DFB Podcast Episode 14: Best Disney Hotels for Dining!

Hey all!! Episode 14 of the DFB Podcast is now available for your listening pleasure!!

Yep — we know that secretly you all choose your hotel based on what restaurants you can get to within walking distance (doesn’t everyone?!?).

So we wanted to make your decision making process as easy as possible and just share our favorite Disney hotels for dining. It takes the guesswork out of it for you, ya know? ;-)

SO — listen in to hear some of our favorite Disney hotels in Disney World AND Disneyland…based on restaurants alone. (Of course, this is the most important criteria for a hotel. It goes 1.) Good restaurants, 2.) Beds and stuff.)

And we also throw in some awesome listener questions (and our basically-decent-if-a-little-bit-too-long answers) and some Disney TRIVIA — which gives you the chance to win one of our DFB Guides to Disney World Dining! Woo!!!!!

Alrighty…time to take a listen! And don’t forget to rate us on iTunes!

Best Disney World Restaurants for First Time Disney Visitors

Everyday we receive lots of mail from you, our awesome DFB readers, asking for restaurant suggestions and recommendations. And while we certainly have our favorites, we know that you do, too!

So when a Disney first-time visitor recently asked what restaurants we would recommend for their upcoming trip, we couldn’t think of a better panel of experts to ask than YOU!

When I put the question out on the Disney Food Blog Facebook page, I was overwhelmed by the huge and immediate response that I got!

Let’s take a look at your recommendations for the restaurants first timers must experience on that inaugural Walt Disney World trip!

If you have other thoughts or ideas — or, better yet, stories of your favorite restaurants during a first-time visit — please share them with all of us in the comments section! More suggestions are always better!

Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

When it comes to first time Disney dining, the winning restaurant recommendation is, hands down, Chef Mickey’s in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Many of you agree that anyone visiting the Happiest Place on Earth for the very first time MUST experience a buffet that includes lots of character interaction.

Chef Mickey’s is highly recommended by our DFB Readers!

But the suggestion is practical, too. Readers pointed out that a character dining experience offers terrific value for your Disney dollar, with an all-you-care-to-eat option. [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 24, 2013

Happy Princess Half-Marathon Weekend!! We had a great time in Disney World last week, and we’ve got TONS of awesome new finds to share with you over the next few weeks! Stay tuned!!

NEW Disney Parks Popcorn Boxes!

One fun find was this new design on Disney Parks paper products, like popcorn boxes, plates, cups, and more. The red design is out, and this new yellow-with-silhouettes design is in! Whaddya think?? This design will be the same across Disney World and Disneyland.

Disney Dining News

Now here’s a bit more Disney Dining news for ya!

We’ve got additional food news, including restaurant closures and LOTS more, on our Disney Food News Pin Board! Head over and check it out!

Great Deal on DFB Guide + Snacks Bundle!

Here’s my favorite deal ever on our DFB Disney Dining Guide Books: Three awesome e-Books bundled for over 30% off! Limited time only…

Three Great e-Books: Over 30% Off!

Our DFB Guide & Snacks Bundle offers:

  1. The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013, PLUS
  2. The DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, AND
  3. The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks

All three are being sold together for the first time — and for a massively discounted price. Just $29.95 instead of the regular price of nearly $42.00.

Our Snack Guides vibrantly display and review over 250 Disney World snacks (!!), but also showcase some our favorite under-the-radar treats and eats in the parks. Get your DFB Guide & Snacks Bundle — including the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013, the DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks, and the DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks — for over 30% off here.

Find out more about the DFB Guide & Snack Bundle here!

DFB Reader Finds!

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

Susan emailed us this beautifully dressed Mickey Waffle from the All-Star Movies Resort.

Mickey Waffle with syrup!

And Erin Foster, our Disney Food for Families Columnist here at DFB, sent over this cool pic of what the Princess Half-Marathon runners found in their breakfast box this weekend!

