Tip from the DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks: DIY Chili Cheese Fries!

Part of being in the know about all the fantastic snacks around Walt Disney World is knowing just how to maximize the snacks you do get. And one TIP that I absolutely love is to take advantage of condiment bars at counter service locations around the resort.

Many of the counter service locations in Magic Kingdom offer condiment stations that are a cut above your usual ketchup and mustard stops!

Toppings at Casey's Corner

Toppings at Casey’s Corner

With a bevy of freshly cut vegetables, sauces, pickles, and even plastic cheese (!!!!!!), you can garnish food to your heart’s content!

Plastic Cheese Dispenser at Casey's Corner

Plastic Cheese Dispenser at Casey’s Corner

One of my favorite hearty snacks are the Chili Cheese Fries that you can get at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in Frontierland and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland. Filling and delicious, they cross over the divide from snack into meal effortlessly!

Chili Cheese Fries at Cosmic Ray's

Chili Cheese Fries from Cosmic Ray’s

But say you’re looking forward to a serving of this glorious snack — and your group all votes for a stop at Casey’s Corner on Main Street USA. Well, you could grumpily stalk off from your group and go your own way…but we have a better idea!

Here’s a TIP from the DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book that will remedy your woes. Although Casey’s doesn’t always have [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World and Disneyland: April 1, 2014!

We have a few updates from both coasts for this round of “What’s New!” And we promise that none of these are April Fool’s jokes. :-D

Starting on the east coast, a recent trip around Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Monorail Loop has revealed a few changes in eats and treats. We’re talking property refurbishments, menu updates, tea, and cupcakes,  so hop on board the Monorail (“Your Highway in the Sky!”) and see What’s New!

We’re saving a seat for you…

Monorail Teal

Monorail Teal

Magic Kingdom

We’ll start our Monorail trip at Magic Kingdom. You may be aware that the Hub (the circular area directly in front of Cinderella Castle) has begun a major refurbishment. This project is slated to run in stages finishing sometime in 2015, with the purpose of accommodating more guests for fireworks and parade viewing, with the added benefit of relieving some of the post-show gridlock thanks to additional walkways.

Though much is covered by refurbishment walls, you can see in these photos where the water that flows towards and around Cinderella Castle has been drained for now to accommodate the construction.

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Soooo… what does this have to do with food? The restaurants in the immediate area are still in operation. The beloved Main Street Popcorn Cart is, too; however, it’s now located on the bridge which connects the Hub to Adventureland.

Current location of Main Street Popcorn Cart

Current location of Main Street Popcorn Cart

Current location of Main Street Popcorn Cart

Current location of Main Street Popcorn Cart

Still an easy spot to grab some popcorn before the new Festival of Fantasy Parade!

Festival of Fantasy Parade

Festival of Fantasy Parade

Though the majority of the refurbishment to add expanded seating to Casey’s Corner is complete, we’re still noticing some small changes here and there.

The wall in the back room, which formerly housed a large-screen TV featuring vintage Disney sports-focused cartoons, was empty in the immediate weeks after the reopening. Now returning are the large pieces of artwork depicting turn-of-the-century images of America’s Favorite Pastime.

Casey's Corner Artwork

Casey’s Corner Artwork

Caseys Corner artwork (3)

Looking at the picture below, I’m sure you can’t help but notice [Read more…]

Top 5 Ways to Get Your Veggies at Walt Disney World

I  know, I know. It’s the new year and you’re really trying to fit in your five servings of fruit and veggies every day, right? Well, I’m here to help you stick to that goal — even when you’re vacationing in Disney World!

Here are my top 5 ways to get my veggie servings in Disney World… . Don’t forget to take notes.

Jalapeño, Avocado, and Cucumber Margaritas at La Cava del Tequila

One of my favorite ways to get my veggies comes with a healthy dose of tequila. That’s right, Friends. We’re heading to Mexico — in Epcot, that is — to La Cava del Tequila.

Seating in La Cava del Tequila

La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Because that’s where you can get some of the green stuff via their Handmade Margaritas. (Yep, that’s right. None of that pre-made, swirling in the slushie machine stuff for you here.)

The Avacado Margarita is one of our favorites!

Avocado Margarita in Epcot's Mexico

Avocado Margarita in Epcot’s Mexico

If you like a teensy bit of zip, go for the Jalapeño Margarita, which features tiny pieces of the peppers right in the mix.

Jalapeno Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

Jalapeño Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

Another refreshing option is the Cucumber Margarita.

cucumber margarita

Cucumber Margarita

Fans of this unusual choice swear by it. It’s like a spa treatment in a glass! With tequila!

