What’s New At Port Orleans Resort in Disney World? April 2, 2018

Today we’re bringing you a special Port Orleans Resort-themed What’s New! We always love an excuse to visit Port Orleans — French Quarter because of the beautiful landscaping, impeccably festive decor, and fun vibes.

Port Orleans -- French Quarter

Port Orleans — French Quarter

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Review: Strawberry Cheesecake at Restaurantosaurus

You’re gonna hear us saying this a lot over the next several months: there’s a TON of stuff going on in the Disney food world at Animal Kingdom.

First we’ve got quality bites at Tiffins and Nomad Lounge. Second we will soon have two brand new dining options in Pandora — The World of AVATAR: Pongu Pongu and Satu’li Canteen. And third, old standbys like Yak and Yeti and Flame Tree Barbecue are still killin’ the food game. Animal Kingdom has stepped up the food game yet again.

But should you find yourself way over in Dinoland digging on something sweet and indulgent, adventure your way right over to Restaurantosaurus. It’s just past the spinning triceratops and across the way from the dig site. You can’t miss it.

While I LOVE Restaurantosaurus, we have had a bit of a hit or miss relationship with Animal Kingdom’s desserts-in-a-glass, and we’re happy to see them being replaced by better options. The Warm Turtle Brownie we tried recently was a big hit! And since we’re always open to try new things, on this visit we ordered the Strawberry Cheesecake.

Restaurantosaurus Strawberry Cheesecake

Restaurantosaurus Strawberry Cheesecake

Let’s just start by saying this ain’t a dessert in a glass. Look at that crust! It’s all graham crackers and buttery-ness! It’s just the right thickness to add texture without overwhelming the contents of its shell.

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Guest Review: World Premiere Food Court at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

We’d like to welcome guest author Sarah Gurung today!! She’s sharing her dining experiences at World Premiere Food Court during a Walt Disney World family vacation. Savories and sweets, read on!

Hello, Disney food lovers! My family of three (with one on the way) returned from a magical trip to the World, and it is my pleasure to bring you a review of All-Star Movies’ food court, thematically called the World Premiere Food Court.

Our party of three included my husband (decidedly not picky), my five-year-old (decidedly five-years-old), and myself (decidedly hungry all the time); and we managed to eat at the resort more times than I anticipated. Typically, we ate dinner here after a long day at the parks, famished and exhausted.

World Premiere Food Court

World Premiere Food Court

We were on a modified quick service dining plan, which allotted us one meal per person per night. Being moderately frugal, we decided to stretch this plan as far as we could by sharing meals. We often substituted a drink and/or a dessert in order to supplement with additional sides, and this was never a problem for the cast members at check-out. They all seemed well-versed in the Plan and good-naturedly accommodated these substitutions.

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Review: Mickey Oreo Cheesecake at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

We found the cutest treat at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot’s The Land Pavilion!

The Land is the huge building at the back of the park that houses Soarin’, Living with the Land, and the beloved counter service spot Sunshine Seasons! The counter-service restaurant has a great selection of meals including an oak-grilled station with oak-grilled salmon, sandwich station (wraps included!), and even an Asian grill station, where you can find fan-favorite Mongolian Beef and Fried Rice!

As if that weren’t reason enough to visit Sunshine Seasons, you can also find some ah-mazing treats like our favorites the warm peanut butter brownie and the strawberry shortcake.

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie at Sunshine Seasons

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie at Sunshine Seasons

But today we found a new addition to the dessert section — this Mickey Oreo Cheesecake!

Mickey Oreo Cheesecake

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Guest Review: Disneyland’s Pasta in the Park for Avengers Half Marathon Weekend

Welcome DFB Reader Megan Figuly today with a guest review of Pasta in the Park at Disneyland!

On Friday, Nov. 13 I attended the Pasta in the Park Party for the Avengers Half Marathon weekend. The event was held at Big Thunder Ranch in the Disneyland Park.

Big Thunder Ranch

Big Thunder Ranch

Atmosphere

Beginning at 7 p.m., guests with pre-purchased tickets were allowed in. The area was tented and had long rows of tables set
up. A DJ played music and asked Avengers trivia questions. In the back were two lines for character meet and greets: in one line was Hawkeye and Black Widow; in the other — Thor and Captain America.

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Review: Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Time to head on over to Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!

OK, so I’ve had a couple of really good meals here in the past couple of years, and they almost made up for the less-than-stellar meals I’d had at this Signature Restaurant in the years prior.

But, based on my last visit, Artist Point may be on the way back down the ladder when it comes to my recommended fancy dining spots in Disney World. Let’s take a look… .

