News: Orlando Magical Dining Month Begins August 29th and Includes New Disney Springs Restaurants

If you’re planning to be in the Orlando area for the month of September, get ready for some terrific dining savings that include hot new Disney Springs Restaurants like Morimoto Asia and STK!

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For the eleventh straight year, Visit Orlando is sponsoring Orlando Magical Dining Month. The event kicks off with a preview week on Monday, August 29, and runs through Sunday, October 2, offering guests and residents of the Orlando area five full weeks to enjoy special savings, all while doing good. And this year, more than 90 restaurants will participate — up from 77 in 2015. The list includes several options in the Disney Resort Area as well. [Read more…]

Review: California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

On my recent visit to Walt Disney World, my husband and I made it a goal to carve out time for a date night at California Grill.

If you love signature dining at Disney World, then you probably know the Grill well. Perched atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the spot has Disney history on its side. After all, Top of the World, which originally occupied the fifteenth floor, dated all the way back to Disney World’s opening. California Grill opened as its replacement in 1995, and brought with it a new emphasis on market fresh ingredients and California fusion flavors.

It was more than just another new Disney restaurant. It, along with Victoria and Albert’s, paved the way for a more refined dining experience at Walt Disney World.

My recent experiences have been a little uneven, however. (Even California Grill isn’t immune to the Disney restaurant curse of inconsistency.) So it’s always good to check in on an old favorite. After all, this was our first visit after the departure of Chef Brian Piasecki, so we had to see what was happening in the kitchen. And that view makes it easy to take a chance with the Grill.

Let’s head to the second floor.

Atmosphere

Why the second floor you ask? Because if you want to go California Grill, your journey begins here. You’ll check in at the podium before you’re escorted to the elevator that takes you to the fifteenth floor.

Second Floor Check In Desk for California Grill

Second Floor Check In Desk for California Grill

Once you arrive, you’ll step into California Grill’s sleek environment. [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: August 18, 2016

We know, we know… Back-to-School time is fast approaching (and in some spots, it’s already arrived!). But the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer aren’t quite over just yet, so we’ve still got some summer celebrating to do!

And, hey, the coming of Fall isn’t so bad, anyway. Not when we’ve got our very favorite autumnal event coming to the first stop on our tour in a matter of weeks. That’s why we’re kicking things off at Epcot to see What’s New!

Epcot

Food & Wine Festival Coming Soon!

The 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival will be here before we know it! Sure signs of its return are starting to appear around the park…

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Coming SOON!!

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Coming SOON!!

… as in, like, literal signs ;) . Even the Miniature Train display in the Germany Pavilion has received its annual decorations!

Train Display in Germany

Train Display in Germany

Train Display in Germany

Train Display in Germany

Have you checked out the full list of Booth Menus to start strategizing your noshing plans yet?! It’s never too soon… the Festival starts on September 14th! [Read more…]

News: Specialty French Fries at Beaches and Cream in Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Do we really need another reason to enjoy visiting Beaches & Cream?

Probably not.

After all, it’s home to greats like the No Way Jose, some of the Best Grilled Cheese in Disney World, and the World Famous Kitchen Sink (which now has a CHOCOLATE LOVER’S version in addition to the original).

And just this past spring, this 50s-style diner and ice cream parlor debuted a line of Hard Floats and Shakes for adults.

So, no. We don’t need another reason. But guess what?

Beaches and Cream

Beaches and Cream

They’ve gone and given us one anyway! It’s a little menu dedicated to French Fries… fully loaded. There are three kinds of specialty fries to choose from: Gravy Fries, Cheese and Bacon Fries, and Chili and Cheese Fries. [Read more…]

Review: New England Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Let’s go to the beach to check out a new menu item!

OK, we all know that the demise of the Clam Chowder in a bread bowl at the Magic Kingdom’s Columbia Harbour House has been LONG lamented. But here’s a…maybe…replacement?

The Marketplace at Disney’s Beach Club Resort is the counter-service restaurant shared by Yacht and Beach Club Resorts for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We don’t talk about this one much, because there’s not a lot here; and what IS here isn’t much to talk about. ;-D But that said, every once in a while this spot wows us with something unique and delicious.

