Specialty Holiday Cocktails at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

There is about one month left to check out an unforgettable Hollywood Studios holiday tradition: The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! So while you’re enjoying this

Osborne Lights!

Osborne Lights!

Osborne Lights!

Osborne Lights!

You might want to know where you can enjoy one of these

Holiday Drinks at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Holiday Drinks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A small pop-up bar has made its place directly under the “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” marquee. And there are also bars to grab these “to-go” just outside of Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, and at the Hollywood Brown Derby patio.

Marquee to the right

Marquee to the right

This is where you’ll find specialty cocktails like the Winter Berry Margarita, which was first available at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post. You can check out our review of this brightly colored blend of tequila, triple sec, Monin Wildberry, sweet and sour, and cranberry juice here.

Winter Berry Margarita

Winter Berry Margarita

Personally, I like the Gumdrop for the sheer fun factor… Stoli Razberi Vodka, Chambord, pineapple and cranberry juices, and Sprite (for some fizz action!). Alas, no glow cube… but it is topped off with gumdrops. And that’s gotta count for something! (Note that the gumdrops are cinnamon and mint…so…um, gross…but still gumdrops!)

Gumdrop Cocktail

Gumdrop Cocktail

This has a nice balance of sweet and sour. Loved it!

Einstok Doppelbock also makes the menu! A small selection of assorted beer is also available. A Holiday Punch in Pomegranate or Orange Lemonade (souvenir glow cube included, of course!) provides a non-alcoholic option, and Beso Del Sol Sangria rounds out the list.

But that’s not all… during the day, you can find some cider with an added kick at Backlot Express. Just take a look at the ingredients in the Torched Holiday Cider

Torched Holiday Cider

Torched Holiday Cider

Angry Orchard Hard Cider with Fireball Cinnamon Whisky? Don’t mind if I do… thanks, Backlot! Didn’t know you had it in ya ;).

And over at Studio Catering Co., you can find this awesome-looking Very Merry Cherry, with Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, Sweet-and-Sour, Grenadine, and Sprite! YUMMMM!

Very Merry Cherry Drink at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Very Merry Cherry Drink at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Just a little extra yuletide cheer comin’ at you from Hollywood Studios!

Would you like to try any of the specialty holiday beverages at Hollywood Studios? Please let us know with a comment!

News! Frozen Summer Fun Extended at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! New Premium Package Dates Available.

Do you want to hear something cool (pun totally intended ;) )?

Frozen Summer Fun has been extended at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!!

Frozen at DHSThis immensely popular event based on the beloved hit film, Frozen, was originally scheduled to run through September 1st. However, guests can now join in the celebration through September 28, 2014!

Frozen Fun!

Frozen Fun!

That’s one more month to enjoy Frozen Funland, Anna and Elsa’s Welcome Processional, and For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration! And let’s not forget all the specialty treats!

Elsa and Anna Letting It Go!

Elsa and Anna Letting It Go!

Take-Along Olaf with Olaf Carrot Cake Cupcake

Take-Along Olaf with Olaf Carrot Cake Cupcake

But wait, there’s more! The Frozen Premium Package has been extended, too (for select dates)! This add-on package sold out entirely for the original dates.

Now guests have the opportunity to book the Premium Package for the following dates: [Read more…]

Review: White Chocolate Raspberry Easter Cupcake at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Guess who made it back to Hollywood Studios this year?

The Easter Bunny … though, not in the way that you may think! Check out the ears on the White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake

Of course, as Disney food fans, I suppose we’ve all grown rather accustomed to the fact that many of our favorite foods come with EARS.

A classic Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar!

A classic Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar!

Mickey Pretzel with Plastic Cheese

Mickey Pretzel with Plastic Cheese

Mickey Waffle Double Take Cape May Cafe

Mickey Waffles

So, while it was not altogether surprising, it was still fun to spot THESE ears popping up once again in the current specialty cupcake!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes in Starring Rolls Bakery Case

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes in Starring Rolls Bakery Case

The White Chocolate Raspberry cupcake – a return from previous years – can be found at several Hollywood Studios Quick Service locations, including Toy Story Pizza Planet, ABC Commissary, Studio Catering Co., and Starring Rolls Cafe. Just look for this sign:

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake Sign at ABC Commissary

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake Sign at ABC Commissary

This cupcake is [Read more…]

Review: Red Velvet Peppermint Shake and Other Holiday Snacks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Thanks in part to a little annual shindig known as The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, Hollywood Studios has a reputation for spreading holiday cheer in its own unique way… and that’s right down to the snacks!

