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What’s New Around Walt Disney World: March 3, 2015

We’re taking a quick trip around all four Disney World Parks and then making stops at several Resorts, where a lot of food news seems to be taking place as of late!

But we’re starting our “World”-wide tour at Downtown Disney, and taking a peek at how things are shaping up as the transition towards “Disney Springs” continues on. And we may even take a sneak peek at something coming to our friends in Disneyland on the west coast.

Disney Springs mural

Disney Springs mural

So, are you ready to see What’s New? Good! Because in the words of Peter Pan, “Here we GOOOOOOO…”

DOWNTOWN DISNEY

Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC

Okay, so we’ve mentioned it a couple of times recently, but that’s because we’re happy that BabyCakes has a new home in Downtown Disney! Located at The Landing of what will be Disney Springs, Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC has been up and running since 1 pm on Sunday, February 22nd.

Erin McKenna's Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna’s Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC

Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC

Erin McKenna

Erin McKenna

Samoa Donut

Samoa Donut

Featuring gluten-free and vegan baked goods, this is great news for guests on some dietary restrictions. Read our opening day review here!

Flour and Sugar

Speaking of baked goods, Flour and Sugar is a little kiosk that can be found on the newly opened Marketplace Causeway. It sells pre-packaged cookies inspired by various cities in the Sunshine State.

Flour and Sugar

Flour and Sugar

We tried the Siesta Key Key Lime S’more, and we’ll have a review here for you soon!

Key Lime S'more

Key Lime S’more

Disney Springs Construction

All in all, things really seem to be picking up speed in Downtown Disney with the Causeway completed, allowing an easy stroll from spots around T-Rex to the Rainforest Cafe side at the Marketplace.

The Marketplace Causeway

The Marketplace Causeway

Light post on The Marketplace Causeway

Light post on The Marketplace Causeway

Disney Springs sign

Disney Springs sign

We’ll be sure to take a little tour along the path when we’re back with our Flour and Sugar review! The next thing we have our eyes on? Look for Continue reading →

WDW Swan and Dolphin Resorts Announce Spring Savings and Easter Character Meal

As the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival gets underway, we have more spring news for you.

Pineapple Dole Whip

Pineapple Dole Whip

If you’re still looking for a place to stay while you attend the Festival, you’ll want to check out the springtime savings available at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts. From March 4 – May 17, 2015, guests will save up to 40% off!

For guests vacationing April 1-8 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, a full schedule of Easter-themed activities awaits. With meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny, glow-in-the-dark and traditional Easter egg hunts, bunny hop races, arts and crafts, and a poolside showing of the movie HOP, the young and young-at-heart will find plenty to do when taking a break from the enchanting gardens in Epcot.

Other featured experiences during the week include a special Easter Bunny basket delivery to the room on Easter morning and an Easter dinner buffet at Garden Grove Cafe with Disney character appearances on Sunday, April 5, at 5PM. Additional costs apply for both.

This resort is within easy walking distance of both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and provides Continue reading →

Review: Territory Lounge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

We are headed back to Territory Lounge! FINALLY!

The lounge, located in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, is pretty much the definition of awesome when it comes to Disney resort bars and lounges.

We’ve talked about the  pub grub here in the past, and it’s no secret that every time I stay at WL I find myself down here at least a few times. So during a recent stay I was excited to dig in and share the latest updates with you.

So kick back for a relaxing visit. Let’s begin by taking a look around.

Atmosphere

You’ll find the Territory Lounge tucked off to the left side, way past Whispering Canyon Cafe, as you enter the lobby of Wilderness Lodge. It’s fully separated from that animated restaurant, so don’t let its close proximity put you off. It’s fairly quiet in here.

territory lounge wilderness lodge

Bar Area and Round Table Seating

There’s sort of a nostalgic hunter’s lodge feel about the Lounge, matching the feel of the whole resort. Wood paneling, paintings of wildlife, and antiqued walls give that sense that you’re in a bit of a man cave.

