News! 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival FULL Food Menus!

We have big news from Epcot today!

The 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Menus are Finally Here!

With just a week to go before the opening of the 2015 Flower and Garden Festival, we have the full list of menus for the super popular Outdoor Kitchens! Mark your calendars — the Festival lasts from March 4 through May 17.

Disney Food Blog Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

These Outdoor Kitchens, which are similar to Marketplace Booths that dominate the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, feature delicious small plates that allow you to taste fresh flavors from the garden.

We Loved This Violet Lemonade at the 2013 Flower and Garden Festival!

We Loved This Violet Lemonade at the 2014 Flower and Garden Festival!

There are lots and lots of new things to try. A brand new Outdoor Kitchen will debut in 2015. Botanas Botánico will be located between the France and Morocco Pavilions and will feature food and drink with a Venezuelan influence.

Sadly, we’ve also confirmed that one of our favorites, [Read more…]

Review: Cheese Danish at Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

If you’ve picked Disney’s Hollywood Studios as your first stop of the day, with plans to swing by your Resort’s Grab-and-Go to pick up a Cheese Danish before making your way to the park… may I offer a word of advice?

Don’t.

It’s not that it’s a bad choice, per se. There’s not a thing wrong with the standard cheese danish available across resort food courts. It’s fine. But it’s nothing compared to the Cheese Danish waiting for you at the Writer’s Stop.

We’re big fans of Writer’s Stop around here for a couple of reasons. Reason One: it offers a nice respite thanks to its out-of-the-way location in the Streets of America and low key coffee shop/bookstore vibe. It blends in so seamlessly in this area filled with TV and movie set false fronts that a lot of people don’t even realize it’s an operating snack stop.

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

The casual bookstore-and-coffee-shop vibe inside invites you to meander and browse for a while.

Inside Writer's Stop

Inside Writer’s Stop

Inside Writer's Stop

Inside Writer’s Stop

Book shelves

Book shelves

Small seating area

Small seating area

Reason Two (ok, maybe this should be Reason One ;) ): it’s home to the famous Carrot Cake Cookie! We love this legendary snack so much that we’ve yet to sing the praises of the danish pastries available in this stop, because it’s so hard to resist the Call of the Cookie.

Carrot Cake Cookie at Writer's Stop in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Carrot Cake Cookie at Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

But since there really is no better way to start a day than with an enormous pile of cream cheese doused in icing, today is the day that the danish gets its due. I’m obviously focusing on the Cheese Danish, but you can often find [Read more…]

News! And Review: Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC (BabyCakes!) Opens in Disney Springs

Just last week we showed you the signs outside the new Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC in Downtown Disney…

Erin McKenna's NYC Bakery sign

Erin McKenna’s NYC Bakery sign

And NOW we are happy to report that as of yesterday, it’s open for business!

First things first: Why all the excitement over this bakery? Well, aside from being the latest addition on the scene as Downtown Disney transitions to Disney Springs, it’s also the new home to BabyCakes NYC gluten-free and vegan baked goods in Disney World!

Erin McKenna's Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna’s Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna is the founder of BabyCakes NYC. Almost one year ago, the BabyCakes location in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace closed (along with Pollo Campero and Bodie’s All-American) to accommodate construction in the area. The new Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC fills the void felt by many guests on restricted diets, either due to allergies, digestive intolerances or lifestyle choice when BabyCakes closed, so we’re here to offer it a hearty “Welcome Back!”

Atmosphere

Now, I just mentioned the Marketplace, so let’s not go too much further before we discuss the location of Erin McKenna’s. It finds its home in what is now called The Landing (formerly part of the Pleasure Island area). Depending on your most recent visit to Downtown Disney, things may look a LOT different! You’ll find Erin McKenna’s tucked right in among some brand new retails shops including Sanuk, Sound Lion, and Chapel Hats, facing what will be The Boathouse restaurant.

Erin Mckenna's NYC Bakery at The Landing

Erin Mckenna’s NYC Bakery at The Landing

Seeing this area with its exposed brick and aesthetically pleasing outdoor strolling area, you really do start to get a feel for how much [Read more…]

News! Menu Item Photos from the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival — Plus Cooking Demos!

Menu news just keeps coming! Slowly but surely, menu details are trickling out about this the food and drink options for the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

Disney Food Blog Epcot Flower and Garden Festival (2)

Just a couple of days ago, we shared with you some of the new food items that are scheduled to appear in the Outdoor Kitchens around World Showcase. Today we’re bringing you an update on a few of the drinks you can look forward to sampling!

