Guest Review: Contempo Cafe’s Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake

Welcome Lindsay D. with a guest review of a seasonal cupcake from the Contempo Cafe! Thanks Lindsay for sharing this festive cupcake with us!

As a self-appointed Walt Disney World tour reviewer, I spend a lot of time on property checking out both official and unofficial tours. I’m often accompanied by my reluctant sister. I’ve learned from experience that the best way to convince her to tour with me is with bribes – of the sweet variety.

A Dole Whip or Carrot Cake Cookie can keep her eye rolls and silent sighs at bay for a good 3-4 hours of touring.

Thankfully, when I found myself on the wrong end of an evil stare on our self-guided tour of holiday decorations, we were already at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Contempo Café cupcakes to the rescue! I had already given her the run down of confectionary options on our tour path, so she knew what to expect. What neither of us expected, however, were seasonal cupcakes.

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake with Candy Cane Sprinkles

Despite the immediate need for a [Read more…]

Tables in Wonderland: December 2011 Special Events

Tables in Wonderland has announced special events for December 2011. Click on the links to see larger versions of the images.

Tables in Wonderland Holiday Party

Date: Saturday December 17, 2011
Schedule: 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
5:00pm – 5:30pm Reception
5:30pm – 7:45pm Dinner
8:15pm – 9:00pm Candlelight Processional with celebrity narrator Chita Rivera (entertainment subject to change)
9:00pm – 10:00pm IllumiNations Viewing
Location: Epcot, Norway Lounge
Cost: $115 per person, plus tax. Gratuity is included.

Click image for larger version

Holidays Around the World Menu
Reception
Passed Selection of Chilled French Influenced Items
Tuna Nicoise Spoon
Wild Mushrooms with Fennel and Leeks
Grilled Poulet Rouge with Grape Pearls
Moët Impérial – France

Plated Dinner
New Zealand Influenced Salad Course
Baby Romaine Leaves with Roasted Kumara, Apple Radish Slaw and Lemon Vinaigrette
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc — New Zealand

California Influenced Appetizer Course
Grilled Artichoke, Shaved Zucchini, Heirloom Tomato and Curry Coriander Smear with Pea Tendrils and Oven Dried Prosciutto
Chandon Pinot Meunier — California

Argentinean Influenced Entrée
Green Chile Barbeque Braised Beef Shortrib
Chimi Churi Roasted Yucca with Onions and Garlic served with Fresh Roasted Corn
Terrazas Afincado Single Vineyard Malbec — Argentina

French Influenced Dessert
Grapefruit Custard Brulee with Raspberries, Mint Chifonade and Grape Tuile
Moët Ice Impérial — France

For reservations: e-mail WDW.Tables.In.Wonderland@disney.com with the following information: your interest to book, your name, daytime phone number, home address, and the number of people in your party. You will be notified on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Your credit card will be taken over the phone once your reservation is confirmed. The event is limited to 80 Guests. This event is exclusive to Tables in Wonderland members.

The Wave Discovery Dinner

Location: Disney’s Contemporary Resort; Meet at The Wave Main Podium
Date and Time: Thursday, December 15th, 2011
6:30 p.m. Reception; 7:00 p.m. Dinner
Dress Code: Casual Evening Attire
Cost: $92.00 per person. Tax and gratuity included.

Click image to see larger version

The Wave proudly presents Ben McLean III from Uncle Matt’s Organic Citrus as our host for our December Tables in Wonderland Dinner. Uncle Matt’s Organic is a Florida-based, family-owned company offering premium quality organic citrus juices and organic produce.

All Uncle Matt’s products have no synthetic additives or preservatives and are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Ben McLean III is a citrus grower, researcher and vice president of Uncle Matt’s Organic, based in Clermont, Florida.

