Tips from the DFB Guide: Don’t Miss These Holiday Events in Disney World!

Summer may have just officially started, but we are already thinking of the Holidays at Walt Disney World!

miniguide_2015holiday

Sounds crazy, I know, but we’re just over 180 days — six months! — until the holidays are in full swing, and NOW is the time to make dining plans for your holiday meals — but it’s also the time to consider what other fun activities you’ll enjoy at Walt Disney World this holiday season.

To jumpstart your planning, today we’re talking about some of our favorite Tips from the DFB Guide to the Holidays at Disney World: Three Holiday Events that you can’t miss!

And speaking of the DFB Guide, don’t get to take advantage of our 180 Days Til Christmas Sale! Through June 28, we’re offering three great ways to save when you pre-order the 2015 DFB Guide to the Holidays at Walt Disney World. Check out all of the details about the sale here!

Now, let’s take a look at some of our favorite holiday events that you should definitely plan on working into your Disney holiday calendar…

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Snow on Main Street USA and life-size Toy Soldiers? That’s part of your reality when you attend the long-running and beloved Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

This hard-ticketed event takes place during select evenings from November 8 until December 18, 2015, this year, and brings all of the joy and warm fuzzy feeling of Christmas and the holiday season to Magic Kingdom.

Toy Soldiers During the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade!

Toy Soldiers During the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade!

During the event, guests enjoy special entertainment and character meet and greets. Complimentary cocoa and cookies fuel you up for all the fun. And there are TONS of special, exclusive treats that you can enjoy only during the Party!

Snickerdoodles and hot cocoa

Snickerdoodles and Hot Cocoa

And be sure to grab a front row seat for Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, which features Santa as well as some of your favorite Disney holiday characters. And, of course Anna and Elsa will be there!

Holidays Around the World

Looking to observe the holidays with international flair? Then an evening at Epcot for Holidays Around the World will fit the bill nicely. Enjoy a stroll around Epcot’s beautiful World Showcase as storytellers from around the globe share seasonal tales within several of the pavilions — free with Epcot admission!

Pere Noel

Père Noël

And if you didn’t score a seat for the [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

We are back for another visit to Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Tree Tavern — and this time, it’s for dinner.

What’s the difference between lunch and dinner? Well, it’s major, actually. Lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern is an a la carte offering — you order what you want off the menu. I’ll often go for their Angus Chuck Cheeseburger. And the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake is one of the best desserts on property. (Here’s the recipe.)

But dinner is a completely different deal — and still quite good. You’re treated to a family style feast consisting of roasted meats and all the trimmings.

I haven’t covered dinner at LTT here on the blog for a long time…for two reasons: 1.) It’s always the same. The food rarely changes, and everyone gets the same thing, so our previous reviews are still totally valid when it comes to the food. 2.) For some reason, every time I’ve been there for dinner in the past year, something has happened to keep me from getting the photos I need to blog the post. Either a member of my party gets sick or one of the kids has a meltdown…or we’re with a huge group and the food is decimated before I can take a picture.

So, I made it a focus on my last trip to get over there and make it happen! Here we go!

Atmosphere

Liberty Tree Tavern is a Magic Kingdom icon. It’s been there since the Park opened, and there are many Disney fans who count a meal here among their earliest Disney memories. It’s located on Liberty Square, near the Hall of Presidents and other exhibits celebrating Colonial American History.

Liberty Tree Tavern Entrance

Liberty Tree Tavern Entrance

Liberty Tree Tavern offers seating in six different rooms, each themed to a notable historical figure. They include Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Paul Jones, Paul Revere, Betsy Ross, and George Washington. You can see a more in-depth atmosphere review here.

John Paul Jones

A door in the John Paul Jones Room

Decor

Model Ship and John Paul Jones Portrait

If your kiddos are studying American history, it’s fun to take a look around each of the rooms to see some of the more well-known stories come to life. Ben Franklin’s kite and George Washington’s wooden teeth appear in their respective rooms.

Kite in Ben Franklin Room

Kite in Ben Franklin Room

And if there are any invasions or revolutions that require your help, you’re all set. Grab your cloak and three corner hat, and you’re off!

Coats and Hat Hanging at the Ready

Coats and Hat Hanging at the Ready

Seating throughout the vast network of rooms is made up of booths and tables. Primarily you’ll find ladder back chairs that are fairly comfortable surrounding rectangular and round tables.

Seating

Seating

Seating

Seating

If you prefer some natural light, be sure to request a seat in one of the outer facing dining rooms. But don’t plan on parade- or people-watching. The glass is bubbled and wavy, so you’ll just see blobs of color.

