Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 19, 2015

It’s been another busy week as we work to get you all of the information that’s coming out about the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel at Chew Lab

Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel at Chew Lab

While we’ve learned more this week about new and returning Special Events, we also firmed up the official list of Marketplace Booths that will appear for the Festival’s 20th anniversary. And believe or not, a few other things happened as well. :-)

Let’s do a brief recap of Disney Food News before we take a look around at what else is new this week.

Disney Food News

Rumor: Minnie’s Holiday & Dine Dinner Coming to Hollywood & Vine?

Looks like the elves are already starting to gear up for the holidays… . Could it really be that a special holiday meal is coming to Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Hollywood and Vine

Hollywood and Vine

A mysterious menu has appeared on the My Disney Experience app! At the time, it seems this menu is viewable on Android devices, but NOT on iDevices. Still, what’s remarkable about this menu is not the items themselves (standard items for the Hollywood & Vine buffet), but [Read more…]

News! Booking Begins TODAY for 2015 Star Wars Weekends Dining Packages

Booking for Star Wars Weekends Dining Packages will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in 2015 and booking begins December 3, 2014.

Star Wars Character Meal Backdrop

Dinner at the Hollywood & Vine restaurant and breakfast at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater will offer these galactic experiences May 4th through June 14, 2015. Note that the character meals are available all week — not just on weekends!

Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine

At Hollywood and Vine, Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine will feature Disney characters wearing their Star Wars best as they celebrate the greatest saga ever told! See our review from this year’s experience here!

You may get the chance to meet Ewok Chip & Dale, Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, and/or Stormtrooper Donald. Star Wars décor, themed foods, and music create a galactic experience. Advance Dining Reservations will be offered from 4:15-8PM.

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Cost: [Read more…]

Review: NEW Star Wars Jedi Mickey Character Dining Meal at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios

Are you ready for a delicious dinner buffet served up with a side of THE FORCE?!

I sure hope so, because a long time ago (a few hours now) in a galaxy far, far away (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) we attended the debut evening of the Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine! We JUST returned from the long-awaited new character dining meal in Disney’s Hollywood Studios featuring…yup!…STAR WARS CHARACTERS!

Well, not exactly Star Wars characters; this was BETTER than Star Wars characters because it was Disney characters dressed up as Star Wars characters!!

Confused? Maybe a picture will help it to make more sense… ;-D

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Now, let’s dive in and check out the Cantina… uh, I mean, the scene!

Jedi Mickey's Star Wars Dine

Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine

Atmosphere

Staged (see what I did there?) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Hollywood and Vine Restaurant — which normally houses Disney Junior characters — the new Star Wars Weekends character meal was nearly an immediate sell-out when we announced it just over a month ago.

Hollywood and Vine

Hollywood and Vine

The restaurant is set up as a buffet, which means you’re able to set the pace of your meal and make sure you’re at your table when the characters come your way.

Hollywood & Vine is themed as a vintage “Cafeteria to the Stars” (and the art deco decor on the buffet makes it stand out a teensy tiny bit from its companions around Walt Disney World).

Hollywood and Vine Buffet

Hollywood and Vine Buffet

However, for this event, the place received a bit of a galactic makeover!

Star Wars Character Meal Backdrop

Star Wars Character Meal Backdrop

Star Wars decoration

Star Wars decoration

Otherwise, a relatively neutral backdrop featuring photos of old Hollywood, a big ol’ mural, and aluminum tables and chairs means that the characters really are the feature here.

Hollywood and Vine Seating

Hollywood and Vine Seating

Hollywood and Vine Mural

Hollywood and Vine Mural

Characters

Speaking of…the characters! That’s what you really want to hear about, right? Enough pictures of seating, DisneyFoodBlog…let’s get to the fun!

As seen earlier, Ewok Chip & Dale greet you immediately upon your arrival with a couple of hugs and a chance for a sweet photo opp! (But hey, ummm, guys… I think you’re facing the wrong way ;) )

Ewok Chip and Dale up to their usual antics

Ewok Chip and Dale up to their usual antics

Ewok Chip and Dale

Ewok Chip and Dale

There, that’s better! After your picture, your photographer will hand you a special Photopass card just for the occasion: your picture with Chip & Dale is included in the cost of this experience.

