One Month ‘Til the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

OK, everyone — only one month left ’til the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival begins. But I think we should start celebrating now! So let’s save some dough on the DFB Guides!

Food and Wine 2015 Info Graphic Square URL

It’s our mission to make sure that every visit you make to Walt Disney World is as delicious as possible. And that goes double for the most wonderful time of the year — the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

So as we count down to the Festival, we’re celebrating with a month of savings!

Start Planning For Your Visit Today with the DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book!

This week, we have two brand new deals for you!

DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Of course, there’s no way that we can kick off a Countdown to the Festival without special savings on the book that WILL help you have your best Disney World visit ever.

Food and Wine Guide Cover 2015

To start the celebration, we’re offering the DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival for $3 off! Just use code COUNTDOWN at checkout to save big on this important DFB Guide!

With more than 240 pages and tons of bonus items, it’s jam-packed with the information that you need to make the most of your festival days! Learn all about the DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival here!

This fan-favorite guide includes customized bonus items that surpass any other Food & Wine Festival coverage that’s out there. These include:

  • A full, daily schedule of events for every day of the festival — this is the only place you’ll find this schedule anywhere!
  • A printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist that you can use to plan, and easily bring with you to the festival
  • Themed World Showcase booth crawls, including “Fun Eats for the Kids,” the “Carnivore Crawl,” the “Continent Crawl,” and so many more!
  • Food and Wine Festival customized Touring Strategies for One Day visits, Budget-Conscious visits, and even one to celebrate the TV Show The Chew!
  • A chapter dedicated to all “New for 2015″ events, menu items, booths, and more
  • Full food, wine, beer, winery, cocktail, and chef indexes, including dates and locations of where you can find your favorites
  • Epcot Food and Wine Festival recipes
  • Top tips on how to use MyMagic+ and the Disney Dining Plan at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival
  • And so much more!

[Read more…]

DFB Reader Questions Answered: Where Can I Get a Free Counter Service Refill in the Parks?

We’re tackling another question from the DFB Reader mailbag today! Our reader asks:

Which counter service locations in Walt Disney World have self serve kiosks offering free refills?

This is an especially good question from a budget perspective. Since the Resort Refillable Mugs can’t be used in the parks, you might want to know where you can go to get more than one drink from the soda fountain. Let’s check out a couple of spots where you can grab a drink when you’re extra thirsty.

Disney Counter-Service Halloween Drink Cup

Just note: you do need to purchase a drink from these locations before filling up your cup again and again! Also, our DFB team members have checked with cast members at each location to confirm that refills are, indeed, allowed during your meal at the restaurant. [Read more…]

Pre-Order the DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival…and Get the 2014 Guide FREE!

Happy 20th Birthday, Epcot Food and Wine Festival!!

Food and Wine Festival Updates

Can you believe it? 2015 will mark the 20th Consecutive Year that Walt Disney World has hosted this event. What started as a way to draw crowds during a slower part of the year has officially become a huge draw and destination in its own right.

And even though it’s only (ONLY?!?) April, it is NEVER too early to start the countdown to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! We’re already sharing who will be playing at the Eat to the Beat Concerts, so it’s definitely time to start booking your dates…

This year’s Festival will once again run a record number of days — more than seven full weeks of food, music, and special events! But with so much awesomeness to enjoy, my number one piece of advice remains the same: Plan, Plan, Plan. And then Plan some more.

And we have a fun and easy way for you to get started, even before the first menu or culinary demo is announced!

The DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is now available for pre-order. (Expected publish date is mid-Summer 2015.) And when you enter discount code “CHEFS” at checkout, you’ll enjoy $3 off the cover price!

But AJ, Why Do I Want to Order the DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Now?

I’m really glad that you asked! The biggest and best reason for you to pre-order your 2015 DFB Guide to the Food and Wine Festival is that you’ll get the 2014 Guide immediately for FREE!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Brazil Marketplace Booth

Find out our best tips for visiting the World Showcase booths in the DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book!

That means that you can start planning today! And I promise, that is something that you totally want to do. Because when Culinary Demonstrations, Seminars, and Other Special Events are announced, it’s usually just days before booking opens — and then they book up super fast. Time is of the essence when you’re ready to book.

