Favorite Finds: Disney Valentine Treats at Target

During a recent pass through Target, I was please to see that much like last year, they’ve got a nice selection of Disney-branded treats fill your Valentine’s stocking. (Wait, that’s not a thing, is it?)

Many of the items feature retro-style Mickey and Minnie illustrations. They remind me a bit of the “Get A Horse” film short that runs before the theatrical showings of Frozen.

My Target had an aisle end-cap with a Disney theme, but I found Disney items scattered throughout the Valentine candy section, not just on the end-cap.


The items included a plush Mickey, holding a chocolate heart lollipop.


These cutie patootie Mickey and Minnie tins hold wafer cookies.



Here’s a cupcake mix. It comes in a [Read more…]

Disney and Star Wars Valentine’s Day Treats at Target

I made my bi-monthly trek to Target and encountered a staggering amount and variety of Disney-themed Valentine merchandise. Not surprisingly, a fair amount of Mickey and princess goodies graced the shelves. Very surprisingly, the Mickey and princess treats were far outnumbered by Star Wars Valentine candy. Apparently residents of a galaxy far, far away have quite the sweet tooth. Who knew?

Here a photo tour of what I found in the seasonal Valentine shop:

Star Wars Valentine’s Day Goodies

Goblet mugs filled with Star Wars conversation hearts. Chewie needs me, I know he does.

R2 and Darth heart-shaped boxes, filled with conversation hearts.

R2 and Darth boxes.

Take a close look at the back of the R2 heart box and you’ll see that the “conversations” appear to be somewhat Star Wars related.

The ones I can make out say, “Mine will U B,” (like Yoda texting?) and “Luv Machine.” Machine! Get it! I need to find out who makes this stuff and steal their job because it is awesome beyond belief.

Yoda and Vader heart box [Read more…]

Snack Series: Contempo Cafe Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake

Time for a great new Disney Cupcake addition to the Contempo Cafe bakery case in Disney World’s Contemporary Resort!

Our love for the Contempo’s Red Velvet Cupcake with its fantabulous cheesecake center, may be rivaled by this one!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake at Contempo Cafe

These cupcakes are pretty large — probably shareable if you’re the sharing type — and topped with a creamy, light frosting. Not quite whipped cream frosting — there’s definitely some heft — but close.

Top of chocolate peanut butter cupcake

Once we went in for our cross-section shot, I was pleased to see the center of the cupcake stuffed with peanut butter filling. And, as expected from a Contempo Cafe cupcake, this wasn’t just more of that light frosting. This was real-life peanut butter filling — more like what you’d expect in a peanut butter [Read more…]

Review: Black Forest Cake Roulade at Epcot’s Sommerfest

I’ve always spied the desserts at Sommerfest in Epcot’s Germany with envy. Apple Strudel, Bavarian cheesecake, and…Black Forest Cake Roulade! For any cherry and chocolate lover (like yours truly), this was a must-try…


Located just off to the side of Germany’s picturesque cobblestone town square, Sommerfest has all the look and feel of a 16th century German town. You will feel like you’ve left Florida behind as you walk among the buildings, smell the sausages and sauerkraut, and hear the polka music wafting in.

Sommerfest in Epcot's Germany Pavilion

There are a few tables inside, but this is a great spot to grab a bite and eat outside al fresco style.


Sommerfest really is a hidden gem among the counter service options in World Showcase. You can choose from a couple of sausages (Bratwurst or Frankfurther), both served German-style with sauerkraut. And those lovely hand-twisted pretzels (NOT the same as the other Disney soft pretzels, mind you) is also an option.

But today was the day I was finally going to indulge in that Black Forest Cake Roulade I’d been eying for a year or so.

Sommerfest Menu - Click to Enlarge

A rolled cake, sandwiched together with whipped cream around a cherry compote, and then covered in chocolate flakes. You totally want to dig in, right?

Black Forest Cake Roulade

The outside was coated with [Read more…]

Review: Big River Grille and Brewing Works at the Boardwalk Inn Resort

Today, it’s high time that we share with you our thoughts about the one and only working microbrewery at Walt Disney World, Big River Grille & Brewing Works!

Located at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort, the American pub-style restaurant features a primo location to see and be seen right on the Boardwalk. But, I’ll be right up front with you and tell you now that this has NOT been my favorite place to eat at Disney in the past.

However, we came to it with an open mind hoping to find some improvements on our last visit. We were rewarded with a much, much better experience than in times past! What did they do right on this visit? Read on…


The entrance to the restaurant on the Boardwalk, beneath an awning bearing the restaurant’s name.

Big River Grille & Brewing Works

Once inside, you’ll notice that there are three distinct seating areas within the restaurant: the bar area to the right; the seating area to the left, a rather nondescript space; and a patio area offering great views of the Boardwalk, the lake, and the Yacht and Beach Club on the other side of water. (You may even see the tops of Illuminations fireworks from here.)

There are a few good reasons to head over to Big River Grille:
1.) It’s normally pretty easy to get into, so if you’re hungry and don’t have an advance dining reservation, or you’re at Epcot or Hollywood Studios and would like to skip out on the park crazy for a while, this can be a good place to come for a bite and a sip.

2.) As I mentioned above, it’s the only working microbrewery at Disney, and the beers are quite popular! (More on the beer a little later.) It’s also pretty cool to look around the interior and see just where your brew is being produced.

