News: Discounted Walt Disney World Play, Stay, and Dine Packages

Get a discounted Play, Stay & Dine package at Walt Disney World! According to Disney, guests can save up to $400-600 with this discounted offer valid for most Disney-owned resorts, theme park tickets, and Disney Dining plans.

Disney Dining Plan Frequently Asked Questions

Valid for stays December 14 through December 20, 2014 and January 5 through March 7, 2015, your package must include at least 3 nights (maximum of 14 nights) at a Disney resort, a minimum of a 2-day theme park ticket, and a dining plan for the length of your stay.

Your first night must be within the above dates. For example, check in March 7 and your entire stay will be included in the discounted package.

While Value resorts can be booked with any dining plan, all other resorts must include the regular Dining Plan or Deluxe Dining Plan. Take a look at Disney Dining Plans before booking your trip, and read up on the DFB Disney Dining Plan FAQs.

Please note that the offer excludes Villas at Grand Floridian, Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian Villas, Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation Resort, campsites, and 3-bedroom villas.

Packages must be booked by [Read more…]

Top Tips for the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival kicks off this week! Get ready for 53 days of food and fun, starting this Friday, September 19!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tips

We know that you are just as excited as we are! But it’s a pretty big undertaking. With Special Events, Low Cost Demonstrations and Seminars, and of course, International Marketplace Booths, it can quickly become overwhelming.

Today, we thought we’d lend a hand by giving you a few of our tried-and-true Top Tips from our DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book. We’ll help you make this the best Epcot Food and Wine Festival yet!

1. Plan Ahead

If you don’t read or heed any other tip in this post, pay attention to this one: it pays to plan ahead when mapping out your visit to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

It’s a good idea to check out all of the Marketplaces and their Menus before you ever set foot inside of Epcot. After all, the portions may be appetizer-sized, but visits to just a couple of spots could mean you’re stuffed before you’re finished exploring!

Will the Mushroom Filet at the Canada Marketplace Be Part of Your Plan?

Will the Mushroom Filet at the Canada Marketplace Be Part of Your Plan?

If you have an idea about what’s offered at the kiosks and how much things cost, then you’ll be better equipped to make decisions and stick to a budget. Be sure to keep an eye on DFB’s 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival main page for links to booths, menus, prices, and more.

Disney also gives you some great tools to plan ahead. This year, they’ve published ahead of time a full listing of gluten-free items. We also expect that vegetarian dishes will be marked on the menus. And don’t forget to pick up a Festival Passport at the Festival Center! It’s a fun way to keep track of the dishes you’ve tried!

Collect Those Awesome Stamps in Your Food & Wine Festival Passport!

Collect Those Awesome Stamps in Your Food & Wine Festival Passport!

Worried about your budget? You may want to pick up a Food and Wine Festival Gift Card and have it pre-loaded for convenience.

Food and Wine Festival Gift Card

Food and Wine Festival Gift Card

Not only is this a quick way to pay at the booths, but it also makes easy work of tracking how much you’ve spent.

2. Know How to Beat the Crowds

There’s a reason that the festival is celebrating its 19th year — it’s kind of a big deal! So don’t be surprised when you encounter larger crowds than you might expect during the Fall at Disney World.

But there are ways to deal with the crowds. First, know that [Read more…]

2014 Disney World Free Dining Offer Now Available for General Public Reservations

Booking is now available! Walt Disney World’s Free Dining Offer has been extended to the general public for select dates in September, October, November, and December 2014!

The offer was first available only to Disney’s Visa Cardholders.

Travel Dates

Free Dining is being offered to guests ARRIVING during the dates listed below. A minimum stay of 3 nights is required and may not be booked for longer than 14 nights.

August 31 – October 3, 2014
October 26 – November 1, 2014
November 9 – 20, 2014
December 12 – 23, 2014

Disney Resorts

If you stay at a Value Resort, you’ll receive the Quick Service Dining plan for FREE. (Note that you can upgrade to the standard or deluxe dining plans by paying the difference in cost per night.)

If you reserve a Moderate, Deluxe, or Deluxe Villa Resort, you will receive [Read more…]

News! 2014 Disney World Free Dining Offer Details

Great news! Walt Disney World’s Free Dining Offer will be offered for select dates in September, October, November, and December 2014!

As happens most every year, the offer is currently available only to Disney’s Visa Cardholders, BUT… the offer should be available to the general public on May 7, so get your booking details ready to go!

