Tips For Visiting the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is coming up soon, and we’re already covering the latest news about the event.

Shrimp Tacos, Rib Eye Tacos, Flan and Strawberry Lime Margarita from the Mexico Booth

You can “follow the festival” on our Food and Wine Festival page here, and start making plans to attend September 28-November 12, 2012.

This annual event showcases food, wine, and other beverages from around the globe at marketplaces set up around Epcot’s World Showcase. You can also take advantage of some of the great seminars, demos, and events going on throughout the festival!

So, to kick off our coverage appropriately, let’s take a look at our…

Fun Tips for Visiting the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Here are a few of our favorite dining tips when it comes to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! I hope they’re helpful, and that you’ll share some of your great tips, too!

1. Make It A Meal

The World Showcase Booths around the Lagoon offer some great eats in small, appetizer sizes! Save one or two (or three!) meals for “eating around the World” Showcase.

Some of the perennial favorites include: Canada’s Cheddar Cheese Soup; Australia’s Shrimp on the Barbie; Italy’s Baked Cheese Ravioli; Argentina’s Grilled Beef Skewer; Poland’s Pierogies; and Germany’s sausage. We’re hoping that griddled cheese is [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Great Disney World Restaurants for Boys

Much fuss is made about the ballyhooed princess dining experiences at Disney World. So much fuss, that parents of young boys sometimes find themselves wondering, “What does Disney have that’s special for me?”

The down and dirty dino loving boy will be right at home at the T-Rex Cafe.

Well, never fear sports fans; I’m here to tell you that while, yes, the girly girls are pretty visible in the parks (it’s hard to miss the Florida sun glinting off a tiara), there are plenty of Disney dining experiences where the men in your family will feel right at home.

Let’s break it down …

Character Meals

There are 10 different character dining venues at Walt Disney World proper. Of these, only three and a half of them have princess themeing. The rest are totally gender-neutral.

Boys are certainly welcome at any of the princess meals, and many boys love them just as much as the other character meals (PLUS they’re given a neato plastic sword at the Royal Table); but honestly, they do skew more heavily toward girl interests.

All of the other character dining restaurants appeal equally to boys and girls. Your best options for boys in the character dining department are the following (characters are always subject to change): [Read more…]

News! Disney Restaurants Closing For Renovations in 2012 and 2013

Update: Hoop-Dee-Doo will now remain open in Fall 2012.
Update: Bistro de Paris will remain closed through early December. New name for Bistro de Paris will be “Monsieur Paul” — a fitting tribute to Chef Paul Bocuse!

There have been a lot of updates about restaurant closures lately, and I wanted to share the latest information we have so that it’s easier to make (or cancel or change ;-D) your Advance Dining Reservations.

Bistro de Paris

In today’s news, the Signature restaurant Bistro de Paris in Epcot’s France pavilion will be closed for renovations starting July 1, 2012, and lasting until the end of October.

Bistro Dining Room

According to emails being sent out to guests, Advance Dining Reservations are being moved to Chefs de France.

This closing is possibly due to the Epcot France bakery expansion about which we’ve previously reported. The French bakery, Boulangerie Patisserie, is slated for many changes, including an updated menu, expanded kitchen, and more.

Cape May Cafe

Cape May Cafe in Disney’s Beach Club Resort will be closed from [Read more…]

Review: Beaches and Cream Soda Shop Desserts

On our most recent trip to the magic, it was time to revisit one of our favoritest spots, Beaches and Cream Soda Shop!

Atmosphere

Located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Beaches and Cream Soda Shop has long been a favorite of Disney World guests, featuring lots of decorative touches that whisk guests right back to beach vacations of their childhoods.

With vintage “beach balls” scattered throughout, giant ice cream cones lighting your way, a jivin’ jukebox playing tunes you remember from the 50’s and 60’s, and a nostalgic and simple menu, you’ll feel like a kid again…and YOUR kids will love it just as much.

