Review: Peanut Butter and Candy Bar Brownies at The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Not so long ago, I took a trip to The Mara, the Quick Service location at Animal Kingdom Lodge to check out the Giraffe and Zebra Cupcakes. But when I posted my review, we also shared pics of a couple of delicious looking brownies that we’d seen at the bakery… .

Peanut Butter Brownies in bakery case

Candy Bar Brownies in the bakery case

I guess they grabbed the attention of a few DFB Readers as well :), because when I read over the comments on that article, several went something like this:

“Yep, the cupcakes look great. But, ummm… HELLO! What can you tell me about that Peanut Butter Brownie?!?” (And THIS is exactly why DFB Readers are So. Great. :) )

So, with that… it’s back to The Mara we go!


Located on the ground floor of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Mara is one of the more interesting quick service locations in Disney World.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Mara offers unique eats in a unique setting. From African Stew and a delicious variety of soups to something on the menu called an “African Chili Cheese Dog” (Note to self: find out what that’s all about), there is so much more here than your standard cheeseburger.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

What I most appreciate about the atmosphere is that it has a more “grown-up” feel for a Quick Service location, with its nods to the majesty of nature. Yet it’s still completely comfortable and approachable, in large part due to the whimsical artwork on the walls.

Part of the wall mural at The Mara

Part of the wall mural at The Mara

For this visit, I took my goodies to the outdoor seating area.

Outdoor Seating at The Mara

Outdoor Seating at The Mara

It’s lovely and [Read more…]

4 Great Counter-Service Turkey Options in Walt Disney World

It’s the Holiday Season! Festive holiday decorations are making their appearance in the “World,” and plans for merry-making with family and friends will be set in place.

Don’t get me wrong – that’s great and all. But let’s face it… those of us who gather here at Disney Food Blog are really thinking about all the FESTIVE FOOD we’re going to enjoy! Specifically, we’re ready to talk TURKEY (and gravy, cranberries, and stuffing) at Disney World Counter-Service locations! These are some great choices if you’re touring the World during the holidays and don’t have time for a sit-down situation. Grab your holiday eats on the go!

Holiday Turkey Sandwich – Earl of Sandwich

Perhaps you’re already familiar with the Holiday Turkey Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney: turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry all on Earl’s artisan bread.

Holiday Turkey Sandwich

Maybe you are among those who love it so much you have all but written a Shakespearean sonnet in its honor. And if you count yourself among the diehards, we certainly wouldn’t judge you if you danced a jig or threw a small party when it was announced that the Holiday Turkey Sandwich would be served at Earl’s year-round. It’s music to our ears!

Turkey Sandwich – Everything Pop Food Court

But Earl’s isn’t the only place where you can enjoy holiday flavors any time of year… Let’s head over to Pop Century’s Food Court, Everything Pop!

Everything Pop!

On the menu, you’ll find a listing for a “Turkey Sandwich.” But c’mon… this is Everything Pop we’re talking about, and we know their propensity for unusual eats! So it should come as no surprise that this is more than a simple turkey sandwich. Just check out the ingredient list!

Everything Pop Turkey Sandwich on the Menu

That’s right: oven-roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, watercress, and cranberry mayo in between two slices of Texas Toast.

Everything Pop Turkey Sandwich

Before we get into the details, here’s a quiz for you! At Thanksgiving dinner are you more likely to: [Read more…]

News! and Review: Downtown Disney’s Namaste Cafe Food Truck

Namaste Cafe has arrived on the Disney Food Truck scene in Disney World’s Downtown Disney!

Namaste Cafe Food Truck in Downtown Disney

It joins the first food truck, Superstar Catering (check out our review here!), in what will ultimately become a group of four trucks total in coming weeks.

Namaste Cafe and Superstar Catering Food Trucks

I know AJ’s been looking forward to this one because we were told it would have Butter Chicken — her favorite! Let’s take a look!


Namaste Cafe features “Tasty Explorations from Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” but before I placed my order, I just had to take some time to admire the artwork on this eye-catching truck.

