DFB Podcast Episode 27: Resort Snackage!

We are back with our first Podcast of 2016!

Welcome to Episode 27: Resort Snackage!

dfb podcast

What’s It About?
In this podcast we go over some of our favorite snack options at Disney World and Disneyland Resorts!

Sometimes it feels like all of the snack credit attention goes to the parks, so wanted to showcase some of the other awesome options you can grab outside of the usuals.

We go over several unique-to-the-resorts options including breakfast items and pastries from your favorite resorts like Pop Century, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Grand Californian, and more!

Listen right now at DFBPodcast.com, or subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher!

Oreo Bon Bons

Oreo Bon Bons

Want more DFB? Order the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2016 edition today for $4 off using code HAPPYPLACE! Visit DFBStore.com to order your must-have DFB guidebooks! Plus, follow Disney Food Blog on Instagram for your daily dose of Disney food deliciousness!

Thanks for listening! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 17, 2016

Don’t let those winter doldrums get you down – we’re here with the best Disney food news of the week to cheer you up! If you’re looking to add a little extra spring in your step we suggest stopping by our @DisneyFoodBlog Periscope account for some Disney Parks fun! You never know where we might be!

Love this comfort food!

Love this comfort food!

This is the perfect time of year for comfort food – especially for breakfast – and we recently shared a recipe for a great cinnamon roll! Chip’s Sticky Bun Bake from Epcot’s Garden Grill is the perfect way to start your morning (while you read the DFB, of course).

We have a lot to share with you this week, so let’s jump right in…

Disney Food News

[Read more…]

How Using Your Disney Dining Plan at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Just Got Better

We all know it: having the Disney Dining Plan while visiting the Epcot Food and Wine Festival can be pretty awesome.

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Logo

Because, after all, in the past, you could save up your snack credits and use them to Eat Your Way Around the World. And the only thing better than the Food and Wine Festival is enjoying it for the price of your already-purchased Disney Dining Plan!

But if you can believe it, using your Disney Dining Plan at the Food and Wine Festival just got even better. Recent changes in how Disney Dining Plan credits can be spent will make enjoying all that the Food and Wine Marketplace Booths have to offer even more fun than before.

Want to know more about how to use your Disney Dining Plan at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Read on!

Turn Your Quick Service Meals Into Food and Wine Booth Eats!

This is probably the most exciting change to the Disney Dining Plan: you can now use your Quick Service Meal Credits to purchase up to three different snacks, and call it a meal!

Swap your Counter Service Credit for Snack Credits and get more of these.

Swap your Counter Service Credit for Snack Credits and get more of these.

There are rules about the way this works, however. In order to swap your Quick Service Meal Credit for snacks, you have to do it all in one transaction. So unfortunately, that means you can’t go to the Hawai’i Booth and order something, then mosey over to the Belgium Booth for something else.

Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream

Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream

But if you think about it in terms of your group or family pooling credits, it’s just a matter of logistics. After all, you can use Dad’s credits at the Canada Booth so that everyone can have their own Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup. Then use Mom’s for three different items at another booth. And really — that’s pretty awesome. Because that soup has been known to incite family spoon feuds.

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

Start Your Planning Today! The DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book is now available!

2015 DFB F&W Guide Cover 3D

Want even more great tips? This 200+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever. Order your 2015 edition today!

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a $3 discount!

Be sure to check our main Epcot Food and Wine Festival Page frequently for updates, and also check out Epcot Food and Wine Festival 101 for even more information about the festival!

Want More Epcot Food and Wine Festival Info?

We’ll have all the coverage and information you need right here on Disney Food Blog! Here’s what we know so far…

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Index

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth and Menu Index 
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Events
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Low-Cost Seminars and Demonstrations
2015 Eat to the Beat Concert Schedule
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Fans Facebook Page
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Wine and Dine Half Marathon
2015 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic
Food and Wine Festival 101
2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus and FOOD PHOTOS
2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Gluten Free Items

How to Book Epcot Food & Wine Festival Events

To book all special events and demonstrations, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) (join the Disney Food Blog Newsletter to find out as soon as we do about all the details!). Culinary Demonstrations, Beverage Seminars, Mixology Seminars, and general admission for some special events will be bookable online at www.epcotfoodfestival.com as well as by phone.

Tables in Wonderland members, Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and Golden Oak Residents will be eligible for a discount (per person, per event) for beverage and mixology seminars and culinary demos taking place Mon-Thurs during the festival. Discounts are by phone only at 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378). Stay tuned to DisneyFoodBlog.com and the Disney Food Blog Newsletter for details.

And now we’d love to hear from all of you — are you excited to use your Disney Dining Plan in this new flexible way at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Leave a comment and tell us what you think about the changes!

Photo Tour: Animal Kingdom Starbucks Now Open

Starbucks opened today in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, completing the line-up of Starbucks locations in Walt Disney World parks (the others being Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery, Epcot’s Fountain View, and Hollywood Studios’ Trolley Car Cafe along with Downtown Disney’s two locations).

On a recent tour of the building’s exterior (formerly a merchandise store), we noticed what looked like coffee beans added to the design elements. Africa is one of three main regions from which Starbucks sources their coffee!

As you approach the Starbucks from the front of the park (located between Discovery Island and Africa), this is the first Entrance of two that you will encounter.

Starbucks Entrance

Starbucks Entrance and Peter, a Super Helpful and Friendly Cast Member Decked Out in the Team Uniform

You’ll notice that the name “Creature Comforts” has stuck, which kind of make sense, right? I love the two little monkeys with their coffees flanking the sign. ;-)

Creature Comforts

The Store’s Official Name is Creature Comforts. And Yes, They Do Serve Monkeys Apparently.

But just in case you’re not sure where you are, a subtle mermaid logo sign is posted near the door.

With [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…]

News and Rumors: Potential Updates to the Disney Dining Plan

Disney World guests utilizing the Disney Dining Plan will want to be aware of some rumored changes taking place to the popular plans available for Disney Resort guests starting today, May 31, 2015 (though it is rumored that Disney will not post the changes officially until June 4th).

Disney Dining Plan

Please note that at this time we have not received official confirmation from Disney regarding any of these changes. We just wanted you to be aware of the rumors in the case that you’d be able to put them into practice this week in the parks.

Participants on the Dining Plan will be able use their dining credits in the typical ways (i.e. guests on the standard Disney Dining Plan will still receive 1 Table Service Credit, 1 Quick Service Credit, and 1 Snack Credit per night of stay and can use those credits accordingly at designated locations); however, there may be additional opportunities that will allow for more flexibility.

Snack Entitlements

The most commonly rumored change says that a “snack credit” will now include all single-serve items and beverages such as Caramel Apples — not including Character designs — and large Mickey Cookies among other previously ineligible items. Also included may be Quick Service restaurant side items and breakfast items, like sides of bacon or sausage.

Caramel Apples

Caramel Apples

These may include: [Read more…]

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…]