Best Restaurants for Thanksgiving and Christmas in Walt Disney World

Will you be celebrating Thanksgiving or Christmas in Walt Disney World?

mickey-christmas-holiday-santa-krispy-treat-2016-1

Lucky you! What a fun way to spend the holiday season — with so much to be thankful for in such a cool place!

As you can imagine, the crowds tend to swell at Disney during holiday weeks like Thanksgiving and Christmas as lots of Disney fans choose to celebrate their holiday there. And Disney answers the call with tons of Thanksgiving spirit throughout many of their restaurants.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional meal, a gourmet twist on familiar favorites, or something that’s a complete departure from established customs, you’ll find lots of options for celebrating these special food days. Let’s check out a few of our favorites.

The Traditional: Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

We all know it’s true. When you’re craving Thanksgiving dinner at Disney, there’s one spot you can always count on to deliver: Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square.

Liberty Tree Tavern Entrance

Liberty Tree Tavern Entrance

And we’re not just talking about on Thanksgiving Day, or merely around Thanksgiving. You’ll find the traditional feast on the lunch and dinner menu, every day of the year. [Read more…]

News: Highway in the Sky (aka Monorail) Dine Around Progressive Dinner Begins December 2nd in Disney World

Who doesn’t love a trip around the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Resorts on the Monorail?

I know I do. And now there’s a new extra ticket dining event you can add to your trip on the Highway in the Sky… the Highway in the Sky Dine Around!

The Wave Entrance

The Wave Entrance

Your evening begins by checking in at The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, accompanied with a welcome appetizer and specialty cocktail.

Next stop? Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort for island-inspired spirits and appetizers! [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: November 15, 2016

Hello, friends! Well, we’d be remiss if we didn’t start out this post by wishing THIS GUY a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Happy Birthday to THIS GUY!!

Happy Birthday, Mickey!!

Mickey Mouse was presented to the world with the premiere of the animated short “Steamboat Willie” on November 18, 1928. And our favorite Mouse will be joining us all around the World today for our November edition of What’s New!

All Around the World

The Holiday Season is upon us! [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: October 20, 2016

HAPPY OCTOBER!!! Milder temps have returned to Walt Disney World where we’re checking out What’s New in all four parks, Disney Springs, and a few of our favorite Resorts. AND it’s still high time for Pumpkin Spice, Candy Corn, and All Things Autumn.

Candy Corn Cupcake

Candy Corn Cupcake

Sooo… what are YOU going to be for Halloween? [Read more…]

News: New Dining Discounts for Disney World Annual Passholders for 45th Anniversary Year

Happy 45th Anniversary, Walt Disney World!

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

And Happy Anniversary to Disney World Annual Passholders, who can take part in the celebration by enjoying some brand new discounts at select dining and merchandise locations around Disney World for the anniversary year! [Read more…]

Review: Candy Apple Cupcake at the Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Let’s take a quick look at the Year So Far in Contempo Cafe Cupcakes, shall we?

Over the past several months, this Contemporary Resort Counter Service spot has brought us a rotating cast of cupcakes including — among many others — the Churro Cupcake, the Cherry Cupcake, the Banana Flip Cupcake, the Watermelon Cupcake, and — most recently — the Turtle Cupcake.

Well, now we’ve got one more to add to the list: the Candy Apple Cupcake.

Actually, make that two… Contempo Cafe currently has a Candy Bar Cupcake along with the Candy Apple Cupcake on offer. You’ll find them in the Cupcake Fridge (one of the self-serve refrigerators was recently dedicated entirely to cupcakes!) along with some of the more regularly available cupcakes like the Dirt & Worms Cupcake and a Frozen-themed Cupcake.

Cupcake Fridge!

Cupcake Fridge!

They’re all in grab-and-go packaging these days since they’re no longer in the usual bakery case, but they’re still made in-house. They each run about $5.59 and are snack credit eligible on the Disney Dining Plan.