And with the Festival celebrating its 20th year, we already are expecting that it’s going to be truly over the top.

Chef Gale Gand

Events with Celebrity Chefs, Like This One with Chef Gale Gand, Book Up Extra Fast

We expect an expanded Marketplace offering, plus all kinds of Special Extras.

What does all of this add up to? If you’re ever going to plan a trip to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, then 2015 is the year to do it!!!

So, What Do You Get in the DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book?

As is the case with all of our DFB Guides, we’re making this edition downloadable for your convenience, and it’s a snap to install on all of your mobile devices. The 2014 version is a PDF guide with over 220 pages of detailed information about the Festival as well as photographs and customized bonus items, and we expect the 2015 guide to weigh in at a similar heft.

If you’re on a budget, you’ll love our advice on how to [Read more…]

Even More Top Disney Dining Tips from the Experts!

We are back with some great advice some of the best experts around when it comes to planning your Disney Dining — DFB Readers!

Top Disney Dining Tips from the Fans

Seriously, you guys are the best, and I’m always excited to learn new things from your experiences! So when it came time recently to update our Top Tips for Disney Dining, we turned to you for input and advice. And you responded with tons of great suggestions.

Check out just a few of them below, as we offer you even more Top Disney Dining Tips from the Experts!

Have a Plan…and Don’t Blow Those Snack Credits on Things You Can Get at Home!

It was important enough for several different DFB readers to mention — and expound on! Do not waste those precious Disney Dining Plan snack credits on something as ho hum and common as a piece of fruit or a bottle of water.

And…I have to agree here. You can get a banana and a Dasani in your supermarket at home. But when was the last time you waltzed into Kroger and picked up a Carrot Cake Cookie or Schoolbread?

Yep, they can sometimes pile up on you toward the end of the trip. So spend a little time planning beforehand so you don’t waste a single one. Here’s a TIP: DFB Snack Guides can come in handy for this endeavor; we have one for every park at Walt Disney World with our recommendations for the best snacks!

Carrot Cake Cookie at Writer's Stop in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Make Those Snack Credits Count with a Carrot Cake Cookie

Get the Dining Plan…And Don’t.

One of the most interesting suggestions for stretching your Disney Food Budget came from @Greg_Crowder: he suggested that you go halfsies on the Disney Dining Plan. He writes: “2 of us had the free plan a couple of years ago and 2 didn’t. The snacks and counter [service] meals were plenty for all 4 people.

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios Are Totally Shareable!

It’s true that Disney portions can be pretty big, and eating lots of large meals and rich snacks and then walking 100 miles a day may be a tall order. So if you’re willing to share, this can be an excellent way to keep costs down. It also means that you pre-pay, so your spending money goes a little further.

Just note that if you’re all staying in the same room, you all need to be on the same plan; so this tip only works if your compadres are in a different room.

Don’t Forget About Resort Restaurants.

Many readers chimed in that visitors should never forget to check out resort dining options, saying that you should definitely venture out of the Park for incredible food. Resort restaurants offer some of the most amazing dining on property.

Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well-seasoned Butter Chicken and Chicken Vindaloo

Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well-seasoned Butter Chicken and Chicken Vindaloo at Sanaa — Be Sure to Schedule a Meal Here

Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was mentioned lots of times. For instance, reader David Mendoza says: “Whether you are staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or not, make the trip to the Sanaa restaurant. Wonderful food and such a picturesque setting, watching the beautiful animals as you dine on some of the most awesome food in Disney World! A real must see! And when you are done you can take a stroll and get even closer to the animals. Truly a wondrous place.”

I couldn’t agree more! (Read my latest Sanaa review here.)

Allergies and Food Sensitivities? No problem.

We’ve written about it lots of times — Disney is tops when it comes to serving guests with allergies, food sensitivities, and special diets. And our readers are eager to agree that Disney routinely goes above and beyond to ensure their guests have the best experience possible, regardless of their dietary limitations.

Jiko Allergy-Friendly Menu -- Appetizers -- Click to Enlarge

Example of Jiko’s Allergy-Friendly Appetizer Menu

Ann Hooghuis Dealy weighs in by saying, “If you have food allergies or sensitivities [Read more…]

Memorial Day Sale! DFB Disney World Guidebook Discounts for a Limited Time!

