Review: Minnie’s Bake Shop Chocolate Chunk Cookies

You may have passed by boxes upon boxes of Minnie’s Bake Shop Chocolate Chunk Cookies in several merchandise spots around Disney World and Disneyland without even noticing.

Minnie's Bake Shop Label

Minnie’s Bake Shop Label

Found throughout popular merchandise and snack combo stops such as Magic Kingdom’s Big Top Souvenirs (home to Big Top Treats) and Epcot’s Mouse Gears in Disney World, to the Fantasia Shop in the Disneyland Hotel (where I purchased mine), these grab and go snacks aren’t exactly what you would call high profile on the Disney snacking scene. [Read more…]

More Details of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Revealed at…Disneyland!?

We have some fun new updates for you today of what’s soon to be at Walt Disney World — but they’re coming to us from Disneyland!

Intrepid Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers attended the fun Mahaloween Luau event earlier this year at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar in the Disneyland Hotel. While there, she grabbed a sneak peek of what we can expect at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. We also gleaned a few more details from The Atomic Grog!

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto Concept Art

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Concept Art — Coming Soon to Walt Disney World!

While details have been kept mostly under wraps since we were given our first glimpse of concept art last Spring, the presentation by Imagineers Brandon Kleyla and Kyle Barnes at the Mahaloween Luau served to add a few more pieces to the puzzle.

I'll Have Whatever She's Making, Please!

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Although we know that Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto will be similar to the wildly popular Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar in Disneyland Hotel, we’re also starting to get an idea of how they’ll differ. And the key is right here in some of the photos we are sharing with you today.

Trader Sam's Tiki in Orlando

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

The most interesting thing to come out of the presentation is the subtle difference in themeing between the two different Trader Sam’s locations. While the Disneyland Trader Sam’s has a style more reflective of Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise ride — think African Queen — Imagineers have something entirely different in mind for the Grog Grotto.

At the Polynesian, Trader Sam’s will celebrate more of the nautical aspect of the intrepid head salesman’s adventures. Look for the primary themeing cues to come courtesy of the [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Steakhouse 55 Lounge at The Disneyland Hotel

I can easily say that Steakhouse 55 is one of my top 3 favorite Disney Resort restaurants.

steakhouse55 Logo

We eat there several times a year, and we always wait for our table in their lounge.  Because we’re such fans of Steakhouse 55, we’ve never ordered anything but drinks in the lounge; we’re always on our way to a fabulous meal in the restaurant!

Well, we recently decided to give the lounge a try and I’m so glad that we did.  Let’s be honest though, we only ate there because it was a last minute decision.  The Earl of Sandwich line was too long and there were no walk ins being accepted for Steakhouse 55… But it was great!


The atmosphere of the lounge complements the decor inside of Steakhouse 55.  Classic and dark, but also inviting, the room is located at the entrance to the restaurant.  In addition to a full bar with seating, there are options to sit at small tables, couches, and some gorgeous high back chairs as well.  The decor includes lush velvet drapery and pillows in deep purple.

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Seating

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Seating

Looking to catch a game? No need to hit ESPN Zone, there’s a TV here too!

Full Bar with Seating AND a TV

Full Bar with Seating AND a TV

More Seating

More Seating


The menu is not very big, but I did think that the choices were fabulous for a lounge.  Options include Salads, Flatbreads, Bar Bites, and three different “Between Bread” choices.

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Menu Book

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Menu Book

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Menu

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Menu

AND what would be a meal without the fabulous Steakhouse 55 hot out of the oven Sourdough Bread??? Although not on the menu, [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Fancy New Peppermills at Steakhouse 55

So this is a bit random, but on my last visit to Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel, I noticed that they had some awesome new custom peppermills.

After inquiring about them through our server, the manager actually came out to tell us all about them. Yep, the peppermills have a story… .

Customized Steakhouse 55 Peppermill

Manufactured by Fletcher’s Mill in Newport, Maine, these peppermills aren’t the only thing to come off of the line.  The factory actually makes more drumsticks than anything else!  In fact, they produce 55%  of the world’s market.

