What’s New Around Walt Disney World: February 9, 2016

February is the month we celebrate love!

Lady and the Tramp Cupcake at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Lady and the Tramp Cupcake at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

And since we LOVE few things more than checking out all the goings-on with FOOD all over Disney World, what say we take a whirlwind tour around the parks (and a few resorts) and see What’s New?! [Read more…]

DFB Reader Questions Answered: Best Disney World Breakfasts Without Characters or Buffets

We’re tackling another question from the DFB Reader mailbag! And today, it’s all about breakfast.

The Samoan at Kona Cafe

The Samoan at Kona Cafe

Our reader asks:

Where can we get a good breakfast if we are NOT into characters or buffets?

There are lots of spots to enjoy a terrific breakfast at Walt Disney World — even if you prefer not to have characters, and you’d rather order a la carte.

We’ll break down a few of our favorites below, and share why these spots are tops for starting your Disney Day.

Good Counter Service Options

If you are crunched — for time, money, or both — then consider some of Disney’s best Counter Service Breakfast options.

Deluxe resorts are some of my favorite spots for counter service eats. Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge offers Mickey Waffles with a variety of toppings. We love the Bananas Foster option!

Wilderness Lodge Waffles

Wilderness Lodge Waffles

And at Captain Cook’s, located in the Polynesian Village Resort, you can indulge in an iconic Disney breakfast — Tonga Toast — without paying table service prices!

[Read more…]

Review: Smoky Cheddar Grits at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Welcome back to Animal Kingdom’s Smiling Crocodile!

Now, you may be thinking, “Huh? What do you mean ‘welcome back’? I’ve never heard of the Smiling Crocodile.”

Well, the Smiling Crocodile previously went by a name you may be more familiar with:  the Gardens Kiosk. In fact, several Animal Kingdom snack stands have received mini-makeovers in the form of new names and, in several cases, updated paint colors; spots like the Eight Spoon Cafe (formerly the Beastly Kiosk), Mahindi (which was Harambe Popcorn) and Warung Outpost (previously known as Upcountry Beverages).

In most cases, though, the changes have been in name and fresh coats of paint only while the menus have remained the same. The Smiling Crocodile, however, is one of the exceptions to the rule. Last summer brought a menu refresh to this kiosk featuring the Trek Power Salad and Farmers Salad along with some unique and refreshing beverages.

The Smiling Crocodile

The Smiling Crocodile

But our recent visit to the Smiling Crocodile was to check out its refreshed menu and try one of the new items: Smoky Cheddar Grits. Care to join us? [Read more…]

Review: Watermelon Mimosa and Beermosa at Animal Kingdom’s Dawa Bar

In December, we paid a visit to Animal Kingdom’s newest watering hole, Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks.

But we’re all for old favorites, too, so when AJ got a text from her friend Andy with the news that Dawa Bar in Animal Kingdom’s Africa had switched up their early morning cocktails, we were there!!

Now, all the talk about Animal Kingdom these days surrounds the upcoming nighttime activities like the Rivers of Light spectacular, which will extend the park into an all day experience later this spring. (And obviously we can’t wait for the arrival of Tiffins — Animal Kingdom’s first Signature Dining location — as well as the Nomad Lounge to open in conjunction with these new activities in 2016.)

But like I said, as excited as we are about all that future nighttime entertainment, we’re here to explore an exclusively early-morning experience: the recently refreshed Sunrise Cocktail menu at the Dawa Bar. While the Dawa Bar operates all day, this special menu of morning beverages is only available from 9:00 – 11:00 am.

Though morning pours aren’t new to the Dawa Bar (you may remember the Bloody Mary menu that was introduced in late 2014), we’re here to go over some changes with you, including an absentee from the Bloody Mary selections along with some fun new additions. (Did somebody say “Mimosas”?!)

Atmosphere

2014 brought a renovation and slight relocation to the Dawa Bar as well as the aforementioned morning menu of Bloody Marys.

Animal Kingdom's Dawa Bar

Animal Kingdom’s Dawa Bar

Other than that, though, things have held pretty steady at this African-themed lounge over the years. It still sits right beside the Tusker House check-in area. [Read more…]

The Best Brownies in Walt Disney World

Remember oh those many years ago when I presented you with my Top Five Disney Brownies?

Best Disney World BrowniesWell, times change… as do snacks and desserts in and around Disney World.  And now here we are celebrating a still-new year, and the brownie landscape has changed. While a few of our favorites from Round One continue to grace our list of Best Brownies, some are no longer available. (We miss you, Paw Print Brownie and Brownie Fudge Sundae!)

But fret not… there’s still no shortage of classic brownie goodness in Disney World (and some not-so-classic, as you’ll notice many of these feature a twist on tradition).

Whaddya say we make a NEW Best Brownies list?

That’s right… a new list for a new year! Grab a fork and get ready to dig into some chocolatey brownie deliciousness with me!

Peanut Butter Brownie with Warm Caramel Sauce

OK, this is probably the best thing you will put into your mouth all month. Let me say that I eat a lot — A LOT — of Disney food, and much of it is sweet deliciousness; but this thing took my breath away.

You can find the Peanut Butter Brownie with Warm Caramel Sauce at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot. And here’s the kicker…

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie with Warm Caramel Sauce

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie with Warm Caramel Sauce

[Read more…]

DFB Podcast Episode 27: Resort Snackage!

