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Disney Food New Year’s Resolutions — What’s on Your Bucket List?

All right, all, I’ve been writing this blog every day for nearly three years now, and there are still a few Disney Food items on my bucket list if you can believe it!

They always say that if you share your goals and resolutions with your friends you’re more likely to stick with them, so I’m sharing them with you guys in the hope that you’ll keep me accountable to accomplish these! :-)

And if you have your own Disney Food resolutions or bucket list items, let me know in the comments section below! I’d love to hear what you guys want to see/do/eat in the parks and resorts!

Here we go!

Resolution 1: Dine at the New Disney Restaurants

Oh my GOODNESS, you guys, there are SO many restaurants opening this year! In Disney World, there are Be Our Guest Restaurant and Gaston’s Tavern in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, and the new Landscapes Cafe at the Art of Animation Resort.

Gaston's Tavern Concept Art...does anyone else think that turkey leg makes that girl look like she has a beard?

In Disneyland, we’ve got Flo’s V-8 Cafe (“Eat here and get gas!”), the Cozy Cone Motel, and Fillmore’s Taste-In in Cars Land; the new Carthay Circle Theater Restaurant; and the Jolly Holiday Bakery and the updated indoor Carnation Cafe.

Artist Rendering of Cars Land and Flo

And — while I’m pretty sure it’s (to quote Deborah Gibson) “only in my dreams” to try them — there are the new restaurants on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship and the restaurants at Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa in Hawaii!

Fingers crossed…

Resolution 2: Go to Mickey’s Backyard BBQ

I admit it — I have never been to this fun adventure-in-a-meal called Mickey’s Backyard BBQ! Since it’s only available on select nights through much of the year, and because it takes a while to get there (the pavilion is located at Fort Wilderness in Walt Disney World), I haven’t made it.

Hopefully I’ll be able to head over sometime in 2012 to partake in some barbecue, eat a few Mickey bars, and rub elbows with the Disney fur character elite!

Sign at Mickey's Backyard BBQ

Resolution 3: Order a Custom Cake

Even though we have a fun gallery of custom cakes ordered by our readers, AND we have a tip top Disney Cake Ordering FAQ here on the Disney Food Blog, I still haven’t celebrated with a custom cake myself!

I have a few ideas of things I should celebrate in 2012…now I just have to choose the flavors! Something tells me there will be cream cheese frosting involved… ;-)

Mickey Cake

Resolution 4: Eat at the Flying Fish Chef’s Counter

You know I love Flying Fish Cafe, and I’ve heard nothing but awesomeness about the new(ish) Flying Fish Chef’s Counter meal. After my incredible experiences at the Napa Rose Chef’s Counter and the Victoria and Albert’s Chef’s Table this year (review coming SOON!), I can’t wait to snag a seat at Chef Tim Keating’s counter at the Flying Fish.

Flying Fish Chef's Counter

Any suggestions for requests??

Resolution 5: Eat a Turkey Leg

While many of you will want to take away my Disney Food Blogger card for admitting this, I think it’s important to be up front and forthright with you at this point in our relationship. I’ve never eaten a turkey leg. Well, not one of my own, anyway. And I think it’s time. Don’t you?

Disney Turkey Leg

I hope you can help me stick to my Disney Food Resolutions this year, everyone!! How can I help you stick to yours? Let me know what you hope to cross off of your Disney Food bucket list this year in the comments section below! :-)

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41 Comments

  1. Heather Sievers says:

    It’s disturbing to me that the Mickey Waffle has hair. Oh, and I plan to do every single one of those Disneyland resolutions with you.

  2. AJ says:

    Heather — I was wondering if you’d see the Mickey Waffle hair!!!! So observant, you are! You get to be Morgan Freeman, ’cause I’m nice like that.

  3. Heather Sievers says:

    Ummmm. I love you. BTW, the hair was the first thing I noticed!!!

  4. Sam says:

    Good luck on these. And Yes! That little girl totally looks like she has a beard!!

