Guest Review: Inventions Sunday Brunch Buffet in Disneyland Paris

I am delighted to bring you this guest review from veteran Disney World Moms Panelist Erin Foster of a recent visit to the Inventions Restaurant Sunday Brunch Buffet in the Disneyland Hotel in Disneyland Resort Paris. I, for one, have never experienced this restaurant, and now I can’t wait to go! Take it away, Erin!

I had the great good fortune to make a trip to Paris with my family last week. Because no true Disney devotee could get less than an hour away from an as-yet-unexperienced Disney theme park, we decided to visit Disneyland Paris and the Disney Studios Paris. We stayed for two nights at the magnificent Disneyland Hotel, which is literally a handful of steps away from the Main Gate of the Disneyland Paris park.

Disneyland Paris was the first stop on our vacation. We went directly there from Charles de Galle airport after an overnight flight, customs, baggage gathering, and a 45-minute taxi ride, but no meal. Suffice it to say that we were tired, hungry, and more than a little cranky. Our room was about an hour from being ready and we needed to eat and get our bearing. The front desk cast member suggested that we go upstairs to the Inventions restaurant, which was serving a character lunch buffet.

Inventions is one of two restaurants at the Disneyland Hotel. The other is called California Grill. The California Grill is a top-of-line spot, which only serves dinner, much like the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill at Walt Disney World (though the menus are entirely different). There is no quick-serve option at the hotel.

We walked right into Inventions with no reservation and no wait. (Try doing that at Chef Mickey’s.) We had no idea what to expect, but immediately were put at ease when we saw characters working the room, just like at “home.” There did not seem to be any theme to the characters that came out. During the course of our meal we saw Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Pinocchio, Scrooge McDuck, and Alice’s White Rabbit.

Erin's Daughters With Scrooge McDuck

Erin's Daughters With the White Rabbit

The restaurant has two spacious dining rooms, connected by a long, wide hallway that houses the buffet line. From the windows of the room, you have lovely views of the park, including the Main Gate, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and Space Mountain: Mission 2. Hung on the ceiling [Read more…]

Dinner at ‘Ohana

Today, my friends, we’re headed to Disney World’s Polynesian Resort to visit one of my favorite places — and yours — ‘Ohana. Those of you versed in Lilo and Stitch, or those of you who have been lucky enough to visit the beautiful islands of Hawai’i, know that “‘Ohana” means “Family,” and at this restaurant, they drive the point home.

Food is served family style, everyone in the restaurant — including you — are “cousins,” and the Hawaiian entertainment is aimed at bringing everyone together to participate in common activities. It’s a restaurant like none other in the Disney realm, and its high points are what keeps ‘Ohana a tough reservation to get.

You’re greeted at ‘Ohana by “cousins” at the podium who take your name, give you a buzzer, and send you out into the Polynesian Resort to explore. Trust me, this is one of those rare restaurants where you hope you have 15-20 minutes to wait until you’re seated — there’s so much to do! Here are my favorite diversions while waiting for my buzzer to go off at ‘Ohana:

  • Have a Drink: Grab yourself a giant wicker chair in the Tambu Lounge just past the ‘Ohana podium. Knowledgeable bartenders and friendly servers will cater to your whims as you relax and wait for your table. (One of my favorites is the Lapu Lapu…a drink served IN a pineapple!)
  • Lapu Lapu

  • Listen to the Islands: ‘Ohana often provides a very talented [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Weekly Round-Up: April 4th, 2010

From Mad Hatter's Peep Party Diorama

Welcome to the Round-Up! Quick Disney food news recap on this Easter Sunday morning:

Finally, don’t forget to head over the DisMarks Disney Blog Carnival for some great reads (30 submissions!!) about your favorite topics! And now, on to the Round-Up!

The Washington Post showcased these videos of the Marshmallow Peeps Diorama competition, two of which show dioramas themed to Disney movies (Winner: “Eep” — a representation of “Up.” Finalist: “The Mad Hatter’s Peep Party” — a representation of “Alice in Wonderland.)!

Three Baking Sheets to the Wind created some amazing Alice in Wonderland themed cupcakes. Just wait until you see the “Tweedledee and Tweedledum” ones… Wow.

