Review: New and Old Favorites at the Dawa Bar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The last time we visited Animal Kingdom’s Dawa Bar here on the DFB, it was to show you a little bit around what was then its new location.

It hadn’t moved very far… you can still find the Dawa Bar tucked under the same roofing that provides shade for guests waiting to dine at Tusker House, though now — facing Tusker House — you’ll see the Dawa Bar on your right instead of your left.

Aside from the small location switch to accommodate Animal Kingdom construction and a fresh coat of paint, not much has changed at the Dawa Bar (with the exception of the Bloody Mary menu added last fall). And I’m inclined to say that’s a pretty good thing. Today we’re trying some of those classic drinks that bring guests back to the Dawa Bar time and time again (and grabbing one of those Bloody Marys while we’re at it).

Dawa Bar

Dawa Bar

Atmosphere

I’d mentioned the high rate of return for Dawa Bar guests, but I think over the past year some new folks have made the discovery, too. Maybe I’m just imagining it, but it does seem to me that the new location has brought more guests to this fabulous little oasis.

Dawa Bar

Dawa Bar

It’s just a lot easier to see the bar while strolling in Harambe Village from its current location, whereas previously it was tucked toward the back and somewhat hard to spot unless you knew it was there. For that reason, it seems to have lost just a bit of its “hidden gem” status, but it’s managed to keep that “this is my Disney vacation home away from home” feel — in no small part thanks to the great bartenders and relaxing vibe.

Bartender at Dawa Bar

Bartender at Dawa Bar

Dawa Bar-tender :)!

Dawa Bar-tender :)!

The cooling shade is another draw here, and the stools and neat chairs invite you sit and stay a while.

Mismatched chairs

Mismatched chairs

Even though it’s probably the least comfortable, you’ve gotta love the conga chair. Even if you don’t sit in it, you can still appreciate the artistry of the carvings on the bottom.

Conga Chair!

Conga Chair!

But no matter where you sit, it’s much more about what you sip!

Eats

The “eats” here are actually nothing but beverages. And though today we’ll be focusing on the specialty drinks, you’ll always find a terrific selection of African wines and beers here, proudly featuring Tusker Lager.

Menus and bottle assortment

Menus and bottle assortment

You can have any of the drinks you’re about to see served to you in a Mask Tumbler if you’re looking for a souvenir from your time at the Dawa Bar. These hit the scene around the same time the Musical Tumbler arrived at various spots around Animal Kingdom. It’ll up your beverage cost by about $6 per drink.

Mask Tumblers

Mask Tumblers

One of the cocktails that has been a hit for a long time here is the Sugar Cane Mojito. Now, one reason I personally haven’t sampled the Sugar Cane Mojito previously is because I’m really not into mojitos in general. But this drink’s reputation precedes itself, and from the moment it was placed in front of me I started to understand why.

It’s a gorgeous drink — strikingly clear. I was mesmerized by the sunlight shining through the drink. (And, no, I hadn’t started drinking, yet. ;-D)

Sugar Cane Mojito

Sugar Cane Mojito

Even though the general components are the same as a typical mojito (plenty of mint, and in this case the rum is African Starr mixed with Sugar Cane Syrup — complete with a stalk of sugar cane), I really did enjoy this one.

As mentioned above, the Dawa Bar added Bloody Marys to the mix last fall, and the different twists are [Read more…]

News! 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival FULL Food Menus!

We have big news from Epcot today!

The 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Menus are Finally Here!

With just a week to go before the opening of the 2015 Flower and Garden Festival, we have the full list of menus for the super popular Outdoor Kitchens! Mark your calendars — the Festival lasts from March 4 through May 17.

Disney Food Blog Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

These Outdoor Kitchens, which are similar to Marketplace Booths that dominate the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, feature delicious small plates that allow you to taste fresh flavors from the garden.

We Loved This Violet Lemonade at the 2013 Flower and Garden Festival!

We Loved This Violet Lemonade at the 2014 Flower and Garden Festival!

