It has never been easy to snag an Advance Dining Reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom ever since it opened in late 2012. But that has been especially true as of late, as reservations simply weren’t coming up for dinner availability at all for dates starting in late July. And now we know why…
It’s been a while since we enjoyed a dinner in one of the many, many restaurants located around World Showcase. So today, we’re stopping in to Tokyo Dining!
Tokyo Dining is one of two table service restaurants that you’ll find in the beautiful Japan Pavilion, which happens to be a pretty great place to hang out. Mitsukoshi Department Store offers an endless of supply of intriguing merchandise, and the shop in the back is a wonderful spot to discover a new favorite snack. I don’t care if you can now score Pocky at Target — I still can’t resist grabbing some when I’m here!
But it’s been a while since we’ve taken in a meal at the table service spots. And while I love me some Teppan Edo (read our latest review here), things don’t change much at that Habachi Grill spot. So we decided to check back in with another favorite, Tokyo Dining.
Let’s head in. Or rather, up.
I say “up” because you’ll actually find both Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining on the second floor of Mitsukoshi Department Store. Whether you’re checking in for an advance dining reservation or you’re checking availability for walk up spots, start at this booth located just to the right of the steps leading up to the restaurants.
As I mentioned, Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo are both located here. Teppan Edo occupies the back of the second floor, while Tokyo Dining is located to your right at the top of the stairs — in the front of the building. [Read more…]
We get a lot of questions from readers here at DFB asking if the Disney Dining Plan is a good deal. One part of answering this question is doing the cut and dry calculations based upon a restaurant’s offerings. But the other part is determining if the restaurant is a good fit for your family. (For example, if Yachtsman Steakhouse offers a great bang for your buck when using the Dining Plan, but you’re a family of vegetarians, it probably isn’t the best choice! ;-D)
We were curious to determine which Disney Signature Restaurants offered the best deal or value pricewise — but also could be recommended by the experts here at DFB for atmosphere and food quality.
Here are our picks for the restaurants that offer the best value for your 2-credit Disney Dining Plan slots.
Le Cellier Steakhouse is tucked inside Epcot’s Canada pavilion.
Le Cellier has seen a few changes over the years. Once upon a time, it was a very much in-demand restaurant requiring one Table Service credit on the Disney Dining Plan. These days, while you’ll still typically find it to be quite crowded (the same goes for most Table Service restaurants in World Showcase), it’s now a Signature Restaurant requiring two Table Service credits to dine there at either lunch or dinner. And there’s no longer a less-expensive lunch menu as in days of yore.
Much more recently, it’s gone through another change as well. For those who enjoy keeping up with the whereabouts of Disney Chefs, you may know that Chef Dee Foundoukis (formerly of Kouzzina by Cat Cora and Trattoria al Forno) is now heading up Le Cellier.
So I thought it was high time to head back and see how things are shaping up…
… and check out what’s new and what’s remained the same inside “The Cellar.” [Read more…]
We’ve been waiting, and it’s finally here! The Boathouse is now open!
The restaurant is located in what will be The Landing Area of Disney Springs (still officially Downtown Disney, but it seems to be getting closer to the changeover everyday.)
The Boathouse opened its doors on Monday, but don’t rush out to get an Advance Dining Reservation just yet. While we’ve had success booking through the Open Table website for May 15th and after, Disney still isn’t offering ADRs — a signal that this is clearly a soft opening period, and a time for the staff and kitchen to work out the kinks.
There’s been a ton of hullabaloo over what we can expect, food and price-wise. We have lots of information and pics to share with you — as well as some information to clarify! So let’s get started.
I’ve been dying to get a peek behind those walls forever — and now they’re down! And the new restaurant is pretty beautiful.
You’ll see the entrance to the restaurant to the left. The big green tower that we’ve all been watching for a while now is the entrance to the Ship’s Store, the Boathouse’s gift shop.
Between the two entrances on the day we visited, there was this tiny little boat right by the front door. I’m thinkin’ it would be pretty fun to take it for a spin.
Here’s a shot from across the water. This is a great way to sort of get your bearings if you’re still wondering where in the grand scheme of Downtown Disney that The Boathouse is located. This also gives you a glimpse of how The Boathouse has “grown” rather organically. I’m looking forward to hearing the story here. Because we all know — this is Disney. There’s always a story.
