News! Beaches and Cream in Walt Disney World’s Beach Club Resort Now Accepting Reservations

No Way, Jose!!

Okay, so that’s the name of my FAVORITE sundae at Beaches and Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort…as well as an exclamation of surprise!

I’m here to give you lot a heads up that Beaches and Cream, our favorite go-to when you DON’T have a reservation for a restaurant in Disney World, is now taking online and phone advance dining reservations.

With an upcoming Disney trip, our DFB editor, Kim, just booked lunch for early January!!

Lunch Reservation for Beaches and Cream

And… my Mom (yep, AJ’s Mom for those who have met her) is at Walt Disney World right now and confirmed with the restaurant! Reservations officially begin booking for December 18th and later, but if you call 407-WDW-DINE now, Walt Disney World Dining will accept and honor your reservation prior to that date. Woohoo!!

If you visit Disney Dining online, you’ll now see Beaches and Cream has the “Find A Table” option!

Find A Table at Beaches and Cream

If you are booking online, available tables will first begin showing for December 18th. Holiday visitors should book their upcoming lunch or dinner at Beaches and Cream now. Once word gets out, these [Read more…]

Snack Series: Meet Mochi in Japan

Remember that cool ice pop freezer we found a while ago in Epcot’s Japan pavilion? (Get it – cool … freezer – oh, never mind.)

Epcot Japan snack stand

The happy freezer has more than just ice pops in it these days. Meet the Mochi.

Japan snack stand freezer

Mochi is actually a Japanese version of a marshmallow, sweet and somewhat bland, but with a smooth texture and easy chew.

The product sold here is mochi ice cream — a golf-ball-sized scoop [Read more…]

Review: Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland

It’s time to take an ice cream break! And I know just the place — Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!

This cool spot offers up soft serve for guests who are looking for a little refreshment between attractions…but they have some other fun menu items too! Time to check it out.

Atmosphere

Auntie Gravity’s is located in that thoroughfare that meshes Fantasyland into Tomorrowland. You’ll find this little spot directly across from the Tomorrowland Speedway.

The signage with the name of the location hangs on the wall of the building — viewable only from the Fantasyland side.

Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies

So if you’re searching for Auntie Gravity’s and coming from Tomorrowland, keep a look out for the ginormous “Ice Cream and Smoothies” sign that hangs overtop both doors leading into the shop.

There’s not a lot of atmosphere to speak of in the small space! There’s just enough room for a few counter-service stands and a walk-up window to get your goodies.

Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies -- Outside

Once you get your eats, you’ll head back outside to a group of tables just beyond the doorway. Keep on the look-out for PUSH, the talking trash can in this area! (You can also take advantage of indoor seating at Cosmic Rays, which is just next door.)

Eats

Auntie Gravity’s is purely a snack stop, so it’s great for a midday treat or after meal dessert most of the time. But one of the more unique options you’ll find here is the Iced Coffee Float, a fan favorite. I’ve only seen these at a few other locations, like Sunshine Tree Terrace.

Ice Cream Treats Menu -- Click to Enlarge

The exception to the “find no meals here” rule is [Read more…]

Review: Vanilla Ice Cream Brownie Sandwich at Downtown Disney’s Earl of Sandwich

The Earl of Sandwich is still one of the most popular “non-Disney” food destinations in all of Walt Disney World — and now in Disneyland as well.

But you may be surprised to learn that they also have some killer desserts — which take the form of sandwiches, naturally!

A while back I told you about some of them. My first discovery was the Brownie Creme Sandwich. Two of the most amazing brownies ever are stuck together with some rockin’ vanilla frosting. This was Nirvana enough. But then, I tried two more versions of the treat — the Chocolate Creme Brownie Sandwich and the Peanut Butter Creme Brownie Sandwich. Even. Better.

And when I heard about the EoS ice cream sandwich…it was time to return… .

Earl of Sandwich Vanilla Ice Cream Brownie Sandwich

Sure, the brownie sandwiches have been outrageously good up to this point, but they’re about to get even better. Enter, the Vanilla Ice Cream Brownie Sandwich.

It comes to you much like the other brownie sandwiches — nestled in a plastic clamshell.

Brownie Sandwich Earl in its Clamshell

Also just like the other brownie sandwiches, this one is [Read more…]

Review: Hot Fudge Sundae at Dino Bite Snacks

Guys, it is so hot out there!! And when I’m sweltering and sweating, there’s one thing I know to do: eat more ice cream.