Progress City USA has a picture of Jim MacPhee drinking Beverly. (You won’t know if it’s worth looking until it’s too late.) Also, a piece of history with Disney’s launch of French-fried ice cream.

Designing Disney has an Easter Egg Hunt on his blog… see if you can find ‘em!

Disney has released photos of the Walt Disney Signature dining installation in collaboration with design innovator, Cappellini, for this year’s Dining By Design DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) event in New York City.

AllEars has a great photo blog from The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Disney Parks Blog shows us how to find our favorite candy on Mainstreet USA!

Disney Shawn shows us the ins and outs of Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in WDW’s Magic Kingdom.

Studios Central has a great write-up of the recent counter service menu changes in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Orlando Sentinel talks about butterbeer at the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios (I know…not technically Disney…but awesome!)

WDW Radio shares a special find — the Adventureland Veranda serving meals again…if only temporarily!

Disney Every Day has some pics of breakfast at the Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe.

Magical Kingdoms reviews Cafe Mickey in Disneyland Resort Paris.

Breakfast Specialty Showdown

Note to readers: This is what happens when I stay up too late before writing my blog post for the next day…especially after watching action movies…

I think it’s time to pit one favorite against another in a…


…starring your favorites and mine, the well-known, specialty breakfast dishes from Chef Mickey’s, Akershus Princess Storybook Breakfast, and Crystal Palace!

Who will win the Breakfast Specialty Showdown Crown?! We shall see…

Contender #1: Pooh’s Breakfast Lasagna
An unpretentious mish-mosh of ingredients — delicious on their own, but outstanding when smooshed together — create the formidable Pooh’s Breakfast Lasagna. Crystal Palace knew that naming the dish after an unassuming, honey-loving bear would lull opponents into a false sense of security. Overconfident challengers beware, the collision of flavors is greater than the sum of its parts, and moves the Breakfast Lasagna fully into Breakfast Specialty Showdown contender status!

Pooh's Breakfast Lasagna

Contender #2: Pluto’s Cheese Blintzes
Don’t get the wrong idea. Even though these delectable little pockets of cheese are named after the strong, silent type, that doesn’t mean they won’t start to shout [Read more…]

Anniversary and Honeymoon Treats in Disney World

This post is part of the DisMarks Disney Blog Carnival! If you’re a Disney fan, be sure to head over and check out all of the other fantastic Disney blogs in the carnival!

You’ve heard all about the Disney Birthday Treats that some restaurants share with their guests in celebration. Today we want to share with you a few fun treats that have been received by Disney honeymooners, which are often the same congratulatory treats given to those celebrating their Anniversaries, as well.

California Grill Honeymoon Presentation

California Grill Honeymoon Presentation

As many of you know, my husband and I split our honeymoon between Disney World and Hawai’i last Fall, and there are several things to consider when planning a “DisneyMoon!” You can plan an official extravaganza with Disney Honeymoons, or you can keep the planning more personal. We did the latter, but were still able to celebrate “Disney-style” through the generosity of a few of our favorite Disney restaurants.

Restaurant Tips for Those Celebrating Honeymoons or Anniversaries
If you’re planning to commemorate your marriage in Walt Disney World, letting the restaurants in on your celebration is both free and easy, and it can really add to the festive atmosphere of your vacation. Consider these Dining Tips when you’re planning your Disney honeymoon or celebrating your anniversary: [Read more…]

Chocolate Desserts You Might Have Missed…

While many have sampled Coral Reef‘s famous “Chocolate Wave” and Le Cellier‘s deep, dark Whiskey Cake, we wanted to show you three chocolate desserts in Walt Disney World that might be a bit “under the radar”…

Portobello Restaurant, Downtown Disney
This dense, rich confection is called Chocolate Paradise, and is described on the menu as a rich chocolate layer cake with chocolate ganache & toffee crunch. Now, you all know me as a frosting-lover, and while this cake didn’t have much, the moistness of the cake itself nearly made up for it.

Also, rarely is a dessert “too rich” for me, but this one almost did me in. This is absolutely one of the most delicious chocolate cakes I’ve ever had — highly recommended the next time you’re in Downtown Disney. And, don’t worry — I’ll be highlighting my review of Portobello on the blog very soon!

