Review: ALL! THE! CHEESE! at Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom

Question: If you go to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and skip Casey’s Corner, were you ever really there?

Well, I can’t speak for everybody. But in my case, the answer is: Nope! Especially now that plastic cheese is back.

Wait. That’s not right. PLASTIC CHEESE IS BACK! You know how I love this King of All Condiments — ooey, gooey yellow cheese that comes on rib-sticking favorites like Chili Cheese Nachos.

Well, by now you know that Plastic Cheese disappeared for a while. We found some from time to time, but it was never enough. And we still couldn’t dunk our Corn Dog Nuggets in it whilst gazing lovingly at Cinderella Castle from the quaint patio of Casey’s Corner.

Thank goodness those dark days are over! Welcome back to Casey’s Corner, home of amazing hot dogs and even more amazing plastic cheese!

Atmosphere

Casey’s is quintessential Main Street, U.S.A., fulfilling Walt’s vision of a Main Street reminiscent of one of his childhood home in Marceline, Missouri. It’s got tremendous architectural detail, from intricate molding to fabulous window casings.

Casey's Corner

Casey’s Corner

Inside the small ordering area are lots of decor pieces harkening back to a simpler time. Oh, and there’s lots of classy striped wallpaper, too (which I kind of love). [Read more…]

Disney World Mac and Cheese Gallery

Mac and Cheese, the go-to meal of toddlers everywhere, has become a bit of a phenomenon at Walt Disney World. Everyone loves it. It comes in a bevvy of styles. And it’s almost always totally awesome.

So here’s a gallery of our favorites!

Mac and Cheese — Polite Pig

The Polite Pig Mac and Cheese is one of the newest additions to our gallery, and it’s divine. We love the shell pasta and how it holds all that tasty cheese sauce. Mmmm.

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese Varieties — Eight Spoon Cafe

It’s impossible for us to choose just one of the mouthwatering options at Eight Spoon Cafe in Animal Kingdom, so we suggest getting one of each. The simple Baked Mac and Cheese is creamy and delish, while the Pulled Pork and the Sweet and Spicy Shrimp versions are interesting and satisfying. [Read more…]

SUCCESS!: Vintage Bacon and Cheese Dip Returns to Cookes of Dublin in Disney Springs!

You know when you lose your favorite tee shirt and, for weeks, months, or even years you lament that you’ve had to live so long without it? And then one day you find it, wedged behind the washing machine, still as comfortable and doggone perfect as ever?

That’s what’s about to happen to our taste buds. Because Vintage Bacon and Cheese Dip is returning to Cookes of Dublin in Disney Springs on August 31!

Now, many of you know that I’ve been campaigning for this forEVER…at least ever since they took it away. I circulated a petition on facebook. I launched a kickstarter. I bent the ear of everyone I knew who had anything to do with Cookes of Dublin. (OK, not those first two, but I did do the third one.) AND IT’S BACK. DREAMS DO COME TRUE. (At least they said it’s coming back…so that’s all I have to go on.)

That sound you hear is the chorus of bacon and cheese angels that I hired to celebrate this news.

Irish Cheese and Bacon Dip

Irish Cheese and Bacon Dip

[Read more…]

Review: New Sandwiches at The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jambo from The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were here, pointing out three Must-Eat Snacks at the Lodge’s Counter Service option and sipping on some new-to-The-Mara Frozen Jungle Juice. But the Jungle Juice wasn’t the only new thing we found on that visit, which is what we’re excited to share with you today.

Longtime standouts at The Mara for lunch and dinner include unique items such as African Potjie Stew and tasty Soups of the Day alongside classic Burgers, Flatbreads, and Chicken Breast Nuggets.

That said, they aren’t afraid to switch things up every once in a while — and that’s a VERY good thing! Every so often, your basic Hot Dog or sandwich gets a bit of an African-inspired twist, as is the case with two of the three new items we’re trying today.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

So, come right back into The Mara with us!

Atmosphere

The Mara gets its name from the Masai Mara National Reserve, located in southwestern Kenya on the border of Tanzania.  The small food court is only accessible from outside the resort, on the lower level and near the pool. Once inside, you’ll immediately notice the ceiling artfully mimicking the tree tops and some soft ambient lighting that creates interesting shadows. [Read more…]

Review: Turkey and Pimento Cheese BLTs in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We’re back today for another visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom! And this time, we’re stopping by The Smiling Crocodile!

