Review: Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs Marketplace

Remember the Margarita Bar that was at Downtown Disney Marketplace? Great news! It’s been given a new look and a new name…and voila, Dockside Margaritas is born!

We first told you about the new-but-not-quite new spot a while back. And ever since then, I’ve been eager to drop by and check out the new scene. So on a sweltering day last week, that’s just what I did. Let’s have a look.

Dockside Margaritas

I gotta say it — it looks awesome.

In keeping with the new Florida-forward Disney Springs theme, Dockside Margaritas looks like a little stand you’d find in the middle of a citrus grove. But they’re selling stuff that’s waaaaaay better than orange juice.

Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs Marketplace

Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs Marketplace

The distressed, faded sign gives the spot built-in age. But the bright citrus green and yellow palette keeps it feeling fresh.

Dockside Margaritas -- Other side

Dockside Margaritas — Other side

The open-air feeling of the bar lends to that “grove stand” feel. You can walk up and order from three of the four sides. And regardless of where you are, you always have a great view of Village Lake.

Overhead Bar Menu and the View. You Can Access the Bar From Three Sides

Overhead Bar Menu and the View. You Can Access the Bar From Three Sides

As you approach Dockside from the front — meaning the side that faces the shops, not the water — the largest area of seating is just to the right of the building. And I think that it’s really beautifully done as well. A pergola overhead gives a little protection, but still allows for plenty of sunshine. Strands of overhead lights and a stand set up for a musician hint at a scene that promises to be relaxed but festive as the sun goes down.

Seating Area

Seating Area

I can’t wait to meet friends here at night for a drink (or two).

Another View of the Patio

Another View of the Patio

Looking back onto Dockside from the larger seating area, you also note that there is bar seating. Upon closer inspection, you see two bars actually — you can face the bar and chat with the friendly staff, or stare out over the water.

Waterfront Bar Seating

Waterfront Bar Seating

View of the New Pedestrian Bridge

View of the Pedestrian Bridge

But at this point, after much deliberation, it was time to settle on a drink. So let’s take a look at the options. And this is where it gets good.

While the old spot was fine, just fine, for ordering a handful of tequila-based drinks and a couple of other options, things are way [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: May 20th, 2015

Sure, we may have said “So long” to the Flower and Garden Festival for this year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to look forward to at Walt Disney World! Springs moves to summer as Disney World gears up for the busy vacation season, otherwise known as the “Coolest Summer Ever”!

©Disney

©Disney

And since it’s a very special time of year for Star Wars fans in particular, why don’t we start our ‘round the World tour at Hollywood Studios to see What’s New!

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Star Wars Weekends kicked off on May 15th!

Star Wars Weekends 2015

Star Wars Weekends 2015

The excitement! The pageantry!  The CUPCAKES! The Jabba the Hutt Cupcake has joined the Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes this year.

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

It can be found at counter service locations such as Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, The Trolley Car Cafe, and Tusken Fridge Raiders — the premiere Star Wars snack stop, located inside Darth’s Mall.

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

But cupcakes aren’t all that’s in store…

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Like last year, several temporary pop-up bars can be found all over the park for the weekend events.

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

However, they feature all-new drinks this year. Each bar serves two out of of four drinks: The Mustafar and The Tatooine, or The Endor and The Alderaan.

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

We’ll be taking a closer look at those beverages soon, but once again this year, it’s ALL about the souvenir glow cubes: drinks come with either a Millennium Falcon glow cube or your very own mini Death Star.

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

The Jedi Mickey Character Dinner at Hollywood and Vine and Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast returned to Hollywood Studios earlier this month (on May the Fourth Be With You, naturally). But brand new to Star Wars Weekends this year is the Rebel Hangar — A Star Wars Lounge Experience, which has effectively converted half of Backlot Express into an abandoned spaceport in the Sullest system.

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Blue Milk!

Blue Milk!

