Review: Breakfast at White Water Snacks in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

We’re in Disneyland on this lovely Friday, and we’re heading to White Water Snacks for a quick tour and bite before venturing into the parks!

White Water Snacks

The counter-service and grab-and-go restaurant is located at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, and serves as a stop for a hearty, hot breakfast on the run.

But with lots of grab and go options, you’ll find all kinds of choices to fuel up for a fun day. Let’s head in for a look around.

Atmosphere

Enter White Water from the California sunshine, off of the hotel’s courtyard. The entrance is right off of the pool area, so watch for drippy kids and wet floors! ;-)

Entrance

Entrance

A menu at the entrance gives you some general information about what’s available here, and the hours during which you can order different meals. Handy!

Menu Board -- Click to Enlarge

Menu Board — Click to Enlarge

Once inside, you see the same wood and stone touches that are a familiar part of the rest of this hotel. The feeling here is slightly more rustic than Storyteller’s Cafe, however. It’s more like a posh camping outpost than a restaurant in a swanky lodge.

Seating White Water Snacks

Seating and Rustic Atmosphere

There is seating available both inside and outside. Both options are basic, but comfortable for a quick meal.

Seating and Atmosphere

More Seating

Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Seating

Be sure to keep an eye out for the famous Disneyland cats! Fun little furballs roam Disneyland’s grounds freely, and they often stop by Whitewater as it’s one of five official Disneyland feeding stations for the kitties (others can be found at Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland and Taste Pilot’s Grill at DCA).

One of the famous Disneyland Cats

Back inside, you start to get a feel for your options, which range from hot, prepared entrees, to grab and go selections.

During our morning visit, we spied a small variety of [Read more…]

Review: Storytellers Cafe at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

I was recently back in Disneyland for a visit, and I couldn’t resist booking lunch at one of my favorite locations, Storytellers Cafe.

storytellers cafe

We visited anticipating a delicious and relaxing experience, as we often have at Storytellers. The fact that I had a mad craving for that Charred Nebraska Corn Chowder and had been dreaming about it was just a happy coincidence. ;-)

Won’t you join us?

Atmosphere

You’ll find Storytellers at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, which certainly lives up to its name. It is simply a gorgeous place to spend some time.

With design that typifies the American Craftsman style, you are surrounded by larger than life, simple warm accents that make grand use of natural materials, like wood and stone. You find the same style carried through Storytellers Cafe.

Fireplace and Atmosphere

Fireplace and Atmosphere

Two major design elements tend to dominate the decor of Storytellers Cafe: you’ll find murals and large paintings covering the walls. Paintings depict…storytelling, of course — featuring classic stories with California as their setting.

One of the Many Large Paintings in Storytellers Cafe

One of the Many Large Paintings in Storytellers Cafe

But you also find ample use of silhouettes in many places throughout the dining space. And check out the beautiful post and beam construction on the ceiling while you’re looking up. (Disney World fans will get a definite Wilderness Lodge vibe from this place!)

Lighting and Ceiling Detail

Lighting and Ceiling Detail

Stained glass with warm swirls of color are a hallmark of Arts and Crafts design, and the stained glass softly filters the indirect light, which provides the perfect backdrop to these working man silhouettes.

And be sure to notice the detail on the hanging lights as well! They’re really something special.

Storytelling Lighting

Storytelling Lighting

Lanterns hung from copper stands distribute light throughout the dining room, and give the sense of bringing the outdoors inside.

Lantern

Lantern

And as is often the case — don’t forget to look down! Even the carpeting conveys the theme and story of this spot with letters and more silhouettes.

Carpet

Carpet

Throughout Storytellers Cafe, the art of storytelling shares the stage with [Read more…]

News! Disneyland Dining Reservations Available Online Starting October 3rd

Disneyland Resort has announced that dining reservations will be available online starting October 3, 2013!

This new option will make booking meals more efficient at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure park, Downtown Disney District, and Disneyland Resort hotel restaurants. (YAY!!!)

Disneyland Dining Reservation System

Once the online booking option is live, the dine@disneyland.com email reservation service will end, however those reservations may also be made at 714-781-DINE.

Looking for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Pirates League, and Studio Disney 365 reservations? You’ll still need to call 714-781-STYLE.

Credit Card Guarantee

Beginning October 3, guests who make new dining reservation OR modify existing dining reservations will be required [Read more…]

DIY Disney Recipe: Nebraska Corn Chowder from Storytellers Cafe

This week, guest chef Carol returns with one of my FAVORITE recipes! This time she cooks up the Corn Chowder from the Storytellers Café at the Grand Californian in the Disneyland Resort!

