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Guest Review: Studio Catering Co. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Join me in welcoming Bob Sikon with a guest review of a counter service eatery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Studio Catering Co.!

I have to confess, if my wife and I eat a meal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we typically stop in to visit the ABC Commissary. Oh, we’ve eaten meatloaf at 50′s Prime Time Cafe and cobb salads at The Hollywood Brown Derby, but our trips to the Studios usually include the commissary’s burgers.

If not that, we’ll enjoy a mere Quick Service snack of Butterfinger cupcakes from Starring Rolls Cafe or a couple of carrot cake cookies from Writer’s Stop.

This last trip, however, we tried something new – an early dinner at Studio Catering Co.

Welcome!

Atmosphere

Another confession – in all our past visits, we had never given Studio Catering Co. even a little bit of thought. Part of the reason is that it is sort of hidden without really being hidden. In other words, it is clearly there, but if you didn’t know it was there, the signage wouldn’t help you much.

Exterior Menu Board – click image for larger version.

Despite that, the thing that struck us from the moment we approached the restaurant was the amount of available space. There is PLENTY of seating. Look at the size Continue reading →

Tip from the DFB Guide: How to Outsmart the Heat and Crowds at Disney World This Summer

We’re coming into the very hot, very crowded summer months at Walt Disney World. And that gives me a chance to share with you one of my favorite tips from the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining!

2014 dfb guide 3d cover

So, dining in the theme parks is awesome and convenient, since you’re probably already there. BUT, it can also be a hassle…because you’ll get hungry for lunch, well, just about same time that everyone else does!

So one of my favorite tips for dealing with crowds during lunch at Disney Parks? Escape the Parks for lunch at a nearby resort.

The food is as good (and sometimes it’s better) than what you’ll find in the Parks. And with all of that wonderful air conditioning comes another pleasant surprise. Since most guests are busy running to and fro to attractions, you’ll often find little to no wait at Resort restaurants.

When I’m at Magic Kingdom, I love to hop a boat and head for lunch at Trail’s End Restaurant. Located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort Campground, getting there by boat is actually a smart move, since the restaurant is located all the way at the back of the resort.

Grab this Sticky Bun Sundae -- or another mouth watering menu item -- at Trail's End on your Magic Kingdom Day

Grab this Sticky Bun Sundae — or another mouth watering menu item — at Trail’s End on your Magic Kingdom Day

ESPN Club is a short walk from both Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and it’s a great place to catch up with what’s going on in the world of sports while you cool down!

Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has amazing food, and it’s an easy commute from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

You Just Might View Some Animals While You Take in Lunch at Sanaa

You Just Might View Some Animals While You Take in Lunch at Sanaa

And don’t forget Continue reading →

Snack Series: Chocolate Covered Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake at Walt Disney World

So, I’m strolling through Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation during my recent Walt Disney World trip. I can never pass up a visit here!

Now, remember when I told you about the shockingly yummo Strawberry Cheesecake at Electric Umbrella? It’s part of the “dessert in a cup” genre of counter service desserts you’ll find throughout the parks. But it’s actually pretty good.

AND…do you remember when I told you about the Frozen Cheesecake on a Stick in Disneyland? Just when I didn’t think they could make cheesecake any more interesting or delicious, they popped it on a stick and gave it the deep freeze — perfect for a stroll-and-eat treat.

Well…Walt Disney World has obviously gotten the memo. Because check out what I just found!

Frozen Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake on a Mickey Straw

Yep — you guessed it — they’ve taken the Strawberry Cheesecake, popped it out of the cup, and made something altogether new. It’s Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake, Dipped in Chocolate, and served on a Mickey Swirly Straw.

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake on a Straw

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake on a Straw

So there are a few positives about this. Continue reading →

Review: Big Ol’ Donut at Joffrey’s Espresso & Pastries Kiosks

Okay, so maybe when you read the title of this post, you thought, “Really? In the land of Dole Whips, Citrus Swirls, and Supersize Grand Marnier Slushes… you give me donuts?” But just wait. These are super, duper giant donuts. And I know that makes a difference.

One day, I was passing by one of the kiosks, and I heard a man yelling to his wife, “Honey, they’ve got ‘em! I found DONUTS!!

Big ol' Donut

Big ol’ Donut

And I thought, “You know what? The man is right. Sometimes, a person just wants a donut.” And since you can’t find them much anywhere else in Disney World (cronut excepted, of course), it gives us an excuse to check out a few of the Joffrey’s kiosks located in and around the Parks.

