Tips from the DFB Guide: Should I Book a Disney Character Meal?

Dining at Walt Disney World is very often an experience rather than just a meal. It’s become a rite of passage to dine with characters during a visit to Disney — and there’s stiff competition to secure Advance Dining Reservations at some of these table-service restaurants.

Mickey strikes a pose!

Meeting Cinderella, rubbing Pooh’s tummy, hugging Mickey Mouse, and posing with Chip and Dale are some of the memorable moments that can be discovered while dining at Character Meals.

Tigger Lounges and Signs an Autograph Book at the Plaza Inn

But is a character meal right for your group? On one hand, adults and kids alike enjoy meeting characters from Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood, Cinderella’s Castle, and more! Yet on the other, character meals can be costly — both in time and money!

We’ve been to countless meals in which Disney characters hobnob with guests, and now we can help you determine if a character meal fits well into your next Disney vacation!

Chef Mickey serves up fun and food at the Contemporary Resort!

In our The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book, we have an informative section on character meals. Pick up your copy here for an extra $4 off using code 2013 for a limited time! Your vacation is an investment and we want you to have the best trip possible!

So let’s take a look at whether a character meal makes sense for YOUR family…

Should I book a character meal?

Let’s get right to some important dining considerations that we’ve included in the DFB Guide to help you plan your meals.

Meet the princesses at a character meal!

1. Do you have kids who may be afraid of characters?

Character meals can be a good place for children to get to know the Disney characters. However if one (or more) of your children are not fond of the characters then consider dining at a restaurant with a fun theme instead.

Not sure if your kiddo hates characters? Here’s how to find out without too much trauma: [Read more…]

Guest Review: Cinderella’s Royal Table Dinner

Welcome back guest author Katie McFarland as she takes us to Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom!

Cinderella’s Royal Table is one of my favorite restaurants in Disney World. The main reason for this is obvious: it’s in a castle (duh!).

With that said, the food is also (usually) fantastic and appropriately portion controlled!

Let’s take a look inside…

Atmosphere

The restaurant entrance is located inside the castle walkway directly across from the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. You have to check in at the hostess booth in front of the door to gain access to the restaurant.

Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom!

Beautiful Mural!

Beware!: Don’t arrive too early (more than 15 minutes) or they will not let you in! My husband and I learned that the hard way and we had to kill time in Sir Mickey’s (oh darn!).

Restaurant's Check-In Podium and Entrance.

Once you enter the castle, you are treated to an opulent foyer complete with: knight in shining armor, tapestries, grand chandeliers, stained glass windows featuring the birds from Cinderella, and of course: Jaq and Gus.

Jaq and Gus

While in the foyer, each party is treated to a photo op with Cinderella as part of their meal package. And then comes the *gong*gong*gong* announcing the dining party that will be escorted in the dining area of the restaurant.

They probably do this to keep nosy neighbors like me out of the restaurant and from awkwardly [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Great Disney World Restaurants for Boys

Much fuss is made about the ballyhooed princess dining experiences at Disney World. So much fuss, that parents of young boys sometimes find themselves wondering, “What does Disney have that’s special for me?”

The down and dirty dino loving boy will be right at home at the T-Rex Cafe.

Well, never fear sports fans; I’m here to tell you that while, yes, the girly girls are pretty visible in the parks (it’s hard to miss the Florida sun glinting off a tiara), there are plenty of Disney dining experiences where the men in your family will feel right at home.

Let’s break it down …

Character Meals

There are 10 different character dining venues at Walt Disney World proper. Of these, only three and a half of them have princess themeing. The rest are totally gender-neutral.

Boys are certainly welcome at any of the princess meals, and many boys love them just as much as the other character meals (PLUS they’re given a neato plastic sword at the Royal Table); but honestly, they do skew more heavily toward girl interests.

All of the other character dining restaurants appeal equally to boys and girls. Your best options for boys in the character dining department are the following (characters are always subject to change): [Read more…]

Disney Restaurant Photo Packages Now Part Of PhotoPass+. Is It Worth It?

