Disney Food Pics of the Week: Gingerbread at Disney!

Today, we have another great edition of Disney Food Pics of the Week! We love to head over to our Flickr page — Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza — where DFB readers share all of their Disney Food Photos. Wanna get in on the fun? Just head over and post your pics for a chance to have them featured in our Disney Food Pics of the Week Series!

There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than a tour of the extravagant Gingerbread Displays at Walt Disney World. The treats that pop up during this time of year are extra special, too! Today, let’s look at a few of the photos that you’ve taken capturing the magic of Disney World Gingerbread!

Gingerbread Mickey Cookie

Gingerbread Mickey Cookie

Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Floridian

Photographer: Scott Sanders

It just wouldn’t be Christmas at Walt Disney World without a trip to see the huge Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. I love this shot, which shows you the scale of the house and captures some of the beautiful lobby interior of the hotel as well! (Keep an eye on the chimney — you may just see smoke rising from the house when you’re there!)

Gingerbread House at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Gingerbread Shingle

Photographer: Riniel Calaelen

After a day of touring all of the beautiful gingerbread displays at Walt Disney World, it’s pretty normal to start craving those spicy cookies! That’s when a shingle from Disney’s BoardWalk will come in handy for takeaway holiday noshing!

Gingerbread Shingle from Disney's BoardWalk

Gingerbread Shingle from Disney’s BoardWalk

Gingerbread Carousel Horse at Disney’s Beach Club

Photographer: [Read more…]

Happy National Coffee Day! Three Unique Ways to Enjoy Coffee at Disney World

In case you didn’t know, today is National Coffee Day. And we all know that java lovers don’t check their passion for this Drink of Life when they step foot inside the Big Purple Gates!

coffee hut typhoon lagoon

There are the big headliners in the Disney coffee game. With Starbucks at two parks and Downtown Disney (and coming soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios), you’re never far from your favorite coffee beverage. And Joffreys coffee stands inside and outside the parks lure us with those fresh coffee smells and giant doughnuts. But what if you’re looking for something a little different? Today, we have a few suggestions for other spots to indulge in some really unique coffee treats in Disney World.

Tipsy Ducks in Love

Looking for a coffee drink with a little “cheer” involved? Try the Tipsy Ducks in Love at the Joy of Tea in the China Pavilion at Epcot. Besides the crazy fun name, this refreshing Iced Mocha comes with two additions to make it extra special — a shot of Bourbon and a crown of Whipped Cream.

Tipsy Duck

Tipsy Duck

It’s the perfect drink for strolling the Promenade on a hot day. Or enjoy it after dinner as dessert!

Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake

Speaking of dessert, one of my favorite ways to enjoy coffee is in cupcake form. :-) So when the craving strikes, head over to Toy Story Pizza Planet in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake.

Since I prefer to get my coffee buzz with liberal amounts of other flavors thrown in, this mammoth cupcake is perfect! The coffee flavors are very subtle, and take a backseat to the chocolate. But it’s a flavor that’s more complex than your garden variety chocolate cupcake.

Cuppuccino Cupcake

Cuppuccino Cupcake

And the whipped Buttercream Frosting and Toffee and Nut Bits that complete this classic are a nice addition.

Victoria & Albert’s

But if you’re looking for a coffee experience, you must try [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: September 24, 2014

Food is always the star of the show for Disney Food Fans, but there’s no time of year when food steals the spotlight quite like this… with a little something called the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!

But that’s not all the food news in these parts! We’ve spotted more fall treats and new Resort eats as we’ve been looking around Disney World to see What’s New

EPCOT

So, right off the bat, we know this isn’t exactly what you would call a “surprise” ;) , but since it’s Epcot’s time to shine, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the recent opening of this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Food and Wine Festival!

Be sure to check out the Must-Eats among the dishes making their debut this year!

Bacon Hash at the Farm Fresh Booth

Bacon Hash at the Farm Fresh Booth

Coconut Candy at the Brazil Booth

Coconut Candy at the Brazil Booth

Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins® and cream cheese icing

Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins® and cream cheese icing at the Hops & Barley booth

In other EPCOT food news (yep, there’s still more!), the ice cream experts at L’Artisan des Glaces are helping everyone get into the Fall spirit with their release of the Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Macaron Sandwich.

