Review: Epcot’s La Hacienda de San Angel

It’s been over a year since Epcot’s newest Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda de San Angel, opened its doors to great fanfare.

Our first visit there (when it first opened) was good, but not entirely memorable; so we were eager to give this spot a second try. And this time we brought along AJ’s Mom and AJ’s Dad to get their feedback!

Atmosphere

La Hacienda is a beautiful restaurant. The contemporary decor, look, and feel of the place gives off a polished, sleek Mexico-inspired vibe without being kitschy and stereotypical. The high ceilings and simple furnishings give the space a fresh, light, airy feel; but the furniture is solid and steady — a fun contrast!

Carved Wood Tables

I think it’s got one of the most soothing vistas on Disney property — a long-windowed look out onto the World Showcase Lagoon and [Read more…]

Review: Disneyland’s Plaza Inn (Fried Chicken!)

One of Disneyland’s most coveted meals is the fantastic fried chicken at the Plaza Inn on the corner of Main Street and Tomorrowland!

Atmosphere

While this location is a table-service character buffet (serving Breakfast With Minnie and Friends) in the morning, it switches to a counter service buffet in the afternoon and evening.

entrance sign

Plaza Inn entrance

Guests are greeted at the door by a large buffet and an ornate dining room full of velvet curtains, crystal chandeliers, and the kind of opulence you’re not used to seeing at a [Read more…]

Guest Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Mexico Tequila Lunch

Welcome to guest author Catherine as she treats us to a guest review of the brand new Tequila Tasting and Lunch held at La Hacienda de San Angel as part of the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

On October 2, I attended the Mexico Tequila Lunch at La Hacienda de San Angel, the newest restaurant in the Mexico pavilion. This is a new event for the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Atmosphere

When I arrived, there was a check-in desk outside La Hacienda where cast members cross guests’ names off of a master list when they arrive. Guests are then sent inside to the restaurant’s foyer. Servers were waiting there to hand out the “welcome” margarita!

The Rosa margarita is made with premium silver tequila, and one of the ingredients is “rose extract,” which gives it a little bit of a flowery note, but not too much. The rim was decorated with red hibiscus salt.

Rosa Margarita

There are no assigned tables here, you’ll seat yourself. I sat at a [Read more…]

Guest Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival 3D Disney’s Dessert Discovery

Sweet! Let’s welcome MealTrip as he shares a review of this year’s 3D Disney’s Dessert Discovery, one of several special events held at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival. This year, the event introduced a new upgrade called Sweet Seats. Take it away!

The 3D Disney’s Dessert Discovery event is a ticketed dessert extravaganza held in the World ShowPlace in Epcot, and capped off with specialty viewing of the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show. Cost of this event is $55 per person.

Chocolate Art at the Disney Dessert Discovery

As the Discovery enters it’s sophomore year, we welcome the introduction of “Sweet Seats.” This additional upgrade ($25 extra) elevates your party from the mass of sweet-seeking attendees waiting patiently behind the closed doors of the World ShowPlace Pavilion and places you squarely into a private reserved table with your name on it (literally), a full 15 minutes before the official start of the event.

Sweet Seats Signage

Check-In and Atmosphere

If you don’t mind waiting in a tight huddle with a few hundred soon-to-be acquaintances, the Sweet Seats upgrade really is just an option, and not needed to fully enjoy this abundant dessert extravaganza.

The 3DDD event by itself is one of the most economical ways to get inside the World ShowPlace Pavilion, and if you have never been inside for a Party for the Senses (review coming soon!) or other private event, it’s a very unique space worth experiencing at least once.

Outside World Showplace

The check-in queue for the event begins on the World Showcase Lagoon side of the main walkway, just past Off Kilter’s stage in Epcot’s Canada. If you have purchased the Sweet Seats upgrade, your check-in is [Read more…]

Review: New and Old Beaches and Cream Desserts

Beaches and Cream is a hidden gem at Disney’s Beach Club resort. With it’s 1950’s ambiance and comfortable diner atmosphere, dining here is a lot like coming home for some guests!

We rarely make a trip to Disney World without going to Beaches and Cream. Even though the food is pretty basic, it’s the most wonderful kind of basic I know!

I stopped into Beaches and Cream on a whim with friends last week and was delighted to see a couple of brand new desserts on the menu: the chocolate cake, and the apple and craisin pie. We had to try them…and order a couple of old favorites, too!

Apple and Craisin Pie

I love apples. I love pie. And I love Craisins. So this order just made sense!

The pie comes cold, which I was surprised at, and there’s no ice cream accompaniment, so if you’re a pie-and-ice-cream kind of person, be sure to order a scoop on the side.

Apple and Craisin Pie

The filling was very gooey, which made me think it was [Read more…]

Review: Paradiso 37 Drinks, Appetizers, and Dessert

Paradiso 37 in Orlando’s Downtown Disney has been one of my favorite tapas and drinks places in Walt Disney World since it opened on Pleasure Island back in 2009 (…back when Pleasure Island was Pleasure Island).

Today, even though Paradiso has lost a few of its neighbors, it’s still going strong (in my opinion) and offering some of my favorite appetizers and margaritas on property.

A few weeks ago, Erin Foster and I stopped into Paradiso (at my urging — I hadn’t been there in WAY too long) for some eats and treats.

Paradiso 37 Entrance

Paradiso 37 Entrance

Atmosphere

Once again, I was reminded when walking into Paradiso 37 that this restaurant is all about fun — and all different kinds of fun at that!

The martini-glass-and-tequila-bottle chandelier hanging over the foyer is a good indication that this restaurant means business when it comes to happy hour.

