What’s New Around Walt Disney World: June 24, 2014

For this round of “What’s New,” we’re heading to three Disney World parks and five Resorts to check out candy apples, menu changes,  comfort foods, and oodles of cold drinks to help you cool down in hot temperatures! Welcome back to “What’s New!”


Character-inspired Treats

Magic Kingdom rang in the summer with the 24-Hour Rock Your Disney Side event. Several treats debuted that day, which were originally intended to be around just for those 24 hours; but a few made the cut to stick around a little longer, including these eye-catching Maleficent Krispy Treats and cake pops found in the Main Street Confectionery and Big Top Treats.

Maleficent Cake Pops and Krispy Treats

Maleficent Cake Pops and Krispy Treats

If you followed our coverage that day, you may have seen the Sunshine Tree Terrace’s Orange Bird join the candy apple ranks as well, but just in case you missed it, here he is!

Orange Bird Candy Apples

Orange Bird Candy Apples

He’s too cute to not show twice ;) !

Orange Bird Caramel Apple

Orange Bird Caramel Apple

And at Main Street Bakery, the Olaf the Snowman Carrot Cake Cupcake remains, alongside a Frozen-themed one as well.

Olaf Cupcake

Olaf Cupcake

Frozen Cupcake

Frozen Cupcake

Columbia Harbour House

In Liberty Square, Columbia Harbour House is offering two new dinner-only comfort foods: Seafood Macaroni & Cheese and Chicken Pot Pie. You can read our review here!

Columbia Harbour House

Columbia Harbour House

Seafood Macaroni and Cheese

Seafood Macaroni and Cheese

Full entree

Full entree

The Plaza Restaurant

The Plaza Restaurant added a great-sounding choice to their list of entrees: a Beef Brisket Onion Burger.

Plaza sign

Plaza sign

Plaza Entrees

Plaza Entrees

Tony’s Town Square

At Tony’s Town Square, guests can now choose a Seasonal and Sustainable Fresh Catch Salad. And at lunch, a Meatball Trio has replaced the Meatball Sliders.

Tony's Sign

Tony’s Sign

Tony's Town Square Menu

Tony’s Town Square Lunch Menu

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is serving up a new Cherry Slush topped with Lemon-Lime Fomz.

Cherry Slush at Cosmic Ray's

Cherry Slush at Cosmic Ray’s

Cherry Slush topped with Lemon Lime Fomz

Cherry Slush topped with Lemon Lime Fomz

Read more about it (and the mystery that is “Fomz”) by clicking here!


The Refreshment Cool Post (found in the Africa Outpost as you stroll around World Showcase) is offering a few summer treats: Pineapple and Coconut Frozen Yogurt (served solo or swirled together) and a Mango Rum Smoothie featuring African Starr Rum. Check out our review of the new Frozen Yogurt flavors here!

Refreshment Cool Post

Refreshment Cool Post

Pineapple Coconut Swirl Frozen Yogurt

Pineapple Coconut Swirl Frozen Yogurt


A couple of really fun new adult beverages have arrived in Animal Kingdom!


Head over to Asia’s Drinkwallah for a Coconut-Lychee Lemonade with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum. We’ll have a review on the blog soon!



Drinkwallah Menu

Drinkwallah Menu


Or if you’ve really got to tame your sweet tooth, try [Read more…]

Happy Hour: The Pineapple Caipirinha at The Crew’s Cup Lounge in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

On a very quick trip recently to Walt Disney World, I stayed at one of my favorite resorts, Disney’s Yacht Club.

It’s beautiful here, and I love the easy access to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But another big draw is that I’m really close to one of my favorite Disney watering holes — the Crew’s Cup Lounge!

You’ll find the Crew’s Cup tucked into a quiet corner right next to Yachtsman Steakhouse.

Crew's Cup Lounge Sign

Crew’s Cup Lounge Sign

One of my favorite things about this spot is that it’s rarely crowded. In fact, I consider it to be a best kept secret for those of you who like a little respite now and then from the busyness of the parks.



