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Tips From the DFB Guide: Our Top 3 Tips for Late Night Disney World Dining

You’ve just arrived at Walt Disney World and it’s late, and you’re starving. Or you’ve finished at the Park for the day, it’s late, and you’re starving. Or you’ve wrapped up a fun time at Fantasia Golf and — well, you get the gist.

2014 dfb guide 3d cover

Where do you go in Walt Disney World when you’re starving and want to score a late night bite?

Well, there are lots of places, actually! But today, I thought we’d take a closer look at three of our favorites featured in the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book!

Raglan Road Irish Pub

While there are several spots at Downtown Disney where you can enjoy a late night bite to eat, Raglan Road is one of our favorites.

The menu features a mix of comforting, traditional Irish pub food with some fusion flavors, like curry. We have lots of favorites here, but one of the best dishes on the menu is the Fish and Chips! And no worries if you follow a gluten-free approach to eating — their Gluten-Free Fish and Chips are just as fantastic as the traditional version (some even like them better).

Fish and Chips at Raglan Road

Fish and Chips at Raglan Road

But menu is only half the draw here. You’ll also find live music and traditional Irish dancing nightly.

Although it can be tough to get a walk-up table during the earlier evening hours, it’s a little easier to grab a spot later at night. The full menu is available until 11PM; order from the bar menu from 11PM until “late”.

Gasparilla Island Grill

Regardless of the hour, night or day, you can find something to eat at Gasparilla Island Grill.

Located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, it’s a monorail stop away from both Magic Kingdom and the Ticket and Transportation Center. You’ll find a full array of grilled items, salads, pizza, and flatbreads. We absolutely loved the Margherita Flatbread when we tried it on a recent visit!

Margherita Flatbread from Gasparilla Island Grill

Margherita Flatbread from Gasparilla Island Grill

Enjoy the full dinner menu until Continue reading →

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Preview: Belgium and Brazil

We are back with another look at some of the Marketplace Booths that will be featured at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

food and wine festival logo

Today, we are visiting two more of our favorite spots — one Old World, and one New!

Both the Belgium Booth and the Brazil Booth epitomize one of this year’s biggest themes. We can’t wait to Taste Our Way Around the World with lots of returning favorites, and some new flavors as well.

Let’s take a look at what these two Marketplaces will be offering guests in 2014, starting September 19th.

Belgium Marketplace Booth

The Belgium Marketplace Booth offers Food and Wine Festival guests the best of both worlds. We love the interesting food options here. But it’s also a primo stop on your Brews Around the World Tour as well!

Belgium Marketplace Booth

The Belgium Booth first debuted at the festival in 2010, and has become a mainstay since then. After all, who can resist indulging in a sweet or savory Belgian Waffle?

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Belgium Booth Menu

  • Potato and Leek Waffle with Beer-Braised Beef
  • Belgium Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream
  • Belgium Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream
  • Hoegaarden
  • Stella Artois
  • Leffe Blonde
  • Stella Artois Cidre
  • Chilled Coffee featuring Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • Beer flight (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Leffe Blonde and Stella Artois Cidre

There are many returning favorites here this year, but we’re happy to say that we see some fun additions as well.

The Potato and Leek Waffle was one of our Best of the Fest Favorites in 2013, so I’m thrilled that it’s returning! This year, the flavors are amped up a bit as the Beef topping the savory waffle is braised in Beer!

Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef

Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef

After such a hearty dish, we definitely recommend that you give one of the dessert waffles a try. You can’t go wrong with Belgian Waffle topped with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream.

Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream

Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream

But if you’d rather have a fruit topping, no worries. Try the Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream instead.

Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream

If you prefer a dessert that you can drink, you’ll be happy to know that the Continue reading →

Review: Cheesy Bread Cones at Fantasmic! in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

UPDATE: According to WDW cast members, these cones were removed from the menu at Hollywood Studios. Them’s the breaks! Disney’s menus change all the time; this can be due to ingredient supply and purchasing issues (temporary), seasonal menu updates (temporary), or a menu refurb (usually permanent). We’re hoping they’ll return to the menu in Walt Disney World soon! In the meantime, get your bread cones filled with goodies year-round at Disney California Adventure’s Cozy Cone Motel in Disneyland!

Macaroni and Cheese Bread Cone

Macaroni and Cheese Bread Cone

Have you ever found yourself in this scenario: sitting in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater, waiting for Fantasmic! – the nighttime spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — to begin?

Amphitheater seating for Fantasmic!

Amphitheater seating waiting for Fantasmic!

If you are planning to see Fantasmic! (the official show title has an exclamation point in the name, which moving forward I’ll omit for your ease of reading :), you should know that it’s best to arrive well before show time, especially if you are attending the first show of the evening.

