Great New Drinks to Enjoy at Disney World

spikey pineapple trader sams tiki terrace textWell, I guess it’s time… Florida sure had a beautiful “winter,” but as much as I’ve tried to deny it over the past few weeks, we’re back to the time of year when it’s not unusual to see the thermometer (otherwise known as my weather app) climb back up into the 90s.

One good thing about all that? It’s the perfect excuse to cool down with some cold beverages! And since we’re looking at hanging out in the heat until… oh, until the end of the 2015 Epcot Food & Wine Festival in, like, November, now is as good a time as any to check out some highly recommended sips!

So today we’re stopping at two Disney World Parks, one Resort, and Downtown Disney to check out some of the latest and greatest concoctions. We’re focusing primarily on some killer cocktails, but we’ll end with a little something for kids (and kids at heart!), too!

So grab a straw and a teeny-tiny umbrella, because we’re starting with a new vacation must-have…

Spikey Pineapple

We’ve just gotta dive in with this new gem at Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: the Spikey Pineapple.

Spikey Pineapple

Spikey Pineapple

While most of the drink menu at the Tiki Terrace is the same as that inside Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, you can ONLY enjoy the Spikey Pineapple outside on the Tiki Terrace… and it is well worth a special visit.

Why? Because this is Pineapple Soft-Serve (Dole Whip!) served in a sippable form and spiked with Barbancourt Pango Rhum.

Spikey Pineapple menu description

Spikey Pineapple menu description

If you’re a fan of Dole Whip (and especially the rum-spiked Pineapple Soft-serve at the Epcot Food & Wine and Flower and Garden Festivals and in Animal Kingdom), or just fantastic tropical vacation drinks in general, this one is a must-try!

Tamarind Margarita

What’s a post about drinks in Disney World without mentioning one of the greatest watering holes this side of the Mississippi (and, OK, the other side, too)? Over in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion, La Cava del Tequila sets the standard for incredible and creative margaritas served alongside high-end tequilas.

La Cava del Tequila Sign

La Cava del Tequila Sign

And while the debut last fall of the Maelstrom Margarita (created in tribute to the now-extinct Maelstrom attraction formerly housed in Mexico’s neighboring Norway Pavilion) receives a lot of well-deserved buzz, it’s the Tamarind Margarita, which debuted last summer, that really knocked our socks off in a recent visit: Ambhar Blanco Tequila, tamarind pulp, orange liquor and agave nectar with a chili powder rim.

Tamarind Margarita

Tamarind Margarita

The tamarind and agave make this one incredibly sweet — without being too sweet (I hate too sweet), thanks to the tamarind tang, and the chili powder rim provides some kick. This one well earns its place beside the beloved Avocado Margarita. And Horchata Margarita. Oh, and the Wild Passion Fruit;)

Dark & Tropical Stormy

Inside at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, though, we’re loving the Dark & Tropical Stormy: Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, fresh lime juice, Ginger Beer, and Falernum.

Dark & Tropical Stormy on the Trader Sam's menu

Dark & Tropical Stormy on the Trader Sam’s menu

It’s the unique and bold taste of the ginger beer that makes this one stand out, giving it a sweet spice while the layered pour allows the rum to have its own moment as well.

Dark & Tropical Stormy

Dark & Tropical Stormy

Another fun feature with many drinks inside the Grotto are toppers themed to the beverage. The Dark & Tropical Stormy’s is understandably windblown ;)

Dark & Tropical Stormy umbrella

Dark & Tropical Stormy umbrella

Batten down the hatches and grab one!

Raspy Old Fashioned

We’re taking a trip over to Downtown Disney for our next one and stopping at Raglan Road.

Raglan Road

Raglan Road

Understandably, lots of folks stepping into Raglan Road fancy a pint, and the [Read more…]

Review: Starbucks Evenings Menu at Disney World’s Disney Springs

It wasn’t too long ago that Starbucks didn’t exist in the Disney Universe.