But The Boathouse will be more than just a place to eat. It will also be home to several boat-themed attractions. In other words, it really is a boathouse.
We gave you a glimpse of Amphicar dress rehearsals taking place the other day ahead of Monday’s soft opening. And today, we have a few more pics to show you! You’ll find the Amphicar Launch around the side of restaurant, to the left of the main entrance.
So you think they just hop in the car and drive it into the water, right? Well, of course, it’s not quite that simple.
See this Amphicar Captain? That wheel behind him is more than just a fancy prop. The captain’s wheel has many gears just behind and under it. When a member of the staff turns the wheel, it actually rotates the turntable that the Amphicars are parked on. When they come in from the lake, they are facing the street. The car wheels are locked down, and the captain turns this wheel, which rotates the car 180 degrees, so that it’s facing the water again. Pretty swift, eh?
And in case you aren’t tired of looking at these cute little overachievers, here’s another shot. The teal one may just be my favorite.
And…off he goes! Super fun.
But the amphicars aren’t the only game in town. While we haven’t yet seen the 40-foot Italian Water Taxis that are touted as another Boathouse draw, there are plenty of interesting watercraft to check out.
Like this gorgeous option. I wouldn’t mind cruising the harbor in one of these.
And then, there’s the U-22 Alter Ego, a vintage racing boat. This thing is [Read more…]
Ah, Steakhouse 55, a bastion of yesteryear near the Park That Started It All. Going to this place is like a living time capsule. Some historical exhibits celebrate the past by letting you look at it. But at Steakhouse 55, it’s like you’re actually stepping back through the years. And that’s a good thing.
But if we’ve learned anything about Disney, it’s that change is always potentially on the horizon. Recently, they decided that the menu needed an overhaul. Maybe to match to some degree the rest of Disneyland’s emphasis on healthier fare?
We actually visited Steakhouse 55 prior to the recent menu refresh. But there has been so much to tell you guys over the last month, I’m just getting around to sharing my experience! So be aware that if you plan to visit, the menu will look a little different than what you see here.
While Steakhouse 55 underwent a bit of a refresh in the decorating department last year, we didn’t find much different when we visited recently. You’re still greeted by this iconic, enlarged photo of Walt Disney as you enter the space. Rich wood trim and painted paneling hint at the more formal environment. Once you’ve entered, it’s very hard to remember that Goofy’s Kitchen is right next door.
You’ll come to the Steakhouse 55 Lounge first. Incidentally, this is a great spot to keep on your radar. Reservations are not required and they feature a bar menu with some delicious and satisfying options.
Recently they’ve also begun offering the full Steakhouse 55 Restaurant Menu in the Lounge as well. Stash this away in your bag of tricks in case you find yourself starving and looking for an upscale dining experience if the steakhouse itself is booked up.
You’ll find shades of plum and silver, with plush finishes like satin and velvet. The bar area features a flat screen television, handy for checking out the latest scores.
Find a spot at the bar, or enjoy comfortable seating in softly upholstered chairs and plush couches and chaises.
Small tables are perfect for Bar Bites and Cocktails, but might pose a challenge if you’re enjoying a full meal.
Exit the lounge and you’ll find the main dining room. Low lighting and white tablecloths hint at the more formal setting here.
But you’ll find the same understated decor, punctuated by those large photographs of famous faces from years gone by.
The feeling here is retro chic, and it’s not hard to imagine what this spot may have been like when the name over the door was still Granville’s, and the people in the pictures were sitting at the next table.
I’ve shared with you that Steakhouse 55 is my absolute most favorite spot for breakfast at Disneyland, and Heather has written about her delicious experience dining in the Lounge. But it had been a while since I had taken in dinner here.
Unfortunately, my timing was just a little off. Immediately after we enjoyed this experience, the menu underwent a change.
Here is the menu that Steakhouse 55 featured at the time of our dinner.
Chef Marcel St. Pierre, a Disney veteran who was most recently over the kitchens of Club 33, has taken over at Steakhouse 55. Not surprisingly, he is eager to put his stamp on things here, and to experiment with some popular trends and classic French preparations.