 

Runners Breakfast Box for Princess Half-Marathon Weekend!

On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix features a fun Mickey and Friends Popcorn Tin!

Changing Latitudes drinks around the world in Epcot!

Cake Wrecks features cool Mickey Wazowski and Yoda cakes in their Sunday Sweets post!

Disney Hipsters share the experience of being “Celebrities of the Day” at Hollywood Brown Derby!

Main Street Gazette heads to Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner for sausage in a pretzel roll! Yum.

Disney by Mark reviews lunch at ‘Ama ‘Ama at Disney’s Aulani resort in Hawaii.

Disney Parks Blog shares Top Ten Wedding Cakes made by the pastry chefs for Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.


Disney World Food…for MEN?

Erin Foster is the Disney Food for Families columnist and a behind-the-scenes guru here at Disney Food Blog! Check out more of her posts here.

Not long ago, AJ wrote a post about the classic Japanese snack, Pocky, found in the Japan pavilion at Epcot.

The one tidbit of information in this post that got the most comments was the mention that among the multitude of Pocky flavors is Men’s Pocky. That’s right — Pocky, FOR MEN.

While Men’s Pocky is a product of Japanese culture primarily, this discussion got me wondering if there were any other “male-specific” foods sold at Walt Disney World.

The only other official “men’s” food I could come up with were menu items at the Garden View Lounge at the Grand Floridian:

  • The Gentleman’s Tea Platter: duck & cherry terrine, chicken & pork roulade, and country pate with a side of English Blue Stilton cheese), and
  • The Prince Edward’s Tea: the same as the Gentleman’s tea, but with the addition of scones, Devonshire cream, and a glass of port.

I’m guessing that there are special offerings for men so that the gents who get dragged to tea by their lady friends can still have their man cards intact. :-)

Real men need special food to save them from the terror of the crustless sandwich at the Garden View Tea Room.

For those masculine types that want their foods to proclaim their Royal man status, there is no shortage of [Read more…]

Review: Tokyo Dining in Epcot’s Japan

Craving sushi or just need a relaxed and elegant spot for lunch or dinner? It’s time to book Tokyo Dining!

Although we have recommended Tokyo Dining a number of times as a decent spot for catching Illuminations, I’ve never posted my own review of this restaurant. So we made it a priority to head over and dig in — for the sake of the blog. ;-)

This spot is located on the second floor of the Mitsukoshi Department Store building in Epcot’s Japan, adjacent to the Hibachi-style Japanese steakhouse, Teppan Edo.

And while we know it’s a terrific place to stop by for sushi (and it’s rarely crowded), they’ve got plenty on the menu for non-seafood palates as well. Let’s take a look!

Atmosphere

Like a growing number of World Showcase restaurants, Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo now have an outdoor check-in area for busy days. On our visit, it wasn’t that crowded; so the cast member told us to head on upstairs to check in.

Check-in Desk Outside Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining

We were met by two very gracious Japanese cast members, signed in, and directed to wait in the lobby of the two restaurants.

The quiet, sleek, and spacious waiting area is a welcome respite from the relative activity of the theme parks. It’s very restful.

Waiting Area

Once your name is called to be seated, you’ll be directed to one of two main dining rooms at Tokyo Dining.

The first room features an on-stage sushi kitchen, where you can watch chefs as they prepare dishes for guests.

Additional Seating and Open Sushi Kitchen

The other dining room features some seriously cool indirect lighting, plus plenty of natural lighting and panoramic views of World Showcase.

Here’s a weird tip: the tables by the windows have super cushy padded chairs, while the others are less comfortable. Just an FYI…and one good reason to request a seat by the window.

Another good reason? Illuminations. Yep; you really can see the fireworks from here (albeit they can be slightly obstructed by trees or people standing on the balcony outside).

