News: Even MORE Details About the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Yesterday, we gave you a bunch of brand new news to process about the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Food and Wine Festival Updates

While we updated you on deets about NEW and returning Food and Wine Marketplace Booths, we’re also sharing some of the ways that Disney will celebrating this 20th Anniversary Milestone!

NEW Future World Marketplace Booths — More Details

Some of the biggest news about this year’s Festival is that Marketplace Booths are expanding into Future World. Last week, we told you about two new Chew-inspired MarketplacesSustainable Chew and Chew Lab. The Booths will be located in an area called Next Eats. Today we’re learning that this area will likely be located near the Epcot Character Spot in FutureWorld, steps away from The Land Pavilion.

We are also learning more about the other two Future World booths located in the Artistry of Wine and Cheese area. These sister spots will be located on [Read more…]

News: Disney World Refillable Mug Price Change Test Currently Underway

UPDATE: In the days since this post first published, many of our readers have reported that the new price of the Refillable Mugs has rolled out to several more Disney Resorts in addition to the original locations named in this post. 

Heads up, all! A few select Disney World Resorts have rolled out an updated pricing structure for the Rapid Fill Mugs — refillable mugs that provide guests the option to purchase one mug and reuse it for fountain and other drink station beverages throughout their vacation for a pre-designated amount of time.

Rapid Fill Mugs

Rapid Fill Mugs

The price for a Rapid Fill Mug has been $17.99 for length of stay, with lower pricing options available for 1, 2, and 3 day visits since the Rapid Fill drink program debuted in August 2013. And it remains in effect at several Disney resorts currently.

Rapid Fill Price Sign

Rapid Fill Price Sign

BUT…at Pop Century, the All Star Resorts, and Port Orleans – Riverside, the price is currently $16.49 plus tax for length of stay.

Rapid Fill New Length of Stay Pricing -- Refillable Mugs

Rapid Fill New Length of Stay Pricing — Refillable Mugs

However, the 1, 2, and 3 day options are not currently available to guests, so essentially [Read more…]

News! 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Confirmed Booths, New Dishes, and More Details!

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015, and today, we’re starting to get an idea of what this year will include.

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Logo

We have updates on everything from food to new attractions, so let’s get to it!

NEW Booths and Dishes

While we anticipate lots and lots more announcements about new food items, we’re getting our very first glimpse of some eats that will debut in the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths!

The Scotland Booth is back and will debut a brand new drink, the Scottish Citrus Thistle!

A Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Peppers, Onions and Snap Peas will be a highlight at the Australia Booth, and the New Zealand Booth will tempt guests with a Seared Venison Loin with Wild Mushroom Ragout and Kumara Dumpling.

Other new dishes will include Pepper Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese (what WHAT?!??!?) at the Farm Fresh Booth. But I super hope that amazing Hash returns in 2015!

Farm Fresh Marketplace

Farm Fresh Marketplace

Of course, we are crossing our fingers and hoping that plenty of dishes that we love return as well. We do know that the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup is returning to the Canada Booth!

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup Will Once Again Join the Festival Line Up

So we can breathe a collective sigh of relief there. :-)

New Special Events

We cannot wait to check out a brand new festival Premium Event — the French Family Meal Traditions Lunch, which will take place on Fridays and Sundays.

Parisian Breakfast

If the French Family Meal Traditions Lunch is Anything Like the Parisian Breakfast, We Can’t Wait!

A brand new premium party, the Rockin’ Burger Block Party, will also take place on select dates. More details to come about that one!

NEW Artists Debuting and Familiar Favorites Returning to Eat to the Beat Concert Series

Taking in an Eat to the Beat Concert as the sun goes down is a great way to enjoy your evening at the festival. And this year, we have some brand new acts to choose from.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Performing at Eat to the Beat

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Performing at Eat to the Beat

New acts Tiffany, Everclear, Maxi Priest, and Chaka Khan will take the stage at the America Pavilion in 2015. They’ll be joined by several returning acts, including Wilson Phillips, Smash Mouth, The Pointer Sisters, Jo Dee Messina, Boyz II Men, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

To check out the FULL official line up, click over to our Eat to the Beat Concert Series Page!

