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…]

Review: Bacon and Gouda Artisan Breakfast Sandwich at Main Street Bakery Starbucks

Time to ‘fess up: I’d never tried one of the breakfast sandwiches at Main Street Bakery… or at any of the other Disney Starbucks locations.

It’s not so much that the options aren’t appealing, but I could get the same thing three minutes away from my own home at the Starbucks down the street. And about three minutes down the road from there at the next one. And about four minutes from… well, you get the idea ;).

But, no matter what your thoughts are on the availability of Starbucks at the parks, it’s here to stay. And as such, Starbucks Breakfast Sandwiches are a part of the Disney dining scene, so it’s time we grab one for review here on the DFB.

Main Street Bakery

Main Street Bakery

Participants on the Disney Dining Plan might be especially interested to know that the Breakfast Sandwiches are available on the plan as part of one Quick Service meal entitlement, which also includes your choice of beverage.

Main StreetBakery Dining Plan entitlements

Main StreetBakery Dining Plan entitlements

While I picked up my breakfast sandwich at Main Street Bakery (Magic Kingdom’s Starbucks location), the same offerings are available at the other in-park Starbucks as well: The Trolley Car Cafe at Hollywood Studios, and Epcot’s Fountain View.

Choices include a Ham and Swiss Croissant, a Bacon and Gouda Sandwich, a Sausage and Cheddar Biscuit, and a Spinach, Feta, and Cage-free Egg White Wrap.

Breakfast sandwich menu

Breakfast sandwich menu

I went with the Bacon and Gouda Artisan Breakfast Sandwich because … well, ‘cuz, bacon. Also, the roll looked most appetizing to me of the bread choices.

Since there is no [Read more…]

Disney Drinks in Boots (and a Review of the Latest from Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe)

A while back I told you all about enjoying lunch recently at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe!

At that time, I promised to highlight a fun part of our lunch — the Slush served in a Souvenir Boot.

Welp, today’s the day. Let’s take a closer look at this fun little keepsake to determine if it’s worth your time and money.

Strawberry Lemonade Slush in a Souvenir Boot

Serving drinks in boots — plastic or glass cups shaped like boots, that is — really isn’t anything new at Disney. After all, we’ve been enjoying Root Beer Floats in a similar vessel practically forever at Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Restaurant. Because nothing says vacay like drinking a Root Beer Float out of footwear! (Complete with Whipped Cream and a Cherry!)

Root Beer Float at Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe

Root Beer Float at Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe

And just a little while back, I couldn’t wait to show you guys when the boot finally made its way East, and landed at Pecos Bill’s. It didn’t feature a root beer float, but they were serving a refreshing Root Beer Slush out of it at that time. It featured the logo from the hot Disney movie du jour at the time — The Lone Ranger.

Souvenir Boot Cup With Root Beer Slush at Pecos Bill -- Check Out the Clear Version

Souvenir Boot Cup With Root Beer Slush at Pecos Bill — Check Out the Clear Version

When I stopped by Pecos Bill’s for lunch recently, I was glad to see that they were still featuring this fun souvenir item. After all, you’ve gotta stay hydrated, so why not? And having a swell cup to take home and remind you of all the Magic is pretty awesome.

But this time around, the Root Beer Slush has been replaced with a Strawberry Lemonade version.

Souvenir Boot from Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Souvenir Boot from Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

I was surprised to see that the boot is now [Read more…]

Magic Kingdom Frozen Snacks: Storybook Treats Frozen Yogurt and Mango Fruit Bar

Today I’ve got some new eats for you from the Magic Kingdom in Disney World!

Wall into the New Fantasyland in Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom

There are few snacks that are more perfect for warm Florida weather than Frozen Treats! You’d think this would be a fairly limited food genre. An Ice Cream Sundae here, a Pina Colada Slush there. But there’s so much variety that it’s dizzying! You never have to have the same thing twice — if you don’t want to.

We all know the popular ones — Dole Whips. Citrus Swirls. Mickey Bars. Handmade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches.

Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sammy!

Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sammy!

But what if you’re looking for something a little…different?

Well, today’s your lucky day. Because we have not one, but TWO new-to-us Magic Kingdom Snack Options to share with you. And they’re both delightfully frosty, perfect for refreshing you after a long day of chasing Fast Passes and Parades.

