The Year in Review: Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2014!

We are standing on the cusp of a brand New Year, and we can’t wait to see what 2015 holds in store for us — and Disney!

Top10DisneyFoodNewsStories

But we can’t wave goodbye to the old year without looking back on some of the biggest food news that happened throughout Disney Parks.

Most of this year’s big news happened at Walt Disney World, but we have a few memorable moments to share with you from Disneyland as well as other Disney Parks around the globe.

Today, we bring you a look back at 2014’s Biggest Disney Food News Stories! We have a LOT to cover — let’s get started!

First up, a little something I like to call…

The Beginning of Finally Doing Something with Pleasure Island

It’s the story we feel like we’ve been watching for years — what’s happening at Downtown Disney Orlando’s now defunct Pleasure Island??

Well, 2014 finally saw some solid progress, and the Disney Springs story seems to be coming to life.

An Artist's Rendering of Disney Springs

An Artist’s Rendering of Disney Springs

Lots of changes have made a trip to Downtown Disney a challenge in the last couple of years. But as the year draws to a close, the parking garages are open, and we are seeing some of the plans take shape!

2014 kicked off with a surprise restaurant opening of sorts — the House of Blues added a new counter service offering, The Smokehouse. We say surprise because we told you about the restaurant for the first time just days before the walls came down and the doors opened for business!

The Smokehouse at The House of Blues

The Smokehouse at The House of Blues

The Smokehouse is strictly a walk-up window venue. But the covered outdoor seating is pleasant, and you can often take in live music as you enjoy barbecue favorites, like their Beef Brisket Sandwich, St. Louis Ribs, or Smoked Turkey Legs.

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw from The Smokehouse

But it wasn’t all good news for Downtown Disney this year. Guests at T-Rex Cafe last Spring were in for some decidedly unpleasant dinner excitement, as one of the restaurant’s humongous fish tanks sprang a leak during dinner service!

However, no one was injured and all of the fish were reportedly rescued. We’re glad that all turned out happily in the situation, but we’ll never look at those huge fish tanks quite the same way again!

Also in the Spring, we said hello to a spot that’s quickly become one of our most favorite spots to shop in all of Walt Disney World — the Marketplace Co-op!

Disney Centerpiece

Disney Centerpiece

We have found some totally awesome stuff in the store’s Disney Centerpiece Section, including dishes, glasses, and other tableware that celebrate all of our Disney cult favorites. Whether you’re a Dole Whip fan or love memorabilia celebrating Tomorrowland, chances are you’ll find something that you’ve just gotta have!

Orange Bird Section

Orange Bird Section

Starbucks also continued to [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland Review: CHURRO ICE CREAM SANDWICH with Bonus Oreo Churro!

A few weeks ago, as I walked through Downtown Disney, a little something caught my eye: This sign.

Plastic Churro Ice Cream Sandwich Display

Plastic Churro Ice Cream Sandwich Display

Even though these horrible plastic renditions look like, well, something your dog might leave you as a present, I knew that I had to get a churro ice cream sandwich ASAP.  I immediately posted this photo on Instagram and people went bananas. Literally one of the most liked and commented on photos ever.  So, I quickly put “Eat a Churro Ice Cream Sandwich” on the top of my to do list and came back a week later to check out the real deal.

Located in the heart of Downtown Disney, Anaheim, the California Churro Company cart now has one of what I’m going to predict as the most popular snacks at the Disneyland Resort.

California Churro Cart Visual Menu

California Churro Cart Visual Menu

Although I LOVE the churros from inside the parks, the churros offered here are unique because of the flavors that are available.  All flavors are added to their churros via the sugar sprinkle mix they are rolled in upon ordering (in other words, no filling on the inside).  I’ve tried a few of them and trust me, they are heavenly!  Pina Colada tastes a bit like a Dole WhipPumpkin Spice is amazing, and so is the Salted Caramel.  Flavored churros are $4.00.

But let’s get to the REAL reason why were here.  The CHURRO ICE CREAM SANDWICH.

The Churro Ice Cream Sandwich

The Churro Ice Cream Sandwich

The Churro Ice Cream Sandwich is made fresh to order. It takes about 3-4 minutes and it’s [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: More Halloween Treats at the Disneyland Resort

It’s been so much fun hunting down all of  the Halloween Treats  at the Disneyland Resort this year.

Halloween is by far my very favorite time of the year.  I have so many photos of spooky delights and although I’d like to try every single item, I’d also like to fit into my Halloween costume in a few weeks. So, instead of a full review on each of these Halloween Time treats, let’s just look at some calorie free photos!  Most of the items I’m featuring in this post can be found in Candy Palace at Disneyland, Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure, and Marceline’s in Downtown Disney.  If an item is specific to a certain spot, I’ll let ya know!