Since the changes, I’ll try to note where the dishes that we ordered have been updated.
We began our meal with fresh, warm Sourdough Bread, served with softened, Unsalted Butter.
My husband was dining with me. And you long-term DFB Readers know — he never passes up the chance to enjoy a Caesar Salad, and this visit was no exception!
The classic version of the salad was served with Olive Tapenade atop a Parmesan Crisp. This salad has been replaced with Hearts of Romaine — served with Caesar Dressing. Yep. Basically the same. Just fancier.
Another classic dish that we couldn’t pass up ordering was the legendary Steakhouse 55 Seven Onion Soup. It’s delicious, but even better — it’s food theater. The soup comes together from two different dishes.
You are presented a soup bowl with [Read more…]
We’re welcoming Alex Freeman today as she shares a review of one of our favorite spots – Jiko in the Animal Kingdom Lodge!
Jiko – The Cooking Place, a signature dining restaurant, is located at the Jambo House at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Before you even walk into the restaurant, you are enchanted by the expansive lobby. The minute you walk into Jambo House, you definitely feel as though you have entered into an African savanna lodge. The best part of the lobby is the huge window at the back where you can see the savanna and the walk leading to the African animals.
To get to the restaurant, you must go downstairs. On the way down the stairs, you will walk right past Victoria Falls, a bar/lounge that overlooks Boma, Flavors of Africa. Once you reach the bottom of the stairs, you can either turn left and enter Boma or if you go right, you will come to Jiko. Jiko is a breathtaking restaurant with an open kitchen, a wall of different varieties of wine, and a memorable ambiance. My favorite part of the interior design is the light fixtures.
When we checked in at the front desk, we only had to wait a few minutes before we were seated. The hostess that led us to our table was extremely friendly and polite. I wish I remembered her name because she was absolutely wonderful. Once we were seated, I could not wait to start reviewing the menu to see what had changed and what had stayed the same since the last time I was at the restaurant.
While deciding upon which entrees to order, we enjoyed a delicious bread basket which consisted of Dabo Bread and Flaxseed Focaccia. The bread came with a Tandoori butter. I absolutely love the Dabo bread with the Tandoori butter. The honey taste of the bread and the garlicky flavor of the butter is a perfect mixture. I was not a huge fan of the Flaxseed Focaccia. I found the bread to be too salty to mix with the butter.
I was eating with my entire family, so I was able to review four different entrees. We decided to order Guinea Hen, Maize-crusted Atlantic Black Grouper, Oak-grilled Filet Mignon, and the [Read more…]
Big news this week, all! The Pineapple Lanai at Disney’s Polynesian Village (aka “The Poly”) is open, and guests can once again indulge in one of the “World’s” most iconic treats at this resort.
Get yer Dole Whip and Dole Whip Floats here, but they’re no longer self-serve OR 24-hour. Bittersweet.
Also, Disney has confirmed that Starbucks will open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in February 2015!
Click below for all the details on this week’s Disney Food News!
Disney Food News
- A brand new Disney World premium dessert party — Villains’ Sinister Soiree — is taking place this Fall at Magic Kingdom!
- Check out some awesome sale merch at DisneyStore.com this weekend!
- Take a look at some irresistible new treats at Jolly Holiday in Disneyland Park — including an adorable take on a Spoonful of Sugar!
- Satisfy your Starbucks tooth in February 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Indulge in a Dole Whip or Dole Whip Float at the brand new Pineapple Lanai in Disney World.
- Le Cellier in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion at Walt Disney World has made a major change to the popular filet mignon!
- Starbucks coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
- Signature dining is available at Disney’s Yachtsman Steakhouse restaurant and now two new steak options are featured on the menu.
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 restaurant closures, Citricos Wine Dinners at the Grand Floridian, and more!
DFB Reader Finds
Today, we are highlighting bacon, including this find from Facebook Friend Don. He says: “This bacon cupcake at The Smokehouse is awesome!”. Remember that this is only available during Disney’s Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot in the Spring!
What’s your Favorite Find? Send it in!
Get a Head Start on Planning With the DFB Disney Dining Guidebooks!
The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 450 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.
It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next trip! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBGuide.com to pick it up!!
This week, use code: 2014 to get a $4 discount for a limited time! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!
