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! Dockside Margaritas Opens at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney This Week

Summer is approaching fast in Florida, and that can mean only one thing: grab the tequila. It’s time to enjoy some Margaritas!

Margarita Bar construction signs

Arriving This Week!

So we’re pretty excited to see that Dockside Margaritas will be opening this week at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Walt Disney World. Or, rather, reopening?

Because we all know that the Margarita Bar that was located at Downtown Disney Marketplace before the refurb was a great place to chill during a visit to the shopping and entertainment district. With shady seating on a deck that was situated slightly beneath the crazy of Downtown Disney, it offered a welcome respite; and the waterfront seating provided some comfortable breezes.

Seating and Live Music at the Old Spot

Seating and Live Music at the Old Spot

The new Dockside Margaritas will be fashioned to look like a fruit stand. The location will specialize in fresh tastes of Florida — perfectly in keeping with the rest of Disney Springs.

While the old spot offered some interesting drink options, the new spot promises to be even better, and to have a wider variety of choices.

Disney Margaritas

Disney Margaritas

You’ll still be able to enjoy several different margarita options, and some of the previously available drinks will return, although it appears that the recipes might be freshened up a bit.

Here’s the Margarita Menu: [Read more…]

Review: The Boathouse at Disney World’s Disney Springs

We’ve been waiting, and it’s finally here! The Boathouse is now open!

The restaurant is located in what will be The Landing Area of Disney Springs (still officially Downtown Disney, but it seems to be getting closer to the changeover everyday.)

The Boathouse opened its doors on Monday, but don’t rush out to get an Advance Dining Reservation just yet. While we’ve had success booking through the Open Table website for May 15th and after, Disney still isn’t offering ADRs — a signal that this is clearly a soft opening period, and a time for the staff and kitchen to work out the kinks.

There’s been a ton of hullabaloo over what we can expect, food and price-wise. We have lots of information and pics to share with you — as well as some information to clarify! So let’s get started.

Atmosphere

I’ve been dying to get a peek behind those walls forever — and now they’re down! And the new restaurant is pretty beautiful.

As You Approach the Boathouse

As You Approach the Boathouse

You’ll see the entrance to the restaurant to the left. The big green tower that we’ve all been watching for a while now is the entrance to the Ship’s Store, the Boathouse’s gift shop.

Entrance

Entrance to Ship’s Store

Between the two entrances on the day we visited, there was this tiny little boat right by the front door. I’m thinkin’ it would be pretty fun to take it for a spin. :-)

Another Tiny Boat

A Tiny Boat By the Front Entrance

Here’s a shot from across the water. This is a great way to sort of get your bearings if you’re still wondering where in the grand scheme of Downtown Disney that The Boathouse is located. This also gives you a glimpse of how The Boathouse has “grown” rather organically. I’m looking forward to hearing the story here. Because we all know — this is Disney. There’s always a story.

The Boathouse as Seen from the Water View

The Boathouse as Seen from the Water View

But The Boathouse will be more than just a place to eat. It will also be home to several boat-themed attractions. In other words, it really is a boathouse.

We gave you a glimpse of Amphicar dress rehearsals taking place the other day ahead of Monday’s soft opening. And today, we have a few more pics to show you! You’ll find the Amphicar Launch around the side of restaurant, to the left of the main entrance.

Amphicar Launch

Amphicar Launch

So you think they just hop in the car and drive it into the water, right? Well, of course, it’s not quite that simple.

See this Amphicar Captain? That wheel behind him is more than just a fancy prop. The captain’s wheel has many gears just behind and under it. When a member of the staff turns the wheel, it actually rotates the turntable that the Amphicars are parked on. When they come in from the lake, they are facing the street. The car wheels are locked down, and the captain turns this wheel, which rotates the car 180 degrees, so that it’s facing the water again. Pretty swift, eh?

Amphicar Captain Stands at the Ready

Amphicar Captain Stands at the Ready

And in case you aren’t tired of looking at these cute little overachievers, here’s another shot. The teal one may just be my favorite.

One of the Amphicars on the Ramp

One of the Amphicars on the Ramp

And…off he goes! Super fun.

One of the Captains Taking an Amphicar for a Spin

One of the Captains Taking an Amphicar for a Spin

But the amphicars aren’t the only game in town. While we haven’t yet seen the 40-foot Italian Water Taxis that are touted as another Boathouse draw, there are plenty of interesting watercraft to check out.

