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Dining in TOKYO Disneyland: The Chandu Tiger Tail

One of the most adorable stars of Tokyo Disney Sea is this cute little tiger named Chandu.

Chandu with Bananas

Chandu with Bananas: In this scene of the attraction, the room is filled with the aroma of bananas, yum!

He plays Sinbad’s sidekick in Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage, which I fell in love with upon taking my first ride through.

Chandu is so popular in fact that he has his own park merchandise and a snack called a Chandu Tail that is made fresh daily in his honor. The Chandu Tail is served at a small counter service spot called Sultan’s Oasis in the Arabian Coast area of Tokyo Disney Sea.  It’s packaged to look like the “tail” is coming from Chandu’s body.

Chandu Tiger Tail Packaging

Chandu Tiger Tail Packaging

The description of this item is “Chicken Cream Bun.”  Which really, upon hearing, I wasn’t super on board with eating it.  I’m so glad that I went for it though. It’s delicious, and in true Japanese fashion, it’s also super cute!

Chandu Tiger Tail

Chandu Tiger Tail

The bun itself is very similar in Continue reading →

Review: New Menu Items at Animal Kingdom’s Local Food Cafes (Yak & Yeti Counter Service)

We’re taking a trip to Animal Kingdom’s Asia for lunch today, at none other than Local Food Cafes.

This counter service spot is known by a few monikers, and might be best known as “Yak & Yeti Counter Service.” It sits directly next door to one of my very favorites eateries, the Yak & Yeti Restaurant (I’ve learned to live with my near constant craving for their Fried Wontons dessert). And indeed the full name is Yak & Yeti/Anandapur Local Food Cafes.

Name aside, it’s a convenient stop for anyone who has just faced the Yeti on Expedition Everest, or is looking to dry off in the sun after a drenching on Kali River Rapids. The focus here is Asian food featured in an assortment of rice bowls, salads, and wraps. In fact, today we’ll be sampling one of each, so please join us!

Local Food Cafes sign

Local Food Cafes sign

Atmosphere

At first glance, the only thing you can really see are the ordering counters, and long lines here often accompany them.

Local Food Cafes

Local Food Cafes

Local Food Cafes blends in so well with its surroundings that I often think people see the lines before they notice the ordering stations and menus.

There can be a brief moment of confusion for many guests who wonder where to go after receiving their orders, and that’s where a few more signs come in handy, pointing you to the right.

Sign to seating

Sign to seating

Sign to seating

Sign to seating

That’s also where you’ll find your utensils and a fairly large assortment of condiments ranging from Soy Sauce, Duck Sauce, and Hot Sauce to ketchup and mustard.

Condiment cart

Condiment cart

Utensils

Utensils

A tip: there is hardly ever a line at the second cart towards the back seating, since most people have already stocked up at the first cart just past the ordering station.

It appears, at first, that seating is just one long row of tables right next to the Quality Beverages window (home of the Yak Attack!).

Immediate seating area

Immediate seating area

But the more you wind around, the more seating you’ll find. It goes on…

Seating

Seating

and on…

Seating

Seating

and on. All seating here is outside, though some of it is covered.

Yak and Yeti Counter Service Local Food Cafes 17

And, as always, there plenty of Continue reading →

Rumor: Is Chicken is Back on the Menu at ‘Ohana?

It stirred up quite the controversy when the Chicken Skewers were removed from the menu last spring at ‘Ohana.

This popular restaurant at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort features an assortment of meats grilled over an open-flame and served family style.

In recent months since the removal of the Chicken Skewers, featured meats have been Sweet and Sour Pork Loin, Szechuan Sirloin Steak, and Spicy Peel-and-Eat Shrimp. While chicken was still available in the form of Honey-Coriander Wings, it was no longer an entree.

However, as of today, we’re hearing anecdotal confirmation of a return as well as seeing chicken back under the “Skewers” menu at ‘Ohana on the official Walt Disney World website! Here’s a screen shot of the newly revised menu on the Walt Disney World website, listing Sweet and Sour Chicken. You may notice that the chicken dish has replaced the Sweet and Sour Pork Loin on the menu.

'Ohana menu screen shot

‘Ohana menu screen shot

We’ve also seen mention (and a picture!) of the chicken on the Facebook page of our good friend, Tikiman.

Grilled Chicken at 'Ohana

Grilled Chicken at ‘Ohana — photo via a Disney Food Blog guest author

Now, as always, things are subject to change and change quickly in regards to Continue reading →

Review: Cookes of Dublin at Disney World’s Downtown Disney

We’re stopping in for a quick, midday bite to eat at Cookes of Dublin!