As we mark a time of remembrance this Memorial Day weekend, we also look forward to fun celebrations with family and friends as Summer gets underway! And if you’re like me, that means one thing — vacation is JUST around the corner!

Whether you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World during the busy Summer season, or you have your eyes set on a Fall Food and Wine Festival Trip or a Holiday Extravaganza, we know one thing for sure: you need to make some plans.

Believe it or not, it’s already time to start making those Advance Dining Reservations! And we’re going to help you make sure you choose the best restaurants Disney has to offer. There are hundreds, after all!

We have three great offers for you to choose from! Read on for all the details, but hurry — you can only take advantage of these savings through Saturday, May 30!

dfb2015_guide_3d

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015

Our fully guaranteed, comprehensive e-Book offers more than 490 full-color pages to help you plan your very best Disney World trip ever!

With reviews, tips, expert advice, and hundreds of color photographs, you’ll get the biggest bang for your planning buck! And our handy e-Book format has been completely updated for your 2015-16 Disney World vacation.

Inside the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015, you’ll find:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from budgeting and booking to kids’ meals, dining discounts, and fireworks. 5 simple steps and you’re done!
  • A comprehensive and in-depth look at EVERY Disney World restaurant, kiosk, bar, and lounge, including our personal tips to ensure a positive and stress-free dining experience.
  • Four free, [Read more…]

Join the DFB Newsletter for All the Breaking News First!

There is so much going on right now in the realm of Disney Food News.

DFB Newsletter

Downtown Disney is morphing into Disney Springs right before our eyes. Menus are changing as Disney gears up for the busy Summer season. And the 20th Epcot Food and Wine Festival is JUST around the corner!

So there’s never been a better — or more important — time for dedicated Disney Food Fans to be plugged in to the very best source for all of your Disney Food News.

And that’s why you should join the DFB Newsletter today!

But AJ, Do I Really Need to Join the DFB Newsletter?

Yes! We both know it: there’s SO much happening at Disney. And sometimes, especially when it comes to breaking news like Free Dining Offers or Epcot Food and Wine Special Event scheduling, it’s important to get the news as soon as possible. And that’s where the DFB Newsletter comes in.

Covering all that’s happening at all of the Disney Parks is a tall order. So we offer even more Disney Food News to you via our Newsletter. What makes it even better? It’s delivered straight to your inbox!

If you love Disney Food, then you’ll love our Newsletter. Twice a month, we’ll send it to you, brimming with full-color photographs and exclusive content.

Food and Wine Festival Updates

Food and Wine Festival is Coming. Be the FIRST to Know All the Breaking News!

And when there’s something super special to report, [Read more…]

News! Allergy Friendly Culinary Demos at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

We have breaking news today about the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — and the our first news of this year’s Low Cost Culinary Demonstrations and Seminars lineup!!

Food and Wine Festival Updates

And stay tuned to the end of the post, because you could win a trip to Walt Disney World during this year’s event!

We all know that Disney is committed to serving guests with food allergies. Today, we’re learning that Mylan, the company that produces the EpiPen® (with which, if you have food allergies, you’re probably familiar), will be sponsoring the first ever culinary demonstrations at the Food and Wine Festival that are free of the top eight food allergens!

Living With Food Allergies Culinary Demonstrations at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The demos will be part of the EpiPen® On Location™ initiative, “a national call-to-action for those living with potentially life-threatening (severe) allergies and their caregivers to understand the importance of avoiding allergic triggers and having access to two epinephrine auto-injectors, such as EpiPen® (epinephrine injection) Auto-Injectors, at all times — whether at home, school, work or on vacation.”

Chef Amanda Freitag

Chef Amanda Freitag

These events are scheduled to take place at the Festival Center throughout the days of October 2-4. Chef and restaurant owner Amanda Freitag will prepare dishes free of the top eight allergens — milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. Chef Freitag lives with her own food allergy, and has become an EpiPen® On Location™ Ambassador, as she shares her own experience in a professional kitchen.

In addition, Auggie Maturo, who plays Auggie Matthews on the Disney Series Girl Meets World, will be on hand with his family to offer his best advice for navigating life with severe allergies.

