Disney Dining Tip from the DFB Guide: Dining at Bars and Lounges in Walt Disney World

When it comes to Disney World, bars and lounges aren’t just adults-only destinations — and they don’t just serve drinks.

In fact, here’s a Best Kept Secret in Disney dining planningDisney bars and lounges can be great places to get a meal with the whole family. These hidden gems are often less crowded than standard restaurants, too!

In The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book, we have an entire section reviewing every single bar and lounge in Walt Disney World. It’s well worth a read to find out great spots to get a full meal or a snack — even with no Advance Dining Reservation!

Now let’s take a peek at a few of our favorites…

English Bulldog with Chips at Rose and Crown Pub in Epcot's UK Pavilion

Bars and Lounges Inside the Theme Parks

A Disney World trip can be hectic (meeting characters, dashing to attractions, and racing off to dining reservations!), so finding a place inside the parks to escape the hoopla is key to a relaxing vacation!

With signature cocktails, cheese plates, fondue, burgers, donuts, pasta, and more, you’ll find some truly inspired menus at Disney World’s bars and lounges. Sometimes you’ll even be able to order from the full menu of a nearby restaurant.

In Epcot, we can highly recommend stopping in to Tutto Gusto in Italy, Rose and Crown Pub in the UK, or La Cava del Tequila in Mexico.

Fireplace Area Seating at Tutto Gusto

At Tutto Gusto, order from an awesome menu of meats and cheeses, paninis, pastas, and more. A relaxing atmosphere and full tables allow for an easy meal for the whole family.

Cheeses, Meats, and Shrimp Cavatappi at Tutto Gusto Lounge in Epcot's Italy

Rose and Crown Pub, attached to Rose and Crown Restaurant, features a fun menu that — gasp! — the kids might even like! We can highly recommend the Scotch Eggs and the British Bulldog sausage (see our review of the British Bulldog here — and the photo at the top of this article)!

Scotch Eggs at Rose and Crown

If you’re there on a weekday, seek out Carl the Bartender and ask him to show you his amazing magic trick!

Carl the Bartender and the tipping pint

At La Cava del Tequila, sample a few Mexican appetizers like chips and salsa, queso, and guacamole along with your margaritas!

Chips and queso at Cava del Tequila

Another favorite place to unwind in the parks and get a great meal is at Tune-In Lounge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Here, you can get great shakes for the kids, fun signature drinks for [Read more…]

Snack Series and Recipe!: The Magic Cookie Bar at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

I have to apologize to you guys.

I have been horribly remiss in not telling you about this incredible snack yet…but I didn’t even know about it! Just goes to show there’s ALWAYS something exciting to find when it comes to Disney food!! :-)

OK, here we go! Recently, an awesome DFB reader tipped me off to an amazing find at Roaring Fork in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge — the Magic Cookie Bar.

As a big fan of Roaring Fork, I wondered how could I have missed such a thing. So on my recent trip to the World, I made it my mission to get to Wilderness Lodge and try it before any more time passed!

I have to be honest — with everything I eat when I’m in Disney World, it’s hard to completely finish everything. But this? THIS was one of the things on my recent trip that I ate in its entirety! It’s THAT good.

First off, it’s big. I mean, it may not look that big in the picture, but this is a super rich bar, chock-full of deliciousness.

Magic Cookie Bar -- Wrapped and Ready

Unwrapped, you start to get a sense of just what went into this. There’s a ton of flavor going on here, with chocolate and butterscotch chips, condensed milk, coconuts, and nuts.

Magic Cookie Bar -- Unwrapped

And to put it over the top for me, the whole thing is [Read more…]

Limited Time Magic Dinners at Disney World and Disneyland Just in Time for Valentine’s Day!

Love is in the air — especially at Disney!

As 2013 continues to be the year for Limited Time Magic Events, Disney is hosting True Love Week at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland complete with specialty menus at several restaurants!

It's Romance Time at Disney!

Walt Disney World

As a Limited Time Magic addition during February 11-17, romantic dinners for two will be offered with prix fixe menus at select restaurants.

Specially-created menus at Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort make an ideal setting for a romantic evening.

Book online at disneyworld.com/dining, or call (407) WDW-DINE.

The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios is the Perfect Setting for Your Romantic Dinner

Disneyland

Also during February 11-17, choose romantic dinners with prix fixe menus at the following restaurants: Blue Bayou and Café Orleans in Disneyland, Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California [Read more…]

Guest Review: Territory Lounge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

Welcome guest author Paul Kuconis with at a look at the Territory Lounge at the Wilderness Lodge. You know we love “Lounge Food!”

For some time now I have read reviews on the various (and awesome) culinary offerings in and around Walt Disney World. I finally decided to present my thoughts on a great appetizer at Territory Lounge. I hope you all enjoy my ‘review’.

