Review: Lunch at Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Kona Cafe may not be all that interesting to look at.

But — breakfast, lunch, or dinner — this spot consistently offers delicious and unexpectedly good to great food.

Considered a bit of a hidden gem, Kona is normally a pretty easy spot for snagging an advance dining reservation. And with its super convenient location in the Polynesian Village Resort (right on the Magic Kingdom Monorail line!), it’s easily accessible from — well, pretty much anywhere.

But while we’ve enjoyed meals every time of the day here throughout the years, I never rely on past experiences to predict future outcomes. :-) And so I made it my mission on a recent visit to take in lunch at Kona once again.

Sure, it meant missing out on some of my most favorite breakfast items (sob — Tonga Toast!) — but hey, it’s worth it to bring you all the latest! Right?

So hop on the monorail with me, and let’s head to Kona for a midday meal.

Atmosphere

If you haven’t had the chance to check out the newly renovated Polynesian Village Resort, be sure to pencil in a little extra time when you head to Kona Cafe. I think Disney has done a great job of simultaneously breathing fresh air into this original Disney World spot and celebrating history. It’s new and old at the same time!

Kona Cafe

Newly Renovated Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Unfortunately, the Imagineering Love didn’t reach all the way to Kona. So you’ll find the same decor that’s been here for quite some time. [Read more…]

Review: 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

One of my family’s favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World, 50s Prime Time Cafe, is what my teen son deems a great, immersive experience! It’s been one of his favorite places to dine for many years and apparently it still gets a thumbs up. ;)

While the entertaining servers will draw you into the “show,” you’ll also be digging into some comfort food. You’ll find hearty portions and tasty eats from appetizers to desserts.

This place is popular so be sure to make your advance dining reservation ahead of your vacation.

We always request a TV table; this request is easier to fill if you are one of the first diners of the day. Make an early lunch reservation!

Atmosphere

As you enter this restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll be transported back to the 1950s. You’ll be immersed in kitschy decor and slapstick humor, and you’ll be served by your “family” members. In fact, it won’t be long before your “cousins” are seated near you (but not WITH you).

Right from the start, you’ll be greeted by costumed Cast Members.

Cast Members

Cast Members

[Read more…]

News: The Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant Starts TODAY!

It’s just about that time — St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner!

st patricks mighty festival logo 2016

And if you happen to be in Orlando for the holiday, there’s just one place you’ve gotta be…Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant!

Year after year, Raglan Road continues to wow with this festival, which combines the best of Irish music, dancing, culture, and food. And even throughout the constant construction in Disney Springs, they’ve kept it going strong.

This year’s festival will span seven full days. The party starts TODAY — Friday, March 11 — and runs straight through St. Patrick’s Day on the following Thursday!

During the event, you can enjoy all of the wonderful food and drink that Raglan Road offers; and there will be complimentary face painting. Please note: seating will be first come, first served on St. Patrick’s Day, and a cover charge of $10 per person will be applied on that day only for all guests over the age of 18. It gets BUSY, so go early!

Let’s take a look at what you can expect in 2016!

Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival Special Culinary Events

Master Chef Kevin Dundon is sure to have something special in store for guests who attend Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival culinary events! Choose from a luncheon and culinary demonstration, or indulge in a special signature dining experience. [Read more…]

News: Disney Dining Plan Price Increase

Are you in the midst of planning your next Walt Disney World vacation? Then you’ll want to know that Disney has increased the price of the Disney Dining Plans for the Quick Service, Standard, and Deluxe Dining Plans as of March 9, 2016.

Disney Dining Plan

Disney Dining Plan Prices as of March 9, 2016

Quick-Service Dining Plan
$44.13 per night ages 10 and up
$19.04 per night ages 3 to 9
(Increase from earlier 2016 pricing of $42.84 and $17.47)

Standard Dining Plan
$63.70 per night ages 10 and up
$22.85 per night ages 3 to 9
(Increase from earlier 2016 pricing of $61.84 and $20.96)

Deluxe Dining Plan
$115.08 per night ages 10 and up
$35.49 per night ages 3 to 9
(Increase from earlier 2016 pricing of $111.57 and $32.56)

This pricing was obtained through booking online reservations on DisneyWorld.com.

2016 book cover dfb guide

Wondering Whether the Disney Dining Plan Will SAVE You Money?

We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips — including a full chapter and price break-down and comparison on whether the Disney Dining Plan will save YOU money — 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 30+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs, how to save dough on your Disney dining, and more!

With sample dining itineraries, plus multiple bonus features and reusable worksheets, 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!

What are your thoughts on the latest pricing information for the Disney Dining Plan? Please chime in with a comment. 

Dining in Disneyland: Afternoon Tea at Disneyland Hotel’s Steakhouse 55

Up until recently, Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel has only offered breakfast/brunch and dinner.  This past January, they opened their doors for a lovely Classic Afternoon Tea.

Steakhouse 55 Located Inside the Disneyland Hotel

Steakhouse 55 Located Inside the Disneyland Hotel

When I first heard about the tea offering, I knew I wanted to try it out.  Steakhouse 55 has always been one of my favorite Disneyland Resort restaurants.  I especially love the atmosphere here, so I was really excited to have a new Steakhouse 55 experience.  Breakfast at Steakhouse 55 is what I believe to be one of the very best breakfasts on property.  Dinner is wonderful too, so I was sure afternoon tea would be a delight as well!