  5. Adam says:

    Waffle hair IS a little freaky! I actually need to eat at Jiko. I always say I will and then get into an argument with my wallet and my kids who look like they’d rather see Mickey at the Garden Grill.

    But one day….

  6. Bryan Irrera says:

    Take my advice: step SLOWLY away from the Turkey Leg. Yes, they look amazing. Yes, they smell incredible as you walk by the carts. However, NO, they are NOT good. They are a greasy, disgusting mess and WAY too much food. If you must eat one, make sure you have PLENTY of napkins and possibly even a bib. I did it ONCE and will NEVER do it again…

  7. Kristi says:

    I have to disagree with the turkey leg comment. We had one this September and it was awesome!!! My day shy of five years old daughter watched people walking around with these giant legs for two years. Finally after the Dinosaur ride at AK she asked if she could get one. We grabbed one leg and two frozen lemonades to feast on. She did a great job “T-rexing” (in her words) that leg. Maybe it’s a matter of when and where you get the turkey but I would defiantly go back for more ;-)

  8. Bill White says:

    I too, disagree with the Turkey Leg comment. They are delish! I take a rolled up paper plate and a plastic knife and fork with me to the park, because they ARE messy to eat with your hands.

    However, DO NOT get a Turkey Leg at a Universal Park. They are DISGUSTING!

  9. Cynthia says:

    The turkey leg is delicious! My husband and I were on the meal plan this Christmas and between the turrkey leg, cookie, and drink were through for the night. Great late meal after the parade. Sharing is the only way we could get through it. My resolution is try dine my way around the world showcase at table service restuarants.

  10. First and foremost, I only know her as Debbie Gibson. That’s right, I’m old.

    Second, I’m with you on the turkey leg. If you are going to succumb to medieval eating practices, what better place to do it than Disney?

    Finally, my Disney Food Bucket List begins and ends with the Chef’s Table at Victoria and Albert’s. Once I experience that, I could line up the other food experiences (like a Blue Bayou Monte Cristo) behind it.

    Can’t wait for your review!

  11. marcellina says:

    @coreypatterson… I can tell you that every penny spent on Victoria and Albert’s is worth it! Next time you are at WDW… just do it. Amazing. I want to do it again.

    I have a smaller scale bucket list.. the top of said list is to try the Grand Marnier Slush. Not only have I heard great things about it but I’m also a HUGE Samantha Brown fan and I know she likes them. I plan on making this a reality next month!

  12. Love this blog post because it really got me thinking. I love all Disney food but when I’m there I get seduced by my favorites and don’t check as many new items off my list as I would like. A few items on my Bucket List:

    1. Dining at Jiko… I’ve been to Boma several times but never seem to fit Jiko into the plans.
    2. Eat an Oreo Bon Bon from the Cape May Cafe. The other items on the Cape May Cafe buffet don’t interest me as much and I don’t know if it is worth it to go to a buffet just for a dessert! I’m thinking about staying at the Beach Club (or Yacht Club) Club level next trip and I have read they sometimes serve these in the lounge?
    3. Have the unlimited refill milkshake at the Whispering Canyon Cafe. This probably sounds better than it is because I don’t know if I could actually drink more than one shake… but I would like to take the challenge!

    And I think the Turkey Legs are good (as someone once pointed out to me, they kind of taste more like ham because they are pretty salty)… but there is it definitely a good idea to split one.

  13. Carol says:

    The turkey leg is a must for my family! We always eat it with a salted pretzel and mustard. Something about the combination just makes it even better. Our favorite places to devour this treat (we have tasted others and it has never been the same) is at Epcot near Test Track and at the vendors in Hollywood Studios by the haunted Mansion. We even bought the Disney “Turkey Leg” shirt for my brother who loves it the most in my family!

  14. Diane says:

    Lower your standards for the food at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. It is mediocre at best. I thoroughly enjoyed our evening there not because of the food but because of the music, dancing, and great interaction my niece had with the characters. My brother thoroughly enjoyed the unlimited beer.