So, I’d never been to Disneyland California until just recently! I know, I know, but please hear me out before you judge! I grew up in Central Florida…in Walt Disney World’s backyard.

But recently, I made my first trip to Disneyland! It was just like the commercials…you know with all the families making memories together! We were there with my husband’s family including our two cute, adorable li’l nieces! I couldn’t wait to wear those fun Family Reunion pins.

The first thing I did when I found out we were going was make my foodie list…of course! I also dug into my Disney cookbooks to start making fun dishes at home to get us excited about the trip.

I was excited to find several fun recipes from Disneyland California in my Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs cookbook. The Storytellers Cafe Corn Chowder definitely caught my eye, since my grocery store is full of fresh, sweet corn right now. The recipe is served fresh every day in the Storytellers Café at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Resort, and it’s been on the menu since the restaurant opened.

Storyteller's Cafe Corn Chowder -- as served in the restaurant

This recipe is super easy to make and can be ready to serve the same night you make it! So, let’s get started:

Ingredients

This is a great one to make during the Summer when you’ve got all kinds of fresh sweet corn at the farmers’ markets and grocery stores!

Corn Chowder Ingredients.

-4 ears fresh corn, unshucked
-2 slices bacon, diced
-1 tbsp diced onion
-1 tsp chopped garlic
-1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
-4 cups chicken stock
-6 tbsp butter [Read more…]

Guest Review: Napa Rose Chef’s Counter in Disneyland Resort

Please welcome back guest author Heather Jones as she shares a review of the Chef’s Counter at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian in Disneyland Resort!

Recently my husband and I had the opportunity to take a quick trip out to California to visit friends and of course, Disneyland! Because this was a bonus trip, money was a little tight. However, I had always dreamed of dining at the famous Napa Rose Restaurant.

Napa Rose

We decided to save our pennies by snacking our way through the weekend and then have a big, splash-out meal at the end of the trip. I’m here to report that this was a great move!

Atmosphere

Napa Rose is located in Disneyland’s flagship hotel, The Grand Californian.

We started our journey in the lounge. There were plenty of cozy areas to relax and enjoy a drink while we waited for our reservation, but I just dashed around snapping pictures.

Napa Rose Lounge

Rose themed lighting.

Comfy seating in the lounge.

Outdoor fireplace seating area.

Napa Rose Bar

Very expensive scotches and liquors behind glass.

Custom-label Pixar Wines from John Lasseter's Vineyard!

After a short wait, we were ushered into the dining room, which features floor to ceiling windows that allow beautiful views of the lush landscaping. We, however, would not be sitting at one of these tables because we decided to experience the Chef’s Counter.

Napa Rose Dining Room...and tables where we would NOT be sitting tonight!

The Napa Rose rose!

Here’s the Chef’s Counter, which offers two seatings per night and has eight seats — four on one side and four on the other. The view of the open kitchen is [Read more…]

Limited Time Magic Dinners at Disney World and Disneyland Just in Time for Valentine’s Day!

Love is in the air — especially at Disney!

As 2013 continues to be the year for Limited Time Magic Events, Disney is hosting True Love Week at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland complete with specialty menus at several restaurants!

It's Romance Time at Disney!

Walt Disney World

As a Limited Time Magic addition during February 11-17, romantic dinners for two will be offered with prix fixe menus at select restaurants.

Specially-created menus at Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort make an ideal setting for a romantic evening.

Book online at disneyworld.com/dining, or call (407) WDW-DINE.

The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios is the Perfect Setting for Your Romantic Dinner

Disneyland

Also during February 11-17, choose romantic dinners with prix fixe menus at the following restaurants: Blue Bayou and Café Orleans in Disneyland, Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California [Read more…]

DFB Readers Choose! Best Disney Restaurants for Quiet Dining

Need a relaxing date night? Have a sleeping baby? Want to simply get away from the crowds and the bustle of the Disney parks for a while?

We asked our friends on the Disney Food Blog Facebook Page for their recommendations on quiet dining in Disney World and Disneyland, and we want to hear YOURS, too!

The locations mentioned the most in Walt Disney World were: Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

In Disneyland, Facebook Friends gave the most shout-outs to Blue Bayou in Disneyland Park and Napa Rose at the Grand Californian Resort.

