SUCCESS!: Vintage Bacon and Cheese Dip Returns to Cookes of Dublin in Disney Springs!

You know when you lose your favorite tee shirt and, for weeks, months, or even years you lament that you’ve had to live so long without it? And then one day you find it, wedged behind the washing machine, still as comfortable and doggone perfect as ever?

That’s what’s about to happen to our taste buds. Because Vintage Bacon and Cheese Dip is returning to Cookes of Dublin in Disney Springs on August 31!

Now, many of you know that I’ve been campaigning for this forEVER…at least ever since they took it away. I circulated a petition on facebook. I launched a kickstarter. I bent the ear of everyone I knew who had anything to do with Cookes of Dublin. (OK, not those first two, but I did do the third one.) AND IT’S BACK. DREAMS DO COME TRUE. (At least they said it’s coming back…so that’s all I have to go on.)

That sound you hear is the chorus of bacon and cheese angels that I hired to celebrate this news.

Irish Cheese and Bacon Dip

Irish Cheese and Bacon Dip

[Read more…]

Review: The NEW Mint Julep at Disneyland’s Mint Julep Bar

The Mint Julep Bar located in New Orleans Square is essentially a must-do for every Disneyland guest. You’ll find it tucked into the patio area of French Market Restaurant and right next to the New Orleans Square train station.

Mint Julep Bar

Mint Julep Bar

It’s almost all in the name here. [Read more…]

News: Disneyland Rivers of America Collectible Card TREASURE HUNT!!!

Disneyland is keeping a secret that you’ve GOT to know about!

S.S. Mark Twain Collectible Card

S.S. Mark Twain Collectible Card

Disneyland is undergoing lots of changes and improvements these days. Y’all know that the Summer of Heroes is underway until September 1o, and we’ve had lots of chances to try the yummy heroes-themed eats. Oh, and Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout opened, so there’s that. :-D

Groot at Disney California Adventure

Groot at Disney California Adventure

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Review: Dinner at the Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Contempo Cafe has consistently been one of my favorite spots for better-than-average counter service meals.

What you find here is quick service, no advance dining reservation required. But the fare is anything but fast food quality.

It had been a while since I’d enjoyed a meal here, and since that last visit, they’d added a Lobster Roll that was getting rave reviews from readers!

Recently, on a very quick visit to the World, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to check out all that’s new at the Contempo — and to see if I still consider it a must-do stop.

Atmosphere

If you’re unfamiliar with the Contempo Cafe, well, you’ve probably seen it before, and you just didn’t know it! It occupies primo Disney real estate right next to Chef Mickey’s on the Grand Canyon Concourse in Disney’s Contemporary Hotel.

Contempo Cafe Entrance

Contempo Cafe Entrance

That’s the area that you whizz by when you’re traveling on the Monorail en route to Magic Kingdom. See? [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Vintage Disneyland Menus from the D23 Expo Archives

As a Disney fan (OK… borderline maniac Disney freak) and a D23 member, I consider the D23 Expo a must-attend event.  In addition to the informative exhibits, amazing shopping, creative costumes, and fabulous people watching, I always look forward to the D23 Archives exhibit.

Seeing original pieces of Disneyland history up close and personal is such a treat.  This year’s archives exhibit was so wonderfully done.  I spent most of my visit drooling over the display of photos, menus and other original paraphernalia from the restaurants and snack spots of Disneyland’s first years.

Let’s go back in time and take look! (I apologize in advance for some of the photos and shadows. The display area was very dark and the photos overlapped each at other causing some shadowing.)

Let’s start with the Tahitian Terrace which was located behind the Tiki Room in Adventureland.  It opened in 1962 and closed in 1993.  The dinner theater offered guests food and entertainment inspired by the French Polynesian Islands.

Tahitian Terrace Entrance

Tahitian Terrace Entrance

How great is the artwork on the menu??? I love it!
[Read more…]

News! Aunt Polly’s is OPEN (for a limited time) in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Disney History buffs are going to love this news out of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!

Cinderella Castle in the early morning light

More Fun Dining News Out of Magic Kingdom Today!

