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News! Book Now for New Year’s Eve Dining Events in Epcot

It’s never too early to start talking about holidays, and that’s especially true when it comes to Disney World planning.

New Year's Eve Toast

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Today, we’re bringing you early news of a few 2014 New Year’s Eve dining opportunities. And the good news is — you can book them today!

Keep in mind, however, that other NYE dining events are likely to be announced. So if you don’t like either of these options, hang tight. Your favorite may appear before it’s all said and done!

New Year’s Eve at Epcot World ShowPlace

If you’ve ever spent Christmas week at Walt Disney World, you know that the crowds can be massive. Disney meets the need for expanded dining capacity by offering a few extra spots to dine. And back for 2014, guests can take advantage of a special dining event held at Epcot’s World ShowPlace.

Party for the Senses at World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

Fantasia 2014 is a dining event geared toward the whole family. Guests will enjoy scenes and songs from the Disney animated classic while they dine on a full buffet spread. The menu includes items with international flair:

  • An array of Soups and Salads such as: Fresh Greens, Antipasto Salad with Basil, Seafood Harvest Chowder, Grilled Flatbread and Hummus
  • Hot Food Items including: Chimichurri-baked Mahi Mahi with Mango Chutney and carved Deep-Fried Turkey Breast with Garlic and Cranberry Sauce
  • A Dessert Station that features Carrot Spiced Cream Cheese Cupcakes, Guava and Apple Turnovers, and a Chocolate Fondue with various Dippers
  • An extensive Kids Menu, to include Fried Chicken Fritters, Baked Mini Corn Dogs, and Mac and Cheese, among other items

You can book Fantasia 2014 between the hours of Continue reading →

DFB Reader Questions Answered: What’s a Great Spot for a Disneyland Date Night?

We’re opening our Disney Food Blog Reader Mailbag for another great question from you today!

And wouldn’t you know it? Romance is in the air. Our reader would like to know:

What’s a good idea for a great date night dinner in Disneyland?

What a fun question! And we definitely have some good ideas for this one. But as we all know, budgets vary. Let’s look at several options:

Special Occasion Date: Napa Rose

Looking for an extra special evening? Napa Rose wins our vote for the best dining experience in all of Disneyland.

I Love the Napa Rose Outdoor Lounge Area

I Love the Napa Rose Outdoor Lounge Area

The award-winning restaurant, located in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, offers a warm, relaxed environment. But it’s the food that we absolutely love here.

Chef Andrew Sutton creates a market-inspired menu of seasonal favorites, focusing on the bounty that California offers. And you can pair your meal with their superb list of California wines to enhance each course.

For an extra special treat, reserve the Chef’s Counter, and enjoy watching the staff as they craft your dinner before your eyes.

Veal Filet with Apricot Chutney and Summer Vegetables Entree at the Chef's Counter

Veal Filet with Apricot Chutney and Summer Vegetables Entree at the Chef’s Counter

Want a gourmet experience with a more relaxed vibe? Check out Steakhouse 55 Lounge in the Disneyland Hotel for delicious pub grub, inventive cocktails, and an atmosphere that is sheer Old Hollywood Glamour.

Under the Sea Date: Ariel’s Grotto World of Color Dinner Package

Dinner and a show? What could make for a better date?

If you’re looking for more than just dinner out, we love the World of Color Dinner Package at Continue reading →

Review: Strawberry and Cream Cupcake at Epcot’s Fountain View Starbucks

When visiting Fountain ViewEpcot’s Starbucks location – you’ll primarily find food items similar to what you’ll likely see at any Starbucks across the country: cake pops, muffins, breads, and Danish pastries, to name a few.

However, at the two Starbucks locations in Disney World Parks (the other being Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery), there are a few treats specific to these locations – primarily, cupcakes!

And it’s always good to see those gems in the case amidst the more standard fare… especially since they come out along with all the other treats at breakfast time, and it’s practically a vacation rite of passage to start your day with a cupcake ;) . The previous selection from Fountain View included the Mickey Cupcake and the Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake. And we love the Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake at Main Street Bakery!

Disney cupcakes at Fountain View

Disney cupcakes at Fountain View

Peanut Butter Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

Peanut Butter Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

A little while ago, Fountain View debuted a new cupcake next to to the Mickey Cupcake (replacing the Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake), and I decided to give it a try: the Strawberry and Cream Cupcake. (Note that the bakery changes out items seasonally, so these may or may not be there on your visit. :-D)

Strawberry and Cream cupcakes in Fountain View case

Strawberry and Cream cupcakes in Fountain View case

I’m starting to realize that I’ve been completely spoiled by the humongous cupcakes found all over Disney World at places like Starring Rolls Cafe, Contempo Café, and the BoardWalk Bakery, because this cupcake struck me as rather small… when, in actuality, it’s a just, like, a normal-sized cupcake :).

