Review: Jabba the Hutt Cupcake at Tusken Fridge Raiders at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Well, look who’s joined the Star Wars Weekends party… JABBA THE HUTT!!!

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Brand new this year, Jabba joins the Star Wars Character Cupcake line-up alongside the Darth Vader Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cupcake and the Yoda Chocolate Cupcake with Hazelnut Buttercream Icing. Jabba the Hutt and Yoda can be found at Starring Rolls, Trolley Car Cafe, Backlot Express, and Tusken Fridge Raiders.

Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes return this year

Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes return this year

The Darth Vader Cupcake is the only Star Wars Cupcake that can be found at ALL Hollywood Studios Counter Service locations.

So where, exactly, is Tusken Fridge Raiders? The premiere Star Wars snack stop for this year is tucked inside Watto’s Grotto inside of Darth’s Mall, the main merchandise location for Star Wars Weekends.

Darth's Mall is in the Streets of America

Darth’s Mall is in the Streets of America

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders menu

Tusken Fridge Raiders menu

All three cupcakes are available there (though you’ll find them a little cheaper in the Counter Service locations for $5.19), along with the four specialty Star Wars Weekends cocktails, which we’ll be checking out in a future post.

Tusken Fridge Raiders menu

Tusken Fridge Raiders menu

Cocktail mixes at Tusken Fridge Raiders

Cocktail mixes at Tusken Fridge Raiders

Incidentally, Tusken Fridge Raiders is THE home to [Read more…]

Special Eats and Treats for Disneyland’s 24 Hour Diamond Anniversary Celebration

Are YOU kicking off the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration by spending a FULL 24 HOURS with Mickey and the gang in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure?!

©Disney

©Disney

That’s right! The eagerly anticipated Diamond Anniversary Celebration officially begins this Friday, May 22nd, at 6 am — the same day Walt Disney World launches the “Coolest Summer Ever” with Magic Kingdom’s 24 hour day. Now, 24 hours may seem like a LOT of time… but when you see all the special treats created just for the occasion, you may find that 24 hours isn’t nearly enough!

And we would love it if YOU would help us all join in the fun! Are you attending the 24-hour celebration on either coast? If so, please feel welcome to send us any and all pictures — be they of food or just plain FUN — from your experience! Just let us know how you’d like to be credited on your pictures, and we’ll do our best to include as many as possible in our ongoing coverage this Friday! You can send pictures to us on twitter, Facebook, email us at webmaster@disneyfoodblog.com, or @ us on instagram!

And now… back to the FOOD!! Special dishes and snacks will abound in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure throughout the celebration.

World of Color Dining Packages

Don’t forget that World of Color Dining Packages are available for the new “World of Color — Celebrate!” show. Unique to the 24-hour event are 2-course, prix fixe breakfast packages available from midnight to 1:45 am on May 23rd at Ariel’s Grotto (as a non-character meal) and Wine Country Trattoria, offering reserved viewing for a special 3 am World of Color show.

Ariel's Grotto

Ariel’s Grotto

Wine Country Trattoria

Wine Country Trattoria

Though online it appears as though Dining Reservations are currently full, you never know when you might happen upon a cancellation.

Disneyland

There is a LOT of ground to cover for the all-around-the-park eats, so let’s start in Disneyland! The signature Disneyland Diamond Celebration Cupcake will be featured at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe.

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake

The Diamond Anniversary Ice Cream Sandwich offers a cool twist on the celebratory treats with your choice of ice cream between two sugar cookies. Find it at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, alongside an Ice Cream Sundae served in a souvenir kitchen sink!

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor

©Disney

©Disney

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae from above -- faucet close up

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae from above — faucet close up

I wonder how many people will be lining up at the Stage Door Cafe for this Mocha Chip Funnel Cake?

©Disney

©Disney

Plenty of savory dishes for longer term sustenance (you’re gonna need it!) will be [Read more…]

Guest Review: Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Party

UPDATE: A NEW VERSION of the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party debuts on Sunday, July 5th, at Magic Kingdom.

Fireworks-dessert-party-hostess

It will be very similar to the Tomorrowland Terrace event featured in this post when it comes to views of the fireworks and dessert options, but this new event will include reserved seats, a sparkling cider toast, and a few new menu items (chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate mousse, ice cream, seasonal fruit, cheese assortments, Disney character cupcakes, hot chocolate, and signature lemonades). The price for the new dessert party is $49 for adults, and $29 for children with tax included.

