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!

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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.)


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…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 3, 2013

Mickey knows what’s up this weekend!!

We’re right there with you with the game on and the chicken wings on speed dial!!

But just in case you need a break from the pre-game coverage, we’ve got tons of awesome Disney Dining news to share with you today! Check out some of the latest updates below…

Disney Dining News

Catch up on Disney’s food news…

We’ve got additional food news, including restaurant closures, New Menu Items at Tamu Tamu Refreshments, Valentine’s Week Dinners and Specialty Cupcakes at Walt Disney World and Disneyland restaurants, Special Super Bowl Eats at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Exterior Renovation at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, Lunar New Year Specialties at Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney Anaheim, Exterior Renovation at Rainforest Cafe, Hurricane Hanna’s Grand Opening, and LOTS more, on our Disney Food News Pin Board! Head over and check it out!

Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other 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, reader @nellie204 shared this too-adorable photo she titled: “Standard Disney Breakfast at Saratoga!” via twitter!

We love the choice of breakfast foods, Nellie!!!

Standard Disney Breakfast at Saratoga!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013!!

This week we celebrated the grand launch of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book! This valuable resource is fully updated for 2013 visits, and is now available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining opportunities while in Disney World.

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 400 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite things — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next vacation! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBGuide.com to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2013 to get a $4 discount for a limited time! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!

To celebrate the launch and to thank you for your support of the blog, we’ll be offering the Guide for $4 off its standard rate for a limited time! Order your copy now at DFBGuide.com and use code 2013 for your discount!

If you purchased the 2012 Guide and would like to purchase the 2013 Guide, we’ve got a special discount for repeat purchasers. Email me here to get a limited-time, one-use, exclusive discount code to purchase the 2013 Guide at a $6 discount. Please include the email address you used to purchase the 2012 Guide in the body of your email.

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On to the Round-Up

WDW Today Podcast chats with us about Walt Disney World dining with kids.

Parents Magazine gives Disney Dining tips, including suggestions from yours truly! ;-)

Daveland visits the Main Street Market House in Disneyland.

DisZine reports on Splitsville’s Super Bowl Party!

The Drinks Business discusses wines at the exclusive Club 33 in Disneyland.

Running at Disney dines at the Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club resort.

Main Street Gazette samples the Milky Way Sundae at Beaches and Cream.

Disney Gals discuss keeping kosher at Disney.

Disney by Mark fuels up at Flo’s V-8 Cafe at Disney California Adventure.

News! First Look at the New California Grill Menu at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

We previously brought you the news that California Grill, one of Disney World’s most popular dining spots, will be closing for a major renovation on February 1.

The signature restaurant, located high atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, will be closed until late summer. In the meantime, Chef Brian Piasecki is already busily creating a new menu that blends classic dishes with fresh updates. Thanks to Disney Parks Blog, we’re getting a few first looks at a few of the creations. First up: sushi!

Although Yoshie Cabral, the restaurant’s beloved sushi chef, is retiring, sushi will continue to play a big role on the menu.

New Sushi Creations

Some of the new items aren’t fish at all, but take their inspiration from traditional Japanese dishes, like Japanese-style Bone Marrow with Crunchy Panko and Sweet Onion Jam and Beef Tartare. I can’t wait to try these!

Traditionalists will also find Sea Urchin Nigiri with Mamanori (soybean paper), Salmon Roe and freshly grated Wasabi Root.

More New Sushi Options

Meat lovers will find plenty to tempt their palates, too. The 24-hour Braised Beef Short Rib with Truffle Whipped Potatoes, Vol-au-Vent (puff pastry) with Roasted Vegetables and Natural [Read more…]