News! The Orange Bird Returns to Magic Kingdom — With SUPER Limited Time Merchandise

As you may know, there was a little switch-up in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland a few months ago: Aloha Isle (home of the Dole Whip) and Sunshine Tree Terrace (Citrus Swirl haven) changed places to accommodate construction — it is widely believed — for an upcoming Jungle Cruise-themed restaurant.

New Sunshine Tree Terrace location

New Sunshine Tree Terrace location

On the day the “new” locations opened, however, there was one obvious thing missing: the Orange Bird could not be found at Sunshine Tree Terrace (to learn a little more about the Orange Bird’s long Adventureland history, check out the video in this post!).

Disney assured fans, thankfully, of his impending return, and it seems it has now come to pass. The original Orange Bird figurine returned today — Friday, May 29th — to Sunshine Tree Terrace (and he is going to be honored on the location’s sign as well).

Welcome back, Orange Bird!

Welcome back, Orange Bird!

To celebrate his homecoming, the Disney Parks online store is selling a LIMITED RUN t-shirt and poster featuring our little orange pal! Through June 4 only, this Orange Bird T-shirt will be available in an Adult and Youth size:

©Disney

©Disney

A print featuring the same design is up for grabs, and so is [Read more…]

News! 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Schedule!

It’s finally here! We have more information to share with you from the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which runs September 25-November 16, 2015.

eat-to-the-beat-logo

The Eat to the Beat Concert line-up is in the books! There are lots of exciting returning acts like Hanson, Wilson Phillips, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. And as always, a few new acts freshen up the mix a bit. We look forward to seeing Tiffany, Everclear, Maxi Priest, and Chaka Khan this year!

Here’s the full list. Don’t forget to check out our 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival page for all the latest details on the festival!

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Line-Up

  • David Cook – September 25-27, 2015
  • Wilson Phillips – September 28-29, 2015
  • Christopher Cross – September 30-October 1, 2015
  • Starship – October 2-4, 2015
  • Smash Mouth – October 5-7, 2015
  • The Pointer Sisters – October 8-9, 2015
  • 38 Special – October 10-11, 2015
  • Rick Springfield – October 12-13, 2015
  • Sugar Ray – October 14-16, 2015
  • The S.O.S. Band – October 17-18, 2015
  • Air Supply – October 19-21, 2015
  • Fuel – October 22-23, 2015
  • Tiffany (NEW!) – October 24-25, 2015
  • Dennis DeYoung – October 26-28, 2015
  • Jo Dee Messina – October 29-30, 2015
  • Everclear (NEW!) – October 31-November 1, 2015
  • Boyz II Men – November 2-4, 2015
  • Sister Hazel – November 5-6, 2015
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – November 7-9, 2015
  • Hanson – November 10-12, 2015
  • Maxi Priest (NEW!) – November 13-14, 2015
  • Chaka Khan (NEW!) – November 15-16, 2015
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Performing at Eat to the Beat

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Performing at Eat to the Beat

Eat to the Beat concerts are free with Epcot admission throughout the festival. You can catch up to three shows per night at at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM in the America Gardens Theater, located in the America Pavilion. Check out our Eat to the Beat Concert page for details and times.

Start Your Planning Today! The DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book is now available for Pre-Order!

2015 DFB F&W Guide Cover

This 200+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever. Pre-order your 2015 edition today, and download the 2014 guide for FREE — immediately!

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a $3 discount!

Is YOUR favorite act [Read more…]

Review: Star Wars Specialty Beverages in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Umm… have we mentioned that there is a wee little event by the name of Star Wars Weekends going on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?!

Star Wars Weekends

Star Wars Weekends

In case you missed the memo ;), Star Wars Weekends is running Fridays through Sundays through June 14th. And as in previous years, temporary pop up bars appear for the weekends all around the park offering specialty cocktails just for the occasion. Last year, guests were asked to Choose Their Side by choosing their beverage: The Force or The Dark Side. This year, though, you get to Choose your PLANET!

The Mustafar and The Tatooine

The Mustafar and The Tatooine

The Endor and The Alderaan

The Endor and The Alderaan

There are four different drinks available, and each bar features two of the four. For instance, in the seating area of Starring Rolls Cafe, I happened upon this pop up bar featuring The Mustafar and The Tatooine.

