Guest Review: Private Mother’s Day IllumiNations Dessert Party

Welcome to guest author Mark Diehl with an illuminating ;-) review of an Epcot dessert party he created to honor the “mothers” in his life! He also inspired our upcoming WDW Foodie Fest Snack Attack dessert and fireworks event on October 4th — stay tuned as tickets will be going on sale today!

This was the second Mother’s Day we spent in Disney World, so I did some research and finally settled on an event we all could enjoy: a private IllumiNations Dessert Party.

It was not cheap, and while it was successful enough that I would want to do it every year, it was expensive enough that it was probably once in a lifetime for us. I got all of the information from Disney World private dining and once my contact Chris Ware (highly recommended, he was fantastic) sent me the sample dessert menus, I decided I needed to make my own custom dessert menu.

Decisions, Decisions

After bouncing around a number of ideas, I was able to narrow it down to 2, and ended up going with…neither of them.

Party of 6

The first idea was a dessert menu from the countries of Epcot. Each country was to be represented with a dessert item.  The following was my menu proposal:

School Bread from Norway, Apple Strudel from Germany, Napoleons from France, Churros from Mexico, Sticky Toffee Pudding from UK, Tiramisu from Italy, Kaki Gori from Japan, Baklava from Morocco, Caramel Ginger Ice Cream from China, Campfire S’mores from Canada, Funnel Cake from USA.

The price for this menu came back at $95 per person.  That may not sound bad, but when you consider that this was only for food and did not include the location rental, table set-up fee, or drinks, you can see it adds up [Read more…]

Disney Food Blog Special Event: Snack Attack, Featuring DFB Favorites

Start your Disney Vacation with a bang! We’re excited to announce a new WDW Foodie Fest event that will take place in Epcot on the evening of October 4th, 2011! Join me and other Disney Food Blog readers for an evening of…

Fun, Food, and Fireworks!

The Snack Attack, Featuring DFB Favorites, is an event like none other! On October 4th, our guests will arrive at a private Illluminations Fireworks viewing location in Epcot (psst…it’ll be in the UK pavilion!) and get down to business — the business of eating, that is!

This dessert party doesn’t just offer a few generic cannoli and brownies. No sir. We’ve worked with Disney to provide a menu that will excite even the biggest Disney food fan! The menu of the evening will include a buffet of…

Starring Rolls’ Butterfinger Cupcakes
Classic Disney Popcorn
Animal Kingdom Lodge Zebra Domes
Mickey Ice Cream Bars
Norway’s School Bread
Writer’s Stop’s Carrot Cake Cookies
Boardwalk Bakery’s Cheesecake Brownies
Starring Rolls’ Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes


What a great way to start the evening!

But that’s not all!! Once you’ve had your fill, relax and enjoy a fabulous view of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, Epcot’s outstanding fireworks spectacular, from our private viewing area! That’s right — no jostling for the best view, no saving seats. You’ve already got a great view, so just sit back and take it all in.

Illuminations, Reflections of Earth

Cost for this event will be $40 per person. Tickets will be limited! Ticket information will be announced soon on the Disney Food Blog Newsletter, our website, and right here on the Disney Food Blog, so stay tuned.

Please note that this event will in addition to our Oct. 2nd Beach Club Resort event. You can see the WDW Foodie Fest schedule of events here!

Also — wanted to add that I got this great idea from a Mother’s Day event created by fellow blogger Mark D.! He’s written up a review of his event for Disney Food Blog that I’ll be sharing soon!

Challenge: The Disney Food Blog WDW “Cupcake Crawl”

You’ve heard about the Monorail Crawl, Erin just created the Epcot Candy Crawl, and some of you have even attempted “drinking around the World” Showcase, but to my knowledge, this particular mission has never been attempted. It’s a feat only for the strong. A challenge for your sweet tooth. It’s the Cupcake Crawl!

That’s right. Those of you who live for cream cheese frosting, chocolate, cheesecake, and pure decadence — this one is for YOU! Disney Cupcake fans — are you brave enough to try it?

Cupcake Crawl Map -- click for larger image

The Disney Food Blog’s “Walt Disney World Cupcake Crawl” Strategy

Here’s the plan. You can either follow this step by step or mix and match, but be sure to visit these [Read more…]

The Five Best Uses for Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits

News Alert!
The Disney Food Blog Newsletter has officially been established! We’ll be sharing our favorite Disney Dining tips, tricks, and resources as well as the latest news and discounts with you every month. There will also be exclusive content just for DFB Newsletter readers!