Welcome guest reviewer, Liz Jostes , as she treats us to a review of the Magic Kingdom’s Fireworks Dessert Party. This fun Walt Disney World event takes place at the Tomorrowland Terrace restaurant.

The Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party is held at the Magic Kingdom during the Wishes fireworks show. It is a “hard-ticket event”, meaning there is an additional cost to attend the dessert party and seats are limited.

Tickets for the dessert party can now be purchased at the 180 day mark along with your other Advance Dining Reservations. The dessert party begins about an hour before Wishes, and is held at Tomorrowland Terrace. Table assignments are made at the time of booking, which is nice because you don’t have to worry about checking in to the party as soon as it opens that evening. Your table is there waiting for you, whenever it is that you arrive!

Atmosphere

You can get to Tomorrowland Terrace from Main Street (by walking past The Plaza Restaurant) or from Tomorrowland near Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor.

Tomorrowland-Terrace-Sign

There were a few PhotoPass photographers set up near the entrance to the party, which makes for a great opportunity for an evening photo with the lighted castle as the backdrop.

We waited in line for a few minutes before being seated. Each pre-assigned table had the last name of the party and the number of guests. Our hostess explained to us how the party worked, then told us to head over to the dessert area to choose what we wanted. She took our stroller from us and parked it with the other strollers as we made our way to the desserts.

Reserved Seating

Reserved Seating

Eats

There were 2 lines for desserts, with the cold drink station and ice cream sundae bar in the middle, and the coffee station across from that. The desserts were the same in either line, so it didn’t matter which line you got into. The desserts were unlimited, and you could go back as many times as you’d like.

Ice Cream Sundae Station

Ice Cream Sundae Station

Unfortunately, none of the desserts were labeled so we had to guess what may be inside each one. We grabbed what looked good to us and figured we’d give them a taste. You can tell from the photos that most of the trays of desserts were in need of being refilled when we were going through the line.

Fruit

Fruit

More desserts

More desserts

Cookies

Cookies

Dipped in chocolate

Banana Puffs Dipped in chocolate

Chocolate Boats

Chocolate Boats

Desserts

Desserts

My dessert selections

My dessert selections

I wish I could say that the desserts were wonderful, but I can’t. A couple things were truly wonderful (like the cannoli), but all in all, we were underwhelmed with most of what we tried. I’ve had much better desserts and sweet treats throughout the parks. (I’d definitely choose Main Street Confectionery over almost anything we tried at the dessert party.)

As we were finishing up our desserts and enjoying our coffee (and the comfortable chair!), we prepared to watch the castle projection show and the fireworks. The view from Tomorrowland Terrace is a good one, albeit somewhat off-center from the castle. You will have a good view of the [Read more…]

Three Ideas For an Unconventional Disney World Date Night

Call us romantics, but we think that Walt Disney World is a GREAT place for a date night!

Watch the Fireworks from the Polynesian Resort Beach!

Do You Love to Watch Magic Kingdom Fireworks From the Polynesian’s Beach During Your Disney Date Night? We Do!

But we like to take a very broad approach to date night here at Disney Food Blog. So we decided that it would be all kinds of funnnz to come up with some radical departures for how to spend your Day o’ Love. I mean sure, chocolate-dipped strawberries and Champagne are awesome, and a fancy meal is sure to impress. But more than anything, we just wanna have fun!

If you’re with us, check out our Top 3 Ideas for Your Unconventional Date Night, Disney World Style!

Swap a Fancy Meal for FastPasses

Fancy meal? Whatevs. Who wants to get dressed up and sit around for hours?? You’re at Disney — get out there and enjoy it!

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Snuggle Up for a Ride on Disney’s Newest Attraction, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!

Instead of dinner at a signature restaurant, skip straight to the fun, and schedule FastPasses for three of your favorite rides together (and make sure at least one of them is a dark ride. ;-) )

Spaceship Earth, How We Love You

Spaceship Earth, How We Lurve You

Getting hungry after all those adventures? Share your favorite savory snacks. The Lucky Combo from Joy of Tea in Epcot’s China Pavilion would be perfect!

Lucky Combo from Joy of Tea in Epcot's China Pavilion

Lucky Combo from Joy of Tea in Epcot’s China Pavilion

Or split a Waffle Sandwich from Sleepy Hollow Refreshments in Magic Kingdom.

