Disney Food Post Round-Up: October 24, 2010

Welcome to the Disney Food Post Round-Up!

The 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival may be half over, but there’s still a lot of eating and drinking to do! You can find links to all of our coverage, including reviews of some of the newest events at the festival, here.

And if the World Showcase booths are your destination, we’ve got food pictures, prices, and menus to help you as you plan how to make the most of that stomach space!

Now, on to the Round-Up!

Progress City USA collects another panoply of weird, early 80’s Disney World marketing goodness for us here. The reason why I’m allowed to post it on the round-up is because if you look at the third video, around 6 minutes and 2 seconds in, you’ll see some great footage of the old Top of the World Restaurant at Disney’s Contemporary Resort (the ORIGINAL one). But, all in all, you should watch all the videos. And read the commentary. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry.

Hoperatives shares a guide to better beer at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.

Parkeology has a bone to pick with Pinocchio Village Haus… .

Main Street Gazette has a photo from the Belgium booth that I’m loving!

AllEars.net blogger Deb Martin Koma has some great coverage of the First Bites Opening Reception at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

MousePlanet and Jim Korkis have more Frito Kid goodness. (Speaking of, the Frito Kid and Klondike now reside on my cell phone as my ringtone. Just thought you guys should know that.)

Zannaland covers a fun evening with Chef Robert Irvine at the Crew’s Cup Lounge! You can see more coverage here (from our own Chef BigFatPanda), here from Disney Everyday, and here from Theme Park Mom!

Touring Plans‘ blogger Kristen Helmstetter shares her F&W Fest experience and reviews!

The Disney Chick makes Rum Raisin Gugelhopf from the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

990 Square has some gorgeous photos and a review of her Sweet Sundays experience with the owners of Baked.

A Taste of Disney makes Tacos de Carne from La Cantina de San Angel.

All’s Fare Food Blog makes the Key Lime Pie recipe from Old Key West Resort.

A Taste of Wonderland considers eating organic in Disney World.

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 18, 2010

Lots of Disney food news this week, including:

And don’t forget to check out the awesome posts over on the Disney Blog Carnival! There’s a new one up this week!! Now, on to the round-up!

DisneyGeek, our favorite Disneyland photographer, has some fun photos of the opening days of Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival! (Start at the linked page and click through the next few pages for more pics.)

The Unofficial Guide to Disney’s Contemporary Resort takes a look at breakfast options at the Contemporary Resort.

The OC Register is reporting from Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival! Check out the latest from Guy Fieri’s appearances!

Theme Park Insider has a “What’s On Your Funnel Cake?” poll with some great opinions in the comments section!

The Disney Chick walks us through the recipe for Jarlsberg and Leek Soup from Akershus.

Disney Parks Blog shares some photos of great Disneyland Food and Wine Festival merchandise!

Main Street Gazette has a photo blog of the decor over at the Adventureland Veranda in Disney World.

The Daily Disney posts the recipe for one of the most popular items at the 2009 Epcot Food & Wine Festival — seared beef tenderloin with sweet potato puree!

@Marcomboy sent the best twitpic ever. Seriously. I love this. Where can I get one?

Touring Plans takes a look at Trail’s End in Disney’s Fort Wilderness.

Disney Food Post Weekly Round-Up: April 4th, 2010

From Mad Hatter's Peep Party Diorama

Welcome to the Round-Up! Quick Disney food news recap on this Easter Sunday morning:

Finally, don’t forget to head over the DisMarks Disney Blog Carnival for some great reads (30 submissions!!) about your favorite topics! And now, on to the Round-Up!

The Washington Post showcased these videos of the Marshmallow Peeps Diorama competition, two of which show dioramas themed to Disney movies (Winner: “Eep” — a representation of “Up.” Finalist: “The Mad Hatter’s Peep Party” — a representation of “Alice in Wonderland.)!

Three Baking Sheets to the Wind created some amazing Alice in Wonderland themed cupcakes. Just wait until you see the “Tweedledee and Tweedledum” ones… Wow.

Progress City USA has a picture of Jim MacPhee drinking Beverly. (You won’t know if it’s worth looking until it’s too late.) Also, a piece of history with Disney’s launch of French-fried ice cream.

Designing Disney has an Easter Egg Hunt on his blog… see if you can find ‘em!

Disney has released photos of the Walt Disney Signature dining installation in collaboration with design innovator, Cappellini, for this year’s Dining By Design DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) event in New York City.

AllEars has a great photo blog from The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Disney Parks Blog shows us how to find our favorite candy on Mainstreet USA!

Disney Shawn shows us the ins and outs of Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in WDW’s Magic Kingdom.

