Review: Grab-and-Go Menu Available at Art Smith’s Homecomin’!

We’re so excited to share that one of our favorite new restaurants in Disney World — Chef Art Smith’s (awesome!) Homecomin’offers grab-and-go options! (Oh, and yes, apparently the name has changed from “Homecoming” to “Homecomin’.” Just FYI.)

Y’all know that Disney Springs has added lots of quality food stops, including Top Chef Master (and master of Mexican cuisine in America) Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina and the fully updated Paddlefish. But even before its opening, Homecomin': Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine — the official full name of Art Smith’s labor of love in Disney Springs — captured our attention.

The backstory here is that Chef Art is originally from Florida, and the restaurant is a charming homage to the state of his birth. From colorful murals depicting Florida agricultural life to booths reminiscent of church pews, Homecomin’ is clearly full of Art’s very big love.

Chef Art Smith on Opening Day

Chef Art Smith on Opening Day

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New DFB Video: Where to Find the BEST Disney Fried Chicken

Who doesn’t love really great Fried Chicken!?!

It’s one of my favorites! And fortunately, there are some fantastic spots to get it at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. And we’re telling you all about some of our favorites in our next DFB YouTube Channel Video!

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

I’ll admit it — Fried Chicken is one of my favorite comfort food guilty pleasures. But it’s also one of those foods that restaurants don’t always do a great job executing. But we’ve found some great spots to share with you! [Read more…]

Review: Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen at Disney Springs

We’re back at Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen for another visit today!

You might be scratching your head and wondering, “But AJ, you guys were just there a little bit ago. Why a return so soon?” Well, lots of reasons, actually. But the primary one is this: Once is never enough when it comes to reviewing Disney restaurants. Restaurants in the ‘World are notoriously inconsistent, and while Homecoming impressed us initially, I always like to duck into a new spot after it’s been open for a bit, just to see if the shine and sheen are still around. In fact, we review spots over and over, so we can always make the best recommendations for our readers.

In addition, dear friends of mine invited me to tag along for a catch up session, and Homecoming was the agreed upon choice for dinner. And like I’m gonna say no to Fried Chicken? Not likely.

Besides, there’s plenty to cover on this menu, and a follow up visit gave me a chance to show you a few new things.

Let’s check out how Homecoming is doing, a few months along in the journey.

Atmosphere

The premise of Homecoming Florida Kitchen (HFK) is pretty cool, actually. Chef Art Smith is a native Floridian, who even spent some of the early years of his career as a Cast Member at Disney. So it’s befitting that the restaurant’s name is Homecoming, as he returns to his home state.

Sign

Sign

The restaurant is a celebration of Old-Meets-New Florida in so many ways. The architecture echoes Florida Vernacular style, with lots of windows to let the light in, and deep overhangs from the hip roof to keep the heat out. [Read more…]

Guest Review: Cross-Country Disney Day — Iconic Treats from Six Disney Parks in One Day

Wow!!! Guest author (and an awesome friend who always sends me the best photos of Disney food!) Lori Fries, takes us on a whirlwind, coast-to-coast tour of six parks in one day. Let’s see what food she sampled!

If you are like me, you love BOTH Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. I achieved my top item on my bucket-list and went to all 6 parks — four in Disney World and two in Disneyland — on the same day!

Six Parks, One Day Treats

Six Parks, One Day Treats

Picking one snack in each park brings with it a unique set of challenges. For the first time in modern memory, I didn’t want to go to a park and pick what I felt like eating at the time. Seasonal treats have always held a special place on my Must Do Disney Food List, but I wanted to go with iconic treats.

There is an entirely different set of things I love to eat on both coasts. I could go to Epcot and fill my stomach around World Showcase. My trip was even during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! That is a different challenge.

Would I pick things only served on a stick to make an easy getaway to the next destination? Nope. That would rule out some classics like the Mickey pretzel.

Here is what I did. My first stop was Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom

Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar
To me, vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s silhouette screams Disney snack at its finest.
You can find them at ice cream carts and restaurants throughout the parks in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Not only can you get them from all the parks but all the resorts as well. I also knew that the carts are opened before the official park opening.