The swirled strawberry and vanilla frosting is a really nice touch.

Strawberry and Cream swirled frosting

Strawberry and Cream swirled frosting

I prefer a thicker frosting, and though this frosting was airy and light instead, I appreciated that I could spot vanilla bean seeds in the “cream” side of the swirled frosting as well as strawberry seeds from the puree in the strawberry side.

Vanilla frosting

Vanilla frosting

Strawberry frosting

Strawberry frosting

That, unfortunately, is where my appreciation Continue reading →

Back to School Sale! DFB Disney World Dining Guidebook Discounts for a VERY Limited Time

Hey all! The kids are about to go back to school (not sure if you noticed), and we’ve got a great idea for how you can fill up all that extra time you’ll have (ha ha!!). How about reading up and planning your next Disney vacation! While your kids are looking over their new text books, grab your own reading from the DFB Team. ;)

Take a look at our Back to School Special — available now through Sunday, August 24th!!

For a limited time, you can enjoy $5 off of our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2014 by using code School2014!

And you can scroll down to the end of the post for details on even more savings!

2014 dfb guide 3d cover

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2014

Our fully guaranteed, comprehensive e-Book offers more than 450 full-color pages to help you plan your very best Disney World trip ever!

With reviews, tips, expert advice, and hundreds of color photographs, you’ll get the biggest bang for your planning buck! And our handy e-Book format has been completely updated for your 2014-15 Disney World vacation.

Inside the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2014, you’ll find:

  • Four free, downloadable worksheets for planning your trip. These worksheets are designed to help you execute all the steps of planning the perfect Disney dining experience. And they’re reusable for all of your future trips!
  • Seven sample one-day dining itineraries to help you start the planning process. There are hundreds of dining options in Disney World. These examples, which highlight particular theme parks, touring styles, and dietary needs, will help you get an idea of what a perfect dining day might look like for you and your family.
  • A full chapter on discounts to apply to your Disney Dining experiences.
  • A comprehensive index of bars and lounges. Disney Food Blog readers asked for this feature, and we were happy to make it happen! An often under-appreciated option for both dining and entertainment, we devote a whole index to the topic. Every single bar and lounge in Disney World is covered — and includes a review!
  • Details about how the My Magic+ Planning System and FastPass+ affect your vacation planning.
Sample Page from the 2014 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining

Sample Page from the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2014

  • Scavenger Hunts, Trivia, and Top 5 List updates to pass the time while you’re waiting in line.
  • Disney Food Bingo Cards — a whole new way to play with your Disney food!
  • Plus SO much more!

The best part? Continue reading →

News and Sneak Peek: Special Food and Beverages Coming to the Villains Unleashed Event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

If you plan to attend the Villains Unleashed special event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on August 23, be prepared to make room in your food budget for some delightfully evil dishes!

Villains Unleashed Comes to Disney Hollywood Studios on August 23

Villains Unleashed Comes to Disney Hollywood Studios on August 23

The culinary team has come up with some clever dishes that are sure to bring lots of cackles from guests. Or maybe evil laughs. Mwhahahahahaha! (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)

We have a few pictures and descriptions for you today, and it all looks pretty awesome. Let’s check it out!

Special “Villains Unleashed” Menu at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

With more than 50 Disney Villains on hand to enjoy, no doubt you can party the night away with your favorite “baddie”. But what happens when all that merriment leads to a frightful appetite?

Disney has you covered — in themed style, of course. Check out these special Villain Hot Dogs, with images of Jafar and Maleficent branded right onto the buns! They appear to be some of our favorites, like the Pork Barbecue Coleslaw Dog and Macaroni and Cheese Truffle Dog from Fairfax Fare, dressed up for the occasion. Yum!

Villain Hot Dogs and Beverages

Villain Hot Dogs and Beverages

And who can resist scary drinks with gummy worms and candied pepper slices?? Specialty beverages — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike — will be available at various venues throughout the park.

And get a load of this gorgeous Maleficent Cupcake! The tasty treat features Dark Chocolate Cake, Blackberry Filling, and Blackberry Buttercream. We think it would make a great addition to our Disney Cupcake Gallery!