Popup Bar near Starring Rolls

Popup Bar near Starring Rolls

The pop up bar near the Hollywood Studios Main Stage, however, was serving The Endor and The Alderaan.

Pop-up Bar near Min & Bill's

Pop-up Bar near Min & Bill’s

For a point of location reference, you can spy a few of the umbrella-topped tables from Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner in the background for this bar, but really you can’t walk very far without happening upon a pop-up in just about every section of the park.

Now, while the drinks differ, there is something special about the beverages that is similar, no matter which bar you visit, and that is the souvenir glow cubes corresponding to specific beverages. With The Tatooine and The Endor, you receive a Millennium Falcon glow cube, while The Mustafar and The Alderaan feature the Death Star.

Death Star Glow Cube in The Alderaan

Death Star Glow Cube in The Alderaan

Last year the glow cubes were a major part of the story, too. First, because they’re awesome. Second, they were so popular that they ran out almost immediately. If I understood correctly, many were gone as early as the second weekend of the event! Here’s hoping the inventory was greatly amped up this year in anticipation of their popularity.

If you choose your drink based on a glow cube, you’re [Read more…]

Spotted: Mickey Waffles and Ice Cream Bars… for Your Dog!

We know… if you were able to bring Fido on your Disney World vacation, you totally would. You would probably even sneak him a bite of your Mickey Waffle under the table at your resort food court as you start out each day before heading into the parks. After all, you love nothing more than starting the day with a Mickey Waffle, so why wouldn’t he?

Well, now your dog can have one of his very own! Our friends at Mickey Fix let us know about this awesome Mickey Waffle Pet Chew Toy, and it can be yours (well, Fido’s, really!) from the new Disney Tails line found on DisneyStore.com!

©Disney

©Disney

But why stop there? Wouldn’t he just love his own Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bar Chew Toy, too?

© Disney

©Disney

There are actually several chew toys available, though not all of them feature food. How about [Read more…]

Disneyland Recipe: Matterhorn Macaroons

Today, we are heading back to Disneyland for some inspiration in the kitchen!

I recently stumbled upon this brilliant recipe by Rumbly Tumbly. While my attention perked up as soon as I saw a recipe for one of my favorite Disneyland Treats, the Matterhorn Macaroon, I was even more excited to see that one of my DFB posts had inspired the author to try her hand at recreating the treats in the first place!

Disneyland's Matterhorn Macaroon

Disneyland’s Matterhorn Macaroon

Shannon’s version looks so much like the original and sounds so chewy, moist and delicious. I’m definitely inspired to try my own hand at these giant treats!

Matterhorn Macaroons

Inspired by the Original Treat at Disneyland
Makes 12 Macaroons

Ingredients:
1 cup room temperature butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut – see note below for how to prepare coconut
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag of Wilton Bright White Candy melts
decorators sugar for sprinkling

Instructions: [Read more…]

Review: Starbucks Evenings Menu at Disney World’s Disney Springs

It wasn’t too long ago that Starbucks didn’t exist in the Disney Universe.

But although the coffee giant’s presence in Disney Parks has caused quite a bit of heated debate, their popularity is undeniable. And recently, the company has begun piloting a new evening menu, which is meant to appeal to those who are looking for a place to gather after 4PM. Not only does the menu include a select list of Wine and Beer, but there are also Small Plates available — perfect for sharing.

I say “piloting” because the concept is only available in about 30 stores in the US, primarily in large metropolitan areas. More locations are expected to be announced.

And if you are a Starbucks and Disney lover, then you’re in luck, because the Downtown Disney Orlando West Side location is one of the stores that offer the evening menu!

I was intrigued by the whole concept of getting a glass of wine and a snack at a spot that’s normally reserved for meeting my tea and (very rarely) coffee needs. So on a recent trip to Disney World, I decided that I had to check it out.

Atmosphere

And there it is! Starbucks. Complete with a hole in its roof for a palm tree to grow through!

downtown disney west side starbucks orlando (5)

Starbucks Entrance

You walk into a familiar site — a rope set up for the typical queue. That queue is usually pretty full, too.