But although the coffee giant’s presence in Disney Parks has caused quite a bit of heated debate, their popularity is undeniable. And recently, the company has begun piloting a new evening menu, which is meant to appeal to those who are looking for a place to gather after 4PM. Not only does the menu include a select list of Wine and Beer, but there are also Small Plates available — perfect for sharing.

I say “piloting” because the concept is only available in about 30 stores in the US, primarily in large metropolitan areas. More locations are expected to be announced.

And if you are a Starbucks and Disney lover, then you’re in luck, because the Downtown Disney Orlando West Side location is one of the stores that offer the evening menu!

I was intrigued by the whole concept of getting a glass of wine and a snack at a spot that’s normally reserved for meeting my tea and (very rarely) coffee needs. So on a recent trip to Disney World, I decided that I had to check it out.

Atmosphere

And there it is! Starbucks. Complete with a hole in its roof for a palm tree to grow through!

downtown disney west side starbucks orlando (5)

Starbucks Entrance

You walk into a familiar site — a rope set up for the typical queue. That queue is usually pretty full, too.

Queue for the ordering counter

Queue for the ordering counter

Not only is this a massive Starbucks location, but it’s also a Reserve Location, which means you can enjoy rare, small batch offerings of some of the world’s rarest beans. Definitely check it out if you’re a coffee lover. Wendy shared her experience in our full review here.

Reserve Coffee Counter

Reserve Coffee Counter

Looking for a place to sit for a spell? You have plenty of options. From communal seating, to cozy tables for two, you’re likely to find a spot, even at busy times.

Seating at the Reserve Coffee Counter

Seating at the Reserve Coffee Counter

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Large table

Large table

Don’t you love the bench seating against this picture window? It’s one of my favorite spots.

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Murals that look like chalk drawings depict coffee growing regions across the globe.

Mural

Mural

Be sure to stop by the interactive screen and check out the action at the Starbucks in Downtown Disney in Anaheim!

Interactive Screen

Interactive Screen

There are also really beautiful water views from the inside seating area and the shaded patio area.

Window wall

Window wall

But the outside area also has another great focal point — a “live” wall and a glassed-in fireplace.

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

Fireplace

Fireplace

Now that we’ve looked around a bit, let’s head back in and take a closer look at the Starbucks Evenings menu.

Eats

Wanting to sample the Evenings menu? Head to Downtown Disney West Side at 4:00PM, when service expands to include [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Soft Serve Treats!

Summer’s coming! And we know that you’ll be looking to stay cool at Disney. And I can’t think of a much better way than by enjoying some terrific soft serve treats!

And when it comes to soft serve at Disney, you certainly have options! From Dole Whip to Root Beer Floats made with the creamy stuff, there’s no end to the variety you’ll find.

Cherry and Birthday Cake Swirled Fro Yo -- Up Close

Cherry and Birthday Cake Swirled Fro Yo Soft Serve from Magic Kingdom’s Storybook Treats

So we weren’t too surprised when we checked out pics that our members have posted on Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group. We came away with all sorts of soft serve inspiration!

If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, head over there! But before you do, let’s take a look at some of the goodies we found while we were surfin’.

Soft Serve at Paradise Pier

Photographer: Riniel Calaelen

What makes a Soft Serve Ice Cream Cone even more delish? How about enjoying it with an awesome background, like Paradise Pier! I can almost feel that beautiful California sunshine coming through the pic, can’t you??

Chocolate Soft Serve + an Awesome Background

Chocolate Soft Serve + an Awesome Background

Pineapple Soft Serve at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Photographer: V No Privacy

We love that Pineapple Soft Serve has become a mainstay at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. We expect to see the popular treat back again at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival as well!

This great pic features treats from Pineapple Promenade at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival. It really captures the contrast between the soft serve and the Sammy’s Beach Bar Red Head Macadamia Nut Flavored Rum!

Pineapple Soft Serve from the Pineapple Promenade at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

Pineapple Soft Serve from the Pineapple Promenade at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival

Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace

Photographer: HTH Photography

This pic is entitled “Sunshine in a Cup”, and we couldn’t agree more! The Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace is this photographer’s [Read more…]

Our Favorite Savory Snacks in Disneyland

Here at DFB, we talk a little about sweet snacks. You know, now and then.

