Tips for Picky Eaters in Disney Parks

Let’s face it. Everyone’s got a picky eater. Whether it’s your kid, your Mom, your husband, or YOU, someone in the group doesn’t eat salad, stays away from seafood, or has a thing about not eating anything that isn’t peanut butter.

The great news is, Disney parks are destinations where none of that has to matter. There are enough choices (whether they’re on the menu or not) that everyone can find something to fill their tummies.

There's More to Life Than Burgers and Fries

Here are a few tips I’ve gleaned from my personal experience and from readers about navigating the parks with a picky eater. These are highlighted (and even illustrated) with some great comments from Disney Food Blog Facebook Fans!:

Contact Disney Ahead of Time
If the situation is dire and you liken the picky eating behavior to a special dietary need, you can always call Disney ahead of time to be sure that your needs will be taken care of at any table service restaurant where you’ll be dining. Check our Special Diets at Disney resources to learn more.

From Linds P: If you have something you know they’ll like, you can email with your pre-made reservations info. You can make sure the foods you like will be there.

Christina W. says: My best friend is a vegetarian who also needs [Read more…]

Raglan Road Review

Disney World’s Raglan Road Pub offers guests a wealth of Irish charm and classic dishes with a contemporary twist. I know that sounds like a pamphlet, but it’s pretty much whatcha get! You’ll find this spot in Downtown Disney, right next to Cooke’s of Dublin, so you’ll be surrounded by Little Ireland as soon as you get there.

Raglan Road is rarely quiet in the evenings. You’ll want to come here when you’re ready to have a bit of fun, indulge in some delicious food, and enjoy the raucous goings-on around you. That’s not to say you’ll feel as though you’ve wandered into a frat party; even though Raglan Road is on Pleasure Island, the feeling here is of a decidedly more upscale, slightly tipsy cocktail party vs. the final night of Rush Week.

Raglan Road Main Dining Room

Upon entering the restaurant, the massive expanse of polished wood will surely be the main draw for your eye. Although this place is easily the size of four or five pubs back in Ireland, the decor remains similar — wood paneling, flooring, bars, tables, and booths; brass fixtures; old world feel. What’s different here is the soaring ceiling and cupola, edged by beautiful stained glass panes that make you feel like you’re sitting inside a sunset when you visit at dusk.
[Read more…]

Paradiso 37 Menu Changes

Reader Ellen D. and her son headed over to Downtown Disney’s Paradiso 37 recently and sent back a few photos of the restaurant’s new menus. Ellen also sent along photos and reviews of their entrees and dessert (yay!). By the way, if you’d like to read our full review of Paradiso 37, you can find it here! Here we go!

Paradiso 37

First off, the food! Ellen wasn’t a huge fan of the Citrus-Barbecued Pork Ribs, saying the spice rub was extremely strong.

Citrus Barbecue Pork Ribs with Slaw

This veg entree was created on-the-fly, she says. “The new menu doesn’t have any vegetarian entrees (the previous one did). Our server offered me this. First impression, [Read more…]

Kona Cafe Menu Changes “Imminent”

We’ll be reporting on lots of menu changes this week! These are brought to us by Disney Every Day‘s Amanda Tinney, who recently visited Disney’s Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe.

The Classic Kona Cone Isn't Going Anywhere

Hiya Disney Foodie Fans! Sometimes chatting up your server at a Walt Disney World Restaurant will elicit golden nuggets of information that you can share with your fellow Disneyphile Friends. This week, my daughter and I were having dinner at Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Resort. Sushi, of course…followed up with some dessert. My daughter ordered the “most requested” dessert at the Kona Cafe, the Kona Kone! I opted for the “healthier” choice and ordered the Chocolate Fondue.

My Chocolate Fondue with macaroons, lace cookies, pineapple, strawberries and kiwi

I noticed that our server had a “10 Years of Service” Pin on her name badge and started chatting with her. It was around 5:30 pm when we were first seated and the restaurant was only about half full, so our server had time to talk. I told her that I had tried to make an ADR for the evening and was told by Disney Dining that the Cafe was completely booked until 9:00 pm. From the looks of it…some people had failed to show up for their ADR. Our server told us that it is normal for 45 to 50% of ADR’s to be “no-shows” on any given day!!! Proof that sometimes a “walk-up” is the only way to go.

Our server went on to tell us that there were going to be some changes coming soon to the Kona Cafe Dinner Menu. One change that has already been made involves [Read more…]

La Hacienda de San Angel Reservations Available After October 15th

A few more details have been released on La Hacienda de San Angel, opening mid-September in Walt Disney World’s Epcot.

Reservations will be available for dates after October 15th, and the dates from opening through October 15th will be a soft opening period (i.e. walk-up guests only).

