Breaking! NEW Dining Spots Coming to Disneyland’s Pixar Pier; PLUS Pixar Fest Food Sneak Peek…

Super excited to share some breaking news with you about Pixar Pier in Disneyland Resort’s Disney California Adventure park. (Don’t forget that Pixar Pier officially opens on June 23rd!)

Pixar Pier Marquee Concept Art ©Disney

Pixar Pier Marquee Concept Art ©Disney

We’ve got the scoop on some brand new eats for Pixar Fest as well as some upcoming Pixar Pier dining locations that will be permanent residents of the new Pixar Pier! Ready? Here we go!! (Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see the new Pixar Pier dining spots!)

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DFB Video: Disney World Food Tour of EVERY Restaurant in Fantasyland!

Happy Weekend!! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re taking you on a food tour of EVERY restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland in Walt Disney World!

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest Restaurant

When it comes to dining, Fantasyland is best known as home to two of the most popular dining experiences in Disney World, with Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest Restaurant. But it’s not all Castles and Princesses when it comes to Fantasyland restaurants, where you’ll find everything from iconic park treats like Specialty Caramel Apples to Cinnamon Rolls to something by the name of the “Cheshire Cat Tail.” We’ll tell you where to find all those and MUCH more as we check out every single food stop in Fantasyland! [Read more…]

Avoid These Seven Mistakes When Planning Your Disney Dining!

We know planning your dining at Walt Disney World is increasingly difficult. With so many options and variables to consider, it’s really hard to get everything right.

And that’s where we come in! Disney Food Blog has assembled some of the most common mistakes made by guests when they plan their Disney World dining — and some tips and tools for how to avoid those mistakes.

So if you really want to eat this…

'Ohana Bread Pudding

‘Ohana Bread Pudding

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Review and Tips: Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

We hear it again and again (and we’ve said it ourselves): Cinderella’s Royal Table is a must at least once in your Disney World vacation life.

And most guests who’ve dined in this hard-to-book restaurant inside Cinderella Castle agree that you’re really not there for the food. But the ambiance! The princesses! The views! The whole dining experience (did we mention it’s inside the castle?!) is the draw, even if the food is… a little hit or miss.

And it’s that experience that keeps Cinderella’s Royal Table hopping — with Advance Dining Reservations (ADR) ideally being made right at the 180 day mark — 180 days before the first day of your vacation. (Learn more about making dining reservations at Disney restaurants here.)

If you do get an ADR, prepare to be dazzled by the decor and wooed by the energy in the restaurant. You definitely get the sense that you’re in a special space, and with princesses swooping in for a chat and wishing stars waving in the air, it’s a one of a kind meal.

Cinderella's Royal Table

Cinderella’s Royal Table

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2018 Disney Dining Plan Restaurants List

Last June when Walt Disney World announced updates to the 2018 Disney Dining Plan, many guests were thrilled to discover that beginning this year, all three plans include Specialty and Alcoholic Drinks! This means that diners can order delicious milkshakes, fruity smoothies, and tasty adult beverages without having to pay out of pocket.

Southern Sangria and Not Everyone's Margarita

Southern Sangria and Not Everyone’s Margarita

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DFB Video: Cinderella’s Royal Table vs Akershus Royal Banquet vs Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast

Happy Friday, friends! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re discussing all things Disney Princesses!

Rapunzel at the Bon Voyage Character Breakfast

Rapunzel at the Bon Voyage Character Breakfast

To be more specific, we’re talking about three of the most popular Character Meals where Disney Royalty come directly to your table to greet you as you dine. But when you’re trying to determine which one is best for you (and possibly your little princess or prince), how do you narrow it down between Cinderella’s Royal Table, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, and the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast? Well, that’s exactly what today’s video is designed to help you find out! [Read more…]

DFB Video: Best Disney World Sit Down Restaurants for Kids

Hello, friends! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re checking out the best Disney World sit down restaurants for kids!

Dine in a Convertible at Sci-Fi

Dine in a Convertible at Sci-Fi

Now, a lot of people think that Disney World is just for kids… but we know the truth: Disney World is for kids and all of us kids at heart! Still, there are some dining experiences that parents especially will want to know about, as we think these are some top picks for those traveling with kiddos! Sure, we will discuss some character dining options, but we’ll also share some under-the-radar spots which those planning a trip with children might not consider at first glance. So join us to explore some of the best sit down dining for kids at Disney World! [Read more…]

Review: Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast Dinner at Garden Grill in Epcot

Today, we’re sharing with you our latest visit to Garden Grill Restaurant for Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast Dinner!