Espresso and Pastries stand between the United Kingdom and Canada Pavilions in Epcot

Espresso and Pastries stand between the United Kingdom and Canada Pavilions in Epcot

You’ll find them peppered all over property, often labeled some variant of “Coffee, Espresso & Pastries,” summing up exactly what they serve. Even though they’re painted to match the area where you find them, they look fairly similar to one another in shape and size. Here are just a few examples — there is one right before you enter Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Kiosk before entering Animal Kingdom

Kiosk before entering Animal Kingdom

You’ll find two in Epcot’s World Showcase — one to the left facing Continue reading →

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: June 24, 2014

For this round of “What’s New,” we’re heading to three Disney World parks and five Resorts to check out candy apples, menu changes,  comfort foods, and oodles of cold drinks to help you cool down in hot temperatures! Welcome back to “What’s New!”

MAGIC KINGDOM

Character-inspired Treats

Magic Kingdom rang in the summer with the 24-Hour Rock Your Disney Side event. Several treats debuted that day, which were originally intended to be around just for those 24 hours; but a few made the cut to stick around a little longer, including these eye-catching Maleficent Krispy Treats and cake pops found in the Main Street Confectionery and Big Top Treats.

Maleficent Cake Pops and Krispy Treats

Maleficent Cake Pops and Krispy Treats

If you followed our coverage that day, you may have seen the Sunshine Tree Terrace’s Orange Bird join the candy apple ranks as well, but just in case you missed it, here he is!

Orange Bird Candy Apples

Orange Bird Candy Apples

He’s too cute to not show twice ;) !

Orange Bird Caramel Apple

Orange Bird Caramel Apple

And at Main Street Bakery, the Olaf the Snowman Carrot Cake Cupcake remains, alongside a Frozen-themed one as well.

Olaf Cupcake

Olaf Cupcake

Frozen Cupcake

Frozen Cupcake

Columbia Harbour House

In Liberty Square, Columbia Harbour House is offering two new dinner-only comfort foods: Seafood Macaroni & Cheese and Chicken Pot Pie. You can read our review here!

Columbia Harbour House

Columbia Harbour House

Seafood Macaroni and Cheese

Seafood Macaroni and Cheese

Full entree

Full entree

The Plaza Restaurant

The Plaza Restaurant added a great-sounding choice to their list of entrees: a Beef Brisket Onion Burger.

Plaza sign

Plaza sign

Plaza Entrees

Plaza Entrees

Tony’s Town Square

At Tony’s Town Square, guests can now choose a Seasonal and Sustainable Fresh Catch Salad. And at lunch, a Meatball Trio has replaced the Meatball Sliders.

Tony's Sign

Tony’s Sign

Tony's Town Square Menu

Tony’s Town Square Lunch Menu

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is serving up a new Cherry Slush topped with Lemon-Lime Fomz.

Cherry Slush at Cosmic Ray's

Cherry Slush at Cosmic Ray’s

Cherry Slush topped with Lemon Lime Fomz

Cherry Slush topped with Lemon Lime Fomz

Read more about it (and the mystery that is “Fomz”) by clicking here!

EPCOT

The Refreshment Cool Post (found in the Africa Outpost as you stroll around World Showcase) is offering a few summer treats: Pineapple and Coconut Frozen Yogurt (served solo or swirled together) and a Mango Rum Smoothie featuring African Starr Rum. Check out our review of the new Frozen Yogurt flavors here!

Refreshment Cool Post

Refreshment Cool Post

Pineapple Coconut Swirl Frozen Yogurt

Pineapple Coconut Swirl Frozen Yogurt

ANIMAL KINGDOM

A couple of really fun new adult beverages have arrived in Animal Kingdom!

Drinkwallah

Head over to Asia’s Drinkwallah for a Coconut-Lychee Lemonade with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum. We’ll have a review on the blog soon!

Drinkwallah

Drinkwallah

Drinkwallah Menu

Drinkwallah Menu

Corn-Ivores

Or if you’ve really got to tame your sweet tooth, try Continue reading →

Review: Cotton Candy Carnival Cocktail at Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama in Animal Kingdom

When you think of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you likely think of winding paths, lush greenery, and rich experiences based in the history, culture, and beauty of Africa and Asia.

Unless, of course, you’re HERE…

Chester & Hester's Dino-Rama sign

Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama sign

Welcome!!

Welcome!!

Welcome to Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama!

Dino-Rama Entrance

Dino-Rama Entrance

This street carnival smack-dab in the middle of Animal Kingdom’s Dinoland, U.S.A. is… well, it’s like nothing else in Disney World, that’s for sure. A brightly-colored and whimsical fair of carnival games and rides with over-the-top roadside-stop flair!