Here’s Just Some Of What You Get With [Read more…]
It’s time for another fun addition to our Disney Food Galleries!
And today, we’re introducing a brand new gallery for all of you red meat lovers out there! Yep, we’ve gathered a whole buncha steaks from around Disney World to help you make your choices on your next visit.
Remember, some of these may drop off menus from time to time or have side dishes or preparation changed, but hopefully this will give you a good overview of what’s available! Here we go!
Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club is one of my top picks when it comes to steak at Walt Disney World. After all, they decorate with meat — the first thing you pass en route to your seat is the Steak Trimming Room!
Chefs here pride themselves not only on the very best cuts of meat, but appetizers, side dishes, and desserts inspired by market fresh ingredients. Yachtsman combines the very best of seasonal flavors with the traditional steak experience.
My absolute favorite pick at Yachtsman is the 16-ounce Boneless Ribeye. It is always a melt-in-your-mouth choice.
But we are also big fans of the 12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak, served here with a rich potato gratin stack.
Shula’s at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin is the kind of place that you think of when you envision an upscale steakhouse. As your eyes adjust to the dim lighting and you check out the menu — printed on a football! — you’ll settle into the refined elegance of your surroundings.
When I have the chance to dine here, I almost always go for my favorite, the 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye (are you sensing a theme?). The Bone-in Steak has been excellent on every visit. The flavor is unbelievable!
Looking for a lighter approach to soothe your carnivore cravings? We’ve also enjoyed the Steak Mary Anne. Delicate by steakhouse standards, the 5-ounce medallions are served with a simple demi glace in this case. It’s the perfect plate for the guest who prefers all the flavor of prime, aged beef in a smaller serving.
If you’re a landlubber like me, then finding a great steak at a restaurant known for fabulous seafood is a dream come true. But it’s not impossible if you’re dining at Flying Fish Cafe.
When I visit, I always order the Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip. The creamy Sauce Foyot is such a great accent — and they’re never chintzy with it!
Can’t decide between surf and turf? You don’t have to! Try the two house specialities side by side with the Entree Duo, which features the Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak and the restaurant’s most famous fish dish, the Potato-wrapped Red Snapper.
Jiko offers some of the most interesting food at Walt Disney World.
And while I enjoy the fusion of African, Indian, and Meditteranean flavors when it comes to appetizers and desserts, I rarely deviate from my favorite entree: the Oak-Grilled Filet.
And even when their delicious Mac and Cheese isn’t featured as the dish’s side, you can usually score it as a special request (and I totally recommend that you do).
In the mood for steak with no Advance Dining Reservation? Then head to Epcot’s Liberty Inn. Their New York Strip Steak, served with Red Wine Butter, Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli, is surprisingly good.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant
Even though most of my favorite steaks at Disney World are featured at signature restaurants, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good option at moderately priced restaurants, too, like Sci-Fi Dine-In.
Recently, I was pleasantly surprised by [Read more…]
With Le Cellier Steakhouse now a TWO table-service credit restaurant for both lunch and dinner on the Disney Dining Plan, the restaurant has changed over to an all-day menu (effective January 16, 2013).
Located in Epcot’s Canada, this signature restaurant’s all-day menu means that guests looking for a burger will no longer find one here. (Total bummer, as it was one of our favorites.) But the lobster mac ‘n cheese will now be available for lunch and dinner.
For starters, Le Cellier’s chopped lobster salad or bowl of the cult favorite Cheddar Cheese Soup are excellent choices. Don’t forget about the poutine fries, too (Hubba Hubba)!
Plus, the seasonal salad now being offered is greens with duck prosciutto, blue cheese, fig-almond cake and a soft-boiled egg.
Entrees are still plentiful, and steak-focused. Canadian-raised beef choices include a grilled bone-in ribeye, New York Strip, and the famous (and awesome) Filet Mignon.
That Filet Mignon is a fan favorite with its white truffle-butter sauce and wild mushroom risotto.
Vegetarians will continue to enjoy seasonal offerings, including a winter squash ravioli with sage brown butter. And the menu includes year-round sustainable seafood by Chef Al Youngman.
For dessert, the Maple Creme Brulee and Trio of Chocolate are [Read more…]