HOLIDAY Tips from the DFB Guide: Where to Dine When You Don’t Have a Reservation in Walt Disney World

It’s a pretty common occurrence. You’re in the middle of your Walt Disney World vacation, it’s the holiday season, and you’d love to enjoy a table service meal.

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But there’s only one problem: you don’t have an advance dining reservation (ADR).

Maybe your plans changed, or the weather did. Or it could just be that you planned to grab counter service, but now you’re rethinking that move. Whatever the situation, you might think that all hope is lost. There’s no way you’re getting into any Disney table service restaurant that you didn’t book 180 days out. Right?

You might be surprised to learn that I book a lot of tables just days before I head to Walt Disney World. And it’s not all that rare for me to change things up at the last minute — even during the busiest times of the year!

How do I do it? Flexibility helps a LOT. But if that’s not an option, what you need are some tried and true spots where you can probably score a table with very short notice, or even as a walk up.

Here are our suggestions for Where to Dine When You Don’t Have a Reservation in Walt Disney World. And if you love what you see here, be sure to check out the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining for tons of great tips!

The Wave…of American Flavors

One of my favorite resort dining spots is The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Bonus: it’s within walking distance (or monorail ride) of Magic Kingdom!

The Wave offers a hearty start to your day. Enjoy an a la carte breakfast of some of the restaurant’s specialties, like Sweet Potato Pancakes.

Sweet Potato Pancakes with melted butter and maple syrup

Sweet Potato Pancakes with melted butter and maple syrup

And if you can’t make up your mind between sweet and savory, you can opt for the Buffet. [Read more…]

Review: Yak and Yeti Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

OK, I usually really enjoy my meals at Yak and Yeti Restaurant. But this time? I had a blast! No joke; everything was so, so good. Can’t wait to tell you about it!

The colorful and beautifully themed restaurant, located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is a super hidden gem. This one just doesn’t seem to on the radar of many guests, and that’s a shame. Every time I’ve visited the exotic spot, I’ve had great food and service in beautiful surroundings.

But you know the DFB philosophy. We never rely on a place to stay the same, so we’re always revisiting even the best spots to confirm the quality is still there.

Since it had been a while since my last check-in, I decided it was time to pay a visit once more to Arjun and the good people of Anandapur for some of their warm hospitality.

Atmosphere

If you’re on a pilgrimage en route from Africa to Mount Everest to conquer the mountain and the dreaded Yeti, you’ll surely see Yak and Yeti Restaurant. While its flat facade tends to blend in, the vibrant purple/periwinkle paint ensures that you’ll notice it.

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

And just in case you’re wondering who the heck Arjun is, he owns this house-turned-restaurant. At least according to Disney’s backstory. Once a wealthy merchant, Arjun has fallen on hard times, and now opens his home to travelers in hopes of making ends meet. The restaurant is filled with treasures that Arjun has gathered along his journeys. [Read more…]

“I Can’t Believe I Hadn’t Tried This!” Disney Desserts Edition

As you know, I am on a quest. I’d like to dine at every single Disney restaurant and try every single Disney “cult status” fan favorite still available today (sadly, that does not include beaver tails, RIP). I’d been doing a pretty good job at moving forward on my mission, but I had a few secrets I kept hidden — dishes I’d never, ever tried until this year, even though they were serious favorites of Disney guests the world over.

We like to be honest around here, so I’m going to start coming clean by giving you a list of a few Disney desserts I hadn’t really tried until my past few trips — along with what I thought of them. Ready? Here we go!

Yak and Yeti Fried Cream Cheese Won-tons
Once upon a time, a fun new restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom called Yak and Yeti introduced a fun twist on the standard Asian won-ton. By stuffing won-ton skins with sweet cream cheese, frying them up, and pairing them with pineapples and sweet sauce, this is one non-chocolate dessert that will steal your heart and your taste buds.

Lots of folks claim that it’s not sweet enough, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a good, relatively light dessert to share, and the best part is: it suits hot days and cold days — perfect for all temps in WDW.

Yak and Yeti Fried Cream Cheese Wontons

Le Cellier Smores
Billed as a kids’ dessert, most Disney veterans have at least heard about the smores if they haven’t tried them. Presentation is key here — two gourmet “graham cracker” cookies are coated in [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney!”: Desserts

I am SO excited!! Dessert!!!

Here’s the final post in our series based on the Food Network’s (very cool) show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. As many of you know, due to some keen suggestions from readers we’re splitting our series up into different sections: breakfast, appetizers & side dishes, snacks & drinks, entrees (lunch & dinner), and desserts.

Today, we’re finallly taking a look at desserts! I’ve done my favorite brand of informal polling (i.e. posted questions on twitter and facebook ;) ) to find out others’ experiences of the “Best Thing They Ever Ate” in Disney parks and resorts.

The following are the answers received from our readers about their favorite desserts! If your favorites aren’t here, please add them in the comments section below!

Yak and Yeti Cream Cheese and Pineapple Fried Won-tons: While I haven’t had the pleasure of trying these myself, you can bet Yak and Yeti is the first place I’m going when I arrive in September! (No kidding…it’s my first ADR…even before Liberty Tree Tavern lunch, and you guys KNOW how we feel about Liberty Tree Tavern lunch!)

Yak and Yeti Fried Cream Cheese Wontons.

Dole Whip: What better dessert [Read more…]