Guest Review: Disney’s Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast with Darth Vader

Are you ready for an out-of-this-world guest review? Join me in welcoming guest author Miranda Roberts! She’s sharing her experience at the Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World!

My husband and I are not morning people. Not remotely. We are the people who are last out of the park at night, and stay sound asleep until late morning. We love cocktails and fireworks and chilling out by the pool.

But we could not pass up the chance to eat breakfast with Darth Vader! So, despite not really knowing anything else about the set up of this event, we took a chance and made a rare breakfast reservation. We were super excited about this meal!

Atmosphere

As we approached the Sci-Fi restaurant on a very sunny morning, there were friendly cast members waiting to direct us to the check-in desk, and they had added special signs to the front of the restaurant. Having extra cast members with directional arrows helped us overcome our bleary-eyed morning confusion about where we were heading.

Cast Member directs guests to the galactic breakfast!

Cast Member directs guests to the galactic breakfast!

Outdoor waiting area

Outdoor waiting area

Check In here!

Check In here!

This is the line for Vader!

This is the line for Vader!

Once we had checked in, we were told to wait near the entrance until we were called. We only had to wait around five minutes before a server came looking for us “To join the rebellion”.

We joined a short line of about 6 people at the restaurant entrance to have our PhotoPass picture taken with Darth Vader and Boba Fett. The price of this was already built into the meal. Then a server showed us to our seats and explained a little about the restaurant to us.

Shaun and Miranda with Boba Fett and Darth Vader

Shaun and Miranda with Boba Fett and Darth Vader

Special Event PhotoPass

Special Event PhotoPass

If you have dined at the Sci-Fi before, the set-up is exactly as normal with a couple of extra signs outside to advertise the event. For those who haven’t eaten here before, the restaurant is one large room made up like a movie set to look like a drive-in movie theatre from the 50’s. The lighting is very low, to make it seem like evening, and there are stars twinkling in the night sky around you.

Interior restaurant

Interior restaurant

The tables are mostly cars that have three rows of seats. Each row seats 2 adults or 3 kids. Since my husband and I were alone on this trip, we were seated in the back row of a car, and the family in front were told they had picked us up as galactic hitch-hikers!

Movie Screen

Movie Screen

All the cars face the big movie screen at the front, which was showing a series of clips from Star Wars and related spin-offs. There were clips from all the different episodes, plus some cartoon adaptations and some spoof adverts and posters. The Cantina band also had a segment, which was really cool.

Jawa warning!

Jawa warning!

The twilight setting and movie clips set a great atmosphere for the event. Throughout the meal, characters circulated that included Stormtroopers, Jawas, and Greedo. They were all pretty playful, with a Stormtrooper trying to steal my chocolate milk, and making guests kneel like prisoners for photos! It’s worth noting that we only saw bad guy or neutral characters – there were no “hero” characters at this meal.

Watch out for stormtroopers!

Watch out for stormtroopers!

But with the dark lighting in the restaurant, most guests were having problems taking pictures with the characters. With a flash, faces were too over-exposed, and the backdrop looked weird. Without the flash, you can barely see who is in the photo. You’re going to see I struggled with the same problem for these food pictures too; sorry :-(

To help you time your FastPasses, it’s worth saying that we were seated at 9:40am and we left the restaurant at 10:50am. There is no way we could have eaten faster, so this was one of the longer Disney meals we have shared based on our experience that day. Other people might have quicker days, but it would be a shame to rush it with so much to see on the screen and around you.

Now let’s talk about the food!

Eats

The menu and our server explained that we would automatically be brought a selection of pastries. These would then be followed by our choice of fruit salad or yogurt parfait, and then we had a choice of entrée. The meal would then end with a “sweet surprise”.

Food Menu

Food Menu

Beverage Menu

Beverage Menu

She started us off with a choice of drinks, and there was a very wide choice of refillable drinks -– tea, coffee, hot chocolate, juices, sodas, chocolate milk, and a fun Blue Milk (like Luke Skywalker drank in Episode 4 at home on Tatooine).

Blue Milk

Blue Milk

It was blue raspberry flavored and my husband enjoyed the fun and novelty of it, but switched to Coke after one glass. There were also a couple of cocktails, but not being morning people, that was too much of a stretch for our systems. We stuck with soft drinks!

Our pastry platter had six pieces, with three different offerings. All these came automatically, almost as soon as we had sat down.

Star Wars Pastries

Star Wars Pastries

The swirl pastry, that our server said “looks like Princess Leia’s hairdo”, was an almond pastry, the C3PO chocolate one was a mini double chocolate muffin, and the one with Darth Vader was a mini vanilla cream puff. All three were really delicious.