Atmosphere

If you’ve ever visited Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, then you are familiar with the decor here. Enter into the lobby of the hotel, and you are transported to Pacific Northwest hideaway. Lots of Arts and Crafts touches echo that sentiment, and Artist Point refines the aesthetic.

artist point wilderness lodge

Glass Sign at the Entrance

Where natural wood and stone and warm hues dominate most of the resort, here, you see a lighter touch. Walls are painted a warm white, and woodwork has been whitewashed. The overall feel is much less “lodge-y” and rustic than the rest of the resort — more of a “wide open spaces” kind of vibe.

artist point

Seating

Seating is comfortable, with high-backed, generously padded chairs. The views here are normally quite lovely, as the windows look out over the grounds and the lake.

Beautiful View

Beautiful View

I say “normally” because the evening I visited, all of the windows were blocked by a frosted film, presumably to block the view of the construction taking place below. While I understand that it was necessary, it was kind of a bummer to be seated by a window with no view. (But I still wanted you to see the view, so I’m sharing pics from a previous visit.)

View

View

Murals reside high above the dining room, and depict sweeping panoramas of national parklands. They are the work of celebrated artist Thomas Moran, well known for his “larger-than-life interpretations of the West during the late 1800s.”

Mural

Mural

The colors are gorgeous!

Mural

Mural

Smaller paintings also cover the walls, and are inspired by the work of Albert Bierstadt, who sketched landscapes of the Shoshone Indian country in 1859.

Overall, the restaurant is subdued and understated under its soaring ceilings, and I absolutely love the expansive view of Bay Lake (when you can see them).

Eats

Because Artist Point is a signature restaurant at Disney, you can expect that the menu will change here frequently — sometimes daily or weekly. I checked, and several of the items that we ordered aren’t on the menu right now. Still, you may see them again in the future, and they certainly still give you an idea of the type of food served here.

Appetizers Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Appetizers Menu — Click to Enlarge

The menu theme is Pacific Northwest, so you usually see a mix of seafood and some interesting game meats. There’s normally a buffalo and/or venison option, and you’re likely to encounter some Pan-Asian influences.

Entrees Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Entrees Menu — Click to Enlarge

We began the evening with a customary Bread Basket, served with Butter sprinkled with Black Salt. These were standard, but quite good.

Bread and Butter

Bread and Butter

I decided to begin my dinner my customary bowl of [Read more…]

Review: Tutto Gusto in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

It’s time once again to look in on one of my favorite “hidden” spots in Epcot — Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar!

Tutto Gusto, located on the left as you travel through the Italy Pavilion toward Via Napoli at the back, hasn’t been open for very long. But in the short span of three years, Tutto Gusto has become a part of the fabric of World Showcase.

With its commitment to offering small plates that feature authentic Italian cuisine, Tutto Gusto has continued to be a DFB favorite. But you know me — I’m never content to continue recommending a spot unless I know for sure that it still  deserves to be recommended!

So, in the name of research, a friend and I headed there to grab a light dinner during a recent visit to Walt Disney World. We tried some new things and revisited some favorites. Let’s check it out.

Atmosphere

Although the sign for Tutto Gusto is perched high and prominent, it’s still sort of easy to miss it if you aren’t looking for it. You may mistake it for another entrance to neighboring Tutto Italia, if you notice it at all.

Tutto Italia and Gusto Wine Cellar

Tutto Italia and Gusto Wine Cellar

The entrance sits back a little, but Cast Members are usually flanking the door, and you’ll also notice the menus posted outside. Pay attention and you’ll find it.

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar

Walk in and (after your eyes adjust to the darkened area) you’ll notice that the bar is front and center, serving as the small venue’s main feature.

Gusto Bar

Gusto Bar

Wine is king here, but you’ll also find an increasingly interesting array of Italian craft beers. Tutto Gusto also offers a full liquor bar. Check out the Italian-inspired cocktail menu, or order your favorite. Whatever you’re looking for, they can make it.

Gusto Bar

Gusto Bar

Because this is a wine bar, however, much of the real estate is given over to vino. Amuse yourself as you wait by checking out the ever-changing variety of Italian wines that are available by the glass or bottle.

Wine Fridge

Wine Fridge

Wine Fridge

Wine Fridge

But Tutto Gusto has more to offer than just beverages. From the get go, I prized this spot for their amazing array of small plates. There’s a display of some of the offerings to whet your appetite.

Antipasti Showcase at Tutto Gusto

Antipasti Showcase at Tutto Gusto

As is usually the case when you’re dining anywhere in the Disney universe, be sure to look up! The details of a spot usually include some really cool lighting, and Gusto is no exception.