You can read all about this special month-long dining event featuring small plates and specialty cocktails in our full review of the Rebel Hangar!

Believe it or not, though, it’s not all Star Wars at Hollywood Studios… we’ve got some regular ol’ menu changes at some favorite Table Service restaurants to report as well. Sci-Fi Dine-In has added the Sci-Fi Popcorn Treat to the appetizer selection. It’s popcorn soup (for watching those old movies, of course!) with buffalo popcorn chicken and celery sticks, drizzled with blue cheese dressing.

Sci-Fi Dine-In

Sci-Fi Dine-In

New entrees include Grilled Marinated Salmon, while the Veggie Burger got a [Read more…]

Review: Jabba the Hutt Cupcake at Tusken Fridge Raiders at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Well, look who’s joined the Star Wars Weekends party… JABBA THE HUTT!!!

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Brand new this year, Jabba joins the Star Wars Character Cupcake line-up alongside the Darth Vader Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cupcake and the Yoda Chocolate Cupcake with Hazelnut Buttercream Icing. Jabba the Hutt and Yoda can be found at Starring Rolls, Trolley Car Cafe, Backlot Express, and Tusken Fridge Raiders.

Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes return this year

Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes return this year

The Darth Vader Cupcake is the only Star Wars Cupcake that can be found at ALL Hollywood Studios Counter Service locations.

So where, exactly, is Tusken Fridge Raiders? The premiere Star Wars snack stop for this year is tucked inside Watto’s Grotto inside of Darth’s Mall, the main merchandise location for Star Wars Weekends.

Darth's Mall is in the Streets of America

Darth’s Mall is in the Streets of America

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders menu

Tusken Fridge Raiders menu

All three cupcakes are available there (though you’ll find them a little cheaper in the Counter Service locations for $5.19), along with the four specialty Star Wars Weekends cocktails, which we’ll be checking out in a future post.

Tusken Fridge Raiders menu

Tusken Fridge Raiders menu

Cocktail mixes at Tusken Fridge Raiders

Cocktail mixes at Tusken Fridge Raiders

Incidentally, Tusken Fridge Raiders is THE home to [Read more…]

Special Eats and Treats for Disneyland’s 24 Hour Diamond Anniversary Celebration

Are YOU kicking off the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration by spending a FULL 24 HOURS with Mickey and the gang in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure?!

©Disney

©Disney

That’s right! The eagerly anticipated Diamond Anniversary Celebration officially begins this Friday, May 22nd, at 6 am — the same day Walt Disney World launches the “Coolest Summer Ever” with Magic Kingdom’s 24 hour day. Now, 24 hours may seem like a LOT of time… but when you see all the special treats created just for the occasion, you may find that 24 hours isn’t nearly enough!

And we would love it if YOU would help us all join in the fun! Are you attending the 24-hour celebration on either coast? If so, please feel welcome to send us any and all pictures — be they of food or just plain FUN — from your experience! Just let us know how you’d like to be credited on your pictures, and we’ll do our best to include as many as possible in our ongoing coverage this Friday! You can send pictures to us on twitter, Facebook, email us at webmaster@disneyfoodblog.com, or @ us on instagram!

And now… back to the FOOD!! Special dishes and snacks will abound in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure throughout the celebration.

World of Color Dining Packages

Don’t forget that World of Color Dining Packages are available for the new “World of Color — Celebrate!” show. Unique to the 24-hour event are 2-course, prix fixe breakfast packages available from midnight to 1:45 am on May 23rd at Ariel’s Grotto (as a non-character meal) and Wine Country Trattoria, offering reserved viewing for a special 3 am World of Color show.

Ariel's Grotto

Ariel’s Grotto

Wine Country Trattoria

Wine Country Trattoria

Though online it appears as though Dining Reservations are currently full, you never know when you might happen upon a cancellation.

Disneyland

There is a LOT of ground to cover for the all-around-the-park eats, so let’s start in Disneyland! The signature Disneyland Diamond Celebration Cupcake will be featured at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe.

