Best Kept Disney Dining Secrets: Saving Money in Disney World

We are back with some of our very best kept Disney Dining Secrets. And we want to share them with you!

2016 book cover dfb guide

Planning where you’ll be spending your food budget in Disney World is a BIG deal. There are so many choices to make! Maybe you’re worried about getting the advance dining reservations you’d like the most. And what about your favorite brands and foods? Will they have them?

These are all great questions, and we address them all in our DFB Guide to WDW Dining e-Book! But today, we’re exploring one of the biggest concerns: Is it possible to save a buck or two when you’re at Disney?

Secrets to Saving Money in Disney World

Today, we’ll share some of our favorite ways to save money during your visit to Walt Disney World. And if you like what you see here, be sure to check out even more secrets in the brand new DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, 2016 Edition, where we gather over 530 pages of tips, recommendations, and secrets to make your Disney trip the best ever!

Here we go!

Ditch Unwanted Sides

I love this tip, and it can save you some serious cash (and calories!). You may think the price printed on the menu board or in the menu is non-negotiable. But we’ve got a secret to share!

Did you know that you can often forego unwanted sides? For instance, say you order a sandwich that comes with fries, but you don’t really want them. Ask if you can order your sandwich as an entree only and save!

Cheeseburger at Backlot Express!

Cheeseburger at Backlot Express!

And if you’re a light eater, or someone who doesn’t really care about (or literally can’t EAT) that side of salad/chips/fries/coleslaw/pasta salad, then you’ll never miss it.

[Read more…]

Review: Territory Coffee Company (Territory Lounge) in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

These days, lots of Disney World guests make a beeline for the nearest Starbucks on property to get their morning caffeine fix.

Epcot’s Fountain View, Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery, Animal Kingdom’s Creature Comforts, and the Trolley Car Cafe at Hollywood Studios are understandably popular spots — especially in the early morning park hours.

But if you’re someone who stumbles to the coffeemaker first thing in the morning before you can form a complete sentence [sits at computer, points to self] and you happen to have a stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in your future, you might be interested to learn about Territory Coffee Company.

You may already be familiar with the Territory Lounge in Wilderness Lodge. It’s one of our absolute favorite Disney bars thanks to some really great noshes and cozy atmosphere.

Territory Lounge

Territory Lounge

But with a typical opening time of 4:30 pm, this beautiful space sat empty most of the day until last summer, when the Territory Coffee Company opened for what was originally a test run. [Read more…]

Review: Specialty Waffles at Roaring Fork in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

We’re starting the day with waffles, waffles, and MORE waffles at the Roaring Fork!

Oh, and did I mention they’re MICKEY WAFFLES?

Now, we’re no strangers to Roaring Fork, the Counter Service restaurant at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Typically, though, we’re taking a look at their bakery case, which is known for adding some terrific cupcakes to the Disney Cupcake realm. Through the years, those have included the Carrot Cake Cupcake, the Chocolate Caramel Cupcake, and the S’mores Cupcake. And the Magic Cookie Bar, while not a cupcake, is certainly no slouch of a dessert.

But Roaring Fork has another claim to fame, thanks to a selection of Mickey Waffles available throughout the morning. And though they aren’t technically desserts like their bakery case counterparts (Captain Obvious says “You’re welcome” for pointing that out ;-D), each of the three selections offer, in their own ways, a decadent start to your day at Disney World.

So get ready to step in with me and say “Good morning!” to the Roaring Fork!

Atmosphere

The Roaring Fork naturally echoes the rustic Pacific Northwest vibe of its home, Wilderness Lodge.

Raoring Fork sign

Roaring Fork sign

The decor is so in keeping with the rest of the Lodge that the most surprising thing about Roaring Fork is not so much the ambience, but the size. Just a couple of ordering counters, refrigerators, and a place to refill your Rapid Fill Mugs make up the whole of the place. [Read more…]

DFB Podcast Episode 27: Resort Snackage!

We are back with our first Podcast of 2016!

Welcome to Episode 27: Resort Snackage!

dfb podcast

What’s It About?
In this podcast we go over some of our favorite snack options at Disney World and Disneyland Resorts!

Sometimes it feels like all of the snack credit attention goes to the parks, so wanted to showcase some of the other awesome options you can grab outside of the usuals.

We go over several unique-to-the-resorts options including breakfast items and pastries from your favorite resorts like Pop Century, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Grand Californian, and more!

Listen right now at DFBPodcast.com, or subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher!

Oreo Bon Bons

Oreo Bon Bons

Want more DFB? Order the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2016 edition today for $4 off using code HAPPYPLACE! Visit DFBStore.com to order your must-have DFB guidebooks! Plus, follow Disney Food Blog on Instagram for your daily dose of Disney food deliciousness!

Thanks for listening! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

Re-Review: Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

I already know what you’re gonna say. “AJ, you JUST went to Artist Point.”

And you’d be right. We reviewed this signature spot not long ago. And even Disney signature dining spots that I frequent, like Le Cellier or Flying Fish Cafe, usually don’t get that much coverage here on the blog.

But here’s the thing: that last visit was NOT awesome. From food to service, we left having felt completely underwhelmed. And I received several comments from readers requesting a “re-review” when a brand new chef took the helm.