The almond swirl kind of reminded me of frangipane (which I know is popular with the DFB team!) and the chocolate muffin was very moist with good chocolate chunks, but we both liked the Darth cream puff best. It had a really delicious sweet vanilla custard inside, while the pastry was crisp and flaky.

For our next course, my husband had the fruit salad and I had the yogurt parfait. Both came with adorable [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!” Breakfast!

We’re back for more fun with a brand new version of our hit series, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney”!

Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney -- Breakfast

With your awesome input, we had tons of fun exploring our favorite Disney food categories a looong time ago. But Disney keeps adding amazing new dishes, treats, and foods! And so, it’s time to revisit these questions and add some of our new, and enduring, favorites to the mix!

Today, we’ll get the day started off right just like we should — with some delicious Breakfast! I’ll let you know a few of my favorites…and then it’s your turn to chime with in YOUR votes for “The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney — Breakfast”!

Let’s get to crackin’! (Like…eggs. Crackin’ eggs. Get it? :-) )

Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll at Kouzzina

In no time flat, Kouzzina by Cat Cora has become one of my favorite places to dine at Walt Disney World for breakfast. It’s quiet, relaxed, and offers some truly delicious eats.

If we’re going to talk about killer ways to start your day, first up has to be one of my favorite breakfast finds of recent Disney visits: the Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll at Kouzzina.

Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll

Wouldn’t you just love to dig into one of these babies right. this. minute?? Me tooooo! Warm, butter-rich dough envelops a beautiful center filled to overflowing with that yummy, buttery, cinnamon-y goodness that just makes your heart SING!

This. This is what a cinnamon roll should look like — so gooey that you need a fork to eat it! Believe me when I say that the Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll is plenty reason enough to make Kouzzina your very next advance dining reservation.

Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll — Inside

Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe

Classics become so for a reason. In Disney food circles, classics = awesomeness (and often over-the-topness) that just about everyone loves.

Case in point: Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe.

Tonga Toast with Bacon

Thick, fluffy bread is stuffed with banana yum, before it’s battered and deep-fried. After a roll in a ton of [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast at Kouzzina in Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Let’s head to one of my highly recommended breakfast spots — Kouzzina, at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn!

This casual, but classy restaurant is carries the name of celebrity chef Cat Cora, and features a menu with a Mediterranean influence that celebrates Cora’s Greek heritage.

Kouzzina has won critical acclaim, and has long been one of our favorite stops for breakfast in all of Walt Disney World. So on a recent trip there, we decided to drop by and see what was new…and there was one thing that I’m STILL dreaming about today! I can’t wait to tell you about it!

Read on!

Atmosphere

Entering Kouzzina from the almost carnival-like atmosphere of Disney’s BoardWalk, you immediately sense a shift in mood. Kouzzina has a decidedly refined atmosphere, but with many rustic touches. It’s almost like urban-meets-farmhouse.

Menu Cover

In the entryway, there are shelves with mementos and cooking vessels. We spied this Hidden Mickey, which is a nice reminder that although Cat Cora is the chef, you’re still at Disney.

Entryway Decor Featuring a Hidden Mickey

Since a renovation last year, you can find lots of Cora-rific goodies for sale in the lobby of the restaurant.

A List of Available Merchandise

Some of the Cat Cora Merchandise for Sale

Once your name is called and you head into the restaurant, you’ll see another result of the recent renovation. Olive Oil — Greek Olive Oil, to be precise — is used as a hip decor element. Personally, I think this is a little too contemporary for the more “farmhouse-y” feel of the restaurant, but that’s why I’m not an interior designer I guess.

Olive Oil Bottles

While the art wall of olive oil bottles provides the urban touch, lots of dark wood in the dining room brings the rustic feel to the party. Walls with dark wood wainscoting match booths, tables, and beamed ceilings. Lighter wood planks cover the floor. All in all, the hard surfaces and high ceilings can make for a loud space, but the overall feeling is comfortable.

Seating

Bright light is filtered at the windows through white curtains. It really is a very relaxing spot for breakfast in WDW! A good contrast to what you’re about to experience in the parks! ;-)

Windows

Be sure to look up, too. The light fixtures are really beautiful, with an almost Middle Eastern look.

Beautiful Light Fixture

And the painted tin ceiling carries the feeling of antiquity through the space.

Light Fixture From Another Angle

The open kitchen draws the eye, however. It’s always entertaining to watch [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Sweet Sundays with Celebrity Chef Carla Hall

DFB reporter James Armstrong recently attended Sweet Sundays with celebrity chef Carla Hall (co-host of The Chew and Top Chef Alum) during the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Let’s check out his review!

