Tips from the DFB Guide: Five Beloved Food Items You WON’T Find in Disney World (And Should Bring From Home)

We are back with some of our very best kept Disney Dining Secrets. And we want to share them with you!

2016 book cover dfb guide

Planning what you’re going to eat and drink at Walt Disney World is a big deal! I mean, it’s not cheap, is it? But then, will they have everything you need when you get there?

Today, I’m going to share a few secrets of what you CAN’T FIND on Disney World property that you might want to bring from home. We all have our favorites…or items we need for a special diet that we may or may not find at Disney World when we need them…and let’s be honest, you miss them when you can’t get them.

And if you like what you see here, be sure to check out the brand new, just released DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, 2016 Edition, where we have over 500 pages of tips and secrets to having the best Disney trip ever!

Let’s go!

What Must-Have Food Items Are Just Not Found at Disney World?

Walt Disney World is super awesome and has everything you need to be over-the-moon happy! Right? Um, sometimes not.

You’ll find the same brands of things over and over throughout Walt Disney World, sometimes with an alarming lack of diversity. And if you have any sort of brand loyalty at all — consider bringing some of your own favorites or purchasing them off-property.

Beverage Station

Coca Cola is King at Disney

This is, of course, due in part to sourcing contracts. It may also have something to do with what’s available locally and regionally. Whatever the reason, if your favorites aren’t available, it’s good to know before you go so you can be prepared.

[Read more…]

Review: The NEW Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Editor’s Note: We are hearing the news that the Carrot Cake Cookie is BACK at Writer’s Stop. Yay!

Well, April 2nd has come and gone, and it was a big day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It was the last day guests could enjoy the Lights! Motors! Action! Extreme Stunt Show, or grab a bite to eat at Studio Catering Co., or a sip at High Octane Refreshments. This is all, of course, to make way for construction of the future Lands of Toy Story and Star Wars.

Writer’s Stop — a bookstore-meets-coffee-shop also specializing in some of the best bakery treats this side of the Studios — was originally on that same list to close down on April 3rd. However, it got a reprieve of sorts from the ol’ chopping block, and for a limited time it is still in operation… though in a different form than what we’re used to!

With many thanks to our Instagram pal, @savepointstu, we were alerted about the new menu. But we also couldn’t resist going over to search everything out ourselves and ask a few questions! What’s being served at Writer’s Stop now? And what is — or WAS — the fate of the spot’s signature item, the Carrot Cake Cookie?!?

When we arrived, we noticed the sign still remains, though the location has been taken off of the Hollywood Studios map. This is definitely a time of transition for Writer’s Stop.

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

The menu now features three key items: a Charcuterie and Cheese Plate, a Warm Pretzel with Cheese Sauce, and Sugar-Spiced Nuts. [Read more…]

Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival FIRST LOOK!

Woo-hoo! We were SO excited to hear that the California Adventure Food and Wine Festival was coming out of hiatus this year. And I’m thrilled to report that it’s AWESOME!

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Yep — the festival, which runs in Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort on weekends through May 1, opened for business yesterday. And DFB was there to explore!

Food and Wine Festival Signage

Food and Wine Festival Signage

Yesterday, we mostly explored the brand new food booths that are debuting at the festival for the first time. Those of you familiar with the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in Walt Disney World will know the set-up. Small booths featuring several tapas-sized menu items and selected beverages are set up around the festival. This is the first time that the California festival has done this, so we were super excited to check it out.

Here’s what we sampled and tasted yesterday!

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Our Favorite Epcot Restaurants

We are big fans of Epcot around here, just like you are. It may not be the original Disney World Park, but it holds a charm that few other spots in the Disney universe can. After all, walking around there feels like  you’ve stepped into the dreams of Walt Disney himself. It didn’t start life as the Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow for nothing!

Epcot!!!

Epcot!!!

The park has evolved a bit through the years, but we’re still enchanted by its dual personalities: Future World, celebrating technology and the promise of what’s to come; and World Showcase, which encourages visitors to embrace cultures from around the globe in order to learn from them. [Read more…]

Rumor: A Second Chance for Writer’s Stop?

Oh, could it be?!? Has the Writer’s Stop been given a second chance?!

If you follow Disney news, you’ll likely recall the announcement that the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show attraction will give its final performances on April 2nd in order to make way for construction of the future Toy Story and Star Wars Lands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It was subsequently announced that some of the eateries in the same Streets of America section of the park where the attraction is housed would be closing along with it as well. These include Studio Catering Co. and High Octane Refreshments as well as my much-beloved Writer’s Stop.

Home of the famous Carrot Cake Cookie, I also loved Writer’s Stop as an often quiet respite from a busy park. So, though it wasn’t exactly a surprise when its closure was announced, I — like many other like-minded fans — was saddened by the thought.

