Review: Frozen Ever After Dessert Party at Epcot!

These days, if there’s a Nighttime Spectacular at a Disney World park, there’s bound to be a Dessert Party to go with it! These extra-ticket events have become a popular splurge option for guests who want some sweets to go along with the fabulous nighttime shows (not to mention the ease of reserving a prime viewing spot without waiting an hour before the fireworks begin).

Recently I reviewed the Happily Ever After Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom; but the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party kicked off in Epcot in July, so I wanted to get in on that action to relax and unwind after my VERY full day covering the Best of the Fest at the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Frozen Ever After Dessert Party

Frozen Ever After Dessert Party

‘Cuz that’s how I roll. Check it out with me!

You may recall that for the past few years, guests could reserve the Sparkling IllumiNations Dessert Party, which also featured a dessert buffet and a reserved area for IllumiNations viewing.

But in July, Epcot replaced the Sparkling Party with the current Frozen theme. Now, look: we know some of you are completely Frozen-ed out. We hear you. But your kid may not be just yet. And this new party includes one neat perk. It still features plenty of desserts, and it still offers a great view of the show. But now, an after-hours ride on Frozen Ever After is included once the smoke clears from IllumiNations! [Read more…]

Review: Chip N’ Dale’s Harvest Feast Breakfast at Garden Grill Restaurant in Epcot

We are headed into The Land Pavilion in Walt Disney World’s Epcot today for one of our favorite character meals at Garden Grill Restaurant!

This spot may feel a little dated in a way…but we prefer to think of it as retro. ;-) Disney’s (Orlando’s!!) only rotating restaurant is still tops for the coolness factor of the, you know, rotation. I can remember going to this restaurant when I was a little kid — it was fancy-pants back then (with sculpted Mickey butter!), but the nostalgia factor is high here for Epcot babies. Add in some pretty delicious food, and you’re doing even better. AND then — characters! Even Mickey! So it’s probably sort of easy to see why we like it.

Recently, our Dining in Disneyland expert and friend of DFB Heather Sievers travelled to Walt Disney World for a visit. Among their many culinary adventures, her family opted to visit Garden Grill Restaurant for breakfast one morning.

Let’s tag along and see how it went!

Atmosphere

Garden Grill Restaurant is located within The Land Pavilion in Epcot’s Future World West.

The Land Pavilion

The Land Pavilion

This building is a serious multitasker. You’ll find three different attractions housed here: Soarin, Living with the Land, and The Circle of Life. All have different entrances, which are accessible as you travel down ramps circling either side of the round building’s perimeter. [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland Review: Star Wars Season of the Force Menu Hits Galactic Grill

Great news, Star Wars fans!

Tomorrowland Terrace in Disneyland has recently transformed to celebrate the Star Wars Season of the Force debut at Disneyland.

Season of the Force

Season of the Force

The resort is currently celebrating all things Star Wars, and along with that celebration comes the grand opening of the Galactic Grill.  Last week I was invited to the restaurant’s first service to try out some of the new offerings.

Galactic Grill

Galactic Grill

Located in the heart of Tomorrowland, this counter service restaurant is serving up Star Wars themed menu items with clever names and some clever ingredients, too! The menu offers both “Dark Side” and “Light Side” foods.  You have to choose which side you’re up to trying!

[Read more…]

#OnTheList: ‘Ohana Character Breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

DisneyFoodBucketList 8-018
This post is part of the DFB #OnTheList series, where we feature eats you’ve GOT to have while you’re at Disney! Let us know what’s on YOUR Disney Food Bucket List @DisneyFoodBlog #OnTheList!

Writing about Disney Food — all of it — well, it’s kinda the point of this blog. But I am never happier than when I can share one of my truly favorite meals with you.

And ‘Ohana’s Best Friends Character Breakfast definitely qualifies! Let’s take a closer look at this experience as we head into the Great Ceremonial House and see why ‘Ohana Breakfast is definitely #OnTheList!

Atmosphere

Recently, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort underwent a lengthy refurbishment. If you haven’t visited the resort in a while, you’ll definitely notice some changes to the lobby and other public areas.

Tiki Statue in Lobby

Tiki Statue in Lobby

With the Resort’s name change (the Polynesian resumed its original, opening day name), we also welcomed a couple of exciting new additions — the Pineapple Lanai and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. [Read more…]

Best Snacks and Snack Ideas for Babies and Toddlers in Walt Disney World

Many of us have been there: you’re in a Disney Park, and for whatever reason, you have a hungry, hungry baby or toddler. The potential for your day to go from amazing to craptastic just increased by like, 100x.

