Guest Review: Lunch at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

Today, we’re traveling to Epcot’s Italy Pavilion for lunch at Via Napoli in this guest review by Julie B.!

Buongiorni a tutti! I want to tell you about one of my favorite places for lunch in all of Disney World: Via Napoli, located in the Italy pavilion of World Showcase.

Via Napoli is a relatively recent addition to the dining options of Epcot (and part of a major restaurant overhaul in Italy’s pavilion over the past few years).

This pizzeria doesn’t disappoint when enlightening diners with the true wonders of Neapolitan pizza.

Via Napoli!

Atmosphere

The first thing you should know about Via Napoli is that it’s huge, and I mean HUGE! When you walk into the main dining room you’ll notice that it’s very wide but also features sky-high ceilings. This does create a lot of echoing, so Via Napoli is not the best place to come for an intimate meal (but it’s great if you’ve got kids who need to blow off some steam).

The large dining room.

A benefit of those high ceilings is that they have large windows and allow the room to be bathed in natural light. It’s one of the main reasons I love to dine here for lunch instead of dinner.

Another one of my favorite parts of the restaurant’s large size is the center table that stretches across the whole room. If you’re seated at this table, you’ll be [Read more…]

New! Le Cellier Light-Up Menus in Disney World!

OK, I gotta tell you about this! We heard about another interesting update to the Le Cellier menus in Disney World’s Epcot and had to check it out!

We reported recently on the fact that Le Cellier has now gone to an all-day menu — but guests will have another surprise to explore when they arrive!

Here’s the new light-up menu!

This is a great option for darker restaurants like Le Cellier — the perfect way to see your menu with out eye strain. The menu itself is lit from behind! Here’s the menu — dark — just as you’re opening it…

…and here it is as it lights up automatically when you open it all the [Read more…]

News! Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Food Booths Are Arriving (And the Menu Has Been Updated)!

Epcot is starting to bloom for this year’s Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, which will be held March 6-May 19th! And we’ve UPDATED OUR FULL MENU!!!

And we’ve just updated our FULL Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Menu available at this year’s festival.

Don’t forget to check out the FOOD PHOTOS featuring some of the goodies that can be found at the TWELVE specialty food marketplaces this year!

The Epcot Flower and Garden festival menu items are sure to be crowd-pleasers, and we’re excited to see the food booths and topiaries already popping up around the Showcase…

2013 Cinderella Topiary at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Many of these booths — OK, ALL of the booths — are going to look very familiar to those of us who attend the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

In Mexico, we’re headed for a margarita along with some yummy tacos. What will you try? The Jardin De Fiestas Mexico booth will offer: Crab Tostadas with Chipotle Aioli and Valentina Salsa: Pork Tacos served over flour tortilla and topped with Cactus leaves, Tamarind and [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for Fish Fry

With Lent on the horizon — and with a few questions from readers recently about where to get a great fish fry in Disney World — I knew that now would be the perfect time to check out the best places to find that golden battered goodness at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Let’s check out some of the best fried fish in Disney World

Best Disney World Restaurants for a Fish Fry

United Kingdom Pavilion in Epcot

You can’t go wrong for fish and chips in the delicacy’s home pavilion in Epcot.

Fish and Chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Whether you take a load off at the Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room or grab some fried food to go from Yorkshire County Fish Shop, you’re in for a mild but authentic taste of one of England’s best exports.

While you’re there, enjoy a beer and a performance by The British Revolution or the Pub’s Hat Lady.

Cookes of Dublin and Raglan Road in Downtown Disney

If you find yourself in need of a fish fix while you’re “Downtown,” head over to the Pleasure Island District for two authentic and delicious options. The One & One at Cookes of Dublin is one of our favorites on property.

Cooked to order and served piping hot, the fish is flaky and tender.

Fish and Chips from Cooke’s of Dublin

But if you have the time for a slower meal, you may want to consider the famous beer battered fish and chips on the lunch menu at Raglan Road Irish Pub right next door.