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

But it’s possible that there is some VERY good news! According to the folks at wdwmagic.com, Writer’s Stop may remain open for “a limited time” beyond April 2nd! [Read more…]

Best Disney World Cinnamon Rolls

Nothing hits the spot quite like that decadent treat, a Disney Cinnamon Roll. Whether you’re enjoying one of these mammoth pastries for breakfast with your coffee, or as an afternoon snack, it’s been one of my favorites forever!

It’s unfortunate that some of the very best ones, like the Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Roll and the Sticky Bun at Kouzzina, are no longer available.

Best Disney World Cinnamon Rolls

But there are still so many delicious options available out there! Let’s take a look at a few of my favorites, and then you can share with me which ones you like the best. [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Kona Cafe may not be all that interesting to look at.

But — breakfast, lunch, or dinner — this spot consistently offers delicious and unexpectedly good to great food.

Considered a bit of a hidden gem, Kona is normally a pretty easy spot for snagging an advance dining reservation. And with its super convenient location in the Polynesian Village Resort (right on the Magic Kingdom Monorail line!), it’s easily accessible from — well, pretty much anywhere.

But while we’ve enjoyed meals every time of the day here throughout the years, I never rely on past experiences to predict future outcomes. :-) And so I made it my mission on a recent visit to take in lunch at Kona once again.

Sure, it meant missing out on some of my most favorite breakfast items (sob — Tonga Toast!) — but hey, it’s worth it to bring you all the latest! Right?

So hop on the monorail with me, and let’s head to Kona for a midday meal.

Atmosphere

If you haven’t had the chance to check out the newly renovated Polynesian Village Resort, be sure to pencil in a little extra time when you head to Kona Cafe. I think Disney has done a great job of simultaneously breathing fresh air into this original Disney World spot and celebrating history. It’s new and old at the same time!

Kona Cafe

Newly Renovated Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Unfortunately, the Imagineering Love didn’t reach all the way to Kona. So you’ll find the same decor that’s been here for quite some time. [Read more…]

Review: Star Wars Cupcake at Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Allright, Star Wars Fans! And Cupcake Fans. And Contempo Cafe Fans…

We’re back yet again this week at one of Disney World’s longtime bonafide Cupcake Capitals — the Contempo Cafe in Disney World’s Contemporary Resort — to check out one of the more recent additions to its nearly legendary bakery case. While it remains home to treats like the awesome Peanut Butter Pie (aka: heaven), it’s still a great spot to grab a good old fashioned cupcake.

As always, the cupcakes here do change with higher frequency than many spots. The featured cupcake for the month of March, for instance, is a Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake (and early April should bring a Carrot Cake Cupcake). But when I went to see it for myself, it was another batch that caught my attention.

The Star Wars Cupcakes.

Now, typically I’d insert a picture of the bakery case display to give you pricing information, descriptions, and all that. And I do have one to share in a moment. But first, I’ll show you the cupcake I grabbed.

Star Wars Cupcake

Star Wars Cupcake

The cupcake that you see above is topped with a Star Wars character ring; specifically, Phasma, Captain of the First Order from Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens. [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at the Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Contempo Cafe has consistently been one of my favorite spots for better-than-average counter service meals.

What you find here is quick service, no advance dining reservation required. But the fare is anything but fast food quality.

It had been a while since I’d enjoyed a meal here, and since that last visit, they’d added a Lobster Roll that was getting rave reviews from readers!

Recently, on a very quick visit to the World, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to check out all that’s new at the Contempo — and to see if I still consider it a must-do stop.

Atmosphere

If you’re unfamiliar with the Contempo Cafe, well, you’ve probably seen it before, and you just didn’t know it! It occupies primo Disney real estate right next to Chef Mickey’s on the Grand Canyon Concourse in Disney’s Contemporary Hotel.

Contempo Cafe Entrance

Contempo Cafe Entrance

That’s the area that you whizz by when you’re traveling on the Monorail en route to Magic Kingdom. See? [Read more…]

Best of the Fest: What to Eat at the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

There’s a lot to love about Epcot during just about every season. With the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in the Fall, and Holidays Around the World celebrating Winter holidays, this has truly become a festival Park!

But Spring in the park is especially beautiful as the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival gets going. (I know. It doesn’t feel like Spring everywhere. But trust me. It does in Florida.)

Flower and Garden Festival

The Flower and Garden Festival, which runs through May 30, opened last week, and we were there for the very first day! After an afternoon of Eating and Drinking Around the World, we came away with pictures of all of the dishes — and more than a few new favorites! Today, we’d like to share with you our Best of the Fest — our top picks from the new dishes that you can enjoy when you visit this year’s Festival.

Jerk-spice Grouper (or Chicken) from La Isla Fresca

La Isla Fresca debuted at the 2016 Flower and Garden Festival, and it brings with it the fresh flavors of the Caribbean. Everything that we tasted here was a winner!

La Isla Fresca Dishes

La Isla Fresca Dishes

But we especially liked the option to choose between Jerked Grouper or Chicken (although we went for both! :-D) But seriously — not everyone is a fish lover, and not all folks eat chicken. So having a dish where you can decide, but still enjoy the flavors, is a great idea! [Read more…]