Tip from the DFB Guide: Where To Dine With Both Picky AND Adventurous Eaters!

We’re sharing another great tip from our critically-acclaimed e-Book, The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014!

disney dining tips

Today, we’re talking about a common conundrum: How do you satisfy all of the people, all of the time?

We’ve all been there. You have a picky eater in your group. No problem, right? Hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets are all available throughout the parks and resorts.

But where do you go when you have both picky and adventurous eaters among your number?

How about a buffet or food court?

Disney excels at offering some truly interesting, all you care to eat options and food court choices, where the picky and the persnickety can both find satisfying options. Let’s check out a couple.

Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of our favorite stops for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The restaurant features a wonderful spread of African-inspired food. And at breakfast and lunch, you also have the added benefit of a character dining experience!

Goofy Strikes at Pose at Tusker House in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Goofy Strikes at Pose at Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

If you’re feeling adventurous, start your meal off with the interesting array of Chutneys and Spreads, before moving on to interesting house specialties like Bobotie or Potato and Pea Samosas.

Beef Bobotie at Tusker House

Beef Bobotie at Tusker House

And lovers of food and pickier eaters alike are [Read more…]

Snack Series: Chocolate Covered Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake at Walt Disney World

So, I’m strolling through Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation during my recent Walt Disney World trip. I can never pass up a visit here!

Now, remember when I told you about the shockingly yummo Strawberry Cheesecake at Electric Umbrella? It’s part of the “dessert in a cup” genre of counter service desserts you’ll find throughout the parks. But it’s actually pretty good.

AND…do you remember when I told you about the Frozen Cheesecake on a Stick in Disneyland? Just when I didn’t think they could make cheesecake any more interesting or delicious, they popped it on a stick and gave it the deep freeze — perfect for a stroll-and-eat treat.

Well…Walt Disney World has obviously gotten the memo. Because check out what I just found!

Frozen Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake on a Mickey Straw

Yep — you guessed it — they’ve taken the Strawberry Cheesecake, popped it out of the cup, and made something altogether new. It’s Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake, Dipped in Chocolate, and served on a Mickey Swirly Straw.

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake on a Straw

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake on a Straw

So there are a few positives about this. [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: June 24, 2014

For this round of “What’s New,” we’re heading to three Disney World parks and five Resorts to check out candy apples, menu changes,  comfort foods, and oodles of cold drinks to help you cool down in hot temperatures! Welcome back to “What’s New!”

MAGIC KINGDOM

Character-inspired Treats

Magic Kingdom rang in the summer with the 24-Hour Rock Your Disney Side event. Several treats debuted that day, which were originally intended to be around just for those 24 hours; but a few made the cut to stick around a little longer, including these eye-catching Maleficent Krispy Treats and cake pops found in the Main Street Confectionery and Big Top Treats.

Maleficent Cake Pops and Krispy Treats

Maleficent Cake Pops and Krispy Treats

If you followed our coverage that day, you may have seen the Sunshine Tree Terrace’s Orange Bird join the candy apple ranks as well, but just in case you missed it, here he is!

Orange Bird Candy Apples

Orange Bird Candy Apples

He’s too cute to not show twice ;) !

Orange Bird Caramel Apple

Orange Bird Caramel Apple

And at Main Street Bakery, the Olaf the Snowman Carrot Cake Cupcake remains, alongside a Frozen-themed one as well.

Olaf Cupcake

Olaf Cupcake

Frozen Cupcake

Frozen Cupcake

Columbia Harbour House

In Liberty Square, Columbia Harbour House is offering two new dinner-only comfort foods: Seafood Macaroni & Cheese and Chicken Pot Pie. You can read our review here!

Columbia Harbour House

Columbia Harbour House

Seafood Macaroni and Cheese

Seafood Macaroni and Cheese

Full entree

Full entree

The Plaza Restaurant

The Plaza Restaurant added a great-sounding choice to their list of entrees: a Beef Brisket Onion Burger.

Plaza sign

Plaza sign

Plaza Entrees

Plaza Entrees

Tony’s Town Square

At Tony’s Town Square, guests can now choose a Seasonal and Sustainable Fresh Catch Salad. And at lunch, a Meatball Trio has replaced the Meatball Sliders.

