Review: Italian Ice in Downtown Disney

Amidst all the construction and general day-to-day bustle in Downtown Disney (not to mention some big name restaurants on the way as the Disney Springs transformation moves forward), it’s easy to forget there are a lot of little stands and kiosks dotting the area, including stops like Wetzel’s Pretzels and the Downtown Snow Company featuring shaved ice.

There are a few, though, that don’t have a brand name of any sort. They’re simply marked as “Italian Ice” stands, and you’ll find one on the West Side (next to the Characters in Flight balloon experience) and one in the Marketplace, just by the main stage where guest musicians (often school bands and choirs) perform.

Italian Ice kiosk sign

Italian Ice kiosk sign

The kiosks are small, but the one on the West Side is especially noticeable thanks to all the bright colors.

Italian Ice Kiosk

Italian Ice Kiosk

The main sign tells you ice cold treats are the headliner, but it just so happens you’ll find a variety of Churros here as well: typically Bavarian Cream, Dulce de Leche (caramel), and King Cinnamon and Sugar. (Alas, those Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches in Disneyland never made their way to the east coast). [Read more…]

Review: Lava Lounge at the Disney Springs Marketplace

Today we’re taking this blog all the way to the edge… of Downtown Disney!

We’re stopping for drinks and grub at the Lava Lounge, found just about as far as you can go to the end of Downtown Disney’s Marketplace. It’s funny — with the majority of the transformation to Disney Springs affecting the Landing, the West Side, and the parking areas of Downtown Disney, the Marketplace feels largely unchanged.

Now, I know that’s not true, considering the addition of spots like the Marketplace Causeway, the Marketplace Co-op and Dockside Margaritas. But comparatively speaking, and even with the welcome additions in the other areas, it feels nice to still have some familiar spots to enjoy in the area.

It says something about the rate of change in Downtown Disney lately that the Lava Lounge — now just over two years old — feels like one of those familiar spots. Still, being relatively young in the scheme of things, a lot of DFB Readers haven’t had a chance to explore it. So let’s make our way underneath that big ol’ volcano and check it out!

Lava Lounge

Lava Lounge

Atmosphere

You’ll experience much of the atmosphere of the Lava Lounge before even entering the Lounge itself. The hallmark of the area, of course, is the “active” volcano, and if you’ve ever been anywhere in the Marketplace when it erupts with fire (about every half hour or so, I think), you’re familiar with the almost thunder-like roar that accompanies it. [Read more…]

Review: Bongos Cuban Café Express

When you’re strolling through Downtown Disney, you really can’t miss Bongos Cuban Café.

The white building is huge, and takes up a hefty bit of space on the West Side, directly opposite Splitsville Luxury Lanes and right next to Exposition Park (home base for the Disney Food Trucks).

And, of course, part of the building is actually structured as an ENORMOUS PINEAPPLE. So that helps raise the profile a bit, too.

What’s harder to find – and indeed, most guests walk right by – is Bongos Cuban Café Express (sometimes referred to as the Bongos Walk-up Window). And it just so happens to be a great place to sit for a spell and grab a quick meal or snack.

The window is tucked into the left side (if you’re facing Bongos). So now that you know it’s there, let’s take a quick glance around!

Atmosphere

“Express” is part of the name for a reason — the setting [Read more…]

First Look and Review: The New Vivoli Gelateria in Disney World’s Disney Springs

Welcome to your newest cold snack stop in The Landing at Downtown Disney… Vivoli Gelateria (also known as Vivoli Il Gelato)!

Vivoli Gelateria outside 3

Of course, calling it a “cold snack stop” hardly does it justice. For a brand new place on the Disney dining scene, it’s rich with a history that began in Florence, Italy, in 1932, when Raphael Vivoli became one of the founders of the business.

Vivoli Sign

Vivoli Sign

Plus, that little “cold snack” we’re referring to is gelato crafted using many ingredients such as cocoa powder, pistachio, and hazelnut directly from Italy.

Just a few flavors in store

Just a few flavors in store

I can’t wait anymore! Let’s [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 7, 2015

It’s been another busy week in Disney news!

Vivoli Gelateria Opening Soon in The Landing Area of Disney Springs

Vivoli Gelateria Opening Soon in The Landing Area of Disney Springs

As we look around and see friends and family celebrating the kickoff to Summer, we are also ramping up to another busy season of fun in the Parks.

Hold onto your hat as we check out more breaking news on the Disney Springs front as well as updates to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine schedule. Read on to learn the latest!

Disney Food News

Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including menu updates, restaurant closures, special events,
and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or about Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Today, we’re featuring some lighter eats at the Parks!

@CosplayForJedi shared this delicious dish and tweet with us about his vegan meal at Yak and Yeti: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Yak and Yeti hooks it up for the vegans.”

Vegan Options at Animal Kingdom's Yak and Yeti

Vegan Options at Animal Kingdom’s Yak and Yeti

@TheRaz2007 also checked in with some fresh flavors from Magic Kingdom’s Tortuga Tavern (yep, it’s opened right now!)

