Photo Tour and Review: NEW Polynesian Village Resort Lobby, and Tiramisu Cupcake at Captain Cook’s

Happy New Year!!

We don’t know a better way to celebrate than with this gorgeousness! OK, OK, we know you’ve probably got all kinds of resolutions for 2015. But, as far as I’m concerned, those start on MONDAY!!! Let’s take a look at one last indulgence, shall we…?

On a recent visit to the Polynesian Village Resort, I stopped by Captain Cook’s and peeked in the refrigerator, expecting to find the Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cupcake, as per usual.

However, something unexpected caught my eye that I decided to pick up: the Tiramisu Cupcake.

Tiramisu Cupcake

Tiramisu Cupcake

Now, typically I might take you on a little tour around Captain Cook’s before we dig in, but the big news at the Polynesian is the recent reopening of the lobby at the Great Ceremonial House, which has been closed off for refurbishment for much of the year.

Polynesian Village Resort lobby

Polynesian Village Resort lobby

So, instead, I thought I might show some of the pictures of the refurbished lobby since the Polynesian is such a major dining destination at Disney World no matter which resort you choose to stay in. Obviously, our focus on this site is food, and since the Polynesian is home to such popular restaurants as ‘Ohana and Kona Cafe, we know that many DFB readers loved seeing the lobby upon arrival for their Advance Dining Reservation, whether they were preparing to enjoy breakfast with Stitch and Lilo at ‘Ohana, or the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.

Entering from the main downstairs entrance, the signature large waterfalls have been removed. Now this area features open space, lots of seating, and a small water feature (which differs from the original artist renderings for now, but I understand that the Tiki statue previously featured in the artwork may still become a part of the structure next year).

Polynesian Village Resort lobby

Polynesian Village Resort lobby

Seating in the lobby

Seating in the lobby

Water Feature

Water Feature

Without the presence of the large waterfalls, the new light fixtures become a major focal point.

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Moving upstairs, the natural light seems to stream more to dining areas such as Kona Cafe and Kona Island (although I really don’t know if that’s more due to the fact that construction walls have been cutting off much of the light in recent months, so my eyes may just be readjusting).

Kona Cafe

Kona Cafe

The seating area near Tambu Lounge and ‘Ohana has new furniture and carpeting as well.

Seating area near the Tambu Lounge

Seating area near the Tambu Lounge

Seating area near the Tambu Lounge

Seating area near the Tambu Lounge

Captain Cook’s, however, remains unchanged (well, since the reopening from its own refurbishment in August, that is), so now that we’re there, why don’t we get straight to the cupcake?

Captain Cook's sign

Captain Cook’s sign

Captain Cook's dining room

Captain Cook’s dining room

When I spotted the Tiramisu Cupcake, the first thing I noticed were the peaks of frosting all over the top. I assumed it might be a marshmallow or whipped cream topping to mimic the light texture of tiramisu.

But it was actually — to my happy surprise — rich, dense peaks of cream cheese (I assume as a play on mascarpone), all dusted with cocoa like a proper tiramisu.

Tiramisu Cupcake

Tiramisu Cupcake

The white cake base resembles [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Seasonal Treats at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

The Disney Holiday season is in full effect at the Disneyland Resort!  I love that the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe is always introducing us to new seasonal items.

In fact, because I never know what I’ll find, I’ve make it a point to check in on nearly every visit to Disneyland!

Jolly Holiday Bakery

Jolly Holiday Bakery

On my last trip there were a handful of new items that are special for the Disney holiday season.  Also in the bakery cases were some returning favorites. 

Eats

The popular Santa Mickey Candy Cane Cupcake is back.

The cupcake is chocolate, topped with a mound of red & green “sure to stain your teeth” frosting, and finished off with a candy cane.

Mickey Holiday Cupcake

Mickey Holiday Cupcake

I’ve actually never tried one of these because 1) I’m not a huge chocolate fan and 2) it looks way too messy for me to deal with in public!

Close Up

Holiday Cupcake Close Up

There are also Snowman shaped [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: More Halloween Treats at the Disneyland Resort

It’s been so much fun hunting down all of  the Halloween Treats  at the Disneyland Resort this year.

Halloween is by far my very favorite time of the year.  I have so many photos of spooky delights and although I’d like to try every single item, I’d also like to fit into my Halloween costume in a few weeks. So, instead of a full review on each of these Halloween Time treats, let’s just look at some calorie free photos!  Most of the items I’m featuring in this post can be found in Candy Palace at Disneyland, Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure, and Marceline’s in Downtown Disney.  If an item is specific to a certain spot, I’ll let ya know!

Let’s start with these adorable Mickey o’ Lantern Cookies!

Mickey Pumpkin Cookies

Mickey Pumpkin Cookies

Followed by some Mickey Bat Cookies!  I love the tiny orange fangs!

Mickey Bat Cookies

Mickey Bat Cookies

New for 2014 are the Haunted Mansion Clock Crispy Clock & Mickey Mummy Crispy Treats. How cute are the little M&M eyes peeking out from behind the mummy’s “bandages?”