Favorite Disneyland Snacks

Ok. We talk about them a LOT. And when we aren’t talking about them, it’s probably because we’re eating them. So we can talk about them some more.

But that shouldn’t lead you to believe that we love savory snacks any less.

I’ve talked about many of my favorite sweets, and even a few sweet and salty options. But today, I’m giving the post over completely to the non-sweet team.

These guys can double as a meal if you’d like them to. Or they can just give you that little boost between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Let’s take a closer look at some of my favorites.

Flavored Popcorn at Cozy Cone Motel

Recently, I discovered a stand in Epcot that’s offering one of the best things ever — Flavored Popcorn! While we’ve seen the reports of such delights from Tokyo Disneyland, it’s the first time something besides Caramel Corn has made much of a splash at Walt Disney World.

But that isn’t the case at Disneyland, where Flavored Popcorn has been a mainstay of at the Cozy Cone Motel since it opened!

Popcone at Cozy Cone Motel

Popcone at Cozy Cone Motel

And inside that Popcone, there are some yummy Flavored Popcorn options. They change up every once in a while, so you’ll never know what you might get!

Flavors of the Day

Flavors of the Day

Personally, I’d be pretty happy with either Dill Pickle OR Nacho Cheese!

Dill Pickle Popcorn at Cozy Cone Motel

Dill Pickle Popcorn!

Which one would you choose?

Skewers and Tiger Tails at Bengal Barbecue

Bengal Barbecue is one of my favorite stops for a quick bite in all of Disneyland. In fact, it made my Top 10 List of Favorite Disneyland Fast Food Joints.

Don't Look for Much in the Way of Seating at Bengal Barbecue

Don’t Look for Much in the Way of Seating at Bengal Barbecue

The spot is little more than a stand with a grill. Don’t look for scads of seating; there’s not much. But what they do have plenty of are delicious savory bites that can serve as either a snack or a meal.

And the name of the game here is Meat on Skewers. (Okay…there are a few veggies, too.)

I have a hard time choosing a favorite at Bengal, so I’ll show you a bunch! I like to get a few of the different options and share. (Or not.)

I recommend starting with the Chieftain Chicken Skewer. Chunks of Chicken Meat are grilled and then smothered in a sweet, slightly spicy Chili Sauce.

Chieftain Skewer

Chieftain Skewer

But then, ya gotta try the [Read more…]

DFB Challenge: The Walt Disney World Beer Crawl

Alrighty, Guys — it’s time for another fun Disney Food Blog Challenge. And this one is definitely for the grown ups!

Everyone’s aware that craft Beer has become increasingly popular. Sure, through the years, you always had the garden variety options…

Lovely Beer!

Lovely Beer!

But these days, Craft Beers and International Selections are where it’s at. So we thought that it was high time we take a closer look at some of the interesting beer that you can get throughout Walt Disney World.

In the interest of interactive fun, we decided to come up with another DFB Food — er, Beverage — Crawl, dedicated to the world of beer, and all that it encompasses.

And we know that there are LOTS of you out there who are serious about your study and research of this important subject. We are in it for the fun. ;-) So we definitely want YOUR comments below on what you think the Can’t Miss Beers of Walt Disney World are!

Because this is a rather weighty subject, we’ll spread it out over a 3 day visit. But feel free to consolidate as your tolerance level allows.

Grab some beer nuts, and let’s go!

Day One: Explore Epcot

We’ll start our 3-day Beer Crawl in the best place for sampling a wide variety of food and drink — Epcot!

When beer is the main attraction of the day, it’s a good idea to get some sustenance first thing. We love to enter Epcot via the International Gateway Entrance and start our day with a stop in Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in the France Pavilion for a petit déjeuner of French Pastries and Coffee or Chocolat Chaud.

We especially love the Frangipane Triangles!

Frangipane -- Cross Section

Frangipane — Cross Section

If you’d like a full-on breakfast platter-type situation, head to Sunshine Seasons (although the Croissant Berry Bread Pudding gets our vote).

