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 Dining Tip from the DFB Guide: Dining at Bars and Lounges in Walt Disney World

When it comes to Disney World, bars and lounges aren’t just adults-only destinations — and they don’t just serve drinks.

In fact, here’s a Best Kept Secret in Disney dining planningDisney bars and lounges can be great places to get a meal with the whole family. These hidden gems are often less crowded than standard restaurants, too!

In The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book, we have an entire section reviewing every single bar and lounge in Walt Disney World. It’s well worth a read to find out great spots to get a full meal or a snack — even with no Advance Dining Reservation!

Now let’s take a peek at a few of our favorites…

English Bulldog with Chips at Rose and Crown Pub in Epcot's UK Pavilion

Bars and Lounges Inside the Theme Parks

A Disney World trip can be hectic (meeting characters, dashing to attractions, and racing off to dining reservations!), so finding a place inside the parks to escape the hoopla is key to a relaxing vacation!

With signature cocktails, cheese plates, fondue, burgers, donuts, pasta, and more, you’ll find some truly inspired menus at Disney World’s bars and lounges. Sometimes you’ll even be able to order from the full menu of a nearby restaurant.

In Epcot, we can highly recommend stopping in to Tutto Gusto in Italy, Rose and Crown Pub in the UK, or La Cava del Tequila in Mexico.

Fireplace Area Seating at Tutto Gusto

At Tutto Gusto, order from an awesome menu of meats and cheeses, paninis, pastas, and more. A relaxing atmosphere and full tables allow for an easy meal for the whole family.

Cheeses, Meats, and Shrimp Cavatappi at Tutto Gusto Lounge in Epcot's Italy

Rose and Crown Pub, attached to Rose and Crown Restaurant, features a fun menu that — gasp! — the kids might even like! We can highly recommend the Scotch Eggs and the British Bulldog sausage (see our review of the British Bulldog here — and the photo at the top of this article)!

Scotch Eggs at Rose and Crown

If you’re there on a weekday, seek out Carl the Bartender and ask him to show you his amazing magic trick!

Carl the Bartender and the tipping pint

At La Cava del Tequila, sample a few Mexican appetizers like chips and salsa, queso, and guacamole along with your margaritas!

Chips and queso at Cava del Tequila

Another favorite place to unwind in the parks and get a great meal is at Tune-In Lounge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Here, you can get great shakes for the kids, fun signature drinks for [Read more…]

News! Rix Lounge Announces Tequila Tasting at Coronado Springs Resort

Now and then we like to explore the lesser-known hang-outs at Walt Disney World. Tucked into the main building at Coronado Springs Resort and specializing in awesome tequilas (they’re run by the same folks who run Cava del Tequila!) Rix Lounge is a unique place to unwind!

Rix Lounge Entrance

We’ve got a photo tour of this fun nightspot for you below, but first I have some super fun news to share for those of us who love tequila and beverage tastings!

Rix Lounge’s FIRST EVER Tequila Tasting

Rix Lounge will host their first ever Tequila Tasting on Saturday, March 30th, at 8pm! A tequila ambassador (Hilda, maybe?) will guide guests through the history and production process of tequila, the different types and categories of tequila, and of course a tasting.

Rix Tequila Tasting

I’m guessing this will be a LOT like the tequila tastings from the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which have now been turned into full blown tequila lunches! The tasting will include Milagro Select Barrel Silver, Partida Reposado, and Gran Centenario Añejo. A delicious Sangrita will be the finishing touch.

Tickets are available to the general public (ages 21 and up) at $30 per person in advance, or $35 per person at the door. A table reservation is required.

Rix Lounge Photo Tour

Now, for those of you who haven’t ever been to this little-known Disney hot spot, let’s take a gander around! Here’s a photo tour for ya!!

Rix Lounge Decor

Many special events are held at Rix Lounge, including kid birthday parties and romantic weddings! So, check the schedule before planning your evening. There is [Read more…]

News! A la Carte Menus at Pepper Market in Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Recent changes at Pepper Market at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort have resulted in brand new lunch and dinner menus at the food court.

Over the past several months, Pepper Market has gone through a series of menu changes. Prior to December 2011, the counter service spot offered a unique cafeteria-style experience, allowing guests to select their meal from a wide array of items. In early 2012, the restaurant switched to a buffet service; and on January 1, 2013, the new a la carte menu went into effect.

While the restaurant’s popular all-day buffet (and never-ending burritos) is gone, the meal is still a Quick Service credit on the Disney Dining Plan, and the lunch and dinner menus are varied and interesting.

Pepper Market Entrance

Guests can still expect a healthy assortment of Mexican- and American-inspired dishes, including the popular burrito with steak, rice, and beans … and a lot of delicious cheese sauce!

The burrito at Pepper Market is a crowd pleaser.

Here’s a peek at the new, a la carte breakfast and dinner menus (lunch is still [Read more…]

Where to Get Waffles in Walt Disney World

We’ve gathered all kinds of waffle choices in order to bring this Waffle Gallery to you! Whether you’re hankering for a Belgian waffle with fruit topping, a waffle with powdered sugar, a Mickey shaped breakfast waffle, or even a waffle sandwich – we’ve got the deets on where to take care of your craving.

There are some really creative waffle creations in the mix, so be sure to add one or more of these waffle choices to your next Walt Disney World visit.

Giant Mickey Waffle

Yes, Disney World menus are ever-changing so always check the most recent menus prior to your visit. The waffles listed below are in alphabetical order based on how they’re listed on Walt Disney World menus.