Garden Grill is basically one of my favorite character meals. First, it’s a character meal with really great interaction. And while Chip ‘n’ Dale are the headliners, here, you also get to hang out with Farmer Mickey and Pluto!

But beyond the characters, we enjoy the unique ambiance that Garden Grill offers. If you’ve never visited the restaurant, wait ’til you see what it does! Yes — DOES!

We’ve also had some pretty fantastic meals here. Breakfast is virtually a tradition for my family.

But today, we’re visiting in the evening. We’ve enjoyed past dinners here. Let’s see if the trend continues.

Atmosphere

Looking for Garden Grill Restaurant? Hang a right after Spaceship Earth and head toward The Land Pavilion in Future World West.

The Land Pavilion

The Land Pavilion

Walkways line the perimeter walls inside the building and lead you down to the pavilion’s three levels, which host The Circle of Life film on the right, and Living with the Land, Soarin’, and Sunshine Seasons (one of our favorite counter service spots) on the bottom. There’s also an elevator if you’d prefer it to walking.

The Land Ceiling

The Land Ceiling

You’ll find the Garden Grill directly across from the entrance.

Garden Grill Sign

Garden Grill Sign

And here’s where we talk about what Garden Grill does: it rotates. In fact, it’s the only restaurant in Orlando — and only one of a handful in the world — that spins.

Now, just in case the thought of a rotating restaurant doesn’t sound all that appetizing, we promise you that Garden Grill spins at a snail’s pace. We aren’t talking spinning teacups here.

Garden Grill Wide View

Garden Grill Wide View

Why does it spin? Well, there’s more than one way to check out the attractions within Living with the Land! As the restaurant rotates, guests are treated to scenes from the ride. This mural acts as sort of a gateway.

Garden Grill Mural

Garden Grill Mural

You’ll visit a farmhouse — or see it from above, anyway. I think this scene is particularly fun, because you get to look inside one of the windows from this vantage point!

Farmhouse Scene in Living with the Land

Farmhouse Scene in Living with the Land

You’ll also see extremes in landscapes. As you view a rainforest scene, and watch it morph into a desert scene as you travel.

Rainforest

Rainforest

Transition from Rainforest to Desert

Transition from Rainforest to Desert

Living with the Land as seen from Garden Grill

The Desert

Your vehicle for sightseeing is your table, of course.

Tables are arranged in a sort of stadium seating pattern on two levels around the restaurant. Top tier tables are your garden variety rectangular tables, like you see here.

Table and Seating

Table and Seating

On the lower level, semi-circular booths face out, giving you the best view of the scenes you pass.

Garden Grill booth

Garden Grill booth

Larger Booth -- Family Side

Larger Booth — Family Side

And did you notice? Mickey makes an appearance before your meal ever starts! :-D

Mickey Table Setting :)

Mickey Table Setting :)

And that brings me to Reason Number Two that you might want to visit Garden Grill: the characters. Let’s check ‘em out.

Characters

One of my top reasons for visiting Garden Grill is the character interaction. In fact, it’s one of my Top Two Favorite Character Meals in Walt Disney World! Of course, I love when I can see Mickey during a character meet and greet. And here, he’s dressed in his farmer finest.

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse

Mickey is joined by his faithful pup sidekick, Pluto.

Pluto

Pluto

But this is, after all, Chip ‘n’ Dale’s gig. So you’re sure to see the playful pair as you enjoy your dinner.

Chip

Chip

Sad Dale

Sad Dale

And that’s one of the coolest things about Garden Grill — it’s not just the stellar character interaction, but the amount of interaction you get. The restaurant is fairly small in size, so that means you normally have the chance to visit with characters more than once during your meal.

Eats

So we’ve talked about the fact that Garden Grill rotates, thus making it something kinda special. And, of course, any day that you can share your meal with Chip ‘n’ Dale and Friends is gonna be a good one.

But how about the food? Well, the good news is — that’s pretty great, too.

Garden Grill serves its meals family style, meaning that shareable platters are brought to the table, and you can ask for more of anything you like. That also means that everyone dining has the choice of a non-alcoholic beverage as part of the prix fixe price of his or her meal. But if you’d like, you can also order from a list of special drinks, including cocktails, mocktails, beer, and wine.