Queue for the ordering counter

Queue for the ordering counter

Not only is this a massive Starbucks location, but it’s also a Reserve Location, which means you can enjoy rare, small batch offerings of some of the world’s rarest beans. Definitely check it out if you’re a coffee lover. Wendy shared her experience in our full review here.

Reserve Coffee Counter

Reserve Coffee Counter

Looking for a place to sit for a spell? You have plenty of options. From communal seating, to cozy tables for two, you’re likely to find a spot, even at busy times.

Seating at the Reserve Coffee Counter

Seating at the Reserve Coffee Counter

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Large table

Large table

Don’t you love the bench seating against this picture window? It’s one of my favorite spots.

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Murals that look like chalk drawings depict coffee growing regions across the globe.

Mural

Mural

Be sure to stop by the interactive screen and check out the action at the Starbucks in Downtown Disney in Anaheim!

Interactive Screen

Interactive Screen

There are also really beautiful water views from the inside seating area and the shaded patio area.

Window wall

Window wall

But the outside area also has another great focal point — a “live” wall and a glassed-in fireplace.

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

Fireplace

Fireplace

Now that we’ve looked around a bit, let’s head back in and take a closer look at the Starbucks Evenings menu.

Eats

Wanting to sample the Evenings menu? Head to Downtown Disney West Side at 4:00PM, when service expands to include [Read more…]

DFB Challenge: The Walt Disney World Beer Crawl

Alrighty, Guys — it’s time for another fun Disney Food Blog Challenge. And this one is definitely for the grown ups!

Everyone’s aware that craft Beer has become increasingly popular. Sure, through the years, you always had the garden variety options…

Lovely Beer!

Lovely Beer!

But these days, Craft Beers and International Selections are where it’s at. So we thought that it was high time we take a closer look at some of the interesting beer that you can get throughout Walt Disney World.

In the interest of interactive fun, we decided to come up with another DFB Food — er, Beverage — Crawl, dedicated to the world of beer, and all that it encompasses.

And we know that there are LOTS of you out there who are serious about your study and research of this important subject. We are in it for the fun. ;-) So we definitely want YOUR comments below on what you think the Can’t Miss Beers of Walt Disney World are!

Because this is a rather weighty subject, we’ll spread it out over a 3 day visit. But feel free to consolidate as your tolerance level allows.

Grab some beer nuts, and let’s go!

Day One: Explore Epcot

We’ll start our 3-day Beer Crawl in the best place for sampling a wide variety of food and drink — Epcot!

When beer is the main attraction of the day, it’s a good idea to get some sustenance first thing. We love to enter Epcot via the International Gateway Entrance and start our day with a stop in Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in the France Pavilion for a petit déjeuner of French Pastries and Coffee or Chocolat Chaud.

We especially love the Frangipane Triangles!

Frangipane -- Cross Section

Frangipane — Cross Section

If you’d like a full-on breakfast platter-type situation, head to Sunshine Seasons (although the Croissant Berry Bread Pudding gets our vote).

Fueled up and ready to go, it’s time to hit World Showcase!

Moosehead in the Canada Pavilion

We all have our traditions, and one that we love to embrace is the First Beer of the Day in Epcot. And that honor almost always goes to Moosehead as we begin our Drinking Journey around the World! Find it at the Canada Beer Stand located near the entrance to Le Cellier Steakhouse.

The beer offerings in Canada

Stroll the area, making time to check out the Totem Poles before you head to your next stop.

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room in the UK Pavilion

With a small breakfast and your first brew under your belt, it’s time to stop for lunch and more beer in one of our favorite Epcot dining spots.

The Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room in the UK Pavilion offers a wide array of beer and cider from the British Isles. Make your advance dining reservation ahead of time for a sit down meal, or take a gamble with finding a spot in the pub (it can get pretty crowded in there). Note that you can also get beers at a counter outside the restaurant and pub.

Sampling British beers is your goal here, so we recommend the Imperial Sampler, which normally includes pours of Bass, Harp, Strongbow, Boddington’s, and Guinness.

