Review: Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort

We are heading into Carthay Circle Restaurant today for dinner with a healthy dose of Old Hollywood glamour!

Carthay Circle Restaurant

Carthay Circle Restaurant

Located on the newly re-imagined Buena Vista Street at the entrance of Disney California Adventure, this is one majestic building. Let’s head in!

Atmosphere

If there is one word that I would use to describe Carthay Circle as I approach, it would be impressive. Disney is in the business of re-creating scenes from film, as well as re-imagining the past and forging the future. And once more, they’ve done an excellent job.

Carthay Circle Premiere!

Carthay Circle Premiere!

I mean, I’ve seen Carthay’s likeness so many times. There’s a gorgeous mural inside Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios depicting the night that Snow White premiered at the famed Tinseltown icon. You’ll find an old framed print of the theatre in one of my favorite Studios haunts, Writer’s Stop (home of the famous carrot cake cookie.) You can also spy it in the relief work of the Studios arch, and there’s a mini version on Hollywood Boulevard, doubling as a gift shop. (For more info, check out this great post.)

Carthay Circle Restaurant Menu

Carthay Circle Restaurant Menu

It’s clear that Carthay Circle holds a special place in the hearts of the Imagineering team. And since we’ll never have the chance to venture into the original theatre, it’s a joy to see it so lovingly recreated as part of the DCA overhaul.

Beautiful Detail on the Tower

Beautiful Detail on the Tower

Two sets of double doors greet you at the entrance of the building. The mirrored doors are great!

Carthay Entrance

Carthay Entrance

Don’t forget — this is a replica of an old Hollywood movie theatre. So naturally, you’ll find ticket windows on either side of the doors. I think it’s fun to see the scale here, don’t you?

Ticket Windows

Ticket Windows

A plaque reminds you of just why Carthay holds such an important place in Disney history.

Plaque Commemorating the Historic Premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Carthay Circle Theatre

Plaque Commemorating the Historic Premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Carthay Circle Theatre

And be sure, if you have the chance, to swing by here at night — if for no other reason than to see this gorgeous view.

Carthay Fountain at Night

Carthay Fountain at Night

As you head in, you’re greeted with separate doors. Two sets lead to Carthay Circle Lounge — and subsequently, onto the restaurant. The other set leads to the exclusive, members-only 1901 Lounge.

Don’t worry! Helpful Cast Members are there to show you the way.

Welcome!

Welcome!

Carthay Circle Restaurant is actually located on the second floor of the building. As you enter, you find yourself in the check in area. Upon confirming your table, you’ll bide your time in a spacious and comfortable waiting area.

Carthay Circle Waiting Area

Carthay Circle Waiting Area

Spend some time taking in the beautiful decor here, as well as all the fun memorabilia. There are tons and tons of photographs and other fascinating pieces. Be sure to check out the collection of Snow White animated cels that are said to have hung in Walt Disney’s home.

Snow White Animation Cels

Snow White Animation Cels

Or you can step into the Carthay Circle Lounge, and enjoy a [Read more…]

Tables in Wonderland Exclusive Events: Dinner at Markham’s and Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Two exclusive events have been announced by Tables in Wonderland. If you’re a member, check these out!

Enjoy an exclusive meal at Markham’s at Disney’s Golden Oak, or celebrate the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival with a special event and musical evening!

Exclusive!

Exclusive!

An Evening at Markham’s

Date: Thursday, May 1st, 2014, 6:00pm
Cost: $195.00 per person, plus tax, gratuity included

Located at Golden Oak Club, the über exclusive Markham’s restaurant invites you to enjoy an unparalleled culinary experience highlighting not only the esteemed talents of Chef Christian Rumpler and Chef Michael Gonsalves, but also select culinary personalities from across Walt Disney World® Resort. Sommeliers Melissa Schreiber and Wayne Rigsby have paired special drinks with the 8-course menu for a true epicurean evening.

The event is limited to 30 guests and is exclusive to Tables in Wonderland members. Park admission not required.

Since Golden Oak is a private residential community, security clearance will [Read more…]

Guest Review: Dinner at Palo Aboard Disney Cruise Line’s Fantasy Cruise Ship

Ahoy to Rachel Gardner! She brings us a delicious review of the exclusive table-service restaurant, Palo, aboard the Disney Fantasy.

Atmosphere

Warm tones of reds, greens, and taupes; elegant wood paneling; large spacious dining rooms with sweeping ocean views; the smell of Italian food wafting from the plates around you as you make your way to your table: this is Palo.

A warm chandelier welcomes diners!

Meaning pole in Italian, Palo is named after the pole to which the gondoliers tie up the gondola when docking.

Palo’s Dining Room

Sweeping ocean views create a serene [Read more…]

News: ‘Perfect Petals Brunch’ at Epcot to Launch New Disney Vera Bradley Line

If you’re a Vera Bradley fan, you’ll want to take note of this fun event!

