A Week’s Worth of Gourmet Hot Dogs Debut at Grand Floridian’s Gasparilla Island Grill

You know how we love our over-the-top gourmet HOT DOGS here at the DFB!

From the Barbecue Slaw Hot Dog and Chili-Cheese Dog at Casey’s Corner, to the Coney Island Dog at The Lunching Pad, to the fun assortment at The Mara in Animal Kingdom Lodge (the Mara BLT Hot Dog, the Reuben Hot Dog, and the African Chili-Cheese Hot Dog)… well, the bigger the variety of toppings to choose from, the better!

And now we’re excited to have SEVEN new gourmet hot dogs to add to the list at the Grand Floridian’s Gasparilla Island Grill! But there’s a little twist: the menu rotates. There are seven different hot dogs, with a different one featured each day of the week. Each hot dog is inspired by a different city or state in the U.S. So, let’s take a Hot Dog Tour of the country — courtesy of Gasparilla Island Grill — starting in…

Cleveland — Available on Sundays

The Cleveland Dog is topped with coleslaw and hot sauce. And the fries? Don’t look on the side for for this natural pairing, because they’re on top of this dog, too!



Seattle — Available on Mondays

The Seattle Dog is topped with cream cheese (now, why didn’t I think of that?), but you’ll have to look under a huge — and SPICY! — pile of jalapeños, cabbage, and Sriracha to find it! [Read more…]

Review: Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

It’s time for lunch at Gasparilla Island Grill in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort!

The Grand Floridian dining scene is primarily defined by unique dining experiences such as Victoria and Albert’s (Disney World’s AAA Five-Diamond Restaurant) and Afternoon Tea as well as two signature restaurants (Citricos and Narcoossee’s) and character meals at 1900 Park Fare. It’s also home to one of my very favorite Disney meals in all of history: the Grand Floridian Burger at the resort’s more casual Table Service restaurant, the Grand Floridian Cafe (the name doesn’t convey the highlight of the dish: it’s the lobster-topped burger you may have heard about).

Even among all that, the Grand Floridian still remains a place where you can grab a quick Counter Service bite 24 hours a day thanks to to Gasparilla Island Grill.

Gasparilla Island Grill sign

Gasparilla Island Grill sign

The last time we paid a visit it had recently been through a refurbishment, changing from Gasparilla Grill and Games to its current name. While not much has changed in the way of atmosphere since that visit, the menu differs somewhat from its immediate post-refurb offerings, so we’re back to grab a quick bite (or three!) at Gasparilla Island Grill!

Gasaprilla Island Grill entrance

Gasaprilla Island Grill entrance


The general vibe at Gasparilla Island Grill is decidedly — and expectedly — Floridian! Creamy colors, pale greens, and lots of natural sunlight keep it airy, while the lush, darker greens and palms associated with the state of Florida are represented in the seating decor.

Gasparilla Island Grill indoor seating

Gasparilla Island Grill indoor seating

Gasparilla Island Grill indoor seating

Gasparilla Island Grill indoor seating

Second seating area

Second seating area

At the same time, the resort’s Victorian style is reflected in the light fixtures (check out those hidden Mickeys!), and by a small display of dish and glassware.





Dish display

Dish display

Dish display

Dish display

Though not known for tons of Disney detailing, the basic scene here is very pleasant in that it’s fresh, clean, and simple.

Perhaps the most unique feature to Gasparilla is the amount of high-backed booths lining the perimeter. They do allow for a certain feeling of privacy in what can be a bustling place, depending on the time of day.

Booth seating

Booth seating

Outdoor seating is also available; however, it wasn’t much in use on the day my friend and I visited, due to to some classic spring showers.

Outdoor seating in the rain

Outdoor seating on a rainy day

Once the rain lightened up, I stepped outside once more to [Read more…]

News: “Frozen Fever” Sweet Treats at Disneyland and Disney World

So… Frozen Fun ends in Disneyland on May 15th, and Frozen Summer Fun LIVE won’t return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios until June 17th. That’s one full Frozen-free month… What’s an Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf fan to do?!?

What will we do when there's no Frozen Fun?!

What will we do when there’s no Frozen Fun?!

Fret not, Frozen fans! In the downtime between the two events, Disney is releasing a few treats in honor of “Frozen Fever,” the film short that can currently be seen on the big screen prior to showings of the live-action “Cinderella” film.

As in the film short, these treats go about the task of celebrating Anna’s birthday… and what’s a birthday celebration without a little cake? Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake is a vanilla cupcake with blue buttercream frosting, topped with marshmallows, snowflake candies, and a white chocolate Olaf.