Columbia Harbour House in Magic Kingdom

Here in Liberty Square, you can enjoy a counter service battered fish basket with broccoli, apples, or French fries at Columbia Harbour House counter service restaurant. The proportion of breading to fish is perfect, and the fish isn’t too oily.

Fried Chicken and Fish at Columbia Harbour House

Fried Chicken and Fish at Columbia Harbour House (photo from Kelly Amey via the DFB Flickr Group) 

Citricos at Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

For a slightly more upscale take on the English classic, take a monorail ride to the Grand Floridian and pull up a chair at Citricos. There, you should order the melt-in-your-mouth pan-fried Florida black grouper, which gets [Read more…]

News! Full Food and Beverage Listing for the 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Marketplaces!

Great news! I got the chance to speak with Epcot Park Event Content Development Manager Michael Jenner — basically the head honcho when it comes to food at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival — and now I’m excited to share not only his recommendations for noshing around the World this spring, but everything that will be on offer at this year’s Festival!

As you know, the 2013 event will be the first to debut multiple food and beverage marketplaces throughout the World Showcase.

Today, we’ve got a few more great updates and tips to share, plus we’ve got the FULL list of food and beverage offerings!  Click here to see everything you’ll be able to try during the festival this year!

Q&A with Michael Jenner

I can’t wait to try all of the new goodies at the Festival this year! Let’s find out how this awesome addition came about…

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Angel Food Cake with Macerated Berries

Q: What brought about the idea of bringing more food and beverages to the Flower and Garden Festival?

A: We’ve been wanting to do this for several years. It’s been a daytime festival, so even though the parks stayed open at night, the festival kind of shut down. By adding the Food and Beverage component, as well as lit topiaries this year, the festival can continue after dark.

Guests have also been interested in the natural progression of food from garden to table. So the 12 new marketplaces will feature huge gardens in front of them, and the menus will feature ingredients inspired by what we’re displaying in those gardens.

Q: What are a couple of dishes you’re most excited about and recommend?

A: I’ll be at the Smokehouse Barbecue and Brews marketplace all day. We’ll actually have a wood burning smoker on stage smoking the pig for the pulled pig slider. The Smoked Brisket with Collard Greens with Jalapeno Cornbread just melts in your mouth! Also, portions at the smokehouse will be hearty-sized, not tapas-sized — you can’t do barbecue small!

I’m also excited about the Dole Whip with spiced rum at the Pineapple Promenade . We’ll be selling both regular dole whip and the spiced rum version, and the staff is really excited about it.

The Florida Fresh marketplace is featuring ingredients from local farms, and I love the Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, Zellwood Corn, Tomatoes and Cilantro. It pairs well with the Hot Sun Tomato Wine, which has a spicy, almost Bloody Mary taste.

Q: What other surprises can we expect at the Flower and Garden Festival this year?

A: We’re finalizing the Passport for the Flower and Garden Festival. This will be a lot like the Epcot Food and Wine Festival passport, with which guests can get stamps when they visit various marketplaces.

Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, fresh Zellwood Corn, Tomatoes and Cilantro

We’re also excited about the “TRYit” items on the marketplace menus. These are specialty items that are inspired by the gardens around the World Showcase. They’re perfect ways for you (or the kids!) to try something new. One of these items is the Beet Lollipop, a “push-up” filled with roasted red and golden beets and cream cheese. It will be found at Intermissions Cafe in the Festival Center!

You’ll also want to check out the Oz Garden, inspired by the new Disney film, Oz, the Great and Powerful. This playground will be lit so the kids can play at night, and it’s the perfect place for them to blow off some steam while you (the parents) indulge in food from the marketplaces. The Oz Garden is scheduled to open next week (February 11th)!

Now let’s jump right into the full list of incredible eats and drinks you’ll have the chance to indulge in during the festival!