Let’s start with these adorable Mickey o’ Lantern Cookies!

Mickey Pumpkin Cookies

Mickey Pumpkin Cookies

Followed by some Mickey Bat Cookies!  I love the tiny orange fangs!

Mickey Bat Cookies

Mickey Bat Cookies

New for 2014 are the Haunted Mansion Clock Crispy Clock & Mickey Mummy Crispy Treats. How cute are the little M&M eyes peeking out from behind the mummy’s “bandages?”

Haunted Mansion Clock & Mickey Mummy Crispy Treats

Haunted Mansion Clock & Mickey Mummy Crispy Treats

There’s also a new Jack o’ Lantern Marshmallow Wand.  This one I might have to get my hands on.  Four fluffy marshmallows are dipped in caramel, then coated with white chocolate and covered in orange sanding sugar.  I love that each pumpkin has a [Read more…]

Disneyland Duel: Battle of the Beignets!

One of the quintessential Disneyland must-eats are the beignets! You can find ‘em at a couple of locations around the Happiest Place on Earth, and there is definitely a difference of opinion on which version is best.

We’re going to take a look at the options, and we want YOU to tell us your favorite!

Mickey Beignets + Dipping Sauces at Cafe Orleans

Cafe Orleans in Disneyland Park is probably my all-time favorite spot to enjoy Beignets. And there are lots of reasons for that.

Inside, you’re surrounded by rich colors, beautiful stained glass, and Disney history — the spot houses an espresso machine that was a favorite of Walt Disney himself! And the outside patio offers great people watching and a good vantage point to enjoy beautiful New Orleans Square.

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

But great location is just the tip of the iceberg. Because the real reason that these are some of the best Beignets ever? They’re Mickey-shaped!

Mickey Beignets with a View!

Mickey Beignets with a View!

And, luckily, they come with Dipping Sauces! Because just about every food should be dipped, I think.

Here there’s not one, but two — Vanilla Creme Anglaise and Raspberry Coulis. My favorite is the raspberry — combined with the beignets, it’s like eating a jelly donut!

Mickey Beignets with Sauces

Mickey Beignets with Sauces

A look at the inside shows you just how remarkably light and airy the Beignets are.

Cross Section

Cafe Orleans Mickey Beignets — Cross Section

If you happen to visit Disneyland during the Fall or Winter holidays, you just might stumble upon some seasonal Beignet flavors as well. The [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland Review: Summer Menu Items at Downtown Disney’s ESPN Zone

Located near the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney, the ESPN Zone is a great place to take a pit stop in the middle of a long Disneyland day.  Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Monorail Station the ESPN Zone has something for everyone in your party.

ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney

ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney

We recently headed over for an afternoon of food and fun.  Upon entering we were greeted by a fabulous team of hostesses who immediately took us to a table.  We visited mid week in the early afternoon and there was no wait.  However, if the World Cup had been playing, we probably couldn’t get near the place!

ESPN Zone Check In

ESPN Zone Check In

The menu at ESPN Zone is full of your traditional American type favorites.  Items include Ribs, Chicken, Burgers, Sandwiches, Salads, & Wraps.

ESPN Zone Menu

ESPN Zone Menu

In addition to their regular menu, ESPN Zone currently has some very tasty Summer menu offerings. AND on this special menu, you can find [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!” Snacks (Vol. II)

We’re back with another installment in The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney series!

Snacks are a big deal around here. Heck, we plan entire events and crawls around them! And it’s clear Disney thinks snacking is where it’s at, too. We’re seeing more and more small plates restaurants open. Spots like Tutto Gusto, Spice Road Table, and The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge cater to the grazing crowd.

Today, we’re talking about some of our favorite snacks that we enjoy nearly every time we visit Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Dig out your stretchy pants, or plan to do an extra lap on the treadmill, and let’s do this!

Cheshire Cake Cup

Who doesn’t love a ginormous cupcake? You know I’m a big fan of these edible works of art. But at the end of the day, I pretty much see them as frosting delivery systems. So you can imagine my delight when I got wind of Cake Cups at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe!

Layers of alternating cake and frosting make a parfait-style dessert that’s hard to resist.

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

I know, I know. I talk about these a lot. But I figure if there’s something I NEVER miss when I’m at the Magic Kingdom, I should take every opportunity to suggest it so you don’t miss it either. ;-)

Frosting!!

Frosting!!

Two new, equally gorgeous varieties have recently made an appearance — White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts versions! Expanding the cake cup line? We are ALL IN.

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

These are the closest snacks I’ve found to them just giving me a bowl of frosting and a spoon, soooooo, yeah.