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Macaron Sandwich

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Macaron Sandwich

You can enjoy this pumpkin deliciousness in a [Read more…]

DFB Reader Questions Answered: Best Restaurants to Celebrate a Grown-Up Birthday at Walt Disney World

Today, we’re pulling another great question out the Disney Food Blog mailbag. You guys ask some great ones, and lots of times, we’ll get several emails and inquiries about the same subject.

Spontaneous Birthday Treat at Citricos

Spontaneous Birthday Treat at Citricos

Today, we’re going to delve into the wonderful world of birthday celebrations for grown-ups!

Celebrating Grown Up Birthdays in Walt Disney World

Our DFB reader asks:

We will be vacationing at WDW in May. My 25-year old son will have a birthday while we are there. We would like to have a special meal to celebrate, something fun but also really good!

I love this question! Disney brands itself a great place for all kinds of celebrations. And when it comes to birthdays, why should kiddos have all the fun?

When planning a special meal to celebrate a birthday at Walt Disney World, the most basic advice is probably a great starting point: what does the birthday boy or girl enjoy?

Birthday Dessert

Birthday Dessert

Does he like fine dining, or would he prefer a great night out at a sports bar? Does she like a quiet, elegant setting, or a spot with intricate themeing? Or are they a kid at heart who can Celebrate Mickey with the best of them?

Fantastic ideas abound for fun birthday celebrations at Disney World, but let’s go with my three favorite ideas. At the very least, it might lead to some good brainstorming when it comes time to plan your own special dinner party!

Signature Dining

For the Disney fan who enjoys a fine dining experience, there would be no other place to celebrate a birthday than where these two things meet — Disney’s signature dining restaurants.

If you’re looking for the pinnacle of fine dining, consider booking a table at Victoria and Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Victoria and Albert's Main Dining Room

Victoria and Albert’s Main Dining Room

The ultimate in Disney fine dining, this relaxed, refined restaurant has won countless awards for its upscale take on modern American fare and its stellar wine menu. To make it an even more special experience, book the Chef’s Table!

Another great option is California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The restaurant sits atop the hotel, and boasts panoramic views. It’s a great spot for viewing Wishes, Magic Kingdom’s fireworks spectacular!

Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli is as Good as Ever

Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli at California Grill

Food here is always fresh and inventive, celebrating the farm to table movement and the Asian fusion style that placed California on the culinary map.

For something a little off the beaten path but no less delicious, check out Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Jiko at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

In a relaxing atmosphere that mimics the [Read more…]

Tips From the DFB Guide: Our Top 3 Tips for Late Night Disney World Dining

You’ve just arrived at Walt Disney World and it’s late, and you’re starving. Or you’ve finished at the Park for the day, it’s late, and you’re starving. Or you’ve wrapped up a fun time at Fantasia Golf and — well, you get the gist.

2014 dfb guide 3d cover

Where do you go in Walt Disney World when you’re starving and want to score a late night bite?

Well, there are lots of places, actually! But today, I thought we’d take a closer look at three of our favorites featured in the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book!

Raglan Road Irish Pub

While there are several spots at Downtown Disney where you can enjoy a late night bite to eat, Raglan Road is one of our favorites.

The menu features a mix of comforting, traditional Irish pub food with some fusion flavors, like curry. We have lots of favorites here, but one of the best dishes on the menu is the Fish and Chips! And no worries if you follow a gluten-free approach to eating — their Gluten-Free Fish and Chips are just as fantastic as the traditional version (some even like them better).

Fish and Chips at Raglan Road

Fish and Chips at Raglan Road

But menu is only half the draw here. You’ll also find live music and traditional Irish dancing nightly.

Although it can be tough to get a walk-up table during the earlier evening hours, it’s a little easier to grab a spot later at night. The full menu is available until 11PM; order from the bar menu from 11PM until “late”.

Gasparilla Island Grill

Regardless of the hour, night or day, you can find something to eat at Gasparilla Island Grill.

Located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, it’s a monorail stop away from both Magic Kingdom and the Ticket and Transportation Center. You’ll find a full array of grilled items, salads, pizza, and flatbreads. We absolutely loved the Margherita Flatbread when we tried it on a recent visit!