Auggie Maturo from Disney's "Girl Meets World"

Auggie Maturo from Disney’s “Girl Meets World”

We’ll share more information about these events soon! It’s possible that the culinary demonstrations with Chef Freitag will be part of the Low Cost Seminar and Demonstration line up that is such a popular part of the festival each year. As such, there will be a charge for these events.

Win a Trip to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

To help spread awareness about the serious issue of food allergies, Mylan will give away a three-night/four-day vacation for four to visit the 2015 Epcot Food Wine Festival! Three grand prize winners will be awarded a vacation that includes: [Read more…]

May the Fourth Be With You! — Star Wars Merch ON SALE TODAY!

It’s (one of) the most wonderful times of the year — if you’re a Star Wars fan, that is!

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 8.20.05 AM

If you need some gear to get you ready for your trip, then you’ve come to the right place! But even if you don’t have the time or cash to travel light years away, we think that embracing your inner Rebel (or Empire Loyalist) is the next best thing.

Let’s take a look at some fun options. And keep in mind – Think Geek Star Wars Gear is 20% off  TODAY! And as a bonus, you’ll receive a free Star Wars Pin with Star Wars orders of $20 or more!

Star Wars LIGHT UP Chop Sabers

Because you NEED chopsticks that look like light sabers. You know you do. Choose from blue or red, depending on which side of the galactic battle you’d prefer to channel.

Star Wars LIGHT UP Chop Sabers

Star Wars LIGHT UP Chop Sabers

R2-D2 Sauce Dispenser

But of course, the next logical question will be, “Where am I going to store my soy sauce?”

Why, in your droid, obvi! Because the R2-D2 Sauce Dispenser is a must for your next gathering. And despite the picture, you can store other sauces in R2. Olive oil, hot sauce, you name it.

R2-D2 Soy Sauce Dispenser

R2-D2 Soy Sauce Dispenser

Put that little guy to work (he totally loves feeling useful).

Star Wars Lightsaber BBQ Tongs

Barbecue like a boss with your very own Star Wars Lightsaber BBQ Tongs. Modeled after Darth’s elegant weapon of choice, the tongs come with a red cover to look just like a light saber in action, and a slide button gives you all the classic sound effects. What?! Happiest day of your life? I know.

Light Saber BBQ Tongs

Light Saber BBQ Tongs

Go ahead. Show that steak who’s in charge.

Darth Vader Light Saber Candlestick

And you thought the Lord Vader didn’t know anything about romance.

Show her the softer side of your villainy with this mood-setting Darth Vader Light Saber Candlestick.

Darth Vader Light Saber Candlestick

Darth Vader Light Saber Candlestick

It comes with three no drip red taper candles, so your nights will be well lit for some time to come.

Star Wars Stackable Mugs

Have a little fun with your morning java when you serve it in these [Read more…]

Magic Kingdom Frozen Snacks: Storybook Treats Frozen Yogurt and Mango Fruit Bar

Today I’ve got some new eats for you from the Magic Kingdom in Disney World!

Wall into the New Fantasyland in Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom

There are few snacks that are more perfect for warm Florida weather than Frozen Treats! You’d think this would be a fairly limited food genre. An Ice Cream Sundae here, a Pina Colada Slush there. But there’s so much variety that it’s dizzying! You never have to have the same thing twice — if you don’t want to.

We all know the popular ones — Dole Whips. Citrus Swirls. Mickey Bars. Handmade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches.

Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sammy!

Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sammy!

But what if you’re looking for something a little…different?

Well, today’s your lucky day. Because we have not one, but TWO new-to-us Magic Kingdom Snack Options to share with you. And they’re both delightfully frosty, perfect for refreshing you after a long day of chasing Fast Passes and Parades.

Wanna see? I know you do. :-)

Frozen Yogurt at Storybook Treats

UPDATE: Please note that as of June 2015, Frozen Yogurt is no longer being served at Storybook Treats. 

Looking to answer the call of your Fro Yo craving, then head to Storybook Treats in Fantasyland.

This tiny spot has been one of my favorite dessert stops for a while, because it offers unique snacks, like Fudge Brownie and Strawberry Shortcake Sundaes.

But on occasion, you’ll also find some interesting Frozen Yogurt flavors. And that’s what I was after on a recent visit here.

