Welcome to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, where you can leave the world of today and visit the worlds of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy! And where there’s always something new to check out. That’s where we come in.
Ready for an emotional roller coaster? Because we have some good news and some bad news regarding Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe and Dining Room.
Wolfgang Puck Cafe and The Dining Room
I always think it’s best to get the bad news out of the way first, don’t you? So, here goes…
The bad news is that Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe will be closing up shop on August 1st.
And now, for the good news! Wolfgang Puck is not leaving Disney Springs entirely! In case you missed the news, he’ll be opening a brand new, modern restaurant in the Town Center of Disney Springs. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will open in 2018, and it will still feature some of the world famous chef’s most popular dishes. PLUS, the West Side location will be revamped into Jaleo, a Spanish tapas-style restaurant by Celebrity Chef Jose Andres, which will open in 2018. So two restaurants for the price of one!
So even after that announcement, I kept my recent Advance Dining Reservation at the Grand Cafe, since there will still be plenty more where this came from. AND I wanted to point out which items I most hope to see on the menu at the new digs!
First, though, let’s check out the old haunt before saying good-bye to the West Side space.
Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe and The Dining Room are in the same general building, but there’s a cafe and a sushi bar downstairs, and a formal dining room upstairs. Plus, we can’t forget the Counter Service option with The Wolfgang Puck Express. (And don’t you worry, Express fans… the Marketplace Express location isn’t going anywhere!)
The decor is… umm, how do I say this?
TOTALLY SAVED BY THE BELL. I thought it the first time I walked in so many years ago, and it hasn’t changed an ounce. But, hey, it’s consistent — from colorful light fixtures to Formica tabletops. [Read more…]
We welcome back guest writer AM Appleby! Today, she’ll take us inside of Narcoossee’s for their once a week morning offering — Sunday Brunch!
We’ve enjoyed dinner at Narcoossee’s, located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, many times, and always love booking a reservation coincident with the Wishes fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.
But recently, this dinner-only spot has begun to offer a leisurely and luxurious Sunday Brunch. We couldn’t wait to take a peek!
Narcoossee’s Waterfront Brunch
On a glorious and sunny Sunday morning, my daughter and I went to Narcoossee’s Waterfront Brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
I’ve enjoyed dinner twice at this location and was excited to try brunch. We arrived at the Grand Floridian twenty minutes before our reservation time and walked through the magnificent lobby and out the back doors to the restaurant. [Read more…]
Summer’s coming! And we know that you’ll be looking to stay cool at Disney. And I can’t think of a much better way than by enjoying some terrific soft serve treats!
So we weren’t too surprised when we checked out pics that our members have posted on Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group. We came away with all sorts of soft serve inspiration!
If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, head over there! But before you do, let’s take a look at some of the goodies we found while we were surfin’.
Soft Serve at Paradise Pier
Photographer: Riniel Calaelen
What makes a Soft Serve Ice Cream Cone even more delish? How about enjoying it with an awesome background, like Paradise Pier! I can almost feel that beautiful California sunshine coming through the pic, can’t you??
Pineapple Soft Serve at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Photographer: V No Privacy
This great pic features treats from Pineapple Promenade at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival. It really captures the contrast between the soft serve and the Sammy’s Beach Bar Red Head Macadamia Nut Flavored Rum!
Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace
Photographer: HTH Photography
Have you ever been at Walt Disney World and thought, “Gee, dinner and a movie sounds like a fun night out.” Well, in true Disney style, they have this entertainment option covered as well, with AMC Dine-In Theater.
AMC Dine-In Theater
One of only a handful of AMC theaters across the country that offer the “Fork and Screen” option, I think it’s an intriguing addition to the Downtown Disney landscape.
Vacay is the perfect time to indulge in stuff like that. But for the Disney warriors out there, it’s also a great option for fun multitasking! I mean, why settle for dinner + a movie, when you can have dinner WITH your movie?
