Top 10 Disney World Bars and Lounges

South African Wine at Jiko

When it comes to a happy hour beverage, a night out with your spouse or some friends, or…let’s face it…a margarita at the stroke of noon…there are a few spots in Disney World that get the job done better than others! FYI — The Disney Food Blog offers a full list of bars and lounges — complete with descriptions of each place — in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book.

Now, let’s take a tour of our Top Ten Disney World bars and lounges — these are the places that really make us want to get up and dance. ;-) Don’t forget to check out our list of Honorable Mentions at the end! Many of these spots offer the standard Disney Parks bar and lounge menu should you be interested.

Top Ten WDW Bars and Lounges

Top Ten Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges

1. La Cava del Tequila

Nestled in the twilit atmosphere of the Mexican pavilion in Epcot, La Cava del Tequila is popular with tequila and margarita fans. Try the Avocado Margarita while perusing the limited appetizer menu. See our margarita reviews here and a pic of the tequila flight here!

Due to its cozy and dark location, La Cava makes a great place to escape the heat and bright sunshine while touring World Showcase. However, it gets crowded quickly, so to ensure that you get a table, head over to La Cava at opening time — noon!

La Cava Bar

2. Jellyrolls

While Jellyrolls isn’t for everyone, if you love music from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, and especially if you love dueling piano improv, it’s going to fit the bill for you!

An entertainment spot on Disney’s Boardwalk bringing you non-stop dueling pianos, the bar at Jellyrolls plays second fiddle to [Read more…]

Guest Review: Shutters at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

Today we welcome back D.J. Jones with our very first Vero Beach Resort review — take a look at Shutters Restaurant! Feel free to join in more of D.J.’s adventures at his blog The World of Deej.

On the final evening of our recent trip to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, my wife and I were faced with a food dilemma. Do we keep things casual and have the final meal of our trip at Shutters, or do we go out with a bang, as we’d originally planned, and dine at the more upscale Sonya’s?

Given that I had not worn shoes of any kind in over three days, I was in no mood to put on flip flops, much less get “dressed up;” therefore Shutter’s became the obvious choice.

Shutters Restaurant -- photo copyright Disney

Atmosphere

Upon entering Shutters, the first thing one will notice is the restaurant’s awesome exhibition kitchen. I always love watching the action of a working restaurant, although I’m sure those behind the counter would prefer to be out of guests’ view.

The bustling kitchen

In addition, the décor is quick to remind guests that this is a beachfront setting, however the numerous sailboat models and other fixtures feel more New England than they do Florida. Overall, the atmosphere of Shutters is [Read more…]

How to Order a Cake at Walt Disney World

Editor’s Note: Information updated as of August 2012.

How to order a cake depends on what kind of cake you want and where you want to have it.

Podium cake with custom inscription at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney Restaurant Podium Cakes

If you’re OK with a simple supermarket-style cake in vanilla or chocolate, you can get one just by asking at the podium when you check in for your reservation at any Disney restaurant except Victoria & Albert’s. These 6-inch cakes serve 5 and cost $21 plus tax.

Basic Custom Cakes

With 48 hours’ notice, most restaurants also offer basic custom cakes in larger sizes and a limited range of flavors with basic decorations. If an 8-inch cake is offered, it will be available in chocolate or vanilla and cost $32–$35 (serves 8). Ordering a 10-inch cake ($45, serves 16) will get you more flavor choices—usually vanilla, chocolate or marble cake filled with vanilla buttercream, chocolate buttercream, white chocolate mousse, dark chocolate mousse, strawberry mousse, or raspberry mousse and covered in vanilla or chocolate buttercream or whipped cream. Sheet cakes are available in 1/4 ($55, serves 25), 1/2 ($80, serves 50) and full ($120, serves 100) sizes. The price of adding a screen-printed image to a cake varies by location and ranges from as little as $2 to as much as $35—and at some places it’s free!

