Guest Review: Royal Tea at Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Join me in welcoming guest author Kimberly Button with a review of the Royal Tea at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort.

Tea time seems to be a vanishing indulgence in today’s modern world. So when I found out that the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is bringing back the culinary experience steeped (pardon the pun!) in tradition, I was happy to check it out.

You have got to make plans ahead of time for The Royal Tea at Waldorf Astoria Orlando. It’s not a “just pop in” kind of dining experience. The Royal Tea is served only on Sundays, and only from 3 – 5 p.m. The culinary staff needs advance notice to prepare platters of sandwiches and treats to be available for those choosing The Royal Tea experience.

Peacock Alley

The Royal Tea is held in the Waldorf’s beautiful Peacock Alley lounge. The lounge, with its vibrant carpet of royal blue and deep greens in peacock feather motif, is regal and welcoming at the same time.

Peacock Alley has plenty of seating options, and it is also where you’ll find the main bar. A variety of guests were seated in the lounge during our visit, including those just sitting around and talking, guests with luggage waiting to depart, and a family ordering quick snacks from the bar. There are plenty of cozy couches and seats surrounding large tables.

Piano Player

A piano player starts to perform in the lounge at the time tea service begins, which is a welcome treat to listen to live music from across the lounge.

Tea for Two

For our tea reservations, we were shown to a small table on the outskirts of the lounge that had been set up for tea. It appeared that there were only two parties with tea reservations on this day (each of us had a party of two), and both of us were sat in opposite corners of the lounge.

After we were seated, our waiter came by and asked us for our tea selection. It would be wise to check out the menu on the kiosk outside of Peacock Alley before sitting down, to choose which type of tea you want, since a formal menu is not presented at the table. Our server was able to make recommendations, though, and suggested the most popular tea, a white ginger pear.


The six teas come from Tea Forte, and are served for your selection upon a silver platter. Teas include English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Decaf English Breakfast, Jasmine Green Tea, Chamomile, and White Ginger Pear.

The teas are in a triangle tea bag, with a cute little leaf attached by a wire at the top. The leaf serves up two purposes – not only is it super cute, but it can be bent over the top of your cup to keep the tea bag from floating around.

Tea bag

The White Ginger Pear was exceptionally good, with a smoother flavor than many teas. The black teas tend to have a stronger flavor, but this white tea was delicate with just a hint of caffeine.

After the tea was served and allowed to steep for a few minutes, the first platter of food was brought out.

Sandwich Platter

The first serving was an assortment of tea sandwiches, one of each for both of us. The selections include cucumber, roasted turkey, black forest ham, classic egg salad, and smoked salmon.

Sandwich menu

The sandwiches were flavorful and really great. Often, tea sandwiches can be bland, but these sandwiches were real standouts. Forget just plain cucumber sandwiches. The Waldorf Astoria Orlando bumps it up a notch by adding shaved Asian pear, which was a crisp and refreshing combination paired with dill cream cheese.

The most impressive, I thought, was the [Read more…]

Review: Peacock Alley at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando

OK, I totally have ANOTHER awesome waffle sandwich to share with you today!!

And you can find it in an unlikely location…the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort. Nestled in Bonnet Creek, within the main gates of Walt Disney World, it’s a great mix of convenience and refinement. Plus, there are some seriously killer views of Disney’s theme parks from its balconies.

Today, we’re grabbing a casual lunch at the resort’s main lounge — Peacock Alley.

Peacock Alley Menu Cover

This spot’s namesake is the fashionable Peacock Alley of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City (the original was given the name due to the colorful peacock feathers the ladies wore in their hats); but while it’s elegant, you can definitely choose this location for a relaxed and casual lunch.


Everything about Peacock Alley makes me want to take a deep breath, sink into a comfortable chair, and relax. The cool colors and motif of peacock feathers surrounds you throughout (even on the carpet!).

View of Peacock Alley

The view is of the Waldorf’s pool area and golf course. And you  may even catch a glimpse of Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!


There is a luxuriously appointed bar on one wall, and there’s even a peacock etched in the mirror.

Peacock Alley Bar

Check out this awesome [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…]

Perfect Mommy/Daughter Day: Royal Tea at Waldorf Astoria Orlando!

If you’re looking for an indulgent way to enjoy some elegance at Walt Disney World this year — or scoping out a great way to escape for some mother/daughter (or daddy/daughter!) time — look no further than the Waldorf Astoria Orlando‘s Royal Tea!

Located within Disney World’s Main Gates in the Bonnet Creek area, the Waldorf is close to all the excitement (you can almost touch the Tower of Terror from your hotel room). But you’re worlds away when you’re ready to relax (believe me; it makes SUCH a difference)!

The great news is that even if you aren’t staying at the Waldorf Astoria, you can indulge your senses (and your taste buds) with the acclaimed Royal Tea in Peacock Alley on Sundays!

For only $30 per adult and $15 per child, this is an affordable way to truly enjoy the high life for a day (There’s even live piano music). It’s the perfect mother/daughter escape — a REAL tea party!

Waldorf Astoria Orlando Royal Tea Menu -- click for larger image

The Royal Tea is available on Sunday afternoons in February from 3-5pm. If your trip is scheduled for later in the year, be sure to call and ask if the Tea will be available during your stay. For reservations (highly recommended!), call 407-597-5409.

