Review: Fantasmic Dining Package at River Belle Terrace in Disneyland

Fantasmic is back! Fantasmic is back! Can you tell we’re excited?!

Fantasmic at Disneyland

Fantasmic at Disneyland

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Seven NEW Experiences to Try at Walt Disney World!

Whether you’ve been to Walt Disney World one time or one hundred times, there’s always something new to do. And right now, there’s a ton! Besides the opening of Pandora, the World’s newest land located at Animal Kingdom, there are seven other fun and functional new experiences you’ve gotta try!

Mobile Ordering

Mobile Ordering has been offered since May 2017, and now it’s expanded to more locations! Mobile Ordering allows guests to use their My Disney Experience app to pre-order and pre-pay for meals at counter service locations.

Satu'li Mobile Ordering 2

Mobile Ordering lets participating guests bypass the ordering queue and go directly to the Order Pick-Up window. No more waiting in long lines to order your nuggets, y’all!

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Review: Happily Ever After Fireworks Dessert Party in Magic Kingdom

Who doesn’t love capping off a night at Disney World with a Fireworks spectacular? I know I do, whether I’m standing shoulder-to-shoulder with literally thousands of other guests in the Hub of Magic Kingdom or taking it all in from the balcony at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

But there is one thing that can make a nighttime show even better…

Desserts at the Happily Ever After fireworks dessert party

Desserts at the Happily Ever After fireworks dessert party

And that’s DESSERT. Better yet, make that plural: DESSERTS.

That’s where Fireworks Viewing Parties come in! At present Disney is offering the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Hollywood Studios, and the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party at Epcot, which pairs desserts and a ride on the Frozen Ever After attraction with a showing of IllumiNations.

But on my last trip, I booked what might be the highest in demand of them all: the Happily Ever After Dessert Party (technically named the Fireworks Dessert Party) at Magic Kingdom. [Read more…]

Chef Cat Cora Likely Dates for the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Cat Cora Fans, it looks like you’ll have a reason to rejoice for the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Food and Wine Festival Updates 2016 Info Graphic Square

You’ll also want to keep a close eye on DFB and plan to be up extra early the morning that booking opens for 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Events!

Chef Cat Cora has listed on her website that she will appear at the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival twice for “cooking demos and meet and greets.”

We think that points squarely to the fact that Cora will be featured as part of the popular “What’s Cooking With” series.

“What’s Cooking With” events include cooking demos by chefs and other celebrities. After the demonstration is complete, the chef sits down with a host and shares a little about his or her story and the demonstrated dishes.

The audience has the opportunity to try a menu of dishes that the chef has prepared, along with beverage pairings. We’ve had the chance to enjoy several similar events, including demos by Chef Norman Van Aken and Chef Rick Bayless.

Currently, the dates to watch for Chef Cora are Friday, October 20, and Friday, October 27, from 9:45AM to 11:45AM. These are subject to change.

In the past, Chef Cora has also participated in the daily low cost cooking demonstration line up, so we’ll be anxious to see if she returns for a few of those as well. We hope so! (Check out a review of one of her cooking demos from a previous Epcot Food and Wine Festival here!)

Chef Cat Cora at an Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary Demonstration

Chef Cat Cora at an Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary Demonstration

And don’t forget — you don’t have to attend any of the events that chefs are appearing at for a chance to get in on a meet and greet.

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

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

Just visit the Festival Center on the day that your favorite appears (the earlier the better!) to request a wristband, and line up for your chance to chat with your favorites and get their autographs.

Start Your Planning NOW!

News! The DFB Guide to the 2017 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is now available for pre-order! And if you pre-order the 2017 edition, you get the 2016 edition (with TONS of great info!) for FREE!!!

This 250+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever.

food-and-wine-guide-cover-2017

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Order your 2017 edition today and we’ll immediately send you the 2016 edition for FREE to get started on planning right away! Don’t miss a moment of the fun!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a 20% discount!

Be sure to stay tuned to Disney Food Blog for all of the latest coverage about the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We’ll have the details FIRST!

Want Even More Details About the Festival?

Here’s what we know so far…

2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Index

2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth and Menu Index
2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Events
2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Low-Cost Seminars and Demonstrations
2017 Eat to the Beat Concert Schedule
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Fans Facebook Page
2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Wine and Dine Half Marathon
2017 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic
Food and Wine Festival 101
2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus and FOOD PHOTOS
2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Gluten Free Items

How to Book Epcot Food & Wine Festival Events

To book all special events and demonstrations, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) starting TBD. Join the Disney Food Blog Newsletter to find out as soon as we do about details and booking dates! Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars and general admission for some special events may be bookable online at www.epcotfoodfestival.com as well as by phone.

