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Disney Food Challenge: The Disneyland Ice Cream Crawl!

Ah, the hottest days of summer are upon us! And I can think of no better way to cool down than with a frosty ice cream treat!

disneyland ice cream crawl

And don’t you love all the forms of yummo snacks that ice cream can take? Its natural diversity makes it a perfect candidate for one of our favorite pastimes…

Introducing, The Disney Food Blog Disneyland Ice Cream Crawl!

Now, we realize, this is a LOT of ice cream. So feel free to break up your crawl over a period of a few days. Or, you know, eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and snacks). We won’t judge.

So without delay, let’s hit it!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Hot Fudge Sundae at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor

We are going to start our Epic Ice Cream Day with a stop into Gibson Girl Ice Cream.

The vintage vibe is alive and well in this recently-renovated Main Street USA staple. I love all of the old fashioned ice cream shop options you have here. The Waffle Cones, made right there in the shop, are deeeelish!

Waffle Cones

Waffle Cones at Gibson Girl

And who wouldn’t love an Ice Cream Soda served in a real (souvenir) glass?

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor Glass

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor Glass

But my favorite treat at Gibson Girl is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Hot Fudge Sundae. It has everything — Cookies, Hot Fudge, Whipped Cream — and of course, Ice Cream!

Cookie Sundae

Cookie Sundae

With my love of Handmade Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, this was made for me! Really. It ought to be called “The AJ”. ;-)

Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

After your breakfast sundae and a trip or two down the Matterhorn, you’ll be ready for a snack — and I have just the thing. We couldn’t go too far in our odyssey without having that most iconic Disney ice cream treat a — Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar.

With all of the amazing snacks and food at Disney, I have to carve out time for this one on every trip!

That's better!

Irresistible Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar!

How could you resist? It’s a smile on a stick!

The Butterscotch Sundae at Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop

For our next ice cream stop, head over to Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop. It’s a match made in heaven — rich ice cream coupled with some of the best chocolate around!

The choices are dizzying here…it’s practically impossible to make a decision! Normally I can’t resist their Continue reading →

News! Booking NOW AVAILABLE for 2014 Candlelight Processional Dining Packages at Disney World!

Great news for fans who love the Epcot’s Candlelight Processional at Disney World during the holidays!

We brought you news last week of the first confirmed narrators for the 2014 Epcot Candlelight Processional. And today, we wanted to share that booking for Candlelight Processional Packages is now open!

The Candlelight Processional features the retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator. The reading is accompanied by a robed choir and a full orchestra performing Christmas carols.

Amy Grant narrating 2013 Candlelight Processional

Amy Grant narrating 2013 Candlelight Processional

The popular event takes place three times each evening throughout the holiday season at the America Gardens Theater in Epcot’s World Showcase. This year, guests can see the performance from November 28 to December 30.

Because of the show’s popularity, seats go quickly! The Candlelight Processional Package is an excellent idea if you would like a guaranteed seat.

Packages include a meal at one of Epcot’s participating restaurants: click here to see which restaurants are included on the 2014 Candlelight Processional list! Booking a package entitles each person in the party to a ticket for guaranteed seating at the evening’s performance of the Candlelight Processional. Packages are available for both lunch and dinner seatings. Lunch packages start at Continue reading →

Review: NEW Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France

Being that it’s July – the month we celebrate America’s independence – it’s not surprising to find a little extra red, white, and blue around Disney World these days.

Fife and Drum Corps at the American Adventure Pavilion

Fife and Drum Corps at the American Adventure Pavilion

Fourth of July decorations at the American Adventure Pavilion

Fourth of July decorations at the American Adventure Pavilion

Red, White, and Blue flowers at the American Adventure Pavilion

Red, White, and Blue flowers at the American Adventure Pavilion

All-American Mickey!

All-American Mickey!

Of course, Americans aren’t the only ones who claim these colors in their flag. Among others, our friends in France do, too!

French flags

French flags

Still, you don’t really expect to see these colors incorporated together in your food, which is why I was so surprised to spot the new Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France Pavilion, sporting the colors of the French flag!

