First Look! Breakfast at Disney World’s Be Our Guest Restaurant!

Here we goooooooooo!

After months of waiting, it’s finally here. The first day of Breakfast at Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant is on the books, and it was a great one!

After opening in 2012, Be Our Guest Restaurant was an instant sensation for disney-goers, and it has since become THE reservation to get when you’re planning a trip to the World.

BOG has a long history of “firsts.” The table-service dinner at the French, Beauty and the Beast-inspired restaurant features alcohol in the Magic Kingdom for the first time ever, the lunch meal became the first to offer dining FastPass+ bookings (no longer offered), and subsequently lunch just became the first counter-service restaurant to require reservations to dine.

Now, Be Our Guest’s counter-service breakfast is also taking Advance Dining Reservations!

And today we’ve got a fun FIRST LOOK at all of the food for you. We’ll have a full review on Monday with our fancy camera pics, but I couldn’t wait to share a few phone pics with you this morning!

Atmosphere

There’s nothing like an early morning romp through the Magic Kingdom — especially when the park is totally empty (well, almost)!

Cinderella Castle in the early morning light

Cinderella Castle in the early morning light

And that’s one of the many benefits of booking a “before-the-park-opens” meal at one of Magic Kingdom’s breakfast restaurants. Not only do you get some great photo ops, but you’re also done with breakfast and ALREADY IN THE PARK just in time to get to the front of the line at your favorite rides as soon as they open.

Morning at Magic Kingdom

Morning at Magic Kingdom

But, our favorite attractions are always the restaurants, so we couldn’t wait to cross that bridge over to the Beast’s Castle and enjoy breakfast at Be Our Guest for the first time ever.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Check-in was at two umbrella’d tables in front of the main [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: NEW Unique Meals for Kids at Walt Disney World

Many of us have been there — you’re trying to plan the best and most delicious vacation, but when it comes to Disney Kids’ Meals, the options can seem pretty ho-hum at first glance.

dfb2015_guide_3d

But there’s more to eating with small fry in Disney World than meets the eye! We first told you about Unique Kids’ Meals a while back in a Tip from the DFB Guide.

But times marches on, and menus evolve. And since we first visited the subject, Disney has committed to offering guests healthier eating options — and that includes Kids’ Meal reforms. We’ve fully updated the DFB Guide again this year, and I thought it was the perfect time to revisit Unique Kids’ Meals at Walt Disney World!

These tips come to you courtesy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015! And if they’re helpful to you, pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Mickey Check Meals

We can’t begin to discuss Disney World Kids’ Meals without at least touching on the biggest change to come to children’s menus in the history of the Resort. We’re talking about Mickey Check Meals.

mickey check for kids meals

Part of the Disney Magic of Healthy Living Initiative, the meals are designated on Disney restaurant menus with the “Mickey Check” Symbol. Meals earning the Mickey Check meet the Disney Nutrition Guidelines and limit the amount of sodium, sugar, and saturated and trans fats. In addition, they must also include at least three of the following:

  • fruits and vegetables,
  • low-fat dairy,
  • whole grains, and/or
  • lean protein, beans, eggs, and/or nuts.

So what’s the bottom line? The guidelines have certainly challenged Disney chefs to come up with some interesting meals as a result.

Mickey Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf at Be Our Guest Restaurant…Super Cute! But Not So Delicious

But how do they taste? Wellllll…my jury is still out on that one. While I commend Disney for offering healthier options to guests who are in search of them, the Disney Check Meals that I’ve seen and tasted personally…let’s just say they have a long way to go before taste catches up with the requirements.

A la Carte and Appetizers as Kids’ Meals

If you aren’t using a Disney Dining Plan, then another great idea for a Unique Kids’ Meal option is to order a la carte sides or appetizers instead of something from the Kids’ Menu.

This strategy works great for a couple of different reasons. Even with all of the improvements to kids’ meals across the parks and resorts, some Disney restaurants lag behind a bit, and the options can be a little, well, boring. After all, you can only eat Chicken Nuggets so many times. So it’s a great way to get your young, adventurous eater something tastier and more satisfying.

Smoked Chicken Quesadilla

Smoked Chicken Quesadillas, a Whispering Canyon Cafe Appetizer, is a Great Meal Choice for an Adventurous Kid

It’s also a great idea when [Read more…]

Review: Black Forest and Apple Spice Cupcakes at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

It’s dessert time, and we’re heading to Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons!

