Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 12, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you fantastic moms, mothers-in-law, grandmas, and moms-to-be out there!

Disney Mother's Day Cookies

We love that Disney is featuring some yummy “just-for-mom” cookies and rice krispie treats in their candy shops this month! Have a wonderfully sweet day!

And let’s start that day with a little Disney food news…that’s always sweet!

Disney Food News

Read on for this week’s news from your favorite Disney destinations…

And 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 Celebration Cakes at Epcot, a fall refurbishment for Cinderella’s Royal Table, and new menus at ESPN Club, Kona Cafe, and Beaches & Cream.

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!

This week, we get a glimpse of some fun birthday celebrations such as this one sent in by Facebook Friend Alynne. She says “This was my son’s 4th birthday cake I ordered in advance at the Enchanted Garden Restaurant at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. It was super yummy!”

Birthday Cake at Enchanted Garden in Hong Kong Disneyland!

Another friend from Facebook, Hal, sent this delicious treat from their son’s birthday. It’s “a build your own sundae birthday celebration at Le Cellier”!

Build Your Own Sundae at Le Cellier!

Be sure to check out lots more Disney birthday goodies in our Disney Birthday Treats Gallery!

Deal of the Week! Pre-Order A 2013 Disney Dining Guide and get the 2012 Edition for FREE!

When you pre-order your copies of the DFB Guide to the 2013 Walt Disney World Holidays and/or the DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival for an exclusive discounted rate, you’ll be able to instantly download the 2012 Guides and start your planning — TODAY.

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Pre-Order — DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2013

The Holiday season in Disney World is packed with magic: Holiday meals and snacks, special events, and seasonal shows, for starters! How will you see all the attractions, save money, AND take in the extra festivities in your already jam-packed vacation?

We’ll guide you through all the holiday events, activities, and dining so that you can get the biggest bang for your buck in Walt Disney World!
List Price: $14.95. This price includes the 2012 Guide as an instant download. You will automatically be sent the 2013 Guide as soon as it’s published.
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DFB Reader Discount: $3! (20% off)
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Pre-Order — DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

46 days of special events, 29 food and beverage tasting booths, and celebrity chefs to meet? How do you fit it all in without breaking the budget? Make sure you make the most of your time and money at Disney World’s Food & Wine Festival!

List Price: $14.95. This price includes the 2012 Guide as an instant download. You will automatically be sent the 2013 Guide as soon as it’s published.
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On to the Round-Up!

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups sips on rum drinks at Walt Disney World! What’s your favorite rum drink at Disney?

Mickey Fix leads us to some great merchandise this week. How about a Build on Brick Lego mug or Gaston’s Tavern Stein?!

Cake Wrecks shares photos of an awesome Millennium Falcon cake!

Daveland highlights one of my favorite past Disney restaurants — Casa de Fritos — for Cinco de Mayo.

Yesterland remembers Bountiful Valley Farm in Disney California Adventure.

Disney Travel Babble highlights new celebration cakes available at select Epcot restaurants.

Main Street Gazette stops by the Landscape of Flavors food court at the Art of Animation resort.

Disney Parks Blog announces a Celebration of Greece at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks, including wine education and tasting seminars on May 25.


News! Menu Updates at Disney Restaurants

It’s that time of year again!! Disney World restaurants are updating menus left and right!

Thankfully, we have wonderful readers who help keep us all up-to-date with these changes. Here are a few of the updates… . And stay tuned for our review of the NEW Le Cellier Steakhouse menu coming up soon!

Beaches & Cream

According to a server, menu changes took place approximately two weeks ago at the Beach Club’s Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. Check out the addition of a Vegetarian Falafel on flatbread which replaces the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich.

Beaches and Cream Menu. Click image for larger version.

Here’s a pic of the new Falafel sandwich, thanks to ThatMattLynn on twitter!

Falafel Sandwich at Beaches and Cream

Also, prep for a Kitchen Sink Sundae price increase by $2 — it now costs $28.99. Thanks to Brent Hannon for the info!

Ice Cream Menu at Beaches and Cream. Click image for larger version.

Artist Point

Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has a few menu updates this Spring, according to DFB reader Elyssa Henry!

She says, “My husband and I just ate at Artist Point for the first time and it was AMAZING! Thanks for the previous reviews. They helped guide our choices. I also wanted to let you know that they just added two items to the menu and our server, Paul, told us tonight was their debut.”