This happened to me not too long ago with the 1 year old. I spent the better part of the day — time I should have been enjoying all kinds of food adventures for you guys! — in search of Cheerios. Which I could not find anywhere. No cheerios. Not even any Cheerio-like substances (which they USED to have, but no longer do).

First Dole Whip for Baby Westfall! Photo courtesy Karen and Mike Westfall, who are awesome.

First Dole Whip for Baby Westfall! Photo courtesy Karen and Mike Westfall, who are awesome.

So I started searching for other non-chokable, non-sugar-packed snacks to keep the hope alive, and do you know what I found? A whole lot of nothing. That’s what. Seriously. For a place that’s supposed to be the ultimate kid-friendly destination, Walt Disney World seemed sorely lacking in wholesome, grab and go, eat-on-the-fly food options that are appropriate for your blossoming eater.

So I figured, hey, I need to know where to find this stuff quick like a bunny. So I bet you a Mickey Bar that someone else out there in Disney Food Blog Land has found themselves with the same challenge.

If this is you, or if you’re headed to the World with a tiny human someday, let’s take a look together at the Best Snacks That Are Available For Toddlers in Walt Disney World. And with that, we’ll also take a look at a couple of finds that have made subsequent trips to the ‘World way easier for us when Junior is along for the ride. [Read more…]

Review: Village Haus in Disneyland

We’re taking in a meal at a classic stop in Disneyland — The Village Haus!

Village Haus Sign

Village Haus Sign

I don’t get to this corner of Disneyland nearly as much as I should. It’s waaaaaaaaay in the back corner — head into Fantasyland and hang a left.

But since a very similar restaurant exists in Walt Disney World — Pinocchio Village Haus in Fantasyland — I usually find myself skipping THIS Village Haus in lieu of one of my favorite spots, like Cafe Orleans. [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast at Captain’s Grille in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Today, we’re getting a hearty start to our day with breakfast at Captain’s Grille!

I’ve long considered Captain’s Grille to be a hidden gem at Walt Disney World. Located at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, this place isn’t much to look at (pretty boring, in fact), but they really do have some great food and there always seems to be a table available.

I love heading here for a quiet, delicious lunch, or for a full breakfast spread. Similar to The Wave…of American Flavors at the Contemporary, at breakfast you can choose from the buffet or order from the a la carte menu.

Atmosphere

The decor of Captain’s Grille is consistent with the rest of the Yacht Club Resort. You won’t find anything outlandish in this corner of Disney, just lots of blond wood and boaty details — stripes, stars, compass-type stuff, anchors…you know the deal.

Captain's Grille Seating

Captain’s Grille Seating

The space is open with lots of light from overhead chandeliers and recessed light above as well as windows onto the lobby and grounds. The whole effect gives the room an airy feel. Seating is comprised of large padded chairs and booths. It’s fairly typical to find a sparsely populated dining room, so I’ve always considered the space to be roomy and comfortable.

Seating

The Main Seating Area

In the main seating area around the ceiling you’ll spy these porthole-type windows, which give you the feeling that you’re enjoying your meal below deck.

Porthole Window Detail

Porthole Window Detail

Shadow boxes feature interesting items, like this grouping of vintage keys.

Decor

Decor

While there aren’t tons of decorative details here, what you will find is pretty interesting. The three-dimensional sailing scenes are some of my favorite touches, and are a whimsical way to bring the theme into focus.

My Favorite One!

A Ship Sailing the Ocean Blue

Dioramas

Ocean Scenes

Now that we’ve had a look around, let’s explore the breakfast options.

Eats

Starting your day off with a [Read more…]

Review: Fruit Plate with Honey Yogurt at Flame Tree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Trying to get your recommended daily servings of fruits and veggies while touring the parks?

We’re spotlighting something that can help… with half of that goal, anyway ;)! We’re visiting Flame Tree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the Fruit Plate with Honey Yogurt.

Flame Tree Barbecue is known for its hearty offerings with a menu focused on barbecue, naturally. Featured items include Ribs & Chicken and Pork Sandwiches. And ever since Trilo-Bites changed its menu, Flame Tree is THE place in Animal Kingdom to grab a Jumbo Turkey Leg. So the Fruit Plate stands out by being unique among the barbecue offerings.

We’ve always liked the Fresh Fruit Salad that you can find at Tamu Tamu Refreshments and Bradley Falls during the warmer months – so much so that we’ve yet to give the Flame Tree Fruit Plate its due. Let’s have a look!

