Review: Rebel Hangar — A Star Wars Lounge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Welcome to the Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience!

Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience

Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience

In conjunction with Star Wars Weekends, an entire half of Backlot Express at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been completely transformed.

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Backlot Express transformed into Rebel Hangar

Backlot Express transformed into Rebel Hangar

From now through June 14th, instead of entering the standard theming of the movie production warehouse, guests will walk into a long-abandoned building that once served as a busy spaceport in the Sullust system.

The story of the Rebel Hangar

The story of the Rebel Hangar printed in the menu

From 4:00 – 9:00 pm daily throughout the run of the Hangar, weary galactic travelers now have the opportunity to take a moment to relax and enjoy Star Wars-themed food among the “discarded remnants” from over 100 planets.

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Our Advance Dining Reservation to hangout in the Hangar wasn’t until 8:50 pm — 10 minutes prior to the final seating. So I took some time during the day to check out the spot, arriving somewhere around 1:00 pm. That’s right — day guests coming in for the typical Counter Service menu at Backlot Express were able to enjoy much of the atmosphere, too!

Part of Backlot Express transformed

Part of Backlot Express transformed

Backlot Express transformed

Backlot Express transformed

I, for one, was taken aback by the transformation. I hadn’t realized anything more could be tucked into Backlot Express, already so well-themed for its purposes. But lo and behold…

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

Rebel Hangar atmosphere

It was a blast spotting ways in which the typical Backlot “props” were incorporated into the Hangar theme.

Backlot props redecorated

Backlot props redecorated

Backlot props redecorated

Backlot props redecorated

Backlot props redecorated

Backlot props redecorated

You can see where “decay” has settled into this space in the many years since it last served its original purpose as a spaceport.

Decaying spaceport

Decaying spaceport

"Discarded" helmet

“Discarded” helmet

It appears a graffiti artist has even taken advantage of the abandoned spot ;) .

Graffiti wall

Graffiti wall

Graffiti wall

Graffiti wall

Hidden Mickey

Hidden Mickey

Even the tabletops were [Read more…]

News! Raglan Road Master Chef Contest Winners Announced

Word is in — the five winning finalists have been chosen in the Raglan Road Master Chef Contest, sponsored by Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant!

The home cooks were chosen from a very competitive field, according to Raglan Road Master Chef Kevin Dundon. “There were lots of entries, and it was difficult to choose just five winners,” Dundon said. “I was struck by the breadth of recipes that were so creatively demonstrated. I was also really impressed by the level of effort made by all the entrants. I’m looking forward to seeing our five winners at Dunbrody House.”

The five winners are:

  • Janice Epaillard of Mount Dora, Florida
  • Aaron Van Swearingen of Winter Park, Florida
  • Colleen Kerney of Orlando, Florida
  • Heather McBroom Walker of Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Linda Rohr of Darien, Connecticut

Finalists will fly from Orlando on May 21, arriving in Dublin on May 22. They’ll spend the first day of the visit in Ireland’s capital city — taking in sights and touring the Guinness Brewery, before enjoying dinner at the Michelin-Starred restaurant L’Ecrivain. The group will then journey to County Wexford, home of Ireland’s Hook Peninsula, where they’ll spend the rest of the trip at Dundon’s Dunbrody Country House Hotel.

Dunbrody Country House Hotel

Dunbrody Country House Hotel

The luxury hotel, located in an 1830s manor house, is also home to Chef Kevin’s Cookery School. There, the finalists will [Read more…]

Spotted: Mickey Waffles and Ice Cream Bars… for Your Dog!

We know… if you were able to bring Fido on your Disney World vacation, you totally would. You would probably even sneak him a bite of your Mickey Waffle under the table at your resort food court as you start out each day before heading into the parks. After all, you love nothing more than starting the day with a Mickey Waffle, so why wouldn’t he?

Well, now your dog can have one of his very own! Our friends at Mickey Fix let us know about this awesome Mickey Waffle Pet Chew Toy, and it can be yours (well, Fido’s, really!) from the new Disney Tails line found on DisneyStore.com!

©Disney

©Disney

But why stop there? Wouldn’t he just love his own Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bar Chew Toy, too?

© Disney

©Disney

There are actually several chew toys available, though not all of them feature food. How about [Read more…]

Fun Find: Vintage Attraction Poster Mugs

When the Marketplace Co-op opened up in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace last year, it was clear that Disney had taken steps to create some kitchen and home merchandise that really spoke to Disney fans through the Disney Centerpiece shop, with much of it focused on vintage designs from the earliest days of Disneyland and Disney World.

Marketplace Co-op in Downtown Disney

Marketplace Co-op in Downtown Disney

Things only continued to get better when Memento Mori — the first shop dedicated entirely to the Haunted Mansion — opened later in the year.

Memento Mori gift shop

Memento Mori gift shop

The thing is, so much great stuff came out last year, that it was almost hard to take it all in! So I don’t think I realized how cool these vintage attraction poster mugs are until I got to check them out in more detail on my most recent Disney World trip. These days, you can also find them in other places outside of the Co-op, like Magic Kingdom’s Confectionery.

Each mug has four attraction posters on it, so you’re looking at different views of the same four mugs in the pictures below (just click on any of the images to enlarge).

The first blue mug on the left features absolute favorites and classics across the board, from Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, as well as the Monorail System.

Vintage Attraction Poster Mugs

Vintage Attraction Poster Mugs

You’ll notice the purple mug is entirely dedicated to Fantasyland (including Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, which is [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…]

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!

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 8.20.05 AM

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!

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 10.28.05 PM

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…]

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…]