Dole Whip

Next up is one of my favorite Disney snacks of all time, the classic Dole Whip.

Oh, sure, you have your cult classics. Your Turkey Legs. Your Mickey Bars. And they’re great. But if there’s one snack I must have every time I’m at either Disneyland (umbrellas and cherries!!!!) or Walt Disney World, it’s some variety of Dole Whip.

This creamy pineapple-flavored soft serve made news here on Disney Food Blog for a different reason last year, when we brought you word not of what it is — but what it isn’t! Seems that our favorite Disney chilly treat is now Vegan, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free!

Dole Whip Float at Disneyland's Tiki Juice Bar

Dole Whip Float at Disneyland’s Tiki Juice Bar — My Favorite!

So if you’re looking to indulge in a creamy, delicious snack, but [Read more…]

Gourmet Apple of the Month: Banana Split Caramel Apple Debuts in Disneyland

Can’t decide between an ice cream sundae or a caramel apple? Well, the next time you visit Disneyland, you won’t have to!

In keeping with their Gourmet Apple Series, the candy makers at the resort have dreamed up a brand new, ice cream-inspired confection — the Banana Split Gourmet Caramel Apple!

Banana Split Gourmet Caramel Apple

Banana Split Gourmet Caramel Apple

But how do you get a caramel apple to taste like banana split? Disney magic, of course! ;-)

Seriously, though — the Mammoth Apples are first dipped in Caramel. After that, they’re coated with [Read more…]

Top 7 Must-Try Disneyland Frozen Treats

Summer is right around the corner!!

Top 7 Disney Frozen Treats

And when the mercury climbs, there’s no better way to cool off at Disney than with one of their top-notch frozen treats!

But how do you choose just one??? Well, let’s be honest. We don’t. We choose, you know, seven.

Today, we’re taking a look at a few of our favorites, all in the name of helping you decide! Aren’t we nice like that? I don’t know about you, but I’m already feeling refreshed!

Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bars at Clarabelle’s

One of my favorite frozen treat genres is the ice cream bar. After all, there are several foods with sticks on this list!

But one of the best, hands down, is the Make Your Own Ice Cream Bar at Clarabelle’s in Disney California Adventure.

Choose your Bar — Vanilla, Chocolate, or Mixed Berry Sorbet. And then choose your Dip from Milk or Dark Chocolate. After that, play with toppings by adding one, or all of them! And you walk out with the ice cream bar of your dreams.

Hand Dipped Ice Cream Bar -- You Create It!

Hand Dipped Ice Cream Bar — You Create It!

The only way they could improve on the concept is by offering [Read more…]

Review: Wetzel’s Pretzels in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney

I can’t believe it! I have never done a review of Wetzel’s Pretzels! How is that even possible??

Actually, we all know the answer to that. I mean, there’s just so much good food to be enjoyed that it’s hard to fit it all in. Still, Wetzel’s Pretzels deserves its due. And so today, we’re visiting their location in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District to take a closer look at some of their irresistible specialties.

Outside

Outside

Wetzel’s Pretzels in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District

Their sign out front pretty much says it all. It’s the trifecta of snack foods — fresh pretzels, lemonade, and hot dogs — emphasis on fresh.

Because when you step into Wetzel’s, you will most likely be treated to their form of entertainment — watching fresh dough morph into pretzels right before your eyes. (Well. With a little help from their pretzel pros.)

Pretzel Dough

Pretzel Dough

We were even treated to a front row show of employees putting together those famous Wetzel Dogs! It’s really cool to witness firsthand that the items you enjoy here are prepared right on the premises.

Pretzel Dough and Hot Dogs

Pretzel Dough and Hot Dogs

Signs around the store gave us ample suggestions about what we should enjoy during our visit. I love their generous use of jalapenos here! Reminds me of one of my favorite Disney pretzel treats, the [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Easter Treats from Marceline’s in Downtown Disney

Marceline’s in Downtown Disney is hopping with Easter treats!

Marceline's Sign

The adorable Easter Bunny Caramel Apples have made a comeback, along with some fun new yummies that include Mickey Easter Egg Cake Pops and Mickey Easter Grass & “Egg” themed treats.

Marceline's Easter Treats

Marceline’s Easter Treats

Mickey Easter Egg Cake Pops

Adorable as can be, these Easter Eggs are as tasty as they are cute.

The moist cake is dipped in white chocolate, then decorated with sanding sugar, and topped with chocolate Mickey ears.  They come in chocolate, vanilla & red velvet.

Mickey Easter Egg Cake Pops

Mickey Easter Egg Cake Pops

We went with chocolate, because it was the only flavor they had left in these ones.

Chocolatey Center

Chocolatey Center

And just a little FYI, I learned that [Read more…]