the disney food blog Rotating Header Image

Guest Review: Lunch at Disney’s Hollywood Brown Derby

Join us in welcoming Claire Gregory as a DFB guest reviewer.

She brings us to the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World.

Let’s do lunch…

This signature restaurant celebrates the golden age of Hollywood. And since it’s inside a theme park, there’s no need to dress up!

Main Dining Room

Main Dining Room

Here are some pictures from my recent lunch at Hollywood Brown Derby.

First up: Butternut Squash Soup. Very nice!

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Then three words that make me smile — Venison Osso Bucco — and it was good as it sounds or even better.

Venison Osso Bucco

Venison Osso Bucco

Followed by pick your own dessert.

Dessert Menu

Dessert Menu

You can pick whatever you want you, so my three choices were: Continue reading →

Snack Series: Mickey Cupcake at Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

We’ve hopped the monorail for another fun check-in at the Contempo Cafe!

On a recent jaunt through the Contemporary to view the Frozen Gingerbread Display, I couldn’t resist checking out the pastry case at the Contempo Cafe. More often than not, I usually find a new-to-me cupcake there!

Now, at first glance, this one doesn’t seem all that interesting. But let’s dig a little deeper. First off, the cupcakes featuring Mickey Mouse’s likeness at the Contempo in the past have been topped with a Chocolate Mickey — like this Red Velvet Cupcake. This one features a Souvenir Ring. SWAG! ;-)

The top of the cupcake is crowned with a light Buttercream Frosting, and it’s finished with cute Mickey-shaped Confetti in classic colors. But we know the Contempo well enough at this point to figure there’s a surprise inside.

Contempo Cafe's Mickey Cupcake

Contempo Cafe’s Mickey Cupcake

…And right we are! This cupcake features the same structure of others sold here; the center plays host to Continue reading →

Disney Food Post Round-Up: December 29, 2014

Before indulging in the holiday treats that we featured this past week, take a look at the 21 Royal Street news out of Disneyland. It’s quite intriguing!

Grilled Treviso at Trattoria al Forno

Grilled Treviso at Trattoria al Forno

For guests heading to Walt Disney World soon, you’ll want to read our review of the NEW Trattoria al Forno — a restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.

And if you’re still in the mood for seasonal goodies, we have those too. Just click on the links below!

Disney Food News

  • 21 Royal Street, adjacent to Disneyland’s members-only Club 33, is set to open in 2015!
  • Dig in! Our full food review of Trattoria al Forno — the new BoardWalk Inn restaurant — is ready to savor!
  • We checked out the seasonal Savory Turkey Waffle at Epcot’s Promenade Refreshments.
  • This year, we gave the Pecan Maple Bark in Epcot’s Canada pavilion a try.
  • A new version of Bûche de Noël is in the bakery case at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France pavilion.

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, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

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!

We love celebrating special occasions in Walt Disney World. And we know you do too!!

Facebook Friend Susan ordered a Disney Christmas Cake for her 2014 fireworks cruise. Are those the Osborne Lights?!?

Disney Christmas Cake

Disney Christmas Cake

Or maybe you’d rather feature Jack Skellington?! Check out this cake sent in by Facebook Friend Melissa.

Jack Skellington Cake

Jack Skellington Cake

Do you have a favorite find? Share your Disney food photos!

Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book Today for $5 Off!

Want a big discount on our most popular DFB Guide in time for the new year? Or, you know, just cause you want to start planning your 2015 Disney trip TODAY? ;-D

dfb_guide_2015_3d

It’s yours! Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining today and use promo code SANTA for $5 off!

We know that when it comes to your Disney vacays, planning ahead is practically essential these days. And if you can save time and money in the process — even better!

And that’s why today, when you pre-order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and enter promo code SANTA, you’ll save $5 off of the already low cover price!

But the really cool part? You get two books for the price of one! We’ll deliver the 2014 Guide to you immediately, and email you the 2015 Guide as soon as it is available early next year.