Tony's Sign

Tony’s Sign

Tony's Town Square Menu

Tony’s Town Square Lunch Menu

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is serving up a new Cherry Slush topped with Lemon-Lime Fomz.

Cherry Slush at Cosmic Ray's

Cherry Slush at Cosmic Ray’s

Cherry Slush topped with Lemon Lime Fomz

Cherry Slush topped with Lemon Lime Fomz

Read more about it (and the mystery that is “Fomz”) by clicking here!

EPCOT

The Refreshment Cool Post (found in the Africa Outpost as you stroll around World Showcase) is offering a few summer treats: Pineapple and Coconut Frozen Yogurt (served solo or swirled together) and a Mango Rum Smoothie featuring African Starr Rum. Check out our review of the new Frozen Yogurt flavors here!

Refreshment Cool Post

Refreshment Cool Post

Pineapple Coconut Swirl Frozen Yogurt

Pineapple Coconut Swirl Frozen Yogurt

ANIMAL KINGDOM

A couple of really fun new adult beverages have arrived in Animal Kingdom!

Drinkwallah

Head over to Asia’s Drinkwallah for a Coconut-Lychee Lemonade with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum. We’ll have a review on the blog soon!

Drinkwallah

Drinkwallah

Drinkwallah Menu

Drinkwallah Menu

Corn-Ivores

Or if you’ve really got to tame your sweet tooth, try [Read more…]

Super Snack VALUE: Naan Bread with Dipping Sauces at Art of Animation Resort

Welp, we’ve got another great Disney snack for you guys to add to your ever-growing must-eat lists in Disney World!

Remember last year when we were all “you HAVE to try the cheesy bread at Art of Animation“?

Well the Resort’s food court, Landscape of Flavors, is back with another perfect-for-your-budget-and-your-Dining-Plan treat.

After all, this place has a strong reputation for serving options outside your typical Resort Food Court fare. Most visitors would argue that it has raised the bar for Quick Service options, particularly at the Value Resorts.When All Star Sports End Zone reopened this past December, it was easy to spy some of the areas where it took its cue from some of what’s made Landscape of Flavors such a success.

Art of Animation Landscape of Flavors (3)

Landscape of Flavors

Landscape of Flavors

The Tandoori/Mongolian station, however, remains unique to the Landscape.

And there is something special tucked on the side of the menu that can be hard to spot among the listing of entrees such as Tandoori Shell-on Shrimp, Tandoori Boneless Chicken Thigh, and Mongolian Grill Beef Stir-fry or Grill Fish.

Tandoori Menu -- slightly cropped (this is what happens when you're short)

Tandoori Menu — slightly cropped (this is what happens when you’re short)

If you look just to right of the menu, you’ll see it: Naan Bread with Dipping Sauce. It’s listed as a $4.99 snack dish, and is also  good for a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

Naan with Dipping Sauce

Naan with Dipping Sauce

Much as we want to dive in, let’s start with some logistics. The Dipping Sauces available during my visit were Coriander Sauce, Tandoori Sauce, and Mango Chutney. And here’s the best part: you don’t have to limit yourself to just one. If you’d like to try all three, you can go right ahead!

BUT — here’s a little confusing twist that I have to tell you about. The friendly Cast Member assisting me asked if I wanted the “side of Naan.” I didn’t realize, in that moment, that a “side of Naan” is different from the “snack-serving” of Naan. The side, as it turns out, includes one piece of Naan. The snack portion has TWO.

SIDE of Naan

SIDE of Naan

You know how I learned this? When I brought my dish up to the cash register, [Read more…]

DFB Food Challenge: The Walt Disney World Gelato Crawl!

There’s not a lot that I love better on a hot day in Florida than a little ice cream. But leave it to Disney World to kick ice cream up a notch by offering Gelato!

Disney World Gelato Crawl

And we’re seeing it in a lot of different spots across Walt Disney World, and even in Disneyland. If you are a fan of this richer, more dense version of that snack we all scream for, then you’re in luck.

Today, we thought it was high-time to offer some inspiration for another DFB Food Challenge, and so we are going in search of all things gelato we can get our hands on with the Walt Disney World Gelato Crawl!