Seating and View

Seating and View

Eats

As I mentioned before, if you dine at Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner, you’ll be partaking in a prix fixe, family style meal. That means that each person in your party will pay a set price — one price for adults, and a lower price for children. (Children under 3 are free.)

Your meal includes everything listed below, including a standard beverage and dessert. The format is all-you-care-to-enjoy, so there’s no reason to ever leave a Liberty Tree Tavern dinner table hungry.

Liberty Tree Tavern -- Click to Enlarge

Liberty Tree Tavern Menu — Click to Enlarge

We began with a [Read more…]

News! The Orange Bird Returns to Magic Kingdom — With SUPER Limited Time Merchandise

As you may know, there was a little switch-up in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland a few months ago: Aloha Isle (home of the Dole Whip) and Sunshine Tree Terrace (Citrus Swirl haven) changed places to accommodate construction — it is widely believed — for an upcoming Jungle Cruise-themed restaurant.

New Sunshine Tree Terrace location

New Sunshine Tree Terrace location

On the day the “new” locations opened, however, there was one obvious thing missing: the Orange Bird could not be found at Sunshine Tree Terrace (to learn a little more about the Orange Bird’s long Adventureland history, check out the video in this post!).

Disney assured fans, thankfully, of his impending return, and it seems it has now come to pass. The original Orange Bird figurine returned today — Friday, May 29th — to Sunshine Tree Terrace (and he is going to be honored on the location’s sign as well).

Welcome back, Orange Bird!

Welcome back, Orange Bird!

To celebrate his homecoming, the Disney Parks online store is selling a LIMITED RUN t-shirt and poster featuring our little orange pal! Through June 4 only, this Orange Bird T-shirt will be available in an Adult and Youth size:

©Disney

©Disney

A print featuring the same design is up for grabs, and so is [Read more…]

LIVE News: Food and Fun at the Disney Parks 24-Hour Events!

Two MAJOR events are kicking off today at Disney Parks on both coasts in a BIG way!

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Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on the west coast and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on the east coast are pulling all-nighters once again! All three parks are open today, May 22nd, from 6 am and they’re not closing until the following morning at 6 am.

That means 24 straight hours of fun and FOOD!

That’s right… the 24-Hour Day that started in 2012 for One More Disney Day continued in 2013 to launch a Monstrous Summer. Last year we Rocked our Disney Side, and now what was originally presumed to be a one-time gig is now a start-of-summer tradition!

Things are working a little differently this year, though, thanks to the 60th Birthday of Disneyland. While folks in Disney World are kicking off the “Coolest Summer Ever,” Disneyland guests will begin the official celebration of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration!

As for us here at the DFB, we’re celebrating BOTH! We’ll be updating this post throughout the day with pics from our awesome DFB Readers, as well as MY pictures from right here in Walt’s original park, Disneyland!

Oh, and… HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to the Happiest Place on Earth!

Happy 60th Anniversary, Disneyland!

Happy 60th Anniversary, Disneyland!

Disneyland

Disneyland

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle with BLING!

Disneyland

Check out the pre-opening crowds (and the 24 Hour MICKEY EARS!!) in the early wee hours ready for the party to start at Disneyland!! Many thanks to Bill Cody (@VegasBiLL) for the pics!

Disneyland pre-opening

Disneyland pre-opening

Disneyland pre-opening

Disneyland pre-opening

TWENTY-FOUR HOURS!!

Hours of operation

Hours of operation

Open at 6 am

Open at 6 am!

Look who got all dressed up for the big Diamond Celebration!

Diamond Celebration Mickey Candy Apple

Diamond Celebration Mickey Candy Apple

And I’m loving Minnie’s beautiful diamond bow!

Diamond Celebration Minnie Candy Apple

Diamond Celebration Minnie Candy Apple

Diamond Celebration Krispy Treats

Mickey and Minnie Diamond Celebration Krispy Treats

And I know this is just a cup… but it is SO NOT just a cup! Disneyland guests will be spotting these beauties for their beverages!

Diamond Celebration Cups

Diamond Celebration Cups

What the Specialty 24-Hour Celebration Dopey Cupcake says is totally true…

"Being Up All Night Makes Me Dopey"

“Being Up All Night Makes Me Dopey”

2015 24 Hour Event Logo

2015 24 Hour Event Logo

Don’t forget that special treats are [Read more…]

We Want To See YOUR 24-Hour Disney Day Pics This Friday!

