First Look! Trattoria al Forno to Replace Kouzzina by Cat Cora on Disney World’s BoardWalk

We are getting our first details today about the restaurant that will replace Kouzzina at Disney’s BoardWalk when it closes later this year.

Trattoria al Forno will join other eateries at the deluxe hotel and entertainment district. The restaurant is slated to open this December.

Trattoria al Forno Logo

The menu will feature Italian fare with an emphasis on regional specialities and classic preparations. Many ingredients will actually be made from scratch, in-house. We can’t wait to try the freshly handcrafted Mozzarella and the house-made Cavatelli!

The restaurant will also have wood-burning ovens, and they’ll put them to good use making — you guessed it! — Neapolitan-style Pizza! Will it be like Via Napoli meets the BoardWalk? Sounds good to me!

Quattro Fromaggi Pizza from Via Napoli

I’m Hoping for Pizzas Like the Quattro Fromaggi from Via Napoli!

But they aren’t stopping there. Eating through Trattoria al Forno’s menu will be like [Read more…]

Review: Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

I’ve got a little secret, and it’s something you probably know if you’ve been reading the Disney Food Blog for a while. I have some serious favorites among Disney restaurants.

But when it comes time to discuss great dining spots at Epcot, the competition suddenly grows fierce. Still, relative newcomer Via Napoli has won out as tops on my list since it opened a few years ago.

There are lots of reasons for that. The restaurant boasts the best pizza in all of Walt Disney World in my opinion — it comes closest to ideal than anything I’ve tasted since I moved from NYC a few years back. (Sigh. I still miss a Lombardi’s slice now and then.)

Via Napoli Window

Via Napoli Window

And truth be told, we visit Via Napoli pretty much every time I set foot within those Big Purple Gates. But we are creatures of habit, so I try not to report TOO much on dishes that you’ve seen before. Recently though, we visited and ordered some new things! So it’s high time to share with you the story of our latest visit.


Via Napoli is a study in contrasts. From the outside, the restaurant, which anchors the back of the Italy Pavilion, is stately and grand, with an imposing, almost temple-like facade.

Via Napoli outside

Via Napoli — Outside

But inside, the space is one part grandiose, and one part whimsy, with just a sliver of chic thrown in for good measure. The feel here is that someone with a wonderfully modern aesthetic decided to open a restaurant in an ancient building. They kept the best of the old, and overlaid a feeling of modern and new.

Huge, floor-to-ceiling arched windows separate the waiting area from the dining room, and you begin to catch a glimpse of the action from here. Look up in the foyer to see this gorgeous, colorful chandelier that puts me a little in mind of Mardi Gras.

Entryway Chandelier

Entryway Chandelier

The main dining room is one huge, cavernous space (and LOUD!!!), but it’s broken up a bit by the ceiling of all things! Seriously — look up. There is a soaring atrium in the center, allowing for plenty of natural light. But you also have vaults supported by columns, which rescue the space from feeling like one large warehouse-type room.

Dining Room with Vaulted Ceilings and Arches

Dining Room with Vaulted Ceilings and Arches

The actual walls of the restaurant are covered in frescoes that have been chipped at to convey a sense of age. The blue and green backgrounds of the paintings contrast nicely with warm colors on the floor and ceiling.

Seating is mixed, featuring both banquettes and chairs.

Via Napoli Seating and Frescoes

Via Napoli Seating and Frescoes

Floor Tiles

Hand-Painted Floor Tiles Contrast Warm and Cool Colors

While the building appears to be ancient, wall art also conveys a look at the past — the more recent past, though. You’ll find lots of interesting Italian travel posters throughout the restaurant.

Italian Travel Art


Once you’re in the main dining room, you’ll spy [Read more…]

DFB Food Challenge: The Walt Disney World Gelato Crawl!

There’s not a lot that I love better on a hot day in Florida than a little ice cream. But leave it to Disney World to kick ice cream up a notch by offering Gelato!

Disney World Gelato Crawl

And we’re seeing it in a lot of different spots across Walt Disney World, and even in Disneyland. If you are a fan of this richer, more dense version of that snack we all scream for, then you’re in luck.

Today, we thought it was high-time to offer some inspiration for another DFB Food Challenge, and so we are going in search of all things gelato we can get our hands on with the Walt Disney World Gelato Crawl!

Since you can only enjoy so many desserts in a 24 hour period, feel free to bring along friends to split all the goodies, or pace yourself on the crawl by spreading out the stops over several days.

I hope you came hungry. Let’s get started!