Here are a couple of sample pages for you — just click to enlarge!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Sample Page

Samples Pages of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013

What’s in the DFB Guide?

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is stuffed FULL of helpful features to help make your trip go smoothly, like:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from Continue reading →

Review: New Year’s Eve Dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table

Dinner inside the Magic Kingdom’s quintessential castle at Walt Disney World is a remarkable experience any night of the year!

But imagine hobnobbing with Cinderella and feasting inside the royal dining room at Cinderella’s Royal Table on New Year’s Eve. Last year, my family crossed this adventure off of our bucket list — right before the clock struck midnight!

New Year’s Eve Tips

First, make your Advance Dining Reservation as soon as possible. For the most popular restaurants (especially during holidays!!), you’ll need to book 180 days prior!

view of fireworks from Cinderella's Royal Table

You’ll find recommendations to arrive the Magic Kingdom early and stay all day and night. Without a break. In the massive crowds. This commando touring is not my family’s style. So I researched when the Magic Kingdom had closed and re-opened to guests for the past several years.

I found that the Magic Kingdom historically reached crowd capacity in the early morning and afternoon with re-openings by late afternoon/early evening. Even with our pre-paid dinner, we took our chances and it worked perfectly! Tip: You do not have to stay in the Magic Kingdom ALL day and night unless you must have a view of the castle forecourt for fireworks time. By 8PM on December 31, 2013, the Magic Kingdom had re-opened to all guests, including families staying off-site!

We spent the morning at the Animal Kingdom (late breakfast at Tusker House!!) and rested at our hotel the rest of the day. Arriving the Magic Kingdom about 6PM, we were admitted with no problems. Once inside, we experienced the thickest crowds that we’ve ever encountered anywhere. We formed a family chain by holding the back of each others’ shirts and somehow made our way to the back of the park.

Passing people sleeping on blankets as they saved their coveted spots in front of the castle for the evening’s fireworks display — we made our way to New Fantasyland. And the crowds were… gone! We practically had Big Top Treats and the area behind it all to ourselves. We got a snack and relaxed at an outdoor table. Tip: there were barely lines for the character meet and greets in this section of the park!

New Year's Eve Snack in New Fantasyland

New Year’s Eve Snack in New Fantasyland

Our advance dining reservation was for 9:30PM. It was especially crowded waiting to be let in to the castle; and believe me, we weren’t allowed to approach the podium even a minute before our reservation time. There was only a small area in which we could wait as the back of the castle was already roped off for the fireworks. Once inside though, we experienced pure magic!

Holiday Decor

Holiday Decor

After photographs with Cinderella, we waited in the lobby to be beckoned to the dining room.

Grand Hall

Grand Hall

Among the last diners of the night, we witnessed Cinderella playing with children. She actually played hide and seek with them all throughout the lobby. It was an intimate moment with a fairytale princess that we reveled in watching, and I’m sure the children and their parents cherished the experience.

Hide 'n Seek with Cinderella!

Hide ‘n Seek with Cinderella!

After our meal, we had to wait by the outdoor podium for the castle show to end. Once done, we were able to exit into Fantasyland. We found a place to sit on the pavement in front of Mickey’s PhilharMagic and waited for the fireworks. And they were amazing!

New Year's Eve Fireworks

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Ringing in the New Year at the Magic Kingdom was an amazing experience. We continued to walk around the park allowing the crowds to disperse. We found very few crowds in Frontierland where a DJ was still spinning tunes!

DJ Entertains on New Year's Eve

DJ Entertains on New Year’s Eve

So, let’s check out our meal…

Atmosphere

Cinderella was holding court next to a Christmas tree decorated in rich silver, gold, and blue!

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Once you ascend the winding red-carpeted stairway (or take the more modern elevator), you’ll step in to a medieval dining room with a vaulted ceiling.

Vaulted Ceiling at Cinderella's Royal Table

Vaulted Ceiling at Cinderella’s Royal Table

The table setting was enhanced with purple napkins and a gold table runner. The silver cutlery resembles crossed swords!

