Walt Disney World New Year’s Eve Dining and Special Events

Ringing in New Year 2012 from Walt Disney World? It’s going to be a memorable night! Call 407-WDW-DINE for holiday dining information and reservations! Here are some of your options for dining on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day:

Disney Resorts and Event Spaces

Boardwalk
Atlantic Dance Hall
Dance into the New Year at Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk
8 p.m. to 2 a.m., ages 21 and up.

Video DJ Tony Zapulla will play hits on the main dance floor. Beverages will be for sale from three different bars. There will be limited viewing of Epcot’s fireworks.

$37 (gratuity not included) for access to the main floor of the Dance Hall.
$80 for a VIP ticket that allows guests entrance to a private 2nd floor area with guaranteed seating and access to a private upstairs balcony for “limited” viewing of the fireworks. In addition, you’ll be able to indulge at a Dessert Station and private VIP bar. Cocktail service will also be offered.

Dress Attire: Business Casual or Formal

Parking:
Parking passes for the self parking lot will be given with advance purchases. Parking not guaranteed to be available for same day purchase.
Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey’s (New Year’s Day brunch)
California Grill will host an evening of elegance!
$550 per person.

View of Castle from our California Grill Table

Entertainment will include casino-style games, live music and Disney characters. Enjooy food stations and beverages while watching [Read more…]

Review: California Grill

When planning meals for our October trip to Walt Disney World, I realized it had been a LONG time since we’d visited California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort! And I haven’t reported on it here on the blog for over a year, so I figured it was time to get a little updating in!

Let’s head over to the check-in desk, shall we…?

Atmosphere

To access California Grill, guests need to head to the 2nd floor of the Contemporary Resort and visit the restaurant’s check-in desk (you can get here by elevator, or by taking the stairs/from the back of the lobby).

Once you’re checked in, you’ll be waved over to a special elevator — one used only for California Grill guests — and taken up to the restaurant itself on the 15th floor of the hotel!

Entry from Elevators

I’m always immediately impressed by the nearly 360-degree view of Walt Disney World. The gorgeous, sprawling Grand Floridian Resort in front of you; the spires of Cinderella Castle, Big Thunder mountain, and Space Mountain to your right; and the Wilderness Lodge and Epcot to your left will make it difficult for most folks to tear themselves away from the walls of windows to take a look at the menu!

When you walk in, you’ll be greeted at the podium and (likely) handed a pager. No worries; there’s lots to do while you’re waiting. Start walking toward the windows and you’ll pass the California Grill Bar and head into the lounge area.

California Grill Bar

California Grill Bar

California Grill Lounge

Here’s a tip! If you don’t have a [Read more…]

Review: Catching Up With Disney Chefs in Chicago

I absolutely love when we get to publish posts like this. Disney chefs are often incredible stars in the culinary world, and it’s always fun to see where they’ve been and where they’re going! You don’t always expect the chefs behind a theme park kitchen to be trend-setters, but Disney hires only the best… . Welcome Werner Weiss from Yesterland with an interesting review of a recent cooking event in Chicago highlighting two folks with connections to Disney!

I had the pleasure of attending all five of the F.I.T. City Cooking Demos at the “Good Health is Always in Fashion!” event on August 26, 2011, at Macy’s on State in Chicago.

Macy's on State retains numerous references to when it was the flagship store Marshall Field's

The five featured Chefs — Ryan Hutmacher of the Centered Chef; Tom Douglas, who has ten restaurants in Seattle; Meg Colleran Sahs of Terzo Piano at the The Art Institute of Chicago; Randy Zweiban of Province in Chicago; and John State of Seasons 52 in Schaumburg, Illinois — all did a great job. The demos were all interesting and entertaining — and smelled good. Macy’s employees served samples of each Chef’s dish to the audience. The demos and samples were free.

You may wonder why this event should be of interest to readers of the Disney Food Blog. It’s because two of the participants have strong ties to Walt Disney [Read more…]

Disney-Linked Presenters Host Chicago Cooking Demos

Chicago natives will want to join in a day of fun for the family at the “Good Health is Always in Fashion,” event on August 26, 2011, which will highlight good nutrition through cooking demos and seminars!

Culinary demos will be hosted by Pam Smith, the longtime host of the demonstrations at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.

Pam Smith Presents at Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary Demo

Cooking Demos

Pam Smith, the nationally recognized nutritionist (author of The Energy Edge) and culinary consultant, is scheduled to host the complimentary cooking demonstrations, including Fresh, Innovative, and Tasty (FIT) demos from local and celebrity chefs!

11:00 am Chef Ryan Hutmacher
12:00 pm Chef Tom Douglas
1:00 pm Chef Meg Colleran Sahs
2:00 pm Chef Randy Zweiban
3:30 pm Chef John State

Disney Food fans will recognize one of the presenters — Chef John State! Currently the head chef at Seasons 52 in Schaumburg, Illinois, Chef State oversaw the opening of [Read more…]

Chefs and Beverage Presenters at the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The list of Visiting Chefs and Presenters has been announced for the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Are your faves on the list?

Visiting Chefs and Speakers include Cat Cora, the Food Network’s Iron Chef known for her Greek and American cooking. WDW guests love Kouzzina! You’ve seen Robert Irvine on several Food Network shows including 2011’s Restaurant: Impossible. Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern may shock picky palates with his Bizarre Foods but he’s also a huge fan of Walt Disney World! And Keegan Gerhard, host of multiple Food Network Challenges, will surely present something mouth-watering!