This year there are a few newcomers to the mix as well as some old favorites. We were so excited to find these killer new snacks to share with you!

Red Velvet Peppermint Shake

Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner is playing host to a VERY hidden holiday gem… so well hidden, in fact, that you can’t even see it on a sign.

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner Menu

On the menu, you just see the simple mention of “Seasonal Shakes.” I took it upon myself to find out exactly what that means in regards to the Yuletide… and THIS is what I found: the Peppermint Shake!

Seasonal Peppermint Shake

The name “Peppermint Shake” is actually a bit misleading. The peppermint comes solely from the crushed candy cane on top of the whipped cream. The base, however, is made of Red Velvet ice Cream.

Seasonal Peppermint Shake

That mild cocoa flavor that Red Velvet is known for is [Read more…]

Give Kids The World: The Power of 10 Breakfast Buffet May 22, 2011

Dun dun dun, da da dun, da da dun… Dun dun dun, da da dun, da da dun… Are you hearing what I’m hearing? The Imperial March from Star Wars? Not so much?

Well it was worth a try in order too introduce this incredible fundraising event being put on this Sunday, May 22nd, by a group of Disney fans and web folks called The Power of 10 Confronts the Dark Side. Benefiting Give Kids the World Village, the event will be an opportunity for Star Wars, Star Tours, and Disney fans to get together and celebrate the re-opening of Star Tours, but also to raise money for a great organization that makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses every single day.

Event Details

When: Sunday, May 22nd 6:30-9:30am
What: Breakfast Buffet
Where: Inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios Backlot Express, adjacent to Star Tours

Breakfast will be served inside [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Comfort Food

We love the new pictures we’ve been receiving in the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! Warning: Don’t try looking at them when you’re hungry! ;-)

The Disney Food Pics of the Week this week feature Comfort Food. For a taste of home, try one of these comforting menu items!

Mom loves an excuse not to cook! This Mom’s Night Out tray from Pop Century’s Everything Pop Food Court makes a hearty meal of Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans & corn bread.
Photographer: Chrissy Field/siriusthinking

Mom's Night Out Special

Home-style meals such as Mom’s Chicken Pot Pie are available at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe in [Read more…]

Hidden Mickeys in Disney Restaurants

The research for this blog began when I noticed a hidden Mickey tucked into a chair at Boma during my Animal Kingdom Lodge Culinary Tour; it’s been all downhill from there! Of course, thanks to all of the Facebook fans and twitter followers who responded to my call for “food-related hidden Mickeys” back in October!

Where possible (and if necessary), I’ve tried to include a photo of the Mickey and a photo of the surrounding area so that it’s easier to find. Not possible with all, unfortunately…

Here we go:

Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom
This was one of my earlier findings, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. You can find it on one of the decorative wooden racks in the lobby of Liberty Tree Tavern — it’s to the right and toward the back as you walk into the lobby.

Blueberry Hidden Mickey at Liberty Tree Tavern

Blueberry Hidden Mickey at Liberty Tree Tavern

Decorative Rack Containing Blueberry Hidden Mickey

Decorative Rack Containing Blueberry Hidden Mickey

Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Ah, the original! I’m not sure if this even qualifies as “hidden,” but I liked it! Some chairs have it, and some chairs don’t — cross your fingers that you get a good one!

Boma Hidden Mickey in Chair

Boma Hidden Mickey in Chair

TRex in Downtown Disney
One of Disney’s newer restaurants (stay tuned for my review, coming soon!), TRex includes a moving (yep–moving) Octopus Bar. Look closely at the tentacles, and you’ll see what I saw…

Tentacle Hidden Mickey at TRex

Tentacle Hidden Mickey at TRex

A Wider Shot of the Octopus Bar for Context

A Wider Shot of the Octopus Bar for Context

Beaches and Cream at the Beach Club Resort
My Dad found this one, but was assured that it’s authentic! It was also mentioned on facebook (Thanks, Kristina!) as a fan favorite! Look up and to the right as you enter the restaurant to see this onion ring hidden Mickey in the decorative border.