Haunted Mansion Clock & Mickey Mummy Crispy Treats

Haunted Mansion Clock & Mickey Mummy Crispy Treats

There’s also a new Jack o’ Lantern Marshmallow Wand.  This one I might have to get my hands on.  Four fluffy marshmallows are dipped in caramel, then coated with white chocolate and covered in orange sanding sugar.  I love that each pumpkin has a [Read more…]

Review: Strawberry and Cream Cupcake at Epcot’s Fountain View Starbucks

When visiting Fountain ViewEpcot’s Starbucks location – you’ll primarily find food items similar to what you’ll likely see at any Starbucks across the country: cake pops, muffins, breads, and Danish pastries, to name a few.

However, at the two Starbucks locations in Disney World Parks (the other being Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery), there are a few treats specific to these locations – primarily, cupcakes!

And it’s always good to see those gems in the case amidst the more standard fare… especially since they come out along with all the other treats at breakfast time, and it’s practically a vacation rite of passage to start your day with a cupcake ;) . The previous selection from Fountain View included the Mickey Cupcake and the Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake. And we love the Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake at Main Street Bakery!

Disney cupcakes at Fountain View

Disney cupcakes at Fountain View

Peanut Butter Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

Peanut Butter Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

A little while ago, Fountain View debuted a new cupcake next to to the Mickey Cupcake (replacing the Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake), and I decided to give it a try: the Strawberry and Cream Cupcake. (Note that the bakery changes out items seasonally, so these may or may not be there on your visit. :-D)

Strawberry and Cream cupcakes in Fountain View case

Strawberry and Cream cupcakes in Fountain View case

I’m starting to realize that I’ve been completely spoiled by the humongous cupcakes found all over Disney World at places like Starring Rolls Cafe, Contempo Café, and the BoardWalk Bakery, because this cupcake struck me as rather small… when, in actuality, it’s a just, like, a normal-sized cupcake :).

The swirled strawberry and vanilla frosting is a really nice touch.

Strawberry and Cream swirled frosting

Strawberry and Cream swirled frosting

I prefer a thicker frosting, and though this frosting was airy and light instead, I appreciated that I could spot vanilla bean seeds in the “cream” side of the swirled frosting as well as strawberry seeds from the puree in the strawberry side.

Vanilla frosting

Vanilla frosting

Strawberry frosting

Strawberry frosting

That, unfortunately, is where my appreciation [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World: July 16th, 2014

We’re wandering the World in search of eats, sweets, and all sorts of treats! Join us for another trip around the World to find out What’s New!

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Frozen Summer Fun

In case you haven’t heard, Frozen Summer Fun is happening all over Hollywood Studios!

Elsa and Anna Letting It Go!

Elsa and Anna Letting It Go!

And of course this event includes a few extra snacks inspired by the film and its characters, such as specialty cupcakes (we loved the Olaf Carrot Cake), Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, and specialty drinks.

Take-Along Olaf with Olaf Carrot Cake Cupcake

Take-Along Olaf with Olaf Carrot Cake Cupcake

Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

Arendelle Punch

Arendelle Punch

Check out our review of the Frozen eats here!

Disney Restaurant Refurbishments

Amidst the wintery fun, changes for the future are happening at Hollywood Studios, too. Rumor has it that the L.A. Prop Cinema Storage shop might just be the next Starbucks stop in the Parks. The refurbishment is scheduled to last until March 2015.

L.A. Cinema Prop Storage under refurbishment

L.A. Cinema Prop Storage under refurbishment

"Pardon Our Dust"

“Pardon Our Dust”

Stormtrooper Steins

Even if you missed Star Wars Weekends, you may not have entirely missed your opportunity to pick up some of the goodies! On a very recent visit, we spotted the Stormtrooper Souvenir Steins still available at Hey Howdy Hey Takeaway!

Stormtrooper Stein sign

Stormtrooper Stein sign

Stormtrooper Stein

Stormtrooper Stein

No telling how long they’ll last, so grab one while you still can!

EPCOT

Future World

Sunshine Seasons is currently serving Grilled Fish Tacos.

Sunshine Seasons Menu

Sunshine Seasons Menu

Grilled Fish Tacos

Grilled Fish Tacos

Looks like a future lunch to me!

World Showcase

Moving to World Showcase, the Refreshment Port is best known for being the current home of the Cronut, both regular and a la mode.

Epcot Refreshment Port

Epcot Refreshment Port

Cronut a la mode and regular cronut

Cronut a la mode and regular cronut

However, it’s also recently added a new cocktail to its list of alcoholic beverages: the Dragon Berry Refresher featuring Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum.

Refreshment Port Drink Menu

Refreshment Port Drink Menu

Mexico

In Mexico’s La Cava del Tequila, the Summer Special is the Ambhar Tamarindo Margarita, featuring Ambhar Blanco Tequila, tamarind pulp, orange liqueur and agave nectar. Oh, and a chili powder rim – YOW!

Ambhar Tamarindo Margarita

Ambhar Tamarindo Margarita

We’re always happy to have a reason to spend some extra time at La Cava, and it looks like there is more opportunity to do just that [Read more…]

Review: Chocolate Caramel Cupcake at Roaring Fork in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

If you stop by the bakery case in Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, there is bound to be something that will catch your eye; maybe the Magic Cookie Bar, or the S’mores cupcake, which is still going strong.

