Review: Bubble Milk Tea at Epcot’s Joy of Tea

We have a fun treat for you at the China Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase!

Let’s face it: Disney World is hot. With the exception of a few weeks out of the year, you’re going to be craving a refreshing drink as a mid-day treat. And Epcot’s Joy of Tea has just the thing for you!

We’re big fans of this snack stop. For such a tiny booth, it has a pretty extensive menu! The egg rolls and curry chicken pockets are tasty little snacks that will hold you over until your next meal while you explore the World Showcase.

And, most importantly, they have a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (including the fan favorite Tipsy Ducks in Love!).

Today, we’ll check out the Bubble Milk Tea!

Joy of Tea menu — click to enlarge

[Read more…]

Guest Review: Brunch at the Top at California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Guest Author AM Appleby returns to share her California Grill Brunch at the Top experience at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Brunch is offered every Sunday from 10AM – 1PM. Cost is $80 for adults and $48 for kids ages 3-11.

California Grill, located atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is well known for fine dining and spectacular views. A divine spot for sushi, steak, and fabulous cocktails, the restaurant began serving brunch in February for the first time in its 20-year history.

Considering the reputation of California Grill, I didn’t even glance at the menu before booking an Advance Dining Reservation. I thought brunch would be top notch, and had high hopes that I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Atmosphere

Upon arriving at the Contemporary Resort, we were directed to Valet Parking where a Cast Member was waiting to greet us. After a quick trip to the second floor check-in desk we were whisked away in a private elevator to the 15th floor. We walked towards the abundant light streaming in through the enormous windows, admiring the view beyond, and were given complimentary mimosas (and a children’s mimosa — or “faux-mosa” for my seven-year-old daughter) at the bar.

Complimentary Mimosas

Complimentary Mimosas

The spacious room was fairly quiet, with charming music being played on piano and double bass. [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

On my recent family trip to Walt Disney World, we decided that a visit to the Contempo Cafe was in order.

Because guess what?

When it comes to visiting Walt Disney World for vacation, we’re like any other family: we like to mix it up with a combo of table service and counter service restaurants. It keeps things interesting, but it saves us a little money, too. And of course, it’s all for the sake of research! :-D

Besides, some of my favorite foods at Disney World can be found at counter service spots. It’s not a trip to Disney World without visits to favorites like Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian, Restaurantosaurus at Animal Kingdom, Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France, and many others.

It may not be super-themed, but in my opinion, Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort holds its own against any of these. Let’s check it out.

Atmosphere

You may have passed Contempo Cafe dozens of times without even knowing it — especially if you’re fond of riding the monorail to Magic Kingdom (and really, who isn’t).

Monorail!!

Monorail!!

It’s located right next to the wildly popular Chef Mickey’s on the Grand Canyon Concourse in Disney’s Contemporary Resort Hotel. [Read more…]

Exclusive Treats Return to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in Disney World

Little Ghouls and Goblins (and the not so little ones too) — take note! The annual celebration of all things Halloween, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, has kicked off at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. And we’re excited to see a couple of brand new treats for 2016!

Halloween at Disney!

Halloween at Disney!

At Gaston’s Tavern, we’re looking forward to digging into a new cupcake — Enchanted Pumpkin Spice!

Enchanted Pumpkin Spice Cupcake at Gaston's Tavern  © Disney

Enchanted Pumpkin Spice Cupcake at Gaston’s Tavern ©Disney

It’s just one of the specialty cupcakes that you can enjoy exclusively during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Look for the return of other favorites, like the Chocolate Worms and Dirt Cupcake and the Spider Cupcake — this year, in Vanilla — at Main Street Bakery as well. [Read more…]

What NOT to Do at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

If you’ve been hanging around here much at all, then you know that we love the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tips

And what’s not to love?? In 2016, we’ll have two full months to Dine Around the Promenade at Marketplace Booths, take in Special Events and Demos, and generally soak up this culinary immersion.

So we focus a lot on things you Must Try! (Grown up frozen drinks!!) and things that you Can’t Miss! (Parisian Breakfast!!) But what about the “Don’ts”?

With 20 years of Food and Wine Festival experience under our belts, we think we know a thing or two about having a good time at F&W. ;-) So today, allow us to share our list for the Mistakes We’d Like to Help You to Avoid as you plan your visit to this year’s Festival!

Put on your stretchy pants and comfy shoes, and get your DFB Food and Wine Tray ready. Time to head in!

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Book Events

There’s a reason that we tell you to be on the phone first thing bright and early on the day that Special Events, including Seminars and Demonstrations, open. These events sell out quickly — especially the ones featuring celebrity chefs.

All isn’t lost, though, if you didn’t book the second the phone lines opened. You will be able to book some events, especially the Low-Cost daily seminars and demos, right up to the time of the event.

