What’s The Best Walt Disney World Park for Dining?

There is so much to love about the parks of Walt Disney World.

What's the Best Disney World Park for Dining?

The rides and attractions. The sense of history — both in the parks, and the memories that we’ve all made in them. The incredible themeing that greets you at every turn.

But of course, what do we love the most? The FOOD!

I’m serious about eating when I’m in Disney parks. And I know you are, too! But which Disney World park is the best when it comes time for eating?

This is a question I get asked a LOT; and it’s always tough to make a choice. Sure — Epcot has the largest number of fantastic restaurants, but there are some snacks that can’t be beat in Magic Kingdom; and the other parks offer some not-to-be-missed items, too.

There are some seriously awesome, edible reasons to visit each park — and I’m going to share some of my favorites with you today!

Get ready, because I want to hear your point of view, too! What’s your favorite Walt Disney World Park for Dining…and why?

Magic Kingdom

Eating your way through Magic Kingdom seems to me to be one part fantasy food, and one part pure nostalgia. It would be hard to imagine not carving our a few days on my menu for some of my favorite stops here!

Nutella and Fruit Waffle Sandwich at Sleep Hollow

For brunch or lunch, I can never pass up the chance to have a Waffle Sandwich at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments. Choose from Nutella (!!!) and Fruit, Spicy Chicken, or Ham, Prosciutto, and Swiss.

Seriously delicious — and enormous. I like to get two and split them among friends for a little variety.

Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich

We can’t go very far in this conversation though without discussing [Read more…]

The Disney Food Blog “All-American Disney World Food Crawl”

Happy Fourth of July from Disney Food Blog!

Beaches and Cream Burger

In celebration of America’s independence, I sure wish I was eating my way around Disney World today! If you happen to be there for the holiday — or you just wish you were — we’re doing our patriotic best to inspire you with red, white, and blue eats.

Without further ado, let’s head out on an All-American Food Crawl!

Angus Chuck Cheeseburger at Liberty Tree Tavern

While the Beaches and Cream burger above is a great place to start, we’re going to head to the Magic Kingdom and somewhere a bit more historical!

Start your journey with lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern. This restaurant, located in Liberty Tree Square, pays tribute to Colonial America. Dine in rooms dedicated to notables of American history, like Betsy Ross, Benjamin Franklin, George & Martha Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Paul Jones, or Paul Revere.

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

While dinner is a delicious feast served family-style, lunch is an a la carte offering. And my favorite meal is the Angus Chuck Cheeseburger topped with bacon and cheddar cheese.

Liberty Tree Tavern Burger

A juicy, thick burger is served perfectly with steak-cut fries. It may sound common, but it’s one of my favorite burgers in all of Disney World!

Hot Dogs at Casey’s Corner

When the next hunger pangs roll around, head to Casey’s Corner on Main Street U.S.A. for another favorite Fourth of July grill food: Hot Dogs!

I love a good plain hot dog from Casey’s! And there are always great condiments and toppings to dress it up, like plastic cheese!

You MUST have a Hot Dog and Fries from Casey's!

But the Corn Dog Nuggets are pretty [Read more…]

Review: Onion Rings and Chocolate Mousse at Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree Barbecue

So, many of us agree that Flametree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is pretty awesome.

Awesome barbecue, great views, weird animals-eating-other-animals/circle-of-life vibe goin’ on…what’s not to love.

But although I usually head here for a full meal (and a big meal at that), this place can also be a good snack stop if you’re in the mood to take a load off and sit by the water for a bit during a looooooong Disney day. So let’s head over and check out some between-meal goodies for your next trip…

Atmosphere

You’ll find Flame Tree Barbecue on Discovery Island as you veer right toward Dinoland (DINOLAND, YAY!).

Flame Tree Barbecue Sign

The roped-off queue lines are your first hint that this place is pretty popular. It’s rare to find it looking this desolate, but that’s another good reason to visit in the late afternoon for a snack instead of at prime meal time!

One of my favorite things at Flame Tree, besides the ‘cue, is the quirky and daring (for Disney) themeing. Depicted in statuary, signs, and even the pavilions is this creepily awesome Circle of Life theme. It’s all in such totally cheerful colors that I wonder how many people actually stop to really see what’s going on here.