It’s almost 24-Hour Disney Party Time!

What started a couple of years ago seems to be turning into a tradition as we celebrate the third annual 24-Hour Disney Day at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Stay Up All Night with These Guys -- and Me! ©Disney

Stay Up All Night with These Guys — and Me! ©Disney

And we can’t wait to experience it!

We’ll be bringing you LIVE coverage from the ground in California as they celebrate the kickoff of the 60th Anniversary Celebration of Disneyland.

But we want our readers to get in on the fun, too — so I’d love to showcase all of your fun shots from the 24 Hour Disney Day! Who’s game??

To participate, send me your pictures AND reviews to webmaster@disneyfoodblog.com, twitter, instagram (tagging @disneyfoodblog) and/or facebook!

We’ll be live blogging and updating our post as all of the new stuff continues to pour in!!

I WILL be trying this Mocha Chip Funnel Cake in Disneyland on Friday! ©Disney

I WILL be trying this Mocha Chip Funnel Cake in Disneyland on Friday! ©Disney

So remember, join us for all the fun as we [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: May 20th, 2015

Sure, we may have said “So long” to the Flower and Garden Festival for this year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to look forward to at Walt Disney World! Springs moves to summer as Disney World gears up for the busy vacation season, otherwise known as the “Coolest Summer Ever”!

©Disney

©Disney

And since it’s a very special time of year for Star Wars fans in particular, why don’t we start our ‘round the World tour at Hollywood Studios to see What’s New!

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Star Wars Weekends kicked off on May 15th!

Star Wars Weekends 2015

Star Wars Weekends 2015

The excitement! The pageantry!  The CUPCAKES! The Jabba the Hutt Cupcake has joined the Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes this year.

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

It can be found at counter service locations such as Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, The Trolley Car Cafe, and Tusken Fridge Raiders — the premiere Star Wars snack stop, located inside Darth’s Mall.

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

But cupcakes aren’t all that’s in store…

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Like last year, several temporary pop-up bars can be found all over the park for the weekend events.

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

However, they feature all-new drinks this year. Each bar serves two out of of four drinks: The Mustafar and The Tatooine, or The Endor and The Alderaan.

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

We’ll be taking a closer look at those beverages soon, but once again this year, it’s ALL about the souvenir glow cubes: drinks come with either a Millennium Falcon glow cube or your very own mini Death Star.

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

The Jedi Mickey Character Dinner at Hollywood and Vine and Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast returned to Hollywood Studios earlier this month (on May the Fourth Be With You, naturally). But brand new to Star Wars Weekends this year is the Rebel Hangar — A Star Wars Lounge Experience, which has effectively converted half of Backlot Express into an abandoned spaceport in the Sullest system.

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Blue Milk!

Blue Milk!

You can read all about this special month-long dining event featuring small plates and specialty cocktails in our full review of the Rebel Hangar!

Believe it or not, though, it’s not all Star Wars at Hollywood Studios… we’ve got some regular ol’ menu changes at some favorite Table Service restaurants to report as well. Sci-Fi Dine-In has added the Sci-Fi Popcorn Treat to the appetizer selection. It’s popcorn soup (for watching those old movies, of course!) with buffalo popcorn chicken and celery sticks, drizzled with blue cheese dressing.

Sci-Fi Dine-In

Sci-Fi Dine-In

New entrees include Grilled Marinated Salmon, while the Veggie Burger got a [Read more…]

Guest Review: Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Party

UPDATE: A NEW VERSION of the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party debuts on Sunday, July 5th, at Magic Kingdom.

Fireworks-dessert-party-hostess

It will be very similar to the Tomorrowland Terrace event featured in this post when it comes to views of the fireworks and dessert options, but this new event will include reserved seats, a sparkling cider toast, and a few new menu items (chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate mousse, ice cream, seasonal fruit, cheese assortments, Disney character cupcakes, hot chocolate, and signature lemonades). The price for the new dessert party is $49 for adults, and $29 for children with tax included.

Welcome guest reviewer, Liz Jostes , as she treats us to a review of the Magic Kingdom’s Fireworks Dessert Party. This fun Walt Disney World event takes place at the Tomorrowland Terrace restaurant.

The Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party is held at the Magic Kingdom during the Wishes fireworks show. It is a “hard-ticket event”, meaning there is an additional cost to attend the dessert party and seats are limited.