Wine View Lounge Cheese Station

Wine View Lounge Cheese Station at Party for the Senses

Still, it’s best to plan ahead. So if you haven’t already done so, call now and square away those reservations. It’s one less thing you’ll need to worry about when you arrive. [Read more…]

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Preview: THE CHEW Collective and Islands of the Caribbean

As we eagerly count down the days until the start of the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, we’re already making our list of all the things we have to eat! (And speaking of counting down — check out our Countdown Sale!!)

Food and Wine Festival Updates 2016 Info Graphic

This year’s Festival – which runs from September 14 until November 14 – features some tried-and-true favorite Marketplace Booths and some new booths!

Today we’re going to check out two of the new booths: THE CHEW Collective and Islands of the Caribbean!

Last year marked the first appearance of booths inspired by ABC’s ‘The Chew’ with the debut of Chew Lab and Sustainable Chew. This year guests can check out the all-new THE CHEW Collective.

THE CHEW Collective Marketplace Booth

You’ll find THE CHEW Collective in the Next Eats section of Future World. You don’t want to miss this marketplace booth!

The 2015 Sustainable Chew Booth; 2016 will feature THE CHEW Collective

The 2015 Sustainable Chew Booth; 2016 will feature THE CHEW Collective

[Read more…]

Best Places for a Cup of Tea in Walt Disney World

Sometimes, nothing but a nice cuppa will do.

Pour Tea Garden View

And even when you’re on vacation (which is, of course, supposed to be all about relaxing), an escape into a soothing cup of tea can be a welcome change of pace.

And that’s true regardless of weather, don’t you think? After all, serious tea drinkers don’t mind raising a cup, even in Florida heat and humidity. :-)

Are you looking to try something new or to celebrate the ritual of something familiar and comforting? Either way, we have suggestions for finding a really good cup of tea throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.

Come with us as we share some of our favorites.

Joffrey’s Tea Traders Cafe

Just like coffee, tea is finding a larger and more sophisticated fan base everyday. But whether you’re a lifelong lover of tea, or you’re just learning your way around it, Joffrey’s Tea Traders Cafe at Disney Springs is a welcome stop on your list of places to explore this storied beverage. [Read more…]

Countdown To the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Sale!

It will be here before you know it! We are just TWO WEEKS away from the start of the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! But it’s not too late for you to take advantage of some special savings on the DFB Guides

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Logo Official Disney

We have so much fun providing you with all there is to know about Disney Food. Because there’s one thing we’re passionate about: making sure that you enjoy the best Disney trip ever, every time.

And that’s especially important when it comes to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. With so much to do, see, eat, and drink, it can be hard to keep it all straight! And that’s where we come in. :-)

So as we continue to countdown to opening day, we are happy to bring you special deals on some of our most popular DFB Guides and Bundles.

DFB Guide to the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book SAVINGS

The DFB Guide to the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival was written to give you everything you need to know about the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in one handy volume — and we mean EVERYTHING!

With more than 250 pages and tons of bonus items, it offers all of the information that you need to make the most of your Festival visit. Learn more about the DFB Guide to the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival here. [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tip: Make Your Own Custom DFB Food and Wine Fest Tray!

If you’ve visited the Epcot Food and Wine Festival before, then you know what a hassle it can be to get from Marketplace Booth to a Table (or Trash Can Top or Bench or Wall) without spilling your dishes and drinks.

That’s why one of my best tips for you is to bring your own tray to make the journey easier!

Yep — we know they sell these little jobbies…

Food and Wine Fest Tasting Plate

Food and Wine Fest Tasting Plate From a While Back

But to be honest, that’s just not enough real estate when you’re sampling more than one dish…plus drinks.

Any tray will do, of course. But why not take the opportunity to show your team spirit with a Disney Food Blog Customized Food and Wine Festival Tray?

Your Very Own DFB Food and Wine Festival Tray!

Whaaaaaa?! So how do you set about making this marvelous thing? It’s easy! First, grab a DFB Food and Wine Festival Tray Sticker, like so:

DFB bumper sticker-001

THEN, acquire a basic cafeteria tray (we won’t ask any questions how you go about it) and slap the sticker on the tray. DONE. [Read more…]

Review: La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Recently, I met some friends for a cozy dinner at La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion.

My last visit to La Hacienda proved to be just about the best yet. While my earliest visits to the dinner-only restaurant were largely hit and miss, my experiences during the last couple of years have been very positive.

But you never know when things can shift and change. After all, this is Disney World — not exactly known for being consistent when it comes to dining quality. And La Hacienda is pricey. Does it continue to be worth it?

Let’s head in for dinner and you can see for yourself.

Atmosphere

We arrived on time for our 6:30 advance dining reservation and checked in. We requested a window side table, and they were happy to accommodate us. It only took a little longer to be seated.

Hacienda-sign

La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

If you haven’t been inside La Hacienda before, be sure to take a look around during your visit, and review the back story. In a nutshell, the restaurant is supposed to be the rambling home of an artistic family, and they’ve opened it up to guests. Seating is a mixture of booths and table/chair combos, all of which are comfortable and inviting. [Read more…]