Spotted!: Cinnamon Sweet Churro Milkshake at Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Ah, Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner — this is why I lurve you. So much.

Min & Bill’s has introduced yet another killer seasonal milkshake that you and I MUST have.

If you’re scratching your head and saying, “Min and Bill’s? What? Where?” — you aren’t alone. It’s not that it’s hidden or anything; you just probably don’t expect much from this boat-as-a-food-destination.

But this often-overlooked spot can be a treasure trove of unique eats and drinks. I’ve been a fan of their Frankfurter in a Pretzel Roll (especially the Pretzel Roll part of the equation) forever.

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

You probably remember that the last time I was here, I tried the Artisan Mac and Cheese options. The Barbecued Pulled Pork version was a total hit; the Buffalo Chicken Macaroni & Cheese, notsomuch.

But the seasonal shake that I tried that day, the Caramel Apple Milkshake, was fantastic. And now, there’s yet another crave-worthy option here.

Check out that awesomeness that is the Cinnamon Sweet Churro Milkshake. And just in time too — ’cause I hear that [Read more…]

Review: Snacks from the Canada Pavilion in Disney World’s Epcot

Greetings from Epcot! It’s time to see what we can find in some of the shops the World Showcase!

Epcot!!!

Epcot!!!

While you can bet on always finding some favorites, like Pocky in Japan, other spots like to change things up regularly.

I always love to check out the little bank of shops in Canada. In the past, we’ve discovered some awesome chip varieties. And last year, I was thrilled to tell you (and AJ’s Dad!) about the different Tim Horton beverages they’re now featuring.

Today, let’s check out some grab and go sweets from North of the Border!

Grab and Go Snacks from the Canada Pavilion in Epcot

If you’re in need of a chocolate fix, consider the Rochef Chocolate Bars. From Quebec, they were available in a couple of different varieties the day I visited. I skipped this one due to the melt factor that day!

Rochef Chocolate

Rochef Chocolate

Next, I found two different sweet popcorn snacks. First, I spied Jakeman’s Maple Popcorn. You’ll often find Maple-flavored snacks in the Canada pavilion, but this was new to me.

Jakeman's Maple Popcorn

Jakeman’s Maple Popcorn

True, you’re getting a pre-packaged snack that’s been in that bag for an undisclosed amount of time. So if you value something made fresh and on the spot, high tail it over to Karamell-Küche for their version of caramel popcorn.

But if maple is your thing, give this fluffy popcorn a try. The subtle maple flavor makes this variety stand out from the sea of “just sweet tasting” caramel popcorn that’s out there.

Jakeman's Maple Popcorn Out of the Bag Epcot Canada Pavilion

Jakeman’s Maple Popcorn — Out of the Bag

If you prefer your popcorn alongside other stuff, then you’ll want to check out Moose Munch. Or should I say Moose Munches — because you have choices! Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate varieties are on offer.

Okay, okay, so let’s cover the obvious first. Moose Munch is the brain child of gourmet food company Harry & David. And so, it is not technically (not even a little bit) Canadian.

So why’s it here? I’m guessing 1) there’s a moose on the package; and 2) it’s delicious. That’s all I can come up with. So we’ll have to suspend our attachment to authenticity with this one.

Moose Much Varieties

Moose Munch Varieties

I decided I had to try some Moose Munch for myself, and I opted for the Milk Chocolate version.

Milk Chocolate Moose Munch

Milk Chocolate Moose Munch

If the picture on the front doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, check out this “moostastic” description on the back.

The Moose Munch Low Down

The Moose Munch Low Down

Do not mistake the desiccate packet for seasoning. I don’t think it brings much flavor to the party. ;-) It’s just there to keep everything from clumping together, of course. Seems obvious, but this is a warning to not let your kiddos just stick their hands into the bag and take a big mouthful. KIDS! ALWAYS REMOVE THE NOT REALLY FOOD PARTS OF YOUR SNACK BEFORE EATING.

Desiccate in Moose Munch

Desiccate in Moose Munch

And out of the bag, it looks pretty much like what I expected — an assortment of [Read more…]

News! Star Wars Weekends “Feel the Force” Package Reservations Now Available!

Star Wars Weekends continue to grow in popularity with the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens later this year. And Disney is answering the call by providing lots of premium experiences for guests to enjoy.

Feel the Force

Wanna hang out with this guy?

But the coolest Star Wars Weekends events in our opinion? The ones that involve food, of course!

