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Guest Review: A Teen’s Favorite Disney Restaurants

Today, join me in welcoming guest author Gigi M. for a unique teen perspective on Disney World’s restaurants!

You might be wondering “What are good restaurants to take my teen to at Walt Disney World”? Well, that certainly depends on your child’s personality and his or her attitude toward going to Disney World.

Below, I’ve listed several “types” of teen, followed by what restaurants might be enjoyed by that type of person.

I’d love to hear what you think! What restaurants does your teen love?

Child at heart, very excited to do the traditional things on your vacation

Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey’s, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Sunshine Tree Terrace, The Plaza Restaurant, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, The Crystal Palace, Aloha Isle, Coral Reef Restaurant, Pizza Planet Arcade, 50’s Prime Time Café, Toluca Legs Turkey Co., Hollywood & Vine, Tusker House Restaurant, ‘Ohana, Chef Mickey’s, Gaston’s Tavern, and Whispering Canyon Café.

The Beast is Cool

The Beast is Cool

Dole Whips

Dole Whips

Not quite interested in children’s activities, would rather go to a more “grown up” restaurant

Jiko, Artist Point, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Columbia Harbour House, Liberty Tree Tavern, ‘Ohana (dinner), Biergarten Restaurant, Kabuki Café, La Continue reading →

Holiday Happy Hour Recipe: The Christmas Cookie Cocktail

Whether you need something to add a little Holiday cheer to gift wrapping, or you’re looking for the perfect after dinner drink for your Christmas party this weekend, I totally think you should give this Christmas Cookie Cocktail a try. Served on Disney Cruise Line ships during the holidays, we think it’s a great way to kick up the festivities just a little!

It’s like the best grown up milkshake, ever! And it has all the cozy, delicious flavors of the season — cream, coffee, and the cooling flavor of peppermint.

Disney Cruise Line's Christmas Cookie Cocktail

Disney Cruise Line’s Christmas Cookie Cocktail

Check it out!

Disney Cruise Line’s Christmas Cookie Cocktail

Makes One Cocktail

Ingredients:

1 ounce Baileys Irish Cream
1 ounce Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
1 ounce peppermint schnapps
Vanilla ice cream
Chocolate sauce
Whipped cream
Cookie shavings

Instructions:

Continue reading →

First Look! Photo Tour: Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is officially open for business, and we’ve enjoyed our first dinner there!

Trattoria al Forno at Disney's Boardwalk

Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk

The restaurant began serving breakfast and dinner yesterday to a packed house (see our Trattoria breakfast menu review here). When we left late last night, the waiting area was standing room only!

We’ll have a review of all of the dishes we tried this first time out on Monday; but in the meantime, we wanted to give you a look around the newly remodeled space. Thanks to our friend Mealtrip for bringing his fabulous photography back to the blog in this post!

Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk

Trattoria al Forno occupies the space that was previously Spoodles, and most recently the home of Kouzzina by Cat Cora. Many Disney food fans were sorry to see the Greek-themed restaurant close.

Trattoria Entrance

Trattoria al Forno Entrance

Now, Disney takes the space back to its original roots with a “family Italian restaurant” that has grown in its physical space and has evolved in its culinary approach over time.

Trattoria Sign at the Hostess Station

Trattoria Sign at the Hostess Station

While the dining room of Kouzzina was open, basically occupying one large room, the Trattoria designers claim you’ll see smaller rooms as you travel the length of Trattoria al Forno, with subtle differences in decor signaling your progression from one room to the other.

The backstory of the restaurant holds that an Italian family ran a modest tavern and boarding house on the boardwalk, which expanded over the years into a popular restaurant. As the restaurant was growing, boardinghouse rooms were converted into additional dining spaces – each family generation adding their own touches to the menu and the restaurant’s design.

