshire Cake Cup

Who doesn’t love a ginormous cupcake? You know I’m a big fan of these edible works of art. But at the end of the day, I pretty much see them as frosting delivery systems. So you can imagine my delight when I got wind of Cake Cups at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe!

Layers of alternating cake and frosting make a parfait-style dessert that’s hard to resist.

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

I know, I know. I talk about these a lot. But I figure if there’s something I NEVER miss when I’m at the Magic Kingdom, I should take every opportunity to suggest it so you don’t miss it either. ;-)

Frosting!!

Frosting!!

Two new, equally gorgeous varieties have recently made an appearance — White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts versions! Expanding the cake cup line? We are ALL IN.

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

These are the closest snacks I’ve found to them just giving me a bowl of frosting and a spoon, soooooo, yeah.

Dole Whip

Next up is one of my favorite Disney snacks of all time, the classic Dole Whip.

Oh, sure, you have your cult classics. Your Turkey Legs. Your Mickey Bars. And they’re great. But if there’s one snack I must have every time I’m at either Disneyland (umbrellas and cherries!!!!) or Walt Disney World, it’s some variety of Dole Whip.

This creamy pineapple-flavored soft serve made news here on Disney Food Blog for a different reason last year, when we brought you word not of what it is — but what it isn’t! Seems that our favorite Disney chilly treat is now Vegan, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free!

Dole Whip Float at Disneyland's Tiki Juice Bar

Dole Whip Float at Disneyland’s Tiki Juice Bar — My Favorite!

So if you’re looking to indulge in a creamy, delicious snack, but Continue reading →

Spotted: Pokemon, Mario, and Thomas & Friends Treats in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

Today, we are back with another fun and wacky trip through Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Japan Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase.

Mitsukoshi Department Store

Seriously, I haven’t been to the actual country of Japan. (Yet.) But if the department stores there are half as awesome as Mitsukoshi is, then I’m booking the next flight.

I mean, where else can you go to buy all things Hello Kitty; the coolest kimonos, chopsticks, and tea sets imaginable; plus monorail plates (I know. They’re bullet trains. Whatever.) — AND pearls?!?

And don’t even get me started on the Pocky and Sake! (See what I just did there?) Plus a myriad of other fun eats.

Well, we’re staying with the theme of animation on this trip, as we take another fun look at cool candy you can score in the Japan Pavilion.

Pokémon, Mario, and Thomas & Friends Food Finds

Let’s get the party started with everyone’s favorite little anime…dude — Pikachu from the world of Pokémon. Well, I mean, he’s in the front. But he has his buddies with him on this “Drink for Entertainment”.

Pokemon Drink

If you’d like to get some insight into what you’ll be ingesting, have a peek at the nutritional information and contents on the back. Although I don’t promise that either will be very illuminating.

Pokemon Drink Nutrition

The Pokémon Candy Packs give you several Continue reading →

Review: Lunch at The Diamond Horseshoe in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland

It’s time to head to the Wild West and take a look behind some rarely open doors…

The Diamond Horseshoe is a seasonal option in the Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland, which means it’s open only on peak-level crowd days (much like Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland).

During Thanksgiving week and around Christmas, it’s been known to host an evening buffet.  When it’s open for lunch, though, it’s a counter service stop featuring turkey and barbeque sandwiches served up to the tunes of a self-playing Wurlitzer.

Perhaps you yourself have strolled past The Diamond Horseshoe.

The Diamond Horseshoe

The Diamond Horseshoe

If so, odds are good (well, pretty great, really) that you’ve seen these doors closed.

"The Diamond Horseshoe is not currently serving..."

“The Diamond Horseshoe is not currently serving…”

But on the busiest of busy days, you just might catch them open… it’s time to step inside The Diamond Horseshoe!

The Diamond AND the Horseshoe!

The Diamond AND the Horseshoe!