I tried to book immediately, but it was full almost a month out! So, I booked my month out and waited patiently.  Checking in for tea is the same process as a meal.  Just head on up to the podium and you will be escorted back to the dining room.

Check In Podium

Check In Podium

When the time came, I was joined by my best pal.  We took the first reservation of the day, which was at noon, and when we got there it was basically empty.  By the time we left, there was not one open table! [Read more…]

Review: Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

It’s been way way WAY too long since I last took in a meal at Narcoossee’s, one of the signature restaurants at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. (With three signature restaurants at that resort, it’s hard to get to all of them on a regular basis! So much rich, wonderful food — SO expensive!)

The restaurant has topped our list of Disney Food News for a couple of brand new offerings lately. You can now enjoy Sunday Waterfront Brunch here. And soon, you’ll be able to take in an evening Wishes Dessert Party from the dock nearby.

But during a recent (extremely quick!) visit to Walt Disney World, I decided it was time to enjoy dinner here once again.

The fairly small restaurant, perched on the edge of the resort where water meets land, boasts stunning views, a relaxed atmosphere, and a seafood-inspired menu. But it tends to be overshadowed by other signature spots, like the nearby California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, or Victoria and Albert’s at the Grand Floridian. And so it largely flies under the radar.

My question is always this: in a resort that has two other signature restaurants, is there room for a third?

Read on to learn more about our evening here.

narcoossees sign

Atmosphere

If you’re heading to Narcoossee’s, be prepared for a walk. This is that circular building on stilts that juts out into Seven Seas Lagoon next to the dock at Grand Floridian, so it’s far far away from the entrance to the resort (but a quick walk from the boat dock if you’re coming from Magic Kingdom). [Read more…]

Review: Monsieur Paul in Epcot’s France Pavilion

It’s been a while since we’ve ventured up the beautiful staircase to dine at Monsieur Paul.

Sure, we’ve taken in a few special events lately. We had an amazing time at the The Parisian Afternoon event during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival recently. But that event takes place in the afternoon (obviously). And there’s something extra special about arriving at this signature restaurant to enjoy a leisurely dinner in the evening.

Let’s take a look at all that experienced on our recent visit.

Atmosphere

If you haven’t dined at Monsieur Paul before (or its predecessor, Bistro de Paris), then part of the fun will be finding it. That’s a little easier these days than it used to be, thanks to this sign that’s stationed right on the Promenade.

In front of France Restaurants Monsieur Paul

Restaurant Options in the France Pavilion

Just hang a right just before you arrive at the entrance to Les Chefs de France (the France Pavilion’s table service spot — here’s our recent review), and head back through the Pavilion. The awning over the double doors, which features the restaurant’s name (it didn’t previously) marks the entrance. [Read more…]

News: Morimoto Asia to Host Craft Beer Dinner with Crooked Can Brewing Company on March 3

Morimoto Asia, Disney Springs’ newest restaurant, is wasting no time getting to know local providers. They have just announced that next month, they’ll hold a Craft Beer Dinner with Cooked Can Brewing Company of Winter Garden, Florida!

Morimoto Asia Crooked Can Logos

The event is being held to celebrate Hanami, or the annual tradition of cherry blossom viewing in Japan. It’s a special time when friends and family gather for parties under the beautiful trees, which only blossom for a short time each Spring. (Epcot Flower and Garden Festival lovers will recognize Hanami as the name of Japan’s Outdoor Kitchen, and home to the popular Frushi!) [Read more…]

News! Magic Kingdom’s Diamond Horseshoe Offers Table Service Dining For a Limited Time

If you’re heading down to Walt Disney World during the busy Spring season, you’ve got another table service option in Magic Kingdom.

We’re talking about Diamond Horseshoe in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland!

This spot has been around forever — and shares pedigree with a similar spot, The Golden Horseshoe, in Disneyland. But in Walt Disney World, we usually only see Diamond Horseshoe open at the very busiest times of the year (think Holidays or Summer). When it is opened, it’s usually for quick service lunch. Even more rarely, you’ll find a dinner buffet. But today, we’re sharing something completely new!

From from March 13 to May 30, you can book an advance dining reservation to enjoy all-you-care-to-enjoy dining at Diamond Horseshoe for both Lunch and Dinner. [EDITOR’S UPDATE: Please note that since this article was originally published, this dining opportunity has been extended through July 4, 2016.]

This is not a buffet; the meal is served in courses, comes plated, and includes a beverage. However, you’ll be able to choose from various entrees and desserts (appetizers are standard). Here are a few more details.

Diamond Horseshoe Seating and Stage

Diamond Horseshoe Seating and Stage

Guests begin their meal with complimentary breadservice — and it’s Cornbread!!! Ah. Disney cornbread is the BEST. :-) Then your first course will be a Frontier Salad, which includes Greens, Tomatoes, Roasted Corn, and Cornbread Croutons. Chipotle Ranch Dressing completes the plate. [Read more…]

News! A Cupcake ATM and MORE Coming to Disney Springs in Disney World

Today, we’re bringing you exciting news about lots of new flavor coming to Disney Springs in the very near future!

Disney Springs Logo

 

It looks like many of the spots that we’ve been waiting (not so patiently) to learn more about will be opening in time for the Summer rush. Opening for these spots is to begin in phases on May 15, 2016. [Read more…]