Celebrity Chefs to Appear at the 2015 Food and Wine Festival

One of the most fun aspects of the festival is catching a low cost culinary demonstration with celebrity chefs. 2015 will see the return of many favorites. Look for Cat Cora, Robert Irvine, Jamie Deen, Rock Harper, Kenny Gilbert, and Buddy Valastro at Culinary Demos and Special Events.

Cake Boss, 2011 Sweet Sundays Event

Cake Boss, 2011 Sweet Sundays Event

Chef Cat Cora Book Signing at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Chef Cat Cora Book Signing at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The festival will also welcome back chef and cookbook author John Ash, who appeared at the very first festival in 1996!

Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt

Also new for 2015 — everyone’s favorite rat chef Remy will be joining the party with [Read more…]

Review: Star Wars Specialty Beverages in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Umm… have we mentioned that there is a wee little event by the name of Star Wars Weekends going on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?!

Star Wars Weekends

Star Wars Weekends

In case you missed the memo ;), Star Wars Weekends is running Fridays through Sundays through June 14th. And as in previous years, temporary pop up bars appear for the weekends all around the park offering specialty cocktails just for the occasion. Last year, guests were asked to Choose Their Side by choosing their beverage: The Force or The Dark Side. This year, though, you get to Choose your PLANET!

The Mustafar and The Tatooine

The Mustafar and The Tatooine

The Endor and The Alderaan

The Endor and The Alderaan

There are four different drinks available, and each bar features two of the four. For instance, in the seating area of Starring Rolls Cafe, I happened upon this pop up bar featuring The Mustafar and The Tatooine.

Popup Bar near Starring Rolls

Popup Bar near Starring Rolls

The pop up bar near the Hollywood Studios Main Stage, however, was serving The Endor and The Alderaan.

Pop-up Bar near Min & Bill's

Pop-up Bar near Min & Bill’s

For a point of location reference, you can spy a few of the umbrella-topped tables from Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner in the background for this bar, but really you can’t walk very far without happening upon a pop-up in just about every section of the park.

Now, while the drinks differ, there is something special about the beverages that is similar, no matter which bar you visit, and that is the souvenir glow cubes corresponding to specific beverages. With The Tatooine and The Endor, you receive a Millennium Falcon glow cube, while The Mustafar and The Alderaan feature the Death Star.

Death Star Glow Cube in The Alderaan

Death Star Glow Cube in The Alderaan

Last year the glow cubes were a major part of the story, too. First, because they’re awesome. Second, they were so popular that they ran out almost immediately. If I understood correctly, many were gone as early as the second weekend of the event! Here’s hoping the inventory was greatly amped up this year in anticipation of their popularity.

If you choose your drink based on a glow cube, you’re [Read more…]

Review: Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs Marketplace

Remember the Margarita Bar that was at Downtown Disney Marketplace? Great news! It’s been given a new look and a new name…and voila, Dockside Margaritas is born!

We first told you about the new-but-not-quite new spot a while back. And ever since then, I’ve been eager to drop by and check out the new scene. So on a sweltering day last week, that’s just what I did. Let’s have a look.

Dockside Margaritas

I gotta say it — it looks awesome.

In keeping with the new Florida-forward Disney Springs theme, Dockside Margaritas looks like a little stand you’d find in the middle of a citrus grove. But they’re selling stuff that’s waaaaaay better than orange juice.

Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs Marketplace

Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs Marketplace

The distressed, faded sign gives the spot built-in age. But the bright citrus green and yellow palette keeps it feeling fresh.

Dockside Margaritas -- Other side

Dockside Margaritas — Other side

The open-air feeling of the bar lends to that “grove stand” feel. You can walk up and order from three of the four sides. And regardless of where you are, you always have a great view of Village Lake.