Table Setting

Table Setting

Gentlemen (young and young-at-heart) receive swords as souvenirs.

Souvenir Swords

Souvenir Swords

The menu’s cover echoes the jaw-dropping stained glass features found throughout the castle.

Regal Menu Cover

Regal Menu Cover

Eats

The bread basket and accompanying butter were delivered promptly.

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

With a choice of appetizers, hubby and son went with the Royal Tasting of Cheeses and accompaniments. Both of them enjoyed sampling the different options and gave it a thumbs up as a starter!

Trio of Cheeses

Trio of Cheese

For my picky palate, I requested a garden salad with ranch dressing (from the kids menu!).

Garden Salad

Garden Salad

For entrees, note that the accompaniments change up frequently.

The guys had no difficulty choosing the Beef Tenderloin. Again, they both found the steak to be a delicious option but not nearly as good as previous steak entrees at Continue reading →

Disney Food Pics of the Week: The Holidays!

Season’s Greetings and Merry Christmas! We hope that the season is treating you well, and that you’re taking time out to enjoy all of the little blessings it holds.

And speaking of treating…why don’t we chat about some Disney treats! See? I can bring anything right back to the Disney and the eating.

Swirled Ice Cream at Storybook Treats May Be Available

Who Can Resist Soft Serve in Seasonal Colors?!?

Today, we’re sharing another fun installment in our Disney Food Pics of the Week Series, which features you, our wonderful readers, and all of the great images you capture and share with us!

If you’d like to get in on the fun, we’d love to see your photos, too! Just head over to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza — our Flickr Page — and join up to share!

Since we’re enjoying the holidays at present, I wanted to share a few more shots that you’ve captured from the season of Merry and Bright. Let’s take a look!

Holiday Tamales from Rancho del Zocalo

Photographer: jingorokitty

Isn’t it awesome when we get to enjoy our holiday favorites? In some parts of the country, tamales are a beloved holiday food, and I love that Rancho del Zocalo in Disneyland honors that. Now I know what I’d like to have for dinner…

Holiday Tamales from Rancho del Zocalo

Holiday Tamales from Rancho del Zocalo

Snowman Marshmallow Pops

Photographer: Kirsten Marie Hutton

These Snowman Marshmallow Pops, which were spotted at Marceline’s, are crazy cute! If the little scarves around their neck don’t charm you, I know their Mickey Ear Hats will!

Snowman Marshmallow Pops from Marceline's

Snowman Marshmallow Pops from Marceline’s

Holiday Cupcakes with Mickey Flair!

Photographer: Hilary JW

Sometimes, nothing but a big, frosting-topped Continue reading →

Guest Review: Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World

We’re welcoming Alex Freeman today as she shares a review of one of our favorite spots – Jiko in the Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Atmosphere

Jiko – The Cooking Place, a signature dining restaurant, is located at the Jambo House at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Before you even walk into the restaurant, you are enchanted by the expansive lobby. The minute you walk into Jambo House, you definitely feel as though you have entered into an African savanna lodge. The best part of the lobby is the huge window at the back where you can see the savanna and the walk leading to the African animals.

To get to the restaurant, you must go downstairs. On the way down the stairs, you will walk right past Victoria Falls, a bar/lounge that overlooks Boma, Flavors of Africa. Once you reach the bottom of the stairs, you can either turn left and enter Boma or if you go right, you will come to Jiko. Jiko is a breathtaking restaurant with an open kitchen, a wall of different varieties of wine, and a memorable ambiance. My favorite part of the interior design is the light fixtures.

Love Jiko’s Ambiance!

Dining Room.

Escape to Jiko!

Eats

When we checked in at the front desk, we only had to wait a few minutes before we were seated. The hostess that led us to our table was extremely friendly and polite. I wish I remembered her name because she was absolutely wonderful. Once we were seated, I could not wait to start reviewing the menu to see what had changed and what had stayed the same since the last time I was at the restaurant.