Like this gorgeous option. I wouldn’t mind cruising the harbor in one of these.

Another Beautiful Boat

Another Beautiful Boat

And then, there’s the U-22 Alter Ego, a vintage racing boat. This thing is [Read more…]

First Look! Amphicar Tours at The Boathouse in Disney World’s Disney Springs (and Reservations Now Available!)

Downtown Disney’s newest eatery, The Boathouse, is set to begin soft openings this Monday, April 13th!

The Boathouse as seen from the water view

The Boathouse Back Porch

We’d love to give you a sneak peek — thanks to our great friend, MealTrip — at some of the fun from a recent invite-only dress rehearsal for the spot, featuring the highly anticipated Amphicars that will be a part of the entertainment at this unique establishment.

The Boathouse outdoor seating

The Boathouse outdoor seating

Check this out!! It took me a couple of minutes to realize I was actually looking at a CAR in the WATER!!!!

Amphicar in practice

Amphicar in practice

The Captains appeared to be having a blast giving them a go. How much fun are these?!?

Amphicar

Amphicar

Yep. Seriously. A car.

Pulling in the Ampicar

Pulling in the Ampicar

Once available, Amphicar Tours are rumored to cost $100 for a 20 minute ride around the lake, taking in the sights of what will someday be Disney Springs.

Amphicar closeup

Amphicar closeup

As far as dining during the soft open period, The Boathouse will accept walk-ups only beginning April 13th and — as typical for soft openings — reserves the right to [Read more…]

First Look! Menus and Food Photos for The Boathouse Restaurant Opening Soon at Disney World

Just the other day we shared word that one of our favorite Disney performers will be sharing his music at The Boathouse — the next restaurant presumed to be arriving on the Disney dining scene at Disney World’s Disney Springs.

Concept art for The Boathouse -- Outside View

Concept art for The Boathouse — Outside View

The Boathouse

The Boathouse

While all signs are pointing to a possible April 13th opening, we can’t yet confirm the opening date. What we can do today, though is give you a glimpse at The Boathouse menu — AND show you some food photos of the menu items! Now, remember, all information here is subject to change. But let’s have a look at a few screenshots from the My Disney Experience app, along with a few pictures from theboathouseorlando.com (huge thanks to DFB reader Jenny M. for giving us the heads up on these pics!). You’ll want to make yourself comfy, because the list is pretty extensive!

As anticipated, this signature restaurant will focus on steaks, chops and seafood. In fact, let’s start with a look at the Steak, Chops & Provisions menu (for this first screenshot, I’ve left the map image so you can see where The Boathouse will be located — right next to Fulton’s). Among the many selections you’ll notice Filet Mignon and New York Strip (both with Bone-in options), a Porterhouse for Two, and a Tomahawk Long Bone Rib Chop for Two.

Steak Chops menu

Steak Chops menu

©theboathouseorlando.com

Tomahawk ©theboathouseorlando.com

The “Green Grass and High Tides” selections offer Surf and Turf made for sharing. The Beach & Sea Lobster Bake serves two, while The Boathouse Surf & Turf Table serves four.

Green Grass and High Tides Menu

Green Grass and High Tides Menu

Lobster Bake ©boathouseorlando.com

Lobster Bake ©theboathouseorlando.com

The Fish or Cut Bait menu offers dishes such as Wild Baja Shrimp de Jonghe and Hoison Glazed Florida Wahoo.

Fish or Cut Bait menu

Fish or Cut Bait menu

Salmon

Salmon ©theboathouseorlando.com

But then, you may prefer to start with some appetizers from [Read more…]

Rumor: Yeeha Bob to Perform at The Boathouse in Disney Springs

You know, for…like…forever, as Disney food fans we’ve all had our eyes on a couple of major food stories: breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant and the opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto have received all the attention lately (well, that, and the rumored news of a possible Jungle Cruise Restaurant coming to the Magic Kingdom).

So, you may be thinking, “Well, that’s it. I guess all the big Disney food news is over for now.”