There are lots and lots of new things to try. A brand new Outdoor Kitchen will debut in 2015. Botanas Botánico will be located between the France and Morocco Pavilions and will feature food and drink with a Venezuelan influence.

Sadly, we’ve also confirmed that one of our favorites, [Read more…]

News! Menu Item Photos from the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival — Plus Cooking Demos!

Menu news just keeps coming! Slowly but surely, menu details are trickling out about this the food and drink options for the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

Disney Food Blog Epcot Flower and Garden Festival (2)

Just a couple of days ago, we shared with you some of the new food items that are scheduled to appear in the Outdoor Kitchens around World Showcase. Today we’re bringing you an update on a few of the drinks you can look forward to sampling!

And check out a beautiful and delicious dessert option in France — plus some fun news about FREE cooking demos at this year’s Festival!

New Flavors at France’s Fleur de Lys Outdoor Kitchen

We were thrilled to bring you a first look at a fun new option debuting in the Fleur de Lys Outdoor Kitchen. And today, we have another gorgeous pic to share!

I had the chance last week to sample a couple of the new offerings that will be at the Fleur de Lys Booth this year! The Ice Pop features a combination of French Peach Iced Tea, Grand Marnier Peach Raspberry Liqueur, and Vodka. It’s going to be perfect for those warm Florida Spring days!

You can absolutely taste the Grand Marnier and Vodka in this one! It’s amazing — even if you’re not an iced tea fan! And the texture isn’t exactly “frozen” due to the alcohol, so it’s very easy to eat.

A Grown-Up Ice Pop Debuts at the Fleur de Lys Outdoor Kitchen in the France Pavilion

A Grown-Up Ice Pop Debuts at the Fleur de Lys Outdoor Kitchen in the France Pavilion

And while we told you about the brand new Macaron Guimauve à la Fraise (Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron) that will be offered at Fleur de Lys, today I’m sharing a first look!

Macaron Guimauve à la Fraise (Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron)

Macaron Guimauve à la Fraise (Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron)

It’s a great celebration of the fresh Florida Strawberry Season that’s underway right now. The crunchy-and-soft cookie and the marshmallow are super-sweet, but the strawberry inside is still a bit tart. It’s an amazing contradiction in flavors.

New Beverages Coming to the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

The name of the game is Fresh Flavor in the Outdoor Kitchens for 2015. Look for fruits and veggies to be featured everywhere — even in the libations!

Key Limen Wine from Florida Orange Groves has been a Festival feature in the past (we’ve seen it at the Food and Wine Festival, too). But this year, there might be something a little different on the horizon, as Key Lime Sparkling Wine is set to debut at the Florida Fresh Kitchen. We are also looking forward to another fun fruit-based option — Ace Pineapple Hard Cider.

Ace Pineapple Cider -- the First Pineapple Cider in the World and Perfect for the Flower and Garden Festival!

Ace Pineapple Hard Cider — the First Pineapple Cider in the World and Perfect for the Flower and Garden Festival!

In addition, there will be a Sparkling Pineapple Wine; look for both at the Pineapple Promenade Kiosk.

New cocktails are also set to debut. We’re getting our first look at the La Tizana that we told you about previously. A fruit punch that’s inspired by the flavors of Venezuela, the bright punch includes Orange Juice, Lime Juice, Banana Puree, and Grenadine. It’s garnished with chopped fresh fruit. Find it at the Botanas Botánico Outdoor Kitchen, a new booth to the Festival this year.

Edgy Urban Eats will feature the Urban Mary, which takes cues from the classic Bloody Mary recipe. Spicy Tomato Juice, Lime Juice, and Worcestershire are mixed together and garnished with a Pickled Green Bean and Micro Greens.