Territory Lounge Overhead Sign Post

Atmosphere

We are frequent travelers to Walt Disney World and stay only at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. On our first evening we always visit the resort’s bar area — the Territory Lounge.

The Lounge is very much in keeping with the theme set by the Wilderness Lodge. Wilderness Lodge, to us, is a laid back setting/venue, complete with (predominantly) Aaron Copland music playing in the lobby. Even with Whispering Canyon in the lobby I still consider it calming and relaxing! This is carried through to Territory Lounge.

Territory Lounge Sign

The Lounge is not as large as most Disney venues, which adds to its coziness and ambiance. The interior is dark with western theme prints hanging on the walls. And the decor includes a lot of wood, just like the hotel lobby.

Territory Lounge Bar Shot

Although not shown here, there are 2 televisions; both usually set to sports stations. The times we have been there it has not been super busy (unless of course it is raining out and the Trout Pass Pool Bar is not a dry option!). In some cases folks are having a [Read more…]

5 Things You’ve Gotta Try at Walt Disney World in 2013!

It is a great time to be a Walt Disney World Fan, and an even greater time to be a Disney Food Fan! There has been a truly dizzying array of really unique, inventive food to come down the pike over the last year, and we can’t wait to hear what YOU think about it.

Since we are all about the eats in these parts, I thought I’d give you my two cents on the 5 Things You’ve Gotta Try at Walt Disney World in 2013 — Food Edition! Let’s do it!

Tutto Gusto

If you haven’t had the chance to stop by Tutto Gusto, the new wine bar that opened in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion last summer, I heartily recommend you get there, asap!

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar

This alluring, intimate spot has enjoyed lots of business since opening — I often find it full to the max when I visit! (Luckily, I snapped this pic on an early day!)

Gusto Fireplace Area

Following on the heels of the success enjoyed by its Mexican cousin, La Cava del Tequila, Tutto Gusto adds even more eats. Not only can you find an extraordinary assortment of Italian wines and beers, but there is also a wonderful menu of small bites to choose from.

Even non-wine drinkers can find plenty to love about this spot, which feels like it was just transported to Florida from Italy. Italian Cheese and Sausages? Sign me up!

Tutto Gusto Cheese Board

Stop in for a glass, some cheese, or even heavier pasta or panini options. The full menu from Tutto Italia next door is available here, too!

Or grab a fabulous dessert and a glass of Moscato. You won’t be disappointed.

Territory Lounge Eats

When I need a break from the [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants According to Zagat

Zagat released its inaugural 2013 Orlando Survey recognizing Orlando as a true food-lover’s haven!

ZAGAT: Orlando City Guide

Covering 360 restaurants, 75 nightspots, shops, and more, the Zagat results are based on the opinions of 5,614 local consumers.

And, not surprisingly, several Walt Disney World venues made the top lists in many of the categories, from Top 10 Restaurants in Orlando to Best Decor to Winning Nightspot!

Let’s take a look at where Disney’s recommended in the new Zagat guide…

Top 10 Restaurants

Clocking in at an impressive second place in the Top 10 Restaurants in Orlando category, Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian takes the honors.

This elegant restaurant is also voted as best romantic venue.

Victoria and Albert's Seating

And Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge receives accolades placing 8th in the Top 10 Category!

Seating by the Window at Jiko

These restaurants are also highlighted in the “Best Food” and “Best Wine List” categories!

Top Rated Restaurants by Cuisine

For New American cuisine, Chef Scott Hunnel at Victoria & Albert’s gets top marks once again!

Sake-Soy-marinated Long Island Duck with Bok Choy and Soy Beans at Victoria & Albert's

Best Eclectic/New World Restaurants

One of our favorite Downtown Disney restaurants, Paradiso 37, made the list in this category!

Paradiso Chocolate Stack Dessert

Best Japanese Restaurants

Looking for Japanese cuisine? Head to Epcot’s [Read more…]

DFB Readers Choose! Best Disney Restaurants for Quiet Dining

Need a relaxing date night? Have a sleeping baby? Want to simply get away from the crowds and the bustle of the Disney parks for a while?

We asked our friends on the Disney Food Blog Facebook Page for their recommendations on quiet dining in Disney World and Disneyland, and we want to hear YOURS, too!

The locations mentioned the most in Walt Disney World were: Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

In Disneyland, Facebook Friends gave the most shout-outs to Blue Bayou in Disneyland Park and Napa Rose at the Grand Californian Resort.

Best Disney World Restaurants For Quiet Dining

Let’s take a peek at these top Disney Food Blog reader choices for quiet dining in Disney World!

Jiko

For romance, delicious dishes, and a peaceful meal inspired by low lighting and a calming water feature view, head over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jiko.

Jiko View

Facebook Friend Adhiraj G. recommends “Jiko later in the evening! great view, great service and quiet (in a relaxed sort of way)!”

