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Holiday Recipe: Peppermint Bark from the Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery in Epcot’s America Pavilion

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! The holiday season is in full swing at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and that means the return of many of our favorite seasonal snacks — plus the addition of some new ones!

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

For many years, Epcot has been a terrific place to spend some time during the Winter holiday season. Holidays Around the World features performances of folk stories from different countries, and the Candlelight Processional always draws big crowds.

Holidays Around the World Maps (1)

And while foods that celebrate the Winter holidays have been a mainstay of the season for years, now Holidays Around the World has joined other annual Epcot Festivals, the Food and Wine Festival and the Flower and Garden Festival, as a food-lovers destination — complete with passport to check off dishes as you enjoy them!

We can never resist a stop by the Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery in the America Pavilion to see what’s new!

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery

One favorite has been there for years — even before the Sugar and Spice Bakery was there! Peppermint Bark!

Peppermint Bark from the Sugar and Spice Bake Shop in Epcot's America Pavilion

Peppermint Bark from the Sugar and Spice Bake Shop in Epcot’s America Pavilion

Can’t make it to Epcot, or you don’t want to wait to enjoy some until you do? Check out this handy recipe and whip up a batch at home!

Peppermint Bark

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery, Epcot’s America Pavilion

Makes a 15 x 10-Inch Baking Sheet

Ingredients:

Continue reading →

Review: Lunch at Spice Road Table in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

Happy (almost) First Birthday, Spice Road Table!

Spice Road Table hit the scene in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion almost one year ago now, so we thought it would be a great time to pay another visit to this beautiful restaurant and see how things are going.

Since it’s opening, this Table Service location has offered Mediterranean tapas (small plates) and a unique wine and beer list. However, Spice Road Table recently changed its approach a bit with the addition of Advance Dining Reservations and acceptance of the Disney Dining Plan, as well as a new focus on entree-sized menu options.

So now is a great time to show you what’s evolved, and what’s remained the same at Spice Road Table!

Atmosphere

While we will be discussing some of the recent changes at Spice Road Table, the atmosphere definitely falls under the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” category.

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table

The decor remains stunning, from the restaurant itself to the waterfront views it provides of World Showcase Lagoon. You can get an idea of those views as you approach Morocco from the bridge that connects Epcot’s France and UK Pavilions.

Spice Road Table View from the water

Spice Road Table View from the water

The first thing to greet you as you step inside is the bar area, made remarkable by bold blue on the walls and the view of the water wheel outside.

Spice Road Table Bar -- straight ahead as you enter

Spice Road Table Bar — straight ahead as you enter

Spice Road Table Bar

Spice Road Table Bar

From here, you’ll be seated either indoors or outside (preferences can be stated at the check-in podium, and are honored as availability permits). While the indoor seating area is small and narrow, it is beautiful, featuring intricate woodwork surrounding the booths.

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Gorgeous — there’s no other word for them — Moroccan lanterns and decorative items are on display near the ceiling.

Spice Road Table Indoor Lanterns

Spice Road Table Indoor Lanterns

Decor

Decor

But the most striking decorative element is the view of the water from the large windows lining the inside of the restaurant. (It’s worth noting that most of the indoor booths, with a few exceptions, are situated facing the windows for great water views from just about anywhere in the space).

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Spice Road Table Setting Indoors

Window seat

But Spice Road Table might be best known for it’s outdoor seating area, offering prime views for the nightly IllumiNations fireworks spectacular (and likely the very reason Spice Road Table began offering Advance Dining Reservations, since the spot is in higher demand in the hour before IllumiNations begins).

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

Beautiful lighting fixtures are key decorative elements outside as well.

Spice Road Table Outdoor Lanterns

Spice Road Table Outdoor Lanterns

Hanging lantern

Hanging lantern

And it’s a cool fact that the Continue reading →

Disney Food Post Round-Up: December 14, 2014

The holidays at Walt Disney World fill our spirits with extra magic. From showstopping decor to heartwarming seasonal treats and beverages, the parks and resorts are at their very best.

Winter Berry Margarita

Winter Berry Margarita

And we always enjoy seeing the adult drinks that Disney’s Hollywood Studios has available before we tour the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

And we have a sneak peek at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto coming to Disney’s Polynesian Resort!!

Craving more news? Dig in below — just click on the links!

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, Field to Feast, Starbucks West Side Holiday Menu, Frozen Yogurt at Storybook Treats, 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 always love to see the seasonal treats that the Disney chefs dream up. This week, our fabulous readers show us their holiday finds.