Wanna see? I know you do. :-)

Frozen Yogurt at Storybook Treats

UPDATE: Please note that as of June 2015, Frozen Yogurt is no longer being served at Storybook Treats. 

Looking to answer the call of your Fro Yo craving, then head to Storybook Treats in Fantasyland.

This tiny spot has been one of my favorite dessert stops for a while, because it offers unique snacks, like Fudge Brownie and Strawberry Shortcake Sundaes.

But on occasion, you’ll also find some interesting Frozen Yogurt flavors. And that’s what I was after on a recent visit here.

I hit the “out of the ordinary” jackpot when I spied two cool flavors — Birthday Cake and Cherry! Of course, these just demanded that I get them swirled together. That’s what you’d do too, right??

Storybook Fro Yo! Birthday Cake and Cherry Flavors -- Swirled

Storybook Fro Yo! Birthday Cake and Cherry Flavors — Swirled

Since this is Fro Yo and not Ice Cream, it had that predictable tang that you’d expect. I enjoyed both flavors, and the combo was great as well, but I’d give the slight edge to the Birthday Cake.

Cherry and Birthday Cake Swirled Fro Yo -- Up Close

Cherry and Birthday Cake Swirled Fro Yo — Another Angle

Because Birthday Cake.

Mango Fruit Bar at Magic Kingdom

Next, we’re stopping by Maurice’s Popcorn Cart in New Fantasyland. I don’t know if that’s what it’s called. But that’s what I’m callin’ it. :-)

Maurice’s features some of the standard, pre-packaged Frozen Treats that we all love — Mickey Ice Cream Bars and Sandwiches, Frozen Chocolate-Dipped Bananas, that adorable Olaf Frozen Lemonade Strawberry Bar (oh, are you STILL here, Olaf?), and the Plain Ole’ Strawberry Bar (seriously refreshing and pretty healthy as such things go.)

Maurice's Popcorn Cart Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Maurice’s Popcorn Cart Menu — Click to Enlarge

But I also spied something I hadn’t seen before — the Mango Fruit Bar. Here’s the interesting thing, though. It’s not a fruit bar like you think of a fruit bar. One look told me this one wasn’t just fruit, but Ice Cream too.

Mango Fruit Bar

Mango Fruit Bar

And if the word “Helado” on the front (oh, and the words “Ice Cream”) doesn’t confirm it for you, the ingredients, which include [Read more…]

Tip from the DFB Guide: Budgeting For Disney Snacks!

So you’re planning your next trip to Walt Disney World. And we all know that the FastPasses are the most important detail to cross off your list, right?

dfb2015_guide_3d

Wrong. Because the real reason we go to Walt Disney World? The Snacks!

Okay — they’re both important. But I bet that we can agree — one of the biggest reasons we both love Disney is the amazing variety of food choices, and fun snack options E-BER-Y-WHERE.

But the sheer volume of choices can be overwhelming! After all, how do you choose? And once you choose, how do you budget in order to try everything on that must-have list you’ve been compiling?

I totally get it! And that’s why we’ve dedicated a large section to snacking — our favorite Disney recreation — in our best selling DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015!

Let’s talk through some of my Best Tips for Snack Budgeting. And if these tips are helpful to you, pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Budgeting Money or Snack Credits

Whether you’re paying out of pocket for your snacks, or you’ll be using Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits, planning ahead is the key to ensure you enjoy the treats you’ve been been dreaming about.

Who Can Resist a Handmade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich in the Shadow of Cinderella Castle??

Who Can Resist a Handmade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich in the Shadow of Cinderella Castle??

One of my favorite features of the DFB Guide Books are the worksheets that we provide you to plan every facet of your eating journey. And snacking is no exception!

Use the handy worksheets to jot down all of the snacks that you’re anxious to try. Our Snacks Chapter is a great resource for browsing all of the possibilities! With full lists and reviews of snacks throughout Walt Disney World, you have everything compiled in one easy place!

Brainstorm everything you’d like to sample, and include their locations. Then, figure out where the snacks fit into your master plan.

