New Offering at Animal Kingdom Lodge: Dine with an Animal Specialist!

Update: See the Dine with an Animal Specialist menu, food photos, and details here!

Thanks to reader Cliff Yow for the heads up on this awesome new adventure! A new dining experience is available at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge — Dine with an Animal Expert!

Enjoy an exclusive and interactive experience while dining with a Disney Animal Expert at Sanaa, an exotic restaurant offering views of the African savanna. As you immerse yourself in African culture, you’ll get to ask questions of the expert while also learning fascinating facts about the care of savanna’s animals. See the resort’s savanna animals outside the window as you learn special insights into these African creatures.

View from Sanaa

Dine with Animal Specialists: An Untamed Lunch

Offered at Sanaa every Wednesday, 11:30 am to 1:15 pm, this unique opportunity will appeal to animal enthusiasts.

A four course meal and suitable children’s menu will be [Read more…]

African Inspired Meals in Walt Disney World — Tusker House

Jambo! Join me in welcoming Disney guru Mary Jo Collins and Disney World Moms Panelist Bernie Edwards back to the blog! In this article they’ll share with us various locations to enjoy an African Inspired Meal at Walt Disney World. We also get a close-up look at the Tusker House restaurant. Twende! Let’s go!

Theming Outside Animal Kingdom's Tusker House

Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort has become synonymous with the enjoyment of great dining at restaurants both inside and outside the theme parks. For many of us, these meals lend us the opportunity to experience exotic foods from exotic places.

African Food in Disney World
Fortunately for guests of Walt Disney World, African cuisine is showcased in a variety of table service restaurants offering a peek at the food that has been influenced by the marinade of cultures, colonies, trade routes and history of this land. To describe or categorize what African food is in a few words would be impossible.

The cuisine is as varied in Africa as the cuisine of any large continent. The continent’s regions each have significant differences in their own distinctive dishes and preparation techniques. However, in Africa the various cuisines traditionally combine [Read more…]

Orlando Sentinel Foodie Awards Include Several WDW Area Restaurants

For those of you who plan your Walt Disney World vacation around your gastronomical dreams, you may want to take note of the restaurants listed in this year’s 13th Annual Foodie Awards by the Orlando Sentinel.

Readers and critics chose these restaurants for their outstanding cuisine, and with five of the restaurants located within the WDW theme parks, you’ll need park admission and an Advance Dining Reservation to cast your vote for best meal. Check them out here! [Read more…]

Review: Jiko…A Cooking Place

Well, my food-loving friends, it’s finally time to talk about one of my very favorite restaurants in all of Walt Disney World. My husband and I spent our first Valentine’s Day at Jiko, and we’ve returned time and time again to enjoy consistently delicious meals.

Now, a few of you might be concerned that you won’t find anything on the menu that suits your taste in a restaurant that touts “African” food, but fear not; there really is something for everyone here.

Atmosphere

Jiko is located on Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge’s ground floor and features floor to ceiling windows that look out onto a beautiful and peaceful water feature. But the windows are probably the least interesting thing about this restaurant’s design, which was developed by Jeffrey Beers.

Walking into the restaurant you’ll pass a bar area to your left and see the Cape Town Wine Room directly in front of you. (Yep, that’s it behind the glass walls of wine!) Jiko serves exclusively [Read more…]

DIY Disney: Coconut Curry Chicken Soup from Boma

Today, Chef Big Fat Panda’s DIY Disney Recipes column brings us a savory favorite from Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma! Take it away, Panda!

Hello Disney Food People! It feels like I haven’t seen you in forever. You look fantastic? Did you lose weight? I need to feed you something delicious, don’t I? Well, I have just the thing.

Today, I am going to recreate something from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma restaurant called “Coconut Curry Chicken Soup.” Some Disney recipes call it a stew, and it is a hybrid of sorts as I will explain.

Ingredients

I make no secret of my Italian heritage, but what many people don’t know is that among all the pasta and tomato sauce type dishes my mom prepared as I grew up, she also made curry. My mom had [Read more…]

Disney Food Trends: Gourmet Mac and Cheese

Even Chef Mickey is in on the trend...

I’ve been noticing a few food trends while traipsing through Disney parks, and I think they’re important to mention — especially since they seem to be popping up on every menu re-vamp out there.

First, we gotta take a gander at good old macaroni and cheese. When I asked Disney World’s Sanaa Chef Bob Getchell about the gourmet mac and cheese trend that seems to be taking over Disney restaurants, he mentioned that chefs like to make food they themselves love; many have fond memories of mac and cheese while they were growing up, and they want to create new and improved contemporary recipes for the dish. Here are a few of our favorite versions on and around Disney property:

Yachtsman Steakhouse
Yacht Club Resort’s Yachtsman Steakhouse gets a nod due to a relatively new mac and cheese dish I found on the menu in October. Their truffle mac and cheese uses huge orecchiette noodles and Reypenaer cheese with a touch of truffle oil and a topping of crunchy onions. It’s served in a cast iron baking dish that lends a rustic look — very fun! The best part — it tastes amazing. Rich, tangy, creamy sauce nestles into those pasta pieces and serves as the perfect accompaniment to the meal. This is sold as a side dish only, so be sure to look for it at the bottom of the menu.

Yachtsman Steakhouse Mac and Cheese Side Dish

Le Cellier
Not to be outdone, Epcot’s Le Cellier Steakhouse has also introduced some mac and cheese on the menu. Served in a cast iron skillet, elbow macaroni is [Read more…]

DIY Disney: Chai Cream from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Today, Chef Big Fat Panda’s DIY Disney Recipes column brings us a sweet treat from Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa! Thanks to Chef Bob Getchell for sending along the recipe. Take it away, Panda!

