Tip from the DFB Guide: Are Disney Refillable Mugs Worth the Cost?

We’ve packed tons of great Disney Dining info into our The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013! Today, let’s check out another great tip from the Guide!

Disney Refillable Mugs: Worth the Cost?

With another price hike last year, Disney refillable resort mugs at Disney World resorts now cost $15.49 plus tax.

Those with the Disney Dining Plan get theirs for free, but the rest of us would need to pay out of pocket for the mugs, which are infinitely refillable at certain locations within your resort during your length of stay.

Worth it? Well… yes and no. We’ve got both arguments represented below, so take a look to see which camp you fit into!

Are Disney World Refillable Mugs Worth the Cost

Refillable Mugs And Park Commandos

If you spend the majority of your time at the parks, the refillable mug may not be worth the out-of-pocket cost for your family. Consider these circumstances before you buy:

Use Times

If your family is full of park commandos, you’re probably racing out to each theme park opening in the early morning and returning to your resort shortly before the food court closes. Your refillable mug will spend more time sitting in your resort room than actually in use, since you can’t refill in the theme parks.

Distance to refill station can be far

After traipsing with the kids in the parks all day, it may be a lot of extra steps from your room to the mug refill station.

And remember, many resorts don’t have an option for refills after the counter-service spots close around 11pm or midnight. That means no refills after evening Extra Magic Hours in most parks.

Current Refillable Mug Information (BoardWalk)

Could save cash by buying offsite

If you’ve driven to the Mouse’s House from your hometown, or rented a vehicle once you landed in Orlando, you may want to stop at a nearby offsite store to pick up [Read more…]

Review: NEW Tipsy Duck Drink in Epcot’s China Pavilion

There’s a new drink at the Joy of Tea stand in Epcot’s China Pavilion – Tipsy Ducks in Love!

Joy of Tea

The cast members at Joy of Tea were selling this VERY enthusiastically. It’s basically iced coffee and tea, plus whipped cream, plus a generous pour of Jim Beam, plus chocolate.

Tipsy Duck

I don’t normally drink bourbon, but the cast members were so, well, enthusiastic about it, that I decided to give it a [Read more…]

First Look! Food Photos From Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Update: Check out the discreet integration of Starbucks into Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe.

We’ve had a great time sharing sneak peeks of many of the new dining locations opening soon in Disney California Adventure! Be sure to check out the great menu options at Flo’s V-8 Cafe, Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel, Carthay Circle Restaurant, Trolley Treats, and Clarabelle’s Ice Cream!

And one more of the places on Buena Vista Street I am really looking forward to is the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe. Why? Because Disney California Adventure NEEDS a good counter service spot where one can grab a great sandwich and a STARBUCKS beverage

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe

At a recent media preview I was able to check out some of the items that will be served at the Cafe, and it looks like there will be some pretty tasty options…


I got some great photos of the dishes that will be served here at the Fiddler. The first thing I noticed about the menu, though, was that the items appeared to be very similar to what is being served over in Disneyland at the Jolly Holiday Bakery

This is not a bad thing by any means; Jolly Holiday is fantastic! Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical will be serving a wide variety eats:

  • Breakfast: Freshly baked pastries & cinnamon rolls, breakfast sandwiches and wraps
  • Lunch and Dinner: Hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and two daily soups

A Sampler of Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe Offerings

I don’t have the “official” names of the sandwiches pictured below, but some appear to be identical to [Read more…]

Guest Review: Tangierine Café in Epcot

Welcome back guest author Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley with a review of the Tangierine Café in Epcot’s Morocco!

Today we’re heading to one of my all-time absolute favorite places in Walt Disney World, Epcot’s Morocco at night, to do one of my all-time absolute favorite things ever: eat.

Morocco at night


As you enter the Morocco pavilion, you’re immediately transported by the sights, smells, and sounds of a Moroccan marketplace, which sets the scene for the delicious meal you’re about to enjoy.

Nejjarine Fountain

Located on the France-side of the Morocco pavilion, the Tangierine Café is a [Read more…]

It’s Official: Starbucks Lands at Disney Parks

Update: Check out the discreet integration of Starbucks into Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe!

We speculated about a Starbucks-Disney collaboration a few months ago, and it turns out the rumors are true!

For decades, one of the biggest food-related complaints about Disney parks was the lack of decent coffee (Disney for many years relied on instant NesCafe and only recently brought in a few spots where Joffrey’s Coffee was sold). Now that Starbucks is planning to join forces with the Happiest Places on Earth, coffee addicts can finally ditch the jitters. ;-)

The coffee king will show up first in Disney California Adventure this June, at the brand new Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café. Locations will serve coffee, espresso, frappuccino, and more, and guests will also be able to nosh on signature Starbucks sandwiches, pastries, and desserts.

Other locations will be popping up soon in all four Disney World parks and Disneyland Park. Note that the Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts have served Starbucks for quite a while.

One question I have: How do you “Disney-fy” something as highly-branded as Starbucks? Starbucks locations all seem pretty consistent to me…what would a Disney version be like? The Fiddler location will be themed to the 1920’s vision of Buena Vista Street — including Spanish/Mexican architecture and baristas in 1920s-inspired attire. Other locations will be themed as well.

