Review: Frontera Cocina by Rick Bayless in Disney Springs

Frontera Cocina is the latest Table Service addition to the Disney Springs dining scene!

Frontera Cocina is headed by Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless. It’s located in the Town Center of Disney Springs, which still has a few eateries on the way throughout the summer; among them, Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine and Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza.

Chef Bayless may be best known as the host of the PBS show “Mexico—One Plate at a Time” (though he has received numerous accolades throughout his career), and Frontera Cocina likewise showcases authentic Mexican cuisine.

You’ll find Frontera Cocina right across from Sprinkles (though, since Sprinkles is still new itself, more familiar landmarks are seen just across the walking bridge — spots like Raglan Road and Morimoto Asia).

Frontera Cocina

Frontera Cocina

Now that we know where it is, let’s step inside… [Read more…]

New Soarin’ Treats Debut at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

We were so excited to fly at the newly debuted Soarin’ Around the World at Epcot!

Soarin' Around the World at Epcot

Soarin’ Around the World at Epcot

But the accompanying news out of Sunshine Seasons next door to Soarin’ is fun as well!

Sunshine Seasons at The Land pavilion in Epcot

Sunshine Seasons

This favorite Counter Service spot is welcoming back its headliner attraction with a couple of special treats to mark the occasion.

Welcome back, Soarin'!

Welcome back, Soarin’!

We spotted the Soarin’ Orange Cupcake when the attraction reopened in mid-May (it was open for about a month in its classic version before the new film hit the scene). The little chocolate Soarin’ sign has been removed, but it’s still called the Soarin’ Cupcake, and features the flavor that I think we all most associate with the ride from when it was Soarin’ Over California (albeit, just via fragrance in the previous version’s Orange Grove scene): ORANGE!

Soarin' Orange Cupcake

Soarin’ Orange Cupcake

The flavor profile is simple: a vanilla cupcake topped with buttercream icing, with a small amount of orange-flavored filling inside. My favorite detail might be the sky blue part of the frosting, also appropriate for the attraction, with its sugar crystals adding a bit of crunch to an otherwise basic cupcake.

Inside the Soarin' Cupcake

Inside the Soarin’ Cupcake

The white chocolate Soarin’ logo now appears on the newer addition to the bakery case: the Soarin’ Panna Cotta!

Soarin' Panna Cotta

Soarin’ Panna Cotta

Orange is again the featured flavor topping a layer of rich and creamy (and not overly sweet) vanilla bean. A thin bottom layer of cake completes the dessert.

Soarin' Panna Cotta

Soarin’ Panna Cotta

Soarin' Panna Cotta

Soarin’ Panna Cotta

We’re not sure how long these snacks will be around, so grab ‘em while you can. And be sure to say hello again to THIS guy while you’re at it!

Welcome back, Patrick!

Welcome back, Patrick!

Hey, Patrick, ol’ pal… it’s great to have ya back! As always, thanks for SOARIN’ with us here at the DFB!

Are you excited for the return of Soarin’? Please let us know with a comment!

Review: New Items at Kringla Bakeri og Kafe in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion

There’s no shortage of new stuff popping up in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion these days!

The main additions, of course, are the Pavilion’s new ride — Frozen Ever After — and Anna and Elsa’s new meet and greet spot, Royal Sommerhus.

These new attractions have brought about another change to the Pavilion: it now opens at 9:00 am (the majority of Epcot’s World Showcase opens at 11:00 am daily). That means the Pavilion’s Counter Service option, Kringla Bakeri og Kafe, is open for the earlier morning hours, too.

With more traffic in Norway (and we ain’t kiddin’ around — check out the lines from opening day for Frozen Ever After!), the bakery case in Kringla has seen some additions of its own. We thought we’d show you a few today.

Kringla Bakeri og Kafe

Kringla Bakeri og Kafe

Now, there are a few more breakfast-appropriate items that are available for the earlier morning hours, like the Jarlsberg and Onion Biscuit served with bacon, and an Egg and Leek Pastry. But since we had to tackle this[Read more…]

Review: New Sake Mists at Kabuki Cafe in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

We’re coming to you today from Kabuki Cafe!

This pretty but understated snack stand in Epcot’s beautiful Japan Pavilion is easy to pass by, unless you know about Kakigori — the Japanese Shaved Ice that is Kabuki Cafe’s star treat (it’s also a spot to grab a super quick Sushi snack for your Showcase stroll).