We saw the introduction of Star Wars Dining Opportunities last year, as Disney introduced Star Wars Character Dining Experiences. Guests can choose from Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine (see our review here) or Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast at Sci-Fi (see a guest review here).

But today, we have news of another returning event. Set your cruisers to lightspeed and get ready to dial: Feel the Force Premium Packages are returning in 2015, and you can start booking them today!

The packages, which debuted in 2014, get you up close to all the action happening during Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They are available Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during Star Wars Weekends, which take place this year from May 15 until June 14.

There are two different packages to choose from. Let’s check out what you get with each of them.

Feel the Force Premium Package

The Feel the Force Premium Package includes all of the following:

  • 11:00AM — Noon: Reserved viewing for the Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade. Guests will also enjoy a selection of Soft Drinks, Water, and a Snack.
  • Reserved seating for ONE of the Celebrity Talk Shows in Theater of the Stars. Show time will be selected at check-in. Please Note: there are a limited amount of seats per show and times are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • 9:00PM: “Symphony in the Stars” Fireworks Dessert Party, which includes Star Wars-themed desserts (think Yoda and Darth Vader Cupcakes — read our review of them here!) as well as Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages. Guests also enjoy a reserved viewing location for the nightly “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks show.
Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes

Enjoy Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes to Your Heart’s Content!

The price for the Feel the Force Premium Packages is [Read more…]

Review: Mickey Caramel Apple at Magic Kingdom’s Big Top Treats

We’re going for an absolutely classic confection today, so get your sweet tooth ready to bite into a Mickey Caramel Apple at Magic Kingdom’s Big Top Treats!

Of course, Caramel Apples at Disney World don’t just come dressed up as Mickey… and they aren’t only available at Big Top Treats, either. Magic Kingdom’s apple spots also include the Main Street Confectionery. And you can find them at other sweet stops like Sweet Spells at Hollywood Studios or Goofy’s Candy Co. in Downtown Disney.

But nothin’ says “Caramel Apple” quite like living life under the Big Top, so that’s where we’re grabbing our apple today! While you just gotta love the classic Mickey Apple, part of the fun of getting any Caramel Apple at Disney World is seeing all the choices up for grabs. Options available vary based on the time of year or nearest holiday. Most recently, Mickey Apples could be found participating in the Wearing o’ the Green for St. Patrick’s Day.

St Patty's Day Mickey Apple

St Patty’s Day Mickey Apple

The Halloween Caramel Apples are particularly noteworthy every year.

Mickey Ghost candy apple

Mickey Ghost candy apple

Poison Candy Apple

Poison Candy Apple

Apples may also be tied to a current Disney film release, or even a previous one. Take, for example, the recent Cinderella Coach Apple celebrating the live-action film release.

Cinderella Coach Apple

Cinderella Coach Apple

Another case in point: the ongoing existence of the Olaf Candy Apple for those who just can’t… ahem… let. it. go.

Olaf Candy Apple

Olaf Candy Apple

So, selecting one is pretty rad. What’s the other fun part? Watching the apples come to “fruition” (see what I did there?) before your eyes. You can almost always find Cast Members creating them, and see the apples in their various stages. They all start as green Granny Smiths.

Granny Smith apples for Candy Apples

Granny Smiths for Candy Apples

After receiving their marshmallow ears and being dipped in caramel and chocolate, the Mickey Apples await [Read more…]

Pics of the Week: Disneyland Dishes!

Whenever I’m in need of a trip to the Park that Started It All, but don’t have the time to jet off to California, I love to check out YOUR shots on Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, head over there! It’s the perfect way to get your extra Disney food fix. :-)

Today, I thought I’d share some of our best reader photos of favorite dishes in Disneyland.

Disneyland Dole Whip Float

Disneyland Dole Whip Float

Let’s take a closer look at a few of our favorites in this latest installment of our Disney Food Pics of the Week Series!

Frites and Mint Julep

Photographer: Michael Greening
There are a couple of different spots in Disneyland that I must check out every time I visit, and one of them is Cafe Orleans. A trip just wouldn’t feel complete with at least one Monte Cristo Sandwich, and an order of Frites to share (HA!). (Michael did it right here, with two sauces!) And while you’re at it, you have to try Disneyland’s famed Mint Juleps at least once!

