News: Disneyland’s River Belle Terrace Now Accepting Advance Dining Reservations

In late November it was announced that a big change was coming to River Belle Terrace, a Disneyland dining favorite.

River Belle Terrace

River Belle Terrace

February 1st was the last day River Belle Terrace operated as a Counter Service location. When it reopens on February 10th, it will be a Table Service restaurant. Additionally, this beloved breakfast location will serve only lunch and dinner moving forward. [Read more…]

DFB Reader Questions Answered: Best Disney World Breakfasts Without Characters or Buffets

We’re tackling another question from the DFB Reader mailbag! And today, it’s all about breakfast.

The Samoan at Kona Cafe

The Samoan at Kona Cafe

Our reader asks:

Where can we get a good breakfast if we are NOT into characters or buffets?

There are lots of spots to enjoy a terrific breakfast at Walt Disney World — even if you prefer not to have characters, and you’d rather order a la carte.

We’ll break down a few of our favorites below, and share why these spots are tops for starting your Disney Day.

Good Counter Service Options

If you are crunched — for time, money, or both — then consider some of Disney’s best Counter Service Breakfast options.

Deluxe resorts are some of my favorite spots for counter service eats. Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge offers Mickey Waffles with a variety of toppings. We love the Bananas Foster option!

Wilderness Lodge Waffles

Wilderness Lodge Waffles

And at Captain Cook’s, located in the Polynesian Village Resort, you can indulge in an iconic Disney breakfast — Tonga Toast — without paying table service prices!

[Read more…]

News: Afternoon Tea Coming to Disney World’s Beach Club Resort

Well, it looks like Disneyland Hotel isn’t the only Disney resort getting a new Afternoon Tea!  Beginning this month, Disney World’s Beach Club will host Afternoon Tea at Solarium Gardens on select dates throughout the year in the resort’s beautiful Crescent Solarium.

©Disney

©Disney

Dates currently available for booking are February 11- 14, February 18-21, March 24-29, May 5 – 8, June 16-19, and September 1 – 5, 2016. [Read more…]

Guest Review: Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort

DFB welcomes Guest Author Sara McCaslin with a review of Boatwright’s at Port Orleans Resort Riverside in Walt Disney World. Stop here for southern hospitality!


On Oct. 3, 2015, my dining companions (my husband and two dear friends) arrived at Port Orleans Riverside Resort for our 6:15pm advance dining reservation at Boatwright’s. The four of us were enjoying the delights of Disney’s Deluxe Dining Plan for a few days and wanted to experience new sit-down places. Before our trip, I heavily researched many menus and reviews via the Disney Food Blog and decided to give Boatwright’s a try. The menu was intriguing with many comfort food options.

We arrived at Port Orleans Riverside via Disney’s bus transportation. Diners can also use the waterways from Disney Springs to travel to either Port Orleans Riverside or Port Orleans French Quarter. Port Orleans Riverside resort is a lovely, pleasant place to stay while at Walt Disney World. My husband and I have called this resort home twice throughout the years. We enjoyed both stays but did not take advantage of the resort sit-down dining option during those stays. Shame on us because Boatwright’s is a hidden treasure among the expert theming and exciting character experiences of other resort and theme part eateries.

Welcome to Boatwright's Dining Hall

Welcome to Boatwright’s Dining Hall

Diners can access Boatwright’s from either the front or back of Port Orleans Riverside. If entering from the front of the resort, simply turn left at the lobby entrance to see the lounge and the dining room is just a few steps further. If entering from the back of the resort, perhaps after arriving via the boat, simply walk along the marina to your right and look up to view the welcoming Boatwright’s sign. This door will usher you directly into Boatwright’s check-in and waiting area.

[Read more…]

Recommended Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Restaurant Values

We previously shared with you our picks for the Best Disney Dining Plan Value in Disney Signature Dining. Today, we continue our series exploring which Disney Restaurants offer the best value for your Disney Dining Plan credits!

Disney Dining Plan One Credit Recommendations

One of the biggest questions that we get here at DFB is whether or not the Disney Dining Plan is a good deal. To begin answering the question, we armed ourselves with calculators and menus and ran the numbers to see which spots had the most expensive average entrees.

But it’s more than that, isn’t it? I mean, no matter how much the average check runs, if the food or the atmosphere doesn’t appeal to you and yours, it won’t be a good value, no matter how you slice it.

With the calculations in mind, we were curious to determine which One-Credit Disney Table Service Restaurants offered the best deal or value price-wise — but also could be recommended by the experts here at DFB for atmosphere and food quality. All of the restaurants that we considered are One-Credit spots, meaning they’ll require just one credit to dine with the Disney Dining Plan.

Here are our picks for the restaurants that give you the best overall bang for your Disney Dining Plan buck when it comes to single credit table service spots.

Best Friends Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana

When we set out to determine which one-credit restaurants offered you the most in terms of sheer cost, one trend emerged immediately: you can’t go wrong by spending your credit on a Character Meal.

Mickey at 'Ohana

We Can’t Resist Eating with this Guy!

And with only one exception (Cinderella’s Royal Table), all Disney World character meals require only one DDP table service credit.

