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…]

Disney Food Blog Challenge: The Disney World Milkshake Crawl

Sweet, dreamy, creamy milkshakes. When you are craving one, nothing else will quite do. In honor of National Ice Cream month, it’s time to do another Disney Food Blog food crawl: MILKSHAKES!

Not surprisingly, some of my favorite milkshakes can be found right in Walt Disney World. If milkshakes are a favorite of yours, too, allow me to tempt you with a brand new food challenge — the Disney Food Blog Milkshake Crawl!

This one is a doozy! So if you break it up over a couple of days, we totally understand.

And be sure to let us know in the comments which milkshake is your favorite and which ones you highly recommend!

Cookies and Cream Milkshake at Plaza Restaurant

The Plaza Restaurant is one of my favorite table service spots in Magic Kingdom. It’s rarely super busy, and the prices are reasonable. As a bonus, there are some pretty amazing ice cream dessert options on the menu, thanks to the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor right next door.

My favorite beverage-meets-dessert options here are the Hand-Dipped Milkshakes.

Milkshake at Magic Kingdom

Served in old-fashioned glasses, and topped with [Read more…]

Ten Best Frozen Drinks in Disney World

It’s getting hot out there, guys!

And sometimes, when it feels like it’s 100 degrees and you’re sweltering in line, you need more than a cold drink. You need a frozen drink!

Fortunately, there are lots of palate-pleasing options found in all corners of Disney World. And we’ve got great options whether you’d like to go alocholic or non-alcoholic! Refreshment is just a menu choice away…

Today, we’re taking a closer look at our very favorites!

Frozen Lemonade

Sweet-tart and chilly, Frozen Lemonade calls to mind seaside treats from our favorite resort towns. And there’s nothing like it for reviving you on a super hot, sticky Florida day.

The secret is in the balance. A too-sweet treat can leave you feeling not so great while you’re standing in the bright sun. That little kick of sour rounds out the flavors and makes the beverage a true refresher.

Raspberry Lemonade Slush at Magic Kingdom

If you’re a lover of frozen lemonade, I have great news for you: there are tons of different varieties to try around the parks and resorts! You could make your own personal frozen lemonade crawl. (Hey! That’s a great idea…)

One of our favorites is the Raspberry Lemonade Slush that you find at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe, located on the outskirts of Fantasyland. You can find a similar drink across the castle hub at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland. And if you’re looking for frozen lemonade in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can find an awesome, slurpee-type version at Herbie’s Drive-In.

If you prefer your frozen lemonade with a little kick, one of our favorite adult versions is available at Animal Kingdom’s Dino Diner Snacks. The Frozen Bacardi Raspberry Rum Lemonade has been inspiring random cravings for me ever since I tried it. :-)

Frozen Bacardi Raspberry Rum Lemonade at Animal Kingdom's Dino Diner

Check out other locations to score frozen lemonade slushes when you’re parched in the parks.

Dole Whip Float

Part beverage, part Dole Whip soft serve, this is one of Disney’s classic must-eat treats! The Dole Whip Float combines sweet-tart soft serve pineapple goodness with pineapple juice to provide one of the most refreshing icy drinks in the Kingdom.

Breakfast of Champions!

You CAN get this with vanilla or orange dole whip as well — either choice will cut the tartness a bit. But I prefer pineapple-on-pineapple, myself! Find this great treat at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland.

Ice Cream Martinis

Looking for a new entry on your Drinking Around the World card? THE newest frozen drink concoction in Disney World can be found — where else? — World Showcase!

Head to Epcot’s newest eatery, L’Artisan des Glaces in the France Pavilion for the beautiful and crave-inspiring Ice Cream Martini.

Ice Cream Martini from L'Artisan des Glaces in Epcot's France Pavilion

The drink-sundae fusion is made by combining [Read more…]

News! 2014 Disney World Free Dining Packages for United Kingdom Residents

United Kingdom residents — we have GREAT news! Now’s the time to start planning your 2014 holiday to the Walt Disney World Resort. When you book a selected Walt Disney World holiday, you’ll receive free dining for your family!!

Disney Deal

Disney is offering a less restrictive Free Dining deal to United Kingdom residents, PLUS you’ll receive a $200 Disney Gift Card and 14 park days for the price of 7. However you’ll need to book prior to July 1, 2013, for select arrival between January 1 – April 8 and April 27 – November 30, 2014.

If you stay at a selected Disney Hotel for a minimum of 5 nights, you’ll benefit from these three magical offers:

1. FREE Disney Dining for your whole party throughout your entire stay at Walt Disney World.

2. FREE $200 Disney Spending Money.

3. Disney’s 14-Day Ultimate Ticket which includes unlimited entry to ALL six parks for a price of a Disney’s 7-Day Ultimate ticket.

PLUS save 35% on your accommodation by staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort or Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa in a studio room.

Who doesn't want unlimited free Mickey waffles??

This offer is available on participating Disney Moderate, Deluxe Villa or Deluxe Resort hotel stays plus tickets.