Chicken Waffle Sandwich from Magic Kingdom's Sleepy Hollow Refreshments

Chicken Waffle Sandwich from Magic Kingdom’s Sleepy Hollow Refreshments

They’re definitely big enough to share!

Get the Kids Involved!

Spending more time together as a family always figures high on our list of priorities. And kiddos especially love some one on one time with Mom and Dad. So how about taking a different approach to your next evening out. Make a “date” with your littles!

One fun idea would be to split up for fun Mom/Son, Dad/Daughter “dates”. Go on separate dinner dates and let the kids choose the restaurants! ESPN Club at Disney’s BoardWalk is a great choice for your budding baseball or soccer star!

ESPN Club (with a line to get in on Game Day!)

ESPN Club is a Great Place to Take Your Favorite Sports Fan!

But save room, because you can all meet up for some ice cream later and compare notes! How about sharing a No Way Jose from Beaches and Cream four ways?? (Want more ice cream suggestions? Check our our Ice Cream Gallery!)

No Way Jose at Beaches and Cream

Split a No Way Jose from Beaches and Cream!

Top off the evening with an outdoor movie at your resort before tucking in for pleasant dreams.

Play with Your Food

Have you always wanted to [Read more…]

Review: Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake (A “Frozen Fever” Treat)

Happy Birthday, Princess Anna!

All over Disney World and Disneyland, guests are invited to celebrate the birthday of Frozen’s Princess Anna (she’s a princess, right?). This goes hand in hand with the Frozen Fever film short where our Arendelle friends attempt to throw her a surprise party, and Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake is one of three Frozen Fever treats brought out for the occasion.

Anna's Happy Birthday Cupcake

Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake

I grabbed mine at Epcot’s Kringla Bakeri og Kafe in Norway, but this is just one of the spots where you can find it. From parks to resorts, you can grab it at several locations including the Beach Club Marketplace and Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons in Disney World, and Jolly Holiday Bakery and The Coffee House in Disneyland (find the full list of locations here!).

When I mention our “Arendelle Friends,” that clearly includes Olaf, who tops this treat. (Incidentally, you’ll also find this white chocolate piece topping Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day.)

Olaf Topper

Olaf Topper

The cupcake is a simply a basic yellow cake— which, when I think about it, goes along pretty well with [Read more…]

Review: Sweet Treats at Main Street Bakery Starbucks in Magic Kingdom

Time for another visit to the Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom!

It’s long been a DFB tradition to stop by Main Street Bakery first thing to kick off the day with a morning pastry. In the past, I’ve also loved popping into this spot to see what’s new in the way of cupcakes.

While things aren’t exactly the same as they were in the days before MSB became a Starbucks location, you will still find an assortment of breakfast offerings in the morning and sweet treats throughout the day. (Check out our recent review of the Bacon and Gouda Artisan Sandwich.)

And a sweet snack was what my friend and I were after during our late night stop into the coffee shop recently. Let’s check out what we found.

Mocha Cupcake

While many (MANY) of my sentimental favorites, like their amazing cinnamon rolls, are no longer available at Main Street Bakery, the spot has continued to offer some cupcake options that you don’t find at your neighborhood Starbucks. That’s cool, right? I mean, it’s not as awesome as that cinnamon roll, but still. (And if you’re missing the cinnamon roll as much as me, head back to Gaston’s Tavern, where you’ll find a very similar model. Or make it at home with this recipe.)

But back to cupcakes. On our visit, we decided to give the Mocha Cupcake a try.

Mocha Cupcake

Mocha Cupcake

This is mostly chocolate on chocolate. We didn’t really discern much in the way of coffee flavor, although the garnish of Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans would indicate there’s some java there.

(You’ll have to excuse my lighting. I got this cupcake at around 9:00 at night while the parade was passing by and the Starbucks was PACKED. It was tough to jostle my way to a good location without weird yellow nighttime light.)

Mocha Cupcake -- Cross Section

Mocha Cupcake — Cross Section

Ultimately, while this was fine, I’ve had better. Unless you’re just dying for a chocolate cupcake, I’d probably pass this one up in favor of something more interesting…

Salted Caramel Square with Pecans

…Like the Salted Caramel Square with Pecans.

Ok. Maybe I’m just a sucker for anything that combines the words “salt” and “caramel”. This was very good, but the pretzel game is strong in here; so it was much more crunchy and less creamy than I expected.