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake

The Diamond Anniversary Ice Cream Sandwich offers a cool twist on the celebratory treats with your choice of ice cream between two sugar cookies. Find it at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, alongside an Ice Cream Sundae served in a souvenir kitchen sink!

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor

©Disney

©Disney

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae from above -- faucet close up

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae from above — faucet close up

I wonder how many people will be lining up at the Stage Door Cafe for this Mocha Chip Funnel Cake?

©Disney

©Disney

Plenty of savory dishes for longer term sustenance (you’re gonna need it!) will be [Read more…]

Review: Rebel Hangar — A Star Wars Lounge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Welcome to the Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience!

Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience

Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience

In conjunction with Star Wars Weekends, an entire half of Backlot Express at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been completely transformed.

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Backlot Express transformed into Rebel Hangar

Backlot Express transformed into Rebel Hangar

From now through June 14th, instead of entering the standard theming of the movie production warehouse, guests will walk into a long-abandoned building that once served as a busy spaceport in the Sullust system.

The story of the Rebel Hangar

The story of the Rebel Hangar printed in the menu

From 4:00 – 9:00 pm daily throughout the run of the Hangar, weary galactic travelers now have the opportunity to take a moment to relax and enjoy Star Wars-themed food among the “discarded remnants” from over 100 planets.

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Our Advance Dining Reservation to hangout in the Hangar wasn’t until 8:50 pm — 10 minutes prior to the final seating. So I took some time during the day to check out the spot, arriving somewhere around 1:00 pm. That’s right — day guests coming in for the typical Counter Service menu at Backlot Express were able to enjoy much of the atmosphere, too!

Part of Backlot Express transformed

Part of Backlot Express transformed

Backlot Express transformed

Backlot Express transformed

I, for one, was taken aback by the transformation. I hadn’t realized anything more could be tucked into Backlot Express, already so well-themed for its purposes. But lo and behold…

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

It was a blast spotting ways in which the typical Backlot “props” were incorporated into the Hangar theme.

Backlot props redecorated

Backlot props redecorated

Backlot props redecorated

Backlot props redecorated

Backlot props redecorated

Backlot props redecorated

You can see where “decay” has settled into this space in the many years since it last served its original purpose as a spaceport.

Decaying spaceport

Decaying spaceport

"Discarded" helmet

“Discarded” helmet

It appears a graffiti artist has even taken advantage of the abandoned spot ;) .

Graffiti wall

Graffiti wall

Graffiti wall

Graffiti wall

Hidden Mickey

Hidden Mickey

Even the tabletops were [Read more…]

News! The Edison, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and More Coming to Disney Springs

More fantastic news coming out of Disney Springs today, all!! We’ve got confirmation on several other restaurants joining the line-up at the new and improved Downtown Disney location in Orlando!

While we’ll be covering each and every one of these as they open, here’s a sneak peek at what’s right around the corner for Disney Springs.

Disney Springs' Town Center Coming Soon!

Disney Springs’ Town Center Coming Soon!

The Edison

Inspired by The Edison venue in Los Angeles, this lavish “Industrial Gothic” -style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination is themed to a 1920s-period power plant, recalling an exuberant era of invention and imagination. It will feature  classic American food, craft cocktails, and live entertainment including cabaret and music.

Layout of the original The Edison location in LA. Copyright The Edison

Layout of the original The Edison location in LA. Copyright The Edison

Sprinkles

The world’s first cupcake bakery, as named by Food Network and others, serves up handcrafted cupcakes, slow churned ice cream and homemade cookies. I have a Sprinkles locally where I live, and I will never admit to ordering a dozen cupcakes for delivery even when I was home alone…so don’t even try.

These aren’t as good as my beloved Magnolia cupcakes in NYC, but they are a fantastic fill-in here in Dallas. I know they’ll be a hit in Disney Springs.