In case you haven’t noticed ;-) , Animal Kingdom has been undergoing some major changes lately. Of course the biggest change is the addition of, you know, a whole new world.

But in addition to that, we’ve been seeing little changes for years. It began with subtle changes to the color schemes. The bright colors that had decorated Discovery Island since it opened were traded for richer, deeper, more neutral colors.

Longtime favorite counter service spots like Pizzafari and Flame Tree Barbecue both underwent periods of refresh. And of course, Creature Comforts was overhauled when it became a Starbucks.

But then, other spots have changed up as well. In addition to brand new counter service spots, like Harambe Market, AK decided it was time to update a few of the kiosks, too. So familiar spots, like The Gardens Kiosk, were revamped. In this case, well — welcome to The Smiling Crocodile!

We dropped by The Smiling Crocodile recently to see what was new — and we found plenty! Let’s take a look.

Open Faced BLTs at The Smiling Crocodile

For now, it seems that Open Faced BLTs are taking over at The Smiling Crocodile. We found three different versions: Turkey BLT, Salmon BLT, and Pimento Cheese BLT.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

We didn’t have any takers on the Salmon BLT the day we visited, so we stuck to the other two. Here’s an introductory photo so you can begin to get an idea of what you’re getting. [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast at the New Satu’li Canteen in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora

EDITOR’S UPDATE: Satu’li Canteen has discontinued its regular breakfast service. It may still be an occasional option during peak crowd seasons for Disney World. 

Kaltxi from Satu’li Canteen!

(That’s “Hello” in the Na’vi language!)

We’re back at the fast-casual restaurant in Animal Kingdom’s brand new land, Pandora — The World of AVATAR (despite the seriously crazy lines that still plague the land since its opening)!

Officially open at long last, guests are able to visit the moon of Pandora, as the story goes, thanks to ACE: Alpha Centauri Expeditions. Now that humans and the Na’vi coexist in peace, we are all welcome to explore the gorgeous landscape, and experience two new attractions with the Na’vi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage.

And the Satu’li Canteen is available to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner to all the interplanetary travelers on expeditions of their own! We’ve already explored the options on the Lunch and Dinner menu, and now we’re back for a bit (or a lot!) of Breakfast.

Satu'li Canteen outdoor menu

Satu’li Canteen outdoor menu

Satu'li Canteen

Satu’li Canteen

So, let’s see what Satu’li Canteen has to offer for the most important meal of the day!

Atmosphere

We took a full tour of Satu’li Canteen during our previous visit, and you can see it in motion through the video below. Or watch all of our Pandora videos on our Pandora Playlist! [Read more…]

Review: Smokey Bones (Bourbon-n-Bacon) Chocolate Shake at Trilo-Bites in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Y’all already know about the new grown-up drinks being served up in Pandora at the Pongu Pongu lounge, but that’s not the only place you can get something new and boozy in the Animal Kingdom! Nosiree!

If you happen to find yourself on the other side of the park in the land of cartoonish dinosaurs, stroll up to the window of Trilo-Bites and take a gander at their (changing-with-some-frequency) little menu.

Trilo-Bites Exterior

Trilo-Bites Exterior

[Read more…]

Disney World “Just the New Stuff” Snack Crawl — Epcot Edition!

What? You’ve recovered from the DFB Grilled Cheese Crawl, and you’re ready for another one? We are right there with ya!

2017-2nd Edition DFB Guide + Snacks Covers

So today, we’re heading to the Mecca of Diverse Disney food options, Epcot!

There are literally hundreds of delicious dishes and tempting snacks to be savored throughout the park. And that makes sense, since World Showcase immerses you into the cultures of eleven different countries.

In one day, you can enjoy pastries from France, sushi from Japan, a jumbo pretzel from Germany, schoolbread from Norway — and so much more!

But then, there’s Future World, too. Home to great little kiosks featuring flavored popcorns as well as one of our favorite counter service spots, Sunshine Seasons, there’s plenty to enjoy there as well.

