Sample Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menu Items BEFORE the Festival!

We know, we know… we talk about the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival a lot around here. Like, a LOT, a lot.

And can you blame us? It’s our favorite time of year, and we can’t wait to dig into all the new flavors like Brazil’s Layered Meat Pie with Mashed Yucca (as well as some of our old standbys — I’m looking at you, Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup) at the Festival Marketplace Booths this year.

But let’s say your Disney World travel dates fall outside of the Festival dates of September 25 – November 16th. What’s a Disney food fan to do?

I’ll tell you what… You can try a few Food and Wine Festival offerings in spots around Epcot and Downtown Disney right now. Follow me!

Featured Beverages at the Refreshment Cool Post

We’re starting at Epcot’s Refreshment Cool Post, tucked between the China Pavilion and the walkway to Germany.

Refreshment Coolpost

Refreshment Cool Post

You may have passed the Refreshment Coolpost a bajillion-and-one times on your jaunts around World Showcase without thinking much of it. Kid-friendly fare is the primary focus, with the main offerings of hot dogs and frozen yogurt (for a time it was a super yummy pineapple) providing options for picky eaters far away from the American Adventure Pavilion. Even if you have walked right on by, you may still be familiar with the nearly constant sound of drums being played by the congregating kiddos! [Read more…]

Review: A Taste of Disney’s Hollywood Studios Sampler from Superstar Catering Food Truck

We’re back today with another fun stop in to the Disney Food Truck scene at Disney World’s (soon-to-be) Disney Springs!

Even with all the crazy happening in this corner of the World (and maybe because of it), the Food Trucks are going gangbusters.

You’ll usually find them tucked neatly into their homebase at Exposition Park beside Starbucks, although occasionally they’re dispatched to other spots. Sometimes, you’ll even find them at resorts.

But I found them right where I expected to the day we visited to check out some new eats. [Read more…]

News: Breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant is Permanent

Greetings, Monsieurs et Madames!

The invitation to be the guest of Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts for breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant has been extended. The initial test phase of the prix fixe, “fast, casual” meal at Be Our Guest Restaurant has ended and breakfast is now officially a permanent offering!

Of course, along with change comes… more change ;). This time in the form of a price increase: it will now cost $21.99 for adults to enjoy the prix fixe breakfast at Be Our Guest (the cost was $19.99 during the test period), and $13.99 for children ages 3-9 (previously $11.99).

Breakfast at Be Our Guest remains 1 Counter Service credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

Open-Face Bacon and Egg Sandwich for Breakfast at Be Our Guest

Open-Face Bacon and Egg Sandwich for Breakfast at Be Our Guest

The official word is that Advance Dining Reservations will open tomorrow, August 5th, via My Disney Experience or by calling (407) WDW-DINE for dates October 4 and extending through the typical 180-day window for reservations. But I’m just sayin’, this is what popped up on my computer today, so you may get lucky and be able to book today for that booking window: [Read more…]

#OnTheList: Tonga Toast at Captain Cook’s in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

This post is part of the DFB #OnTheList series, where we feature eats you’ve GOT to have while you’re at Disney! Let us know what’s on YOUR Disney Food Bucket List @DisneyFoodBlog #OnTheList!

Who’s ready for some TONGA TOAST?!

Really, is there a better way you can think of to start the day than with this Disney World breakfast staple? Of course, you can only find it at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, but fortunately it’s available in not one, but TWO, locations there: Kona Cafe and Captain Cook’s. (Oh, and just so we’re clear before moving any further, for those who have noticed Tonga Toast on the menu for breakfast at Rainforest Cafe, it’s totally not the same thing.)

Today we’ll be enjoying Captain Cook’s version (as well as discussing the differences from the way it’s served up at Kona Cafe). But no matter where you go to grab your Tonga Toast, you’re just one Monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom, making Tonga Toast a must-have breakfast tradition for many Disney World guests regardless of their chosen Resort.

Now, it’s no secret that a LOT of changes have taken place at the Polynesian Village Resort with its Extreme Resort Makevoer ;). Now that the dust has just about settled (in the Great Ceremonial House, anyway), let’s take a quick look around first!

Atmosphere

As mentioned, you can order Tonga Toast at two Polynesian Village Resort restaurants, and if you’re arriving via bus or car, you’ll need to make your way past the entrance into the Polynesian Village Resort lobby. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the entrance unsurrounded by refurbishment walls on one — if not two — sides, here’s what it (along with some general landscaping) looks like these days.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Entrance

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Entrance

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Scenery

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Scenery

We’ve visited the updated lobby previously, but here’s another few glances at the new look. [Read more…]

Review: Lotus Blossom Cafe in Epcot’s China Pavilion

We’re stopping by Lotus Blossom Cafe today for a quick dinner and a line-free dining experience!

The counter service spot, located in Epcot’s China Pavilion, isn’t a frequent stop for me. That’s because, to be honest, there are just lots and lots of other things I’d rather eat around World Showcase. And during my few previous visits, I haven’t been exactly wowed by their offerings.

