2011 Holiday Dining Experiences at Disney World and Disneyland
The holiday season at Disney’s theme parks and resorts is filled with delights for food fans!
As the resorts turn visions of gingerbread houses into life-size creations, guests walking into the hotels are greeted first by the memorable aroma that conjures up memories of long-ago Christmas mornings. Then there’s chocolate and icing decor to be admired too!
The Disney shops tempt us with seasonal merchandise and treats previously only seen in our candied dreams. When the Main Street Confectionery begins to offer Peppermint Fudge and the Candy Palace starts the art of candy cane construction, it’s time to linger even longer — to watch and to indulge!
On this third Disney Food Blog Christmas, we strive to capture the spirit of the holiday:
Dining Planning for Christmas In Disney
There are plenty of Disney holiday events and details for the food lover in both Disney World and Disneyland.
Check out our reader-suggested restaurants for Christmas in Disney World!
Also, remember that many Disney restaurants announce specialty Christmas Day menus closer to December. Possible restaurants for this year: Biergarten, Boma, Cape May Cafe, Flying Fish Cafe, Chef Mickey’s, The Wave, Trail’s End Restaurant, 1900 Park Fare, Citricos, Narcoossee’s, Victoria & Albert’s, Grand Floridian Cafe, Olivia’s Cafe, bluezoo, Whispering Canyon Cafe, Captain’s Grill, Fulton’s, Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe, Wolfgang Puck The Dining Room, and Portobello.
Diamond Horseshoe: Counter-Service lunch will be served December 17 – 31st from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. to accommodate the holiday crowds.
WDW Swan and Dolphin restaurants offer Christmas Eve and Christmas dining.
Restaurants at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando will serve special holiday meals.
Raglan Road is now taking reservations for Christmas Day at (407) 938-0300. They’ll be serving a special Christmas Menu in addition to their regular offerings. Don’t bother cooking, let Raglan Road entertain your family.
Served at Disney’s Cape May Cafe and Yachtsman Steakhouse for just two days!
Holiday Dining in Disneyland
Celebrate Christmas or New Year’s Day with dinner at ESPN Zone, Catal Restaurant, Uva Bar, Crossroads at House of Blues Restaurant and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. Restaurants will feature special holiday menus with unique dishes. Don’t miss the famous turducken feast held each year at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen!
You can find information, details, Disney Food Blog posts, and links to current menus for all of these restaurants on our Disney World Table Service Restaurant Guide.
Dining Planning for Thanksgiving in Disney
And here are some details on Thanksgiving Feasts in Downtown Disney, and don’t forget Raglan Road’s festive menu this year! We’ve also reported on Thanksgiving meals at the Waldorf Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek, over at Fort Wilderness and in Magic Kingdom’s Diamond Horseshoe, and at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts!
Plus our readers have chimed in on their fave spots for Thanksgiving meals in WDW!
Holiday Treats at Disney Parks and Resorts
Here’s our first look at some holiday-themed treats popping up on Disney Property.
Holiday-Flavored Fudge: For a glimpse at some Candy Cane Fudge, head over to this Fudge Primer post.
Holiday Ice Cream Cone: Stop by Storybook Treats in Fantasyland for a treat with a seasonal twist!
Nuts About the Holidays: Get cinnamon-glazed pecans and almonds at a kiosk in Epcot’s France pavilion.
Boardwalk Bakery: Peppermint cupcake crowned with a candy cane!
Contempo Cafe: Chocolate Peppermint cupcake features candy cane sprinkles. Also try the Spiced Apple cupcake!
Seasonal Beverages: The Crew Cup’s Lounge at the Yacht Club has once again unveiled a holiday adult beverage – Santa’s Little Helper.
The Christmas Market has returned in Epcot’s Germany pavilion. Try the Gluhwein by the glass for some warm holiday cheer!