Bookings must include 5 nights minimum stay at a Walt Disney World Hotel plus Disney’s 14 Day Ultimate Tickets for the whole party traveling to receive “14 day tickets for the [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Pot Roast Throw Down

What makes for a good pot roast is a very subjective set of criteria in my opinion. What passes for Best! Pot Roast! Ever! for some might just be meh for others.

Dearly departed Sunday Roast at Rose & Crown

So today we are entering this hallowed comfort food ground. We are throwing down the gauntlet to decide, once and for all, where to find the BEST Pot Roast in all of Disney World! See what you think, and be ready to tell us all about your favorite!

50s Prime Time Cafe

Who makes it better than Mom? We have to kick off this homage to pot roast with a trip to 50s Prime Time Cafe!

The atmosphere here is pure 1950s sitcom kitsch, and servers are your cousins, demanding that you behave like the nice young person you were raised to be. That means NO elbows on the tables, and you had BETTER know the color of that soap if you go to the bathroom.

50s Prime Time Sign

To be sure, Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast is a reader favorite. This one is slow-cooked until there’s no need for a knife, and served on a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes. Smothered in a rich gravy, the roast is topped with carrots, celery, and onions for some good nutrition. And you best eat all your veggies!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Pot Roast

A way cool thing about the pot roast at 50s Prime Time is that you can [Read more…]

Best Disney Peanut Butter Treats

Um…is it seriously possible that I haven’t already written this post?!?

You guys know how much I lurve peanut butter and anything peanut buttery, so I’m pretty surprised I haven’t done this article yet for you. BUT, it’s time to correct that error!!

As you can imagine, this is such an epic post that it will encompass my favorite peanut butter treats in both Disney World and Disneyland. If you’ve ever needed a reason to visit one or the other of the coasts, but haven’t been able to come up with one…well, you’re welcome.

Get ready to crave!

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie at BoardWalk Bakery

One of the newer PB treats that I’ve run across is the fantastic Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie. Find this incredible square-shaped tart at the newly renovated BoardWalk Bakery (read our complete review of the brand new space here.)

The pie has everything. Check out the combo of sweet-salty all smooshed together into a soft and crunchy texture.

Even though it’s brand new, it’s already a classic in my book.

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie at BoardWalk Bakery

If you haven’t made a visit to the new BoardWalk Bakery, drop what you’re doing and go. Now. (And bring me one of these.)

Oh, and I have to show you the inside…

peanut butter, banana, and candied bacon pie cross section

That filling is like nothing you’ve ever had before… . Sigh.

Peanut Butter Brownie Creme Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich

I’ve gotta admit…this is one of my favorite sandwiches at the Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney.

While the regular sammys are great here (my favorite is the Italian Sandwich), their Brownie Frosting Sandwiches (or brownie creme sandwiches as they call them) are totally where it’s at. These come in vanilla and chocolate as well as the decadent Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich.

PB Brownie Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich

Two super-moist, super-fudgy brownies (with chocolate chunks in ‘em, too!) envelop a thick serving of peanut butter filling. And the peanut butter here isn’t whipped or light — it’s full-on peanut-butter-cup-filling.

Nice and dense, it’s the perfect consistency to stand up to the brownie. This one is a must-try.

Peanut Butter Sandwich

Ah, such an unassuming name for such a knock-em-dead treat. The Disneyland Peanut Butter Sandwich may be the perfect peanut butter and chocolate snack.

Made with just three ingredients — peanut butter filling, a graham cracker, and milk chocolate — it sounds so crazy simple. And yet, I cannot resist [Read more…]

The Most Popular Disney World Restaurants (and Alternatives When They’re Full)

Many Disney guests agree that the most important Disney Dining Tips lists include one specific piece of advice:

Making Advance Dining Reservations is an absolute must when it comes to planning.

While many seasoned Disney travelers are aware of this, there are lots of folks who visit the parks and are stunned to find no tables available at their top restaurant choices. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at one time or another…and we’ve got solutions for you!

Today, we’ve updated our list of the most popular Disney restaurants, and terrific alternatives if you can’t score a table at your coveted spot!

Let’s take a look at the most elusive restaurants to book these days…

Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Scoring an advance dining reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant for their table service dinner can be a daunting task.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom Dining Room

From the time that they first announced the restaurant’s soft opening until now, we have heard from many readers who haven’t been able to secure a spot at Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurant. Here are a couple of reasons why:

Newness: The biggest reason for this remains the novelty of the place. Be Our Guest and all of New Fantasyland is still the hottest ticket in Walt Disney World since its grand opening in December 2012.

Incredible, Immersive Themeing: The impeccable themeing means that stepping into Beast’s Castle is truly like climbing through a portal into Beauty and the Beast. You almost expect to look down and find your food animated!

The Grey Stuff -- It's Delicious!

Novelty: The French-inspired cuisine that’s served at Be Our Guest is unlike anything else available in all of Magic Kingdom. In addition, there is huge novelty surrounding the fact that you can now order beer and wine in the formerly dry Magic Kingdom (for dinner only).

So, what to do if you can’t [Read more…]

News! Menu Updates at Disney Restaurants

It’s that time of year again!! Disney World restaurants are updating menus left and right!