The Candy Apple Cupcake is vanilla cake topped with candy apple flavored buttercream, which is then covered in sugar and finished with a fondant-like leaf and a pretzel stick for the cute details. [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: September 20, 2016

The Halloween decorations are up and the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival is ON! It MUST BE FALL in Walt Disney World!

Halloween Decoration in Magic Kingdom

Halloween Decorations at Magic Kingdom

So please join us for a very pumpkin-spiced edition of What’s New ;) ! [Read more…]

Guest Review: Brunch at the Top at California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Guest Author AM Appleby returns to share her California Grill Brunch at the Top experience at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Brunch is offered every Sunday from 10AM – 1PM. Cost is $80 for adults and $48 for kids ages 3-11.

California Grill, located atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is well known for fine dining and spectacular views. A divine spot for sushi, steak, and fabulous cocktails, the restaurant began serving brunch in February for the first time in its 20-year history.

Considering the reputation of California Grill, I didn’t even glance at the menu before booking an Advance Dining Reservation. I thought brunch would be top notch, and had high hopes that I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Atmosphere

Upon arriving at the Contemporary Resort, we were directed to Valet Parking where a Cast Member was waiting to greet us. After a quick trip to the second floor check-in desk we were whisked away in a private elevator to the 15th floor. We walked towards the abundant light streaming in through the enormous windows, admiring the view beyond, and were given complimentary mimosas (and a children’s mimosa — or “faux-mosa” for my seven-year-old daughter) at the bar.

Complimentary Mimosas

Complimentary Mimosas

The spacious room was fairly quiet, with charming music being played on piano and double bass. [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

On my recent family trip to Walt Disney World, we decided that a visit to the Contempo Cafe was in order.

Because guess what?

When it comes to visiting Walt Disney World for vacation, we’re like any other family: we like to mix it up with a combo of table service and counter service restaurants. It keeps things interesting, but it saves us a little money, too. And of course, it’s all for the sake of research! :-D

Besides, some of my favorite foods at Disney World can be found at counter service spots. It’s not a trip to Disney World without visits to favorites like Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian, Restaurantosaurus at Animal Kingdom, Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France, and many others.

It may not be super-themed, but in my opinion, Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort holds its own against any of these. Let’s check it out.

Atmosphere

You may have passed Contempo Cafe dozens of times without even knowing it — especially if you’re fond of riding the monorail to Magic Kingdom (and really, who isn’t).

Monorail!!

Monorail!!

It’s located right next to the wildly popular Chef Mickey’s on the Grand Canyon Concourse in Disney’s Contemporary Resort Hotel. [Read more…]

Review: California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

On my recent visit to Walt Disney World, my husband and I made it a goal to carve out time for a date night at California Grill.

If you love signature dining at Disney World, then you probably know the Grill well. Perched atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the spot has Disney history on its side. After all, Top of the World, which originally occupied the fifteenth floor, dated all the way back to Disney World’s opening. California Grill opened as its replacement in 1995, and brought with it a new emphasis on market fresh ingredients and California fusion flavors.

It was more than just another new Disney restaurant. It, along with Victoria and Albert’s, paved the way for a more refined dining experience at Walt Disney World.

My recent experiences have been a little uneven, however. (Even California Grill isn’t immune to the Disney restaurant curse of inconsistency.) So it’s always good to check in on an old favorite. After all, this was our first visit after the departure of Chef Brian Piasecki, so we had to see what was happening in the kitchen. And that view makes it easy to take a chance with the Grill.

Let’s head to the second floor.

Atmosphere

Why the second floor you ask? Because if you want to go California Grill, your journey begins here. You’ll check in at the podium before you’re escorted to the elevator that takes you to the fifteenth floor.

Second Floor Check In Desk for California Grill

Second Floor Check In Desk for California Grill

Once you arrive, you’ll step into California Grill’s sleek environment. [Read more…]