Pizza at Via Napoli

Savvy parents have been sneaking veggies into stubborn kids’ food since the dawn of the food pyramid, I figure. And now, I think we should take a page from their book and visit Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion. Because who doesn’t love Pizza?

You guys — you know I think their pizza is totes the BEST. Ever. But hey, who says the best ever can’t have a few healthy benefits?

On our last visit, we tried several pies, including the luxurious Pizza Carciofi. Doesn’t “Artichoke” sound so much more appealing in Italian? This gorgeous pie also features Truffle Oil. So that’s got to count for a serving too, I’m thinking.

Pizza Carciofi

Pizza Carciofi at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

Or you can skip the pizza and have your [Read more…]

Guest Review: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in the Magic Kingdom

Join me in welcoming guest author Katie McFarland Roth with a review of Cosmic Ray’s – a futuristic eatery in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. Enjoy!


Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café is a great counter-service option available in the Magic Kingdom. The portions are heaping and the food is pretty good (for quick-service).

In general, Cosmic Ray’s is a pretty chaotic place to eat. There are always people zooming in and out; and trying to get to the toppings bar with your tray of food is sometimes more dangerous than when Simba was running with the wildebeests.

Word of advice: if you’re traveling in a party with more than 1 person, send 1 person off to find a table for everyone!

Cosmic Ray's Sign

It can be nuts trying to find a place to sit during busy mealtime hours. Almost as nuts-y as trying to find the entrance doors to this restaurant!

Cosmic Ray's Seating -- and Sonny Eclipse!

Something new to me was the graffiti wall in the restaurant that patrons liked writing their hometowns on! I wonder if they start fresh every day? Maybe every hour with the traffic this place gets!

Graffiti "Wall" ...with very surprised photo subject!


There are three different areas, or “bays,” which people can order from; Chicken (#1), Burgers (#2), and Sandwiches (#3).

Ordering Area at Cosmic Rays

There aren’t very many main dish options at each station (4-5), but considering there are [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 30, 2013

I’m getting SO excited for the upcoming Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

This week we got a glimpse at a few more delicious 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival menu items that will be featured at this year’s World Showcase booths.

From salmon in Scotland to pork belly in Brazil, we can’t wait to eat our way around the World this year. Stay tuned this month for even more great updates and menu items as they’re revealed.

In the meantime, check out our 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Page and our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Fans facebook page for more…

Disney Food News

We’ve gathered this week’s food news from your favorite Disney destinations!

  • Bread Cone sandwiches are now being offered at Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
  • Check out the new cinnamon roll in town at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney!
  • The Rainforest Cafe recently opened the brand new Lava Lounge with outdoor, waterfront dining. Also, check out the new volcano show that occurs nightly in Downtown Disney Orlando!
  • A few more 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menu Items have been announced for Disney World’s massive Food and Wine event!
  • A new Orange Slush beverage is being served at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!
  • Check out our review of the updated quick-service restaurant — Gasparilla Island Grill — at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in Walt Disney World!

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including Dole-Inspired Menu Items at Downtown Disney Anaheim and Limited Time Magic Treats in Walt Disney World July 1-7.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

This week we’re featuring some unique desserts. First up, Reader Mandi emailed this gorgeous Chocolate Ginger Cake from Epcot’s Teppan Edo! (We tried this one at Tokyo Dining and loved it!)

Chocolate Ginger Cake!

Facebook Friend Vanessa shared this note: “For those of you who missed it, here are some of the lovely treats AJ chose for this Snack Attack, Butterfinger Cupcakes from DHS, Red Velvet Cupcakes, School Bread from Norway…” We had a great time!

Snack Attack Desserts!

DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks Grand Launch Celebration

We’re celebrating the grand launch of our BRAND NEW DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book!

You can get the new Guide for $3 off the regular purchase price for a limited time — just use code SNACKS13 at the check-out!

With over 250 pages of delicious snacks, the DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks is the third — and long-awaited — book in our DFB Guide Snacks Series!

As always, you will enjoy an instantly downloadable PDF guide with comprehensive information and advice on well over 200 delicious snacks that you can savor at the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios parks in the Walt Disney World resort.

The DFB Mini-Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book will include:

  • Full-color photos of well over 200 of our favorite snacks
  • Over 260 pages of great information, tips, and insider info
  • Current prices and Disney Dining Plan snack credit status
  • Disney Food Blog reviews of all snacks
  • Special Bonus items you’re going to love! (Of course…how could we not include these?!)

DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks Sample Page

Know what you’re getting BEFORE using a precious snack credit or spending limited vacation dollars. Whether you want sweet, salty, crunchy, healthy, or something in between, The DFB Mini-Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book tells you where to find a snack to match your craving!

Don’t forget — for easy access in the parks, put the guide on your smartphone or tablet!

Or Bundle For Even More Savings!