Mickey Mouse cake at BoardWalk Bakery

Most restaurants also offer a Mickey Mouse cake in the shape of his head bearing a screen print of his face for $48. It serves 10–12 people, is available in white or chocolate cake with chocolate filling, and is covered in chocolate ganache. Although the cake cannot be customized, you can have a message written on the serving plate. At restaurants serviced by the Contemporary Resort Bakery, the Mickey Mouse cake may be covered in piped buttercream frosting rather than a coating of chocolate ganache.


CLICK HERE for photos of basic custom cake styles.

Fancy Fondant-Covered Cakes & Mini Cakes

If you’re looking for an elaborate fondant-covered cake, a mini cake, or cakes in nonstandard flavors, only the bakeries at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the Contemporary Resort, BoardWalk Inn, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the Yacht & Beach Club offer these, and only BoardWalk Bakery will let you pick up a cake. Note: The bakery at Animal Kingdom Lodge will not make mini cakes or fancy fondant cakes smaller than 10 inches.

Custom cake at the Contemporary Resort

However, if you’re staying or dining at the Polynesian Resort, you can get a fancy cake by calling Private Dining at the Grand Floridian. For fancy cakes at the Wilderness Lodge, and Fort Wilderness, call Private Dining at the Contemporary. For fancy cakes at the Magic Kingdom, call Cake Hotline at 407-827-2253 and choose option #4; or email magickingdomcakes@disney.com. For fancy cakes at Epcot’s Coral Reef, Garden Grill or Le Cellier, call Private Dining at the Yacht & Beach Club. Fancy cakes are also available at Caribbean Beach, Old Key West, Pop Century, and Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, which are serviced by BoardWalk Bakery, and at Art of Animation, which is serviced bythe Yacht & Beach Club. For these resorts, call the Cake Hotline and follow the prompts for your resort to place your order. You can pick up your cake at the restaurant or food court; many resorts will even deliver it to your room. Complete details on the cake choices and prices at each park and resort can be found on the Disney Cake Options By Location page.

To order, call Walt Disney World’s Cake-Ordering Hotline at 407-827-2253.

At this time, Disney has no email address you can write to with a cake inquiry, and there is no Disney-run web site showing cake options and prices. When ordering a fancy custom cake, you may run into difficulty with Private Dining cast members who are not aware of the bakery’s capabilities. Politely ask to speak to the pastry chef directly so that you can get the official word on cake options.

Need more cake info or details on flavors and embellishments available? Visit our Disney Cake FAQ page that Carrie put together for us!

Carrie Hayward is the author of PassPorter’s Disney Weddings & Honeymoons (http://www.passporter.com/weddings.asp), a guidebook and bridal organizer for weddings and honeymoons at Walt Disney World and on the Disney Cruise Line. Follow her adventures in Disney dining at http://disneytravelbabble.com and @lurkyloo on Twitter.

Disney Food for Families: An Ode to the Sand Bucket

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster discusses a great bonus you can find with some kids’ meals on Walt Disney World property!

It’s long been said that Disney is in the details. One of my favorite Disney details is the container for children’s meals at some of the counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World. What is this magical container? The sand bucket!

Buckets ready to be called into action

There are restaurants located near the pools or sandy areas at Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, the Yacht & Beach Clubs, and the Caribbean Beach Resort that serve their kids’ meals either in, or with, a new, [Read more…]

Review: New Caribbean Burger at Caribbean Beach Resort

Reported recently was the addition of “designer burgers” to several counter service restaurants all around Walt Disney World! We had the chance today to try the Caribbean Burger, featuring sweet plantains, fried onion straws, and pineapple barbecue chutney.

This 1/3 pound Angus burger can be found at Old Port Royale’s Market Street Food Court at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Just head over to the “Broiler” area and order one up :-)

Caribbean Burger with plantains, fried onions, and pineapple barbecue chutney

So let me let you in on a little secret — I was pretty sure I was going to hate this burger. No kidding. I’m not a big fan of meat and fruit together, and adding in [Read more…]

New “Designer” Burgers at Disney World

After debuting the snazzy new hot dogs at Lunching Pad, Disney decided that it’s time to make bigger, better burgers!