Let’s start with this gorgeous seasonal cupcake featured at the Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant. We have this photo to share with you courtesy of reader Claire. She told us via email “This was from about 3 weeks ago. It was a seasonal offering at Be our Guest in addition to the other regular cupcakes for dessert. It was very cutely designed to look like a cup of egg nog, with chocolate handle on the cup and everything. It had a nice soft, moist texture to the cupcake which was a spice cake. But holy nutmeg Batman!!! I love spice as much as the next person, but the nutmeg seemed really pronounced. If you really like the Christsmas-y flavours, then this is for you.”

Egg Nog Cupcake

Egg Nog Cupcake

DFB Reader Rick tweeted “Cupcake, Gingerbread & Mickey. Who could ask for more!?!” We love this one, too, Rick!

Gingerbread Cupcake

Gingerbread Cupcake

What’s your favorite find? Share your Disney food photos!

DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2014

Tis the season to eat, drink, and go to Walt Disney World! And that means it’s time to pick up your copy of the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2014 e-Book!

miniguide_holidays0714

The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014 e-Book is Fully Updated!

The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014 e-Book features 310 pages of all the info you need to know before you head to Walt Disney World for the holiday season, including NEW events and holiday happenings, over 250 photos, and an informative FAQ section. It includes:

  • Detailed descriptions and photos of every holiday event and activity happening at the parks and resorts this year — including tips on how to make the best use of your time and money when visiting!
  • A fully comprehensive holiday dining section with listings of holiday snacks, treats, meals, and menu items offered this year — from popcorn kiosks all the way to Signature Restaurants.
  • New chapter on where to dine with no advance dining reservations.
  • New chapter on 10 must-eat snacks this holiday season.
  • A clickable 3-Month Schedule of Holiday Events so you can see at-a-glance what looks interesting to you.
  • Comprehensive listings — with color photos! — of Disney Resort holiday decor and gingerbread displays
  • Our recommendations on ways to SAVE while you’re in Disney World this holiday season.
  • A full chapter dedicated to all “New for 2014″ events, dining options, and activities, including what’s new at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, The Celebrate the Magic Castle Show, and the Epcot Candlelight Processional.
  • Updated Scavenger Hunts
  • Disney Cruise Line Chapter
  • A Preview of the 2015 Holidays in Disney World
  • And more!

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Holiday Fun!

You’re probably paying a lot of money for your Disney holiday vacation…and we’re here to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck! And with the holiday season already here, the time is now!

Holiday Guide Sample Pages

Holiday Guide Sample Pages

Booking early for holiday events and dining is critical, and our exclusive

Continue reading →

2014 Disney Gift Guide: Wearing Your Favorite Disney Snacks

Is there someone on your holiday gift list who loves Dole Whip more than life? (Wait… is there anyone on your list who doesn’t?). Well, what could be better than giving them a way to enjoy their favorite Disney snack all year long? It may not be exactly the same as a personal delivery of the real deal, but these t-shirts, mugs, totes, and phone cases might just be be the next best thing!

This Peace, Love, and Dole Whip t-shirt pretty much sums up all the best things in life, doesn’t it?

Peace, Love, & Dole Whip tee

Peace, Love, & Dole Whip tee

Those who don this Please Stand Clear of My Dole Whip Tee can pay homage to the monorail and their beloved Dole Whip at the same time.

Please Stand Clear of My Dole Whip tee

Please Stand Clear of My Dole Whip tee

Simple and classic, here’s a Dole Whip Mug.

Dole Whip Mug

Dole Whip Mug

Okay, here’s one you don’t see every day… I am loving this Lapu-Lapu tote bag for fans of this Tambu Lounge beverage!

Lapu-Lapu tote

Lapu-Lapu tote

Do you heart School Bread? Well, so do Continue reading →

More Details of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Revealed at…Disneyland!?

We have some fun new updates for you today of what’s soon to be at Walt Disney World — but they’re coming to us from Disneyland!

Intrepid Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers attended the fun Mahaloween Luau event earlier this year at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar in the Disneyland Hotel. While there, she grabbed a sneak peek of what we can expect at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. We also gleaned a few more details from The Atomic Grog!

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto Concept Art

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Concept Art — Coming Soon to Walt Disney World!

While details have been kept mostly under wraps since we were given our first glimpse of concept art last Spring, the presentation by Imagineers Brandon Kleyla and Kyle Barnes at the Mahaloween Luau served to add a few more pieces to the puzzle.

I'll Have Whatever She's Making, Please!

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Although we know that Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto will be similar to the wildly popular Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar in Disneyland Hotel, we’re also starting to get an idea of how they’ll differ. And the key is right here in some of the photos we are sharing with you today.