Headed to Disney World and want the whole scoop on snacks? Bundle four of our most popular Disney Dining Guides and SAVE!

Pick up our DFB Guide and Snacks Bundle for over 40% off! This includes our critically acclaimed DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks along with the brand new DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks. All editions have been updated for 2013!

Check out how you can have the best Disney vacation ever…and pay even less!

For more detailed information and sample pages [Read more…]

New! Orange Slush at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

I’m excited to share another new addition to the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World with you today!!

We shared the scoop on the new Root Beer Slush at Pecos Bill’s a couple of weeks ago, and now guest favorite Tomorrowland counter-service spot Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe has a new beverage — an Orange Slush!

This is awesome news for those of us who loved the orange slush over at Sunshine Tree Terrace during the short time that it was available. I hope this one is just as good!

Served with whipped cream, the slush is currently priced around $3.69. It’s tart orange flavor is sweetened with a little bit of added whipped cream. This melds the flavors together so the drink resembles a creamsicle! Yum.

Orange Slush at Cosmic Ray's!

So far, the beverage seems very popular. According to cast members, [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: How to Avoid Crowds When Dining in Disney World

If you’ve ever eaten at a crowded Disney World restaurant, you KNOW it’s not something you want to repeat.

Endless lines, deafening volume, long waits for tables (or sometimes even having to sit on the floor at counter-service restaurants)…it’s definitely not a “magical moment.” After all, vacations are for relaxing — especially at meal times!

We know that you want to make the most of every moment of your trip, and that means eating when the restaurants aren’t crowded — and taking advantage of rides and attractions when restaurants are busy. You need stress-free Disney Dining!

Our recommendations will give you a chance to unwind, enjoy a great meal (or quick and tasty pick-me-up), and get you back to the Walt Disney World attractions! We’ve done the meal time research for you! After years of touring the parks and countless meals at Disney World, we’ve gathered tips to avoid the crowds!

Book an early ADR to get a great table without the crowds!

In our The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book, we have a whole section dedicated to avoiding crowds in Disney World. Pick up your copy here for an extra $4 off using code 2013 for a limited time!

With our in-depth DFB Guide, you’ll learn tips for avoiding the crazy in Disney World — and ensure  you have a relaxing and nourishing meal so you’re ready to get back out to the parks. Don’t go on your vacation without these tips for stress-free dining!

3 Awesome Tips to Avoid Disney World Dining Crowds

Let’s get right to our meal time strategies that we’ve included in the DFB Guide to make the most of your Disney Dining without the crowds.

We found Tortuga Tavern empty at 11am during a June visit! An hour later, there were no seats available!

1. Dine at “Off-Times”

If you’re visiting Disney World during a busy time (yes, Spring Breakers, Summer visitors, Christmas Folks, that includes you!), finding a restaurant without a wait will be difficult.

Still, crowds thin after the throngs depart during major meal rushes. We suggest avoiding 8-9AM, noon-1:30PM, and 6-7PM. We’ve found that booking meals for “brunch” at 10:30 or 11AM, late lunch at 3 or 4PM, or late dinner at 8 or 9PM works well for avoiding the crowd crunch. For counter-service restaurants, we [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 3, 2013

Mickey knows what’s up this weekend!!

We’re right there with you with the game on and the chicken wings on speed dial!!

But just in case you need a break from the pre-game coverage, we’ve got tons of awesome Disney Dining news to share with you today! Check out some of the latest updates below…

Disney Dining News

Catch up on Disney’s food news…

We’ve got additional food news, including restaurant closures, New Menu Items at Tamu Tamu Refreshments, Valentine’s Week Dinners and Specialty Cupcakes at Walt Disney World and Disneyland restaurants, Special Super Bowl Eats at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Exterior Renovation at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, Lunar New Year Specialties at Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney Anaheim, Exterior Renovation at Rainforest Cafe, Hurricane Hanna’s Grand Opening, and LOTS more, on our Disney Food News Pin Board! Head over and check it out!

Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

This week, reader @nellie204 shared this too-adorable photo she titled: “Standard Disney Breakfast at Saratoga!” via twitter!

We love the choice of breakfast foods, Nellie!!!

Standard Disney Breakfast at Saratoga!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013!!

This week we celebrated the grand launch of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book! This valuable resource is fully updated for 2013 visits, and is now available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining opportunities while in Disney World.

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 400 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite things — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next vacation! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBGuide.com to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2013 to get a $4 discount for a limited time! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!

To celebrate the launch and to thank you for your support of the blog, we’ll be offering the Guide for $4 off its standard rate for a limited time! Order your copy now at DFBGuide.com and use code 2013 for your discount!