Lunch at Magic Kingdom's Tortuga Tavern

Lunch at Magic Kingdom’s Tortuga Tavern

Do you have a favorite Disney Food find? Share your photos with us!

Deal of the Week: 2015-2016 Disney World Vacation Must-Have E-Book Sale!

Do you have a Walt Disney World Trip on the books for this year? Woohoo!! There’s nothing more exciting than counting down the days to your next Walt Disney World Trip!

dfb2015_guide_3d

But, even the most spontaneous Disney fan knows that planning ahead is the key to a stress-less vacay. And that mantra is absolutely true when it comes to dining.

If you really want to dine in the hottest restaurants, you pretty much have to plan ahead. Be spontaneous, of course. But get a couple Advance Dining Reservations in place.

But which ones?

That’s where Disney Food Blog comes in, because we are all about the planning!!

You already enjoy our reviews, news, and tips daily on our Blog. But did you know — that’s JUST the tip of the iceberg. Because we have lots more to share with you in our complete line of DFB Guides.

If you’re ready for a fun, easy way to personalize eating and drinking your way through Disney, then check out the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book.
Fully updated for your 2015-2016 adventures, the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 490 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subject — Eating Your Way Through Disney! So you save time and money as you enjoy planning one of the most important parts of your trip. ;-)

And to thank all of you for your support of DFB, we are offering extra savings on our most popular DFB Guide right now. Just enter promo code 2015 at checkout and you’ll save $4 off of our cover price of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book!

But if you’d like to enjoy even more detail, check out another great offer.

DFB Everything Bundle SALE!

If you’d like even more great information, pictures, and tips, then the DFB Everything Bundle is the right fit for you.

Everything Bundle Collages

And to get you ready for that next big trip, we are offering the DFB Everything Bundle for $15 off the already low price! It’s like getting an entire book for free. Just enter promo code Everything15 at checkout to take advantage of this offer.

The Everything Bundle includes, well, Everything! When you purchase this special bundle of DFB Guides, you’ll get it all: [Read more…]

News! Vivoli Gelateria Coming Soon to The Landing in Downtown Disney

Things got pretty exciting a few weeks ago when Disney announced more future Disney Springs dining spots.

Concept Art for Disney Springs' Town Center

Concept Art for Disney Springs’ Town Center

After all, some of the names on the list were already familiar to plenty of DFB readers, based in many cases on their location in the country. Some folks may be lucky enough to live near a Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, and The Edison in Los Angeles already has quite a name for itself. Sprinkles Cupcakes? Yeah, I know that place! There’s one not too far from me, and it’s pretty rad.

However, there was a name on the list that didn’t ring quite as familiar… and there’s a pretty cool reason why. Vivoli Gelateria is a family-run business that only has one other location — and that’s in Florence, Italy.

Silvana Vivoli of Vivoli Gelateria ©Disney

Silvana Vivoli of Vivoli Gelateria ©Disney

Disney has announced that its second-ever storefront will be opening soon at The Landing of Disney Springs (the same area that The Boathouse and Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC now call home).

In fact, during a walkthrough of Downtown Disney the other night, we happened to spot the signage for ourself, right across from where Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will be located. Here are a few shots of the brightly lit sign and the list of flavors posted outside the door. (Apologies for the not-great shots. :-) )

Vivoli Gelato Sign at Night

Vivoli Gelato Sign at Night

Vivoli Gelato Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Vivoli Gelato Menu — Click to Enlarge

The new location will use the same recipes from its original location (the business itself was founded in 1932). And it will also [Read more…]

News! The Edison, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and More Coming to Disney Springs

More fantastic news coming out of Disney Springs today, all!! We’ve got confirmation on several other restaurants joining the line-up at the new and improved Downtown Disney location in Orlando!

While we’ll be covering each and every one of these as they open, here’s a sneak peek at what’s right around the corner for Disney Springs.

Disney Springs' Town Center Coming Soon!

Disney Springs’ Town Center Coming Soon!

The Edison

Inspired by The Edison venue in Los Angeles, this lavish “Industrial Gothic” -style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination is themed to a 1920s-period power plant, recalling an exuberant era of invention and imagination. It will feature  classic American food, craft cocktails, and live entertainment including cabaret and music.

Layout of the original The Edison location in LA. Copyright The Edison

Layout of the original The Edison location in LA. Copyright The Edison

Sprinkles

The world’s first cupcake bakery, as named by Food Network and others, serves up handcrafted cupcakes, slow churned ice cream and homemade cookies. I have a Sprinkles locally where I live, and I will never admit to ordering a dozen cupcakes for delivery even when I was home alone…so don’t even try.

These aren’t as good as my beloved Magnolia cupcakes in NYC, but they are a fantastic fill-in here in Dallas. I know they’ll be a hit in Disney Springs.

This is a photo from Sprinkles' facebook page because cupcakes don't last long enough in my house to be photographed.

This is a photo from Sprinkles’ facebook page because cupcakes don’t last long enough in my house to be photographed.

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza is a [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 26, 2015

Hello out there!

Welp — it’s official. The Boathouse did indeed open its doors last week!

One of the Amphicars on the Ramp

The Boathouse — Complete with Amphicars — is Officially Open for Business!