Reception in The Wave Lounge
Beef Bruschetta with Locally Sourced Deep Creek Ranch N.Y. Strip Loin
Vegetarian Flatbread with King Family Farm Winter Roasted Root Vegetables
Jansz Brut Non Vintage, Tasmania

Dinner in The Wave Private Dining Room
Appetizer
Lobster Ravioli with Locally Sourced Sunburst Tangerine Buerre Blanc
Molly Dooker “The Violinist” Verdelho 2010

Salad
Roasted Beet Salad with Uncle Matt’s Orlando Tangelo and Balsamic Vinaigrette, Purple Haze Goat Cheese, and Toasted Walnuts
Pacific Rim “Organic” Riesling 2009

Entrée
Tamarind-rubbed Grilled Lamb Loin with Barley and Sun-dried Tomato Risotto, Locally Sourced King Family Farm Winter Vegetables
Molly Dooker “Two Left Feet” Shiraz-Cabernet-Merlot blend

Dessert
Trio of Organic Citrus Flavors featuring:
Orange Infused Brioche Bread Pudding
Sunburst Tangerine Ice Cream
Limoncello Panna Cotta with Orlando Tangelos
Pacific Rim “White Flowers” Sparkling Riesling

For reservations: e-mail WDW.Tables.In.Wonderland@disney.com with the following information: your interest to book, your name, daytime phone number, home address, and the number of people in your party. You will be notified on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Your credit card will be taken over the phone once your reservation is confirmed. The event is limited to 40 Guests. The event is exclusive to Tables in Wonderland members.

Review: California Grill

When planning meals for our October trip to Walt Disney World, I realized it had been a LONG time since we’d visited California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort! And I haven’t reported on it here on the blog for over a year, so I figured it was time to get a little updating in!

Let’s head over to the check-in desk, shall we…?

Atmosphere

To access California Grill, guests need to head to the 2nd floor of the Contemporary Resort and visit the restaurant’s check-in desk (you can get here by elevator, or by taking the stairs/from the back of the lobby).

Once you’re checked in, you’ll be waved over to a special elevator — one used only for California Grill guests — and taken up to the restaurant itself on the 15th floor of the hotel!

Entry from Elevators

I’m always immediately impressed by the nearly 360-degree view of Walt Disney World. The gorgeous, sprawling Grand Floridian Resort in front of you; the spires of Cinderella Castle, Big Thunder mountain, and Space Mountain to your right; and the Wilderness Lodge and Epcot to your left will make it difficult for most folks to tear themselves away from the walls of windows to take a look at the menu!

When you walk in, you’ll be greeted at the podium and (likely) handed a pager. No worries; there’s lots to do while you’re waiting. Start walking toward the windows and you’ll pass the California Grill Bar and head into the lounge area.

California Grill Bar

California Grill Bar

California Grill Lounge

Here’s a tip! If you don’t have a [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Gingerbread Holiday Displays for 2011

Holiday Chef at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…in Disney World, anyway! And it will be looking even more so very soon!

As we look forward to the holidays in our favorite Disney parks, let’s take a look at when to expect the artful decor to go on display this year. And we’ll look back to the gingerbread displays from past holidays to warm our spirits (and appetites) for now!

These displays will be created by the WDW Food and Beverage team. Sometimes you can even watch the chefs put on the finishing touches! And don’t forget to check out the limited edition Gingerbread Display pins coming out this year!

Please note that information is subject to change.

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

(Gingerbread House was scheduled to open on November 14th)

As your eyes try to take in the enormous Christmas tree in the lobby, your sense of smell will lead you toward the 16 foot tall Gingerbread House located in the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort.

Grand Floridian 2010 Gingerbread House

It takes over 400 hours to bake the 10,000+ pieces of gingerbread! Last year’s house was amazing, and one of our colleagues snapped some pics of the construction this year! Thanks to Carla at Hoperatives for these!

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Construction 2011

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Construction 2011

Don’t forget that you can purchase a treat made from a classic Austrian gingerbread recipe right inside the Gingerbread House!! Freshly baked items will include [Read more…]

Guest Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival’s Party for the Senses

Please welcome guest author Melissa Sorrells Galley with a review of the October 15th, 2011, Party for the Senses at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Thanks to Melissa for TONS of awesome and useful PftS tips!!

Party for the Senses is a truly magical dining event offered on Saturday nights throughout the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Bringing food and beverage specialists from around the world in one giant, colorful pavilion, the Party takes place in the World Showplace, located between the United Kingdom and Canada pavilions on the west side of the World Showcase Lagoon.

Signage outside World Showplace

Atmosphere

Parties this year last from 7:30-10pm. Cost is $145 per person, and $260 for the Wine View Lounge (not including park admission, which is required). In addition to the wonderful food and drink, the ticket price includes performances by the artists and entertainers of Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba during the Party as well as reserved seating for the Eat to the Beat Concert prior to the Party.