And while character meals are not one size fits all — you should definitely check out our tips before booking one — they’re for sure an experience everyone can enjoy with a little planning.

As for our favorite, this year we are really enjoying character meals that are served family-style like ‘Ohana’s breakfast. These include Garden Grill at Epcot, which you can now book for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Chip

Chip n’ Dale Visit with You During Meals at Epcot’s Garden Grill

Or enjoy the Princesses at Akershus. You can still enjoy the koldtbord selections and all you care to eat, but meals come plated.

Princess Cinderella at Akershus in Epcot's Norway

Princess Cinderella at Akershus in Epcot’s Norway

But my favorite remains the Best Friends Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana. For a combination of cute characters (Mickey in a Hawaiian Shirt, and Lilo is awesome!) and delicious food, it just can’t be beat.

Mickey Waffles!

Mickey Waffles!

And while buffets are great for a bounty of offerings, sometimes it’s nice to sit back and let the food come to you — especially if there’s a baby or toddler along for the ride.

Boma

Hot on the heels of character meals though, you should probably also consider other buffets or all you care to enjoy service formats if you’re truly interested in “getting your money’s worth”.

Boma Buffet

Boma Buffet

Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge doesn’t offer characters — but I don’t see that as a bad thing. The food here is  interesting and delicious. Don’t miss the Soups or the Carving Stations at Dinner! (Here’s the recipe for that killer Coconut Curry Chicken Stew!) Breakfast offers some great pastries and more.

Breakfast Pastries from one of our favorite buffets -- Boma in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Breakfast Pastries from one of our favorite buffets — Boma in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Then of course, there’s the Zebra Domes. :-)

Zebra Dome

Zebra Dome Yum

The restaurant serves breakfast and dinner, and we’ve enjoyed both. And because Boma doesn’t feature characters, I find the ambiance to be a little more relaxing as a result.

But don’t forget spots that offer all you care to enjoy, but do the heavy lifting for you. If you wish that everyday was Thanksgiving Day (but without the clean up!), then make your advance dining reservation for Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom. Besides getting a hearty helping of history, you’ll also see endless platters of Turkey with all the trimmings.

The Full Spread!

The Full Dinner Spread at Liberty Tree Tavern!

And that is truly something to be thankful for.

Be Our Guest Dinner

But if you’re looking to spend those credits wisely, then don’t leave Magic Kingdom just yet. Because any Disney Food Bucket Lister will tell ya — you’ve gotta book dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant at least once.

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom

For starters, this spot is truly magical. If you’ve ever wanted to tumble through a movie screen and join in the action, this is your chance to do it, as Beast’s Castle has been reproduced in painstaking detail.

Want to see the last petal drop at Be Our Guest Restaurant? Planning ahead is key!

The Enchanted Rose in the West Wing

But then, there are some pretty great reasons to eat here as well. Of course, the menu is French-inspired. We’ve tried pretty much everything, and give high marks to the Potato Leek Soup, the Pork Chop, and of course, the Grilled Strip Steak!

Grilled Strip Steak

Grilled Strip Steak

And if you enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, take advantage of ordering one here — the only spot in Magic Kingdom where you can enjoy this indulgence.

Chimay Blue at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Chimay Blue at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Choosing Dessert may be tough. We enjoyed most of the options, but the Master’s “Grey Stuff” dessert will be the most high-profile.

Les Chefs de France

What’s that? You’d like to go to the REAL France?

Well, I can’t deliver that to you at Disney, but I can get you pretty close to the real deal. If you travel over the Epcot, that is. When you get there, head to World Showcase for some of the best spots to spend those table service credits.

Front of Les Chefs de France at Night -- Isn't It Amazing??

Beautiful Les Chefs de France in Epcot’s France Pavilion

While many of the restaurants in this international village boast steep pricetags, we love some better than others. And in terms of beautiful atmosphere and consistently delicious food, Les Chefs de France gets a gold star from me.

I know, I know. Epcot international dining can be less than authentic. But all of the restaurants in the France Pavilion are owned by the Bocuse Group, and I’ve enjoyed lots of fare that reminded me of my time traveling as a student through France and Switzerland.

A la flamme Alsacienne

A la flamme Alsacienne

Service can be slow and reserved. But the restaurant offers a beautiful setting.

Teppan Edo

But as I mentioned, you aren’t limited merely to France in Epcot. There’s a whole world out there, of course. When it comes to fun and value, consider Teppan Edo.

Teppan Edo in Epcot's Japan Pavilion

Teppan Edo in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

This Japanese Habachi-style experience is as much food theatre as it is eating. The chefs here are wonderful at all of the tricks that you might expect to see in a Japanese steakhouse. We especially like the fire-based ones. :-)

And the food is bountiful. While I’m partial to ordering the Steak, I also love the combos here. Steak and Chicken or Steak and Shrimp give you the opportunity to enjoy different textures and flavors.

Steak and Chicken at Teppan Edo

Steak and Chicken at Teppan Edo

And with bountiful sides, I guarantee you won’t leave the table hungry.