Gelato Bars

Since our very first visit, Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has been one of our favorite counter service destinations. And one of the biggest reasons for that is their killer Gelato Bar!

If you’re lucky enough to be staying at Art of Animation, this first stop on the Gelato Crawl will be a snap! Check ‘em out!

Gelato at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Gelato at Landscape of Flavors in Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

But my favorite thing about the Gelato Bar here — aside from the variety of flavors — is that you can also add toppings for a perfectly customized treat.

Toppings! Woo!

Toppings! Woo!

Pick your scoops, pick your sprinkles, and off you go!

My Favorite Combo -- Raspberry and Chocolate

My Favorite Combo — Raspberry and Chocolate

A couple of other Disney resorts also have gelato available. If you’re staying at Disney’s Coronado Resort, feel free to amend your crawl and start your gelato journey at Cafe Rix.

Gelato Flavors and Pricing at Cafe Rix

Gelato Flavors and Pricing at Cafe Rix

You can also check out a pretty awesome selection at End Zone Food Court over at All Star Sports!

End Zone Gelato Bar

End Zone Gelato Bar

Ahhhh…don’t you just love having options??

Gelato Cookie Sandwiches in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

After polishing off your first gelato of the day, head straight for Epcot, where you’ll have lots of different ways to enjoy your frozen favorite! Next stop: the Italy Pavilion.

View from Epcot's Italy Pavilion

View from Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

For your next foray into gelato, stop by the little [Read more…]

Review: Create-Your-Own Burger Bar at the NEW All Star Sports End Zone Food Court

Recently we visited the newly reopened End Zone Food Court at Disney’s All Star Sports Resort. Now we’re back to review one of the new features on the menu: the Create-Your-Own Burger Bar!


After a lengthy refurbishment, the new space was revealed! Featuring earth tones and a clean, fresh design, the food court maintains its fun sports theme.

End Zone Food Court

End Zone Food Court

End Zone Food Court

End Zone Food Court

While the theme is found in more subtle details now than it was previously, the element of fun is still very much present in the basketball court walls and the Disney characters who’ve joined in the mix!

Basketball Court Walls

Basketball Court Walls

Disney pals in the booth panels

Disney Pals in the booth panels


Along with the new space came a revamped menu! You can still find standbys such as pizza, hot dogs, and the Best Chicken Breast Nuggets on Earth (*not the actual name, just my opinion ;) ).

Today, though, we’re excited to share a review of one of the newest features in the food court: the Create-Your-Own Burger Bar!

Create Your Own Burger

Create Your Own Burger

First, guests have their choice of beef or chicken for their [Read more…]

First Look and Photo Tour! Disney World’s All Star Sports End Zone Food Court Reopens after Renovation

The End Zone Food Court at All Star Sports has just reopened after a lengthy refurbishment — four months, to be exact! We were thrilled to be on the scene for opening day, and are excited to have you join us for a FIRST LOOK!

End Zone Food Court Atmosphere

The first sight to greet you is nicely familiar… the entryway sign remains the same, so as to make the transition from the hallway seamless.

End Zone Food Court Entrance

But in no time you start to notice that things have indeed changed, thanks in part to this sleek “Now Serving” marquee immediately to your left at the entrance.

“Now Serving” Board

Then things really kick into high gear! Gone are the primary colors and life-size cutouts of football and baseball players. In their place are earthy tones and clean lines.

The changes are most notable in the dining area.

End Zone Dining Area

End Zone Dining Area

End Zone Dining Area

But they extend throughout the Food Court [Read more…]

Review: Gelato Bar at Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors

My adoration of Gelato is well documented. I’ve sought it out recently at Cafe Rix at Coronado Springs Resort, and I love stopping by Epcot’s Italy for one of their spectacular gelato treats, like the Coppa Delizia or the Handmade Gelato Cookie Sandwich.

So of course, during my recent stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, I had to check out their Gelato Bar!

The dense, frozen treat — an upscale, Italian cousin to American ice cream — is only one of the yummy desserts featured at this particular Landscape of Flavors station. But we’ve already told you about the Mickey Oreo Cupcake and the Mickey Ganache. :-)

Gelato Menu Board -- Click to Enlarge

On any given day, the flavors might vary somewhat; but I have a feeling you’ll find something you want to dig into!

Gelato Flavors

But what I (*cough* picky eater *cough*) really enjoy about the gelato here is [Read more…]

Snack Series: Frozen Cheesecake On A Stick at Disneyland Resort

OK, you guys. Frozen. Cheesecake.

