May the Fourth Be With You! — Star Wars Merch ON SALE TODAY!

It’s (one of) the most wonderful times of the year — if you’re a Star Wars fan, that is!

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If you need some gear to get you ready for your trip, then you’ve come to the right place! But even if you don’t have the time or cash to travel light years away, we think that embracing your inner Rebel (or Empire Loyalist) is the next best thing.

Let’s take a look at some fun options. And keep in mind – Think Geek Star Wars Gear is 20% off  TODAY! And as a bonus, you’ll receive a free Star Wars Pin with Star Wars orders of $20 or more!

Star Wars LIGHT UP Chop Sabers

Because you NEED chopsticks that look like light sabers. You know you do. Choose from blue or red, depending on which side of the galactic battle you’d prefer to channel.

Star Wars LIGHT UP Chop Sabers

Star Wars LIGHT UP Chop Sabers

R2-D2 Sauce Dispenser

But of course, the next logical question will be, “Where am I going to store my soy sauce?”

Why, in your droid, obvi! Because the R2-D2 Sauce Dispenser is a must for your next gathering. And despite the picture, you can store other sauces in R2. Olive oil, hot sauce, you name it.

R2-D2 Soy Sauce Dispenser

R2-D2 Soy Sauce Dispenser

Put that little guy to work (he totally loves feeling useful).

Star Wars Lightsaber BBQ Tongs

Barbecue like a boss with your very own Star Wars Lightsaber BBQ Tongs. Modeled after Darth’s elegant weapon of choice, the tongs come with a red cover to look just like a light saber in action, and a slide button gives you all the classic sound effects. What?! Happiest day of your life? I know.

Light Saber BBQ Tongs

Light Saber BBQ Tongs

Go ahead. Show that steak who’s in charge.

Darth Vader Light Saber Candlestick

And you thought the Lord Vader didn’t know anything about romance.

Show her the softer side of your villainy with this mood-setting Darth Vader Light Saber Candlestick.

Darth Vader Light Saber Candlestick

Darth Vader Light Saber Candlestick

It comes with three no drip red taper candles, so your nights will be well lit for some time to come.

Star Wars Stackable Mugs

Have a little fun with your morning java when you serve it in these [Read more…]

Welcome to the NEW DFB!

WELCOME to the new and improved Disney Food Blog website!

Welcome to the NEW DFB 2

Surprised you this morning, didn’t we? :)

We are SO excited to present our brand new home base to you today, with the goal of providing you — our readers — with a much more user-friendly experience to make your Disney vacation planning (and dining!) even more seamless!

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And so with that, let’s do a little walk-through so you can know where to go to find the information you need the most!

“So what are the improvements?”

I’m glad you asked! ;-) We’ve been working on ways to make it much easier to find the information you need. For instance…

We’ve got a brand new menu at the top of our home page so you can find exactly the information you’re looking for at a glance. From your favorite Disney recipes to easy access to reviews for the restaurants you might be considering for your next Disney vacation.

Looking for the latest and greatest food news? Just visit the Disney Food News section highlighted on the Home page.

Are you planning a trip to Disneyland? Then you’ll want to check out our specific section for Disneyland (and vice-versa for Disney World trip planners!), also found on the home page!

See all the latest News, Disneyland, and Disney World posts immediately! Then click to see more!

See all the latest News, Disneyland, and Disney World posts immediately! Then click to see more!

“But, AJ, I liked the site just the way it was…”

No problem! We are still the Disney Food BLOG, so if you prefer to read the blog the same way you always have, you can just [Read more…]

2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Recipe: Piggylicious Cupcake from The Smokehouse Booth

There have been lots of memorable dishes from the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

epcot flower and garden logo

But one that we continue to hear you rave about is a return dish from 2014 — the Piggylicious Cupcake from The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews Booth!

The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews

The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews

The cupcake made a BIG impression on us from the first time we tried it. And it’s definitely addictive, with that sweet salty combination of flavors.

But we all know that the trip to Disney isn’t always possible. And even if it is, the Flower and Garden Festival will wrap up in just a few weeks.

Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake From Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake From Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival

So I’m really happy to share this recipe with you today on the blog! Because once you hear about a Disney cupcake that combines bacon, cake, and maple frosting…well…there’s no way you’re NOT gonna want to make this!

Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake

The Smokehouse Barbecues and Brews Outdoor Kitchen
Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For Cupcakes: [Read more…]

News! New Eats and Drinks Debut to Celebrate Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary

Did someone say cupcakes?!?!

As I’m sure you know, Disneyland has a rather big birthday coming up. The resort will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in July. But you don’t have to wait until the middle of Summer to have your cake and eat it too!

