What’s New Around Walt Disney World: June 4, 2014

For this round of “What’s New,” we’ve got food news (and menu changes galore) from every single Disney World park… and beyond! So settle, in, make yourselves comfy, and join us to see What’s New!

Animal Kingdom

We’ll start with the fact that Dole Whip (with or without rum, y’all) can now be found at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom’s Africa! (Yep; we’ve had confirmation from Dole that it IS indeed authentic Dole Whip Pineapple Soft Serve.)

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Pineapple Soft-serve (Dole Whip!) menu

Pineapple Soft-serve (Dole Whip!) menu

But we don’t want to miss the chance to mention that Tamu Tamu has also brought back some old favorites with a recent menu refresh: The Slow-cooked Pulled Beef Sandwich is back (hooray!), along with the return of the Quinoa Salad. The Roasted Chicken Salad and gorgeous Fresh Fruit Salad made the cut from the previous menu.

Tamu Tamu Menu

Tamu Tamu Menu

Inside the pulled beef sandwich

Inside the pulled beef sandwich

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

And I’m very happy to say that the Fresh Fruit Bowl is back in time for summer!

Fruit Bowl at Bradley Falls Kiosk

Fruit Bowl Salad

The Fruit Salad has returned to Bradley Falls, too.

Bradley Falls menu

Bradley Falls menu

Remember, Bradley Falls operates seasonally, so if it’s closed during your visit, it’s good to know you can head over to Tamu Tamu for a Fresh Fruit Bowl.

Have you seen (or heard?!) this awesome Musical Tumbler found at various food locations throughout Animal Kingdom? Get the full scoop here!

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

The Royal Anandapur Tea Company is a perfect spot to grab a cup of hot tea (assorted varieties available) or coffee. However, they’re currently offering some flavored Iced Teas in light of the warmer temps.

Royal Anandapur Tea Company Menu

Royal Anandapur Tea Company Menu

Though not food-related, I’d like to offer this next picture as a small tribute. Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade wrapped up its nearly 13-year run as Animal Kingdom makes way for all sorts of new adventures. I don’t think I’m speaking solely for myself when I say this unique, beautiful and fun parade will be missed.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade

Magic Kingdom

The Lunching Pad has added one more option to its gourmet hot dog selection: the BLT Hot Dog joins the Coney Island Dog and the Philly Cheese Steak Dog.

Lunching Pad Menu

Lunching Pad Menu

Now, here’s something you don’t see everyday… this next bit is not a new item, but rather a new [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…]

What’s New Around the World!

What’s new in your favorite Disney World “chomping grounds”? What’s changed? Read on to find out what we’ve checked out recently!

Downtown Disney

The biggest change over the past week has been the addition of The Smokehouse to Downtown Disney’s West Side. This stop for all-things-barbeque features a lovely outdoor seating area and the chance to enjoy live music.

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw

Live music!

Live music!

Signs of bigger changes to come can be spotted all over Downtown Disney as the area delves into its transformation to Disney Springs … and when I say “signs,” I mean actual signs.

We’ll be sharing more in a future post, but the artwork all over Downtown Disney give us an idea of what guests can look forward to in the future.

Artwork depicting the future Disney Springs

Artwork depicting the future Disney Springs

Artwork depicting the future Disney Springs

Artwork depicting the future Disney Springs

Artwork reflecting the West Side Starbucks, opening Spring 2014

Artwork reflecting the West Side Starbucks, opening Spring 2014

A smaller change – yet nearly as significant for fans of “Earl’s” ;) – is that Earl of Sandwich has added [Read more…]

Review: Disney World Resort Quick Service Pasta Options

Thanks to DFB Author Wendy for a look at some great counter-service carb-loading options for your runDisney races this year!

Are YOU running the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler (or any of the other runDisney races this year)? If so, you might be interested in participating in a good old-fashioned carbo-load before your race!

Even if you’re not tackling those ten on October 5th… odds are good you’ll be putting in plenty of miles at the Parks at some point, no matter what.

It’s time to fuel up, people ;)!

Spaghetti time!

For those running one or more of the east coast races this season, there are plenty of places all over Disney World property where you can take part in the time-honored runners tradition of a pasta “carbo-load.”

Today we’re going to focus on some of your pasta options in the resort Quick Service restaurants.

Counter Service Pasta Options at Walt Disney World Resorts

Let’s start with this terrific trend: Create-Your-Own-Pasta stations are cropping up in a few of your favorite Quick Service restaurants!