Like the rest of the Yacht Club, you’ll find classy wood paneling and warm colors and lighting. And I love the brass panels above the bar, which add an understated visual interest to the themeing.

Crews Cup Bar

Crew’s Cup Bar

Tables and chairs are comfortable, and invite you to relax and linger a while.

Crew's Cup Lounge Atmosphere

Crew’s Cup Lounge Atmosphere

While I love to stop in here for any excuse — it’s Thursday? I’m wearing black? — I also wanted to see if there was [Read more…]

News: Cosmetic Changes and a Menu Refresh for Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club

At Disney Food Blog, we have long regarded Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort as one of the Walt Disney World’s best kept secrets!

Rarely crowded, especially during the day, it’s a fantastic place to take in a serene lunch if you find yourself advance dining reservation-less.

So we were excited to find out that this favorite spot of ours has recently undergone a bit of a refresh. While it’s not a complete refurbishment, the restaurant has added new tables and chairs, and walls have been brightened with new wallpaper and paint. (I’m hoping that means the cool moving shadow boxes made the cut!)

But the real story is the addition of more than three dozen new dishes across the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. And Chef David Hutnik promises there will be more added to the list in 2014! So be sure to keep on the look out!

We had the chance to sample the New England Clam Chowder with Bacon and Chive Biscuits on a recent lunch date at Captain’s Grille.

New England Clam Chowder Served with Bacon and Chive Biscuits

New England Clam Chowder Served with Bacon and Chive Biscuits

With clams in the shell and rich biscuits floating on top, this rich soup is [Read more…]

The Weirdest Burgers in Disney World

Yesterday we featured an awesome, interesting Disney burger, and we figured today would be a good day to delve into a few more of these finds!

Over the past few years, it seems like the culinary staff throughout the resort has made it a mission to reinvent the humble hamburger.

Once upon a time, there were rows and rows of nondescript fast food hamburgers. Now, you can find all manner of interesting flavor combos.

Whether you’re planning a vacation as you read, or you’re just looking for some serious burger inspiration, check out our list of some of the most unusual burgers we’ve had at Walt Disney World!

PB&J Burger

Sports fans who love Disney know that the BEST place to catch a game while you’re at the resort is the ESPN Club at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.

But just as impressive as the myriad of televisions (even in the bathroom!) is the innovative menu of upscale sports bar food. One of the most interesting entrees is the PB&J Burger.

Inside the PB&J Burger at ESPN Club

Yep, that’s correct. Two of the world’s most comforting foods — peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and burgers — create a fusion of flavors like nothing you’ve ever had. And with the salty flavors of Bacon and spicy notes from sliced Jalapenos to add even more interest, there’s a lot going on here!

You’ve got to try it at least once (that’s about all I could take). And be sure to ask for extra napkins!

Battered Burger

Another burger that you’re not likely to see replicated in too many places is the Battered Burger at Cookes of Dublin in Downtown Disney.

Battered Burger and Chips from Cookes of Dublin

This small counter service spot shares a


Guest Review: Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Guest author Paul Kuconis returns with a review of Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in Walt Disney World. Take it away, Paul!

For years, friends of mine (also Disney Freaks) told me to go to Yachtsman Steakhouse; and for years I never went. No particular reason.

Finally I did and this is now my second visit in three months. Why did I wait so long?!


A hidden gem!

Up four steps to an inviting entrance of hardwood and glass and we are in!

Yachtsman Steakhouse Signage


Once inside we are greeted with the Aging Room. Our server told us the meat is dry aged 6-7 days. This is well short of the normal 15-28 days, but the results are still awesome!

First View of the Aging Room

Aging tenderizes and intensifies the flavor and draws out some of the moisture.

Beef Aging

While waiting for our table we looked at today’s cuts. Yum! Can’t wait!

