Cast Member Gingerbread Displays at Art of Animation and Pop Century Resorts

Yes, the Christmas holiday has come and gone… So you might think it must be time to halt all the gingerbread chat for the year. However, just a few days after Christmas I stumbled upon two gingerbread displays that I’d never seen before.

Sure, we’ve taken you on tours of the Grand Floridian’s famous Gingerbread House, and this year’s new Frozen-inspired Gingerbread Display at the Contemporary Resort. But I must say, these smaller displays have a charm all their own. I’m talking about the Gingerbread Houses created by Cast Members at the Art of Animation and Pop Century Resorts!

Art of Animation Christmas Tree

Art of Animation Christmas Tree

Art of Animation Christmas Tree

Art of Animation Christmas Tree

Art of Animation Christmas Tree

Art of Animation Christmas Tree

Pop Century Christmas Tree

Pop Century Christmas Tree

Pop Century Christmas Tree

Pop Century Christmas Tree

Pop Century Resort Holidays 9

Pop Century Christmas Tree

Much like the Cast Member Pumpkin Carving contests happening at resorts all over Disney World for Halloween, various teams joined together to create their own gingerbread masterpieces. Guests placed their votes to determine a winner.

Gingerbread House Contest Display

Gingerbread House Contest Display

Over at Pop Century, the Food and Beverage Team took home the prize for this colorful Gingerbread Minnie Mouse House.

Minnie Mouse Gingerbread House

Minnie Mouse Gingerbread House

I love the Krispy Treat Chimney!

Minnie Mouse Gingerbread House

Minnie Mouse Gingerbread House

The other entries were pretty great, too :) . From this Gingerbread Pixie Hollow by the Merchandise Team…

Pixie Hollow Gingerbread House

Pixie Hollow Gingerbread House

… to a more traditional display by [Read more…]

Snack Series: The Everything Brownie from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

We recently made a side trip to swing through Landscape of Flavors, the notable counter service restaurant at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

The spot is one of our favorites for their innovative menu. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner all offer both comfort food and international flavors. But we also love their out-of-the-box snacks and sweet treats.

We recently told you about the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake, served in an extra-fun way — on a Mickey Straw. We wouldn’t quite pick it up and eat it like a lollipop…but seriously! How fun!

Today, we are back to share with you another sweet that we couldn’t resist…

The Everything Brownie

So, as you can see, the Everything Brownie is topped with, well, a little of everything. This is from the same general genre as the white chocolate chip brownie over at Starring Rolls, and you’ll also find this one in several other resort bakery cases (just found it a The Mara this week).

The Everything Brownie

The Everything Brownie

Out of the brown paper wrapper, you can get a better idea of what you’ve got. Yep — it’s more than just a wrapper full of M & Ms, and Marshmallows, Chocolate Chips, and Nuts! You can begin to see the Brownie Base, and it has that yummy, gooey chocolate ganache-y type frosting as well.

The Everything Brownie -- of the Wrapper

The Everything Brownie — Out of the Wrapper

Though it doesn’t look like it in the photo, the brownie is [Read more…]

Super Snack VALUE: Naan Bread with Dipping Sauces at Art of Animation Resort

Welp, we’ve got another great Disney snack for you guys to add to your ever-growing must-eat lists in Disney World!

Remember last year when we were all “you HAVE to try the cheesy bread at Art of Animation“?

Well the Resort’s food court, Landscape of Flavors, is back with another perfect-for-your-budget-and-your-Dining-Plan treat.

After all, this place has a strong reputation for serving options outside your typical Resort Food Court fare. Most visitors would argue that it has raised the bar for Quick Service options, particularly at the Value Resorts.When All Star Sports End Zone reopened this past December, it was easy to spy some of the areas where it took its cue from some of what’s made Landscape of Flavors such a success.

Art of Animation Landscape of Flavors (3)

Landscape of Flavors

Landscape of Flavors

The Tandoori/Mongolian station, however, remains unique to the Landscape.

And there is something special tucked on the side of the menu that can be hard to spot among the listing of entrees such as Tandoori Shell-on Shrimp, Tandoori Boneless Chicken Thigh, and Mongolian Grill Beef Stir-fry or Grill Fish.

Tandoori Menu -- slightly cropped (this is what happens when you're short)

Tandoori Menu — slightly cropped (this is what happens when you’re short)

If you look just to right of the menu, you’ll see it: Naan Bread with Dipping Sauce. It’s listed as a $4.99 snack dish, and is also  good for a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

Naan with Dipping Sauce

Naan with Dipping Sauce

Much as we want to dive in, let’s start with some logistics. The Dipping Sauces available during my visit were Coriander Sauce, Tandoori Sauce, and Mango Chutney. And here’s the best part: you don’t have to limit yourself to just one. If you’d like to try all three, you can go right ahead!

BUT — here’s a little confusing twist that I have to tell you about. The friendly Cast Member assisting me asked if I wanted the “side of Naan.” I didn’t realize, in that moment, that a “side of Naan” is different from the “snack-serving” of Naan. The side, as it turns out, includes one piece of Naan. The snack portion has TWO.