Disneyland Yule Log: The Disneyland bakeries have created a Chocolate Chestnut Yule Log this year! It is being sold at at Plaza Inn, in California Adventure at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, and at the Paradise Pier Hotel’s PCH Grill.
Disneyland Desserts: See the unveiling of new holiday treats!
Disneyland Gingerbread House Workshop: Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen offers fun gingerbread house building workshops on select days in December. Last workshops on December 17 and 18 with Santa as a special guest!
ESPN Zone: When you purchase a pumpkin spice cake dessert, you’ll receive a complimentary $10 ESPN Zone Arena Game Card! Now through January 8, 2012.
Compass Books Café: Stop in for a seasonal treat including pumpkin, gingerbread, eggnog and peppermint lattes. Christmas tree sugar cookies are available only for the holidays. Don’t delay – only available while supplies last.
Haagen-Dazs: Celebrating the holidays with peppermint and gingerbread lattes as well as peppermint bark.
La Brea Bakery: This Downtown Disney Anaheim location has peppermint cheesecakes in addition to gingerbread and peppermint-flavored lattes featuring Starbucks coffee.
Here are some great treats from 2010 that may be returning in 2011
Disney Gingerbread Displays and Activities:
There are wonderfully aromatic and gorgeous gingerbread displays this year at the Contemporary Resort, Boardwalk Resort, Beach Club Resort, Grand Floridian, Epcot, and more! Take a look at the beautiful displays at the Contemporary and Grand Floridian resorts.
Don’t forget that you can actually purchase pre-made gingerbread houses and other gingerbread and holiday treats at many of the gingerbread displays! New this year – QR codes to scan with your smartphone to learn more about the displays!
Collectible Gingerbread House Pins: Every year, Disney releases trading pins commemorating their Gingerbread House displays. You can see this year’s gingerbread pins here!
Disneyland Gingerbread House Workshops: Start a new holiday tradition at the Gingerbread House Building Workshops to be held at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen on several dates in December!
Events and Experiences
There are lots of incredible events for food lovers that take place in Disney parks during the festive season. Be sure to check out our 2010 Disney Food During the Holidays primer to see our coverage from last year!
Here are a few of the magical experiences you can expect while in Disney during the holidays:
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
This exciting event is absolutely memorable! Join Mickey and all his friends for a magical evening in the Magic Kingdom! Indulge in sugar cookies and hot chocolate to your heart’s content, then watch as Santa parades down Main Street in his beautiful sleigh while the snow (yes, SNOW!) comes down all around you.
This is a hard-ticket event, which means Disney only sells about 20,000 tickets per party. In 2011, it’s offered on select dates November 8 – December 18. Tickets range from $56.96 to $62.95 plus tax. Buy your tickets in advance for the best savings!
Get text message updates about MVMCP! You’ll know where to get your cookies and cocoa in addition to reminders about parade and show times.
Walt Disney World Candlelight Processional Dining Packages
This is one of the most incredible events of the year, and the Dining Packages make it easy for you to get reserved seating!
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
With a cup of hot cocoa or spiked egg nog, stroll slowly through this impressive display of holiday lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Set to music, the lights appear to dance while snow magically falls! Don’t forget to grab your specialty drink or ice cube cupcake!
WDW Swan and Dolphin
Featuring an entire calendar filled with holiday activities, these resorts offer awesome seasonal value!
Tables in Wonderland
Holiday events have been announced for Tables in Wonderland members!
Disney Foodie Gift Ideas:
Just like last year, we’ll be bringing you inspiring gift ideas for the Disney foodies on your list! For example, those vinylmation lovers will go gaga over these Jingle Smells Vinylmations! And you may want to stop by and pick up some of these holiday kitchen goodies! We even make your holiday shopping easier with Gift Certificates for our unique e-books! Don’t forget to take-home a holiday gift basket as a nice gesture of thanks to those that helped your escape to WDW! Stay tuned for more suggestions every Friday until the Christmas Holiday!
Thanks to Holly B. for the use of some of her yummy holiday photos on this page!