The Halloween decorations are up and the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival is ON! It MUST BE FALL in Walt Disney World!
So please join us for a very pumpkin-spiced edition of What’s New ! [Read more…]
For many of us, there’s nothing better than planning a trip to Disney. I mean, sure…attractions and cool resorts and stuff. But best of all is the FOOD!
What happens if you have a super uber picky kiddo (or other member of your party) among your ranks though? It can really rock your trip. But it doesn’t have to!
And that’s why I dedicate a lot of attention to making plans with picky eaters in the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. This is a great time to pick up your copy of this handy guide because it’s just been completely updated for your 2016 travel plans!! Don’t forget to use code HAPPYPLACE for $4 off the price!
Today, I want to share some of the tips that I’ve scattered through the book on how to deal with the pickiest eaters when you’re in Disney World. Need some help with this subject? Read on! [Read more…]
We get a lot of questions from readers here at DFB asking if the Disney Dining Plan is a good deal. One part of answering this question is doing the cut and dry calculations based upon a restaurant’s offerings. But the other part is determining if the restaurant is a good fit for your family. (For example, if Yachtsman Steakhouse offers a great bang for your buck when using the Dining Plan, but you’re a family of vegetarians, it probably isn’t the best choice! ;-D)
We were curious to determine which Disney Signature Restaurants offered the best deal or value pricewise — but also could be recommended by the experts here at DFB for atmosphere and food quality.
Here are our picks for the restaurants that offer the best value for your 2-credit Disney Dining Plan slots.
Remember the old days when getting a decent cup of coffee at Walt Disney World was practically impossible?
Unless you enjoyed kicking off your day with a cup of Nescafe, you were just out of luck back then. Stories of Disney fans bringing provisions from home weren’t out of the ordinary.
But as the world has slowly awakened to better coffee, Disney has jumped on the bandwagon. In the last few years especially, better coffee options at Disney World have grown by leaps and bounds.
One of the best ways to enjoy a good cup is via Press Pots, which are offered at many table service restaurants throughout the resort. You’ll find specific varieties, roasts, and blends by Joffrey’s Coffee, tailored to the tastes and theme of each resort.
Let’s look at a couple of our favorites! [Read more…]
Disney is currently testing a new transportation method — complimentary direct taxi service — for guests dining at select signature restaurants while staying at Walt Disney World monorail resorts!
Until June 30, 2015, some guests at the monorail resorts (Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary) will be selected to participate in this Disney dining test. Those invited to participate will receive complimentary round-trip vouchers delivered to their room.
Participants will have the option of enjoying direct taxi transportation to [Read more…]
Fun news for those of you visiting Disney World this week!
Slow Food Orlando is sponsoring Eat Local Week in The City Beautiful — and it’s happening right now!
While the event showcases eating, drinking, and shopping local throughout the Central Florida Region, there are opportunities to celebrate local growers and producers by dining in some of our favorite Disney Restaurants.
Enjoy menus featuring locally-sourced ingredients all this week, showcasing ingredients from Florida farms, ranches, and fisheries.
And the list of participating Disney restaurants includes some of our tried and true favorites. Choose from The Wave…of American Flavors or California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We’ve enjoyed delicious seasonal dishes in both.
At Disney’s Grand Floridian, dine slow-food style at the beautiful Citricos. Or hop over to Disney’s BoardWalk for dinner at Flying Fish Cafe — hands down, one of my absolute favorite spots! (Read our latest review of Flying Fish here.)
But we aren’t finished! Yachtsman Steakhouse, known for perfectly prepared steaks and seasonally-inspired sides, will also be participating. Finally, end your Eat Local tour at [Read more…]
We’re welcoming Alex Freeman today as she shares a review of one of our favorite spots – Jiko in the Animal Kingdom Lodge!
Jiko – The Cooking Place, a signature dining restaurant, is located at the Jambo House at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Before you even walk into the restaurant, you are enchanted by the expansive lobby. The minute you walk into Jambo House, you definitely feel as though you have entered into an African savanna lodge. The best part of the lobby is the huge window at the back where you can see the savanna and the walk leading to the African animals.
To get to the restaurant, you must go downstairs. On the way down the stairs, you will walk right past Victoria Falls, a bar/lounge that overlooks Boma, Flavors of Africa. Once you reach the bottom of the stairs, you can either turn left and enter Boma or if you go right, you will come to Jiko. Jiko is a breathtaking restaurant with an open kitchen, a wall of different varieties of wine, and a memorable ambiance. My favorite part of the interior design is the light fixtures.
When we checked in at the front desk, we only had to wait a few minutes before we were seated. The hostess that led us to our table was extremely friendly and polite. I wish I remembered her name because she was absolutely wonderful. Once we were seated, I could not wait to start reviewing the menu to see what had changed and what had stayed the same since the last time I was at the restaurant.
While deciding upon which entrees to order, we enjoyed a delicious bread basket which consisted of Dabo Bread and Flaxseed Focaccia. The bread came with a Tandoori butter. I absolutely love the Dabo bread with the Tandoori butter. The honey taste of the bread and the garlicky flavor of the butter is a perfect mixture. I was not a huge fan of the Flaxseed Focaccia. I found the bread to be too salty to mix with the butter.
I was eating with my entire family, so I was able to review four different entrees. We decided to order Guinea Hen, Maize-crusted Atlantic Black Grouper, Oak-grilled Filet Mignon, and the [Read more…]
Disney restaurants tend to have that little something extra that make them a magical experience for us and our families instead of, say, just another night at the local diner. The red carpet at Cinderella’s Royal Table, the aquarium at Coral Reef, the stage show at Biergarten…they all make these restaurants a more interesting, and more compelling, place to dine.