So head over to that little subscribe button to the right and join us! :-)

Now returning to your regularly scheduled Disney Food Blog post…
____________________ ______ ____ ___ __ _

UPDATE: Check out our Top 6 Uses for a Disney Dining Plan Snack Credit for 2012 here!

We had a reader question about the best way to use Disney Dining Plan snack credits, and my mind jumped back to the first year I used a Disney Dining Plan. We had no idea what to do with our snack credits, so we ended up buying a whole bunch of bottled water the last two days of the trip just to use them up!

So, believe me, I know the need for good snack credit advice. I opened it up to the Disney Food Blog twitter and facebook crowds last week. Here’s the word from the experts on the best way to use up your Disney Dining Plan snack credits!

1. Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths

I have to list these first, because they’re just such an incredible deal for a snack credit. For those visiting during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival (October 1-November 16, 2010), most of the international booths around the World Showcase promenade accept snack credits as payment for their menu items!

Food and Wine Festival Booth Menu

My suggestion? Save all of your snack credits, then “eat around the World” for at least one meal! How far do you think you can get before those credits run out…or you’re stuffed to the gills? :)

Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Roll

2. Bakeries

You know we love our bakeries and cafes here on the Disney Food Blog, and bakeries came up as the most suggested venues for snack credit use in our twitter and facebook polling.

Breakfast is a great time to use your credits at a bakery, because you can often get cereal with milk, or a portion of oatmeal for one credit. Of course, you can also get cinnamon rolls, butterfinger cupcakes, paw print brownies, crepes, school bread[Read more…]

“You Won’t Believe This!” Snack: Marble Cupcake

Marble Cupcake from Starring Rolls

You’ve seen the Butterfinger Cupcake and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake, and the third in our “You Won’t Believe This!” Snack Series is the [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: March 14th, 2010

Epcot Morocco Baklava

Epcot Morocco Baklava

I’m trying out something new this week, guys. Every once in a while, I’m going to use a relevant pic other than my standard “Eat Here” photo into the Weekly Round-Up. Hopefully this’ll be fun. :-) Now, on to the round-up!

To start out, here’s some cool NEWS!!: Have you heard about Chef Cat Cora’s book-signing and cooking demo in Orlando next weekend? Check out the specs here!

Touring Plans has a guest blog by yours truly all about the Monorail Crawl — a fun way to experience the lounges at the Monorail Resorts.

StudiosCentral analyzes prices at Disney’s Hollywood Studios restaurants to determine whether or not the restaurants are a good value cost-wise.

DisneyGeek shares his incredible pics, including several food photos, from Disneyland’s D23 Anniversary Event! Keep scrolling through after the linked page to see more.

The Plain Chicken has developed her very own recipe for the Butterfinger Cupcake from Disney’s Hollywood Studios Starring Rolls Cafe. We’re thrilled that she first heard about the delicious confection right here on our blog!

Imaginerding takes a look at Minnie Mouse’s bookshelves — with a special look at her cookbooks!

Babes in Disneyland has a pic of some Cheshire Cat-tail Candy in Disneyland! I totally missed this post last week, but I’m hoping they’re still there!

EverythingWDW does a Q&A about the newest Disney World dining plan — the Quick Service Dining Plan.

Tasty Chomps is tempting me with photos of the baklava…and other good stuff…from Tangierine Cafe in Epcot’s Morocco.

Watch Me Eat visits Epcot’s Club Cool.

The Disney Parks Blog shares the news that Disney World chefs were in the White House this week cooking for the Greek Prime Minister!

Deb Wills from AllEarsNet tweeted the following pic of Flame Tree Barbecue’s new queue line.

Chip and Co shares a review of breakfast at Epcot’s Akershus Restaurant. This one’s especially good for those of you who have little princesses.

Disney Every Day visits the Main Street Bakery for breakfast. Yum-o cinnamon rolls!

DisUnplugged‘s Culinary Quest family compares and contrasts Disneyland Resort’s Rancho del Zocalo and Cocina Cucamonga. I love the venn diagram at the end!