  15. Alan says:

    Well, up until a few days ago, my Disney dining resolution was to stop using the DDP so that we could try some of our old favorites and some of the newer places at WDW that have not been on the dining plan. But AJ’s post on the new restaurants joining the line-up has me in a quandry. Almost all the restaurants on the property are now on the plan.

    However, add into that equation the fact that there are many great restaurants off the property that we either love or have wanted to try that the decision becomes murky again. Places like Winter Park, Celebration, downtown Orlando and even many others very close to WDW are calling out to us. I’ll just have to decide which way to go and then fret the road not taken. But, I have a feeling that it is a win-win decision.

  16. Rosalind says:

    Le Cellier new menu! Totally my current plan, and I have a reservation for Princess half weekend. Kona for breakfast. Try even more tequilas. I love the tequila place!

  17. I also have the new places on my bucket list. My sister ate at Aulani buffet and said the food was not very good and it was expensive. I want to eat a kitchen Sink, well share one. I also have about 4 places I have never eaten at in WDW mostly at resorts. I always like the ones I have tried so I have ADR’s for my June trip.

  18. Betsy says:

    I started my year of Disney food resolutions in late 2011 to coincide with the purchase of my first AP and first TIW card. I vowed to try at least one new (to me) table service restaurant on each trip I make between Dec. 16th 2011 and Dec. 16th 2012. So far it’s gone really well – I tried both Le Cellier (lunch) and Ohana (dinner) on my Dec trip and both were fabulously fun and tasty. In March I’m having dinner at Sanaa, and in May dinner at Via Napoli. That’s what I’ve got so far, and I couldn’t be happier!!

  19. Brenda says:

    I would have to add the Cupcake Crawl to my Disney Food Bucket List! There are a few restaurants to try too, Jiko, California Grill and Restaurant Marrakesh.

  20. catherine says:

    Can’t think of anything I haven’t done and I will be doing both Cars Land and the Fantasy in September so maybe my resolution is to eat offsite more…Maybe starting with that bear and bull burger.

  21. Erin says:

    I love this post!!!! 1) Can’t WAIT to eat at Be Our Guest and praying it’s open by the time we go in mid-October. 2) We had the same idea to try Mickey’s BBQ! We’re staying in at the Wilderness Lodge Villas this year so it’d be a perfect time to try it. 3) My mom had ordered a birthday cake for me before staying at AKL, and it was a plain and simple one..delicious but nothing fancy. Last year we finally got to celebrate something for her (retirement!) so I ordered her this INCREDIBLE Tinkerbelle fancy fondant cake (red velvet w/cream cheese frosting) from Yacht Club and had it delivered during our dinner at the Yachtsman Steakhouse. Everyone was stopping by the table to say how beautiful it was. I was truly impressed and highly recommend everyone does this at least once! 4) My mom isn’t as adventurous as I am when it comes to eating so I’m not sure if she’d be up for the chef’s table, but she does pretty well. We’re trying Flying Fish (dinner) for the first time this year as well…can’t wait! and my last humble opinion is 5) For the past several years I said i was going to try a turkey leg and never did until last year. It was AH-MAZING! I got mine in a little spot (sad, I can’t remember the name) right across and facing where you enter for Fantasmic. They also have some delicious sounding fancy hot dogs (Mom got the Mac & Cheese dog…insanely good). I got my turkey leg as a counter service meal with a giant diet (haha) Coke. Loved every bite! And on my personal bucket list, thanks to the fabulous DDP changes this year, I’ll finally get to try Bistro de Paris (on my birthday no less). October can’t come fast enough!!!

  22. Beth says:

    We have a reservation February 3 with private dining at the Grand Californian Hotel to eat on the 6th Floor Balcony. Only one couple per night is allowed. We were allowed to pre-select from sparkling cider or wine, from 2 appetizers and from 4 entrees, plus the dessert. The meal is timed so that we will be eating our dessert while the fireworks in Disneyland Park are visible from the window. I think this will be the cherry on top of our bucket list!

