Review: SO MANY Good (NEW!) Eats at The Plaza Restaurant in Walt Disney World

The Plaza Restaurant at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is a classic.

From its prime location at the Cinderella Castle end of Main Street, USA, to its elegant decor and moderately priced menu, The Plaza Restaurant is a truly great value. And the menu is family friendly (including those bottomless milkshakes!), so it’s easy to enjoy a meal with your whole crew.

But flashier dining options have relegated The Plaza to the realm of hidden gems.

And, honestly, we’re kind of okay with that. Because when Be Our Guest is booked solid, The Plaza is often a gettable alternative. And with a few new menu items, my most recent visit was a total home run.

Plaza Sign

Plaza Sign

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News and Review: Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup and Poutine Debut at Epcot’s Refreshment Port!

Le Cellier Cheddar Cheese Soup fans, rejoice! Now there’s a quick service option so you can get your fix without expending two signature Disney Dining Plan credits! Thanks to the Refreshment Port, Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup is now available (and snack credit eligible!).

Refreshment Port Menu

Refreshment Port Menu

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Review: Floridian Pancakes and Lobster Thermidor Burger at Grand Floridian Cafe

With so many dining options to try at Walt Disney World, it’s not every trip that I’m able to return to some classic Resort restaurants — particularly if I’m not staying at the Resort in question.

But on a recent visit, I had a meeting that was (thankfully!) at the Grand Floridian Cafe. Located off the lobby in the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa’s main building, the Grand Floridian Cafe offers lovely views of the rose garden and courtyard pool beyond. It’s nice and tranquil, but not at all stuffy. So if you want to check out the Grand Floridian with your entire crew (including kiddos), this is a great place to try it.

The Cafe menu serves up traditional American dishes with a few nods to seafood and Southern fare in celebration of the Sunshine State, and our most recent trip here was for dinner. But a great feature at the Grand Floridian Cafe is the brunch-style menu offering breakfast dishes (in addition to the lunch offerings) through 2:00 pm. Hence the “Pancakes and Burger” mashup we’re reviewing today!

And there’s another big boon for the Grand Floridian Cafe: since it’s on the Resort Monorail loop, it’s easily accessible from Magic Kingdom and a terrific get-away if you need a little break from the park.

Atmosphere

Like every restaurant at the Grand Floridian, the Cafe is simple and elegant. You won’t find over-the-top, Disney-fied theming in terms of characters or bright colors. But you will feel as though you’ve gone back to the Victorian Era (minus all the stiff social constructs). Check in takes place at a desk with white columns and great trim details.

Grand Floridian Cafe Entrance

Grand Floridian Cafe Entrance

Right away you’ll notice the lattice-and-flowers carpeting, which carries throughout the restaurant. The wood trim also continues into the dining room, where floral wallpaper and tasteful seating await.

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News and Review: Donut Nuggets at D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs!

Here at the DFB, we love a good Disney food mash-up, but truth be told, even in our wildest dreams we never conjured up this one: Donut Nuggets.

We know, we know: they sound intriguing and delicious. (And maybe just a smidgen odd…)

The masters of American casual comfort food at D-Luxe Burger are the brainiacs behind this new creation, and since we are masters of, you know, eating donuts and nuggs, we had to get in on the action.

D-Luxe has quickly gone to the top of our favorite counter service burgers because — for once! — the burgers themselves aren’t overdone hockey pucks! We also enjoy the clever combinations of ingredients, like the Southern Burger with fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese (the caviar of the south, y’all!). Plus they have several dipping sauces, and that’s never a bad thing.

D-Luxe Burger sign

D-Luxe Burger sign

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Review: The Sausage and Peppers Hoagie at Epcot’s Electric Umbrella Might Surprise You

It’s pretty well established that Epcot is an exemplary place to get a meal.

Whether you’re queuing up at Sunshine Seasons for fresh and tasty quick service, making an ADR at Via Napoli, or using up some table service credits at Le Cellier, there are lots of quality eats to be found.

But a poll of Epcot visitors would likely, pretty much never find a lot of love for the Electric Umbrella. This mainstay of Epcot has a decidedly retro vibe, with tons of neon and bright colors (which we think is awesome, but others…not so much).

But while the hate for Electric Umbrella is there for some, I don’t really get it. It’s pretty good — and I’ve had awesome experiences here more than I haven’t in the past few years. But you DO need to know what to order… .

The Electric Umbrella

The Electric Umbrella

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Review: Territory Lounge in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

The landscape sure has changed at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

With this summer’s opening of the Disney Vacation Club Copper Creek Villas and Cabins, it was anticipated that more and elevated dining options would be needed at the already popular Resort. Hence the refurbishment of Roaring Fork as well as the addition of Geyser Point Bar & Grill.