Not so fast, my friends!! Because now we’re turning our attention to the next presumed restaurant opening in Disney World: The Boathouse, which is anticipated to open sometime in April in Downtown Disney/soon-to-be-Disney-Springs. While we don’t have an exact opening date just yet, we do have some news about one of our favorite Disney performers that may be joining the entertainment line-up.

Concept art for The Boathouse -- Outside View

Concept art for The Boathouse — Outside View

The Boathouse under construction

The Boathouse under construction

You see, in addition to food, The Boathouse is also expected to offer [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: March 26th, 2015

I’m not sure what it feels like in your neck of the woods, but the calendar says it’s officially SPRING! And the season is ON at Walt Disney World, with new food items to help feed those spring break crowds (did somebody say “Grilled Cheese”?), as well as an egg-stra special Easter display at the Grand Floridian Resort.

But that’s not all! There’s much more in store… so let’s hop to it, as we take another trip around the World to see What’s New!

MAGIC KINGDOM

Be Our Guest Breakfast

Hey, has anyone heard of some little dive by the name of Be Our Guest Restaurant? ;)

Be Our Guest in the First Light of Morning

Be Our Guest in the First Light of Morning

Well, in case you didn’t know about the Advance Dining Reservations heard ‘round the World, the popular restaurant is now open for BREAKFAST! Huge hits on the all-new prix fixe menu include the Open-Face Bacon and Egg Sandwich and the Croissant Doughnut.

Open-Face Bacon and Egg Sandwich

Open-Face Bacon and Egg Sandwich

Croissant Doughnut and fresh fruit

Croissant Doughnut and fresh fruit

You can read our Opening Day Everything on the Menu review HERE!

Sweet Treat Makeovers

Not sure how long this gem will be around, but the Cinderella Coach Apple celebrating the recently released live-action “Cinderella” film sure is a beauty!

Cinderella Coach Apple

Cinderella Coach Apple

You can find it for a limited time at the Main Street Confectionery and Big Top Treats. (Keep an eye out at spots outside of Magic Kingdom like Goofy’s Candy Company and Sweet Spells, too!) A few of the Krispy Treats have joined in on the fun, as well…

Cinderella Coach Apples and Krispy Treats

Cinderella Coach Apples and Krispy Treats

Snack Location Switcheroos

Looking for your favorite Dole Whip or Citrus Swirl over in Adventureland?

Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace

Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace

Well, the homes for these beloved snacks have changed places. You see, Sunshine Tree Terrace — home of the Citrus Swirl — is now located where Aloha Isle used to be. And Aloha Isle, boasting its signature Dole Whip? It’s now located where Sunshine Tree Terrace used to be.

New Aloha Isle location

New Aloha Isle location

New Sunshine Tree Terrace location

New Sunshine Tree Terrace location

Confused? Fret not — you can read all about it here! Rumor has it that this all has something to do with a new restaurant on the horizon for Adventureland. (And what’s this we’re hearing about a possible Jungle Cruise theme?!) Time will surely tell!

Speaking of location changes… If you’re hoping to enjoy a Jumbo Turkey Leg in Magic Kingdom, they’ll be available at Cool Ship in Tomorrowland starting TODAY.

Cool Ship

Cool Ship area

Walt Disney World Turkey Leg

Walt Disney World Turkey Leg

This temporary move will allow for [Read more…]

Raglan Road Irish Pub Wants to Send YOU to Ireland with Their Master Chef Contest!

One thing is certain: Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant knows how to celebrate!

We recently enjoyed sampling some of Raglan Road’s new menu items. And today, we’ve got some news for you about how they plan to celebrate their upcoming Tenth Anniversary!

The restaurant, located in Downtown Disney Orlando (soon to be Disney Springs), will mark their Tenth Anniversary in October. And to celebrate, they’re hosting a Master Chef Contest that could land YOU in Ireland!

Now through April 21st, amateur cooks are invited to submit “a video featuring an original three-course menu of appetizer, entrée and dessert worthy of the restaurant’s 10th anniversary celebration.”

Raglan Road’s Master Chef Kevin Dundon will judge entries and choose five finalists on April 28.

Raglan Road Contest Pic

Finalists will all win an all-expenses-paid trip to Ireland! They’ll fly to the Emerald Isle on May 21 and stay at [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: NEW Unique Meals for Kids at Walt Disney World

Many of us have been there — you’re trying to plan the best and most delicious vacation, but when it comes to Disney Kids’ Meals, the options can seem pretty ho-hum at first glance.

dfb2015_guide_3d

But there’s more to eating with small fry in Disney World than meets the eye! We first told you about Unique Kids’ Meals a while back in a Tip from the DFB Guide.