Tickets for the dessert party can now be purchased at the 180 day mark along with your other Advance Dining Reservations. The dessert party begins about an hour before Wishes, and is held at Tomorrowland Terrace. Table assignments are made at the time of booking, which is nice because you don’t have to worry about checking in to the party as soon as it opens that evening. Your table is there waiting for you, whenever it is that you arrive!

Atmosphere

You can get to Tomorrowland Terrace from Main Street (by walking past The Plaza Restaurant) or from Tomorrowland near Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor.

Tomorrowland-Terrace-Sign

There were a few PhotoPass photographers set up near the entrance to the party, which makes for a great opportunity for an evening photo with the lighted castle as the backdrop.

We waited in line for a few minutes before being seated. Each pre-assigned table had the last name of the party and the number of guests. Our hostess explained to us how the party worked, then told us to head over to the dessert area to choose what we wanted. She took our stroller from us and parked it with the other strollers as we made our way to the desserts.

Reserved Seating

Reserved Seating

Eats

There were 2 lines for desserts, with the cold drink station and ice cream sundae bar in the middle, and the coffee station across from that. The desserts were the same in either line, so it didn’t matter which line you got into. The desserts were unlimited, and you could go back as many times as you’d like.

Ice Cream Sundae Station

Ice Cream Sundae Station

Unfortunately, none of the desserts were labeled so we had to guess what may be inside each one. We grabbed what looked good to us and figured we’d give them a taste. You can tell from the photos that most of the trays of desserts were in need of being refilled when we were going through the line.

Fruit

Fruit

More desserts

More desserts

Cookies

Cookies

Dipped in chocolate

Banana Puffs Dipped in chocolate

Chocolate Boats

Chocolate Boats

Desserts

Desserts

My dessert selections

My dessert selections

I wish I could say that the desserts were wonderful, but I can’t. A couple things were truly wonderful (like the cannoli), but all in all, we were underwhelmed with most of what we tried. I’ve had much better desserts and sweet treats throughout the parks. (I’d definitely choose Main Street Confectionery over almost anything we tried at the dessert party.)

As we were finishing up our desserts and enjoying our coffee (and the comfortable chair!), we prepared to watch the castle projection show and the fireworks. The view from Tomorrowland Terrace is a good one, albeit somewhat off-center from the castle. You will have a good view of the [Read more…]

Three Ideas For an Unconventional Disney World Date Night

Call us romantics, but we think that Walt Disney World is a GREAT place for a date night!

Watch the Fireworks from the Polynesian Resort Beach!

Do You Love to Watch Magic Kingdom Fireworks From the Polynesian’s Beach During Your Disney Date Night? We Do!

But we like to take a very broad approach to date night here at Disney Food Blog. So we decided that it would be all kinds of funnnz to come up with some radical departures for how to spend your Day o’ Love. I mean sure, chocolate-dipped strawberries and Champagne are awesome, and a fancy meal is sure to impress. But more than anything, we just wanna have fun!

If you’re with us, check out our Top 3 Ideas for Your Unconventional Date Night, Disney World Style!

Swap a Fancy Meal for FastPasses

Fancy meal? Whatevs. Who wants to get dressed up and sit around for hours?? You’re at Disney — get out there and enjoy it!

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Snuggle Up for a Ride on Disney’s Newest Attraction, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!

Instead of dinner at a signature restaurant, skip straight to the fun, and schedule FastPasses for three of your favorite rides together (and make sure at least one of them is a dark ride. ;-) )

Spaceship Earth, How We Love You

Spaceship Earth, How We Lurve You

Getting hungry after all those adventures? Share your favorite savory snacks. The Lucky Combo from Joy of Tea in Epcot’s China Pavilion would be perfect!

Lucky Combo from Joy of Tea in Epcot's China Pavilion

Lucky Combo from Joy of Tea in Epcot’s China Pavilion

Or split a Waffle Sandwich from Sleepy Hollow Refreshments in Magic Kingdom.

Chicken Waffle Sandwich from Magic Kingdom's Sleepy Hollow Refreshments

Chicken Waffle Sandwich from Magic Kingdom’s Sleepy Hollow Refreshments

They’re definitely big enough to share!

Get the Kids Involved!

Spending more time together as a family always figures high on our list of priorities. And kiddos especially love some one on one time with Mom and Dad. So how about taking a different approach to your next evening out. Make a “date” with your littles!

One fun idea would be to split up for fun Mom/Son, Dad/Daughter “dates”. Go on separate dinner dates and let the kids choose the restaurants! ESPN Club at Disney’s BoardWalk is a great choice for your budding baseball or soccer star!

ESPN Club (with a line to get in on Game Day!)

