Guest Review: Dinner at Palo Aboard Disney Cruise Line’s Fantasy Cruise Ship

Ahoy to Rachel Gardner! She brings us a delicious review of the exclusive table-service restaurant, Palo, aboard the Disney Fantasy.

Atmosphere

Warm tones of reds, greens, and taupes; elegant wood paneling; large spacious dining rooms with sweeping ocean views; the smell of Italian food wafting from the plates around you as you make your way to your table: this is Palo.

A warm chandelier welcomes diners!

Meaning pole in Italian, Palo is named after the pole to which the gondoliers tie up the gondola when docking.

Palo’s Dining Room

Sweeping ocean views create a serene [Read more…]

Photo Tour! Re-Imagined Restaurants and Lounges on the Disney Magic Cruise Ship!

Remember when we told you that the Disney Magic cruise ship was about to get a full makeover?? Well, today we have an awesome photo tour for you!!

The Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The Disney Magic – The original cruise ship of the Disney Cruise Line – first set sail in 1998. Fifteen years later, she has just launched again after a lengthy stay in dry-dock where she spent her time being “re-imagined.”

Re-imagining is more than simply being refurbished or refreshed. Some spaces around the ship were entirely redesigned while others were enhanced. She sure is a beauty!

Disney Magic

Since the re-imagined areas are primarily public spaces, this, of course, means that some of the dining areas and adult lounges were re-imagined or refreshed as well! Though some spaces, already timeless, remained unchanged or just refreshed.

Let’s have a look inside this amazing vessel and see what’s new!

Carioca’s

The biggest update to the dining scene on the Disney Magic is the addition of Carioca’s.

Carioca's Entrance

What was previously Parrot Cay now pays homage to one of Donald Duck’s [Read more…]

Review: Shula’s Steak House at the Walt Disney World Dolphin

If you love steak like I love steak, then you are going to enjoy today’s review, my friend.

Today we’re FINALLY headed back for a classic meat-stravaganza at Shula’s Steak House! Seriously, it’s been way too long since I’ve reviewed this place.

Located steps away from the International Gateway entrance to Epcot, Shula’s is one of the superb restaurants that call the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort home. To be more specific, you’ll find this fine dining spot in — you guessed it — the Dolphin. (Get it? Don Shula? At the Dolphin? I knew you would.)

Let’s head inside the wood-paneled walls to see if the steaks and sides here are just as good as I remember!

Atmosphere

Step into Shula’s and you’ve entered a decidedly masculine domain. With dark wood walls, rich colors, and very low lighting (no joke; the servers have flashlights for you to read the menu sometimes), you feel as though you’re in an exclusive club dining here.

And just like many other Disney restaurants, Shula’s is “themed!”

Seating Along the Back Wall and Giant Picture of Coach Shula

This place is all about The Miami Dolphins’ 1972 “Perfect Season!” Now those of us who are true Buffalo Bills fans and still, in our (utterly broken) heart of hearts, despise the Dolphins…well, we have to come to a decision on how much we love steak to eat here. Me? I really love steak. I love the Bills. But I love steak.

Anyway, large photos from the 1972 team are lavishly framed throughout the comfortable dining room, so you can’t really escape them.

Two Top Seating

And speaking of steak, another prime decor element in the restaurant is the plaque displaying the proud members of Shula’s 48-Ounce Club. To have your name engraved on the plaque, just finish a 48-Ounce Porterhouse. Are you up for the challenge?

Seating with Steak Club Plaque

While I wasn’t quite sure we were up for making ourselves famous, we were quite hungry… Let’s get to the menu!

Eats

OK, so this kind of cracks me up, but it shows that the restaurant — though very high end — doesn’t take itself too seriously.

While you’ll get an actual menu, too, the main Shula’s cut steaks are hand painted on an official NFL game football. So while it might seem a little, well, odd to be handed a football when you’re preparing to order dinner, it all sort of makes sense. ;-)

Football Menu

Soon after you start looking at your football, it’s time of a bit of Shula’s education. In addition to [Read more…]

Walt Disney Ate Here: The Tam O’ Shanter

Located just a few miles away from the Disney Studios in Burbank, The Tam O’ Shanter is Los Angeles’ oldest restaurant that has remained in the same location under the same ownership and management since 1922.

AND Walt Disney ate here. A lot. 