Are you excited? Concerned? Don’t care as long as you can finally get good coffee? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Review: Epcot Haiti Drinks Booth (or “The Best Frozen Lemonade EVER”)

At the 2012 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, the Haiti: Garden of Many Colors display is a fun, new exhibit where guests can learn about Haitian culture.

Haiti Sign

We stopped by the beverage kiosk, which features Haitian rhums (rum) and liqueurs in delicious frozen cocktails along with other non-alcoholic options.

Personally, I think this addition is awesome. I love any time they add new food kiosks, but, I have to say, the yummy treats I tried were seriously rockin’. I can’t wait to tell you about ‘em! (Oh, and there’s a video of one of my favorite songs at the bottom of this post, too, so…just sayin’.)

An added plus? The booth area is even lighted — allowing for Happy Hour to continue long after the sun sets!


The bright colors of the booth and surrounding decor made for a great, attention-grabbing display!

Haiti Booth Sign

Those of us who were at the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival will remember a veeeeery similar-looking booth to this one! ;-) Reduce, Reuse, [Read more…]

New! Fun Disney Ceramic Coffee Tumblers

You guys remember when Disney came out with those fun boxed candies with clever sayings on the front last year, right?

Well, we’ve spotted some adorable ceramic tumblers that sport similar sayings and are perfect for your morning cup of joe! Currently priced at $14.95, these Disney Theme Park Exclusive mugs make a great take-home souvenir.

Each 8 1/2″ tall mug has a detachable rubber lid and holds about 12 oz. of your favorite beverage. I haven’t seen them on DisneyStore.com yet, but if you do, let me know! Here are a few of the ones we found in the parks this week:

Disney monorail fans will love this mug. “Please stand clear of my coffee. Por Favor Mantengase AleJado De Mi Cafe'”!

Monorail Mug

Jessica Rabbit shows off her animated features and exclaims, [Read more…]

Coffee Margarita Now Available at Cava del Tequila in Epcot

Fun news for coffee and margarita lovers!

We recently heard that Epcot’s La Cava del Tequila is now offering a mezcal coffee margarita (a full-size version of this one that we got the chance to taste two years ago)! Don’t worry…yours will be MUCH bigger. Ours was just a small shot-sized sample. ;-)

Coffee Margarita sample

This one is smooth and creamy — with a kick!

Don’t forget to head over to Margarita Mondays tomorrow if you’re in Epcot! :-)

Guest Review: Aulani Eats and Off-Site Treats

in front of the Lava Shack

Join us in welcoming guest author Beth Osborn with a tour of Eats at Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa in Oahu. We’ve also got some great tips about eating at non-Disney spots around the resort! Brace yourselves — there’s Dole Whip, Shave Ice, Plate Lunch, and more — ahead! Don’t forget to check out Aulani restaurant info and menus here.

Arriving to Aulani on October 15, my husband Kev and I selected familiar WDW items — refillable mugs! We purchased purple and blue refillable mugs, which have an Aulani design that matches the beige wallpaper in the halls of the hotel. Red and green options were also available.

Even though the mugs are more expensive at Aulani, we felt we got our money’s worth at $18.99 each over the week we were there.

‘Ama ‘Ama Restaurant at Aulani

We had dinner at Ama Ama — Kev’s salt crusted fish was like nothing we’d ever seen before, with a completely removable crust. He said it was very moist.

Salt Encrusted Fish from Ama Ama

I had the French Maui onion soup and a tomato and cheese salad (two appetizers instead of an entree). Both were excellent.

French Onion Soup and the Tomato Salad from Ama Ama

Makahiki Restaurant and Rip Swirl at Aulani

We had a character breakfast at Makahiki with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. I wasn’t as excited about the buffet as some at Disney World, but I did enjoy the [Read more…]

Guest Review: ‘AMA ‘AMA Beachside Restaurant at Disney’s Aulani Resort

We’re so excited to have a review of Disney’s Aulani Resort’s premier restaurant just a few days after its opening! Mark Hickson is a Disney fan, a former Disney Imagineer, and a Hawai’i resident and food blogger (among many other things). We’re honored to share this article with our readers. Thanks, Mark!

'Ama 'Ama Beachside Restaurant

So the resort has been open for five days now and I thought it would be the perfect time to dine in the resort’s signature restaurant, ‘AMA ‘AMA. The restaurant is named after the tasty mullet fish ʻamaʻama that us locals enjoy.


The setting is an open air thatched roof fishing shack and a minimalist fishing factory with concrete pillars and a large fish holding tanks complete with pipeline and spigot. Of all the beautiful facilities at Aulani Resort this place’s theme is the only one that doesn’t work.

Our reservations were for 5:30pm and my wife and I were seated directly. Unfortunately since it is an open air dining area (no walls), the sun was low enough to shine in so it was very bright and hot at our table. In retrospect I would wait until sunset to be seated.


Take a look at the official ‘AMA ‘AMA menus below:

click image for larger version

click image for larger version

For drinks I ordered a Pineapple Papaya Cosmo. It was fun, tropical and fresh with a light foam on top. Good enough to order a second, which I did! My wife’s coffee was [Read more…]