This is a photo from Sprinkles' facebook page because cupcakes don't last long enough in my house to be photographed.

This is a photo from Sprinkles’ facebook page because cupcakes don’t last long enough in my house to be photographed.

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza is a [Read more…]

Review: The Artist’s Palette at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

Welcome back to Saratoga Springs Resort!

Saratoga Springs is a Disney Vacation Club Resort, with easy access to Downtown Disney by boat, bus, or foot path. Tucked into the main building that houses reception, a merchandise shop, and the Turf Club Bar & Grill (the resort’s Table Service restaurant and lounge), you’ll also find the Counter Service option for Saratoga Springs: The Artist’s Palette.

Having really enjoyed dinner at The Turf Club Bar and Grill a few months ago, I was looking forward to spending a little more time checking out The Artist’s Palette.

And since the hunt is currently on for the Triple Crown with “American Pharaoh” leading the way after winning the Kentucky Derby, what better time to visit this equestrian-themed resort once more?

Building housing Artist's Palette and merchandise shop

Building housing Artist’s Palette and merchandise shop

The Artist's Palette Sign

The Artist’s Palette Sign

Atmosphere

While Saratoga Springs Resort itself is themed after upstate New York — a place known for spas and horse-racing (hence, the Turf Club), The Artist’s Palette is modeled to resemble a city artist’s loft.

The Artist's Palette Seating

The Artist’s Palette Indoor Seating

The Artist's Palette seating

The Artist’s Palette Indoor Seating

Wood and brick walls, along with a lofted ceiling and lots of windows, provide a peaceful, simple setting that allows the bold and colorful lighting fixtures to really pop. I don’t know if this was the intention, or maybe it was just having painting on my mind due to the theme, but all the primary colors remind me of paint colors on a white palette just before mixing.

Signature Lighting Fixtures

Signature Lighting Fixtures

Lighting Fixture

Lighting Fixture

Naturally, large pieces of artwork complete the scene.

Artwork and Lighting

Artwork and Lighting

Artwork

Artwork

During your visit, be sure to check out the work of any little budding artists staying at Saratoga Springs ;).

Artists of the Day

Artists of the Day

Work of the Artists of the Day

Work of an Artist of the Day

Outside, you can find a few tables — not to mention rocking chairs — as well.

Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Seating

These overlook the main pool area, and face the beginning of the waterfall at High Rock Springs. Overall, it manages to feel calm and serene, even while being the busiest area of the resort.

View from outdoor seating

View from outdoor seating

High Rock Springs

High Rock Springs

And, since we’re outside, I’ll show you something that has absolutely nothing to do with food ;). This one’s for my [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: The New Smokejumpers Grill at Disney California Adventure

While the Disneyland Resort continues to prepare for the much anticipated Diamond Anniversary later this month, some of the refurbishments are already starting to open.  Formerly known as Taste Pilots’ GrillSmokejumpers Grill at Disney California Adventure has its doors open and is ready to serve hungry adventurers.

Smokejumpers Grill

Smokejumpers Grill

Atmosphere

Located right next door to Soarin’, this counter service restaurant specializes in burgers and chicken sandwiches.  Enormous in size, Smokejumpers has plenty of seating both indoors and out.

Outside Seating

Outdoor  Seating ( I predict a 2nd side to the left of the restaurant once the wall for Soarin’ comes down)

This indoor seating area is located at the entrance of Smokejumpers Grill.

Just Half of the Indoor Seating at Smokejumpers

Just a Small Portion of the Indoor Seating at Smokejumpers

There is also indoor seating both to the left and right of the ordering kiosk/kitchen.  Below shows the seating to the left. It is basically identical with some different decor on the right side.

More Indoor Seating

More Indoor Seating

My absolute favorite thing about the new Smokejumpers Grill (besides the french fries) is the [Read more…]

Three Ideas For an Unconventional Disney World Date Night

Call us romantics, but we think that Walt Disney World is a GREAT place for a date night!

