Disney Daydreaming: Toy Story Land Dining Options

So, you might say it was kind of a BIG DEAL out at the D23 Expo, what with the announcements about the new Skipper Canteen Jungle Cruise-themed restaurant coming to Adventureland, and a little thing called STAR WARS LAND coming to both Disneyland and Disney World’s Hollywood Studios.

Of course, there was even more news than that… from Soarin’ Around the World updates coming to Epcot to more information about Pandora — The World of AVATAR, and, of course, Toy Story Land also on the way to Hollywood Studios.

Toy Story Land Concept ©Disney

Toy Story Land Concept ©Disney

Now, I know that’s not exactly food news, per se, but Toy Story Land is going to cover 11 acres so it’s going to be HUGE. Let’s face it — there’s gotta be some food going in there somewhere! [Read more…]

Review: Fairfax Salad at Fairfax Fare in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Fairfax Fare has a cool, out-of-the-ordinary meal to try when you’re beating the pavement at Hollywood Studios.

This is the spot for Gourmet Hotdogs while visiting the ‘World. We can recommend the yummo Mac & Cheese (and Truffle Oil & Bacon) Hot Dog here.

Also, anyone who enjoys barbecue will want to check out their smoked specialties, like Chicken and Spareribs. Or grab your iconic Smoked Turkey Leg should the craving take hold (and Toluca Legs Turkey Co. isn’t serving, which is often the case). It’s served as a meal at Fairfax Fare, with Baked Beans and Coleslaw on the side.

We recently conducted all kinds of delicious research for the upcoming Grand Launch of the 2015 edition of the DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Snacks. So it was the perfect opportunity to check out a few the menu items here that we haven’t enjoyed yet!

And guess what? We found a delicious salad at Fairfax Fare that’s sure to appeal to the most ardent meat lover out there. Let’s check it out.

The Fairfax Salad at Fairfax Fare

If you’re on the hunt for Fairfax Fare, head down Sunset Boulevard and hang a left before you make it all the way to Tower of Terror. The walk-up window location is part of the Sunset Ranch Market.

Fairfax Fare at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Fairfax Fare at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This area is home to several counter service options at DHS, like Anaheim Produce, Rosie’s All-American Cafe, Catalina Eddie’s, and Hollywood Scoops[Read more…]

Review: New Cocktails at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It’s almost September, but everyone knows that we’re still looking at summertime temps to continue in Florida — expanding well into October (at least). So you may find it good to know about some cold adult refreshers that have popped up in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in recent months!

The Cold Front

Let’s start on Commissary Lane at the ABC Commissary.

The ABC Commissary

The ABC Commissary

The Cold Front not only promises a relief from the heat, but it’s also well in keeping with Frozen Summer Fun (which won’t conclude until September 7th, so you’ve still got time a little time to catch it!).

[Read more…]

News! Star Wars Lands — and Star Wars Cantinas — Announced for Disneyland and Disney World!

Sooo… official news announcing the new Skipper Canteen Jungle Cruise restaurant coming to Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland wasn’t enough for ya?

Star Wars Lands — PLUS CANTINAS! — Coming to Disney World and Disneyland!

Well, then, let’s see if THIS does the trick… A REAL, TRUE STAR WARS CANTINA will be coming to both Disney World AND Disneyland as part of the Star Wars-themed Lands announced for BOTH coasts at the D23 Expo! We’ve been dreaming about this for years!

Star Wars Land Concept Art ©Disney

Star Wars Land Concept Art ©Disney

Here is a glimpse of the concept art for the Star Wars Cantina!

cantina concept art pic

Disneyland and Hollywood Studios will be the homes for each 14-acre expansion “where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.” According to Bob Iger, “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.” [Read more…]

DFB Reader Questions Answered: Where Can I Get a Free Counter Service Refill in the Parks?

We’re tackling another question from the DFB Reader mailbag today! Our reader asks:

Which counter service locations in Walt Disney World have self serve kiosks offering free refills?

This is an especially good question from a budget perspective. Since the Resort Refillable Mugs can’t be used in the parks, you might want to know where you can go to get more than one drink from the soda fountain. Let’s check out a couple of spots where you can grab a drink when you’re extra thirsty.

Disney Counter-Service Halloween Drink Cup

Just note: you do need to purchase a drink from these locations before filling up your cup again and again! Also, our DFB team members have checked with cast members at each location to confirm that refills are, indeed, allowed during your meal at the restaurant. [Read more…]

News! Minnie’s Holiday & Dine Dinner Now Available For Booking!