You’ll find this little fish and chips shop at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney, adjacent to Raglan Road Irish Pub. In fact, it’s part of that complex and shares a kitchen with the Pub.

Cookes has been a consistently reliable stop for a quick, hot meal every time we’ve visited. And we think they serve some of the best Fish and Chips around. But I simply can’t resist their Irish Vintage Cheese and Bacon Dip (and you shouldn’t, either).

But on a recent trip, we decided to branch out a bit and try a few other menu options! Let’s check out what we sampled this time out.

Atmosphere

You’ll find Cookes of Dublin around the corner from Raglan Road. If you’re coming from the Downtown Disney parking lots directly in front of Raglan Road, you’ll veer right, just past the gift shop and Hole in the Wall Bar.

Cookes of Dublin -- Outside

Cookes of Dublin — Outside

As you wait in the queue to order, be sure to take in Cookes Philosophy. This spot is more quick service than counter service; you can expect a bit of a wait while your food is cooked to order, but it won’t take long.

Philosophy

Philosophy

This is a really, really small space, but it’s not without charm. Trim on the floor and the counter are vintage-looking tile in classic Slytherin colors (probably coincidental), and there are plenty of brass accents as well.

Cookes Ordering Counter

Cookes Ordering Counter

Once you place your order, you can proceed to the right side of the ordering area, where you’ll pick up condiments and fill your drink cups.

Condiments

Condiments

You’ll find a full array of toppers for your meal, including some familiar favorites. After all, you can’t have Continue reading →

Sneak Peek! Ice Pop Frozen Cocktail Coming to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

It is less than one month until Epcot officially welcomes Spring with the 2015 Flower & Garden Festival beginning on March 4, 2015!

Disney Food Blog Epcot Flower and Garden Festival (2)

Even among all the gorgeous topiaries and fun Garden Rocks Concert Series, what we at the DFB look forward to most is the Outdoor Kitchens. They’re similar to the Marketplace Booths at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, offering plates and sips in appetizer portions allowing you to sample a wide variety of flavors throughout your World Showcase stroll.

And today, thanks to the twitter feed of L’artisan des Glaces, we’ve got a glimpse of a new offering coming to the Outdoor Kitchen in France: the Ice Pop Frozen Cocktail!

Ice Pop Frozen Cocktail © L'artisan des Glaces

Ice Pop Frozen Cocktail © L’artisan des Glaces

It’s Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach, vodka, and iced tea. While Continue reading →

Review: “Lady and the Tramp” and “Cinderella” Cupcakes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and love is in the air… and in the current seasonal cupcakes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

If you’re stopping by Starring Rolls Cafe or the brand new Trolley Car Cafe (not to mention other Quick Service locations around the park such as Backlot Express and ABC Commissary), you’ll be able to spot the latest cupcake creation celebrating Valentine’s Day with a tribute to a much-loved Disney couple: Lady and the Tramp.

Lady and the Tramp Cupcakes

Lady and the Tramp Cupcakes

Cinderella has received her own tribute of baked goodness as well. And while she’s certainly no stranger to romance herself, this cupcake has as much to do with the upcoming March 13th release of the live-action Cinderella film as it does Valentine’s Day. (And don’t forget, if you visit Hollywood Studios from now through April 11th, you can see the Golden Coach used in the film on display in the Streets of America!)

Cinderella Cupcakes

Cinderella Cupcakes

It’s a classic chocolate versus vanilla showdown between the two: the Lady and the Tramp Cupcake features red velvet cake with dark chocolate ganache, while the Cinderella Cupcake is vanilla cake with vanilla frosting.

Cupcake sign and descriptions

Cupcake sign and descriptions

The fun factor is obvious upon spotting each cupcake. Starting with the Lady and the Tramp Cupcake, the Continue reading →

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 8, 2015

This was a BIG Disney Food news week! No worries though — we’ll get you caught up now. First up, you’ll want to know that Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant will start accepting Advance Dining Reservations for lunch starting February 25th. No more FastPasses for your afternoon meal at the Beast’s Castle.

Trolley Car Cafe sign

Trolley Car Cafe sign

Now, let’s move on to the newest hot spot in Walt Disney World. Trolley Car Cafe, a Starbucks location, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now serving up your favorite beverages.

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, menu updates, 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!

It’s always a great time for chocolate, right?! Check out the Mud Pie shared by Facebook Friend Wendy. You can pick one up at Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure.

