Review: ESPN Club in Walt Disney World

Editor’s Note: As of May 2013, hot dogs are no longer being offered and the nachos are served with BBQ Pork.

It’s been TOO LONG since I’ve done an ESPN Club review for ya, so we finally headed over there on a recent visit. It wasn’t from lack of trying, mind you — I actually like this restaurant a lot and we enjoy going there. But other restaurants kept getting in the way. ;-)

But now it’s time for this paradise of bar food to get its day in the spotlight…here we go!


Your first impression of ESPN Club will be that you’ve died and gone to Sports Bar Heaven. Seriously, as you will see, no detail is left untouched. This is a world created for the die hard sports fan. From the menu to the television placement (more to come!) you need never miss a second of the game while you’re here.

ESPN Club (with a line to get in on Game Day!)

But never fear, even though the feel is straight-up sports bar, it’s very kid-friendly, with the standard Disney kids’ menu offered. And with an arcade off to the side, chances are you’ll wave goodbye to the kids and not see them again until dessert anyway!

As you walk in, you can choose from seating in the bar area to the right or the dining room to the left. The bar area has ample TVs situated all around the room — even at your table.


And what goes better with the game than beer? Here are a few of the draft selections, including the very popular local Orange Blossom Pilsner.

Beer on Draft

Although we were there on a quiet weekday, make no mistake: this place gets packed fast when there’s a big game on. And while it’s a fantastic venue to catch the play-offs or a World Cup match, be prepared to [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Downtown Disney’s UVA Bar is Back!

After a short renovation, Downtown Disney’s centrally located UVA Bar, an extension of Catal, is back in biz with a fresh new look. 

They were closed when I walked by, but I just had to snap a few photos for sharing! I love the bright colors and new seating. Can’t wait to try some of the new menu items as well.

Downtown Disney's UVA Bar

Sign me up for some Fried Chicken and an Orange 50/50 Shake please!

UVA Bar New Menu

The round booth style seats and long community-like tables are a [Read more…]

Guest Review: Fulton’s Crab House

Today, we’re welcoming Orlando native Matt Shealy with a guest review of Fulton’s Crab House in Downtown Disney. Matt shares a rave review of the seafood as well as the memorable ambiance of dining at Fulton’s at sunset.

My childhood memories of Disney include images of loveable characters like Mickey, Minnie and Pluto as well as care free roaming of the park’s lush grounds. Those memories were still vivid after an over ten year hiatus. Now that I am a proud father of a two year old girl, I made the 30 minute trek south of Orlando to that magical place called Disney. Other memories of Disney include long lines and Florida’s summer heat, so we headed to the park bright and early.

After a long day of rides and good times, it was time to grab some good food and relax. My wife and I are huge fans of seafood. After asking some of the cast members we settled on Fulton’s Crab House.

On our walk to Fulton's Crab House


We arrived at Downtown Disney at dusk on a warm breezy Central Florida evening. As we strolled towards the larger than life riverboat style restaurant, the [Read more…]

First Look: Mad T Party Drinks and Eats at Disney California Adventure

This past Friday, Disney California Adventure surprised visitors with a soft opening of their new nighttime dance party, the Alice-in-Wonderland-themed Mad T Party


Knowing that the “Rabbit Hole” was opening at 7:00, we got there just before so we could see the whole grand opening first night extravaganza. You can see by the photo below, that the soft opening wasn’t too big of a secret; lots of people!

Mad T Party Rabbit Hole (aka Entrance)

As far as seating goes, Disney really did it right. I am totally in love with the Linvin plastic furniture that they purchased to fill the area. If you want one of these in your home, though, it’s going to set you back about $895 (I did the research, I hope Disney got a bulk discount!). There are plenty of chairs, but you might have to fight me for a purple one….

Mad T Party Seating

And as the night wore on, the atmosphere got even more colorful…

Mad T Party After Dark

While waiting for the Rabbit Hole to open, which basically meant walking though a long tunnel of mist, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum greeted guests and put on a little banter to entertain us while we waited. I wonder if these guys shaved their heads for the part? 


Also, check the tough guy neck tats on the backs of their heads. Pretty [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 20, 2012

R2D2 churros and chocolate at Star Wars Weekends

We’re loving the reports from Star Wars Weekends in Disney World this week, and we can’t wait to share even more from our delicious visit to Disneyland last week!

Let us know what Disney Food updates are tempting you! :-)

Disney Food News

Here’s the latest happening in the Disney Food World this week!

