Tips from the DFB Guide: Top 5 Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Values for 2014

Now that you’ve booked your 2014 Disney World vacation, it’s time to make your Advance Dining Reservations.

Top5DisneyDiningPlanOneCreditTableServiceValuesfor2014

But which restaurants are worthy of your precious Disney Dining Plan credits?

What’s the DDP? The vacation package add-on called the Disney Dining Plan is a pre-purchased meal plan. Based on the plan you choose, you’ll receive a certain number of credits to be utilized during your Disney stay. (Remember your college meal plan? Yeah; it’s kinda like that!)

Many table-service meals in Disney World cost one credit per person, but are you getting the best value?

If you reeeeeeally want to get your money’s worth, stick to the one-credit restaurants, order the most expensive meal on the menu, and maximize your savings! Let’s get to the DFB guide’s top picks for best value at “one table-service credit” Walt Disney World restaurants.

Remember: this is primarily based on food cost, but we have taken atmosphere and food quality into consideration a bit as well. We don’t want you eating at a bad restaurant, after all. ;-)

Tutto Italia

Offering regional specialties, Tutto Italia is located in Epcot’s Italy pavilion. With dinner entrees costing about $30, and a pricey dessert topping $13, your one meal here is a great use of a table service dining credit!

Braised Meatballs and Shortrib

Braised Meatballs and Shortrib

Kouzzina

Kouzzina features Mediterranean cuisine showcased on a menu created by Celebrity Chef Cat Cora. A dinner at this BoardWalk restaurant can be costly. With a $35 grilled steak entree and $10 desserts (Baklava!!), Kouzzina is a smart choice for your dining credit use!

Baklava Dessert Close-Up

Baklava Dessert at Kouzzina

Teppan Edo

Teppan Edo is a fun Hibachi restaurant in Epcot’s Japan pavilion. Order the $32 Filet Mignon and a dessert at $5-7 to make the most of your table service credit.

Steak and chicken

Steak and chicken at Teppan Edo

Les Chefs de France

Located in Epcot’s France pavilion, Les Chefs de France serves up delicious cuisine. Dinner entrees cost $20-35 with desserts about $9 each. Use your table service credit here for a memorable meal.

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee at Chefs de France

Rainforest Cafe

While Rainforest Cafe gets mixed reviews, [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!” Pub Grub!

One of my favorite food pastimes when I’m in Walt Disney World is grabbing a table at one of the resort’s fantastic pubs, bars, or lounges, and sitting down with friends for a nice long talk. There’s always so much to catch up on!

Best Thing I Ever Ate At Disney: Pub Grub!

But in addition to the atmosphere and some nice cocktails, I also love Disney watering holes for some truly amazing eats! We are a snacking people here at DFB, so it’s no wonder the delicious pub grub you can find on property is one of our favorite ways to enjoy time with friends.

On this edition of “The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!”, let’s check out some of our favorite Pub Grub! 

Once you finish reading — share YOUR favorites in the comments! I love hearing about new things I’ve gotta try!

Cheese Fondue from Territory Lounge

When it comes to snacking, there are few foods in the world that I’d rather have than cheese! And one of my favorite ways to enjoy it is in the form of things being dipped in its melty self!

That’s right — we’re talking Fondue! And some of the best I have ever tasted is on the menu at Territory Lounge in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

This rustic, cozy lounge is themed with the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest in mind. And the menu features hearty fare with flavors of the region as well.

But this cheese fondue is my absolute favorite option here! I can never resist getting it. It arrives in its own little cast-iron pot, complete with a flame to keep the cheese nice and warm.

Our favorite Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue at Territory Lounge

Our Favorite Cheese Fondue at Territory Lounge

The fondue is served with a variety of Fruits and Breads to dip, and every single thing we dipped in it was amazing!

Bread in Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue

Pretzel Bread and Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue at Territory Lounge in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Healthy apple…protein-y cheese…SO good for you! ;-D

Apple in Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue

Apple in Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue

It’s definitely the perfect snack for sharing with friends as you unwind with [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: February 8, 2014!

Our latest update is (almost) all about sweet treats that have found their way into the World! Read on to find out what new goodies we’ve spied recently…

New Ice Cream Flavor in Morocco

Recently we featured the Chef-Created Ice Cream found at the Juice Bar connected to Spice Road Table in Epcot’s gorgeous Morocco Pavilion.

Juice Bar Menu at Spice Road Table

Juice Bar Menu at Spice Road Table

The chefs are already at it again, introducing another new flavor: Orange Honey Walnut has hit the scene.