Studios Central has a great write-up of the recent counter service menu changes in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Orlando Sentinel talks about butterbeer at the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios (I know…not technically Disney…but awesome!)

WDW Radio shares a special find — the Adventureland Veranda serving meals again…if only temporarily!

Disney Every Day has some pics of breakfast at the Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe.

Magical Kingdoms reviews Cafe Mickey in Disneyland Resort Paris.

The S’mores The Better!

smoresIn honor of those Disney fans heading to Tent Fest in Walt Disney World this weekend, I got the great suggestion to chat a bit about Disney s’mores!

S’mores on Demand
There are two restaurants that currently have fun s’mores desserts on the menu; the first is more of a kid-friendly version, while the second will satisfy any of our many grown-up marshmallow cravings:

Le Cellier’s colorful s’mores-on-a-stick has been a go-to kids’ dessert for years, and it never fails to impress. “Built” with a graham cracker, chocolate, and ice cream base, the “wow” factor comes with a sprinkle-y marshmallow topping it all off.

Le Cellier Smores Dessert

Le Cellier Smores Dessert

The 50’s Prime Time Cafe s’mores dessert is a more “gourmet” offering — mostly because they can use a blow torch to make it — but the fun of having those ooey gooey marshmallows arrive on your table [Read more…]

More Dishes From California Grill

The Disney Food Blog took you to the California Grill back in April 2009, but we’ve returned since then and we’ve got more pics for you! :)

Located on the top floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the California Grill is one of Orlando’s most outstanding restaurants. It’s well known for sushi, wine, market-specific menus, and that fantastic fireworks show that happens right outside!

The Eats
We began this evening with our customary cheese plate (I can’t pass up a good cheese plate!), and California Grill doesn’t disappoint. The cheeses will change seasonally, and usually range from mild and buttery to a strong blue cheese (my favorite is the Monte Enebro, which you’ll find on other Disney World cheese plates as well). You’ll often find a variety of sources as well, from sheep’s milk to goat’s milk to cow’s milk. The plates also come with several sweet accompaniments. As you know, the honeycomb is my absolute favorite, but on this plate the candied nuts and sweet apples also were delicious.

California Grill Cheese Plate October 09

California Grill Cheese Plate October 09

Cheese Plate Listing -- Click for Larger Version

Cheese Plate Listing -- Click for Larger Version

Also for starters, we wanted to sample the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Pesto, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Basil, which is probably one of the most [Read more…]

Chef Mickey’s Restaurant

Can you believe it?! Nearly a year of Disney Food Blog posts I haven’t done a Chef Mickey’s post yet! Well, this oversight shall now be rectified. I’m headed to Chef Mickey’s for breakfast…care to join me?

Chef Mickey's Sign

Found in the middle of the Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey’s stands as one of the most popular character buffets in Disney World. With great food, lots of characters, and a convenient location, this buffet is a must-do.

Chef Mickey's Entry

Chef Mickey's Entry

What makes it so popular?
Here’s my analysis:

  • The Fab Five: You can find every member of the fab five — Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto — right here for breakfast, dinner, and, in the very busy seasons, lunch.
  • The Monorail: Kids love the monorail. It’s sleek. It’s up high. It’s like space transport. And it goes into the hotel — that’s right, it doesn’t just park outside of the hotel like it does at the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian — it goes into the hotel. That’s just cool. No matter how old you are.
  • Proximity to the Magic Kingdom: When you’re at the MK all day and need a respite, Chef Mickey’s gives a nice change of pace without taking you too far from the park.
  • Cheesy Potatoes and the Sundae Bar: Chef Mickey’s has legendary cheesy potatoes for breakfast, and it has a fantastic sundae bar for dinner. That’s enough for me.
Cheesy Potatoes on the Left

Cheesy Potatoes on the Left

What’s the Atmosphere Like?
Dropped into the middle of the Contemporary’s Grand Canyon Concourse, the restaurant’s decor is a taste of Toon Town meets Tomorrowland. Lots of big splashes of color, cartoon-y cut-outs, Mickey shapes, and space-age banquettes.

Seating Area and Buffet

Seating Area and Buffet

Chef Mickey's Seating

Chef Mickey's Seating

After checking into the restaurant, you’ll be sent to a line where you’ll wait to have your photo taken with the Chef Mickey’s iconic statue, and then you’ll head over to one of the newly-renovated waiting areas until your pager buzzes.

Photo and Waiting Area

Photo and Waiting Area

Soon you’ll be escorted through the (usually loud and teeming) restaurant to your table; be aware that you might need to dodge a napkin-twirling Donald Duck or a curtsy-ing Minnie Mouse on your way.

A Second Seating Area

A Second Seating Area

Table Setting

Table Setting

Settle in and order your drinks, and then you’re on your way to the delicious buffet!