  • Star Wars Weekends have started in Disney World! Check out some of the great Star Wars Themed Treats available!
  • Specialty Dinner Announcements: Downtown Disney Orlando’s Raglan Road has announced a Mid-Summer Feast. And in Downtown Disney Anaheim, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen will feature a Beer Dinner.
  • Chocolate Caramel Grapes now available at Karamell-Küche in Epcot’s Germany.

We’ve got more food news (including the re-opening of Disneyland’s Carnation Cafe) on our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

Grand Opening of the DFB Store!

Our DFB Store is now open! Featuring our critically-acclaimed line of Disney Dining e-Books, these in-depth guides expand upon the Disney Food topics that YOU were craving for!

The DFB Store offers:

  • Individual guidebooks
  • Packaged bundles at discounted prices
  • Book Overviews
  • Sample Pages
  • and More!

Stop by now and take a look around!

On To The Round-Up suggests planning a date night at the Wilderness Lodge with dinner at the Artist Point!

Daveland shares a rare 1960 photo of the Silver Banjo Restaurant in Disneyland.

Bites on Today discovers beer for Dad at Walt Disney World.‘s Jack Spence welcomes the return of the Orange Bird at Sunshine Tree Terrace.

Main Street Gazette taste-tests the Chicken Caesar Sandwich at Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Disney Diner creates the Main Street Bakery’s Cinnamon Rolls. Yum!

The Actor’s Diet flies to the east coast and indulges at the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

DisneyParks Blog shares the atmosphere music for the new Carthay Circle restaurant at Disney California Adventure!

First Look! Food Photos and Tasting Review From Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Cars Land

Today I had the pleasure of walking behind the closed off walls of Cars Land in Disney California Adventure. This brand new land in the Disneyland Resort has been under construction for years, and I couldn’t believe I was actually going to get a sneak peek…and even get to sample some of the brand new menu items that will be served there and on Buena Vista Street when they open next month! 

Standing under the mountains of Ornament Valley with the Radiator Springs Racers whizzing by, I had to take a deep breath.  Goosebumps on my arms, tears in my eyes. What in the world was happening to me? I’ve watched the progress of Cars Land from day one, and now, it’s nearly done.

Flo's V-8 Cafe Under Construction in Cars Land

Just weeks away from the June 15th grand opening and there I stood, inside getting a sneak peek!  The only way for me to describe Cars Land is simple and true. You are IN Radiator Springs. You have stepped into Cars. 

After telling myself to get it together and wishing I could take a photo, I followed the other attendees into Flo’s V8 Cafe for a sampling of the menu!

Menu and Backstory of Flo's V-8 Cafe

Because Flo’s is not 100% complete, photos were not allowed, the pictures you see here were from a “preview” room that we were taken to beforehand. 


I’ll do my best to describe to you in detail the atmosphere of Flo’s. Flo’s is a counter service restaurant serving up breakfast, lunch & dinner.  Upon entering, be sure to look up. There is a giant light fixture made of shiny tail pipes

Flo’s caters to the growing number of Route 66 visitors and race fans coming to Radiator Springs, with a “showroom” dining area that overlooks the Radiator Springs Racers attraction. The cafe also is home to Flo’s personal memorabilia, collected during her glamorous career as a singer with the Motorama Girls.

The service area includes several walk-up kiosks (or food pods) divided by road barrier type blockades to keep you in your line. The main color of the cafe is turquoise. There is a giant juke box fixture at the counter.  Two main dining rooms make up the cafe, and there is both indoor (booths & tables) and outdoor seating.

Best of all? You can’t beat the view from the dining rooms. One side features a perfect view of Sally’s Cozy Cones and the other — a breathtaking view of [Read more…]

Guest Review: Lunch at Epcot’s San Angel Inn

Welcome back guest author Catie Hiltz with a review of lunch at the San Angel Inn inside Epcot’s Mexico pavilion.

While in Disney World over Spring Break, my husband, parents and I dined at San Angel Inn, the restaurant inside the Mexico Pavilion pyramid at Epcot’s World Showcase.

I have always walked by the restaurant wistfully, thinking “I wish I could eat there;” and this time, I actually got the chance to do just that!

San Angel Inn is housed here, in Mexico!


We arrived at 1:20 pm for our 1:30 pm Advance Dining Reservation. We weren’t seated until 1:40 pm, which gave us time to roam around the pavilion and take in our surroundings!

San Angel Inn Dining Room

And we had a chance to check out [Read more…]

Review: Le Cellier Steakhouse Signature Dinner

Time to revisit a fan and Disney Food Blog Favorite: Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion!