Bananas Foster Waffles

Roaring Fork at the Wilderness Lodge is home to some comforting waffle creations on the regular and kid’s breakfast menus. You’ll find more to tempt you further down in this list. The Bananas Foster Waffles are covered with warm bananas in a buttered rum-flavored sauce. Plus, they are Mickey-shaped!

Bananas Foster Waffles

Belgian Waffle

  • A Belgian waffle with Maple Butter and Candied Pecan Topping is offered at the Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
  • Seasonal Fresh Fruit, Maple Syrup and Whipped Cream accompany the Belgian waffle offered at Wolfgang Puck Express, Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Belgian Waffle Sundae

Belgian Waffle Sundae

At the AMC Dine-In Theatre in Downtown Disney, a pair of warm Belgian waffles are infused with maple flavor, then topped with vanilla ice cream, drizzled in luscious caramel sauce and topped with a generous sprinkle of sweet and savory candied bacon. What a dessert!

Belgium Waffle

Photo Tour: Cafe Rix at Coronado Springs Resort in Walt Disney World

While Coronado Springs Resort in Walt Disney World has a lot of charm and many fans (myself included!), it’s a little slim on meal options.

See, the resort’s table-service restaurant, Maya Grill, is only open for dinner these days; and the counter-service Pepper Market has gone buffet for breakfast and lunch, and closes from 2 p.m. until dinner. So sometimes it’s hard to find a bite to eat outside of Siesta’s Pool Bar. And while pool bars are charming, that might not be quite the vibe you’re seeking.

Enter Cafe Rix.

This is the only grab and go option for you at Coronado Springs. But does it offer what busy families and convention-goers really need to fuel up for a day at Disney? Let’s take a peek inside!

Rix Cafe Sign

Decorated in a Mediterranean style, the cafe offers a little something for everyone.

Entry to Cafe

Fresh fruit, wine, and newspapers are available, in addition to prepared cold items. I’m also totally digging on those lantern-like, Mexican light fixtures! That’s one of [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 Quick-Service Values for 2012

It’s time to re-visit our Top 5 Quick-Service 2012 Disney Dining Plan* Values! Last year, our choices were great bargains because they offered good portions and quality food — and they were less attractive when paying out-of-pocket!

Since then, prices and options have changed, so it’s time to re-evaluate for 2012!

Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney

While shopping at Downtown Disney, use your quick service credit at Wolfgang Puck Express! The Pennette Chicken Alfredo with peas, bacon and parmesan at $15 is very filling (an easy meal to split)!

Pennette Chicken Alfredo

Here are some other smart choices:
Spaghetti & Meatballs with tomato-basil-garlic sauce and fresh herbs $16; Oven Roasted Salmon served with fennel, tomatoes, arugula, roasted potatoes and horseradish cream $18; or the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf accompanied by mashed potatoes, port wine sauce and crispy onion rings $15.

Quality and quantity make WPE the place at Downtown Disney to get the best value with your DDP credit!

Katsura Grill

We’re assuming that Katsura Grill, which opens TODAY at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot, is on the Dining Plan as a counter-service location. If we’re right, it will be a great value for a counter-service credit. (By the way, since it’s replacing the Yakitori House, we’re guessing that it will be on the Dining Plan; but we don’t know yet for sure!)

On the new menu the Sushi Combos, including the California Roll and the Spicy Tuna Roll, top out at $12.99, as does the Tonosama combo, with comes with teriyaki beef, chicken, and salmon. The Teriyaki Salmon is $11.99, while the [Read more…]

News! Coronado Springs’ Pepper Market to Test Breakfast and Lunch Buffet

It’s been recently noted over on WDW For Grownups that the innovative food court, the Pepper Market, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will test a buffet during its breakfast and lunch hours.

The Pepper Market buffet “test” will take place December 4, 2011 – January 4, 2012 at a cost of $14.99 for adults and $8.99 for kids for the morning meal [Read more…]

Guest Review: Coronado Springs Resort’s Pepper Market

Bill Iadonisi returns with a colorful and impressive review of the Pepper Market at the Coronado Springs Resort. Take it away, Bill!

When guests vacation to Walt Disney World, they are looking forward to going on their favorite attractions, seeing World-Class shows and entertainment, and of course meeting the Disney Characters. A trip to Disney is an exciting adventure for all. But for many, the rides and attractions are just the tip of the iceberg.

I know that for myself, dining at Disney is a whole world of fun! With menu options from around the world and a huge diversity of food choices, the dining scene is a theme park unto itself.

Welcome!

While most guests hanker to dine in the parks, the resort venues are just as impressive. We know the classic restaurants such as Citricos, the California Grill and Jiko, but the resorts are also home to some of Walt Disney World’s “sleeper” restaurants.

These eateries are hidden gems with mostly low crowds, fantastic menus and easy access. Many times when the parks are booked, you can usually walk right in or have just a short wait before dining. Some of my favorites are the Kona Café and the Captain’s Grille. And here we will review; Coronado Springs Resort’s Pepper Market restaurant.

Atmosphere and Ordering Process

Pepper Market is an open food court located in the main building area of Coronado Springs Resort, called “El Centro.” It is a counter-service restaurant, although your drinks are brought to the table by a server.

But what makes this eatery special is its extensive menu and expansive dining area. Even during crowded times, you can usually find a table. It is themed after a south of the border-feel marketplace. Huge and airy, it is also very colorful, bright and gives the feeling of space versus claustrophobia — something we love in Disney restaurants.

Dining Area

As you make your way to the entrance, (next to Coronado’s table-service restaurant, the Maya Grill) you walk on terracotta tiles and past wrought iron fences adorned with green plants. Everything is vibrant and very colorful. It puts a smile on your face before you are even seated. At the entrance is a [Read more…]