You enter the Dine-In portion of AMC from what I think of as the “far side” of the building — the side nearest Planet Hollywood. It’s actually kind of confusing. I’ve gotten lost before. And with parking being the nightmare that it is at Downtown Disney right now, thanks to the construction for Disney Springs, plan for a few extra minutes before meeting your friends.
Upon entering the bright, airy lobby, you’ll first notice the bar area, McGuffins. It’s named for a plot device term coined by Alfred Hitchcock. (See? You learned something new, didn’t you?) The space is bright and inviting, a perfect spot for chilling before your show starts.
And that brings me to the first half of this equation — the movie. Let’s talk a little bit about how the movie + eating thing goes together.
First off, you can order your movie tickets ahead of time, or you can place your order at a kiosk in the lobby.
Once you order your tickets, a screen will pop up for you to select your seats.
Tickets in hand, I set about to explore a bit.
The lobby is more than just a place to wait for your movie to start. You can order a drink or appetizer while you wait, or you can even order a full meal here and skip the movie experience altogether.
Seating is mixed. You can settle in at a place by the bar, choose from high tables and chairs like this, or select regular tables. There are also comfy couches to continue on with the feeling that you’re in an upscale lounge.
The Dine-In Theaters are separated from the rest of the theaters, so it’s easy to find your way around.
You’re advised to arrive about 30 minutes before your movie starts. That way, you have plenty of time to [Read more…]
I was recently back in Disneyland for a visit, and I couldn’t resist booking lunch at one of my favorite locations, Storytellers Cafe.
We visited anticipating a delicious and relaxing experience, as we often have at Storytellers. The fact that I had a mad craving for that Charred Nebraska Corn Chowder and had been dreaming about it was just a happy coincidence.
Won’t you join us?
You’ll find Storytellers at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, which certainly lives up to its name. It is simply a gorgeous place to spend some time.
With design that typifies the American Craftsman style, you are surrounded by larger than life, simple warm accents that make grand use of natural materials, like wood and stone. You find the same style carried through Storytellers Cafe.
Two major design elements tend to dominate the decor of Storytellers Cafe: you’ll find murals and large paintings covering the walls. Paintings depict…storytelling, of course — featuring classic stories with California as their setting.
But you also find ample use of silhouettes in many places throughout the dining space. And check out the beautiful post and beam construction on the ceiling while you’re looking up. (Disney World fans will get a definite Wilderness Lodge vibe from this place!)
Stained glass with warm swirls of color are a hallmark of Arts and Crafts design, and the stained glass softly filters the indirect light, which provides the perfect backdrop to these working man silhouettes.
And be sure to notice the detail on the hanging lights as well! They’re really something special.
Lanterns hung from copper stands distribute light throughout the dining room, and give the sense of bringing the outdoors inside.
And as is often the case — don’t forget to look down! Even the carpeting conveys the theme and story of this spot with letters and more silhouettes.
Throughout Storytellers Cafe, the art of storytelling shares the stage with [Read more…]
DFB Guest Author Joey Beyer returns with a review of The Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. Take it away, Joey!
The Plaza Restaurant
Greetings everyone! I am very excited to bring you a review of The Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. So, lets walk right down the middle of Main Street USA and check out The Plaza.
The Plaza is located right next to the Ice Cream Parlor after you turn right off of Main St. to go towards the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. This little passageway is also a great way to circumvent the perpetual traffic jam that is usually taking place in the hub, assuming you want to go to Tomorrowland.
The restaurant is all around an unassuming place. There is a check in desk right on the walkway where you can get your pager, or check for table availability. Once your table is ready you are shown into the restaurant, or to an outside table if you would prefer one (and there is one available).
One striking thing about The Plaza is how small it is. I never thought it was huge, but I never realized just how quaint and cozy it is, despite all the pictures I had seen. This restaurant truly captures the charm that we all love about Main Street.
The tables and chairs are pretty plain, but fit in perfectly with the theme.