A Stop at Cafe Orleans for Frites and a Mint Julep

A Stop at Cafe Orleans for Frites and a Mint Julep

Disneyland Corn Dogs

Photographer: Kirsten Marie Hutton
There was never a better caption for a pic — “It’s not a trip to Disneyland…” — without a stop at the Corn Dog Truck! Hand-Dipped Corn Dogs are one of the DL treats that is a [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Off-The-Radar Disney World Bars and Lounges

Walt Disney World is supa fun, but it’s also go-go-go-go. Sometimes ya just gotta relax.

dfb2015_guide_3d

Of course, there’re all kinds of ways to accomplish that. But after a long, hard day of Disney touring, I love to head to one of my favorite Disney Bars and Lounges.

“Bar” might not be the first word you think of when you picture Mickey Ears and Pixie Dust. But actually, these are some of my favorite spots on property for a number of reasons.

And I know you agree, because when I first published the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, a comprehensive Index of Disney World’s Bars and Lounges was one of our readers’ top requests.

Well — we heard you! And I’m happy to let you know that the DFB Guide includes reviews of every Bar and Lounge in Walt Disney World!

Let’s dive into the Index and take a closer look at a few. You know my favorites, like Territory Lounge and the Dawa Bar. But today, I want to take you on a tour of a few places you may not have discovered yet.

And if you find this information helpful, then be sure to pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Ready to grab a drink?

A Niche Menu and Free Beer: The Wave Lounge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary resort is a great place to take in a relaxing breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Seldom crowded, the restaurant, located in the quiet back corner of the hotel’s lobby offers a market-inspired menu at a much lower price point than you’ll find at Disney’s suite of signature restaurants. You’ll also find some delicious breakfast options.

But in addition to interesting eats, you’ll also find a pretty cool bar and lounge area.

The Bar at Disney's The Wave Restaurant

The Bar at Disney’s The Wave Restaurant

While the food menu is market-driven, the drink menu features some specialties, too. The Wave’s wine list features New World Wines, primarily from the Southern Hemisphere. And nearly all of the wines featured have one thing in common — screwcaps! Sealing wines with screwcaps is a way to battle cork taint, an unfortunate chemical reaction that can ruin a good bottle of wine. So don’t be put off by screwcaps the next time you see one; many quality New World wines, especially those from New Zealand and Australia, are sealed this way.

Wines at the Wave

Wines at the Wave

Do your tastes run to beer rather than wine? The Wave also features a nice selection of Organic Beers. In fact, if you’re a guest staying at the Contemporary or Bay Lake Towers, you can enjoy a Complimentary Organic Beer Tasting on Saturdays from 3-4PM. (Remember, this is JUST if you’re staying at the resort.)

Beer Flight at The Wave

Beer Flight at The Wave

Just stopping in for a drink? Try the Beer Flight. The presentation is pretty impressive.

A Bar That Switches Things Up: Kona Island Coffee/Sushi Bar

Another favorite stop of mine certainly lives up to the name “bar” — but for completely different reasons. In this case, we’re (mostly) trading cocktails for java and some interesting eats.

New Tiki Statue in Lobby at the Polynesian!

New Tiki Statue in Lobby at the Polynesian!

The Polynesian Village Resort has just undergone a major facelift. We’ve welcomed new spots, like the Pineapple Lanai (the resort’s purveyor of Dole Whips these days) as well as the crazy popular Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (waiting times have been up to 6 hours during its soft opening!)

Trader Sam's door sign

Trader Sam’s Door Sign

But with all of the changes, the resort has maintained most of its beloved eateries, including [Read more…]

News! Tickets Now on Sale for Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin’s Food and Wine Classic

Back by popular demand, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin will once again be hosting its popular Food and Wine Classic!

fw-Logo

Mark your calendars for Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31, as the Classic celebrates its sixth year! Once again in 2015, the Food and Wine Classic will take place during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival — offering you two wonderful ways to enjoy the food of Disney!

There’s so much to enjoy at this event. Let’s take a closer look at all it has to offer.

The Causeway

Stroll the beautiful Causeway connecting the Swan and Dolphin as you enjoy tapas-sized plates from the resort’s restaurants.

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to sample wine and beer from all around the world. The menu is diverse, celebrating the wide array of food that the Swan and Dolphin has to offer.

Shula's Prime Rib with Mashed Potatoes

Shula’s Prime Rib with Mashed Potatoes

We can’t wait to see what spots like Todd English’s bluezoo and Shula’s Steak House offer in 2015!

And there are always a few fun surprises, like Chef Cib’s Smokehouse. Live music plays as evening falls, so bring your dancing shoes. :-)

Food and Beverage Seminars

The 6th Annual Food and Wine Classic will also play host to several Seminars. Choose from [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…]

FIRST LOOK! Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort

AHOY!!!! Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is now in soft openings at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!!!