Flower and Garden Festival Marketplaces and Food and Beverage Listing

Note that many items on this list will be available for a Disney Dining Plan snack credit! Items in BOLD below are part of the “TRYit” menu inspired by fruits and vegetables growing in the gardens throughout the World Showcase during the festival! Be sure to [Read more…]

Fun Find: A New Form of Gummy Bears at Epcot

I have a bit of a gummy bear addiction.

During a Walt Disney World visit in December, I was distressed to find that the epic giant gummy bears had completely vanished from Epcot’s Germany pavilion. Yes, I know that they’re readily available elsewhere, but I found it comforting to walk by and admire their shiny, sugary smiles each time I walked the World Showcase.

RIP Giant Gummy Bears -- now no longer available in the Germany pavilion

Fast forward a few weeks later to another trip and another loop around the Showcase. Still no giant gummies, but in their place was a new product, Choco Gomis, a dual layer chocolate bar with embedded gummy bears. I had never seen anything as glorious as this, even on my recent trip to gummy-centric Germany.

Obviously this was a must purchase item.

I bought both the blue and pink packages, thinking that they were different flavors, but as it turns out, they were exactly the same.

Opening the wrapper reveals a thin sliver of milk chocolate, topped by a more substantial layer of white “yogurt” chocolate. Nestled in each square is one perfect glossy gummy bear.

For the amount of candy you get, the bars are a little pricey, but the [Read more…]

Review: Epcot’s Les Halles Bakery

As recently reported, the new Les Halles Bakery is open for business in Epcot’s France pavilion. Les Halles replaces the previous France quick service location, Boulangerie Patisserie.

Les Halles in the back of the France pavilion, next to the old bakery location

Note that the Bakery opens at 9am — two hours earlier than most other counter-service locations in World Showcase! This will definitely be your place for breakfast if you’re entering Epcot through the International Gateway!

Atmosphere

While I was a fan of the food at Boulangerie Patisserie, I found the narrow service area and lack of seating to be a challenge, particularly when I was traveling with children in a stroller.

The large service area and ample indoor and outdoor seating at Les Halles solves these problems and improves upon the French cafe concept with more, and better, food options.

Wide service lanes!

Eats

While you don’t order these until the end, the first menu you’ll see when you walk into the restaurant lists your beverage options.

If you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, all but one of the nonalcoholic drinks is available for a Disney Dining Plan snack credit. It’s nice to see the continuing trend of $4.00-5.00 items available as snacks.

Because you’re in France, of course there are wine and beer options available. I purchased the the Kronenbourg 1664, which was a great accompaniment to my meal; but you should know that all alcohol is poured into plastic cups as it is served to you. No glass is allowed out into the park.

(Editor’s Note: Word is, according to the cast members, they do serve alcohol when they open at 9am. Not sure how long that will continue, but it’s one way to get a [Read more…]

Review: New Steak Dinner (and more!) at Liberty Inn in Epcot

Liberty Inn has been an afterthought due to uninspired food for quite some time; but when I started hearing some buzz about a new steak dinner, I knew I needed to get over there ASAP…

This counter service restaurant, located in the American Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase, has always been a reliable stop for “typical” American fare, like hamburgers and french fries.

And because of its large size, it’s a good place to find a spot to eat should you find yourself in Epcot without an Advanced Dining Reservation.

 

Sign

Let’s go check out the latest!!

Atmosphere

“Liberty Inn Publick Dining Room” — known to most of us as Liberty Inn — is located in the large building that serves as the central location when you look at World Showcase. Situated across from the American Gardens Theatre, the building also houses the American Adventure, an animatronic and film attraction; and an American history mini-museum (a great place to get away from the crowds!).

Entrance

Inside, you’ll find ample seating in the atrium-style dining area. Skylights allow for plenty of natural light, and flags from the original colonies line the brick walls.  You can see them up close in this post.

The decor is decidedly colonial, and the surroundings contain many items that look like they came straight from Colonial Williamsburg.