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich sign

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich sign

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches in case

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches in case

I have to applaud the creativity of the chefs who came up with this treat. Check out the incredibly vivid red and blue making up each side of the macaron!

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich blue side up

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich red side up

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich blue side up

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich blue side up

Of course, those colors may make you question the flavor of the macaron surrounding the ice cream – it’s vanilla. Essentially, this is the vanilla version of this treat’s counterpart, the Chocolate Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich. In fact, the vanilla version comes to you in that same French “newspaper” wrapping.

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich in French "newspaper"

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich in French “newspaper”

If you’ve enjoyed the housemade ice cream at L’Artisan des Glaces, then you know how very creamy, dense, and decadent it is, and this is certainly true of the rich vanilla ice cream in the center of this sandwich.

Vanilla ice cream in center

Vanilla ice cream in center

The vanilla macaron surrounding the ice cream differs from the one surrounding the chocolate version in that Continue reading →

Guest Review: Eats and Treats at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea

Welcome guest author Audrey B. with a review from Tokyo Disneyland!

When I recently had the opportunity to spend the day at the Tokyo Disney Resort, I was ecstatic but a bit apprehensive about the food situation.

Tokyo Disneyland

Although I had originally planned to spend the entire day at the DisneySea park, thanks to meticulous tour planning and FastPass I was able to enjoy all of the attractions by 2pm.

I could not resist jumping on the monorail and heading over to Disneyland Park, and here’s where you’ll find one of the most popular food items in Tokyo Disney!

Souvenir Popcorn Buckets

One thing you will notice if you ever make it to this park is that nearly everyone carries a souvenir popcorn bucket!

Popcorn in Tokyo Disneyland!

The popcorn is quite a big deal and a popular snack in Tokyo Disneyland. Carts can be found throughout the park, each offering unique flavors such as Black Pepper, Sea Salt, Curry, Milk Tea, Cranberry, and Soy Sauce & Butter.

After riding Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (arguably the most advanced, whimsical, and unique dark ride ever in the entire world!), I followed my tummy for a little smackerel of Honey Popcorn! It was undoubtedly my favorite out of everything I ate on the trip!

Tokyo DisneySea

Because I spent most of my time at DisneySea, a remarkably beautiful and unique counterpart to Disneyland, we’ve got a lot to talk about here.

Maple Balls

In the Agrabah Marketplace, I found a stand called Sultan’s Oasis, which served juice, ice cream, and something called Maple Balls, which I had to try!

Maple Balls.

Not quite like doughnuts, but not quite like cake, either, these scrumptious little nuggets had a slightly chewy texture, complimented with the crunch of the walnut topping.

New York Deli

For my full meal, I headed over to New York Deli! I’ve spent lots of time in Japan, and while the warmth of the people always makes it an enjoyable experience, the cuisine is quite exotic. And most Continue reading →

Review: La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion, Walt Disney World

I’m gonna be honest. On my last few trips to La Hacienda de San Angel, the cost just wasn’t worth the experience.

But on this visit, things were a bit different. Maybe it’s because I ordered the things I was confident in, or maybe it’s because I had a killer window table and view of IllumiNations. Or maybe it was just the margaritas. (But I’m pretty sure it was the soup. More to come on that.)

But no matter how it happened, this was a night to remember! An expensive night to remember, but a night to remember nonetheless.

Wanna hear about it??

Atmosphere

Start your adventure by heading into Epcot’s World Showcase and swing by the Mexico pavilion. Step up to the archway bearing this sign at the entrance, and you’ll have found the check-in podium. It’s hard to miss.

The check-in podium is underneath this sign!

La Hacienda Sign

Once inside, you’ll receive a pager and take a seat in the waiting area if there’s one available. We were dining on a steamy day and would have appreciated a larger place to hang out. Our table wasn’t quite ready when we arrived, but that was probably due to the fact that we asked for a spot by the window.

We weren’t in a hurry, however. So taking a load off was kind of nice. We’d made a 7:30 reservation with the hopes of seeing the 9:00 fireworks, so we knew we had some time to kill. And we were seated soon enough.

