What’s New Around Walt Disney World: May 6, 2014

Today we’re talking everything from Mac & Cheese to Mine Trains, and from slushes to steins. Please join us for another trip around the World to see What’s New!

Magic Kingdom

Friar’s Nook made waves around New Year’s when the menu changed to feature some very unique styles of Macaroni and Cheese, while hot dogs remained available as a choice. Well, they’ve been brought together in the form of a Truffle Macaroni & Cheese Dog.

Friar's Nook Menu

Friar’s Nook Menu

Why not, right? They had all the ingredients handy since they introduced all that Mac & Cheese goodness to the menu, and it’s always a lovely thing to find more Mac & Cheese Hot Dogs available at Disney World!

The Omnipresent Macaroni and Cheese Hot Dog

The Omnipresent Macaroni and Cheese Hot Dog

But something a bit more unexpected has also arrived: Pot Roast Macaroni & Cheese has replaced the Blue Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Balsamic (whaaaat…?!?).

Pot Roast Mac & Cheese at Friar's Nook

Pot Roast Mac & Cheese at Friar’s Nook

Soooo, what’s it like? Stay tuned for our review!

Pinocchio Village Haus has reopened since its refurbishment. This Magic Kingdom Counter Service restaurant is known for its many rooms with beautiful artwork honoring the film Pinocchio, and it appears the refurbishment was just a general spruce-up with no major changes.

Pinocchio Village Haus

Pinocchio Village Haus

The entrée menu continues to feature flatbreads, and there are only small changes to report.

Pinocchio Village Haus Menu

Pinocchio Village Haus Menu

Those changes are found on the back of the menu: Lemonade Slush and Blue Raspberry Slush have replaced Pinocchio Punch (though you can find the same beverage at Sunshine Tree Terrace: All-Natural Lemonade with Wildberry Foam).

Lemonade and Blue Raspberry Slush

Lemonade and Blue Raspberry Slush

No sign of that Jiminy Cricket’s Slush, either, but the Slushes here do tend to change with some frequency, so we’ll see if Pinocchio’s conscience makes a return one of these days…

Liberty Square Market often reveals some surprises in the small signs around the registers in addition to the more permanent offerings listed on the hanging menu. While this snack stand has had Slushes available for a long time, on my most recent visit they were also offered in the souvenir Horseman’s Stein.

Additional items available at Liberty Square Market

Additional items available at Liberty Square Market

The stein itself has been available at Sleepy Hollow, but this was the first time I’d noticed it here. I adore anything to do with the old Ichabod Crane and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow film, so seeing this piece in other places makes me smile.

Horseman's Stein

Horseman’s Stein

Sing it with me! “He’s the new school master! What’s his name? Ichabod! Ichabo-od Craaaaaane!”

Horseman's Stein

Horseman’s Stein

There’s one more spot where you can grab a Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae (affectionately known here on the DFB as the “Mickey Pants Sundae”). This sign was spotted at the check-in counter for the Plaza Restaurant.

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae

While these aren’t limited to the Magic Kingdom, the Main Street Emporium is the first place we first got to see the new line Princess and Villain mugs. On a more recent visit, we spied the remainder of the collection! Here is the Cinderella mug

Cinderella Mug

Cinderella Mug

Cinderella Mug

Cinderella Mug

… and while the general design differs, we thought you might like to see the new Maleficent and Evil Queen mugs, too!

Front AND Back of Maleficent mug

Front AND Back of Maleficent mug

Evil Queen Mug

Evil Queen Mug

And among all these small changes, we sure can’t ignore the biggest change of all! The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Roller Coaster was dedicated in New Fantasyland on May 2nd, with the official opening date for the public announced for May 28th.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios is preparing for Star Wars Weekends 2014 beginning on May 16, and two all-new Star Wars Character Meals have already made their debut in advance of the celebration!

Breakfast is being served at Sci-Fi Dine-In with Darth Vader and some of his fellow Dark Siders at the Star Wars Galactic Dine In.

Star Wars Galactic Dine In sign

Star Wars Galactic Dine In sign

While over at Hollywood and Vine, Jedi Mickey and pals joined guests for dinner at Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine! Check out our full review of this special event!

Jedi Mickey!!!!

Jedi Mickey!!!!

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Even with all this going on, Hollywood Studios has still managed to remember [Read more…]

Review: Tropical Pastries at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

If you’re at Caribbean Beach Resort and are hoping to start your day with a taste of the islands, then you’re in luck.

The last time DFB was here was when AJ reviewed the one-of-a-kind Monkey Cupcake! Today, it’s time to check out another unique set of Island-y goodies!

The Grab and Go area at Caribbean Beach’s Old Port Royale food court is now serving tropical-inspired breakfast pastries! Kudos to the pastry chefs here for coming up with such fun additions to the menu!

Grab and Go Area at Old Port Royale food court

This will be the first area you encounter — to your right — when you walk into the Food Court from the parking lot area. It’s a wide open space that you can’t miss.

This area of the food court features cold sandwiches and snacks for a quick bite any time of day. (And it’s a great place to pick up your midnight snack before heading back to your room after a long day in the parks.)

Stop by the Grab & Go

Refrigerated areas offer some healthier for you snacks, too, like fruit, salads, and pre-made sammies.

Display at Grab & Go

But we were here to check out the unique pastries with tropical flavors!! Here we go!