The new restaurant is beautiful…and huge. We brought you a first look and our impressions of both the decor and the food recently.

While The Boathouse continues to refine service and work out all the details, Advance Dining Reservations are not available during this soft opening. It’s purely walk-up for the time being.

We have plenty more details about Disney’s newest restaurant below. So let’s take a look at this and the rest of the news we reported on this week. For more details on the above news and more, just click on the links below!

Disney Food News

Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including menu updates, restaurant closures, special events, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or about Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

@CarrieWChildren just tried dinner at Sanaa for the first time, and agrees that the Butter Chicken is awesome! Guess what I’m craving now??

Butter Chicken, A Sanaa Favorite

Butter Chicken, A Sanaa Favorite

@MikeTarkin tried the S’Mores Bake Recipe at home that we featured recently. He says it’s definitely a keeper!!

Making the S'mores Bake from Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue at Home

Making the S’mores Bake from Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue at Home

Do you have a favorite Disney Food find? Share your photos with us!

Deal of the Week: 2015-2016 Disney World Vacation Must-Have E-Book Sale!

OK — so you have a Walt Disney World Trip on the books for this year — Woohoo!! There’s nothing more exciting than counting down the days to your next Walt Disney World Trip!

dfb2015_guide_3d

But, even the most spontaneous Disney fan knows that planning ahead is the key to a stress-less vacay. And that mantra is absolutely true when it comes to dining.

If you really want to dine in the hottest restaurants, you pretty much have to plan ahead. Be spontaneous, of course. But get a couple Advance Dining Reservations in place.

But which ones?

That’s where Disney Food Blog comes in! You already enjoy our reviews, news, and tips daily on our Blog. But did you know — that’s JUST the tip of the iceberg. Because we have lots more to share with you in our complete line of DFB Guides.

If you’re ready for a fun, easy way to personalize eating and drinking your way through Disney, then check out the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book.
Fully updated for your 2015-2016 adventures, the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 490 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subject — Eating Your Way Through Disney! So you save time and money as you enjoy planning one of the most important parts of your trip. ;-)

And to thank all of you for your support of DFB, we are offering extra savings on our most popular DFB Guide right now. Just enter promo code 2015 at checkout and you’ll save $4 off of our cover price of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book!

But if you’d like to enjoy even more detail, check out another great offer.

DFB Everything Bundle SALE!

If you’d like even more great information, pictures, and tips, then the DFB Everything Bundle is the right fit for you.

Everything Bundle Collages

And to get you ready for that next big trip, we are offering the DFB Everything Bundle for $15 off the already low price! It’s like getting an entire book for free. Just enter promo code Everything15 at checkout to take advantage of this offer.

The Everything Bundle includes, well, Everything! When you purchase this special bundle of DFB Guides, you’ll get it all: [Read more…]

First Look! Amphicar Tours at The Boathouse in Disney World’s Disney Springs (and Reservations Now Available!)

Downtown Disney’s newest eatery, The Boathouse, is set to begin soft openings this Monday, April 13th!

The Boathouse as seen from the water view

The Boathouse Back Porch

We’d love to give you a sneak peek — thanks to our great friend, MealTrip — at some of the fun from a recent invite-only dress rehearsal for the spot, featuring the highly anticipated Amphicars that will be a part of the entertainment at this unique establishment.

The Boathouse outdoor seating

The Boathouse outdoor seating

Check this out!! It took me a couple of minutes to realize I was actually looking at a CAR in the WATER!!!!

Amphicar in practice

Amphicar in practice

The Captains appeared to be having a blast giving them a go. How much fun are these?!?

Amphicar

Amphicar

Yep. Seriously. A car.

Pulling in the Ampicar

Pulling in the Ampicar

Once available, Amphicar Tours are rumored to cost $100 for a 20 minute ride around the lake, taking in the sights of what will someday be Disney Springs.

Amphicar closeup

Amphicar closeup

As far as dining during the soft open period, The Boathouse will accept walk-ups only beginning April 13th and — as typical for soft openings — reserves the right to [Read more…]

Rumor: Yeeha Bob to Perform at The Boathouse in Disney Springs

UPDATE: Please note, at this time Bob Jackson is not schedule to perform at The Boathouse. If anything changes, we’ll update this post accordingly. 

You know, for…like…forever, as Disney food fans we’ve all had our eyes on a couple of major food stories: breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant and the opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto have received all the attention lately (well, that, and the rumored news of a possible Jungle Cruise Restaurant coming to the Magic Kingdom).

So, you may be thinking, “Well, that’s it. I guess all the big Disney food news is over for now.”

Not so fast, my friends!! Because now we’re turning our attention to the next presumed restaurant opening in Disney World: The Boathouse, which is anticipated to open sometime in April in Downtown Disney/soon-to-be-Disney-Springs. While we don’t have an exact opening date just yet, we do have some news about one of our favorite Disney performers that may be joining the entertainment line-up.

Concept art for The Boathouse -- Outside View

Concept art for The Boathouse — Outside View

The Boathouse under construction

The Boathouse under construction

You see, in addition to food, The Boathouse is also expected to offer [Read more…]