ESPN Club is a Great Place to Take Your Favorite Sports Fan!

But save room, because you can all meet up for some ice cream later and compare notes! How about sharing a No Way Jose from Beaches and Cream four ways?? (Want more ice cream suggestions? Check our our Ice Cream Gallery!)

No Way Jose at Beaches and Cream

Split a No Way Jose from Beaches and Cream!

Top off the evening with an outdoor movie at your resort before tucking in for pleasant dreams.

Play with Your Food

Have you always wanted to [Read more…]

Review: Sweet Treats at Main Street Bakery Starbucks in Magic Kingdom

Time for another visit to the Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom!

It’s long been a DFB tradition to stop by Main Street Bakery first thing to kick off the day with a morning pastry. In the past, I’ve also loved popping into this spot to see what’s new in the way of cupcakes.

While things aren’t exactly the same as they were in the days before MSB became a Starbucks location, you will still find an assortment of breakfast offerings in the morning and sweet treats throughout the day. (Check out our recent review of the Bacon and Gouda Artisan Sandwich.)

And a sweet snack was what my friend and I were after during our late night stop into the coffee shop recently. Let’s check out what we found.

Mocha Cupcake

While many (MANY) of my sentimental favorites, like their amazing cinnamon rolls, are no longer available at Main Street Bakery, the spot has continued to offer some cupcake options that you don’t find at your neighborhood Starbucks. That’s cool, right? I mean, it’s not as awesome as that cinnamon roll, but still. (And if you’re missing the cinnamon roll as much as me, head back to Gaston’s Tavern, where you’ll find a very similar model. Or make it at home with this recipe.)

But back to cupcakes. On our visit, we decided to give the Mocha Cupcake a try.

Mocha Cupcake

Mocha Cupcake

This is mostly chocolate on chocolate. We didn’t really discern much in the way of coffee flavor, although the garnish of Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans would indicate there’s some java there.

(You’ll have to excuse my lighting. I got this cupcake at around 9:00 at night while the parade was passing by and the Starbucks was PACKED. It was tough to jostle my way to a good location without weird yellow nighttime light.)

Mocha Cupcake -- Cross Section

Mocha Cupcake — Cross Section

Ultimately, while this was fine, I’ve had better. Unless you’re just dying for a chocolate cupcake, I’d probably pass this one up in favor of something more interesting…

Salted Caramel Square with Pecans

…Like the Salted Caramel Square with Pecans.

Ok. Maybe I’m just a sucker for anything that combines the words “salt” and “caramel”. This was very good, but the pretzel game is strong in here; so it was much more crunchy and less creamy than I expected.

Salted Caramel Square with Pecans

Salted Caramel Square with Pecans

Salted Caramel Tart

But it was this final option that truly converted me to Starbucks’ sweets. Let me introduce you to the [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Soft Serve Treats!

Summer’s coming! And we know that you’ll be looking to stay cool at Disney. And I can’t think of a much better way than by enjoying some terrific soft serve treats!

And when it comes to soft serve at Disney, you certainly have options! From Dole Whip to Root Beer Floats made with the creamy stuff, there’s no end to the variety you’ll find.

Cherry and Birthday Cake Swirled Fro Yo -- Up Close

Cherry and Birthday Cake Swirled Fro Yo Soft Serve from Magic Kingdom’s Storybook Treats

So we weren’t too surprised when we checked out pics that our members have posted on Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group. We came away with all sorts of soft serve inspiration!

If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, head over there! But before you do, let’s take a look at some of the goodies we found while we were surfin’.

Soft Serve at Paradise Pier

Photographer: Riniel Calaelen

What makes a Soft Serve Ice Cream Cone even more delish? How about enjoying it with an awesome background, like Paradise Pier! I can almost feel that beautiful California sunshine coming through the pic, can’t you??

Chocolate Soft Serve + an Awesome Background

Chocolate Soft Serve + an Awesome Background

Pineapple Soft Serve at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Photographer: V No Privacy

We love that Pineapple Soft Serve has become a mainstay at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. We expect to see the popular treat back again at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival as well!

This great pic features treats from Pineapple Promenade at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival. It really captures the contrast between the soft serve and the Sammy’s Beach Bar Red Head Macadamia Nut Flavored Rum!

Pineapple Soft Serve from the Pineapple Promenade at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

Pineapple Soft Serve from the Pineapple Promenade at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival

Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace

Photographer: HTH Photography

This pic is entitled “Sunshine in a Cup”, and we couldn’t agree more! The Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace is this photographer’s [Read more…]