News: Muppets Courtyard is Officially Official…for now…at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

For those keeping track of changes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this week, there’s one more to add to the list. You already likely know that the construction of Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land is now officially underway, as evidenced by the very recent closure of Streets of America fixtures such as Studio Catering Co. and the Lights! Motors! Action Extreme Stunt Show to make way for the new ventures.

Construction Walls Blocking  the Streets of America

Construction Walls Blocking the Streets of America

But what about Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano? It was always part of the former Streets of America section of the park, and yet it’s still in operation. (Yay!)

Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano

Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

Well, it’s now part of the newly renamed Muppets Courtyard! The new name of this area of the park is revealed in the updated Guide Map for Disney’s Hollywood Studios (it’s listed on the bottom right of the shot below). [Read more…]

Review: The NEW Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Editor’s Note: We are hearing the news that the Carrot Cake Cookie is BACK at Writer’s Stop. Yay!

Well, April 2nd has come and gone, and it was a big day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It was the last day guests could enjoy the Lights! Motors! Action! Extreme Stunt Show, or grab a bite to eat at Studio Catering Co., or a sip at High Octane Refreshments. This is all, of course, to make way for construction of the future Lands of Toy Story and Star Wars.

Writer’s Stop — a bookstore-meets-coffee-shop also specializing in some of the best bakery treats this side of the Studios — was originally on that same list to close down on April 3rd. However, it got a reprieve of sorts from the ol’ chopping block, and for a limited time it is still in operation… though in a different form than what we’re used to!

With many thanks to our Instagram pal, @savepointstu, we were alerted about the new menu. But we also couldn’t resist going over to search everything out ourselves and ask a few questions! What’s being served at Writer’s Stop now? And what is — or WAS — the fate of the spot’s signature item, the Carrot Cake Cookie?!?

When we arrived, we noticed the sign still remains, though the location has been taken off of the Hollywood Studios map. This is definitely a time of transition for Writer’s Stop.

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

The menu now features three key items: a Charcuterie and Cheese Plate, a Warm Pretzel with Cheese Sauce, and Sugar-Spiced Nuts. [Read more…]

Review: Katsura Grill in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

Konnichiwa! And welcome back to another visit to Katsura Grill!

The counter service spot, located in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion, sits higher than the rest of the elevation in the area. Nestled into a garden behind the temple, this spot offers lovely, serene surroundings.

And in the past, we’ve really enjoyed the food here as well — especially lighter, healthier options, like Steamed Veggies and Miso.

I decided to visit Katsura spur-of-the-moment for lunch recently to see if I could still recommend this out-of-the-way counter service location. Come with me as we check out what I found.

Atmosphere

If you haven’t fully explored the Japan Pavilion, then make sure to carve out a little extra time to do it on your very next trip to Epcot. There’s lots to take in.

As you make your way through the Pavilion to the back, Katsura Grill sits to the left. You’ll do a little climbing to get up to it, however.

Katsura Grill

Katsura Grill

The building itself demonstrates a simple Japanese aesthetic. Whereas the temple in front of it is a showstopper, Katsura is plain and functional, with dark wood accents and a thatched roof. [Read more…]

Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival FIRST LOOK!

Woo-hoo! We were SO excited to hear that the California Adventure Food and Wine Festival was coming out of hiatus this year. And I’m thrilled to report that it’s AWESOME!

CFWlogo568923-613x257

Yep — the festival, which runs in Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort on weekends through May 1, opened for business yesterday. And DFB was there to explore!

Food and Wine Festival Signage

Food and Wine Festival Signage

Yesterday, we mostly explored the brand new food booths that are debuting at the festival for the first time. Those of you familiar with the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in Walt Disney World will know the set-up. Small booths featuring several tapas-sized menu items and selected beverages are set up around the festival. This is the first time that the California festival has done this, so we were super excited to check it out.

Here’s what we sampled and tasted yesterday!

[Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Shrimp on the Barbie from the Australia Booth

We’re still months away from the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival but it’s always fun to look back at favorite dishes from the past years!

Food and Wine 2015 Info Graphic Square URL

We loved these Shrimp on the Barbie with Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze way back in 2012 and we’ve had a few reader requests for the recipe too!

Now it might be a wee bit cold in your neck of the woods for grilling outside but you can use a grill pan on the stove for this recipe and it’ll be just as delicious! Plus, the pepperberry sauce is delightfully spicy so it’s the perfect dish to whip up on a cold winter day!

We love exotic-sounding dishes that are actually really easy cook, and this Shrimp on the Barbie recipe is right up our alley! The shrimp would make a great, quick appetizer for a dinner party or a spicy side dish with pasta or steak.