Salted Caramel Square with Pecans

Salted Caramel Square with Pecans

Salted Caramel Tart

But it was this final option that truly converted me to Starbucks’ sweets. Let me introduce you to the [Read more…]

Review: New Desserts at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

So, if you’ve been following along recently, you know that LOTS of changes are in store for Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Among them, Starbucks is due to open in mid-June, and the new Harambe Market will bring us FOUR new walkup food windows (along with merchandise shops) when it opens in late May. Add to that there are still rumors floating around about the possible addition of a Table Service restaurant to be located in part of what is currently Pizzafari… well, suffice it to say, the dining options at Animal Kingdom are certainly expanding!

With so many new food stops in the works, it’s bound to affect some of the established eateries around the park. In fact, we’ve already begun to see hints of change starting at Tamu Tamu Refreshments.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

You see, it’s located in the village of Harambe in Animal Kingdom’s Africa, so it’s just across the way from where the Market will be.

Location of Tamu Tamu in Animal Kingdom's Africa

Location of Tamu Tamu in Animal Kingdom’s Africa

Since the Harambe Market will have a whole slew of new entrees to choose from, the menu at Tamu Tamu just switched over to focus entirely on desserts and drinks as opposed to its previous entrees like curry dishes and the Pulled Beef Sandwich.

Lucky me, I had a group of friends visiting Animal Kingdom who offered to try them ALL!

Taste-Testers!!

Taste-Testers!!

Or perhaps I should say, “Lucky THEM,” because altogether there are FIVE desserts on the menu!

All-new Tamu Tamu menu

All-new Tamu Tamu menu

While the Pineapple Whip Soft-serve (with Dark or Coconut Rum) has been available since last May, the Chocolate Waffle with Espresso Mousse, Double Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream Sandwich, Mickey Ice Cream Chocolate Cookie Sundae, and Chocolate-covered Espresso Beans are all BRAND NEW to Tamu Tamu!

Tamu Tamu desserts

Tamu Tamu desserts

Let’s take them one by one, starting with the Chocolate Waffle topped with an Espresso Mousse.

Chocolate Waffle with Espresso Mousse

Chocolate Waffle with Espresso Mousse

The group reported that the waffle was [Read more…]

Review: Tutto Gusto in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

It’s time once again to look in on one of my favorite “hidden” spots in Epcot — Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar!

Tutto Gusto, located on the left as you travel through the Italy Pavilion toward Via Napoli at the back, hasn’t been open for very long. But in the short span of three years, Tutto Gusto has become a part of the fabric of World Showcase.

With its commitment to offering small plates that feature authentic Italian cuisine, Tutto Gusto has continued to be a DFB favorite. But you know me — I’m never content to continue recommending a spot unless I know for sure that it still  deserves to be recommended!

So, in the name of research, a friend and I headed there to grab a light dinner during a recent visit to Walt Disney World. We tried some new things and revisited some favorites. Let’s check it out.

Atmosphere

Although the sign for Tutto Gusto is perched high and prominent, it’s still sort of easy to miss it if you aren’t looking for it. You may mistake it for another entrance to neighboring Tutto Italia, if you notice it at all.

Tutto Italia and Gusto Wine Cellar

Tutto Italia and Gusto Wine Cellar

The entrance sits back a little, but Cast Members are usually flanking the door, and you’ll also notice the menus posted outside. Pay attention and you’ll find it.

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar

Walk in and (after your eyes adjust to the darkened area) you’ll notice that the bar is front and center, serving as the small venue’s main feature.

Gusto Bar

Gusto Bar

Wine is king here, but you’ll also find an increasingly interesting array of Italian craft beers. Tutto Gusto also offers a full liquor bar. Check out the Italian-inspired cocktail menu, or order your favorite. Whatever you’re looking for, they can make it.

Gusto Bar

Gusto Bar

Because this is a wine bar, however, much of the real estate is given over to vino. Amuse yourself as you wait by checking out the ever-changing variety of Italian wines that are available by the glass or bottle.

Wine Fridge

Wine Fridge

Wine Fridge

Wine Fridge

But Tutto Gusto has more to offer than just beverages. From the get go, I prized this spot for their amazing array of small plates. There’s a display of some of the offerings to whet your appetite.

Antipasti Showcase at Tutto Gusto

Antipasti Showcase at Tutto Gusto

As is usually the case when you’re dining anywhere in the Disney universe, be sure to look up! The details of a spot usually include some really cool lighting, and Gusto is no exception.