"Tasty Explorations from Disney's Animal Kingdom"

I love how it so beautifully echoes the imagineering you see in Animal Kingdom, particularly in the Asia area. Just take a look…

Artwork on the Namaste Cafe Food Truck

Tiger on the Namaste Cafe Food Truck

Murals on Namaste Cafe Food Truck

Even the tiger habitat from the Maharajah Jungle Trek is represented beside the pickup window (or at least it looks that way to me!).

Namaste Cafe tiger mural at pickup window

But now that we’ve seen the facade, let’s check out what’s inside!


Namaste Cafe dishes include Slow-cooked Beef Short Ribs, Tandoori Shrimp, and Butter Chicken (woo!). [Read more…]

Review: Disney World Resort Quick Service Pasta Options

Thanks to DFB Author Wendy for a look at some great counter-service carb-loading options for your runDisney races this year!

Are YOU running the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler (or any of the other runDisney races this year)? If so, you might be interested in participating in a good old-fashioned carbo-load before your race!

Even if you’re not tackling those ten on October 5th… odds are good you’ll be putting in plenty of miles at the Parks at some point, no matter what.

It’s time to fuel up, people ;)!

Spaghetti time!

For those running one or more of the east coast races this season, there are plenty of places all over Disney World property where you can take part in the time-honored runners tradition of a pasta “carbo-load.”

Today we’re going to focus on some of your pasta options in the resort Quick Service restaurants.

Counter Service Pasta Options at Walt Disney World Resorts

Let’s start with this terrific trend: Create-Your-Own-Pasta stations are cropping up in a few of your favorite Quick Service restaurants!

Create Your Own Pasta

Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors already has a reputation for innovative and delicious dining, and you can read a full review of the Create-Your-Own-Pasta experience here.

Add-ins for Create Your Own Pasta at Landscape of Flavors

Spaghetti Carbonara with Broccoli

The Riverside Mill at Port Orleans Riverside also offers this fun option!

Riverside Mill

Create Your Own Pasta Options at Riverside Mill

Unique to the Grand Floridian’s recently refreshed Gasparilla Island Grill is a [Read more…]

New! Root Beer Slush in a Souvenir BOOT and Chicken Sandwich at Pecos Bill in Disney World

There are all kinds of awesome changes going on at Disney World’s Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe right now. After years of being able to get a root beer float in a souvenir boot glass at Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe, the boot has come to Disney World!

Pecos Bill Root Beer Slush in Magic Kingdom

Found only at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe counter service restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland, guests can now purchase a Root Beer Slush in the souvenir glass.

The slush itself is thick and icy — definitely a “slush” consistency versus an “icee” consistency. The portion is large, and we found the root beer flavor to be mild, but present.

Pecos Bill Root Beer Slush

The boot cup says “Lone Ranger” on the front, with a [Read more…]

Review: Rosie’s All American Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Today, we are headed into Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a bite to eat at one of the park’s Sunset Ranch Market counter service locations, Rosie’s All American Cafe.

Sunset Ranch Market is a little food court that specializes in some awesome themeing and some pretty “meh” food. ;-)

But it’s super convenient — especially if you’re headed toward or back from two of the park’s most popular attractions: Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller Coaster! (Not to mention Fantasmic!) Let’s take a look.


Rosie’s All American Cafe is located in a primo spot at the crossroads that separate Tower of Terror and Rock n’ Roller Coaster. If you’re looking for a bite to eat while you wait for your FastPass time, you couldn’t ask for a more convenient location.

Rosie's All American Cafe in Sunset Ranch Market

Sunset Ranch Market is an outdoor food court-type set up, themed after LA’s Farmer’s Market. As a result, you have the added benefit of lots of variety here, which is perfect if your group can’t come to consensus about food choices.

Rosie's busy at lunch time

The feel of this area continues the vintage vibe of the park. The setting is World War II-era America, which fits right in with the Studios’ depiction of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

“Rosie” in the restaurant’s name is a reference to Rosie the Riveter, the wartime cultural icon that represented the women who kept the workforce fortified (often in factories) while men were off fighting the war.

Signs on the walls echo the wartime spirit of perseverance.