The Newport Mill

Owned by famous percussionist Vic Firth, Fletcher’s Mill provides drumsticks for some of the most famous musicians in the industry.  Over 50 years ago, Firth began designing his own drumsticks because he was not happy with the ones on the market.  He later sought out to manufacture his own.  Firth purchased Fletcher’s Mill with intentions of shutting down all manufacturing and making solely drumsticks. Upon touring it, he decided to keep the gourmet division open.  In addition to his drumsticks, he’s now known for peppermills, too!  The mill used at Steakhouse 55 is the 17″ Newport Peppermill.

Described as “tall and sleek” the Newport Peppermill is available in three different finishes: black, mahogany and maple. Steakhouse 55 had theirs customized with their logo in silver on black. In my perfect world I’d be able to buy the Steakhouse 55 one for myself! I was able to find one on Amazon, but the logo thing unfortunately won’t be happening… .

The new peppermills are so special to Steakhouse 55 that they actually lock them up at night! They get tucked away in the wine cellar and locked up for safety.  Wondering why?  Well, [Read more…]

Must-Try Eats at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar in Disneyland

There’s been a lot of talk recently about Disneyland’s unique and incredible Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar possibly replicating itself in Disney World’s upcoming Disney Springs (which I think would be totally rad).

Trader Sam's Tiki Bar

And since many Trader Sam’s reviews put a huge focus on drinks — understandably (you can see tons of Trader Sam’s drinks here!) — I thought it would be fun this time to take a quick look at two of my favorite FOOD items at the Disneyland hot spot.


Trader Sam’s is small, but packed with action. Intriguing decor reveals sight gags and hidden secrets everywhere!

Trader Sam's Magical Bar Stools may have you feeling a bit low...

Scour the walls for correspondence from the Jungle Cruise’s own Trader Sam, and check out unique items he’s brought back from his travels.

Trader Sam's Welcome Message - click image for larger version

Don’t forget to read the postcards!

Close-Up of Trader Sam's Decor

Once you finally get a table and get settled in (this can take a while if you’re there on a busy evening…we suggest going for lunch), it’s time to take a peek at the menu and get started!

Trader Sam's Menu Example

Ready to dive in?!

Trader Sam’s Panko-Crusted Chinese Long Beans

The Chinese Long Beans have become a serious guest favorite at Trader Sam’s! You can get them as part of the PuPu Platter, or grab a whole plate of them!

Panko Crusted Chinese Long Beans with Sriracha Dipping Aioli

These are as addictive as french fries, but [Read more…]

Top 6 Disneyland Bars and Lounges

Let’s face it. Sometimes a Disney vacation can be absolutely exhausting! That’s why we like to seek out bars and lounges in which we can share fun with family and friends or relax while enjoying good food and special beverages.

Schweitzer Falls at Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar

A while back, we took a look at our Top 10 Disney World Bars and Lounges, and now it’s time to take a peek at our favorites in the Disneyland Parks and Resorts!

Here are our picks for Top Six Disneyland bars and lounges — a list that includes a little help from our Facebook Friends! Thanks for your input!

Ready to jump in? Here’s our favorite place to while away some time at the Disneyland Resort…

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

Trader Sam’s should be your first choice for chilling out in Disneyland!

This is due to some great bartenders, unique drinks (often served in souvenir glasses), good food, and, of course, the interactive activities here. (Careful not to sit on the sinking bar stools!)

This place is an awesome tropical retreat located at the Disneyland Hotel. Check out our Trader Sam’s Review here!

Trader Sam’s Bar

While there is indoor and outdoor seating, all of the action is inside where there is limited seating (about 50 spots); so get here early as evenings may be quite crowded.

Cove Bar

Located in Disney California Adventure, the Cove Bar (not to be mistaken for Cove Cafe on the Disney Cruise Ships or the Cove Bar at Disney World’s Contemporary Resort…) is your place to escape the long lines and hot sun while enjoying great water-side views.

