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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! No, we aren’t jumping on the bandwagon to usher in the Winter Holidays two months early. ;-) We’re talkin’ Fall at Disney!

DFB Newsletter

And whether you’re celebrating the change of seasons in Disneyland or Walt Disney World, this time of year is something special. With must-do seasonal events and lots of special eats and drinks, we don’t think you should miss a single thing!

But there’s the rub. Because there’s so much to cover, it’s tough to bring you all the news on the Blog. That’s why we send out the DFB Newsletter twice a month.

Right now, there’s so much happening. You have new snacks, like the Pumpkin Spice Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France Pavilion.

Artisan des Glaces Pumpkin Spice Macaron Sandwich

Artisan des Glaces Pumpkin Spice Macaron Sandwich

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom includes tons of exclusive favorites — plus all that candy! At Disneyland, we see the return of classics, like the Pumpkin Muffin and Halloween Time!

And of course…we are right in the middle of THE [Read more…]

DFB Reader Spotlight: Make Your Own Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tray!

So, you all know that you’re the best readers in the history of blogging. Here’s a little story sent in via email (with pictures, of course) to prove it.

As many of you are aware, I highly advocate bringing your own tray to Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival every year. After all, there usually isn’t a great place to sit and eat at every booth; so it can be helpful to have a method for carrying all of your goodies and drinks around with you as you’re looking for a good stopping point in the shade. As it turns out, this is true for the rest of the parks as well!

Disney Food Blog Reader, Jocelyn Martins, explored the Epcot Food and Wine Festival (and other Walt Disney World parks) with her own Disney Food Blog Tray!

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 2.35.04 PM

That’s right; she took our unique bumper sticker and attached it to the food tray she brought from home. Totally L.O.V.E. that she brought it to Disney with her!!!

Jocelyn reports that she loved using the tray and apparently other guests admired it, too. She was asked several times where to get one! Take a look…

DFB Tray with Eats and Drinks

“I had to grab just one more pumpkin ice cream macaron sandwich, but couldn’t pass on the martini either… thank goodness I had my own DFB Tray to balance on the stroller!” (We knew we loved her.) Head to L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France for your own ice cream treats.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Macaron Sandwich and Coconut-White Chocolate Ice Cream Martini with Whipped Cream Vodka

Pumpkin Ice Cream Macaron Sandwich and Coconut-White Chocolate Ice Cream Martini with Whipped Cream Vodka

“Luckily I knew  from the DFB to look for the Harambe Popcorn Cart because our most-awesome-ess server, Neil, at our Tusker House Breakfast had worked there forever and had no idea where I could find the Jungle Juice Slushies.”

DFB tray for Jungle Juice Slushies & Rum

DFB tray for Jungle Juice Slushies & Rum

Jocelyn then used her homemade DFB Tray to [Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Prices and Photos of ALL Food Menu Items Now Available (And More of Our Favorites!)

We’re having a blast reporting to you LIVE from the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

It’s super hot, sweaty, humid, rainy, (insert crappy weather term here) at the Fest so far this year, but that would never stop us from #EatingAllTheFood at every one of the Marketplace Booths at this year’s festival.

New Food and Wine Festival Passports

New Food and Wine Festival Passports

Today, I just wanted to remind you and yours (who I know are planning a Festival visit or eight this year) that we’ve got photos of EVERY food menu item (and most of the bevvies as well…except for the $32 Dom flute…I’m totally not buying that) and ALL menus/pricing at the Festival.

Pics and prices are all up on our booth pages, which you can find here!

2014 Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth Menu - Click for larger image

2014 Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth Menu – Click for larger image

Now, we shared with you on Friday our must-eat favorites from the Festival so far, but mentioned that we had about 17 new menu items that we really loved this year and had to narrow down for the post.

New Brazil Marketplace

New Brazil Marketplace

At the request of several readers, here are a few more of our “you. must. eat. this.” choices at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival…

Pao de Queijo — Brazil
This cheese bread is simple and delicious. Imagine a savory bun…filled with sharp cheese…an you’re there. If you get a good batch, it should be soft, moist, and veeeeeery cheesy!

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Cheese Bread Cross Section

Cheese Bread Cross Section

Mango Green Tea with Popping Bubbles — China
What we loved about this was that the “bubbles” weren’t chewy tapioca — they were little bursts of strong mango flavor/juice!