Signs on the Walls Depict the Restaurant's Theme

One of the most interesting spots in Sunset Ranch Market is the Victory Garden, which is located adjacent to Rosie’s (and happens to be one of the very first restaurant theme elements I wrote about when I started this blog way back in 2009!).

The plot of land pays tribute to the real victory gardens that civilians planted during World War II. The government called upon citizens to plant these gardens in order to supplement food rations, which were necessary to feed servicemen and women stationed all over the globe.

Victory Garden Sign

And this is the real deal! You see real, produce-bearing plants here, like pineapples and peppers. It’s a fantastic visual illustration of history, and a great way that the Studios educates as it entertains.

In the Victory Garden -- Up Close

There’s even a scarecrow, complete with [Read more…]

Review: Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

You know how much we love the food at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge around here. All of the restaurants here — Whispering Canyon Cafe, Artist Point, and even Territory Lounge — offer incredible food in unique settings.

But despite my many trips to Roaring Fork, I just realized I’ve never put together a full review for you guys!

Located conveniently mere steps away from both the lobby of the hotel, as well as the pool area, Roaring Fork is a great place to grab a quick meal or snack on the go as you head out for a swim or to the parks.


Entering into Roaring Fork, you get that same Pacific Northwest Territory adventure vibe present all around Wilderness Lodge, with more of a hint of the rustic here.

It’s awesome how the signage around Wilderness Lodge has a sense of flow to it. You really do feel like you could go outside and hop into a white water raft, bound for some rapids!

Roaring Fork Sign

There’s an abbreviated menu board located outside so you can tell at a glance if the selections here will appeal to you.

Menu Outside of Roaring Fork -- Click to Enlarge

One thing to note about Roaring Fork is the [Read more…]

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…]

Review: Pollo Campero at Downtown Disney Orlando

We’ve got a review of a slightly under-the-radar spot in Disney World’s Downtown Disney today!

So far, you’ve heard about both breakfast, lunch and fun beverage options at Pollo Campero, but I haven’t ever posted my own personal review! It’s about time, don’t you think?

Join me for a visit to the Latin-inspired chicken restaurant that provides an interesting change of pace for Downtown Disney Guests!


Located in what used to be the cavernous McDonald’s at the end of Downtown Disney’s Marketplace, counter-service location Pollo Campero shares space with two other foodstops: Bodie’s All-American (formerly Fresh A-Peel) and Babycakes NYC. On this visit, we were in the mood for chicken, so Pollo Campero it was.

Outside Pollo Campero

Once inside, you’ll approach the restaurant like most other counter service stops. Choose your food at the counter, and then proceed to a central bank of registers that’s shared with Bodie’s All-American.

Ordering Area

The general set up here is a bit “food-courtish,” but it does [Read more…]

Review: Electric Umbrella at Epcot

You may have run right by it dozens of times in a rush to get those all-important Soarin’ Fast Passes or en route to World Showcase for something more exotic.

But if you’re starving (or have picky, non-experimental eaters to feed), that neon sign over the Electric Umbrella in Epcot can be a very welcome sight.

But should you keep walking? Or is there anything of interest here? It had been a while since we had last taken in a lunch at the Future World counter service stop, so I thought it was time to pop in and see if I could find anything new! (Oh, and please forgive any fuzzy pictures; I was using a new camera lens and I couldn’t quite get the hang of it! ;-D)


Located adjacent to both the Innoventions Fountains and Mouse Gear, you can’t miss this restaurant. It anchors the plaza in Epcot’s Future World to the left, as you peer toward World Showcase.

Outside View and Patio Seating

There is a ton of shaded seating here, so finding a table and a place to take a break is rarely a problem. And inside, you’ll find a fun, futuristic, neon-weather vibe. This is early Epcot at its best, IMHO.

Neon Sign

Weather Motif and Theming

And of course, true to the name of the restaurant, you’ll find “electric umbrellas” in bright, primary colors lighting up the inside. (If you are a late 70’s early 80’s baby, you are required to love this.)

Electric Umbrellas!

Now, should you seek seating that’s a bit quieter than that outside or underneath the giant umbrellas, here’s a feature that many people don’t even know about: [Read more…]