Mud Pie at Flo's V8 Cafe

Mud Pie at Flo’s V8 Cafe

Frosting lovers — do not walk by Cheshire Cafe in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Stop and get a gourmet cake cup like this Mad Hatter Mocha version sent in by Facebook Friend Jacki.

Mad Hatter Mocha Cake Cup

Mad Hatter Mocha Cake Cup

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

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.

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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 →

Guest Review and DFB Challenge: Eat Around the World at Disney’s Epcot

Ready to dine around Epcot? Yep, me too! Join me in welcoming guest author Anita Theiss with her review of some great Epcot eats!

World Showcase Snacks

My husband and I recently spent a day at Epcot celebrating our anniversary. While there, we decided to taste a little something from each of the nations represented in the World Showcase. An “Eat Around the World” challenge, so to speak. It was a lot of fun, and we really enjoyed discussing which foods we liked best and which we liked the least. We followed a few simple rules for our self-assigned challenge.

Eat Around the World Rules

Rule One, choose one country-specific food item (no generic cookies or fries) to order from each nation and share it. (We had a slight breech of etiquette on this rule when we got to France, but more on that later.) Sharing meant that we could discuss what we thought of the item, and it kept us from eating too much.

Rule Two, go to counter service restaurants, kiosks, or food stands only. It just didn’t seem right to take up a reservation spot for just one item.

Rule Three, rate each food item on a scale of one to ten, with one being not quite so palate pleasing, and ten being the best thing to ever grace your taste buds.

Nachos in Mexico

Our digestive expedition started in Mexico at La Cantina de San Angel with an order of nachos. The nachos come with ground beef, beans, cheese, tomatoes, jalapeños, and sour cream. We ordered them with the tomatoes and jalapeños on the side -— my husband loves them, but I am not a fan.

Nachos

Nachos

I enjoyed the nachos, but we both found them to be a little heavy on the cheese (if food can be too heavy with ‘plastic cheese’) and not heavy enough on the meat and beans. They had just the right amount of spice, and the chips were crisp. The portion was perfect for a meal, but these nachos are a great shareable snack as well. My husband gave them a 4, and I gave them a 6.

Troll Horn in Norway

We moved on to Norway and stopped at the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafé. There were several items on the counter that looked good, and I could not decide between the Troll Horn and the Viking Mousse. I asked the cast member behind the counter which of the two she recommended, and she suggested the Troll Horn, which is filled which cloudberry cream.

Troll Horn

Troll Horn

The cloudberry cream was smooth and sweet, but not too sweet, and the pastry was tender but a little bland. The sugar crystals sprinkled on top added a nice sweetness and crunch, but overall the Troll Horn was just meh (how do you like that technical culinary term?). We both gave it a 4 on our grading scale — not horrible, but we won’t be rushing back to Norway to get one during our next trip.

Egg Roll in China

After a ride on Maelstrom (RIP), we headed to China. We stopped at Joy of Tea to place an egg roll order. An order of egg rolls actually includes two nice-sized pork and veggie egg rolls, which was a pleasant surprise considering how very delicious they were. (My husband had already snagged his and started munching when I took the picture which is why there is only one pictured.)

Egg Roll

Egg Roll

The egg roll wrapper was both tender and crunchy, and the filling was flavorful with seasoned pork and crisp veggies. There were packets of soy sauce (and other condiments) which just added another layer of fabulous flavor. We both gave the egg rolls an 8.5; we would definitely get them again and feel that they would be an excellent use of a snack credit if you are on the Disney Dining Plan since they are easily shared.

Bratwurst in Germany

We moved on from China to Germany for a stop at Sommerfest. To be honest, I had my heart set on wrapping my lips around a Nudel Gratin for days, but I was starting to get full and knew that such a dish would be both rich and heavy. So, I passed on the Nudel Gratin (which I now regret — I really should have persevered) while my husband ordered a bratwurst. He loves a brat, and this one did not disappoint.

Bratwurst

Bratwurst

Bratwurst Cross Section with Mustard

Bratwurst Cross Section with Mustard

The bratwurst comes on a very large crusty bun topped with loads of sauerkraut. He said the sauerkraut was alright and the bratwurst itself was delicious, but he felt that there was just too much bread. The bun was quite large and had a pretty tough and crusty consistency. He still enjoyed it and gave it a score of 6.

Gelato in Italy

After a quick shopping break in Germany, we headed to Italy, which had me a little worried because there is no counter service restaurant. But as we were walking into Italy, I spotted Gelati — a nice little gelato stand, so I stopped for a cup of chocolate gelato.