Fans of Kakigori know that the Shaved Ice typically comes in your choice of fruit flavors like Strawberry, Melon, Cherry, or Tangerine (or you can try ‘em all with the Rainbow option). You can get it with or without the Sweet Milk Topping, but that’s about the only twist available to this classic icy cold snack.

Until now… thanks to the addition of Sake Mists to the menu!

Kabuki Cafe

Kabuki Cafe

Unlike the regular Kakigori, these drinks — as you’ve likely deduced from the name — are for adults only. They pair the Shaved Ice with alcohol, and Blood Orange, Chocolate Cherry, and Coffee are your flavor choices. [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Apple Ice Wine Mixology Seminar

There are so many events to enjoy at the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Logo Official Disney

We can’t wait to learn more about the Special Events that will be offered this year. We hope food and wine pairings like the French Family Meal Traditions will be back. And we’re excited to see Party for the Senses and the Rockin’ Burger Block Party return as well.

But some of our favorite events of the festival are Low-Cost Seminars and Demonstrations, which take place at the Festival Center throughout the day.

In years past, guest could choose from Culinary Demos and Beverage Seminars at three different times each day, while Mixology Seminars take place once each evening.

This year, we welcome a new experience — the Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! Hands-On Workshops. While we’re anxious for more details about this offering, we do know that the experience will give guests the opportunity to learn lots of different skills from pros across the culinary field!

I always think that the best way to look forward to what’s coming is to check out some of our favorite events from last year’s festival. So today, we’re sharing a Mixology Demonstration featuring one of my favorites — Ice Wine!

Ready to Plan for Your Epcot Food and Wine Festival Trip?

The DFB Guide to the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is now available for pre-order! This 250+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever.

2015 DFB F&W Guide Cover

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Order your 2016 edition today and we’ll immediately send you the 2015 edition for FREE to get started on planning right away! Don’t miss a moment of the fun!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a 20% off the cover price!

Low Cost Mixology Demonstration — Apple Ice Wine

We arrived a little late for the Mixology Demonstration. Here’s a TIP: don’t do that. Our lunch at Le Cellier had run longer than we expected, and so we high-tailed it to the Festival Center.

Information Desk at Festival Center

Information Desk at Festival Center

When we got there, we found that they had basically sold our spots! Fortunately, the cast members found a few extra seats and place settings, so we were set up and ready to go in short order. [Read more…]

Review: Carrot Cake at Disney World’s Boardwalk Bakery

I love many things at Disney World. Many things. But two of my favorites are these:

One: Carrot Cake. And two: the Boardwalk Bakery at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.

(OK, so there’s MUCH more to love than that. But you get my point). Anyway, when those two things come together, you have to know that I am SO. THERE.

And that was, indeed, the case on my most recent visit to the Boardwalk Bakery! Tucked inside the bakery case among Mickey Oreo CupcakesCheesecake Brownies, and Key Lime Tarts was a little Carrot Cake number. They’ve had varieties of carrot cake here for years, and they’re ALWAYS good. This version is a long, skinny deal, but the taste is just as delicious as its square predecessors.

The first thing to catch my eye was the gorgeous white chocolate carrot topping the cake. It’s practically iridescent! So much better than those typical piped carrots on the top!

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

As for the cake itself, the recipe is pretty much classic: spiced cake layered with cream cheese frosting. No nuts in this version, though. (Oh, and that teeny pink garnish on the side is just a by-product of being near the Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake in the pastry box. No biggie.) [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Budgeting Your Time During the Holidays

It’s here — we are officially 186 days out from Christmas!! Woohoo! Have you started your shopping yet?

DFB 180 Days 'Til Christmas Sale-01

Ha — me neither. But I do know that if I have any hope of scoring advance dining reservations for the uber busy holiday season at Walt Disney World, I need to be ready to book as soon as those phone lines open up next week.

But how do I fit everything in that I want to do? By planning ahead, of course. And we want to help you do the same.

And that’s why we write the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays. Because I want your holiday visit to the ‘World to be nothing less than spectacular.

And when you pre-order the 2016 DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays right now, you’ll receive the 2015 edition immediately, for free.

Don’t forget — you have three ways to save on the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays Guide. Check our our 180 Days ‘Til Christmas Sale to learn more!

Don’t wait, though — our 180 Days sale ends soon!

Now that we’re thinking about the holidays, let’s explore one of my favorite Tips from the Holiday Guide — How to budget your TIME during the busy Holiday Season at Walt Disney World!