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

Be Sure to Save Room for Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

If you’re paying for food out of pocket, the keep in mind that most Disney snacks run between $2 and $10, with many of them priced in the $3-5 range. If you’re working with Snack Credits, a general rule of thumb is that a single serving food under $5.19 is usually available for your Snack Credit.

Budgeting Stomach Space

So you’ve done the planning, and you know exactly which snacks you want to try on your next visit. You’ve worked out the budget, and the money and credits are there to cover it all.

Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel

A Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel is Worth Saving Room For

Now comes the next big question: [Read more…]

Review: Mickey Caramel Apple at Magic Kingdom’s Big Top Treats

We’re going for an absolutely classic confection today, so get your sweet tooth ready to bite into a Mickey Caramel Apple at Magic Kingdom’s Big Top Treats!

Of course, Caramel Apples at Disney World don’t just come dressed up as Mickey… and they aren’t only available at Big Top Treats, either. Magic Kingdom’s apple spots also include the Main Street Confectionery. And you can find them at other sweet stops like Sweet Spells at Hollywood Studios or Goofy’s Candy Co. in Downtown Disney.

But nothin’ says “Caramel Apple” quite like living life under the Big Top, so that’s where we’re grabbing our apple today! While you just gotta love the classic Mickey Apple, part of the fun of getting any Caramel Apple at Disney World is seeing all the choices up for grabs. Options available vary based on the time of year or nearest holiday. Most recently, Mickey Apples could be found participating in the Wearing o’ the Green for St. Patrick’s Day.

St Patty's Day Mickey Apple

St Patty’s Day Mickey Apple

The Halloween Caramel Apples are particularly noteworthy every year.

Mickey Ghost candy apple

Mickey Ghost candy apple

Poison Candy Apple

Poison Candy Apple

Apples may also be tied to a current Disney film release, or even a previous one. Take, for example, the recent Cinderella Coach Apple celebrating the live-action film release.

Cinderella Coach Apple

Cinderella Coach Apple

Another case in point: the ongoing existence of the Olaf Candy Apple for those who just can’t… ahem… let. it. go.

Olaf Candy Apple

Olaf Candy Apple

So, selecting one is pretty rad. What’s the other fun part? Watching the apples come to “fruition” (see what I did there?) before your eyes. You can almost always find Cast Members creating them, and see the apples in their various stages. They all start as green Granny Smiths.

Granny Smith apples for Candy Apples

Granny Smiths for Candy Apples

After receiving their marshmallow ears and being dipped in caramel and chocolate, the Mickey Apples await [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was an overnight sensation, and has stayed at the top of every Disney fans’ must-get-a-reservation list.

The crazy to get a table has reached epic proportions and has resulted in an unprecedented move: this counter-service-at-lunch spot now offers Advance Dining Reservations. (Previously, Be Our Guest tested lunch Fast Passes. See more information on the move to ADRs here.) Dinner, which continues to be table service, also requires ADRs just as soon as your 180-day window opens.

And now, after hearing rumors forever, Be Our Guest just started testing Breakfast Service. We had a chance to try it for ourselves the very first morning it was served!

Be Our Guest Restaurant sign

Be Our Guest Restaurant sign

I’ve enjoyed all three meals here. The food has been good to great, and the impeccable themeing make this a must-do experience at least once.

Gargoyle Light Post and Waterfall

Scenery Begins Before You Ever Enter the Castle: Gargoyle Light Post and Waterfall

But I never like to assume a place continues to be awesome — especially a spot as busy as this. It’s very easy for busy restaurants to nose dive in the quality department, and to trade on their fame alone. And so, it’s become pretty important to me to check in with Be Our Guest periodically to see if I’d still recommend that you fight the good fight to get a table here. And that’s just what I did on a recent lunch visit.

Join me, won’t you?

Atmosphere

Be Our Guest has taken a hybrid approach to service since day one. While dinner is a table service meal, lunch continues to be…not so much counter service, as upscale quick service. But now there’s officially a twist to lunch — you can (and totally, totally should) book an Advance Dining Reservation (ADR for short). So you’ll check in for lunch much the same as you do for dinner.

Check In for Be Our Guest Restaurant

Check In for Be Our Guest Restaurant

My, how things have changed. Thanks to ADRs (and the fact that standby waiting often isn’t even available), the routinely crazy-long line for lunch doesn’t start up at the crack of 10AM anymore.

