NEW DFB Video: Food Tour of Animal Kingdom’s Discovery Island

Hello from Animal Kingdom! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re taking you on a Food Tour of Discovery Island!

Discovery Island Carnivale

Discovery Island Carnivale

The hub of Disney World’s Animal Kingdom park is Discovery Island, where the Tree of Life soars to the sky and colorful entertainment abounds.

Eats-wise, you can explore one of Disney World’s most popular counter service restaurants, some incredibly unique and valuable snacks (that are a great value on the Disney Dining Plan!), and more!

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Avoid These Seven Mistakes When Planning Your Disney Dining!

We know planning your dining at Walt Disney World is increasingly difficult. With so many options and variables to consider, it’s really hard to get everything right.

And that’s where we come in! Disney Food Blog has assembled some of the most common mistakes made by guests when they plan their Disney World dining — and some tips and tools for how to avoid those mistakes.

So if you really want to eat this…

'Ohana Bread Pudding

‘Ohana Bread Pudding

[Read more…]

New DFB Video: Magic Kingdom Table Service Restaurants You Have To Try!

It’s time for another info-packed Disney Video! And this time, we’re talking about the Magic Kingdom in Disney World!

Magic Kingdom Main Street Before Parade

If you’re planning a trip to the Magic Kingdom, this is a must-see. I’m sharing my top table-service restaurants (and the ones you maaaaaybe don’t need to bother with)!

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DFB Reader Questions Answered: Do Babies Count When It Comes to Automatic Gratuity?

Edited: Friday, January 22, 2016

We are back with another great question from the DFB Inbox! And we figured if one of you asked, then many of you probably wonder the same thing. :-)

Today, our reader asks:

My family and I are planning to dine at many Disney table service restaurants on our next visit. We are a party of six, but there’s an infant who won’t be eating in our group. Will gratuity be automatically added to our bill?

As many of you know, Disney automatically adds a gratuity of 18% for parties of 6 or more when you dine at a table service location. (This also includes buffet-style restaurants.) But what happens if you have an infant or toddler who won’t be eating?

Lilo at 'Ohana

Dining with a Toddler at ‘Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast? Know Before You Go!

According to several calls to WDW-DINE, the headcount of “six or more” technically refers to guests who are over the age of three; but based on the comments we received below, we called a few more times. We were told that the policy states “six or more” and that it is left up the restaurant’s discretion whether or not they will charge. We were told that restaurants will rarely charge the gratuity if the sixth person is under the age of 3, but as you can see from the comments, it DOES happen. Thanks to our commenters for sharing their experiences!

Not counting toward the total number for gratuity is consistent with other areas at Disney. For instance, infants and toddlers are admitted to the Parks when they’re under the age of three for free. And the under-three set can share off of your plate at buffets and all-you-care-to-enjoy restaurants for free as well.

Mickey Waffles

Share Some Mickey Waffles with the Little One You Love

Keep in mind, however, that if you’re using the Tables in Wonderland discount card, gratuity is automatically added to the bill, regardless of the size of your party. Also, if you are in a situation where the gratuity is added automatically, you can always increase the amount if you’d like.

Now we’d love to hear from you! Do you agree with the automatic gratuity assessment? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts!

News! Morimoto Asia Opens September 30 at Disney Springs

Big nooz! Reports note that Morimoto Asia will open its doors at Downtown Disney (soon to be Disney Springs) on September 30! Reservations may be available via Open Table beginning September 16.

©Disney @WDWDowntown Twitter

©Disney @WDWDowntown Twitter

From the beginning, we’ve heard details that Morimoto Asia would feature a full panoply of Asian flavors, with special experiences throughout the soaring space of the restaurant. Today, we’re getting even more detail. [Read more…]

New Restaurants May Be Coming Soon to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We all know about the upcoming addition of Avatar Land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as well as the Rivers of Light Evening Spectacular.

Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

But today, we’re also hearing news of more expansion coming to other areas of Animal Kingdom — including new eating options!