Margherita Flatbread from Gasparilla Island Grill

Margherita Flatbread from Gasparilla Island Grill

Enjoy the full dinner menu until [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Steak Gallery

It’s time for another fun addition to our Disney Food Galleries!

disney world steak gallery

We just love to share photos of all of our favorite foods — and collect them into galleries for easy viewing! Whether your craving is for popcorn, ice cream, or a cupcake, there’s a gallery for you!

And today, we’re introducing a brand new gallery for all of you red meat lovers out there! Yep, we’ve gathered a whole buncha steaks from around Disney World to help you make your choices on your next visit.

Remember, some of these may drop off menus from time to time or have side dishes or preparation changed, but hopefully this will give you a good overview of what’s available! Here we go!

Yachtsman Steakhouse

Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club is one of my top picks when it comes to steak at Walt Disney World. After all, they decorate with meat — the first thing you pass en route to your seat is the Steak Trimming Room!

Chefs here pride themselves not only on the very best cuts of meat, but appetizers, side dishes, and desserts inspired by market fresh ingredients. Yachtsman combines the very best of seasonal flavors with the traditional steak experience.

My absolute favorite pick at Yachtsman is the 16-ounce Boneless Ribeye. It is always a melt-in-your-mouth choice.

Ribeye with Herb Fries at Yachtsman Steakhouse

Ribeye with Herb Fries at Yachtsman Steakhouse

But we are also big fans of the 12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak, served here with a rich potato gratin stack.

Strip Steak

12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak

Shula’s

Shula’s at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin is the kind of place that you think of when you envision an upscale steakhouse. As your eyes adjust to the dim lighting and you check out the menu — printed on a football! — you’ll settle into the refined elegance of your surroundings.

When I have the chance to dine here, I almost always go for my favorite, the 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye (are you sensing a theme?). The Bone-in Steak has been excellent on every visit. The flavor is unbelievable!

Cowboy Ribeye

22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye

Looking for a lighter approach to soothe your carnivore cravings? We’ve also enjoyed the Steak Mary Anne. Delicate by steakhouse standards, the 5-ounce medallions are served with a simple demi glace in this case. It’s the perfect plate for the guest who prefers all the flavor of prime, aged beef in a smaller serving.

Steak Mary Anne

Steak Mary Anne

Flying Fish

If you’re a landlubber like me, then finding a great steak at a restaurant known for fabulous seafood is a dream come true. But it’s not impossible if you’re dining at Flying Fish Cafe.

When I visit, I always order the Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip. The creamy Sauce Foyot is such a great accent — and they’re never chintzy with it!

Char Crusted Black Angus New York Strip

Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip

Can’t decide between surf and turf? You don’t have to! Try the two house specialities side by side with the Entree Duo, which features the Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak and the restaurant’s most famous fish dish, the Potato-wrapped Red Snapper.

Entree Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

Entree Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

Jiko

Jiko offers some of the most interesting food at Walt Disney World.

And while I enjoy the fusion of African, Indian, and Meditteranean flavors when it comes to appetizers and desserts, I rarely deviate from my favorite entree: the Oak-Grilled Filet.

Oak Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

Oak-Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

And even when their delicious Mac and Cheese isn’t featured as the dish’s side, you can usually score it as a special request (and I totally recommend that you do). :-)

Liberty Inn

In the mood for steak with no Advance Dining Reservation? Then head to Epcot’s Liberty Inn. Their New York Strip Steak, served with Red Wine Butter, Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli, is surprisingly good.

New York Strip Steak Meal

New York Strip Steak Meal

Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant

Even though most of my favorite steaks at Disney World are featured at signature restaurants, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good option at moderately priced restaurants, too, like Sci-Fi Dine-In.

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised by [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: May 6, 2014

Today we’re talking everything from Mac & Cheese to Mine Trains, and from slushes to steins. Please join us for another trip around the World to see What’s New!

Magic Kingdom

Friar’s Nook made waves around New Year’s when the menu changed to feature some very unique styles of Macaroni and Cheese, while hot dogs remained available as a choice. Well, they’ve been brought together in the form of a Truffle Macaroni & Cheese Dog.