The Tam O’ Shanter was very close to Walt’s Hyperion Studio when it opened. He frequented the restaurant so often that is was commonly referred to as the “studio commissary.”

The Tam O' Shanter

After seeing Beauty and the Beast in 3D at the Disney Studios, my family and I decided head over to The Tam O’ Shanter to check it out — and possibly sit where Walt once sat, Table 31. 

Atmosphere

I made us a reservation, which I highly recommend as the restaurant does get fairly busy. I even requested Table 31. Since it was dark, my pictures really don’t do the building justice. The restaurant looks like a quaint cottage located smack in the middle of a busy Los Feliz Boulevard.

The Tam O' Shanter

The entrance is guarded by a robust lion statue, and an old phone booth stands just to the left of him. As you enter the lobby area, you feel as though you’ve stepped through a time portal… [Read more…]

Guest Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival 3D Disney’s Dessert Discovery

Sweet! Let’s welcome MealTrip as he shares a review of this year’s 3D Disney’s Dessert Discovery, one of several special events held at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival. This year, the event introduced a new upgrade called Sweet Seats. Take it away!

The 3D Disney’s Dessert Discovery event is a ticketed dessert extravaganza held in the World ShowPlace in Epcot, and capped off with specialty viewing of the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show. Cost of this event is $55 per person.

Chocolate Art at the Disney Dessert Discovery

As the Discovery enters it’s sophomore year, we welcome the introduction of “Sweet Seats.” This additional upgrade ($25 extra) elevates your party from the mass of sweet-seeking attendees waiting patiently behind the closed doors of the World ShowPlace Pavilion and places you squarely into a private reserved table with your name on it (literally), a full 15 minutes before the official start of the event.

Sweet Seats Signage

Check-In and Atmosphere

If you don’t mind waiting in a tight huddle with a few hundred soon-to-be acquaintances, the Sweet Seats upgrade really is just an option, and not needed to fully enjoy this abundant dessert extravaganza.

The 3DDD event by itself is one of the most economical ways to get inside the World ShowPlace Pavilion, and if you have never been inside for a Party for the Senses (review coming soon!) or other private event, it’s a very unique space worth experiencing at least once.

Outside World Showplace

The check-in queue for the event begins on the World Showcase Lagoon side of the main walkway, just past Off Kilter’s stage in Epcot’s Canada. If you have purchased the Sweet Seats upgrade, your check-in is [Read more…]

Adventures by Disney Meets Disney Cruise Line: A Private Meal at Palo

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster takes us with her on her summer vacation, European travel — Disney style. This was a three-part trip which included two Adventures by Disney packages (Barcelona Escape and Mediterranean Magic), plus a Mediterranean cruise on the Disney Magic, all sandwiched together. Her trip of a lifetime included culture, relaxation, breathtaking scenery, and of course, plenty of food.

My recent Mediterranean Magic Adventures by Disney trip was slightly different than most. While the lunches and daytime excursions were completely run by Adventures by Disney (AbD), our lodging for the evening was not a hotel.

Instead we spent the night sailing and sleeping aboard the Disney Magic cruise ship. This meant that our dinners took place in the regular Magic restaurants. Most dinners were spent with our individual families rather than the group. However, one evening our guides, James and Dusty, treated the adults in the group to an amazing private meal at Palo, the ship’s most deluxe dining venue.

Palo place setting.

Atmosphere

This happened to be my first meal at Palo so, while I had read several reviews of the restaurant here on Disney Food Blog, I didn’t fully know what to expect.

Based on the dress-code, I had anticipated an ultra-lush atmosphere like the Grand Floridian’s Victoria and Albert’s. However, while the room and mood were lovely, they were more in step with [Read more…]

Disney Dream Recipe: Chocolate Souffle

Souffle with Vanilla Gelato and Chocolate and Vanilla Sauces

When I sailed on the January Christening Cruise and completed the Disney Dream Dine Around, the dessert at Palo was a highlight. Here’s the recipe so that you can try it at home!

Where to Find It

The Chocolate Souffle is the popular dessert created at Palo aboard the Disney Dream. Palo is the adults-only restaurant that requires reservations.

Here’s the recipe…

How to Make It

Chocolate Souffle
Serves 6

3 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the soufflé cups
6 tablespoons sugar, plus more for dusting the soufflé cups
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa
2 ounces (2/3 cup) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted
4 eggs, separated

Vanilla Sauce (recipe follows) [Read more…]