Rich Colors and Comfortable Seating Make the Space Inviting

Rich Colors and Comfortable Seating Make the Space Inviting

Americana Decor and a Cozy Loveseat Make for an Inviting Space

Americana Decor and a Cozy Loveseat Make for an Inviting Space

Intimate tables for two along the wall offer that “didn’t-get-here-early-enough-to-get-the-easy-chairs” seating. ;-)

Intimate Seating Along the Paneled Wall

Intimate Seating Along the Paneled Wall

I love the shadowboxes that hang just above these tables. They’re full of interesting expedition objects, and the faint glow provides nice light.

Cool Shadowboxes Use Old Expedition Tools as Decor

Cool Shadowboxes Use Old Expedition Tools as Decor

But, of course, I always seek out the comfy seating in a Disney lounge, and Territory doesn’t disappoint. Curling up in these easy chairs with a nightcap seems like the perfect way to end a Disney Day.

Comfy Chairs and the Framed Flatscreen

Comfy Chairs and the Framed Flatscreen

Be sure to check out these guys, too! The carved bears Continue reading →

Disney Food Post Round-Up: March 1, 2015

As Downtown Disney continues to transform to Disney Springs, we are thrilled to report on the return of BabyCakes NYC products where Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC now resides. This is huge news for Walt Disney World guests with special diets!

Erin McKenna's Bakery sign

Erin McKenna’s Bakery is now open

And while many of us are experiencing freezing temperatures, we can’t help but dream about visiting the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. This year’s Outdoor Kitchens have some exciting menus sprouting up!

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

Disney Food News

  • First review and photos for Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC in Downtown Disney. Great news for fans of BabyCakes NYC!
  • We have full menus for the Outdoor Kitchens, coming soon to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World!
  • Bradley Falls at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom is featuring a Thai Pork Sandwich with Asian Cucumber Slaw on the current menu.
  • Is Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom closing? This rumor may become reality. Get your Dole Whip at Sunshine Tree Terrace!
  • Macadamia Nut Treats for sale at Disney’s Polynesian Village.
  • New Communication Cards — let the waitstaff know if you want to participate (or not) in the antics — at Whispering Canyon Cafe.
  • New Disney cookbook hits the shelves at Disney Parks.
  • The Cinderella Premium Popcorn Bucket is coming to Hollywood Studios in March to celebrate the release of the “Cinderella” live-action film!
  • New menu items debut at Raglan Road at Downtown Disney Orlando.

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, Dining Events at Four Seasons Orlando, Fairfax Fare at Disney’s Hollywood Studios no longer serving breakfast, Special Menus at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen for Orange County Restaurant Week, New Menu at Maya Grill, 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!

Do you start your morning with a Disney coffee mug? Yep, we thought so!

Facebook Friend Nicola showed us this “cup of magic”. Yum!!

A cup of magic

A cup of magic

And Eugene, another Facebook Friend, shared his brew in a Starbucks mug from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
DHS Starbucks Mug-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 →

Review: New Menu Items (and Lots of Fresh Cocktails!) Debut at Raglan Road Irish Pub in Time for St. Patrick’s Mighty Festival

Raglan Road Irish Pub at Downtown Disney continues to be one of my favorite spots to gather with friends.

Although the major overhaul of the Downtown Disney / Disney Springs area makes getting here more difficult, I think it’s worth the time and effort to make it happen.

You’ll find Raglan Road right in the front of what was formerly known as Pleasure Island, but what is slowly morphing into The Landing at Disney Springs. Indeed, so much work has taken place in this area (finally!) that you’ll hardly recognize it if you haven’t been there for a while. Let’s take a quick look at the immediate area, and also have a little look around the Pub before we settle in for the food talk.

Atmosphere

So…how long’s it been since you visited Raglan Road? Because the landscape around the Pub has definitely changed a bit. At least, for the time being. If you’re accustomed to approaching Raglan Road from the (previously) adjacent parking lot, you might be a little disoriented.

