For those of you scratching your head wondering “um…what’s the big deal…it’s a sandwich…”, let us…ahem…shine a light on things!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Walt Disney World! The season is in full swing with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, and the Flurry of Fun at Hollywood Studios.
Each of these events are known for offering extras treats and goodies… but guess what?!? Counter Service locations all over Disney World are getting in on the extra food fun!! Check out these brand new offerings, which we found on Mobile Order via the My Disney Experience app!
In fact, ALL of these particular seasonal offerings can be found via Mobile Order, so if you’re not familiar with how it works, you’ll want to read all about Mobile Order here!!
Now, hold onto your Santa Hats, because there is LOTS to share!!
Mighty Casey himself is getting in the holiday mood! At Casey’s Corner, special holiday items include the Hot Diggity Holiday Dog available in regular or footlong size.
Hey Guys! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re getting down to the serious business of RANKING Magic Kingdom restaurants!
With so many new and classic Magic Kingdom restaurants to choose from, it can be nearly impossible to know what’s what! That’s why we’re here to help! We’re reviewing all the greats (and the not so greats) in this video and ranking the Magic Kingdom restaurants best to worst.
Mobile Order has arrived at Epcot!
Mobile Order is the still relatively new process that allows guests – via the My Disney Experience app – to pre-order and pre-pay for meals at select Counter Service locations around Disney World. This enables guests to bypass the ordering queue at their selected restaurant and go straight to pick up their food upon arrival! (You can learn about how the entire process works from start to finish here)
Next up was Magic Kingdom, where Columbia Harbour House, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café, Pinocchio Village Haus, and Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant now all offer Mobile Order.
One location so far in Disney Springs offers the service: D-Luxe Burger.
Happy weekend! This is a super exciting weekend because not only is the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival in full bloom, but the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival has kicked off too!
This weekend we’re at the 2017 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival. Check out the full booth menus and all the food photos for the DCA Food and Wine Festival!
And don’t forget, the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival starts in August this year!
We have a lot to share with you this week, so let’s jump right in…
Disney Food News
- Check out AJ and Heather at the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival this weekend!
- We launched the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2017 Second Edition!
- Enter to win a Disney Prize Package during DFB’s Mickey March Giveaways!
- Celebrate Daylight Savings Time with a new DFB Guide discount!
- We have a sneak peek at a new menu item from Pongu Pongu in Pandora – The World of Avatar.
- We also have news about the restaurants coming to Pandora at the Animal Kingdom!
- Check out this review of the Strawberry Cheesecake from Restaurantosaurus.
- We have a first look and review of the new Joffrey’s Revive coffee kiosk in the Magic Kingdom!
- We stopped by Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom and enjoyed a Shrimp Fest!
- The latest DFB YouTube video is the Best of the Fest at the Flower and Garden Festival!
OK, so Columbia Harbour House doesn’t really have a “Shrimp Fest.” I just sort of created one on my recent visit by ordering ALL. THE. SHRIMPS!!!! ;-D Coming right up? Shrimp and Chicken, Fried Shrimp, and Shrimp Mac & Cheese! (Yes, I forgive you if you scroll ahead to see that last one.)
Columbia Harbour House
Tucked into a perfectly themed corner of Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom, Columbia Harbour House has a strong and devoted following.
With its menu of consistently popular choices — lots of healthier, lighter, vegetarian choices along with some hearty fish and chips — and its impeccable theming, Columbia Harbour House is a great place to cool down and fuel up when you’re touring the Magic Kingdom.
And its location is ideal. It’s a short walk from Frontierland, a stone’s throw from the Haunted Mansion, and holds court in Liberty Square (just before it morphs into Fantasyland around the corner).
This place is Americana architecture at its finest.
There are some pretty serious debates about where in Walt Disney World you’ll find the best fish and chips. Today, we thought we’d throw a little fuel on that fire by taking a closer look at some of our favorites.
