News: Opening Day, Reservation Date, and Menu for Trattoria al Forno on Disney’s BoardWalk

While we recently bid farewell to Kouzzina at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, we can soon welcome Trattoria al Forno to the Disney World restaurant list.

Disney's BoardWalk

Disney’s BoardWalk

Set to open on December 18, 2014, this BoardWalk restaurant will add yet another Italian eatery to the Disney line-up. The menu includes handcrafted mozzarella (made daily), fresh cavatelli pasta, and pizzas made in the wood-burning oven. Take a look at the full menu below… .

Trattoria Menu

Trattoria al Forno Menu

Dishes will include Uncle Pats Pickled Peppers, Meatball Cannelloni Basil, Lasagna Bolognese, and Chicken Parmesan. The pics below come to us from the Disney Parks Blog.

Trattoria Dinner Entrees

Trattoria Dinner Entrees

Trattoria al Forno will serve [Read more…]

Review: Tony’s Town Square at Magic Kingdom

Time for a visit to a great little table service stop in the heart of all the magic — Tony’s Town Square in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!

This spot has it all — Disney history, beautiful themeing, and if you play your cards right, some of the best views in the entire resort!

But while I love the restaurant itself, the food hasn’t always been the main draw in the past.

We’re checking in today for lunch to see what’s new, and if my love affair with that the patio seating remains firmly intact!


Tony’s is located right on the Town Square (natch) of Magic Kingdom — as soon as you pass below the train station and enter Main Street USA. You can’t miss it.

Tony's Sign

Pass by the Town Square Theater where you can meet Mickey, and you’re there!

Tony's Entrance

Inside, you’ll check in at the hostess stand and await your table. While a walk up spot isn’t unheard of, it’s best to make an advance dining reservation here — especially if you’d like to take advantage of Tony’s biggest draw. We’ll get to that in a few minutes.

Tony's Check-In

The waiting area was given a bit of a refresh last year, when the Town Square Theater opened as the new spot for Mickey’s meet-and-greet.

The space retains its turn-of-the-century charm, but the finishes are newer. You’ll also get your first dose of the restaurant’s star characters and theme! The animated classic Lady and the Tramp plays continually on the flat screen television.

Tony's Waiting Area

Once your table is ready, you’ll be shown to one of three main seating areas. The restaurant is [Read more…]

Guest Review: Royal Court Aboard the Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship

It’s time to step aboard the Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship! Today, guest author Rachel Gardner brings us a wonderful review from the princess-themed Royal Court — one of the rotational dining restaurants on this gorgeous Disney Cruise Line ship.


The Royal Court Restaurant on Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Fantasy, is a princess haven!

The restaurant has the princess concept refined to its most basic elegance. This sophisticated restaurant located on Deck 3, adjacent to the lobby, reflects each princess through unique and breathtaking mosaics!

The stroke of midnight!

There are two rooms set off from the main dining hall with even more princess décor including beautiful (they look hand-painted!) plates.

Beauty and the Beast Plates.

One of the two rooms is dedicated to The Princess and the Frog, with large tiled mosaics on the walls.

The Princess and the Frog!

Princess motifs adorn the restaurant as well. They are so subtle, yet I made it my personal mission to try to spot the unexpected.

Chandelier in lobby area - notice the crowns on top!

Carriage lamps - I want one!

Rose patterned carpet.

The music that plays throughout the restaurants includes songs from classic [Read more…]

Review: Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

Today, it’s time to check back in on one of Disney’s more hidden eateries — Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

As I’ve observed before (and many of you have agreed), you just never know what you’re going to get when you dine at Mama Melrose’s. Sometimes it’s mundane, and sometimes it’s great — and it’s the “greats” that keep me going back for more! What will it be today? Here we go!


Not much has changed in the atmosphere department since my last trip to Mama’s. We were greeted with the same general decor that we found on previous visits: warm, cozy, inviting, and slightly bizarre.

Atmosphere in Waiting Area

…The story goes that Mama came west from Italy to make her name in Hollywood. While the actress fame didn’t pan out, she opened her “Ristorante Italiano” and gained a place in the heart of her new city that way! And so, the interior reflects the journey from Italy all the way to Hollywood. Though I feel like there’s a hearty helping of New York City’s Little Italy in there, too.

Show Kitchen

We arrived on time for our Spring Break reservation, but we had a bit of a wait before our table was ready. (Full disclosure — I asked for one of the rare window-side tables so that my photos would come out a bit better, so that might have been why the wait was longer).

While we waited, the kitchen staff were busily assembling [Read more…]

DIY Disney: Mama Melrose’s Chicken Parmesan

Today, Chef Big Fat Panda’s DIY Disney Recipes column brings us a fan favorite today! Mama Melrose’s Chicken Parmesan! Take it away, Chef!

Mickey's Ready to Make Some Chicken!

Hello! Chef BigFatPanda here!