Now, in all honesty, the overall space is pretty much the same general area that it was when the restaurant was Kouzzina. There’s an entryway and waiting room, a big dining room (which Trattoria has outfitted with brick columns to indicate said “rooms”), and an open kitchen. The room used in the past as a private dining room has been included as a general dining area, but that’s pretty much the only completely separate dining room in the place. But we can chat more about that later. Let’s get inside!

Beginning in the Entrata, or entrance, the space has been overhauled to create a warm but open area with minimal detail. No more Cat Cora cookbooks or merchandise. Just a wine “wall,” very little seating, and a hostess podium.

Entrata

Entrata

Stone, wood, and warm lighting accent the space. Framed wall hangings give it that “family Italian” restaurant feel. You know the deal.

Seating While You Wait

Seating While You Wait

It’s very comfortable when it’s not crowded. While we didn’t have to wait long for our 5 PM advance dining reservation, the seating area was inviting.

Waiting Area

Waiting Area

Once your party is called, you’ll travel through frosted glass doors to your table.

The open kitchen remains the restaurant’s main focal point.

Wide Shot of the Trattoria Kitchen

Wide Shot of the Trattoria Kitchen

Kitchen

Kitchen

Here, you can see the open oven, which serves to anchor the Cucina portion of the restaurant. This is Trattoria’s first dining area, and offers a casual, “eat-in kitchen” vibe.

Forno Up Close

Forno Up Close

Kitchen from the Cucina, the Restaurant's First Dining Room

Kitchen from the Cucina, the Restaurant’s First Dining Room

Beyond the more casual Cucina, you travel into the slightly more opulent

Continue reading →

Guest Review: Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

While an exclusive meal at the Chef’s Table at Victoria & Albert’s is a unique experience, the main dining room exudes romance. This week, guest author Michelle Buchecker reviews this table service restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Located on the second floor in the main building of the Grand Floridian Resort, Victoria and Albert’s puts the “fine” in “fine dining”.

This table-service restaurant has won many awards and accolades for its fine food and superb service. The restaurant is divided into three seating areas: Main Dining room, Queen Victoria’s room, and Chefs Table. The Chefs table is in the kitchen. There is only 1 table and it often books well in advance. The Queen Victoria room seats 8 people and has only 1 seating a night. The 8 people may be all 1 party or 4 parties of 2 people or whatever ends up being reserved. But once they hit 8 people they close reservations.

Victoria and Albert's Entrance

Victoria and Albert’s Entrance

The main dining room (where we dined) has about 20 tables and has 2 seatings per night. This is a prix fixe meal for $135. A wine pairing is an extra $65. In addition, the menu will have “upcharge” items, which I will mention in the details below.

Victoria and Albert's Seating

Victoria and Albert’s Seating

The dress code is jacket and dress pants for men, and nice dress or pants for women. Ties are optional. We did see 1 family where the 2 men were dressed in tuxes and the woman was in a long cocktail dress. Most women were in nice dresses or skirts, but I did see one lady who was more casually dressed.

Our reservation was for 5:15PM on a Friday night. We arrived about 5:00PM and the doors were still locked. There were several other couples seated in the lounge area that is shared by Victoria and Albert’s and Citricos. Shortly after, a hostess came and asked people their names and escorted them into the restaurant based on their reservation time. Reservations are staggered, my guess is to not overwhelm the staff all at once. At about 5:10 we were escorted in and shown our table.

Atmosphere

As you enter the restaurant there is a Continue reading →

Review: Strawberry Cheesecake Holiday Cupcake from Disney World’s BoardWalk Bakery

I had so much fun during my recent visit to Walt Disney World.

What’s not to love about Disney at the Holidays? It was such a gorgeous — and delicious! — trip.

Today, I had to share with you a great Cupcake that I waited day after day for at one of my favorite snack stops, BoardWalk Bakery.

Let’s take a look and then I want to hear what you think!

Strawberry Cheesecake Holiday Cupcake at BoardWalk Bakery

See, the “seasonal cupcake” at the beginning of my visit was a pumpkin spice version, and I just KNEW it would switch over to a holiday option during my trip. Sure enough, about two days before I left property this lovely treat showed up.