Cheddar cheeseburger at ABC Commissary is topped with fried shrimp

Magic Kingdom
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe: Angus burger topped with Cheddar cheese, guacamole and bacon.

Epcot
Liberty Inn:
1. Veggie burger with Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, tomato and lettuce
2. Angus burger topped with smoked ham, bacon, smoked Gouda cheese, red onion, tomato, pickle, lettuce and mustard aioli sauce.

Electric Umbrella: Mushroom-blue burger with sautéed mushrooms, bacon, blue cheese, fried onion straws, lettuce and [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 1, 2010

Via Napoli

Greetings, Disney food lovers! As always, let’s start with the Disney Food News of the week:

In DFB news, I just finished a Food and Wine Festival project I was working on: To see information, menus, and photos of the individual Epcot Food and Wine Festival World Showcase booths (and even some photos of food items that will be on the menu for 2010!), click on any individual country name on our 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Menus and Photos page. For example, check out pics of what you can order this year in the Brazil booth!

We’re looking forward to reports from Via Napoli this week as well, so stay tuned. And a huge thanks to Amanda Tinney of Disney Every Day for getting the word out about the 2010 WDW Foodie Fest!

And now, on to the round-up!

Main Street Gazette has a fantastic review of Disney World’s Nine Dragons!

DisZine has a great review of Disney World’s ‘Ohana with some gorgeous photos.

TouringPlans writer, Caroline Baggerly, has some great tips for how to navigate the Disney World dining reservations system, even when you don’t already have an ADR!

The Caribbean Beach Resort Fan Site surveyed their readers to find out about the favorite food choices at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort!

Rosie's Victory Garden

StudiosCentral has a great post about the “history” of the Victory Garden in DHS.

The Daily Disney reports that the Egg Rolls have vanished from the Anadapur Local Cafe counter service menu (i.e. the “Yak and Yeti counter service menu”). Can anyone confirm? So sad.

Everything Walt Disney World reports on a question for the ages: can you use kids’ quick service dining credits to purchase adult quick service meals?

Disney Wedding Blog gives us ten food and beverage Disney Wedding facts! Who knew?

Chip and Co reports on a an August 12th wine tasting event in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney.

Disney Parks Blog and Chef Kevin Dundon teach us how to make Irish Soda Bread!

DisUnplugged reviews Disneyland’s Celebration Round-Up.

To round out the week, here’s a great video from the Disney Parks Blog about everyone’s favorite Club Cool choice, Beverly!

And another great vid from Jeff Lange DVD of the outside of Via Napoli!

DIY Disney: Disney Recipes for Your Summer Picnic

I’m thrilled to announce the first, official Disney Food Blog column — Chef BigFatPanda’s DIY Disney Recipes! Every month, our resident Chef BigFatPanda will put together his amazing step-by-step, photo-filled posts where he and Chef Mickey show you their adventures in the kitchen cooking up Disney goodies! Today, we launch the column with three great recipes that you can pack up and take on a Disney-inspired picnic (perfect for 4th of July!). Enjoy…

Hello! Chef BigFatPanda here! How are you? Don’t answer cause I can’t hear you, but I’ll assume you’re reading this with peachy vigor. I like that. Peachy Vigor! I’m going to use that from now on.

So, did you hear? I am so excited to get my own column here on the Disney Food Blog. No longer am I a guest, but a cast member (or whatever AJ wishes to call it). Thanks so much to everyone!

I wanted to do something a bit different for this post, so I chose some fairly simple yet overlooked Disney recipes that can truly be incorporated into a delicious summer meal. I am going to make the Barbecue Sauce from the Flame Tree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, grilled Asparagus just as they make it in Disney’s Grand Californian Resort’s Storyteller Café, and Coquina cookies, originally from the Cinnamon Bay Bakery at Disney World’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Add these Disney recipes to a rice, pasta, or potato side and you have a complete and colorful summer meal just in time for Summer Nightastic!