Fueled up and ready to go, it’s time to hit World Showcase!

Moosehead in the Canada Pavilion

We all have our traditions, and one that we love to embrace is the First Beer of the Day in Epcot. And that honor almost always goes to Moosehead as we begin our Drinking Journey around the World! Find it at the Canada Beer Stand located near the entrance to Le Cellier Steakhouse.

The beer offerings in Canada

Stroll the area, making time to check out the Totem Poles before you head to your next stop.

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room in the UK Pavilion

With a small breakfast and your first brew under your belt, it’s time to stop for lunch and more beer in one of our favorite Epcot dining spots.

The Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room in the UK Pavilion offers a wide array of beer and cider from the British Isles. Make your advance dining reservation ahead of time for a sit down meal, or take a gamble with finding a spot in the pub (it can get pretty crowded in there). Note that you can also get beers at a counter outside the restaurant and pub.

Sampling British beers is your goal here, so we recommend the Imperial Sampler, which normally includes pours of Bass, Harp, Strongbow, Boddington’s, and Guinness.

Imperial Sampler

Alternatively, you can choose from a long list of Pub Blends, which are half-and-half mixes of some of the beer on tap. You’ll never go wrong with a Black and Tan — half Bass Ale and half Guinness.

Of course, if you have a favorite beer among those on tap, enjoy a pint of that one instead. We especially love to order a Guinness, served with its famous Shamrock Head!

Shamrock Design on Top of Guinness

And if you visit on a weekday, don’t forget to say “hello” to Carl the Bartender!

Japan

With a little lunch under your belt, it’s time to hit up the Japan Pavilion for another unique stop on your beer tour. Kirin Frozen Beer comes with a fluffy, semi-frozen head that keeps your beer cold a little longer in that warm Florida sun.

While the picture below is from Tokyo Dining, you can also get a portable version in a plastic cup at Kabuki Cafe.

Frozen Kirin Beer in Epcot's Japan

Frozen Kirin Beer in Epcot’s Japan

Take in some time listening to the drummers or checking out the [Read more…]

News: Pomegranate Margarita Updated at La Cava del Tequila in Epcot

Fun news today out of one of our favorite watering holes — La Cava del Tequila.

Seems that the great group of margarita artistes are at it again.

This time, they aren’t debuting something brand new, like their newest must-have Tamarind Margarita. Nor are they bringing back another old favorite, like the Hibiscus Margarita, for a limited time. (Get it now during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. Hurry!)

No — today, we’re reporting on a revamped favorite. The Pomegranate Margarita, it seems, has received a little attention, and the recipe has been updated. Think of it as the Pom 2.0, if you will.

La Cava Has Changed Up the Recipe for Their Pomegranate Margarita!

La Cava Has Changed Up the Recipe for Their Pomegranate Margarita!

The new version even incorporates [Read more…]

2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Recipe: Piggylicious Cupcake from The Smokehouse Booth

There have been lots of memorable dishes from the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

epcot flower and garden logo

But one that we continue to hear you rave about is a return dish from 2014 — the Piggylicious Cupcake from The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews Booth!

The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews

The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews

The cupcake made a BIG impression on us from the first time we tried it. And it’s definitely addictive, with that sweet salty combination of flavors.

But we all know that the trip to Disney isn’t always possible. And even if it is, the Flower and Garden Festival will wrap up in just a few weeks.

Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake From Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake From Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival

So I’m really happy to share this recipe with you today on the blog! Because once you hear about a Disney cupcake that combines bacon, cake, and maple frosting…well…there’s no way you’re NOT gonna want to make this!

Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake

The Smokehouse Barbecues and Brews Outdoor Kitchen
Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For Cupcakes: [Read more…]

Review: Bacon and Gouda Artisan Breakfast Sandwich at Main Street Bakery Starbucks

Time to ‘fess up: I’d never tried one of the breakfast sandwiches at Main Street Bakery… or at any of the other Disney Starbucks locations.