Special Drinks Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Special Drinks Menu — Click to Enlarge

Wine Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Wine Menu — Click to Enlarge

You don’t really choose what you’re getting at Garden Grill (unless you have special dietary needs; talk to your server in that case). The offerings are pretty much standard. You’ll start with warm Dinner Rolls, served with a side of Whipped Butter.

Rolls with Whipped Butter

Rolls with Whipped Butter

Next comes the Harvest-Inspired Farmer’s Salad. During our visit, the salad included greens, hard boiled egg, radishes, and grape tomatoes. It’s lightly dressed with a creamy dressing.

Harvest-Inspired Farmer's Salad

Harvest-Inspired Farmer’s Salad

The main course is the combination platter with sliced Homestyle Pot Roast, sliced Turkey Breast, and Italian Sausage served with sautéed Peppers and Onions. Sides on the platter include Mashed Potatoes and Bacon and Leek Stuffing.

The Italian Sausage is new, having replaced the previously served Sustainable Fish of the Day.

Platter of Meats, Mashed Potatoes, Dressing, and Gravy

Platter of Meats, Mashed Potatoes, Dressing, and Gravy

But that’s not all. You get additional veggie sides, like Green Beans and Sweet Potatoes, plus Macaroni and Cheese.

Platter of Sides -- Mac & Cheese, Green Beans, and Sweet Potato Fries

Platter of Sides — Mac & Cheese, Green Beans, and Sweet Potato Fries

For dessert, it’s a shareable Short Cake topped with Fruit Compote and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream.

Short Cake

Short Cake

Some folks may call this a cobbler. Whatever name you give it, the rich cake and super saucy berry topping is a winner with everyone at the table.

Nosh or Not?

You’ll enjoy Garden Grill if:

  • You’re looking for a great character meal that combines great food, MICKEY, and more fun aspects
  • You have a nostalgic affinity for Epcot (Living with the Land!!!)
  • You’re touring Epcot with small children. The rest of the table service restaurants in Epcot can be ho hum for little kids.

You may want to skip Garden Grill if:

  • You’ve got a busy touring day and would rather stick to counter service
  • You’re in an adults-only party and nobody much cares about characters

Overall

After lots of visits, I still love Garden Grill Restaurant.

I think I’ve laid out a pretty convincing argument. When you visit Garden Grill, you’re getting a three-way combo of unique environment, great characters, and excellent (and plentiful) food. And when it comes to characters and kids, I personally lean toward a character meal where the food comes to you, because it’s so much easier to juggle kids, characters, and food when you don’t have to worry about visiting a buffet.

But even beyond the convenience of Garden Grill, the characters, and the novelty of the place, I think this place just offers really great food. It may be kind of standard fare, but it’s thoughtfully prepared. And when you’re paying Disney prices, it’s great when you can enjoy a character meal as much for the food as for everything else.

If you haven’t tried it before, book an advance dining reservation for Garden Grill Restaurant. I think you’ll be pleased.

Read Our Review of Garden Grill’s Breakfast Options Here!

Now, I’d love to hear from you! Is Garden Grill Restaurant one of your favorites? Let us know in comments!

DFB Video: Best Disney World Restaurants for Vegan and Vegetarian Food

Hey Guys! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re sharing one by popular request: we’re talking about the BEST Disney World Restaurants for vegan and vegetarian fare!

Falafel Burger at The Mara

Falafel Burger at The Mara

We are always thankful to our DFB Readers who send great tips and info from their own Disney dining experiences. But today’s video is especially a group effort, as our vegan and vegetarian friends have shared some of their favorite restaurants and dishes with us. And we, in turn, are sharing them with you in case you (or anyone in your traveling group) follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. There are plenty of options in the parks, but places on our list can be found in the Resorts or Disney Springs, too, ranging from Counter Service to Table Service. And, as a bonus, we’ll talk about some favorite snacks, too! [Read more…]

DFB Video: Top 5 Disney World Resorts for FOOD!

Hey, you all! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re discussing the Top 5 Disney World Resorts in terms of our favorite topic: FOOD!

Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

When you think of food at Disney World, perhaps your mind goes to the parks first. Maybe iconic snacks like the Magic Kingdom’s Citrus Swirl come to mind, or fun and unique in-park dining experiences like Sci-Fi Dine In at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But I’m telling you, there is a LOT of terrific eating to do outside the parks in the Disney World Resorts, and we’re talking today about our top five Resorts in regards to dining experiences. And remember, thanks to Disney Transportation, you don’t need to be staying at a Resort to check out the restaurants or snacks at any given spot. So settle in, and enjoy our latest DFB Video to learn more! [Read more…]