Best Disney World Restaurants For Quiet Dining

Let’s take a peek at these top Disney Food Blog reader choices for quiet dining in Disney World!

Jiko

For romance, delicious dishes, and a peaceful meal inspired by low lighting and a calming water feature view, head over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jiko.

Jiko View

Facebook Friend Adhiraj G. recommends “Jiko later in the evening! great view, great service and quiet (in a relaxed sort of way)!”

Filet and Mac and Cheese at Jiko (Mac and Cheese can be ordered by request)

A window-side table offers a beautiful view during daylight hours while savoring the gourmet cuisine. Keep an eye on the soothing “sunset wall” at the back of the restaurant, which cycles through the [Read more…]

Disneyland Dining Reservations Via Email Now Available

Great news for us Disneyland food fans! Restaurant reservations can now be booked via email! Remember, reservations in Disneyland can be booked 60 days in advance.

Say Hello to Tigger at Minnie's Breakfast at the Plaza in Disneyland!

Here’s how it works:

  • Guests may now email their dining reservation requests to dine@disneyland.com
  • Requests will be reviewed the same day, when received during the hours of 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., 7 days a week
  • Requests received after hours will be reviewed the next day
  • Guests may request Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Studio Disney 365 reservations through this email address as well
  • Email requests should include the following information:
    1. Name of the restaurant or experience you’d like to book
    2. Requested reservation date and meal period (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
    3. Total number of guests in your party
    4. Your name and phone number
  • Remember: Your request is not confirmed until you’ve received a confirmation number

See our list of Disneyland table-service restaurants here!

As always, you can also book your reservations by phone on the Disney Dine Line (714-781-DINE).

Thanks to the Disney Parks Blog for the details!

More Fat-Free Fun! Disneyland Food Graphic Suitcase Now Available

More and more, we’re seeing iconic Disney food depicted as graphics, shapes, and patterns in Disney merchandise. You’ll remember the Mickey Bar-shaped antenna topper and the Mickey breakfast pajama pants, of course. And who can forget the Disney food playset and the Disney food magnets!

But walking through the lobby of the Grand Californian Friday night, I spotted what I think is quite possibly the coolest “food” merchandise I’ve ever come across.  So cool that I have a strong feeling I will be back to buy it. 

I love Disney Food. I love Disney travel. SO, why not combine the two for a super awesome, totally radical new Disney food suitcase? This beauty was calling my name from its pedestal in the lobby gift shop.

Foodie Suitcase Perfection

The fun snack food designs are what caught my eye first. I noticed the Mickey Bars, popcorn, lollipops, and cotton candy. Already I’m sold. THEN I saw that it was specific to Disneyland Resort and noticed the text that read Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. So fun. 

But wait! There’s still more to notice. It took me a minute until I realized that the orange “shape” was actually the silhouette of Grizzly Peak over at DCA, and of course you can’t forget the purple Sleeping Beauty Castle. Another fun detail? The [Read more…]

Care For Some Disney With That Winery?

Many folks hear “Disney” and immediately think of Dumbo, oppressive heat, or waiting in lines all day. But one of our many goals here at the Disney Food Blog is to show another side of Disney — the side that includes yummy eats, relaxing restaurants, indulgent drinks, and even a few sophisticated wines!

For example, I knew that a few vineyards had ties to Disney, but I had no idea how many winemakers were somehow associated with the man and his mirthful creations! Here are four that we found had ties to the Disney name…would love to hear of others, or to hear your reviews of these companies!

Silverado Vineyards

2009 Miller Ranch Sauvignon Blanc

The eldest daughter of Walt and Lillian Disney, Diane Disney Miller, purchased a Napa Valley vineyard in the early 1970s with her husband, Ronald Miller.

After successfully selling the fruits of their labor to wineries, they decided to go into the wine business themselves, creating Silverado Vineyard Winery, which opened in 1981.

“It was beautiful land, and it was land that was working,” said Diane Miller of their first vineyards.

If you can’t get to Napa Valley, visit this incredible vineyard at silveradovineyards.com/.

Lasseter Family

Update: DCL now offering Lasseter Family Wine excursions at its San Francisco port-of-call!

Paysage Wine

You know John Lasseter as the director of Pixar blockbusters like Toy Story and Cars. He is now the chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation as well as the Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering.

In 1992, John Lasseter’s family discovered the art (and fun) of wine-making, and ten years later they purchased a 27-acre vineyard in California. Today, [Read more…]