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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

UPDATE: New California Grill Menu with Photos

As we mentioned in our update on the California Grill renovation, this popular restaurant at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will be unveiling new dishes when it reopens.

California Grill is expected to start taking reservations within the next few weeks for its end of August opening. But right now, in an off-site kitchen, California Grill Chef Brian Piasecki is creating delicious new dishes!

In our earlier post, I reviewed the three-meat meatballs — a new addition to the appetizer menu at the restaurant. They were delicious…

Oak-Fired Three Meat Meatball.

“We’re really trying to think of creative new ways to use our wood-fired oven,” says Piasecki. Those meatballs are one way, with pork, lamb, and veal spiced with house-made harissa.

An oaky, crispy crust makes them perfect for dredging in Meyer-lemon-scented chimichurri with a side of marinated picholine olives and a little orzo. “Perfect for sharing,” says Piasecki.

Three Meatball Appetizer.

Sourcing as much as possible locally is a priority for Piasecki. The Cape Canaveral prawns are a great example. He roasts them head on in the wood-fired oven and serves with oven-roasted tomatoes, charred lemon, and a handful of peppery baby arugula. (And he’s using the shells to make prawn oil.)

Prawns.

He’s also creating house-made duck charcuterie – prosciutto, sausage, rillettes, butter, and mousse, all made with duck and served with [Read more…]

News! California Grill Menu and Epcot’s France Ice Cream Shop Menu Updates

On my visit to Walt Disney World I got some great updates on the California Grill renovation at Disney’s Contemporary Resort,  and on Epcot’s new L’Artisan des Glaces France Ice Cream Shop opening! And I just couldn’t wait to share them with you!

L’Artisan des Glaces — Epcot’s French Ice Cream Shop Updates

The new ice cream parlor in Epcot’s France pavilion — L’Artisan des Glaces — will open in mid-June! Recently, I spoke with a General Manager of Operations at the France pavilion and found out a few great updates about the menu!!

Ice Cream and Sorbet Flavors
They’ll have 10 ice creams and 6 sorbets available. Varieties will change regularly and be served in either one scoop or two scoops with a choice of a cone or cup.

Flavors will vary and rotate, but standards will include chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, and — this one sounds awesome! – profiterole!

Details and Flavors for Liquor-Topped Ice Creams
Remember, you can also top your ice cream with liquor! If you choose the liquor option, it will be served in the same types of martini glasses that the famous Grand Marnier and Grey Goose slushes are served in at the outside kiosk in France.

Liquor flavors are still being finalized, but will likely include Grand Marnier, Grey Goose vodka, a rum from Martinique, and other options.

California Grill Menu Updates

During an informative conversation with California Grill Chef Brian Piasecki this week, I uncovered these fun updates!

Chef Brian Piasecki at California Grill!

California Grill Opening Date
California Grill is still looking at a “late Summer” opening…likely September. Get ready to make your reservations as booking should be available in the next 4 weeks or so.

New! Omakase Menu
I asked the Chef if he foresaw any Chef’s Counter or Chef’s Table option at Cali Grill in the future. While he said there wouldn’t be a typical Chef’s Table option, California Grill will be offering an Omakase menu at the sushi bar.

“Omakase” means “I’ll leave it to you” in Japanese, and that’s exactly what diners will do when ordering this menu! They’ll receive a 12 course, chef-directed meal featuring modern interpretations of Japanese cuisine and sushi, progressing from lighter dishes and flavors to heavier and richer options in later courses.

The menu will change for this meal regularly, and that could mean that you get a completely different meal from night to night. The items will not be available on the regular menu and will only be available for those ordering the Omakase meal.

California Grill Menu Updates
We got a taste of a brand new menu item! The Oak-Fired Three Meat Meatball with [Read more…]

DFB Reader Questions Answered: Dinner and Fireworks Timing at Magic Kingdom

It’s time to delve once more into the Disney Food Blog Reader Questions Mailbag! We’re pretty sure that if one of you is asking about something, then many of you are probably wondering the same thing. :-)

Today, we are featuring a couple of questions that are all about how to ensure a good dining game plan to view Wishes at Magic Kingdom.

Wishes at Magic Kingdom

Be Our Guest Restaurant and Fireworks Viewing

Our DFB Reader asks…

When should we make our reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant so that we have sufficient time to enjoy our meal, and so we are on time to see the Electrical Parade and Wishes?

The long and short answer for this? It depends! Note that you won’t be able to see Wishes or the Parade FROM the restaurant, so dining first and then finding a viewing spot out in the park is important.

When you’re making a dinner reservation for Be Our Guest Restaurant (or any other dining location) and you’d like to view the Electrical Parade and Wishes, it’s important to check park hours to find out when each of the events are taking place on that [Read more…]

Disney Dining Tip from the DFB Guide: Dining at Bars and Lounges in Walt Disney World

When it comes to Disney World, bars and lounges aren’t just adults-only destinations — and they don’t just serve drinks.

In fact, here’s a Best Kept Secret in Disney dining planningDisney bars and lounges can be great places to get a meal with the whole family. These hidden gems are often less crowded than standard restaurants, too!

In The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book, we have an entire section reviewing every single bar and lounge in Walt Disney World. It’s well worth a read to find out great spots to get a full meal or a snack — even with no Advance Dining Reservation!

Now let’s take a peek at a few of our favorites…

English Bulldog with Chips at Rose and Crown Pub in Epcot's UK Pavilion

Bars and Lounges Inside the Theme Parks

A Disney World trip can be hectic (meeting characters, dashing to attractions, and racing off to dining reservations!), so finding a place inside the parks to escape the hoopla is key to a relaxing vacation!

With signature cocktails, cheese plates, fondue, burgers, donuts, pasta, and more, you’ll find some truly inspired menus at Disney World’s bars and lounges. Sometimes you’ll even be able to order from the full menu of a nearby restaurant.

In Epcot, we can highly recommend stopping in to Tutto Gusto in Italy, Rose and Crown Pub in the UK, or La Cava del Tequila in Mexico.

Fireplace Area Seating at Tutto Gusto

At Tutto Gusto, order from an awesome menu of meats and cheeses, paninis, pastas, and more. A relaxing atmosphere and full tables allow for an easy meal for the whole family.

Cheeses, Meats, and Shrimp Cavatappi at Tutto Gusto Lounge in Epcot's Italy

Rose and Crown Pub, attached to Rose and Crown Restaurant, features a fun menu that — gasp! — the kids might even like! We can highly recommend the Scotch Eggs and the British Bulldog sausage (see our review of the British Bulldog here — and the photo at the top of this article)!

Scotch Eggs at Rose and Crown

If you’re there on a weekday, seek out Carl the Bartender and ask him to show you his amazing magic trick!

Carl the Bartender and the tipping pint

At La Cava del Tequila, sample a few Mexican appetizers like chips and salsa, queso, and guacamole along with your margaritas!

Chips and queso at Cava del Tequila

Another favorite place to unwind in the parks and get a great meal is at Tune-In Lounge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Here, you can get great shakes for the kids, fun signature drinks for [Read more…]