Primeval Whirl

Primeval Whirl

Comet Crasher

Comet Crasher

TriceraTop Spin

TriceraTop Spin

Mammoth Marathon

Mammoth Marathon

Mammoth Marathon

Mammoth Marathon

It’s also where you can find some traditional carnival treats, like cotton candy and snow cones at Dino Diner, and popcorn at Corn-Ivores Popcorn Cart.

Corn-Ivores Popcorn

Corn-Ivores Popcorn

Corn-Ivores Popcorn

Corn-Ivores Popcorn

In fact, it was while stopping by Corn-Ivores that I spotted this sign for a Carnival Cocktail: a blend of lemonade, blue cotton candy, and Bacardi Black Razz Rum.

Carnival Cocktail sign

Carnival Cocktail sign

This, I had to try!

Upon placing my order, I was expecting a cotton candy-topped beverage akin to the Cotton Candy Lemonade that you can occasionally find at the Everything Pop Food Court. Nope! Here the cotton candy is blended into the mix prior to pouring. Sad face.

But at least it’s BEAUTIFUL! Don’t you just want to jump in?

Carnival Cocktail

Carnival Cocktail

You can spy the vivid blue hue coming from the drink machines.

Carnival Cocktail in drink machines

Carnival Cocktail in drink machines

But just because I couldn’t see the cotton candy, doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. Because Continue reading →

Grand Launch and Discount: The DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book, 2014 Edition

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the Grand Launch of the Disney Food Blog Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book, 2014 Edition! And to celebrate, we’re offering a $3 discount for a limited time! Use code Epcot2014 at check-out!

We’ve updated our detailed snack guide to help you find the best eats (and treats!) in Walt Disney World’s Epcot. You’ll see some of your old favorites as well as some snacks that you might have missed. We’ve kept most of the snacks in the $1-5 range, but there are a few big spenders in there. (Yep, that turkey leg or frozen mojito is gonna cost you!)

The Disney Food Blog Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book

The DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book is created to supplement our massive Disney Food Blog Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book. Here you’ll find in-depth information, photos, and reviews about iconic and new-to-you Epcot snacks — in great detail!

How Do I Get One?

There is absolutely no waiting to satisfy your snack cravings! This guide is an instantly downloadable PDF guide with over 290 pages of information and advice on over 150 delicious snacks that you can savor in Disney World’s Epcot. Download your copy right now, and start planning!

Sample Page of the DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks 2014

Sample Page of the DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks 2014

Don’t Miss Out on the Best Snacks in Epcot!

This guide is guaranteed to help you better plan your snacks and treats in Epcot, or your money back — we all know that treats in Epcot are just as important as a FastPass+ for Soarin!

The DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book includes: Continue reading →

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 22, 2014

More tidbits (menu items and booths) were announced for the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We’re digging into every morsel of news as it trickles in!

Seafood Mac and Cheese

Seafood Mac and Cheese

This week, we also sampled some tasty new eats at the Magic Kingdom. Find out if we gave a thumbs up or thumbs down to the Seafood Macaroni and Cheese at the Columbia Harbour House.

Check out these news items and more by clicking on the links below!

Disney Food News

Of course, there’s more!

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!

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!

Disneyland is home to some of our favorite Disney food. This week, readers shared some awesome desserts with us! First up, DFB Reader Emily sent in a picture of a cake pop with these comments: “A red velvet cake pop from Pooh Corner in Disneyland! (With one marshmallow ear bitten off lol) Delicious!”

Take a bite!

Take a bite!

At Ariel’s Grotto, opt for this fun dessert plate shared by DFB Reader Terry.

Dessert Platter at Ariel's Grotto

Dessert Platter at Ariel’s Grotto

Thanks for sharing your treats with us!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 e-Book Deal

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 450 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

miniguide_0114_3d

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next trip! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBGuide.com to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2014 to get a $4 discount for a limited time! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!

Here Are Just Some Of What You Get With Our 2014 Guide:

  • Over 450 Pages of Disney Dining and Planning information, tips, reviews, and recommendations!
  • An in-depth Disney Dining Restaurant Reviews section, covering all Disney restaurants, food kiosks, bars, and lounges
  • An updated Disney Dining Plan section and price analysis for 2014
  • NEW Disney food and restaurant photos
  • An updated Disney Snacks chapter, including our list of dozens of must-try snacks AND our Top 11 Must-Have Snacks for 2014.
  • An updated section on birthday parties and specialty cakes in Disney World
  • A comprehensive, 10-page chapter of What’s New in Disney World in 2014, including new restaurants, menu updates, and more
  • Details about how the My Magic+ Planning System and FastPass+ will affect your vacation planning
  • Our picks for the 11 Great Snacks you must try this year
  • Scavenger Hunts, Trivia, and Top 5 List updates
  • Bingo Cards
  • Updates on all pertinent facts such as dining hours, prices, resources, phone numbers, and restaurant closures/openings
  • All new restaurant additions, closures, refurbishments, and added dining experiences
  • And much more!

