Full Review: Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland

Editor’s Note: The Pork Shank is no longer available at Gaston’s Tavern.

While visiting the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland in Walt Disney World last week, I knew I had to pay a visit to the new Gaston’s Tavern!

Gaston’s Tavern

This tribute to the mighty Gaston from Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast features everything you’d expect, from a rustic atmosphere to antler-ific decor from top to bottom.

While it’s not getting as much attention as the new table-service restaurant, Be Our Guest Restaurant, in New Fantasyland, it’s not to be passed over. Debuting brand new, unique eats, Gaston’s is a must-do on your next Magic Kingdom visit…

Atmosphere

While it’s a counter-service joint offering mostly snacks along with the newly introduced Pork Shank, Gaston’s showcases some unique dining areas once you grab your grub.

Gaston’s Tavern Ordering Area

If you turn to your right after getting your food, you’ll find a main dining room complete with a giant portrait of Gaston. The room sports wooden tables and stools, a massive fireplace, and even Gaston’s giant chair, which is perfect for pictures.

Gaston’s Tavern main dining room

Random Guy in Gaston’s Chair

Over in the corner is this great little seating area that’s separated a bit from everything else. This circular spot is crowned with a chandelier of antlers, of course!

Gaston’s Tavern side room off of main dining room

If you turn to your left after getting your food, you’ll find a smaller dining room. This one also holds plenty of wooden tables and stools for seating, and also features a dart game — in progress — between Gaston and [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 20, 2012

R2D2 churros and chocolate at Star Wars Weekends

We’re loving the reports from Star Wars Weekends in Disney World this week, and we can’t wait to share even more from our delicious visit to Disneyland last week!

Let us know what Disney Food updates are tempting you! :-)

Disney Food News

Here’s the latest happening in the Disney Food World this week!

  • Star Wars Weekends have started in Disney World! Check out some of the great Star Wars Themed Treats available!
  • Specialty Dinner Announcements: Downtown Disney Orlando’s Raglan Road has announced a Mid-Summer Feast. And in Downtown Disney Anaheim, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen will feature a Beer Dinner.
  • Chocolate Caramel Grapes now available at Karamell-Küche in Epcot’s Germany.

We’ve got more food news (including the re-opening of Disneyland’s Carnation Cafe) on our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

Grand Opening of the DFB Store!

Our DFB Store is now open! Featuring our critically-acclaimed line of Disney Dining e-Books, these in-depth guides expand upon the Disney Food topics that YOU were craving for!

The DFB Store offers:

  • Individual guidebooks
  • Packaged bundles at discounted prices
  • Book Overviews
  • Sample Pages
  • and More!

Stop by DFBStore.com now and take a look around!

On To The Round-Up

WildernessLodgeSite.com suggests planning a date night at the Wilderness Lodge with dinner at the Artist Point!

Daveland shares a rare 1960 photo of the Silver Banjo Restaurant in Disneyland.

Bites on Today discovers beer for Dad at Walt Disney World.

AllEars.net‘s Jack Spence welcomes the return of the Orange Bird at Sunshine Tree Terrace.

Main Street Gazette taste-tests the Chicken Caesar Sandwich at Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Disney Diner creates the Main Street Bakery’s Cinnamon Rolls. Yum!

The Actor’s Diet flies to the east coast and indulges at the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

DisneyParks Blog shares the atmosphere music for the new Carthay Circle restaurant at Disney California Adventure!

Top 6 Disney Dining Plan Snack Credit Values for 2012

As always, we want to make sure all of us are getting the best value with our Disney Dining Plan snack credits!

For those who are unfamiliar with the Disney Dining Plan, it’s a way for guests to pre-pay for their dining when visiting Disney World. “Snack credits” are used by guest to purchase items like popcorn, candy, ice cream, and other low-cost treats.

I’ll list my top six choices, then you tell me your experiences. Let’s work together on finding the best snack credit deals!

Note that snack credits are usually accepted for items that are a single serving, and cost $4.50 or less (though some cost as much as $4.99 out of pocket).

1. Bakeries

A Disney Food Blog staff and reader favorite — bakeries! Not only can you use your snack credit for some incredible treats, but you can also get a pastry for your morning meal. Hey, it’s vacation!

Don’t forget to check out our Disney World Bakery Throw Down to see some of the very best spots to spend those credits.

Disney World Cinnamon Roll at Main Street Bakery

Consider some of these options at bakeries around Disney World: cinnamon rolls, butterfinger cupcakes, caramel cupcakes, white chocolate elephant cupcake, crepes, school bread…and so much more!