Raglan Road -- Outside, with Construction Walls

Raglan Road — Outside, with Construction Walls

We actually parked in the completed West Side Parking Building, and the exit brings you out in front of Planet Hollywood. From there, it’s just a short walk, past some of the new Disney Springs shops, to reach Raglan Road.

Don’t let all of those construction walls put you off. Once you’re inside, it’s exactly the same, and you’ll start to feel that sense of the familiar as you step into the foyer.

Entrance Foyer

Entrance Foyer

The gift shop is located to the right. You’ll find a good assortment of Raglan Road merch, but there are also some interesting items that would make awesome gifts.

Gift Shop

Gift Shop

You can choose between two bars. And be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to look around — the bars and other trim in the pub were actually salvaged from pubs, churches, and other spots in Ireland. That sense of nostalgia and antique? Totally authentic.

One of the Two Bars

One of the Two Bars

Raglan Road is pretty large, boasting three separate dining rooms, plus a snug and a few inviting corners. For a more extensive tour, check out our most recent lunch review.

Recently, I had the chance to sample some of the new menu items that Raglan Road has introduced just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

Eats

The staff of Raglan Road were excited to share some delicious new dishes with us. To showcase them, we enjoyed a sampling of several new items at a recent luncheon.

Dinner Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Dinner Menu — Click to Enlarge

Raglan Road fans will be relieved to see that a lot of their favorites, like Dalkey Duo and Nom Nom Wings, made the cut.

Menu -- Appetizers -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Appetizers — Click to Enlarge

Likewise, there are a couple of new Entree options that we’ll look at, but all of the signature items remain.

Menu -- Entrees -- Click to Enlarge

The New Dinner Menu — Entrees — Click to Enlarge

Menu -- Salads and Sides -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Salads and Sides — Click to Enlarge

While what you see here may not be plated in exactly the same way it was for us when you order it, you’ll get the idea from the pictures of the fives courses we enjoyed.

We also have several drinks to show you. Don’t worry; what you’re about to see was a team effort, and not my own personal parade of drinks. ;-) To keep things straight, I’ll share the cocktails as they were served — paired with each course.

We began our meal with an aperitif, an Irish Honey Cup. The refreshing drink combined Bushmills Irish Honey, Pimms, Fresh Lemon Sour, and Sprite for a little sparkle. The drink was garnished with Cucumber and Fresh Lemon.

Irish Honey Cup

Irish Honey Cup

We began with Harry’s Beef Carpaccio, a combination of Seared Beef Tenderloin with a side of Greens and Tomato, simply dressed with Creamy Anchovy Vinaigrette. The dish is garnished with freshly shaved Parmesan

Harry's Beef Carpaccio

Harry’s Beef Carpaccio

…and an Anchovy Filet. I confess, this wasn’t my favorite part. But others seemed to enjoy it. And it was certainly a showstopper!

Anchovy Garnish on the Carpaccio

Anchovy Garnish on the Carpaccio

Our next course would be an Continue reading →

News! Cinderella Premium Popcorn Bucket Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Pretty soon, the Cinderella Cupcake won’t be the only food tribute to the upcoming live-action “Cinderella” film at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Cinderella cupcake

Cinderella cupcake

Because Cinderella’s Coach will be arriving in March… in the form of this awesome PREMIUM POPCORN BUCKET!

©Disney

©Disney

Complete with carrying strap, wheels, and a picture of the princess herself, the introduction of this bucket celebrates the Continue reading →

Tips from the DFB Guide: Healthier Options in Walt Disney World

Many of us regard a trip to Walt Disney World as an opportunity to take a break from healthy eating, and counting calories, carbs, etc.

dfb2015_guide_3d

But sometimes, you don’t necessarily want to check nutritional discipline at the Purple Gates.

You may think that healthy eating at Walt Disney World is an oxymoron. But more and more, that’s simply not so.