Friar's Nook Menu

Friar’s Nook Menu

Why not, right? They had all the ingredients handy since they introduced all that Mac & Cheese goodness to the menu, and it’s always a lovely thing to find more Mac & Cheese Hot Dogs available at Disney World!

The Omnipresent Macaroni and Cheese Hot Dog

The Omnipresent Macaroni and Cheese Hot Dog

But something a bit more unexpected has also arrived: Pot Roast Macaroni & Cheese has replaced the Blue Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Balsamic (whaaaat…?!?).

Pot Roast Mac & Cheese at Friar's Nook

Pot Roast Mac & Cheese at Friar’s Nook

Soooo, what’s it like? Stay tuned for our review!

Pinocchio Village Haus has reopened since its refurbishment. This Magic Kingdom Counter Service restaurant is known for its many rooms with beautiful artwork honoring the film Pinocchio, and it appears the refurbishment was just a general spruce-up with no major changes.

Pinocchio Village Haus

Pinocchio Village Haus

The entrée menu continues to feature flatbreads, and there are only small changes to report.

Pinocchio Village Haus Menu

Pinocchio Village Haus Menu

Those changes are found on the back of the menu: Lemonade Slush and Blue Raspberry Slush have replaced Pinocchio Punch (though you can find the same beverage at Sunshine Tree Terrace: All-Natural Lemonade with Wildberry Foam).

Lemonade and Blue Raspberry Slush

Lemonade and Blue Raspberry Slush

No sign of that Jiminy Cricket’s Slush, either, but the Slushes here do tend to change with some frequency, so we’ll see if Pinocchio’s conscience makes a return one of these days…

Liberty Square Market often reveals some surprises in the small signs around the registers in addition to the more permanent offerings listed on the hanging menu. While this snack stand has had Slushes available for a long time, on my most recent visit they were also offered in the souvenir Horseman’s Stein.

Additional items available at Liberty Square Market

Additional items available at Liberty Square Market

The stein itself has been available at Sleepy Hollow, but this was the first time I’d noticed it here. I adore anything to do with the old Ichabod Crane and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow film, so seeing this piece in other places makes me smile.

Horseman's Stein

Horseman’s Stein

Sing it with me! “He’s the new school master! What’s his name? Ichabod! Ichabo-od Craaaaaane!”

Horseman's Stein

Horseman’s Stein

There’s one more spot where you can grab a Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae (affectionately known here on the DFB as the “Mickey Pants Sundae”). This sign was spotted at the check-in counter for the Plaza Restaurant.

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae

While these aren’t limited to the Magic Kingdom, the Main Street Emporium is the first place we first got to see the new line Princess and Villain mugs. On a more recent visit, we spied the remainder of the collection! Here is the Cinderella mug

Cinderella Mug

Cinderella Mug

Cinderella Mug

Cinderella Mug

… and while the general design differs, we thought you might like to see the new Maleficent and Evil Queen mugs, too!

Front AND Back of Maleficent mug

Front AND Back of Maleficent mug

Evil Queen Mug

Evil Queen Mug

And among all these small changes, we sure can’t ignore the biggest change of all! The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Roller Coaster was dedicated in New Fantasyland on May 2nd, with the official opening date for the public announced for May 28th.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios is preparing for Star Wars Weekends 2014 beginning on May 16, and two all-new Star Wars Character Meals have already made their debut in advance of the celebration!

Breakfast is being served at Sci-Fi Dine-In with Darth Vader and some of his fellow Dark Siders at the Star Wars Galactic Dine In.

Star Wars Galactic Dine In sign

Star Wars Galactic Dine In sign

While over at Hollywood and Vine, Jedi Mickey and pals joined guests for dinner at Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine! Check out our full review of this special event!

Jedi Mickey!!!!

Jedi Mickey!!!!

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Even with all this going on, Hollywood Studios has still managed to remember [Read more…]

Photo Tour: The 2014 Grand Floridian Resort Easter Egg Display in Walt Disney World

Upon entering Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort, you’ll find something that may distract you from the sights of the lobby, as stunning as it is. From now through April 22, you can enjoy the Third Annual Easter Egg Display!

2014 Grand Floridian Easter Eggs

2014 Grand Floridian Easter Eggs

And it’s certainly something to see, because these aren’t just any Easter Eggs… these are 9-12 pound chocolate Easter Eggs created and crafted by Disney Chefs!

