Disney Food Blog Challenge: The Disney World Milkshake Crawl

Sweet, dreamy, creamy milkshakes. When you are craving one, nothing else will quite do. In honor of National Ice Cream month, it’s time to do another Disney Food Blog food crawl: MILKSHAKES!

Not surprisingly, some of my favorite milkshakes can be found right in Walt Disney World. If milkshakes are a favorite of yours, too, allow me to tempt you with a brand new food challenge — the Disney Food Blog Milkshake Crawl!

This one is a doozy! So if you break it up over a couple of days, we totally understand.

And be sure to let us know in the comments which milkshake is your favorite and which ones you highly recommend!

Cookies and Cream Milkshake at Plaza Restaurant

The Plaza Restaurant is one of my favorite table service spots in Magic Kingdom. It’s rarely super busy, and the prices are reasonable. As a bonus, there are some pretty amazing ice cream dessert options on the menu, thanks to the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor right next door.

My favorite beverage-meets-dessert options here are the Hand-Dipped Milkshakes.

Milkshake at Magic Kingdom

Served in old-fashioned glasses, and topped with [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…]

Review: Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

You know how much we love the food at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge around here. All of the restaurants here — Whispering Canyon Cafe, Artist Point, and even Territory Lounge — offer incredible food in unique settings.

But despite my many trips to Roaring Fork, I just realized I’ve never put together a full review for you guys!

Located conveniently mere steps away from both the lobby of the hotel, as well as the pool area, Roaring Fork is a great place to grab a quick meal or snack on the go as you head out for a swim or to the parks.


Entering into Roaring Fork, you get that same Pacific Northwest Territory adventure vibe present all around Wilderness Lodge, with more of a hint of the rustic here.

It’s awesome how the signage around Wilderness Lodge has a sense of flow to it. You really do feel like you could go outside and hop into a white water raft, bound for some rapids!

Roaring Fork Sign

There’s an abbreviated menu board located outside so you can tell at a glance if the selections here will appeal to you.

Menu Outside of Roaring Fork -- Click to Enlarge

One thing to note about Roaring Fork is the [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…]

Review: Drunken’ Donuts at The Wilderness Lodge’s Territory Lounge

Editor’s Note: The Drunken’ Donuts have been removed from the menu.

All right, all; it’s time for some serious DONUTAGE!!

Just last week I once more headed over Bay Lake and through the woods to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. The Territory Lounge beckoned with a sweet menu item that I couldn’t resist trying.

The Territory Lounge at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

I know. So tough. But someone has to bring you all the latest, right? ;-)

This laid-back spot is one of my favorite places in all of the World to relax while enjoying some truly spectacular pub grub. Rarely crowded and always staffed with the most excellent cast members (Yay, LouAnn!), I still think that Territory Lounge is one of the best kept secrets at Disney World.

Territory Loung Bar Table Seating

But when Kathie F. tipped me off recently that she and her husband had enjoyed a new-to-me dessert offering here, that guaranteed I would be visiting the bar sooner rather than later.

Territory Lounge Menu -- Click to Enlarge

The menu had changed a little since our last review. Gone were the Tuna Tataki and the Asian Steamed Buns. The Chicken Wings were back, replacing their predecessor, Chicken Lollipops. (The lollipops were basically just wings, though, so I’m not sure what’s up with the weird name.)

Onion Soup has joined the team as well, and the Wild Mushroom Flatbread has returned by popular demand. And because they’re awesome — the Northwest Charcuterie and Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue are still alive and kicking!

But the most interesting change on the menu is the addition of two desserts. One is a favorite of ours from the Artist Point kitchens: the Artist Point Berry Cobbler. And the other one was what I was after on this evening: DONUTS. And not just any donuts… [Read more…]

Best Cookie Snacks in Walt Disney World

OK, all. Today we’re talking about something that I know you can all appreciate…

COOKIES! Yep. Simple, sweet, and the perfect combo of portable and delicious, cookies are the oft-forgotten workhorse of the snack world.

Now, I know that there are dozens of awesome cookie options in Disney World. So many that we couldn’t possibly list them ALL in our “best of” post about cookies. But we’re going to take a shot at listing a few of our favorites…and hopefully a few that you haven’t yet sampled!

These are cookies that are truly something special — options that either I couldn’t get anyplace else, or treats that say Disney! loud and clear to me.

So I present to you the Disney Food Blog’s Favorite Cookies at Walt Disney World! Don’t forget to check out more awesome Disney Snacks like these in our 2013 DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book!

Carrot Cake Cookie

Ever since I discovered the Carrot Cake Cookie at The Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I’ve made it a point to visit this quiet little spot on just about every trip.

These are the epitome of awesome Disney snacks. Unique, only found in one park anywhere in the world, and truly, over-the-top delicious. They consist of two components: Cakey “cookies” and a huge amount of cream cheese icing — more than you would ever get on the run-of-the-mill slice of carrot cake.

The cookies themselves are moist, sweet, and spicy. And I liken this snack to the best version of a whoopie pie ever. :-)

Carrot Cake Cookie

This treat is huge, which makes it perfect to share or to eat as a snack over a few days!

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

You saw this one coming from a mile away, didn’t you? There is no fancy dessert that holds a candle to one of my favorite grab and go sweet treats, the Homemade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich!

Two ginormous cookies are smooshed together with a huge scoop of ice cream for a portable (if slightly messy) treat. Decadent, simple, and a great way to cool down on a hot Florida day!

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

But another fun fact that makes these sandwiches a favorite of mine is that often, you can customize them! Pick your cookie, pick your [Read more…]

Food Challenge: The Disney Food Blog Waffle Crawl

It’s been a while since we’ve had a good Disney Food Crawl around here, don’t cha think? Let’s take care of that right now!

My friends, gather ’round — for we are about to carb load like never before!


The Disney Food Blog Waffle Crawl!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Waffles are just for breakfast. But you’d be only half right! There’s plenty of waffle-ness to be had at all hours of the day throughout Walt Disney World, believe it or not.

But since this one is definitely going to challenge your stamina, I heartily recommend you plan to cover two days with this one, and enlist the help of some able-bodied and empty-stomached friends. Sharing will be beneficial! ;-)

So what are you waiting for? Grab your butter and syrup and let’s go!

Sleepy Hollow Waffle Sandwiches

We’re starting at the Magic Kingdom first, since some of our favorite waffles can be found here!

When I’m looking for a treat at Disney World’s very first park, it’s pretty hard to imagine finding anything as rockin’ as a waffle from Sleepy Hollow Refreshments. And of all the amazing choices available, the Nutella and Fresh Fruit Waffle usually wins out with me!

Nutella Waffle Sandwich With Fruit

A fresh-from-the-iron waffle, malty and thick and still warm, is slathered with Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread. Then it’s heaped high with a mix of fresh bananas and berries. It’s big enough to share — if you want to! ;-)

Looking for a more savory waffle experience? My second favorite is the Spicy Chicken Waffle, an sweet-and-spicy Asian riff on fried chicken and waffles that is nothing short of incredible. (We’ll have a full review of this one coming up soon on DFB!)

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich at Sleepy Hollow

You may think you don’t want [Read more…]

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


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…]