Chocolate Paradise at Portobello, Downtown Disney

Chocolate Paradise at Portobello, Downtown Disney

T-Rex, Downtown Disney
So…the Ice Age Indulgence is described as such: Layers of ice cream sandwiches, fudge sauce, whipped cream and Heath Bar Crunch, and it’s intriguing to say the least! It’s the exact dessert you’d have made as a kid if you were left alone in the house with a freezer full of ice cream sandwiches — admit it, you [Read more…]

Rumor: Flying Fish to Add Chef’s Counter Option

Flying Fish Cafe
Update: Flying Fish has instituted their Chef’s Counter, so book away!

SamLand’s Disney Adventures has included in a recent trip report post that Flying Fish Cafe might be using their open kitchen counter seats as a “Chef’s Counter” within the next couple of months!

Chef’s Counters at Disney’s signature restaurants are in the theme of the Victoria and Albert’s Chefs Table, though not quite as elaborate. You book the special experience and have the opportunity for the Executive Chef to build a custom menu for that evening around your likes and dislikes. It’s an extraordinary chance to [Read more…]

Guest Review: Casey’s Corner

A special thanks to Chef BigFatPanda for taking us into the Magic Kingdom with him for a meal at Casey’s Corner, a restaurant inspired by Ernest L. Thayer poem and Disney animated short, “Casey at the Bat!” Take it away, Chef!

Casey's Corner

Hello again, Chef BigFatPanda here with a review of Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom! Facing Cinderella’s castle, Casey’s occupies the end left corner of Main Street. It’s fast food that can be summed up in one word “Hot Dogs”. Well, maybe that’s two words.

Casey's Window

Casey’s is reminiscent of a bygone era full of that “take me out to ballgame” feeling, which goes hand in hand with our American obsession with Hot Dogs (the word Frankfurter seems to be used less and less). The inside is decorated with baseball memorabilia on shelves, and a statue of [Read more…]

DIY Disney: Mom’s Meatloaf From 50’s Prime Time Cafe

50sPrimeTimeA special thanks to Chef BigFatPanda for sharing his recent kitchen adventures with us! Follow along as he (and Chef Mickey!) take us right into the kitchen with them as they create Mom’s Meatloaf (whose name has oddly been changed to Dad’s Meatloaf recently) from 50’s Prime Time Cafe Restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Take it away, Chef!

Hello! Chef BigFatPanda here, embarking on duplicating Mom’s Meat Loaf as served in 50’s Prime Time Cafe. I chose this recipe because I love meatloaf — when it’s done right — and because it’s a cost effective meal for the family. This recipe calls for a hearty 3 pounds of meat. That’s a lot of meatloaf, but unused portions can be refrigerated or frozen for another day, or for a sandwich lunch. This recipe has us making 2 loaves, so, theoretically, you can halve the ingredients and make one.

My Italian heritage takes over when I make meatloaf, and it becomes a giant meatball with Pecorino Romano cheese, etc. I am resisting that urge and am going to follow Disney’s recipe to the “T,” then give you my honest feelings on it. I feel like Julie & Julia :)



To make this easier to follow, I have bolded all the official instructions. This is especially useful if you want to save this recipe for future use and [Read more…]

Sanaa Restaurant Guest Review

Sanaa is almost a year old (!!), and it’s settling in nicely with a couple of new menu items and one of Disney World’s most incredible views. Amanda Tinney from dined at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s newest restaurant recently and was kind enough to share this rockin’ report. Take it away, Amanda!


Sanaa means “Work of Art” in Swahili, which is fitting because the food artists at Disney’s Kidani Village are crafting unique dishes for Disney Guests in their flagship restaurant… Sanaa. As the menu professes, Sanaa is “The Art of African Cooking with Indian Flavors.”

I had the privilege of dining here last week during a lunch meeting. I consider myself an adventurous eater, but I had my doubts once seated and presented with the menu. Luckily, I was dining with friends who had experienced Sanaa previously, and I let them take the lead when ordering appetizers.

We started with the Indian Style Bread Service ($8.99), which gave us a choice of three breads and three accompaniments. For the bread, we selected Naan, Onion Kulcha, and Paneer Paratha. [Read more…]