For those who may not be able to catch this display in person, we thought we’d bring it to you :) .

History of the Display -- click to enlarge

History of the Display — click to enlarge

As the sign states, the Grand Floridian Easter Egg tradition has held for 18 years; however, the eggs could previously be seen only in the Resort’s restaurants. But now, for the third year in a row, they are on display in the lobby for everyone to enjoy. It’s definitely a treat to see what the Bakery Team comes up with!

Decorative Easter Egg

Decorative Easter Egg

As you look at these creations, it’s fun to note that every egg is decorated with “edible products such as  modeling chocolate, fondant, sugar floral, royal icing, colored cocoa butter and sculpted sugar art pieces.”
Yep — it’s all edible!

Butterfly Garden Egg

Butterfly Garden Egg

Butterfly Garden Egg

Butterfly Garden Egg

Chefs are given a blank “canvas,” along with the freedom to bring to life whatever vision they wish. So, you’ll see that the decorated eggs range from classic Easter themes

Decorative Easter Egg

Decorative Easter Egg

Decorative Easter Egg

Decorative Easter Egg

2014 Grand Floridian Easter Eggs Bouquet

Spring Bouquet Egg

… to the truly [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World and Disneyland: April 1, 2014!

We have a few updates from both coasts for this round of “What’s New!” And we promise that none of these are April Fool’s jokes. :-D

Starting on the east coast, a recent trip around Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Monorail Loop has revealed a few changes in eats and treats. We’re talking property refurbishments, menu updates, tea, and cupcakes,  so hop on board the Monorail (“Your Highway in the Sky!”) and see What’s New!

We’re saving a seat for you…

Monorail Teal

Monorail Teal

Magic Kingdom

We’ll start our Monorail trip at Magic Kingdom. You may be aware that the Hub (the circular area directly in front of Cinderella Castle) has begun a major refurbishment. This project is slated to run in stages finishing sometime in 2015, with the purpose of accommodating more guests for fireworks and parade viewing, with the added benefit of relieving some of the post-show gridlock thanks to additional walkways.

Though much is covered by refurbishment walls, you can see in these photos where the water that flows towards and around Cinderella Castle has been drained for now to accommodate the construction.

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Soooo… what does this have to do with food? The restaurants in the immediate area are still in operation. The beloved Main Street Popcorn Cart is, too; however, it’s now located on the bridge which connects the Hub to Adventureland.

Current location of Main Street Popcorn Cart

Current location of Main Street Popcorn Cart

Current location of Main Street Popcorn Cart

Current location of Main Street Popcorn Cart

Still an easy spot to grab some popcorn before the new Festival of Fantasy Parade!

Festival of Fantasy Parade

Festival of Fantasy Parade

Though the majority of the refurbishment to add expanded seating to Casey’s Corner is complete, we’re still noticing some small changes here and there.

The wall in the back room, which formerly housed a large-screen TV featuring vintage Disney sports-focused cartoons, was empty in the immediate weeks after the reopening. Now returning are the large pieces of artwork depicting turn-of-the-century images of America’s Favorite Pastime.

Casey's Corner Artwork

Casey’s Corner Artwork

Caseys Corner artwork (3)

Looking at the picture below, I’m sure you can’t help but notice [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Chocolate Crusted Key Lime Tart from Disney World’s Grand Floridian Cafe

If it were up to me, I’d have a slice of Key Lime Pie Every. Single. Time. I set foot in Florida.

Fortunately, Disney has me covered with lots and lots and LOTS of options for this favorite!

But one of the best comes with a fun twist, thanks to the extra special crust. I’m talking about the Chocolate Crusted Key Lime Tart at the Grand Floridian Cafe in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Big on equal parts richness, sweetness, and sour power, this is a great version of the Sunshine State classic. I’ve always loved lime and chocolate together!

Key Lime Tart at Grand Floridian Cafe

Key Lime Tart at Grand Floridian Cafe

If you need a little sunshine in your life today, how about heading to the market for the ingredients? You’ve just gotta have some key lime pie to bring on the Summer.

Chocolate Crusted Key Lime Tart

Grand Floridian Cafe

Ingredients:

Yield: 10 servings

Crust [Read more…]