Disney World will hold the Perfect Petals Brunch on Sunday, May 4. The special ticketed event will celebrate the launch of the latest Vera Bradley Disney pattern coming this Spring — Mickey’s Perfect Petals.

Mickey's Perfect Petals by Vera Bradley

Mickey’s Perfect Petals by Vera Bradley

Guests who register for the event will have the first chance to purchase seven items from the collection, which include new styles like the campus backpack and tablet hipster.

Registration for the event opened Thursday, March 20, but as far as we know, seats are still available!

Perfect Petals Brunch Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Perfect Petals Brunch Menu — Click to Enlarge

Perfect Petals Brunch

Where: [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli from the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Today, I’m excited to share with you a recipe for one of my all-time favorite Disney dishes from the California Grill!

I enjoy going to this posh restaurant when I’m celebrating a special occasion, or just meeting friends for an extra special evening. And anytime I visit California Grill, you can bet that I’ll order the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli! In fact, I ordered it during my most recent visit (it’s still there after the menu revamp!) and it never fails to impress.

The smooth, creamy, and slightly tangy filling of the house made ravioli is the perfect combination with the vibrant tomato broth. So it’s awesome to know that if I find myself with a craving for it between visits, I have a great recipe to fall back on!

Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli

Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli

And now, you can whip up a batch, too!

Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli

California Grill, Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Serves 4 to 8

Ingredients:

Clear Tomato Broth: [Read more…]

News! New Exclusive Magical Dining Experiences Announced for DVC Members

Disney continues its quest to become a destination for fine dining as much as attractions!

DVC Logo

Recently, Disney Vacation Club announced that it will begin offering “Magical Dining Experiences” exclusively for DVC members and their guests. (This sounds a LOT like the Tables in Wonderland events, for those who are members of that discount program.)

Dinners will take place at popular signature restaurants throughout Walt Disney World. The prix-fixe menus are crafted by Disney chefs, and will feature accompanying wine and/or beer pairings. In addition, a culinary specialist will offer a live presentation throughout the dinner.

The events, which can be booked exclusively by DVC Members for themselves and their guests, promise to be intimate, with limited spots available for each dinner.

Flying Fish, is a DFB Favorite!

Flying Fish, is a DFB Favorite!

The first three dinners have been announced, and details are as follows:

February 27, 2014
Location: Flying Fish
Number of Guests: 40
Hosted by: Renowned Wine Expert
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Price: $165

Menu [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Sushi!

We are back with another fun series of food photos, courtesy of Disney Food Blog Readers! That’s right, we love to show off the talents of folks who post their gorgeous photos on Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group!

As you know, Sushi continues to be popular at Disney and everywhere else! Let’s take a look at some of the beautiful and fresh options for this Japanese delicacy that you’ve captured on film around Walt Disney World.

Spicy Kazan at California Grill

Fans of sushi who are also lovers of Disney dining know that one of the most awesome places to get sushi in Walt Disney World is California Grill. This uber popular fine dining spot, located high atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is known for fresh, seasonal ingredients, Pan-Asian influences, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. And don’t forget to stay for the fireworks!

But when it comes to eats, this Spicy Kazan Roll looks pretty awesome. And if you’re a sushi-nonconformist like me, be sure to try the Pork Nigiri!

Photographer: Natasha Joyan

Spicy Kazan Roll from California Grill

Spicy Kazan Roll from California Grill

Tuna at Flying Fish Cafe

The Flying Fish Cafe remains one of my top choices for dining when I’m in Walt Disney World. I never pass up a chance to eat at this stellar restaurant. With food that’s always something special and a whimsical, carnival-like atmosphere, it always rates highly in my book.

One of the most popular appetizers that you can get here is the Yellowfin Tuna Tartare and Crispy Tempura Tuna-Vegetable Sushi Roll. We’ve tried it and it’s awesome!

Photographer: Stan4dSteph

Tuna at Flying Fish Cafe

Tuna at Flying Fish Cafe

Sushi at Wolfgang Puck Cafe

Another great spot for California cuisine is Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Dining Room at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney WestSide. And along with other house specialties like their [Read more…]

Review: Top of the World Lounge at Disney World’s Bay Lake Tower

Join us as we visit one of the most exclusive spots in all of Walt Disney World, Top of the World!

This classy lounge is located high atop (natch) Bay Lake Tower, the Disney Vacation Club property that’s adjacent to Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Because of its great vantage point, Top of the World boasts incredible views of its surroundings; and it’s a muy popular viewing area for Magic Kingdom’s fireworks displays.

Menu Cover

With an extensive bar and some signature light snacks and desserts, Top of the World makes for a great place to relax and grab a bite and a drink in the evening. I recently had the opportunity to visit the exclusive spot with a friend who is a DVC member (that’s right; you can’t get in unless you’re a DVC member). We thought you’d enjoy tagging along for the fun.

