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…]

Celebrate Mother’s Day at Disney World and Disneyland!

Happy Mother’s Day!! How about a day at Disneyland or Disney World just for mom?

A sweet treat just for Mom! ©Disney

A sweet treat just for Mom! ©Disney

If you’re looking for the perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day, check out these special dining options at Disney World and Disneyland! [Read more…]

#OnTheList: Jungle Juice Slush at Mahindi in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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This post is part of the DFB #OnTheList series, where we feature eats you’ve GOT to have while you’re at Disney! Let us know what’s on YOUR Disney Food Bucket List @DisneyFoodBlog #OnTheList!

What’s frozen, made of guava, passion fruit, and orange juices, and is #OnTheList?

jungle-juice_mahindi_16-03

It’s the Jungle Juice Slush at Animal Kingdom’s Mahindi (AKA Harambe Popcorn ;-D). [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 10, 2016

Happy Sunday! We hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

Welcome to the 2016 Disney California Adventure  Food and Wine Festival

Welcome to the 2016 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival

Grab a cup of coffee (or tea!) because it’s time to sit back, relax, and catch up on the latest Disney food news!

We’re so excited that the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival is in its second weekend! You can check out all the details for the Food & Wine Festival here!

And we can’t wait until Ample Hills Creamery comes to Disney World’s Boardwalk!! AAAAAAH!!!!!

We have a lot to share with you this week, so let’s jump right in…

Disney Food News

Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including menu updates, restaurant closures, special events, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go. [Read more…]

News: Sense of Africa Tour Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Beginning Tuesday, April 5th, booking opportunities will become available for a new tour coming to Animal Kingdom Lodge: the Sense of Africa Tour.

Taking place on Tuesdays and Saturdays starting April 9th, this 3.5 hour experience is designed to engage the five senses and offer a “backstage peek at the care, feeding, well-being and social interactions of the resident animals,” such as okapi, giraffes, and ostriches.

©Disney

©Disney

Tour participants will start the day with a “unique twist” on breakfast at Boma, engaging the senses of Taste and Smell. [Read more…]

#OnTheList: Mickey Waffles

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This post is part of the DFB #OnTheList series, where we feature eats you’ve GOT to have while you’re at Disney! Let us know what’s on YOUR Disney Food Bucket List @DisneyFoodBlog #OnTheList!

 

So, what’s #OnTheList this week? Why, it’s a breakfast item that is worth waking up early for every single time

#OnTheList: Mickey Waffles!

… because nothing says “Good morning!” quite like a plate full of MICKEY WAFFLES!!

[Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Must-Eat Snacks at Disney World Resort Hotels

Did you know, did you know? We love some Disney snacks around here. :-)

2017 DFB Guide to WDW Dining Cover March 6

And part of the reason that we love them so much is that we know that you do, too! In fact, I’m 100% confident that I could spend an entire vacation in the ‘World and sustain myself on snacks alone.

And that’s why I dedicate a lot of real estate in the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining to offering you pictures and details about snacks in all four corners of Walt Disney World.

And if that’s not enough for you, I’ve also written guides dedicated to the snacks in each Park as well as special events happening throughout the year — which, believe it or not, usher forth their own seasonally-themed treats. You can discover it all in our DFB Guide Everything Bundle.

But more about that in a minute. Right now, let’s look at one of my favorite lists: Must-Eat Snacks in Walt Disney World Resort Hotels. The list comes to you courtesy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. And if you like what you see, check out our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2017 Second Edition. With more than 650 pages of information, we leave no Disney Food topic uncovered!

But let’s get back to that list. :-) Time to check ‘em out!

Naan Bread with Dipping Sauces

Head to Disney’s Art of Animation for our first snack stop. Landscape of Flavors, the resort’s counter service offering, is a great place to enjoy some out of the ordinary quick service options.

But one of the best values is the Side of Naan with Dipping Sauces.

SIDE of Naan

Side of Naan with Dipping Sauces

The house-made Flatbread and trio of Accompaniments are so good, I’m willing to make an special trip for them! These aren’t on the menu as a side item, but you can order them that way! [Read more…]

Recommended Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Restaurant Values

We previously shared with you our picks for the Best Disney Dining Plan Value in Disney Signature Dining. Today, we continue our series exploring which Disney Restaurants offer the best value for your Disney Dining Plan credits!

Disney Dining Plan One Credit Recommendations

One of the biggest questions that we get here at DFB is whether or not the Disney Dining Plan is a good deal. To begin answering the question, we armed ourselves with calculators and menus and ran the numbers to see which spots had the most expensive average entrees.

But it’s more than that, isn’t it? I mean, no matter how much the average check runs, if the food or the atmosphere doesn’t appeal to you and yours, it won’t be a good value, no matter how you slice it.