One thing that La Hacienda got right straight from the beginning is the ambiance. Simply put, this is a gorgeous restaurant.

Atmosphere

Inside the Restaurant

The soaring ceilings, heavy furniture, and warm-colored tile floors give a homey feeling to the spot, which totally makes sense. This is La Hacienda, after all. You’re dining in a residence-turned-restaurant. (For more of the backstory, you can see one of my earlier reviews.)

The whimsical hanging lights — both the punched metal star sconces and the paper lanterns — are just beautiful! As the light wanes, they become even more breathtaking, lighting the space with a candlelight-like glow.

One of the Main Dining Rooms at La Hacienda

Another View of the One of the Dining Rooms

Seating is a combination of booths and tables with chairs.

Seating

Seating

Booths line the center of the room, as you can see from an earlier pic. But some of my favorite booth seating is elevated and along the back wall. This is a cozy way to enjoy the view of World Showcase.

Booth and Artwork

Booth Seating

And speaking of the view…here it is! As I mentioned, we waiting for a little while to get this window-side table. And it was totally worth it. Check out our stellar Continue reading →

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 6, 2014

We hope your family has enjoyed a festive holiday weekend! And the celebration continues here at the Disney Food Blog with Christmas in July. That’s right, some of the 2014 Candlelight Processional narrators have been announced. See if your favorite narrator is on the list!

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot’s Candlelight Processional

Are you headed to Disney World this summer? Check out the new Frozen Premium Package at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a VIP Frozen-themed dessert party and more!!

You’ll find more Disney Food News 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, a Garden View Tea Room renovation this summer at the Grand Floridian, new summer dinner dishes at Carthay Circle, 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!

I’m famished. Let’s take a look at some mouth-watering entrees from Disney World’s Epcot. Here’s a delicious tweet. Tracey shared her Via Napoli pizza. YUM!

Pizza at Via Napoli

Pizza at Via Napoli

Seafood Fans, here’s one for you from DFB Reader, Andrew! This Broiled Salmon can be found at Les Chefs de France in Epcot.

Broiled Salmon at Les Chefs de France

Broiled Salmon at Les Chefs de France

Well, now I’m even more hungry. Still I appreciate the great photos. Keep ‘em coming!

Disney Food Blog Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book, 2014 Edition

This week, we announced the Grand Launch of the Disney Food Blog Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book, 2014 Edition! And to continue the celebration, 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!)

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!

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 →

Guest Review: ‘Ohana Character Breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

While Disney’s Polynesian Resort is undergoing extensive renovations (including Captain Cook’s), it’s still a good time to stop by ‘Ohana for the Best Friends Breakfast featuring the adorable Lilo & mischievous Stitch. Today, guest author Rebecca Elliott reviews her family’s morning meal at Walt Disney World.

‘Ohana, located in Disney’s Polynesian Resort, is an extremely popular dinner venue with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Its all-you-care-to-eat format of delicious Polynesian-inspired dishes and relaxed atmosphere earn it rave reviews from just about everyone that eats there.

But is the character breakfast equally as good? My husband, daughter and I decided to find out!

Atmosphere

The Polynesian is one of Walt Disney World’s original resorts. I remember going to the luau when I was a kid back in the 70s and feeling like I was in another country.

As an adult, I recognize that there’s something decidedly kitschy about it. I half expect to see Elvis a la Blue Hawaii round the corner with Joan Blackman on his arm. The theming is fantastic, and consistent.

Pluto Makes His Way Through the Dining Room

Pluto Makes His Way Through the Dining Room

‘Ohana is on the second level of the lobby, just a stone’s throw away from the monorail. Guests are required to check in at the host stand before entering the restaurant. We found this a little confusing, mostly because there were a lot of excited children swarming the area.

We ended up walking right past the host stand. We were re-directed to the “cousin” in the lobby’s host area who was pleasant and efficient and whisked us to the photo area. (Cast members are called “cousins” to reinforce the feeling that everyone at ‘Ohana is family.)

