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Disney Lounge Classic Cocktail: The Shadow at Belle Vue Lounge in Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Belle Vue Lounge is one of those Disney spots.

Yep — it’s a hideaway…that only the cool kids know about.

True, I love Disney Bars and Lounges. A lot. They’re some of my favorite spots on property, and they’re awesome for some many reasons. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax after a long day, meeting friends, or even grabbing a bite to eat without an Advance Dining Reservation.

Well, Belle Vue is a bit different than some of my other favorites, like Territory Lounge or Tambu Lounge. Belle Vue doesn’t serve food, except at breakfast, when they offer light continental options, coffee, and a few other beverages.

So you won’t find signature Pub Grub like Fondue or Pulled Pork Nachos here. But you will find loads of relaxing, beautiful atmosphere.

The Belle Vue Lounge in Disney's BoardWalk Inn

The Belle Vue Lounge in Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

And if you happen to encounter a helpful bartender (and the long-time bartender here is always helpful), you may be able to enjoy a Belle Vue classic.

The Shadow at Belle Vue Lounge

You’ll mostly find the Standard Disney Bar Menu here. It’s a little sad…because this place could be even more awesome with an inspired drink menu. But there is one bright spot. And oddly, it’s called The Shadow. :-)

This drink is Belle Vue’s claim to fame, even though it’s not officially on the menu anymore.

A mixture of Chambord, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Vanilla Vodka, and Heavy Cream, it’s as much dessert as it is a cocktail.

The Shadow at Belle Vue Lounge

The Shadow at Belle Vue Lounge

It’s not really my kind of drink. I don’t usually go in for Continue reading →

Tips from the DFB Guide: NEW Unique Meals for Kids at Walt Disney World

Many of us have been there — you’re trying to plan the best and most delicious vacation, but when it comes to Disney Kids’ Meals, the options can seem pretty ho-hum at first glance.

dfb2015_guide_3d

But there’s more to eating with small fry in Disney World than meets the eye! We first told you about Unique Kids’ Meals a while back in a Tip from the DFB Guide.

But times marches on, and menus evolve. And since we first visited the subject, Disney has committed to offering guests healthier eating options — and that includes Kids’ Meal reforms. We’ve fully updated the DFB Guide again this year, and I thought it was the perfect time to revisit Unique Kids’ Meals at Walt Disney World!

These tips come to you courtesy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015! And if they’re helpful to you, pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Mickey Check Meals

We can’t begin to discuss Disney World Kids’ Meals without at least touching on the biggest change to come to children’s menus in the history of the Resort. We’re talking about Mickey Check Meals.

mickey check for kids meals

Part of the Disney Magic of Healthy Living Initiative, the meals are designated on Disney restaurant menus with the “Mickey Check” Symbol. Meals earning the Mickey Check meet the Disney Nutrition Guidelines and limit the amount of sodium, sugar, and saturated and trans fats. In addition, they must also include at least three of the following:

  • fruits and vegetables,
  • low-fat dairy,
  • whole grains, and/or
  • lean protein, beans, eggs, and/or nuts.

So what’s the bottom line? The guidelines have certainly challenged Disney chefs to come up with some interesting meals as a result.

Mickey Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf at Be Our Guest Restaurant…Super Cute! But Not So Delicious

But how do they taste? Wellllll…my jury is still out on that one. While I commend Disney for offering healthier options to guests who are in search of them, the Disney Check Meals that I’ve seen and tasted personally…let’s just say they have a long way to go before taste catches up with the requirements.

A la Carte and Appetizers as Kids’ Meals

If you aren’t using a Disney Dining Plan, then another great idea for a Unique Kids’ Meal option is to order a la carte sides or appetizers instead of something from the Kids’ Menu.

This strategy works great for a couple of different reasons. Even with all of the improvements to kids’ meals across the parks and resorts, some Disney restaurants lag behind a bit, and the options can be a little, well, boring. After all, you can only eat Chicken Nuggets so many times. So it’s a great way to get your young, adventurous eater something tastier and more satisfying.

Smoked Chicken Quesadilla

Smoked Chicken Quesadillas, a Whispering Canyon Cafe Appetizer, is a Great Meal Choice for an Adventurous Kid

It’s also a great idea when Continue reading →

Join the DFB Newsletter and Get Ready for Your Best Disney Trip Yet!

It’s that time of year the temp is going up, up, up! Summer is right around the corner. And that means gathering with friends and family for fun in the sun — Disney style!

DFB Newsletter

We are super psyched that Summer is almost here! And we don’t want you to miss a single second of all that’s happening during this busy season. And that’s why we’d love to have you join the DFB Newsletter today!

But AJ, Why Should I Join the DFB Newsletter?

