News: 2015 Epcot Candlelight Processional Dinner Package Restaurants and Pricing

Candlelight Processional Dinner Packages will return during the 2015 holiday season at Walt Disney World!! And for those of us that like guaranteed seating and avoiding long waiting lines, this is very good news!

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot’s Candlelight Processional

Along with restaurant information (sorry, no Le Cellier again this year)and costs (some steep, yikes!), you’ll also find some intermittent booking availability online for this very popular event, however 2015 narrators have not been announced as of yet. Note that all information here is subject to change.

In 2015, the Candlelight Processional will take place from November 27 – December 30.

Disney World Candlelight Processional Dining Package

This coveted ticket provides guests with a lunch or dinner meal at select Epcot restaurants and guaranteed seating! The package includes your choice of an appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic, non-specialty beverage from the chosen restaurant’s menu or 1 full buffet where applicable. Prices exclude tax and gratuity, and park admission is not included. And yes, you can use the Disney Dining Plan to pay for your package, see more information here.

2015 Out-of-Pocket Costs
The package costs vary based on lunch versus dinner, starting at [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival FAQ: How Much Should I Budget For the Festival?

You may be just starting Summer vacation and all that goes with it, but here at Disney Food Blog, we’re also busy gearing up for one of our most favorite times of the year — the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Logo

The festival, which runs from September 25 until November 16 this year, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015. There is so much to do, see, taste, and experience, all crammed into seven weeks. So you’re bound to have some questions about planning for it — and specifically, how to budget for all you want to do.

So today, let’s talk a little bit about budgeting to get you ready for Fall’s biggest Disney food event.

How Much Does It Cost to Go to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

Many things at the festival are included in your Epcot admission. Attractions and events such as Eat to the Beat Concerts, Back to Basics Seminars, and the Cranberry Bog are all complimentary with your Epcot ticket.

The Cranberry Bog Returns to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in 2015

The Cranberry Bog Returns to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in 2015

And new for 2015, guests can also enjoy Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt, a fun game that will take place around World Showcase.

But food and drink, even at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths, is not included in the price of admission. And Special Events do cost extra and can range widely, depending on the events you plan to attend.

How Much Money Should I Budget For a Day at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

The answer to this question varies widely from person to person. A great way to experience the festival is by Eating and Drinking Your Way Around the World, Marketplace Discovery Passport, in hand! In the past, plates and pours at the World Showcase Booths have averaged [Read more…]

The 180 Days ’til Christmas Sale Starts TODAY!

Christmas Sale? Whaa?? “But AJ, it’s June, and we’re sweltering and/or being rained on!”

Well…it’s also only 192 days until Christmas. And if you’re planning a December Disney trip, it’s time to don your Santa hat and get into the holiday spirit, my friends! We’ve got three great offers starting today that are all yours until that magical 180 Days Before Christmas on June 28th!

Main Street Holiday Decor!

Main Street Holiday Decor!

Why is the 180 Day mark so magical? Most restaurants at Disney World start booking for Christmas Day on June 28th, 180 days before Christmas Day.

So….if you wanna get a table for your holiday dinner at one of Disney’s most popular restaurants, you’ve gotta get on the horn in the next couple of weeks! Not sure where you want to eat? Let us help you with that!!

Holiday Cupcake from the BoardWalk Bakery

Holiday Cupcake from the BoardWalk Bakery

180 Days ‘Til Christmas Sale — 3 Great Ways to SAVE!

We know you’re just as excited as we are about the upcoming holiday season in Walt Disney World! And like we said: it’s never too early to start making plans. After all, you’ve gotta make those advance dining reservations 6 months ahead, especially around the busy holiday season. So we have three exciting offers for you today — and they’re all yours until June 28th — 180 Days Before Christmas!

1) Get $5 Off the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2015 e-Book Pre-Order (Plus 2014 Guide FREE!)

miniguide_2015holiday

Get $5 off when you pre-order your copy of the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2015 during our 180 Days ‘Til Christmas Sale going on from now until June 28th! Just use code 180Days when you check-out to get the discount.

