Disney World’s Iconic Carrot Cake Cookie Sees Big Changes!

We’re not really sure how to tell you this, so we’re just gonna come out with it: Walt Disney World’s beloved Carrot Cake Cookie  has been ‘updated.’ Changed. Reinvented. Altered unnecessarily. However you say it, the truth remains: the Carrot Cake Cookie as we knew it is no more.

Let’s get into this. You can still find the Carrot Cake Cookie at Trolley Car Treats — Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Starbucks location. (Since Sweet Spells closed a couple of weeks ago, Trolley Car is the only location where you can pick up this popular treat!) It costs $3.99 (or a DDP snack credit), so it’s a relatively reasonable price.

Carrot Cake Cookie

Carrot Cake Cookie

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NEW! Disneyland’s Jolly Holiday Carrot Cake Cupcake

Jolly Holiday in Disneyland Resort is the place to go for terrific sweets in Walt’s park. It’s charming exterior is surpassed only by the awesome eats inside.

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

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A NEW Dessert at The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is seriously one of my favorites, y’all! 

Mara Bakery

Mara Bakery

The Mara

The Mara

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Review: SO MANY Good (NEW!) Eats at The Plaza Restaurant in Walt Disney World

The Plaza Restaurant at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is a classic.

From its prime location at the Cinderella Castle end of Main Street, USA, to its elegant decor and moderately priced menu, The Plaza Restaurant is a truly great value. And the menu is family friendly (including those bottomless milkshakes!), so it’s easy to enjoy a meal with your whole crew.

But flashier dining options have relegated The Plaza to the realm of hidden gems.

And, honestly, we’re kind of okay with that. Because when Be Our Guest is booked solid, The Plaza is often a gettable alternative. And with a few new menu items, my most recent visit was a total home run.

Plaza Sign

Plaza Sign

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Disneyland Must-Eats: Fried Chicken at the Plaza Inn

I’m not sure how to emphasize how good the Plaza Inn‘s Fried Chicken is. Let me just say this: it is the best fried chicken I have ever eaten. (Yes, that includes Homecomin’, which is incredibly tasty as well.)

Fact: Plaza Inn’s Fried Chicken — literally — is the best.

Plaza Inn Sign

Plaza Inn Sign

Plaza Inn is located on Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A., and its exterior is quintessentially Disney. So many great details on the awning and posts, not to mention the swirls of wrought iron on the sign. [Read more…]

Review: Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe Disney Springs

Ready for an emotional roller coaster? Because we have some good news and some bad news regarding Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe and Dining Room.

I always think it’s best to get the bad news out of the way first, don’t you? So, here goes…

The bad news is that Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe will be closing up shop on August 1st.

And now, for the good news! Wolfgang Puck is not leaving Disney Springs entirely! In case you missed the news, he’ll be opening a brand new, modern restaurant in the Town Center of Disney Springs. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will open in 2018, and it will still feature some of the world famous chef’s most popular dishes. PLUS, the West Side location will be revamped into Jaleo, a Spanish tapas-style restaurant by Celebrity Chef Jose Andres, which will open in 2018. So two restaurants for the price of one!

So even after that announcement, I kept my recent Advance Dining Reservation at the Grand Cafe, since there will still be plenty more where this came from. AND I wanted to point out which items I most hope to see on the menu at the new digs!

First, though, let’s check out the old haunt before saying good-bye to the West Side space.

Atmosphere

Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe and The Dining Room are in the same general building, but there’s a cafe and a sushi bar downstairs, and a formal dining room upstairs. Plus, we can’t forget the Counter Service option with The Wolfgang Puck Express. (And don’t you worry, Express fans… the Marketplace Express location isn’t going anywhere!)

The decor is… umm, how do I say this?

Wolfgang Puck Cafe Seating

Wolfgang Puck Cafe Seating

TOTALLY SAVED BY THE BELL. I thought it the first time I walked in so many years ago, and it hasn’t changed an ounce. But, hey, it’s consistent — from colorful light fixtures to Formica tabletops. [Read more…]

First Look and Review: Paddlefish at Disney Springs

Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at Paddlefish, the latest restaurant to open in Disney Springs.

I say “latest,” but Paddlefish is simultaneously one of Disney Springs’ oldest and newest stops. That’s because Paddlefish is just the latest tenant in a restaurant that’s been in this area for quite some time. If you’ve been following along, then you know Paddlefish was most recently known as Fulton’s Crab House. And before that, you may have known it as the Empress Lilly, originally opened in 1977 and named for Walt Disney’s beloved wife.

With the revamping and major overhaul that Downtown Disney — now Disney Springs — has recently experienced, the old riverboat theming of Fulton’s wasn’t going to flow with the new vibe. And so, the restaurant’s owner, Levy Restaurants, signed to stay on in Disney Springs, and commenced to a stem to stern reimagining of the Old Girl.