And there you have it! With so many varied experiences, flavors, and settings, it’s hard to go wrong with Disney Dining. But you won’t go wrong if you decide to try a few of our favorite one-credit options!

2016 book cover dfb guide

Ready for All of Our Best Tips?

We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips — including LOTS of restaurant suggestions for your every need — in our big, bold 2016 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining!

With more than 530 pagesThe DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 20+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With sample dining itineraries, plus our “Disney Dining at a Glance” section, featuring “Where Can I Find?” options, you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining E-book — and use code HAPPYPLACE for an extra $4 discount for a limited time!

Now, I’d love to hear from all of you guys! What are your best picks for value when it comes to DDP one credit table service spots? Leave a comment with your favorites!

The Best Brownies in Walt Disney World

Remember oh those many years ago when I presented you with my Top Five Disney Brownies?

Best Disney World BrowniesWell, times change… as do snacks and desserts in and around Disney World.  And now here we are celebrating a still-new year, and the brownie landscape has changed. While a few of our favorites from Round One continue to grace our list of Best Brownies, some are no longer available. (We miss you, Paw Print Brownie and Brownie Fudge Sundae!)

But fret not… there’s still no shortage of classic brownie goodness in Disney World (and some not-so-classic, as you’ll notice many of these feature a twist on tradition).

Whaddya say we make a NEW Best Brownies list?

That’s right… a new list for a new year! Grab a fork and get ready to dig into some chocolatey brownie deliciousness with me!

Peanut Butter Brownie with Warm Caramel Sauce

OK, this is probably the best thing you will put into your mouth all month. Let me say that I eat a lot — A LOT — of Disney food, and much of it is sweet deliciousness; but this thing took my breath away.

You can find the Peanut Butter Brownie with Warm Caramel Sauce at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot. And here’s the kicker…

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie with Warm Caramel Sauce

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie with Warm Caramel Sauce

[Read more…]

Disney Dining Details: Skipper Canteen Secret Passageway Bookshelves

Do you harbor a secret dream to become a member of the S.E.A. (Society of Explorers and Adventurers)?

If so, then maybe you’d like to do a little exploring with me today as we step back inside the Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, the still-new restaurant based on the Jungle Cruise attraction.

We’ve already taken a full tour of of the Canteen, including its three dining rooms: the Crew Mess Hall, the Falls Family Parlor, and a once-hidden meeting room for the S.E.A. But now it’s time to check out a few more of those Disney details! And with many thanks to my friend Daniel Wanderman who recently dined there, we’ve got some more to share…

In order to enter the S.E.A. Room coming from the Mess Hall, you must pass through a hallway.

Bookcases lining the hallway from the Mess Hall

Bookcases lining the hallway from the Mess Hall

As you pass, you’ll notice the hallway is lined with bookcases. [Read more…]

News: Special Menus and Treats Coming to Disneyland for Valentine’s Weekend

Will you be celebrating romance, friendship, or family at the Disneyland Resort in February? Then be on the lookout for specialty treats and menus at some of your favorite Disneyland dining locations celebrating St. Valentine’s Day on February 14th!

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle

Of course, with Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday this year, a few spots will be celebrating all weekend long… [Read more…]

News: Nine Dragons and Morimoto Asia Celebrate Chinese New Year with Special Menu Offerings

Happy (almost!) Chinese New Year!

The “Year of the Monkey” begins on February 8th, and Nine Dragons Restaurant in Epcot’s China Pavilion will celebrate with special menu items for nearly the whole year. From February 8, 2016 through January 27 of next year, guests at Nine Dragons will find a new prix-fixe option available for lunch as well as additional items on the regular menu.

For lunch, the prix-fixe special will include three courses for $17.98. Begin your meal with spring rolls or pot stickers, then choose from three entrees for the main course: Happily Family (sliced chicken breast, beef and shrimp stir fry), Moo Goo Gai Pan featuring stir-fried chicken breast with mushrooms and snow peas, and General Tso’s Chicken Buns Lunch Box: three steamed buns (basically, these are Chinese tacos) and hot-and-sour soup. For dessert, try either strawberry-red bean or ginger-caramel ice cream.

©Disney

©Disney

Three steamed buns will also be featured on the regular menu for the year-long celebration: Braised Pork Belly with chili aioli, Sweet-and-Sour Batter-fried Fish with a pork floss topping, and General Tso’s Chicken buns (also batter-fried). [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Colcannon Soup from Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant

It’s c-c-cold out there, and wouldn’t some buttery, creamy soup hit the spot? Here’s a great option from Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant.

From their creamy Wild Forest Mushroom Chowder to their Potato Soup, every single soup I’ve tried at the Disney Springs hotspot has been incredible (mostly due to the copious amounts of butter and cream involved). And today, we’re sharing with you another must-have recipe.

Colcannon Potatoes — a traditional mixture of silky mashed potatoes and cabbage — are one of the classic Irish sides that you can enjoy at the Pub. But they also serve as inspiration for this warming Colcannon Soup.

Winter is with us for a few more months, so take the opportunity to whip up a batch of this indulgent soup for your next evening in. [Read more…]