Morocco Juice Bar Chef Created ice Cream Epcot

Chef-Created Ice Cream in Morocco Juice Bar

New Cupcake at BoardWalk Bakery at BoardWalk Inn

A great new seasonal cupcake appeared at BoardWalk Bakery: Dulce de Leche! This one differs from the Dulce de Leche cupcake that was featured in years past at Contempo Café: BoardWalk Bakery’s version features a whipped cream topping sprinkled with crushed pralines (though it’s similar in that there is caramel inside).

Dulce de Leche Cupcake

Dulce de Leche Cupcake

New Cupcake at Roaring Fork in Wilderness Lodge

And take a look at this bright red beauty over at Roaring Fork in Wilderness Lodge: the Strawberry Lemonade cupcake (priced at $4.19, and good for a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan). Perfect for February and all things Valentine!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake

Valentine’s Day Cupcakes at Disney Parks Bakeries and Candy Shops

Speaking of Valentine’s cupcakes, a few have [Read more…]

News! New Exclusive Magical Dining Experiences Announced for DVC Members

Disney continues its quest to become a destination for fine dining as much as attractions!

DVC Logo

Recently, Disney Vacation Club announced that it will begin offering “Magical Dining Experiences” exclusively for DVC members and their guests. (This sounds a LOT like the Tables in Wonderland events, for those who are members of that discount program.)

Dinners will take place at popular signature restaurants throughout Walt Disney World. The prix-fixe menus are crafted by Disney chefs, and will feature accompanying wine and/or beer pairings. In addition, a culinary specialist will offer a live presentation throughout the dinner.

The events, which can be booked exclusively by DVC Members for themselves and their guests, promise to be intimate, with limited spots available for each dinner.

Flying Fish, is a DFB Favorite!

Flying Fish, is a DFB Favorite!

The first three dinners have been announced, and details are as follows:

February 27, 2014
Location: Flying Fish
Number of Guests: 40
Hosted by: Renowned Wine Expert
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Price: $165

Menu [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Sushi!

We are back with another fun series of food photos, courtesy of Disney Food Blog Readers! That’s right, we love to show off the talents of folks who post their gorgeous photos on Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group!

As you know, Sushi continues to be popular at Disney and everywhere else! Let’s take a look at some of the beautiful and fresh options for this Japanese delicacy that you’ve captured on film around Walt Disney World.

Spicy Kazan at California Grill

Fans of sushi who are also lovers of Disney dining know that one of the most awesome places to get sushi in Walt Disney World is California Grill. This uber popular fine dining spot, located high atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is known for fresh, seasonal ingredients, Pan-Asian influences, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. And don’t forget to stay for the fireworks!

But when it comes to eats, this Spicy Kazan Roll looks pretty awesome. And if you’re a sushi-nonconformist like me, be sure to try the Pork Nigiri!

Photographer: Natasha Joyan

Spicy Kazan Roll from California Grill

Spicy Kazan Roll from California Grill

Tuna at Flying Fish Cafe

The Flying Fish Cafe remains one of my top choices for dining when I’m in Walt Disney World. I never pass up a chance to eat at this stellar restaurant. With food that’s always something special and a whimsical, carnival-like atmosphere, it always rates highly in my book.

One of the most popular appetizers that you can get here is the Yellowfin Tuna Tartare and Crispy Tempura Tuna-Vegetable Sushi Roll. We’ve tried it and it’s awesome!

Photographer: Stan4dSteph

Tuna at Flying Fish Cafe

Tuna at Flying Fish Cafe

Sushi at Wolfgang Puck Cafe

Another great spot for California cuisine is Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Dining Room at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney WestSide. And along with other house specialties like their [Read more…]

Our Favorite, Must-Eat Disney Cakes!

Oooooh, we’re talkin’ CAKE TODAY!!!!!

must eat disney cake

Okay, okay — so technically, National Cake Day was yesterday, apparently. But since we had so much fun with National Pie Day last week, I thought it would be awesome to start sharing some of my favorite Disney cakes. (I’m pretty shocked I haven’t done a cake post before — so much goodness to talk about!)

So here’s the deal with cake at Disney. It can take many forms… . And we’re going to include a bunch of ‘em! In honor of National Cake Day, let’s take a look at some of our favorite entries into the category of cake!

Gourmet Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

I recently discovered Cake Nirvana at Disney. Because, in my universe, eating cake is usually a thinly-disguised, socially acceptable way to consume as much frosting as possible.