Signature Dinner, One Year Later

You’ll remember that we visited Le Cellier last March for dinner, just after Le Cellier dinner became a signature meal on the Disney Dining Plan (meaning it now will cost you two table service credits to dine there, rather than one).

At that time, we were focused on whether the menu could really deliver an experience that was significantly different than it had been before, and whether dinner would be worth the much higher prices than you’ll find at lunch. We walked away somewhat let down by the meal — especially disappointing was the ribeye with maple butter, a flavor combo that just seemed all wrong — but we were confident that they would pull it together. We also wondered right along with you if lunch would also become a signature meal, and if dinner would continue to be a signature meal.

Fast forward a year from that first signature dinner! It’s time to see what, if any, evolution has taken place!


In the year since we last visited, only two real changes have taken place in the dining room during the Signature dinner meal. Remember those snazzy little maple leaf napkin rings that I told you about last year? Those are gone from the tables, as are the table votive candles and their pretty little holders.

If I had to guess why, I would figure that they were so cute, they proved to be irresistible to snag as a souvenir. ;-) But that same upscale, wine cellar feeling with arches, candlelight sconces, deep reds, and dark woods throughout still signal that you are someplace lovely, cozy, and probably surrounded by snow.

Dining Room

As you can see, the lack of table candles and napkin rings makes dinner pretty indistinguishable from the lunch setting.




After we were seated, our server, Gabby, greeted us cheerfully. She was wonderful from the get go! We learned that she was on her second Le Cellier tour with the International Program, and she proved to be helpful and knowledgeable as we made our choices. Of course, we started with a few drinks.

Beer Menu - click image for larger version

First up: the [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 29, 2012

It’s official, everyone! The big news this week: Starbucks is coming to Disney Parks! Whether you love it or hate it, the coffee king will be opening six locations soon — one in each domestic Disney park.

Later today, stay tuned for pictures of the new Art of Animation Food Court and Menus! We’re reporting live from Disney World this week!

Disney Food News

We’ve got more food news (including a new chef at Mama Melrose’s, opening date for Disneyland’s Candy Palace and Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, plus a new confectionery, Trolley Treats, coming to Disney California Adventure) on our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

DFB Podcast Episode 3

We’re excited to finally announce the third episode of the DFB Podcast, which you can download now!

Thanks to everyone who’s listening for being so generous with your time, comments, and support!

In this episode, we share Disney Food News, answer listener questions, reveal our trivia winner from last week (and ask a new trivia question), and discuss non-buffet character meals in Disney World and Disneyland!

Click here to go to the Podcast page for Episode 3. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS or on iTunes!

On To The Round-Up shares the recipe for Poolside Lemonade – a fave cocktail at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

disZine shares how to get free cupcakes when Sprinkle Cupcakes helps promote DreamWorks’ upcoming dramedy, People Like Us!

Main Street Gazette enjoys the groovy Tie Dye cheesecake at Pop Century’s Everything Pop food court.

Daveland goes back to Disneyland’s Plantation House where fried chicken was the specialty.

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups finds beer, wine, and mixers at the WDW value resorts.

Studios Central previews snacks in R2-D2 containers for the 2012 Star Wars Weekends.

Disney Wedding Podcast chats with AJ about incorporating Disney food into a wedding reception or other catered event. shares DFB tips on celebrating your special occasions at a Disney restaurant.

All Fare’s Food Blog reviews the Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree Barbecue!

New Dessert and Cocktails at La Luce, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

A few weeks ago I had the superb luck to head over to La Luce at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort (inside the gates of Walt Disney World) to sample a brand new dessert and some innovative cocktails they’ve just added to the menu!

La Luce

New Cocktails on the Menu

Mixology is a passion for the bartenders at La Luce, and their seasonal cocktail menu clearly shows that. This season’s list includes three infusion-based drinks, which basically means that the drinks are made with alcohol that’s been flavored with fruits, vegetables, or other foods. For example, in one La Luce drink, you’ll encounter a Cocoa and Chipotle-infused Vodka while in another, you’ll find a Cranberry-infused Tequila.

Infusions -- citrus, tomato, and Buddha's Hand

If you think those jars of infusions are beautiful; wait until you see the drinks.

Infusions and Drinks

First up, a drink made with a tomato-infused Gin, along with Campari (a bitters flavored with a bitter/sour Italian citrus fruit) and a honey truffle syrup. There’s a bacon rim on this one to give a [Read more…]