Create Your Own Pasta

Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors already has a reputation for innovative and delicious dining, and you can read a full review of the Create-Your-Own-Pasta experience here.

Add-ins for Create Your Own Pasta at Landscape of Flavors

Spaghetti Carbonara with Broccoli

The Riverside Mill at Port Orleans Riverside also offers this fun option!

Riverside Mill

Create Your Own Pasta Options at Riverside Mill

Unique to the Grand Floridian’s recently refreshed Gasparilla Island Grill is a [Read more…]

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…]

News! 2014 Disney World Free Dining Packages for United Kingdom Residents

United Kingdom residents — we have GREAT news! Now’s the time to start planning your 2014 holiday to the Walt Disney World Resort. When you book a selected Walt Disney World holiday, you’ll receive free dining for your family!!

Disney Deal

Disney is offering a less restrictive Free Dining deal to United Kingdom residents, PLUS you’ll receive a $200 Disney Gift Card and 14 park days for the price of 7. However you’ll need to book prior to July 1, 2013, for select arrival between January 1 – April 8 and April 27 – November 30, 2014.

If you stay at a selected Disney Hotel for a minimum of 5 nights, you’ll benefit from these three magical offers:

1. FREE Disney Dining for your whole party throughout your entire stay at Walt Disney World.

2. FREE $200 Disney Spending Money.

3. Disney’s 14-Day Ultimate Ticket which includes unlimited entry to ALL six parks for a price of a Disney’s 7-Day Ultimate ticket.

PLUS save 35% on your accommodation by staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort or Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa in a studio room.

Who doesn't want unlimited free Mickey waffles??

This offer is available on participating Disney Moderate, Deluxe Villa or Deluxe Resort hotel stays plus tickets.

Bookings must include 5 nights minimum stay at a Walt Disney World Hotel plus Disney’s 14 Day Ultimate Tickets for the whole party traveling to receive “14 day tickets for the [Read more…]

56 Must-Read Disney Dining Secrets from Disney Food Blog

Disney may be the Happiest Place on Earth, but nothing can wreck the happy faster than poor planning.

This is especially true when it comes to one of the most important parts of your trip — eating!

After decades of Disney dining, we’ve perfected some expert tips and advice to get the most out of  your Disney World visit.

Today, we’re sharing our 56 Must-Read Disney Dining Secrets to ensure that you have the magical visit of your dreams!

Top Disney Dining Secrets

Let’s get started!

1. Make dining reservations. Even if you don’t follow any other piece of advice, we can’t say this emphatically enough. To fully appreciate the truly entertaining and delicious array of Disney Dining offerings, you must make advanced dining reservations. If you wait until you arrive at Disney to make table service arrangements, you may miss out on many of your top picks because they will be booked.

Book Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant 180 Days in Advance to Guarantee a Table

2. BYOP (Bring  Your Own Pepsi). Yep. Those of you who are die-hard Pepsi drinkers will be sad to note that any and all Disney establishments will not carry Pepsi products. It’s a Coke-only zone here! So either bring your own Pepsi, or plan to take a trip to a nearby gas station, convenience store, grocery store, or drug store to pick up your stash. You can also order it and have it delivered directly to your hotel from Garden Grocer.

No Pepsi Here.

3. Don’t miss the must-eat items! After years of eating Disney goodies, we here at Disney Food Blog have amassed quite a list of “must-eat” treats in Disney parks and resorts. Cult favorites like Dole Whip Floats, Zebra Domes, School Bread, and Mickey Bars are high priority when you’re visiting the Happiest Place on Earth. To read up on our favorites, head over to our Best Disney World Restaurants Page for some great “Best Of” posts like Best Cookie Snacks in Disney World, favorite Disney ice cold snacks, Disney’s best grilled cheese, and more! And if you’re headed to Disney World for the first time, you must read our Best Disney Restaurants for First-Timers article — very helpful!

Dole Whip Float! A Must-Eat snack for every Disney guest.

4. Make your reservations 180 days prior to your visit whenever possible. Nope — it’s not enough to just make reservations; you need to make them as early as possible. For most restaurants, that’s 180 days prior to the date you’re seeking. If you’re staying in a Disney hotel, you can book all of your reservations for up to 10 days beginning exactly 180 days before the first day of your trip.

5. Don’t pay for food you don’t want. One of my favorite Disney Dining tips is to be a squeaky wheel when you need to be. Disney is very good at customizing meals, and at counter-service restaurants, your customized meal might even save you some money! For example, [Read more…]

The Most Popular Disney World Restaurants (and Alternatives When They’re Full)

Many Disney guests agree that the most important Disney Dining Tips lists include one specific piece of advice:

Making Advance Dining Reservations is an absolute must when it comes to planning.