If you walk into the lobby from the parking lot and take a left, you’ll see the entrance sign on your right. You’ll find a few indoor seats in the Solarium, a peaceful, sunny room down the hall, and outdoor seating along the covered walkway going toward the Beach Club Villas.

Beach Club Marketplace entrance sign

[Read more…]

NEW: Turtle Cupcake at Contempo Café in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Time to head over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort for this new cupcake!

August’s cupcake at Contempo is a Turtle Cupcake featuring everyone’s favorite kid turtle, Squirt! Radical, Dude! 

Contempo Café is known for its totally awesome cupcake selection! The Café, if you’re not familiar, is the counter-service restaurant in the Contemporary Resort, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the Grand Canyon Concourse near the popular character buffet, Chef Mickey’s.

The restaurant has great options like Cajun Seared Mahi and Chicken Alfredo Pasta — and you can’t miss the amazing Pot Roast! And breakfast here features one of our favorite giant Mickey waffles, because it’s served with salty caramel bananas foster sauce.

But today, we’re going to focus on this month’s Squirt cupcake – sweeeeeet!

Turtle Cupcake

Turtle Cupcake, dude!

[Read more…]

News: Tables in Wonderland Adds New Restaurants, Plus Special Merchandise Discounts for a Limited Time

Great news today for Tables in Wonderland Members! You can now use your discount card at some of the most exotic spots throughout Walt Disney World!

Tables in Wonderland Card

Disney has just added four of its newest locations to the list of spots accepting the program. Here are the new additions!

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar — Located at Disney Springs, this super-themed bar has quickly become a favorite place to hang out for lovers of the Indiana Jones franchise (and anyone else, really). [Read more…]

Review and Photo Tour: The New Flying Fish at Disney World’s BoardWalk

We have a real treat for you as we head into the newly refurbished Flying Fish for our very first visit to this beloved spot!

More than most, Flying Fish has had a passionate fan base. And it’s funny, because at the same time, it tends to fly a bit under the radar. Even prior to its recent closure for refurbishment, you were much more likely to get a last minute advance dining reservation here than at some other signature spots, like California Grill. (Maybe that’s why the locals love it so much — they’re not fighting the tourists for a table.)

But we heard from you in large numbers during the reno. Passionate Fish fans continually asked us two questions: when will Flying Fish reopen? And will our favorite dishes (so many!) return?

Opening day turned out to be last week. As for the answer to the other question, you’ll have to read on to find out.

Join me as we have a look around the completely transformed Flying Fish, and then stick around to see all the details on the dishes that we enjoyed. Let’s go!

Atmosphere

While I love the charm and allure of the BoardWalk as night falls, we made our ADR early so that we could take full advantage of the good light for photos. And if you love the nostalgia of the super cool neon sign over the Flying Fish — good news. It remains nearly unchanged.

Flying Fish -- Outside View

Flying Fish — Outside View

Super fans will quickly note one major difference. With the refurbishment, the Flying Fish underwent a slight change to its name. Previously, it was known as Flying Fish Cafe. Now it’s just Flying Fish, and the sign has been updated to reflect that — complete with extra fish added. As you can see from the above photo, the front doors have been updated slightly as well. The window muntins are now diagonal and echo some of the same motifs that you’ll see inside. [Read more…]

News: Handle-Free Refillable Mugs Spotted at Disney World Resorts

We’re coming to you today from Saratoga Springs Resort, where an updated version of the Refillable Resort Mugs has been spotted at The Artist’s Palette (the Counter Service restaurant for Saratoga Springs).

The Artist's Palette Sign

The Artist’s Palette Sign

Now, typically when we talk about updated Refillable Resort Mugs, we’re referring to new graphics on the mug. For instance, the most recent design change took place last October when the artwork on the mugs was updated to depict the Fab Five driving under the famous Walt Disney World entrance gate. [Read more…]

News: “Gone Mad” Wishes Fireworks Party Debuts at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be another way to enjoy fireworks at Walt Disney World. Guess what? There is!

Wishes Fireworks Spectacular

Wishes Fireworks Spectacular

You already know about the Wishes Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom as well as the Ferrytale Wishes Fireworks Dessert Cruise. And you can’t forget fireworks viewing from great venues like California Grill, ‘Ohana, and Narcoossee’s. [Read more…]