So, what should you do in the meantime? Aside form join in The Wave, of course… which you can — and should — do.

Here comes The Wave!!

Here comes The Wave!!

But when you’re not Wave-ing, you might as well eat! Fortunately, there are oodles of opportunities around the amphitheater to do just that.

Prior to moving directly into the amphitheater, there are a couple of stands serving up snacks such as Mickey ice cream bars, roasted nuts, frozen lemonade cups, churros, Mickey pretzels, and the like.

Snack kiosks outside of amphitheater

Snack kiosks outside of amphitheater

Cast Members also wander the outside and inside of the amphitheater right up until show time, carrying items like popcorn and cotton candy, which somehow adds to the festive vibe.

Popcorn

Popcorn

Cotton Candy

Cotton Candy

Once you head into the amphitheater, there are two large concession stands in the back, both by the name of Hollywood Hills Amphitheater Refreshment. They have the Continue reading →

News! A Spoonful of Sugar and Other Limited Time Treats Come to Disneyland’s Jolly Holiday Bakery

One of our favorite spots in all of Disneyland is Jolly Holiday Bakery. We never get tired of looking through their pastry cases for something new to delight us!

And right now, they’re stepping up their game with some new, limited-time offerings.

Limited Time Offerings at Jolly Holiday Bakery

Jolly Holiday obviously has a Mary Poppins theme, and this adorable Spoonful of Sugar offers a lot of flavor AND visual interest in one bite!

The treat includes pâte à choux, chocolate caramel ganache, sprinkles, chocolate pastry cream, dark chocolate, white chocolate, a tiny penguin made from sugar, and marshmallows! Whew! That’s a LOT of detail!

Spoonful of Sugar

Spoonful of Sugar

If you love the looks of this little guy, you better get to Disneyland quick — he’s only available August 22-31!

But there are several other pastries and desserts making a limited time appearance at Jolly Holiday Bakery. Look for these to stick around into September.

Get a load of this gorgeous Red Velvet Whoopie Pie!

Whoopie Pie

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie

Recently, our Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers showed us some of the other delicious new treats that are available now through September at Jolly Holiday. We fell in love with the Mickey-Shaped French Macarons.

The Passionfruit Macaron is sweet with more sweet, but we love the sparkly embellishment on top.

Passionfruit French Macaroon

Passionfruit French Macaroon

We much preferred the Continue reading →

Review: Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito and Empanadas at La Cantina in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Happy NATIONAL MOJITO DAY, EVERYONE!! OK, I’ll be honest. We’d PLANNED to share this post with you on the ACTUAL National Mojito Day, but a big news item came up and we had to bump it. So this is our STAND-IN National Mojito Day. I hope that works for you. :-D

Still, crazy how time flies, isn’t it? I remember last Mojito Day like it was yesterday! It feels like I was just putting up my Mojito Tree, baking mojito cookies and singing all my favorite mojito carols…

Oh, wait, was that just me?

Anyway, on this day as we gather with family and friends to celebrate Mojitos all around the world ;), we thought we’d show you a mojito in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion that has more than a bit of a twist… the Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito found at La Cantina de San Angel.

La Cantina Sign

La Cantina Sign

La Cantina Drink Menu

La Cantina Drink Menu

The drink serving is huge – it fills every inch of the glass and beyond, as you can see. (At $11.50, I should hope so.)  As a bonus, it’s also looks terrific!

Frozen Pomegranate Lime Mojito

Frozen Pomegranate Lime Mojito

A traditional Mojito is a mix of fresh mint, lime, club soda, sugar, and white rum on the rocks. The Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito has… well, it’s got lime :) . And pomegranate!

Tequila – as opposed to rum – is the featured liquor here, and I can’t say I picked up one hint of mint. What I did pick up on was a refreshing blast of cold, fruity sweetness nicely balanced by the tart lime.

Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito

Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito

For all my joking about Mojito Day traditions, I’m actually not a huge mojito fan myself, so this version is far more up my alley.

You know what goes well with a tart-and-sweet beverage like this? Something

Continue reading →

News! Disney Adds Premium Event “Villains’ Sinister Soiree” to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Lineup

If Fall and Halloween are your favorite Disney times of the year, you’re going to LOVE what we have to share!

Mickey Lantern!

Mickey Lantern!

We’ve seen hints that Disney will be offering some new premium enhancements to the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This hard-ticketed, after-hours event takes place at Magic Kingdom on select evenings September through November. The party features trick or treating, your favorite characters dressed up in their Halloween costumes (so cute!), the Boo-To-You Parade (with the Headless Horseman!), and Happy HalloWishes Fireworks. It’s a whole lot of fun!

But if you’re looking for an extra special way to enjoy the holiday, you’ll want to check out this news!