Located on the ground floor of The Land Pavilion, Sunshine Seasons is one of my favorite spots for discovering delectable sweet treats. Their Strawberry Shortcake is legendary, and I recently discovered an absolute must-eat treat, the Warm Peanut Butter Brownie, while visiting here.

But Sunshine Seasons is also a best-kept secret for some of the most interesting and delicious Disney Cupcakes as well. We’ve enjoyed seasonal options like Pineapple Coconut and Guava Cream Cheese Cupcakes.

On a recent visit, I also spied two brand-new-to-me cupcakes that I just had to share with you guys! Settle in, ’cause this is gonna be good.

Sunshine Seasons at The Land pavilion in Epcot

Sunshine Seasons at The Land pavilion in Epcot

Apple Spice Cupcake

First up, I spied the Apple Spice Cupcake. At least, that’s what we’re gonna call it. And how could you not spy it from like a mile away? With that solid covering of sparkly Red Sugar, this one was stunning, and certainly stood out from the crowd. Piped Green Icing Leaves completed the pop of color, and a Pretzel Stick made a good apple stem.

But I couldn’t wait to dig in and see what was under that sugar!

Apple Spice Cupcake

Apple Spice Cupcake

As soon as I got it, I cut it in half to check out the contents (as per usual). The construction of this one is kind of interesting to me, since the frosting is applied in a dome-like fashion, rather than piped.

Beneath the sugar, that frosting turned out to be one of the very best kind — Cream Cheese! At least I THINK it was cream cheese. It had a little apply flavor to it as well! Either way, it was dense and delicious.

The cake was, predictably, Apple Spice-Flavored. But that makes it sound boring, and this was anything but. It was super moist and perfectly spiced. There were no fancy fillings, but honestly, there didn’t need to be.

Apple Spice Cupcake -- Cross Section

Apple Spice Cupcake — Cross Section

The combination of dense Cream Cheese Frosting, Moist Apple Cake, and the [Read more…]

News! Be Our Guest Restaurant Breakfast Menus and Reservation Booking Details

We’ve been hearing for what feels like forever that Be Our Guest Restaurant in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom would begin offering breakfast service — and it looks like that rumor is officially confirmed!

In speaking with Disney Cast Members today, we’ve determined that booking for reservations will open up tomorrow! Guests will be able to book dates from March 20th through June 18th, the date which will mark the end of the test period for this new offering at Be Our Guest.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest Restaurant

So circle Friday, March 20th, on your calendars for the start date for breakfast! To be sure you get immediate updates as they become available, sign up for the Disney Food Blog newsletter!

Now let’s look a little closer at what is anticipated, and just a heads up: it looks like breakfast at Be Our Guest will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before!

Quick Service/Prix Fixe Mashup: Breakfast at Be Our Guest

For lunch service, Be Our Guest recently became the very first counter service spot to offer Advance Dining Reservations. (Dinner service remains table service, and Advance Dining Reservations have been in place for dinner since the restaurant opened.) And now, it seems that they’ll follow suit with lunch for the breakfast service.

Breakfast at Be Our Guest will be a counter service option, but it’s anticipated that advanced ordering will be available, just like at lunch. In addition, the menu will be prix fixe with a twist. Guests will pay one set price, and the meal will include a Deluxe Pastry Basket for sharing at the table, Your Choice of Entree, and a Beverage. (Be sure to continue further in this post for screen shots of the menu!) [Read more…]

Review: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Today, I’m heading back to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe!

I hadn’t been to this corner of Magic Kingdom for a while to eat, and it was time to visit again.

Atmosphere

The legend of Pecos Bill is an interesting one.

But first and foremost, where the Tall Tale Inn — Pecos Bill’s for short — is concerned, it’s the story of two restaurants in one. That’s because Pecos Bill’s straddles two different Disney “lands”: Frontierland and Adventureland.

Pecos Bill Sign

Pecos Bill Sign from the Adventureland Entrance

And depending on which side you enter from, you’ll either feel like you’ve stumbled in from a Western frontier town, or a just colonized Caribbean island. It reminds me a bit of the dual personalities of another Magic Kingdom counter service favorite, Columbia Harbour House. (Check out pics of the two styles you see there — one Fantasyland, one Liberty Square — in this review.)

pecos bills

Pecos Bill Sign from the Frontierland Entrance

You’ll see nods to both settings inside as well. More on that in a minute.

