New! Chicken and Waffles at Fantasy Fare Food Truck in Disney World’s Downtown Disney

We’ve got all sorts of Disney Food Truck happenings going on this week!

With the debut of the all-new Trucks on the Town Event, along comes a new item to the Fantasy Fare Food Truck: Sticky Chicken and Waffles! I gave it a go on my recent trip to Disney World, and thought you might like a peek…

Fantasy Fare Chicken and Waffles

Fantasy Fare Chicken and Waffles

Each of the four Disney Food Trucks brings flavors from various Disney parks to Downtown Disney. The Fantasy Fare truck features Delightful Dishes from Magic Kingdoms Around the World!

Fantasy Fare Food Truck

Fantasy Fare Food Truck

Yep. Literally.

fantasy fare food truck

Fantasy Fare Food Truck

These “delightful dishes” include the Grilled Ham and Cheese (this is the Croque Monsieur, brought to us from Be Our Guest Restaurant), and the famed Hand-dipped Corn Dog from Disneyland (I grabbed that one, too; YUMMMMM!).

Sticky Chicken and Waffles is the most recent addition, replacing the Glass Noodle Salad (a noodle entrée with chicken and pickled vegetables from Hong Kong Disneyland, served cold). The Sticky Chicken and Waffles are inspired by the waffle sandwiches in Magic Kingdom’s Sleepy Hollow. Which. We. Love.

Unlike Sleepy Hollow’s Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich, which incorporate a chicken breast into one huge, folded waffle (you know, like a sandwich ;) ), here we have two [Read more…]

News! Disney Kitchen Goodies at the NEW Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney

The Marketplace Co-op just opened on Friday in Downtown Disney in Disney World, and if you’re looking for items to add to your Disney dream kitchen, your search may be over.

New Marketplace Co-op in Downtown Disney

New Marketplace Co-op in Downtown Disney

When we got a glimpse of some of the merchandise earlier this year, we thought, “Okay, this could be pretty cool.”

As it turns out… it is COMPLETELY cool!

The Marketplace Co-op is six separate “boutiques” housed inside of what once was one large store (formerly Team Mickey): Beautifully Disney, D-Tech On Demand, The Trophy Room, Cherry Tree Lane, Zoey and Pickles, and Disney Centerpiece.

Marketplace Co-op Stores

Marketplace Co-op Stores

Marketplace Co-op Stores

Marketplace Co-op Stores

The space for each section is not huge… but you will not believe the amount of fun stuff they’ve got packed in there! Being the food fans we are, we’re focusing on what’s available at the Disney Centerpiece.

Disney Centerpiece

Disney Centerpiece

The good news is, some of these items are available online, in case you aren’t able to visit the Co-op anytime soon. If you see a clickable link in our description, it will take you to the place where you can buy it!

Oh, my… where to begin?! How about Adventureland section?

Adventureland

Ceramic Dole Whip Keepsake Box

How can we not start with Dole Whips? At first glance, this ceramic Dole Whip appears to be only that – just a ceramic figurine.

Dole Whip Keepsake Box

Dole Whip Keepsake Box

However, you can lift off the lid and store a keepsake in the Dole Whip’s bowl.

Dole Whip Keepsake Box

Dole Whip Keepsake Box

I think this would look SO AWESOME on a desk!

Aloha Isle Hurricane Glasses

If you prefer a different homage to your beloved Dole Whip, these Aloha Isle Hurricane Glasses might do the trick.

Aloha Isle Hurricane Glasses

Aloha Isle Hurricane Glasses

Cheers!

Aloha Plates

These “Aloha” plates measure in at 7 inches, for appetizers or desserts… or both ;) .

Aloha Plates

Aloha Plates

Color choices are red, blue, and green.

Aloha Bowls

The companion “Aloha” bowls also come in three color choices: [Read more…]

News and Photo Tour! Starbucks at Downtown Disney’s West Side Is Now Open

Hey all! Yet another Starbucks has joined the ranks of Disney locations in Walt Disney World…and it’s now open for business!

Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney's West Side

Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney’s West Side

This time, you’ll find a HUGE one at Downtown Disney’s west Side — with a great view of the Characters in Flight Balloon!

Wendy will be putting together a full review for us of this location, but I just wanted to give you a quick sneak peek to whet your appetite! There are so many cool components to this spot — including an interactive chalk board that’s hooked up with a sister Starbucks location in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District! Let’s take a look!

Ordering Area at Starbucks

Ordering Area at Starbucks

While the Marketplace Starbucks is primarily a grab and go location, this spot is [Read more…]

Wetzel’s Pretzels and Haagen-Dazs Return to Downtown Disney’s West Side!