Strawberry Cheesecake Holiday Cupcake from Disney's BoardWalk Bakery

Specialty Cupcake? C’mon BoardWalk Bakery — Give Us Some Deets!

Upon chatting up one of the awesome Cast Members, I learned that the cupcake was Dark Chocolate Cake with a Strawberry Cheesecake Filling.

Strawberry Cheesecake Holiday Cupcake from the BoardWalk Bakery

Strawberry Cheesecake Holiday Cupcake from the BoardWalk Bakery

For some reason I was super impressed by the crunchy chocolate toppers that were all glittery. Why? Who can say? I just thought they were cool. And that adorable white chocolate star was perfect on top.

Crazy Cute Christmas Tree Decorations!

Crazy Cute Christmas Tree Decorations!

But enough about Chocolate Pearls that double as ornaments and White Chocolate Gold Stars. At the end of the day, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. (See? That works for people and cupcakes.)

Under a crown of super light and fluffy Whipped Cream (belch, blech, blech), you’ll find Super Dark Chocolate Cake.

And hidden inside — yep, there it is — a thick Strawberry Cheesecake Filling.

Strawberry Cheesecake Holiday Cupcake -- Cross Section

Strawberry Cheesecake Holiday Cupcake — Cross Section

The filling itself was only slightly less dense than actual cheesecake. I was really impressed with its consistency.

Strawberry Cheesecake Holiday Cupcake -- Filling Up Close

Strawberry Cheesecake Holiday Cupcake — Filling Up Close

And the flavor? Well, non-traditional holiday-ness aside — it was good! I’m a big fan of fruit and chocolate combos, and a filling inside a cupcake is always a welcome addition.

Besides, have I mentioned how utterly adorable it is? Really, you can’t not.

What do you think of the Strawberry Cheesecake Holiday Cupcake? Leave a comment and tell us if it makes your “must have” list!

News! Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Begin Offering Character Dining for Dinner

If you love dining at Tusker House in Harambe Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, then we have some big news for you!

Beginning March 8, 2015, the popular buffet restaurant will begin offering Character Dining at Dinner.

Tusker House has been a great spot for character dining at Breakfast and Lunch for some time, but Dinner did not offer characters.

But beginning next Spring, that changes as Donald’s Safari Dinner will be offered beginning at 4 p.m. daily. This new detail comes on the heels of rumors of brand new restaurants hitting Animal Kingdom soon.

At Tusker House’s dinner, Donald and Daisy Duck are scheduled to appear, but you never know who might turn up!

Goofy Strikes at Pose at Tusker House in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Goofy Strikes at Pose at Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Dinner will continue to be Continue reading →

Dining in Disneyland Review: CHURRO ICE CREAM SANDWICH with Bonus Oreo Churro!

A few weeks ago, as I walked through Downtown Disney, a little something caught my eye: This sign.

Plastic Churro Ice Cream Sandwich Display

Plastic Churro Ice Cream Sandwich Display

Even though these horrible plastic renditions look like, well, something your dog might leave you as a present, I knew that I had to get a churro ice cream sandwich ASAP.  I immediately posted this photo on Instagram and people went bananas. Literally one of the most liked and commented on photos ever.  So, I quickly put “Eat a Churro Ice Cream Sandwich” on the top of my to do list and came back a week later to check out the real deal.

Located in the heart of Downtown Disney, Anaheim, the California Churro Company cart now has one of what I’m going to predict as the most popular snacks at the Disneyland Resort.

California Churro Cart Visual Menu

California Churro Cart Visual Menu

Although I LOVE the churros from inside the parks, the churros offered here are unique because of the flavors that are available.  All flavors are added to their churros via the sugar sprinkle mix they are rolled in upon ordering (in other words, no filling on the inside).  I’ve tried a few of them and trust me, they are heavenly!  Pina Colada tastes a bit like a Dole WhipPumpkin Spice is amazing, and so is the Salted Caramel.  Flavored churros are $4.00.