Onion Ring Hidden Mickey at Beaches and Cream

Onion Ring Hidden Mickey at Beaches and Cream

Context Shot for Beaches and Cream Hidden Mickey

Context Shot for Beaches and Cream Hidden Mickey

Goofy’s Candy Company in Downtown Disney
OK, this isn’t technically a restaurant, but you can get some pretty good noms here anyway! NOTE: You can also spot this hidden Mickey in the decor around the Goofy’s Candy Company section of MouseGears in Epcot! (Psst…look closely and you’ll see even more hidden characters…)

Hidden Mickey at Goofy's Candy Company

Hidden Mickey at Goofy's Candy Company

The Rest of the Hidden Characters at Goofy's Candy Company

The Rest of the Hidden Characters at Goofy's Candy Company

Reader Favorites
Thanks again to those who answered the call! Here are some reader-suggested food-related hidden Mickeys!

@aryssabrooke from Twitter
At Behind the Seeds tour at Epcot, you can see how they make Mickey shaped pumpkins and watermelons.

@ArmandNoUsagi from Twitter
I have to say my favorite is at Teppan Edo, When the chef makes a Mickey volcano out of an onion.

Allison Palmer-Gleicher from Facebook
The bread Mickey head in Tony’s — over by the Lady and the Tramp picture behind the fountain.

Tinker Kell from Facebook
My favorite one is on the dog statue near the check-in desk at Mama Melrose’s.

Calling All Hidden Mickey Spotters!
I know for a fact that I haven’t seen nearly all of the Disney dining hidden Mickeys, so I hope you can help me out! Contact me via twitter, facebook, or email with a photo or remembrance of your favorite food-related hidden Mickey, and I’ll add it to this blog. The blog itself will be placed (with great honor) in the special posts section in the right-hand column so that you can keep tabs on the updates.

Undignified Dining

There are two restaurants in Disney World that people either love…or hate! And it’s not because of the food; it’s because of the service. Not that 50’s Prime Time Cafe and Whispering Canyon Cafe have bad service; you simply have to know what to expect.

Disney incorporates “story” into all of its theme parks, rides, hotels, and restaurants. And in these two particular restaurants, the “story” is that you’re being served in an atmosphere that calls for a little less dignity and a few more pranks.

50's Prime Time Cafe

50's Prime Time Cafe

50’s Prime Time Cafe

The 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios has long been the place to get fried chicken, meatloaf, chicken soup, and other mom-a-rific favorites. The story here is that you’re eating in Mom’s kitchen, and that your server is some sort of relative — aunt, cousin, uncle, brother…you get the idea.

To make this “comforts of home” story even more real, Disney has trained its cast members at 50’s Prime Time Cafe to treat their customers as family. They bring around photo albums to show the table and ask about Aunt Betty and Cousin James. But they also tell customers to keep their elbows off the table, finish their vegetables, and set the table!

Of course, if you don’t decide to follow directions, punishments which range from slightly embarrassing to hilarious may ensue! Should you find yourself pinning a sugar packet to the wall with your nose, standing in the corner, or singing “I’m a Little Teapot” — with motions — in front of a restaurant full of your new best friends, don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Whispering Canyon Cafe

Whispering Canyon Cafe Warnings

Whispering Canyon Cafe Warnings

While Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge doesn’t have quite the same reputation for humiliation as does 50’s Prime Time Cafe, you will definitely experience your fair share of pranks here!

Cast members adopt specific personalities, complete with wacky nicknames, that harken back to the old west. There’s not a lot of respect for niceties around these parts. You may have napkins and straws thrown at your table, and making a cell phone call from your seat probably isn’t smart — your waiter might want to have a word with the person on the other end! Of course, the last thing you want to do is ask for ketchup… unless, of course, you really like ketchup! (I won’t post specifics, but if you request the info via the “contact us” button above, I’ll give you the low-down.)

So you think you might want ketchup...?

So you think you might want ketchup...?