Remember just last week when we took you to the new Starbucks in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace? Well, we’re back at Downtown Disney already to show you the new homes of Wetzel’s Pretzels and Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream!

wetzels pretzels haagen dazs west side downtown disney (2)

New location of Wetzels Pretzels and Haagen Dazs

Only today we’re on the very end of West Side. We were excited to spot the signs indicating construction of this location a while ago, especially since Wetzel’s Pretzels and Haagen-Dazs aren’t strangers to Downtown Disney. Their previous location next to Bongos Cuban Café closed last October to make way for what will be the West Side Starbucks. (Wetzel’s Pretzels, meanwhile, has retained a small kiosk in the Marketplace.)

These cheerful walk-up shops are located right outside of Disney Quest (notice the blue wall behind) and across from Cirque du Soleil. For another point of orientation, you can see the House of Blues sign just across the way.

Wetzels Pretzels and Haagen Dazs

Wetzels Pretzels and Haagen Dazs

Aside from location, another key difference is [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: May 6, 2014

Today we’re talking everything from Mac & Cheese to Mine Trains, and from slushes to steins. Please join us for another trip around the World to see What’s New!

Magic Kingdom

Friar’s Nook made waves around New Year’s when the menu changed to feature some very unique styles of Macaroni and Cheese, while hot dogs remained available as a choice. Well, they’ve been brought together in the form of a Truffle Macaroni & Cheese Dog.

Friar's Nook Menu

Friar’s Nook Menu

Why not, right? They had all the ingredients handy since they introduced all that Mac & Cheese goodness to the menu, and it’s always a lovely thing to find more Mac & Cheese Hot Dogs available at Disney World!

The Omnipresent Macaroni and Cheese Hot Dog

The Omnipresent Macaroni and Cheese Hot Dog

But something a bit more unexpected has also arrived: Pot Roast Macaroni & Cheese has replaced the Blue Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Balsamic (whaaaat…?!?).

Pot Roast Mac & Cheese at Friar's Nook

Pot Roast Mac & Cheese at Friar’s Nook

Soooo, what’s it like? Stay tuned for our review!

Pinocchio Village Haus has reopened since its refurbishment. This Magic Kingdom Counter Service restaurant is known for its many rooms with beautiful artwork honoring the film Pinocchio, and it appears the refurbishment was just a general spruce-up with no major changes.

Pinocchio Village Haus

Pinocchio Village Haus

The entrée menu continues to feature flatbreads, and there are only small changes to report.

Pinocchio Village Haus Menu

Pinocchio Village Haus Menu

Those changes are found on the back of the menu: Lemonade Slush and Blue Raspberry Slush have replaced Pinocchio Punch (though you can find the same beverage at Sunshine Tree Terrace: All-Natural Lemonade with Wildberry Foam).

Lemonade and Blue Raspberry Slush

Lemonade and Blue Raspberry Slush

No sign of that Jiminy Cricket’s Slush, either, but the Slushes here do tend to change with some frequency, so we’ll see if Pinocchio’s conscience makes a return one of these days…

Liberty Square Market often reveals some surprises in the small signs around the registers in addition to the more permanent offerings listed on the hanging menu. While this snack stand has had Slushes available for a long time, on my most recent visit they were also offered in the souvenir Horseman’s Stein.

Additional items available at Liberty Square Market

Additional items available at Liberty Square Market

The stein itself has been available at Sleepy Hollow, but this was the first time I’d noticed it here. I adore anything to do with the old Ichabod Crane and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow film, so seeing this piece in other places makes me smile.

Horseman's Stein

Horseman’s Stein

Sing it with me! “He’s the new school master! What’s his name? Ichabod! Ichabo-od Craaaaaane!”

Horseman's Stein

Horseman’s Stein

There’s one more spot where you can grab a Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae (affectionately known here on the DFB as the “Mickey Pants Sundae”). This sign was spotted at the check-in counter for the Plaza Restaurant.

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae

While these aren’t limited to the Magic Kingdom, the Main Street Emporium is the first place we first got to see the new line Princess and Villain mugs. On a more recent visit, we spied the remainder of the collection! Here is the Cinderella mug

Cinderella Mug

Cinderella Mug

Cinderella Mug

Cinderella Mug

… and while the general design differs, we thought you might like to see the new Maleficent and Evil Queen mugs, too!