If you’re giving me a piece of cake, I’m getting a corner piece, with as many frosting roses as possible. That’s just how I roll.

So it’s always pretty great when a bakery can get on board with the “Frosting is the Whole Point!!” perspective. And Cheshire Cafe at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has done just exactly that.

With their beautifully themed Gourmet Cake Cups, you can choose from a Vanilla Cheshire Cake Cup or a Mad Hatter Mocha Cake Cup. Characters from Alice in Wonderland are silk-screened onto a sweet round of white fondant and top each of the cake cups. (Sometimes. Sometimes you don’t get the characters. But who cares.)

Themed Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

Themed Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

THIS is what you get when you order. Confetti cake. FROSTING. Confetti cake. FROSTING. Confetti cake. F R O S T I N G!!!!!!

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Yep. That’s all frosting on top. There’s no cake there my friends. And it’s glorious. Thick, bakery buttercream that’s so sugary it’ll make you sick. LOVE!

Frosting!!

Frosting!!

I know a lot of you don’t have the love affair with frosting that I do, but for those who feel the same — you’re welcome! :-D

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls

And how could we pay homage to cake without mentioning the original single serving cake? We are talking Disney Cupcakes, of course!

One of my favorites from way back at the beginning of the Cupcake Renaissance is still around and garnering rave reviews — the Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This is one monster chocolate cupcake that you must experience to believe. Well, the cake is chocolate. And so is that incredible fudgy middle. But the pile of frosting on top is pure heavenly vanilla, topped with a crown of [Read more…]

Three Must-Try Disney Pies!

GUESS WHAT!!!! It’s NATIONAL PIE DAY!!!!

Today, in honor of this most momentous occasion, we couldn’t resist sharing with you a few of our very favorites. Whether they inspire you to bake a pie of your own, or plan a trip and let Disney do the baking for you — well, you’re welcome.

1. Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie From Boardwalk Bakery

So many truly wonderful things have come out of BoardWalk Bakery since it reopened after a major renovation last year.

While some classics remain, others, like the Cheesecake Brownie, received makeovers as well. But the real story are the amazing newcomers to the menu! One of my favorites, hands down, is the Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie.

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie

The tart starts with a Chocolate Short Dough Crust. Peanut Butter is introduced to the party via the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Filling, which is pie poetry. Because as much as I love rich peanut butter filling, this lighter approach is killer.

This sweet and salty goodness is wrapped up in a Chocolate Glaze. Add to that a little mound of creamy Banana Topping, and a sprinkling of Candied Bacon, and you’ve got a winner!

peanut butter, banana, and candied bacon pie cross section

peanut butter, banana, and candied bacon pie cross section

Sound awesome? Make a similar version at home with this recipe!

2. Lobster and Scallop Fisherman’s Pie From the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Many of the pies that stand out from the crowd at Disney are savory rather than sweet. Case in point: the beloved Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie from the Ireland Marketplace Booth at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie

Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie

We’ve been enjoying this delicious for the last several years and hope it comes back again this year!

This hearty, casserole-like main course consists of large chunks of [Read more…]

What’s New Around the World!

What’s new in regards to eats and treats in Disney World? What’s changed? Have any menu items bid us farewell? Read on to find out what has caught our eye lately!

Animal Kingdom

The Dawa Bar in Africa’s Harambe Village has moved and received a makeover! Check out the full scoop here.

Dawa Bar

Dawa Bar

And thanks to Avatarland, we bid adieu to the Camp Minnie-Mickey character greeting area. This space had two snack kiosks: one for funnel cakes and the other for hot dogs and pretzels.

Camp Minnie Mickey Kiosk

Camp Minnie Mickey Kiosk

You can still grab a terrific hot dog over at Restaurantosaurus… a Mac & Cheese Dog, to be precise! And those beloved Mickey Pretzels can be found in the Harambe Fruit Market (including the Jalapeno Cheese-stuffed Pretzel!).

Mr. Kamal’s (a kiosk devoted primarily to vegetarian selections) recently revamped the menu. Pick up samosas, falafel sammies, and hummus with veggies!

Mr. Kamal's Updated Menu

Mr. Kamal’s Updated Menu

It’s worth scoping out Bradley Falls (directly across from Mr. Kamal’s), to see if it is open on your visit. It’s typically open during busy days, and the most recent menu showed that the Edamame and Asian Noodle Salad are options there along with a brand new Thai Coconut Soup! Check out some of these [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!” Breakfast!