The Disney Parks Blog caught up with Richard Debler, the president of San Angel Inn LLC, and Executive Chef Ernesto Zendejas, in charge of the big changes at the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. Here are some of the new insights:

New “Flex-Space” Concept for Disney Dining
The space will be used as an air-conditioned dining room for La Cantina de San Angel next door during the day, and as a full-service restaurant after 4pm.

The Cuisine and Menu
Two taco specialists are being brought in from one of the best taquerias in Mexico to work with the La Hacienda team. Corn tortillas will be made fresh on the premises daily for La Hacienda and La Cantina (the counter-service restaurant next door). Tomato, chipotle and serrano, tomatillo, and mango salsas will be made fresh as well, and there will be unique flavors from different regions of Mexico represented, including cilantro and habenero flavors Southern Mexico.

Favorite La Hacienda de San Angel menu items include mini tacos, including [Read more…]

Review: Pizzafari

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a dearth of dining establishments. It’s true; we all know it. But what they DO have is…beautiful. While food-wise, Pizzafari could be thought of as leaving much to be desired, exploring the place itself almost makes up for it!

You’ll find Pizzafari on the path to Africa — just take a left at Discovery Island! And once again, Animal Kingdom comes out on top when it comes to themeing and imagineering decor.

Very rarely will the decor in any corner of the Animal Kingdom be random. Over at Flame Tree Barbecue, you’ve got the intriguing-yet-gross-if-you-think-about-it predator and prey theme. Here at Pizzafari, the theme is a bit more understated, but no less intriguing: [Read more…]

Disney World Free Dining in 2011 Announced

Disney World Free Dining has been announced for the following dates in 2011:

Jan 1 – 5 • 9 – 13 • Jan 21 – Feb 3 • Feb 11 – 17 • Feb 25 – Mar 3 • May 27 – Jun 2 • Aug 19 – Sept 29

While there are many blackout dates, there’s certainly more free dining available than ever before. The booking window for these promotions is through December 20, 2010 — so get on the horn! Call (407) 939-7926 and ask for booking code NL7 to book your room reservations. Then it’s time to plan your Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations!

Like this year, those staying at mods, deluxes, and deluxe villas will get the standard dining plan. Those staying at values will get the quick service dining plan.

See for details!

For information and links to updated menus from every Disney World Table Service restaurant, visit our Disney World Restaurants Guide.

Disney World Free Dining Extension Into 2011

UPDATE: WDW Free Dining 2011 has been announced! Click here for details!


Len Testa over at the Touring Plans Blog is reporting the possibility of Disney World’s Free Dining promotion being extended into September 2011.

…[the] discount is an extension of free dining, through September 2011. This comes with a considerable number of blackout dates, including Spring Break, Easter and most of Summer 2011.

If the discount comes to pass, it will be announced this Monday, August 16th.

Touring Plans isn’t often wrong about things like this, so I’d set your alarm for “early” on Monday just in case.

Note: According to, 2011 Free Dining is already available for guests from the UK.

There are two other potential discounts in the rumor mill; read more about them on Touring Plans.

Dining Planning for Christmas in Disney

The holidays in Disney Parks are an incredibly magical time, and because we’re well into the Disney World dining planning window for folks who are headed to Orlando during the holiday season I wanted to add a few resources to the planning sessions!

Where to Eat

Disney holiday menus will always feature special treats! At the request of several readers, I did a quick poll of our facebook fans and twitter followers to determine the answer to this question, “If you could dine at one Disney World restaurant for your holiday dinner, where would you go?” I was quickly rewarded with some fantastic answers! Here are some of the most popular responses:

Liberty Tree Tavern
This location wins with our readers for Thanksgiving, and it was an overwhelmingly popular choice for Christmas as well. Most readers indicated that the cozy atmosphere at Liberty Tree Tavern and the traditional holiday dinner fare is what would bring them here.

Liberty Tree Tavern Pot Roast

Mele Kalikimaka! ‘Ohana was tied for first place with Liberty Tree Tavern, so clearly DFB readers share my affinity for the islands! :-) After growing up in the snowy tundra of western New York State, Hawai’i sounds pretty good as a Christmas destination right about now! Plus, this location has [Read more…]

No Park Tickets? No Reservation? No Problem!

The main complaint I hear regarding the re-instated 180-day window for Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations is that it’s impossible to get a seat in a restaurant “on a whim.” I wanted to address that concern and add another challenge: what if you don’t have park tickets, either?

I thought it’d be fun to tackle this situation and suggest a few spots in both Disney World and Disneyland for those who find themselves in this “pickle!”

Beaches and Cream Beef Sandwich Au Jus

Walt Disney World

Nope! I’m not kidding. It doesn’t have to be a hassle to find a good, table-service meal in Disney World — even when you don’t have a reservation or a park ticket! Here are four of my favorite go-to locations at all different price points:

Beaches and Cream $
Welcome back to the 1950’s soda shoppe! Beaches and Cream is located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and doesn’t even take reservations, so you won’t ever run into the no ADR problem! This spot serves simple, but delicious, [Read more…]