Wine Bottle Lighting

Wine Bottle Lighting

You will find that Tutto Gusto can reach capacity rather easily — hence those Cast Members stationed at the doors. There isn’t a ton of seating here, but what you do find is rustic, cozy, and fairly comfortable. It is a little “close”, however, so if you prize privacy or personal space, you may want to look at the couch options.

Gusto Table

Gusto Table

Speaking of…you’ll find more comfy seating flanking the fireplace, another nice focal point in the small space.

Gusto Fireplace Area

Gusto Fireplace Area

Tables and stools here are low and well padded. It’s a great place to relax and catch up with friends, or to just take a breather from the bright sunshine.

Fireplace Area Seating at Tutto Gusto

Fireplace Area Seating at Tutto Gusto

And it truly is a beautiful location. Personally, I think they hit the themeing out of the park. Don’t you love the brick ceiling?

Tutto Gusto Seating

Tutto Gusto Seating

Having shown you around, I’m ready to get down to the serious business of [Read more…]

DFB Exclusive! 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Sweet Corn Cheesecake from the Mexico Marketplace

AAAAAH!! I am so excited to share this DFB exclusive!

We may have closed the books on the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, but we’re still reliving the memories of one of the best Festivals we remember from recent years! And, NO JOKE, I get emails, tweets, facebook messages, what-have-you EVERY SINGLE DAY from readers asking me for the recipe for the Sweet Corn Cheesecake, the dessert item featured at this year’s Mexico Marketplace Booth.

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

The sweet, rich, creamy dessert was the perfect marriage of the familiar and the unexpected for our readers, and everyone’s all about figuring out how to make it at home.

Sweet Corn Cheesecake -- Cross Section

Sweet Corn Cheesecake — Cross Section

Well, the wait is over! Thanks to the super generous and ever accommodating Chef Gerardo Gonzalez (a.k.a. Chef Jerry), who oversees all of the restaurants in the Mexico Pavilion (and who I may have bugged a little incessantly about giving me this recipe…and the one for the amazing Crema de Elote at La Hacienda de San Angel…still waiting on that one, Chef Jerry…), for sharing it with us and allowing us to print it for you lot!

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Mexico Marketplace Booth

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

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Review: Pumpkin Cheesecake and Pecan Pie Tart at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Autumn waning, and the Winter Holidays just around the corner, we couldn’t resist offering you one last beautiful, delicious look at this colorful season.

Fortunately, a trip to The Mara provided a couple of great options to celebrate the season.

Autumn Chocolate Pecan Tart

Having enjoyed lunch in the Parks, I decided to drop by The Mara and see what was new in the pastry case. I was excited to see lots of Fall colors and flavors! The first sweet that caught my eye was this Autumn-Themed Chocolate Pecan Tart.

The bold colors of the Chocolate Garnish were the perfect complement for the season. And I was intrigued by the obvious color in the Whipped Cream that topped the Tart.

Autumn Pecan Tart

Autumn Chocolate Pecan Tart

Cutting into the Tart, it was obvious that this was a rich, moist pecan pie filling — nothing dry about this!

Pecan Tart -- Cross Section

Chocolate Pecan Tart — Cross Section

And the cinnamon-y and buttery flavors were perfect together. I think the whipped cream was [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: New Treats at the Jolly Holiday Bakery

Spending some time at Disneyland?  Head on down Main Street USA and take a pit stop at Jolly Holiday.  There are some delicious new treats that have been recently added the bakery case.

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Mary Poppins and her penguins have obviously been busy in the kitchen.  There are several new baked goods in the case, all which look practically perfect in every way.  Most of these new treats are fruity flavors, which are my biggest weakness. I’d choose fruity over chocolate any day (GASP, I know!)…  I ordered 5 different new treats and hope to go back soon for the ones I missed. But for now, here’s a little sampling of the new offerings.

New Treats in the Bakery Case

New Treats in the Bakery Case

Let’s start with the Mickey Macarons.  These were rumored to be hitting Disneyland quite some time ago and appear to be very different than the macarons featured at Walt Disney World.  (Note that in Disney World, the signage on these was Mickey “Macaroon”; yes, we’ve had the “macaroon vs. macaron” definition discussion on the food blog many times before and it just doesn’t seem to be consistent across the Disney parks ;-D.) I’m not sure why it took so long, but HERE THEY ARE!  Priced at $4.99, the Mickey Macarons are very generously sized.  As of now they come in two fruity flavors; Passion Fruit and Raspberry Rose.

The Passion Fruit Mickey Macaron was very sweet; passion fruit cream sandwiched between two super soft Mickey Macarons.  I love the metallic purple swipe across the top.  I know it’s just decorative, but I’m a sucker for shine and sparkle. Especially purple shine and sparkle AND especially when it’s edible!

Passion Fruit Mickey Macaron

Passion Fruit Mickey Macaron

The Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron was

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