With the calculations in mind, we were curious to determine which One-Credit Disney Table Service Restaurants offered the best deal or value price-wise — but also could be recommended by the experts here at DFB for atmosphere and food quality. All of the restaurants that we considered are One-Credit spots, meaning they’ll require just one credit to dine with the Disney Dining Plan.

Here are our picks for the restaurants that give you the best overall bang for your Disney Dining Plan buck when it comes to single credit table service spots.

Best Friends Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana

When we set out to determine which one-credit restaurants offered you the most in terms of sheer cost, one trend emerged immediately: you can’t go wrong by spending your credit on a Character Meal.

Mickey at 'Ohana

We Can’t Resist Eating with this Guy!

And with only one exception (Cinderella’s Royal Table), all Disney World character meals require only one DDP table service credit.

And while character meals are not one size fits all — you should definitely check out our tips before booking one — they’re for sure an experience everyone can enjoy with a little planning.

As for our favorite, this year we are really enjoying character meals that are served family-style like ‘Ohana’s breakfast. These include Garden Grill at Epcot, which you can now book for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Chip

Chip n’ Dale Visit with You During Meals at Epcot’s Garden Grill

Or enjoy the Princesses at Akershus. You can still enjoy the koldtbord selections and all you care to eat, but meals come plated.

Princess Cinderella at Akershus in Epcot's Norway

Princess Cinderella at Akershus in Epcot’s Norway

But my favorite remains the Best Friends Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana. For a combination of cute characters (Mickey in a Hawaiian Shirt, and Lilo is awesome!) and delicious food, it just can’t be beat.

Mickey Waffles!

Mickey Waffles!

And while buffets are great for a bounty of offerings, sometimes it’s nice to sit back and let the food come to you — especially if there’s a baby or toddler along for the ride.

Boma

Hot on the heels of character meals though, you should probably also consider other buffets or all you care to enjoy service formats if you’re truly interested in “getting your money’s worth”.

Boma Buffet

Boma Buffet

Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge doesn’t offer characters — but I don’t see that as a bad thing. The food here is  interesting and delicious. Don’t miss the Soups or the Carving Stations at Dinner! (Here’s the recipe for that killer Coconut Curry Chicken Stew!) Breakfast offers some great pastries and more.

Breakfast Pastries from one of our favorite buffets -- Boma in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Breakfast Pastries from one of our favorite buffets — Boma in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Then of course, there’s the Zebra Domes. :-)

Zebra Dome

Zebra Dome Yum

The restaurant serves breakfast and dinner, and we’ve enjoyed both. And because Boma doesn’t feature characters, I find the ambiance to be a little more relaxing as a result.

But don’t forget spots that offer all you care to enjoy, but do the heavy lifting for you. If you wish that everyday was Thanksgiving Day (but without the clean up!), then make your advance dining reservation for Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom. Besides getting a hearty helping of history, you’ll also see endless platters of Turkey with all the trimmings.

The Full Spread!

The Full Dinner Spread at Liberty Tree Tavern!

And that is truly something to be thankful for.

Be Our Guest Dinner

But if you’re looking to spend those credits wisely, then don’t leave Magic Kingdom just yet. Because any Disney Food Bucket Lister will tell ya — you’ve gotta book dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant at least once.

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom

For starters, this spot is truly magical. If you’ve ever wanted to tumble through a movie screen and join in the action, this is your chance to do it, as Beast’s Castle has been reproduced in painstaking detail.

Want to see the last petal drop at Be Our Guest Restaurant? Planning ahead is key!

The Enchanted Rose in the West Wing

But then, there are some pretty great reasons to eat here as well. Of course, the menu is French-inspired. We’ve tried pretty much everything, and give high marks to the Potato Leek Soup, the Pork Chop, and of course, the Grilled Strip Steak!

Grilled Strip Steak

Grilled Strip Steak

And if you enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, take advantage of ordering one here — the only spot in Magic Kingdom where you can enjoy this indulgence.

Chimay Blue at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Chimay Blue at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Choosing Dessert may be tough. We enjoyed most of the options, but the Master’s “Grey Stuff” dessert will be the most high-profile.

Les Chefs de France

What’s that? You’d like to go to the REAL France?

Well, I can’t deliver that to you at Disney, but I can get you pretty close to the real deal. If you travel over the Epcot, that is. When you get there, head to World Showcase for some of the best spots to spend those table service credits.

Front of Les Chefs de France at Night -- Isn't It Amazing??

Beautiful Les Chefs de France in Epcot’s France Pavilion

While many of the restaurants in this international village boast steep pricetags, we love some better than others. And in terms of beautiful atmosphere and consistently delicious food, Les Chefs de France gets a gold star from me.