But let’s get to the REAL reason why were here.  The CHURRO ICE CREAM SANDWICH.

The Churro Ice Cream Sandwich

The Churro Ice Cream Sandwich

The Churro Ice Cream Sandwich is made fresh to order. It takes about 3-4 minutes and it’s Continue reading →

DFB Deal of the Week: Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and Enjoy Big Savings!

Want a big discount on our most popular DFB Guide in time for your holiday gift giving needs? Or, you know, just cause you want to start planning your 2015 Disney trip TODAY? ;-D

dfb_guide_2015_3d

It’s yours! Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining today and use promo code SANTA for $5 off!

We are getting down to the wire!

And if you’re anything like us, you still have a few names to cross off that gift buying list before you can settle down to Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward Men time!

But with this great deal, you have a quick, easy option to finish your holiday shopping (and maybe snag something for yourself, too) from your cozy spot in front of the fireplace! (Or, more than likely, the carpool lane.)

Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and Enjoy $5 Dollars Off!

We know that when it comes to your Disney vacays, planning ahead is practically essential these days. And if you can save time and money in the process — even better!

And that’s why today, when you pre-order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and enter promo code SANTA, you’ll save $5 off of the already low cover price!

But the really cool part? You get two books for the price of one! We’ll deliver the 2014 Guide to you immediately, and alert you as soon as the 2015 Guide is available early next year.

Here are a couple of sample pages for you — just click to enlarge!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Sample Page

Samples Pages of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013

What’s in the DFB Guide?

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is stuffed FULL of helpful features to help make your trip go smoothly, like:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from Continue reading →

Dining in Disneyland: Seasonal Treats at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

The Disney Holiday season is in full effect at the Disneyland Resort!  I love that the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe is always introducing us to new seasonal items.

In fact, because I never know what I’ll find, I’ve make it a point to check in on nearly every visit to Disneyland!

Jolly Holiday Bakery

Jolly Holiday Bakery

On my last trip there were a handful of new items that are special for the Disney holiday season.  Also in the bakery cases were some returning favorites. 

Eats

The popular Santa Mickey Candy Cane Cupcake is back.

The cupcake is chocolate, topped with a mound of red & green “sure to stain your teeth” frosting, and finished off with a candy cane.

Mickey Holiday Cupcake

Mickey Holiday Cupcake

I’ve actually never tried one of these because 1) I’m not a huge chocolate fan and 2) it looks way too messy for me to deal with in public!

Close Up

Holiday Cupcake Close Up

There are also Snowman shaped Continue reading →

Holiday Recipe: Peppermint Bark from the Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery in Epcot’s America Pavilion

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! The holiday season is in full swing at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and that means the return of many of our favorite seasonal snacks — plus the addition of some new ones!

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

For many years, Epcot has been a terrific place to spend some time during the Winter holiday season. Holidays Around the World features performances of folk stories from different countries, and the Candlelight Processional always draws big crowds.

Holidays Around the World Maps (1)

And while foods that celebrate the Winter holidays have been a mainstay of the season for years, now Holidays Around the World has joined other annual Epcot Festivals, the Food and Wine Festival and the Flower and Garden Festival, as a food-lovers destination — complete with passport to check off dishes as you enjoy them!

We can never resist a stop by the Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery in the America Pavilion to see what’s new!

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery

One favorite has been there for years — even before the Sugar and Spice Bakery was there! Peppermint Bark!

Peppermint Bark from the Sugar and Spice Bake Shop in Epcot's America Pavilion

Peppermint Bark from the Sugar and Spice Bake Shop in Epcot’s America Pavilion

Can’t make it to Epcot, or you don’t want to wait to enjoy some until you do? Check out this handy recipe and whip up a batch at home!

Peppermint Bark

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery, Epcot’s America Pavilion

Makes a 15 x 10-Inch Baking Sheet

Ingredients:

Continue reading →