Villain Cupcake

Maleficent Cupcake

And this tame little apple hides a secret — Witches Brew! With a whole serving of Continue reading →

Review: Hummus with Vegetables and Pita at Mr. Kamal’s in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

On the pathway from Africa to Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom stand two unmarked kiosks that are definite gems for those searching for vegetarian fare, or even just a nice change of pace: Mr. Kamal’s and Bradley Falls.

Today, we’re paying a visit to Mr.Kamal’s (and, since Bradley Falls is open seasonally for peak crowds, Mr. Kamal’s is typically your best bet).

Of course, we’ve visited Mr. Kamal’s before, most recently after it changed to its current vegetarian menu. We sampled the Falafel Sandwich and Samosas, and were impressed with the Asian Noodle Salad as well.

Still, there was one item we’d yet to try at Mr. Kamal’s – the Hummus with Vegetables and Pita. You can pretty much figure out exactly what’s coming to you from the name :).

Mr. Kamal's menu

Mr. Kamal’s menu

Hummus with Veggies and Pita

Hummus with Veggies and Pita

(By the way, if the menu is missing the Asian Noodle Salad or Edamame on your visit, just make a very short trip across the street to Bradley Falls. It picks up those items from the menu when it’s open.)

The presentation is simple, as are the flavors. The olive-garnished hummus is accompanied by Continue reading →

Keep Up to Date — Subscribe to the Disney Food Blog Newsletter Today!

It’s an exciting time to be a fan of Disney Food!

DFB Newsletter

Our staff here at Disney Food Blog works hard to cover every facet of Disney Food — big and small. From reviews of every Disney restaurant to spotlights on snacks and beyond to special events like the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, we want to bring you all the latest!

But there’s so much to tell you that we can’t fit it all on the blog! And that’s where the Disney Food Blog Newsletter comes in handy.

We bring you issues twice each month, and each is packed with color photos, news, plus deals and offers.

And with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and the Fall and Winter Holidays right around the corner, it pays to be in the loop!

We Love Special Holiday- Themed Goodies!

We Love Special Holiday- Themed Goodies!

Don’t wait — sign up today and you’ll receive Continue reading →

Walt Disney World Steak Gallery

It’s time for another fun addition to our Disney Food Galleries!

disney world steak gallery

We just love to share photos of all of our favorite foods — and collect them into galleries for easy viewing! Whether your craving is for popcorn, ice cream, or a cupcake, there’s a gallery for you!

And today, we’re introducing a brand new gallery for all of you red meat lovers out there! Yep, we’ve gathered a whole buncha steaks from around Disney World to help you make your choices on your next visit.

Remember, some of these may drop off menus from time to time or have side dishes or preparation changed, but hopefully this will give you a good overview of what’s available! Here we go!

Yachtsman Steakhouse

Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club is one of my top picks when it comes to steak at Walt Disney World. After all, they decorate with meat — the first thing you pass en route to your seat is the Steak Trimming Room!

Chefs here pride themselves not only on the very best cuts of meat, but appetizers, side dishes, and desserts inspired by market fresh ingredients. Yachtsman combines the very best of seasonal flavors with the traditional steak experience.

My absolute favorite pick at Yachtsman is the 16-ounce Boneless Ribeye. It is always a melt-in-your-mouth choice.

Ribeye with Herb Fries at Yachtsman Steakhouse

Ribeye with Herb Fries at Yachtsman Steakhouse

But we are also big fans of the 12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak, served here with a rich potato gratin stack.

Strip Steak

12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak

Shula’s

Shula’s at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin is the kind of place that you think of when you envision an upscale steakhouse. As your eyes adjust to the dim lighting and you check out the menu — printed on a football! — you’ll settle into the refined elegance of your surroundings.

When I have the chance to dine here, I almost always go for my favorite, the 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye (are you sensing a theme?). The Bone-in Steak has been excellent on every visit. The flavor is unbelievable!

Cowboy Ribeye

22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye

Looking for a lighter approach to soothe your carnivore cravings? We’ve also enjoyed the Steak Mary Anne. Delicate by steakhouse standards, the 5-ounce medallions are served with a simple demi glace in this case. It’s the perfect plate for the guest who prefers all the flavor of prime, aged beef in a smaller serving.

Steak Mary Anne

Steak Mary Anne

Flying Fish

If you’re a landlubber like me, then finding a great steak at a restaurant known for fabulous seafood is a dream come true. But it’s not impossible if you’re dining at Flying Fish Cafe.

When I visit, I always order the Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip. The creamy Sauce Foyot is such a great accent — and they’re never chintzy with it!

