Menu Details! Stars and Stripes Celebration at WDW Swan and Dolphin

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resort will celebrate independence with a family-oriented, all-American Stars and Stripes Celebration!

Imagine old-fashioned fun with a live band and carnival-like games as chefs create your family’s barbecue meal in the outdoor Fantasia Gardens Pavilion on Saturday, July 2, 2011 from 3:00 – 8:00 pm.

Summertime Senses

Luckily, we got the chance to speak with Chef Robert Ciborowski (a.k.a. Chef Cib), the Executive Chef at WDW Swan and Dolphin, about the menu for the event!

Robert Ciborowski, Executive Chef

It always amazes me how well the chefs at the Swan and Dolphin know both their craft and their audience, and Chef Cib clearly holds the reigns on creating that culture at the resorts! Check out these details on the food…

What’s the first sense that comes to mind at a barbecue? Smell! According to Chef Cib, “we tried to use that sense as the focal point of what we’re doing.”

To capitalize on this summertime sense of barbecue, the menu will feature all-beef hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork and traditional BBQ chicken, as well as some incredible side dishes and desserts that are sure to make your mouth water!

BBQ Chicken:
Chef Ciborowski elaborated on using the [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Big Thunder Ranch BBQ Review

Happy Cinco de Mayo!! Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers is back with more buckets of food ;-) Check out this Big Thunder Ranch BBQ review, then go check out a few more of her columns here.

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

In my household, there has always been controversy surrounding the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. We’ve been on and off supporters of it for about 15 years. The controversy? Over the years, it’s been good, it’s been bad, it’s moved around (for a while BBQ was being served at the Rancho del Zocalo location), it’s even been non-existent. We passed it by for the last few years and recently we decided to give it another chance. I’m happy to report that we are once again supporters.

Welcome Sign

Welcome Sign

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ is located in the corridor just outside of Fantasyland as you are entering Frontierland. There are no rides directly around it, making it a quiet area where you can get away from [Read more…]

WDW Swan and Dolphin to Host BBQ Bash on July 2nd

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resorts have announced a summertime Stars & Stripes Celebration featuring a BBQ Bash! See booking details here.

Date: July 2, 2011
Time: 3:00 – 8:00 pm
Location: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Fantasia Gardens Pavilion
Cost: Kids: $25, Adults: $45

It’s a family-friendly barbecue offering entertainment from a live band and good ol’ carnival style games. Chefs will tantalize taste buds with mouth-watering BBQ foods. The menu will include: coleslaw, potato salad, watermelon, burgers, hot dogs, mac & cheese station, baked beans, cornbread, mini apple pies, snow cones and more!

Cash bar will include wine, beer buckets and specialty cocktails.

The outdoor venue, Fantasia Gardens Pavilions, is located adjacent to the Fantasia Gardens miniature golf course on Epcot Resorts Blvd. across from the WDW Swan and Dolphin resorts.

Special all-inclusive, over-night packages available for families of all sizes! Please call 888-828-8850 for more information and to make your reservations. To purchase tickets only, click here.

Book your accommodations and your BBQ now!

And Don’t Forget:

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is coming up October 7-8, 2011!

Disney Dream Dining: Serenity Bay Eats

Over on Disney’s Castaway Cay — a private Bahamian island reserved for use only by Disney cruise guests — there’s a little adults-only section called Serenity Bay. You have to take two trams to get there, but boy is it worth it!

Serenity Bay

Castaway Air Bar

Here you can rent floats and tubes for a lazy day in the crystal-blue waters of the bay, find a hammock for a mid-morning nap, or treat yourself to some Disney Cruise Line specialty drinks at eats at two locations.

Castaway Air Bar

First up — the Castaway Air Bar — a ramshackle building next to the [Read more…]

Guest Review: Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree Barbecue

Guest reviewer Bill Iadonisi is back with another great counter-service review! This time, Bill takes us to a beloved Animal Kingdom eatery — Flame Tree Barbecue. Take it away, Bill!

Hello again Disney Food lovers! As promised, here is the second in the continuing reviews of Disney’s amazing quick-service restaurants. From our last review of the Columbia Harbor House, we trek over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to talk about a personal favorite of mine, the Flame Tree Barbecue restaurant. Located in Discovery Island on the path to Dinoland U.S.A, you will find [Read more…]

Flame Tree Barbecue: Lunch With a View

Flame Tree Barbecue has long been a favorite counter-service location in the Animal Kingdom Theme Park for Disney World guests.

Flame Tree not only offers incredible value and an interesting atmosphere, it also has one of the best views in Disney World!

Found in Animal Kingdom Theme Park’s Discovery Island section, right next to the entrance to Dinoland, you’ll find a long, flat, open-design building that usually has several lines of Disney guests sticking out of it and snaking back to the main thoroughfare.

Flame Tree Barbecue Queue Line

Jump into one of those lines and use the time to take in the interesting [Read more…]

Flame Tree Barbecue: The Circle of Life

Flame Tree Barbecue Sign

Flame Tree Barbecue Sign

So, one of my favorite things about Disney Imagineering is that they can get kind of cheeky and creepy sometimes, and Flame Tree Barbecue offers a little bit of both.

Picture this: you’ve just piled your tray with your half-slab of St. Louis ribs, fruit plate, and cole slaw, and you’re wandering off into the Flame Tree’s outdoor seating area. There’s a reflecting pool to your right and several covered pavilions with tables; a little bridge leads you past the water to stepped seating, ending at a tree-framed view of Animal Kingdom’s Mt. Everest. You take a deep, relaxed breath and start walking toward…a seating sign sporting a giant snake swallowing half a mouse? Well, that’s a little weird when it comes to Disney decor. I mean, there are usually a couple of villains here and there, but… .

Seating Sign

Seating Sign

Regardless, you keep walking toward your chosen table with the view and, down by the reflecting pool, happen upon a statue of a cat…lifting its freshly-caught, still-living lunch into the air.

Right. OK. What’s up with this restaurant!?

The Circle of Life
Starting to feel clued in, you take at look at your other surroundings and notice that images and representations of predators catching and eating prey surround you.

Statue in Seating Area

Statue in Seating Area

Carved, stylized anteaters buttress the roof of one seating pavilion, their tongues forming golden curves as they reach for painted ants (check the lampshades, where it’s an even more graphic representation). Owls snatch terrified-looking rabbits on windsocks hanging from another pavilion. The pattern in the wrought iron chairs depicts predatory animals circling. Even the restaurant’s sign gives you a clue: an alligator snaps at a fish right at the top! Fascinating!

The more you look, the more you see. This seating area is a giant representation of the circle of life: particularly when it comes to the food chain! Like I said, Disney Imagineering can be highly creepy! But it’s the cheeky part that I like best. As you’re walking through this virtual National Geographic documentary and finally take your seat down by the water, you look down at your plate and see that big ol’ half-slab of ribs! I mean, c’mon! You just had to look at terrified mice and rabbits about to be injested and now you’re going to rip into this? I can hear them laughing now…!

Seating Pavilion Carvings

Seating Pavilion Carvings

Kudos to Disney for continuing the teachable moments even into mealtime, though it might not have to be quite that close to home!

The Food
Flame Tree Barbecue is often touted as a favorite (if not THE favorite) counter-service restaurant in Disney World by many visitors. It has good food, a decent selection (not a burger in sight), some healthy options, and, like I said, a beautiful seating area with great views. Choices include those BBQ ribs, smoked half-chicken, pulled-meat or turkey breast sandwiches, and a mixed green salad with BBQ chicken.

The restaurant is located on Discovery Island in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.