Overhead Bar Menu and the View. You Can Access the Bar From Three Sides

Overhead Bar Menu and the View. You Can Access the Bar From Three Sides

As you approach Dockside from the front — meaning the side that faces the shops, not the water — the largest area of seating is just to the right of the building. And I think that it’s really beautifully done as well. A pergola overhead gives a little protection, but still allows for plenty of sunshine. Strands of overhead lights and a stand set up for a musician hint at a scene that promises to be relaxed but festive as the sun goes down.

Seating Area

Seating Area

I can’t wait to meet friends here at night for a drink (or two).

Another View of the Patio

Another View of the Patio

Looking back onto Dockside from the larger seating area, you also note that there is bar seating. Upon closer inspection, you see two bars actually — you can face the bar and chat with the friendly staff, or stare out over the water.

Waterfront Bar Seating

Waterfront Bar Seating

View of the New Pedestrian Bridge

View of the Pedestrian Bridge

But at this point, after much deliberation, it was time to settle on a drink. So let’s take a look at the options. And this is where it gets good.

While the old spot was fine, just fine, for ordering a handful of tequila-based drinks and a couple of other options, things are way [Read more…]

Memorial Day Sale! DFB Disney World Guidebook Discounts for a Limited Time!

As we mark a time of remembrance this Memorial Day weekend, we also look forward to fun celebrations with family and friends as Summer gets underway! And if you’re like me, that means one thing — vacation is JUST around the corner!

Whether you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World during the busy Summer season, or you have your eyes set on a Fall Food and Wine Festival Trip or a Holiday Extravaganza, we know one thing for sure: you need to make some plans.

Believe it or not, it’s already time to start making those Advance Dining Reservations! And we’re going to help you make sure you choose the best restaurants Disney has to offer. There are hundreds, after all!

We have three great offers for you to choose from! Read on for all the details, but hurry — you can only take advantage of these savings through Saturday, May 30!


The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015

Our fully guaranteed, comprehensive e-Book offers more than 490 full-color pages to help you plan your very best Disney World trip ever!

With reviews, tips, expert advice, and hundreds of color photographs, you’ll get the biggest bang for your planning buck! And our handy e-Book format has been completely updated for your 2015-16 Disney World vacation.

Inside the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015, you’ll find:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from budgeting and booking to kids’ meals, dining discounts, and fireworks. 5 simple steps and you’re done!
  • A comprehensive and in-depth look at EVERY Disney World restaurant, kiosk, bar, and lounge, including our personal tips to ensure a positive and stress-free dining experience.
  • Four free, [Read more…]

Friday Happy Hour: Lava Flow at the Barefoot Pool Bar at Polynesian Village Resort

Well, wouldn’t you know it?

Right after I visited the Polynesian Village Resort’s Barefoot Pool Bar when it reopened along with the refurbished Lava Pool and I reported that the specialty drink menu hadn’t changed…

It changed.

Well, that’s not entirely true :). Everything you could previously purchase at the Barefoot Pool Bar is still available (that means the pool bar standards like the Captain’s Mai Tai and Banana Cabana). In fact, they’re all still prominently listed on the main menu.

Barefoot Pool Bar

Barefoot Pool Bar

Barefoot Pool Bar menu

Barefoot Pool Bar menu

But, lo and behold…. just days after my visit, I heard about some all-new (and if I understand correctly, mostly exclusive) drinks at the Barefoot Pool Bar!

You can spot the descriptions on a stand-up sign, and fans of the Polynesian will get a kick out of reading the well-themed drink names as much as the descriptions with titles like the Pago Pago Pain Killer, Niue Rita, Lava Flow, Tonga Tea, and Samoa Sunrise. Just click on the image below to enlarge and read the item descriptions. I love that the Samoa Sunrise features POG Juice!

Specialty Drink Menu

Specialty Drink Menu

I didn’t see this menu at all on my previous visit, but whether that’s because they were not being served yet since the pool bar had just reopened or I’d missed the roving sign, I’m honestly not sure.