Comfy Peacock Alley Seating

A variety of teas are offered, and you can indulge in goodies like [Read more…]

Details! Food & Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek

We mentioned in August the exciting news that Food & Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek would be returning in 2012 for the second year in a row!

Today? We’ve got a little more info for ya!

Billed as “the perfect complement to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival“, Orlando Food & Wine Weekends will be held over all six weekends during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

The Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek aim to “fill the gaps” around the Festival by offering visitors to Walt Disney World a delicious “home base” as they [Read more…]

2012 Food and Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Wonderful news for food and wine fans!

Waldorf Astoria Orlando has announced Food & Wine Weekends for October 5 – November 3, 2012. These weekends are sure to impress wine enthusiasts and food-lovers alike!! You can find all the details here:, but we’ll give you a little taste of what to expect…

For five weekends in October and November the resort will feature special events aimed to complement the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Conveniently located within the gates of Disney World property (and featuring a couple of our very favorite restaurants in Orlando), the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is [Read more…]

Grand Launch Sale: The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012 e-Book

We’re excited to announce the grand launch of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012 e-Book! It’s now available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining opportunities while in Disney World.

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 310 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite things — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next vacation! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2012 to get a $4 discount this week only!

If you purchased the 2011 Guide last year, scroll down for details on repeat purchase discounts. Also, scroll down to the bottom of the post for details on the 6-word Restaurant Review winner, Vicky B!

What’s In The Guide?

As you know, the Guide includes:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from budgeting and booking to kids’ meals and fireworks.
  • A comprehensive and in-depth look at Disney World dining, including tips and tricks to ensure a positive and stress-free dining experience.
  • The ability to be read on your mobile device or computer!

While our 2011 Guide was very extensive, Disney World is always updating menus, prices, and other dining info. And we’re always finding new things to tell you about! So we’ve updated our 2012 edition with over 60 new pages of details along with more photos, coverage of new Disney dining experiences, exclusive games, and more!

In addition to these updates, our 2012 Guide adds:

  • Over 60 new pages of Disney Dining information
  • More Disney food and restaurant photos, and NEW Disney food and restaurant photos
  • An entire chapter focused on Snacks in the theme parks and resorts, one of the most popular Disney dining topics
  • Disney Dining Trivia to play while you’re waiting in line (or waiting for a table!)
  • Exclusive Disney food-themed scavenger hunts for each Disney World theme park
  • A comprehensive section of Disney Food news and updates from the past year, including new restaurants, new menus, and more
  • Brand new “Top 5” lists to help you make quick dining decisions
  • A brand new At-A-Glance section featuring quick facts such as how to locate your lost dining reservations, where to dine with the princesses, or where to pick up a six-pack of beer
  • New Snack Crawls through the parks and resorts
  • Updates on all pertinent facts such as dining hours, prices, resources, phone numbers, and restaurant closures/openings
  • All new restaurant additions, closures, and added dining experiences
  • And much more!

And the best part is: the price hasn’t changed! Our extensive Disney Dining information, updated and added to with 60+ extra pages and countless new details, will cost you the same amount that it did in 2011.

But, of course we’re offering a [Read more…]

Risotto Around the World

Ah…time to talk about one of my very favorite side dishes EVER!!! Risotto is often overlooked, but the creamy savory goodness that is risotto could easily take center stage in a dish (and does in some of these highlighted below)! Disney chefs have mastered the art of making this slow-cooked yumminess — rice patiently mixed with flavorful broth — and whether it’s mixed with meat, fish, or vegetables, risotto doubles as as a sophisticated recipe and mouth-watering, comfort food.

I was looking through our Disney Food Blog Flickr group and saw so many gorgeous photos of risotto that I simply had to do a post about this dark horse side dish. (Of course, I’ve added a few of my own photos as well…;-D.)

Let’s take a tour around the world…

Butternut Squash Risotto from Artist Point

This butternut squash risotto topped with pork belly is easily in my “top 5″ risottos in Disney World. Offered at Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge, the hint of sweet from the squash and tartness courtesy of the cranberry drizzle create amazing (and memorable!) flavors. Sigh. I miss it.

butternut squash risotto

Dungeness Crab Risotto with Blood Orange Sauce and Pea Shoots; from Artist Point

This ample portion of risotto is mixed handsomely with crab creating a decadent appetizer. (Looks amazing!!!) Dishes at Artist Point tend to change seasonally, yet Dungeness crab seems to be used in many dishes — like these crab cakes we highlighted earlier this week!
(Photographer: Roger Weeks)

Dungeness Crab Risotto

Mushroom “Risotto” (in reality this is white corn, but I love that they made a “risotto” out of it), served along side Seared Bison with, Turnips, Chestnuts, and Pinot Noir Juniper Emulsion; from California Grill

This striking presentation from the California Grill has a slight [Read more…]

Waldorf Orlando’s Bull & Bear Offers Wine Dinner for Race Fans

A unique dinner and wine pairing has been announced by the Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s Bull & Bear restaurant. Join Adobe Road Winery tomorrow, March 12, 2012, at 6:30 pm for a meal you’ll never forget! (See below for the full menu!)

The Bull & Bear restaurant was named Best Fine Dining by Orlando Home & Leisure, and you know that we can’t stop talking about it!

The dinner tomorrow will feature Kevin Buckler of Adobe Road Winery, and TRG team owner. Dine with this Le Mans and Daytona winning race car driver and chat with Kevin about his fascinating race stories. Ask him about the challenges of owning a professional sports car team and an award-winning boutique winery at [Read more…]