Mango green tea with popping bubbles

Mango green tea with popping bubbles

Crème brûlée caramel fleur de sel — France
A new twist on an old classic, the [Read more…]

Top Tips for the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival kicks off this week! Get ready for 53 days of food and fun, starting this Friday, September 19!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tips

We know that you are just as excited as we are! But it’s a pretty big undertaking. With Special Events, Low Cost Demonstrations and Seminars, and of course, International Marketplace Booths, it can quickly become overwhelming.

Today, we thought we’d lend a hand by giving you a few of our tried-and-true Top Tips from our DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book. We’ll help you make this the best Epcot Food and Wine Festival yet!

1. Plan Ahead

If you don’t read or heed any other tip in this post, pay attention to this one: it pays to plan ahead when mapping out your visit to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

It’s a good idea to check out all of the Marketplaces and their Menus before you ever set foot inside of Epcot. After all, the portions may be appetizer-sized, but visits to just a couple of spots could mean you’re stuffed before you’re finished exploring!

Will the Mushroom Filet at the Canada Marketplace Be Part of Your Plan?

Will the Mushroom Filet at the Canada Marketplace Be Part of Your Plan?

If you have an idea about what’s offered at the kiosks and how much things cost, then you’ll be better equipped to make decisions and stick to a budget. Be sure to keep an eye on DFB’s 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival main page for links to booths, menus, prices, and more.

Disney also gives you some great tools to plan ahead. This year, they’ve published ahead of time a full listing of gluten-free items. We also expect that vegetarian dishes will be marked on the menus. And don’t forget to pick up a Festival Passport at the Festival Center! It’s a fun way to keep track of the dishes you’ve tried!

Collect Those Awesome Stamps in Your Food & Wine Festival Passport!

Collect Those Awesome Stamps in Your Food & Wine Festival Passport!

Worried about your budget? You may want to pick up a Food and Wine Festival Gift Card and have it pre-loaded for convenience.

Food and Wine Festival Gift Card

Food and Wine Festival Gift Card

Not only is this a quick way to pay at the booths, but it also makes easy work of tracking how much you’ve spent.

2. Know How to Beat the Crowds

There’s a reason that the festival is celebrating its 19th year — it’s kind of a big deal! So don’t be surprised when you encounter larger crowds than you might expect during the Fall at Disney World.

But there are ways to deal with the crowds. First, know that [Read more…]

Guest Review: Dinner at Les Chefs de France in Epcot

Join us in welcoming guest author Eric Lane! Today, he’s sharing a review of Les Chefs de France in Walt Disney World’s Epcot. Bon Appetit!

Based on its location and consistently solid food quality it’s no wonder that Les Chefs is one of the most popular establishments in Epcot.

Atmosphere

Sitting right on the promenade of World Showcase Lagoon, Chefs de France is a prominent restaurant. Built to replicate a French bistro, the large open interior is fronted by a long, glass sunroom. Those walking along the World Showcase Lagoon can see the diners all the way in the back, and those in the back can see all of those walking by.

Les Chefs de France Window Tables

Our reservation was at 8:50PM and a positively bubbly maître d’ seated us right in the middle of the sunroom window. Seats against the glass were for two, we were one row away from the window. Because the whole restaurant is an open room, you can see all the waiters, everyone getting up and down, and all the people walking outside.

Les Chefs de France Back Sunroom at Night

A large floodlight outside provided an amber warmth that calmed all the hustle and bustle.

Front of Les Chefs de France at Night

We ate as the restaurant closed and slowly cleared until it was just our table and about 5 others when we were finished at 9:45PM.

Eats

Since we were at a French restaurant I decided to start with the French onion soup. The cheese was a little sharper than I thought it would be, which caught me off guard. Although unexpected it added a welcome bite to the flavor. The onion and beef flavors were much more subtle, but the cheese didn’t overpower them.

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Another unusual touch was that I got the heel of the bread, which made it a little difficult to cut out a good hunk of bread with my spoon. Overall good, but not enough to stop me from sampling another appetizer next time I eat here.

The next dish was the ungainly titled “Filet de Saumon, pommes de terre ecrasess, au buerre et chboulette, sur coulis de tomate et poivron rouge.” That was the bold faced name of the dish, but instead of saying it while ordering or the direct English translation of “broiled salmon, smashed potatoes with butter and chives, served on a tomato and red pepper sauce” I was able to get away with just asking for the salmon filet. I appreciated that the sauce was not served on the salmon, but placed on the plate before the potatoes and salmon. It let me dip the salmon in the slightly spicy sauce and get just the right amount on the fish for my taste.