You and I know all about it: there’s a LOT to cover when it comes to Disney Food. Throw in the busiest time of the year, and you kick it up — well, a bunch of notches!

And to cover all that’s happening at all of the Disney Parks this time of year on the Blog is a tall order.

So we offer even more Disney Food News to you via our Newsletter. What makes it even better? It’s delivered straight to your inbox!

If you love Disney Food, then you’ll love our Newsletter. Twice a month, we’ll send it to you, brimming with full-color photographs and exclusive content.

A Delicious Bite of Warm Peanut Butter Brownie at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot

A Delicious Bite of Warm Peanut Butter Brownie at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot

You’ll enjoy features like our Continue reading →

Review: New and Old Favorites at the Dawa Bar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The last time we visited Animal Kingdom’s Dawa Bar here on the DFB, it was to show you a little bit around what was then its new location.

It hadn’t moved very far… you can still find the Dawa Bar tucked under the same roofing that provides shade for guests waiting to dine at Tusker House, though now — facing Tusker House — you’ll see the Dawa Bar on your right instead of your left.

Aside from the small location switch to accommodate Animal Kingdom construction and a fresh coat of paint, not much has changed at the Dawa Bar (with the exception of the Bloody Mary menu added last fall). And I’m inclined to say that’s a pretty good thing. Today we’re trying some of those classic drinks that bring guests back to the Dawa Bar time and time again (and grabbing one of those Bloody Marys while we’re at it).

Dawa Bar

Dawa Bar

Atmosphere

I’d mentioned the high rate of return for Dawa Bar guests, but I think over the past year some new folks have made the discovery, too. Maybe I’m just imagining it, but it does seem to me that the new location has brought more guests to this fabulous little oasis.

Dawa Bar

Dawa Bar

It’s just a lot easier to see the bar while strolling in Harambe Village from its current location, whereas previously it was tucked toward the back and somewhat hard to spot unless you knew it was there. For that reason, it seems to have lost just a bit of its “hidden gem” status, but it’s managed to keep that “this is my Disney vacation home away from home” feel — in no small part thanks to the great bartenders and relaxing vibe.

Bartender at Dawa Bar

Bartender at Dawa Bar

Dawa Bar-tender :)!

Dawa Bar-tender :)!

The cooling shade is another draw here, and the stools and neat chairs invite you sit and stay a while.

Mismatched chairs

Mismatched chairs

Even though it’s probably the least comfortable, you’ve gotta love the conga chair. Even if you don’t sit in it, you can still appreciate the artistry of the carvings on the bottom.

Conga Chair!

Conga Chair!

But no matter where you sit, it’s much more about what you sip!

Eats

The “eats” here are actually nothing but beverages. And though today we’ll be focusing on the specialty drinks, you’ll always find a terrific selection of African wines and beers here, proudly featuring Tusker Lager.

Menus and bottle assortment

Menus and bottle assortment

You can have any of the drinks you’re about to see served to you in a Mask Tumbler if you’re looking for a souvenir from your time at the Dawa Bar. These hit the scene around the same time the Musical Tumbler arrived at various spots around Animal Kingdom. It’ll up your beverage cost by about $6 per drink.

Mask Tumblers

Mask Tumblers

One of the cocktails that has been a hit for a long time here is the Sugar Cane Mojito. Now, one reason I personally haven’t sampled the Sugar Cane Mojito previously is because I’m really not into mojitos in general. But this drink’s reputation precedes itself, and from the moment it was placed in front of me I started to understand why.

It’s a gorgeous drink — strikingly clear. I was mesmerized by the sunlight shining through the drink. (And, no, I hadn’t started drinking, yet. ;-D)

Sugar Cane Mojito

Sugar Cane Mojito

Even though the general components are the same as a typical mojito (plenty of mint, and in this case the rum is African Starr mixed with Sugar Cane Syrup — complete with a stalk of sugar cane), I really did enjoy this one.

As mentioned above, the Dawa Bar added Bloody Marys to the mix last fall, and the different twists are Continue reading →

News: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Fun Options at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney

St. Patrick’s Day is TODAY! (Are you wearing green??) And if you’re looking to join in the celebration of all things Irish, we have some great suggestions for observing the holiday at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District!

Say cheers with green beer!

Say Cheers with Green Beer!

Whether you’re after delicious St. Paddy’s Day-inspired dishes, or entertainment to stoke the festive spirit, here’s what you need to know to celebrate the Luck o’ the Irish at the popular spot!

Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar started the party earlier! During the entire month of March, guests can enjoy their homestyle Corned Beef Reuben served on a rustic Marble Rye Roll. The sandwich comes with Uva’s Garlic Shoestring French Fries. Pair the platter with Red Trolley Irish Red Ale by Karl Strauss.