These are all great deals for one single snack credit.

2. Ice Cream Sundaes and Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed with what kinds of sundaes you can get for a snack credit in Disney World! Easily costing $4.50 or more out of pocket, these sundaes are awesome deals!

Stop by Storybook Treats in the Magic Kingdom to snag a Cookie Fudge Sundae that you can easily split between two! Other options at Storybook Treats include a Brownie Sundae and a yummy Strawberry Shortcake Sundae!

Hot Fudge and Caramel Cookie Sundae at Storybook Treats

Another ice creamy treat that’s not-to-be-missed is the homemade ice cream cookie sandwich. You can get these at all four parks, and while the snack credit payment option [Read more…]

My Three Favorite Disney World Counter-Service Breakfasts

Let’s admit it — most of us don’t have time to grab a long, leisurely breakfast when we’re in Disney World. Usually it’s up-and-at-‘em, throw some clothes on, grab the kids, and get over to rope drop for the park of the day!

But sometimes I like to take a few minutes to grab a classic Disney counter-service breakfast, and when that happens, these are my go-to options! I’d love to hear your favorite counter-service breakfasts — share your top choices in the comments section below!

Tonga Toast

This is one case where you can get one of the very best menu items at a table-service restaurant…but fast! Disney’s Polynesian Resort’s Tonga Toast is an icon of Disney food — sweet bananas all wrapped up in thick french toast and covered in cinnamon and sugar!

Disney's Polynesian Resort Tonga Toast

It’s an amazing treat, and you can get it for cheap at the Polynesian’s Captain Cook’s Snack Company counter-service restaurant. Only available in the mornings, it’s a great way to start your day!

Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Roll

You’d think that you would be able to eat a cinnamon roll on the go, but not one of these! The monstrous breakfast rolls are truly out of this world, and anyone who knows me knows that I’ll always ask for the extra scoop of frosting on top!

Disney World Cinnamon Roll

Stop into the Main Street Bakery in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for this awesome treat! Check out my review of [Read more…]

Guest Review: Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory Breakfast

Join us in welcoming guest author Catie Hiltz with a review of the food court at Port Orleans Resort French Quarter in Disney World! Yep — this is where you can get those one-of-a-kind beignets!! But Catie’s got some other treats in mind…start your morning with one of these yummy eats!

My husband and I loved staying at Port Orleans French Quarter, and found Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory (the resort’s counter-service food court) to be a great place to grab a bite to eat before or after spending some time at the parks. They carry all the standards for breakfast, from the always delicious Mickey waffles, to omelets, platters, and pancakes.

Atmosphere

The resort itself is New Orleans themed, and has a relaxed, romantic feeling. The Food Factory fits right in with the theme — it’s large and open, and even during the breakfast rush, it’s loud but not deafening. It didn’t feel crowded at all.

Exterior Entrance

Interior Entrance

With its mismatched chairs and tables — and the oversize Mardi Gras float decor — the Food Factory really makes you feel like you’re hanging out in the Big Easy!

Seating and Decor

Plus, since it was [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Breakfast at Carnation Cafe…and Scoop on Refurb!

Knowing that Carnation Cafe was going to be closing for renovation starting January 5th, I wanted to squeeze in one more meal to hold me over for the next 6 months or so.

Carnation Cafe

My family and I decided to brave the park (with a dining reservation of course) on New Year’s Eve day for Carnation Cafe breakfast, which surprisingly we had never experienced there before. It’s hard for me to believe that we’d never had breakfast at one of our favorite table service restaurants, but then again, we are rarely at the park in the morning.

Right after checking in, I noticed that Chef Oscar was working, which made my morning. His 55 Years of Service Party was just the day before, so I wasn’t sure if he’d be in or not. I couldn’t wait to talk to him about his big day, but first, time to be seated and order!

Carnation Cafe Seating

Eats

I’d heard for a long time that the Cafe Cinnamon Roll French Toast is a must have.  The description alone had me sold on it. Cream Cheese Icing? Yes please.

However, knowing that this was probably way too rich for me to finish alone along with the fact that three out of the four of us wanted to try it, my family decided to order it as a “fifth” meal to [Read more…]

Reader Favorites: Disney Grab-and-Go Breakfast Items

It’s apparently a breakfast-y week here on the Disney Food Blog, so here’s another fun, nourishing post about the most important meal of the day! When your main goal is conquering Space Mountain after rope drop or securing FastPasses for Toy Story Mania, a quick breakfast will help get you there before thousands of your fellow vacationers!

