2014 Grand Floridian Gingerbread House and Beach Club Gingerbread Treats

There’s more gingerbread in store for you at Walt Disney World now that the season is in full swing! Let’s take a look at a couple of the most anticipated displays of the holidays…

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Gingerbread House

The Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is open for the season!

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 2014

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 2014

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 2014

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 2014

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Gingerbread House began celebrating its 16th year.

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House operating hours

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House operating hours

It’s always fun to see the massive ingredients list!

Gingerbread House ingredients

Gingerbread House ingredients

Open daily for the remainder of the year from 10 am to 10 pm (though it will likely close early on New Years Eve), the unique thing about the Grand Floridian’s gingerbread display is that it is a fully functioning snack stop, with Cast Members serving up gingerbread and other sweet treats through this cheerful window.

Treat window

Treat window

The traditional Gingerbread Shingles return, along with some other familiar seasonal treats like Peppermint Bark and boxes of Stollen Bread (with a printed history of the traditional German treat attached).

GF gingerbread shingle

GF gingerbread shingle

Stollen Bread and Peppermint Bark

Stollen Bread and Peppermint Bark

Mickey Pop

Mickey Pop

The beautifully detailed Gingerbread Ornaments are probably my favorite things to look at.

Large Gingerbread Ornament

Large Gingerbread Ornament

Mickey Gingerbread Ornament

Mickey Gingerbread Ornament

Red Velvet Cupcakes are available alongside White Chocolate Snowmen.

White Chocolate Snowman and Red Velvet Cupcake

White Chocolate Snowman and Red Velvet Cupcake

Gluten-free choices include Gingerbread Men, but also Ginger Chocolate-Chip Bread, Cinnamon Toastie Bread, and Brownie Bites.

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men

And if you had any doubt whether the cast of “Frozen” could be found at the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House, too, then doubt no more! You can find [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: November 18th, 2014

Ready for another trip around the World? We’re heading to three parks and a few resorts to check out holiday treats, gingerbread feats, and new menu eats! And which Counter Service location is now serving up steak? Just read on to find out and see What’s New!

HOLIDAY TREATS

Red and green aren’t the only colors taking over Disney World now that the holiday season has launched around here… hues of blue decorate the festive snacks at this year’s brand new “Frozen” Gingerbread Display at the Contemporary Resort!

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display

We tried the Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Read our review and see all the other treats available at the new display here!

Get ready for all your favorite Disney World bakery items (we’re talking Krispy Treats, Candy Apples, and Mickey Macarons) to be dressed up for the holiday season in spots like the Main Street Confectionery, Seashore Sweets, and Big Top Treats.

Holiday Bakery Case

Holiday Bakery Case

Ornament Candy Apples

Ornament Candy Apples

More candy apples!

More candy apples!

Holiday cupcakes

Holiday cupcakes

Red and Green Mickey Macarons

Red and Green Mickey Macarons

And now let’s look into some ways the Parks are getting into the [Read more…]

2014 Gingerbread House Displays at Walt Disney World

Once again, visions of gingerbread houses will become reality at select Walt Disney World resort hotels!

Gingerbread Mickey Cookie

Gingerbread Mickey Cookie

The holiday season is underway as Mickey and his elves (and some talented chefs!) get busy filling the resorts and parks with seasonal decor, merchandise, and treats. Plan to stop by the resorts to see the displays, purchase a pin, and/or meet one of the fabulous chefs!

Contemporary Resort

And how cool is it that the Contemporary’s NEW gingerbread display showcases characters from Disney’s popular film, “Frozen” in the artistic style of Disney Legend Mary Blair! We reported on all the details last week. Check out all the details (including festive treats!!) on the Frozen Gingerbread Display here.

Frozen Gingerbread Display

Frozen Gingerbread Display

Grand Floridian Resort

The impressive gingerbread house churns out baked goods made from a classic Austrian recipe. Holiday treats for sale include cookies, shingles,ornaments, and houses — all made from gingerbread. Other freshly made items include Stollen Bread, chocolate peppermint bark, and truffles. Gingerbread decorating tips are given in free demonstrations! Opening date: November 23, 2014.