On May 22, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will debut some fun (and delish) treats to mark Disneyland’s Diamond Anniversary Celebration.

While cupcakes are usually more of an East Coast Disney thing than a West Coast one, when Disneyland does ‘em, they’re incredible. Beginning May 22, find a Lemon-flavorored Cupcake at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. Why lemon? It’s the perfect flavor to celebrate the Victorian theme of Main Street USA.

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake, Available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake, Available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Similar Cupcakes will be available at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe in Disney California Adventure — but the flavor will be Orange there to represent the 1930s vibe of Buena Vista Street.

In addition to the cupcakes, Disneyland will release lots of new, limited-time beverages. I gotta say — I’m a little perplexed why they’d offer five different drinks that look and sound incredibly similar. ;-)

Enchanted Cherry Apple Frozen Lemonade from  Troubadour Tavern

Enchanted Cherry Apple Frozen Lemonade from Troubadour Tavern

Honey Bee Frozen Lemonade Hungry Bear Restaurant

Honey Bee Frozen Lemonade from Hungry Bear Restaurant

But I’ll reserve judgement until I get to try a few! I think I’m mostly looking forward to the [Read more…]

Pre-Order the DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival…and Get the 2014 Guide FREE!

Happy 20th Birthday, Epcot Food and Wine Festival!!

Food and Wine Festival Updates

Can you believe it? 2015 will mark the 20th Consecutive Year that Walt Disney World has hosted this event. What started as a way to draw crowds during a slower part of the year has officially become a huge draw and destination in its own right.

And even though it’s only (ONLY?!?) April, it is NEVER too early to start the countdown to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! We’re already sharing who will be playing at the Eat to the Beat Concerts, so it’s definitely time to start booking your dates…

This year’s Festival will once again run a record number of days — more than seven full weeks of food, music, and special events! But with so much awesomeness to enjoy, my number one piece of advice remains the same: Plan, Plan, Plan. And then Plan some more.

And we have a fun and easy way for you to get started, even before the first menu or culinary demo is announced!

The DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is now available for pre-order. (Expected publish date is mid-Summer 2015.) And when you enter discount code “CHEFS” at checkout, you’ll enjoy $3 off the cover price!

But AJ, Why Do I Want to Order the DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Now?

I’m really glad that you asked! The biggest and best reason for you to pre-order your 2015 DFB Guide to the Food and Wine Festival is that you’ll get the 2014 Guide immediately for FREE!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Brazil Marketplace Booth

Find out our best tips for visiting the World Showcase booths in the DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book!

That means that you can start planning today! And I promise, that is something that you totally want to do. Because when Culinary Demonstrations, Seminars, and Other Special Events are announced, it’s usually just days before booking opens — and then they book up super fast. Time is of the essence when you’re ready to book.

And with the Festival celebrating its 20th year, we already are expecting that it’s going to be truly over the top.

Chef Gale Gand

Events with Celebrity Chefs, Like This One with Chef Gale Gand, Book Up Extra Fast

We expect an expanded Marketplace offering, plus all kinds of Special Extras.

What does all of this add up to? If you’re ever going to plan a trip to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, then 2015 is the year to do it!!!

So, What Do You Get in the DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book?

As is the case with all of our DFB Guides, we’re making this edition downloadable for your convenience, and it’s a snap to install on all of your mobile devices. The 2014 version is a PDF guide with over 220 pages of detailed information about the Festival as well as photographs and customized bonus items, and we expect the 2015 guide to weigh in at a similar heft.

If you’re on a budget, you’ll love our advice on how to [Read more…]

News! Disney to Roll Out Allergy-Friendly Menus at More Than 100 Restaurants in Disney World and Disneyland

For some time, Disney has been a leader in the hospitality industry when it comes to serving guests with food allergies and sensitivities. Today, we’re learning that they’re offering options that will hopefully continue to make Disney visits more enjoyable and worry-free for guests who live with allergies.

Allergy-friendly kiosk menu

Allergy-friendly kiosk menu

After previously piloting Allergy-Friendly Menus at a number of venues, Disney has announced they will roll out Allergy-Friendly Menus to around 120 restaurants. The menus will be available at both counter service and table service locations throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland parks and resorts. The move will include venues at Disney water parks and Downtown Disney restaurants as well.

Gluten Free Menu currently at ABC Commissary

ABC Commissary Took Part Offered a Gluten Free Menu During the Pilot Program

The goal is to provide a convenient way for guests to manage their food allergies while dining at Disney restaurants, and to provide more food options that are readily available.