Ah, well… it’s here now, and so are we! So, let’s have a drink, shall we? We’ll go with [Read more…]

Review: Green Tea Plum Slush at Joy of Tea in Epcot’s China Pavilion

We’ve stopped by the Joy of Tea kiosk in Epcot’s China Pavilion several times…because it’s awesome.

So you may know by now that it’s packed with much more than tea, despite the name. I mean, sure, you can absolutely grab an iced or hot tea depending on the weather or just your personal preference. But it’s also got a decent snack selection for such a small place (I love the Strawberry Red Bean Ice Cream), and an “appetizer sampler” of sorts with their Lucky Combo, which allows you to try all three hot snacks (BBQ Pork Buns, Curry Chicken Pockets, and Egg Rolls) along with a soft drink and some ice cream.

You’d think that would about cover it! But you’d be wrong ;). Because there is a whole slew of specialty drinks here including some adult beverages, which is what we’re trying out today.

Joy of Tea

Joy of Tea

You’ll spot the choices under “Alcoholic Beverages” (natch), and they include the Mango Gingerita, Canto Loopy, Peach Snap!, and Green Tea Plum Slush, in addition to beer and wine. (Oh, and don’t forget the Tipsy Ducks in Love.)

Joy of Tea menu

Joy of Tea menu

I went with the Green Tea Plum Slush with plum wine, since I know it’s a guest favorite at the park. I really enjoyed the Strawberry Oolong Tea Slush here many moons ago, so I had high hopes for this one. I mean, plum wine? Sure — sign me up! I love that stuff.

Unfortunately, those hopes were [Read more…]

News! Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar Opening in Disney Springs this Fall

And the Disney Springs food news just keeps on coming!

Most recently, we waited for the opening of The Boathouse and its jillion dollar steak. Next up? The anticipated summer opening of Morimoto Asia. And now we’ve just received word that Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will be opening in The Landing section of Downtown Disney (which will soon be Disney Springs) this fall!

Hangar Bar Concept Art ©Disney

Hangar Bar Concept Art ©Disney

So who, exactly, is Jock Lindsey and why do you care? He’s none other than the pilot for Indiana Jones from the famed movie series, so an aviation theme will (naturally!) play a huge part. According to Disney, Jock’s pet snake Reggie (“Why did it have to be snakes?”) will somehow have a major part in the story of the Hangar Bar as well.

A boat that may be incorporated into Jock Lindsay's Hangar Bar

A boat that may be incorporated into Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar

Guests will have the chance to check out walls packed with vintage travel posters and aviation equipment as they drink and dine… and may even spot a few back-and-forth letters of Jock and Indy’s on display around the 150-seat space.

Hangar Bar Concept Art ©Disney

Hangar Bar Concept Art ©Disney

Outdoor seating will also be available on Jock’s steamboat… docked, of course! You wouldn’t want to run into any of the Boathouse’s amphicars on the water, now, would you?

Cocktails and tapas will be the focus of the menu, with drinks like [Read more…]

Fun Find: Flavored Moonshine in Epcot

You know how I’m always going on and on about the huge variety of food, drinks, and cuisine around Epcot’s World Showcase? I mean, you can find just about anything and everything, which is why I talk about it ALL the time, like it’s my job or something.

Oh, wait… it IS my job.

I guess somebody’s gotta do it! ;)

Anyway, I really do mean that you can find everything… and here’s my proof (ha ha — PROOF! I crack me up). Did you know that you can stock up on your supply of Moonshine at Epcot?

Backwoods Moonshine

Backwoods Moonshine

Yep! The Port of Entry and Disney Traders gift shops (those are the two gifts shops at the entrance to World Showcase between the Canada and Mexico Pavilions) carry an assortment of the whiskey beverage.

They’ve actually been available for some time now (and are, of course, being incorporated into many a cocktail around property due to the popularity of moonshine right now), but I only recently paused to take a look at the [Read more…]