I hit the “out of the ordinary” jackpot when I spied two cool flavors — Birthday Cake and Cherry! Of course, these just demanded that I get them swirled together. That’s what you’d do too, right??

Storybook Fro Yo! Birthday Cake and Cherry Flavors -- Swirled

Storybook Fro Yo! Birthday Cake and Cherry Flavors — Swirled

Since this is Fro Yo and not Ice Cream, it had that predictable tang that you’d expect. I enjoyed both flavors, and the combo was great as well, but I’d give the slight edge to the Birthday Cake.

Cherry and Birthday Cake Swirled Fro Yo -- Up Close

Cherry and Birthday Cake Swirled Fro Yo — Another Angle

Because Birthday Cake.

Mango Fruit Bar at Magic Kingdom

Next, we’re stopping by Maurice’s Popcorn Cart in New Fantasyland. I don’t know if that’s what it’s called. But that’s what I’m callin’ it. :-)

Maurice’s features some of the standard, pre-packaged Frozen Treats that we all love — Mickey Ice Cream Bars and Sandwiches, Frozen Chocolate-Dipped Bananas, that adorable Olaf Frozen Lemonade Strawberry Bar (oh, are you STILL here, Olaf?), and the Plain Ole’ Strawberry Bar (seriously refreshing and pretty healthy as such things go.)

Maurice's Popcorn Cart Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Maurice’s Popcorn Cart Menu — Click to Enlarge

But I also spied something I hadn’t seen before — the Mango Fruit Bar. Here’s the interesting thing, though. It’s not a fruit bar like you think of a fruit bar. One look told me this one wasn’t just fruit, but Ice Cream too.

Mango Fruit Bar

Mango Fruit Bar

And if the word “Helado” on the front (oh, and the words “Ice Cream”) doesn’t confirm it for you, the ingredients, which include [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 12, 2015

Happy Sunday, everyone! We’ve got some awesome news for you this week about the menu we’ll see when Boathouse opens at Disney Springs in Disney World in the very near future. Rumors place the soft opening for walk-ups only starting April 13, and Cast Member previews are already taking place.

Check out the Amphicar Tours you might get to take on your next visit!

Amphicar Tours at The Boathouse

Amphicar Tours at The Boathouse

Until then, let’s take a look at all the news we reported on this week. For more details on the above news and more, just click on the links below!

Disney Food News

Check out every tidbit of 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 menu updates, restaurant closures, special events, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

DFB Reader Finds

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

Today, we’re featuring entrees from some of Disney’s most beloved Signature spots! Jace Heiden shared with us “The beautiful bison striploin with a side of the heavenly tomato risotto from the famous filet at California Grill! [It’s the] Best of both worlds.” I agree!!

Bison Striploin with a Side of Tomato Risotto at California Grill

Bison Striploin with a Side of Tomato Risotto at California Grill

Kelly Patton and family had a chance to dine in Le Cellier Steakhouse, and they loved everything about the experience — especially the Kurobuta Pork!

Kurobuta Pork at Le Cellier Steakhouse

Kurobuta Pork at Le Cellier Steakhouse

Do you have a favorite Disney Food find? Share your photos with us!

Deal of the Week: The FULLY UPDATED DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book, 2015-16 Edition

Magic Kingdom Snacks are some of our favorite treats in all the World! And in fact, many of them can just about amount to a meal. And those are just a couple of the reasons we are so excited to announce that the 2015-16 Edition of The DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book is now available!

To celebrate the 2015-16 launch of this important book, we have a great discount for you! Our readers can get the new guide for $3 off the purchase price for a limited time — just use code MK15 at the check-out!

It’s time to snag your copy! Here are the details.

The Disney Food Blog Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book

The DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book is one of the many fun and informative Disney Dining e-Books offered by Disney Food Blog!

Now we’ve updated our best-selling DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book for 2015-16 with even more great information, photos, and…yep!…snacks (about 30 more than the 2014 edition)!

Don’t Miss Out on the Best Snacks in the Magic Kingdom!

This guide is guaranteed to help you find the best snacks and treats (even mini-meals!) for your family while visiting the Magic Kingdom — or we’ll refund the purchase price. We all know that treats at Magic Kingdom are just as nostalgic as our first flight on Dumbo!

The DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book includes: [Read more…]