Review: Cheese Danish at Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

If you’ve picked Disney’s Hollywood Studios as your first stop of the day, with plans to swing by your Resort’s Grab-and-Go to pick up a Cheese Danish before making your way to the park… may I offer a word of advice?

Don’t.

It’s not that it’s a bad choice, per se. There’s not a thing wrong with the standard cheese danish available across resort food courts. It’s fine. But it’s nothing compared to the Cheese Danish waiting for you at the Writer’s Stop.

We’re big fans of Writer’s Stop around here for a couple of reasons. Reason One: it offers a nice respite thanks to its out-of-the-way location in the Streets of America and low key coffee shop/bookstore vibe. It blends in so seamlessly in this area filled with TV and movie set false fronts that a lot of people don’t even realize it’s an operating snack stop.

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

The casual bookstore-and-coffee-shop vibe inside invites you to meander and browse for a while.

Inside Writer's Stop

Inside Writer’s Stop

Inside Writer's Stop

Inside Writer’s Stop

Book shelves

Book shelves

Small seating area

Small seating area

Reason Two (ok, maybe this should be Reason One ;) ): it’s home to the famous Carrot Cake Cookie! We love this legendary snack so much that we’ve yet to sing the praises of the danish pastries available in this stop, because it’s so hard to resist the Call of the Cookie.

Carrot Cake Cookie at Writer's Stop in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Carrot Cake Cookie at Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

But since there really is no better way to start a day than with an enormous pile of cream cheese doused in icing, today is the day that the danish gets its due. I’m obviously focusing on the Cheese Danish, but you can often find [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!” Snacks (Vol. II)

We’re back with another installment in The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney series!

Snacks are a big deal around here. Heck, we plan entire events and crawls around them! And it’s clear Disney thinks snacking is where it’s at, too. We’re seeing more and more small plates restaurants open. Spots like Tutto Gusto, Spice Road Table, and The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge cater to the grazing crowd.

Today, we’re talking about some of our favorite snacks that we enjoy nearly every time we visit Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Dig out your stretchy pants, or plan to do an extra lap on the treadmill, and let’s do this!

Cheshire Cake Cup

Who doesn’t love a ginormous cupcake? You know I’m a big fan of these edible works of art. But at the end of the day, I pretty much see them as frosting delivery systems. So you can imagine my delight when I got wind of Cake Cups at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe!

Layers of alternating cake and frosting make a parfait-style dessert that’s hard to resist.

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

I know, I know. I talk about these a lot. But I figure if there’s something I NEVER miss when I’m at the Magic Kingdom, I should take every opportunity to suggest it so you don’t miss it either. ;-)

Frosting!!

Frosting!!

Two new, equally gorgeous varieties have recently made an appearance — White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts versions! Expanding the cake cup line? We are ALL IN.

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

These are the closest snacks I’ve found to them just giving me a bowl of frosting and a spoon, soooooo, yeah.

Dole Whip

Next up is one of my favorite Disney snacks of all time, the classic Dole Whip.

Oh, sure, you have your cult classics. Your Turkey Legs. Your Mickey Bars. And they’re great. But if there’s one snack I must have every time I’m at either Disneyland (umbrellas and cherries!!!!) or Walt Disney World, it’s some variety of Dole Whip.

This creamy pineapple-flavored soft serve made news here on Disney Food Blog for a different reason last year, when we brought you word not of what it is — but what it isn’t! Seems that our favorite Disney chilly treat is now Vegan, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free!

Dole Whip Float at Disneyland's Tiki Juice Bar

Dole Whip Float at Disneyland’s Tiki Juice Bar — My Favorite!

So if you’re looking to indulge in a creamy, delicious snack, but [Read more…]

Our Favorite, Must-Eat Disney Cakes!

Oooooh, we’re talkin’ CAKE TODAY!!!!!

must eat disney cake

Okay, okay — so technically, National Cake Day was yesterday, apparently. But since we had so much fun with National Pie Day last week, I thought it would be awesome to start sharing some of my favorite Disney cakes. (I’m pretty shocked I haven’t done a cake post before — so much goodness to talk about!)