Chef Mickey with Ingredients

Hello Disney Foodies! Boy, do I have a treat for you!

I want to be honest and tell you that I procrastinated about this recipe a bit. It is totally out of my comfort zone because I fell into the same trap that I warn against time after time. If you have ever read my articles, you know that I advise you not to “fear the ingredients” — that you can often make a recipe work with a substitution. Well, I feared the ingredients (you’ll see why). We then decided to approach this fantastic dessert from a different perspective. We thought — Let’s try to be as true to the recipe as possible, while finding alternatives that are readily available to most people. With that freedom, here it goes… and after the result, I am glad I stopped being scared of Sanaa’s Chai Cream!

As usual, the recipe’s instructions will be bolded for easy [Read more…]

Five New Disney World Drinks You’ve Gotta Try

You guys know I’m always looking for new, fun drinks to try, and I had a field day on my recent trip to Orlando! Here are just a few of my new favorites:

Yak and Yeti: Shaved Ice Martini
A.K.A. — the snow cone. This fun drink comes in three flavors — Grape, Cherry, and Citrus/Melon. I chose the shockingly bright green version, which included vodka, midori, and pineapple juice along with my (beloved) sweet and sour. The presentation is the best part, but who WOULDN’T want to try an alcoholic snow cone?! Find it at Yak and Yeti Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Citrus Shaved Ice Martini

La Luce by Donna Scala: Limonata
A straight-up pucker-fest, the Limonata is a classy drink served in a classy atmosphere. It’s light, refreshing, and sour — just how I like it! Pair it with the fritto misto or the (incredible) four cheese pizza appetizer. Find it at La Luce by Donna Scala, a new restaurant at [Read more…]

Disney Food Round-Up: May 30th, 2010

Cat Cora's Ouzo-tini at Kouzzina

Welcome to the Round-Up! In Disney Food news this week:

And here are some great Disney Food stories from around the web:

What Now?!?!? (a.k.a. Moms Panelist Kathie F.) makes California Grill’s Pea Risotto (with some gorgeous pics to go along!)

The LA Times Daily Travel and Deal Blog has a great story about Tamales on Main Street…Main Street in Marceline, that is…

AKL Resort pays homage to the Bars and Lounges of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The Web Gangsta has the Unofficial Official Rules for Beers Around the World at Epcot.

DisZine contemplates concern about potential pricing at Epcot’s Via Napoli.

Main Street Gazette visits Paradiso 37 with some pals.

Chip and Co highlights some of their favorite casual dining meals in WDW.

The Disney Blog pays tribute to his Top Five Places to Enjoy Ice Cream at WDW.

WDW Radio has some scrummy pics of Tonga Toast at the Poly.

The Disney Parks Blog talks vegan and vegetarian dining at Kouzzina by Cat Cora.

Pop Century Site captures via photograph the Pop Century Food Court menus (and the Peace of Pizza menu!)

Also, don’t forget to check out:
My Touring Plans post about Delicious and Convenient Disney Food for Busy Days

And the 4th Edition of the DisMarks Disney Blog Carnival has been published!

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 11th, 2010

Chocolate Fondant With Praline from Remy - (c) Disney Cruise Line

Bonjour, my foodie friends! This weekwe heard about the Disney Dream’s exclusive adults-only restaurant — Remy! If you’re booked for a Disney Dream cruise, I’d love to hear if Remy will make the cut for your dining arrangements. (Check out the full press release and photos at StitchKingdom)

And don’t forget — Disneyland’s Food and Wine Festival starts THIS COMING WEEKEND! (Check out DisneyGeek’s cool pic of the Festival Showplace banners!) You know I’m gonna be there in just two short weeks to start my reporting, but in the meantime, check out all the exciting events that are scheduled to take place: Disney’s 2010 California Food and Wine Festival.

Finally, I want to take a moment to thank and “toast” a brilliant person, Alain Littaye, who has written one of my favorite Disney-related blogs, Disney and More, for three years. I’m sad to see the blog end, Alain, but I look forward to seeing your stamp on many Disney-related projects in the future. Thank you for sharing your immense knowledge of and interest in Disney with your readers.

And now, on with the Round-Up!

The WDW Today Podcast kindly brought me on as a guest last week to discuss Food Quality vs. Atmosphere in Disney World Restaurants. I clearly need to take some public speaking lessons, but the discussion is still very interesting!

Disney World Basics looks at one of Disney’s strategies to create healthier options for dining in the parks — Kids’ Picks!

Main Street Gazette heads over to the Rose and Crown Dining Room for a delicious dining review!

The DVC Life takes a look at whether Jiko in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is worth the $100+ price tag.

Chef Druck Musings shares some secrets about her favorite character meals in Disney World.

Thanks to Zannaland for posting this very cool interview about a fellow blogger! (Wink, wink) The ensuing comments about tart-n-tiny candy is my favorite part.

The Disney Blog reports the potential shuttering of the final Goodings Supermarket near Disney World.

Disney Parks Blog celebrates the top honors received in Orlando Magazine by several Walt Disney World restaurants.

The Disney Chick makes Gourmet Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies from the Main Street Bakery. Go on. You know you want to click. ;-)

OC Register has a fun story about what Disneyland’s doing with the leftover fry oil from their kitchens! Here’s a hint: it has to do with Park transportation… .

Chip and Co shares some dessert options for people with Diabetes dining in Disney World restaurants.

DisUnplugged heads to Disneyland’s Plaza Inn for dinner!