Anna's Happy Birthday Cupcake

Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake ©Disney

At Disneyland, you’ll want to check spots like the Jolly Holiday Bakery, Market House, Pacific Wharf Cafe, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, and The Coffee House.

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

While the cupcakes are already available at Disneyland, starting April 8th, Disney World guests can check various eateries scattered across property, in parks and resorts alike. Altogether, twelve restaurants will carry the cupcakes in WDW, including Main Street Bakery and Gaston’s Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, Starring Rolls Cafe and ABC Commissary in Hollywood Studios, and Sunshine Seasons and Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in Epcot.

Resort restaurants  that will carry the cupcake include BoardWalk Bakery, Beach Club Marketplace, Contempo Cafe, Gasparilla Island Grill, Landscape of Flavors and The Mara.

BoardWalk Bakery

BoardWalk Bakery

Looking for something a little more frozen to celebrate the cast of Frozen? Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day features birthday-cake flavored ice cream topped with hot fudge, mint marshmallows, brownie pieces (!), whipped cream, and sprinkles.

Olaf's Perfect Sundae Day ©Disney

Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day ©Disney

Those mint marshmallows look a lot like the ones currently available to enjoy with your Warm Hugs Hot White Hot Cocoa over at Olaf’s Snow Fest in Disneyland!

At Disneyland, the Sundae is available at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and Clarabelle’s.

Clarabelle's in Disney California Adventure

Clarabelle’s in Disney California Adventure


And again, starting April 8th, Disney World guests will find it at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, Hollywood Scoops, and Beaches & Cream.

Beaches and Cream at Disney's Beach Club Resort

Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

In a new twist, even a few Table Service restaurants are [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: December 11, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Disney World!! The season is rolling right along with festive treats and special events. And, as always, there’s plenty of other food news to go around: menu changes, new eats (did somebody say “Barbecued Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese?!”), completed refurbishments, ongoing Downtown Disney construction, and more. So join us on another trip around the World to see What’s New


Holidays Around the World is in full swing at Epcot! This annual festival shares holiday traditions from around the globe through story, music, and — our favorite! — FOOD!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

France decoration

France decoration

Remember, this is the only time of year to grab such treats as Happy Face Fried Cakes at the Joy of Tea in China, Gingerbread Ice Cream at L’artisan des Glaces in France, and Panettone sweet bread at Italy’s Gelato Stand.

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Panettone Sweet Bread display

Panettone Sweet Bread display

But there’s plenty of non-holiday food news as well… Starting in Morocco, Spice Road Table has not only started taking Advance Dining Reservations — they’re also now accepting the Disney Dining Plan.

To offer guests the ability to maximize their one Table Service plan credit, this tapas-based restaurant is now also serving full-sized entrees, including Coriander Crusted Rack of Lamb, Roasted Chicken, and a Mediterranean Vegetable Platter, among others.

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table menu

Spice Road Table menu

Staying in Morocco, Tangierine Cafe debuted new entrees as well: a Meatball Platter and Saffron Rotisserie Chicken.

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe entree display

Tangierine Cafe entree display

At the United Kingdom’s Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room, the [Read more…]

Tips From the DFB Guide: Our Top 3 Tips for Late Night Disney World Dining

You’ve just arrived at Walt Disney World and it’s late, and you’re starving. Or you’ve finished at the Park for the day, it’s late, and you’re starving. Or you’ve wrapped up a fun time at Fantasia Golf and — well, you get the gist.

2014 dfb guide 3d cover

Where do you go in Walt Disney World when you’re starving and want to score a late night bite?

Well, there are lots of places, actually! But today, I thought we’d take a closer look at three of our favorites featured in the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book!

Raglan Road Irish Pub

While there are several spots at Downtown Disney where you can enjoy a late night bite to eat, Raglan Road is one of our favorites.

The menu features a mix of comforting, traditional Irish pub food with some fusion flavors, like curry. We have lots of favorites here, but one of the best dishes on the menu is the Fish and Chips! And no worries if you follow a gluten-free approach to eating — their Gluten-Free Fish and Chips are just as fantastic as the traditional version (some even like them better).

Fish and Chips at Raglan Road

Fish and Chips at Raglan Road

But menu is only half the draw here. You’ll also find live music and traditional Irish dancing nightly.

Although it can be tough to get a walk-up table during the earlier evening hours, it’s a little easier to grab a spot later at night. The full menu is available until 11PM; order from the bar menu from 11PM until “late”.

Gasparilla Island Grill

Regardless of the hour, night or day, you can find something to eat at Gasparilla Island Grill.

Located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, it’s a monorail stop away from both Magic Kingdom and the Ticket and Transportation Center. You’ll find a full array of grilled items, salads, pizza, and flatbreads. We absolutely loved the Margherita Flatbread when we tried it on a recent visit!