Salmon

Salmon

The salmon itself was perfectly cooked and seasoned with a little black pepper and just enough other spices to bring out the flavor of the fish. The potatoes were simple and added nothing of note to the dish other than a starch. It was a good, straightforward main course. (Note; the accompaniments on this dish have changed on the menu since the review was written.)

My friend, who despite not being a foodie is my BDFF (best Disney friend forever), had the baked macaroni with cream and gruyere cheese. She enjoyed it but I absolutely loved it. Flavorful, simple, and among the best [Read more…]

Know Before You Go! Sign Up for the Disney Food Blog Newsletter!

There is so much to keep on top of when it comes to planning your next Disney vacation. Stay up to date with ever-changing Disney Food Happenings by subscribing to the Disney Food Blog Newsletter!

DFB Newsletter

We know that you work hard and save hard for your Disney visits! With that in mind, we fill each issue of our newsletter with invaluable resources. Whether you’re spending the day or the next two weeks at Disney, we pack in all latest news and exclusive articles to make planning a breeze.

And even if your trip isn’t around the corner, there are lots of extras, like Disney Recipes to bring the magic home.

Why a newsletter, you ask? Because there’s SO much to tell you about, we can’t fit it all on the blog. That means you’ll get newsletter-exclusive content in our full-color newsletter delivered conveniently straight to your inbox!

We’ll also keep you update with important breaking news, like free dining or big event announcements, in special mailings!

There’s no better time than today — sign up now and you’ll receive [Read more…]

Back to School Sale! DFB Disney World Dining Guidebook Discounts for a VERY Limited Time

Hey all! The kids are about to go back to school (not sure if you noticed), and we’ve got a great idea for how you can fill up all that extra time you’ll have (ha ha!!). How about reading up and planning your next Disney vacation! While your kids are looking over their new text books, grab your own reading from the DFB Team. ;)

Take a look at our Back to School Special — available now through Sunday, August 24th!!

For a limited time, you can enjoy $5 off of our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2014 by using code School2014!

And you can scroll down to the end of the post for details on even more savings!

2014 dfb guide 3d cover

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2014

Our fully guaranteed, comprehensive e-Book offers more than 450 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 2014-15 Disney World vacation.

Inside the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2014, you’ll find:

  • 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 to help you start the planning process. There are hundreds of dining options in Disney World. These examples, which highlight particular theme parks, touring styles, and dietary needs, will help you get an idea of what a perfect dining day might look like for you and your family.
  • A full chapter on discounts to apply to your Disney Dining experiences.
  • A comprehensive index of bars and lounges. Disney Food Blog readers asked for this feature, and we were happy to make it happen! An often under-appreciated option for both dining and entertainment, we devote a whole index to the topic. Every single bar and lounge in Disney World is covered — and includes a review!
  • Details about how the My Magic+ Planning System and FastPass+ affect your vacation planning.
Sample Page from the 2014 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining

Sample Page from the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2014

  • Scavenger Hunts, Trivia, and Top 5 List updates to pass the time while you’re waiting in line.
  • Disney Food Bingo Cards — a whole new way to play with your Disney food!
  • Plus SO much more!

The best part? [Read more…]

Keep Up to Date — Subscribe to the Disney Food Blog Newsletter Today!

It’s an exciting time to be a fan of Disney Food!

DFB Newsletter

Our staff here at Disney Food Blog works hard to cover every facet of Disney Food — big and small. From reviews of every Disney restaurant to spotlights on snacks and beyond to special events like the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, we want to bring you all the latest!

But there’s so much to tell you that we can’t fit it all on the blog! And that’s where the Disney Food Blog Newsletter comes in handy.

We bring you issues twice each month, and each is packed with color photos, news, plus deals and offers.

And with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and the Fall and Winter Holidays right around the corner, it pays to be in the loop!

We Love Special Holiday- Themed Goodies!

We Love Special Holiday- Themed Goodies!

Don’t wait — sign up today and you’ll receive [Read more…]

Photo Tour and Food Review: Captain Cook’s Reopens at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

It’s quite the whirlwind of activity around the Polynesian lately!

Construction continues to affect the lobby, the Nanea Volcano pool, and the entrance of the resort… not to mention the recent name change back to Disney’s Polynesian Resort Village.

Slowly but surely, some results of all that work are starting to be seen, beginning with the newly reopened Captain Cook’s: the Polynesian’s Quick Service location. We gave you a tour of the temporary location when Captain Cook’s refurbishment began in April, and now we’re excited to share the results of the past four months with you!