New Africa Marketplace May Include Counter Service Dining Option

WDWMagic.com is reporting that construction is underway on an expansion to the Harambe Village area of Africa. The development is taking place in an area that was previously backstage. When completed, the new area, called Africa Marketplace, will provide additional retail space and will include a new walkway connecting Africa and Asia. Welcome news, right? After all, it can become crazy crowded in this area, with only one way in and out. Africa Marketplace will be located between Kilimanjaro Safari and Mombasa Marketplace.

Africa Marketplace Concept Art, Courtesy WDWMagic.com

Africa Marketplace Concept Art, Courtesy WDWMagic.com

But we are most excited about new eats, of course! And it’s being reported that Africa Marketplace will also include [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

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DFB Podcast Episode 17: AJ’s and Brad’s Dream Disney Meals

Happy Holidays, Disney foodies! Exciting news today for all you hungry commuters, walkers, runners, snow-shovelers, gym-goers, Disney holidays road-trippers, and other assorted podcast listeners!

Just a note to let you know that after a (long — yes, we’re sorry!) hiatus, WE’RE BACK! The 17th episode of our DFB Podcast is now up and ready for downloading!

In this episode, AJ and Brad cover the latest Disney food news and discuss their dream meals at Disneyland and Walt Disney World — they each choose an appetizer, an entree and a dessert from anywhere at either resort to complete a dream Disney meal. We also answer two listener questions, and reveal the answer to our Episode 16 trivia question (and stump you with a new one)!

Here’s the Podcast page for Episode 17. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS or on iTunes!

Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! The podcast has its own Twitter account — tweet us at @DFBPodcast!

First Look! The NEW California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Oh my goodness, you guys! We got a chance to check out the newly revamped California Grill last night and IT. IS. AMAZING!

The popular restaurant, which sits high atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is the one that started it all. It was Disney World’s first foray into sleek, signature dining.

But even the most contemporary California vibe can become outdated. And so it was time for a little freshening.

Last night, we got a first look at the brand new re-imagined California Grill.

We’ll have even more pics for you later today — and a longer review for you next week! But I couldn’t wait to share these initial pics of the transformation! Come with us and take a look!

New California Grill Atmosphere

The facelift is evident before you ever set foot on the fifteenth floor. The check in desk, located on the second floor, has also received an updated look.

Second Floor Check In Desk for California Grill

A new font and background replace the signature cursive. Colorful stripes in warm colors replace the painted tile background.

After a quick trip up in the elevator reserved for California Grill guests, we stepped out into the entrance. A right turn, and we were greeted by a gorgeous, post-storm sunset.

California Grill view

Sweeping vistas have always been a hallmark of California Grill, but they’ve been made even more stunning with the introduction of floor to ceiling windows, which allow for plenty of natural light and incredible, 360-degree views.

California Grill New Dining Room

California Grill New Dining Room

Previously, the space was dominated by bright, bold geometric patterns. In re-imagining the space, Imagineers decided to look to the Contemporary’s mid-century roots for inspiration.

Taking elements from the work of iconic Disney artist Mary Blair, the entire space was [Read more…]

Be Our Guest Restaurant Opens December 6, 2012, in Disney World’s Fantasyland

UPDATE: Reservations for Be Our Guest can be made starting on August 20th by calling 407-WDW-DINE. Online reservations begin August 22. The first available dinner reservation is for November 19th.
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Finally, we have the details on an opening date for Be Our Guest Restaurant and Gaston’s Tavern in Walt Disney World’s New Fantasyland!

This expanded Magic Kingdom land will feature new rides and attractions as well as two highly anticipated restaurants.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Starting December 6, 2012, enjoy an enchanted meal surrounded by the lush decor of the Beast’s Castle in the Beauty and the Beast area of the New Fantasyland.

Beast's Castle in the New Fantasyland

Guests will be able to dine counter-service (fast food) for lunch and table-service (sit-down) for dinner, experiencing one of three magical dining rooms: the Library, the West Wing (home of the enchanted rose), or the golden-colored Ballroom that we all remember from the movie.

You’ll be able to make reservations for this experience in late August. Sign up for our Disney Food Blog Newsletter to see details first.

See the Be Our Guest Restaurant menu as well as more photos and details about Be Our Guest Restaurant here!

Gaston’s Tavern

Also opening December 6, 2012, this fun quick-service location will be the epitome of perfection as Gaston’s famed portrait presides over the [Read more…]