While deciding upon which entrees to order, we enjoyed a delicious bread basket which consisted of Dabo Bread and Flaxseed Focaccia. The bread came with a Tandoori butter. I absolutely love the Dabo bread with the Tandoori butter. The honey taste of the bread and the garlicky flavor of the butter is a perfect mixture. I was not a huge fan of the Flaxseed Focaccia. I found the bread to be too salty to mix with the butter.

Dabo Bread and Flaxseed Focaccia.

I was eating with my entire family, so I was able to review four different entrees. We decided to order Guinea Hen, Maize-crusted Atlantic Black Grouper, Oak-grilled Filet Mignon, and the Continue reading →

Holiday Snack Series: Savory Turkey Waffle at Promenade Refreshments in Epcot

Merry Christmas Everyone!!! I hope you’re having a fantastic day!

Here at DFB, we couldn’t let the day pass without showing you one more stop on our Holidays Around the World tour! Today’s stop takes us back to Promenade Refreshments.

Holidays Around the World Menu at Refreshment Port -- Click to Enlarge

Holidays Around the World Menu at Promenade Refreshments — Click to Enlarge

There are some fun holiday options available at this stop just outside of World Showcase, including Seasonal Beer, special Hot Chocolate, and even Frozen Yogurt dressed up for the festivities. But we are, of course, here for the Waffle! Let’s take a look.

Savory Turkey Waffle at Promenade Refreshments

Last year, Promenade Refreshments featured two different holiday waffles — a Stuffing Waffle with Turkey, Cranberries, and Gravy, provided savory flavors. A Sweet Potato Waffle with all of the ingredients of the popular holiday casserole served as a dessert option. This year, they (sadly) decided to simplify and offer only one waffle, but with elements of both. (Don’t worry. They left out the marshmallows.)

Why do we say sadly? Well, because we really liked both of the holiday waffle entries last year.

Holiday Waffle from Epcot's Refreshment Port

Holiday Waffle from Epcot’s Promenade Refreshments

And this year’s is a decidedly different animal, with both good and not-our-favorite components. The 2014 version features a Sweet Potato Waffle with Turkey, Green Bean Casserole, and Crispy Fried Onions.

So — Sweet Potato Waffle: Really Awesome. Turkey — Awesome. Green Bean Casserole — Ummmm?

Holiday Waffle -- Another Angle

Holiday Waffle — Another Angle

I can think of many, many ways Disney could have gone with this. The Cranberry Relish on last year’s waffle was brilliant. And there’s always Continue reading →

Holiday Snack Series: Pecan Maple Bark from Epcot’s Canada Pavilion

Just one more day til Christmas, and it’s more holiday deliciousness today as we continue our stroll around World Showcase in Epcot!

These are snacks that are just perfect for enjoying as we take in all the sights and sounds of Holidays Around the World. What’s your favorite performance? I can never make up my mind!

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

On a recent visit, I decided to make it my mission to try as many holiday treats and snacks as possible. But what I found in the Canada Pavilion just may be my favorite sweet of the week. And to think I almost didn’t get it!

Pecan Maple Bark in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion

Epcot’s Holidays Around the World offers performances and special foods in each World Showcase pavilion, celebrating holidays that take place this time of year. And you can even track your progress with a passport.

Holidays Around the World at Epcot Passport

Holidays Around the World at Epcot Passport

And when you set your goal to eat your way around this enchanted holiday world, there’s no better place to start than the Canada Pavilion, where we found Pecan Maple Bark.

Epcot's Holidays Around the World -- Pecan Maple Bark in the Canada Pavilion

Epcot’s Holidays Around the World — Pecan Maple Bark in the Canada Pavilion

I’ll be honest — I didn’t buy this one last year. I figured, what’s the big deal about yet ANOTHER holiday-themed bark? Here’s a picture of the Pecan Maple Bark as you buy it, with the ingredients printed right on the bag.