The allergy-friendly menus will focus on the most common allergens: [Read more…]

Take A Tax Break…

Yep, today is TAX DAY in the US of A, and we know you’ve been buried under receipts and government forms and other boring things for days, weeks, and months.

This is me while I'm doing my taxes.

This is me while I’m doing my taxes.

But it’s time to take a TAX BREAK…and plan your DISNEY TRIP INSTEAD!

disneydining

Today and tomorrow only, we’re offering our uber popular DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book for 50% off…just to jump start your happy mood! Use code TAXBREAK to get the discount!

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The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 490 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next trip! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBStore.com to pick it up!!

Today and tomorrow only, use code: TAXBREAK to get 50% off  the regular price for a limited time!

What’s In The Guide?

As thousands of repeat customers already know, the Guide includes:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from budgeting and booking to kids’ meals, dining discounts, and fireworks.
  • A comprehensive and in-depth look at EVERY Disney World restaurant, kiosk, bar, and lounge, including our personal tips to ensure a positive and stress-free dining experience.
  • Four free, downloadable worksheets for planning your trip. These worksheets are designed to help you execute all the steps of planning the perfect Disney dining experience. And they’re reusable for all of your future trips!
  • Seven sample one-day dining itineraries for a head-start on planning.
  • A comprehensive index of bars and lounges. An often under-appreciated option for both dining and entertainment, the e-Book devotes a whole index to the topic.
  • The ability to be read on your mobile device or computer! It’s fully portable right in your pocket!

While our 2014 Guide was extensive, Disney World is always updating menus, prices, and other dining info. And we’re always finding new things to tell you about! So we’ve updated our 2015 edition with brand new details and more exclusive info! Check out a couple of sample pages below. Click to enlarge!

Be Our Guest FastPass Tips. Newly updated for 2015!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Sample Page

What's New Sample Page from our new 2015 Dining Guide!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Sample Page

Here’s Just Some Of What You Get With Our 2015 Guide:

  • Over 490 Pages of Disney Dining and Planning information, tips, reviews, and recommendations!
  • An in-depth Disney Dining Restaurant Reviews section, covering all Disney restaurants, food kiosks, bars, and lounges
  • An updated Disney Dining Plan section and price analysis for 2015
  • NEW Disney food and restaurant photos
  • An updated Disney Snacks chapter, including our list of dozens of must-try snacks AND our Top Must-Have Snacks for 2015
  • A comprehensive chapter of What’s New in Disney World in 2015, including new restaurants, menu updates, and more
  • Details about how the My Magic+ Planning System and FastPass+ will affect your vacation planning
  • Our picks for Great Snacks you must try this year
  • Tips for scoring a Be Our Guest FastPass for lunch time dining
  • Our suggestions for [Read more…]

2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Recipe: Burnt Ends Brisket Hash from the Smokehouse Outdoor Kitchen

Flowers are not all that’s blooming at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival! This event — which is happening right now through May 17 — combines the best of all things: Spring and some truly Awesome Dishes! (For a complete run down of our Must-Eat Treats from this year’s Festival, click here.)

epcot flower and garden logo

The deliciousness comes courtesy of the Outdoor Kitchens. The kiosks, situated throughout World Showcase, provide guests with the opportunity to taste some fresh flavors of the season as well as some regional fare.

The Smokehouse

Smokin’ at the Smokehouse

You’ll find fan favorite Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews located in the America Pavilion, serving up delicious regional barbecue favorites. We love their Pulled Pig Slider with Coleslaw, their new-this-year Smoked Debreziner Sausage, and their Piggylicious Cupcake!

But they’ve also introduced a brand new flavor sensation: Burnt Ends Brisket Hash!

Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños from the Smokehouse Outdoor Kitchen

Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños from the Smokehouse Outdoor Kitchen

I was excited to see the dish at the Flower and Garden Festival. Hash is having kind of a moment (it’s that whole retro thing), and we absolutely loved the Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash featured at Farm Fresh during last year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

The dish is both delicious and thrifty: it’s a great way to use up those “burnt ends” that result from low and slow smoked brisket.

So if you find yourself barbecuing Texas-style — and really, who doesn’t?? — then give this one a try to use up leftovers. Personally, they had me at White Cheddar Fondue. :-)

Burnt Ends Brisket Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeño Peppers

Smokehouse Outdoor Kitchen
Serves 4-6

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Review: Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace at Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort

CHEERS! COWABUNGA! TULLEEHO! KUNGALOOSH!

