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.

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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…]

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! Disney to Roll Out Allergy-Friendly Menus at More Than 100 Restaurants in Disney World and Disneyland

For some time, Disney has been a leader in the hospitality industry when it comes to serving guests with food allergies and sensitivities. Today, we’re learning that they’re offering options that will hopefully continue to make Disney visits more enjoyable and worry-free for guests who live with allergies.

Allergy-friendly kiosk menu

Allergy-friendly kiosk menu

After previously piloting Allergy-Friendly Menus at a number of venues, Disney has announced they will roll out Allergy-Friendly Menus to around 120 restaurants. The menus will be available at both counter service and table service locations throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland parks and resorts. The move will include venues at Disney water parks and Downtown Disney restaurants as well.

Gluten Free Menu currently at ABC Commissary

ABC Commissary Took Part Offered a Gluten Free Menu During the Pilot Program

The goal is to provide a convenient way for guests to manage their food allergies while dining at Disney restaurants, and to provide more food options that are readily available.

The allergy-friendly menus will focus on the most common allergens: [Read more…]

Take A Tax Break…

Yep, today is TAX DAY in the US of A, and we know you’ve been buried under receipts and government forms and other boring things for days, weeks, and months.

This is me while I'm doing my taxes.

This is me while I’m doing my taxes.

But it’s time to take a TAX BREAK…and plan your DISNEY TRIP INSTEAD!

disneydining

Today and tomorrow only, we’re offering our uber popular DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book for 50% off…just to jump start your happy mood! Use code TAXBREAK to get the discount!

dfb2015_guide_3d

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 490 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next trip! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBStore.com to pick it up!!

Today and tomorrow only, use code: TAXBREAK to get 50% off  the regular price for a limited time!

What’s In The Guide?

As thousands of repeat customers already know, the Guide includes:

  • 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.
  • 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, downloadable worksheets for planning your trip. These worksheets are designed to help you execute all the steps of planning the perfect Disney dining experience. And they’re reusable for all of your future trips!
  • Seven sample one-day dining itineraries for a head-start on planning.
  • A comprehensive index of bars and lounges. An often under-appreciated option for both dining and entertainment, the e-Book devotes a whole index to the topic.
  • The ability to be read on your mobile device or computer! It’s fully portable right in your pocket!

While our 2014 Guide was extensive, Disney World is always updating menus, prices, and other dining info. And we’re always finding new things to tell you about! So we’ve updated our 2015 edition with brand new details and more exclusive info! Check out a couple of sample pages below. Click to enlarge!

Be Our Guest FastPass Tips. Newly updated for 2015!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Sample Page

What's New Sample Page from our new 2015 Dining Guide!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Sample Page

Here’s Just Some Of What You Get With Our 2015 Guide:

  • Over 490 Pages of Disney Dining and Planning information, tips, reviews, and recommendations!
  • An in-depth Disney Dining Restaurant Reviews section, covering all Disney restaurants, food kiosks, bars, and lounges
  • An updated Disney Dining Plan section and price analysis for 2015
  • NEW Disney food and restaurant photos
  • An updated Disney Snacks chapter, including our list of dozens of must-try snacks AND our Top Must-Have Snacks for 2015
  • A comprehensive chapter of What’s New in Disney World in 2015, including new restaurants, menu updates, and more
  • Details about how the My Magic+ Planning System and FastPass+ will affect your vacation planning
  • Our picks for Great Snacks you must try this year
  • Tips for scoring a Be Our Guest FastPass for lunch time dining
  • Our suggestions for [Read more…]

Magic Kingdom Frozen Snacks: Storybook Treats Frozen Yogurt and Mango Fruit Bar

Today I’ve got some new eats for you from the Magic Kingdom in Disney World!

Wall into the New Fantasyland in Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom

There are few snacks that are more perfect for warm Florida weather than Frozen Treats! You’d think this would be a fairly limited food genre. An Ice Cream Sundae here, a Pina Colada Slush there. But there’s so much variety that it’s dizzying! You never have to have the same thing twice — if you don’t want to.

We all know the popular ones — Dole Whips. Citrus Swirls. Mickey Bars. Handmade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches.

Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sammy!

Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sammy!

But what if you’re looking for something a little…different?

Well, today’s your lucky day. Because we have not one, but TWO new-to-us Magic Kingdom Snack Options to share with you. And they’re both delightfully frosty, perfect for refreshing you after a long day of chasing Fast Passes and Parades.