After a hiatus of, oh, about forever — it seems that Aunt Polly’s on Tom Sawyer Island is serving food and beverages once more!

This is one for the books! After all, it’s been eons since we’ve seen anything substantial for sale here. Even the vending machines that have been in place here in recent years hadn’t been in service.

But thanks to Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster for giving us the heads up that Theme Park Insider is reporting the spot is open for business!

Now, before you get too awfully excited, you should know that the menu is limited. Very limited. Make the trip over to Tom Sawyer Island looking for sustenance, and you’ll find Sandwiches (Turkey and PB&J), Veggies and Hummus, Chips, Fresh Fruit, and an Assortment of Cold Beverages, including Lemonade. Note that, at least for now, they are not offering fountain drinks.

While it doesn’t sound like much, there are two reasons to love this move by Disney: [Read more…]

Disney Lounge Classic Cocktail: The Shadow at Belle Vue Lounge in Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Belle Vue Lounge is one of those Disney spots.

Yep — it’s a hideaway…that only the cool kids know about.

True, I love Disney Bars and Lounges. A lot. They’re some of my favorite spots on property, and they’re awesome for some many reasons. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax after a long day, meeting friends, or even grabbing a bite to eat without an Advance Dining Reservation.

Well, Belle Vue is a bit different than some of my other favorites, like Territory Lounge or Tambu Lounge. Belle Vue doesn’t serve food, except at breakfast, when they offer light continental options, coffee, and a few other beverages.

So you won’t find signature Pub Grub like Fondue or Pulled Pork Nachos here. But you will find loads of relaxing, beautiful atmosphere.

The Belle Vue Lounge in Disney's BoardWalk Inn

The Belle Vue Lounge in Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

And if you happen to encounter a helpful bartender (and the long-time bartender here is always helpful), you may be able to enjoy a Belle Vue classic.

The Shadow at Belle Vue Lounge

You’ll mostly find the Standard Disney Bar Menu here. It’s a little sad…because this place could be even more awesome with an inspired drink menu. But there is one bright spot. And oddly, it’s called The Shadow. :-)

This drink is Belle Vue’s claim to fame, even though it’s not officially on the menu anymore.

A mixture of Chambord, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Vanilla Vodka, and Heavy Cream, it’s as much dessert as it is a cocktail.

The Shadow at Belle Vue Lounge

The Shadow at Belle Vue Lounge

It’s not really my kind of drink. I don’t usually go in for [Read more…]

News! Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace Switch Places in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Call it a little Disney Magic!

STT Aloha Isle Collage DFB

Mind blown? Yeah, mine too. You’re not seeing things…two of Magic Kingdom’s most beloved snack stops have switched places!

We’ve heard rumors, and now it seems to be happening: major changes are underway in Adventureland.

We’re still awaiting confirmation that a brand new restaurant might be coming to the area, but in the meantime, Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace have swapped real estate.

And we have lots of brand new pictures of the change as it’s happening right now!

Here’s FIRST LOOK at the brand new Aloha Isle Sign! Clearly, the Dole sponsorship is still firmly in place.

NEW Aloha Isle Sign

NEW Aloha Isle Sign

Check out this photo of the NEW Aloha Isle locale!

Sunshine Tree Terrace Morphs Into Aloha Isle Overnight!

Sunshine Tree Terrace Morphs Into Aloha Isle Overnight!

As you can see from the menu pic below, NEARLY everything that you previously enjoyed at Aloha Isle is now available at this new (old? new?) location.

You can still enjoy Dole Whip, Dole Whip Swirl, Dole Whip Floats, fresh spears of Pineapple, and [Read more…]

Review: River Belle Terrace Breakfast at Disneyland Park

Editor’s Note: River Belle Terrace no longer serves breakfast as of February 10, 2016, and is now a table service restaurant for lunch and dinner.

On a recent trip to Disneyland, we had many things to cross off of our list. But when it came time for breakfast in the Park one morning, only one stop would do — River Belle Terrace!

