First Look! Breakfast at Disney World’s Be Our Guest Restaurant!

Here we goooooooooo!

After months of waiting, it’s finally here. The first day of Breakfast at Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant is on the books, and it was a great one!

After opening in 2012, Be Our Guest Restaurant was an instant sensation for disney-goers, and it has since become THE reservation to get when you’re planning a trip to the World.

BOG has a long history of “firsts.” The table-service dinner at the French, Beauty and the Beast-inspired restaurant features alcohol in the Magic Kingdom for the first time ever, the lunch meal became the first to offer dining FastPass+ bookings (no longer offered), and subsequently lunch just became the first counter-service restaurant to require reservations to dine.

Now, Be Our Guest’s counter-service breakfast is also taking Advance Dining Reservations!

And today we’ve got a fun FIRST LOOK at all of the food for you. We’ll have a full review on Monday with our fancy camera pics, but I couldn’t wait to share a few phone pics with you this morning!

UPDATE: Please note that as of June 2015, the initial test phase of breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant has been extended and Advance Dining Reservations are currently available through October 3, 2015. 

Atmosphere

There’s nothing like an early morning romp through the Magic Kingdom — especially when the park is totally empty (well, almost)!

Cinderella Castle in the early morning light

Cinderella Castle in the early morning light

And that’s one of the many benefits of booking a “before-the-park-opens” meal at one of Magic Kingdom’s breakfast restaurants. Not only do you get some great photo ops, but you’re also done with breakfast and ALREADY IN THE PARK just in time to get to the front of the line at your favorite rides as soon as they open.

Morning at Magic Kingdom

Morning at Magic Kingdom

But, our favorite attractions are always the restaurants, so we couldn’t wait to cross that bridge over to the Beast’s Castle and enjoy breakfast at Be Our Guest for the first time ever.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Check-in was at two umbrella’d tables in front of the main [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: NEW Unique Meals for Kids at Walt Disney World

Many of us have been there — you’re trying to plan the best and most delicious vacation, but when it comes to Disney Kids’ Meals, the options can seem pretty ho-hum at first glance.

dfb2015_guide_3d

But there’s more to eating with small fry in Disney World than meets the eye! We first told you about Unique Kids’ Meals a while back in a Tip from the DFB Guide.

But times marches on, and menus evolve. And since we first visited the subject, Disney has committed to offering guests healthier eating options — and that includes Kids’ Meal reforms. We’ve fully updated the DFB Guide again this year, and I thought it was the perfect time to revisit Unique Kids’ Meals at Walt Disney World!

These tips come to you courtesy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015! And if they’re helpful to you, pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Mickey Check Meals

We can’t begin to discuss Disney World Kids’ Meals without at least touching on the biggest change to come to children’s menus in the history of the Resort. We’re talking about Mickey Check Meals.

mickey check for kids meals

Part of the Disney Magic of Healthy Living Initiative, the meals are designated on Disney restaurant menus with the “Mickey Check” Symbol. Meals earning the Mickey Check meet the Disney Nutrition Guidelines and limit the amount of sodium, sugar, and saturated and trans fats. In addition, they must also include at least three of the following:

  • fruits and vegetables,
  • low-fat dairy,
  • whole grains, and/or
  • lean protein, beans, eggs, and/or nuts.

So what’s the bottom line? The guidelines have certainly challenged Disney chefs to come up with some interesting meals as a result.

Mickey Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf at Be Our Guest Restaurant…Super Cute! But Not So Delicious

But how do they taste? Wellllll…my jury is still out on that one. While I commend Disney for offering healthier options to guests who are in search of them, the Disney Check Meals that I’ve seen and tasted personally…let’s just say they have a long way to go before taste catches up with the requirements.

A la Carte and Appetizers as Kids’ Meals

If you aren’t using a Disney Dining Plan, then another great idea for a Unique Kids’ Meal option is to order a la carte sides or appetizers instead of something from the Kids’ Menu.

This strategy works great for a couple of different reasons. Even with all of the improvements to kids’ meals across the parks and resorts, some Disney restaurants lag behind a bit, and the options can be a little, well, boring. After all, you can only eat Chicken Nuggets so many times. So it’s a great way to get your young, adventurous eater something tastier and more satisfying.

Smoked Chicken Quesadilla

Smoked Chicken Quesadillas, a Whispering Canyon Cafe Appetizer, is a Great Meal Choice for an Adventurous Kid

It’s also a great idea when [Read more…]

News: Mickey Check Meals Debut on All Disney Cruise Line Ships

Great news for families who prefer to stick with healthy food options during their Disney adventures!

mickey check for kids meals

Mickey Check Meals have now made their way to the entire fleet of Disney Cruise Line ships.

The Mickey Check is an emblem that kids and adults can use on Disney menus to quickly identify meals that meet the Disney Nutrition Guidelines. Mickey Check Meals have been available throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland. And now, you can add them to your Disney Cruise Line dining options as well.