Star Wars Character Meal Photo Pass

Star Wars Character Meal Photo Pass

Clearly, everyone is excited about this ;) !

Everyone's getting in on the fun!

Everyone’s getting in on the fun!

Once you’re seated at your table, you’ll entertain a few other special visitors who stop by, including Stormtrooper Donald,

Star Wars Character Meal Storm Trooper Donald

Storm Trooper Donald

Darth Goofy (Brilliant!),

Darth Goofy

Darth Goofy

Princess Leia Minnie (LOVING that bun/ears combo!)…

Princess Leia Minnie

Princess Leia Minnie

… and JEDI MICKEY himself, striking his best Jedi pose!

Jedi Mickey!!!!

Jedi Mickey!!!!

I will say that the meetings with the characters were a bit brief compared with some other character meals I’ve experienced — the house was packed. But even so, we got to meet and have our photos taken with every single character, and were happy with each visit. And as I saw the characters interact with the kids, it seemed that there were plenty of hugs and autographs going around. The general mood was just high-energy FUN.

Okay, with both the Empire and the Alliance represented with these characters, you now have a choice to make. Upon being seated at your table, you’ll notice something in addition to your napkins and silverware. A piece of paper that is red on one side…

Star Wars Character Meal Red Light Saber

Red side of paper

… and blue on the other.

Star Wars Character Meal Blue Light Saber

Blue side of paper

What appears to be merely paper transforms into a LIGHT SABER!

Blue for Jedi Mickey's side!

Blue for Jedi Mickey’s side!

Throughout the meal, guests are invited to choose their color: fold your paper to show blue if you’re on Mickey and Minnie’s side (the Alliance), or red for Goofy and Donald (the Empire). I thought it was super clever how they didn’t ask kids to choose between the dark side and the good guys — basically, you just picked your favorite character, waved your light saber like crazy, and let out a holler! (This is also, by the way, a great little energy spender for kids who are really excited while waiting for the characters to arrive at their table).

I noticed impromptu light saber battles happening all around the restaurant, primarily between fathers and their kids (and, yep, a few pairs of full-grown adults, too!).

Light Saber battle!

Light Saber battle!

I would LOVE to see a more permanent souvenir available for the kids with this meal, like a small, plastic red or blue light saber — the paper ones were such a hit, I think something like that would be an extra thrill and terrific touch.

For all this talk of children, you should know that my friend and I — both adults — felt right at home, and there were plenty of other adults-only groups for this event. While this is not the case with the typical Disney Junior meals featured throughout the year here, please don’t shy away from this event if you would like to go but don’t have children to bring. All Star Wars fans are welcome, both young and not-so-much :) !

Eats

I think the Hollywood and Vine buffet offers some truly unique choices compared with some other buffets on property, but on this evening, the fare was a little extra special.

Buffet

Buffet

Things started in a fairly typical fashion with the salads, fruit, breads, and the cold bar.

Assorted Breads

Assorted Breads

Fruit

Fruit

Create Your Own Salad

Create Your Own Salad

Not sure of shrimp name

Cold Bar

But moving foward, we didn’t just have a chance to try pork, chicken, beef, etc… oh, no!

On this night we ate everything from Tusken Raider Chicken, to Salacious Crumb’s Crusted Pork (an absolute standout!), to Kamino Maple Mustard-Glazed Salmon. Reading the Star Wars names for the dishes was nearly as fun as eating it all!

Tusken Raider Chicken

Tusken Raider Chicken

Salacious Crumb's Crusted Pork

Salacious Crumb’s Crusted Pork

Kamino Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon

Kamino Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon

Even beyond the fun names, the entrees were plentiful and varied. We also had [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: March 30, 2014

Lots of big news this week, but the two biggest items included two new dining options coming to Disney World…and one being taken away!

Share yer waffles with this guy!

Share yer waffles with this guy!

For those of you who are Star Wars fans, we know you’ve been dreaming about dining in a Star Wars themed restaurant for years! Well, we don’t have the cantina for you…yet…but you CAN dine with your favorite Star Wars characters! Read about it here!