So on a recent trip, I knew I had to check in. Even if everything hadn’t instantly transformed bippety-boppety-style, I was hoping to see some movement in the right direction.

Read on to see how the evening unfolded.

Atmosphere

The decor of Artist Point, like the rest of the Wilderness Lodge, pays tribute to the Arts and Crafts style as well as the sweeping vistas of the Pacific Northwest.

Artist Point

Artist Point

But it differs from the rest of the resort in that it’s a touch less rustic, a bit more refined. Whereas the rest of Wilderness Lodge plays up warm wood hues with exposed beams and woodwork to drive home that cabin feel, Artist Point is dressed up with a creamy palette and beautiful artwork celebrating the region. [Read more…]

Review: Territory Lounge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

We are heading back to one of my favorite spots to grab a quick bite and drink — Territory Lounge.

I really, really recommend this place. It’s comfortable, has a fantastic staff, is just a boat ride away from Magic Kingdom, and usually has a pretty incredible menu.

While my “love” for neighboring Artist Point waxes and wanes, I’ve enjoyed the majority of my visits to Territory Lounge. And with the recent installation at Artist Point of a new chef, who also covers Territory Lounge, I figured it was as good a time as any to visit again.

Atmosphere

The decor of the cavernous Wilderness Lodge lobby area echoes the same Craftsman style as the outside of the resort. But as you begin to explore different corners, you see that there’s more here than just Arts and Crafts. [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

Today, we are heading over to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge for a trail-inspired breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe.

The restaurant, located in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, is well known for down-home food, bottomless milkshakes (even at breakfast), all-you-can-eat skillets, it’s infamous ketchup antics, and a rowdy atmosphere cultivated by the servers.

Intrigued? Let’s take a look inside!

Atmosphere

Whispering Canyon Cafe is located within the soaring lobby of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. As you enter from the resort’s porte cochere, you’ll find the restaurant off to the left.

Wilderness Lodge is themed to represent an historic resort in the Pacific Northwest, complete with “log cabin” construction (albeit a BIG log cabin…). You’ll find [Read more…]

News! Territory Lounge Coffee Shop at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

I never miss an opportunity to relax at the Territory Lounge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in Walt Disney World.

territory lounge wilderness lodge

Inside, you’ll find a welcoming atmosphere of dark woods and low lantern lighting. Comfortable seating in armchairs and on couches is always in demand, and round tables make a great conversation area for families.

And now, we can stop by for breakfast at the new Coffee Shop at Territory Lounge from 7-11AM daily.

Stop by the Coffee Shop

Stop by the Coffee Shop

The Coffee Shop is serving [Read more…]

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…]

Review: Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Time to head on over to Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!

OK, so I’ve had a couple of really good meals here in the past couple of years, and they almost made up for the less-than-stellar meals I’d had at this Signature Restaurant in the years prior.

But, based on my last visit, Artist Point may be on the way back down the ladder when it comes to my recommended fancy dining spots in Disney World. Let’s take a look… .

Atmosphere

If you’ve ever visited Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, then you are familiar with the decor here. Enter into the lobby of the hotel, and you are transported to Pacific Northwest hideaway. Lots of Arts and Crafts touches echo that sentiment, and Artist Point refines the aesthetic.

artist point wilderness lodge

Glass Sign at the Entrance

Where natural wood and stone and warm hues dominate most of the resort, here, you see a lighter touch. Walls are painted a warm white, and woodwork has been whitewashed. The overall feel is much less “lodge-y” and rustic than the rest of the resort — more of a “wide open spaces” kind of vibe.

artist point

Seating

Seating is comfortable, with high-backed, generously padded chairs. The views here are normally quite lovely, as the windows look out over the grounds and the lake.

Beautiful View

Beautiful View

I say “normally” because the evening I visited, all of the windows were blocked by a frosted film, presumably to block the view of the construction taking place below. While I understand that it was necessary, it was kind of a bummer to be seated by a window with no view. (But I still wanted you to see the view, so I’m sharing pics from a previous visit.)

View

View

Murals reside high above the dining room, and depict sweeping panoramas of national parklands. They are the work of celebrated artist Thomas Moran, well known for his “larger-than-life interpretations of the West during the late 1800s.”

Mural

Mural

The colors are gorgeous!

Mural

Mural

Smaller paintings also cover the walls, and are inspired by the work of Albert Bierstadt, who sketched landscapes of the Shoshone Indian country in 1859.

Overall, the restaurant is subdued and understated under its soaring ceilings, and I absolutely love the expansive view of Bay Lake (when you can see them).

Eats

Because Artist Point is a signature restaurant at Disney, you can expect that the menu will change here frequently — sometimes daily or weekly. I checked, and several of the items that we ordered aren’t on the menu right now. Still, you may see them again in the future, and they certainly still give you an idea of the type of food served here.

Appetizers Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Appetizers Menu — Click to Enlarge

The menu theme is Pacific Northwest, so you usually see a mix of seafood and some interesting game meats. There’s normally a buffalo and/or venison option, and you’re likely to encounter some Pan-Asian influences.

Entrees Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Entrees Menu — Click to Enlarge

We began the evening with a customary Bread Basket, served with Butter sprinkled with Black Salt. These were standard, but quite good.

Bread and Butter

Bread and Butter

I decided to begin my dinner my customary bowl of [Read more…]