Trader Sam's Tiki in Orlando

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

The most interesting thing to come out of the presentation is the subtle difference in themeing between the two different Trader Sam’s locations. While the Disneyland Trader Sam’s has a style more reflective of Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise ride — think African Queen — Imagineers have something entirely different in mind for the Grog Grotto.

At the Polynesian, Trader Sam’s will celebrate more of the nautical aspect of the intrepid head salesman’s adventures. Look for the primary themeing cues to come courtesy of the Continue reading →

Food Review: Newly Refurbished Intermission Food Court at Disney World’s All Star Music Resort

On December 3rd, Intermission Food Court at Disney’s All Star Music Resort reopened after a four-month long refurbishment.

We were excited to see the results, and — of course — excited to taste the food! We shared a photo tour of the whole space just after the food court reopened. But there was so much to see that we couldn’t fit it all in one post. So today we’re back at Intermission Food Court to explore the food options a little more in depth, from a full rundown of the menus to sampling a few of the items ourselves (as we so love to do!).

Still, just as a reminder, we’ll begin by taking a quick peek at the updated design of Intermission Food Court.

Atmosphere

For those familiar with the All Star Food Courts, you’ll notice the changes immediately. First off, bold primary colors have given way to earth tones.

Intermission Food Court Entrance

Intermission Food Court Entrance

Intermission Food Court

Intermission Food Court

Intermission Food Court

Intermission Food Court

The larger-than-life murals of musicians are gone, but that doesn’t mean the nods to music have disappeared… they’re just more subtle. Some of my favorite features include the guitar fret wall, the “drum kit” over the beverage station, and the woodwind instruments surrounding the Singing Spirits Bar.

Guitar wall

Guitar wall

Beverage Station

Beverage Station

Singing Spirits Bar

Singing Spirits Bar

And, of course, some Disney pals have joined in on the fun, too…

Character Pane

Character Pane

Character Panes

Character Panes

But now it’s time to explore the food options a little more in depth, so here we go!

Eats

Let’s take the food court station by station… and grab a bite or two while we’re at it ;). We aimed to get a small sampling from each station — or “shop” —  on our visit, but I don’t want to  miss the chance to point out the Pizza and Pasta Shop, which was one station we didn’t try.

Pizza and Pasta Shop menu

Pizza and Pasta Shop menu

Pizza and Pasta Shop menu

Pizza and Pasta Shop menu

So, yeah, there’s pizza here ;). Or you can grab a Hot Italian Sub. The pasta might be the more noteworthy option, though, since Continue reading →

DFB Exclusive! 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Sweet Corn Cheesecake from the Mexico Marketplace

AAAAAH!! I am so excited to share this DFB exclusive!

We may have closed the books on the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, but we’re still reliving the memories of one of the best Festivals we remember from recent years! And, NO JOKE, I get emails, tweets, facebook messages, what-have-you EVERY SINGLE DAY from readers asking me for the recipe for the Sweet Corn Cheesecake, the dessert item featured at this year’s Mexico Marketplace Booth.

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

The sweet, rich, creamy dessert was the perfect marriage of the familiar and the unexpected for our readers, and everyone’s all about figuring out how to make it at home.

Sweet Corn Cheesecake -- Cross Section

Sweet Corn Cheesecake — Cross Section

Well, the wait is over! Thanks to the super generous and ever accommodating Chef Gerardo Gonzalez (a.k.a. Chef Jerry), who oversees all of the restaurants in the Mexico Pavilion (and who I may have bugged a little incessantly about giving me this recipe…and the one for the amazing Crema de Elote at La Hacienda de San Angel…still waiting on that one, Chef Jerry…), for sharing it with us and allowing us to print it for you lot!

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Mexico Marketplace Booth

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

Continue reading →

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: December 11, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Disney World!! The season is rolling right along with festive treats and special events. And, as always, there’s plenty of other food news to go around: menu changes, new eats (did somebody say “Barbecued Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese?!”), completed refurbishments, ongoing Downtown Disney construction, and more. So join us on another trip around the World to see What’s New

EPCOT

Holidays Around the World is in full swing at Epcot! This annual festival shares holiday traditions from around the globe through story, music, and — our favorite! — FOOD!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

France decoration

France decoration

Remember, this is the only time of year to grab such treats as Happy Face Fried Cakes at the Joy of Tea in China, Gingerbread Ice Cream at L’artisan des Glaces in France, and Panettone sweet bread at Italy’s Gelato Stand.

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Panettone Sweet Bread display

Panettone Sweet Bread display

But there’s plenty of non-holiday food news as well… Starting in Morocco, Spice Road Table has not only started taking Advance Dining Reservations — they’re also now accepting the Disney Dining Plan.