In mid-July, menus mysteriously appeared on the My Disney Experience app (viewable only on Android devices at the time) for Minnie’s Holiday & Dine Dinner, which subsequently opened up a flurry of talk about whether a special holiday character meal was coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Now we can happily say that guests will indeed be able to celebrate the season with Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy (in their “all-new holiday finery”!) from November 7, 2015 through January 3, 2016! The dining experience will feature holiday decor, music, and “holiday-themed food and activities.” Guests can book the experience with or without the Fantasmic Dining Package (however, at the time of this posting, only the option including VIP seating for the Fantasmic! nighttime spectacular is bookable online).

Here are all the Merry Details!

Dinner seatings start at 4:30 pm (closing times vary based on the evening’s presentation of Fantasmic! and park close).

Cost to dine without the Fantasmic option is $50.05 for adults (including tax, not gratuity) and $29.81 (including tax, not gratuity) for kids 3-9, and, per a call to WDW-DINE, 1 Table Service credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

Cost to dine with the Fantasmic option is $56.44 for adults (including tax, not gratuity) and, per a call to WDW-DINE, $34.07 (including tax, not gratuity) for kids 3-9, and 1 Table Service credit on the [Read more…]

Review: Strawberry Açaí Refresher at The Trolley Car Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but…um…it’s HOT.

And a couple of weeks ago when I was wandering Hollywood Studios checking out the latest menus and Frozen extravaganzas, I popped into The Trolley Car Cafe to see if anything had changed in their bakery case.

Nothing had, but I DID see a new sign up on the wall advertising a couple of icy new drinks. And because it was dead in there (I guess because nobody was thinking they should go to Starbucks for a coffee in the middle of July in Orlando), the delightful Cast Members and I started to discuss… .

Starbucks Strawberry Açaí Refresher

If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting a Disney Starbucks yet, we’ll give you a quick rundown. Each of the Disney Parks locations are themed after they Park in which they’re in, and each location has its own unique name and theme.

Trolley Car Cafe

Trolley Car Cafe

For more about The Trolley Car Cafe and its terrific retro decor, which you’ll find conveniently located at the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, check out our first look post about this spot. (Want to know about the other WDW theme park Starbucks stops? We have pages for Main Street Bakery, Fountain View Cafe, and Creature Comforts too.) [Read more…]

Disney Dining Tips: What to Expect on Peak Booking Days

Are you excited to book your Low-Cost Seminars and Demos or Special Events for the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

OF COURSE you are!! You know who else is excited?

Buddy Valastro Demo at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Buddy Valastro Demo at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Lots and lots (and LOTS) of other people. ;)

Booking for Special Events and Demos and Seminars for the Festival will open to the general public on July 30th at 7 am this year, and the popularity of these events makes that date into something we call a Peak Booking Day — a day when you never quite know what to expect, because the phone lines and online booking engines are often jammed with folks trying to nab their top choices.

"Thank you for calling..."

Get ready to dial!

Of course, sought-after bookings aren’t unique to the Food and Wine Festival. Just ask anyone who’s ever tried to [Read more…]

Review: The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge

Cheers from The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge!

The Brown Derby Lounge sits just outside The Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Its reputation stems from that of the original Brown Derby Restaurant in the City of Lights — a hot spot of the 1930s and 40s where stars of the Golden Age of film came to “see and be seen.” The outdoor lounge (which was added to the Disney World location in 2013) offers a spot for walk-ups without Advance Dining Reservations to enjoy a taste along with a bit of the ambience of the signature restaurant.

The Lounge serves food along with cocktails and bar service. And with some new items added to the menu this summer, we thought it was a good time to travel back to Hollywood’s heyday with a visit to the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge.

Atmosphere

For a newer location, The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge blends so seamlessly within its surroundings that its hard to remember that it hasn’t been here all along. And, to be fair, the patio and tables HAVE been here all along, but they weren’t functioning as a lounge at the time.

Below is a shot from its opening day in October 2013.

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge

Not much has changed in the past almost-two years, except for [Read more…]

Rumor: Minnie’s Holiday & Dine Dinner Coming to Hollywood & Vine?

Looks like the elves are already starting to gear up for the holidays… . Could it really be that a special holiday meal is coming to Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Hollywood and Vine

Hollywood and Vine

A mysterious menu has appeared on the My Disney Experience app! At the time, it seems this menu is viewable on Android devices, but NOT on iDevices. Still, what’s remarkable about this menu is not the items themselves (standard items for the Hollywood & Vine buffet), but [Read more…]