Artist Point Cedar Plank Salmon

It sounds like the Wild Columbia River Cedar Plank Roasted King Salmon is back on the menu, and there’s also a seasonal dessert to sample: pistachio coffee cake and sea salted caramel vanilla panna cotta.

Kona Cafe

The Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe has a new dinner menu, which features a new cheese plate as an appetizer.

For entrees, a pan-seared chicken with [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for Brunch

One of my favorite Disney Dining tips for saving money in Disney World is to exchange two meals for one — especially when you’re trading breakfast and lunch for an awesome brunch!

In the past, a main planning focus for many guests has been getting to the parks early so that they can grab fastpasses for favorite rides — or ride things before the crowds arrive.

But now that MyMagic+ is going to make reserving later-in-the-day ride times that much easier, you might be able to take a few days to sleep in — and save some dough at the same time!

So I’m adding to our Best Disney Restaurants Series and outlining a few of my personal favorite places to start the day off slow at Walt Disney World. I can’t wait to hear your suggestions, too!

Kouzzina at the Boardwalk Resort

UPDATE: Please note that Kouzzina by Cat Cora closed in September 2014; however, its replacement restaurant, Trattoria al Forno, offers many of the same items for breakfast

While many guests never to look beyond the standard theme-park fare, those who prefer to sleep in — or save money by getting brunch instead of breakfast AND lunch — should look no further than this!

One of the best brunch spots in Orlando is Kouzzina by Cat Cora, where everything from the robust menu to the warm decor was driven by celebrity Iron Chef Cat Cora.

Waffles topped with Mascarpone Cheese and Honey at Kouzzina

The restaurant, overlooking Crescent Lake at the Boardwalk Inn Resort, has a Greek-inspired menu and a welcoming atmosphere. My favorite breakfast in the World is the mascarpone-topped waffles. So good they should be illegal.

Or snap up the yummy skillet breakfast — or the stacked breakfast with poached eggs, kalamata olive toast, and artichoke spread — while you savor the sights and sounds of the open show kitchen.

Kouzzina Breakfast Skillet

Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge

Your African adventure begins the moment you arrive at this exotic resort and take in the splendor of the lobby. As you make your way to Boma, dark woods and thatched roofs mingle with the delicious smells to make you feel like you’ve entered an African marketplace for breakfast.

Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The buffet here is stocked with popular brunch options like omelets, pancakes, french toast, bacon, sausage, carved ham, breakfast potatoes, cereal, oatmeal, and scrambled eggs; but they also serve up more multi-cultural dishes, including African pastries, quinoa porridge, and bobotie — a type of quiche.

Seriously, you could totally go for that cinnamon roll right now, couldn’t you??

Boma Breakfast Pastries

Be sure to try some of the specialty [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: How to Avoid Crowds When Dining in Disney World

If you’ve ever eaten at a crowded Disney World restaurant, you KNOW it’s not something you want to repeat.

Endless lines, deafening volume, long waits for tables (or sometimes even having to sit on the floor at counter-service restaurants)…it’s definitely not a “magical moment.” After all, vacations are for relaxing — especially at meal times!

We know that you want to make the most of every moment of your trip, and that means eating when the restaurants aren’t crowded — and taking advantage of rides and attractions when restaurants are busy. You need stress-free Disney Dining!

Our recommendations will give you a chance to unwind, enjoy a great meal (or quick and tasty pick-me-up), and get you back to the Walt Disney World attractions! We’ve done the meal time research for you! After years of touring the parks and countless meals at Disney World, we’ve gathered tips to avoid the crowds!

Book an early ADR to get a great table without the crowds!

In our The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book, we have a whole section dedicated to avoiding crowds in Disney World. Pick up your copy here for an extra $4 off using code 2013 for a limited time!

With our in-depth DFB Guide, you’ll learn tips for avoiding the crazy in Disney World — and ensure  you have a relaxing and nourishing meal so you’re ready to get back out to the parks. Don’t go on your vacation without these tips for stress-free dining!

3 Awesome Tips to Avoid Disney World Dining Crowds

Let’s get right to our meal time strategies that we’ve included in the DFB Guide to make the most of your Disney Dining without the crowds.

We found Tortuga Tavern empty at 11am during a June visit! An hour later, there were no seats available!

1. Dine at “Off-Times”

If you’re visiting Disney World during a busy time (yes, Spring Breakers, Summer visitors, Christmas Folks, that includes you!), finding a restaurant without a wait will be difficult.