Filet and Mac and Cheese at Jiko (Mac and Cheese can be ordered by request)

A window-side table offers a beautiful view during daylight hours while savoring the gourmet cuisine. Keep an eye on the soothing “sunset wall” at the back of the restaurant, which cycles through the [Read more…]

Review: New Lunch Menu at Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

For years, the Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge has been known for bottomless milkshakes, all-you-can-eat skillets, and a rowdy atmosphere due to the fun antics of the servers.

And with a pretty drastic menu overhaul last month, I was eager to try some of the new dishes on the now skillet-less lunch menu!

Atmosphere

Whispering Canyon Cafe is located just off of the lobby in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge resort. This is the Wilderness Lodge’s moderately priced restaurant, and it’s definitely got a lot of personality!

Honestly, the fact that the restaurant is open to the lobby has pretty much required a noise ordinance to be placed due to the raucous (though good-natured) behavior that has characterized the restaurant in the past.

Reflecting the Cowboy-and-Indian days of the old West, just about anything goes here. From hobby-horse races around the restaurant to servers interrupting cell phone calls, and pledges to “never, EVER go to Universal Studios,” Whispering Canyon has always been a laugh and a half.

warning sign - click image for larger version

naughty people riding hobby horses

In my own experience at WCC, I’ve been brought a bucket of Diet Coke after asking for too many refills…and after drinking it all, I received my very own “fastpass to the bathroom” from my server! ;-)

However, recently the antics have been toned down a bit. Keep in mind that lunchtime guests seem to have a much quieter experience than breakfast or [Read more…]

News! Whispering Canyon Cafe Changes It Up With New Menus

The uber-popular Whispering Canyon Cafe, at Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge is known for bottomless milkshakes, all-you-can-eat skillets, and a rowdy atmosphere due to the fun antics of the servers.

Asked for Ketchup? Let’s just say you may be saddled with significantly more than you need. Chatting on your cell phone during the meal? Don’t be surprised if that doesn’t last long. Drop your fork? This might be the one you get in return!

Foxy Roxy with Fork

While the WCC menu has changed slightly over these past few years, guests could always count on the option of the all-you-can-eat skillet at breakfast, lunch, and dinner as their go-to must-do.

But this week, Whispering Canyon Cafe debuted new lunch and dinner menus that aren’t quite so straightforward. In a move that was not anticipated, the restaurant has removed the skillet from the lunch menu AND taken a la carte entrees off of the dinner menu. Yes, dinner is now a skillet affair ONLY! Luckily, the breakfast menu hasn’t changed as drastically…

Whispering Canyon Cafe Skillet

Let’s take a look at the updates to the lunch, dinner, and breakfast menus here…

New Whispering Canyon Cafe Menu Graphics

Whispering Canyon Cafe New Lunch Menu

On the lunch menu, guests have a choice of assorted appetizers (the yummy spring rolls are still available and I’m kind of intrigued by that “flash fried” Navajo bread…) and entrees, but the skillet has been removed from the options list.

Whispering Canyon Cafe Lunch Menu 2012 -- click for larger image

Sandwiches now include pulled pork, chicken, turkey, and a “Bacon and Egg” burger. Entrees include [Read more…]

Where to Get Waffles in Walt Disney World

We’ve gathered all kinds of waffle choices in order to bring this Waffle Gallery to you! Whether you’re hankering for a Belgian waffle with fruit topping, a waffle with powdered sugar, a Mickey shaped breakfast waffle, or even a waffle sandwich – we’ve got the deets on where to take care of your craving.

There are some really creative waffle creations in the mix, so be sure to add one or more of these waffle choices to your next Walt Disney World visit.

Giant Mickey Waffle

Yes, Disney World menus are ever-changing so always check the most recent menus prior to your visit. The waffles listed below are in alphabetical order based on how they’re listed on Walt Disney World menus.

Bananas Foster Waffles

Roaring Fork at the Wilderness Lodge is home to some comforting waffle creations on the regular and kid’s breakfast menus. You’ll find more to tempt you further down in this list. The Bananas Foster Waffles are covered with warm bananas in a buttered rum-flavored sauce. Plus, they are Mickey-shaped!

Bananas Foster Waffles

Belgian Waffle

  • A Belgian waffle with Maple Butter and Candied Pecan Topping is offered at the Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
  • Seasonal Fresh Fruit, Maple Syrup and Whipped Cream accompany the Belgian waffle offered at Wolfgang Puck Express, Downtown Disney Marketplace.
  • Belgian Waffle Sundae

    Belgian Waffle Sundae

    At the AMC Dine-In Theatre in Downtown Disney, a pair of warm Belgian waffles are infused with maple flavor, then topped with vanilla ice cream, drizzled in luscious caramel sauce and topped with a generous sprinkle of sweet and savory candied bacon. What a dessert!

    Belgium Waffle

  • A Belgium waffle with cinnamon Apple compote and [Read more…]