Fortunately, that’s not a hard proposition when you’re in Walt Disney World — just check out our Ice Cream Gallery for the goods!

Dino-Bite Snacks -- Outside

Today, I’m heading over to DinoLand U.S.A. (YAY!!!!!!) in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to one of my favorite ice cream stops, Dino-Bite Snacks!

With its shiny quilted aluminum siding, this little snack shack has a vintage feel that matches the rest of DinoLand U.S.A. It serves up ice cream in a variety of ways, plus churros and other snacks.

Most of the time, a stop for me here means just one thing: a hand-made ice cream cookie sandwich! But I decided to branch out just a bit today and try their new-to-me Old-Fashioned Hot Fudge Sundae.

Old-Fashioned Hot Fudge Sundae

You’ll find Dino-Bite Snacks just to the right of Restaurantosaurus (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!) as you’re facing the counter service spot. It’s not much more than a kiosk, with separate windows for ordering and pick up.

Like I mentioned, the menu is limited only to snacks and beverages. Nothing here would make a meal — unless you fancy an ice cream sandwich in place of breakfast. (I’m not necessarily admitting I’ve done this before, but…)

Hand-scooped ice cream is available, but there are only a few varieties. Choose from vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or chocolate chip. You can also get a float here as well!

Dino-Bite Snacks Menu -- Click to Enlarge

But we hadn’t tried the hot fudge sundae, so I decided this was the day. Once I ordered my sundae at window number one, [Read more…]

Review: Chef Mickey’s Dinner at Disney World’s Contemporary Resort

It has been too long since I’ve taken a trip to Chef Mickey’s in Disney World’s Contemporary Resort!

We’ve shared with you our review of their breakfast buffet. But today, we’re heading there to see what’s new for dinner!

When many people think about a Disney character dining experience”, they immediately think of Chef Mickey’s. This one has it all — the Fab Five, a sprawling buffet of family-friendly foods, regular raucous celebrations, and monorails whizzing by.

But in the past, the food has had a reputation for being a little lackluster. Time to see how things are looking these days… . We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

Atmosphere

One of the coolest things about Chef Mickey’s is its location. You’ll find this well-known character meal at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Chef Mickey's Sign

This place is a stone’s throw from the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, which makes it a great place to stop and eat before heading into the park, or after a long day of rides and attractions.

Once you enter the hotel’s main floor lobby, take the elevator to the fourth floor. Chef Mickey’s is located on the south end of the concourse, right below where the Disney World monorail enters the building. (You can also arrive at the Contemporary via said monorail, of course — in which case you’d take an escalator down to the 4th floor).

The Grand Canyon Concourse at the Contemporary

Head to the central desk to let the hostess know that your party has arrived. You can’t miss it — Mickey is smiling down with his fork and spoon, ready to greet you!

Central Desk Check-In

If your table isn’t quite ready, you can wait until your party is paged in this comfortable seating area. This spot features a view of Bay Lake and the resort’s pool patio — and offers plenty of room for running off excess energy.

Waiting Area

Before you’re seated, your party will [Read more…]

Review: Ice Cream Crêpes in Epcot’s France Pavilion

We recently shared some of our favorite Disney food kiosks, and this was definitely one of the contenders! There is so much culinary awesomeness these days in Epcot’s France Pavilion.

There are, of course, the table service restaurants — the bistro-esque Chefs de France and the more upscale Monsieur Paul. And no trip through this part of World Showcase is complete without at least one stop by Les Halles, the new boulangerie patisserie in the back of the pavilion.

And now that the long-awaited L’Artisan des Glaces is open in the former bakery space, the offerings are pretty robust. You can find something for every meal of the day here!

But, if you can believe it, there are even more fun food finds awaiting you along the main thoroughfare within the dark green kiosks of France.

Here, you can get grown up slushies, Champagne, and one of my favorite French street foods, Crêpes!

Disney World Crêpes

The très thin, tender, pancake-like creations are available here in some traditional flavors. But there are also some fun and super indulgent twists, like crêpes and ice cream.

That’s the treat we were after today…

The Creperie -- Crepe Stand in Epcot's France Pavilion

If you need a beverage, you’ll also find some espresso drinks here as well as, well, beer. Because everyone knows what a perfect pairing crêpes and beer are. :-)

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

One of the best part of this little kiosk is that you get a show while you wait! Inside the stand, you can see the crêpe griddle, where the thin batter is ladled and worked to form the basis for your treat. A container of Strawberry Preserves stands at the ready for saucing.