And Kouzzina fans need to get back to that restaurant ASAP, as it will be closing on September 30th to make way for a different dining experience.

Click on the links below for more food news from Disney!

Disney Food News

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including restaurant closures, updates, and more!

DFB Reader Finds

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

We asked for top dining picks for Epcot, and DFB reader @dor1973 tweeted a pic from Via Napoli. It’s a priceless photo; just look at the expressions on these young diners!

Pizza!

Pizza!

Our readers continue to amaze us with their food photos. Jennifer tweeted “Thanks so much for your blog & tips to make my vacation better. The boozy dole whip helped too!” Great shot of spiked Dole Whip!!

Adult Dole Whip

Adult Dole Whip

We can’t wait to see what our readers share with us next!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 e-Book Deal

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 450 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

miniguide_0114_3d

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next trip! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBGuide.com to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2014 to get a $4 discount for a limited time! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!

Here Are Just Some Of What You Get With Our 2014 Guide:

  • Over 450 Pages of Disney Dining and Planning information, tips, reviews, and recommendations!
  • An in-depth Disney Dining Restaurant Reviews section, covering all Disney restaurants, food kiosks, bars, and lounges
  • An updated Disney Dining Plan section and price analysis for 2014
  • NEW Disney food and restaurant photos
  • An updated Disney Snacks chapter, including our list of dozens of must-try snacks AND our Top 11 Must-Have Snacks for 2014.
  • An updated section on birthday parties and specialty cakes in Disney World
  • A comprehensive, 10-page chapter of What’s New in Disney World in 2014, including new restaurants, menu updates, and more
  • Details about how the My Magic+ Planning System and FastPass+ will affect your vacation planning
  • Our picks for the 11 Great Snacks you must try this year
  • Scavenger Hunts, Trivia, and Top 5 List updates
  • Bingo Cards
  • Updates on all pertinent facts such as dining hours, prices, resources, phone numbers, and restaurant closures/openings
  • All new restaurant additions, closures, refurbishments, and added dining experiences
  • And much more!

But, of course we’re offering a discount for our Grand Launch week!! Again, to celebrate the launch and to thank you for your support of the blog, we’ll be offering the Guide for $4 off its standard rate for a limited time! Order your copy now at DFBGuide.com and use code: [Read more…]

News!! Star Wars Themed Character Meals at Disney World During Star Wars Weekends

Yes. You heard us correctly.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will feature new Star Wars themed character meals for a limited time only!

When Star Wars Character Meals begin on May 4th, dinner at the Hollywood & Vine restaurant and breakfast at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater will offer these galactic experiences through June 15, 2014. Note that the character meals are available all week — not just on weekends!

Star Wars Themed Character Meals

Meet These Awesome Friends at Star Wars Themed Character Meals This Year!

Booking begins March 26! These will be popular so we recommend dialing (407) 939-5277 at lightspeed.

The Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine

At Hollywood and Vine, dinner will feature Disney characters wearing their Star Wars best! You may get the chance to meet Ewok Chip & Dale, Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, and/or Stormtrooper Donald. Dinner seatings start at 4:15pm and go until park close (8pm-9:30pm) for $55.99 adults and $33.99 kids 3-9.

Make your Star Wars experience extra special with a Fantasmic dinner package for adults $59.99; kids 3-9 are $36.99. The meals include a digital download of a photograph with Chip and Dale! Sweet.

Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast

Sci-Fi will offer breakfast reservations from 8am until noon — so fun! The cost is $47.99 for adults and $29.99 for young padawans. This also includes a digital photo of your party on a commemorative PhotoPass card.

Characters for breakfast include Stormtroopers, Jawa, Greedo, Boba Fett, and DARTH VADER.

Share yer waffles with this guy!

Share yer waffles with this guy!

Instead of the usual science fiction movie clips, the restaurant’s big screen will feature

[Read more…]

Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins Join Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood and Vine!

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Announcing the arrival of young royal Sofia the First to Hollywood and Vine at Hollywood Studios… and joining Her Highness is fellow Disney Junior star, Doc McStuffins!

Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First

Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First

Hollywood and Vine

Hollywood and Vine

That’s right! Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins have joined their pals Jake from “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” and (AJ’s favorite :-D ) Handy Manny for the Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine character meal.