It’s not so much that the options aren’t appealing, but I could get the same thing three minutes away from my own home at the Starbucks down the street. And about three minutes down the road from there at the next one. And about four minutes from… well, you get the idea ;).

But, no matter what your thoughts are on the availability of Starbucks at the parks, it’s here to stay. And as such, Starbucks Breakfast Sandwiches are a part of the Disney dining scene, so it’s time we grab one for review here on the DFB.

Main Street Bakery

Main Street Bakery

Participants on the Disney Dining Plan might be especially interested to know that the Breakfast Sandwiches are available on the plan as part of one Quick Service meal entitlement, which also includes your choice of beverage.

Main StreetBakery Dining Plan entitlements

Main StreetBakery Dining Plan entitlements

While I picked up my breakfast sandwich at Main Street Bakery (Magic Kingdom’s Starbucks location), the same offerings are available at the other in-park Starbucks as well: The Trolley Car Cafe at Hollywood Studios, and Epcot’s Fountain View.

Choices include a Ham and Swiss Croissant, a Bacon and Gouda Sandwich, a Sausage and Cheddar Biscuit, and a Spinach, Feta, and Cage-free Egg White Wrap.

Breakfast sandwich menu

Breakfast sandwich menu

I went with the Bacon and Gouda Artisan Breakfast Sandwich because … well, ‘cuz, bacon. Also, the roll looked most appetizing to me of the bread choices.

Since there is no [Read more…]

News! Dockside Margaritas Opens at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney This Week

Summer is approaching fast in Florida, and that can mean only one thing: grab the tequila. It’s time to enjoy some Margaritas!

Margarita Bar construction signs

Arriving This Week!

So we’re pretty excited to see that Dockside Margaritas will be opening this week at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Walt Disney World. Or, rather, reopening?

Because we all know that the Margarita Bar that was located at Downtown Disney Marketplace before the refurb was a great place to chill during a visit to the shopping and entertainment district. With shady seating on a deck that was situated slightly beneath the crazy of Downtown Disney, it offered a welcome respite; and the waterfront seating provided some comfortable breezes.

Seating and Live Music at the Old Spot

Seating and Live Music at the Old Spot

The new Dockside Margaritas will be fashioned to look like a fruit stand. The location will specialize in fresh tastes of Florida — perfectly in keeping with the rest of Disney Springs.

While the old spot offered some interesting drink options, the new spot promises to be even better, and to have a wider variety of choices.

Disney Margaritas

Disney Margaritas

You’ll still be able to enjoy several different margarita options, and some of the previously available drinks will return, although it appears that the recipes might be freshened up a bit.

Here’s the Margarita Menu: [Read more…]

News! New Eats and Drinks Debut to Celebrate Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary

Did someone say cupcakes?!?!

As I’m sure you know, Disneyland has a rather big birthday coming up. The resort will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in July. But you don’t have to wait until the middle of Summer to have your cake and eat it too!

On May 22, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will debut some fun (and delish) treats to mark Disneyland’s Diamond Anniversary Celebration.

While cupcakes are usually more of an East Coast Disney thing than a West Coast one, when Disneyland does ‘em, they’re incredible. Beginning May 22, find a Lemon-flavorored Cupcake at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. Why lemon? It’s the perfect flavor to celebrate the Victorian theme of Main Street USA.

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake, Available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake, Available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Similar Cupcakes will be available at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe in Disney California Adventure — but the flavor will be Orange there to represent the 1930s vibe of Buena Vista Street.

In addition to the cupcakes, Disneyland will release lots of new, limited-time beverages. I gotta say — I’m a little perplexed why they’d offer five different drinks that look and sound incredibly similar. ;-)

Enchanted Cherry Apple Frozen Lemonade from  Troubadour Tavern

Enchanted Cherry Apple Frozen Lemonade from Troubadour Tavern

Honey Bee Frozen Lemonade Hungry Bear Restaurant

Honey Bee Frozen Lemonade from Hungry Bear Restaurant

But I’ll reserve judgement until I get to try a few! I think I’m mostly looking forward to the [Read more…]