Tips from the DFB Guide: Recommended Epcot Food and Wine Festival One-Day Strategy

The 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival will be here before you know it! Mark your calendars for September 25-November 16, 2015!

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Logo

That’s more than seven full weeks to enjoy all that this incredible event has to offer. And there is so much to do and see!

I’ve often thought through the years that it would be great to stick around for the entire Food and Wine Festival and take in every special event, cooking demonstration, and Eat to the Beat Concert. But we both know that’s not gonna happen. Who has that kind of time, right?

Well, here’s the good news. Even if you’re short on time, you can still enjoy so much of what the festival has to offer by planning ahead.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at some of the Touring Strategies featured in the DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. And don’t forget — when you pre-order the 2015 Guide, you’ll receive the 2014 immediately for free, so you can get started planning right away!

Today, we’ll get started by discussing how to make the most of the festival when you only have one day to enjoy it!

Get An Early Start

Even if you only have one day to spend at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, you can still make the most of your time. Plan to arrive early — a day where there are morning Extra Magic Hours would be ideal. And then head to the Festival Center when it opens at 9:00AM.

Festival Center

Festival Center

Here, you can browse the shops and pick up your free [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Don’t Miss These Holiday Events in Disney World!

Summer may have just officially started, but we are already thinking of the Holidays at Walt Disney World!


Sounds crazy, I know, but we’re just over 180 days — six months! — until the holidays are in full swing, and NOW is the time to make dining plans for your holiday meals — but it’s also the time to consider what other fun activities you’ll enjoy at Walt Disney World this holiday season.

To jumpstart your planning, today we’re talking about some of our favorite Tips from the DFB Guide to the Holidays at Disney World: Three Holiday Events that you can’t miss!

And speaking of the DFB Guide, don’t get to take advantage of our 180 Days Til Christmas Sale! Through June 28, we’re offering three great ways to save when you pre-order the 2015 DFB Guide to the Holidays at Walt Disney World. Check out all of the details about the sale here!

Now, let’s take a look at some of our favorite holiday events that you should definitely plan on working into your Disney holiday calendar…

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Snow on Main Street USA and life-size Toy Soldiers? That’s part of your reality when you attend the long-running and beloved Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

This hard-ticketed event takes place during select evenings from November 8 until December 18, 2015, this year, and brings all of the joy and warm fuzzy feeling of Christmas and the holiday season to Magic Kingdom.

Toy Soldiers During the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade!

Toy Soldiers During the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade!

During the event, guests enjoy special entertainment and character meet and greets. Complimentary cocoa and cookies fuel you up for all the fun. And there are TONS of special, exclusive treats that you can enjoy only during the Party!

Snickerdoodles and hot cocoa

Snickerdoodles and Hot Cocoa

And be sure to grab a front row seat for Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, which features Santa as well as some of your favorite Disney holiday characters. And, of course Anna and Elsa will be there!

Holidays Around the World

Looking to observe the holidays with international flair? Then an evening at Epcot for Holidays Around the World will fit the bill nicely. Enjoy a stroll around Epcot’s beautiful World Showcase as storytellers from around the globe share seasonal tales within several of the pavilions — free with Epcot admission!

Pere Noel

Père Noël

And if you didn’t score a seat for the [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival FAQ: How Much Should I Budget For the Festival?

You may be just starting Summer vacation and all that goes with it, but here at Disney Food Blog, we’re also busy gearing up for one of our most favorite times of the year — the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Logo

The festival, which runs from September 25 until November 16 this year, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015. There is so much to do, see, taste, and experience, all crammed into seven weeks. So you’re bound to have some questions about planning for it — and specifically, how to budget for all you want to do.

So today, let’s talk a little bit about budgeting to get you ready for Fall’s biggest Disney food event.

How Much Does It Cost to Go to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

Many things at the festival are included in your Epcot admission. Attractions and events such as Eat to the Beat Concerts, Back to Basics Seminars, and the Cranberry Bog are all complimentary with your Epcot ticket.

The Cranberry Bog Returns to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in 2015

The Cranberry Bog Returns to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in 2015

And new for 2015, guests can also enjoy Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt, a fun game that will take place around World Showcase.

But food and drink, even at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths, is not included in the price of admission. And Special Events do cost extra and can range widely, depending on the events you plan to attend.

How Much Money Should I Budget For a Day at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

The answer to this question varies widely from person to person. A great way to experience the festival is by Eating and Drinking Your Way Around the World, Marketplace Discovery Passport, in hand! In the past, plates and pours at the World Showcase Booths have averaged [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…]

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!