  23. Jennifer says:

    Love you list! I don’t know if I would call it a bucket list but I for sure have some things like I would like to do this year.
    1) Eat at all the new Disneyland food options this year.
    2) Dine at Steakhouse 55
    3) Enjoy the ice cream at Gibson Girl! (every time I go to Disneyland I SAY I am going to get some but never have… shame on me!)

    I’m sure there is more but that is all I can think of so far, haha.

  24. Mark D. says:

    Eat the turkey leg. It smells too good to pass up.

    Yes, I believe that girl has a beard.

    AJ, I think we were seperated a birth. I legit have a disney food bucket list that I keep, although mine is much longer than yours.

  25. Melissa says:

    The turkey leg is delicious but be advised no matter how hard you scrub or cover yourself in Purell, you WILL smell like that thing all day.

  26. Jo Hill says:

    180 days today and just made our adr’s – agreed this time that we would try places we havn’t tried before so looking forward to citricos, teppan edo, kona cafe, sci fi diner, olivia’s, via napoli, artist point, TRex and captains grille. It’s so hard resisting our favourites!!

  27. AJ says:

    Sam — Ha ha! I know!

    Adam — Ooh, I hope you get to go there soon! I LOVE Jiko!

    Bryan — Ha ha ha!!! I hear you 100%; that’s why I’ve been wary for so long!!

    Kristi, Bill, and Cynthia — I should send you a pic when I get one!! :-)

    Corey — Sigh…I almost put the V&A chef’s table on this list AGAIN! I went for the first time in September thanks to a very kind invitation from a good friend. It was incredible! Can’t wait to hear about your visit this year (fingers crossed!)

    Marci — Try the Grey Goose Slush, too!! YUM!

    Susan — Congrats on the baby! I hope you get to visit Jiko; and I can’t wait to hear how you like the Whispering Canyon milkshakes!

    CArol — Good to hear there are specific spots that do turkey legs better than others!! I’ll have to do a poll and get mine from the best spot!

    Diane — Thanks for the reminder ;-) I think it will be fun for the experience, but, I agree, I’m not getting my hopes up about the food. (Unless there’s fried chicken. I love fried chicken.)

    Alan — To me, this just means you guys need to take one more WDW trip this year so that you can do the best possible job of comparing a DDP with a non-DDP trip… don’t you think?

    Rosalind — I like the way you think!! :-)

    Lori — Oh! I forgot to add a kitchen sink to my list!! Thanks for the reminder!

    Betsy — I love all of your choices! What a fun way to cross off the items on your bucket list!

    Brenda — YES! Cupcake crawl! And there are even more cupcakes to add these days… ;-)

    Catherine — It’s on! You’re getting the vegan cheesecake, too.

    Erin — Wonderful!! What a great list of accomplishments you’ve got going on! Yum on the red velvet with cream cheese frosting cake at Yachtsman — sounds just about perfect!

    Beth — WHa?!? That sounds awesome! Is it for club level guests only? Would love to hear more!

    Jennifer — I’ll meet you at Steakhouse 55! And we can go to Gibson Girl after — they’re expanding it!

    Mark D — I know!! :-) And I could definitely add things to the list, let me tell ya! Thanks to your great dessert event idea, I crossed something off of my list this year that I didn’t even know was on it!

    Melissa — Bwa ha ha ha!! :-)

    Jo — Yum, yum, yum. I can highly recommend the picnic burger at Sci Fi… ;-)

  28. Jeanine says:

    I find that concept art problematic. Not only does the girl with the turkey leg look like she has a beard, but the kid sitting in the chair looks like he came dressed in a “Forest of No Return” costume, and the kid across from him looks like he put his Mickey Mouse shirt on backwards.

    I’m still hoping to make it to the Bull and Bear sometime, and the Le Cellier dinnertime poutine has continued to elude me…

  29. Jenn says:

    The Counter at Flying Fish is amazing ~ don’t waste anymore time ~ make your reservations NOW!
    I need to think on this as to my wishes for this year. I know I want to do a signature dinner during food and wine.