Cupcakes at Roaring Fork

Cupcakes at Roaring Fork

But there is a treat often found there that’s managed to fly under the radar, and that’s the Chocolate Caramel Cupcake.

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes in Bakery Case

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes in Bakery Case

I think this snack’s low profile is due to its rather simple appearance. While chocolate on chocolate always looks pretty good, when it’s placed near something like the Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes at Roaring Fork

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes at Roaring Fork

… it can be easy to miss. But my fellow caramel fans should take notice, because you don’t want to pass this by!

Chocolate Caramel Cupcake

Chocolate Caramel Cupcake

While I mentioned this cupcake being rather plain at first glance, the “outside” is still nothing to sneeze at. Rich chocolate cake is topped with dense chocolate frosting that is dark enough to be mistaken for bittersweet chocolate (especially when spied in the bakery case), but reminds me more of chocolate fudge in both flavor and consistency. YUM.

Chocolate Frosting closeup

Chocolate Frosting closeup

The frosting is not laid on too thick, which is fine because it leaves more room for what’s inside… and it’s what’s inside that really [Read more…]

Review: White Chocolate Raspberry Easter Cupcake at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Guess who made it back to Hollywood Studios this year?

The Easter Bunny … though, not in the way that you may think! Check out the ears on the White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake

Of course, as Disney food fans, I suppose we’ve all grown rather accustomed to the fact that many of our favorite foods come with EARS.

A classic Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar!

A classic Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar!

Mickey Pretzel with Plastic Cheese

Mickey Pretzel with Plastic Cheese

Mickey Waffle Double Take Cape May Cafe

Mickey Waffles

So, while it was not altogether surprising, it was still fun to spot THESE ears popping up once again in the current specialty cupcake!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes in Starring Rolls Bakery Case

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes in Starring Rolls Bakery Case

The White Chocolate Raspberry cupcake – a return from previous years – can be found at several Hollywood Studios Quick Service locations, including Toy Story Pizza Planet, ABC Commissary, Studio Catering Co., and Starring Rolls Cafe. Just look for this sign:

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake Sign at ABC Commissary

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake Sign at ABC Commissary

This cupcake is [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…]

News! Closing Date Announced for Pollo Campero and Babycakes NYC at Disney World’s Downtown Disney

News on the Disney Springs front!

The mega food outlet occupied by Pollo Campero, Bodie’s All-American, and Babycakes NYC has an official closing date now. The Downtown Disney Marketplace spot will shutter its doors on Wednesday, March 19.

Pollo Campero at Downtown Disney Orlando

Pollo Campero at Downtown Disney Orlando

The combo restaurant will close to make way for the continued re-imagining of the Downtown Disney area as it morphs into Disney Springs.

Speculation has abounded regarding what businesses and restaurants will survive and make it through to Disney Springs. Already we have seen the rollout of four food trucks — portending the closure of some restaurants while capitalizing on a hot trend at the same time.

Fantasy Fare Food Truck

Fantasy Fare Food Truck

Pollo Campero, Bodie’s All-American, and Babycakes NYC join the casualty list that also includes [Read more…]

Seven Must-Eat Disney Treats for 2014!

It’s time for some seeeeeeeerious recommendations, friends!!! Do you have your planning spreadsheets ready?!?

Seven Must Eat Disney Treats for 2014

As much as I love my classics (Dole Whip!!!), I have found some brand new delicious Disney treats to add to the list of my favorites in 2014.

If you’re looking to try some new things, or you’re just curious about what fun new finds we’re celebrating, read on — and discover My 7 Favorite New Disney Food Items for 2014!

Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches at L’Artisan des Glaces Sorbet and Ice Cream Shop

There’s nothing like finding something completely new and original while you’re strolling through the parks. And I wasn’t disappointed on a recent trip through Epcot’s France Pavilion.

We all love L’Artisan des Glaces Sorbet and Ice Cream Shop. I mean, 16 delicious, artisan ice creams and sorbets made right here in Epcot (I’ve seen the machines)!

L'Artisan des Glaces in Epcot's France Pavilion

L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France Pavilion

PLUS Ice Cream Martinis and Chocolate Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches. Are you kidding me?? Utter yumness.

But stop the presses! (Ha! That will be even funnier after you finish reading this.) Because they’ve also added Croque Glaces — Pressed Ice Cream Sandwiches.

L'Artisan des Glaces Pressed Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich with Pistachio Ice Cream and Raspberry Sauce

L’Artisan des Glaces Pressed Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich with Pistachio Ice Cream and Raspberry Sauce

If you love ice cream sandwiches as much as I do, you’ve gotta try this. They take a freshly baked Brioche Bun, add a scoop of your choice of Ice Cream, and a drizzle of your choice of Raspberry or Chocolate Sauce. (Yep! It’s totally customized!)

Adding Ice Cream and Sauce to the Mix!

Adding Ice Cream and Sauce to the Mix!

Then, the top of the bun is replaced, and the whole thing is [Read more…]