Watch the Fireworks from the Polynesian Resort Beach!

Do You Love to Watch Magic Kingdom Fireworks From the Polynesian’s Beach During Your Disney Date Night? We Do!

But we like to take a very broad approach to date night here at Disney Food Blog. So we decided that it would be all kinds of funnnz to come up with some radical departures for how to spend your Day o’ Love. I mean sure, chocolate-dipped strawberries and Champagne are awesome, and a fancy meal is sure to impress. But more than anything, we just wanna have fun!

If you’re with us, check out our Top 3 Ideas for Your Unconventional Date Night, Disney World Style!

Swap a Fancy Meal for FastPasses

Fancy meal? Whatevs. Who wants to get dressed up and sit around for hours?? You’re at Disney — get out there and enjoy it!

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Snuggle Up for a Ride on Disney’s Newest Attraction, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!

Instead of dinner at a signature restaurant, skip straight to the fun, and schedule FastPasses for three of your favorite rides together (and make sure at least one of them is a dark ride. ;-) )

Spaceship Earth, How We Love You

Spaceship Earth, How We Lurve You

Getting hungry after all those adventures? Share your favorite savory snacks. The Lucky Combo from Joy of Tea in Epcot’s China Pavilion would be perfect!

Lucky Combo from Joy of Tea in Epcot's China Pavilion

Lucky Combo from Joy of Tea in Epcot’s China Pavilion

Or split a Waffle Sandwich from Sleepy Hollow Refreshments in Magic Kingdom.

Chicken Waffle Sandwich from Magic Kingdom's Sleepy Hollow Refreshments

Chicken Waffle Sandwich from Magic Kingdom’s Sleepy Hollow Refreshments

They’re definitely big enough to share!

Get the Kids Involved!

Spending more time together as a family always figures high on our list of priorities. And kiddos especially love some one on one time with Mom and Dad. So how about taking a different approach to your next evening out. Make a “date” with your littles!

One fun idea would be to split up for fun Mom/Son, Dad/Daughter “dates”. Go on separate dinner dates and let the kids choose the restaurants! ESPN Club at Disney’s BoardWalk is a great choice for your budding baseball or soccer star!

ESPN Club (with a line to get in on Game Day!)

ESPN Club is a Great Place to Take Your Favorite Sports Fan!

But save room, because you can all meet up for some ice cream later and compare notes! How about sharing a No Way Jose from Beaches and Cream four ways?? (Want more ice cream suggestions? Check our our Ice Cream Gallery!)

No Way Jose at Beaches and Cream

Split a No Way Jose from Beaches and Cream!

Top off the evening with an outdoor movie at your resort before tucking in for pleasant dreams.

Play with Your Food

Have you always wanted to [Read more…]

Review: Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake (A “Frozen Fever” Treat)

Happy Birthday, Princess Anna!

All over Disney World and Disneyland, guests are invited to celebrate the birthday of Frozen’s Princess Anna (she’s a princess, right?). This goes hand in hand with the Frozen Fever film short where our Arendelle friends attempt to throw her a surprise party, and Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake is one of three Frozen Fever treats brought out for the occasion.

Anna's Happy Birthday Cupcake

Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake

I grabbed mine at Epcot’s Kringla Bakeri og Kafe in Norway, but this is just one of the spots where you can find it. From parks to resorts, you can grab it at several locations including the Beach Club Marketplace and Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons in Disney World, and Jolly Holiday Bakery and The Coffee House in Disneyland (find the full list of locations here!).

When I mention our “Arendelle Friends,” that clearly includes Olaf, who tops this treat. (Incidentally, you’ll also find this white chocolate piece topping Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day.)

Olaf Topper

Olaf Topper

The cupcake is a simply a basic yellow cake— which, when I think about it, goes along pretty well with [Read more…]