Thankfully, we have wonderful readers who help keep us all up-to-date with these changes. Here are a few of the updates… . And stay tuned for our review of the NEW Le Cellier Steakhouse menu coming up soon!

Beaches & Cream

According to a server, menu changes took place approximately two weeks ago at the Beach Club’s Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. Check out the addition of a Vegetarian Falafel on flatbread which replaces the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich.

Beaches and Cream Menu. Click image for larger version.

Here’s a pic of the new Falafel sandwich, thanks to ThatMattLynn on twitter!

Falafel Sandwich at Beaches and Cream

Also, prep for a Kitchen Sink Sundae price increase by $2 — it now costs $28.99. Thanks to Brent Hannon for the info!

Ice Cream Menu at Beaches and Cream. Click image for larger version.

Artist Point

Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has a few menu updates this Spring, according to DFB reader Elyssa Henry!

She says, “My husband and I just ate at Artist Point for the first time and it was AMAZING! Thanks for the previous reviews. They helped guide our choices. I also wanted to let you know that they just added two items to the menu and our server, Paul, told us tonight was their debut.”

Artist Point Cedar Plank Salmon

It sounds like the Wild Columbia River Cedar Plank Roasted King Salmon is back on the menu, and there’s also a seasonal dessert to sample: pistachio coffee cake and sea salted caramel vanilla panna cotta.

Kona Cafe

The Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe has a new dinner menu, which features a new cheese plate as an appetizer.

For entrees, a pan-seared chicken with [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Should I Book a Disney Character Meal?

Dining at Walt Disney World is very often an experience rather than just a meal. It’s become a rite of passage to dine with characters during a visit to Disney — and there’s stiff competition to secure Advance Dining Reservations at some of these table-service restaurants.

Mickey strikes a pose!

Meeting Cinderella, rubbing Pooh’s tummy, hugging Mickey Mouse, and posing with Chip and Dale are some of the memorable moments that can be discovered while dining at Character Meals.

Tigger Lounges and Signs an Autograph Book at the Plaza Inn

But is a character meal right for your group? On one hand, adults and kids alike enjoy meeting characters from Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood, Cinderella’s Castle, and more! Yet on the other, character meals can be costly — both in time and money!

We’ve been to countless meals in which Disney characters hobnob with guests, and now we can help you determine if a character meal fits well into your next Disney vacation!

Chef Mickey serves up fun and food at the Contemporary Resort!

In our The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book, we have an informative section on character meals. Pick up your copy here for an extra $4 off using code 2013 for a limited time! Your vacation is an investment and we want you to have the best trip possible!

So let’s take a look at whether a character meal makes sense for YOUR family…

Should I book a character meal?

Let’s get right to some important dining considerations that we’ve included in the DFB Guide to help you plan your meals.

Meet the princesses at a character meal!

1. Do you have kids who may be afraid of characters?

Character meals can be a good place for children to get to know the Disney characters. However if one (or more) of your children are not fond of the characters then consider dining at a restaurant with a fun theme instead.

Not sure if your kiddo hates characters? Here’s how to find out without too much trauma: [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: How to Avoid Crowds When Dining in Disney World

If you’ve ever eaten at a crowded Disney World restaurant, you KNOW it’s not something you want to repeat.

Endless lines, deafening volume, long waits for tables (or sometimes even having to sit on the floor at counter-service restaurants)…it’s definitely not a “magical moment.” After all, vacations are for relaxing — especially at meal times!

We know that you want to make the most of every moment of your trip, and that means eating when the restaurants aren’t crowded — and taking advantage of rides and attractions when restaurants are busy. You need stress-free Disney Dining!

Our recommendations will give you a chance to unwind, enjoy a great meal (or quick and tasty pick-me-up), and get you back to the Walt Disney World attractions! We’ve done the meal time research for you! After years of touring the parks and countless meals at Disney World, we’ve gathered tips to avoid the crowds!

Book an early ADR to get a great table without the crowds!

In our The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book, we have a whole section dedicated to avoiding crowds in Disney World. Pick up your copy here for an extra $4 off using code 2013 for a limited time!

With our in-depth DFB Guide, you’ll learn tips for avoiding the crazy in Disney World — and ensure  you have a relaxing and nourishing meal so you’re ready to get back out to the parks. Don’t go on your vacation without these tips for stress-free dining!

3 Awesome Tips to Avoid Disney World Dining Crowds

Let’s get right to our meal time strategies that we’ve included in the DFB Guide to make the most of your Disney Dining without the crowds.

We found Tortuga Tavern empty at 11am during a June visit! An hour later, there were no seats available!

1. Dine at “Off-Times”

If you’re visiting Disney World during a busy time (yes, Spring Breakers, Summer visitors, Christmas Folks, that includes you!), finding a restaurant without a wait will be difficult.

Still, crowds thin after the throngs depart during major meal rushes. We suggest avoiding 8-9AM, noon-1:30PM, and 6-7PM. We’ve found that booking meals for “brunch” at 10:30 or 11AM, late lunch at 3 or 4PM, or late dinner at 8 or 9PM works well for avoiding the crowd crunch. For counter-service restaurants, we [Read more…]