We all have our favorites, but it’s also fun to check out the NEW stuff! And so today, that’s what we’re doing. Let’s head into Epcot and arrange the day around trying brand new (or in some cases, returning items) in our DFB “Just the New Stuff” Crawl, Epcot Edition!

And if you love this crawl, be sure to check out our DFB Guide + Snacks Bundle, which you can enjoy for an unbelievable 30% off the already discounted price with code BUNDLE17 at DFBStore.com!

I hope you came hungry. Let’s go!

Cinnamon French Toast Bread Pudding, Sunshine Seasons

To kick our day off right, we should start with a good breakfast. Sure, you could grab a bowl of cereal at the resort or head to Starbucks for a muffin, but I say let’s check out Sunshine Seasons in The Land Pavilion for their Cinnamon French Toast Bread Pudding.

Cinnamon French Toast Bread Pudding at Sunshine Seasons

Cinnamon French Toast Bread Pudding at Sunshine Seasons

Is it breakfast, or is it dessert? Who cares? Because this is vacation, and you NEED to have this rich, delicious dish to jump start your day. (Oh, and to answer the question, clearly, this is breakfast. I mean, who eats bacon with dessert? ;-)  ) [Read more…]

Review: Cinnamon French Toast Bread Pudding at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

You know that feeling when you’ve rope-dropped Soarin’ Around the World… but in order to do that, you had to skip breakfast?

Yeah, that feeling is hunger. And we’ve got just the thing to help you muster your strength for the rest of your day.

It’s a little thing we call Cinnamon French Toast Bread Pudding. Actually, that’s not just us. That’s what the friendly folks at Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavilion at Epcot call it, too ;) .

You know Sunshine Seasons as the conveniently located food court with fresh and unusual-by-theme-park-standards grub. We like to keep a close eye on the menus and pastry cases here because it seems like new things are always popping up.

Sunshine Seasons sign

Sunshine Seasons sign

Before the Soarin’ refurb, it used to be home to a Croissant Berry Bread Pudding for breakfast. But that’s since been replaced by the Cinnamon French Toast Bread Pudding. [Read more…]

Disney Food Challenge: The Disney World French Fry Crawl!

Y’all!!! It’s time for some FRONCH FROES!!!!!!

2017-DFB-Guide-to-WDW-Dining-Cover_3D

(For those of you new to DFB, that’s “french fries” in AJ-speak. ;-D)

We’ve got TONS of food crawls in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, and in our latest edition, we just had to develop a brand new one– the French Fry Crawl!

It’s just one of the many great features that make the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, 2nd Edition, our best book yet. With more than 650 pages of color photos, tips, reviews, and extra features, you HAVE TO HAVE IT for your next Disney trip! (I’m not biased or anything. For realz.)

But now, back to the subject at hand. Call ‘em Fries, Chips, Poutine, whatever — there’s pretty much nothing about fronch froes we don’t love. And Disney hasn’t failed us with their yummy spins on this classic side.

So head out with us as we complete this most delicious challenge. We’ll be all over the place for this one, so plan accordingly! The French Fry Crawl will likely take you an entire trip to complete. Unless, you know, you’re like us — and want to eat fries for every meal. Then it might only take you a day and a half. ;-)

Hungry? Good! Let’s go!

Stop #1: Smothered Fries, Beaches and Cream

Our first stop is Beaches and Cream. Find this little Soda Shop in the Disney Beach Club Resort.

Beaches and Cream is one of my favorite stops for about a million reasons. There’s a cool, beachy retro feel to the place, and it’s known for its killer sundaes. While my favorite is the No Way Jose, the most iconic treats here are the Kitchen Sinks.

But we’re stopping here today for a plate — or two — of their Loaded Fries! Currently, there are three versions: Sock Hop Fries, Chili-Cheese Fries, and Cheese and Bacon Fries.

Sock Hop Fries are covered in a savory Brown Gravy and topped with melty Shredded Cheddar. Think of them as Poutine’s American cousin.

Gravy Fries

Sock Hop Fries

But the Bacon and Cheese Fries. Omigosh. Cheese Sauce (!!!!), Bacon, Peppercorn Ranch, and Red Onions elevate this one to amazing. [Read more…]