Wine Bottle Lighting

Wine Bottle Lighting

You will find that Tutto Gusto can reach capacity rather easily — hence those Cast Members stationed at the doors. There isn’t a ton of seating here, but what you do find is rustic, cozy, and fairly comfortable. It is a little “close”, however, so if you prize privacy or personal space, you may want to look at the couch options.

Gusto Table

Gusto Table

Speaking of…you’ll find more comfy seating flanking the fireplace, another nice focal point in the small space.

Gusto Fireplace Area

Gusto Fireplace Area

Tables and stools here are low and well padded. It’s a great place to relax and catch up with friends, or to just take a breather from the bright sunshine.

Fireplace Area Seating at Tutto Gusto

Fireplace Area Seating at Tutto Gusto

And it truly is a beautiful location. Personally, I think they hit the themeing out of the park. Don’t you love the brick ceiling?

Tutto Gusto Seating

Tutto Gusto Seating

Having shown you around, I’m ready to get down to the serious business of [Read more…]

Disneyland Recipe: Matterhorn Macaroons

Today, we are heading back to Disneyland for some inspiration in the kitchen!

I recently stumbled upon this brilliant recipe by Rumbly Tumbly. While my attention perked up as soon as I saw a recipe for one of my favorite Disneyland Treats, the Matterhorn Macaroon, I was even more excited to see that one of my DFB posts had inspired the author to try her hand at recreating the treats in the first place!

Disneyland's Matterhorn Macaroon

Disneyland’s Matterhorn Macaroon

Shannon’s version looks so much like the original and sounds so chewy, moist and delicious. I’m definitely inspired to try my own hand at these giant treats!

Matterhorn Macaroons

Inspired by the Original Treat at Disneyland
Makes 12 Macaroons

Ingredients:
1 cup room temperature butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut – see note below for how to prepare coconut
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag of Wilton Bright White Candy melts
decorators sugar for sprinkling

Instructions: [Read more…]

Review: Starbucks Evenings Menu at Disney World’s Disney Springs

It wasn’t too long ago that Starbucks didn’t exist in the Disney Universe.

But although the coffee giant’s presence in Disney Parks has caused quite a bit of heated debate, their popularity is undeniable. And recently, the company has begun piloting a new evening menu, which is meant to appeal to those who are looking for a place to gather after 4PM. Not only does the menu include a select list of Wine and Beer, but there are also Small Plates available — perfect for sharing.

I say “piloting” because the concept is only available in about 30 stores in the US, primarily in large metropolitan areas. More locations are expected to be announced.

And if you are a Starbucks and Disney lover, then you’re in luck, because the Downtown Disney Orlando West Side location is one of the stores that offer the evening menu!

I was intrigued by the whole concept of getting a glass of wine and a snack at a spot that’s normally reserved for meeting my tea and (very rarely) coffee needs. So on a recent trip to Disney World, I decided that I had to check it out.

Atmosphere

And there it is! Starbucks. Complete with a hole in its roof for a palm tree to grow through!

downtown disney west side starbucks orlando (5)

Starbucks Entrance

You walk into a familiar site — a rope set up for the typical queue. That queue is usually pretty full, too.

Queue for the ordering counter

Queue for the ordering counter

Not only is this a massive Starbucks location, but it’s also a Reserve Location, which means you can enjoy rare, small batch offerings of some of the world’s rarest beans. Definitely check it out if you’re a coffee lover. Wendy shared her experience in our full review here.

Reserve Coffee Counter

Reserve Coffee Counter

Looking for a place to sit for a spell? You have plenty of options. From communal seating, to cozy tables for two, you’re likely to find a spot, even at busy times.

Seating at the Reserve Coffee Counter

Seating at the Reserve Coffee Counter

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Large table

Large table

Don’t you love the bench seating against this picture window? It’s one of my favorite spots.

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Murals that look like chalk drawings depict coffee growing regions across the globe.

Mural

Mural

Be sure to stop by the interactive screen and check out the action at the Starbucks in Downtown Disney in Anaheim!

Interactive Screen

Interactive Screen

There are also really beautiful water views from the inside seating area and the shaded patio area.

Window wall

Window wall

But the outside area also has another great focal point — a “live” wall and a glassed-in fireplace.

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

Fireplace

Fireplace

Now that we’ve looked around a bit, let’s head back in and take a closer look at the Starbucks Evenings menu.

Eats

Wanting to sample the Evenings menu? Head to Downtown Disney West Side at 4:00PM, when service expands to include [Read more…]