And check out a beautiful and delicious dessert option in France — plus some fun news about FREE cooking demos at this year’s Festival!

New Flavors at France’s Fleur de Lys Outdoor Kitchen

We were thrilled to bring you a first look at a fun new option debuting in the Fleur de Lys Outdoor Kitchen. And today, we have another gorgeous pic to share!

I had the chance last week to sample a couple of the new offerings that will be at the Fleur de Lys Booth this year! The Ice Pop features a combination of French Peach Iced Tea, Grand Marnier Peach Raspberry Liqueur, and Vodka. It’s going to be perfect for those warm Florida Spring days!

You can absolutely taste the Grand Marnier and Vodka in this one! It’s amazing — even if you’re not an iced tea fan! And the texture isn’t exactly “frozen” due to the alcohol, so it’s very easy to eat.

A Grown-Up Ice Pop Debuts at the Fleur de Lys Outdoor Kitchen in the France Pavilion

A Grown-Up Ice Pop Debuts at the Fleur de Lys Outdoor Kitchen in the France Pavilion

And while we told you about the brand new Macaron Guimauve à la Fraise (Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron) that will be offered at Fleur de Lys, today I’m sharing a first look!

Macaron Guimauve à la Fraise (Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron)

Macaron Guimauve à la Fraise (Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron)

It’s a great celebration of the fresh Florida Strawberry Season that’s underway right now. The crunchy-and-soft cookie and the marshmallow are super-sweet, but the strawberry inside is still a bit tart. It’s an amazing contradiction in flavors.

New Beverages Coming to the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

The name of the game is Fresh Flavor in the Outdoor Kitchens for 2015. Look for fruits and veggies to be featured everywhere — even in the libations!

Key Limen Wine from Florida Orange Groves has been a Festival feature in the past (we’ve seen it at the Food and Wine Festival, too). But this year, there might be something a little different on the horizon, as Key Lime Sparkling Wine is set to debut at the Florida Fresh Kitchen. We are also looking forward to another fun fruit-based option — Ace Pineapple Hard Cider.

Ace Pineapple Cider -- the First Pineapple Cider in the World and Perfect for the Flower and Garden Festival!

Ace Pineapple Hard Cider — the First Pineapple Cider in the World and Perfect for the Flower and Garden Festival!

In addition, there will be a Sparkling Pineapple Wine; look for both at the Pineapple Promenade Kiosk.

New cocktails are also set to debut. We’re getting our first look at the La Tizana that we told you about previously. A fruit punch that’s inspired by the flavors of Venezuela, the bright punch includes Orange Juice, Lime Juice, Banana Puree, and Grenadine. It’s garnished with chopped fresh fruit. Find it at the Botanas Botánico Outdoor Kitchen, a new booth to the Festival this year.

Edgy Urban Eats will feature the Urban Mary, which takes cues from the classic Bloody Mary recipe. Spicy Tomato Juice, Lime Juice, and Worcestershire are mixed together and garnished with a Pickled Green Bean and Micro Greens.

New Beverages Set to Debut at the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Include Pineapple Cider, X, and an Urban Mary

New Beverages Set to Debut at the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Include Pineapple Cider, La Tizana, and an Urban Mary

And something that we love this year — La Tizana and the Urban Mary are available with or without alcohol, so you can enjoy the beverages regardless of your preference. Opt for a splash of RHUM Orange Liqueur to La Tizana, or add shot of Vodka to the Urban Mary.

Look for lots of interesting Craft Beer options as well, like the Shipyard’s Maple Bacon Stout at Barbecues and Brews.

Fresh Flower and Garden Beverage Options in the Mexico Pavilion

The Mexico Pavilion will also provide market-inspired fresh flavors in some of their artisan Margaritas. We’re looking forward to sampling the Blueberry Pomegranate Margarita at Jardin de Fiestas Outdoor Kitchen in the Mexico Pavilion. Other fun options that will be available include a Tequila Liqueur Flight and [Read more…]

News! Erin McKenna’s Bakery Signage Up in Downtown Disney (BabyCakes is Back!)

Okay, BabyCakes fans… this one’s for you!

With the ongoing construction at Downtown Disney (as it continues in its transition to become Disney Springs), there’s a lot of anticipation about the new dining spots on the way: from The Boathouse and Morimoto Asia to STK Orlando. If you’ve been following the Downtown Disney/Disney Springs food news, you may recall in November when we mentioned the possible return of BabyCakes NYC to Downtown Disney in the revitalized form of Erin McKenna’s Bakery Valentine.

We’re happy to bring you official signs of its return… with the SIGNS now hanging outside what will be the bakery!