The wall decorations and light fixtures are gorgeous, with a strong art nouveau design.
As I mentioned the restaurant is quite small, as you can tell from the pictures. There were a few tables behind me, but what you see is pretty much what is there.
Being on Main St. you do catch glimpses of Cinderella Castle and any fanfare that is taking place in that area of the park. If you look closely in my pictures, you can see the Main St. Electrical Parade through the windows.
I would [Read more…]
I never say no to a meal at 50s Prime Time Cafe, but I hadn’t been in WAY too long. So when I got a little email tip from a reader last week (thanks, Courtney!!) I knew I had to head over there…and quick! A menu change was about to make my dreams come true!
50’s Prime Time Cafe
Located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this place is pure nostalgia. You really feel like you’ve stumbled into the 1950s when you enter this eatery — from the decor to the menu, everything screams mid 20th Century Americana.
Fancy meatloaf and mashed potatoes or fried chicken? Then you’re in the right place! Grab a napkin and set of silverware, remember to keep your elbows off the table, and join me for a fun, interactive helping of comfort food in this well-loved table service spot.
Stepping into this restaurant truly is like stepping back in time.
I never cease to be amazed at the way this restaurant immerses guests in the 1950s home atmosphere. You begin your meal by waiting in Dad’s Living Room. Be sure to take a moment and look around; I bet you’ll find something you’ll remember from your parents’ (or grandparents’!) house — I always do!
Fancy a drink from Dad’s Liquor Cabinet? Then sidle up to the Tune-In Lounge Bar for a house specialty, or order something once you arrive at your table.
Here’s a tip: If you can’t get an Advanced Dining Reservation here, hang out at the bar. You can order food there, too.
When it’s time to [Read more…]
Today we’re welcoming guest author Kent Walker with a cool review of the brand new Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop at Disney California Adventure. Read on for a delicious dose of ice cream and brownies!
Having been big fans of chocolate since before we could spell the word, my wife and I were very excited to find out that a Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop would be opening at Disney California Adventure. Not only would we be able to ride Radiator Springs Racers, we’d be able to do it with a belly full of ice cream, hot fudge, and brownie.
The Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop occupies the space that used to be the Mission Tortilla Factory, which was an original DCA attraction in 2001.
While we were sad to see the factory go (our sons especially loved the free corn and flour tortillas – including a whole bag on their birthday!), our depression was short-lived when we found out we could drown our sorrows in sea salt caramel hot cocoa!
Our family has been to San Francisco and visited the Ghirardelli Square shop, so we knew how good their chocolate, sundaes and chocolate drinks were. Other than the much larger selection of chocolate in San Francisco, the soda fountains are very similar.
Ghirardelli in DCA made the wise choice of having much wider aisles for easier stroller navigation and crowd control, and a Ghirardelli staffer hands out samples and menus out at the door. They even go the extra step and cut off the top of the foil package so it’s easier for you to get at your free chocolate treat. On the day we stopped by, it was a caramel filled milk chocolate piece.
Other than the wider aisles for crowds and strollers, the inside is very similar to other Ghirardelli Soda Fountains across the country. One nice touch, though, is a [Read more…]
Beneath the Tower of Terror’s ominous shadow at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, you’ll find the fun blue and pink sign for Hollywood Scoops Ice Cream!
Now, after seeing the menu recently, I could NOT believe I’d never tried the APPLE CRISP SUNDAE!! Did you know that was there and not tell me?!?
I love all things apple crisp, so I couldn’t wait to high-tail it over there and snag this snack on my next trip!
This little ice cream stand at the corner of Sunset Ranch Market channels art deco retro Hollywood in style and decor.
The lines here are often long, but since it’s one of the only places around where you can get your hand-scooped ice cream fix, it’s usually worth the wait.
I begged Matt from Studios Central to meet me in DHS (what better way to explore Hollywood Studios food than with the expert?), and we decided to sample both the Brownie Sundae and that Apple Crisp treasure.
At least I was [Read more…]