First Look! The NEW California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Oh my goodness, you guys! We got a chance to check out the newly revamped California Grill last night and IT. IS. AMAZING!

The popular restaurant, which sits high atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is the one that started it all. It was Disney World’s first foray into sleek, signature dining.

But even the most contemporary California vibe can become outdated. And so it was time for a little freshening.

Last night, we got a first look at the brand new re-imagined California Grill.

We’ll have even more pics for you later today — and a longer review for you next week! But I couldn’t wait to share these initial pics of the transformation! Come with us and take a look!

New California Grill Atmosphere

The facelift is evident before you ever set foot on the fifteenth floor. The check in desk, located on the second floor, has also received an updated look.

Second Floor Check In Desk for California Grill

A new font and background replace the signature cursive. Colorful stripes in warm colors replace the painted tile background.

After a quick trip up in the elevator reserved for California Grill guests, we stepped out into the entrance. A right turn, and we were greeted by a gorgeous, post-storm sunset.

California Grill view

Sweeping vistas have always been a hallmark of California Grill, but they’ve been made even more stunning with the introduction of floor to ceiling windows, which allow for plenty of natural light and incredible, 360-degree views.

California Grill New Dining Room

California Grill New Dining Room

Previously, the space was dominated by bright, bold geometric patterns. In re-imagining the space, Imagineers decided to look to the Contemporary’s mid-century roots for inspiration.

Taking elements from the work of iconic Disney artist Mary Blair, the entire space was [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 25, 2013

We’re finally in the know about the California Grill opening date!

New sushi options at California Grill!

Get ready to make your Advance Dining Reservations beginning August 26 (tomorrow!) for the restaurant’s September 9th opening date (and beyond)! We can’t wait to see the results of the restaurant’s renovations as well as sample new menu items!

Also, if your resort’s food court is an important element to your Disney World vacation, please review the news on the temporary closing of the All-Star Sports End Zone food court.

Don’t miss this week’s news. Time to catch up on your reading…

Disney Food News

Interesting and delicious news this week!

Of course, there’s more! 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 The Great Irish Hooley at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney Orlando, Food of Life Event at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, and more.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

In our Reader Finds showcase this week — two new dessert options from Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom! Thanks to Reader Kaitlyn for sending in these gorgeous photos!

The first is a trio — a warm pecan cake with caramel sauce, a triple chocolate mousse, and a meyer lemon tart.

Dessert Trio at Cinderella's Royal Table!

And check out a new signature dessert: [Read more…]

News! California Grill Opens September 9th; Reservations Available Monday, August 26

Circle this upcoming Monday, August 26, Disney Food Fans! That’s the day when we will finally be able to begin booking advance dining reservations for the newly renovated California Grill!

The NEW California Grill!

The signature restaurant, which sits high atop Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort, has been closed since early 2013 as it underwent a complete makeover.

It’s scheduled to open on September 9th, and will feature a new menu — including some awesome desserts!

Sundae Sampler Dessert Trio at California Grill!

Look for the new menu to continue to feature seasonal ingredients, but with a somewhat lighter hand.

While fan favorites like the flatbreads will continue to be around, Chef Brian Piasecki also plans to utilize the wood-burning oven for new dishes. These include Baked Local Prawns with Charred Lemon, and Savory Meatballs with Herbed Orzo.

Read our review of these [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 21, 2013

Helllloooooooo, Disney food fans! I have got some AWESOME links to share with you in the round-up at the end of this post, but first…

Sundae Sampler Dessert Trio at California Grill!

Check out this adorable dessert that you’ll be able to get very soon at Disney’s California Grill restaurant in Disney World!

This and several other yummy new menu items will be waiting for you as soon as the restaurant re-opens after a long refurb…possibly in late August or early September!

In the meantime, here’s the rest of the Disney food news to drool over… ;-)

Disney Food News

Read on for more Disney Food information!

Of course, there’s more! 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 California Grill Re-Opening in August or September, and Lunch Specials at The Hollywood Brown Derby.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Take a look at this Ghirardelli chocolate milkshake sent in by Reader C.n.! Yum! Speaking of, C.n. mentioned that this should be part of our Disney World Milkshake Crawl! This has GOT to be worth the calories…

Chocolate Milk Shake!

Reader Chris sends us a toast with these delicious beverages from ‘Ohana! Cheers!

Cheers!

DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks — A Must Have for Disney Snack Lovers!