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…]

News! Disney to Roll Out Allergy-Friendly Menus at More Than 100 Restaurants in Disney World and Disneyland

For some time, Disney has been a leader in the hospitality industry when it comes to serving guests with food allergies and sensitivities. Today, we’re learning that they’re offering options that will hopefully continue to make Disney visits more enjoyable and worry-free for guests who live with allergies.

Allergy-friendly kiosk menu

Allergy-friendly kiosk menu

After previously piloting Allergy-Friendly Menus at a number of venues, Disney has announced they will roll out Allergy-Friendly Menus to around 120 restaurants. The menus will be available at both counter service and table service locations throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland parks and resorts. The move will include venues at Disney water parks and Downtown Disney restaurants as well.

Gluten Free Menu currently at ABC Commissary

ABC Commissary Took Part Offered a Gluten Free Menu During the Pilot Program

The goal is to provide a convenient way for guests to manage their food allergies while dining at Disney restaurants, and to provide more food options that are readily available.

The allergy-friendly menus will focus on the most common allergens: [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…]

Tip from the DFB Guide: Budgeting For Disney Snacks!

So you’re planning your next trip to Walt Disney World. And we all know that the FastPasses are the most important detail to cross off your list, right?


Wrong. Because the real reason we go to Walt Disney World? The Snacks!

Okay — they’re both important. But I bet that we can agree — one of the biggest reasons we both love Disney is the amazing variety of food choices, and fun snack options E-BER-Y-WHERE.

But the sheer volume of choices can be overwhelming! After all, how do you choose? And once you choose, how do you budget in order to try everything on that must-have list you’ve been compiling?

I totally get it! And that’s why we’ve dedicated a large section to snacking — our favorite Disney recreation — in our best selling DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015!

Let’s talk through some of my Best Tips for Snack Budgeting. And if these tips are helpful to you, pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Budgeting Money or Snack Credits

Whether you’re paying out of pocket for your snacks, or you’ll be using Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits, planning ahead is the key to ensure you enjoy the treats you’ve been been dreaming about.

Who Can Resist a Handmade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich in the Shadow of Cinderella Castle??

Who Can Resist a Handmade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich in the Shadow of Cinderella Castle??

One of my favorite features of the DFB Guide Books are the worksheets that we provide you to plan every facet of your eating journey. And snacking is no exception!

Use the handy worksheets to jot down all of the snacks that you’re anxious to try. Our Snacks Chapter is a great resource for browsing all of the possibilities! With full lists and reviews of snacks throughout Walt Disney World, you have everything compiled in one easy place!

Brainstorm everything you’d like to sample, and include their locations. Then, figure out where the snacks fit into your master plan.

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

Be Sure to Save Room for Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

If you’re paying for food out of pocket, the keep in mind that most Disney snacks run between $2 and $10, with many of them priced in the $3-5 range. If you’re working with Snack Credits, a general rule of thumb is that a single serving food under $5.19 is usually available for your Snack Credit.

Budgeting Stomach Space

So you’ve done the planning, and you know exactly which snacks you want to try on your next visit. You’ve worked out the budget, and the money and credits are there to cover it all.

Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel

A Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel is Worth Saving Room For

Now comes the next big question: [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: March 29, 2015

Spring is underway and with it has come a rush of notable news throughout Disney. And at Disney World especially this week, we’ve seen tons of big stories — including rumors of new restaurants, new meals, new menus, and even a Food and Wine Festival update!

Nautilus Drink at Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Nautilus Drink at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

The biggest news is that the new Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto “soft” opened at Disney Polynesian Village Resort yesterday. Crowds were off the charts (6 HOUR WAIT TO GET IN!), but we’re putting a First Look post together and will have pics for you tomorrow morning (including this awesome Nautilus drink, thanks to DFB reader Lori Hope Fries)! Yay!

But back to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2015 is a big year in the history of the event as we celebrate 20 years of Eating and Drinking Around the World.

We’ll bring you every detail and dish as the news unfolds, but in the meantime, this week, we have word of the very first acts lined up for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series!

We’ll get started today by taking a look at some of the week’s biggest stories.

Disney Food News

Check out all 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 Restaurant Closure Updates, Special Events at Disney Restaurants, Seasonal Pop-Up Food Stands, and more!

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

DFB Reader Finds

If you discover 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!

It’s a chilly day across much of the US today, but we’re dreaming of warmer temperatures. So today, we’re featuring Ice Cream Treats from around Magic Kingdom!