Wanna see? I know you do. :-)

Frozen Yogurt at Storybook Treats

UPDATE: Please note that as of June 2015, Frozen Yogurt is no longer being served at Storybook Treats. 

Looking to answer the call of your Fro Yo craving, then head to Storybook Treats in Fantasyland.

This tiny spot has been one of my favorite dessert stops for a while, because it offers unique snacks, like Fudge Brownie and Strawberry Shortcake Sundaes.

But on occasion, you’ll also find some interesting Frozen Yogurt flavors. And that’s what I was after on a recent visit here.

I hit the “out of the ordinary” jackpot when I spied two cool flavors — Birthday Cake and Cherry! Of course, these just demanded that I get them swirled together. That’s what you’d do too, right??

Storybook Fro Yo! Birthday Cake and Cherry Flavors -- Swirled

Storybook Fro Yo! Birthday Cake and Cherry Flavors — Swirled

Since this is Fro Yo and not Ice Cream, it had that predictable tang that you’d expect. I enjoyed both flavors, and the combo was great as well, but I’d give the slight edge to the Birthday Cake.

Cherry and Birthday Cake Swirled Fro Yo -- Up Close

Cherry and Birthday Cake Swirled Fro Yo — Another Angle

Because Birthday Cake.

Mango Fruit Bar at Magic Kingdom

Next, we’re stopping by Maurice’s Popcorn Cart in New Fantasyland. I don’t know if that’s what it’s called. But that’s what I’m callin’ it. :-)

Maurice’s features some of the standard, pre-packaged Frozen Treats that we all love — Mickey Ice Cream Bars and Sandwiches, Frozen Chocolate-Dipped Bananas, that adorable Olaf Frozen Lemonade Strawberry Bar (oh, are you STILL here, Olaf?), and the Plain Ole’ Strawberry Bar (seriously refreshing and pretty healthy as such things go.)

Maurice's Popcorn Cart Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Maurice’s Popcorn Cart Menu — Click to Enlarge

But I also spied something I hadn’t seen before — the Mango Fruit Bar. Here’s the interesting thing, though. It’s not a fruit bar like you think of a fruit bar. One look told me this one wasn’t just fruit, but Ice Cream too.

Mango Fruit Bar

Mango Fruit Bar

And if the word “Helado” on the front (oh, and the words “Ice Cream”) doesn’t confirm it for you, the ingredients, which include [Read more…]

2015-2016 Disney World Vacation Must-Have E-Book Sale!

OK — so you have a Walt Disney World Trip on the books for this year — Woohoo!! There’s nothing more exciting than counting down the days to when you’ll be back in the ‘World!

dfb2015_guide_3d

But, even the most spontaneous Disney fan knows that planning ahead is the key to a stress-less vacay. And that mantra is absolutely true when it comes to dining.

I know, I know. It’s hard to know what you’ll want to do in 3, 6, or even 12 months down the road. But knowledge is power!

And when you know all about your choices, you can turn a great trip into a fantastic one!

Besides, if you really want to dine in the hottest restaurants, you pretty much have to plan ahead. Be spontaneous, sure. But get a couple Advance Dining Reservations in place.

But which ones?

That’s where Disney Food Blog comes in! You already enjoy our reviews, news, and tips daily on our Blog. But did you know — that’s JUST the tip of the iceberg. Because we have lots more to share with you in our complete line of DFB Guides.

Want to see the last petal drop at Be Our Guest Restaurant? Planning ahead is key!

Want to see the last petal drop at Be Our Guest Restaurant? Planning ahead is key!

If you’re ready for a fun, easy way to personalize eating and drinking your way through Disney, then check out the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book.

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015

Fully updated for your 2015-2016 adventures, the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 490 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subject — Disney foooood! So you save time and money as you enjoy planning one of the most important parts of your trip. ;-)

And to thank all of you for your support of DFB, we are offering extra savings on our most popular DFB Guide today. Just enter promo code 2015 at checkout and you’ll save $4 off of our cover price of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book!

But if you’d like to enjoy even more detail, check out another great offer.

DFB Everything Bundle SALE!

Want even more great information, pictures, and tips? Then the DFB Everything Bundle may be just the right fit for you.

Everything Bundle Collages

And to get you ready for that next big trip, we are offering the DFB Everything Bundle for $15 off the already low price! It’s like getting an entire book for free. Just enter promo code Everything15 at checkout to take advantage of this offer.

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

[Read more…]

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!

UPDATE: Please note that as of June 2015, the initial test phase of breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant has been extended and Advance Dining Reservations are currently available through October 3, 2015. 

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…]