Still, crowds thin after the throngs depart during major meal rushes. We suggest avoiding 8-9AM, noon-1:30PM, and 6-7PM. We’ve found that booking meals for “brunch” at 10:30 or 11AM, late lunch at 3 or 4PM, or late dinner at 8 or 9PM works well for avoiding the crowd crunch. For counter-service restaurants, we [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 3, 2013

Mickey knows what’s up this weekend!!

We’re right there with you with the game on and the chicken wings on speed dial!!

But just in case you need a break from the pre-game coverage, we’ve got tons of awesome Disney Dining news to share with you today! Check out some of the latest updates below…

Disney Dining News

Catch up on Disney’s food news…

We’ve got additional food news, including restaurant closures, New Menu Items at Tamu Tamu Refreshments, Valentine’s Week Dinners and Specialty Cupcakes at Walt Disney World and Disneyland restaurants, Special Super Bowl Eats at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Exterior Renovation at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, Lunar New Year Specialties at Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney Anaheim, Exterior Renovation at Rainforest Cafe, Hurricane Hanna’s Grand Opening, and LOTS more, on our Disney Food News Pin Board! Head over and check it out!

Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other 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!

This week, reader @nellie204 shared this too-adorable photo she titled: “Standard Disney Breakfast at Saratoga!” via twitter!

We love the choice of breakfast foods, Nellie!!!

Standard Disney Breakfast at Saratoga!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013!!

This week we celebrated the grand launch of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book! This valuable resource is fully updated for 2013 visits, and is now available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining opportunities while in Disney World.

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 400 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite things — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next vacation! 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: 2013 to get a $4 discount for a limited time! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!

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 2013 for your discount!

If you purchased the 2012 Guide and would like to purchase the 2013 Guide, we’ve got a special discount for repeat purchasers. Email me here to get a limited-time, one-use, exclusive discount code to purchase the 2013 Guide at a $6 discount. Please include the email address you used to purchase the 2012 Guide in the body of your email.

For more detailed information and screen shots from the e-Book, head over to DFBGuide.com! With a 100% money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose! :-)

Three Great e-Books: Over 30% Off!

Want even more savings?! We’ve bundled three of our most popular guides into one discounted price! Our DFB Guide & Snacks Bundle offers:

  • The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013, PLUS
  • The DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, AND
  • The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks

All three are being sold together for the first time –and for a massively discounted price. Just $29.95 instead of the regular price of nearly $42.00.

Find out more about the DFB Guide & Snack Bundle here!

On to the Round-Up

WDW Today Podcast chats with us about Walt Disney World dining with kids.

Parents Magazine gives Disney Dining tips, including suggestions from yours truly! ;-)

Daveland visits the Main Street Market House in Disneyland.

DisZine reports on Splitsville’s Super Bowl Party!

The Drinks Business discusses wines at the exclusive Club 33 in Disneyland.

Running at Disney dines at the Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club resort.

Main Street Gazette samples the Milky Way Sundae at Beaches and Cream.

Disney Gals discuss keeping kosher at Disney.

Disney by Mark fuels up at Flo’s V-8 Cafe at Disney California Adventure.

Limited Time: Specialty Pumpkin Treats at Disney World

Thanks to reader Joe Barrett, we’ve got some fun seasonal pumpkin eats in Disney World to share!

Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Pecan Butter

First up, these awesome Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Pecan Butter from Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Resort. They look amazing!!

Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Pecan Butter at Kona Cafe

Kona often has seasonal pancakes, so be on the look-out. Remember the red velvet pancakes with cream cheese topping around Valentine’s Day this year?

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Over at Boma in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, lucky guests will find these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes! According to Joe, they have more of a pumpkin pie texture than a cheesecake texture, but they’re still delicious, and great for any pumpkin fan.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes at Boma

As always, many Disney restaurants and counter-service locations will [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Tonga Toast from Kona Cafe in Disney World

Recently, we told you about yet another fantastic breakfast we had at Kona Cafe, located at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Known for its beloved breakfasts, many guests count Tonga Toast among their all-time favorite Disney Dishes!

Tonga Toast with Bacon

But if you, like me, can’t get to Disney World everytime the craving for Tonga Toast strikes, you’re in luck! Because today, we’re sharing the secret to the magic with you!