Since you can only enjoy so many desserts in a 24 hour period, feel free to bring along friends to split all the goodies, or pace yourself on the crawl by spreading out the stops over several days.

I hope you came hungry. Let’s get started!

Gelato Bars

Since our very first visit, Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has been one of our favorite counter service destinations. And one of the biggest reasons for that is their killer Gelato Bar!

If you’re lucky enough to be staying at Art of Animation, this first stop on the Gelato Crawl will be a snap! Check ‘em out!

Gelato at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Gelato at Landscape of Flavors in Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

But my favorite thing about the Gelato Bar here — aside from the variety of flavors — is that you can also add toppings for a perfectly customized treat.

Toppings! Woo!

Toppings! Woo!

Pick your scoops, pick your sprinkles, and off you go!

My Favorite Combo -- Raspberry and Chocolate

My Favorite Combo — Raspberry and Chocolate

A couple of other Disney resorts also have gelato available. If you’re staying at Disney’s Coronado Resort, feel free to amend your crawl and start your gelato journey at Cafe Rix.

Gelato Flavors and Pricing at Cafe Rix

Gelato Flavors and Pricing at Cafe Rix

You can also check out a pretty awesome selection at End Zone Food Court over at All Star Sports!

End Zone Gelato Bar

End Zone Gelato Bar

Ahhhh…don’t you just love having options??

Gelato Cookie Sandwiches in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

After polishing off your first gelato of the day, head straight for Epcot, where you’ll have lots of different ways to enjoy your frozen favorite! Next stop: the Italy Pavilion.

View from Epcot's Italy Pavilion

View from Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

For your next foray into gelato, stop by the little [Read more…]

Review: Gelato Bar at Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors

My adoration of Gelato is well documented. I’ve sought it out recently at Cafe Rix at Coronado Springs Resort, and I love stopping by Epcot’s Italy for one of their spectacular gelato treats, like the Coppa Delizia or the Handmade Gelato Cookie Sandwich.

So of course, during my recent stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, I had to check out their Gelato Bar!

The dense, frozen treat — an upscale, Italian cousin to American ice cream — is only one of the yummy desserts featured at this particular Landscape of Flavors station. But we’ve already told you about the Mickey Oreo Cupcake and the Mickey Ganache. :-)

Gelato Menu Board -- Click to Enlarge

On any given day, the flavors might vary somewhat; but I have a feeling you’ll find something you want to dig into!

Gelato Flavors

But what I (*cough* picky eater *cough*) really enjoy about the gelato here is [Read more…]

Review: Disney World Resort Quick Service Pasta Options

Thanks to DFB Author Wendy for a look at some great counter-service carb-loading options for your runDisney races this year!

Are YOU running the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler (or any of the other runDisney races this year)? If so, you might be interested in participating in a good old-fashioned carbo-load before your race!

Even if you’re not tackling those ten on October 5th… odds are good you’ll be putting in plenty of miles at the Parks at some point, no matter what.

It’s time to fuel up, people ;)!

Spaghetti time!

For those running one or more of the east coast races this season, there are plenty of places all over Disney World property where you can take part in the time-honored runners tradition of a pasta “carbo-load.”

Today we’re going to focus on some of your pasta options in the resort Quick Service restaurants.

Counter Service Pasta Options at Walt Disney World Resorts

Let’s start with this terrific trend: Create-Your-Own-Pasta stations are cropping up in a few of your favorite Quick Service restaurants!

Create Your Own Pasta

Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors already has a reputation for innovative and delicious dining, and you can read a full review of the Create-Your-Own-Pasta experience here.

Add-ins for Create Your Own Pasta at Landscape of Flavors

Spaghetti Carbonara with Broccoli

The Riverside Mill at Port Orleans Riverside also offers this fun option!

Riverside Mill

Create Your Own Pasta Options at Riverside Mill

Unique to the Grand Floridian’s recently refreshed Gasparilla Island Grill is a [Read more…]

News! Update on Disney’s New Rapid Fill Refillable Mug

According to sources, Disney World will soon be bringing the new Disney Rapid Fill Refillable Mug program to Disney resort hotels.