Yorkshire County Fish Shop
Mention that you’re visiting Walt Disney World and you’re hankering for this traditional British fare, and it’s a sure bet that somebody’s gonna have an opinion. And chances are good that you’ll be told to make a beeline for the UK Pavilion in Epcot.
When you get there, you’ll find two different spots that offer fish and chips. We’ll take a look at Yorkshire County Fish Shop first.
Located just before you cross the bridge into France, Yorkshire is a walk-up window where they keep it simple: you can order fish and chips, a cookie, or your choice of a few beverages.
And thank goodness for simplicity, because even with it, the lines here can get loooooooonnng. But there’s a really good reason for that…the fish and chips are pretty great.
Because this spot is so busy, the fish is usually pretty fresh. The crunchy batter isn’t too greasy or heavy, and the chips really are more chip-py than french fry-like.
And since it’s counter service, you can score delicious, filling food with no advance dining reservation. We also hear from lots of you that a stop at Yorkshire is a WDW ritual worth keeping during every visit!
BUT — seating can be hard to find on busy days. We’ve enjoyed our Yorkshire fish and chips sitting on a curb or while standing a time or two.
Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room
And that brings us to the next contender: Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room right next door.
Whether you’re just after a pint or you’re looking to enjoy a meal, this traditional British pub is an extremely popular stop. If you’d like to dine here, we strongly recommend you book an advance dining reservation.
At Rose and Crown, you can order fish and chips off of the pub menu, or you can order them in the restaurant as well. Size and price vary depending on where you’re enjoying your fix.
But having them served at a table service restaurant means that you have more choices. With a menu that includes other fish and chip shop standards, like mushy peas, you can round out the meal a bit.
Seating choices include comfy a/c inside, or gorgeous views of World Showcase Lagoon on the patio.
Cookes of Dublin
But then, there’s the relatively new kid on the block who has brought some serious fish and chips game. Yep, we’re heading to Downtown Disney for a trip to [Read more…]
Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster has a very adventurous eater in her family — her daughter, Josie! Here are some great suggestions for kids who want something a bit different than the standard kids’ meal fare!
I’ve written before about my finicky, fearful daughter Louisa who never met a chicken nugget she didn’t like.
As it turns out, her twin sister Josie has a completely opposite dining profile. Josie will try anything, loves exploring new foods, and craves variety to spice up her meals. An endless stream of pizza bores her. If you have an adventurous eater in your life, you’ll want to find options beyond the ubiquitous pizza, pasta, hot dogs, and nuggets.
In recent years, Disney has done a somewhat better job of providing a range of healthy and innovative foods on their childrens’ menus. Here I’m going to focus on some of the out-of-the-pizza-box Walt Disney World children’s counter service meal and snack options for those looking to avoid the kid food basics while on the go.
After long deliberation, Nick T. of Disney & Beyond has ranked the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks based on his interpretation of the quality of their counter service offerings! Every once in a while we like to stir things up on the Disney Food Blog, so we’d love to hear your opinion on the matter — did Nick get it right, or would you change some things around? Take it away, Nick!
Just over a month ago, a friend and I, both avid readers of The Disney Food Blog, got into a debate about the best overall counter service options in Walt Disney World’s parks. What started as a fun, simple discussion quickly turned heated, and I started to wonder what the reaction would be if I shared my opinions with the world. Thanks to AJ, now I can. I’d simply like to rank, in my humble opinion, the four Disney World theme parks based on counter service offerings.
For this list, I have taken into account both food and atmosphere. The food part is obvious, but I take atmosphere into account because I feel that is what makes the experience uniquely Disney, and it can actually add to the dining experience. But enough of this chit chat, yak yak, and flim flam. Just refrain from hibernating and enjoy the show. (Some Disney Fudge to whoever is the first to recognize that line.)
4. Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Yes, I rank the park formerly known as Disney-MGM Studios as the worst overall in park counter service. Why? Well, to me, both the food selection and the atmosphere of the counter service restaurants in the park are quite [Read more…]
Earlier this week, we had a guest post giving some tips and tricks on dining solo in Disney World. Today, in our fifth post in the Walt Disney World Moms Panel mini-series, I asked the moms what they would eat in Disney World if they were blissfully alone for a whole day. Get ready for some delicious answers!