Travel Dates

Free Dining is being offered to guests ARRIVING during the dates listed below. A minimum stay of 3 nights is required and may not be booked for longer than 14 nights.

August 31 – October 3, 2014
October 26 – November 1, 2014
November 9 – 20, 2014
December 12 – 23, 2014

Disney Resorts

If you stay at a Value Resort, you’ll receive the Quick Service Dining plan for FREE. (Note that you can upgrade to the standard or deluxe dining plans by paying the difference in cost per night.)

If you reserve a Moderate, Deluxe, or Deluxe Villa Resort, you will receive [Read more…]

Disney Dining Tips: The Disney World Restaurant Search Tool!

Have you ever wished that with the push of a button you could figure out the PERFECT dining spots for your next Disney vacation?

Well, guess what? We’ve got you covered with the Disney Food Blog Restaurant Search Tool!

We LURVE Dining at Disney World, and we know that you do, too! But – wow! – with SOOOO many choices of where to eat, how in the World (ha!) do you narrow it down and make a decision?

We have taken 18 important Disney Dining search criteria and created a tool that will give you selections for the perfect Disney dining experience. And once you’ve narrowed down your restaurants, you can check out reviews, menus, and expert tips for each of them! Let’s take a look at how it works…

It’s incredibly easy (and actually pretty fun!) to use this tool.

1. Choose Criteria

You have 18 choices, so you can be as specific or as general as you

[Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Top 5 Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Values for 2014

Now that you’ve booked your 2014 Disney World vacation, it’s time to make your Advance Dining Reservations.

Top5DisneyDiningPlanOneCreditTableServiceValuesfor2014

But which restaurants are worthy of your precious Disney Dining Plan credits?

What’s the DDP? The vacation package add-on called the Disney Dining Plan is a pre-purchased meal plan. Based on the plan you choose, you’ll receive a certain number of credits to be utilized during your Disney stay. (Remember your college meal plan? Yeah; it’s kinda like that!)

Many table-service meals in Disney World cost one credit per person, but are you getting the best value?

If you reeeeeeally want to get your money’s worth, stick to the one-credit restaurants, order the most expensive meal on the menu, and maximize your savings! Let’s get to the DFB guide’s top picks for best value at “one table-service credit” Walt Disney World restaurants.

Remember: this is primarily based on food cost, but we have taken atmosphere and food quality into consideration a bit as well. We don’t want you eating at a bad restaurant, after all. ;-)

Tutto Italia

Offering regional specialties, Tutto Italia is located in Epcot’s Italy pavilion. With dinner entrees costing about $30, and a pricey dessert topping $13, your one meal here is a great use of a table service dining credit!

Braised Meatballs and Shortrib

Braised Meatballs and Shortrib

Kouzzina

Kouzzina features Mediterranean cuisine showcased on a menu created by Celebrity Chef Cat Cora. A dinner at this BoardWalk restaurant can be costly. With a $35 grilled steak entree and $10 desserts (Baklava!!), Kouzzina is a smart choice for your dining credit use!

Baklava Dessert Close-Up

Baklava Dessert at Kouzzina

Teppan Edo

Teppan Edo is a fun Hibachi restaurant in Epcot’s Japan pavilion. Order the $32 Filet Mignon and a dessert at $5-7 to make the most of your table service credit.

Steak and chicken

Steak and chicken at Teppan Edo

Les Chefs de France

Located in Epcot’s France pavilion, Les Chefs de France serves up delicious cuisine. Dinner entrees cost $20-35 with desserts about $9 each. Use your table service credit here for a memorable meal.

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee at Chefs de France

Rainforest Cafe

While Rainforest Cafe gets mixed reviews, [Read more…]

News! Food Trucks Arrive Disney World’s Downtown Disney in Early November

As we announced earlier, Downtown Disney Orlando will soon debut mobile eateries as the popular Walt Disney World district joins the Food Truck craze!

But now we have a DATE RANGE (yes, this is how it works) to look forward to! In early November, Disney will welcome four new food trucks to Downtown Disney’s West Side (near Cirque de Soleil and House of Blues).

Let’s get to the food…

Superstar Catering truck

“Favorite of the Stars of Disney’s Hollywood Studios,” this truck will feature hearty meatball variations: a spinach and feta beef meatball sandwich; turkey sausage and golden raisin meatballs on polenta; and a lamb meatball flatbread with tzatziki. For the kids (or kids at heart!) — meatball sliders!