Dining Room Seating

We were here during the day, however, so I was happy to take in the views from my cushy window seat. ;-)

View From Dining Room

We had lots of items to choose from, so after taking in our surroundings, it was time to settle down and decide [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: December 16, 2012

Well, my friends, I hope you’re all WAY ahead of me when it comes to holiday shopping and wrapping! We’ve only got about a week and a day left, so I’m scrambling.

But that’s no reason to skip celebrating the latest Disney Food News this week! :-)

Splitsville in Downtown Disney

Disney Dining News

Here’s some of the tempting Disney Dining news this week…

We’ve got additional food news, including an upcoming renovation at the BoardWalk Bakery and ESPN Club, Breakfast Option at Tomorrowland Cafe, Frozen Sangria at Epcot’s Ice Cream Kiosks, DVC Member Gatherings with refreshments, new menu at Artist’s Palette at Saratoga Springs, restaurant updates at Disney’s Vero Beach and Disneyland, and LOTS more, on our Disney Food News Pin Board! Head over and check it out!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food in or from Disney, share a photo with us so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Facebook Friend Emily James sent in this fun picture – ice cream treats, anyone?!

Ice Cream Treats

Chad Iannacone shares this fascinating find! He says “BottleCan! This is a clear can shaped bottle with a metal can top.. crazy! At China market in Epcot.” I saw these when I was in Epcot, too — plenty of flavors to choose from!

Is it a bottle or a can in Epcot's China?

MEGA SALE on our DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays e-Book!

Headed to Disney World during the holidays this year or next year? Take advantage of our lowest price ever on our best-selling DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2012 e-Book!

With 230 pages of detailed information and multiple bonus extras, it WILL save you time and money during the busiest season in Walt Disney World! And whether you’re going this year, or getting a jump on planning for next year, don’t tackle the Disney holidays without it!

Take advantage of this deep savings sale NOW, with a discount for DFB readers. Get the 2012 guide today for our lowest price ever$4 off the regular purchase price for the next 7 days! How? Use code GINGERBREAD at the check-out!

On to the Round-Up

Mickey Fix showcases some Star Wars Cookie Cutters — perfect for your cooking baking this season!

Bedfordshire On Sunday claims that Wells and Young Double Chocolate Stout will be sold throughout Walt Disney World soon (and that it will replace Guinness!).

Orlando Sentinel features Orlando restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Main Street Gazette takes a look at the stuffed sandwiches at Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner!

FoodBev.com reports that Ready Pac Foods has joined a partnership with Feeding America around their new Disney-themed Cool Cuts salads and mini-meals.

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups hangs out at the Laguna Bar at Coronado Springs Resort.

Disney Parks Blog makes tamales – a Christmas Eve tradition for many families.

News! Tables in Wonderland Membership Price Increase

Tables in Wonderland, the Walt Disney World discount dining program, just got costlier! Prices were raised by $25 this week to $125 for Florida Residents and $100 for Annual/Seasonal Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members.

Tables in Wonderland Membership Card

The membership provides a 20% discount on food and beverages (including alcohol) at most restaurants and lounges in Walt Disney World parks and hotels.

Worth The Price?

Even with the price increase, I still think this is a great deal. With 20% off of most of your dining costs in Disney World, the card quickly pays for itself if you dine table-service often, and if you visit Disney World regularly.

Also, the card can be used at several counter service locations as well; check TablesinWonderland.com for an updated list of participating locations.

Note the addition of new restaurants such as Landscape of Flavors Food Court at the Art of Animation Resort and Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom. Be Our Guest Restaurant, however, only [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Maple Crème Brûlée from Epcot’s Le Cellier Steakhouse

I’ve tried a lot of Disney Crème Brûlée, and this one is definitely near the top of the list!

Time to head over to Epcot and into fan (and DFB!) favorite Le Cellier Steakhouse for today’s Disney recipe!

The Maple Crème Brûlée here has got to be one of the most-often ordered desserts on the menu, and it’s very clear why! The super creamy custard has exactly the right amount of sweet maple flavor — and it’s perfect for the holidays!