Seating

Seating is either in big pink booths or at small, white wrought iron tables. If you’re in a rush or just looking for a bit more fun, ask for a stool at the counter where you can watch the chefs and servers work their magic on classic burgers and massive ice cream sundaes.

Booth Table

Choose a favorite song from the vintage [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Disney Dining on Your Arrival and Departure Days

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 — offers tremendous insight into dining at Walt Disney World, and I’d like to share one more of the valuable Disney Dining Tips found in the DFB Guide!

And don’t forget — today’s the last day of our Grand Launch week! Pick up your copy of the Guide for $4 off using code “2013.”

Chef Mickey is a good place to start your vacation (or say farewell until next year)!

Dining on Your Arrival and Departure Days in Disney World

Arrival and Departure days at Disney can be a lot more tiring than you imagine. For many of us, these are half-days that require creative planning.

Annual passholders can easily hop into a park for a half-day, but if you hold a regular Magic Your Way ticket, you probably want to reserve it for a full days of Disney touring!

We recommend using these half-days to explore the wonderful dining opportunities outside the theme parks.

  • Downtown Disney has some great restaurants and the chance to stock up on a few souvenirs while shopping.
  • Visiting the Boardwalk resort is a fun adventure with dining available on the waterfront or at nearby resorts (Yacht and Beach Club; Swan and Dolphin).
  • Inexpensive and hearty food can be found at [Read more…]

Grand Launch Sale: The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012 e-Book

We’re excited to announce the grand launch of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012 e-Book! It’s now available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining opportunities while in Disney World.

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 310 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite things — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next vacation! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBGuide.com to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2012 to get a $4 discount this week only!

If you purchased the 2011 Guide last year, scroll down for details on repeat purchase discounts. Also, scroll down to the bottom of the post for details on the 6-word Restaurant Review winner, Vicky B!

What’s In The Guide?

As you know, the Guide includes:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from budgeting and booking to kids’ meals and fireworks.
  • A comprehensive and in-depth look at Disney World dining, including tips and tricks to ensure a positive and stress-free dining experience.
  • The ability to be read on your mobile device or computer!

While our 2011 Guide was very extensive, Disney World is always updating menus, prices, and other dining info. And we’re always finding new things to tell you about! So we’ve updated our 2012 edition with over 60 new pages of details along with more photos, coverage of new Disney dining experiences, exclusive games, and more!

In addition to these updates, our 2012 Guide adds:

  • Over 60 new pages of Disney Dining information
  • More Disney food and restaurant photos, and NEW Disney food and restaurant photos
  • An entire chapter focused on Snacks in the theme parks and resorts, one of the most popular Disney dining topics
  • Disney Dining Trivia to play while you’re waiting in line (or waiting for a table!)
  • Exclusive Disney food-themed scavenger hunts for each Disney World theme park
  • A comprehensive section of Disney Food news and updates from the past year, including new restaurants, new menus, and more
  • Brand new “Top 5” lists to help you make quick dining decisions
  • A brand new At-A-Glance section featuring quick facts such as how to locate your lost dining reservations, where to dine with the princesses, or where to pick up a six-pack of beer
  • New Snack Crawls through the parks and resorts
  • Updates on all pertinent facts such as dining hours, prices, resources, phone numbers, and restaurant closures/openings
  • All new restaurant additions, closures, and added dining experiences
  • And much more!

And the best part is: the price hasn’t changed! Our extensive Disney Dining information, updated and added to with 60+ extra pages and countless new details, will cost you the same amount that it did in 2011.

But, of course we’re offering a [Read more…]

Top 5 Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Table-Service Values for 2012

Now that you’ve booked your 2012 Disney World vacation, it’s time to make your Advance Dining Reservations. Which restaurants are credit-worthy?

The vacation package add-on called the Disney Dining Plan is a meal plan with a set price in exchange for a certain number of credits. Many table-service meals in Disney World cost one credit, but are you getting the best value?

Stick to the one-credit restaurants, order the most expensive meal on the menu, and maximize your savings! Let’s get to my top picks for best value at “one table-service credit” Walt Disney World restaurants. I think some of them will surprise you!