From Mom Anna S.
Without children in tow, I would start my day off at the Grand Floridian Café for some lobster eggs Benedict. This is about the most delicious and indulgent way to start your day at Walt Disney World! Although I will admit, my sweet tooth would be crying out for the stuffed croissant!
It’s off to EPCOT to explore the shops that my children usually are too bored to enjoy, and lunch at the best location on the planet for “fast” food – the Yakitori House. A Japanese Curry for lunch, followed by a Kaki Gori at the shaved ice stand, is a perfect balance of flavors and textures – sort of a fire and ice combo.
After an exhausting day shopping, I am off for my favorite meal anywhere on Walt Disney World property – the filet mignon and macaroni and cheese at Jiko. Arguably the best meal I’ve had anywhere, my mouth waters just thinking about the level to which the Jiko chefs have elevated this simple meal.
The day does not end until I swing back into the Magic Kingdom, where I’ll enjoy my dessert – the world famous Dole Whip with fresh pineapple spears on the side. Although, with no children tagging along, I’ll have a WHOLE Dole Whip to myself, and I may not have room for the sweet juicy pineapple!
From Mom Erin F.
I’m lucky enough to go on an annual solo vacation to Disney World; I’ve been three times so far, with the fourth trip coming up in January. My dream breakfast is beignets at Port Orleans Resort French Quarter — calories don’t count on vacation! Then it’d be anything hot and fried –- mini donuts at Blizzard Beach, fried dough, etc.
My dream dinner? Jiko!
From Mom Jennifer W.
If left alone for one day at WDW the choices for incredible food would be endless. It’s funny to think that when I first started going to WDW I thought the only meals available were character meals! However, over the years I have learned that there is so much more!
But with that said, I honestly think I would start my day at one of my favorite breakfast spots … the Crystal Palace at the MK. It just does not get any better than biscuits and gravy, potatoes, eggs, and sausage, and of course if there is room, how can one resist the Mickey Mouse waffles?
I would then need to walk some distance before enjoying lunch! I think this would be eaten at the Cantina de San Angel in Mexico. Just a quick lunch where I would enjoy a wonderful taco salad and perhaps a tasty margarita as well. And no afternoon at WDW is complete without a Mickey Mouse ice cream. Frozen to perfection, I truly can say I love these.
Okay now dinner? Ohhhh that is so incredibly hard to choose! I think for this particular day I’m going for a fantastic meal at Jiko! On my last visit there, I was amazed by everything I tried. The seafood and steak dishes were by far my favorite. As I walked home completely full and satisfied I think I would call this a great day, but wait – on the way out of the park there are those darn Rice Krispy treats with chocolate on them! Oh well, everyone needs a midnight snack!
From Mom Jodi G.
I’d go with a light breakfast, and then have lunch at the Brown Derby. The grapefruit cake and the Cobb salad are my favorites.
For dinner, I’d just roam around the World Showcase eating the best from each country – crepes, funnel cakes, pretzels… etc.
From Mom Kara B.
After much thought, I decided the California Grill would be a great way to celebrate ME! I could spend as much time as I wanted leisurely enjoying an elegant multi-course meal with no little kids bugging me to eat fast so we can go back to the Magic Kingdom.
The views there are worth a million bucks, so I’d have to have a window seat so I could soak in all beauty of the Seven Seas Lagoon and its surroundings, especially the Magic Kingdom. And then there is the outdoor balcony areas, which before the fireworks are so wonderfully peaceful looking out at the entire WDW resort area; a true moment of zen to gather one’s thoughts and think of all the good in the world.
I also have to admit I was tempted to put down the Wishes Dessert Buffet, which I have yet to try. I think it would be a great way to socialize and meet people, indulge on sweets, and catch a premium seat to watch Wishes.