But back to the story. You can read all about Pecos Bill in the story about how the Tall Tale Inn came to be. (And fans of classic Disney film will recognize Pecos Bill’s likeness at the top from Melody Time, the Disney anthology featuring the Pecos Bill short.)

Story of Pecos Bill - click image for larger version

Story of Pecos Bill – click image for larger version

And you should really brush up on the Code of the West. Just in case you’re tempted to, you know, spit or something. Be sure to check out other fun Codes we found on a tour of Magic Kingdom in this post.

Pecos Bill's Code of the West

Pecos Bill’s Code of the West

But don’t just grab a burger and rush through it here! (I know, I know. FastPasses and all that.)

Remember the story above? Of course you do. It was two pictures ago! Well, there are some really cool “artifacts” at Pecos Bill’s that you’ve gotta see.

Check out this pistol and group of playing cards, courtesy of superstar sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The display commemorates one of her most famous tricks, splitting playing cards and shooting them through in mid air.

Revolver and Bullet-Riddled Playing Cards

Revolver and Bullet-Riddled Playing Cards

And of course, there’s memorabilia from Bill’s best girl, Slue-Foot Sue. She autographed these gloves just for him. :-)

A Lady's Gloves -- Autographed and Framed

Slue-Foot Sue’s Gloves

In fact, you can see the gloves in this pic. They hang right around the corner in the seating area from a portrait of Slue-Foot Sue herself!

Regarding seating, it’s plentiful, and you’ll find a fun mix of decor here, befitting its setting at the corner of two Lands. Here, it looks like a tavern in a Texas frontier town.

Seating

Seating

Additional Seating

Additional Seating

But here, the setting is more like Adventureland. Caribbean Island? Mexico? It’s a little of this and a little of that with hanging lanterns, potted flowers, and a verandah overlooking the seating area.

Gorgeous "Outdoor" Seating -- Indoors

Gorgeous “Outdoor” Seating — Indoors

There are also [Read more…]

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe Debuts New Treats and Dishes

Spring is sprung (well, some places, anyway), and Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe in Disneyland has a few new menu items to check out!

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

And you don’t even have to wait until March 20, when the new season officially begins. Jolly Holiday is already sporting the updated menu! Let’s take a peek at some sweet and savory treats.

Mini bundt cakes are all the rage, and JH comes in with this adorable Strawberry Bundt Cake. A thick drizzle of Icing and a Glazed Strawberry are ideal Springtime garnishes.

Stawberry Bundt Cake

Stawberry Bundt Cake

The bakery’s seasonal Crème Brûlée will feature ripe Raspberries.

Creme Brulee

Raspberry Crème Brûlée

Next up, they’ve got a Carrot Cake Cupcake with piped Cream Cheese Frosting. Sadly, it looks teensy tiny to me, and has one of those weird wrappers they’ve been doing over at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Disney World. They’re practically impossible to take off, so it’s really tough to eat these kinds of ‘cakes on the go.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake Cupcake

A [Read more…]

News! Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace Switch Places in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Call it a little Disney Magic!

STT Aloha Isle Collage DFB

Mind blown? Yeah, mine too. You’re not seeing things…two of Magic Kingdom’s most beloved snack stops have switched places!

We’ve heard rumors, and now it seems to be happening: major changes are underway in Adventureland.

We’re still awaiting confirmation that a brand new restaurant might be coming to the area, but in the meantime, Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace have swapped real estate.

And we have lots of brand new pictures of the change as it’s happening right now!

Here’s FIRST LOOK at the brand new Aloha Isle Sign! Clearly, the Dole sponsorship is still firmly in place.

NEW Aloha Isle Sign

NEW Aloha Isle Sign

Check out this photo of the NEW Aloha Isle locale!

Sunshine Tree Terrace Morphs Into Aloha Isle Overnight!

Sunshine Tree Terrace Morphs Into Aloha Isle Overnight!

As you can see from the menu pic below, NEARLY everything that you previously enjoyed at Aloha Isle is now available at this new (old? new?) location.

You can still enjoy Dole Whip, Dole Whip Swirl, Dole Whip Floats, fresh spears of Pineapple, and [Read more…]

Review: Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate and Caramel Cream in Epcot’s France

We’re already back at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie!

And why not? With the huge assortment of classic pastries, desserts, soups, sandwiches… let me think, did I miss anything? Oh, right… quiche, salads, baguettes, macarons…. well, you’re gonna need more than a few trips to hit it all! Should you be a wee bit overwhelmed with your choices here (and who could blame you?), we’re here to help.