New Beverages Set to Debut at the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Include Pineapple Cider, X, and an Urban Mary

New Beverages Set to Debut at the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Include Pineapple Cider, La Tizana, and an Urban Mary

And something that we love this year — La Tizana and the Urban Mary are available with or without alcohol, so you can enjoy the beverages regardless of your preference. Opt for a splash of RHUM Orange Liqueur to La Tizana, or add shot of Vodka to the Urban Mary.

Look for lots of interesting Craft Beer options as well, like the Shipyard’s Maple Bacon Stout at Barbecues and Brews.

Fresh Flower and Garden Beverage Options in the Mexico Pavilion

The Mexico Pavilion will also provide market-inspired fresh flavors in some of their artisan Margaritas. We’re looking forward to sampling the Blueberry Pomegranate Margarita at Jardin de Fiestas Outdoor Kitchen in the Mexico Pavilion. Other fun options that will be available include a Tequila Liqueur Flight and [Read more…]

Celebrate National Margarita Day Tomorrow, Walt Disney World Style!

We are happy to start a little early celebrating National Margarita Day tomorrow, February 22! Now, this is a holiday I can get behind!!!

If you’ve been here for any amount of time at all, then you know I lurve a good Margarita. (If you’re new here at DFB — welcome…and FYI, I love margaritas!) And some of my very favorites can be found right at Walt Disney World.

Grab some limes and tequila and let’s take a look at our must-drink margs!

Avocado Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

The AguacateAvocado Margarita — from La Cava del Tequila has been one of my very favorites from the first time I sampled it!

It’s a wonderful, made-to-order concoction that blends Avocado, Lime Juice, White Tequila, and Melon Liqueur for a flavor that’s like no other!

Avocado Margarita

Avocado Margarita

My favorite thing about this drink is the perfect balance of the creamy consistency with a sweet flavor — not to mention the tequila :-). A little Agave Nectar and the liqueur balance the flavors nicely.

And thanks to an awesome reader, you and I can even make this one at home today with this recipe, and celebrate this holiday in style!

Blood Orange Margarita at Flying Fish Cafe

Blood Orange is one of my favorite flavors. After all, with the complex, less sweet, almost bitter taste it imparts, it’s a little more interesting than plain old orange…orange.

And it’s especially delicious when paired with other flavors in a margarita. We’ve enjoyed versions of this festive cocktail at San Angel Inn Ristorante, but my favorite one can be found at Flying Fish Cafe.

Blood Orange Margarita

Blood Orange Margarita

If you’re anything like me, if you order this, it’ll be gone pretty quickly! SO good!

Italian Margarita at Via Napoli

One thing that you can count on at Disney when it comes to food and drink is a fun, fusion approach to some of your favorites. Case in point: the Italian Margarita in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion!

I first discovered this delicious drink at Via Napoli, the Italy Pavilion’s fantastic spot for pizza.

Italian Margarita

Italian Margarita

But it’s proven to be so popular, it’s also been available at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in recent years! And fortunately, you can still order it at Italy’s Gelato Stand.

Italian Margarita at the Food and Wine Festival's Italy Booth!

Italian Margarita at the Food and Wine Festival’s Italy Booth!

Flavored with a smooth combination of [Read more…]

News! More Menu Details from the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens

It’s an exciting time, as we count down the days until the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival gets underway!

Of course, around here, we’re most interested in the Outdoor Kitchens! We’re so excited to see the return of these kiosks stationed around World Showcase.

Disney Food Blog Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

2015 will mark the third consecutive year that guests of the Festival can enjoy sips and tapas-sized dishes, themed to celebrate the bounty of the garden.

And while we’re still awaiting the full menus, we do have some news regarding some of the new dishes that will debut at this year’s festival.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens

First off, let’s discuss which Outdoor Kitchens you can expect to see this year. While we haven’t heard word which Kitchen from 2014 won’t return, we know that Botanas Botánico will debut. Check out this post about Botanas Botánico to learn more about its menu.

Fleur de Lys

Fleur de Lys in the France Pavilion Returns

That means we anticipate at least one 2014 Kitchen will be absent, as we expect there to be 11 kitchens.

