The Halloween decorations are up and the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival is ON! It MUST BE FALL in Walt Disney World!
So please join us for a very pumpkin-spiced edition of What’s New ! [Read more…]
Character Meals. It’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all kinda world. You might think you’ll enjoy dinner at Chef Mickey’s with just your significant other.
After all, you’re kids at heart! But are you really thinking through the reality of it — complete with twirling napkins, blaring music, and loads and loads (and loads!) of kiddos everywhere?
Today, I thought we could break down some of the groups of guests who might want to take special care in deciding which character meal is best for them. Because when it comes to dining with your favorite Disney characters, no one should be left out! [Read more…]
The 2015 Chocolate Easter Egg Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort isn’t the only sure sign of spring around here these days! Easter treats have been “hopping” up everywhere around Disney World Resort to celebrate this weekend’s holiday — not to mention the remainder of the Spring Break season through the end of next week.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a holiday at Disney World without all sorts of specialty cupcakes, and Easter is no egg-ception. (I. Can’t. Stop. Doing. That!). At Epcot, a Chocolate Cupcake with marshmallow filling and marshmallow buttercream frosting can be found at Fountain View from now through April 11th, and at Sunshine Seasons for a very limited run on April 4th and 5th.
This beauty of a Carrot Cake Cupcake topped with a mini Bunny Macaron will be at the Contemporary Resort only through April 5th! The inside has a pineapple-coconut filling and it’s all topped with white chocolate buttercream frosting along with toasted coconut and — hooray! — jelly beans!
While there, be sure to check out the Contemporary Resort’s display of Chocolate Bunnies and decorated Easter Eggs presented by the Resort’s pastry chefs on the fourth floor!
BoardWalk Bakery boasts its own Easter Cupcake: vanilla cake filled with raspberry panna cotta, topped off with a coconut nest filled with jelly beans.
And, of course, you can check out spots at [Read more…]
We’re wandering the World in search of eats, sweets, and all sorts of treats! Join us for another trip around the World to find out What’s New!
In case you haven’t heard, Frozen Summer Fun is happening all over Hollywood Studios!
And of course this event includes a few extra snacks inspired by the film and its characters, such as specialty cupcakes (we loved the Olaf Carrot Cake), Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, and specialty drinks.
Check out our review of the Frozen eats here!
Amidst the wintery fun, changes for the future are happening at Hollywood Studios, too. Rumor has it that the L.A. Prop Cinema Storage shop might just be the next Starbucks stop in the Parks. The refurbishment is scheduled to last until March 2015.
Even if you missed Star Wars Weekends, you may not have entirely missed your opportunity to pick up some of the goodies! On a very recent visit, we spotted the Stormtrooper Souvenir Steins still available at Hey Howdy Hey Takeaway!
No telling how long they’ll last, so grab one while you still can!
Sunshine Seasons is currently serving Grilled Fish Tacos.
Looks like a future lunch to me!
However, it’s also recently added a new cocktail to its list of alcoholic beverages: the Dragon Berry Refresher featuring Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum.
In Mexico’s La Cava del Tequila, the Summer Special is the Ambhar Tamarindo Margarita, featuring Ambhar Blanco Tequila, tamarind pulp, orange liqueur and agave nectar. Oh, and a chili powder rim – YOW!
We’re always happy to have a reason to spend some extra time at La Cava, and it looks like there is more opportunity to do just that [Read more…]
Today, we’re back at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa to take in dinner at 1900 Park Fare!
You may remember that the last time we were here, we were…nonplussed…unimpressed…frustrated…should I go on? Basically, we really didn’t have a great experience. But, as I always say, the only consistent thing about Disney restaurants is that they’re inconsistent. And some guests think this restaurant is fantastic — a great alternative to hard-to-get advance dining reservations like Cinderella’s Royal Table.
So we’re back at this character buffet for another try… . While breakfast at 1900 Park Fare left us flat, this time around we’re checking out the dinner spread and hoping for the best!
You’ll find 1900 Park Fare off of the ground floor lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort. As you walk in the hotel’s front doors, the restaurant is located to your left, just past the Concierge desk.
The antique carousel decor flows with the Victorian feel that you encounter throughout the resort. While you can’t see the individual items on this menu board that’s displayed out front of the restaurant, you can definitely see the attention to detail when it comes to theme.
When you first arrive and check in for your reservation (you DID make a reservation, right?), you’ll be given a pager and told to wait in the Grand Floridian lobby to be called when your table is ready. Note: this often takes A. LONG. TIME. In my experience, I’ve never been seated at this restaurant within 10 minutes of my reservation time. I’m always waiting quite a while to be called to the table. So if you’ve got little ones who are starving, bring some snacks to tide them over just in case.
Once you’re called, you’ll be told to get in line to have your picture taken with this mural. No…you’re not getting your photo taken with a character. Just with the mural. This can be a fun memory for families, but you might want to skip the pic and head straight in for your meal. Be persistent and make sure they know you don’t want to take the photo. They’re pretty serious about getting you into that line.
Once you head into the massive dining room, you’re greeted with more Victorian charm in pastel shades. Even without windows, the sheer size of the dining room makes it feel airy.
There is a main area with high ceilings in front of the buffet, and some smaller dining rooms surrounding it with lower ceilings. I prefer these areas for seating, since they tend to be slightly quieter.
Seating itself is fairly standard, with cushioned chairs and nondescript tables.
