News! 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Offers 2 Full Months of Delicious This Year!

The countdown is ON for September 14, 2016. Why? Because THAT’S the day the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival begins!

2013FWLogo

But it gets even better… because this year, the Festival has been extended to run 62 days. It won’t wrap up until November 14th. That means TWO FULL MONTHS of the Food and Wine Festival! (NOTE: The festival usually begins on a Friday, so the fact that it’s starting on a Wednesday this year is…weird. Stay tuned to DFB just in case they change their tune and start it on the 16th instead!) [Read more…]

Review: Traditional Kjottkake (Norwegian Meatballs) at Epcot’s Kringla Bakeri og Kafe

Lovers of the Traditional Kjottkake (that’s MEATBALLS!!!) from Akershus Royal Banquet Hall will be very excited to see what I spotted on my last visit to Epcot’s Norway!

Granted, right now much of what I’m spotting in Norway are construction walls, as the Pavilion simultaneously preps for the summer openings of the Frozen Ever After attraction (in the former home of Maelstrom…sob!) and a new Frozen Character Meet and Greet.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth stopping by to grab some favorite Norwegian treats like Skolebrød (School Bread) or a Troll Horn, which is exactly what I was expecting to find on my recent trip. And while I did indeed find those, I also found another old favorite… albeit in an all-new form.

Kringla Bakeri og Kafe is now serving a snack-sized version of the popular Norwegian Meatballs that we’ve loved for years at Akershus (the home of Princess Storybook Dining in Epcot)!

So, how does it measure up? Let’s find out!

Atmosphere

Kringla Bakeri og Kafe is the little bakery packed with all sorts of Scandinavian goodies in the Norway Pavilion.

Kringla Bakeri og Kafe

Kringla Bakeri og Kafe

Inside, lots of wooden paneling and candlelit chandeliers decorate the snug space. [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Dining with a Picky Eater

For many of us, there’s nothing better than planning a trip to Disney. I mean, sure…attractions and cool resorts and stuff. But best of all is the FOOD!

2016 book cover dfb guide

What happens if you have a super uber picky kiddo (or other member of your party) among your ranks though? It can really rock your trip. But it doesn’t have to!

And that’s why I dedicate a lot of attention to making plans with picky eaters in the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. This is a great time to pick up your copy of this handy guide because it’s just been completely updated for your 2016 travel plans!! Don’t forget to use code HAPPYPLACE for $4 off the price!

Today, I want to share some of the tips that I’ve scattered through the book on how to deal with the pickiest eaters when you’re in Disney World. Need some help with this subject? Read on! [Read more…]

Review: Cupid’s Kiss Latte at Joffrey’s Coffee Kiosks in Disney World

Once again, Joffrey’s Espresso Coffee & Pastries kiosks all over Disney World are serving up some specialty items to get us in the festive spirit. We checked out the Winter Specialty menu on our last visit, and now they’re helping us get ready for a caffeinated Valentine’s Day!

Joffrey's American Adventure Coffee Kiosk in Epcot

Joffrey’s American Adventure Coffee Kiosk in Epcot

Espresso drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas make up the menu along with tea and hot chocolate. Select Joffrey’s locations such as the one just outside of the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot also offer opportunities to “spike” your coffee with your choice of Bailey’s, Kahlua, or Jameson. [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: February 9, 2016

February is the month we celebrate love!

Lady and the Tramp Cupcake at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Lady and the Tramp Cupcake at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

And since we LOVE few things more than checking out all the goings-on with FOOD all over Disney World, what say we take a whirlwind tour around the parks (and a few resorts) and see What’s New?! [Read more…]

Disney Food (and Drink) Pics of the Week: Beer at Disney!

We are back with another fun installment of Disney Food Pics of the Week, courtesy of the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group!

You may not know it, but Disney is offering some really great beer these days! From more interesting seasonal options, to craft beers you know and love, there’s a ton of variety happening where this adult beverage is concerned.

Kona Beer Flight at Trader Sam's Tiki Terrace

Kona Beer Flight at Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace

Today, we’re showcasing some of the beeeea-utiful photos of Beer that our readers have captured around Disney! [Read more…]

Recommended Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Restaurant Values

We previously shared with you our picks for the Best Disney Dining Plan Value in Disney Signature Dining. Today, we continue our series exploring which Disney Restaurants offer the best value for your Disney Dining Plan credits!

Disney Dining Plan One Credit Recommendations

One of the biggest questions that we get here at DFB is whether or not the Disney Dining Plan is a good deal. To begin answering the question, we armed ourselves with calculators and menus and ran the numbers to see which spots had the most expensive average entrees.