And honestly, Geyser Point really is a terrific new spot. But today I’m taking you back to where it all started (in regards to great lounges at Wilderness Lodge): Territory Lounge.  I don’t care how many terrific enhancements they make to the Lodge. This spot will continue to rank among the best lounges in Walt Disney World, in my opinion.

They serve great drinks (with lots of Canadian beer options), but even better than the drinks is the upscale pub grub with old favorites served up in new ways, and less familiar dishes heavily inspired by the Pacific Northwest. [Read more…]

DFB Video: Where to Find Late Night Eats in Disney World

Hey Guys! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re getting down to the serious business of late night snacking at Walt Disney World!

Cheese Fries with Chili!

Cheese Fries with Chili!

Making the most of a Walt Disney World vacation often means burning the candle at both ends — and you’ve gotta fuel your late night push! Here are our picks for the best late night snacks and where to find them. [Read more…]

Review: Abracadabar Spiced Fries!!! (seriously. get these.)

What’s a Disney foodie to do when the parks close, but she’s still raring to go? Hit the BoardWalk, baby!

And while you can pretty much always count on seeing me sitting in the back of Jellyrolls Dueling Piano Bar editing photos til 2AM, there’s another bar on the BoardWalk that is so fun and unusual that you’ve got to check it out at least once!

Abracadabar opened just over a year ago, and it’s been enticing guests ever since. The backstory is that this was the gathering place for BoardWalk magicians and entertainers decades ago — and that the magic is still in the air. (I mean, you’re at Disney World so Disney magic is everywhere already! But this is magic magic!)

You can experience the Abracadabar magic nightly (the bar opens at 4PM), and it’s accessible via the BoardWalk and via hallways to both Flying Fish and Trattoria al Forno, so you can start or finish your meal here easily!

Atmosphere

The exterior of Abracadabar fits with the BoardWalk theming while also giving a hint to the vintage magic you’ll find inside.

AbracadaBar

AbracadaBar

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Review: Contempo Café in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Aaaaand I’m back at Contempo Café!

No surprise, really. After all, this Counter Service spot in Disney’s Contemporary Resort is easy enough for anyone to get to, regardless of whether or not you are staying at any of the Resorts on the Monorail Loop. Because I’m thinking it’s a pretty safe bet that your Disney World vacation plans include a trip to the Magic Kingdom. And the Contemporary boasts not only easy access via Monorail; it’s also the only Resort you can walk to directly from Magic Kingdom!

Even more, though, I love to stop here due to Contempo Café’s history of serving better-than-you’d-expect counter service grub, from surprisingly memorable entrees to some seriously stellar desserts.

So stroll or Monorail on in with me to check out what’s new (and which of my favorite entrees has remained, thankfully, nearly unchanged) at the Contempo Café!

Atmosphere

Contempo Cafe is located in the Grand Canyon Concourse adjacent to Chef Mickey’s. Basically, there’s no way you can go hungry in this zone! Contempo Cafe definitely has that we’re-trying-to-be-contemporary vibe that we know and love of the Resort, with lots of linear design and brushed nickel finishes.

Contempo Cafe Entrance

Contempo Cafe Entrance

It’s bright, open and, well… pretty loud most of the time. Aside from the Monorail zooming through regularly (hooray!), you get chatter from both open-air restaurants and the general hullabaloo of a busy resort. I find it to be festive, but if you’re craving some quiet, this may not be your spot. [Read more…]

Review: New Sandwiches at The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jambo from The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were here, pointing out three Must-Eat Snacks at the Lodge’s Counter Service option and sipping on some new-to-The-Mara Frozen Jungle Juice. But the Jungle Juice wasn’t the only new thing we found on that visit, which is what we’re excited to share with you today.

Longtime standouts at The Mara for lunch and dinner include unique items such as African Potjie Stew and tasty Soups of the Day alongside classic Burgers, Flatbreads, and Chicken Breast Nuggets.

That said, they aren’t afraid to switch things up every once in a while — and that’s a VERY good thing! Every so often, your basic Hot Dog or sandwich gets a bit of an African-inspired twist, as is the case with two of the three new items we’re trying today.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

So, come right back into The Mara with us!

Atmosphere

The Mara gets its name from the Masai Mara National Reserve, located in southwestern Kenya on the border of Tanzania.  The small food court is only accessible from outside the resort, on the lower level and near the pool. Once inside, you’ll immediately notice the ceiling artfully mimicking the tree tops and some soft ambient lighting that creates interesting shadows. [Read more…]