Seating Indoors and Flags

Baker's Rack and other Colonial Decor

Pots, Pans, and Utensils

But if you’d rather [Read more…]

FIRST LOOK! Les Halles Bakery Menu and Photo Tour in Epcot’s France, Walt Disney World

Update: The official bakery name is Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles. It will open at 9am ahead of World Showcase’s official 11am opening time.

Waaaaaay back at the beginning of 2012, we reported that Epcot’s France Pavilion would be getting an overhaul food-wise! And now it’s all becoming reality! Les Halles Bakery has officially opened!!

Les Halles Bakery Opens in Disney World

In addition to the opening on Monsieur Paul Restaurant in December, we can now celebrate the opening of Les Halles Boulangerie!! And we’ve got some incredible photos for you of the new Bakery, as well as the Disney Les Halles Menu! HUGE thanks go out to Michael Burk (@michaellburk) , once again, for sending over these great pics!

Les Halles Ordering Area and Queue -- click for larger image

The new bakery is HUGE compared to the old one, which will soon become Glacier Ice Cream Parlor. Once you enter, you’ll quickly see a long ordering queue line area, digital menus, and lots of yummo pastries waiting for you to choose them!

Les Halles Ordering Queue

The Les Halles menu includes an expanded selection, including pastries, soups, sandwiches (both hot and cold), salads, and more.

The Pumpkin Soup and Lobster Bisque are definitely on my list to try!

Les Halles Menu -- Soups, Sandwiches, Salads, and Specialties

Um…I’ll take one of everything on this pastries/desserts menu, please… [Read more…]

April 8th DFB Snack Attack Illuminations Dessert Party Tickets ON SALE NOW!

Calling all Disney food fans! I’m pleased to announce that tickets for this year’s DFB SNACK ATTACK Illuminations Dessert Party are now available for purchase. Scroll down and click the ticket button to snag your tix today! :-)

About Snack Attack

This our Second Annual Snack Attack, an event featuring a menu full of our favorite Walt Disney World snacks — all in one place AND an incredible, private view of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth in Epcot! Click here to read more about this event!

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

Last year’s event featured a dessert buffet with some classic Disney Food Blog favorites including…

Eats from the October 2012 Snack Attack!

Starring Rolls’ Butterfinger Cupcakes
Classic Disney Popcorn
Animal Kingdom Lodge Zebra Domes
Mickey Ice Cream Bars
Norway’s School Bread
Writer’s Stop’s Carrot Cake Cookies
Boardwalk Bakery’s Cheesecake Brownies
Starring Rolls’ Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes
And MORE!

Carrot Cake Cookies from Disney's Hollywood Studios at 2011 Snack Attack

While Snack Attack ticket-holders will certainly appreciate the one-of-a-kind menu, you’ll also be able to relax and enjoy a VIP view of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, Epcot’s outstanding fireworks spectacular!

How to Buy Tickets

Here are the details! Click the ticket button below to purchase.

The event will take place at the UK Pavilion in Epcot from

8:30pm-9:30pm on April 8th, 2013. Families are welcome! Each member of your party will need their name on the list for entry (children under 3 are free). Tickets are $60 per person, and include:

*Entrance to the event

*Access to an all-you-care-to-eat, specialized menu dessert buffet (plus popcorn!)

*Access to the private IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth viewing area

Add to Cart

Only guests with their full names on our roster will be admitted to the event, so please pay attention to the instructions you receive after purchasing to send us the names of the people in your party. Tickets are limited and will be sold first-come, first-served.

Should the event be sold out, you can join our waiting list by emailing us with your name, email address, and the number of people in your party at Support @ DFBGuide.com.

Tickets are non-refundable. Weather may impact location of the event. Extreme severe weather may cause for cancellation of Illuminations.

Hope to See You There!

We’ve had such a great time at our last two Snack Attacks; I can’t wait to do it again! I’m looking forward to meeting all of you and sharing this incredible experience!

Have questions? Please leave them in the comments below!