Check In
When you arrive, there will be a huge throng of people gathering outside the gates of the World Showplace Pavilion. Resist the urge to join them! Check in for Party for the Senses is located near the [Read more…]

Review: Disney World Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage

Ahoy there, Mateys! Get your sea legs firmly in place, because today we’re sailing on the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage in Disney World!

The Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage is available on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights, casting off from the Contemporary Resort. When the holiday season arrives, the cruise will sail every night from November 20, 2011 – January 1, 2012.

Currently, the fare for guests 10 and over is $53.99, and $30.99 for the 3-9 year olds with pre-payment required. To book, call 407-WDW-PLAY (407-939-7529) up to 180 days in advance.

Atmosphere

Upon arrival at the Contemporary Resort, you’ll find the cruise meeting location on the Daily Events Board in the lobby. We knew we had found the right location when we bumped into this scraggly lookin’ fella. Clearly he has not yet discovered the Parmesan mashed potatoes at Chef Mickey’s!

Skeleton Pirate

While the room was filled with entertainment (music, characters, pirates), the pirate decor [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 21, 2011

Cupcakes at the D23 Expo

We’re having a great time gathering all the news from the D23 Expo! See some of the latest below…

Latest Disney Food News

We’ve got more news coming out today, so stay tuned!

Reminder: The DFB Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book Now Available!

Our guide includes over 130 pages of information about this year’s Festival! It’s written as a planning guide for veterans of the festival and those visiting for the first time!

One of our favorite bonus items is a daily schedule to help you plan your most delicious adventures!

You can get your own copy of our new mini-guide here! Remember to use code CHEF for $2 off the regular price! ;-)

On to the Round-Up!

Daveland takes us back in time to the Contemporary’s Top of the World. See more photos here.

Main Street Gazette reminds us that ordinary WDW food is special too! Root beer floats!

Gorillas Don’t Blog show us vintage popcorn boxes!

MSNBC Food And Wine gives a culinary shout-out to Disney dining! You might want to check out the slide show to see some familiar photos from one of your favorite food blogs… ;-)

The Disney Blog shows us the changes made in the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue song due to a copyright issue.

Disney Parks Blog begins a new series highlighting the beautiful cakes made at WDW. Yes, bake me a cake, too!

Disney Food Pics of the Week: A Twist On Bread

We appreciate your photo submissions to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! The pictures are so appetizing! This week, the Disney Food Pics of the Week feature a food staple – bread!

Boudin Bakery Bread Cart at Disney California Adventure. We love that they make Mickey-shaped bread here!
Photographer: shnewell

Fresh bread!

Kona Café in Disney’s Polynesian Resort serves Sweet Bread & Macadamia Honey Butter! Heavenly!
Photographer: Scott Sanders/ssander79

Sweet!

Multigrain Bread is served at [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 24, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade at Enchanted Grove in Magic Kingdom

It’s been a sizzling hot week, so we hope you’re keeping cool! Maybe you have access to some delicious strawberry lemonade like the one to the right (in the Magic Kingdom). We’re counting down the days until we get our next fix of that stuff!

There’s lot of fun Disney food news this week as well as some awesome articles in the round-up, so let’s get started…

Disney Food News

Let’s review the latest news from this past week!

New Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide Just Around the Corner…

Just eeking out the final updates to the brand new Mini-Guide e-Book! (Thankfully, one of our fabulous columnists is in Disney World this week and has agreed to do a little extra recon for us!)

As you know, our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book covers a wealth of information about Disney World food. But after hitting 250 pages, we reserved some of the more detailed info for our upcoming series of Mini-Guides.

The first in the series will be the Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and it will be debuting very soon.

Detailed reviews, photos, prices, and snack-credit-worthiness of over 70 snacks in the Magic Kingdom are packed into this Mini-Guide, but, as always, we’ve included a few extras and bonus items as well!

We’ll have more information for you very soon; we can’t wait to hear what you think!

Here we go…On to the Round-Up!

Meet the World in Progressland shares the fabulous views seen only from Club 33!

Disney Contemporary Fan Site compares the Grand Floridian’s Citricos with the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill. Which would you choose?

DisneyTouristBlog reviews Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. Yee-Haw!

Main Street Gazette shares with us a canyon skillet at Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Kokocooks takes us along on their cupcake crawl in Disney World — inspired by our DFB challenge!

Disney Contests and Sweepstakes gives us the scoop on the Rainforest Cafe Orlando’s summer photo contest. Good luck!