Life-size!

After 400 hours of baking, the chefs spent 160 hours decorating the house. This unique 80 square feet of retail space is 16 feet high by 17 feet wide and constructed with 1,000 board feet of trim, 60 sheets of plywood, 40 window panes, 100 square feet of display, and 10,000 pieces of gingerbread used.

Looking Down on the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

Looking Down on the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

The immense amount of gingerbread was made with 700 lbs. of chocolate, 1,050 lbs. honey, 600 lbs. powdered sugar, 35 lbs. spices, 800 lbs. flour, 140 pints egg whites. and 180 lbs. apricot glaze. Wow!

BoardWalk Inn

Inside the gorgeous lobby of the BoardWalk Inn, the Sweet Treats gingerbread display conjures visions of a Jersey Shore concession stand. We love the whimsical decor!

Gingerbread Shingle from Disney's BoardWalk

Gingerbread Shingle from Disney’s BoardWalk

Beach Club

Once again, a life-size carousel will be the centerpiece of the Beach Club’s lobby. Look for the seven Hidden Mickeys! Take home treats including small gingerbread kits will be available for purchase at the Beach Club Marketplace. Watch for inspiring demonstrations by pastry chefs. Opening date: November 25, 2014.

Carousel Horse at Disney's Beach Club

Carousel Horse at Disney’s Beach Club

Think your holiday baking list is long? It took [Read more…]

Dine With Cinderella at Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort (well…at least until Cinderella’s Royal Table reopens)

As we shared on our News Pin Board, Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom is slated to close for a lengthy refurbishment beginning early January and extending to March 2015.

With the temporary closure of this royal venue, the Disney princesses will move to Citricos at the Grand Floridian Resort. Starting January 8th, a breakfast/brunch experience will be offered daily at this restaurant just a monorail or boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom!

Similar to the welcoming tradition at Cinderella’s Royal Table, Cinderella will meet and greet with guests upon their arrival, while other Disney princesses mingle at each table.

Cinderella greets guests in her castle

Cinderella greets guests in her castle

As always, you can take photos and collect autographs of the Disney royals. The Magical Wishing Ceremony will also move over to Citricos — a fun, interactive experience that involves souvenir wands and swords handed out to young guests.

Sword Action at Cinderella's Royal Table

Sword Action at Cinderella’s Royal Table

Choose to have breakfast or brunch as hours will extend from 8AM to 2:20PM at a cost of $49.99 and $31.99 for ages 3-9. Guests on the Disney Dining Plan can pay with 2 table service entitlements per person.

Looking out over the Grand Floridian's court yard

Citricos looks out over the Grand Floridian’s court yard

To reserve your Citricos princess meal, call 407-WDW-DINE. Reservations will become available for Walt Disney World Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members on December 3, 2014, before opening to all guests the next day.

Adult Menu

APPETIZERS OF THE COURT
Bakery Basket

Choice of One:
Garden Salad–Artisanal Greens, Endive, Roasted Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, and Marcona Almonds with Riesling Vinaigrette
Assorted Fresh Fruits

ENTRÉES ROYALE
Choice of One:
Traditional Breakfast–Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, Bacon, and Twice-cooked Breakfast Potatoes
Scrambled Egg Whites, Hot Ten-Grain Cereal, Greek Yogurt topped with Granola, Whole-Grain Bread, and Fresh Fruit
Steak and Slow-Poached Eggs with Twice-cooked Breakfast Potatoes and Wilted Spinach
Grilled Ham and Biscuit, Slow Poached Eggs topped with Sausage Gravy
Market-inspired Fish with Angel Hair Pasta, and Aromatic Tomato Sauce
Florida Shrimp with Creamy Cheddar Cheese and Smoked Bacon Grits

DESSERT TRIO

Beverages included:
Unlimited Coffee (regular/decaf), Iced Tea (regular/decaf),Fountain Beverages, and Juices (Apple/Orange/Tomato)

Choice of one Adult Specialty [Read more…]

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…]