Tips from the DFB Guide: Fun, Free Holiday Activities in Walt Disney World

It’s here — we are officially 181 days out from Christmas!! Woohoo! Have you started your shopping yet?

180 Days Sale

Ha — me neither. But I do know that if I have any hope of scoring advance dining reservations for the uber busy holiday season at Walt Disney World, I need to be ready to book as soon as those lines open up tomorrow.

But how do I fit everything in that I want to do? By planning ahead, of course. And we want to help you do the same.

And that’s why we write the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays. Because I want your holiday visit to the ‘World to be nothing less than spectacular.

And when you pre-order the 2015 DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays right now, you’ll receive the 2014 edition immediately, for free.

Don’t forget — you have three ways to save on the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays Guide. Check our our 180 Days ‘Til Christmas Sale to learn more!

But hurry — our sale on this popular guide ends tomorrow at midnight!

Today, let’s explore

[Read more…]

News! Mother’s Day Meals at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

Looking to treat Mom to an extra special meal this Mother’s Day? We have a few great options for you at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Restaurants!

Garden Grove Cafe

You’ll feel like you’re in a garden, with all the comforts of being in the a/c! Garden Grove Cafe at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort is the perfect spot to spoil Mom this Mother’s Day.

Feel Like You're Outdoors with the Comfort of Indoors!

Feel Like You’re Outdoors with the Comfort of Indoors!

And with two different options, there’s something for early risers as well as those who plan to let her sleep in a little. If it’s breakfast you’re after, enjoy Garden Grove’s special Mother’s Day Breakfast Menu.

When: Sunday, May 10, 7:00 — 10:00AM

Where: Garden Grove Cafe, Walt Disney World Swan Resort

Cost: $35.99 for Adults, $19.99 for children ages 3-9, children under three eat for free

Garden Grove Mothers Day Breakfast Menu

Garden Grove Mothers Day Breakfast Menu

Garden Grove Mothers Day Breakfast Menu

Garden Grove Mothers Day Breakfast Menu

Menu highlights include [Read more…]

News! Tickets Now on Sale for Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin’s Food and Wine Classic

Back by popular demand, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin will once again be hosting its popular Food and Wine Classic!

fw-Logo

Mark your calendars for Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31, as the Classic celebrates its sixth year! Once again in 2015, the Food and Wine Classic will take place during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival — offering you two wonderful ways to enjoy the food of Disney!

There’s so much to enjoy at this event. Let’s take a closer look at all it has to offer.

The Causeway

Stroll the beautiful Causeway connecting the Swan and Dolphin as you enjoy tapas-sized plates from the resort’s restaurants.

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to sample wine and beer from all around the world. The menu is diverse, celebrating the wide array of food that the Swan and Dolphin has to offer.

Shula's Prime Rib with Mashed Potatoes

Shula’s Prime Rib with Mashed Potatoes

We can’t wait to see what spots like Todd English’s bluezoo and Shula’s Steak House offer in 2015!

And there are always a few fun surprises, like Chef Cib’s Smokehouse. Live music plays as evening falls, so bring your dancing shoes. :-)

Food and Beverage Seminars

The 6th Annual Food and Wine Classic will also play host to several Seminars. Choose from [Read more…]

WDW Swan and Dolphin Resorts Announce Spring Savings and Easter Character Meal

As the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival gets underway, we have more spring news for you.

Pineapple Dole Whip

Pineapple Dole Whip

If you’re still looking for a place to stay while you attend the Festival, you’ll want to check out the springtime savings available at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts. From March 4 – May 17, 2015, guests will save up to 40% off!

For guests vacationing April 1-8 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, a full schedule of Easter-themed activities awaits. With meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny, glow-in-the-dark and traditional Easter egg hunts, bunny hop races, arts and crafts, and a poolside showing of the movie HOP, the young and young-at-heart will find plenty to do when taking a break from the enchanting gardens in Epcot.