Front AND Back of Maleficent mug

Front AND Back of Maleficent mug

Evil Queen Mug

Evil Queen Mug

And among all these small changes, we sure can’t ignore the biggest change of all! The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Roller Coaster was dedicated in New Fantasyland on May 2nd, with the official opening date for the public announced for May 28th.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios is preparing for Star Wars Weekends 2014 beginning on May 16, and two all-new Star Wars Character Meals have already made their debut in advance of the celebration!

Breakfast is being served at Sci-Fi Dine-In with Darth Vader and some of his fellow Dark Siders at the Star Wars Galactic Dine In.

Star Wars Galactic Dine In sign

Star Wars Galactic Dine In sign

While over at Hollywood and Vine, Jedi Mickey and pals joined guests for dinner at Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine! Check out our full review of this special event!

Jedi Mickey!!!!

Jedi Mickey!!!!

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Even with all this going on, Hollywood Studios has still managed to remember [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: March 19, 2014!

It’s time to take another stroll around Disney World and see what’s new and awesome! We’ve got parade pics, Olaf apples, Gaston-themed headwear, and more! Won’t you please join us :) ?

Fun “Frozen” Finds

Everything’s coming up “Frozen” at Walt Disney World to celebrate the release of the movie on Blu-Ray and DVD.

Blue "Frozen" Treats

Blue “Frozen” Treats

Olaf the Snowman has been bestowed a true Disney character honor… He’s now a Candy Apple!

Olaf Candy Apples

Olaf Candy Apples

Keep an eye out for him in candy locations like Sweet Spells, Main Street Confectionery, Candy Cauldron, and Goofy’s Candy Company… I’m hoping he’s here for the long haul!

You may also spy some favorite treats in a blue hue for a very limited time, including Mickey Krispy Treats and Marshmallow Wands.

Blue "Frozen" Marshmallow Wands

Blue “Frozen” Marshmallow Wands

Downtown Disney

A recent walk around Downtown Disney revealed that  the Disney Food Trucks are making their way around. Previously housed primarily between Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues (and occasionally spotted in the grassy area next to Bongos Cuban Cafe), the Food Trucks we’re spotted in new and different places around the West Side.

For instance, the World Showcase of Flavors truck was parked across from Splitsville.

World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck across from Splitsville

World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck across from Splitsville

And Fantasy Fare has been spotted over in the Marketplace (this is the spot next to World of Disney where Santa’s Chalet can be found during the holidays).

Fantasy Fare Food Truck next to World of Disney

Fantasy Fare Food Truck next to World of Disney

However, the one thing certain about the Food Trucks is that they are ever-changing :) . And we know something new is coming thanks to these Food Truck Park signs found around Downtown Disney.

Food Truck Park coming to Downtown Disney Orlando

Food Truck Park coming to Downtown Disney Orlando

What’s to come? Only time will tell!

The first sure sign of spring at Disney World is the Flower & Garden Festival. But a smaller sign is seeing all the things available to stuff your Easter basket at Ghirardelli.

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

The Starbucks construction site on the Marketplace side is really starting to take shape. You can now see the triangular top peeking out above the walls, matching the “Coming Soon” artwork.

Starbucks Construction

Starbucks Construction

Artwork on construction walls for Starbucks

Artwork on construction walls for Starbucks

And as new things arrive, we also say [Read more…]

News and Video! Fish Tank Bursts Open at T-Rex Cafe in Disney World’s Downtown Disney

Wow! Have you heard the latest news from Downtown Disney in Disney World?

On Monday, a fish tank at T-Rex Cafe burst open while patrons were eating dinner nearby.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Landry’s, the Houston company that owns T-Rex Cafe, issued this statement Tuesday: “A seal failed on the tank causing water to leak. Employees took action and did a great job rescuing all of the marine life, caring for our guests and managing the situation. The marine life has been moved to holding tanks and the restaurant is open for business as usual.”

All of the fish have been rescued, and no animals or humans were harmed during the event.

T-Rex Cafe is [Read more…]

News! “Food Truck Park” Coming to Disney World’s Downtown Disney in Summer 2014

You’ve been watching us for months review the four new food trucks in Disney World’s Downtown Disney!

Disney Food Trucks Logo

Disney Food Trucks Logo

Disney stormed onto the trendy food truck scene as part of Downtown Disney’s makeover into Disney Springs, bringing World Showcase of Flavors, featuring goodies from the Epcot Food and Wine Festival and Epcot Flower and Garden Festival; Superstar Catering, bringing eats from Disney’s Hollywood Studios; Namaste Café, showcasing treats from Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge; and Fantasy Fare, a bright red delight bringing menu items from Disney’s Magic Kingdoms all over the world (including hand-dipped corn dogs from Disneyland)!