And, according to Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC’s Facebook page, it will open this Sunday at 1PM! (Thanks to reader Heather for the heads up!)

Erin McKenna's Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna’s Bakery Storefront — Word is Out That the Bakery Will Open This Sunday!

Erin McKenna's Bakery sign

Erin McKenna’s Bakery sign

Erin McKenna is the founder of BabyCakesNYC, known for its great selection of gluten-free, vegan treats including cupcakes and donuts in a wide variety of flavors.

Babycakes Sweets and Treats

Babycakes Sweets and Treats

Fans of BabyCakes will certainly remember [Read more…]

Rumor: Saying Goodbye to Magic Kingdom’s Aloha Isle?

UPDATE: It may not be “Aloha” for Aloha Isle after all… It’s possible that Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace may be switching locations soon. We’ll keep you posted as this story progresses!

It may be that the days of lining up at Magic Kingdom’s Aloha Isle for a Dole Whip are coming to an end…

Recently, Aloha Isle’s Adventureland neighbor, Sunshine Tree Terrace, added Aloha’s signature snack to their menu. Adding to its own specialty treat — the Citrus Swirl — now Dole Whip can be purchased at Sunshine Tree Terrace as well. Options currently include the flavors of Pineapple, Vanilla, or a Swirl of both served in your choice of cone, cup, or in Float form.

So, why the change? It seems Aloha Isle may be closing to make way for a new restaurant in Adventureland, and Sunshine Tree Terrace will become the sole spot to find Dole Whip at Magic Kingdom.

Dole Whip at Sunshine Tree Terrace

Dole Whip at Sunshine Tree Terrace

So, what’s on tap for this possible new location? Rumor has it a Tiana-themed restaurant may be in the works.

Is Aloha Isle coming to an end?

Is Aloha Isle coming to an end?

Again, we want to stress that this is currently filed solidly under “rumor” status, but [Read more…]

Dining in TOKYO Disneyland: Little Green Dumplings

I’ve seen them on Twitter for a few years now.  Alien Dumplings, LGM Mochi, Little Green Men Dumplings, Toy Story Alien Mochi…  Whatever you want to call them, they’ve been on my Disney “must try” bucket list since I first laid eyes on them.

I ‘m here to report that I’ve crossed them off of my bucket list AND I’ve finally learned their “official” name: Little Green Dumplings!

Little Green Dumplings

Little Green Dumplings

Little Green Dumplings are obviously a tribute to Toy Story’s Little Green Men.  They’re quite possibly the cutest edible thing I’ve ever had.  Little Green Dumplings can be found at both Tokyo Disney Sea and Tokyo Disneyland.

I feasted on mine from the Soft Landing snack stand in Tomorrowland at Tokyo Disneyland.  It’s a small ice cream stop upstairs near Star Tours.  We used the [Read more…]

News! More Menu Details from the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens

It’s an exciting time, as we count down the days until the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival gets underway!

Of course, around here, we’re most interested in the Outdoor Kitchens! We’re so excited to see the return of these kiosks stationed around World Showcase.

Disney Food Blog Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

2015 will mark the third consecutive year that guests of the Festival can enjoy sips and tapas-sized dishes, themed to celebrate the bounty of the garden.

And while we’re still awaiting the full menus, we do have some news regarding some of the new dishes that will debut at this year’s festival.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens

First off, let’s discuss which Outdoor Kitchens you can expect to see this year. While we haven’t heard word which Kitchen from 2014 won’t return, we know that Botanas Botánico will debut. Check out this post about Botanas Botánico to learn more about its menu.

Fleur de Lys

Fleur de Lys in the France Pavilion Returns

That means we anticipate at least one 2014 Kitchen will be absent, as we expect there to be 11 kitchens.

So far, we know the following will return:

  • Fleur de Lys in the France Pavilion
  • Taste of Marrakesh in the Morocco Pavilion
  • Hanami in the Japan Pavilion
  • The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews Outdoor Kitchen in the America Pavilion
  • Primavera Kitchen in the Italy Pavilion
  • Lotus House in the China Pavilion
  • Jardin de Fiestas in the Mexico Pavilion
  • Florida Fresh
  • Pineapple Promenade
  • Urban Farm Eats

Does that mean that the Buttercup Cottage in the UK Pavilion gets the axe this year? We super hope not — the Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and the Lemon Scones were to die for last year!!

As far as dishes go, there are certainly some exciting things that we can’t wait to try. We hear that fan favorites, like Frushi, will return.