Other featured experiences during the week include a special Easter Bunny basket delivery to the room on Easter morning and an Easter dinner buffet at Garden Grove Cafe with Disney character appearances on Sunday, April 5, at 5PM. Additional costs apply for both.

This resort is within easy walking distance of both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and provides [Read more…]

News! Dates for the 2015 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Announced

We have more exciting news for you today about upcoming Fall events in Walt Disney World!

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The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has announced the dates for their 6th Annual Food and Wine Classic.

Circle Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31, 2015 on your calendars!

For the second year in a row, the Swan and Dolphin will hold the popular event on Halloween weekend.

The Food and Wine Classic also coincides with the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which will take place September 25 – November 16, 2015.

The Causeway on a Beautiful Fall Evening During the 2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

The Causeway on a Beautiful Fall Evening During the 2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

The Beer Garden, which was first introduced in 2014, is returning, and will offer a wide range of beers from all over the world as well as local brews! In addition, guests can enjoy more than 40 tasting stations featuring dishes from the resort’s 17 restaurants and lounges as well as more than 30 wineries!

I know it seems so far away right now, but it will be here before you know it! And since this is the 20th year for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, we expect there to be some super big doin’s happening around Disney at that time! (Remember when you used to go to Disney World and schedule a wake-up call and Mickey would call you and say “Big Doin’s Going On!” Yeah. That was awesome.)

Preparing Scallops Perfectly for a Crowd

Preparing Scallops Perfectly for a Crowd

Stay tuned for [Read more…]

Review and Preview: The Causeway at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

It’s almost time! The Fifth Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is just around the corner!

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Thumbnail Logo

This event, which takes place concurrently with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, is a fantastic evening for food and wine lovers.

This year’s Food and Wine Classic will take place on Friday, October 31 (yep! Halloween!) and Saturday, November 1. The two-day event consists of food and beverage tasting booths set up on the resort’s beautiful causeway each evening. And new for 2014, a Beer Garden experience has been added for even more great food and drink.

Guests can also take part in a number of special food and beverage seminars for an additional fee. Seminars take place at 4:30PM both days, and the Causeway booths are open from 5:30 until 9:00PM on Friday and Saturday.

We’ve enjoyed the event every year since it began, and 2013 was no exception! We thought a look back at last year’s event was the perfect way to get excited about what’s in store for 2014. Let’s head out to the Causeway for a delicious evening.

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Atmosphere

Whether you’re staying at the Swan and Dolphin or you’re arriving from another location, head to the Promenade that connects the two resorts — that’s where the evening’s festivities will take place. We stopped by the Will Call Booth to pick up tickets.

As far as admission goes, you have options. Purchase an all-access ticket, and it’s an all-you-can-eat-and-drink pass to the booths. If you prefer, you can choose a la carte tickets instead, which are sold in books of 25.

Will Call Booth

Will Call Booth

The Check In Table provided us with handy plates and plastic wine glasses.

Check-In Table

Check-In Table

These would come in handy as we juggled plates and drinks on the Causeway.

Food and Wine Classic Tray and Glass

Food and Wine Classic Tray and Glass

Booths line the walkway leading from the Swan to the Dolphin as well as the path directly behind the Swan. There’s a lot to take in!

The Promenade

The Promenade

Hi-Top tables are scattered throughout the middle of the Causeway. You’ll also find large tables with chairs off to the side directly behind the Swan.

High Top Table

High Top Table

At the end of the Causeway closest to the Dolphin, a stage is set up for musical performance. While you sip and stroll, you can listen to live tunes!

Stage

Stage

In addition to the food and beverage booths, last year’s Classic featured a large [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic: Highlights

More food and bev fun at Walt Disney World! The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic returns with seminars, tastings, sweets, and beverages for another year.

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Thumbnail Logo

The Fifth Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will be held Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014, from 5:30 – 9:00PM at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts in Walt Disney World. The resorts are just a short walk from Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, making this event a convenient add-on to your 2014 Epcot Food and Wine visit.