Gelato

Gelato

It was smooth, thick, creamy, quite tasty, and reminded me of a cold version of hot chocolate. It would definitely hit the spot on a hot summer day in Florida. My husband had a taste or two of it, but he is not much of a chocolate fan and didn’t like it as much as regular ice cream. I, on the other hand, much prefer the thicker consistency of gelato to its thinner American counterpart and gave it a 7.

Sweet Cream Cheese Pretzel in American Adventure

After Italy, it was time for a return to our homeland of America. Now during our last trip to Disney a few months ago, I fell in love with the Continue reading →

News: Changes to Afternoon Tea Packages at the Grand Floridian’s Garden View Lounge

Are you looking forward to an Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian?

The Garden View Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian hosts Afternoon Tea each day with Advance Dining Reservation opportunities starting at 2:00 pm.  I mention Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) because this has become quite a popular experience, so planning for your tea in advance is becoming more of a must.

In order to help you with your Afternoon Tea plans, we wanted let you know of some very recent changes to the Tea Packages available for purchase.

The previous menu featured packages ranging from $25 (the Buckingham Tea) to $45 (Princess Kate Tea), with the $13 “Mrs. Potts Tea” package for children ages 3-9. Packages on the new menu start at $30 and go up to a pretty penny for a big vacation splurge. Here’s the full rundown:

The Garden View Lounge Afternoon Tea menu

The Garden View Lounge Afternoon Tea menu

The Bedfordshire Tea includes finger sandwiches accompanied with berries, cheese, and lavosh; a buttery scone and jam tart; and a dessert course with the guest’s choice of pastries, strawberries and creme, or English trifle. And, of course, a pot of tea. The cost for this package is $30 per guest.

Bedfordshire Tea package

Bedfordshire Tea package

For a comparison to the previous menu, it closely resembles the former Buckingham Tea package which was $25, but with the addition of berries, cheese, and lavosh.

The Derbyshire Tea features all the Continue reading →

Tips from the DFB Guide: Best Spots for Dining with a Toddler

Many of us have been there. We’re all set to go to Walt Disney World for the trip of a lifetime, and we can’t wait to share this experience with our kiddos!

dfb2015_guide_3d

But even though Disney is the Happiest Place on Earth, navigating its vastness with a toddler can be challenging at best, and a nightmare at worst.

And few parts of the trip are more challenging than meal times.

While we all agree that certain spots are inappropriate for small children — Victoria and Albert’s restricts patrons to the over 10 crowd — there are some choices that are better than others.

And you may be surprised to know…it doesn’t all come down to characters.

Below, we offer you a few choices from our picks for Best Spots to Eat with a Toddler – a brand new section in our just-released DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015. Pick up yours today for $4 off using code 2015 right here!

Chef Mickey

We Love Him — But There’s More to Eating at Disney with Kiddos Than Just This Guy!

Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

One of my favorite spots to dine no matter who’s with me is Sanaa. Located in Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the restaurant is known for its exotic menu of African and Indian Fusion. And when I dine here, you know you’re gonna spy some incredible Butter Chicken on the table!

Tandoori trio -- chose butter chicken, spicy chicken, rice Sanaa

Tandoori Trio with Butter Chicken and Spicy Chicken

While the menu makes it a must-visit spot for guests who enjoy out of the ordinary cuisine, the restaurant is also quiet and rarely crowded — great features for guests who have a small fry in tow.

But the real attraction for toddlers is the view! Forget animatronics on the Jungle Cruise — look out the windows at Sanaa’s sweeping vistas and you’ll see the real deal!

View from Sanaa

View from Sanaa

Sanaa overlooks Sunset Savanna and spying a zebra, giraffe, or other exotic animal is practically guaranteed!

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

Here’s another TIP: Keep in mind when you make your advance dining reservation that the animals tend to retire early, and it may get dark on the savanna earlier than you think. Planning lunch or an early dinner at Sanaa during daylight hours is your best bet for seeing the wild side of the restaurant.

Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood and Vine Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Although there are puh-lenty of Character Dining options at Disney, some are better than others when it comes to entertaining babies and toddlers. We’ve chosen two in the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015, and Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood and Vine Restaurant is one of them.

So, what sets Hollywood and Vine’s Play ‘n Dine apart? The characters! While practically all other Character Dining options at Disney involve either some subset of the Fab Five or Disney Princesses, Hollywood and Vine’s Play ‘n Dine features the original characters from the Disney Junior lineup! That means that your kiddo will come face to face with friends like Pirate Jake, Doc McStuffins, and Princess Sophia!

Jake the Pirate

Jake the Pirate Just May Try to Join You for Lunch!

Seeing these beloved characters up close and larger than life is Continue reading →