AJ's Favorite! Handy Manny at Hollywood and Vine Restaurant

AJ’s Favorite! Handy Manny at Hollywood and Vine Restaurant

Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates

Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates

Not only do the characters mix and mingle, but Play n’ Dine also features “musical moments” where all the kids are invited to sing and dance along (while Mom and Dad can keep on eating)!

Sofia and Doc McStuffins bring a few new [Read more…]

The Most Popular Disney World Restaurants (and Alternatives When They’re Full)

Many Disney guests agree that the most important Disney Dining Tips lists include one specific piece of advice:

Making Advance Dining Reservations is an absolute must when it comes to planning.

While many seasoned Disney travelers are aware of this, there are lots of folks who visit the parks and are stunned to find no tables available at their top restaurant choices. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at one time or another…and we’ve got solutions for you!

Today, we’ve updated our list of the most popular Disney restaurants, and terrific alternatives if you can’t score a table at your coveted spot!

Let’s take a look at the most elusive restaurants to book these days…

Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Scoring an advance dining reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant for their table service dinner can be a daunting task.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom Dining Room

From the time that they first announced the restaurant’s soft opening until now, we have heard from many readers who haven’t been able to secure a spot at Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurant. Here are a couple of reasons why:

Newness: The biggest reason for this remains the novelty of the place. Be Our Guest and all of New Fantasyland is still the hottest ticket in Walt Disney World since its grand opening in December 2012.

Incredible, Immersive Themeing: The impeccable themeing means that stepping into Beast’s Castle is truly like climbing through a portal into Beauty and the Beast. You almost expect to look down and find your food animated!

The Grey Stuff -- It's Delicious!

Novelty: The French-inspired cuisine that’s served at Be Our Guest is unlike anything else available in all of Magic Kingdom. In addition, there is huge novelty surrounding the fact that you can now order beer and wine in the formerly dry Magic Kingdom (for dinner only).

So, what to do if you can’t [Read more…]

Review: Hollywood and Vine Lunch at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It’s time to head back over to Hollywood and Vine! No, not the famous Tinseltown intersection. We’re talking about a cool character dining experience at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios!

A while back, I reviewed the character breakfast at Hollywood and Vine, and was pleasantly surprised to find pretty good food with some interesting flavor options.

This go around, we decided to sleep in a bit and stop by for lunch. I was interested to see if the trend of good food quality and fun character interaction would continue.

Settle in — this is gonna be a long one! :-)

Atmosphere

Hollywood and Vine is located near Echo Lake; hang a left off of Hollywood Boulevard from the park’s entrance, and you’re there!

Hollywood and Vine Sign

When we arrived for our advanced dining reservation, there was already a crowd at the podium to check in!

Entrance to Hollywood and Vine

A placard near the check-in area gives a few details about the Play ‘n Dine experience, in case you’re attempting to score a “walk-up” table.

Information Outside for Play 'n Dine

Once inside, you see which Disney Junior characters you might meet, courtesy of this triptych, which looks like a giant picture book.

This is a good time to explain [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Great Disney World Restaurants for Boys

Much fuss is made about the ballyhooed princess dining experiences at Disney World. So much fuss, that parents of young boys sometimes find themselves wondering, “What does Disney have that’s special for me?”

The down and dirty dino loving boy will be right at home at the T-Rex Cafe.

Well, never fear sports fans; I’m here to tell you that while, yes, the girly girls are pretty visible in the parks (it’s hard to miss the Florida sun glinting off a tiara), there are plenty of Disney dining experiences where the men in your family will feel right at home.

Let’s break it down …

Character Meals

There are 10 different character dining venues at Walt Disney World proper. Of these, only three and a half of them have princess themeing. The rest are totally gender-neutral.

Boys are certainly welcome at any of the princess meals, and many boys love them just as much as the other character meals (PLUS they’re given a neato plastic sword at the Royal Table); but honestly, they do skew more heavily toward girl interests.

All of the other character dining restaurants appeal equally to boys and girls. Your best options for boys in the character dining department are the following (characters are always subject to change): [Read more…]