But the games and pranks are all in fun, and kiddos have a great time at this restaurant. There are sing-a-long songs, hobby horse races, coloring pages, and other games. And, of course, the repeat-after-me vows to “stay up as late as I can,” and “never, ever go to Universal Studios.”

So Go Have Some Fun!
I think that a lot of folks who dislike these restaurants simply aren’t prepared for the type of service that’s customary. Once you know what you’re in for, you can be ready for it…and even have a few zingers ready for retorts! That said, if “interactive” service isn’t for you, just let your server know that you’d rather watch the fun rather than be a part of it. Shouldn’t be a problem in either restaurant. Enjoy!

Photo Credits:
Ketchup: EdenPictures via flickr
Prime Time Cafe: JoshMcConnell via flickr
Special Thanks to WildernessLodgeSite.com

Rosie’s Victory Garden

Rosie's Victory Garden

Rosie's Victory Garden

One of the fun little “surprises” in Disney World is Rosie’s Victory Garden, tucked back by Rock n Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror, within the row of Sunset Ranch Market counter service restaurants. You can find the Victory Garden next to Catalina Eddie’s and not far from its “owner’s” restaurant, Rosie’s American Cafe.

The Victory Garden was common during World War II, when feeding the troops overseas meant rationing food back home. Victory Gardens, where civilians grew their own produce, became a sign of patriotism and national support. Rosie’s, of course, is named for

Butterfly in the Pepper Plants

Butterfly in the Pepper Plants

Rosie the Riveter–an icon created to represent the women who headed to work, replacing the men joining the armed forces. And this icon fits perfectly into a park themed after Hollywood’s golden age–the 30’s and 40’s. It brings yet another piece of cultural history to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

The Victory Garden, however, isn’t an exhibition of plastic plants. It’s a real, live garden, growing peppers (all kinds), pineapples (though I’m not sure how historically accurate that is!), beans, and several other types of produce that weren’t far enough along for me to identify yet. Adding to the theme, Rosie’s garden tools are hanging on the side wall of Catalina Eddie’s, there are a couple of watering cans and a hose on the garden wall, and a couple of interesting garden additions–including a gas-masked scarecrow–offer eye-catching decor.

Patriotic Scarecrows

Patriotic Scarecrows

The next time you’re in the Studios, stop over by the Victory Garden to see how the bell peppers are coming along! Truly an interesting addition to a counter service dining experience.

Mid-Century Nostalgia

One of the Waiting Area Living Rooms

One of the Waiting Area Living Rooms

One of the unsung heroes of dining at Walt Disney World is the 50’s Prime Time Cafe, a diner where the food is decent, the servers are funny, and the decor is the real reason you’re there.

Reminiscent of their youth for those over 50 and the Wonder Years for those under 40, 50’s Prime Time takes pride in its less-than-chic furnishings. Knick Knacks prevail in colors like cornflower blue and avocado, and, more than once, you’ll hear “didn’t Mom used to have one of those?”

A Coveted TV Table

A Coveted TV Table

Arrive early and request a “TV Table.” This is a table for four or five that has a TV right next to it, so that you can watch the loop of black-and-white show snippets that includes The Mickey Mouse Club (what’s more fun than an egg race?), Spin and Marty, I Married Joan, The Dick van Dyke Show, and others.

The food here is less than stellar, usually on a par with a bad Denny’s, but you can score some pretty good fried chicken, chicken pot pie, and meatloaf. They recently took the best dish off the menu–a fried boursin cheese served with toasted baguette slices and grapes–but the atmosphere is almost enough to keep me coming back. Service is inconsistent and based largely on your waiter–who happens to be playing the part of your Aunt, Uncle, cousin, or brother and is at liberty to force you to eat your vegetables…no kidding. Be sure to ask if you can see the photo albums!

Chocolate Malt and Dessert Viewfinder

Chocolate Malt and Dessert Viewfinder

Dessert is another good reason to visit this restaurant. Again, the quality isn’t great, but Disney comes through on the themeing! Your dessert menu is a Viewfinder, and you get to feel like a kid all over again when you click through the enticing photos to “choose your poison.” FYI: the milkshakes are great, and the s’mores have a good reputation.

So, if you’ve got one of those free dining slots open, I suggest you pop on by 50’s Prime Time Cafe for lunch. While the food could be better, the experience can be a true Disney highlight.