Let’s get cooking and throw a few shrimp on the barbie!

Shrimp on the Barbie with Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze

Shrimp on the Barbie with Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Guest Review: Table Service Dinner at The Diamond Horseshoe in Magic Kingdom

Join us at the The Diamond Horseshoe. Recently guest author, Lori Fries, enjoyed dinner at this iconic spot in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. An all-you-care-to-eat feast will be offered through May 30, 2016.

The Diamond Horseshoe recently re-opened for table-service lunch and dinner in Frontierland.

We made an advance dining reservation (ADR) for The Diamond Horseshoe the first day we could. We ate dinner at 3:30PM, so I guess it was more of a late lunch/early dinner. We read one bad review from opening night, but as a local experienced Disney foodie I was excited to try something new.

Atmosphere

The horseshoe-shaped restaurant looks the same as it has for years.

The Diamond Horseshoe

The Diamond Horseshoe

Diamond Horseshoe Seating and Stage

Diamond Horseshoe Seating and Stage

On the stage sat a beautiful old-time player piano. [Read more…]

News: More Details on Tiffins Restaurant and Nomad Lounge, Opening in Animal Kingdom This Summer

Disney fans everywhere are pretty excited for Aprill 22nd — the anniversary of Animal Kingdom’s opening, and the debut of the Rivers of Light evening spectacular as well as the Harambe Wildlife Parti and the Discovery Island Carnivale.  [Editor’s Update: Please note that since the original publishing of this article, Disney has announced that the Rivers of Light spectacular will be delayed, and they will be releasing further information regarding an updated debut date for the spectacular and both street parties in mid-late May 2016.]

But after that date, it’s not as though the changes will stop coming to Animal Kingdom as it transitions into a all-day-into-nighttime park. Even after the arrival of Rivers of Light, two more highly anticipated additions will still be on the way this summer: the opening of Tiffins, Animal Kingdom’s very first signature restaurant, and the accompanying Nomad Lounge in the Discovery Island area of the park.

Artist's Rendering of Tiffin's Restaurant ©Disney

Artist’s Rendering of Tiffins Restaurant ©Disney

Tiffins will serve lunch and dinner daily, and the menu will feature food that “takes diners to Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americans.” But Disney has now released more about the restaurant’s atmosphere and backstory. Emily O’Brien, the Walt Disney Imagineering Executive Show Producer for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, states that “Tiffins is not about a make-believe place, it’s about real people and places.” [Read more…]

Our Favorite Epcot Restaurants

We are big fans of Epcot around here, just like you are. It may not be the original Disney World Park, but it holds a charm that few other spots in the Disney universe can. After all, walking around there feels like  you’ve stepped into the dreams of Walt Disney himself. It didn’t start life as the Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow for nothing!

Epcot!!!

Epcot!!!

The park has evolved a bit through the years, but we’re still enchanted by its dual personalities: Future World, celebrating technology and the promise of what’s to come; and World Showcase, which encourages visitors to embrace cultures from around the globe in order to learn from them. [Read more…]

DFB Tip: How to Score a Discount on Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea in Disney World

Hey! Wanna hear how you can get a discount on your next cuppa or bag of Joffrey’s coffee purchased from any Joffrey’s Location in Disney World?

Joffrey's Coffee in Disney World

Joffrey’s Coffee in Disney World

Well, just follow these easy steps! [Read more…]

Review: Cheese Danish at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on the hunt for a good Cheese Danish.

And why is that? Well, because one of my favorite treats — the Biggest Cheese Danish You Ever Did See — may soon be losing its home, and I don’t know what’s going to become of it. You see, it’s located at one place, and one place only… the Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Trouble is, that location is closing to make way for construction of the new lands coming to the Studios: Toy Story and Star Wars. (While the spot may have a brief respite, we can’t believe it’s long for this “World” in its current state.)

While the other signature snack at Writer’s Stop — the Carrot Cake Cookie — is (and hopefully will remain) available at Sweet Spells, I know of no other home for the monster-sized Cheese (not to mention Apple and Cherry) Danish you can find there.

So, yeah… I’m on a hunt. And it’s led me to another park entirely: Magic Kingdom.

Welcome back to the Cheshire Cafe in Fantasyland.

Cheshire Cafe Sign

Cheshire Cafe Sign

You remember Cheshire Cafe, right? It was a pretty low-key locale until the arrival of Gourmet Cake Cups — a heavenly cupcake-meets-parfait-meets-mountain-of-frosting that — for reasons we’ll never understand — is no longer served here. [Read more…]