Eats

As I approached the bakery case, I noticed many favorites that are standard across Disney World Resort food courts (Cheese Danish, Chocolate Croissants, and Cinnamon Rolls, among others).

Bakery Case

Bakery Items

But I was especially impressed to find several tropical treats to choose from. I counted eight in all: the Mango Almond Tartlet, Pineapple Turnover, Pineapple Coconut Muffin, Ginger Mango Muffin, Guava and Cheese Danish or Turnover, Mango Coconut Muffin, and the Banana Turnover. Welcome to the Islands!

Tropical Pastries

I was tempted to grab what would most obviously suit my tastes: the Guava and Cheese Danish. There are few things I love more than a Cream Cheese Danish. Add to that a dollop of Guava puree and… GOOD MORNING!!

Guava and Cheese Danish Display

Guava and Cheese Danish Close Up

Since that one was a no-brainer, I thought it best to try some of the pastries that were unlike things I already know and love. I carried my choices to the outdoor seating area… not a bad place to start the day, huh?

Outdoor seating

First up? I tried… [Read more…]

What Disney Dining Spot Would You Expand or Change?

I think we can all agree that Disney parks and resorts are pretty great places. Still, I can always dream up ways to make them better… . ;-) After all, I did make my case for an Automat, right?

No automat yet, but I’d like to share another change that I’d love to see made: an expansion of the Banana Cabana pool bar at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort!

I’m including my thoughts on this below, but I’d love to hear YOUR ideas on what Disney World dining spots could use changes — whether they’re menu updates, expansions, or something else! Dream big — what would you do with an unlimited budget? Disney World, Disneyland, etc… everything’s on the table.

My Suggestion: Banana Cabana Expansion!

For my first joint project with Walt Disney World as a consultant for development (ha ha!), I’d make this fun and always-hoppin’ pool bar a little bigger!

Located adjacent to both the fabulously-themed (PIRATES!) main pool and the Old Port Royale shopping and dining mecca, Banana Cabana is the perfect place to grab a drink, keep an eye on the kiddos while they hang out in the pool, and watch the sunset.

The bartenders are [Read more…]

Review: Shutters Restaurant at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

I can’t believe that we’re nearly three years into this blog and I’m still reviewing restaurants for the first time, but, alas, that IS the case! But that also means — NEW STUFF!! Today we’re headed over to Shutters Restaurant at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort in Walt Disney World!

Shutters is tucked into the end of Old Port Royale, the central amenities area at Caribbean Beach Resort (CBR). It’s the only table-service restaurant at the resort, and because CBR is an extra bus ride or car trip away from the parks, many folks don’t dine there unless they’re staying at the resort.

Sometimes, when a resort has a captive audience, they don’t try as hard to create good dishes and interesting meals. But Shutters was a pleasant surprise for us when we dined there. Though the overall appearance of the place could use some sprucing up, the food was good and the service was outstanding!

Atmosphere

Shutters has a couple of dining rooms decorated with pastel Caribbean colors, a bright carpet, fish artwork, and… [Read more…]

New “Designer” Burgers at Disney World

After debuting the snazzy new hot dogs at Lunching Pad, Disney decided that it’s time to make bigger, better burgers!

Cheddar cheeseburger at ABC Commissary is topped with fried shrimp

Magic Kingdom
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe: Angus burger topped with Cheddar cheese, guacamole and bacon.

Epcot
Liberty Inn:
1. Veggie burger with Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, tomato and lettuce
2. Angus burger topped with smoked ham, bacon, smoked Gouda cheese, red onion, tomato, pickle, lettuce and mustard aioli sauce.

Electric Umbrella: Mushroom-blue burger with sautéed mushrooms, bacon, blue cheese, fried onion straws, lettuce and [Read more…]

DIY Disney: Disney Recipes for Your Summer Picnic

I’m thrilled to announce the first, official Disney Food Blog column — Chef BigFatPanda’s DIY Disney Recipes! Every month, our resident Chef BigFatPanda will put together his amazing step-by-step, photo-filled posts where he and Chef Mickey show you their adventures in the kitchen cooking up Disney goodies! Today, we launch the column with three great recipes that you can pack up and take on a Disney-inspired picnic (perfect for 4th of July!). Enjoy…

Hello! Chef BigFatPanda here! How are you? Don’t answer cause I can’t hear you, but I’ll assume you’re reading this with peachy vigor. I like that. Peachy Vigor! I’m going to use that from now on.

So, did you hear? I am so excited to get my own column here on the Disney Food Blog. No longer am I a guest, but a cast member (or whatever AJ wishes to call it). Thanks so much to everyone!

I wanted to do something a bit different for this post, so I chose some fairly simple yet overlooked Disney recipes that can truly be incorporated into a delicious summer meal. I am going to make the Barbecue Sauce from the Flame Tree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, grilled Asparagus just as they make it in Disney’s Grand Californian Resort’s Storyteller Café, and Coquina cookies, originally from the Cinnamon Bay Bakery at Disney World’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Add these Disney recipes to a rice, pasta, or potato side and you have a complete and colorful summer meal just in time for Summer Nightastic!

Flame Tree Barbecue Sauce

As usual, the recipe’s instructions will be bolded for easy reference should you wish to print this out and skip my banter.

Ingredients for Flame Tree Barbecue Sauce

You will need:
1 cup Ketchup
¼ cup Rice Wine Vinegar
¼ cup Water
¼ cup Packed Light Brown Sugar [Read more…]