So here’s the deal with cake at Disney. It can take many forms… . And we’re going to include a bunch of ‘em! In honor of National Cake Day, let’s take a look at some of our favorite entries into the category of cake!

Gourmet Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

I recently discovered Cake Nirvana at Disney. Because, in my universe, eating cake is usually a thinly-disguised, socially acceptable way to consume as much frosting as possible.

If you’re giving me a piece of cake, I’m getting a corner piece, with as many frosting roses as possible. That’s just how I roll.

So it’s always pretty great when a bakery can get on board with the “Frosting is the Whole Point!!” perspective. And Cheshire Cafe at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has done just exactly that.

With their beautifully themed Gourmet Cake Cups, you can choose from a Vanilla Cheshire Cake Cup or a Mad Hatter Mocha Cake Cup. Characters from Alice in Wonderland are silk-screened onto a sweet round of white fondant and top each of the cake cups. (Sometimes. Sometimes you don’t get the characters. But who cares.)

Themed Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

Themed Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

THIS is what you get when you order. Confetti cake. FROSTING. Confetti cake. FROSTING. Confetti cake. F R O S T I N G!!!!!!

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Yep. That’s all frosting on top. There’s no cake there my friends. And it’s glorious. Thick, bakery buttercream that’s so sugary it’ll make you sick. LOVE!

Frosting!!

Frosting!!

I know a lot of you don’t have the love affair with frosting that I do, but for those who feel the same — you’re welcome! :-D

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls

And how could we pay homage to cake without mentioning the original single serving cake? We are talking Disney Cupcakes, of course!

One of my favorites from way back at the beginning of the Cupcake Renaissance is still around and garnering rave reviews — the Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This is one monster chocolate cupcake that you must experience to believe. Well, the cake is chocolate. And so is that incredible fudgy middle. But the pile of frosting on top is pure heavenly vanilla, topped with a crown of [Read more…]

Try It! The “DFB Favorites Crawl” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

You know that here at DFB we’re very, VERY fond of sampling snacks in the Disney parks and resorts!

And today we’re excited to show you a few more of our favorites — salty, sweet, creamy, crunchy, or a cross between!

We’re highlighting one of our classic food crawls! These little adventures are a great way to mark off some popular foods, all while touring the park at the same time!

And no worries — if you love this one, we have seven more food crawls for you to tackle in our new DFB Guide to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom Snacks! I hope you’re hungry…let’s go!

Chocolate Peanut Butter or Chocolate Butterfinger Cupcake

Begin with a Disney Food Blog Favorite from way back — Cupcakes!

Once you enter the park, walk straight down Hollywood Boulevard and start your day with a cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe. For the DFB Favorites Crawl, we recommend that you stick with one of two classic choices: the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake, or the Butterfinger Cupcake.

If you choose the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake, be forewarned: this one is for avowed chocoholics, or fans of that crazy amazing chocolate peanut butter combo. It’s chocolate with more chocolate with the cake and chocolate curls on top. But then, it’s crowned and filled with the most amazing chocolate peanut butter frosting! You have to taste it to believe it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake

Or, you can opt for the [Read more…]

Review: Writer’s Stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Dude. If you haven’t been to Writer’s Stop, YOU. MUST. GO.

Seriously, Writer’s Stop remains one of my favorite spots in all of Walt Disney World. Even though they’ve re-vamped the place since I initially fell in love with it (and got rid of my favorite little window seat in favor of a coffee flavoring station…hmph…), the charm of this place is not matched in any other Disney coffee joint.

Tucked into a corner of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this little bookstore-slash-coffee shop has been around since the 1990s. It’s so cozy — and often uncrowded — so when I stop in I always feel a little bit more like I “live” at Disney World. :-)

I’m pretty sure this is going to be the spot where Starbucks infiltrates Hollywood Studios (no official information, of course — just my personal prophecy), so if you’re going to check it out in its initial incarnation, I suggest you head over there ASAP… .

Writer's Stop -- Outside

Atmosphere

If you don’t pay attention, you could easily think that Writer’s Stop is just a clever bit of scenery amid the other storefronts at Studios. Especially since it sits right next to the Streets of America backlot area. But the rolls of film and vintage percolators in the windoe herald a real, honest-to-goodness coffee and bookshop.