Be Our Guest Entrance

Be Our Guest Entrance

Wanna see what I mean? Here’s a view from the pre-ADR lunch days. Yikes!

Lunch Line at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Lunch Line at Be Our Guest Restaurant

But don’t get any ideas that you’re just going to stroll in for a quick look-see. Nearly the only ticket that will gain you access to Beast’s Castle is an ADR.

Entrance Into the West Wing

Entrance

Once you’re through the entrance (woo! You made it!), be sure to take in every detail. Be Our Guest is truly a gem, and a stunning example of Disney’s ability to imagine and bring to real life the animated worlds that they’ve created.

To your left, you can see just what I mean. Fans of the film will remember the backstory of Beauty and the Beast at the beginning of the film, told through a series of stained glass windows. And in the final scenes of the film, a new window is shown — with Belle and her Prince. You’ll find the scene immortalized in a mosaic at Be Our Guest.

Belle and Prince Stained Glass Window

Belle and Prince Stained Glass Window

But to get your lunch party started, you’ll actually head to your right, down the Gallery. The narrow passageway is lined with shining suits of armor standing at attention — and it’s one of my favorite spots in the restaurant.

Whispering Suits of Armour

Enchanted Suits of Armour

These Enchanted Suits of Armour whisper, crack jokes, and generally just have a good time.

More Whispering Suits of Armour

More Enchanted Suits of Armour

I’m going to take you a little out of the normal DFB sequence here so that we keep the order of how things work at Be Our Guest. Once you leave the Gallery, you enter the ordering area. And this is why I don’t call Be Our Guest a counter service spot. Here, you can see to the right the Digital Menu Boards that feature lunch items.

Digital Menu Boards

Digital Menu Boards

And directly ahead, there are kiosks. Some are manned with Cast Members who can take your order, and others are available for guests to enter their information directly. I chose the self serve option.

Instructions for Ordering

Instructions for Ordering

From there, the detailed menu took me through each stage of ordering. Here are the adult options. A “1” over the item indicates that it is part of our order. Because I had a FastPass to dine at Be Our Guest (this was before the restaurant changed to ADRs), I pre-ordered, making the ordering process slightly faster once I got there. It was just a matter of confirming our choices.

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu -- Entrees

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu — Entrees

And here’s a screen which shows you Kids’ Meal options. We had pre-selected a meal for the child in our party as well.

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu -- Kids' Meals

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu — Kids’ Meals

An additional pop-up menu for the Kids’ Meal gave us the opportunity to change up any beverages or side dishes.

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu -- Kids' Picks Options

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu — Kids’ Picks Options

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu -- Kids Picks Options

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu — Kids’ Picks Options

It’s at this point that you pay. Once payment is taken care of, you either receive a [Read more…]

Easter Treats and Spring Break Eats Around Walt Disney World

The 2015 Chocolate Easter Egg Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort isn’t the only sure sign of spring around here these days! Easter treats have been “hopping” up everywhere around Disney World Resort to celebrate this weekend’s holiday — not to mention the remainder of the Spring Break season through the end of next week.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a holiday at Disney World without all sorts of specialty cupcakes, and Easter is no egg-ception. (I. Can’t. Stop. Doing. That!). At Epcot, a Chocolate Cupcake with marshmallow filling and marshmallow buttercream frosting can be found at Fountain View from now through April 11th, and at Sunshine Seasons for a very limited run on April 4th and 5th.

©Disney

©Disney

This beauty of a Carrot Cake Cupcake topped with a mini Bunny Macaron will be at the Contemporary Resort only through April 5th! The inside has a pineapple-coconut filling and it’s all topped with white chocolate buttercream frosting along with toasted coconut and — hooray! — jelly beans!

CEC8898471LARGE-613x409

©Disney

While there, be sure to check out the Contemporary Resort’s display of Chocolate Bunnies and decorated Easter Eggs presented by the Resort’s pastry chefs on the fourth floor!

BoardWalk Bakery boasts its own Easter Cupcake: vanilla cake filled with raspberry panna cotta, topped off with a coconut nest filled with jelly beans.

makmak868775-613x409

©Disney

And, of course, you can check out spots at [Read more…]