Atmosphere

Yup — top of the World Lounge is an exclusive perk, available only to Disney Vacation Club members. When it first opened, only DVC Members who were staying at Bay Lake Tower could access the lounge. But later, DVC members staying anywhere at Walt Disney World were invited to enjoy the lounge. For the last few years, access to Top of the World has been determined on a year-by-year basis.

Gaining access is a snap (provided that you qualify to enter, that is). Simply show your room key to the check in desk in the Bay Lake Tower lobby, and you’re escorted to an express elevator that will whisk you to the top floor.

Once there, step into the splendor that is Top of the World.

Comfortable Seating Area

Much like Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the decor reminds you of something modern and retro all at once. You get the feeling that you’re envisioning the future from forty years ago.

And check out this completely fabulous chandelier! Far out! I swear, it’s like the Jetsons are going to walk in any minute. (Speaking of the Jetsons, don’t you wish you had one of those conveyor belt taking-a-shower-and-getting-dressed-all-at-once things? No? Just me?)

Chandelier

The lounge is intimate — there’s seating for only 77 people. There’s all of this sorta mixed, comfy-couch seating in the middle, and tables with chairs around the outside.

Seating Area from Another Angle

In true luxurious, super-exclusive fashion, there’s even this sweet little [Read more…]

Top 5 Must-Try NEW Restaurants in Walt Disney World for 2014

Happy New Year to all of our wonderful Disney Food Blog Readers out there!

Chocolate-Macaron-ice-cream-sandwich-600x471

Whether you’re busy getting started with those resolutions, or recuperating from the big party last night, we thought we’d take a few minutes and discuss some fun new options that you’ve just gotta try in 2014!

True, there wasn’t nearly as much expansion in Disney Parks in 2013. It’s hard to measure up to New Fantasyland and Cars Land, after all! But there are still some fun new spots to check out.

So if you haven’t had the pleasure, allow me to introduce our picks for the Top 5 Must-Try New Walt Disney World Dining Spots for 2014!

L’Artisan des Glaces

Who knew that you could make Ice Cream even better? We were a little sad to hear that one of our favorite destinations for ice cream, Fountain View Cafe (hand made ice cream sandwiches!!!) would be converting to a Starbucks. But our blues faded away the very first time we stepped foot into L’Artisan des Glaces.

L'Artisan des Glaces Moved into the Former Boulangerie Patisserie Space

L’Artisan des Glaces Moved into the Former Boulangerie Patisserie Space

The tiny sorbet and ice cream parlour has tons of Old World charm — quite a feat since it opened, brand-new, in 2013! Occupying the space that was previously home to Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion, the shop gave us lots of reasons to venture off the beaten path in search of a refreshing treat. (Bakery fans, not to worry. The très popular bakery and pastry shop was rechristened Les Halles, and expanded to the back of the France Pavilion.)

Inside L'Artisan des Glaces

Inside L’Artisan des Glaces

On any given day, the scoop shop plays host to 16 varying flavors of ice cream and sorbet, made from scratch right here in the France Pavilion.

A scoop of the good stuff

A scoop of the good stuff

And the flavors aren’t your garden variety vanilla. They’re European-inspired flavors, with exotic names like Caramel Fleur de Sel, Coco-White Chocolate, and Profiterole. Okay and yes — there’s Vanilla, too. :-) They’re all made in house (I’ve actually seen the ice cream machines in the back!!), and the flavors absolutely pop.

L'Artisan des Glaces Ice Creams and Sorbets in Epcot's France

L’Artisan des Glaces Ice Creams and Sorbets in Epcot’s France

But that’s only part of the story. Because if you’re looking for something a little more interesting than just another scoop of ice cream (really, really incredible ice cream, mind you), then L’Artisan des Glaces is for you. They’re pushing the envelope with not one but THREE fun ice cream snacks that ensure I pop into the shop nearly every trip.

In the category of frosty drink treats with a grown-up twist, we have this gorgeous [Read more…]

News! Royal Court Royal Tea on Disney Cruise Line’s Fantasy

We have news about a very special new experience that you can book with Disney Cruise Line!

Disney’s newest ship, the Fantasy, is now offering the Royal Court Royal Tea, an interactive experience featuring some of Disney’s most popular characters — the Disney Princesses.

Cinderella Greets Guests During the Royal Court Royal Tea

Hosted by Lady Chamomile and Chef Brule — two new characters created to bring the event to life — guests are invited to interact with several princesses while they dine on traditional teatime fare.

Lady Chamomile Brings the Royal Court Royal Tea to Life

Young guests also receive gifts. Girls are presented with tiaras and boys receive swords as they are announced to the assembly.

Belle at Tea with a Young Guest

But that’s not all. Boys will also receive a Duffy Bear in cruise finery, pins, and shields. Girls will be surprised by a [Read more…]