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Review and Preview: The Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Causeway Booths

We’re gearing up for one of our favorite weekends of the year — the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

The Causeway

The Causeway

The event is in its seventh consecutive year, and promises to be bigger and better than ever. In 2016, the Food and Wine Classic will include 50 food and wine stations, 10 seminars, fun themed areas, and opportunities to meet some of the award-winning chefs who bring their artistry to life in the resort’s 17 restaurants! [Read more…]

First Look! Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen in Disney Springs

We’re here for a FIRST LOOK at Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine!

Newly open in the Town Center of Disney Springs (yesterday was Opening Day), Homecoming is the latest venue opened by a Celebrity Chef in Disney World.

While the restaurants backed by Chef Morimoto (Morimoto Asia) and Rick Bayless (Frontera Cocina) make up other terrific recent additions to Disney World’s shopping and dining district, Homecoming is especially significant to Disney World and Florida as Chef Art Smith has strong connections to both.

Hailing from Jasper, Florida, Chef Smith is also a former Disney Cast Member via the Disney College Program! So, as you can imagine, even though Chef Smith heads up restaurants in other areas of the country, the name Homecoming has an extra special meaning.

Homecoming sign

Homecoming sign

We’ll be back with our full review of this new spot next week, but in the meantime, we couldn’t resist sharing this FIRST LOOK with you.

Oh, and just look who dropped by to say, “Welcome!” [Read more…]

Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar, Coming Soon to Disney Springs

Today, we’re sharing a few more details about another restaurant coming soon to Disney Springs — Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar.

Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar

Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar

We already know that the restaurant, which is the brain child of celebrity chef and Florida native Art Smith, will feature the “farm-to-fork” cuisine that Smith is known for. [Read more…]

Top Meals Under $20 in Disneyland

We can all use a few tips when it comes to planning vacations at Disney. And of course, we think the food is just about the most important part of the trip!

Budgeting for all of the special meals that you’d like to enjoy is a big concern. And it may seem impossible to cut corners and save a little here and there while still enjoying yourself. But with a little creative planning, you can find some wonderful meals at some of the coolest places, all for less than you might think.

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle

Previously, we shared our Top Picks at Walt Disney World for Meals Under $20. Today, we’re back to celebrate some fantastic meals that you can enjoy at Disneyland for around $20 or less. This is by no means exhaustive — there are lots more where these came from. But for now, come with us and check out some of the great options we have to share! [Read more…]

Review: The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Campground

“Let’s raise the roof and have a HOOP-DEE-DOO! And let’s have a good time tonight — YES, SIR! — We’ll have a good time tonight!” 

That’s right, friends… we’re back at the one, the only HOOP-DEE-DOO MUSICAL REVUE!

In fact, a trip to Fort Wilderness Campgrounds to see the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue — one of Disney World’s three dinner shows — has been a must-do experience for many Disney World guests over the Revue’s 41-year run, as evidenced by the fact that year after year many families make a point to mosey on over to Pioneer Hall to enjoy this quintessential Disney World tradition.

Let’s find out why!

Atmosphere and Show

In 2014, The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue celebrated its 40th Anniversary. While that’s quite a milestone in and of itself, Hoop-Dee-Doo also has the distinction of being one of the longest running dinner shows in the United States. And its home is Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness, the Disney World campgrounds.

Pioneer Hall

Pioneer Hall

Just stepping into Pioneer Hall is a special experience. The rustic woods and high ceilings soar over the grand hall. Front and center is the vaudevillian-style stage, which sets the scene for the “Fine Singing! Fancy Dancing! and Fun for All!” you’re about to enjoy. [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake from Plaza Inn

The Disneyland Resort has gone all out for Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration.  Special decor, special merchandise, and most importantly, special food!

On a recent visit to Plaza Inn, I noticed an intriguing dessert that I had to try, Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake.  Honestly, I bought this out of curiosity because it sounded like a bizarre mix of flavors to me.

Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake Description

Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake Description

The description alone seemed crazy: Chocolate Cake layered with Passion Fruit, Mango & Banana Mousse, Apricot Compote and smothered with a Milk Chocolate Caramel Ganache and Crunchy Chocolate Pearls. Since I’m not a huge chocolate fan, what actually sold me were all of the tropical fruits involved. [Read more…]