Step inside, and you’ll recognize the themeing immediately. The little storefront gives the impression that it’s a hangout for writers situated in the corner of a studio. A makeshift counter has been fashioned out of crates, and studio equipment adorns the walls.

Writer's Stop -- Inside

Writer’s Stop actually began as a play on the set of Buy the Book, the fictional bookstore in the sitcom Ellen, which starred Ellen DeGeneres and aired during the nineties (thus the studio lights up above). When the series went by the wayside, Buy the Book morphed into Writer’s Stop — and gained a happy place in the hearts of Disney fans.

Be sure to take a slow look around Writer’s Stop. First off, they really [Read more…]

You Might Be a Disney Food Fan If…

We here at DFB we welcome and embrace our fellow Disney Food Lovers!

But sometimes you might not necessarily know when you’ve joined our ranks! So we’ve created this simple list of ways to recognize when you’ve crossed over to the dark side. ;-)

Do you fit any of these criteria? I can’t wait to hear from you about what your Disney Food Fan qualifications might be!

Let us know in the comments below what makes YOU a TRUE Disney Food Fan!

Here are a few of our favorites…

1. “No Be Our Guest reservation available? Time to change our flights.”

Yes. It happens. And don’t pretend you haven’t thought about it.

Be Our Guest Restaurant!

2. Your favorite t-shirt says “I ❤ School Bread“.

Yes. Yes it does.

3. Your “friends” who don’t know what a Citrus Swirl is have now been downgraded to acquaintances.

Unacceptable.

Citrus Swirl

4. You have been known to enjoy both the Grand Marnier Slush and the Grey Goose Slush…at the same time.

Who hasn’t?

Grand Marnier and Grey Goose Slushes in Epcot's France Pavilion.

5. Rides? What rides?

So much [Read more…]

Best Cookie Snacks in Walt Disney World

OK, all. Today we’re talking about something that I know you can all appreciate…

COOKIES! Yep. Simple, sweet, and the perfect combo of portable and delicious, cookies are the oft-forgotten workhorse of the snack world.

Now, I know that there are dozens of awesome cookie options in Disney World. So many that we couldn’t possibly list them ALL in our “best of” post about cookies. But we’re going to take a shot at listing a few of our favorites…and hopefully a few that you haven’t yet sampled!

These are cookies that are truly something special — options that either I couldn’t get anyplace else, or treats that say Disney! loud and clear to me.

So I present to you the Disney Food Blog’s Favorite Cookies at Walt Disney World! Don’t forget to check out more awesome Disney Snacks like these in our 2013 DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book!

Carrot Cake Cookie

Ever since I discovered the Carrot Cake Cookie at The Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I’ve made it a point to visit this quiet little spot on just about every trip.

These are the epitome of awesome Disney snacks. Unique, only found in one park anywhere in the world, and truly, over-the-top delicious. They consist of two components: Cakey “cookies” and a huge amount of cream cheese icing — more than you would ever get on the run-of-the-mill slice of carrot cake.

The cookies themselves are moist, sweet, and spicy. And I liken this snack to the best version of a whoopie pie ever. :-)

Carrot Cake Cookie

This treat is huge, which makes it perfect to share or to eat as a snack over a few days!

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

You saw this one coming from a mile away, didn’t you? There is no fancy dessert that holds a candle to one of my favorite grab and go sweet treats, the Homemade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich!

Two ginormous cookies are smooshed together with a huge scoop of ice cream for a portable (if slightly messy) treat. Decadent, simple, and a great way to cool down on a hot Florida day!

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

But another fun fact that makes these sandwiches a favorite of mine is that often, you can customize them! Pick your cookie, pick your [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Getting Kids to Try New Foods at Walt Disney World

It’s no secret that my daughter Louisa is more than a little produce averse. There was a period of about four years when NO fruit or vegetable crossed her lips, and even now at age 12 she still has to be cajoled into having more than a bite or two of something as innocuous as sweet potato or banana.

Frozen bananas, a gateway fruit.

