2011 DFB Choice Award Winners!

It’s time to announce the winners of the second annual DFB Choice Awards!!

The awards are 100% based on Disney Food Blog reader choices. Nominations and final winners are selected by DFB readers who participate in the process. Everyone is welcome to participate! If your favorites didn’t win this year, be sure to nominate and vote for them next year! :-)

Thanks to those of you who took the time to nominate your favorites, and to vote for the winners!

Without further ado, here are this year’s DFB Choice Award winners!

[Read more…]

Guest Review: The Mara

I’m happy to welcome back Bill Iadonisi with another enlightening review. This time he explores the counter-service eatery, The Mara, at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House. Take it away, Bill!

Hello Disney Food Blog fans! I know it’s been long between reviews, so let’s get started on this month’s eatery! I have always said that Disney’s resorts hold some of the best places to eat on property. Usually much quieter and less hectic then the restaurants in the parks, and many times you can just walk in and sit down.

Today we are going to the dark continent of Africa for this review. Well, maybe a quick safari trip to Disney’s Jambo house is what we’ll do. The main attractions at this beautiful resort are the breathtaking views of the African Savanna from select rooms. But it’s also home to some of Disney’s finest restaurants.

Although not a five-star eatery, Jambo House’s counter-service establishment, The Mara (named after the Mara River in Africa) is a wonderful place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it does all three equally well.

The Mara Story - click image for larger version

Atmosphere

So before we explore the eats, let’s take a look at the décor.

Themeing and Decor
Located very close to the Jambo House pool, the Mara is themed (like all Disney eateries), but not as strongly as, say, Pizzafari or even the Flame Tree Barbeque.

Entrance

Inside is a spacious dining area with a colorful mural of African flora and fauna on the two back walls.

Spacious Dining Area

The tables and chairs are plain and Spartan, but overhead are metallic cut-outs that resemble tree leaves, and several support posts that have large wooden beams resembling tree limbs make it appear as though you are [Read more…]

Reader Poll: Rather Eat Thanksgiving Dinner at Home or at a Disney Restaurant?

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family is considering having Thanksgiving in Disney World next year, and I wanted to hear some opinions about that! So we asked our Facebook Page Fans:

Would you rather have Thanksgiving Dinner at home, or at a Disney restaurant?.

Our readers chimed in with their holiday preferences! While dining at home was a strong contender due to family traditions, leftovers, cost-savings, aversion to holiday crowds, and a palate for a real home-cooked meal, ordering Thanksgiving dinner at a Disney restaurant was the clear winner!

And these voters didn’t care where they ate at Disney — they just wanted to be in the middle of the magic for the holiday. In fact, we think some of you might be happy with one of these!:

Disney Turkey Leg

Here are some of the other suggestions we received!: [Read more…]

Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Party for the Senses

So this is pretty exciting — I finally got to attend a Party for the Senses at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

For those who aren’t sure what I’m talking about (I know — “Party for the Senses” can sound a bit odd!), the Party for the Senses is held most Saturdays during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival each year. This exclusive event impresses the taste buds, of course, but it also aims to awaken all of your senses. During this 2 1/2 hour extravaganza, food and beverages flow freely as awe-inspiring entertainment is performed by Cirque du Soleil, La Nouba.

Party for the Senses at World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

There are two more parties being offered this year — November 5, and November 12 — for $145 per ticket (plus you’ll need Epcot park admission). Note that the Wine View Lounge upgrade, which includes private tables ($260) is sold out. Reservations can be made at 407-WDW-FEST or at Disneyworld.com/foodandwine.

Interestingly, the artfully prepared menus (including chefs and vinters) change, so your party may not have the same offerings as the one that we attended.

Now that we have the specs out of the way, let’s get into the meat of the night!

Atmosphere

We attended the Party for the Senses during the “Deluge of 2011,” as I like to call it. That’s right; we got all gussied up and sloshed over to Epcot on October 8th. When we arrived at the World Showplace [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 14, 2011

We’re jetting off to Disneyland later this week for the D23 Expo, and we’ll be sharing all the updates and details! Follow along here on the Disney Food Blog, on Facebook, and twitter as we bring you news from California!

Latest Disney Food News

DFB Guide and Mini-Guides

We’re eagerly anticipating our brand new Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book — now topping out at over 125 pages — which will be available within the next day or two!

In the meantime, check out our 250-page DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book and our new 85-page Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book! They can both be downloaded to your computer and loaded onto your iPad or smartphone for easy transport and access in the parks!

On to the Round-Up!

WDW for Grown-ups highlights a brand new event at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival — the “Best of Bocuse” dinner!

Disney by Mark shows us a Disneyland automated food service, the StratoSnak, that never happened. Reminds me of my much-desired automat

Gorillas Don’t Blog spots alcohol at the Golden Horseshoe in the Magic Kingdom. Or does he? Take a look!

Main Street Gazette takes us to my one of my favorite breakfast locations — Boma!

WESH.com featured a story by yours truly showcasing our top five new additions to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

Magical Kingdoms shows us how one very creative mom made a Cinderella Coach cake for her daughter’s birthday. Impressive!