The two hour event was divided up into two parts: the first hour consisted of the Sunday Brunch and the second was the celebrity chef demonstration. Upon arrival at 9:30am, we lined up for our table assignments. Doors opened promptly at 10am.

Table assignments

Each assigned table sat approximately six guests with seats on a first come first serve basis. The tables were set with pre-made yogurt parfaits and orange juice.

Once most of the guests had arrived, waiters began escorting each table to the buffet in an orderly “one table at a time” fashion.

Buffet overview

Buffet

Sweet Sundays Brunch

The brunch portion of the event started with some standard buffet items — croissants and strawberry cheese danish. They were good but there was nothing exceptional about them. The croissant was flaky and buttery.

Overview of buffet

There was also fresh raspberries and blueberries [provided by Driscoll’s one of the Festival sponsors]. They were very sweet and at the height of their ripeness.

Raspberries and blueberries

A favorite part of the buffet was the [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast at Rainforest Cafe in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

It was going to be an early start recently at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so we decided to fuel up for the day at Rainforest Cafe! I’d never been there for breakfast, but had heard good things…

Rainforest Cafe is one of two table service restaurants that offer breakfast at Animal Kingdom. Tusker House is the other one, so if you aren’t looking for a character meal, this might be just the spot for you.

We were meeting friends for the day at the park, and we thought getting our day started over a big morning meal seemed like a good idea! So let’s head there and check it out.

Atmosphere

We’ve told you about lunch before at Rainforest Cafe. For that meal, we actually visited the location in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District. My experience with Rainforest Cafe is that they are remarkably similar once you get inside, so if you’ll only be visiting the Downtown Disney locations in either Disney World or Disneyland, much of what you see here will apply.

Entrance

But there are a couple of differences between the two Disney World locations. The Downtown Disney restaurant recently opened the Lava Lounge, an outdoor drinking and dining spot that offers great waterside (and volcano!) views.

But if you’re looking for breakfast, you’ll want to hit the Animal Kingdom location, since the morning meal isn’t served at the DTD location. (By the way, breakfast is also available at the Disneyland Rainforest Cafe, located in Downtown Disney District.)

But back now to Animal Kingdom! The entrance to Rainforest is actually outside of the park’s main gate, so you don’t need a park ticket to dine here. However, you will still pay for parking if you’re not a resort guest.

There’s a photo op with the restaurant’s mascot, Cha! Cha! the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, right at the front. Giant, red-eyed tree frogs scare me a bit, but the kiddos seem to love him!

Frog at the Entrance

A menu posted at the entrance is handy if you’re looking to score a walk up table, which is totally possible.

Menu at the Entrance

But be forewarned: the restaurant has a policy of [Read more…]

Guest Review: Royal Court Aboard the Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship

It’s time to step aboard the Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship! Today, guest author Rachel Gardner brings us a wonderful review from the princess-themed Royal Court — one of the rotational dining restaurants on this gorgeous Disney Cruise Line ship.

Atmosphere

The Royal Court Restaurant on Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Fantasy, is a princess haven!

The restaurant has the princess concept refined to its most basic elegance. This sophisticated restaurant located on Deck 3, adjacent to the lobby, reflects each princess through unique and breathtaking mosaics!

The stroke of midnight!

There are two rooms set off from the main dining hall with even more princess décor including beautiful (they look hand-painted!) plates.

Beauty and the Beast Plates.

One of the two rooms is dedicated to The Princess and the Frog, with large tiled mosaics on the walls.

The Princess and the Frog!

Princess motifs adorn the restaurant as well. They are so subtle, yet I made it my personal mission to try to spot the unexpected.

Chandelier in lobby area - notice the crowns on top!

Carriage lamps - I want one!

Rose patterned carpet.

The music that plays throughout the restaurants includes songs from classic [Read more…]

Review: Kona Cafe Breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

There are restaurants that are hidden gems at Walt Disney World, and there are others that are definitely becoming known as must-do eats. Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort falls firmly into the “must do” list these days. And when it comes to breakfast, this place is, like, the holy grail of Disney World! There are at least four things on the menu that you have to try. ;-)

If you plan to dine at Kona for lunch, be sure to check out our lunch review. But I knew I had to let you in on some great breakfast-y secrets this time…

Atmosphere

We’ve said it before: Kona looks kind of boring. It’s true, at first glance this place looks like any old hotel eatery offering high-priced, mediocre food. But that’s just Kona being a chameleon so that only the true Disney insiders (like you and me) know how good it is.