It’s already time to go back inside (and outside!) Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

While both the Grotto and Terrace continue in soft openings with an official opening anticipated for late April (when all the sought-after souvenir glasses will be available for guests to take home), these new hot spots remain the talk of the town.

On March 28th, when both the Grog Grotto and the Tiki Terrace soft opened for the first day, tales of lines up to 6 hours long were nearly as much of a story as the bars opening themselves. So a common question now is, “What are the wait times like?”

How long until you can get past Trader Sam's door?

How long until you can get past Trader Sam’s door?

Grog Grotto Hours of Operation

Grog Grotto Hours of Operation

Unsure of what to expect, my husband and I arrived at the Polynesian at 2 pm on a weekday for the 4 pm opening, and no line had started yet (though the bar is open until midnight, after 8 pm only guests 21 and older are permitted).

At 3 pm, we decided we’d better stake out our spot, so we went to the inside door of the Grog Grotto, where two Cast Members were waiting. We were told we were the first for the day, and could start the line outside at the metal bench pictured below.

The line starts here

The line starts here

The next guest arrived at 3:15, and a line in earnest began to form at 3:30 pm. Around 3:50, a Cast Member came outside and gave us all a stamp to show at the door as our proof that we’d been counted in the line. At this time, I counted around 40 people waiting, and when we were let in at 4:00 pm, everyone made it inside to fill up the 51 person capacity. Huzzah!

Outdoor entrance into the Trader Sam's hallway

Outdoor entrance into the Trader Sam’s hallway

Now, I’m not claiming this will be the case everyday. We clearly arrived early anticipating a wait and were shocked that there wasn’t one, especially during what’s considered a peak time (still in the Spring Break window). Now, I had a friend in town Saturday of the same week. She arrived at Trader Sam’s at 7:30 pm and was given a pager for a 90 minute wait, and folks arriving a while after were looking at a couple hours at least.

Pager for Trader Sam's

Pager for Trader Sam’s

That’s not altogether surprising, though, since I think we can all anticipate longer lines on weekends for what is sure to be a popular destination for locals as well as vacationers for a long time to come.

Okay, logistics, schmogistics! WE’RE IN! It’s time to see a little more of what Trader Sam has in store for his guests…

TRADER SAM’S GROG GROTTO

Atmosphere

You’ve now entered Trader Sam’s “happy hideaway.” The story of the Grotto is told to us by Skip, Manager of the Jungle Cruise Navigational Company (just click the image below to enlarge). As head salesman of the jungle that we all know and love from the Jungle Cruise, Trader Sam discovered a passion for mixology as an extension of his professional interest in head-shrinking potions. As he traveled the globe for ingredients, he picked up many a souvenir and brought them back to the Grotto.

The story of Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

The story of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Entering the Grotto for the first time was — for me, at least — overwhelming in the best way possible. While you want to grab a table or a seat at the bar (and lemme tell ya, it’s best to move quickly to get one), it’s difficult to not want to try to take in every bit of the INSANE amount of details and decoration right away. This room is simply the stuff of dreams for fans of Disney detail and history.

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Before we take in a few of those gems, the basic setup is small and…well, I don’t know if “cozy” is the word. It’s snug, for sure, but somehow not in a bad way. The way everyone is close together, it seems to encourage a party atmosphere and festive mood.

Oh, my… where to start? Well, I’ll take a cue from a Jungle Cruise Skipper and point out a few of my favorite details! There’s this one.

Postcard

Postcard

And this one.

Family Tree East Coast Branch

Family Tree East Coast Branch

I like this one.

Picture of Walt Disney

Walt Disney

Ooookay, so CLEARLY that joke doesn’t play out in writing the same way it does on the Jungle Cruise when your Skipper deadpans pointing out his or her favorite plants ;) . Still, you get the point. There is just a TON of [Read more…]

Recipe: S’mores Bake from Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue in Disneyland

There’s an iconic dessert in Disneyland that everyone’s got to try at least once. Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue offers giant cookie bakes for dessert, which are amazing; but they also offer a S’mores Bake built for a crowd!

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

We had a chance to sample this dessert firsthand a while back.

Isn't it gorgeous?

S’more Bake at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue

What makes this version of s’mores so fantastic? It takes your indulgence to the next level by making it on a base of Brownies. Brownies.

For ease, this recipe calls for a Brownie Mix to get you started. But you should absolutely feel free to substitute your favorite brownie recipe if you’d like to make the brownies from scratch. Either way, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be awesome.

Enjoy!

S‘mores Bake

Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 (10.5-ounce) box fudge brownie mix
1 (1-pound) bag large marshmallows
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce, warmed
8 graham crackers

Instructions: [Read more…]