Criteria Used

When we looked at values, our main criteria was price. These restaurants offer a great bang for your buck when paying with the Disney Dining Plan.

We also looked at enjoyment level and food quality, but these criteria were secondary and tertiary to cost. Note that these aren’t necessarily our favorite restaurants, but they are good values for one Disney Dining Plan credit.

Tutto Italia

Tucked into the Italian pavilion at Epcot, Tutto Italia Ristorante boasts regional cuisines from Italy in an Old World setting. Table service is attentive, although the fine-dining atmosphere can lead to longer waits.

This restaurant serves up a Roasted Rack and Leg of Lamb ($34) as an entree. End your meal with Copetta Sotto Boscue, a dessert specialty comprised of berries, zabaglione cream, gelato, and chocolate sauce, which has an out-of-pocket price of $14. When both of these items are ordered, Tutto Italia becomes quite possibly your best one-credit table-service value in Walt Disney World.

There’s also a Veal Roast which would run you $31 out-of-pocket but… perfectly worth one dining credit!

Veal

Tutto Italia is closed for refurbishment until [Read more…]

Review: Cape May Cafe Clambake

Ready for a beach vacation and a seaside buffet meal? We’re headed to Cape May Cafe in Disney World’s Beach Club Resort to enjoy a guest favorite dinner buffet — The Cape May Cafe Clambake!

Atmosphere

The Cape May Cafe Clambake was a dinner I’d never been to, and one my mom had been dying to try. So when my parents were in Disney World at the same time we were recently, we gave it a go!

Cape May Cafe is an open and airy buffet restaurant adorned with pastel impressionist paintings depicting beach scenes, colorful beach umbrellas and folding chairs, carpet that brings beach balls to mind, and the stick style architecture seen throughout Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

Cape May Cafe Decor

Tables are set up as booths, banquettes, and full tables, and there are [Read more…]

Food Ingredient Lists at the Beach Club Marketplace!

Erin Foster is the Disney Food for Families columnist and a behind-the-scenes guru here at Disney Food Blog! Check out more of her posts here.

Eating in Disney World with a special diet just got a little easier!

I was at Walt Disney World last weekend participating in the marathon festivities. I completed the 1/2 marathon, my first distance race ever. Whoooooot!

We stayed at the Beach Club resort. As a little post race reward, I stopped in at the Marketplace for something sweet. It’s OK to carbo load after the race too, right? :-) While checking out the offerings in the bakery case, I noticed a little booklet hanging on a hook attached to the case.

Beach Club bakery case. Note the hook on the middle right of the case.

This turned out to be a collection of laminated cards listing the ingredients found in every Disney-baked item in the store, both those in the regular bakery case and those in the refrigerator case.

Close up of the cards.

Items with ingredient cards included muffins, brownies, cupcakes, cannolis, carrot cake, caramel pretzels, cheesecake, cookies, bagels, croissants, and much more — over [Read more…]

Guest Review: Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Today, we welcome Heather Jones with a guest review of one of our favorite Walt Disney World spots — Beaches and Cream!

On our last visit to Walt Disney World, my family and I had the pleasure of spending a night at the Beach Club Resort. One of the things I was most excited about was finally getting a chance to eat at Beaches and Cream.

I had heard so much about the place, from their great burgers to the unbelievable Kitchen Sink, I couldn’t wait to try it out!

Beaches and Cream

Atmosphere

Beaches and Cream is located where the Beach Club and its sister resort, the Yacht Club, meet; and the restaurant looks out to the Stormalong Bay pool complex.

Stormalong Bay

They don’t take reservations at Beaches and Cream, and I had heard that it could get really crowded at peak mealtimes; so we decided to head over in the middle of the afternoon to avoid the lunch rush.

Beaches and Cream is a cozy (read: tiny) soda fountain and burger joint. The tin ceilings, old-fashioned pendulum light fixtures, and pastel color scheme give it a nostalgic 1950s feel. Whimsical borders and [Read more…]