Char Crusted Black Angus New York Strip

Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip

Can’t decide between surf and turf? You don’t have to! Try the two house specialities side by side with the Entree Duo, which features the Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak and the restaurant’s most famous fish dish, the Potato-wrapped Red Snapper.

Entree Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

Entree Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

Jiko

Jiko offers some of the most interesting food at Walt Disney World.

And while I enjoy the fusion of African, Indian, and Meditteranean flavors when it comes to appetizers and desserts, I rarely deviate from my favorite entree: the Oak-Grilled Filet.

Oak Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

Oak-Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

And even when their delicious Mac and Cheese isn’t featured as the dish’s side, you can usually score it as a special request (and I totally recommend that you do). :-)

Liberty Inn

In the mood for steak with no Advance Dining Reservation? Then head to Epcot’s Liberty Inn. Their New York Strip Steak, served with Red Wine Butter, Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli, is surprisingly good.

New York Strip Steak Meal

New York Strip Steak Meal

Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant

Even though most of my favorite steaks at Disney World are featured at signature restaurants, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good option at moderately priced restaurants, too, like Sci-Fi Dine-In.

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised by Continue reading →

News! The Great Irish Hooley at Disney World’s Raglan Road to Feature “A Knights Brunch”

Get ready for another festive Irish celebration at Raglan Road Irish Pub!

The popular restaurant is gearing up for host their 3rd Annual Great Irish Hooley August 29 through September 1 at Disney World’s Downtown Disney.

Come out over Labor Day Weekend and enjoy lots of Irish Hospitality. From music to dancing to FOOD, we have the details!

3rd Annual Great Irish Hooley at Raglan Road

A “Hooley” is a traditional Irish celebration, and Raglan Road is doing their part to bring this taste of the Emerald Isle to Central Florida!

Raglan Road in Downtown Disney

Raglan Road in Downtown Disney

The family-friendly party will include Irish music in many varied styles, interactive fun for the whole family, and, of course, great eats!

If it’s music you’re looking forward to, there will be lots to choose from.

  • Scythian is a headliner on the Celtic festival circuit. They’ll play selections from their fan-funded album, “Jump at the Sun,” available this month!
  • The Raglan Rebels are rising stars in Ireland. Enjoy their music, which combines the traditional with modern songs and ballads.
  • Drops of Green, is a new ballad group from Ireland. We can’t wait to hear what they bring!
  • Raglan Road regulars will recognize The Brayzen Heads a popular duo on guitar and banjo who play at the pub regularly.
  • The West Coast Trio hail from Connemara, and play traditional and contemporary Irish songs on accordion, flute, and guitar. Grab a partner; you’re going to want to dance!
The Brayzen Heads, a Raglan Road Favorite, Will Appear at the Great Irish Hooley Labor Day Weekend

The Brayzen Heads, a Raglan Road Favorite, Will Appear at the Great Irish Hooley Labor Day Weekend

If it’s dancing you’re after, you’re covered there, too! The whole family can participate in dance workshops, Continue reading →

Photo Tour and Food Review: Captain Cook’s Reopens at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

It’s quite the whirlwind of activity around the Polynesian lately!

Construction continues to affect the lobby, the Nanea Volcano pool, and the entrance of the resort… not to mention the recent name change back to Disney’s Polynesian Resort Village.

Slowly but surely, some results of all that work are starting to be seen, beginning with the newly reopened Captain Cook’s: the Polynesian’s Quick Service location. We gave you a tour of the temporary location when Captain Cook’s refurbishment began in April, and now we’re excited to share the results of the past four months with you!

Say “Aloha” once again to Captain Cook’s!

Atmosphere

The entrance feels very familiar… mainly because it’s the same ;) .

Entrance to Captain Cook's

Entrance to Captain Cook’s

Captain Cook's sign

Captain Cook’s sign

In fact, though, the entire location feels familiar since most changes are cosmetic (with a few exceptions that we’ll explore a little later).

If you’ve visited Captain Cook’s before, you’ll still know exactly where to go. Upon entering, you’re greeted by the main dining area.

Captain Cook's dining room

Captain Cook’s main dining room

Captain Cook's main dining room

Captain Cook’s main dining room

The breezy, palm-trees-swaying vibe has changed to a darker color palette, which is offset by two things: attractive light wood flooring and super fun vintage travel “posters.”

Samoa and Niue posters

Samoa and Niue posters

Bora Bora poster

Bora Bora poster

Tokelau poster

Tokelau poster

Tonga poster

Tonga poster

The one thing competing for your attention with the artwork are Continue reading →