And since it’s so rare to find this place open, we’ve got a little exploring to do…

Atmosphere

Okay, I’ll admit… like any good Disney geek, when the doors opened I walked straight past the ordering counter to check out the atmosphere. But I felt fine lingering, since someone left their umbrella at the front ;) , which indicates to me that folks at the Horseshoe are expected to sit and stay awhile!

Umbrella just inside the entrance

Umbrella just inside the entrance

Though located in the more rustic surroundings of Frontierland, when you step into this ol’ West music hall, the atmosphere seems decidedly more lush — from the deep red curtains on the centerpiece stage…

The Diamond Horseshoe stage

The Diamond Horseshoe stage

… to the red glass Continue reading →

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 27, 2014

Wow! We have a plethora of Disney food news to highlight this week. Whether you start by digging into updates on the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival or skip ahead to read about Kouzzina’s replacement, we think you’ll find some interesting tidbits. And don’t forget to check out our photo update of the NEW Club 33 in Disneyland!

33 Mosaic

33 Mosaic

One of our favorite items — the Disneyland Dole Whip new souvenir Tiki Cup or Bowl. Happy Belated Birthday, Disneyland!

You’ll find all the news on Disney food below; happy reading!

Disney Food News

What?! There’s more!!

Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including restaurant closures, Chai Cream no longer offered at Sanaa, Napa Rose Refurbishment, Tables in Wonderland Updates, and more!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Facebook Friend Sharon shared two great pictures from Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. First up — Coast to Farm Pan-fired Ahi Tuna Lion and Glazed Pork Belly!

Coast to Farm Pan-fired Ahi Tuna Lion and Glazed Pork Belly

Coast to Farm Pan-fired Ahi Tuna Lion and Glazed Pork Belly

Or opt for the Seared Diver Scallops!

Seared Diver Scallops

Seared Diver Scallops

Thanks for sharing these gorgeous entrees!

DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

We’re thrilled to announce the grand launch of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book! With over 220 pages and multiple bonus items, it’s pretty substantial! And just in time to make your plans — general public booking begins on July 31st!

2014 Food and Wine Guide 3D

In honor of our grand launch, we have a discount option for DFB readers (as always!). You can get the new mini-guide for $3 off the regular price for a limited time — just use code MENUS at the check-out!

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book features all the info you need to know before you attend the Food and Wine Festival this year, from what’s NEW this year to touring strategies — and a new section with top tips on how to use MyMagic+ at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

And with the Epcot Food & Wine festival rapidly approaching, the time is now! Booking for festival events opens July 31st at 7AM ET, and our exclusive daily schedule of events is the most efficient way to plan your festival strategy. (Did you purchase a pre-order of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and not receive your book? Let us know at Support@DFBGuide.com!)

With a detailed schedule of seminars and events for every single day of the festival, it’s a quick, easy way to decide what activities and events you want to book! Don’t waste time flipping between web pages, PDFs, and websites — just find the date you need and we’ve got it all right there in front of you. Just like that!

Find Everything That’s Going On During Your Visit in our FULL Daily Schedule of Events!

As always, we’ve made this guide instantly downloadable for your convenience, and easily installed on your mobile devices. It’s a PDF guide with Continue reading →

Dining in Disneyland: L.B. Enterprises Elixir Stand in Frontierland

As part of the Legends of Frontierland event currently going on at Disneyland, there are some very fun things happening in the wild wild west.  I was recently passing by when I was stopped by L.B. himself. He’s got his elixir stand set up and he’s ready to help you solve your life problems!

L.B. Ultimate Salesman

L.B. Ultimate Salesman

With lots of personality, L.B. told me all about his product. I’m not going to spoil any of the fun interaction or stories for you,  instead I’ll just tell you that there are three elixirs to choose from.

According to L.B., “Each one of them something we’d all like more of:  Knowledge, Luck & Charm.”

Pick Your Poison....

Pick Your Poison….

He was such a good salesmen that I had to try all three!

Ready to enhance your life????

Ready to enhance your life????  Bottoms up!

I asked L.B. if I drank them all in a row would I Continue reading →