The main dining room makes the best use of the carousel theme. There are several large statues of fantasy carousel animals situated atop half walls and surrounded by plants. You should take a moment to look at these, because they’re really beautiful.
The wall overtop the entrance to the restaurant plays host to an enormous calliope, reminiscent of the intricate musical instruments that you find on antique carousels. This [Read more…]
Many Disney guests agree that the most important Disney Dining Tips lists include one specific piece of advice:
Making Advance Dining Reservations is an absolute must when it comes to planning.
While many seasoned Disney travelers are aware of this, there are lots of folks who visit the parks and are stunned to find no tables available at their top restaurant choices. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at one time or another…and we’ve got solutions for you!
Today, we’ve updated our list of the most popular Disney restaurants and terrific alternatives if you can’t score a table at your coveted spot!
Let’s take a look at the most elusive restaurants to book these days…
From the time that they first announced the restaurant’s soft opening until now, we have heard from many readers who haven’t been able to secure a spot at Magic Kingdom’s other castle restaurant (the first being Cinderella’s Royal Table, of course!). Here are a couple of reasons why:
Newness: The biggest reason for this remains the relative novelty of the place. Be Our Guest and all of New Fantasyland are still a hot ticket in Walt Disney World since the expanded land’s grand opening in December 2012.
Incredible, Immersive Themeing: The impeccable themeing means that stepping into Beast’s Castle is truly like climbing through a portal into Beauty and the Beast (the original or the live-action version!). You almost expect to look down and find your plate come to life!
Novelty: The French-inspired cuisine that’s served at Be Our Guest is unlike anything else available in all of Magic Kingdom. In addition, Be Our Guest was the first place in formerly-dry Magic Kingdom to order beer and wine, and that added to the location’s novelty.
So, what to do if you can’t get a reservation at Be Our Guest? [Read more…]
Much fuss is made about the ballyhooed princess dining experiences at Disney World. So much fuss, that parents of young boys sometimes find themselves wondering, “What does Disney have that’s special for me?”
Well, never fear sports fans; I’m here to tell you that while, yes, the girly girls are pretty visible in the parks (it’s hard to miss the Florida sun glinting off a tiara), there are plenty of Disney dining experiences where the men in your family will feel right at home.
Let’s break it down …
There are 10 different character dining venues at Walt Disney World proper. Of these, only three and a half of them have princess themeing. The rest are totally gender-neutral.
Boys are certainly welcome at any of the princess meals, and many boys love them just as much as the other character meals (PLUS they’re given a neato plastic sword at the Royal Table); but honestly, they do skew more heavily toward girl interests.
All of the other character dining restaurants appeal equally to boys and girls. Your best options for boys in the character dining department are the following (characters are always subject to change): [Read more…]
For starters, we’ll take a look at the recently released PhotoPass+ option! It’s a new way to get all of your PhotoPass, Disney Attraction, and Dining photos in one handy package. But is it worth it just because it gives you access to your dining photos?
Of course we analyzed this for you! The $199.95 package can be a good option for guests that hail down lots of PhotoPass photographers or tend to really want to show folks back home what they looked like on Test Track, however it’s not [Read more…]
Now that you’ve booked your 2012 Disney World vacation, it’s time to make your Advance Dining Reservations. Which restaurants are credit-worthy?
The vacation package add-on called the Disney Dining Plan is a meal plan with a set price in exchange for a certain number of credits. Many table-service meals in Disney World cost one credit, but are you getting the best value?
Stick to the one-credit restaurants, order the most expensive meal on the menu, and maximize your savings! Let’s get to my top picks for best value at “one table-service credit” Walt Disney World restaurants. I think some of them will surprise you!
When we looked at values, our main criteria was price. These restaurants offer a great bang for your buck when paying with the Disney Dining Plan.
We also looked at enjoyment level and food quality, but these criteria were secondary and tertiary to cost. Note that these aren’t necessarily our favorite restaurants, but they are good values for one Disney Dining Plan credit.
Tucked into the Italian pavilion at Epcot, Tutto Italia Ristorante boasts regional cuisines from Italy in an Old World setting. Table service is attentive, although the fine-dining atmosphere can lead to longer waits.
This restaurant serves up a Roasted Rack and Leg of Lamb ($34) as an entree. End your meal with Copetta Sotto Boscue, a dessert specialty comprised of berries, zabaglione cream, gelato, and chocolate sauce, which has an out-of-pocket price of $14. When both of these items are ordered, Tutto Italia becomes quite possibly your best one-credit table-service value in Walt Disney World.
There’s also a Veal Roast which would run you $31 out-of-pocket but… perfectly worth one dining credit!
Tutto Italia is closed for refurbishment until [Read more…]
We threw out an inquiry asking for favorite Disney soups and got back a crockful of great ideas! Soups are satisfying meals and hearty snacks and can really warm you up on a chilly park day. Disney’s been working overtime creating memorable ones!
The hands down favorite soup mentioned was the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup at Epcot’s Le Cellier. Honorable mentions go to the soup selection at Boma and the French Onion Soup at Les Chefs de France.
Let’s take a look at the winners, then drool over the runners-up and a few of my own new favorites!
Made with Moosehead beer and bacon, the Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup is one of the reasons you should secure a coveted reservation at Le Cellier!
Sooth your soup craving and try the Cheddar Cheese Soup recipe at home.
Kathy B. exclaims “It is the BOMB!!!”
Margaret C. even has a cost-saving tip. She suggests [Read more…]