Plan, Plan, Plan

It may seem kinda like a no brainer. But if ever there is a time to plan you play and play your plan, it’s the holidays at WDW.

Christmas at Epcot

Christmas at Epcot

Leave no stone unturned. But how can you find out just what’s happening? In the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays, we offer a list of events and activities so that you can get a good idea of what to expect before you hit the ground running. The list is invaluable as you plan each daily adventure. [Read more…]

Review: Frozen Ever After Ride, and New Breakfast Menu at La Cantina de San Angel in Epcot

The biggest news around Epcot’s World Showcase is the debut of TWO new Frozen-themed attractions in the Norway Pavilion.

On June 21st, Frozen Ever After (the Pavilion’s brand new dark ride) and the Royal Sommerhus Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet location made their official debut!

So, what are we doing at La Cantina de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion instead? Well, Mexico is the next door neighbor to the Norway Pavilion in World Showcase. And to say that crowd levels have increased in the area might just be the understatement of the century. With so many guests arriving in the early morning hours thanks to the updated 9:00 am opening of the Norway Pavilion, expanded food options are also a new necessity in the vicinity.

Norway’s Counter Service option, Kringla Bakeri og Kafe, is also now open at 9:00 am. (School Bread for breakfast?! YES, please!!) And there are a few new additions there that we will check out in an upcoming post.

But since the offerings at La Cantina are all new, we made our pit stop here before taking on THIS wait time (yes, and then some!) for Disney World’s newest attraction.

Wait Time for Frozen Ever After

Wait Time for Frozen Ever After on Opening Day

Back to that later… we’ve got some eating to do first! [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: French Family Meal Traditions Luncheon

This is an exciting time, my friends. The Watch and Wait Season has officially arrived for all things 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Logo Official Disney

What do I mean by that? Well, this is the time of the year when details begin to emerge for all of the events, menus, and more for our Favorite Event of the Year!

If you’re a festival fan, you’re gonna want to pay close attention in the upcoming weeks, as we provide you with all of the updates FIRST. Better yet — subscribe to the DFB Newsletter, and we’ll bring all the news directly to you!

In the meantime, as we await all of the latest as well as the start date — the festival will run from September 14 through November 14 — we love looking through some of the fun that we had last year.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at one of the NEW Special Events we attended in 2015 — French Family Meal Traditions. And I’m gonna get a little ahead of myself: this was so fabulous that we totally expect it to be back again this year.

There’s lots to see, so let’s get started!

Ready to Plan for Your Epcot Food and Wine Festival Trip?

The DFB Guide to the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is now available for pre-order! This 250+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever.

2015 DFB F&W Guide Cover

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Order your 2016 edition today and we’ll immediately send you the 2015 edition for FREE to get started on planning right away! Don’t miss a moment of the fun!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a 20% off the cover price!

Atmosphere

One of my favorite things about Special Events that take place in Epcot’s World Showcase Pavilions, versus events in World ShowPlace, is that you often get a chance to see inside a restaurant that you may not have experienced before. Both French Family Meal Traditions and The Parisian Afternoon: Sandwiches, Macarons, and Bubbles! take place at Monsieur Paul.

Monsieur Paul Entrance

Monsieur Paul Entrance

If you haven’t had the chance to dine at Monsieur Paul, you may not be familiar with it. It’s the fine dining option in Epcot’s France Pavilion. You’ll find it by heading back through France as though you’re getting a Macaron Ice Cream Sammie at L’Artisan des Glaces. :-) But hang a left before you get to the boutique ice cream shop. Go through the door with the awning, past the hostess stand, and you’ll spy this beautiful art nouveau staircase leading up to the second floor restaurant. [Read more…]

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

We welcome back guest writer AM Appleby! Today, she’ll take us inside of Narcoossee’s for their once a week morning offering — Sunday Brunch!

We’ve enjoyed dinner at Narcoossee’s, located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, many times, and always love booking a reservation coincident with the Wishes fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.

But recently, this dinner-only spot has begun to offer a leisurely and luxurious Sunday Brunch. We couldn’t wait to take a peek!

Narcoossee’s Waterfront Brunch

On a glorious and sunny Sunday morning, my daughter and I went to Narcoossee’s Waterfront Brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Entrance

Entrance

I’ve enjoyed dinner twice at this location and was excited to try brunch. We arrived at the Grand Floridian twenty minutes before our reservation time and walked through the magnificent lobby and out the back doors to the restaurant. [Read more…]