The use of the Mickey Check and the creation of healthy, nutritious meals continues the work of the Disney Magic of Healthy Living Initiative. The project works to provide nutritious options and kid-appropriate portions.

Mickey Check Meal on Disney Cruise Lines

Mickey Check Meal on Disney Cruise Lines

Mickey Check Meals aim to provide three or more nutritious food groups, including [Read more…]

Disney Dining Tip: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Private Dining at Uzima Springs Pool Bar

I don’t know about you, but it’s Monday where I am, and I could use a trip to a pool bar. Fortunately, we are headed straight for Uzima Springs Pool Bar today!

Uzima Springs Pool Bar Sign

Wow — I haven’t written about this place since waaaaaay back in 2009 (awwww…look at the baby food blog!). Shocking, since it’s one of my favorite pool bars! :-) I mean — check out these pics! This is from back when Uzima Springs Pool was GREEN!

OK, enough reminiscing. I’ve got some news about this spot that makes it even more fun to visit!

Uzima Pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Located poolside at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House, this spot is truly an oasis. It’s often a most welcome sight — especially after a hot hot HOT Orlando day.

Uzima Springs Pool -- LOVE Zero Entry!

The enormous pool offers a fun, family-style atmosphere amidst gorgeous jungle-like landscaping.

Pool from Another View. Waterslide -- WOO!

Poolside information (starring PUUMBA!) gives you a rundown of the activities at the resort, as well as operating hours for most of Disney World’s attractions.

Uzima Springs Pool Info

C’mon! Grab a hula hoop! You know you wanna!

Hula Hoops!

Uzima Springs Pool Bar Food and Drink

For a long time, I’ve loved the pool bars at Disney’s various resorts. I mean, nothing says, “Hey, you’re on vacation!” more succinctly than sidling (c’mon; everyone sidles on vacation) up to a waterside watering hole, and grabbing a brew or a drink topped with an umbrella.

Uzima Springs Pool Bar

You’ll find the [Read more…]

Chef Interview: New Kids’ Menus Debut in Downtown Disney Orlando

Can healthy kids’ menus also be fun and interesting?

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Steve Richard, executive chef of Downtown Disney’s Portobello Trattoria in Walt Disney World. Portobello and its sister restaurants, Fulton’s Crab House and Wolfgang Puck Cafe, have debuted some brand new children’s menus that aim for healthy as well as fun.

Since healthier — and more grown-up — kids’ eats is a growing trend among Disney-area restaurants (for example, check out the kids’ menu at the new Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom), I was interested to hear all the new menus and the impetus behind them.

Portobello Trattoria

Portobello continues to offer freshly-prepared rustic Italian fare, with an emphasis on slow cooking and local ingredients. And the family-friendly atmosphere provides a cozy-yet-refined alternative where families with children can relax.

Portobello

Though I’ve seen some negative reviews for Portobello, my experiences here have pretty positive. And the new kids’ menu focuses on freshness and whole foods, without sacrificing kid pleasers, like pizza.

It seems that choice really was the driving motivation for the recent updates to the menus at all three restaurants. “We wanted to offer choices,” said Chef Steve. “People are on vacation and they might be inclined to be indulgent. With all the menus, we feel it’s important to offer healthy choices as well.”

Portobello Dining Room Seating

The choices emphasize a balance between indulgence and smarter eating. “We think the best approach is to offer healthy meals for kids as well as something that mimics the adult dining experience,” he explained.

“We are trying to offer things that are indulgent, like the option to have an ice cream sundae made with locally-made gelato at Portobello. But then we also have grilled meats and fresh fruits, as opposed to things we normally see on children’s menus.”

Chef Steve and his team have also included fresher choices for beverages, like 100% juice options and low-fat milk.

Portobello Kids' Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Fulton’s Crab House

Fulton’s Crab House has retained many of their classic dishes, while offering a new flair featuring sustainably and responsibly harvested [Read more…]

Money-Saving Tip: The “No Kids Meal Challenge”

Let’s welcome back guest author Katie Drake with an interesting food challenge: saving cash by NOT ordering kids’ meals! Sounds counter-intuitive? Read on…

The Kids’ Meal Dilemma

Tell me I’m not the only parent this has happened to: you sit down for lunch, and instead of eating their chicken nuggets and apple sauce, your child is eager to get moving to the next ride.

So you and your spouse pick at the nuggets, eventually throwing most of the meal away. And 30 minutes after lunch is done, you hear the dreaded whine: “I’m hungry.”

No Kids Meal Challenge

The No Kids Meal Challenge at Walt Disney World

I’m not a plate cleaner myself, but I do hate seeing so much food – and money – go to waste. So on our recent trip to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, our group of three families agreed to a challenge: no kids meals.

Instead, the three sets of parents would share their meals with the five kids in the group, supplementing with snacks if we were still hungry.

We figured this would save us some cash, result in less food being thrown away, and leave more room in our tummies for the Mickey-shaped pretzels and Dole Whips we always seem to buy anyway.