Let’s take a closer look at all the event has to offer!

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Causeway

Immerse yourself in this culinary festival during an evening stroll of the Crescent Lake Causeway. Food, wine, and beer lovers will find delicious options while listening to live music.

With 17 restaurants and lounges, the Swan and Dolphin resorts have a nationally-recognized culinary team that will be showing off their talents! We’ve attended the event every year since it began, and it’s a delicious way to spend the evening.

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Mulitple food and beverage stations will showcase food and drink from Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria, and Todd English’s bluezoo, among other great Swan and Dolphin restaurants.

Sip the night away with all of your favorites. And if you love wine, enjoy selections from around the world! Sommeliers will be on hand to answer all of your questions and help you to discover new favorites.

Enjoying an evening on the Causeway as I sample appetizer portions of dishes from some of my favorite restaurants is always a fun time! The Shula’s tasting station is always a popular one, and this year’s Beef Tenderloin promises to draw a crowd.

Beef Tenderloin, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sauce Bordelaise From Shula's Steakhouse

Beef Tenderloin, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sauce Bordelaise From Shula’s Steakhouse

Thirsty? There’s no shortage of beverage options, which include Wine, Beer, and Sake. Tasting stations will offer sips from all popular U.S. wine regions as well as celebrated wines from around the world.

Chefs and Beverage experts staff every station and are happy to answer all of your questions.

You’ll also have the chance to meet executive chefs from the Swan and Dolphin Culinary Team. And bluezoo’s Celebrity Chef Todd English will once more be on hand to greet guests and chat about the dishes he’s serving!

Seminars

If you’re interested in a more hands-on learning experience, consider booking

[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…]

Orlando’s Magical Dining Month is Back This September!

Once again, if you’re planning to visit Walt Disney World during the month of September, you can take advantage of Orlando Magical Dining Month! And this year, the discounts actually start six days early during a brand-new Preview Week!

Magical Dining Month 2014 Logo-001

Mark your calendars for August 25 — September 30. During that time, guests can enjoy prix-fixe menus at more than 75 Orlando Area Restaurants — including a few at Disney-area spots!

Dinners at all of the restaurants will feature three courses from a set menu for $33. And even better — $1 from each dinner will go to benefit the Foundation for Foster Children!

La Luce Butterscotch Pudding - YUM!

La Luce Butterscotch Pudding – YUM!

If you’re Disney-bound during this time and would like to take advantage of the savings while dining on property, check out the offerings from these participating restaurants!

Il Mulino

Il Mulino, located at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, offers some of the best Italian fare that we’ve enjoyed in Walt Disney World. Check out a review of our recent visit!

Il Mulino Magical Dining Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Il Mulino Magical Dining Menu

La Luce by Donna Scala

You’ll find La Luce by Donna Scala at Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort. The menu features [Read more…]

Fourth of July News! Regional Craft Beers This Week at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

Drink beer, do good. Sounds like the perfect way to enjoy the Fourth of July!

To that end, we have some fun news for readers who enjoy exploring the world of craft beer!

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, in conjunction with Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing, will offer eight Cigar City selections when they stage a “Taproom Takeover” at Cabana Bar and Beach Club July 2-8!

Cabana Bar and Beach Club

Cabana Bar and Beach Club

Guests of the hotel can enjoy Cigar City’s regionally brewed beer and cider on all eight of the Cabana Bar and Beach Club’s taps. A selection of Cigar City Brewing’s beers will also be available at the Dolphin’s Lobby Lounge.

And on July 4, the endeavor will take on a charitable twist. One of the beers that will be available is Homefront IPA, and a portion of the proceeds from its sale will be donated to Operation Homefront, an organization providing services to military families across the nation.

Homefront IPA

Homefront IPA

This special brew is crafted in collaboration between several American microbreweries — Cigar City Brewing among them.

Cuban Espresso Brown Ale

In addition to Homefront IPA, beer and cider selections will include [Read more…]