PS: I’d also love to have room service in Cinderella’s Castle Suite.
From Mom Joanne M.
Oooh, fun question. I would head to (or hopefully I’m already staying there) Stormalong Bay at the Beach and Yacht Club and start with a delicious cocktail at the poolside bar. Then I would head over to the Flying Fish on the Boardwalk. I have to be honest and tell you it’s not because it has my favourite dish, but because we had to cancel our August reservation because my daughter was sick. It’s long been on my list to try, and I would love to enjoy it at a relaxed pace.
From Mom Heather R.
Alone – I can’t even imagine it!
I’m not generally a big breakfast gal, so anywhere I could grab a decent cup of coffee an everything bagel with smoked salmon would make me happy. I used to say Starring Rolls in Hollywood Studios, but unfortunately the last time I was there the lox was no longer an option.
For lunch, a bowl of clam chowder at Columbia Harbor House always makes me happy.
Dinner is always my biggest meal of the day, and what a tough decision! I think I’ll go with the Flying Fish, a perrennial favorite. I’d start with the Chardonnay-steamed Maine Coast Blue Hill Bay Mussels. Although I’m not always a huge fennel fan, these are delicious. Strange as it sounds at a seafood restaurant, the Char Crusted New York Strip Steak there is fantastic and in my opinion, among ofthe best steaks to be had in Disney.
I don’t usually indulge in sweets, but if I were to make an exception, the beignets at Port Orleans are really yummy.
And a drink/treat? Definitely a Grey Goose Slush from Epcot.
Gosh, I just realized I’ve spent my whole hypothetical day running back and forth to different eateries! Now that really IS blissful!
From Mom Whitney P.
I’m always on a quest to try something new when I’m at Disney, rather than visiting old haunts, so I’d probably make a bee-line to the new Kouzzina, showplace of fellow Mississippian Cat Cora.
Even though I’m not much for eating table service alone (although some of my fellow Disney Panel Moms–and Dads–do), I’d have to make an exception for this restaurant. I love to make meals out of an array of appetizers, so I’d probably order her Kouzzina spreads of Chickpea Hummus, Kalamata Fig, and Harissa Yogurt along with the Spanakopita! (And that’s what I’m planning on doing when I go with my family in October!)
My favorite drink? Hands down Disney’s Pina Colava, a raspberry sauce-laced pina colada. It’s a given when I’m at Brown Derby, but I’ve also enjoyed it at Sanaa and Teppan Edo. It tends to be seasonal, but if it’s not on the menu, I’ll ask anyway!
And no visit to Magic Kingdom would be complete without a Dole Float, a favorite of mine and fellow Disney Mom Margaret.
From Mom Beth C.
I would go during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and sample all of the treats from around the world. I did this last September and really enjoyed myself. I finally had the opportunity to eat at the Tangierine Café in Morocco. I had been wanting to try this restaurant for years but my schedule when touring with my family never worked out. This was the perfect opportunity to try this cafe. The food was delicious and fresh and eating it out side listening to the Moroccan music was a perfect way to enjoy a lunch alone.
From Mom Jo Y.
Well first I’d have to have a funnel cake, we don’t have them here in the UK so I have to have one every single trip. Just plain though, no strawberries or ice-cream.
Counter Service would have to be Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney; I would order The Full Montagu with beef, turkey, cheese and salad followed by a delicious cupcake.
Whilst in DTD I’d nip over to Goofy’s Candy Company to make my own rice crispy treat. I would cover it in milk chocolate, rolled in choc chips and drizzled in caramel.
Dinner would be at Narcoossee’s, where I’d dine on filet mignon with potato gratin followed by key lime crème brulee. If I still had room after that I’d visit the Magic Kingdom for a pineapple Dole Whip float from Aloha Isle, and then waddle back to my resort!
From Mom Kim L.
I would begin with breakfast at Boma. I’d request a cozy table near the window. Afterwards, I would walk around the resort.