No Kids Meals Group

We figured this would work:

  1. because Disney’s portions are generally pretty big,
  2. our kids are still fairly small (ranging in age from one to five years old),
  3. we’re never actually hungry in the parks anyway since there is so much good stuff to eat by way of snacks.

Always prepared, the moms did supplement our meals a bit. String cheese, juice boxes, crackers, apple sauce, and fruit snacks all made their way into the parks with us, and they were available whenever any child showed the slightest hint of hunger away from a meal or other snack. [Read more…]

News! ‘The Mickey Check’ Introduced at Walt Disney World and Disneyland

The ability to provide more nutritious meals for your children while on vacation just became a little easier!

Disney has started rolling out The Mickey Check on counter service menus across both Disney World and Disneyland resorts.

The Mickey Check will give parents a recognizable shortcut to identifying meals that meet the Disney Nutrition Guidelines, and expands upon the Disney Magic of Healthy Living initiative. This aims to provide nutritious options and kid-appropriate portions.

The first menu to feature The Mickey Check is the brand new Be Our Guest Restaurant lunch menu, which will feature a counter service format.

Kid's Menu at Be Our Guest will Feature the New Mickey Check

Following the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Disney Nutrition Guidelines also encourage the limitation of sodium, sugar, and saturated and trans fats.

Turkey Meatloaf at Be Our Guest Restaurant Earns the Mickey Check

To meet these guidelines, meals carrying The Mickey Check must contain at least [Read more…]

Review: Studio Catering Co. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

While we previously told you about the menu changes at Studio Catering Co., I finally got the chance recently to stop in and sample their “new to me” menu of sandwiches for myself!

Please note that this post is my contribution to StudiosCentral.com’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios Awareness Week! (Better late than never! ;-D)

Atmosphere

With its awesome location right next to the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, the Catering Company is a great spot for families with children to take a play break from the attractions.

Studio Catering Company Exterior

There is also a TON of shaded seating, so there is always a spot to sit and relax for a bit.

Studio Catering Company Tables

And while you’re taking a load off, don’t forget to snag your Stoplight Margarita from High Octane Refreshments next door! Just sayin’…

Eats

The menu was changed up here a while back, and I’ve been hearing some pretty good reviews of it. The casual dining spot currently offers an interesting selection of hot and cold sandwiches.

Studio Catering Co. Menu

A grilled vegetable sandwich and Greek salad are also available for those looking for quick service vegetarian fare. (I hear GREAT reviews of that vegetable sandwich, by the way.)

The standard Kids’ Picks of chicken nuggets or Smucker’s Uncrustables PB&J don’t offer a lot of adventure for younger diners, though.

Studio Catering Co. Menu 2

While there aren’t too many sides offered (your standard apple slices and french fries are available, of course), there are a couple of options for dessert (hey, this is vacation, right?). And you’ve got a few beer and [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 12, 2012

Marceline's Rose Cupcakes in Disneyland

Can you feel the love in the air? Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and whether you have a “special someone” to share it with or not, it’s still a primo excuse to eat some chocolate!!!

Wishing all y’all a super week with a special chocolate-y something on Tuesday! (C’mon…treat yourself!)

Disney Food Blog News

Just a few quick news bites from the Disney Food Blog here!

Disney Food News

Here’s the yummy deets from this week!

For more delicious food news, stop by our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

Disney Pic-O-the-Week

One of our favorite Disney food bloggers, Andy Jackson from Eating (and Drinking) Around the World, sent over news that the turkey leg graphic is now showing up on hats in Disney World!

On to the Round-Up

New Disney Books! Just wanted to give a heads up that we’ll be sharing the news about a couple of great Disney books very soon! Check out the 2011 Earbook by Kevin Yee, and Walt and the Promise of Progress City by Sam Gennawey! If you’re a Disney book-a-holic, pick ‘em up!

Disney History showcases a new book that will feature Disney’s poster art (speaking of books!). Check out the Casey’s Corner poster!

Exploring WDW shares the latest menu from the Anandapur Tea Company showing that the Disney Dining Plan is now accepted at this Animal Kingdom location.

Disney Tourist Blog reviews Disneyland’s Village Haus restaurant.

Main Street Gazette visits the Grand Floridian Cafe to sample the unique Grand Sandwich.

DisneyParks Blog highlights fave vegetarian options found at quick-service locations at the Disneyland Resort.

Beers and Ears has created an Iphone App to help you zero in on your favorite brews while in Walt Disney World.

Kids’ “Power Pack” Spotted at Fairfax Fare

Fairfax Fare in Disney World’s Hollywood Studios is offering a Kids’ Pick Power Pack for $5.49.

The Power Pack includes five “snack” type items: string cheese, Gold Fish crackers, chocolate chip cookie, Danimals yogurt, carrots with dressing, and milk.

This is a great way to keep your kids powered up for a long day of touring without having to resort to fried items at counter service restaurants.

Or, heck, it’s a great way to keep YOU powered up for touring without having to resort to fried items at counter service restaurants! ;-)

Kids Power Pack as seen in Disneyland

These power packs have been a popular item offered in [Read more…]