Tested at All-Star Sports Resort a while back, and much like the process currently in use at Disney’s Water Parks, the new system would use an RFID bar code on each mug to give Disney guests access to refills for a pre-purchased period of time. The mug will then deactivate itself at the end of the purchased time frame.

But as of today, it’s looking more and more like the rumors may be true. Although at this time the Rapid Fill Refillable Program has not been confirmed by Disney, we have news today that the fountain machines at some beverage refilling stations at Walt Disney World resorts have been replaced with new machines that resemble those in a demo video by the company ValidFill.

The first set of photos are from the Beach Club Marketplace, where the machines were installed earlier this week.

Newly Installed Beverage Refill Station at Beach Club Marketplace

Newly Installed Beverage Refill Station at Beach Club Marketplace

In this photo, you can see the small screen that provides the customer detailed information about their refill as it dispenses, as well as the trays below the fountain taps that reads the cup’s sensor.

New Beach Club Marketplace Refill Station -- Up Close

New Beach Club Marketplace Refill Station — Up Close

The same set up is in place at All-Star Music Resort’s beverage refill station. The screens here are [Read more…]

Snack Series: Mickey Mouse Cupcake (and More!) at Art of Animation Resort

There is never a dull moment when you hit up Landscape of Flavors Food Court at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

I recently got to stay at AOA and couldn’t wait to share some of the fun grab-and-go eats we found. Today, we’re looking at a DFB favorite: cupcakes!

Mickey Oreo Cupcake

First up, this happy little find! While I’ve seen this type of cupcake elsewhere, this is the first spot I’ve seen it with the added Mickey white chocolate face!

Oreo Mickey Cupcake

Under the lid, you’ll find a fairly standard yellow cupcake with buttercream frosting. But the little white chocolate Mickey face and Oreo “ears” add a little something special to the mix.

Oreo Mickey Cupcake -- Outside the Box

Concerned about [Read more…]

Disney Dining Tip from the DFB Guide: Dining at Bars and Lounges in Walt Disney World

When it comes to Disney World, bars and lounges aren’t just adults-only destinations — and they don’t just serve drinks.

In fact, here’s a Best Kept Secret in Disney dining planningDisney bars and lounges can be great places to get a meal with the whole family. These hidden gems are often less crowded than standard restaurants, too!

In The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book, we have an entire section reviewing every single bar and lounge in Walt Disney World. It’s well worth a read to find out great spots to get a full meal or a snack — even with no Advance Dining Reservation!

Now let’s take a peek at a few of our favorites…

English Bulldog with Chips at Rose and Crown Pub in Epcot's UK Pavilion

Bars and Lounges Inside the Theme Parks

A Disney World trip can be hectic (meeting characters, dashing to attractions, and racing off to dining reservations!), so finding a place inside the parks to escape the hoopla is key to a relaxing vacation!

With signature cocktails, cheese plates, fondue, burgers, donuts, pasta, and more, you’ll find some truly inspired menus at Disney World’s bars and lounges. Sometimes you’ll even be able to order from the full menu of a nearby restaurant.

In Epcot, we can highly recommend stopping in to Tutto Gusto in Italy, Rose and Crown Pub in the UK, or La Cava del Tequila in Mexico.

Fireplace Area Seating at Tutto Gusto

At Tutto Gusto, order from an awesome menu of meats and cheeses, paninis, pastas, and more. A relaxing atmosphere and full tables allow for an easy meal for the whole family.

Cheeses, Meats, and Shrimp Cavatappi at Tutto Gusto Lounge in Epcot's Italy

Rose and Crown Pub, attached to Rose and Crown Restaurant, features a fun menu that — gasp! — the kids might even like! We can highly recommend the Scotch Eggs and the British Bulldog sausage (see our review of the British Bulldog here — and the photo at the top of this article)!

Scotch Eggs at Rose and Crown

If you’re there on a weekday, seek out Carl the Bartender and ask him to show you his amazing magic trick!

Carl the Bartender and the tipping pint

At La Cava del Tequila, sample a few Mexican appetizers like chips and salsa, queso, and guacamole along with your margaritas!

Chips and queso at Cava del Tequila

Another favorite place to unwind in the parks and get a great meal is at Tune-In Lounge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Here, you can get great shakes for the kids, fun signature drinks for [Read more…]