  30. Steph says:

    I have quite a few that are actually going to be realized:

    1) Eat at O’hana (have an ADR) 2) Eat at La Hacienda (have an ADR) 2) Have a Lapu Lapu and a slushie from France 4) Have a Mickey Ice Cream Sandwich 5) Have the mini donuts at Typhoon Lagoon

    I also really want to eat at Artist Point and the new MK restaurants but may not get to this year

  31. EEFoster says:

    My goal this year is to eat something (anything) at Disneyland. Not sure how I’m going to make it happen, but that’s my goal.

    And I keep looking at that photo at the top. Not only does Mickey Waffle has hair, he also has hairy arms. Ewwwww.:-)

  32. melissa sue says:

    Love you for your Debbie Gibson reference. :)

    My resolution is to eat more counter service meals and write more for Disney Food Blog!

  33. JoAnn says:

    I booked my November trip to Disney World on Saturday. I’m hoping Be Our Guest is open then. I’m staying at Pop Century so I’ll try to take a walk over to see the Landscape Cafe at Art of Animation.

    I want to try a couple new resturants this year.

  34. Andrea says:

    My resolution is to 1) Have a sink and 2) eat at 13 restaurants at WDW to complete my list of eating everywhere on property! (Garden Gallery at Shades of Green, La Hacienda de San Angel at Epcot, Mangino’s at Shades of Green, Maya Grill at Coronado Springs, Palio at Swan, Plaza Restaurant at Magic Kingdom, Portabello Yacht Club at Downtown Disney, Raglan Road at Downtown Disney, Shutters at Caribbean Beach, T-Rex at Downtown Disney, Tutto Italia at Epcot, Via Napoli at Epcot, and Victoria and Alberts at Grand Floridan–which I just booked for our 1 year Disney Fairy Tale Wedding Anniversary in June…so excited!!)

  35. Andrea says:

    Oh, and what is the cupcake crawl??

  36. AJ says:

    Jeanine — Ha ha ha!!! I agree on all of your points! ;-) I’d love to head to Bull and Bear with you sometime (or share the Le Cellier dinner poutine with ya!)

    Jenn — I hear ya!

    Steph — So exciting!! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

    Erin — YES! Disneyland! Would love to hang out there with you!

    Melissa Sue — Ha ha! I love that song! And I can’t wait to see more contributions from you to the blog!

    JoAnn — Congrats, my friend! I look forward to your reviews and feedback on Landscape Cafe. Let me know what new restaurants you try, too!

    Andrea — Yowza!! I can’t wait to hear about your bucket list completion! And here’s the cupcake crawl

  37. Shayne says:

    Love your list! I knocked a bunch of items off of my list last month, but some of the remaining ones are: Jiko, Queen Victoria Room at Victoria & Albert’s, English Bulldog at the Rose & Crown Pub, Kouzzina, Ohana, and a return to 50s Prime Time Cafe (haven’t eaten there in almost 20 years — crap, am I really that old?)

    And now that I read Beth’s comment, I really must do that Grand Californian dining on the balcony thingy. How far in advance do you have to reserve that???!