It’s more of the sweet stuff today, and we’re focusing on a classic as well as a dessert with a little twist.

The Mousse au Chocolat is our classic.

I don’t know if it’s my bias towards all things Les Halles, but the Chocolate Mousse here — both in appearance and flavor — strike me as a bit darker and richer than other mousse desserts I’ve tried.

Mouse au Chocolat

Mouse au Chocolat

As expected, it’s light and creamy, and you can definitely call it “airy,” though it still has a bit of substance to it.

Topped off with a sprinkling of crunchy garnish, the mousse scratches that itch for [Read more…]

News! Smokejumpers Grill Coming to Disney California Adventure March 20

If you’ve been wondering what would become of Taste Pilots’ Grill at Disney California Adventure, then you’ll be happy to know that the wait to check out the new place is just about over!

Behind those construction walls, the area formerly known as Condor Flats is transforming into the Grizzly Peak Airfield. The re-imagined area will pay homage to the brave firefighters who battle wildfires throughout the forests of California.

Newly Re-Imagined Grizzly Peak Area in Disney California Adventure

Newly Re-Imagined Grizzly Peak Area in Disney California Adventure

While the new area will be revealed in phases, the first part to open will feature the newly transformed Smokejumpers Grill.

Smokejumpers Grill in Disney California Adventure

Smokejumpers Grill in Disney California Adventure

We are glad to know that guests will enjoy some of the fantastic burgers that were available at Taste Pilots’ Grill.

Smokejumpers Grill -- Inside Ordering Area

Smokejumpers Grill — Inside Ordering Area

I absolutely loved the [Read more…]

Review: Tangierine Cafe in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

It has been too long since my last visit to Epcot’s Tangierine Cafe. (Yep, that’s spelled correctly. It’s like a play on words, right? Tangiers, Morocco — Tangierine? Get it? OK, moving on.)

My absence from this spot recently is kind of shocking, since it’s always voted some of the best and most interesting counter service food that you can get anywhere in Walt Disney World.

Located right on the promenade in the Morocco Pavilion, Tangierine Cafe offers an immersive atmosphere and good food with the ring of authenticity. Or at least, that’s always been my experience before.

Atmosphere

Tangierine Cafe is very photogenic. The whole Morocco pavilion is gorgeous, and this is no exception.

Tangierine Cafe

Tangierine Cafe

Once inside, you’ll find a cafeteria-style ordering area, and limited seating.

Ordering Counter and Seating Area

Ordering Counter and Seating Area — Notice the Beautiful Light Fixtures and Ceiling Detail

Assembling Plates

Assembling Plates

Indoor Seating Area, as Seen From the Coffee Bar at the Back

Indoor Seating Area, as Seen From the Coffee Bar at the Back

As you probably know, the construction of the Morocco Pavilion was sponsored by the government of Morocco; the design was overseen by King Hassan II himself! And so, the intricate decor and detail you see here represent design details authentic to Moroccan ideals.

Zellige tile, colored glass, and beautiful light fixtures punctuate the space and transport you to your exotic destination.

View from indoor table

View from indoor table

Seating

Seating and Stunning Tilework

Beautiful Lighting and Ceiling Detail

Beautiful Lighting and Ceiling Detail

Choose a seat inside, or enjoy lunch on the outdoor terrace that’s off to the side of the front entrance. It provides an excellent vantage for people watching.

Tangierine Cafe Terrace

Tangierine Cafe Terrace

View from Outdoor Seating

View from Outdoor Seating

There’s also a wonderful little room in the back of the space, set apart from the high-celinged main dining room. Since it’s rather hidden, sometimes you’ll find it empty. It’s a great spot to take a break from the Epcot crowds.

Small Room Off to the Side of the Coffee and Dessert Bar

Small Room Off to the Side of the Coffee and Dessert Bar

Additional outdoor seating, with umbrella-shaded tables, is available on the other side of the restaurant.

Additional Outdoor Seating on the Other Side of Tangierine Cafe

Additional Outdoor Seating on the Other Side of Tangierine Cafe

Back inside, you’ll make your selections and await your food. Beverage options include a few Moroccan beers, which are available by the bottle, in addition to standard soft drink options.

Top Cooler with Bottled Soft Drinks and Beer

Top Cooler with Bottled Soft Drinks and Beer

Some of the Beers Available

Some of the Beers Available

You’ll find another hidden gem in the back of the restaurant, near the cash register. A bar devoted to [Read more…]