But it’s more than that, isn’t it? I mean, no matter how much the average check runs, if the food or the atmosphere doesn’t appeal to you and yours, it won’t be a good value, no matter how you slice it.

With the calculations in mind, we were curious to determine which One-Credit Disney Table Service Restaurants offered the best deal or value price-wise — but also could be recommended by the experts here at DFB for atmosphere and food quality. All of the restaurants that we considered are One-Credit spots, meaning they’ll require just one credit to dine with the Disney Dining Plan.

Here are our picks for the restaurants that give you the best overall bang for your Disney Dining Plan buck when it comes to single credit table service spots.

Best Friends Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana

When we set out to determine which one-credit restaurants offered you the most in terms of sheer cost, one trend emerged immediately: you can’t go wrong by spending your credit on a Character Meal.

Mickey at 'Ohana

We Can’t Resist Eating with this Guy!

And with only one exception (Cinderella’s Royal Table), all Disney World character meals require only one DDP table service credit.

And while character meals are not one size fits all — you should definitely check out our tips before booking one — they’re for sure an experience everyone can enjoy with a little planning.

As for our favorite, this year we are really enjoying character meals that are served family-style like ‘Ohana’s breakfast. These include Garden Grill at Epcot, which you can now book for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Chip

Chip n’ Dale Visit with You During Meals at Epcot’s Garden Grill

Or enjoy the Princesses at Akershus. You can still enjoy the koldtbord selections and all you care to eat, but meals come plated.

Princess Cinderella at Akershus in Epcot's Norway

Princess Cinderella at Akershus in Epcot’s Norway

But my favorite remains the Best Friends Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana. For a combination of cute characters (Mickey in a Hawaiian Shirt, and Lilo is awesome!) and delicious food, it just can’t be beat.

Mickey Waffles!

Mickey Waffles!

And while buffets are great for a bounty of offerings, sometimes it’s nice to sit back and let the food come to you — especially if there’s a baby or toddler along for the ride.

Boma

Hot on the heels of character meals though, you should probably also consider other buffets or all you care to enjoy service formats if you’re truly interested in “getting your money’s worth”.

Boma Buffet

Boma Buffet

Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge doesn’t offer characters — but I don’t see that as a bad thing. The food here is  interesting and delicious. Don’t miss the Soups or the Carving Stations at Dinner! (Here’s the recipe for that killer Coconut Curry Chicken Stew!) Breakfast offers some great pastries and more.

Breakfast Pastries from one of our favorite buffets -- Boma in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Breakfast Pastries from one of our favorite buffets — Boma in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Then of course, there’s the Zebra Domes. :-)

Zebra Dome

Zebra Dome Yum

The restaurant serves breakfast and dinner, and we’ve enjoyed both. And because Boma doesn’t feature characters, I find the ambiance to be a little more relaxing as a result.

But don’t forget spots that offer all you care to enjoy, but do the heavy lifting for you. If you wish that everyday was Thanksgiving Day (but without the clean up!), then make your advance dining reservation for Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom. Besides getting a hearty helping of history, you’ll also see endless platters of Turkey with all the trimmings.

The Full Spread!

The Full Dinner Spread at Liberty Tree Tavern!

And that is truly something to be thankful for.

Be Our Guest Dinner

But if you’re looking to spend those credits wisely, then don’t leave Magic Kingdom just yet. Because any Disney Food Bucket Lister will tell ya — you’ve gotta book dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant at least once.

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom

For starters, this spot is truly magical. If you’ve ever wanted to tumble through a movie screen and join in the action, this is your chance to do it, as Beast’s Castle has been reproduced in painstaking detail.

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

The Enchanted Rose in the West Wing

But then, there are some pretty great reasons to eat here as well. Of course, the menu is French-inspired. We’ve tried pretty much everything, and give high marks to the Potato Leek Soup, the Pork Chop, and of course, the Grilled Strip Steak!

Grilled Strip Steak

Grilled Strip Steak

And if you enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, take advantage of ordering one here — the only spot in Magic Kingdom where you can enjoy this indulgence.

Chimay Blue at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Chimay Blue at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Choosing Dessert may be tough. We enjoyed most of the options, but the Master’s “Grey Stuff” dessert will be the most high-profile.

Les Chefs de France

What’s that? You’d like to go to the REAL France?

Well, I can’t deliver that to you at Disney, but I can get you pretty close to the real deal. If you travel over the Epcot, that is. When you get there, head to World Showcase for some of the best spots to spend those table service credits.

Front of Les Chefs de France at Night -- Isn't It Amazing??

Beautiful Les Chefs de France in Epcot’s France Pavilion

While many of the restaurants in this international village boast steep pricetags, we love some better than others. And in terms of beautiful atmosphere and consistently delicious food, Les Chefs de France gets a gold star from me.