For a mid-day treat, I am heading to the Grand Floridan for afternoon tea in the Garden View Lounge. I would choose strawberries and cream along with lemon pound cake. I highly recommend the Princess Breakfast tea.
My evening would end with a delightful meal at The Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge. Dim lighting and delectable food provide a perfect way to wind down.
From Mom Kay B.
If traveling alone I would definitely choose spots that not only have great food but also good entertainment. Top spots that I would head to include 50’s Primetime Cafe in Hollywood Studios, where I would not be able to pass up their pot roast, milk shakes, and s’mores for dessert!
There are two EPCOT restaurants I would head to and those are the German Biergarten, where I can get my schnitzel and spaetzle, and of course good beer, while watching the show.
Teppan Edo is my other choice for this park since you can watch dinner being prepared right in front of you. I love all the food, chicken, and steaks and seafood, so anything goes here, but it must be accompanied by one of their specialty “umbrella” drinks to make it complete!
In the Magic Kingdom I would head to Casey’s Corner and enjoy a good dog and fries while watching the people on Main Street and listening to the piano player……all the time hoping the ducks won’t take a nibble out of my leg.
Absolute snack musts are a bag of popcorn and a hunk of peanut butter fudge from any of the Disney fudge spots!
From Mom Amber V.
If I had a day at Disney World all alone to enjoy my favorites, I would start with Tonga Toast for breakfast at the Kona Cafe. I would be sure to get all of my favorite snacks — dole whip float, popcorn, and Mickey Bars at some point throughout the day.
My choice for lunch would be something quick like a hot dog at Casey’s or a BLT salad from Columbia Harbor House, because I would want to save room for a fabulous dinner at my absolute favorite restaurant — Jiko. Barbecue chicken flatbread, filet mignon with macaroni and cheese, and the pistachio creme brulee is my idea of the perfect meal to end a fabulous day at Disney!
From Dad Doug I.
I do this often, as work travel and book research trips leave me solo in Orlando.
Typically I seek out whatever is new, but while I love many of the character meals and some of the ones that involve a show (like 50’s Prime Time or Whispering Canyon Cafe), many are ones where going solo just makes me feel a bit out of place. So some of my favorite solo dining places that I like to frequent include:
Breakfast: Kona Cafe at the Polynesian (Strictly for the Tonga Toast!)
Lunch: Flame Tree BBQ or Tangierine Cafe
Dinner: California Grill
Snack: Popcorn from the carts as you enter the Magic Kingdom. Walt would have wanted it that way!
Dirty Little Confession: While I like all that, I have to confess that I have dined, on more than one occasion, at “Snackapalooza!”. Don’t waste your time searching for it on a park map. I coined this phrase for those times where instead of going to a restaurant, I ‘surf’ the World Showcase promenade, getting a few different nibbles from the national pavilions. I love getting a bite here, a bite there, and sampling cuisines from around the globe!
From Mom Margaret F.
I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a few solo trips to Disney world, and while I was first worried that I would be lonely or look out of place, I quickly discovered how much I have still missed while rushing after my children on our family trips.
I love eating at Tony’s Town Square and sitting on the outside porch. In an odd way, with all the crowds passing by, it is remarkably peaceful to me.
While the food is delicious, it is such a great place to watch the excitement and joy of the guests as they first enter Magic Kingdom, or to listen to the recaps of their amazing day as they exit the park. Watching the kids (and mom and dad) jump in glee at the sight of Main Street and Cinderella Castle continues to remind me why I love Disney so much.
One of my favorite treats is to grab a Dole Whip Float and sit on a bench near the Castle hub and watch all of the guests stop for a picture by the Partners statute. As I enjoy the best treat on property, it makes me smile to see so many guests stop and admire Walt and Mickey hand in hand, and hopefully Walt knows how much joy he continues to bring to so many everyday.
Thanks again to all the “moms” who are participating in the interviews!
Don’t forget, if you’d like to share your “most magical Disney Dining moment,” send me an email! I’m collecting stories and will post them in the next post of “Chicken Soup for the Disney Foodie soul!”