We’re still celebrating the grand launch of our BRAND NEW DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book!

You can get the new Guide for $3 off the regular purchase price for a limited time — just use code SNACKS13 at the check-out!

With over 250 pages of delicious snacks, the DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks is the third — and long-awaited — book in our DFB Guide Snacks Series!

As always, you will enjoy an instantly downloadable PDF guide with comprehensive information, full color photos, and advice on well over 200 delicious snacks that you can savor at the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios parks in the Walt Disney World resort.

Know what you’re getting BEFORE using a precious snack credit or spending limited vacation dollars. Whether you want sweet, salty, crunchy, healthy, or something in between, The DFB Mini-Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book tells you where to find a snack to match your craving!

Don’t forget, you can read the book right on your computer — or for easy access in the parks, put the guide on your smartphone or tablet!

Bundle For Even More Savings!

Headed to Disney World and want the whole scoop on snacks? Bundle four of our most popular Disney Dining Guides and SAVE!

Pick up our DFB Guide and Snacks Bundle for over 40% off! This includes our critically acclaimed DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks along with the brand new DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks. All editions have been updated for 2013!

Check out how you can have the best Disney vacation ever…and pay even less!

For more detailed information and sample pages [Read more…]

New Breads and Desserts Will Debut on the California Grill Menu in Disney World

While we anxiously await the California Grill re-opening at the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World (which is looking like late August or early September!), we can’t help but tempt your taste buds with some new menu items!

The NEW California Grill!

For starters, two new breads have been created including a whole-grain sourdough roll and a lavender-infused focaccia.

And there’s more! Pastry Chef Jeff Barnes has created new desserts with a playful theme. “You’re going to see a big change with some new concepts,” says Chef Jeff. “This is our chance to create a new menu with a fresh infusion of California, and it’s coming together nicely.”

Artful dessert presentations include a Sundae Sampler featuring a trio with a Coke float, strawberry sundae, and caramel corn sundae.

Sundae Sampler!

Or you might want to sample [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 23, 2013

Hi all!!

We’ve had a great Disney food week, including getting more info on the new Disney World Starbucks on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom! Stay tuned for more in-depth reviews of the new baked goods coming up soon!

In the meantime, I hope you had a great first day of Summer this week! Let’s take a peek at more of the fun food news happening around the Disney universe…

Disney Food News

We’ve gathered this week’s food news from your favorite Disney destinations!

Of course, there’s more! 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 a New Beverage Program at California Grill.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

This week’s finds are for our seafood fans. Check out these dishes with lobster!

DFB Reader Meredith sent this fabulous tweet: “Thanks @DisneyFoodBlog for the rec. Went to Boardwalk Bakery for lunch and got the lobster roll!” Looks awesome!

Lobster Roll at the BoardWalk Bakery!

CompleatChef shared the Lobster and Risotto dish from Palo aboard the Disney Magic Cruise Ship! Amazing!

Palo's Lobster and Risotto on the Disney Magic!

Deal of the Week! Bundle DFB Disney Dining Guides for More Savings…

Check out how you can have the best Disney vacation ever…and pay even less!

DFB Guide + Snacks Bundle:

With our popular DFB Guide + Snacks Bundle, you’ll get our:

Three Great e-Books: Over 30% Off!

  • DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013 Edition,
  • DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, 2013 Edition
  • DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks, 2013 Edition

All for a significant discount! Learn more about the DFB Guide + Snacks Bundle here!

DFB Snack Bundle:

Already have the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining? You can still bundle for savings! Pick up our bundle of two DFB Snack Guides — Magic Kingdom and Epcot — for less.

With the DFB Snack Bundle, you’ll receive the DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book and the DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book for one super-discounted price. Purchase the DFB Snack Bundle here!

Did You Purchase a Previous Edition of the DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks?

Read more about our extra discounts for previous purchasers here! For more detailed information and sample pages from The DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, head over to DFBMiniGuides.com!

On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix has some AWESOME Haunted Mansion Coasters to share!

Gorillas Don’t Blog shares vintage pinback buttons. Check out the Mickey Pops, milk, and bread buttons!

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups features Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bars.

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World shares fun finds at Walt Disney World, including a Kitchen Kabaret artifact, Lamb Kefta Sliders from Sanaa, foodie shirts, and a wine tasting.

DisZine shares the collaboration between Disney and Subway Restaurants for the release of Monsters University and The Lone Ranger!