We can’t wait to share some of the great new dining info that you’ll find in our updated e-Book — The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012! In honor of the grand launch, let’s dig in!

New PhotoPass+ Option

For starters, we’ll take a look at the recently released PhotoPass+ option! It’s a new way to get all of your PhotoPass, Disney Attraction, and Dining photos in one handy package. But is it worth it just because it gives you access to your dining photos?

A Photo Package at Cinderella's Royal Table. Add Your Family Here.

Of course we analyzed this for you! The $199.95 package can be a good option for guests that hail down lots of PhotoPass photographers or tend to really want to show folks back home what they looked like on Test Track, however it’s not [Read more…]

News! A Sweet New Addition to Cinderella’s Royal Table

Thanks to the folks at Mega_Bites for sharing this awesome news with us on twitter!

Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World has added a new item to the menu: Breakfast Bread Pudding!

This looks a heck of a lot like dessert to me, but, then again, so did my stuffed french toast when I ate there!

Breakfast Bread Pudding at Cinderella's Royal Table

According to the source, this includes bread pudding, Mascarpone, chocolate shavings, and fresh berries. Yum!!

As always, stay up to date on the latest Disney Food news by checking out our always-updated Disney Food News Pinboard!!

Have you tried this new menu item at Cinderella’s Royal Table? Let us know what your favorite menu item is in the Castle!

Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 22, 2012

Did the Frito Kid have a hand in inventing Doritos?

Lots of Disney food news popped up this week, including lovely, flavorful things like wine, chocolate, caramel, coffee, cake, and more!!

Plus, we’ve found some seriously interesting posts to share with you — did you know that Doritos may have been invented in Disneyland?? Check it out…

Treat Yourself to Updated Disney Food News

For more decadent food news, stop by our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis — even little stuff that you might not see in a full post on the blog! Worth a look… :-)

DFB Disney Dining Adventures e-Book

Have you read our newest Disney Food Blog e-Book?

DFB Disney Dining Adventures includes over 80 pages of pre-planned food fun to add to your family’s plans on your next trip! Let us do the planning for you — all you need to do is have a blast!

Want a day full of Dole Whips or a day planned for a Princess? Perhaps you have a dino fan in the family — we’ve got two days of pre-planned Jurassic-sized fun! And if you’re traveling with the grown-ups, check out our full two-day Beer Adventure!

The e-Book includes:

  • Fully themed strategies that cover one day, two days, or a full week
  • Themed breakfast, lunch, and dinner suggestions
  • Disney attraction and ride suggestions that complement each Adventure theme
  • Our favorite snacks that are within easy access during each Adventure
  • Historical and behind-the-scenes tips and details that make the Adventure come alive!
  • Plus more bonus sections!

You can check out sample pages and even more details here! Or get your instantly downloadable copy right here! Use code: ADVENTURE for a $2 discount!!

On to the Round-Up!

AKL Resort takes us to the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa at Kidani Village. Try the yummy Naan bread!

OC Weekly investigates the origins of Doritos? There may be a Disneyland connection!

Main St. Gazette clearly agrees with me that the Picnic Burger is a slam dunk at Disney World’s Sci Fi Dine-In! Woo!

WDW Parkhoppers heads to dinner at the Polynesian’s Kona Cafe.

MousePlanet reviews the story behind Mama Melrose’s at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

DisneyParks Blog shares favorite healthy eats at Walt Disney World.

News! Cinderella’s Royal Table Offers “Her Royal Highness” Package

Now that you’ve scored that coveted Advance Dining Reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table, there’s a new package available for your little princesses.

Give your princess the royal treatment with the Her Royal Highness Package. Upon your arrival, a Princess balloon centerpiece, crystal-adorned tiara, and an exclusive princess-themed cake (prepared by the Royal Chefs at Cinderella’s) will be found at your table.