Kona Cafe

The atmosphere strives to be Hawaiian-y with Polynesian-esque wall hangings, lighting fixtures, and wrought-iron detail. And with the Poly’s atrium just outside the restaurant, it can feel like you’re dining in a lush, air-conditioned Polynesian garden. (Well…a loud air-conditioned Polynesian garden.)

Great Light Fixture

Bright colors and light wood surround you in the open space, and I like that you can peek in on what the Chefs are creating in the semi-open kitchen. When we’re here, they’re usually working on dessert!

Kona Cafe Dining Room

And speaking of bright colors, be sure to look down at the beautiful, tropical-inspired carpet! You just might find a Hidden Mickey if you look closely. :-)

Hidden Mickey in Carpet

Seating includes both booths and tables. As always, I love the round tables, which give you [Read more…]

Guest Review: Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory Breakfast

Join us in welcoming guest author Catie Hiltz with a review of the food court at Port Orleans Resort French Quarter in Disney World! Yep — this is where you can get those one-of-a-kind beignets!! But Catie’s got some other treats in mind…start your morning with one of these yummy eats!

My husband and I loved staying at Port Orleans French Quarter, and found Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory (the resort’s counter-service food court) to be a great place to grab a bite to eat before or after spending some time at the parks. They carry all the standards for breakfast, from the always delicious Mickey waffles, to omelets, platters, and pancakes.

Atmosphere

The resort itself is New Orleans themed, and has a relaxed, romantic feeling. The Food Factory fits right in with the theme — it’s large and open, and even during the breakfast rush, it’s loud but not deafening. It didn’t feel crowded at all.

Exterior Entrance

Interior Entrance

With its mismatched chairs and tables — and the oversize Mardi Gras float decor — the Food Factory really makes you feel like you’re hanging out in the Big Easy!

Seating and Decor

Plus, since it was [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Breakfast at Carnation Cafe…and Scoop on Refurb!

Knowing that Carnation Cafe was going to be closing for renovation starting January 5th, I wanted to squeeze in one more meal to hold me over for the next 6 months or so.

Carnation Cafe

My family and I decided to brave the park (with a dining reservation of course) on New Year’s Eve day for Carnation Cafe breakfast, which surprisingly we had never experienced there before. It’s hard for me to believe that we’d never had breakfast at one of our favorite table service restaurants, but then again, we are rarely at the park in the morning.

Right after checking in, I noticed that Chef Oscar was working, which made my morning. His 55 Years of Service Party was just the day before, so I wasn’t sure if he’d be in or not. I couldn’t wait to talk to him about his big day, but first, time to be seated and order!

Carnation Cafe Seating

Eats

I’d heard for a long time that the Cafe Cinnamon Roll French Toast is a must have.  The description alone had me sold on it. Cream Cheese Icing? Yes please.

However, knowing that this was probably way too rich for me to finish alone along with the fact that three out of the four of us wanted to try it, my family decided to order it as a “fifth” meal to [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast (and the new menu!) at Kouzzina

Since it opened, Kouzzina, by Cat Cora, has long been one of our favorite breakfast stops. We’ve reviewed it once before, but now there are brand new menu items to chat about!

And this is a two-part post! We’ll:
1. Chat about the new menu items, and
2. Welcome back guest author Melissa Sorrells Galley with her full review of a recent Kouzzina breakfast! She’s got a few menu updates in her review as well!

New Kouzzina Breakfast Menu Items

On my recent visit to Kouzzina, I noticed a couple of fun new menu items that I had to try! First up, the French Toast Baklava! This super-sweet breakfast extravaganza includes Grilled Fig and Anise country bread with honey, walnuts, and cinnamon along with Bacon or Chicken Sausage for $11.99.

We were extremely glad that we also ordered the new savory dish on the menu, because we really needed some salty to cut through the sweet in this dish. That said, this breakfast was phenomenal. By the way, it also includes an apple-y syrup! Talk about dessert for breakfast!

Baklava French Toast

Chicken Sausage

The second new item we ordered was the Breakfast Skillet with eggs, Pequillo peppers, Nueske’s bacon, onions, Greek cheese, and Sweet potato hash topped with arugula for $13.99. This was a wonderful dish and a great spin on your classic hearty breakfast. While the skillet isn’t “all you care to eat” like at Whispering Canyon Cafe, it’s definitely worth an order!

Breakfast Skillet

Now, check out the guest review below for even more updates to the Kouzzina menu!

Guest Review — Kouzzina Breakfast

Once again, thanks to Melissa Sorrells Galley for this great review of her breakfast at Kouzzina…

I love breakfast. It’s my favorite meal of the day. Pancakes, oatmeal, egg sandwiches or toast: you pretty much can’t go wrong. I love breakfast so much that [Read more…]