I know, I know. Epcot international dining can be less than authentic. But all of the restaurants in the France Pavilion are owned by the Bocuse Group, and I’ve enjoyed lots of fare that reminded me of my time traveling as a student through France and Switzerland.

A la flamme Alsacienne

A la flamme Alsacienne

Service can be slow and reserved. But the restaurant offers a beautiful setting.

Teppan Edo

But as I mentioned, you aren’t limited merely to France in Epcot. There’s a whole world out there, of course. When it comes to fun and value, consider Teppan Edo.

Teppan Edo in Epcot's Japan Pavilion

Teppan Edo in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

This Japanese Habachi-style experience is as much food theatre as it is eating. The chefs here are wonderful at all of the tricks that you might expect to see in a Japanese steakhouse. We especially like the fire-based ones. :-)

And the food is bountiful. While I’m partial to ordering the Steak, I also love the combos here. Steak and Chicken or Steak and Shrimp give you the opportunity to enjoy different textures and flavors.

Steak and Chicken at Teppan Edo

Steak and Chicken at Teppan Edo

And with bountiful sides, I guarantee you won’t leave the table hungry.

And there you have it! With so many varied experiences, flavors, and settings, it’s hard to go wrong with Disney Dining. But you won’t go wrong if you decide to try a few of our favorite one-credit options!

2016 book cover dfb guide

Ready for All of Our Best Tips?

We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips — including LOTS of restaurant suggestions for your every need — in our big, bold 2016 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining!

With more than 530 pagesThe DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 20+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With sample dining itineraries, plus our “Disney Dining at a Glance” section, featuring “Where Can I Find?” options, you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining E-book — and use code HAPPYPLACE for an extra $4 discount for a limited time!

Now, I’d love to hear from all of you guys! What are your best picks for value when it comes to DDP one credit table service spots? Leave a comment with your favorites!

Best Places for Pressed Pot Coffee in Walt Disney World

Remember the old days when getting a decent cup of coffee at Walt Disney World was practically impossible?

Press Pot Trattoria al Forno

Unless you enjoyed kicking off your day with a cup of Nescafe, you were just out of luck back then. Stories of Disney fans bringing provisions from home weren’t out of the ordinary.

But as the world has slowly awakened to better coffee, Disney has jumped on the bandwagon. In the last few years especially, better coffee options at Disney World have grown by leaps and bounds.

One of the best ways to enjoy a good cup is via Press Pots, which are offered at many table service restaurants throughout the resort. You’ll find specific varieties, roasts, and blends by Joffrey’s Coffee, tailored to the tastes and theme of each resort.

Let’s look at a couple of our favorites! [Read more…]

#OnTheList: Zebra Domes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

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This post is part of the DFB #OnTheList series, where we feature eats you’ve GOT to have while you’re at Disney! Let us know what’s on YOUR Disney Food Bucket List @DisneyFoodBlog #OnTheList!

 

This week’s #OnTheList item is approaching cult classic status when it comes to Disney food: Zebra Domes! You can find these beauties at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at both Boma and The Mara.

Zebra Domes are #OnTheList

Zebra Domes are #OnTheList

At Boma, Animal Kingdom Lodge’s buffet restaurant, you can eat as many as you want any night of the week. Just high-tail it over to the dessert table!

The Mara, AKL’s counter-service location, usually has Zebra Domes in their refrigerated grab-and-go section. They’re sold in sets of four.

Pack of Zebra Domes at The Mara

Pack of Zebra Domes at The Mara

So what’s a Zebra Dome? An Amarula Cream Liquor mousse is enrobed in panna cotta-esque white chocolate and drizzled with chocolate and chocolate shavings. The whole thing sits atop a thin cake base.

Zebra Dome

Zebra Dome

While this is, indeed, #OnTheList, this is the kind of dessert that you either love or hate. Because of the flavors included, this is often a favorite for those who also enjoy Tiramisu.

Zebra Dome Cut In Half

Zebra Dome Cut In Half

The flavors that really jump out for me are caramel from the Amarula and the white chocolate.

Enjoying a Zebra Dome In The Lobby At Animal Kingdom Lodge

Enjoying a Zebra Dome In The Lobby At Animal Kingdom Lodge

You may have to travel to Animal Kingdom Lodge for this #OnTheList item but they’re an iconic Disney food that you have to try at least once!

Will you be adding Zebra Domes to your Disney Food Bucket List? Let us know with a comment below!

What’s On YOUR Disney Food Bucket List?

Zebra Domes are featured on the DFB Disney Food Bucket List — #OnTheList! Check out the list for more must-eats, and tweet, instagram, and Facebook your Disney Food Bucket List items @DisneyFoodBlog with #OnTheList!

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