Let’s take a moment to enjoy some Hand-Dipped Ice Cream from the new landscape in the Magic Kingdom Castle Garden area, courtesy of reader Kristen Figuerado. That view makes it even more delish. :-)

Ice Cream in the New Garden at Magic Kingdom

Ice Cream in the New Garden at Magic Kingdom

Reader Sheri Robb shows us that, not only is the Mickey Pants Kitchen Sink Sundae adorable — it’s plenty big enough to share!

Mickey Pants Kitchen Sink Sundae

Mickey Pants Kitchen Sink Sundae

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

Deal of the Week: 2015-2016 Disney World Vacation Must-Have E-Book Sale!

OK — so you have a Walt Disney World Trip on the books for this year — Woohoo!! There’s nothing more exciting than counting down the days to your next Walt Disney World Trip!


But, even the most spontaneous Disney fan knows that planning ahead is the key to a stress-less vacay. And that mantra is absolutely true when it comes to dining.

If you really want to dine in the hottest restaurants, you pretty much have to plan ahead. Be spontaneous, of course. But get a couple Advance Dining Reservations in place.

But which ones?

That’s where Disney Food Blog comes in! You already enjoy our reviews, news, and tips daily on our Blog. But did you know — that’s JUST the tip of the iceberg. Because we have lots more to share with you in our complete line of DFB Guides.

If you’re ready for a fun, easy way to personalize eating and drinking your way through Disney, then check out the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book.
Fully updated for your 2015-2016 adventures, the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 490 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subject — Eating Your Way Through Disney! So you save time and money as you enjoy planning one of the most important parts of your trip. ;-)

And to thank all of you for your support of DFB, we are offering extra savings on our most popular DFB Guide right now. Just enter promo code 2015 at checkout and you’ll save $4 off of our cover price of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book!

But if you’d like to enjoy even more detail, check out another great offer.

DFB Everything Bundle SALE!

If you’d like even more great information, pictures, and tips, then the DFB Everything Bundle is the right fit for you.

Everything Bundle Collages

And to get you ready for that next big trip, we are offering the DFB Everything Bundle for $15 off the already low price! It’s like getting an entire book for free. Just enter promo code Everything15 at checkout to take advantage of this offer.

The Everything Bundle includes, well, Everything! When you purchase this special bundle of DFB Guides, you’ll get it all: [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: How MyMagic+ is Impacting Disney World Dining

When we all had our first glimpse of Magic Bands a couple of years back, did any of us have an idea that MyMagic+, Disney’s all-inclusive planning system, would impact so significantly the way we dine in Disney World?


As soon as we saw those super cute bracelets (how many colors do you have??), we had an inkling that they’d spell major changes in the way we enjoy our Disney mealtimes. Almost immediately we put together this post, which gave our predictions for the MyMagic+-ful future.

Fast forward a couple of years, and we’re definitely seeing the impact of Disney’s commitment to the technological overhaul. So today, we thought we’d share with you some seriously helpful information from the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015!

And if you find these tips to be helpful, pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code 2015 right here!

So let’s talk about some ways that MyMagic+ is impacting your Disney World Dining!

Schedule Meals and FastPasses — Without Conflict

This is probably one of my favorite things about MyMagic+. Use of the My Disney Experience app to preschedule my Advance Dining Reservations and my ride FastPasses means that the two don’t ever conflict.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Choose Between Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Be Our Guest? Now You Don’t Have To!

In the past, when the FastPass machines simply spit a time out for your return, there were times that I had to choose between Soarin’ and La Hacienda de San Angel’s Crema de Elote. (And seriously. You do know that the food always, always won, right?)

Corn Soup -- Up Close

Sorry — But I Will Always Choose La Hacienda’s Corn Soup Over Soarin’

But in the time since MyMagic+ was introduced, I’ve been able to schedule attractions around meetings, meals, and anything else I’d like! Seriously — I’ve ridden so many more rides since MyMagic+ came on line!

Touch to Pay is Awesome!

If you ask me — and pretty much all of the DFB Staff! — we agree that the Touch to Pay using our Magic Bands is one of our favorite things about MyMagic+ System.

Touch to Pay at a Counter Service Location

Touch to Pay at a Counter Service Location

Across the board, we love that you no longer have to search through your bag or wallet for a Key to the Kingdom card or credit card to pay.

Touch to Pay at Raglan Road

Touch to Pay at Raglan Road

Teenagers especially love the freedom of being on their own in the parks, knowing that [Read more…]