SIDE of Naan

SIDE of Naan

You know how I learned this? When I brought my dish up to the cash register, [Read more…]

Snack Series: Mickey Mouse Cupcake (and More!) at Art of Animation Resort

There is never a dull moment when you hit up Landscape of Flavors Food Court at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

I recently got to stay at AOA and couldn’t wait to share some of the fun grab-and-go eats we found. Today, we’re looking at a DFB favorite: cupcakes!

Mickey Oreo Cupcake

First up, this happy little find! While I’ve seen this type of cupcake elsewhere, this is the first spot I’ve seen it with the added Mickey white chocolate face!

Oreo Mickey Cupcake

Under the lid, you’ll find a fairly standard yellow cupcake with buttercream frosting. But the little white chocolate Mickey face and Oreo “ears” add a little something special to the mix.

Oreo Mickey Cupcake -- Outside the Box

Concerned about [Read more…]

Super VALUE: Cheesy Pesto Bread at Art of Animation Resort

We’re heading back to Disney World’s Art of Animation Resort today for another fun stop at Landscape of Flavors!

In case you haven’t seen all the buzz, this upscale counter service spot opened to rave reviews with guests. Billed as the next generation of Disney food courts, its top draw is the emphasis on options, choice, and customization for guests.

Recently, I found myself in need of a little afternoon snack while I was visiting the resort, so I decided to stop in and see what was new to me on the menu.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

And right there between the Meatball Sandwich and the Create-Your-Own Pasta, I saw those three magical words. Cheesy. Pesto. Bread.

Um. Yes, please.

And then I realized that it’s a Disney Dining Plan snack credit option! What a great deal! I mean, that thing is pretty much the size of two french bread pizzas…it could easily be a meal, right?

Cheesy Pesto Bread

It takes a while to make the pesto bread, since it’s not put together ahead of time and sitting under a heat lamp. I think the wait is worth it!

When I received my order, cheese hot and bubbly from under the broiler, it looked so much better than it did in the menu picture. I could really tell that [Read more…]

Review: Drop Off Pool Bar at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Long ago I did several posts in my “Pool Bar Series,” and it’s time to add another to the mix!

Drop Off Pool Bar

On a recent visit to Disney’s newest resort, Art of Animation, I took some time to hit the pool bar for a drink one evening. In fact, I hit the Drop Off just in time to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics!!

Seating at Bar

The Drop Off Pool Bar is named after the ominous danger zone in Disney’s Finding Nemo film — the drop off to the ocean floor! While I’m sure this pool bar can be dangerous for some, my visit revealed a [Read more…]

Art of Animation Resort: Kitchenettes and Room Service Menu

Earlier this week, we brought you a very thorough review of the Art of Animation Resort Food Court, Landscape of Flavors.

Today, it’s time to check out the kitchenettes and room service menu at this brand new Walt Disney World hotel!

Three quarters of the rooms at the new Art of Animation resort at Walt Disney World are “family suites.” These rooms sleep six, and have two bathrooms and a “kitchenette.” Your big question now is, “What’s a kitchenette?” Here’s your answer.

Art of Animation Kitchenettes

The kitchenette is cabinet on top of a small tiled area, which includes a dorm sized refrigerator, coffee maker, bar sink, and a microwave oven.

Position of kitchenette in the living room.

Art of Animation kitchenette

You’ll find extra paper towels under the sink.

Extra paper towels under the sink.

The Avanti brand microwave is small, but manageable. Here, I’m using a one-foot ruler to give you an idea of capacity.

Avanti brand microwave. One foot ruler to give an idea of capacity.

The fridge is slightly larger than a [Read more…]

New Menu Details! Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Thanks to Pam Brandon over at the Disney Parks Blog, we have even more details on the new Landscape of Flavors food court (which seems to have undergone a name change since we last reported!) opening this summer with Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!

Landscape of Flavors Concept Art -- Disneys Art of Animation Resort

Dining Concept

According to Disney Parks and Resorts Director of Food & Beverage Concept Development, Chef Ed Wronski, the focus of this new type of food court is customization. Guests will be able to “make your own” and choose from a variety of options more often in this spot.

Start planning now how you want to create your gelato sundae, smoothies, omelet, pasta, salad, sandwich, and more! There will also be a focus on “better-for-you” options in this location, so perhaps going of your diet won’t be as much of a temptation here! (Wait a minute…who are we kidding? They’ll still have Mickey Bars won’t they?)

Individual Menu Items

Like the other value and moderate resorts, this food court will still be a regular old food court in that it will have five “shops,” each themed to a particular type of food.

Soup-Salad-Sandwich Shop

Art of Animation Resort’s Landscapes Cafe to Open in Summer 2012

Another fun addition to the Disney “landscape” in 2012 will be Landcapes Cafe (ha ha…get it…?), the new food court at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!

Landscape Cafe Concept Art -- Disneys Art of Animation Resort

The food court will share space with the Ink and Paint Shop shopping area adjacent to Animation Hall — similar to Everything Pop at Pop Century Resort. According to DisneyWorld.com, Landscapes will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and feature four unique cooking stations serving pizza and pasta, all-American burgers, international favorites, fresh salads, and sandwiches. The standard “Grab ‘n Go” market selections will also be available.

We’ve heard that the food court will feature items like [Read more…]