Flame Tree Barbecue Sauce

As usual, the recipe’s instructions will be bolded for easy reference should you wish to print this out and skip my banter.

Ingredients for Flame Tree Barbecue Sauce

You will need:
1 cup Ketchup
¼ cup Rice Wine Vinegar
¼ cup Water
¼ cup Packed Light Brown Sugar [Read more…]

Pool Bar Series: Petals at POP Century Resort

POP Century sign

I’ve mentioned on the food blog before how much I enjoy Petals Pool Bar at POP Century Resort, and I thought it’d be fitting to dedicate a colorful TGIF blog to this great place.

Petals Pool bar

Again, there are some truly wonderful bartenders here (I don’t know how Disney finds so many of these top notch CMs), and Petals rivals Banana Cabana at Caribbean Beach Resort, Uzima Springs Pool Bar at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House, and Trout Pass at Wilderness Lodge for my “favorite folks” award.

Frozen Drink Machines and Flat Screen TV

Frozen Drink Machines and Flat Screen TV

POP Century Resort is themed around the pop culture of the past half century, and giant, two- and three-story icons represent nostalgic items and characters from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Petals is located at POP’s Hippy Dippy Pool, which is shaped like a giant flower and plopped down in the center of the two 1960’s buildings. This is the resort’s main pool, situated right behind the building housing the lobby, food court, and gift shop.

I really like the ability to stop into the food court or gift shop to get any items that might be needed, then stroll outside to grab a cocktail and have a seat in the shade. Because the pool is so close to the main building, you really don’t feel out of place having a cocktail at the pool bar when you’re not swimming. This is a great feature at value and moderate resorts, which don’t have indoor lounges.

There are no food offerings at Petals, but there’s a good variety of frozen, on-the-rocks, and non-alcoholic drinks. If you need something to nosh on, just pop into Everything POP Food Court for a snack, and bring it back out to the pool area!

Petals Pool Bar Menu

Petals Pool Bar Menu

Petals Pool Bar Menu

Petals Pool Bar Menu

Once you’ve settled in with your drink, pass the time by watching a ping-pong match on the nearby table, or ponder which Disney tattoo or hair wrap you might treat yourself to — those kiosks are just across the pathway from Petals!

Ping Pong Table

Ping Pong Table

Hair Wrap Station

Hair Wrap Station

Overall, Petals is a great place to comfortably relax. Even when I’m not staying at POP Century, I love popping by the resort for a bite to eat in the food court (one of the best on property in my opinion) and grab a drink at Petals. Good drinks, good people. I’m a big fan.

Pool Bars: Banana Cabana

I’ve long wanted to do a series on pool bars, and Brad over at DisneyCaribbeanBeach.com tribute website has kindly offered the photos for me to start!

Banana Cabana

Banana Cabana holds a special place in my heart as it’s always so relaxing, and I continuously find the kindest and most engaging bartenders there!

Banana Cabana Bartenders

Banana Cabana Bartenders

And, as all Disney World pool bars do, Banana Cabana serves the standard Disney drinks as well as a few of its own special concoctions! Indulge in mixed drinks, frozen or on the rocks; all servings of bears; wines; and non-alcoholic drinks — including a non-alcoholic pina colada!

Disney World Drink Menu

Disney World Drink Menu

Banana Cabana Drink Menu

Banana Cabana Drink Menu

When you get a bit peckish, just head inside Old Port Royale to the Market Street Food Court and visit one of the several food court locations for a bit to eat.

Banana Cabana Seating

Banana Cabana Seating

This is a great place to watch the sunset, keep an eye on the kids in the (AWESOME!) theme pool, or just enjoy some time with your friends and family on vacation. Sit back, relax, and take in a little of that caribbean calm!

What’s YOUR favorite pool bar? I’ll add it to the list for the series! Let me know via facebook, twitter, or email!