Today’s Cuts

We asked if Thomas was working – he was, and we were seated in his section, at the same table as our previous visit. Clearly my daughter has already gotten down to business!

Our Table By The Window

Our table was in the middle of a huge bay window with a nice view of the pool area and across the way to the ESPN Club.

The View Outside

The view of the restaurant’s interior from our table was equally impressive; very open with the glass and hardwood theme carried throughout.

Notice the portholes (the yacht theme) and the bay windows above, mirroring the bay window we sat near.

Into The Restaurant From Our Table

The chandelier and ceiling structure (along with what I would call a ‘widow’s walk’ skylight) is immense and breathtaking and fits the size of the room. The attention to detail is unbelievable!


After catching up with Thomas we got down to business!


First stop [Read more…]

News! Update on Disney’s New Rapid Fill Refillable Mug

According to sources, Disney World will soon be bringing the new Disney Rapid Fill Refillable Mug program to Disney resort hotels.

Tested at All-Star Sports Resort a while back, and much like the process currently in use at Disney’s Water Parks, the new system would use an RFID bar code on each mug to give Disney guests access to refills for a pre-purchased period of time. The mug will then deactivate itself at the end of the purchased time frame.

But as of today, it’s looking more and more like the rumors may be true. Although at this time the Rapid Fill Refillable Program has not been confirmed by Disney, we have news today that the fountain machines at some beverage refilling stations at Walt Disney World resorts have been replaced with new machines that resemble those in a demo video by the company ValidFill.

The first set of photos are from the Beach Club Marketplace, where the machines were installed earlier this week.

Newly Installed Beverage Refill Station at Beach Club Marketplace

Newly Installed Beverage Refill Station at Beach Club Marketplace

In this photo, you can see the small screen that provides the customer detailed information about their refill as it dispenses, as well as the trays below the fountain taps that reads the cup’s sensor.

New Beach Club Marketplace Refill Station -- Up Close

New Beach Club Marketplace Refill Station — Up Close

The same set up is in place at All-Star Music Resort’s beverage refill station. The screens here are [Read more…]

News! 2014 Disney World Free Dining Packages for United Kingdom Residents

United Kingdom residents — we have GREAT news! Now’s the time to start planning your 2014 holiday to the Walt Disney World Resort. When you book a selected Walt Disney World holiday, you’ll receive free dining for your family!!

Disney Deal

Disney is offering a less restrictive Free Dining deal to United Kingdom residents, PLUS you’ll receive a $200 Disney Gift Card and 14 park days for the price of 7. However you’ll need to book prior to July 1, 2013, for select arrival between January 1 – April 8 and April 27 – November 30, 2014.

If you stay at a selected Disney Hotel for a minimum of 5 nights, you’ll benefit from these three magical offers:

1. FREE Disney Dining for your whole party throughout your entire stay at Walt Disney World.

2. FREE $200 Disney Spending Money.

3. Disney’s 14-Day Ultimate Ticket which includes unlimited entry to ALL six parks for a price of a Disney’s 7-Day Ultimate ticket.

PLUS save 35% on your accommodation by staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort or Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa in a studio room.

Who doesn't want unlimited free Mickey waffles??

This offer is available on participating Disney Moderate, Deluxe Villa or Deluxe Resort hotel stays plus tickets.

Bookings must include 5 nights minimum stay at a Walt Disney World Hotel plus Disney’s 14 Day Ultimate Tickets for the whole party traveling to receive “14 day tickets for 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: Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Today, we’re taking a look at a top notch restaurant on Disney property — Yachtsman Steakhouse.

The Yachtsman has been a consistently great restaurant throughout the years. We had heard some new things about the menu, so it was time to head back and get the scoop.


Located at Disney’s Yacht Club, the Yachtsman Steakhouse is decorated with the same beautiful wood and neutral palette that you’ll find throughout the rest of the resort. Soft lighting and a nod to Arts and Crafts touches lend a refined yet relaxed air to the spot.