So far, we know the following will return:

  • Fleur de Lys in the France Pavilion
  • Taste of Marrakesh in the Morocco Pavilion
  • Hanami in the Japan Pavilion
  • The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews Outdoor Kitchen in the America Pavilion
  • Primavera Kitchen in the Italy Pavilion
  • Lotus House in the China Pavilion
  • Jardin de Fiestas in the Mexico Pavilion
  • Florida Fresh
  • Pineapple Promenade
  • Urban Farm Eats

Does that mean that the Buttercup Cottage in the UK Pavilion gets the axe this year? We super hope not — the Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and the Lemon Scones were to die for last year!!

As far as dishes go, there are certainly some exciting things that we can’t wait to try. We hear that fan favorites, like Frushi, will return.

Frushi (Fresh strawberries, pineapple and cantaloupe rolled with coconut rice, atop a raspberry sauce sprinkled with toasted coconut and whipped cream)

Frushi (Fresh Strawberries, Pineapple and Cantaloupe Rolled with Coconut Rice, atop a Raspberry Sauce Sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream)

Chefs will also take advantage of the Florida strawberry season once more by offering Beijing Candied Strawberries.

Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries Return to the Lotus House

Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries Return to the Lotus House

New for 2015! New Flower and Garden Festival Dishes Debut

But we also have a few details on brand new menu items. Look for the [Read more…]

News and Sneak Peek: Check Out the Drinks Coming to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto!

There’s lots of cool stuff happening at Walt Disney World this year. But one thing that we are crazy excited about is the opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto -- Coming to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Soon!

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto — Coming to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Soon!

While there’s still no official word on exactly when this Spring we’ll be able to belly up to that bar, we do have a few more details about some of the drinks they’ll be featuring!

We’re hearing that beverages will be “hand crafted”, so we’re expecting delicious fresh flavors with a tropical twist! We can’t wait to get our hands on the Castaway Crush. And it won’t be long before we can indulge in a Polynesian Pearl, a Tahitian Torch, or a Nautilus. But personally, the first drink I’ll be enjoying here is the Dark & Tropical Stormy!

I'll Have Whatever She's Making, Please!

Could That Be a Polynesian Pearl??

In addition to a whole bevy of new drinks, Trader Sam will also bring a couple of tried and true favorites from his Enchanted Tiki Bar at Disneyland to the Grog Grotto. The menu will include the Shrunken Zombie Head, Uh-Oa!, and Krakatoa Punch, in addition to others. We’re still awaiting word on whether we’ll be able to get a Kungaloosh! Surely, we will, right! :-D (Check out our review of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar here!)

Uh Oa!

Uh Oa!!!

And if you don’t indulge in alcoholic beverages, no worries — there are some great non-alcoholic options as well! We’ll look forward to telling you all about Skipper Sipper and Schweitzer Falls, and [Read more…]

First Look! and Review: The Trolley Car Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It’s officially official… The Trolley Car Cafe is your Starbucks stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Trolley Car Cafe

Trolley Car Cafe

Trolley Car Cafe sign

Trolley Car Cafe sign

Starbucks logo

Starbucks logo

Set right on the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, the architecture [Read more…]

New Food I Want to Stuff My Face With at Disney World this Year

You’re planning your first trip to Walt Disney World. Or your 50th. Or your 100th. And you reeeeeeeally want to know what NEW dishes you MUST try? Weeeeeeelllllllllll, we’ve got a few suggestions for you!

dfb2015_guide_3d

We’ve got about nine of our favorite you-HAVE-to-EAT-this dishes and snacks featured in our brand new DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015 e-Book, which you can pick up today for $4 off using code 2015 right here!

But I wanted to take a second to share just a few of those must-eat treats here with you as well.

Must-Eat Walt Disney World Treats in 2015

Yep — here at DFB, we always like to kick off each new year with some of our favorite treats spotted during the last few months. But when I sat down to brainstorm this post…well, at first it seemed like 2014 didn’t offer a whole lot of new stuff.