Visiting Chefs - click image for larger version

And the renowned Walt Disney World Chefs (insert huge applause!) include Chef Brian Piasecki, Chef de Cuisine at the California Grill! Chef TJ Sudiswa has wowed many guests dining on a Special Diet. Once at ‘Ohana, he’s now [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 24, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade at Enchanted Grove in Magic Kingdom

It’s been a sizzling hot week, so we hope you’re keeping cool! Maybe you have access to some delicious strawberry lemonade like the one to the right (in the Magic Kingdom). We’re counting down the days until we get our next fix of that stuff!

There’s lot of fun Disney food news this week as well as some awesome articles in the round-up, so let’s get started…

Disney Food News

Let’s review the latest news from this past week!

New Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide Just Around the Corner…

Just eeking out the final updates to the brand new Mini-Guide e-Book! (Thankfully, one of our fabulous columnists is in Disney World this week and has agreed to do a little extra recon for us!)

As you know, our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book covers a wealth of information about Disney World food. But after hitting 250 pages, we reserved some of the more detailed info for our upcoming series of Mini-Guides.

The first in the series will be the Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and it will be debuting very soon.

Detailed reviews, photos, prices, and snack-credit-worthiness of over 70 snacks in the Magic Kingdom are packed into this Mini-Guide, but, as always, we’ve included a few extras and bonus items as well!

We’ll have more information for you very soon; we can’t wait to hear what you think!

Here we go…On to the Round-Up!

Meet the World in Progressland shares the fabulous views seen only from Club 33!

Disney Contemporary Fan Site compares the Grand Floridian’s Citricos with the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill. Which would you choose?

DisneyTouristBlog reviews Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. Yee-Haw!

Main Street Gazette shares with us a canyon skillet at Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Kokocooks takes us along on their cupcake crawl in Disney World — inspired by our DFB challenge!

Disney Contests and Sweepstakes gives us the scoop on the Rainforest Cafe Orlando’s summer photo contest. Good luck!

DIY Disney: Chocolate Lava Cake from California Grill

Today, Chef Big Fat Panda’s DIY Disney Recipes column brings us a mouth-watering favorite from the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill. Take it away, Panda!

Ingredients

Hello! Chef BigFatPanda here!

Please forgive me for being away for so long. Life took hold of me and wouldn’t let go. I am sure you’ve been there. I am so delighted to bring you this new installment of decadent Chocolate Pleasure. The following is from Disney’s Contemporary Resort’s California Grill — Chocolate Lava Cake!

Let me share with you that this appears to be an easy straightforward recipe, but it was tougher than it looked. I try to choose recipes that are approachable and not very intimidating. While this is all those things, the effect of the “lava” is something that can [Read more…]

Disney World and Disneyland Dining for Valentine’s Day

Romance can be found all over Walt Disney World and Disneyland. And at these dining venues, there won’t be a single character in sight! Some restaurants feature special menus for Valentine’s Day.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Sweetheart Dinners
These special meals for two are offered all year-long at Walt Disney World, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to splurge on this decadent dining experience.

Enjoy a 3-course, prix-fixe meal that includes an appetizer, entrée and a shared dessert. Toast your love with a selected beverage in etched champagne flutes, then take [Read more…]

Menu Spotlight: California Grill’s Roasted Suckling Pig Flatbread

Sarah Holodick reports on a new menu item at the California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort!

Matt and I went over to the California Grill for one of their famous Brick Oven Fired Flatbreads, and we spotted a Slow-roasted Suckling Pig variety had been on the menu for a little while. It’s made with Heirloom Apple Butter, Cheddar, Caramelized Onions, and “Cracklins.”

California Grill Flatbreads on Menu

We visited the restaurant’s lounge area specifically to try this flatbread. Our verdict: the flatbread was [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 23, 2011

Whew! Just back from the Disney Dream Christening Cruise and excited to share the details with you this week!

Stay up to date with all of our coverage on our Disney Dream Dine Around page! We’ll be chatting about the food on the ship and on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, so stay tuned…

And now, on to the round-up!

DisZine commemorates a Disneyland Chef — one we’ll be spotlighting in our own interview soon!

Loving this Disneymoon 2010 photo of reader/contributor Melissa Sue wearing her Disney Food Blog sweatshirt at the Contemporary Resort! Woo!!! (You can get your own at zazzle.com/disneyfoodblog.)

WDW Today Podcast has two dining podcasts that we love (I wonder why?!). Check out Disney restaurants for first timers and the Disney Dream Cruise Dining preview.

Devin from Disney Professional Internship Spring 2011 has an awesome California Grill review! I love the pic of that yummy ravioli!

All Ears Net showcases a new test breakfast buffet at the Wave in Disney’s Contemporary resort!

Caribbean Beach Designer Burger

Main Street Gazette samples two of Disney World’s brand new “designer” burgers!!

Pooh’s Travels shares some amazing food photos from Tokyo Disney‘s Christmas celebrations. I love this tinkerbell dessert!

Mouse Junkies has something to say about bloody marys in Disney World!

BritMick shares their thoughts on the Disney Dining Plan for two people.

DF ’82 takes us to Last Chance Cafe in Disneyland Paris. (Are those CHICKEN WINGS?!?)