Tables in Wonderland members, Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and Golden Oak Residents may be eligible for a $2 discount (per person, per event) for beverage and seminars and culinary demos taking place Mon-Thurs during the festival. These members will be able to book seminars and demos TBD. Discounts are by phone only at 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378). Stay tuned to DisneyFoodBlog.com and the Disney Food Blog Newsletter for details.

Chase Disney Visa Cardholders can book select special events, demos, and seminars on TBD as well. A limited number of seats are available for the booking date.

Are you excited to see Chef Cat Cora return once again to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Leave a comment and let us know if you’ll be attending one of her cooking demos!

New DFB Video: Be Our Guest Restaurant — Is It Worth It?

Hey Guys! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re getting down to the serious business of Be Our Guest Restaurant!

Be Our Guest Restaurant Tips

Located in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Be Our Guest took Disney fans by storm when it opened five years ago. The restaurant, part of the New Fantasyland expansion, morphs from a counter service spot during breakfast and lunch to a table service dining spot for dinner. [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Disney Character Meal Pros and Cons

We are back with some of our very best kept Disney Dining Secrets. And we want to share them with you!

2017 DFB Guide to WDW Dining Cover March 6 Planning what you’re going to eat and drink at Walt Disney World is no small undertaking. To begin, there are tons of choices. But what if you could make your meal a real multitasker? Say, you could enjoy some terrific eats, and get that shiny new autograph book filled with the names of all of your Disney favorites? Yep, we’re talking Character Meals.

You may think that the character meal experience isn’t for you. But we invite you to take a closer look at these special meals and see for yourself if a Character meal could be right for you.

And if you like what you see here, be sure to check out the brand new, just released 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, Second Edition, where we talk character meals and LOTS more! And for a limited time, you can get it for 20% off with code SAVE2017 at checkout! Here we go!

Are Character Meals One-Size-Fits-All? Why Should I Book One?

You may think that if you’re an adult, single, or have older kids, there’s really no reason to engage in that Disney Rite of Passage, the Character Meal. But we think there’s a place for everyone at the character table, and here’s why.

Eating a big breakfast will fill you up -- and cost less than dining big later in the day!

Safari Mickey

It’s Cool In There, People. I’m not talking, like, rad. I mean literally, it’s cool. Like, air-conditioned. And in our opinion, waiting for characters with the a/c cranked up while noshing on delicious food WAY beats standing out in the hot sun any day. [Read more…]

Review: Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion

We’re stopping by one of my favorite spots in Walt Disney World — Le Cellier Steakhouse — to see what’s new in The Great White North!

Well, technically, this isn’t North, it’s South. And we’re not in Canada. But we are in the Canada Pavilion in Epcot. Owing to the architecture and gardens here, this is one of the prettiest spots along World Showcase Promenade.

Who doesn’t love journeying back through the pavilion and getting splashed by waterfalls as you walk? You haven’t done it? I highly recommend it. And go see O, Canada! while you’re at it! Martin Short is the best. :-D (Speaking of, when we were in Vancouver for our Alaska cruise last year I couldn’t help but notice that Martin Short is the voice of, like, every single cartoon in Canada.)

But while I love exploring the whole area to see what’s new, it’s Le Cellier Steakhouse, the pavilion’s signature dining table service restaurant, that keeps me coming back trip after trip. Le Cellier is a favorite of mine because it features one of my favorite meals in all of Walt Disney World — the Le Cellier Filet.

But you know my philosophy: just because something has always been great doesn’t mean it continues to be. We always like to check back in with places — even our favorites — to make sure we can still continue to recommend them. And so, in the name of research, here I am at Le Cellier once again. And this time there was a new favorite… .

Atmosphere

Meander back along the beautiful gardens, following the signs, and you’ll come to the entrance of Le Cellier Steakhouse. Tucked into the bottom of the chateau that’s the hallmark of the Canada Pavilion, you get a sense that the spot is aptly named.

Le Cellier Steakhouse

Le Cellier Steakhouse Entrance

It always throws me a little, this imagining that I’m in Canada when Florida is so very hot most of the time. Still, as soon as you walk through the doors, the Disney magic kicks in, and you start to feel as though you have indeed traveled north. Stone walls and flooring, along with heavy wood accents, immediately evoke a feeling of…cool. [Read more…]

Disney Food Challenge: The Disney World French Fry Crawl!