Margherita Flatbread from Gasparilla Island Grill

Margherita Flatbread from Gasparilla Island Grill

Enjoy the full dinner menu until [Read more…]

The Year in Review: Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2013!

If you’re a Disney Food Fan, then 2013 has been an exciting year!

Disney food news stories of 2013

We’ve had lots of  change, new announcements, and brand new experiences.

So today, we thought we’d take a look back at this year, and review the Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2013!

From new coffee to new restaurants, new technology to new ice cream, we have a ton to cover!

Let’s get started!


When Starbucks and Disney announced in 2012 that the coffee giant would be coming to Disney Parks, the news was huge! And when the first Walt Disney World locations began opening in 2013, the story once again topped the list of Disney food headlines.

Starbucks at Main Street Bakery is Right in the Middle of the Magic

The first location to open was Main Street Bakery on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street USA. While some loyal fans of the historic spot decried the chain store intrusion, many coffee lovers were thrilled that they could now enjoy their favorite brew in the shadow of Cinderella’s Castle.

And with the Main Street cinnamon rolls available at Gaston’s Tavern (at least they claim they’re the same…you can see our cinnamon roll throw down here!), well — at least not all of our favorite goodies are lost.

A Busy Morning at Main Street Bakery

The reopening of Fountain View Cafe in Epcot as the second WDW Starbucks location seemed to ruffle fewer feathers, since the themeing for the futuristic ice cream parlor wasn’t as beloved as Main Street Bakery. Still, patrons were irked with the lack of seating, even if the many, many bays for ordering mean that your java arrives fresh and fast.

Have Your Starbucks in Epcot with a View of Spaceship Earth

But Starbucks wasn’t the only coffee news we debated in 2013. Disney also announced that Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company, headquartered in Tampa, would become the official specialty coffee provider for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Vacation Club resorts.

Joffrey’s is Named the Official Coffee Brand of Disney Parks

We’ve been enjoying Joffrey’s products for ages at the kiosks throughout the parks, so this was welcome news to many. So far, we are hearing that you seem pleased with the switch from Nescafe to Joffrey’s.


Waaaaayyyyy back in January of this year, we first wrote about how we thought My Magic+ would affect Disney Dining.


And before the year was out, we had the opportunity to see just how some of the new technology would work.

One of the most intriguing uses of MyMagic+ technology was the Touch to Pay System. We had an opportunity to put our Magic Bands to work with the new system, and Erin, our Disney Food For Families columnist, documented the process so our readers could be in the know!

Erin Paying with Her Magic Band at Artist Point!

Erin Paying with Her Magic Band at Artist Point!

And while we love the Magic Band concept, even cooler is all the Disney food bling that you can get to individualize your bracelet! I’m a sucker for the cupcake!

Magic Band Food Bling

Magic Band Food Bling


Another rumor that came to fruition was that [Read more…]

Review: Disney World Resort Quick Service Pasta Options

Thanks to DFB Author Wendy for a look at some great counter-service carb-loading options for your runDisney races this year!

Are YOU running the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler (or any of the other runDisney races this year)? If so, you might be interested in participating in a good old-fashioned carbo-load before your race!

Even if you’re not tackling those ten on October 5th… odds are good you’ll be putting in plenty of miles at the Parks at some point, no matter what.

It’s time to fuel up, people ;)!

Spaghetti time!

For those running one or more of the east coast races this season, there are plenty of places all over Disney World property where you can take part in the time-honored runners tradition of a pasta “carbo-load.”

Today we’re going to focus on some of your pasta options in the resort Quick Service restaurants.

Counter Service Pasta Options at Walt Disney World Resorts

Let’s start with this terrific trend: Create-Your-Own-Pasta stations are cropping up in a few of your favorite Quick Service restaurants!

Create Your Own Pasta

Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors already has a reputation for innovative and delicious dining, and you can read a full review of the Create-Your-Own-Pasta experience here.

Add-ins for Create Your Own Pasta at Landscape of Flavors

Spaghetti Carbonara with Broccoli

The Riverside Mill at Port Orleans Riverside also offers this fun option!

Riverside Mill

Create Your Own Pasta Options at Riverside Mill

Unique to the Grand Floridian’s recently refreshed Gasparilla Island Grill is a [Read more…]

Review: The NEW Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Today we’re headed to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort to check out the newly renovated Gasparilla Island Grill!

This counter service spot, tucked in a corner off of the first floor lobby, offers counter service fare.

Open 24 hours a day, it’s a great amenity for guests who arrive early or late in the day for their Disney visit. It’s also a good option for revelers who are enjoying late or early Extra Magic Hours!