River Belle Terrace Entrance

River Belle Terrace in Disneyland’s Frontierland

You’ll find this counter service spot in Frontierland along the Rivers of America. And that last bit of information is important. After all, you may come to River Belle Terrace because you’re hungry, but it has more to recommend it than the menu. Here we go!

Atmosphere

Located in New Orleans Square, the aesthetic of River Belle Terrace is Antebellum all the way. The entrance is fashioned to look like a grand Southern mansion on a small scale.

River Belle Terrace in Disneyland

Entrance

Step inside, and you see gracious touches that echo that feeling. Arched windows allow plenty of light into the seating area, so even if you choose to dine inside, you’ll still have the sense of being in an outdoor garden setting.

Indoor Seating and Condiment Area

Indoor Seating and Condiment Area

Ornate ceiling medallions and flowering vines on the chandeliers fancy up the spot a bit.

And keep this in mind: it may not look all that interesting or distinguished, but River Belle Terrace deserves a pause in your Disney Day. This restaurant has been serving since Disneyland opened in 1955! As the story goes, you could find Mr. Disney enjoying breakfast here often on serene Sunday mornings.

Light Fixture and Ceiling Detail

Light Fixture and Ceiling Detail

While the indoor seating is pleasant, it’s the terrace that is truly beloved by so many. Don’t you love the old-fashioned, tasseled umbrellas? They could have updated them and used something modern, but they haven’t. And I’m so glad.

Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Seating

And this — this view. It’s why you come to River Belle Terrace. Eat your breakfast and watch for the Mark Twain Riverboat to paddle by. There’s nothing like this view of the Rivers of America, and if you can enjoy a classic Disneyland breakfast at the same time, it’s a win/win!

View from River Belle Terrace

View from River Belle Terrace

Speaking of classic Disneyland breakfasts, it seems like the right time to move on to the food. :-) Let’s check it out.

Eats

Although River Belle Terrace offers all-day dining, it’s breakfast that we usually enjoy here. In addition to some standard offerings, you’ll find comfort food favorites like Biscuits and Gravy. But there are some really unique options, too. We’ll get to a couple of my favorites in just a moment.

Breakfast Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Breakfast Menu — Click to Enlarge

Menus, for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner, offer only a few selections. But the food is hearty and interesting. (Note to self: come back for that River Belle’s Roast Beef and the Messy Mississippi BBQ Sandwich at lunch time.)

Lunch and Dinner Menus -- Click to Enlarge

Lunch and Dinner Menus — Click to Enlarge

When it’s time to order, your first stop will be at the [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at The Diamond Horseshoe in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland

It’s time to head to the Wild West and take a look behind some rarely open doors…

The Diamond Horseshoe is a seasonal option in the Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland, which means it’s open only on peak-level crowd days (much like Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland).

During Thanksgiving week and around Christmas, it’s been known to host an evening buffet.  When it’s open for lunch, though, it’s a counter service stop featuring turkey and barbeque sandwiches served up to the tunes of a self-playing Wurlitzer.

Perhaps you yourself have strolled past The Diamond Horseshoe.

The Diamond Horseshoe

The Diamond Horseshoe

If so, odds are good (well, pretty great, really) that you’ve seen these doors closed.

"The Diamond Horseshoe is not currently serving..."

“The Diamond Horseshoe is not currently serving…”

But on the busiest of busy days, you just might catch them open… it’s time to step inside The Diamond Horseshoe!

The Diamond AND the Horseshoe!

The Diamond AND the Horseshoe!

And since it’s so rare to find this place open, we’ve got a little exploring to do…

Atmosphere

Okay, I’ll admit… like any good Disney geek, when the doors opened I walked straight past the ordering counter to check out the atmosphere. But I felt fine lingering, since someone left their umbrella at the front ;) , which indicates to me that folks at the Horseshoe are expected to sit and stay awhile!

Umbrella just inside the entrance

Umbrella just inside the entrance

Though located in the more rustic surroundings of Frontierland, when you step into this ol’ West music hall, the atmosphere seems decidedly more lush — from the deep red curtains on the centerpiece stage…

The Diamond Horseshoe stage

The Diamond Horseshoe stage

… to the red glass [Read more…]