In The Daily Disney from the Orlando Sentinel, food writer Heather McPherson highlights the recipe for the oh-so-tempting Chocolate Crusted Key-Lime Pie from the Grand Floridian Cafe. If anyone wants to make this and send it to me, feel free.

Disney World Bakery Throw Down: Starring Rolls Cafe

Truly one of my favorite grab-and-go spots in Disney World, Starring Rolls is tiny, busy, and has some of the most delicious items I’ve ever tried, including the coveted Butterfinger Cupcake! While not technically a bakery, the shop rivals any of the other contestants with its rows of fresh and unique pastries and baked goods.

Starring Rolls Cafe

Located on the corner of Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards, tucked back from the street, the Starring Rolls Bakery greets you with a bustling outdoor seating area.

Outdoor Seating Area

Outdoor Seating Area

Find your way inside the small bakery and, well, by this time I’m usually already in a queue line! Grab a plate and a tray right inside the door and take your time looking at the baked goods as you make your way to the registers.

Mickey Waits Eagerly For Your Order

Mickey Waits Eagerly For Your Order

The “theme” in the bakery is pretty thin, but the art deco design and flour bags on the baker’s rack would indicate that we’re somewhere in the 20’s, 30’s, and early 40’s — Hollywood’s heyday.

Decor in Starring Rolls

Decor in Starring Rolls

Once you’ve gathered your sweets, you’ll see across from the two main registers a menu with drinks, including coffee drinks and coffee syrups, liqueurs, and wines. Yep — they have some fancy bakeries here in Hollywood!

Starring Rolls Bakery Registers and Check-Out area

Starring Rolls Bakery Registers and Check-Out area

Starring Rolls Drink Menu

Starring Rolls Drink Menu

It’s in this area that you can also order sandwiches, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves…

You’ll find delectable baked goods, bagels, huge sandwiches, fudge, and more in this unassuming little bakery, and I suggest that you try a little bit of everything! It actually is quite a versatile place to find a quick bite, but if you’re going to sample those massive cupcakes, I recommend bringing a friend! Here are the photos you’ve been waiting for… [Read more…]

“You Won’t Believe This!” Snack — Butterfinger Cupcake

UPDATE!: See our 2012 re-review of this iconic cupcake here!

Guys, you know how much I love food. And you know by now that I can pack away some serious meals. But I think I’ve finally found a snack in Disney World that I wasn’t able to conquer. In fact, I bought it simply because I wasn’t sure it was even real!

A few months ago, someone posted a photo of a “butterfinger muffin” on the forum at The photo looked like the “muffin” was a chocolate cupcake covered in icing, then dipped in chocolate and topped off with butterfinger crumbs. Being a HUGE frosting fan, I couldn’t wait to find out more about this thing. So we headed over to Starring Rolls bakery one early morning last week…

Starring Rolls Cafe

…and, sure enough, I find this:

Cupcake and Butterfinger Muffin

Cupcake and Butterfinger Muffin

So, guiltily, I buy one. In the name of research, of course. I head outside, fully aware that this thing is simply monstrous, and grab a couple of forks and knives. (There’s no way one little plastic utensil is going to suffice for this thing.) And I cut into the mountain of toppings on the cupcake.

Butterfinger Muffin

Butterfinger Muffin

First Incision

First Incision

The frosting is magnificent, as we knew it would be. There’s nothing like a bunch of lard and sugar to start your day right, I always say. From there, I decided to cut the thing in half, just to get a good cross-section for those of you who might be curious, but unwilling to actually dig in yourselves:

Butterfinger Muffin Bisected

Butterfinger Muffin Bisected

And what did I find?!? Chocolate Frosting! Chocolate Frosting in the middle of the cupcake! Oh my heavens! I’m pretty sure I died and went to heaven. Whoever invented this cupcake/muffin took all of my guilty pleasures and wrapped them into one ginormous mountain of happiness.

A Yummy Chocolate Frosting-y Center

A Yummy Chocolate Frosting-y Center

Now, my friends, we had lunch reservations in a few hours, so I wasn’t able to finish off this muffin. In fact, I barely made a dent. But it feels good and right to know that the Butterfinger Muffin is there — waiting for me with all of its chocolate-y and frosting-topped goodness — when I need it.

Let me know if you try it — and if you are able to eat the whole thing!