Main Street Gazette features the chili cone queso at Marketplace Snacks while reminiscing about Disney’s handwich!

AllEars features a favorite activity at select Disney World resorts — roasting marshmallows!

MyFoxOrlando highlights the Monsieur Paul restaurant in Epcot’s France pavilion.

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 26, 2013

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!!

Starbucks Signage on Main Street Bakery Window

It was AWESOME sharing the adventures of so many DFB readers on Friday as they braved the crowds for 24 hours in the Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, and Disney California Adventure during the Monstrous Summer Kick-Off! You can see some of the yummy Monstrous treats that were served here!

But now that Summer has begun, we’ve got more to look forward to, like the opening of Starbucks on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, and the opening of the new Ice Cream and Gelato shop in Epcot’s France! Looking forward to bringing you all the details!

Disney Food News

Get the scoop on this week’s food news!

Of course, there’s more! 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 a new Southwest Chicken Salad at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

As we gear up for summer, we’re sharing ice cream cookie sandwiches. Check out this beauty tweeted from Reader Tim R. Tim had just three words to say “these…rule…all…”! ;-) WE agree!!

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich!

Reader Patrick M. shared a delicious find! He said via Facebook, “All Star Movies has taken the ice cream cookie sandwich to a whole new level. The picture isn’t the best, but there are three, yes three, scoops of ice cream.” WOW!

Three Scoop Ice Cream Sandwich!

We hope everyone enjoys delicious treats this holiday weekend!

Deal of the Week! Bundle DFB Disney Dining Guides for More Savings

Check out how you can have the best Disney vacation ever…and pay even less!

DFB Guide + Snacks Bundle:
With our popular DFB Guide + Snacks Bundle, you’ll get our:

Three Great e-Books: Over 30% Off!

  • DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013 Edition,
  • DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, 2013 Edition
  • DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks, 2013 Edition

All for a significant discount! Learn more about the DFB Guide + Snacks Bundle here!

DFB Snack Bundle:
Already have the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining? You can still bundle for savings! Pick up our bundle of two DFB Snack Guides — Magic Kingdom and Epcot — for less.

With the DFB Snack Bundle, you’ll receive the DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book and the DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book for one super-discounted price. Purchase the DFB Snack Bundle here!

Did You Purchase a Previous Edition of the DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks?
Read more about our extra discounts for previous purchasers here! For more detailed information and sample pages from The DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, head over to DFBMiniGuides.com!

On to the Round-Up!

Studios Central puts an end to the expensive restaurant debate!

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups features frozen Cokes!

Mickey Fix gears up for summer with this adorable Mickey and Minnie Mouse cooler tote!

Main Street Gazette features Star Wars snacks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Will you choose the Dark Side?

Disney Hipster Blog enjoys Quinoa Potato Cake at Le Cellier in Epcot.

All Ears features Disney World Publishing Worldwide’s announcement for a diabetes-focused series for children. Hooray Mickey!

Deadline features an apology from Disney for gluten-intolerant jokes on the show “Jessie”.

News! California Grill Reservations Now Available on Certain Dates in Fall 2013

For those (like me!) who have eagerly been awaiting the news about booking a reservation for the post-refurbishment California Grill restaurant in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, we’ve got a few new details for you!

Snagging a Table by the Window at California Grill is an Absolute Must!

While there’s no solid date for California Grill to re-open yet, reservations ARE currently available on November 18th. The reservations agent I spoke to said that booking times were also available after this date. (This means that for the next couple of days, you’ll need to have a Disney resort reservation and be calling at exactly 180 days out, using your opportunity to book 10 days after your check-in date in order to make a reservation.)

It’s my guess that they cannot open reservations earlier in the year until they have the final opening date set, but that they’ll be coming soon!

Availability is always subject to change, but I wanted to be sure those of you eager to book were made aware of every last detail. As is often the case with new reservations opening up, your experience could be different (you can see in the comments that some folks have not been able to book) — but keep calling [Read more…]

The Most Popular Disney World Restaurants (and Alternatives When They’re Full)

Many Disney guests agree that the most important Disney Dining Tips lists include one specific piece of advice:

Making Advance Dining Reservations is an absolute must when it comes to planning.

While many seasoned Disney travelers are aware of this, there are lots of folks who visit the parks and are stunned to find no tables available at their top restaurant choices. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at one time or another…and we’ve got solutions for you!