To offer guests the ability to maximize their one Table Service plan credit, this tapas-based restaurant is now also serving full-sized entrees, including Coriander Crusted Rack of Lamb, Roasted Chicken, and a Mediterranean Vegetable Platter, among others.

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table menu

Spice Road Table menu

Staying in Morocco, Tangierine Cafe debuted new entrees as well: a Meatball Platter and Saffron Rotisserie Chicken.

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe entree display

Tangierine Cafe entree display

At the United Kingdom’s Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room, the Continue reading →

Snack Series: “Frozen” Cupcake at Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

It’s Disney Cupcake Time! And for this round of sweet snacking, we’re checking out Contempo Cafe, one of our favorite spots to snag one of these mammoth snacks!

Located steps away from Magic Kingdom — or a convenient stop on the Resort Monorail line — Contempo Cafe is a great spot to grab a delicious lunch or dinner under the soaring atrium of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. If you’re looking for real sustenance, try their Beef Pot Roast or Hot Smoked Turkey Sandwich.

But it’s also a great stop on any Cupcake Crawl! While you can usually find a classic or two in their case, like the Red Velvet Cupcake, it’s always fun to see their new and seasonal varieties as well!

We’ve shown you the Frozen Cupcake before…but this time I get to review it for realz.

Frozen Cupcake

Nope — the cupcake isn’t frozen. Elsa is here in name only.

The streaky Blue Frosting, the Dark Chocolate Cupcake, and the Elsa (or other cast member) Ring and Snowflake Garnish all make for striking visual impact.

Frozen Cupcake

Frozen Cupcake

Yep, when I was there I got to choose from several different Frozen cast members to adorn my cupcake. Sven, Kristoff, Elsa… take your pick. And that special plastic ring is settled into a plain vanilla buttercream frosting that’s — typical of Contempo Cafe — a little lighter than you may find elsewhere in the parks and resorts.

It’s kind of a cross between the consistency of “lard-y” buttercream and whipped cream. You guys know how I feel about frosting, and I’m not opposed to this variety, it’s just not my favorite.

Cupcake -- Up Close

Cupcake — Up Close

Cut the cupcake open, and we see, again, the familiar Contempo Cafe cupcake set up. Inside of this one, there’s my favorite Continue reading →

Specialty Holiday Cocktails at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

There is about one month left to check out an unforgettable Hollywood Studios holiday tradition: The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! So while you’re enjoying this

Osborne Lights!

Osborne Lights!

Osborne Lights!

Osborne Lights!

You might want to know where you can enjoy one of these

Holiday Drinks at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Holiday Drinks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A small pop-up bar has made its place directly under the “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” marquee. And there are also bars to grab these “to-go” just outside of Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, and at the Hollywood Brown Derby patio.

Marquee to the right

Marquee to the right

This is where you’ll find specialty cocktails like the Winter Berry Margarita, which was first available at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post. You can check out our review of this brightly colored blend of tequila, triple sec, Monin Wildberry, sweet and sour, and cranberry juice here.

Winter Berry Margarita

Winter Berry Margarita

Personally, I like the Gumdrop for the sheer fun factor… Stoli Razberi Vodka, Chambord, pineapple and cranberry juices, and Sprite (for some fizz action!). Alas, no glow cube… but it is topped off with gumdrops. And that’s gotta count for something! (Note that the gumdrops are cinnamon and mint…so…um, gross…but still gumdrops!)

Gumdrop Cocktail

Gumdrop Cocktail

This has a nice balance of sweet and sour. Loved it!

Einstok Doppelbock also makes the menu! A small selection of assorted beer is also available. A Holiday Punch in Pomegranate or Orange Lemonade (souvenir glow cube included, of course!) provides a non-alcoholic option, and Beso Del Sol Sangria rounds out the list.

But that’s not all… during the day, you can find some cider with an added kick at Backlot Express. Just take a look at the ingredients in the Torched Holiday Cider

Torched Holiday Cider

Torched Holiday Cider

Angry Orchard Hard Cider with Fireball Cinnamon Whisky? Don’t mind if I do… thanks, Backlot! Didn’t know you had it in ya ;).

And over at Studio Catering Co., you can find this awesome-looking Very Merry Cherry, with Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, Sweet-and-Sour, Grenadine, and Sprite! YUMMMM!

Very Merry Cherry Drink at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Very Merry Cherry Drink at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Just a little extra yuletide cheer comin’ at you from Hollywood Studios!

Would you like to try any of the specialty holiday beverages at Hollywood Studios? Please let us know with a comment!