The big news regarding Gasparilla, however, is the recently completed refurbishment that has changed the spot up a bit.

Gasparilla Sign

Let’s head in to see what has changed about this counter service oasis amid the finery of one of Disney’s most expensive resorts.


The Grand Floridian is undergoing lots of construction and refurbishment lately. In addition to the new Disney Vacation Club villas being built and the Beach Pool Bar undergoing updates, Gasparilla was closed from late summer 2012 until early this year, as the space (and the name!) was given an overhaul.

From the outside, however, it still looks very much the same as before. You enter the restaurant through doors from an outside terrace.

Terrace Leading to Gasparilla Island Grill

One complaint guests had about the previous incarnation of this spot was the “Grill and Games” combo. An assortment of arcade games shared space with the seating area. Though convenient for parents, it could get a little loud at times.

The arcade has now been relocated to an adjacent space where the Grand Floridian’s kids’ club used to be. With the arcade gone, the restaurant has been rechristened “Gasparilla Island Grill.” As with many spots around the Grand Floridian, this one takes its name from a Florida locale, Gasparilla Island, a gulf barrier island located on the state’s southwest coast.

Gasparilla Island Grill Entrance

Guests familiar with the old layout of Gasparilla will immediately notice the change to the restaurant’s look. The green and burgundy palette has been replaced with a simpler, more modern green and blue combination.

The seating has been greatly expanded as well, although the actual ordering area remains very similar.

View of the Restaurant Through the Seating Area

Ornate touches remain, however, and these chandeliers are a nice new (almost steampunky) touch. Check out the [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: December 30, 2012

Hey all!! Happy last-round-up-of-2012!! Tomorrow we’ll have an awesome collection of our Top 10 Disney Food News Stories from 2012 — AND we’ll be sending out out Disney Food Blog Newsletter! Click here to sign up!

Limited Time Magic Cookie

Also, don’t forget that Disney’s newest promo — Limited Time Magic — will be starting in just a couple of days! Keep your eyes open for limited time events and special options while you’re in Disney World and Disneyland this year! Food-wise, look for specialty menus, limited edition eats, and more!

But since we’re still in 2012, let’s take a peek at the latest Disney Food News…

Disney Dining News

Scoop up some Disney Dining news over on our Disney Food News Pin Board!!

  • Gasparilla Grill & Games at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort will be re-opening soon as Gasparilla Island Grill.
  • An on-line ordering feature is being tested for Be Our Guest Restaurant’s lunch guests.
  • Walt Disney World has been named the “Best Gluten Free Vacation Destination” in the 3rd Annual Gluten Free Awards!
  • Starbucks in the Magic Kingdom is reportedly opening on May 18th after a lengthy refurbishment of the Main Street Bakery! Note that Disney refurbs often open late, so stay tuned for updated opening dates.
  • Disneyland pays tribute to the Golden Horseshoe Revue!
  • More News Year’s Eve options at Walt Disney World Announced!
  • Temporary bar kiosks will be set up in World Showcase for New Year’s Eve!
  • Menu changes have taken place at Carthay Circle restaurant in Disney California Adventure.

We’ve got additional food news, including restaurant closures, and LOTS more, on our Disney Food News Pin Board! Head over and check it out!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food in or from Disney, share a photo with us so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Erin, our Disney Food for Families columnist, discovered fresh snickerdoodles, cider, and candy canes in the lobby of the Wilderness Lobby during her holiday vacation. We heard that the Polynesian was offering similar goodies to those lucky enough to be in WDW during the holidays!

Holiday Treats at the Wilderness Lodge

Our editor, Kim LaPaglia, spotted this new popcorn t-shirt ($23.95) featuring the original Disneyland popcorn box at Keystone Clothiers in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Popcorn T-shirt

MEGA SALE on our DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays e-Book!

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With 230 pages of detailed information and multiple bonus extras, it WILL save you time and money during the busiest season in Walt Disney World! And whether you’re going this year, or getting a jump on planning for next year, don’t tackle the Disney holidays without it!

Take advantage of this deep savings sale NOW, with a discount for DFB readers. Get the 2012 guide today for our lowest price ever$4 off the regular purchase price for the next 7 days! How? Use code GINGERBREAD at the check-out!

On to the Round-Up

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups visits Epcot’s Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for an adults-only princess meal.

Disney Parks Blog shares ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve at Disney Quest, Bongos Cuban Cafe, Splitsville, Raglan Road, La Nouba, or Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney Orlando.

AND, they win a point in our book for looking at the roastie toasties at Disneyland’s popcorn carts.

Mouse on the Mind looks at some freebies at Old Key West resort, including [Read more…]