We had our picture taken in front of a Tiki-inspired hut and waited for our buzzer to go off. When it did a few minutes later, we made our way to the host stand inside the restaurant, where we were greeted warmly by more exceptionally friendly “cousins.”

Baskets of Welcome Bread Await Diners

Baskets of Welcome Bread Await Diners

Eats

On the way to our table, our host gave us helpful information about the service for our meal and tidbits about the open kitchen and some of the menu items.

We were seated at a sunny table near the window with a sweeping view of Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom. (Editor’s Note: Views may be obstructed due to ongoing construction.) Our server quickly greeted us and also took a moment to explain the service style. Breakfast would arrive in a large skillet, with the ever-popular Mickey waffles brought separately. Before scurrying away, she uttered those six magical words, “It’s all you care to eat.

Live Kitchen Elements, Including This Grill, Are a Focal Point

Live Kitchen Elements, Including This Grill, Are a Focal Point

Our server returned with a basket of Hawaiian welcome bread flavored with pineapple and coconut, as well as iced cinnamon bread. Both were delicious.

Welcome Bread with Pineapple and Coconut, and Iced Cinnamon Bread

Welcome Bread with Pineapple and Coconut, and Iced Cinnamon Bread

She also brought ‘Ohana’s famous breakfast beverage – a combination of passion fruit, orange and guava juices, known as P.O.G. I would drink this juice intravenously if I could. It’s heaven.

P.O.G. – Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava Juice

P.O.G. – Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava Juice

Next came a fruit plate, with cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, and berries. Poor fruit plate. It barely got touched, because the gigantic skillet of breakfast yumminess arrived, heaped with Continue reading →

DFB News: Christmas in July Sale and Ceramic Dole Whip Giveaway

I love a holiday week! So… the Disney Food Blog is celebrating with some star-spangled savings!! Think of it as Christmas in July from your DFB Team. ;)

First up, we have a terrific sale on pre-orders for our DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014. And we have a special Ceramic Dole Whip Giveaway for our Newsletter Subscribers. Yes, we adore you! :)

DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014

We know you’re just as excited as we are about the upcoming holiday season in Walt Disney World! It’s never too early to start making plans (you’ve gotta make those Dining Reservations 6 months in advance, after all!), so we have an exciting new offer for you today!

Pre-order the 2014 Edition of our best-selling Disney Holiday e-Book for 20% off — and get the 2013 Guide for Free!

When you pre-order your copy of the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014 for an exclusive discounted rate, you’ll be able to instantly download the 2013 Guide and start your planning — TODAY.
Then you will be automatically emailed the 2014 Guide when it’s published in early November. Get two editions for the price of one and start planning right away.

Pre-Order — DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2014

The Holiday season in Disney World is packed with magic: Holiday meals and snacks, special events, and seasonal shows, for starters! How will you see all the attractions, save money, AND take in the extra festivities in your already jam-packed vacation?

We’ll guide you through all the holiday events, activities, and dining so that you can get the biggest bang for your buck in Walt Disney World!
List Price: $14.95. This price includes the 2013 Guide as an instant download. You will automatically be sent the 2014 Guide as soon as it’s published in early November.
Enter Discount Code: ChristmasInJuly
DFB Reader Discount: $3! (20% off)
Your Exclusive DFB Price: $11.95 — get the 2013 Guide instantly, and the 2014 Guide as soon as it’s published!

To Order: http://dfbstore.com/dfb-guide-to-the-walt-disney-world-holidays-e-book/

We’ve done all of the research for you so you can pack your luggage and get ready to enjoy the festivities. Do you know where to score a chocolate monorail? Which event offers complimentary Continue reading →

News: 2014 Disney World Candlelight Processional Narrators

One of the highlights of Disney World’s holiday season is Epcot’s Candlelight Processional!

Although subject to change, the list of narrators is trickling in. And so far, we have two new celebrities — Sharon Stone and Ana Gasteyer — this year!

Amy Grant narrating 2013 Candlelight Processional

Amy Grant narrating 2013 Candlelight Processional

Disney World’s Candlelight Processional

The Candlelight Processional will be performed three times each night from November 28 – December 30, 2014.