Again, I apologize for not posting in quite some time. My friends know the reason, and I’d like to open up to you about it as well. My Mom was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in January of this year. She passed away on August 28th. As you may have read, she was very influential in my life (as most mothers are), but even more so when it came to her passion for cooking.

While life will never be the same, it does go on. Her name was Anna, and all prayers for her are most appreciated. I know she would love knowing she was mentioned here. Thank you!

Today we are going to make an Oven-Baked Chicken Parmesan from Mama Melrose’s at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Let’s face it, most of us go weak at the knees for a good chicken parmesan, no? I know I do. I’m always looking for that crunchy outside, tender inside and balance of cheese and sauce that can even make my non-Italian friends ask for more.

Well, look no further. If you have been reading my column, you know I tell it like it is and I can absolutely give you my seal of approval on this recipe and then some (with a few alterations). :-)

Table at Mama Melrose's in Disney's Hollywood Studios

As usual, the recipe’s instructions will be bolded for easy reference should you wish to print this out and skip my commentary. I’d like you to NOT do that since I am turning 40 in a few weeks and relish my dwindling relevancy. :-)

There really are 2 parts to this recipe: you first create the breadcrumb mixture, then actually [Read more…]

Guest Review: Palo Brunch on the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Welcome guest author Vikki Hurley-Schubert with a review of brunch at Palo on the Disney Wonder (Alaska Style)!

Vikki and her husband with friends!

Brunch at Palo is a must-do for us when onboard any one of the Disney Cruise Line ships. So, we were excited for our brunch while aboard the inaugural Alaskan cruise earlier this month and delighted in every morsel we tasted.

The highlight of the meal for me was the strawberry soup – I must confess, I did have two – one during brunch and one for dessert! It was a fragrant, rich, bright strawberry flavor and a rich magenta color with a minty background. It wasn’t too creamy or watery either – it tasted like fresh picked strawberries!

Strawberry Soup

Before our entrees arrived, we hit the tables of seafood, cheeses and fruit. The shrimp were cooked perfectly as were the crab legs. My husband loved the salmon, salmon mousse and cheeses. The asparagus wrapped in prosciutto were [Read more…]

Guest Review: The Pinocchio Village Haus

Let’s welcome back guest reviewer Bill Iadonisi with another insightful and delicious Disney World restaurant review! Bill travels to the Magic Kingdom’s The Pinocchio Village Haus this week, so let’s tag along. Take it away, Bill!

Hello again Food Blog readers! We are back on track reviewing Disney’s amazing array of Counter-service restaurants. This week we mosey over to the Magic Kingdom again, Fantasyland to be exact, and explore another of my favorite watering holes, The Pinocchio Village Haus.

This eatery, like everything else in Disney, is richly themed and has a very interesting back story. So before I begin to explore the cuisine, I would like to acquaint all with this interesting story:

Atmosphere and Story
As all fans know, Pinocchio is the tale of a puppet that comes to life and becomes a real boy when he proves himself truthful, brave and able to tell right from wrong. This story is set in Italy. In fact the name “Pinocchio” in Italian means “Pine Eyes.”

Pinocchio's Village Haus

But the Pinocchio Village Haus has more of a German motif than Italian; even the word “Haus” is German. Why? You can blame Disney chief Illustrator Gustaf Tenggren, who after being hired by Disney in 1936 was given the task of imparting an “Old World” look to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

This influence rolled over into the film Pinocchio, where Old World German architecture won out over [Read more…]

Guest Review: Tony’s Town Square

Cody, who writes the fantastic Global Disney Pinvestigation Blog, is back with another guest review! This time, he visited Tony’s Town Square in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Take it away, Cody!

Entering from the Turn-Of-The-Century Main Street USA I wondered how the theme of the restaurant would fit with the theme of the surrounding street. As it turns out, my inquiries were quickly put to rest. The restaurant is themed after the restaurant from the 1955 Disney Animated Movie, the Lady and the Tramp, and after researching a bit I realized that Lady and the Tramp takes place in early 1900s. So of course the theme fits nicely with the surrounding area.

Tony's Front Patio

Welcome to Tony's

Upon arriving, we were early (like normal), and we waited for about one minute in the waiting area, which is a small lounge/living area with a small T.V. (which shows Lady and the Tramp non-stop). The waiting area wasn’t themed to Lady and the Tramp, but it [Read more…]

A Cozy Meal at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

This post is in honor of‘s “Disney’s Hollywood Studios Awareness Week,” so…be aware! ;-)

Mama Melrose Lobby Decor

I’ve mentioned on the blog before before that I’ve never truly understood the theme of Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. According to the storyline, Mama Melrose came to the United States from Italy, but wanted to become a Hollywood star. Moving to California, she didn’t “make it” as an actress, so she opened a restaurant, decorated it as a shrine to all things Hollywood, and started serving her Italian family favorites.

So, although the story is a bit thin for Disney in my opinion, it’s still fun to wander around the restaurant to see how they’ve carried off the Italy-meets-California theme. The dark wood and red [Read more…]