Paradiso 37 Bar Glasses Chandelier

Paradiso 37 Bar Glasses Chandelier

And the floor-to-ceiling tequila bar centerpiece showcases [Read more…]

Guest Review: ‘AMA ‘AMA Beachside Restaurant at Disney’s Aulani Resort

We’re so excited to have a review of Disney’s Aulani Resort’s premier restaurant just a few days after its opening! Mark Hickson is a Disney fan, a former Disney Imagineer, and a Hawai’i resident and food blogger (among many other things). We’re honored to share this article with our readers. Thanks, Mark!

'Ama 'Ama Beachside Restaurant

So the resort has been open for five days now and I thought it would be the perfect time to dine in the resort’s signature restaurant, ‘AMA ‘AMA. The restaurant is named after the tasty mullet fish ʻamaʻama that us locals enjoy.

Atmosphere

The setting is an open air thatched roof fishing shack and a minimalist fishing factory with concrete pillars and a large fish holding tanks complete with pipeline and spigot. Of all the beautiful facilities at Aulani Resort this place’s theme is the only one that doesn’t work.

Our reservations were for 5:30pm and my wife and I were seated directly. Unfortunately since it is an open air dining area (no walls), the sun was low enough to shine in so it was very bright and hot at our table. In retrospect I would wait until sunset to be seated.

Eats

Take a look at the official ‘AMA ‘AMA menus below:

click image for larger version

click image for larger version

For drinks I ordered a Pineapple Papaya Cosmo. It was fun, tropical and fresh with a light foam on top. Good enough to order a second, which I did! My wife’s coffee was [Read more…]

Jim Korkis on Walt’s Favorite Foods

Bread Pudding from Main Street Bakery

Jim Korkis has a great article over on MousePlanet about Walt Disney’s favorite foods, including some great recipes.

The Disney’s family cook prepared a dessert every night. Walt’s other favorites included Apple Brown Betty, custards, bread pudding, baked apples, red Jell-O with fruit, lemon snow pudding, and lemon chiffon with a graham cracker crust. He liked Gingerbread and another type of cookie made with chow mein noodles and melted butterscotch.

This article should be on your must read list! Read it in its entirety here.

Disney World Bread Pudding Poll

Bread pudding is a ubiquitous dessert in Disney World. You can find versions of it on nearly every buffet restaurant menu (Boma’s and Crystal Palace’s are well-loved!), a counter-service version exists at the Main Street Bakery, savory versions have been found at Le Cellier and Cinderella’s Royal Table, and you could claim that Rose and Crown’s Sticky Toffee Pudding fits the bill.

But there are some spectacularly sweet, official bread pudding options at three of Disney World’s popular table-service restaurants.

It’s these three that I’m going to stick with today, and usually I can give you my clear favorite; but when it comes to these, I think it’s time for a poll. After having eaten each one of these desserts over the past year, I can’t make up my mind as to which I like best — I honestly can’t wait to dig into each one of them again!

So I’m hoping you’ll join in and cast your vote for a favorite. Let us know in the comments why you made your choice, and if you have another bread pudding version that you would [Read more…]

WDW Foodie Fest “Snack Attack” Special Event Tickets On Sale Now

THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT. We hope you’ll come see us at other WDW Foodie Fest events the first week of October — check out our schedule of events here! Thank you!

The Disney Food Blog and WDW Foodie Fest are not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company.
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Great news!! Tickets now on sale for the Disney Food Blog’s Snack Attack, Featuring DFB Favorites!

Join me on October 4th at 8:30pm for Snack Attack, a new WDW Foodie Fest event combining some of your favorite Disney World snacks and an incredible view of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth in Epcot!

And when I say “favorites,” I mean it! No boring, bite-sized desserts here! You’ve never seen a dessert party like this!

What’s the Snack Attack?

The Snack Attack, Featuring DFB Favorites is a dessert and fireworks party that will be held on a private terrace at the United Kingdom pavilion, and DFB has worked with Disney to provide a unique menu for our readers. Savor all of your favorite Disney snacks brought together in the same spot for one magical night! The dessert buffet will include our favorites:

Starring Rolls’ Butterfinger Cupcakes
Classic Disney Popcorn
Animal Kingdom Lodge Zebra Domes
Mickey Ice Cream Bars
Norway’s School Bread
Writer’s Stop’s Carrot Cake Cookies
Boardwalk Bakery’s Cheesecake Brownies
Starring Rolls’ Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

And MORE!

While our DFB readers will certainly appreciate the one-of-a-kind menu, you’ll also be able to relax and enjoy an awe-inspiring view of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, Epcot’s outstanding fireworks spectacular! No worries about where to locate your seat around World Showcase Lagoon. We’ll be sipping and noshing in our own private space!

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

Tickets are $40 per person (kids and adults) and include:
*Entrance to the event
*Access to the specialized menu dessert buffet
*Access to the private IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth viewing area
Families are welcome! Each member of your party will need a ticket for entry, regardless of age.

Add to Cart

Only ticketed guests with their full names on our roster will be admitted to the event, so please pay attention to the instructions you receive after purchasing your tickets. Tickets are limited to 100 and will be sold first-come, first-served. Should the event be sold out, you can join our waiting list by emailing us at Support @ DFBGuide.com.

About WDW Foodie Fest

WDW Foodie Fest is a gathering of Disney Food fans in Walt Disney World during the opening week of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Currently there are four events scheduled during WDW Foodie Fest, and there may be more to come! You can see the WDW Foodie Fest schedule of events here! In addition to the October 4th event, we’d love to see you at the WDW Foodie Fest Main Event on October 2nd!

Special thanks to our 2011 Foodie Fest Sponsors!

MEI Mousefan Travel

Raglan Road Restaurant and Pub and Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Please note that the event ticket price goes toward paying the costs for the event: space rental, specialty food and beverage costs, event staffing, etc.