We’re back for more fun with a brand new version of our hit series, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney”!

Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney -- Breakfast

With your awesome input, we had tons of fun exploring our favorite Disney food categories a looong time ago. But Disney keeps adding amazing new dishes, treats, and foods! And so, it’s time to revisit these questions and add some of our new, and enduring, favorites to the mix!

Today, we’ll get the day started off right just like we should — with some delicious Breakfast! I’ll let you know a few of my favorites…and then it’s your turn to chime with in YOUR votes for “The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney — Breakfast”!

Let’s get to crackin’! (Like…eggs. Crackin’ eggs. Get it? :-) )

Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll at Kouzzina

In no time flat, Kouzzina by Cat Cora has become one of my favorite places to dine at Walt Disney World for breakfast. It’s quiet, relaxed, and offers some truly delicious eats.

If we’re going to talk about killer ways to start your day, first up has to be one of my favorite breakfast finds of recent Disney visits: the Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll at Kouzzina.

Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll

Wouldn’t you just love to dig into one of these babies right. this. minute?? Me tooooo! Warm, butter-rich dough envelops a beautiful center filled to overflowing with that yummy, buttery, cinnamon-y goodness that just makes your heart SING!

This. This is what a cinnamon roll should look like — so gooey that you need a fork to eat it! Believe me when I say that the Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll is plenty reason enough to make Kouzzina your very next advance dining reservation.

Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll — Inside

Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe

Classics become so for a reason. In Disney food circles, classics = awesomeness (and often over-the-topness) that just about everyone loves.

Case in point: Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe.

Tonga Toast with Bacon

Thick, fluffy bread is stuffed with banana yum, before it’s battered and deep-fried. After a roll in a ton of [Read more…]

The Year in Review: Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2013!

If you’re a Disney Food Fan, then 2013 has been an exciting year!

Disney food news stories of 2013

We’ve had lots of  change, new announcements, and brand new experiences.

So today, we thought we’d take a look back at this year, and review the Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2013!

From new coffee to new restaurants, new technology to new ice cream, we have a ton to cover!

Let’s get started!

1. COFFEE!

When Starbucks and Disney announced in 2012 that the coffee giant would be coming to Disney Parks, the news was huge! And when the first Walt Disney World locations began opening in 2013, the story once again topped the list of Disney food headlines.

Starbucks at Main Street Bakery is Right in the Middle of the Magic

The first location to open was Main Street Bakery on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street USA. While some loyal fans of the historic spot decried the chain store intrusion, many coffee lovers were thrilled that they could now enjoy their favorite brew in the shadow of Cinderella’s Castle.

And with the Main Street cinnamon rolls available at Gaston’s Tavern (at least they claim they’re the same…you can see our cinnamon roll throw down here!), well — at least not all of our favorite goodies are lost.

A Busy Morning at Main Street Bakery

The reopening of Fountain View Cafe in Epcot as the second WDW Starbucks location seemed to ruffle fewer feathers, since the themeing for the futuristic ice cream parlor wasn’t as beloved as Main Street Bakery. Still, patrons were irked with the lack of seating, even if the many, many bays for ordering mean that your java arrives fresh and fast.

Have Your Starbucks in Epcot with a View of Spaceship Earth

But Starbucks wasn’t the only coffee news we debated in 2013. Disney also announced that Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company, headquartered in Tampa, would become the official specialty coffee provider for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Vacation Club resorts.

Joffrey’s is Named the Official Coffee Brand of Disney Parks

We’ve been enjoying Joffrey’s products for ages at the kiosks throughout the parks, so this was welcome news to many. So far, we are hearing that you seem pleased with the switch from Nescafe to Joffrey’s.

2. RESTAURANT FASTPASS TESTING — AND MORE TECH UPDATES!

Waaaaayyyyy back in January of this year, we first wrote about how we thought My Magic+ would affect Disney Dining.

mymagic+

And before the year was out, we had the opportunity to see just how some of the new technology would work.

One of the most intriguing uses of MyMagic+ technology was the Touch to Pay System. We had an opportunity to put our Magic Bands to work with the new system, and Erin, our Disney Food For Families columnist, documented the process so our readers could be in the know!

Erin Paying with Her Magic Band at Artist Point!

Erin Paying with Her Magic Band at Artist Point!

And while we love the Magic Band concept, even cooler is all the Disney food bling that you can get to individualize your bracelet! I’m a sucker for the cupcake!

Magic Band Food Bling

Magic Band Food Bling

 

Another rumor that came to fruition was that [Read more…]