Sure, you can indulge to your heart’s content. But whether you’re looking to sub out just one meal or snack a day for a health-savvy option, or you plan to stick to your guns in the nutrition department while you’re amidst the magic, we have some great tips for finding healthy and tasty options at Walt Disney World!

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

Head for the Grab and Go

Not too long ago, Disney World was a sea of hamburgers, fries, and soda pop. And some people think that’s what it STILL is.

But, honestly, things have changed.

Disney Grab and Go Healthy Options

Disney Grab and Go Healthy Options

Sure, you still have lots and lots of choices in the burger genre. But they’ve definitely expanded beyond the fast food mentality when it comes to quick eating options.

My best tip for eating healthy — and this goes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time — is to head for the Grab and Go section.

Sunshine Seasons Fruit and Cheese Plate

Sunshine Seasons Fruit and Cheese Plate

You’ll spy Grab and Go spots in lots of places. There are always robust choices in the Resorts. There, you’ll find everything from prepared salads, sandwiches made with lean meats, and even sushi. Check out Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort for a great selection! And when it comes to a Park option, Sunshine Seasons offers choices that can’t be beat.

Grab and Go Sushi

Grab and Go Sushi at Landscape of Flavors

So if you have the resolve to pass the pizza and burgers by, a healthy meal is totally in your grasp!

Be Mindful About Restaurant Choices

If you have healthy eating in mind, then you probably shouldn’t pencil in a counter service lunch at Casey’s Corner. ;-)

Don’t get me wrong — Corn Dog Nuggets and Plastic Cheese are totally boss. But let’s face it — planning ahead to eat at a restaurant that offers lots of fresh choices and grilled options is probably a better idea when you’re trying to stay on the healthy bandwagon.

Fortunately, better-for-you options abound at Walt Disney World. One of my favorite spots to grab a healthy counter service lunch is Tamu Tamu Refreshments at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can’t go wrong with their Chicken or Vegetable Curry.

Tamu Tamu Vegetarian Curry

Tamu Tamu Vegetarian Curry

Another option that I can recommend is the Japan Pavilion at Epcot. Whether you choose Miso Soup from Kabuki Cafe, a counter service meal at Katsura Grill, or you opt for Continue reading →

Spotted: Hawaiian Host Macadamia Treats at Polynesian Village Resort’s Boutiki

Did you know you can take a real taste of the Hawaiian islands home with you from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort?

Boutiki

Boutiki

Boutiki

Boutiki

Now, you may already be familiar with some of the ways you can grab a macadamia treat while at the resort… say, the Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cupcake occasionally spotted at Captain Cook’s, or Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes from Kona Cafe.

Chocolate Macadamia Cupcake from Captain Cook's

Chocolate Macadamia Cupcake from Captain Cook’s

Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes from Kona Cafe

Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes from Kona Cafe

But I was walking by Boutiki recently — the main merchandise location at the Polynesian — and couldn’t help but notice this window display packed to the brim with “Hawaiian Host” items, prepackaged and ready for travel.

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Stepping inside I found the Hawaiian Host display, which features an assortment of chocolate treats — all starring Macadamia nuts. The selection at Boutiki includes Continue reading →

Best Disneyland Restaurants for First Timers

Okay. So I tried to come up with the Top Three Disneyland Restaurants for First Timers. But there was no way I could limit my picks to just three. So then, I said, hey, let’s try for the Top Five.

Even still.

So in the end, I cut myself off at Eight. :-)

Disneyland's Matterhorn

Matterhorn!

There is so much good food in Disneyland. Really, it was super hard not to just give you a list of pretty much every restaurant there, and call it a day.

But if you must narrow it down, these are the restaurants that I love. These are the spots that I’d go to every single time if I could. (And mostly, I do.)

Heading to Disneyland, or just dreaming about a pilgrimage there? Check out my picks for the places you have to visit during your very first trip. Whether you’re looking for a meal or a snack, you can’t go wrong with putting these spots on your list.