So How About the Food?
The restaurant has a buffet, and the breakfast and dinner offerings are plentiful. For breakfast, our choices included biscuits and gravy, blintzes, cold and hot cereals, waffles and pancakes, omelets, turkey hash, breakfast meats, fruit, baked goods, boiled eggs, yogurt, and more. Here are a few of the items that were available on the day we were there:

Fruit and Baked Goods Station

Fruit and Baked Goods Station

Cheese Blintzes with Sauces

Cheese Blintzes with Sauces

Cold Cereal

Cold Cereal

Syrup Container for Waffles and Pancakes

Syrup Container for Waffles and Pancakes

Breakfast Meats and Corned Beef Hash

Breakfast Meats and Corned Beef Hash

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy

Vegetable Lasagna and Turkey Hash

Vegetable Lasagna and Turkey Hash

Breakfast Pizza, Tots, Mickey Waffles

Breakfast Pizza, Tots, Mickey Waffles

Fruit

Fruit

Yogurt, Apples and Granola, Applesauce, Cottage Cheese

Yogurt, Apples and Granola, Applesauce, Cottage Cheese

Plate 1

Plate 1

Carbo Plate

Carbo Plate

And here are the menus from that day as well:

Chef Mickey's Breakfast Menu

Chef Mickey's Breakfast Menu

Chef Mickey's Dinner Menu

Chef Mickey's Dinner Menu

Don’t forget, the menus change all the time, so yours might not look just like these. Regardless, I can almost guarantee you’ll find something for everyone in the family.

And the Characters?
Yep — there are definitely characters! During our breakfast, we had the chance to hang out with each character twice — even though the restaurant was busy! Remember, though, that the characters have to get through the three main seating areas, so be patient.

Notice the fun chef-inspired outfits that the fab five are wearing!

Chef Mickey

Chef Mickey

Goofy

Goofy

Chef Donald

Chef Donald

Minnie

Minnie

Pluto

Pluto

Any Cons?
Cons would include the noise of the restaurant. This isn’t a quiet spot to have a nice breakfast. It’s loud, raucous, fun, and exciting — probably not the place to take Junior for a nap away from the park.

Also, this isn’t gourmet food. If you want five-star or very healthy food, consider another restaurant. But the food is good, plentiful, and worth the price.

Finally, Advanced Dining Reservations can be hard to get. This restaurant is as popular as Le Cellier and Cinderella’s Royal Table these days, and getting a reservation can be tricky. Don’t forget that you can now call/go online to get an ADR at 180 days in advance of your vacation.

I hope this primer has helped you to see a bit deeper into Chef Mickey’s — a restaurant we’ve all heard of, but some of us might not have had the chance to visit. It’s truly an iconic Disney restaurant, so if you have the chance to make it there for a meal someday, I’d encourage it!

Disney Food Post Round-Up: November 15, 2009

Eat hereIt makes my belly rumble to see all of these delicious posts. For those of you enjoying the Children’s Miracle Network Classic Wine and Dine Walk this weekend, I hope we get to see photos!

Big news this week comes from the Main Street Gazette blog that Taqueria del Lago, the Mexico City Food and Wine Festival stand, has become a permanent (not sure how long that will be) fixture in the Epcot Mexico pavilion! Click the link to see the menu. Thanks, Ryan!

Here are this week’s masterpieces:

Disney History Institute, Paul F. Anderson’s new (and exceptional!) blog, includes a guest post by Disney Historian Jim Korkis highlighting Macaroni Mickey Mousse. This recipe, one of Walt’s own, comes from a February 1934 issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

DisneyContemporary learns a nautical alphabet at The Sand Bar.

The Orlando Sentinel’s Daily Disney questions the staying power of Club Cool based on recent experiences.

Join Progress City USA for “an enjoyable experience in an atmosphere suited to relaxed dining” as he remembers some fantastic Disney vintage advertisements.

Theme Park Insider has an Epcot Food and Wine Festival Trip Report, complete with Robert Irvine photo, for your enjoyment.

Disney and More has a fantastic article about Disneyland Resort Paris’ Last Chance Cafe Terrace. Some great photos here.

Disney Every Day shares a video of the Grand Floridian’s Gingerbread House Construction.

Dining With the Mouse, a new website that shares stories of making Disney Parks food at home, shows us her version of S’mores from 50’s Prime Time Cafe. Yum!

Also wanted to share a few posts that I missed last week, but are noteworthy:

Princess Fee at DF’82 answers a reader question about where to eat in Disneyland Resort Paris.

The Daily Mickey takes a look at the long history of the Village Fry Shop, a.k.a. The Friar’s Nook, in the Magic Kingdom.