And if that’s not enough to make you press the purchase button, remember you’ll be able to instantly download the 2014 Guide for FREE and start your planning — today! We’ll share our favorite spots for holiday meals, all of the holiday events, hundreds of photos, and more! It’s the perfect way to nail down your plans and snag the most popular holiday reservations in Walt Disney World.

You’ll then receive the 2015 Guide via email automatically as soon as it’s published in early November. Yep — that means you get two editions for the price of one, so you can start planning right away.

2) Bundle for More Savings!

Want more for your money?

Holiday Collage1

Purchase the Holiday Bundle for $5 off the already deeply discounted price! It’s like getting an entire book for free! Just enter code 180days at the check-out.

In the Holiday Bundle, you’ll get:

On a budget? Find out how to make those dollars stretch all around Disney World. These two unique resources are ALL you need to plan your holiday dining!

And with these handy, e-book format guides at your fingertips, there’s nothing that you won’t know about food at Walt Disney World! Just download them, put them on your mobile device, and GOOOOOOO!

To take advantage of this amazing deal, just enter Promo Code 180days at checkout!

3) Get Over 70% Off ALL of the DFB Dining Guides!

Finally, this is the way to get the biggest bang for your buck in our 180 Days ’til Christmas Sale. ACT NOW and collect ALL of Disney Food Blog’s Dining guidebooks for 70% off their regular prices.

Do you anxiously await new DFB posts? Want even more great information, pictures, and tips? Then the DFB Everything Bundle is for you!

Everything Bundle Collages

And to get you ready for that next big Disney World trip, we are offering the DFB Everything Bundle for 50% off the already low BUNDLE price – that’s over 70% off the cover prices of the books. Just enter promo code 180Days at checkout to take advantage of this offer for a limited time only.

The Everything Bundle includes, well, Everything! When you purchase this special bundle of DFB Guides, you’ll get it all:

[Read more…]

Even More Top Disney Dining Tips from the Experts!

We are back with some great advice some of the best experts around when it comes to planning your Disney Dining — DFB Readers!

Top Disney Dining Tips from the Fans

Seriously, you guys are the best, and I’m always excited to learn new things from your experiences! So when it came time recently to update our Top Tips for Disney Dining, we turned to you for input and advice. And you responded with tons of great suggestions.

Check out just a few of them below, as we offer you even more Top Disney Dining Tips from the Experts!

Have a Plan…and Don’t Blow Those Snack Credits on Things You Can Get at Home!

It was important enough for several different DFB readers to mention — and expound on! Do not waste those precious Disney Dining Plan snack credits on something as ho hum and common as a piece of fruit or a bottle of water.

And…I have to agree here. You can get a banana and a Dasani in your supermarket at home. But when was the last time you waltzed into Kroger and picked up a Carrot Cake Cookie or Schoolbread?

Yep, they can sometimes pile up on you toward the end of the trip. So spend a little time planning beforehand so you don’t waste a single one. Here’s a TIP: DFB Snack Guides can come in handy for this endeavor; we have one for every park at Walt Disney World with our recommendations for the best snacks!

Carrot Cake Cookie at Writer's Stop in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Make Those Snack Credits Count with a Carrot Cake Cookie

Get the Dining Plan…And Don’t.

One of the most interesting suggestions for stretching your Disney Food Budget came from @Greg_Crowder: he suggested that you go halfsies on the Disney Dining Plan. He writes: “2 of us had the free plan a couple of years ago and 2 didn’t. The snacks and counter [service] meals were plenty for all 4 people.

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios Are Totally Shareable!

It’s true that Disney portions can be pretty big, and eating lots of large meals and rich snacks and then walking 100 miles a day may be a tall order. So if you’re willing to share, this can be an excellent way to keep costs down. It also means that you pre-pay, so your spending money goes a little further.

Just note that if you’re all staying in the same room, you all need to be on the same plan; so this tip only works if your compadres are in a different room.

Don’t Forget About Resort Restaurants.

Many readers chimed in that visitors should never forget to check out resort dining options, saying that you should definitely venture out of the Park for incredible food. Resort restaurants offer some of the most amazing dining on property.

Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well-seasoned Butter Chicken and Chicken Vindaloo

Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well-seasoned Butter Chicken and Chicken Vindaloo at Sanaa — Be Sure to Schedule a Meal Here

Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was mentioned lots of times. For instance, reader David Mendoza says: “Whether you are staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or not, make the trip to the Sanaa restaurant. Wonderful food and such a picturesque setting, watching the beautiful animals as you dine on some of the most awesome food in Disney World! A real must see! And when you are done you can take a stroll and get even closer to the animals. Truly a wondrous place.”

I couldn’t agree more! (Read my latest Sanaa review here.)

Allergies and Food Sensitivities? No problem.

We’ve written about it lots of times — Disney is tops when it comes to serving guests with allergies, food sensitivities, and special diets. And our readers are eager to agree that Disney routinely goes above and beyond to ensure their guests have the best experience possible, regardless of their dietary limitations.

Jiko Allergy-Friendly Menu -- Appetizers -- Click to Enlarge

Example of Jiko’s Allergy-Friendly Appetizer Menu

Ann Hooghuis Dealy weighs in by saying, “If you have food allergies or sensitivities [Read more…]

Reminder! Just a Few More Days to Get These Limited Time Discounts!

I hope you’re all having an amazing day on this Memorial Day Monday!

As we mark a time of remembrance this Memorial Day weekend, we also look forward to fun celebrations with family and friends as Summer gets underway! And if you’re like me, that means one thing — vacation is JUST around the corner!

I wanted to remind you that here at DFB we’ve got some fantastic discounts on our best-selling DFB Disney World Dining Guidebooks for a limited time to celebrate all of the fun trips planned ahead!

Believe it or not, it’s already time to start making those Advance Dining Reservations! And we’re going to help you make sure you choose the best restaurants Disney has to offer. There are hundreds, after all!

We have three great offers for you to choose from! Read on for all the details, but hurry — you can only take advantage of these savings through Saturday, May 30!

dfb2015_guide_3d

Discount #1: $5 Off The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015

Our fully guaranteed, comprehensive e-Book offers more than 490 full-color pages to help you plan your very best Disney World trip ever!

With reviews, tips, expert advice, and hundreds of color photographs, you’ll get the biggest bang for your planning buck! And our handy e-Book format has been completely updated for your 2015-16 Disney World vacation.

Inside the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015, you’ll find:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from budgeting and booking to kids’ meals, dining discounts, and fireworks. 5 simple steps and you’re done!
  • A comprehensive and in-depth look at EVERY Disney World restaurant, kiosk, bar, and lounge, including our personal tips to ensure a positive and stress-free dining experience.
  • Four free, [Read more…]

Memorial Day Sale! DFB Disney World Guidebook Discounts for a Limited Time!

As we mark a time of remembrance this Memorial Day weekend, we also look forward to fun celebrations with family and friends as Summer gets underway! And if you’re like me, that means one thing — vacation is JUST around the corner!

Whether you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World during the busy Summer season, or you have your eyes set on a Fall Food and Wine Festival Trip or a Holiday Extravaganza, we know one thing for sure: you need to make some plans.

Believe it or not, it’s already time to start making those Advance Dining Reservations! And we’re going to help you make sure you choose the best restaurants Disney has to offer. There are hundreds, after all!

We have three great offers for you to choose from! Read on for all the details, but hurry — you can only take advantage of these savings through Saturday, May 30!

dfb2015_guide_3d

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015

Our fully guaranteed, comprehensive e-Book offers more than 490 full-color pages to help you plan your very best Disney World trip ever!

With reviews, tips, expert advice, and hundreds of color photographs, you’ll get the biggest bang for your planning buck! And our handy e-Book format has been completely updated for your 2015-16 Disney World vacation.

Inside the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015, you’ll find:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from budgeting and booking to kids’ meals, dining discounts, and fireworks. 5 simple steps and you’re done!
  • A comprehensive and in-depth look at EVERY Disney World restaurant, kiosk, bar, and lounge, including our personal tips to ensure a positive and stress-free dining experience.
  • Four free, [Read more…]

Join the DFB Newsletter for All the Breaking News First!

There is so much going on right now in the realm of Disney Food News.

