Review: Lotus Blossom Cafe in Epcot’s China Pavilion

We’re stopping by Lotus Blossom Cafe today for a quick dinner and a line-free dining experience!

The counter service spot, located in Epcot’s China Pavilion, isn’t a frequent stop for me. That’s because, to be honest, there are just lots and lots of other things I’d rather eat around World Showcase. And during my few previous visits, I haven’t been exactly wowed by their offerings.

But, you never know what you’re going to get with Disney restaurants; and since this is the Disney Food Blog after all, here we go!

Atmosphere

Lotus Blossom Cafe is set back a bit within the China Pavilon. Really, among all of the beautiful Pavilions that make up the countries of World Showcase, China holds its own. The detail and decor here is stunning.

Epcot's China Pavilion

Epcot’s China Pavilion

And even the Lotus Blossom Cafe is no exception from a decor perspective. [Read more…]

Review: Strawberry Açaí Refresher at The Trolley Car Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but…um…it’s HOT.

And a couple of weeks ago when I was wandering Hollywood Studios checking out the latest menus and Frozen extravaganzas, I popped into The Trolley Car Cafe to see if anything had changed in their bakery case.

Nothing had, but I DID see a new sign up on the wall advertising a couple of icy new drinks. And because it was dead in there (I guess because nobody was thinking they should go to Starbucks for a coffee in the middle of July in Orlando), the delightful Cast Members and I started to discuss… .

Starbucks Strawberry Açaí Refresher

If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting a Disney Starbucks yet, we’ll give you a quick rundown. Each of the Disney Parks locations are themed after they Park in which they’re in, and each location has its own unique name and theme.

Trolley Car Cafe

Trolley Car Cafe

For more about The Trolley Car Cafe and its terrific retro decor, which you’ll find conveniently located at the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, check out our first look post about this spot. (Want to know about the other WDW theme park Starbucks stops? We have pages for Main Street Bakery, Fountain View Cafe, and Creature Comforts too.) [Read more…]

Spotted: Country Bear Jamboree Jug AND Mug in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland

“Howdy, folks! Welcome to the one and only O-riginal Country Bear Jamboree!”

Country Bear Jamboree Jug

Country Bear Jamboree Jug

So, whaddya think of the new Country Bears Souvenir Jug?!? You can grab yours at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe filled with a fountain beverage for $9.29, or Raspberry Lemonade Slush for $10.49. Here’s a closeup for ya… [Read more…]

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Premium Package Details

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to reflect correct information as confirmed directly with Disney.

Last year, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Premium Packages debuted at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival — and they were a big hit! For those interested in the 2015 Food and Wine Festival Premium Packages, they are indeed returning!

FWUpdates-350x350

Please note: Be sure to call (407) WDW-FEST for specific details and inquiries. 

So, through info from our readers as well as our own phone calls to 407-WDW-FEST we’re piecing together a few details for ya on this Premium Package for 2015. Note that all of this is subject to change, but we wanted to be sure you knew that the package is back so you can get on the horn and book it yourself before it sells out.

Here are all of the package details:

  • Packages are available Monday through Thursday of each full week of the Festival.
  • Each Premium Package includes access to eleven designated shaded Premium Package Areas throughout Epcot, offering concierge service (i.e. Cast Members will go purchase your booth items for you and bring them back to you in the Premium area) from 12:00 noon to 8 pm.
  • Each Premium Package will also include one Amenity Bag (to be picked up at the Festival Center) including a bottle of 20th Anniversary Celebratory Wine, a wine glass, and one Festival-themed MagicBand.
  • The Premium Package will include 4 Entitlement Tags for use at the Premium Package Areas running concierge service for the Festival Booths. This means you’ll get 4 booth menu items for free as part of your package. (Usually the free options don’t include super expensive stuff like Dom Perignon.)
  • Premium Packages will include a ticket to your choice of either a Culinary Demonstration (during the 5 PM slot) OR a Beverage Seminar (during the 2 PM slot) during the week of participation.
  • Premium Packages also provide entry to the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party.
  • Admission to Epcot is NOT included with the Premium Package.
Premium Package credential, gift card, and themed MagicBand

Premium Package credential, gift card, and themed MagicBand

Start Your Planning Today! The DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book is now available!

2015 DFB F&W Guide Cover 3D

Want even more great tips? This 240+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever. Order your 2015 edition today!

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a $3 discount!

Be sure to check our main Epcot Food and Wine Festival Page frequently for updates, and also check out Epcot Food and Wine Festival 101 for even more information about the festival!

Want More Epcot Food and Wine Festival Info?

We’ll have all the coverage and information you need right here on Disney Food Blog! Here’s what we know so far…

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Index

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth and Menu IndexFull Menus and Food Photos Now Available!
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Events
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Low-Cost Seminars and Demonstrations
2015 Eat to the Beat Concert Schedule
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Fans Facebook Page
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Wine and Dine Half Marathon
2015 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic
Food and Wine Festival 101
2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus and FOOD PHOTOS
2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Gluten Free Items

How to Book Epcot Food and Wine Festival Events

To book all special events and demonstrations, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) starting Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 7AM ET (join the Disney Food Blog Newsletter to find out as soon as we do about all the details!). Culinary Demonstrations, Beverage Seminars, Mixology Seminars, and general admission for some special events will be bookable online at www.epcotfoodfestival.com.