  38. Beth says:

    AJ and Shayne: You do not have to be a Club Level Guest. It is my understanding that anyone staying at any of the 3 Disneyland Hotels can book the 6th Floor Balcony dining extravaganza or whatever they call it. However, I am not sure how well publicized it is–I searched your blog and found no reference. Allears, Passporter, all my best Disney sources, nothing. I Googled “Grand California 6th Floor Balcony Dining” and finally found a reference on, I think the Dis Boards (not positive where I saw it) from someone who’d done it. Although you don’t have to be Club Level, I booked one night in the Fairy Tale Suite (the signature suite) at the Disneyland Hotel and the rest of the trip we’re staying in a regular room at the DLH with the Tinker Bell Half Marathon discount (the money we saved with that discount paid for a one night splurge in the Fairy Tale Suite!) It was after I’d booked the suite that the Disneyland Vacation Planning department sent me a folder with park maps, tour listings and a one page sheet detailing this option. That’s how I found out about it. Because I booked the regular room through the travel agent handling the race-related reservations, I don’t know if they would have sent me that folder if I hadn’t booked the suite. But I do know that any Disneyland Resort Hotel guest can use the vacation planning department for priority seatings, etc. even if they don’t send them a folder. But I do think it is relatively new. I believe you get to keep the champagne flutes and the price is $300 including tax, tip, everything. So a splurge along the lines of Victoria & Albert’s. I told Vacation Planning as soon as I read about it that I wanted to do it and they told me they’d contact me 60 days out to finalize, which they did. (They also have to wait for the fireworks time to figure out what time to tell you to come for dinner.) Hope this helps.

  39. Janet says:

    Mickey’s backyard bar-b-cue is wonderful. The food is barbecue ribs & chicken (sorry no fried chicken), burgers, hotdogs, watermelen, & other assorted outdoorsy food items. It’s a nice break from plain counter service food or fancy restaurant food, plus you get Mickey premium ice cream bars for dessert (or at least you did).

    My husband & I would rather do this then Hoop-Dee-Do just for the character interaction. We don’t have kids, but we’re kids at heart. We go for the peoplewatching. It’s great to see everyone enjoying themselves. And where else on property can you do the “TWIST” with Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale & Goofy? The big kids are having just as much fun as the younger crowd.

    For anyone doing this – a little known secret might save some time & aggrevation. Don’t try to take those all important character photos while it’s crowded. Just wait & have patience. Once the main show is over & most of the people leave (about 8pm or so), .it’s a great time to get one on one time with the characters & take those family photos. Up until then, the characters are trying to mingle with everyone & don’t want a line of people waiting for photos. They’re just out there to have fun with everyone. It’s very hard to get that picture without out 20 other people being in it. Towards the end of the evening, the characters are still out dancing & most everyone has left, so you have them almost all to yourselves.

    Plus, if you stay to the very end & then meander your way back to the boat dock (if you came over from MK), you will see the electrical water pageant go by & by the time you’re on the boat, you’ll see the MK fireworks. A special way to end the night.

  40. Elex says:

    My future wife and I are going in February to celebrate Disney 24 and the anniversary of our engagement. Luckily we got to experience V&A last time we were there and like everyone else who has said anything about it … AMAZING doesn’t do it justice.
    We have eaten our way around the World Showcase, but I love the idea of drinking your way around it. I had no idea there were so many alcohol slushies.
    Turkey Legs = AWESOME!! (Cant believe the person who writes the Disney Food Blog has never had one)
    Ordered a custom cake last trip and I don’t know what it was, but the cake was delicious. Plus we didn’t finish it at Kouzzina so we took it back to the hotel and there is just something about being able to eat a cake shaped like Mickey in your WDW room.
    Cant wait for Be Our Guest … needs to be open by the 1st week of Oct.

    Going twice this year and our current Bucket List would include:

    1. Boma/Jiko – Dont know if my fiance is this adventurous but we are going to try
    2. LeCellier – Heard nothing but good things
    3. Flying Fish Cafe – After reading this post, kinda want to try it
    4. Beignet at Port Orleans
    5. Kona Cafe – Tonga Toast
    6. Via Napoli
    7. Yak and Yeti

  41. Heather says:

    I’ve been wanting to try Mickey’s BBQ, more for the characters than anything. We should go together. ;)

    I actually haven’t had a turkey leg either! I love turkey, but for some reason, it’s never seemed that appetizing to me.

    Hmm, my bucket list would be those waffle sandwiches at Sleepy Hallow, cupcakes at Boardwalk bakery (I always miss getting one!), Artist Point, and the restaurants that will be opening this year. :) oh, and a TON of stuff at Disneyland since I’m 95% sure I will be going there for the first time ever in dec. :)

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