Villains’ Sinister Soiree at Cinderella’s Royal Table

Lady Tremaine and Friends are taking over the Castle! Join her at Continue reading →

Review: Lunch at Le Cellier in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion (With the NEW Filet!)

UPDATE: The Mushroom Filet is back at Le Cellier as a seasonal dish. (A photo is provided in the text below.)

We finally got to head over and try the new menu at Le Cellier Steakhouse!

Yep, you heard me right. A new menu. And while the menu changes up regularly here now that it’s a Signature-restaurant-all-the-time-forever-always, we weren’t expecting the news that the beloved filet with mushroom risotto and truffle butter sauce was getting a makeover.

As soon as we found that out, we had to make an ADR. And, yep — we ordered the replacement. Along with a lot of other goodies.

Let’s go see how it all turned out!

Please note: in addition to the “update” notice above, we’re also posting this menu shot confirming the current presence of the Mushroom Filet. Due to its status as a signature restaurant, menu options change here more frequently than most Table Service restaurants, but we’re happy to see this one back on the menu for the time being!

Le Cellier Menu (update)

Le Cellier Menu (update)

Atmosphere

Because we had a busy day and the lunch and dinner menu are now the same, we decided to opt for a lunch advance dining reservation.

Le Cellier Steakhouse -- Outside View

Le Cellier Steakhouse — Outside View

When we arrived, we only had to wait for a bit before we were shown to our table. The very slight delay gave us a chance to check out once more the addition of several paintings by The Group of Seven, which were recently installed to honor this important Canadian school of painters.

Description of Lobby Paintings

Description of Lobby Paintings

The seating in this tiny waiting area is of the outdoor bench type, which makes it not all that comfortable. But, honestly, most of the waiting area seating is usually taken up whenever I get there.

Seating and Paintings in the Lobby

Seating and Paintings in the Lobby

Nameplates beneath each painting give you more information. If you have a few moments, be sure to check them out. They really are beautiful.

Lobby Decor -- Up Close

Lobby Decor — Up Close

As you’re shown to your table, you’ll wave goodbye to sunlight for a little while. Le Cellier really is, well, in a cellar.

Le Cellier Entryway

Le Cellier Entryway

And you get a sense of that as soon as you turn the corner into the restaurant. The feeling is at once warm and cozy, yet elegant.

Le Cellier Dining Room

Le Cellier Dining Room

The rich detail lends itself to the feeling that you’ve stepped into the wine cellar of a grand chateau. Beamed ceilings and stone arches fit right in!

Le Cellier Ceilings and Chandeliers

Le Cellier Ceilings and Chandeliers

The room seems to be lit primarily by candles. These are electric, of course. But they lend a soft light to your surroundings. Bad for reading your menu and photographing your food, but good for setting the right tone. :-)

Wall Sconces

Wall Sconces

En route to your table, you’ll also see

Continue reading →

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 24, 2014

While construction continues at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, we were thrilled this week to share a first look at the refurbished Captain Cook’s. Find out what new entrees we tried!

New Polynesian Village Resort Sign

New Polynesian Village Resort Sign

Click below for all the details on this week’s Disney Food News!

Disney Food News

Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including restaurant closures, New Dessert at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (it sounds so good!), and more!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Red. Velvet. Cake. That’s right! Today, we’re sharing photos of Red Velvet goodies from Disney World.

Facebook Friend Akemi enticed our appetites with this gorgeous photo of Red Velvet Cake at Wolfgang Puck in Downtown Disney Orlando.

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

If you’re looking for a counter-service dessert, one of our favorites — the Red Velvet Cupcake from the Contempo Cafe — was shared by Facebook Friend Marion.

Red Velvet Cupcake

Red Velvet Cupcake

What’s your Favorite Find? Send it in!

DFB Guidebooks Back to School Sale!!

Take a look at our Back to School Special — available now through Sunday, August 24th!! For a limited time, you can enjoy $5 off of our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2014 by using code School2014!

And you can scroll down to the end of this section for details on even more savings!

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The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2014

Our fully guaranteed, comprehensive e-Book offers more than 450 full-color pages to help you plan your very best Disney World trip ever!

With reviews, tips, expert advice, and hundreds of color photographs, you’ll get the biggest bang for your planning buck! And our handy e-Book format has been completely updated for your 2014-15 Disney World vacation.