Frushi (Fresh strawberries, pineapple and cantaloupe rolled with coconut rice, atop a raspberry sauce sprinkled with toasted coconut and whipped cream)

Frushi (Fresh Strawberries, Pineapple and Cantaloupe Rolled with Coconut Rice, atop a Raspberry Sauce Sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream)

Chefs will also take advantage of the Florida strawberry season once more by offering Beijing Candied Strawberries.

Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries Return to the Lotus House

Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries Return to the Lotus House

New for 2015! New Flower and Garden Festival Dishes Debut

But we also have a few details on brand new menu items. Look for the [Read more…]

Review: Iced Tea Lemonade Slush at Magic Kingdom’s Columbia Harbour House

Frozen Slush drinks are by no means new to Magic Kingdom.

You’ll find them in all sort of  places in a variety of flavors.

Pinocchio Village Haus is known for changing it up with slushes dedicated to characters from the Pinocchio story and film (examples include the former Jiminy Cricket Slush and the current Blue Raspberry Slush in honor of the Blue Fairy).

The Lunching Pad in Tomorrowland offers an array of Icee-type slushes in four different flavors: Blue Raspberry, Cherry, Minute Maid Lemonade, and Coca-Cola. Cheshire Cafe serves arguably the most popular versions of slush drinks: Lemonade and Raspberry Lemonade.

You can also find the Raspberry Lemonade at Sunshine Tree Terrace, along with a Pina Colada Slush (sans rum) to boot. And I haven’t even mentioned the Liberty Swirl Slush at Sleepy Hollow — a patriotic red-and-blue combo of Strawberry and Blue Raspberry. OR the Cherry Slush with FOMZ at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

Cherry Slush topped with Lemon Lime Fomz

Cherry Slush topped with Lemon Lime Fomz

Still with me in spite of the brain freeze ;) ? Good. Because there is a place that’s managed to fly under the radar in the Slush game, and that’s Columbia Harbour House. Like a few other spots, it does indeed serve the Lemonade Slush. But they have their very own spin on this frozen treat as well: the Iced Tea Lemonade Slush. And I’d yet to try it.

Columbia Harbour House

Columbia Harbour House

Columbia Harbour House

Columbia Harbour House

The Iced Tea Lemonade Slush has been on the menu for quite some time, but you’d almost never know it. On the back of the printed menu, the Lemonade Slush gets tops billing with a big ol’ picture on the bottom left, while the Iced Tea version just gets a small mention on the upper right corner.

Columbia Harbour House menu

Columbia Harbour House menu. Mmmm broccoli.

The Iced Tea Lemonade Slush comes to you not entirely blended, so you see both components — the Iced Tea Slush and the Lemonade Slush — in a “layered” effect.

Iced Tea Lemonade Slush

Iced Tea Lemonade Slush

And, of course, the same thing happens with the flavors: sometimes you get [Read more…]

Review: Flavored Popcorn in Epcot

So, I’ve got some serious Disney Popcorn for you today. And I. Mean. Serious. Like, so serious that if you don’t have any room left on your Disney World snack list for your next trip, you have to bump something else.

We’ve heard for years about all of the awesome Flavored Popcorns that guests enjoy at the Parks of Tokyo Disneyland. (Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers got to try many and shared them with us in this recent post.) And of course, we’ve seen a little dabbling in the Flavored Popcorn genre in Disneyland, with the intro of fun flavors at Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel.

Gourmet Flavored Popcorn Options

Gourmet Flavored Popcorn Options at Epcot!

But at Walt Disney World, we’ve been kind of stuck with the Butter Flavored or Caramel. There are pre-packaged flavors and some fun movie popcorn options. But as for fresh, flavored popcorn? Pretty much nada.

But not anymore!

Gourmet Flavored Popcorn at Epcot

There it is! Looks like just another Disney Popcorn cart, right? This one is right outside Journey into Imagination in Epcot. And it’s the ONLY one that we know of that furnishes these beautiful little snacks.

Gourmet Popcorn Cart in Epcot

Gourmet Popcorn Cart in Epcot

And there’s that fresh Disney Popcorn

Popcorn Cart From the Side

Popcorn Cart From the Side

But then, you spy this — flavors!!!!! (And colors too!)

Epcot Flavored Popcorn Cart

Epcot Flavored Popcorn Cart

The menu tells all — you have your choice of popcorn here. You can go with the Gourmet Flavors, or you can stick with the plain Disney Popcorn. Both options are also available in a Souvenir Bucket too, of course.

Gourmet Popcorn Cart Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Gourmet Popcorn Cart Menu — Click to Enlarge

This was too good to pass up — so of course, I had to try all three! The savory flavor choices include [Read more…]