But times marches on, and menus evolve. And since we first visited the subject, Disney has committed to offering guests healthier eating options — and that includes Kids’ Meal reforms. We’ve fully updated the DFB Guide again this year, and I thought it was the perfect time to revisit Unique Kids’ Meals at Walt Disney World!

These tips come to you courtesy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015! And if they’re helpful to you, pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Mickey Check Meals

We can’t begin to discuss Disney World Kids’ Meals without at least touching on the biggest change to come to children’s menus in the history of the Resort. We’re talking about Mickey Check Meals.

mickey check for kids meals

Part of the Disney Magic of Healthy Living Initiative, the meals are designated on Disney restaurant menus with the “Mickey Check” Symbol. Meals earning the Mickey Check meet the Disney Nutrition Guidelines and limit the amount of sodium, sugar, and saturated and trans fats. In addition, they must also include at least three of the following:

  • fruits and vegetables,
  • low-fat dairy,
  • whole grains, and/or
  • lean protein, beans, eggs, and/or nuts.

So what’s the bottom line? The guidelines have certainly challenged Disney chefs to come up with some interesting meals as a result.

Mickey Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf at Be Our Guest Restaurant…Super Cute! But Not So Delicious

But how do they taste? Wellllll…my jury is still out on that one. While I commend Disney for offering healthier options to guests who are in search of them, the Disney Check Meals that I’ve seen and tasted personally…let’s just say they have a long way to go before taste catches up with the requirements.

A la Carte and Appetizers as Kids’ Meals

If you aren’t using a Disney Dining Plan, then another great idea for a Unique Kids’ Meal option is to order a la carte sides or appetizers instead of something from the Kids’ Menu.

This strategy works great for a couple of different reasons. Even with all of the improvements to kids’ meals across the parks and resorts, some Disney restaurants lag behind a bit, and the options can be a little, well, boring. After all, you can only eat Chicken Nuggets so many times. So it’s a great way to get your young, adventurous eater something tastier and more satisfying.

Smoked Chicken Quesadilla

Smoked Chicken Quesadillas, a Whispering Canyon Cafe Appetizer, is a Great Meal Choice for an Adventurous Kid

It’s also a great idea when [Read more…]

Review: Flour and Sugar Cookie Kiosk at the New Downtown Disney Village Causeway

It was fun seeing some of the progress amidst all the Disney Springs construction on a recent trip to Downtown Disney. While the main purpose of my visit was to check out the new Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC, I was also able to do some exploring and check out a few new features in the area, including the recently opened Village Causeway on the Marketplace side.

Village Causeway

Village Causeway

This also gave me a chance to try a little something from Flour and Sugar, one of four new retail kiosks on the Causeway.The reason for interest in Flour and Sugar is that is specializes in cookies — and not just any cookies, but cookies inspired by the Sunshine State. Let’s have a look!

Flour & Sugar sign

Flour & Sugar sign

Atmosphere

As mentioned, Flour and Sugar itself is simply a kiosk. We’ll be exploring the stand itself momentarily, but the “atmosphere” I’m mainly referring to revolves around the Village Causeway itself, where Flour and Sugar finds its home.

Village Causeway

Village Causeway

We’ve been keeping an eye on the Causeway since its earliest construction days when it looked like this:

The beginnings of the Causeway

The beginnings of the Causeway (April 2014)

The Village Causeway allows easier access from the area surrounding T-Rex and the Lego Store to the Rainforest Cafe side of the Marketplace. The view below of Fulton’s Crab House is from the start of the bridge on the T-Rex side.

The view from the T-Rex and Lego side of the Causeway

The view from the T-Rex and Lego side of the Causeway

The Rainforest Cafe side of the Causeway

The Rainforest Cafe side of the Causeway

What used to be solely water space now provides a roomy passage, and if you’ve ever been caught in the gridlock around the World of Disney store (also rumored to receive its own expansion one of these days), I don’t need to tell you what a great thing the Causeway is.

Aside from the walkway, there are a few benches here and there to relax and take in the views, and the [Read more…]