Y’all!!! It’s time for some FRONCH FROES!!!!!!

2017-DFB-Guide-to-WDW-Dining-Cover_3D

(For those of you new to DFB, that’s “french fries” in AJ-speak. ;-D)

We’ve got TONS of food crawls in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, and in our latest edition, we just had to develop a brand new one– the French Fry Crawl!

It’s just one of the many great features that make the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, 2nd Edition, our best book yet. With more than 650 pages of color photos, tips, reviews, and extra features, you HAVE TO HAVE IT for your next Disney trip! (I’m not biased or anything. For realz.)

But now, back to the subject at hand. Call ‘em Fries, Chips, Poutine, whatever — there’s pretty much nothing about fronch froes we don’t love. And Disney hasn’t failed us with their yummy spins on this classic side.

So head out with us as we complete this most delicious challenge. We’ll be all over the place for this one, so plan accordingly! The French Fry Crawl will likely take you an entire trip to complete. Unless, you know, you’re like us — and want to eat fries for every meal. Then it might only take you a day and a half. ;-)

Hungry? Good! Let’s go!

Stop #1: Smothered Fries, Beaches and Cream

Our first stop is Beaches and Cream. Find this little Soda Shop in the Disney Beach Club Resort.

Beaches and Cream is one of my favorite stops for about a million reasons. There’s a cool, beachy retro feel to the place, and it’s known for its killer sundaes. While my favorite is the No Way Jose, the most iconic treats here are the Kitchen Sinks.

But we’re stopping here today for a plate — or two — of their Loaded Fries! Currently, there are three versions: Sock Hop Fries, Chili-Cheese Fries, and Cheese and Bacon Fries.

Sock Hop Fries are covered in a savory Brown Gravy and topped with melty Shredded Cheddar. Think of them as Poutine’s American cousin.

Gravy Fries

Sock Hop Fries

But the Bacon and Cheese Fries. Omigosh. Cheese Sauce (!!!!), Bacon, Peppercorn Ranch, and Red Onions elevate this one to amazing. [Read more…]

Guest Review: Cinderella’s Royal Table Breakfast at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Welcome guest author Sarah Gurung as she shares her character dining experience at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Yay!!!

On my most recent trip to Walt Disney World, I wanted to plan lots of first experiences for myself and for my family, comprised of my husband and my five-year-old daughter. We booked our trip just before the 180 day mark, and I serendipitously found myself staring at an available Cinderella’s Royal Table breakfast Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) shortly thereafter. I couldn’t pass it up! In fact, over the next few months, I regularly checked back to see if we could get in even earlier when, low and behold, I was able to grab a pre-park opening ADR. Even better!

Cinderella’s Royal Table is one of those Disney World experiences that is truly exquisite. The setting is stunning, the food is delicious, and the entertainment is so fun — for kids of all ages, really.  

Sign outside restaurant

Sign outside restaurant

Atmosphere

Let’s start with the beauty that is the restaurant itself. The check-in desk is toward the back of the castle on the right. This process was efficient, and we were quickly invited into the foyer of the castle for our Cinderella meet-and-greet. We found the foyer to be low lit but plumb full of details: shields, tapestries, and gorgeous lighting.

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Review: California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

On my recent visit to Walt Disney World, my husband and I made it a goal to carve out time for a date night at California Grill.

If you love signature dining at Disney World, then you probably know the Grill well. Perched atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the spot has Disney history on its side. After all, Top of the World, which originally occupied the fifteenth floor, dated all the way back to Disney World’s opening. California Grill opened as its replacement in 1995, and brought with it a new emphasis on market fresh ingredients and California fusion flavors.

It was more than just another new Disney restaurant. It, along with Victoria and Albert’s, paved the way for a more refined dining experience at Walt Disney World.

My recent experiences have been a little uneven, however. (Even California Grill isn’t immune to the Disney restaurant curse of inconsistency.) So it’s always good to check in on an old favorite. After all, this was our first visit after the departure of Chef Brian Piasecki, so we had to see what was happening in the kitchen. And that view makes it easy to take a chance with the Grill.

Let’s head to the second floor.

Atmosphere

Why the second floor you ask? Because if you want to go California Grill, your journey begins here. You’ll check in at the podium before you’re escorted to the elevator that takes you to the fifteenth floor.

Second Floor Check In Desk for California Grill

Second Floor Check In Desk for California Grill

Once you arrive, you’ll step into California Grill’s sleek environment. [Read more…]