But, you never know what you’re going to get with Disney restaurants; and since this is the Disney Food Blog after all, here we go!

Atmosphere

Lotus Blossom Cafe is set back a bit within the China Pavilon. Really, among all of the beautiful Pavilions that make up the countries of World Showcase, China holds its own. The detail and decor here is stunning.

Epcot's China Pavilion

Epcot’s China Pavilion

And even the Lotus Blossom Cafe is no exception from a decor perspective. [Read more…]

Review: Strawberry Açaí Refresher at The Trolley Car Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but…um…it’s HOT.

And a couple of weeks ago when I was wandering Hollywood Studios checking out the latest menus and Frozen extravaganzas, I popped into The Trolley Car Cafe to see if anything had changed in their bakery case.

Nothing had, but I DID see a new sign up on the wall advertising a couple of icy new drinks. And because it was dead in there (I guess because nobody was thinking they should go to Starbucks for a coffee in the middle of July in Orlando), the delightful Cast Members and I started to discuss… .

Starbucks Strawberry Açaí Refresher

If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting a Disney Starbucks yet, we’ll give you a quick rundown. Each of the Disney Parks locations are themed after they Park in which they’re in, and each location has its own unique name and theme.

Trolley Car Cafe

Trolley Car Cafe

For more about The Trolley Car Cafe and its terrific retro decor, which you’ll find conveniently located at the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, check out our first look post about this spot. (Want to know about the other WDW theme park Starbucks stops? We have pages for Main Street Bakery, Fountain View Cafe, and Creature Comforts too.) [Read more…]

Spotted: Country Bear Jamboree Jug AND Mug in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland

“Howdy, folks! Welcome to the one and only O-riginal Country Bear Jamboree!”

Country Bear Jamboree Jug

Country Bear Jamboree Jug

So, whaddya think of the new Country Bears Souvenir Jug?!? You can grab yours at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe filled with a fountain beverage for $9.29, or Raspberry Lemonade Slush for $10.49. Here’s a closeup for ya… [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake from Plaza Inn

The Disneyland Resort has gone all out for Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration.  Special decor, special merchandise, and most importantly, special food!

On a recent visit to Plaza Inn, I noticed an intriguing dessert that I had to try, Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake.  Honestly, I bought this out of curiosity because it sounded like a bizarre mix of flavors to me.

Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake Description

Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake Description

The description alone seemed crazy: Chocolate Cake layered with Passion Fruit, Mango & Banana Mousse, Apricot Compote and smothered with a Milk Chocolate Caramel Ganache and Crunchy Chocolate Pearls. Since I’m not a huge chocolate fan, what actually sold me were all of the tropical fruits involved. [Read more…]

Review: New Bakery Items at Contemporary Resort’s Contempo Cafe (Did Somebody Say “Peanut Butter Pie”?)

In our wanderings in Disney World earlier this month we spotted some new goodies at Contempo Café at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!

Contempo Cafe has long impressed with the variety of options available in the ol’ bakery case. The main standouts, though, have typically come in the form of cupcakes. After all, Contempo Cafe has been home to a rotating cast of cupcake greats like the Black Forest Cupcake, the Dulce de Leche Cupcake, the always festive Birthday Cake Cupcake and — my personal favorite — the (deeply missed) Chocolate Covered Coconut Cupcake.

Now, for you diehard cupcake aficionados like myself, rest assured that we’ve got one more of those for you today. But we’re also taking a look at FOUR other new items in that case… and a couple of them may tempt you to veer off the cupcake path, at least for a little bit.

So get your sweet tooth ready for a few new gems! But let’s take a super quick look around first, shall we?

Atmosphere

You’ll find Contempo Cafe on the fourth floor of the Contemporary, right next to Chef Mickey’s. It feels like things are always buzzing right around this area, especially since Chef Mickey and the gang are now hosting brunch as well as breakfast and dinner.

Contempo Café Entrance

Contempo Café Entrance

This Counter Service spot featuring hot meals (they still serve up a mean Pot Roast for dinner), baked goods, and grab-and-go items is perfect for having a quick bite before or after hitting the Magic Kingdom, which is within walking distance of the Contemporary. [Read more…]

Recipe: Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad from Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We have a recipe for the perfect, cool-you-down side dish from one of Disney’s newest dining spots.

"It Is Hot Today"

“It Is Hot Today”

Harambe Market, the new counter service food court-style walk up eatery at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, features a variety of hearty main dishes and interesting sides. The focus is on the traditional, complex use of herbs and spices in African cuisine.

Harambe Market

Harambe Market

If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary to take to a summer picnic, this fresh salad of Chickpeas, Cucumber, and Tomato comes together in a snap and requires only minutes of cooking. At Harambe Market, the salad is served with the Dreamy Spice-rubbed Karubi Ribs, but it would be pair nicely with any meat. Or it would make a hearty, vegetarian entree on its own.

Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Be prepared to hunt down a few exotic ingredients, and give it time to marinate so that the flavors mix and deepen.

Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Harambe Marketplace at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Serves 8 as a side dish or appetizer

Ingredients: [Read more…]