Trader Sam's door sign

Trader Sam’s door sign

And we are SO excited to share pictures from some of our awesome DFB Readers who were there to ring in the occasion!

Many thanks to Lori Hope Fries, DFB Reader and co-founder of TheMainStreetMoms.com, for sending in some awesome pics for us to share with you, along with her review! We’re also suuuuuper grateful to our friend David Shearer for sharing his incredible photos as well! We’ll be using the collection of both of their pictures along with a few of ours to tell the story of the very first days of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.

But before we go in… what is a “soft opening,” exactly? Basically, a soft open means that guests may find Trader Sam’s in operation during a visit to the Polynesian from now until it’s official opening (expected for late April), BUT it can be closed at any given time to continue any necessary work. So, fair warning.

Okay, enough with the logistics! The anticipation is killing me!! Let’s step behind the door…

Trader Sam's door

Trader Sam’s door

Umm, actually, let’s head inside the Grotto after we wait in line. Just getting in on the first day was no easy task!

Take, for instance, this anecdote from our good friend, Mealtrip: “The system is, you get a pager, then they call you in. So there was a 3 hour wait to get a pager and then another 3 hour wait once you had the pager. There is no “pager waiting line”, and you can’t just wait in the hallway for a pager.”

Pager for Trader Sam's

Pager for Trader Sam’s

And so, a head’s up: for at least the first months of operation, we can all expect longs lines to be rule, not the exception. Anyone who’s had experience with Trader Sam’s in Disneyland will be fully aware of this gigantic problem. Okay, with that out of the way, NOW let’s step inside and see what treasures await!

Take it away, Lori!

“We have been on watch for months, waiting for Trader Sam to land at the Polynesian Village Resort. Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Room, at the Disneyland Resort, is a favorite stop when we go, and have been there many times. My middle son, Dennis, is an avid tiki mug collector, so we watched as the lobby walls came down around the fountain and a cast member showed us the door leading to Trader Sam’s new location. We watched and waited.

Trader Sam's door

Trader Sam’s door

When you go on the Jungle Cruise in each Adventureland, Trader Sam, the head salesman of the jungle, will greet you. From coast to coast, these two men share a name and a job (and some jokes), but each coast has their own Sam. We were excited to see how the tiki bars of the same name differed.

Trader Sam from Disney World's Jungle Cruise

Trader Sam from Disney World’s Jungle Cruise

We were in the Magic Kingdom when we learned that Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto was holding a soft opening. We hopped on a monorail and headed for the Polynesian Village Resort. The wait time was up to four hours to get in! Luckily, we got a pager from a friend who couldn’t stay, and combined the wait.

Pager for Trader Sam's

Pager for Trader Sam’s

We headed to the new patio [Editor’s note: Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace], which has the same menu as inside, and ordered [Read more…]

Dining in TOKYO Disneyland: Pre-Packaged Souvenir Snacks

One of my very favorite things about my visit to the Tokyo Disney Resort was browsing the shops there.  The packaged souvenir snacks were aplenty; shelves, shelves and more shelves filled with unique treats.  I was totally obsessed with the adorable packaging.  Another plus?  There were plastic displays showing you exactly what was inside of that adorable packaging.

Plastic displays of candy "purses"

Plastic displays of candy “purses”

Even with the plastic displays though, I still had no idea what some of the things were!  Below is a photo tour of some of the items I found adorable and interesting, and a few that were just plain bizarre.

Let’s start over at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel.  There is a great little convenience store there that carries a wide variety of Disney themed food, snacks, drinks, candy, etc.  Below are some of the adorable drinks that they had. The Snow White bottle is an apple & mango drink, the Tsum Tsum bottles are tea, and the Frozen ones are bottled water.

Disney Bottled Drinks

Disney Bottled Drinks

Various ice cream cups; each featuring a scene from a Disney movie.

Individual Ice Cream Cups

Individual Ice Cream Cups

Packaged candy, including chocolate “surprise” eggs filled with a small Disney figurine.

Chocolate Surprise Eggs

Chocolate Surprise Eggs

I actually tried Mickey and Minnie “Potato” crackers below.  They are sort of a cracker/potato chip hybrid.  Each puffy piece is Mickey shaped!

Mickey & Minnie Crackers

Mickey & Minnie Potato Crackers

I love this little box of Mickey Milk.  The only reason I know this is milk is because I asked a friend!

Mickey Milk

Mickey Milk

And how about this [Read more…]