The six-inch vanilla or chocolate cake can be decorated with Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, or Tiana! The package is currently priced at $112.05 including tax and gratuity.

Cake choices at Cinderella's. Click image for larger version.

Cinderella Stained Glass Window Seen From Staircase at Cinderella's Royal Table

To order this exclusive package, inquire about a Fairytale Engagement, or to learn more about the special enhancements available, call [Read more…]

Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Party for the Senses

So this is pretty exciting — I finally got to attend a Party for the Senses at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

For those who aren’t sure what I’m talking about (I know — “Party for the Senses” can sound a bit odd!), the Party for the Senses is held most Saturdays during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival each year. This exclusive event impresses the taste buds, of course, but it also aims to awaken all of your senses. During this 2 1/2 hour extravaganza, food and beverages flow freely as awe-inspiring entertainment is performed by Cirque du Soleil, La Nouba.

Party for the Senses at World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

There are two more parties being offered this year — November 5, and November 12 — for $145 per ticket (plus you’ll need Epcot park admission). Note that the Wine View Lounge upgrade, which includes private tables ($260) is sold out. Reservations can be made at 407-WDW-FEST or at Disneyworld.com/foodandwine.

Interestingly, the artfully prepared menus (including chefs and vinters) change, so your party may not have the same offerings as the one that we attended.

Now that we have the specs out of the way, let’s get into the meat of the night!

Atmosphere

We attended the Party for the Senses during the “Deluge of 2011,” as I like to call it. That’s right; we got all gussied up and sloshed over to Epcot on October 8th. When we arrived at the World Showplace [Read more…]

Celebrate with a Chocolate Cinderella Slipper

There are plenty of ways to celebrate with dining at Walt Disney World. And especially fitting for little princesses, romantic couples and chocolate-lovers, the Cinderella Slipper Dessert is a decadent way to celebrate your special occasion. This dessert is exceptionally rich, and I suggest ordering one to share!

Celebrate Like Cinderella

Indulge on the chocolate slipper at Cinderella’s Royal Table, the Grand Floridian’s table-service restaurants (Citricos, 1900 Park Fare, Grand Floridian Cafe, Narcoossee’s, Victoria and Albert’s), or during afternoon tea at the Garden View Lounge overlooking the beautiful GF courtyard.

For guests dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom, your slipper special-order will be a white or dark chocolate “glass” slipper filled to the brim (and beyond) with chocolate mousse. A raspberry coulis and fresh berries are artistically added to the plate.

chocolate slipper

Grand Floridian diners will receive a white chocolate version filled with delicious cream and crowned with raspberries. Accompanying the slipper is a [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 22, 2011

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Popcorn Bucket

We’re reporting from Walt Disney World this weekend, and over the past couple of days I’ve racked up about a hundred new things to share with you! Better get your stretchy pants, my friends!!

This week in Disney food news:

Here’s what’s happening in the World of Disney Food this week…

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Reviews

Thanks to Magical Kingdoms for publishing a great review of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining! Here’s what they had to say…

The 250 pages cover pretty much everything you need to know about dining at Walt Disney World, and even those who have made multiple trips may learn something new by reading this book.

See the full review here. And get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining right here!

And now… on to the round-up!

The Passporter Moms Podcast this week is all about Disney food, and guess who they asked to join them? Thanks to Jennifer and Sara for letting me talk about my favorite subject with them!

Yesterland bids farewell to Pizza Oom Mow Mow in Disney California Adventure.

Fatherhood…Video Games…and Ice Cream shares what it’s like to be Prince of the Day at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

DisneyContemporary.com leads us to some fun (and romantic!) Contemporary Resort dining options for grown-ups.

Main Street Gazette reviews the Steakhouse Salad at the Contempo Cafe.

All Fare’s Food Blog features a guest article (by yours truly ;-) ) about dining aboard the Disney Dream.

Around Disney highlights upgraded menus at Disneyland.