And don’t forget that Flame Tree has one of our favorite views of any counter service joint. The  [Read more…]

Review: Flame Tree Barbecue at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Last week, I had the pleasure of heading to Walt Disney World for a super quick jaunt around the parks.

And while there, I decided it was high time to stop by one of my (and yours!!) favorite spots in Animal Kingdom, Flame Tree Barbecue.

Flame Tree Barbecue consistently gets rave reviews from Disney food fans as one of the top — if not the top — counter service spots in all of Walt Disney World. I was anxious to see if it still lived up to my fond memories…

Atmosphere

Located in the Discovery Island section of Animal Kingdom, you’ll find this colorful restaurant adjacent to the entrance to Dinoland (which is awesome, and you should totally go there). And as the name clues you in — they specialize in barbecue, with meats that are smoked right in the “Flame Tree Barbecue Smokehouse.”

Flame Tree Barbecue Sign

Normally, you see lines snaking back from the ordering area — note the cow-line ropes in the picture. But it was shockingly not busy when I got there late in the afternoon (around 4:30pm). See? I told you those Disney Dining Tips are for real! ;-)

Flame Tree Barbecue -- Outside View

The set up is your standard Disney counter service situation, with multiple ordering stations and pick up lines. You won’t find any automated kiosks here…yet!

Ordering Kiosk

For guests who aren’t familiar with smoked meats and the pink color that the meat takes on due to the process, you’ll find these signs. You can be sure that your meat is thoroughly cooked, even though it may appear pink inside.

Sign Regarding Smoking Process

Once you’ve chosen your food, be sure to [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 2, 2012

It’s menu-changing season at Walt Disney World!

New Menu Items at Animal Kingdom

This week we got the chance to highlight a few updates in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where they’ve unveiled new menu items at three counter-service restaurants! (More of this menu change mumbo jumbo coming up tomorrow, by the way…)

Let us know what you think about the new options!

Disney Food News

Catch up on your Disney Food reading!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Update — Dinners With Cat Cora

Kouzzina by Cat Cora has added two more events to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival signature dining schedule.

Chef Cat Cora and the Kouzzina chefs will host additional dinners on October 2 and October 4 at 8pm. The cost is $170/person. The first signature dinner at Kouzzina will be held on September 27 at 8pm for $160. Note that Chef Cat Cora will only be in attendance at the October dinners.

Spots are extremely limited, and will go fast. Call 407-WDW-DINE to book.


We’ve got more food news (including restaurant closure updates, new dining locations at Aulani, a food truck at ESPN Wide World of Sports, a PCH Grill Passholder Preview in Disneyland, special offer at La Hacienda and San Angel Inn, and LOTS more) on our Disney Food News Pin Board!

A DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book Reviews

Thanks to Disney by Mark for a great review of our DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Pick up your copy of the DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival today, and get planning. Don’t forget our great DFB Deals of the Week on this Guide!

Here’s some great advice from the Disney by Mark review:

Last year was my first at the festival and I found myself overwhelmed with choices and decisions to make. There was so much I wanted to do but I only had a limited time at Epcot…and Epcot is BIG. I found that in just one reading this guide has helped me plan my entire visit so I don’t collapse from exhaustion!

See? No exhaustion! ;-) Read the full review here! And, check out another great review at Jackie’s Magical Moments this week!

Now it’s your turn! Download your copy of the DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book here! Get $3 off with our Deal of the Week!

On to the Round-Up

DisZine highlights the Great Irish Hooley event at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney this weekend.

Cookie Madness enjoys a treat from Epcot’s Biergarten – Bavarian Cheesecake.

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups hides out with a snack at the Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

A Wedding Cake Blog shares an adorable Minnie Mouse cake!

Mouse on the Mind dines at the California Grill overlooking the Magic Kingdom!

Main Street Gazette reviews the changes taking place with the restaurants in Epcot’s France pavilion.

AllEars takes a close-up look at the Pinocchio Village Haus.