Cafe Orleans

If I could only eat at one spot in Disneyland for the rest of my life, I’m fairly sure that spot would be Cafe Orleans. Located on New Orleans Square, it’s offers some of the beautiful patio seating that Disneyland is known for.

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

But I’m going to be honest — Cafe Orleans claims the distinction of offering not just one or two, but three of my favorite Disneyland dishes. (And that’s pretty much all I ever eat there.) First, when you visit here, I insist you order the Pommes Frites. Tossed with Garlic and Parmesan, they’re served with a Cajun Remoulade ramekin. I also insist you order TWO remoulades. At least. Per person.

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

While I love their gumbo here as well, it’s the Monte Cristo Sandwich that I can’t live without. Pockets of bread layered with Ham, Turkey, and Swiss Cheese are lightly battered and deep-fried. Served with Berry Puree for dipping, this is pretty much something everyone should eat at least once in life.

Disneyland's Famous Monte Cristo

Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans

Not a meat-eater? There’s also an All-Cheese Version. No. Seriously. There is.

Behold. The Three-Cheese Monte Cristo. Did I mention the Double Creme Brie?

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo at Disneyland's Cafe New Orleans

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo at Disneyland’s Cafe New Orleans

But save room for dessert — because you can’t pass on the Mickey Beignets served with Dipping Sauces.

Mickey Beignets with Sauces

Mickey Beignets with Sauces

Have this meal just once, and you can say “I’ve been to Disneyland” properly as far as I’m concerned.

Blue Bayou

But Cafe Orleans has an older, slightly more posh sister — Blue Bayou. And while I usually skip it in favor of Cafe Orleans, if you’re visiting the ‘Land for the first time, you really need to experience this place.

Because more than anything, Blue Bayou is an experience; it’s as much an attraction as a restaurant.

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

Because the restaurant is fashioned to look like a verandah on a river’s edge. Look below you into the water, and you see travelers, en route to explore the mysteries of the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Honestly, the food is less important here to me than the “view.” I have enjoyed the New Orleans Signature Gumbo. And in this setting, it’s even better.

New Orleans Signature Gumbo

New Orleans Signature Gumbo

And yep, to be honest, I like to order the Monte Cristo here, too!

Le Special de  Monte Cristo Sandwich

Le Special de Monte Cristo Sandwich

It’s a little fancier (and more expensive), but just as delicious.

Napa Rose

Some of my Disneyland dining choices are obviously sentimental; either I love the restaurant, the food, or both. But it’s not like they’re the tip-top of the culinary pyramid or anything. But then, there’s Napa Rose.

I Love the Napa Rose Outdoor Lounge Area

Start Your Napa Rose Adventure With a Glass of Wine on the Outside Patio

Nestled inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, Napa Rose stands as a testament to fine California fusion cuisine, inspired by fresh farm-to-market ingredients.

Chef Sutton's Chili Base

Chef Sutton’s Chili Base — Even Base Ingredients are Created in House From Scratch

Chef Andrew Sutton is in charge here, and his menus make use of the freshest items. Prepare to be Continue reading →

News! 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival FULL Food Menus!

We have big news from Epcot today!

The 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Menus are Finally Here!

With just a week to go before the opening of the 2015 Flower and Garden Festival, we have the full list of menus for the super popular Outdoor Kitchens! Mark your calendars — the Festival lasts from March 4 through May 17.

Disney Food Blog Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

These Outdoor Kitchens, which are similar to Marketplace Booths that dominate the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, feature delicious small plates that allow you to taste fresh flavors from the garden.

We Loved This Violet Lemonade at the 2013 Flower and Garden Festival!

We Loved This Violet Lemonade at the 2014 Flower and Garden Festival!

There are lots and lots of new things to try. A brand new Outdoor Kitchen will debut in 2015. Botanas Botánico will be located between the France and Morocco Pavilions and will feature food and drink with a Venezuelan influence.

Sadly, we’ve also confirmed that one of our favorites, Continue reading →