That said, when I started scrolling back through everything we ate this past year, I realized there was a lot to be said for 2014 and its culinary prowess.

There is one really big difference between this year and previous years, however. Most of our crave-worthy dishes are savory this time around! I know! WUT?!??!?!?!?!? Don’t worry, though — I’ve got a few sweeties thrown in.

Here’s the New Food I Want to Stuff My Face with at Disney Parks in 2015!

Must Eat Disney World Treats 2015-002

Barbecue Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

We thought that Mac and Cheese, that king of comfort foods, was enough. But little did we know what we had been missing, until Disney started putting additional delicious food on top of its cheesy goodness.

We first saw the dawn of Gourmet Mac and Cheese — we’re just gonna call it that if that’s all right with you — a while back. Friar’s Nook introduced the concept, and we were smitten with their Bacon Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese and Blue Cheese Mac right away.

BUT THEN — this happened.

[Read more…]

Sneak Peek: Trolley Car Cafe Starbucks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It’s heeeeeere! Yep, Trolley Car Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been holding soft openings for the past few days, with a grand opening rumored for Tuesday!

Trolley Car Cafe sign

Trolley Car Cafe sign

The newest Starbucks in Disney World features a Golden Age of Hollywood theme (natch), but this takes a little turn from what you might expect…

Trolley Car Cafe doors

Trolley Car Cafe doors

Inside, there aren’t glamorous regency fixtures and photos of starlets. Instead, it’s pretty [Read more…]

Even More Disney-Inspired Cocktails!

Remember last year when we brought you pics of some of the most stunning Disney-themed cocktails we have EVER laid eyes on??

More Disney Themed Cocktails

Well — apparently, that was only the tip of the iceberg!!

We are back today with another round of Cocktails by Cody, inspired by some of the most legendary characters around — the universe of Disney!

This man is a mixology genius, and this new round of drinks are just as fabulous as the last ones. In fact, it looks like Cody will be publishing a book in the near future! How long before we can put it on our Amazon wish list???

Check ‘em out!

More Disney-Inspired Cocktails!

You knew Elsa and Anna would have to be immortalized in tipsy fashion, right?

Elsa’s cocktail, the Coldfront, is a gorgeous, milky-white and blue concoction that includes White Chocolate Liqueur, Peppermint Schnapps, Milk, and Malibu. Elsa, it would seem, packs a punch!

Coldfront

Coldfront

On the other hand, Anna has inspired the tea-based Warmfront, a Hot Toddy that includes Whiskey, Amaretto, and Orange. Sounds like the perfect antidote for chilly weather!

Warmfront

Warmfront

The Lost Boy perfectly captures the essence of Peter Pan, don’t you think? Midori, Peach Schnapps, and Malibu make for a brilliant green Martini.

Lost Boy

Lost Boy

But we can’t get enough of the sassy Fairy Dust! With Honey Vodka, Triple Sec, and Cider, this one would do Tink proud!

Fairy Dust

Fairy Dust

And Captain Hook gets in on the fun with the Crazed Captain. Of course, it includes a healthy dose of rum — both Spiced and 151 — with a little Midori thrown in for good measure.

Crazed Captain

Crazed Captain

The Princess and the Frog has also come to life in Cody’s imagination with a couple of different libations.

Bayou Beauty takes its inspiration from Tiana, and includes some flavors that are really trending right now — Ginger Liqueur and fresh Cucumber. White Rum provides the base.

Bayou Beauty

Bayou Beauty

Bad Juju, an homage to voodoo villain Doctor Facilier, is wickedly gorgeous. With a combo of Dark Rum, Passionfruit Rum, and Pineapple Juice, it will go down smooth and I bet you’ll never know what hit ya. :-) I love the swords through the strawberry as garnish!

Bad Juju

Bad Juju

Pocahontas may Paint with All the Colors of the Wind, and a velvety Martini made of [Read more…]