That’s why today, atmosphere is taking center stage instead of playing a supporting role. I want to know: What’s your favorite Disney World restaurant for its atmosphere? The place that you go, without fail, almost without thought to the food. (Almost. But not quite.)
Here are three of my favorite spots that I hit up as often as possible when I’m in town. I can’t wait to hear about your favorites in the comments!
If you A) pine for the days of drive in movies, or B) have heard about such days and you’re completely fascinated, then you’ve gotta check out Sci-Fi Dine-In with me.
Dining under the stars while watching ridiculous B movies on the big screen is just too much fun to pass up.
After all, this is the only place in Disney that you can eat in your car!
No time to wait for a car table? Check out the cool picnic table option, and you can still dine in the Disney “open air!”
Thankfully, Walt shows up every now and again to make sense of it all.
I personally love the house specialty, the [Read more…]
Today, we’re pulling another great question out the Disney Food Blog mailbag. You guys ask some great ones, and lots of times, we’ll get several emails and inquiries about the same subject.
Today, we’re going to delve into the wonderful world of birthday celebrations for grown-ups!
Our DFB reader asks:
We will be vacationing at WDW in May. My 25-year old son will have a birthday while we are there. We would like to have a special meal to celebrate, something fun but also really good!
I love this question! Disney brands itself a great place for all kinds of celebrations. And when it comes to birthdays, why should kiddos have all the fun?
When planning a special meal to celebrate a birthday at Walt Disney World, the most basic advice is probably a great starting point: what does the birthday boy or girl enjoy?
Does he like fine dining, or would he prefer a great night out at a sports bar? Does she like a quiet, elegant setting, or a spot with intricate themeing? Or are they a kid at heart who can Celebrate Mickey with the best of them?
Fantastic ideas abound for fun birthday celebrations at Disney World, but let’s go with my three favorite ideas. At the very least, it might lead to some good brainstorming when it comes time to plan your own special dinner party!
For the Disney fan who enjoys a fine dining experience, there would be no other place to celebrate a birthday than where these two things meet — Disney’s signature dining restaurants.
If you’re looking for the pinnacle of fine dining, consider booking a table at Victoria and Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
The ultimate in Disney fine dining, this relaxed, refined restaurant has won countless awards for its upscale take on modern American fare and its stellar wine menu. To make it an even more special experience, book the Chef’s Table!
Another great option is California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The restaurant sits atop the hotel, and boasts panoramic views. It’s a great spot for viewing Wishes, Magic Kingdom’s fireworks spectacular!
Food here is always fresh and inventive, celebrating the farm to table movement and the Asian fusion style that placed California on the culinary map.
For something a little off the beaten path but no less delicious, check out Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
In a relaxing atmosphere that mimics the [Read more…]
It’s time for another fun addition to our Disney Food Galleries!
And today, we’re introducing a brand new gallery for all of you red meat lovers out there! Yep, we’ve gathered a whole buncha steaks from around Disney World to help you make your choices on your next visit.
Remember, some of these may drop off menus from time to time or have side dishes or preparation changed, but hopefully this will give you a good overview of what’s available! Here we go!
Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club is one of my top picks when it comes to steak at Walt Disney World. After all, they decorate with meat — the first thing you pass en route to your seat is the Steak Trimming Room!
Chefs here pride themselves not only on the very best cuts of meat, but appetizers, side dishes, and desserts inspired by market fresh ingredients. Yachtsman combines the very best of seasonal flavors with the traditional steak experience.
My absolute favorite pick at Yachtsman is the 16-ounce Boneless Ribeye. It is always a melt-in-your-mouth choice.
But we are also big fans of the 12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak, served here with a rich potato gratin stack.
Shula’s at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin is the kind of place that you think of when you envision an upscale steakhouse. As your eyes adjust to the dim lighting and you check out the menu — printed on a football! — you’ll settle into the refined elegance of your surroundings.
When I have the chance to dine here, I almost always go for my favorite, the 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye (are you sensing a theme?). The Bone-in Steak has been excellent on every visit. The flavor is unbelievable!
Looking for a lighter approach to soothe your carnivore cravings? We’ve also enjoyed the Steak Mary Anne. Delicate by steakhouse standards, the 5-ounce medallions are served with a simple demi glace in this case. It’s the perfect plate for the guest who prefers all the flavor of prime, aged beef in a smaller serving.
If you’re a landlubber like me, then finding a great steak at a restaurant known for fabulous seafood is a dream come true. But it’s not impossible if you’re dining at Flying Fish Cafe.
When I visit, I always order the Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip. The creamy Sauce Foyot is such a great accent — and they’re never chintzy with it!
Can’t decide between surf and turf? You don’t have to! Try the two house specialities side by side with the Entree Duo, which features the Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak and the restaurant’s most famous fish dish, the Potato-wrapped Red Snapper.
Jiko offers some of the most interesting food at Walt Disney World.
And while I enjoy the fusion of African, Indian, and Meditteranean flavors when it comes to appetizers and desserts, I rarely deviate from my favorite entree: the Oak-Grilled Filet.
And even when their delicious Mac and Cheese isn’t featured as the dish’s side, you can usually score it as a special request (and I totally recommend that you do).
In the mood for steak with no Advance Dining Reservation? Then head to Epcot’s Liberty Inn. Their New York Strip Steak, served with Red Wine Butter, Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli, is surprisingly good.
Even though most of my favorite steaks at Disney World are featured at signature restaurants, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good option at moderately priced restaurants, too, like Sci-Fi Dine-In.
Recently, I was pleasantly surprised by [Read more…]