Crêpe Griddle with Batter and Strawberry Preserves

A while back, we made a stop here and just happened to capture the complete crêpe-making process from start to finish.

With very little arranging, I ended up with this cute crêpe flip book of photos! Behold, the making of both [Read more…]

First Look! L’Artisan des Glaces Sorbet and Ice Cream Shop in Epcot’s France is Open! See Full Menu and Photos Here!

SO exciting!! Epcot’s France has been undergoing a culinary transformation this year with the opening of Monsieur Paul Restaurant and Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles. And now the final puzzle piece is in place!

L’Artisan des Glaces Sorbet and Ice Cream Shop is now open to the public!

L'Artisan des Glaces is open in Epcot's France!

Completed Epcot France Pavilion!

I love the classic exterior — with a new window!

New window at Epcot's L'Artisan des Glaces

This space, formerly occupied by the old Boulangerie Patisserie, is a perfect location for the new sweet stop. And featuring sixteen icy, delicious flavors (and an extra surprise I’ll mention in a moment), I know it’s going to be an instant hit — especially during the Orlando Summer! Let’s head in and check it out…

Entrance to L'Artisan des Glaces in Epcot's France

The bright, airy shop features pastel colors and old-world structural touches.  I also like the milk jug themeing around the shop!

Inside L'Artisan des Glaces

Milk Bottles Abound!

Milk Jug Themeing at L'Artisan des Glaces

Cones are classic [Read more…]

News! California Grill Menu and Epcot’s France Ice Cream Shop Menu Updates

On my visit to Walt Disney World I got some great updates on the California Grill renovation at Disney’s Contemporary Resort,  and on Epcot’s new L’Artisan des Glaces France Ice Cream Shop opening! And I just couldn’t wait to share them with you!

L’Artisan des Glaces — Epcot’s French Ice Cream Shop Updates

The new ice cream parlor in Epcot’s France pavilion — L’Artisan des Glaces — will open in mid-June! Recently, I spoke with a General Manager of Operations at the France pavilion and found out a few great updates about the menu!!

Ice Cream and Sorbet Flavors
They’ll have 10 ice creams and 6 sorbets available. Varieties will change regularly and be served in either one scoop or two scoops with a choice of a cone or cup.

Flavors will vary and rotate, but standards will include chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, and — this one sounds awesome! – profiterole!

Details and Flavors for Liquor-Topped Ice Creams
Remember, you can also top your ice cream with liquor! If you choose the liquor option, it will be served in the same types of martini glasses that the famous Grand Marnier and Grey Goose slushes are served in at the outside kiosk in France.

Liquor flavors are still being finalized, but will likely include Grand Marnier, Grey Goose vodka, a rum from Martinique, and other options.

California Grill Menu Updates

During an informative conversation with California Grill Chef Brian Piasecki this week, I uncovered these fun updates!

Chef Brian Piasecki at California Grill!

California Grill Opening Date
California Grill is still looking at a “late Summer” opening…likely September. Get ready to make your reservations as booking should be available in the next 4 weeks or so.

New! Omakase Menu
I asked the Chef if he foresaw any Chef’s Counter or Chef’s Table option at Cali Grill in the future. While he said there wouldn’t be a typical Chef’s Table option, California Grill will be offering an Omakase menu at the sushi bar.

“Omakase” means “I’ll leave it to you” in Japanese, and that’s exactly what diners will do when ordering this menu! They’ll receive a 12 course, chef-directed meal featuring modern interpretations of Japanese cuisine and sushi, progressing from lighter dishes and flavors to heavier and richer options in later courses.

The menu will change for this meal regularly, and that could mean that you get a completely different meal from night to night. The items will not be available on the regular menu and will only be available for those ordering the Omakase meal.

California Grill Menu Updates
We got a taste of a brand new menu item! The Oak-Fired Three Meat Meatball with [Read more…]

News! Epcot France Ice Cream and Sorbet Shop, L’Artisan des Glaces, Opens in June!

DFB Readers will remember when we broke the news waaaay back in August 2012 that a new ice cream parlor was coming to Epcot’s France! Well now we have even more info on this!

L’Artisan des Glaces will be opening its doors in mid-June. This “artisan ice cream and sorbet shop” will feature 16 flavors of creamy, chilly goodness — and all flavors will be made in-house with fresh ingredients!

Even better — if you’re “Drinking Around the World,” be sure to ask for your sorbet or ice cream with [Read more…]