Lamb Meatball Flatbread

With a stainless steel exterior accented in teal, tan and orange, this truck will be reminiscent of a 1930s Art Deco diner.

Namaste Café truck

“Tasty Explorations from Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” is the theme at this colorful truck! Designed with an Asian influence, guests will enjoy Sanaa-inspired food. We can’t wait to sample the BUTTER CHICKEN!!!!!!!!!, slow-cooked beef short ribs, and tandoori spiced shrimp. All dishes will be served with [Read more…]

First Look! Starbucks Opens at Epcot’s Fountain View Cafe

Last year, we shared the announcement that Epcot’s Fountain View Cafe in Walt Disney World would become a Starbucks location. This Future World location that was popular for ice cream treats joins the Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom as a counter service retreat for coffee lovers.

Today, we have a FIRST LOOK of the new Fountain View Cafe doing business as a Starbucks!

Fountain View Exterior with Starbucks signage.

Fountain View Cafe Starbucks Atmosphere

Follow the walkway up into the new, futuristic Starbucks!

Walkway and fountains.

Guests will see Epcot’s iconic Spaceship Earth reflected in the window with Starbucks logo.

Spaceship Earth Reflection!

Starbucks is prominently displayed at the entrances and on the windows of Fountain View.

Entrance.

Doors to Fountain View.

Check out the cool Retro font!

Cool example of retro font.

Once you’re inside, you’ll be able to survey Future World.

View of Spaceship Earth.

…and check out all of the futuristic additions to the cafe!

Ceiling.

Cast Members are all [Read more…]

Disney World’s Kouzzina Now Offering Prix Fixe Menu

At Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, Kouzzina by Cat Cora is now offering a Prix Fixe Menu.

This five course dinner includes some of Kouzzina’s chefs’ favorites and specialties.

Note that beverages are an additional cost unless you are paying with the Disney Dining Plan (non-alcoholic beverage included).

It’s important to know that substitutions will not be offered, so guests with special dietary concerns should opt for the regular menu.

Mezze Pikilia
Goat Cheese Sto Fourno
Lamb Soutzoukakia
Sautéed Shrimp
Spiced Hummus

Greek Hummus and Spreads at Kouzzina

Soupa kai Salata
White Truffle Avgolemono
Horiatiki Salata
Dolmades

Palate Refresher

Duo of Signature Piata
Fisherman’s Stew
Slow Braised Short Ribs
Smoked Feta Mashed
Seasonal Vegetables

Kouzzina Short Ribs

Glyka Pikilia
Mini Budino, Sour Cherry Spoon Sweet
Walnut-Pistachio Baklava
Duo of Pagota

If you are dining a la carte and wish to try one of the above dishes, these items will also available individually. Guests in your party may choose from the a la carte or prix fixe menu and not all guests have to choose from the same menu.

The Prix Fixe menu is now available for $69.00 per person or one table-service credit per person for Disney Dining Plan guests.

In addition, the standard Disney Dining Plan will accrue a surcharge of $18.53 and guests with the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan will pay a surcharge of $4.54. Discounts will apply, and an automatic gratuity will only be added for parties of six or more guests.

While Advance Dining Reservations are suggested, they are not necessary in order to order from the prix fixe menu.

What’s your favorite dish at Kouzzina? Will you order the Prix Fixe menu on your next visit?

News! Disney Dining Plan Price Increase

News on the Disney Dining Plan front! Disney has increased the cost of the Quick Service, Standard, and Deluxe Disney Dining Plans for all rack rate bookings made on or after June 17, 2013.

I’ve called Disney reservations about four times trying to get exact costs, but I keep getting different answers. The only consistent info is that, yes, the prices are higher than they were earlier this year. So please note that your mileage may vary within a few cents of the pricing listed below.

We’ve also heard that Disney may do away with seasonal pricing, but all of the reservations agents I spoke to still quoted me seasonal prices (i.e. the plans will cost more during busier times at the parks).

Disney Dining Plan Prices

Here’s what you can expect for Dining Plan costs going forward. Remember that seasonal pricing may vary by a dollar or two.

Quick-Service Dining Plan
$39.64 per night ages 10 and up (no seasonal pricing)
$15.75 per night age 3 to 9 (no seasonal pricing)
(Increase from earlier 2013 pricing of $37.58 and [Read more…]