Pecan Maple Bark in Epcot's Canada Pavilion

Pecan Maple Bark

But this was Ah-MAZING!!!! I think the most interesting thing here is the name “bark”. Because I’m no candy expert, but this seems more like English toffee to me — a hard candy that’s rich with butter, coated in chocolate. It’s easy to break through, but it definitely has some crunch to it. But the taste isn’t just buttery rich; there’s a healthy dose of Maple Flavor here, too. And it’s so good.

Pecan Maple Bark -- Out of the Wrapper

Pecan Maple Bark — Out of the Wrapper

You can see that crunchy middle part here as well as the Continue reading →

Need A Last-Minute Gift? Disney Food Blog Dining Guide Gift Certificates Now Available!

Our popular Disney Food Blog Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and full line of DFB e-Books make great gifts for friends or family members planning a trip to Walt Disney World!

Give the Gift of Delicious Fun This Year with DFB e-Book Gift Certificates!

And now it’s easy to give the gift of dining planning through our Disney Food Blog e-Book Gift Certificates!

It’s a piece of cake to do — simply:

1. Purchase a gift certificate

2. Either print & give the details to the recipient, OR email the details to the lucky Disney fan!

Don’t let your friends and family go to Disney World unprepared. These e-books will ensure that your loved ones will get the biggest bang for their dining buck in Walt Disney World!

2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Pre-Order Sale

Looking forward to your best ever 2015 Disney trip? It’s yours! Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining today and use promo code SANTA for $5 off!

Time to cross those final names off of your shopping list…and no need to fight for a parking space while you’re at it!

The DFB Guide Gift Certificate

The DFB Guide Gift Certificate

Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and Enjoy $5 Off!

We know that when it comes to your Disney vacays, planning ahead is practically essential these days. And if you can save time and money in the process — even better!

And that’s why today, when you pre-order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and enter promo code SANTA, you’ll save $5 off of the already low cover price!

But the really cool part? This is a two-for-one deal! We’ll deliver the 2014 Guide to you immediately, and automatically email you the 2015 guide in late January 2015. PRE ORDER NOW!

Give…and SAVE…Even More with DFB Bundle Gift Certificates!

One book isn’t enough for the Disney fan in your life? We totally get it. That’s why we have a gift certificates for our super-saver Bundles as well!

EVERYTHING BUNDLE GIFT CERTIFICATE DISCOUNT
Give ALL of our DFB Guidebooks for $10 off the already discounted bundle price with code Continue reading →

Holiday Snack Series: Bûche de Noël from Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion

It’s time for another stop of the season on our Holidays Around the World Tour of Epcot!

This is such an exciting time of the year to visit Walt Disney World. With the beautiful decorations and incredible gingerbread displays, there’s so much to take in! But be sure to carve out some time in your busy holiday schedule for a day at Epcot during your trip.

We recently enjoyed a few days in the midst of the magic, and today we’ve got a review of a classic holiday treat.

Bûche de Noël from Epcot’s Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie

It’s hard to resist Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion on any given day. But there’s no way I’m passing up this delicious spot when holiday treats are on the menu!

Bûche de Noël at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie -- Part of Holidays Around the World

Bûche de Noël at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie — Part of Holidays Around the World

The bakery pays homage to French Christmas tradition with the inclusion of a Bûche de Noël for a limited time. And this year’s version is completely different than last year’s — a great reason to try it in 2014!

Bûche de Noël -- In the Case

Bûche de Noël — In the Case

If you’re familiar with the traditional dessert, then you know it’s usually a simple roulade, made with sponge cake spread with buttercream and frosted with more buttercream. The whole thing is decorated to look like a bûche de Noël, or Yule log.

But of course, Les Halles had to take it to the next level.

To begin, the Bûche de Noël you’ll find here is an individual portion — and I don’t mean a slab of cake. :-)

Individual Bûche de Noël

Individual Bûche de Noël

Each little log is crafted and garnished in perfect, petite fashion. You won’t have to fight with anyone over who gets the Continue reading →