Time to line-up at Superstar Catering

Time to line-up at Superstar Catering

For the first few months, the trucks were found in various spots around Downtown Disney — and even in the Parks during particularly busy holiday periods. We haven’t been able to find a definitive schedule or location for them, in fact!

But maybe that’s changing! We recently spotted this sign in Downtown Disney!

Food Truck Park coming to Downtown Disney Orlando

Food Truck Park coming to Downtown Disney Orlando

Yep! Looks like the trucks may be [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland First Look: Starbucks Opens in Downtown Disney!

The walls are down and the doors are open! Disneyland’s Downtown Disney has just welcomed one of the most unique Starbucks stores in the nation.

Downtown Disney Welcomes Starbucks

Downtown Disney Welcomes Starbucks!

This LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified store is beyond gorgeous.  First off, you may be wondering what LEED is; I myself had to look it up to get some more information.

LEED certification encourages “green” building, using sustainable products in the construction of the building.  It also requires Energy Star performance ratings on appliances, lighting, machinery, etc.

Welcome to Starbucks Anaheim

Hand Painted “Welcome to Starbucks Anaheim, California” Mural

This Starbucks has all that and more. Let’s take a look inside!

Atmosphere

Both the interior and exterior of the store are lined with upcycled box car wood.  It has been sanded and stained to a beautiful golden brown color. You can actually see the holes where the bolts originally held the box cars together.

Starbucks Panoramic View

Other design elements include hand painted murals and a tree stump that was cut into a bench for seating.  Starbucks wanted to bring in hand crafted elements that compliment their hand crafted beverages.

Up-cycled Box Car Wood with Hand Painted Murals

Up-cycled Box Car Wood with Hand Painted Murals

More Box Car Wood

More Box Car Wood with Mural

The focal centerpiece of the store is a 9 panel LCD screen that features original content from the areas of the world that Starbucks sources their coffee.

9 Panel LCD Screen Featuring "Water Color" Images of Coffee Resources

9 Panel LCD Screen Featuring “Water Color” Images of Coffee Resources Used by Starbucks

The images have been modified to look as though they are watercolors, and change every minute or so.  The only other Starbucks in the nation to features this same screen is in New York’s Times Square location.

All Content on the LCD Screen is Original to Starbucks.

All Content on the LCD Screen is Original to Starbucks

All Content on the LCD Screen is Original to Starbucks

When designing the store, Starbucks knew that its visitors would be in the area expecting some Disney magic.  Looking to impress guests and spread some of their own pixie dust,  elements were added to this new store that have yet to be introduced to any other Starbucks location.

The main feature is the interactive digital chalkboard.  I immediately noticed this when I walked in the doors.  It does two different things. First, it acts as a drawing board allowing guests to use their fingers to write messages, draw pictures or play a fun game of tic tac toe.

about a game of Tic Tac Toe?

How about a game of Tic Tac Toe?

Of course I couldn’t resist trying it out for myself…

Disney Food Blog Was Here!

Disney Food Blog Was Here!

Second, it creates its own pictures using images it “sees” in front of it.

Sure enough, I watched for a few minutes and I noticed that the man sitting near it was all of a sudden featured in a chalk type drawing right there on the board.  Very cool!

Hey Guy! Look, you're on the screen!

Hey Guy! Look, you’re on the screen!

By the way — it has a disclosure right there on the wall stating that they are using scenes and people in that area of the store to create the unique chalkboard drawings, so you’ve been warned that you might be part of the artwork.

Video Disclosure

Video Disclosure

Above the barista work space, Starbucks has added a light up map featuring locations where they source their coffee.

Light Up Coffee Sourcing Map

Light Up Coffee Sourcing Map

Seating

This particular Starbucks has very little indoor seating.  In fact the only seating is really a few small benches and the round stools that can be seen in front of the interactive screen.

Indoor Seating

Indoor Seating

Instead, the seating was designed to be a patio experience; “alfresco” is what I was told specifically. The patio was built around a large pre-existing tree.  Not wanting to uproot this long time resident, Starbucks made it the focal point of the patio.

The seating around it is very inviting.  In fact, if it weren’t for the World of Disney being right next door, you might easily forget that you were just steps away from the Main Gates.  I can definitely see this area being at full capacity most, if not all of the time.  It’s a great spot to take a break.

"Alfresco" Seating

“Alfresco” Seating

Another element unique to this store is the living wall towards the back of the patio.  The wall features 1000 native plants and acts as a backdrop to more patio seating.