So while we can’t provide a Moosehead or a serenade by Off Kilter to complete the virtual trip to Epcot’s Canada Pavilion, this decadent dessert will go a long way to putting a smile on your face!

Maple Crème Brûlée from Epcot's Le Cellier Steakhouse

Maple Crème Brûlée

Serves 6
Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
9 egg yolks [Read more…]

Coming Soon! The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays, 2012!

Wishing for the best holiday trip ever at Walt Disney World? Done!

Planning strategies change drastically during Disney World’s busiest season of the year! And we’ll soon be sharing all of the best planning tips and tricks — and hidden gems that are available only during the holidays — in our brand new DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays, 2012, e-Book!

Whether you want to avoid the crowds, choose meals that are perfect for your family, discover the best gingerbread displays, attend seasonal special events, or visit with Santa, The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays, 2012, will help you pick and choose the perfect plans.

And this time, we’re not just talking about food. While there will be plenty of holiday-specific food and dining information, we’re also including extensive Disney holiday activity and event information — and even a monthly schedule of events for the winter holidays. This is the perfect way to prep for your holiday Disney vacation this year…or get a jump on the game for next year!

Sneak Peek!

With well over 100 pages of information and photos (actually, at last edit it was more like 150+ pages!), you’ll get all [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: November 4, 2012

BIG NEWS!!

It's Delicious!

We have our first (say first, because I know there will be many more!) review from the new Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World!! (Plus, we have a LUNCH review coming up tomorrow!)

We also announced a Tables in Wonderland event that provides members with reservations to this New Fantasyland venue!

Disney Food News

Catch up on the latest!

We’ve got additional food news (including a new limited-time menu at the Polynesian’s Spirit of Aloha, Splitsville menu detail, Earl of Sandwich opening at Downtown Disney Anaheim, Zombie souvenir mugs at Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel, Jazz Soundtrack from Carthay Circle Restaurant, New Menu at Disneyland’s French Market Restaurant, Colette champagne cocktail recipe from Disney Cruise Line’s Remy, restaurant closure updates, and LOTS more) on our Disney Food News Pin Board!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food in or from Disney, share a photo with us so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds!

Katie M. Kuhn sent us a tantalizing photo of pumpkin cheesecake from Sunshine Seasons in Epcot. She said it was great!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Buck Rockman shared this picture  of the specialty items from Gaston’s Tavern via facebook! Thanks Buck!

Gaston's Tavern

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Updates

The 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is still going strong, and we’re updating our coverage daily with World Showcase booth and special event reviews, new photos, and other Festival updates!

Cheese Facts from the Food and Wine Festival!

Here’s some of the latest…

Find all of the latest Epcot Food and Wine Festival News and Reviews here, and stay tuned for our take on several seminars and events around the festival.

On to the Round-Up

Walt Disney World For Grown Ups visits the pool bar, Muddy Rivers, at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort.

WildernessLodgeSite.com travels to Trail’s End at the Fort Wilderness resort.

Daveland shares lunch at the Carthay Circle Restaurant during the Disneyland Half-Marathon weekend.

Yesterland looks at buildings that inspired the architecture of some restaurants at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

LA Times looks at an effort to remove characters from Disney candy.

Main Street Gazette makes the Pear Streusel Pudding Cake recipe from the 2010 Epcot Food & Wine Festival.

Gluten Free and Dairy Free at WDW is hosting a private IllumiNations Dessert Party on Saturday, December 15 at Rue De Paris in Epcot’s France Pavilion from 9 p.m. – 10 p.m. All items served will be free of gluten/wheat, dairy/milk/casein, soy, egg, peanut, tree nut, corn, fish and shellfish.

Disney Parks Blog shares a recipe for Colette Champagne Cocktail at the Disney Cruise Line’s Remy restaurant.