Shaved Corned Beef Reuben

Shaved Corned Beef Reuben and Trolley Irish Red Ale at Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar

Crossroads Restaurant at House of Blues will offer lots of options for hungry guests in search of a hearty Irish feast. Look for menu additions such as Corned Beef Sliders, Cheese Soup featuring Guinness, Fish and Chips, and a Reuben Sandwich made in the traditional style with Corned Beef. Add Continue reading →

Review: Black Forest and Apple Spice Cupcakes at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

It’s dessert time, and we’re heading to Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons!

Located on the ground floor of The Land Pavilion, Sunshine Seasons is one of my favorite spots for discovering delectable sweet treats. Their Strawberry Shortcake is legendary, and I recently discovered an absolute must-eat treat, the Warm Peanut Butter Brownie, while visiting here.

But Sunshine Seasons is also a best-kept secret for some of the most interesting and delicious Disney Cupcakes as well. We’ve enjoyed seasonal options like Pineapple Coconut and Guava Cream Cheese Cupcakes.

On a recent visit, I also spied two brand-new-to-me cupcakes that I just had to share with you guys! Settle in, ’cause this is gonna be good.

Sunshine Seasons at The Land pavilion in Epcot

Sunshine Seasons at The Land pavilion in Epcot

Apple Spice Cupcake

First up, I spied the Apple Spice Cupcake. At least, that’s what we’re gonna call it. And how could you not spy it from like a mile away? With that solid covering of sparkly Red Sugar, this one was stunning, and certainly stood out from the crowd. Piped Green Icing Leaves completed the pop of color, and a Pretzel Stick made a good apple stem.

But I couldn’t wait to dig in and see what was under that sugar!

Apple Spice Cupcake

Apple Spice Cupcake

As soon as I got it, I cut it in half to check out the contents (as per usual). The construction of this one is kind of interesting to me, since the frosting is applied in a dome-like fashion, rather than piped.

Beneath the sugar, that frosting turned out to be one of the very best kind — Cream Cheese! At least I THINK it was cream cheese. It had a little apply flavor to it as well! Either way, it was dense and delicious.

The cake was, predictably, Apple Spice-Flavored. But that makes it sound boring, and this was anything but. It was super moist and perfectly spiced. There were no fancy fillings, but honestly, there didn’t need to be.

Apple Spice Cupcake -- Cross Section

Apple Spice Cupcake — Cross Section

The combination of dense Cream Cheese Frosting, Moist Apple Cake, and the Continue reading →

News! Be Our Guest Restaurant Breakfast Menus and Reservation Booking Details

We’ve been hearing for what feels like forever that Be Our Guest Restaurant in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom would begin offering breakfast service — and it looks like that rumor is officially confirmed!

In speaking with Disney Cast Members today, we’ve determined that booking for reservations will open up tomorrow! Guests will be able to book dates from March 20th through June 18th, the date which will mark the end of the test period for this new offering at Be Our Guest.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest Restaurant

So circle Friday, March 20th, on your calendars for the start date for breakfast! To be sure you get immediate updates as they become available, sign up for the Disney Food Blog newsletter!

Now let’s look a little closer at what is anticipated, and just a heads up: it looks like breakfast at Be Our Guest will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before!

Quick Service/Prix Fixe Mashup: Breakfast at Be Our Guest

For lunch service, Be Our Guest recently became the very first counter service spot to offer Advance Dining Reservations. (Dinner service remains table service, and Advance Dining Reservations have been in place for dinner since the restaurant opened.) And now, it seems that they’ll follow suit with lunch for the breakfast service.

Breakfast at Be Our Guest will be a counter service option, but it’s anticipated that advanced ordering will be available, just like at lunch. In addition, the menu will be prix fixe with a twist. Guests will pay one set price, and the meal will include a Deluxe Pastry Basket for sharing at the table, Your Choice of Entree, and a Beverage. (Be sure to continue further in this post for screen shots of the menu!) Continue reading →

Review: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Today, I’m heading back to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe!

I hadn’t been to this corner of Magic Kingdom for a while to eat, and it was time to visit again.

Atmosphere

The legend of Pecos Bill is an interesting one.

But first and foremost, where the Tall Tale Inn — Pecos Bill’s for short — is concerned, it’s the story of two restaurants in one. That’s because Pecos Bill’s straddles two different Disney “lands”: Frontierland and Adventureland.

Pecos Bill Sign

Pecos Bill Sign from the Adventureland Entrance

And depending on which side you enter from, you’ll either feel like you’ve stumbled in from a Western frontier town, or a just colonized Caribbean island. It reminds me a bit of the dual personalities of another Magic Kingdom counter service favorite, Columbia Harbour House. (Check out pics of the two styles you see there — one Fantasyland, one Liberty Square — in this review.)

pecos bills

Pecos Bill Sign from the Frontierland Entrance

You’ll see nods to both settings inside as well. More on that in a minute.