The popular show includes the telling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator who is accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra, and a choir composed of Disney cast members and guest choirs from around the country.

Seating for the Candlelight Processional is first-come, first-served, and you do need to get in line at least an hour in advance to get a seat. However, if you book a Candlelight Processional Dining Package, you have guaranteed seating as well as guaranteed VIP viewing of Epcot’s fireworks spectacular, IllumiNations, Reflections of Earth, after the show! All this in addition to a lunch or dinner meal at a select Epcot restaurant.

Candlelight Processional (copyright Disney)

Candlelight Processional (copyright Disney)

We’ll have more information on Dining Packages as soon as they become available.

Candlelight Processional Narrators

The 2014 Narrator list is Continue reading →

Guest Review: Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern in Disney’s Magic Kingdom

We’re celebrating Christmas in July here on DFB! I know you’re all planning your holiday trips right now, so here’s a great suggestion for a holiday meal. Welcome back Catie Hiltz with a dinner review from the Magic Kingdom. This time, we’re visiting the Liberty Tree Tavern at Walt Disney World. This colonial setting is one of our favorites!

Back in the summer while we were planning our Christmas Walt Disney World trip, we were trying to come up with places to eat on Christmas Eve – and when Liberty Tree Tavern was suggested, I thought, of COURSE – that’s the perfect place to have dinner on Christmas Eve – not only would the menu of turkey and all the trimmings be perfect, but its location inside the Magic Kingdom is positively idyllic for celebrating the holiday!

Atmosphere

After spending the afternoon in a crowded Magic Kingdom, we were more than ready for our 5:45PM dinner Advance Dining Reservation on Christmas Eve. So we headed over to Liberty Square around 5:30 and gave our name to the hostess.

Dinner Time!

Dinner Time!

Check In area inside Liberty Tree Tavern

Check In area inside Liberty Tree Tavern

Since we were early, we had some time to check the place out.

Waiting area

Waiting area

There was a beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

A coloring area was setup with cute Disney themed holiday coloring pages.

A fun way to pass the time

A fun way to pass the time

We admired the beautiful gingerbread display, and as usual – Disney didn’t skimp on the details, either. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy checking it out, and several people (like me!) snapped photos too.

Gingerbread Display

Gingerbread Display

Holiday gingerbread display detail

Holiday gingerbread display detail

Liberty Tree Tavern is a colonial themed restaurant, so the décor is pretty rustic — lots of wood and interesting artifacts hanging on the walls. Be sure to check out all the details here from the seven rooms themed to figures from the United States of America’s history!

One of several seating areas

One of several seating areas

And of course we had to check out the menu while waiting.

The Menu on display outside the restaurant

The Menu on display outside the restaurant

The restaurant serves an a la carte lunch, but dinner is an “all you care to enjoy” family style meal, which means they serve you platters of food tableside. And best of all, you can have seconds (or thirds!) of anything and everything.

The atmosphere in the waiting area was pretty loud and crowded, and there were people constantly streaming in and out, wanting to know if there were any open tables (there were not, so I was definitely grateful to have made my ADR’s in advance!).

We were seated about 10 minutes after our ADR time, and led to the George Washington room – a quaint little room where it was much quieter and easier to carry on a conversation than in the waiting area.

George Washington Dining Room

George Washington Dining Room

Our nice little corner table

Our nice little corner table

Eats

We were approached almost immediately upon being seated by our server, who inquired about allergies and took our drink order. He also scanned our Magic Bands (since we were on the Disney Dining Plan).

Upon sitting down, we were handed a menu detailing the night’s feast.

Dinner Menu -- click image for larger version.

Dinner Menu — click image for larger version.

The drinks are served in cute Liberty Tree Tavern mugs.

Beverages

Beverages

Bread and the Declaration Salad were brought out first – fresh warm rolls served with sweet honey butter, and the salad was cold and crisp.

Rolls and Honey Butter

Rolls and Honey Butter

Normally the salad Continue reading →