Inside the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2014, you’ll find:

  • Four free, downloadable worksheets for planning your trip. These worksheets are designed to help you execute all the steps of planning the perfect Disney dining experience. And they’re reusable for all of your future trips!
  • Seven sample one-day dining itineraries to help you start the planning process. There are hundreds of dining options in Disney World. These examples, which highlight particular theme parks, touring styles, and dietary needs, will help you get an idea of what a perfect dining day might look like for you and your family.
  • A full chapter on discounts to apply to your Disney Dining experiences.
  • A comprehensive index of bars and lounges. Disney Food Blog readers asked for this feature, and we were happy to make it happen! An often under-appreciated option for both dining and entertainment, we devote a whole index to the topic. Every single bar and lounge in Disney World is covered — and includes a review!
  • Details about how the My Magic+ Planning System and FastPass+ affect your vacation planning.
Sample Page from the 2014 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining

Sample Page from the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2014

  • Scavenger Hunts, Trivia, and Top 5 List updates to pass the time while you’re waiting in line.
  • Disney Food Bingo Cards — a whole new way to play with your Disney food!
  • Plus SO much more!

The best part? Continue reading →

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Italian Food and Beer Pairing Lunch at Via Napoli

We are less than one month from the start of the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and it will be here before you know it!

food and wine festival logo

Today, we are anticipating some of our favorite Special Events. While we love the Marketplace Booths and Low-Cost Demonstrations and Seminars, it’s fun to splurge once in a while on a few of the Special Events, culinary experiences that take place throughout the festival.

Much is made of wine — after all, this is a food and wine festival. But in recent years, Epcot has expanded its offerings to lovers of cocktails and beer as well.

The opportunity to try craft beers and brews from all around the globe is especially exciting. So let’s take a closer look today at one of the events that is especially geared toward beer lovers — The Italian Food and Beer Pairing Lunch.

Italian Food and Beer Pairing Lunch at Epcot’s Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria

I attended this event during its inaugural year. While the food was delicious and the beer servings were generous, we were disappointed by the event format. It was basically a luncheon with none of the presentation or explanation that we’ve come to expect with these types of events.

We were anxious to try again though, and last year I was able to attend the event again.

Italian Beers and Bottles

Italian Beers and Bottles

We arrived at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria a little early for the event. That’s always a good idea so that you can scope out the venue — especially at a place that is still functioning as a regular restaurant while the event is going on. It’s not always easy to find the registration desk for the event versus the regular check-in line for the restaurant!

While I’ve had trouble with this particular distinction at Via Napoli before (they usually have people check in for the Food and Wine events at the regular check-in desk), on this visit they had the registration desk separate.

Arriving for the Event

Arriving for the Event

That said, the sign was a little confusing. Apparently, it’s doing double-duty for both the Beer Pairings and the Wine Pairings. Our event included only beer; there isn’t a combo event, for those of you who are wondering. :-)

We were greeted by one of the managers, who showed us to the area where the event would take place.

Presenter Guy

Via Napoli’s Manager Greeted Guests

We found our tables set with all of the glassware that we’d need for four courses. There was also fresh Bread with Olive Oil for dipping to get us started. Note that seating seemed to be assigned at this event. I’ve found that to be the case at more and more food and wine events these days.

The Table is Set

The Table is Set

Individual menus made for handy references throughout the meal and great souvenirs after it was complete.

Place Setting

Place Setting

Before we got started, I had a few moments to acquaint myself with the other guests seated at my table (another good reason to arrive a bit early!). I also had a chance to look over the menu.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

It seems that the Italy Culinary team have gotten the memo; our event included Continue reading →

News! Book Now for New Year’s Eve Dining Events in Epcot

It’s never too early to start talking about holidays, and that’s especially true when it comes to Disney World planning.

New Year's Eve Toast

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Today, we’re bringing you early news of a few 2014 New Year’s Eve dining opportunities. And the good news is — you can book them today!

Keep in mind, however, that other NYE dining events are likely to be announced. So if you don’t like either of these options, hang tight. Your favorite may appear before it’s all said and done!

New Year’s Eve at Epcot World ShowPlace

If you’ve ever spent Christmas week at Walt Disney World, you know that the crowds can be massive. Disney meets the need for expanded dining capacity by offering a few extra spots to dine. And back for 2014, guests can take advantage of a special dining event held at Epcot’s World ShowPlace.

Party for the Senses at World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

Fantasia 2014 is a dining event geared toward the whole family. Guests will enjoy scenes and songs from the Disney animated classic while they dine on a full buffet spread. The menu includes items with international flair:

  • An array of Soups and Salads such as: Fresh Greens, Antipasto Salad with Basil, Seafood Harvest Chowder, Grilled Flatbread and Hummus
  • Hot Food Items including: Chimichurri-baked Mahi Mahi with Mango Chutney and carved Deep-Fried Turkey Breast with Garlic and Cranberry Sauce
  • A Dessert Station that features Carrot Spiced Cream Cheese Cupcakes, Guava and Apple Turnovers, and a Chocolate Fondue with various Dippers
  • An extensive Kids Menu, to include Fried Chicken Fritters, Baked Mini Corn Dogs, and Mac and Cheese, among other items

You can book Fantasia 2014 between the hours of Continue reading →