As you enter the restaurant, you’ll actually pass by the steak trimming room, which features a large window allowing guests to check out the steak aging process. At this point, you know you’re in a steakhouse that takes that moniker seriously.

En route to the dining room, you also pass by an open kitchen with its bustling activity and delicious smells.


The dining area is broken up into several smaller spaces. My favorite is a round dining room that soars two stories high and is crowned with a lovely Craftsman-style chandelier at its peak.

Two-Story Dining Room

The circular space gives the room a bit of whimsy, and you dine while looking out on Stormalong Bay, the resort’s premium pool and water park.

Circular Dining Room

Honestly, I’m not really bowled over by fantastic themeing here. But the setting is comfortable with big substantial chairs and warm lighting. It’s simple, and doesn’t include fussy accessories or extras — just like a good steak!

And since the food is usually exceptional here, you don’t really miss the distraction of flashy decor elements.

Dining Room

It was time to tuck into our own comfortable two top and take a look at the menu. Come join us!


Coming from a long, fun, warm day of theme park hopping, we were anxious to kick off our meal with a few interesting beverage options.

The menu here changes up regularly since it’s a signature restaurant; and since the Yachtsman chef moved over to Le Cellier in 2012, the restaurant has been searching for its legs under the new head honcho.

As is the trend with many signature restaurants, there is an emphasis on seasonal offerings; so some of the dishes that you see here probably won’t be on the menu when you head to Yachtsman. But if they aren’t, you’ll find similarly intriguing options during your visit! (For current offerings, be sure to visit our Yachtsman Steakhouse restaurant page, where you’ll find all updated menu links.)

Here is the Drink Menu on the Yachtsman menu from our visit. Note that most of these are straight out of the standard Disney Bar and Lounge menu.

Drink Menu -- Click to Enlarge

I actually chose a drink that was from the bar menu and not listed in Yachtsman’s menu list — the Pimm’s Punch. I’d had it previously on the trip and wanted to see if it was still a winner! It includes Pimm’s No. 1 Liqueur, Hendrick’s, Odwalla Lemonade, and Wil Strawberry. (Thoughts? Still good, but not AS good as the one I’d had previously. Bartenders make a huge difference.)

Strawberry Julep

My husband surveyed the Beer Menu and found a few interesting options. (Nope — that green crayon streak is NOT from us; I promise.)

Beer Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Ultimately, he chose the Full Sail Session Black Lager. A little shorter than a [Read more…]

Guest Review: Captain’s Grille Breakfast Buffet at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Today, we’re welcoming back Emma Snobbish with a review of the Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Her review highlights the breakfast buffet!

When you’re contemplating breakfast choices around Walt Disney World Resort, the Captain’s Grille may not be on your radar.

“Oh, yeah – that one at the Yacht Club?” you might say.

That’s what I said, but on my family’s trip this January we wanted to try something new — someplace where we would be able to get a walk-up reservation. We had also heard tell of the Captain’s breakfast buffet, so we decided to give it a try.


The Captain’s Grille is just off the Yacht Club Resort’s lobby. You’ve passed it if you’ve ever taken the stroll from the Beach Club to the Yacht Club.

Outside the Captain’s Grille

Behind its fresh, white French doors you’ll see soft nautical stripes, and model boats and paintings of seaside scenes hanging on the walls.

The Main Dining Room

Once inside the restaurant, you’ll see a kid-sized waiting area complete with coloring sheets and crayons!

Children’s Coloring Area – the Crayons are Kept in a Little Boat!

The themeing here is subtle but still charming. I loved the compass design on the center of the tables and the beach waves etched on the chairs.

Big arched openings at the edges of the restaurant look out over the hallway leading to the signature restaurant — Yachtsman Steakhouse — and Stormalong Bay, the giant pool and play area shared between the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. Kinda fun for people watching during your meal, although if you’d rather something more quiet there are plenty of [Read more…]