But, of course we’re offering a discount for our Grand Launch week!! Again, to celebrate the launch and to thank you for your support of the blog, we’ll be offering the Guide for $4 off its standard rate for a limited time! Order your copy now at DFBGuide.com and use code: Continue reading →

What’s Your Perfect Disneyland Dining Day?

Have you ever stopped to dream up your Perfect Disney Day? I bet I’m not the only one who’s whiled away the hours in this way. But I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find out that my daydreams about upcoming trips are frequently planned around — what else? — the FOOD!

So today, we’re going to have a little fun. I want to hear all about what your Perfect Disneyland Dining Day would look like! Where would you eat your meals? What would you have for snacks? Would it be an all fancy-meal affair? Or would treats and counter service eats make the cut too?

I’ll get the ball rolling on the food fantasy by sharing my picks!

Breakfast at Steakhouse 55

One of my favorite places for a serene breakfast is Steakhouse 55. This historic restaurant has been welcoming guests since the very earliest days of the resort. Formerly known as Granville’s, you’ll find a cool and classy atmosphere here with a retro vibe to it.

Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel

Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel

But the digs aren’t the only retro touch. The menu celebrates the past too, with classic dishes. That’s true for dinner as well as for breakfast.

And that combination of serene surroundings and delicious food with a touch of elegance makes Steakhouse 55 a great way to start your day on vacation.

New York Steak and Eggs

New York Steak and Eggs

Besides, how you can resist a good plate of steak and eggs? :-)

Morning Snack at Corn Dog Castle

I must admit, a plate of steak and eggs will probably keep me going for the better part of the day, so I’m likely to skip the morning snack after a meal like that in the real world. But this isn’t the real world at all — it’s the Best. Day. EVER! Right? So you guys, there’s totally gonna be a morning snack stop at Corn Dog Castle.

And making a choice here is no small feat. I mean, you’ve got the amazing classic Hand-Dipped Corn Dog, and you absolutely cannot go wrong with it. But there’s also the nearly-as-delightful Cheddar Cheese Stick if you’d like to skip the sausages altogether.

For me, on this Dream Day, I’m going all the way — and opting for the Hot Link Corn Dog!

Hot Link Corn Dog Meal

Hot Link Corn Dog Meal

In this case, that hand-dipped, made to order treat consists of crunchy Cornbread Coating that enrobes a Hot Link. And it’s definitely got a little zip to it.

Hot Link Corn Dog

Hot Link Corn Dog

Believe me when I say to you — Go there. Get this. One of the three options, anyway. A trip to Corn Dog Castle must be on your list. I insist. (You’ll thank me, I promise.)

Lunch at Cafe Orleans

OK, you guys KNOW that this place is going to be on my “list of anything awesome in Disneyland,” so if you’ve read all of my goings-on about the restaurant already, you’re allowed to skip this section. ;-D Yep. One of my very favorite Disney table service stops is Cafe Orleans.

As much as I love their Gumbo here, it’s the Pommes Frites that I never pass up. Perfectly cooked fries are tossed with Parmesan, Garlic, and Parsley and served with a side of Cajun Spice Rémoulade for dipping. So, so good!

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

Next, I always make space in my Disneyland eating plans for a Continue reading →

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Pizza!

We’re back with more Disney Food Photo fun today, thanks to our awesome contributors on Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza — our Flickr page!

While there aren’t many, we have found a few excellent spots to grab a Pizza at Walt Disney World. And it looks like you have, too! So today, let’s take a look at some of your mouth-watering pizza shots. Get ready to crave. :-)

Pizza Carciofi from Via Napoli

Photographer: Janet Sala

The very last time I was at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion, one of my friends tried Pizza Carciofi and gave it rave reviews. The vegetarian white pizza features Fontina cheese, truffle oil, and artichokes for a fantastic flavor punch.

Pizza Carciofi from Via Napoli

Pizza Carciofi from Via Napoli

Meatball Pizza from Wolfgang Puck Express

Photographer: Kelly Tressler

Before Via Napoli appeared on the Epcot horizon a few years back, Continue reading →