Today, we’ve updated our list of the most popular Disney restaurants, and terrific alternatives if you can’t score a table at your coveted spot!

Let’s take a look at the most elusive restaurants to book these days…

Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Scoring an advance dining reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant for their table service dinner can be a daunting task.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom Dining Room

From the time that they first announced the restaurant’s soft opening until now, we have heard from many readers who haven’t been able to secure a spot at Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurant. Here are a couple of reasons why:

Newness: The biggest reason for this remains the novelty of the place. Be Our Guest and all of New Fantasyland is still the hottest ticket in Walt Disney World since its grand opening in December 2012.

Incredible, Immersive Themeing: The impeccable themeing means that stepping into Beast’s Castle is truly like climbing through a portal into Beauty and the Beast. You almost expect to look down and find your food animated!

The Grey Stuff — It’s Delicious!

Novelty: The French-inspired cuisine that’s served at Be Our Guest is unlike anything else available in all of Magic Kingdom. In addition, there is huge novelty surrounding the fact that you can now order beer and wine in the formerly dry Magic Kingdom (for dinner only).

So, what to do if you can’t [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 5, 2013

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Don’t forget to indulge in our Disney Magarita Gallery today!!

And there’s plenty of fun Disney food news this week, but we hope you’ll check out our FULL review of the incredible, newly re-opened Boardwalk Bakery!

See some of our favorite new treats here!

Disney Food News

Let’s take a look at a few of the big news items this week…

  • Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World has unveiled a new lunch menu!
  • The Garden Grove at the Disney World Swan and Dolphin will offer a Mother’s Day Brunch this year!
  • The California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will re-open late summer/early fall 2013 with a new look and a new menu. Here are even more pics from the new California Grill menu!
  • Read our FULL review of the Grand Re-opening of Disney’s BoardWalk Bakery!
  • L’Artisan des Glaces will open in June as the place to stop in Epcot’s France pavilion for ice cream and sorbet. Find out what flavors will be offered!
  • Check out the Jungle Juice at Harambe Popcorn in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World — and the brand new treat that I dreamed up!!

And there’s more! 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 Mother’s Day Dining at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen and the CHOC Walk at Disneyland.

Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

From the newly re-opened BoardWalk Bakery, Reader Deanne sends us this delectable photo exclaiming “@disneyfoodblog made me do it! #startmydietmonday”. Awesome!

BoardWalk Bakery Goodies!

And a huge thanks to Andy Jackson from Eating (and Drinking) Around the World for this FUN find. The DFB Team LOVES this new t-shirt at Disney World!

Food Critic Shirt!

Awesome Deal! Pre-Order A 2013 Disney Dining Guide and get the 2012 Edition for FREE!

When you pre-order your copies of the DFB Guide to the 2013 Walt Disney World Holidays and/or the DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival for an exclusive discounted rate, you’ll be able to instantly download the 2012 Guides and start your planning — TODAY.

Then you will be automatically emailed the 2013 Guides when they’re published. Get two editions for the price of one and start planning right away.

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The Holiday season in Disney World is packed with magic: Holiday meals and snacks, special events, and seasonal shows, for starters! How will you see all the attractions, save money, AND take in the extra festivities in your already jam-packed vacation?

We’ll guide you through all the holiday events, activities, and dining so that you can get the biggest bang for your buck in Walt Disney World!
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Pre-Order — DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

46 days of special events, 29 food and beverage tasting booths, and celebrity chefs to meet? How do you fit it all in without breaking the budget? Make sure you make the most of your time and money at Disney World’s Food & Wine Festival!

List Price: $14.95. This price includes the 2012 Guide as an instant download. You will automatically be sent the 2013 Guide as soon as it’s published.
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On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix tempts us with a fun new Turkey Leg Watch, Mickey Ice Cream Bar Tee

DisneyCaribbeanBeach.com enjoys s’mores on the beach!

Disney Postcards shared this fun 1965 Pepsi commercial from Disneyland. Yep! Pepsi used to sponsor the Golden Horseshoe in Disneyland!

Disney Parks Blog gives delicious ideas for Mother’s Day in Disneyland!

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World noshes around World Showcase at Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival.

Changing Latitudes drinks around World Showcase in Epcot.

Main Street Gazette shares an awesome photo from the 1986 campaign for the cookbook “Cooking with Mickey“!

The Press-Enterprise announces a Mother’s Day brunch with Cinderella at the Disneyland Hotel.