Flame Tree Barbecue sign

Flame Tree Barbecue sign

The menu description says “Seasonal Fruit served with Honey Yogurt.” For my visit, the fruits served happened to match the picture on the menu: honeydew, watermelon, grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, and orange.

Flame Tree Menu

Flame Tree Menu

While it doesn’t have the same visual impact as the Fresh Fruit Salad, it’s not bad in its own right!

Fruit Plate

Fruit Plate

Fruit Plate

Fruit Plate

Fruit Plate close-up

Fruit Plate close-up

It’s just a [Read more…]

Guest Review: Whispering Canyon Café Breakfast at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

The Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World is a fabulous escape! Even if you’re not staying at this inspiring resort, we highly recommend making an Advance Dining Reservation for the Whispering Canyon Café. Today, guest author Rebecca Elliott shares a breakfast review.

We like to eat breakfast at the Whispering Canyon Café when we stay at the Wilderness Lodge. It’s convenient, the portions are hearty, and there’s usually no wait for a table. (Even so, get the Advance Dining Reservation – just in case! You never know!)

Atmosphere

My family and I love staying at the Wilderness Lodge. The hotel is modeled after the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park, a historic landmark built in 1904. Its lobby is inspired by the Pacific Northwest and is absolutely stunning.

Like most of Disney’s deluxe hotels, the Wilderness Lodge has three levels of dining options: counter service, family-ish, and fancy schmancy. Whispering Canyon Café is the moderately priced (for Disney) family restaurant located just off the hotel lobby.

The View of the Breath Taking Wilderness Lodge Lobby

The View of the Breath Taking Wilderness Lodge Lobby

The Dining Features Graphics and Elements of a Child's Playroom in the 50's

The Dining Features Graphics and Elements of a Child’s Playroom in the 50’s

The décor of the Whispering Canyon Café reminds me of a little boy’s bedroom in the 50’s. It’s decked out in a cowboy and Indian motif with a Lincoln log-like ceiling and a floor that looks like a homemade quilt.

The Chairs Are Adorned with Cowboys and Indians

The Chairs Are Adorned with Cowboys and Indians

Here Are the Cowboys and Lincoln Log Ceiling

Here Are the Cowboys and Lincoln Log Ceiling

The wait staff take on the persona of wayward cowboys out to have a good time. They encourage diners to take part in their hijinks, which include singing, pony races, and general tomfoolery.

Chandeliers are Adorned with Buffalo Cut Outs

Chandeliers are Adorned with Buffalo Cut Outs

Here’s where I am going to abide by the old honesty-is-the-best-policy rule: I’m not a huge fan of the wait staff’s antics. Many, many people (including my husband and daughter) love it. They play along and find the jokes entertaining. I hate to say it, but they’re just not that funny to me. Not all of the servers are good at improvisation, so watching a non-funny person trying to be funny can be uncomfortable.

When They Say Large, They Mean LARGE

When They Say Large, They Mean LARGE

The entertainment can also be physical, and some people don’t like that. The servers throw straws and napkins on diners; if you order ketchup, they bring you all the bottles in the restaurant; they also slap diners on the back and try their best to throw funny insults. The good news for me is, the shtick doesn’t start until after 8:45am.

Every time I’ve eaten breakfast there, it hasn’t been too crazy. I’ve heard that diners can ask not to participate in the hijinks, but I’ve also heard that can backfire and cause even more unwanted attention. Beware! (Editor’s Note: If you’d rather not take part in the antics, let the cast member know at check-in that your table wants to be left out of the “fun.” It’s not Disney’s goal to make their guests uncomfortable, and the cast member should pass your wishes on to your server.)

Ready for Service!

Ready for Service!

Eats

We’ve eaten breakfast at Whispering Canyon Café many times, and every time it’s been good. Drinks are served in mason jars and meals at lunch and dinner are served in cast iron skillets!

Despite my ambivalence about their style, the servers are all efficient, excellent at answering questions about the menu, and very accommodating of special dietary needs. Here’s what we had on our last visit:

My daughter ordered the Belgian waffle. We’re all huge fans of Mickey waffles, so we were thrilled to see it was a [Read more…]

A Tour of Harambe Fruit Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We are on the hunt today for some refreshing snacks at Walt Disney World!

Fortunately, the parks host a wide range of places where you can score fresh fruit and veggies. When I’m in Magic Kingdom, I love to see what’s new at Liberty Square Market, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a stop by Anaheim Produce will net you some good fresh finds.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I head for Harambe Fruit Market!

Harambe Fruit Market

Clearly we can see that this place is right up my alley — just look at their liberal use of exclamation points!!!!!! ;-D

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Harambe Fruit Market offers a really good variety of [Read more…]