Living Wall with Patio Seating

Living Wall with Patio Seating

 Menu

In addition to their regular beverage menu, this particular Starbucks location has a “Starbucks Reserve”  menu.  They have a special reserve coffee bar that serves up some rare and exotic coffee blends that can not be found at most Starbucks locations.  The Reserve menu changes on a regular basis.

The Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar: Serving Up Unique & Exotic Blends

The Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar: Serving Up Unique & Exotic Blends

You can also find the familiar refrigerated cases that serve up prepackaged foods, snacks, bottled water, juice, milk and more.

Starbucks Refrigerator Case

Starbucks Refrigerator Case

Pastries and and treats can be found as well.

Starbucks Pastries

Starbucks Pastries

 Merchandise

This location has the typical Starbucks branded gear available for purchase. You can buy coffee, water bottles, cups, mugs, etc.

Starbucks Branded Merchandise

Starbucks Branded Merchandise

They also have a location-specific Orange County mug.

Starbucks Orange County Mug

Starbucks Orange County Mug

I was hoping to see some Starbucks/Disney colab merchandise, but alas it was no where in sight.  I did ask if it was in the works and the answer was, “We aren’t ruling out the possibility.”  So, basically, don’t hold your breath!

Grinds to Go
Reserve coffees can be purchased to take home.

Starbucks Reserve Coffees Available to Take Home

Starbucks Reserve Coffees Available to Take Home

And…. If you need some additional energy to go, you can grab boxes of VIA, tea or coffee to take with you.

VIA, Teas & Coffee for Purchase

VIA, Teas & Coffee for Purchase

Overall

Overall, I think that Starbucks did a great job designing a location that fits right in at the Happiest Place on Earth. The design elements are modern and playful, a perfect Disney fit.  I also love that it provides a great little spot for fueling up before a long day in the parks.  It’s also the perfect retreat if you need a break…

Just a few hours in and already a super long line.

Customers Gladly Welcoming Starbucks to Downtown Disney Anaheim

Customers Gladly Welcoming Starbucks to Downtown Disney, Anaheim

Welcome to Downtown Disney, Starbucks!

Have you had a chance to visit the new Starbucks in Downtown Disney?  If so, did you have a favorite design element? Did you try the Reserve coffees or play with the digital chalkboard? Let us know in the comments below.

Heather Sievers is the Disney Food Blog’s Dining in Disneyland columnist. See more of her columns here!

Review: Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Disney World’s Downtown Disney

Ready to get yer game on? We’re heading back to Splitsville Luxury Lanes in search of good eats and good times!

Splitsville Orlando just celebrated its first birthday this past December, so we were excited to experience it again now that it’s really settled in to Downtown Disney’s West Side.

Splitsville definitely changed the West Side landscape immediately upon its arrival, because this place is HUGE. Two floors with outdoor and indoor seating, five bars, a billiards area… oh, and the small matter of thirty bowling lanes!

Atmosphere

You can tell you’re in a festive place even before setting foot inside Splitsville’s doors. Music is always playing in the outdoor seating area, and it’s often provided by live musicians.

Splitsville outdoors

Splitsville outdoors

The other hint as to what’s going on here is the colorful display of bowling balls.

Splitsville Bowling Balls

Splitsville Bowling Balls

Do I bowl? Not really. Do I totally want one of these? You bet!

Mickey and Minnie Bowling Balls

Mickey and Minnie Bowling Balls

Upon entering the building, you immediately hear music and the sound of pins being downed by bowling balls. Because there is a LOT to take in right away, these signs directing you where to go for dining and/or bowling are especially helpful.

Splitsville entrance

Splitsville entrance

Splitsville entrance

Splitsville entrance

We headed left to the Dining Check-in and mentioned our Advanced Dining Reservation. Yes, Splitsville does take ADRs, and it’s nice to have one on a weekend, especially. But — thanks to the enormous size — it can be a great place to try to score a walk-in! We were seated right away (even though we arrived about 15 minutes in advance of our ADR), but we couldn’t resist taking a look around.

Colorful lockers and rows of bowling shoes remind you that this isn’t only a restaurant, my friends. It’s the highest end bowling alley dive you’ve ever been to.

Lockers at Splitsville

Lockers at Splitsville

Rows and Rows of Bowling Shoes are encountered when you walk into Splitsville

Rows and Rows of Bowling Shoes are encountered when you walk into Splitsville

As your eyes take in all there is to see – including the enormous escalator joining the first and second floors, the entire vibe is almost over stimulating. The fun and casual attitude of the staff, however, helps you to relax right away and feel at home.

Bowling Lanes at Splitsville

Bowling Lanes at Splitsville

There are nods all over the place to the [Read more…]