If you purchased the 2012 Guide and would like to purchase the 2013 Guide, we’ve got a special discount for repeat purchasers. Email me here to get a limited-time, one-use, exclusive discount code to purchase the 2013 Guide at a $6 discount. Please include the email address you used to purchase the 2012 Guide in the body of your email.

For more detailed information and screen shots from the e-Book, head over to DFBGuide.com! With a 100% money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose! :-)

Three Great e-Books: Over 30% Off!

Want even more savings?! We’ve bundled three of our most popular guides into one discounted price! Our DFB Guide & Snacks Bundle offers:

  • The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013, PLUS
  • The DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, AND
  • The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks

All three are being sold together for the first time –and for a massively discounted price. Just $29.95 instead of the regular price of nearly $42.00.

Find out more about the DFB Guide & Snack Bundle here!

On to the Round-Up

WDW Today Podcast chats with us about Walt Disney World dining with kids.

Parents Magazine gives Disney Dining tips, including suggestions from yours truly! ;-)

Daveland visits the Main Street Market House in Disneyland.

DisZine reports on Splitsville’s Super Bowl Party!

The Drinks Business discusses wines at the exclusive Club 33 in Disneyland.

Running at Disney dines at the Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club resort.

Main Street Gazette samples the Milky Way Sundae at Beaches and Cream.

Disney Gals discuss keeping kosher at Disney.

Disney by Mark fuels up at Flo’s V-8 Cafe at Disney California Adventure.

Review: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe at Magic Kingdom

Today, we head to Tomorrowland for a visit to an “out-of-this-world” dining spot — Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe!

Situated on the corner between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, this spot actually boasts views of Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Main Street USA, and the Castle Hub!

With plenty of standard American fast food offerings, you’ll find lots of options to please pickier eaters here. And while at first glance the atmosphere isn’t all that interesting, it holds a few surprises.

Let’s head in and see what Cosmic Ray’s has to offer these days!

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe


Cosmic Ray’s takes up a huge chunk of real estate right on the edge of Tomorrowland. The vibe is retro-future, much like the rest of the land. If you are a big fan of The Jetsons, Lost in Space, and the People Mover, this is the place for you!

Inside, you’ll find ample indoor and outdoor seating on a couple of different levels. And here’s a surprise — if you’re a newbie to Cosmic Ray’s: there’s a floor show!

Cosmic Rays -- Sonny View Seating

Throughout the day, animatronic alien lounge singer Sonny Eclipse comes to life and entertains you with his signature disco-blues style that is both futuristic and retro at once. Listen closely to the songs to get a few laughs.

Sonny Eclipse entertains at Cosmic Ray's

The area where Sonny performs does tend to be a little loud, so if you aren’t a fan of talking over music while you eat, there is also inside seating on the upper level that’s a bit set apart from the noise.

Inside Seating -- Away from Sonny's Floorshow

The restaurant also boasts lots of [Read more…]

DFB Challenge: 2012 Walt Disney World Cheese Crawl

We’re sending our courageous (and hopefully hungry) readers on another crawl.

Not surprisingly, this one is all about cheese! ;-) (You asked for it…and we thought it was an AWESOME idea!!) The best part? You’ll visit mostly counter-service and/or grab ‘n go locations on this cheese crawl, so no Advance Dining Reservations required! (Of course, if you want table-service cheese options, check out our Disney World Cheese Plates here!)

Some of you have attempted the 2011 Disney cupcake crawl and the 2012 Disney cupcake crawl and now it’s time to tackle another DFB favorite…

The Disney Food Blog’s “Walt Disney World Cheese Crawl” Strategy

Gear up for tasting cheese selections on menus all over Walt Disney World. Your challenge is to sample these sweet and savory items, hopefully in a single Disney World vacation.

Follow the crawl step by step, or opt to select the items that you find most appetizing. You’ve reached the Cheese finish line when you’ve visited at least seven locations and sampled at least seven different cheese items.

Remember that Disney World menus have a way of changing, so if you need to substitute out new options for the ones below, we won’t deduct any points! Depending on your level of tolerance, you may want to split this crawl up over a couple of days. Either way, we won’t judge!

Tutto Gusto Cheese

Some of these items can be purchased for a Disney Dining Plan snack credit, so save up those snacks!

EPCOT: Cheese required = 2

Depart your hotel for a morning in Epcot’s Future World. At 11am, make your way to World Showcase! Your first stop is the Rose & Crown pub in Canada.

Rose & Crown Pub
Rose & Crown pub in United Kingdom is an awesome spot to hang with friends over drinks and apps. Be sure to say hi to Carl for us!

  • Cheese Plate: Here’s an updated cheese plate with layers of flavors. Which cheese will be your favorite — Cotswolds Cheddar, an aged

    [Read more…]