But back to the story. You can read all about Pecos Bill in the story about how the Tall Tale Inn came to be. (And fans of classic Disney film will recognize Pecos Bill’s likeness at the top from Melody Time, the Disney anthology featuring the Pecos Bill short.)

Story of Pecos Bill - click image for larger version

Story of Pecos Bill – click image for larger version

And you should really brush up on the Code of the West. Just in case you’re tempted to, you know, spit or something. Be sure to check out other fun Codes we found on a tour of Magic Kingdom in this post.

Pecos Bill's Code of the West

Pecos Bill’s Code of the West

But don’t just grab a burger and rush through it here! (I know, I know. FastPasses and all that.)

Remember the story above? Of course you do. It was two pictures ago! Well, there are some really cool “artifacts” at Pecos Bill’s that you’ve gotta see.

Check out this pistol and group of playing cards, courtesy of superstar sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The display commemorates one of her most famous tricks, splitting playing cards and shooting them through in mid air.

Revolver and Bullet-Riddled Playing Cards

Revolver and Bullet-Riddled Playing Cards

And of course, there’s memorabilia from Bill’s best girl, Slue-Foot Sue. She autographed these gloves just for him. :-)

A Lady's Gloves -- Autographed and Framed

Slue-Foot Sue’s Gloves

In fact, you can see the gloves in this pic. They hang right around the corner in the seating area from a portrait of Slue-Foot Sue herself!

Regarding seating, it’s plentiful, and you’ll find a fun mix of decor here, befitting its setting at the corner of two Lands. Here, it looks like a tavern in a Texas frontier town.

Seating

Seating

Additional Seating

Additional Seating

But here, the setting is more like Adventureland. Caribbean Island? Mexico? It’s a little of this and a little of that with hanging lanterns, potted flowers, and a verandah overlooking the seating area.

Gorgeous "Outdoor" Seating -- Indoors

Gorgeous “Outdoor” Seating — Indoors

There are also Continue reading →

Disney Food Post Round-Up: March 15, 2015

Walt Disney World is ever-changing and this week there was a major switch-up when two beloved quick service locations — Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace — swapped real estate in the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. So far, the menus have carried over our favorite Dole Whips and Citrus Swirl options!
New Aloha Isle Sign at Former Sunshine Tree Terrace

After you’re done wrapping your brain around the Adventureland switcharoo, take a look at some of the other news we brought your way this week. We’ve got the scoop on new restaurants and kiosks, special menu items, and more!

For all the details on the above news and more, just click on the links below!

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, Turkey Leg kiosk update in the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s Royal Table re-opens, 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 about Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Favorite snacks from Disneyland are our featured items this week. First up, the BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baked Potato from Harbour Galley. Courtesy of Kirsten, this photo is awesome!!

BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baked Potato

BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baked Potato

Or opt for a simple but fun Mickey Pretzel suggested by Facebook Friend Kat. Perfect picture!!

Mickey Pretzel Disneyland-001

Do you have a favorite Disney Food find? Share your photos with us!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015

We recently launched The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book! This valuable resource is fully updated for 2015-16 Disney vacations, and is now available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining plans while in Disney World.

dfb2015_guide_3d

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 490 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

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 DFBStore.com to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2015 to get a $4 discount for a limited time! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!

Note: If you purchased the 2014 Guide last year, scroll down for details on repeat purchase discounts.

Here’s Just Some Of What You Get With Our 2015 Guide:

  • Over 490 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 Continue reading →

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe Debuts New Treats and Dishes

Spring is sprung (well, some places, anyway), and Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe in Disneyland has a few new menu items to check out!

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

And you don’t even have to wait until March 20, when the new season officially begins. Jolly Holiday is already sporting the updated menu! Let’s take a peek at some sweet and savory treats.

Mini bundt cakes are all the rage, and JH comes in with this adorable Strawberry Bundt Cake. A thick drizzle of Icing and a Glazed Strawberry are ideal Springtime garnishes.

Stawberry Bundt Cake

Stawberry Bundt Cake

The bakery’s seasonal Crème Brûlée will feature ripe Raspberries.

Creme Brulee

Raspberry Crème Brûlée

Next up, they’ve got a Carrot Cake Cupcake with piped Cream Cheese Frosting. Sadly, it looks teensy tiny to me, and has one of those weird wrappers they’ve been doing over at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Disney World. They’re practically impossible to take off, so it’s really tough to eat these kinds of ‘cakes on the go.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake Cupcake

A Continue reading →