Imperial Sampler

Alternatively, you can choose from a long list of Pub Blends, which are half-and-half mixes of some of the beer on tap. You’ll never go wrong with a Black and Tan — half Bass Ale and half Guinness.

Of course, if you have a favorite beer among those on tap, enjoy a pint of that one instead. We especially love to order a Guinness, served with its famous Shamrock Head!

Shamrock Design on Top of Guinness

And if you visit on a weekday, don’t forget to say “hello” to Carl the Bartender!

Japan

With a little lunch under your belt, it’s time to hit up the Japan Pavilion for another unique stop on your beer tour. Kirin Frozen Beer comes with a fluffy, semi-frozen head that keeps your beer cold a little longer in that warm Florida sun.

While the picture below is from Tokyo Dining, you can also get a portable version in a plastic cup at Kabuki Cafe.

Frozen Kirin Beer in Epcot's Japan

Frozen Kirin Beer in Epcot’s Japan

Take in some time listening to the drummers or checking out the [Read more…]

News: Pomegranate Margarita Updated at La Cava del Tequila in Epcot

Fun news today out of one of our favorite watering holes — La Cava del Tequila.

Seems that the great group of margarita artistes are at it again.

This time, they aren’t debuting something brand new, like their newest must-have Tamarind Margarita. Nor are they bringing back another old favorite, like the Hibiscus Margarita, for a limited time. (Get it now during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. Hurry!)

No — today, we’re reporting on a revamped favorite. The Pomegranate Margarita, it seems, has received a little attention, and the recipe has been updated. Think of it as the Pom 2.0, if you will.

La Cava Has Changed Up the Recipe for Their Pomegranate Margarita!

La Cava Has Changed Up the Recipe for Their Pomegranate Margarita!

The new version even incorporates [Read more…]

News! Starbucks “You Are Here” Mugs For Sale Again in Epcot

They’re finally back!

All of you who love to collect the popular Starbucks “You Are Here” Mugs can now finally add the Epcot Cup to your collection. The mugs are once again being sold in the Fountain View Starbucks location in Walt Disney World’s Epcot.

New Epcot Starbucks "You Are Here" Mug, Featuring a Grey Monorail (Photo Credit Steven A. Miller)

New Epcot Starbucks “You Are Here” Mug, Featuring a Grey Monorail (Photo Credit Steven A. Miller)

Starbucks and Disney originally introduced the joint collaboration mugs earlier this year, and debuted versions for Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. (Disney’s Animal Kingdom will have a mug as well when the new Starbucks planned for that park opens soon.)

However, the Epcot mug was almost immediately removed from the shelves when it was noted that the monorail featured on the mug had a purple stripe in keeping with the cup’s color scheme. Monorail Purple was one of two trains involved in the 2009 fatal accident that took the life of pilot Austin Wuennenberg. After the accident, the train was retired.

Epcot "You Are Here" Mug

Original Epcot “You Are Here” Mug with Purple Monorail

When the mugs were removed, Disney and Starbucks promised to return an updated version to store shelves shortly. The new cups, which feature a [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Caramel Apples!

It’s always so fun to check out the great photos that our members post on the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, head over there! We’ll take a virtual eating trip to Disney over work any day of the week. :-)

And today, we are all about just a few of the outrageous Caramel Apple options that you have all over the Disney Universe!

Snowman Caramel Apples

Snowman Caramel Apples

Let’s check out some of the most awesome examples of Caramel Apples that you can find all over Disney for this latest look at our Disney Food Pics of the Week Series!

Olaf Caramel Apples

Photographer: Joel Caceres

Whether or not you want to build a snowman, no doubt you’ll enjoy sinking your teeth into a monster-size Olaf Caramel Apple, one of the many Frozen foods we’ve seen this past year in the parks. His little Carrot Nose might just be my favorite part.

Olaf Caramel Apples

Olaf Caramel Apples

Classic Minnie Mouse Caramel Apples

Photographer: Kirsten Marie Hutton

But you also can’t go wrong with a classic, like the Minnie Mouse Caramel Apple. There is just something captivating about rows and rows of these beautiful and perfect Minnies! Underneath that layer of Rich Chocolate, you’ll find [Read more…]