Tonga Toast - Inside

Now, be sure to send me a [Read more…]

Review: Kona Cafe Breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

There are restaurants that are hidden gems at Walt Disney World, and there are others that are definitely becoming known as must-do eats. Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort falls firmly into the “must do” list these days. And when it comes to breakfast, this place is, like, the holy grail of Disney World! There are at least four things on the menu that you have to try. ;-)

If you plan to dine at Kona for lunch, be sure to check out our lunch review. But I knew I had to let you in on some great breakfast-y secrets this time…

Atmosphere

We’ve said it before: Kona looks kind of boring. It’s true, at first glance this place looks like any old hotel eatery offering high-priced, mediocre food. But that’s just Kona being a chameleon so that only the true Disney insiders (like you and me) know how good it is.

Kona Cafe

The atmosphere strives to be Hawaiian-y with Polynesian-esque wall hangings, lighting fixtures, and wrought-iron detail. And with the Poly’s atrium just outside the restaurant, it can feel like you’re dining in a lush, air-conditioned Polynesian garden. (Well…a loud air-conditioned Polynesian garden.)

Great Light Fixture

Bright colors and light wood surround you in the open space, and I like that you can peek in on what the Chefs are creating in the semi-open kitchen. When we’re here, they’re usually working on dessert!

Kona Cafe Dining Room

And speaking of bright colors, be sure to look down at the beautiful, tropical-inspired carpet! You just might find a Hidden Mickey if you look closely. :-)

Hidden Mickey in Carpet

Seating includes both booths and tables. As always, I love the round tables, which give you [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Getting Kids to Try New Foods at Walt Disney World

It’s no secret that my daughter Louisa is more than a little produce averse. There was a period of about four years when NO fruit or vegetable crossed her lips, and even now at age 12 she still has to be cajoled into having more than a bite or two of something as innocuous as sweet potato or banana.

Frozen bananas, a gateway fruit.

So you can imagine my surprise when, on a recent trip to the Animal Kingdom’s Yak & Yeti restaurant, she consumed nearly the entire plate of wok-fried green beans we had ordered for the table. It was one of those parenting moments where you hold your breath and move slowly so as to avoid breaking the spell.

Yak & Yeti wok-fried green beans. My hero!

Those Yak & Yeti yummies didn’t turn Louisa into an inveterate bean eater, but she is now occasionally willing to nibble on a tempura string bean if we’re out for Japanese. Based on our prior track record with legumes, I’m going to count that solidly in the win column.

The Theme Park Food Effect

What was it about the Yak & Yeti beans that made Louisa such a fan? Yes, they were quite tasty, and yes, the green part was handily obfuscated by a crunchy, yumtastic fried breading coating; but we had tried similar ploys in the past to no avail. My theory is that the Yak & Yeti beans were flavored by the spice of (cue the orchestra) The Theme Park Food Effect.

Much like campers will say that meals eaten on the trail are the BEST, you know that their experience is colored by the fact that their senses are overwhelmed and they’re starving from an [Read more…]

Guest Review: Kona Cafe Dinner at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Guest author Aaron Crum returns with a review of the Kona Cafe. Let’s join him now for dinner where he shares some great eats and exciting news (Congrats!!) at this Polynesian Resort restaurant in Walt Disney World. Pass the bread, please! ;-)

For those of us who frequent Walt’s playground, we know that there are endless possibilities when it comes to dining. Each trip usually requires a new adventure or a new experience.

However, every now and then, you find a “diamond in the rough” (yes, Aladdin pun intended). With that being said, I find myself booking at least one meal every trip at Kona Café. This well-kept secret inside Disney’s Polynesian resort is, in my opinion, one of your “Disney Must-Do’s” (you know, that little park infomercial that is on a constant loop in your hotel room?).

Atmosphere

Kona Café is on the second floor of the lobby in Disney’s Polynesian resort. And upon entering, you find yourself quickly transported to a tropical oasis. The foliage from the lobby is ever-present and really leads you to believe you are no longer in central Florida.

There is hardly a “waiting area” specifically designed for Kona; rather, it shares a waiting space with ’Ohana. While Kona often gets busy, you can sometimes dine there without the expense of an advance dining reservation. In fact, we were there celebrating a special occasion (I will elaborate!) and we were told by the manager that they keep several time slots open in order to accommodate walk-in guests.

Seating Area

Eats

Let’s get to the good stuff, the FOOD!

First to the table is a loaf of bread, accompanied by a side of macadamia nut butter. The bread was [Read more…]