Tables in Wonderland members, Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and Golden Oak Residents may be eligible for a $2 discount (per person, per event) for beverage and mixology seminars and culinary demos taking place Mon-Thurs during the festival. These members will be able to book seminars and demos on July 24th at 9AM ET. Discounts are by phone at 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) or through DVC Member Services. Stay tuned to DisneyFoodBlog.com and the Disney Food Blog Newsletter for details.

Chase Disney Visa Cardholders are able to book events starting July 28th at 7AM.

Will you be booking the Premium Package? Let us know below in comments!

Dining in Disneyland: Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake from Plaza Inn

The Disneyland Resort has gone all out for Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration.  Special decor, special merchandise, and most importantly, special food!

On a recent visit to Plaza Inn, I noticed an intriguing dessert that I had to try, Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake.  Honestly, I bought this out of curiosity because it sounded like a bizarre mix of flavors to me.

Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake Description

Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake Description

The description alone seemed crazy: Chocolate Cake layered with Passion Fruit, Mango & Banana Mousse, Apricot Compote and smothered with a Milk Chocolate Caramel Ganache and Crunchy Chocolate Pearls. Since I’m not a huge chocolate fan, what actually sold me were all of the tropical fruits involved. [Read more…]

Sneak Peek: 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Merchandise

Wow! I anticipated that some of the merchandise for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival would be better-than-average, considering that 2015 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Festival. But I can’t say I was expecting all of this! Disney has provided a sneak peek at some of the items on tap for the celebration… and you may want to settle in, my friends, because there is LOTS of it.

I don’t even know where to start, so I guess I’ll just point out a few favorites. For instance, “Voila! You’ve got a (Chef) Figment” on the Chef Figment Mug and 20th Anniversary Ornament below! And you Dooney and Bourke fans out there will want to check out the bag on the bottom right (as well as a few other bags throughout the collection).

©Disney

©Disney

I’m also loving that Chef Mickey Appetizer Plate, too — it’s an example of one out of three different art programs that set the tone for the merchandise. Chefs Mickey and Figment make up one line, so you’ll spot them on several pieces throughout the images. [Read more…]

News! Epcot’s Garden Grill to Begin Serving Lunch AND Breakfast

Exciting news! According to DisneyWorld.com, Epcot’s Garden Grill Restaurant will be even more available for guests to spin-and-dine beginning November 8, 2015!

Garden Grill Sign

Garden Grill Sign

Check out the screen shot below! [Read more…]

Review: Territory Lounge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

We are heading back to one of my favorite spots to grab a quick bite and drink — Territory Lounge.

I really, really recommend this place. It’s comfortable, has a fantastic staff, is just a boat ride away from Magic Kingdom, and usually has a pretty incredible menu.

While my “love” for neighboring Artist Point waxes and wanes, I’ve enjoyed the majority of my visits to Territory Lounge. And with the recent installation at Artist Point of a new chef, who also covers Territory Lounge, I figured it was as good a time as any to visit again.

Atmosphere

The decor of the cavernous Wilderness Lodge lobby area echoes the same Craftsman style as the outside of the resort. But as you begin to explore different corners, you see that there’s more here than just Arts and Crafts. [Read more…]

Recipe: Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad from Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We have a recipe for the perfect, cool-you-down side dish from one of Disney’s newest dining spots.

"It Is Hot Today"

“It Is Hot Today”

Harambe Market, the new counter service food court-style walk up eatery at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, features a variety of hearty main dishes and interesting sides. The focus is on the traditional, complex use of herbs and spices in African cuisine.

Harambe Market

Harambe Market

If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary to take to a summer picnic, this fresh salad of Chickpeas, Cucumber, and Tomato comes together in a snap and requires only minutes of cooking. At Harambe Market, the salad is served with the Dreamy Spice-rubbed Karubi Ribs, but it would be pair nicely with any meat. Or it would make a hearty, vegetarian entree on its own.

Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Be prepared to hunt down a few exotic ingredients, and give it time to marinate so that the flavors mix and deepen.

Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Harambe Marketplace at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Serves 8 as a side dish or appetizer

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Review: New Salads and Beverages at Animal Kingdom’s Gardens Kiosk

Just a couple weeks ago, we went on a trek that took us all over Disney’s Animal Kingdom to check out the recently refurbished Flame Tree Barbecue as well as the various locations that were serving Flame Tree dishes while the popular restaurant was closed.

That included the Gardens Kiosk, which was previously known as the spot to find allergy-friendly snacks and information regarding dining with special diets in the park. (By the way, you can still find those resources in their updated location. The Allergy-Friendly Kiosk is now located at the spot that was previously known as Discovery Island Ice Cream, just across the way from Creature Comforts outside of the entrance to the Africa section of the park.)

Not only did the Gardens Kiosk return with an all-new menu… it also returned with a different look. The new paint colors are shades of brown and green as opposed to the previous orange and yellow hues. And with an updated focus on salads, I’d say the earthy colors fit the bill quite well!

New look for the Gardens Kiosk

New look for the Gardens Kiosk

That’s right… Gardens Kiosk now features vegetarian and better-for-you fare in the form of two new salads: the Trek Power Salad and Farmers Salad. Rounding out the small menu is a [Read more…]