While many seasoned Disney travelers are aware of this, there are lots of folks who visit the parks and are stunned to find no tables available at their top restaurant choices. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at one time or another…and we’ve got solutions for you!

Today, we’ve updated our list of the most popular Disney restaurants, and terrific alternatives if you can’t score a table at your coveted spot!

Let’s take a look at the most elusive restaurants to book these days…

Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Scoring an advance dining reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant for their table service dinner can be a daunting task.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom Dining Room

From the time that they first announced the restaurant’s soft opening until now, we have heard from many readers who haven’t been able to secure a spot at Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurant. Here are a couple of reasons why:

Newness: The biggest reason for this remains the novelty of the place. Be Our Guest and all of New Fantasyland is still the hottest ticket in Walt Disney World since its grand opening in December 2012.

Incredible, Immersive Themeing: The impeccable themeing means that stepping into Beast’s Castle is truly like climbing through a portal into Beauty and the Beast. You almost expect to look down and find your food animated!

The Grey Stuff — It’s Delicious!

Novelty: The French-inspired cuisine that’s served at Be Our Guest is unlike anything else available in all of Magic Kingdom. In addition, there is huge novelty surrounding the fact that you can now order beer and wine in the formerly dry Magic Kingdom (for dinner only).

So, what to do if you can’t [Read more…]

Guest Review: Riverside Mill Food Court at Disney World’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort

Please welcome guest author Emma Stewart as she reviews the Riverside Mill Food Court at Port Orleans Riverside Resort in Walt Disney World!

Imagine you’re strolling through the bayou twilight: crickets chirping, fireflies glowing, a water wheel spinning lazily next to the river.

Stroll on up just past the water wheel and around the corner, and you’ll find a cheerful-looking building that is the perfect spot for dinner.

Welcome to Riverside Mill, the food court at Port Orleans Riverside Resort. Now when it comes to food courts, usually you’ll just stick to the one at whatever resort you happen to be staying . But my family will often make an extra trip just to enjoy the Mill’s cozy charm and delicious entrees.

Riverside Mill from the Outside.

Atmosphere

The dining area at Riverside Mill is quite spacious, with lots of lofty wooden beams. The most striking part about it is the mill apparatus that stretches over the drinks station and all the way to the other side of the room, where the water wheel is right outside the windows.

The Dining Area.

The cogs and wheels above you turn lazily, and it feels like it could be a real, working mill! In fact, as far as the more engineering-minded persons in my family have been able to discern, it seems to be a working mechanism that does turn the water wheel outside!

Mill Workings over the Beverage Station.

The dining area is carpeted, which is unique for a food court and may be what makes the space feel so cozy.

I also love the mismatched chairs grouped around every table. Back by the window, furthest from the food service area, there are two big round tables tucked away – my favorite spot!

A Moss-like Carpet adds to the Riverside Ambiance.

Riverside isn’t one of the resorts that tends to attract huge conventions or tour groups, so the food court is usually very quiet and relaxed. Though depending on when you go, you may find yourself singing and dancing along with the cast members up by the cash registers!

There’s a pre-recorded loop with a very charismatic voice that invites you to get up and join in on the Riverside celebration. The song goes: “It’s time to clap our hands (Clap! Clap!) down at the Riverside!” Then the next verse goes: “It’s time to slap our knees down at the Riverside!” and so on. Really cute!

Eats

The Riverside Mill is your typical market-style Disney food court, so there are multiple stations where you can order different eats – sandwiches and wraps, hot foods from the grill, or pizza and pasta.

Salads and Sandwiches, Straight Ahead!

Comfort Food!

Sandwiches Ready to Go!

At the pasta station flames sizzle up out of the pan as the chefs cook up your order right before your eyes. They have a create-your-own option where you can pick and choose exactly what sort of pasta [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Annual Passholder Dining Discount Program Adds New Restaurants

Disney World Annual Passholders visiting the Walt Disney World Resort can now enjoy a Disney dining discount at additional restaurants!

Jiko Dining Room

Additional restaurants now offering a 10% discount include:

The discount can not be applied on the following 2013 dates:
January 1; February 14; March 31; May 12; July 4; November 28; December 24; December 25; and December 31.

For more information about Annual Passholder Disney World Dining Discounts, see our Disney Dining Discounts Page!

Where do you use your Annual Passholder dining discount? Let us know [Read more…]