Brew Kettle, Big River Grille

3.) Finally, while I don’t love the [Read more…]

Review: New Captain Cook’s Cupcakes

Let’s start out with a personality quiz today…

Which Do You Prefer?

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Clearly, we’re talking about cupcakes here! We’ve got two completely different snacks to consider from Captain Cook’s Snack Company at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and you may have just chosen which one will be your first choice the next time you’re in Disney World! Those adjectives perfectly describe the snacks I’m about to review…

Both cupcakes — Chocolate Macadamia and Lemon Ginger — sell for $3.99 or a Disney Dining Plan snack credit. Perfectly fitting with the South Seas ambiance (of COURSE the South Seas have cupcakes!!!), these new flavors capture the essence of the tropics!

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cupcake

OK, forgive the photo backgrounds — I had this cupcake balanced on my suitcase as I was checking out of the hotel! Still, I think the lighting is pretty fun… . Anyway, this thing tastes as good as it looks, I promise.

Artfully arranged macadamia nut slices hint at the fabulousness inside! I mean really, doesn’t that look like a mini mosaic?

Chocolate Cupcake Undressed

And you can see the piles of chocolate on top. Sometimes that dark chocolate frosting can be gummy or plastic-y, but in this case, it was just plain luxe. Creamy — [Read more…]

Backstage Peek: Pixar Animation Studios’ “Cereal Bar”

Welcome back guest author Melissa M. from The Life of a Sippy Cup Mom. Melissa just returned from touring Pixar, and she was kind enough to share a backstage peek into one of the real reasons that Disney/Pixar is such a powerhouse — the Cereal Bar.

Last month, I found out that I was going to have the once in a lifetime opportunity to tour Pixar Studios in Emeryville, California to learn more about Pixar’s upcoming movie, Brave. I couldn’t wait to explore the Studios and started doing research on what I might see.

If you happen to own Toy Story 3, one of the bonus features is a short video entitled “Pixar’s Cereal Bar.”

In the video you’ll hear Pixar employees like Tia Kratter, Pete Doctor, and Andrew Stanton talking about the importance of cereal during a workday, and showing off an animated representation of how the Pixar Cereal Room fuels some of the best creative minds in the business!

The Cereal Bar!

The room is filled with a variety of cereals from Captain Crunch to Muesli and from Frosted Flakes to Granola. In addition to the many options of cereal, there was coffee, lots of milk, and baskets of fruit!

According to Pixar employees, this room is well-used and well-loved! They eat cereal everywhere — from the screening room to the meeting room — and even at their desks!

Cereal Bar

Here are a few of the cereal options the Pixar employees have to choose from every day: [Read more…]

Review: Casey’s Corner

Time to sing a rousing chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as we head over to one of the Magic Kingdom’s most beloved counter service spots, Casey’s Corner!

This has been one of my go-to hangouts for years, and I’m excited to finally be writing an actual review of it for you!


You’ll find Casey’s at the Northwest corner of Main Street — exactly where you’ll find Coke Corner in Disneyland — and the two spots are actually quite similar in appearance.

Channeling an early twentieth century baseball concession stand, you can almost hear the crack of the bat when you walk in! Really, what is there not to love about this place? It’s classic Americana and classic Disney.

Casey's Corner

Casey's Window

Cast Members dress in baseball uniforms, just like the players on the Mudville team, ready to enter the game!

Cast Members Hustle Behind the Counter

Cast Members Hustle Behind the Counter

Casey's Ordering Area

Nostalgic decor nods to Disney partner Coca-Cola in the form of vintage Tiffany hanging lights, glassware, and [Read more…]

Disney Food For Families: Teachable Moments at Disney Restaurants

Learn from the Chefs at Victoria & Albert's Chef's Table

My 15-year-old daughter was recently invited by a classmate’s family to a super swanky dinner event at a super-duper swanky restaurant in New York City.

When she was telling me about it the next day there was a lot of “who wore what” and “what was on the menu” discussion. And then she said this to me, “Thanks for taking us to Victoria & Albert’s. I knew what to expect at the dinner last night because we had been to V&A’s.”

After I got over the shock of such an overt expression of gratitude and politesse from a teenager, I allowed myself a brief moment of parental pride. My plan to use Disney restaurants as a manners training ground had worked!

Using Disney Restaurants as Manners Boot Camp

I understand that using Victoria & Albert’s as etiquette boot camp is a bit over-the-top, but the concept could be applied to any signature restaurant at Walt Disney World. Before I get going, let me say that while of course you can (and should) teach manners at restaurants in your home town and at your own dinner table, the Disney signature restaurants are an ideal learning environment for adult behavior.

The Disney signature restaurants have all the elements of posh and polite, PLUS all the elements of easy-going and family-friendly. The restaurants put you in a position to succeed, with no fear or threat of derision or embarrassment if you don’t. The Disney signature venues are the perfect stepping stone on the path to civilized behavior.

Here are some things your children can learn and practice at a signature venue: [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland Sneak Peek: New DCA Foodie Merchandise

Disney California Adventure is set to release a whole bunch of fun new merchandise when the construction walls come down this June! 

Check out all of the foodie-related items that I found at the recent Passholder Preview this week (where I also tried the new popcorn flavor and slushies that will debut!).  I absolutely love the new artwork being used.

California Adventure Cookie Jar

California Adventure Themed Lunch Bag

I just love the retro-looking image of Mickey and Minnie pulling the trailer on this lunch bag. It’s also insulated, roomy, and it has an [Read more…]