DisneyParks looks back at the opening of Hollywood Scoops in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

New Menu Items at Restaurantosaurus, Pizzafari, and Flame Tree Barbecue in Animal Kingdom

Editor’s Note: The Chili and Cheese Dog is no longer on the menu at the Restaurantosaurus.

Once again, Animal Kingdom is re-vamping its menus with some wonderful results! Thanks to a helpful DFB reader, we’ve got photos and insights into new options!

You’ll remember when we reported a few months ago on the delicious and summery additions to the Bradley Falls Kiosk and Tamu Tamu Refreshments — now we’ve got some great updates to the menus at Restaurantosaurus, Pizzafari, and Flame Tree Barbecue!

Restaurantosaurus

Restaurantosaurus had a significant menu change, adding several new items:

Chicken BLT Salad
With a very light ranch dressing, this is perfect on a hot day! Crisp greens with chunks of tomato, baked chicken strips, bites of bacon, and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. This salad is priced at $9.19 and — according to our reviewer — worth every penny!

BLT Chicken Salad

Chicken Sandwich
The chicken sandwich ($9.59) had a tomato bruschetta topping with hints of basil and garlic, along with bacon bits and shredded cheddar cheese! This sandwich is served hot and is “just a perfect combination, thoroughly enjoyable!” says our reviewer.

Restaurantosaurus Chicken Sandwich with Bruschetta Topping

Specialty Hot Dogs
Our reviewer tried the two hot dogs that are now a permanent addition to the Restaurantosaurus menu as well. The standard chili and cheese dog ($9.59) is topped with jalapeno pepper rings and corn chips, making it appealing to her and others who might like their entree a bit spicy!

Restaurantosaurus Chili Cheese dog with jalapeno and corn chips

Her son enjoyed the very original macaroni and cheese dog, topped with a sprinkle of bread crumbs ($8.79). She says, “I cannot imagine that this won’t be a hit with [Read more…]

Reader Favorites: Best Walt Disney World Counter Service Restaurants

Whelp, it’s time to re-visit one of our favorite topics around here: Best Disney World Counter Service Restaurants!

 

We polled our readers back in 2009 for their favorites, and things are looking slightly different these days… ;-)

We recently asked our Disney Food Blog Facebook Fans via the Disney Food Blog Facebook page for the best counter service restaurants inside the theme parks at Walt Disney World. Let’s find out where everyone is eating…

Best Magic Kingdom Counter Service Restaurants

Best Disney World Counter Service Restaurants

Winner: Columbia Harbour House
In a quiet corner of the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, the Columbia Harbour House sets the scene for traditional Americana in a colonial village — and steals our Best Magic Kingdom Counter Service title away from Pecos Bill’s this year!

Columbia Harbour House

The decor of the restaurant emphasizes a nautical theme with plank flooring and hurricane lamps. Downstairs, seating is divided into small dining rooms giving the space a colonial charm.

Here’s a Favorite DFB Tip: The upstairs seating area is usually the quietest and offers some tables with quaint views. Brick hearths add even more “warmth” to the dark-wooded rooms.

Grilled Salmon… this meal belongs on a real plate.

Serving popular soups (awesome clam chowder!), salads, and sandwiches such as the Lighthouse (hummus with tomato and broccoli slaw) and Anchors Aweigh (white tuna with lettuce and tomato) served on toasted multigrain bread; and recently adding a Lobster Roll and Grilled Salmon to the menu, Columbia Harbour House offers selections beyond the usual chicken nugget fare. (Although, there are those too!)

Lobster Roll with real chunks of lobster at Columbia Harbour House

Runners Up: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Be Our Guest Restaurant (lunch only), and Casey’s Corner.

Best Epcot Counter Service Restaurants

Winner: Sunshine Seasons
Soarin’ isn’t the only main attraction in The Land pavilion! According to our readers, Sunshine Seasons gets a lot of traffic too.

Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

With five food stations including a [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Great Disney World Restaurants for Boys

Much fuss is made about the ballyhooed princess dining experiences at Disney World. So much fuss, that parents of young boys sometimes find themselves wondering, “What does Disney have that’s special for me?”