Say “Aloha” once again to Captain Cook’s!

Atmosphere

The entrance feels very familiar… mainly because it’s the same ;) .

Entrance to Captain Cook's

Entrance to Captain Cook’s

Captain Cook's sign

Captain Cook’s sign

In fact, though, the entire location feels familiar since most changes are cosmetic (with a few exceptions that we’ll explore a little later).

If you’ve visited Captain Cook’s before, you’ll still know exactly where to go. Upon entering, you’re greeted by the main dining area.

Captain Cook's dining room

Captain Cook’s main dining room

Captain Cook's main dining room

Captain Cook’s main dining room

The breezy, palm-trees-swaying vibe has changed to a darker color palette, which is offset by two things: attractive light wood flooring and super fun vintage travel “posters.”

Samoa and Niue posters

Samoa and Niue posters

Bora Bora poster

Bora Bora poster

Tokelau poster

Tokelau poster

Tonga poster

Tonga poster

The one thing competing for your attention with the artwork are [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Crystal Palace in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Welp, boys and girls — it’s time to head into Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and take in lunch at Crystal Palace! This is a beloved character spot for many Disney fans, and a must-do character experience for lots of you.

Me? I hadn’t been to Crystal Palace in foreva…not since an ill-fated late-night visit a couple of years ago when the food was AW-FUL! Yep, it was the end-of-the-night dregs of the buffet and we were pretty much just grossed out. (Have you ever seen a buffet about 15 minutes before a restaurant is about to close? Not pretty.) We ate very little and left as soon as we could. Sad, since we do love dining with Pooh and friends.

But it was time to revisit the 100 Hundred Acre Wood — after all, we’d had lots of great meals here previously — and I made reservations with some friends for lunch.

We have tons of shots to show you, so let’s get started!

Atmosphere

You’ll find Crystal Palace to the left of Main Street USA’s end, just as you approach Cinderella Castle. The beautiful glass building, inspired by ornate conservatories of the late Victorian Age, is a slice of Disney history as well. The restaurant has been around since opening day in 1971.

Entrance to Restaurant

Entrance to Restaurant

And here’s a tip if you’re looking for an extra-special experience during your Disney vacation: try and book Crystal Palace for an early breakfast. You’ll be one of the first guests into the Park when you do this, and visiting a nearly empty Magic Kingdom is an event to remember.

Once you step inside, you’ll see whitewashed walls that carry the bright, light decor throughout. Artwork depicting inspiration for the architecture as well as photos of lush palms cover the walls.

Artwork and Framed Photos

Artwork and Framed Photos

The soaring atrium above is gorgeous — especially on a sunny day!

Crystal Palace Atrium

Crystal Palace Atrium

After you check in, you’ll wait for your table outside on the shaded veranda. But once you step in, pause a moment to take it all in.

Dining Rooms

Dining Rooms

Tons of windows and glass domes allow for plenty of natural light in the two dining areas.

Dining Room from Another Angle

Dining Room from Another Angle

And really — look up. Because the windows are really stunning. I love the beautiful stained glass detail.

Stained Glass Windows

Stained Glass Windows

The decor puts you in mind of a Victorian conservatory, with its outside-but-inside feel. Lush flowers and what reminds me of patio furniture finish the area.

Evening Light

Afternoon Light

Crystal Palace is, of course, a character dining experience, and you’ve stumbled onto a party!

Center Atrium -- Up Close

Center Atrium — Up Close

In fact, visit here, and you’ll take part in a Friendship Day Celebration with Winnie the Pooh and his friends.

Banner -- Up Close

It’s Friendship Day!

Just check out these gorgeous flower topiaries of the whole gang!

Pooh and His Hunny Pot

Pooh and His Hunny Pot

Eeyore Topiary

Eeyore Topiary

The sweet little figures appear to be made of dried roses, and foreshadow the characters you’ll meet while you dine.

Piglet Topiary

Piglet Topiary

Bouncing Tigger Topiary

Bouncing Tigger Topiary

And beautiful hanging arrangements of tropical flowers complete the classic conservatory feel.

Fresh Flowers

Fresh Flowers

Seating is standard and fairly comfortable. Heavy, padded chairs share the space with booths, but some tables are situated a bit too closely for our comfort.

Seating for Two

Seating for Two

Seating along windows gives you a glimpse of guests waiting to be seated! But beyond them, you’ll also see a beautiful view of [Read more…]