Guest Review: Boma in the Animal Kingdom Lodge

Welcome our Guest Reviewer Andrew Serio, who takes us to dinner at Boma inside the exotic Animal Kingdom Lodge. Let’s sample the flavors of Africa with him!

Boma, which is nestled down the stairs from the lobby of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, is among the most popular “non-character” buffet restaurants at the Walt Disney World Resort. After a several year span away from Boma, my wife Joy and I tried it again on a Thursday night in late February.

Atmosphere

Because Boma shares a common exterior area with Jiko, things can get a little hectic when approaching the podium. This was the case on this evening, as there were a good many people milling about. However, when we approached the host stand, we were greeted immediately and cordially by James and Anna. Our ADR was verified, and we were asked to wait briefly while being handed a pager.

Welcome to Boma!

After a very short wait, we were ushered to our table, which was [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 8, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day! We hope all our mom readers enjoy being pampered with brunch, lunch, dinner, and/or tea celebrations.

In Disney Food news this week:

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book Testimonial

For a quick spotlight on the Disney Food Blog’s DFB Guide this week, but I’d like to share a testimonial written by one of my favorite people (and probably yours as well!), Lou Mongello, the rockstar behind WDWRadio:

There is nothing else so well-written, comprehensive and FUN about Walt Disney World dining! You offer practical advice and examples that are beneficial to the first-time guest and seasoned Disney veteran. From the breakdown of the restaurants by location, price, cuisine and your personal recommendations (all of which I found myself agreeing with!!), to the “overlooked” dining experiences, I found the book valuable, interesting and truly fun to read from beginning to end. The time and money that people will save alone is worth the price of the book! I highly recommend the DFB Guide to any and every Walt Disney World guest!

Thanks to Lou for that great recommendation! If you’d like to purchase your copy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, click here!

And now, on to the round-up!

disZine tells where you can get your Pirate’s Booty snacks!

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups lists their top five Disney World hotel quick-service dininglocations.

ImagiNerding takes us back in time to a Walt Disney World Recipe Index circa 1921-2004. I NEED THIS BOOK!

A Wedding Cake Blog features the royal jewels – all sparkly and sugary – at the WDW Swan and Dolphin!

Eating (and Drinking) around the World shares his take on Boma’s Coconut Curried Chicken Stew.

Main Street Gazette looks at tasty, savory options including specialty hot dogs in WDW.

The World of Deej heads over to Disney World’s Citricos!

African Inspired Meals in Walt Disney World — Tusker House

Jambo! Join me in welcoming Disney guru Mary Jo Collins and Disney World Moms Panelist Bernie Edwards back to the blog! In this article they’ll share with us various locations to enjoy an African Inspired Meal at Walt Disney World. We also get a close-up look at the Tusker House restaurant. Twende! Let’s go!

Theming Outside Animal Kingdom's Tusker House

Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort has become synonymous with the enjoyment of great dining at restaurants both inside and outside the theme parks. For many of us, these meals lend us the opportunity to experience exotic foods from exotic places.

African Food in Disney World
Fortunately for guests of Walt Disney World, African cuisine is showcased in a variety of table service restaurants offering a peek at the food that has been influenced by the marinade of cultures, colonies, trade routes and history of this land. To describe or categorize what African food is in a few words would be impossible.

The cuisine is as varied in Africa as the cuisine of any large continent. The continent’s regions each have significant differences in their own distinctive dishes and preparation techniques. However, in Africa the various cuisines traditionally combine [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Anniversary Desserts

Thank you for submitting your pictures to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! Viewing your photos is a lot of fun and definitely tides us over between trips!

The Disney Food Pics of the Week this week feature desserts served to celebrate an anniversary. In honor of the Disney Food Blog’s two year anniversary, we want to thank our readers with these creative treats!

This anniversary dessert was served at Citricos in Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort.
Photographer: Carlos and Jen

Citrico's Anniversary Dessert

Chef Mickey’s presented a happy couple with [Read more…]

News: Refillable Mugs, Extended Dining, and Via Napoli Pizza-by-the-Slice

Hey Disney die-hards and foodie fans! Here is some news for your nourishment.

New Refillable Mugs
New refillable mugs for the 2011 “Let the Memories Begin” promotion are on sale now for $13.99 at your WDW resort.

2011 Refillable Mug

Lids (and handles) are now in blue, black, yellow and pink. Yes, pink! I know a few moms that will be grabbing up the “princessy” mugs! ;-)

Make sure each member of the family gets a different lid color. That way Mom doesn’t have to sip Dad’s coffee and Dad won’t be taking unintentional gulps of Mom’s diet soda. Note that not all the resorts appear to have the black lids. Let me know which mug types you spot during your WDW resort stay!

Extended Dining Options
It’s almost Spring Break time! WDW is extending dining times at Boma, Cape May Cafe, Chef Mickey’s, Garden Grill, Le Cellier Steakhouse, ‘Ohana and [Read more…]