We first told you about this fantastic little Gelato Bars kiosk in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney last year. And, well…you know I can’t resist some good gelato! So I couldn’t wait to hit it up on my recent trip to Disneyland.

Gelato Bar Kiosk

When it first appeared, there was a pretty extensive menu of Gelato Bars, consisting of fabulous flavors and garnishes. These days, the gelato bar selection has been pared down to five varieties.

But before you become too sad about that — look at what they’ve added: Frozen Cheesecake! On. A. Stick.

There’s also a selection of Hot Chocolates (complete with hot chocolate on a stick) as well as a Gelato Cookie Sandwich (!) and a Frozen Banana dipped in Ghirardelli Chocolate. A selection of bottled beverages rounds out the menu.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

But that’s not all there is to tell you about this spot. As seems to be the standard in Disneyland, there are little “models” of the food selections! I think the “bedazzled” Birthday Cake one is my favorite.

Examples of Gelato Bars -- Cute!

Here are the examples of the cheesecake bars, which are available plain or with a strawberry garnish. The hot chocolate on a stick is represented, too.

Menu Examples

Visual aids are also there for the chocolate-covered banana and gelato sandwich. :-)

More Menu Examples

But my mind was already made up, and I went for one cheesecake bar. Strawberry, please.

And I know what you’re thinking: “AJ, that’s as hard as a rock and you’re gonna break your teeth.”

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake and Its Plastic Counterpart

I thought so, too; and I was worried. But that wasn’t [Read more…]

Review: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe at Magic Kingdom

Today, we head to Tomorrowland for a visit to an “out-of-this-world” dining spot — Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe!

Situated on the corner between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, this spot actually boasts views of Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Main Street USA, and the Castle Hub!

With plenty of standard American fast food offerings, you’ll find lots of options to please pickier eaters here. And while at first glance the atmosphere isn’t all that interesting, it holds a few surprises.

Let’s head in and see what Cosmic Ray’s has to offer these days!

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe


Cosmic Ray’s takes up a huge chunk of real estate right on the edge of Tomorrowland. The vibe is retro-future, much like the rest of the land. If you are a big fan of The Jetsons, Lost in Space, and the People Mover, this is the place for you!

Inside, you’ll find ample indoor and outdoor seating on a couple of different levels. And here’s a surprise — if you’re a newbie to Cosmic Ray’s: there’s a floor show!

Cosmic Rays -- Sonny View Seating

Throughout the day, animatronic alien lounge singer Sonny Eclipse comes to life and entertains you with his signature disco-blues style that is both futuristic and retro at once. Listen closely to the songs to get a few laughs.

Sonny Eclipse entertains at Cosmic Ray's

The area where Sonny performs does tend to be a little loud, so if you aren’t a fan of talking over music while you eat, there is also inside seating on the upper level that’s a bit set apart from the noise.

Inside Seating -- Away from Sonny's Floorshow

The restaurant also boasts lots of [Read more…]

Photo Tour: Art of Animation Resort Desserts

With the opening of Disney World’s newest resort — Art of Animation — we have all new delicious food to sample. The Landscape of Flavors food court offers some unique desserts that you can’t find anywhere else in Disney World! Let’s take a peek…

First up, I love these one-of-a-kind Rice Krispie Treats that feature the characters you’ll find decorating the Art of Animation resort buildings!

Krispie Treats

Landscape of Flavors offers a variety of gelato flavors for your cold sweet tooth! I love the fun designs the cast members have made on the top! (See any hidden characters?)


Pistachio Gelato, when they’ve got it, is a [Read more…]

Snack Series: Gelato Ice Cream Sandwiches in Epcot’s Italy

Happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, everyone! And in honor of this important day, it’s time to head back to one of my favorite spots for a frosty treat, the Tutto Italia cart in Epcot’s Italy!

I couldn’t wait to tell you guys about the Coppa Delizia sundae at this very spot a few months ago, so I wondered what other delicious treats they might have to satisfy a craving for cold and creamy on a hot Florida summer day.

Gelato Selections

I was excited to see that the menu had changed a bit, and the kiosk was now offering Gelato Cookie Sandwiches! I wondered if these would be as good as the Homemade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches you can find throughout the parks…

You can choose from pre-made sandwiches, or you can request that your cookie treat be custom-made with your choice of gelato flavor.

Pre-made Gelato Cooke Sandwiches

I decided to go for a custom sandwich. While I’m probably not going to [Read more…]