We are back with our first Podcast of 2016!

Welcome to Episode 27: Resort Snackage!

dfb podcast

What’s It About?
In this podcast we go over some of our favorite snack options at Disney World and Disneyland Resorts!

Sometimes it feels like all of the snack credit attention goes to the parks, so wanted to showcase some of the other awesome options you can grab outside of the usuals.

We go over several unique-to-the-resorts options including breakfast items and pastries from your favorite resorts like Pop Century, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Grand Californian, and more!

Listen right now at DFBPodcast.com, or subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher!

Oreo Bon Bons

Oreo Bon Bons

Want more DFB? Order the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2016 edition today for $4 off using code HAPPYPLACE! Visit DFBStore.com to order your must-have DFB guidebooks! Plus, follow Disney Food Blog on Instagram for your daily dose of Disney food deliciousness!

Thanks for listening! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

News: Special Menus and Treats Coming to Disneyland for Valentine’s Weekend

Will you be celebrating romance, friendship, or family at the Disneyland Resort in February? Then be on the lookout for specialty treats and menus at some of your favorite Disneyland dining locations celebrating St. Valentine’s Day on February 14th!

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle

Of course, with Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday this year, a few spots will be celebrating all weekend long… [Read more…]

Review: Mini Dessert Tarts at Pop Century’s Everything Pop Food Court

Greetings from Pop Culture Past… ‘cuz we’re back at Everything Pop Food Court at Pop Century Resort!

We JUST visited Landscape of Flavors in the Art of Animation Resort to try their new Miniature Whoopie Pies. I mention that because those unfamiliar with this area of Disney World may not know that it’s just a quick stroll over the bridge across Hourglass Lake to Pop Century. This is a huge boon for guests at either resort who have easy access to arguably two of the best food courts in Disney World. Hoping to try more exotic flavors? Hop on over to the Landscape. Craving comfort food served up with a side of quirkiness?  Take a stroll to Everything Pop!

Now typically, if I’m here for dessert, it’s because I’m craving the King Cupcake, which has earned a place of honor on my Disney Food Bucket List!

But on this visit, fresh from Art of Animation, I couldn’t help but notice that Everything Pop is hopping on the Mini Train, too. In this case, it’s an assortment of Mini Dessert Tarts up for grabs, so let’s “pop” in for bite!

Atmosphere

Everything POP Food Court certainly lives up to its name…

Everything Pop Shopping & Dining Sign

Everything Pop Shopping & Dining Sign

It hosts a bright and fun atmosphere with lots of color and creativity. [Read more…]

News: Seashore Sweets on Disney World’s BoardWalk Scheduled to Close February 1st

Do you have your Advance Dining Reservation to enjoy the Flying Fish as we know it for this, its final week? Though the Flying Fish will reopen later this Fall, its refurbishment — beginning on Monday, February 1st — will bring major changes to this BoardWalk favorite. Not only is the location being “reimagined” with a new look, but the Chef’s Counter experience will offer table seating in order to accommodate more guests.

Flying Fish

Flying Fish

Even the menu will receive a makeover (though Disney has promised that the Potato-wrapped Snapper and seasonal approach will remain. I’m personally crossing my fingers for the return of my favorite Char-crusted Angus New York Strip Steak). [Read more…]

Review: Chocolate and Carrot Cake Mini Whoopie Pies at Art of Animation Resort

We are back at Landscape of Flavors in Disney World’s Art of Animation Resort!

Landscape of Flavors remains relatively unique by Disney Counter Service standards. Sure, it offers quick service eats served up food court-style in keeping with the dining set-up at the all Disney World Value Resorts. But with a Tandoori/Mongolian Station serving sides like Naan Bread with dipping sauces (and don’t get me started on the uber-tasty Cheesy Pesto Bread) alongside favorites like burgers and sandwiches, the best-of-both worlds approach to international flavors and American fare have earned this spot high marks since the resort first opened in 2012.

That said, while its reputation for entrees has been deservedly high, Landscape of Flavors hasn’t been a huge destination for desserts (Gelato Bar notwithstanding, of course!). So when I noticed a little something — or somethings — new in the bakery case, it definitely piqued my interest.

They’ve added Mini Whoopie Pies to the options, my friends! And my fellow Carrot Cake Connoisseurs will definitely want to read on…

Atmosphere

Just like Everything Pop at the neighboring Pop Century Resort, Landscape of Flavors is located directly past the resorts’s merchandise spot, the Ink and Paint Shop.

Lobby in Art of Animation

Lobby in Art of Animation

Oh, and be sure to check out the Storyboard Chandelier above you right before you enter! Several of the panels have been signed by Disney artists and actors involved with the films that the Art of Animation celebrates: The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid. Among several others, you can search for Jodi Benson’s signature (she’s the voice of Ariel) as well as Pixar CCO John Lasseter’s. Newly signed panels feature the signatures of Pete Doctor, Jay Ward, and Jerome Ranft who worked on Cars, and also the latest Pixar hit, Inside Out. Pretty cool, right?!

After you’re done with your signature scavenger hunt, just continue through the merchandise shop to find Landscape of Flavors. [Read more…]