Breakfast at the Main Street Bakery

DFB followers and Facebook Friends shared their on-the-go fave breakfast options via the Disney Food Blog Facebook page.

Favorite Disney Grab and Go Breakfast Items

The most mentioned breakfast items were cinnamon rolls, Mickey waffles, and muffins (mostly blueberry)! Favorite Orlando and Anaheim locations for early morning fueling were the Main Street Bakery in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Disney Resort food courts, and White Water Snacks at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort.

Walt Disney World and Disneyland

Many locations are available for quick-service breakfast items in Disney’s Orlando and Anaheim theme parks. With the quick-service locations at the hotels, finding a [Read more…]

Breakfast at the Bakery…the Main Street Bakery

As you know, I think that anything cinnamon roll related in Disney parks and resorts is a breakfast of champions. So when I was headed to the Magic Kingdom to meet a friend at the Main Street Bakery for breakfast recently, I decided I’d get a cinnamon roll.

Main Street Bakery Window in Magic Kingdom

When I arrived a bit early, I took my time scoping out the goodies available, which included these beauties:

Main Street Bakery Pastries

…and realized that I haven’t really done a review of the Bakery, per say. It was part of the bakery throw down (speaking of, head over to that post to see lots of pics of atmosphere at the Bakery), of course, but as for really digging into the food options there, it’s been a while! So I took advantage of the situation.

I suppose it should have been a warning when the cast member at the check-out counter started pulling out the take-out containers, but when I got over to my table, I had this:

Breakfast at the Bakery

I got some pretty weird looks from folks, but I’m pretty used to that by now. ;-) And don’t worry, I took the food I didn’t eat back to the hotel room. And I subsequently found out that a cinnamon roll from the Bakery tastes surprisingly good even [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney!”: Breakfast

We’re headed back to our “Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney!” series today

I did a post a couple of weeks back titled The Five Best Things I Ate In Disneyland, which sparked a fun series based on the Food Network’s (very cool) show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Based on some keen suggestions from readers, we’ll be splitting our series up into different sections: breakfast, appetizers & side dishes, snacks, entrees (lunch and dinner), and desserts & drinks.

Today, let’s talk breakfast! I’ve done my favorite brand of informal polling (i.e. posted questions on twitter and facebook ;) ) to find out others’ experiences of the Best Thing They Ever Ate for breakfast at Disney. I must say, the conclusions aren’t all that shocking, but they are delicious! Here’s what we’ve all come up with:

Mickey Waffles

Ah, the glorious little Mickey Waffle! I have no idea why these little guys taste as wonderful as they do, but it’s like melt-in-your-mouth happiness as soon as you bite into one (you think I’m being overly dramatic, but I promise, they’re delicious).

Multi Grain Mickey Waffles from The Wave!

Luckily, you can get them all over Disney World (I have a partial list here) — book a breakfast buffet and you’re almost sure to see them. If you’d rather not deal with locking off time for a full meal, head to [Read more…]

The Five Best Uses for Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits

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UPDATE: Check out our Top 6 Uses for a Disney Dining Plan Snack Credit for 2012 here!

We had a reader question about the best way to use Disney Dining Plan snack credits, and my mind jumped back to the first year I used a Disney Dining Plan. We had no idea what to do with our snack credits, so we ended up buying a whole bunch of bottled water the last two days of the trip just to use them up!

So, believe me, I know the need for good snack credit advice. I opened it up to the Disney Food Blog twitter and facebook crowds last week. Here’s the word from the experts on the best way to use up your Disney Dining Plan snack credits!

1. Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths

I have to list these first, because they’re just such an incredible deal for a snack credit. For those visiting during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival (October 1-November 16, 2010), most of the international booths around the World Showcase promenade accept snack credits as payment for their menu items!

Food and Wine Festival Booth Menu

My suggestion? Save all of your snack credits, then “eat around the World” for at least one meal! How far do you think you can get before those credits run out…or you’re stuffed to the gills? :)

Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Roll

2. Bakeries

You know we love our bakeries and cafes here on the Disney Food Blog, and bakeries came up as the most suggested venues for snack credit use in our twitter and facebook polling.

Breakfast is a great time to use your credits at a bakery, because you can often get cereal with milk, or a portion of oatmeal for one credit. Of course, you can also get cinnamon rolls, butterfinger cupcakes, paw print brownies, crepes, school bread[Read more…]