The down and dirty dino loving boy will be right at home at the T-Rex Cafe.

Well, never fear sports fans; I’m here to tell you that while, yes, the girly girls are pretty visible in the parks (it’s hard to miss the Florida sun glinting off a tiara), there are plenty of Disney dining experiences where the men in your family will feel right at home.

Let’s break it down …

Character Meals

There are 10 different character dining venues at Walt Disney World proper. Of these, only three and a half of them have princess themeing. The rest are totally gender-neutral.

Boys are certainly welcome at any of the princess meals, and many boys love them just as much as the other character meals (PLUS they’re given a neato plastic sword at the Royal Table); but honestly, they do skew more heavily toward girl interests.

All of the other character dining restaurants appeal equally to boys and girls. Your best options for boys in the character dining department are the following (characters are always subject to change): [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 29, 2012

It’s official, everyone! The big news this week: Starbucks is coming to Disney Parks! Whether you love it or hate it, the coffee king will be opening six locations soon — one in each domestic Disney park.

Later today, stay tuned for pictures of the new Art of Animation Food Court and Menus! We’re reporting live from Disney World this week!

Disney Food News

We’ve got more food news (including a new chef at Mama Melrose’s, opening date for Disneyland’s Candy Palace and Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, plus a new confectionery, Trolley Treats, coming to Disney California Adventure) on our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

DFB Podcast Episode 3

We’re excited to finally announce the third episode of the DFB Podcast, which you can download now!

Thanks to everyone who’s listening for being so generous with your time, comments, and support!

In this episode, we share Disney Food News, answer listener questions, reveal our trivia winner from last week (and ask a new trivia question), and discuss non-buffet character meals in Disney World and Disneyland!

Click here to go to the Podcast page for Episode 3. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS or on iTunes!

On To The Round-Up

DisneyCaribbeanBeach.com shares the recipe for Poolside Lemonade – a fave cocktail at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

disZine shares how to get free cupcakes when Sprinkle Cupcakes helps promote DreamWorks’ upcoming dramedy, People Like Us!

Main Street Gazette enjoys the groovy Tie Dye cheesecake at Pop Century’s Everything Pop food court.

Daveland goes back to Disneyland’s Plantation House where fried chicken was the specialty.

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups finds beer, wine, and mixers at the WDW value resorts.

Studios Central previews snacks in R2-D2 containers for the 2012 Star Wars Weekends.

Disney Wedding Podcast chats with AJ about incorporating Disney food into a wedding reception or other catered event.

Wesh.com shares DFB tips on celebrating your special occasions at a Disney restaurant.

All Fare’s Food Blog reviews the Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree Barbecue!

Guest Review: The Mara

I’m happy to welcome back Bill Iadonisi with another enlightening review. This time he explores the counter-service eatery, The Mara, at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House. Take it away, Bill!

Hello Disney Food Blog fans! I know it’s been long between reviews, so let’s get started on this month’s eatery! I have always said that Disney’s resorts hold some of the best places to eat on property. Usually much quieter and less hectic then the restaurants in the parks, and many times you can just walk in and sit down.

Today we are going to the dark continent of Africa for this review. Well, maybe a quick safari trip to Disney’s Jambo house is what we’ll do. The main attractions at this beautiful resort are the breathtaking views of the African Savanna from select rooms. But it’s also home to some of Disney’s finest restaurants.

Although not a five-star eatery, Jambo House’s counter-service establishment, The Mara (named after the Mara River in Africa) is a wonderful place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it does all three equally well.

The Mara Story - click image for larger version

Atmosphere

So before we explore the eats, let’s take a look at the décor.

Themeing and Decor
Located very close to the Jambo House pool, the Mara is themed (like all Disney eateries), but not as strongly as, say, Pizzafari or even the Flame Tree Barbeque.

Entrance

Inside is a spacious dining area with a colorful mural of African flora and fauna on the two back walls.

Spacious Dining Area

The tables and chairs are plain and Spartan, but overhead are metallic cut-outs that resemble tree leaves, and several support posts that have large wooden beams resembling tree limbs make it appear as though you are [Read more…]