We had a chance to take a look around at the new space, which opened to the public February 4th. Join us on a tour.

Atmosphere

As with the rest of Disney Springs, Paddlefish somehow manages to channel past and future at the same time, all with an industrial vibe.

Paddlefish -- Outside View

Paddlefish — Outside View

If you were familiar with Fulton’s, you’ll see the stark contrast between old and new right away. Gone is the old-timey riverboat look. In its place is a neutral palette of grey and white with touches of rich stained wood. [Read more…]

Review: New Menu Items at The Plaza Restaurant in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Lots of changes have come to The Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom recently!

This summer, The Plaza — which is a Table Service restaurant — became much more accessible to walk-up guests when it changed its Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) availability window to just 11:00 am – 12:00 noon daily, opening up the remainder of the day to play host to those without ADRs.

Hot on the heels of that change, we noticed another… to the menu! The Entree and Dessert listings have been expanded with a few more options. But the new assortment of Appetizers has gained the most attention, since one of the three new selections bears a striking resemblance to a favorite retired Magic Kingdom snack from back in the day (we’ll be taking a look at that again here today!).

Before we dive into the changes, though, it might be nice to know that some of the things about this beloved spot have remained — thankfully — very much the same… .

Atmosphere

As you turn the corner on Main Street, U.S.A. towards Tomorrowland, you’ll find The Plaza Restaurant tucked right next to its Quick Service counterpart, the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor.

The Plaza Restaurant sign

The Plaza Restaurant sign

Upon entering, you’ll notice that lots of windows allow for plenty of sunlight to flow in, and the smaller size of the restaurant is made to feel somewhat larger with the help of mirrors in the main dining room as well. [Read more…]

Review: Carrot Cake at Disney World’s Boardwalk Bakery

I love many things at Disney World. Many things. But two of my favorites are these:

One: Carrot Cake. And two: the Boardwalk Bakery at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.

(OK, so there’s MUCH more to love than that. But you get my point). Anyway, when those two things come together, you have to know that I am SO. THERE.

And that was, indeed, the case on my most recent visit to the Boardwalk Bakery! Tucked inside the bakery case among Mickey Oreo CupcakesCheesecake Brownies, and Key Lime Tarts was a little Carrot Cake number. They’ve had varieties of carrot cake here for years, and they’re ALWAYS good. This version is a long, skinny deal, but the taste is just as delicious as its square predecessors.

The first thing to catch my eye was the gorgeous white chocolate carrot topping the cake. It’s practically iridescent! So much better than those typical piped carrots on the top!

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

As for the cake itself, the recipe is pretty much classic: spiced cake layered with cream cheese frosting. No nuts in this version, though. (Oh, and that teeny pink garnish on the side is just a by-product of being near the Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake in the pastry box. No biggie.) [Read more…]

Review: Chocolate and Carrot Cake Mini Whoopie Pies at Art of Animation Resort

We are back at Landscape of Flavors in Disney World’s Art of Animation Resort!

Landscape of Flavors remains relatively unique by Disney Counter Service standards. Sure, it offers quick service eats served up food court-style in keeping with the dining set-up at the all Disney World Value Resorts. But with a Tandoori/Mongolian Station serving sides like Naan Bread with dipping sauces (and don’t get me started on the uber-tasty Cheesy Pesto Bread) alongside favorites like burgers and sandwiches, the best-of-both worlds approach to international flavors and American fare have earned this spot high marks since the resort first opened in 2012.

That said, while its reputation for entrees has been deservedly high, Landscape of Flavors hasn’t been a huge destination for desserts (Gelato Bar notwithstanding, of course!). So when I noticed a little something — or somethings — new in the bakery case, it definitely piqued my interest.

They’ve added Mini Whoopie Pies to the options, my friends! And my fellow Carrot Cake Connoisseurs will definitely want to read on…

Atmosphere

Just like Everything Pop at the neighboring Pop Century Resort, Landscape of Flavors is located directly past the resorts’s merchandise spot, the Ink and Paint Shop.

Lobby in Art of Animation

Lobby in Art of Animation

Oh, and be sure to check out the Storyboard Chandelier above you right before you enter! Several of the panels have been signed by Disney artists and actors involved with the films that the Art of Animation celebrates: The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid. Among several others, you can search for Jodi Benson’s signature (she’s the voice of Ariel) as well as Pixar CCO John Lasseter’s. Newly signed panels feature the signatures of Pete Doctor, Jay Ward, and Jerome Ranft who worked on Cars, and also the latest Pixar hit, Inside Out. Pretty cool, right?!

After you’re done with your signature scavenger hunt, just continue through the merchandise shop to find Landscape of Flavors. [Read more…]