And Zannaland reviews Epcot’s La Cava del Tequila.

Disney + Food + Technology = :-D

Disney’s been sampling how technology can enhance theme park dining for years. One of my earliest memories is stopping at the Epcot WorldKey under the golf ball to make dinner reservations via the talking head on the screen.

Today, Disney’s continuing to make progress in the information age. The recently launched online Advanced Dining Reservations system and the following tech-y installments are good examples.

Computerized Ordering
You’ll recall a previous post on the Food Blog about the Contemporary Resort Contempo Cafe’s new computerized ordering system. It resembles the made-to-order (“MTO”) ordering system from my favorite gas station chain, Sheetz, and I thought it was fantastic when I got the chance to use it for the first time in February.

As it turns out, Disney’s been adding these ordering systems in several spots throughout the parks and resorts. I’ve got some photos from Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in the Magic Kingdom and Captain Cook’s quick service restaurant in the Polynesian Resort, as well as the Contempo Cafe photos.

Contempo Cafe Ordering System Instructions

Contempo Cafe Ordering System Instructions

Contempo Cafe Ordering Computer Stations

Contempo Cafe Ordering Computer Stations

Contempo Cafe Ordering Screen

Contempo Cafe Ordering Screen

Computers for Ordering at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Computers for Ordering at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Computer Order Screen at Captain Cooks

Computer Order Screen at Captain Cooks

Captain Cooks Order Screen

Captain Cooks Order Screen

Online Ordering
One tech advancement I’m very excited about is Wolfgang Puck Express’ online ordering system. While this isn’t a “Disney innovation,” it is a way to take advantage of technology when dining at Downtown Disney.

If you’re planning on heading to Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace, simply visit their online ordering website in advance. No need to log in, just click on “browse menu” and set a date, then make your choices — even substitutions — online.

Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney

Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney

Online Ordering advertisement at Wolfgang Puck Express

Online Ordering advertisement at Wolfgang Puck Express

Even if you’re headed to Disney World in a few days, you can pre-order what you’d like for lunch when you arrive and have it waiting for you at Downtown Disney as soon as you land at MCO. Brilliant.

Where have you seen technology at work?
If you’ve experienced online or computerized ordering, or have a comment about another dining technology at work, I’d love to hear your story! Contact me via the email form button above!

Secret Spots: Contemporary Grounds

Contemporary Grounds

There are lots of Disney World dining spots that are well-known to Disney-goers. Everyone knows about Cinderella’s Royal Table and Chef Mickey’s, right? But there are also a few hidden gems of which you may not have heard! One of these great little spots is Contemporary Grounds, located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Ordering and Serving Area

Ordering and Serving Area

While the Magic Kingdom bakery is sure to have a line out the door every morning, Contemporary Grounds (just a short walk away from the Magic Kingdom) offers similar coffee drinks and pastries, minus the line! (It’s also a great way to convince your spouse to go check out the new Bay Lake Tower Disney Vacation Club property…)

Contemporary Grounds Menu

Contemporary Grounds Menu

Situated in the lobby of the resort, right next to the entrance to the Conference Center (natch), sits unassuming little Contemporary Grounds. The area is bright, sunny, and surrounded by comfy couches and chairs for relaxing. This makes it a perfect place to kick back for a mid-afternoon rest — you’re still close enough to the park to get back for the 3:00pm parade! Best of all? No reservations necessary!

Contemporary Lobby Seating Area

Contemporary Lobby Seating Area

Now, doesn’t that look more comfy than fighting for a table outside the Plaza? Enjoy!

Photo Credits: Thanks to DisneyContemporary.com for the photos!

Campfires and S’mores? Who knew?

That’s right. What started with an innocent campfire sing-a-long at Fort Wilderness has turned into one of the most-loved (and most unknown) activities for Disney World Resort Hotel guests — campfires, movies on the beach, and…s’mores!

Yacht and Beach Club Resorts Campfire and Smores

Yacht and Beach Club Resorts Campfire and Smores

In addition to the original Chip & Dale campfire sing-a-long and movie at Fort Wilderness, free (yep — I said it) “movies on the beach” can be found at several resorts, including the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, the Contemporary Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Saratoga Springs Resort, and All Star Music.

Movie on the Beach at Yacht and Beach Club Resorts

Movie on the Beach at Yacht and Beach Club Resorts

The best part, in my humble opinion, is that some of these include campfires! And where there are campfires, there are s’mores! You can either bring your own s’mores fixin’s or purchase a s’mores kit (around $5) at nearby refreshment stands.

Movies are shown at varying times (usually beginning between 7-9pm EST); check with the front desk of each hotel for an activities sheet, which will give dates and times of movie nights, and a listing of which movies will be showing.