So you can imagine my surprise when, on a recent trip to the Animal Kingdom’s Yak & Yeti restaurant, she consumed nearly the entire plate of wok-fried green beans we had ordered for the table. It was one of those parenting moments where you hold your breath and move slowly so as to avoid breaking the spell.

Yak & Yeti wok-fried green beans. My hero!

Those Yak & Yeti yummies didn’t turn Louisa into an inveterate bean eater, but she is now occasionally willing to nibble on a tempura string bean if we’re out for Japanese. Based on our prior track record with legumes, I’m going to count that solidly in the win column.

The Theme Park Food Effect

What was it about the Yak & Yeti beans that made Louisa such a fan? Yes, they were quite tasty, and yes, the green part was handily obfuscated by a crunchy, yumtastic fried breading coating; but we had tried similar ploys in the past to no avail. My theory is that the Yak & Yeti beans were flavored by the spice of (cue the orchestra) The Theme Park Food Effect.

Much like campers will say that meals eaten on the trail are the BEST, you know that their experience is colored by the fact that their senses are overwhelmed and they’re starving from an [Read more…]

Ode to Disney Dessert Sandwiches

You know we like to follow the Disney food trends here on Disney Food Blog, and one that we’re noticing more and more are the “dessert sandwiches” that keep popping up.

Of course, Disney has seemingly always offered the beloved Carrot Cake Cookie and Mickey Ice Cream Sandwich, and now there are a few more options. Let’s take a look at some old and new favorites!

Whoopie pies

Whoopie pies (cake-like cookie sandwiches with frosting or whipped cream in the middle — borne out of the Northeastern United States) are a huge trend nationwide; and over at Sunshine Seasons in The Land, they’ve introduced a red velvet whoopie pie with your favorite mouse right on top!

The frosting inside is buttercream, not cream cheese, but we’re pretty happy with it either way!

Mickey Whoopie Pie at Sunshine Seasons

Decked out in chocolate chips, this is a great one to try while you’re waiting for your Soarin’ fastpass to open up!

And at the Boardwalk Resort, Flying Fish Cafe offers a Trio of Concessions Sweets aptly named “Out on the Boardwalk”. A highlight of this dish is the Peanut Butter-Chocolate-Marshmallow “Moon Pie”.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Whoopie Pie with Pound Cake Fries

The pound cake “fries” have strawberry “ketchup” to add to the look-alike whoopie pie “burger”. It’s an innovative boardwalk dessert…and delicious!

Carrot Cake Cookie

Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to the Carrot Cake Cookie, another whoopie-pie like menu item featuring two soft, cake-like cookies with delectable cream cheese frosting sandwiched in between. These days, you can also find these goodies at [Read more…]

Guest Review: Private Mother’s Day IllumiNations Dessert Party

Welcome to guest author Mark Diehl with an illuminating ;-) review of an Epcot dessert party he created to honor the “mothers” in his life! He also inspired our upcoming WDW Foodie Fest Snack Attack dessert and fireworks event on October 4th — stay tuned as tickets will be going on sale today!

This was the second Mother’s Day we spent in Disney World, so I did some research and finally settled on an event we all could enjoy: a private IllumiNations Dessert Party.

It was not cheap, and while it was successful enough that I would want to do it every year, it was expensive enough that it was probably once in a lifetime for us. I got all of the information from Disney World private dining and once my contact Chris Ware (highly recommended, he was fantastic) sent me the sample dessert menus, I decided I needed to make my own custom dessert menu.

Decisions, Decisions

After bouncing around a number of ideas, I was able to narrow it down to 2, and ended up going with…neither of them.

Party of 6

The first idea was a dessert menu from the countries of Epcot. Each country was to be represented with a dessert item.  The following was my menu proposal:

School Bread from Norway, Apple Strudel from Germany, Napoleons from France, Churros from Mexico, Sticky Toffee Pudding from UK, Tiramisu from Italy, Kaki Gori from Japan, Baklava from Morocco, Caramel Ginger Ice Cream from China, Campfire S’mores from Canada, Funnel Cake from USA.

The price for this menu came back at $95 per person.  That may not sound bad, but when you consider that this was only for food and did not include the location rental, table set-up fee, or drinks, you can see it adds up [Read more…]