View from Cove Bar

Leave the thrills behind and savor specialty drinks and craft beers. The Raspberry Rain is a memorable choice! Look for an attractive menu offering my favorite, Buffalo Wings, and Lobster Nachos.

Hearthstone Lounge

Make the Hearthstone Lounge in the Grand Californian Resort a must-do in Disneyland.

Whether you are looking for some quiet alone time or bringing along friends, this cozy fireside lounge has a lodge theme and soaring ceilings that immediately relax you. And that’s before your first drink order!

Take a seat at the bar, on a cozy sofa, or at a [Read more…]

Review: Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

“Aloha, ahoy, aha! And welcome to the mystery, romance, and adventure of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.”

These are the words that lure you into Trader Sam’s story when you first look at a menu in this brand new Tiki bar in the Disneyland Hotel! In fact, a good friend of mine has referred to it as “the best of the Jungle Cruise, Adventurers Club, and Tiki Room rolled into a liquor license.” I heartily agree.

Let’s take a trip to the “happy outpost,” shall we?

Trader Sam's Welcome Message - click image for larger version


I had been watching the creation of Trader Sam’s with great interest during the Spring and early Summer of 2011.

All I’d heard is that this destined-to-be-great spot might incorporate some of the decor of the old Pleasure Island Adventurers Club in Disney World, one of my very favorite places. And with the brilliant artistry of Kevin Kidney and Jody Daly behind it, it had [Read more…]

Reader Poll: Rather Eat Thanksgiving Dinner at Home or at a Disney Restaurant?

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family is considering having Thanksgiving in Disney World next year, and I wanted to hear some opinions about that! So we asked our Facebook Page Fans:

Would you rather have Thanksgiving Dinner at home, or at a Disney restaurant?.

Our readers chimed in with their holiday preferences! While dining at home was a strong contender due to family traditions, leftovers, cost-savings, aversion to holiday crowds, and a palate for a real home-cooked meal, ordering Thanksgiving dinner at a Disney restaurant was the clear winner!

And these voters didn’t care where they ate at Disney — they just wanted to be in the middle of the magic for the holiday. In fact, we think some of you might be happy with one of these!:

Disney Turkey Leg

Here are some of the other suggestions we received!: [Read more…]

Disney Food Blog D23 Expo Meet-Up

As we pack for the D23 Expo, we want to extend an invite to Disney Food Blog readers for an informal get-together in Disneyland!

Since the food options at the Expo might not be the greatest, we’ve decided to hang out at Trader Sam’s in Disneyland Hotel from 2:30-3:30pm on Saturday August 20, 2011!

Entrance to Trader Sam's

While Food and Beverage is at your own expense, the options here and over at the new Tangaroa Terrace should be fun and interesting to sample. Plus we know the Trader Sam’s drinks are good! ;-)

For food, friends, and fun, join us at Trader Sam’s on Saturday, August 20th, at 2:30pm! We’re looking forward to meeting you! You can RSVP over on facebook here.

Dining in Disneyland: Lunch at Tangaroa Terrace

Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers chimes in with her review of the brand new Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel!

Since the day it opened, I’ve been wanting to check out Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel.  I had been by to take a peek, but had not had a chance to dine there.  After the guest review posted here on The Disney Food Blog, I was so bummed to hear of a not so stellar experience, that I just didn’t make it a priority.

Restaurant Signage

And then I got an invite from a friend to meet her and her little ones for lunch… I am happy to report that I had a completely different experience and guess what? I absolutely LOVED it. Yes, LOVED in all caps.

Atmosphere and Ordering

We headed over for lunch about 1:30.  The first thing I noticed is that there were zero people there.  We walked through the empty patio seating area to the front doors without passing one person.  My guess is that most guests were still in the parks and that there are still a lot of people who have no idea that this place even exists.

Empty Patio Seating

Ordering is simple, walk up to the kiosk, choose which type of menu you’d like to take a peek at, and [Read more…]