DFB Newsletter

Downtown Disney is morphing into Disney Springs right before our eyes. Menus are changing as Disney gears up for the busy Summer season. And the 20th Epcot Food and Wine Festival is JUST around the corner!

So there’s never been a better — or more important — time for dedicated Disney Food Fans to be plugged in to the very best source for all of your Disney Food News.

And that’s why you should join the DFB Newsletter today!

But AJ, Do I Really Need to Join the DFB Newsletter?

Yes! We both know it: there’s SO much happening at Disney. And sometimes, especially when it comes to breaking news like Free Dining Offers or Epcot Food and Wine Special Event scheduling, it’s important to get the news as soon as possible. And that’s where the DFB Newsletter comes in.

Covering all that’s happening at all of the Disney Parks is a tall order. So we offer even more Disney Food News to you via our Newsletter. What makes it even better? It’s delivered straight to your inbox!

If you love Disney Food, then you’ll love our Newsletter. Twice a month, we’ll send it to you, brimming with full-color photographs and exclusive content.

Food and Wine Festival Updates

Food and Wine Festival is Coming. Be the FIRST to Know All the Breaking News!

And when there’s something super special to report, [Read more…]

Get Your Cinco de Mayo on at Disney World and Disneyland!

Isn’t it awesome how we just roll right from Star Wars Day into Margarita Day? What a great week!!

OK, so where should you go at the East and West Coast Disney parks to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on this not-so-ordinary Tuesday? I’m happy to share my suggestions… ;-D

Margarita Flight at La Cava del Tequila

Margarita Flight at La Cava del Tequila

La Cava Del Tequila in Disney World’s Epcot

If you’re in Disney World tonight, it’s time to head over to Epcot and settle in (ideally in the early afternoon, because this place will be PACKED come evening) at La Cava del Tequila.

I know you’ve heard me talk about it a million times, but for those who are new to DFB (welcome!), this tiny tequila cave has it all figured out.

la cava del tequila chips salsa guacamole queso trio anejo tequila (3)

Tequila experts serve only the best, and you can choose from a full menu of incredible options — shots, margaritas, flights, and more.

Avocado Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

Avocado Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

There’s no more authentic place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (which, let’s face it, is pretty much just a holiday dedicated to Tequila at this point) than here.

Tortilla Jo’s in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District

Over on the West Coast, you lucky ducks get to head on over to Tortilla Jo’s in Downtown Disney! This fun romp of a restaurant is sprawling, offering indoor and outdoor seating as well as a great menu including house-made tortillas (of course).

Tortilla Jo's raspberry margarita

Tortilla Jo’s raspberry margarita

Indulge in the sangria, a margarita, or [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Dining Solo in Disney World

When most people think of Walt Disney World, they automatically think of visiting with friends or family, which is lots of fun.

dfb2015_guide_3d

But there’s another way that I really love to tour Disney World. And that’s solo.

Sure. It’s always awesome to experience the magic with others…to catch their smiles, impressions, opinions. But sometimes out of necessity, and sometimes out of preference, I find myself visiting the ‘World alone.

It may sound lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. After all, what better way to take advantage of that single rider line? ;-) You can also spend as long as you want drinking in every detail of attractions and other surroundings.

But even if you’re totally OK with doing attractions by yourself, dining may feel like another matter altogether. You may be tempted to just stick with a table for one in the counter service spots.

And that’s all good, if that’s what you want. But if you’re looking to enjoy some of the great dining choices Disney has to offer, we have some terrific Tips from the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining for making this an awesome experience. And this is just one of the many unique ways of enjoying the World that we cover in the guide. There’s a chapter for everything, so be sure to check it out!

And if you find this information helpful, then be sure to pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Dine Overlooking a Great View

There is no shortage of great Disney restaurants with equally great views! Why not choose one of them for your next solo meal?

One of my favorites is Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Request a window seat and enjoy an ever-changing view of the animals that call Sunset Savanna home.

Watch the Wildlife as You Dine at Sanaa

Watch the Wildlife as You Dine at Sanaa

And while you enjoy the live action through the window, the food incredible as well! The menu features East African and Indian-inspired dishes, and I can never pass up the opportunity to enjoy their incredible Butter Chicken.

Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well-seasoned Butter Chicken and Chicken Vindaloo

Ya Gotta Try the Butter Chicken!

Prefer serenity to scenery? Grab a table at one of Flame Tree Barbecue’s many pavilions. (Flame Tree Barbecue has been closed for refurbishment, but we expect it to re-open very soon.)

Eat at the Counter

Many Disney table service restaurants feature chef’s counters or bars where you can dine while you watch all of the exciting action of the kitchen. Sitting at these high-energy spots was a favorite tip that I received from my friend Gray at SoloFriendly.com. And if I’m choosing some of my favorite bar seating, it has to be [Read more…]

Review: ‘Ama ‘Ama Dinner at Disney’s Aulani Resort

Welcome back DFB Reporter James Armstrong. Today, we get to peek at his Hawaiian dinner at ‘Ama ‘Ama at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii!

Let’s go back to Hawaii once again for dinner — this time at Aulani’s upscale restaurant ‘Ama ‘Ama.

Atmosphere

This seaside open air restaurant is the perfect romantic venue for any special occasion. ‘Ama ‘Ama has a perfect view of Hawaii’s famous sunsets!

And listening to the sound of the waves from the nearby lagoon while savoring your meal is a memorable experience.

Sunset View

Sunset View

The decor of the restaurant itself was rather minimalist to emphasize the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Dining Room

Dining Room

‘Ama ‘Ama is named after a type of mullet fish native to Hawai’i, also known as striped mullet. The restaurant itself is meant to look like a fishing shack from the 1890’s.

'Ama 'Ama Details

‘Ama ‘Ama Details

Aulani-AmaAma-Dinner-Story

The tables are setup to emphasize panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean no matter where you sit, but I recommend requesting a table closest to the open air windows for the maximum effect.

Hawaiian Sunset

Hawaiian Sunset

Eats

The menu is designed to use fresh locally grown produce, sustainably caught fresh fish, and house made desserts. The cuisine is considered Hawaiian and Asian with some European influences.

Front of Dinner Menu

Front of Dinner Menu

Dinner Menu

Dinner Menu Starters

aulani-AmaAma-Dinner-MenuEntrees

Aulani-AmaAma-Dinner-MenuMenuForTwo

aulani-AmaAma-Dinner-MenuDesserts

After ordering drinks, crusty sourdough bread was delivered to our table. It is served with two different kinds of Hawaiian Sea Salt — Pink Hawaiian and Black Lava. The black lava salt had a smokey taste to it while the pink sea salt almost had a floral taste.

Sourdough Bread with Sea Salts

Sourdough Bread with Sea Salts

After the bread, we started the meal with some appetizers. First up, we chose the Big Eye Tuna Poke with Rice Chips and Avocado Mousse. This was a gourmet twist on a common Hawaiian appetizer poke. We tried poke at several places on the island including Aulani’s Buffet restaurant Makahiki, a luau, and several local places. This had to be one of the best.

Tuna Poke Appetizer

Tuna Poke Appetizer

The Tuna was fresh and flavorful and the Avocado Mousse added a nice richness that complimented the acidity of the lime juice in the poke. The rice cracker on top added a little crunch to contrast to an otherwise buttery texture of the poke.

Tuna Poke

Tuna Poke

We also got the Crispy Singaporean Pepper Shrimp with Green Papaya Salad and Thai Ketchup. This dish sounded like it was going to be something interesting and exotic but ended up just being fried shrimp with papaya on top.

The shrimp was average and the Thai ketchup tasted like ketchup with a little chili paste added. When I think Asian food I imagine bold flavors and this didn’t seem to deliver. Don’t get me wrong it was good, but considering the cost ($18) and what seemed like a lot of potential in the ingredients, it could have been more interesting.

Pepper Shrimp

Pepper Shrimp

For our main course, I had the Island Seafood Thai Curry served with Japanese Eggplant and Choi Sum (Chinese Flowering Cabbage) served with Jasmine Rice. This was cooked in a parchment packet that was opened and served tableside.

Thai Curry

Thai Curry

The seafood featured was [Read more…]