I know, I know. Epcot international dining can be less than authentic. But all of the restaurants in the France Pavilion are owned by the Bocuse Group, and I’ve enjoyed lots of fare that reminded me of my time traveling as a student through France and Switzerland.

A la flamme Alsacienne

A la flamme Alsacienne

Service can be slow and reserved. But the restaurant offers a beautiful setting.

Teppan Edo

But as I mentioned, you aren’t limited merely to France in Epcot. There’s a whole world out there, of course. When it comes to fun and value, consider Teppan Edo.

Teppan Edo in Epcot's Japan Pavilion

Teppan Edo in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

This Japanese Habachi-style experience is as much food theatre as it is eating. The chefs here are wonderful at all of the tricks that you might expect to see in a Japanese steakhouse. We especially like the fire-based ones. :-)

And the food is bountiful. While I’m partial to ordering the Steak, I also love the combos here. Steak and Chicken or Steak and Shrimp give you the opportunity to enjoy different textures and flavors.

Steak and Chicken at Teppan Edo

Steak and Chicken at Teppan Edo

And with bountiful sides, I guarantee you won’t leave the table hungry.

And there you have it! With so many varied experiences, flavors, and settings, it’s hard to go wrong with Disney Dining. But you won’t go wrong if you decide to try a few of our favorite one-credit options!

2016 book cover dfb guide

Ready for All of Our Best Tips?

We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips — including LOTS of restaurant suggestions for your every need — in our big, bold 2016 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining!

With more than 530 pagesThe DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 20+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With sample dining itineraries, plus our “Disney Dining at a Glance” section, featuring “Where Can I Find?” options, you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining E-book — and use code HAPPYPLACE for an extra $4 discount for a limited time!

Now, I’d love to hear from all of you guys! What are your best picks for value when it comes to DDP one credit table service spots? Leave a comment with your favorites!

The Best Brownies in Walt Disney World

Remember oh those many years ago when I presented you with my Top Five Disney Brownies?

Best Disney World BrowniesWell, times change… as do snacks and desserts in and around Disney World.  And now here we are celebrating a still-new year, and the brownie landscape has changed. While a few of our favorites from Round One continue to grace our list of Best Brownies, some are no longer available. (We miss you, Paw Print Brownie and Brownie Fudge Sundae!)

But fret not… there’s still no shortage of classic brownie goodness in Disney World (and some not-so-classic, as you’ll notice many of these feature a twist on tradition).

Whaddya say we make a NEW Best Brownies list?

That’s right… a new list for a new year! Grab a fork and get ready to dig into some chocolatey brownie deliciousness with me!

Peanut Butter Brownie with Warm Caramel Sauce

OK, this is probably the best thing you will put into your mouth all month. Let me say that I eat a lot — A LOT — of Disney food, and much of it is sweet deliciousness; but this thing took my breath away.

You can find the Peanut Butter Brownie with Warm Caramel Sauce at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot. And here’s the kicker…

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie with Warm Caramel Sauce

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie with Warm Caramel Sauce

[Read more…]

News! New Booths and Eats at the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

The 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is just around the corner. And today, we’re getting lots of news about how the Festival will take shape this Spring!

Disney Food Blog Epcot Flower and Garden Festival (2)

Mark you calendars for March 2-May 30, 2016, as the festival celebrating all things that grow expands to a record 90 days! [Read more…]

News: Nine Dragons and Morimoto Asia Celebrate Chinese New Year with Special Menu Offerings

Happy (almost!) Chinese New Year!

The “Year of the Monkey” begins on February 8th, and Nine Dragons Restaurant in Epcot’s China Pavilion will celebrate with special menu items for nearly the whole year. From February 8, 2016 through January 27 of next year, guests at Nine Dragons will find a new prix-fixe option available for lunch as well as additional items on the regular menu.

For lunch, the prix-fixe special will include three courses for $17.98. Begin your meal with spring rolls or pot stickers, then choose from three entrees for the main course: Happily Family (sliced chicken breast, beef and shrimp stir fry), Moo Goo Gai Pan featuring stir-fried chicken breast with mushrooms and snow peas, and General Tso’s Chicken Buns Lunch Box: three steamed buns (basically, these are Chinese tacos) and hot-and-sour soup. For dessert, try either strawberry-red bean or ginger-caramel ice cream.

©Disney

©Disney

Three steamed buns will also be featured on the regular menu for the year-long celebration: Braised Pork Belly with chili aioli, Sweet-and-Sour Batter-fried Fish with a pork floss topping, and General Tso’s Chicken buns (also batter-fried). [Read more…]