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 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 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! 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…


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?).


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


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…]

Disney World Crème Brûlée Gallery

I’ve had numerous requests from folks asking for a round-up of where you can get Crème Brûlée in Disney World, and finally we’ve put this gallery together!

Garde Manger Caramelizes Creme Brulee

For those who haven’t indulged before, classic Crème Brûlée is a dessert created from baked and cooled custard topped with (usually) blowtorched sugar forming a candied crust.

Disney pastry chefs have bent over backwards figuring out how to put their own personal touch on this decadent recipe… Let’s take a look at some of the interesting ones!

Please note that Disney dessert menus change all the time, so some of these may no longer be available on your visit.

Be sure to let us know in the comments below about your favorite Crème Brûlée desserts in Disney restaurants!!

White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Check out Portobello‘s yummy version! The white chocolate shavings really made this dessert!

White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Pistachio Crème Brûlée

A classic at Tony’s Town Square in the Magic Kingdom is this beloved Pistachio Crème Brûlée. And I fully agree with it’s cult favorite status — it was delicious!

pistachio creme brulee

Pistachio Creme Brulee

Key Lime and Regular Crème Brûlée Duo

Narcoossee’s serves this dessert as a duo — two for one deal!! The true winner is the Key Lime — it’s the perfect dose of tart and tangy with the [Read more…]

Limited Time! Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Topping at Kona Cafe

Valentine’s Day is popping up in Disney restaurants, yes, indeed! And in the most wonderful ways!

Kona Cafe at Disney World’s Polynesian Resort is offering a special menu item of Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Topping for a limited time!

Valentine's Day Treat: Red Velvet Pancakes at Kona Cafe

I got a fun email this morning from DFB reader Susan W. with the following info:

At Kona during breakfast yesterday (02/06/12), they gave us a pink sheet of paper with our menus with the following written on it: [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 22, 2012

Did the Frito Kid have a hand in inventing Doritos?

Lots of Disney food news popped up this week, including lovely, flavorful things like wine, chocolate, caramel, coffee, cake, and more!!

Plus, we’ve found some seriously interesting posts to share with you — did you know that Doritos may have been invented in Disneyland?? Check it out…

Treat Yourself to Updated Disney Food News

For more decadent food news, stop by our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis — even little stuff that you might not see in a full post on the blog! Worth a look… :-)

DFB Disney Dining Adventures e-Book

Have you read our newest Disney Food Blog e-Book?

DFB Disney Dining Adventures includes over 80 pages of pre-planned food fun to add to your family’s plans on your next trip! Let us do the planning for you — all you need to do is have a blast!

Want a day full of Dole Whips or a day planned for a Princess? Perhaps you have a dino fan in the family — we’ve got two days of pre-planned Jurassic-sized fun! And if you’re traveling with the grown-ups, check out our full two-day Beer Adventure!

The e-Book includes:

  • Fully themed strategies that cover one day, two days, or a full week
  • Themed breakfast, lunch, and dinner suggestions
  • Disney attraction and ride suggestions that complement each Adventure theme
  • Our favorite snacks that are within easy access during each Adventure
  • Historical and behind-the-scenes tips and details that make the Adventure come alive!
  • Plus more bonus sections!

You can check out sample pages and even more details here! Or get your instantly downloadable copy right here! Use code: ADVENTURE for a $2 discount!!

On to the Round-Up!

AKL Resort takes us to the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa at Kidani Village. Try the yummy Naan bread!

OC Weekly investigates the origins of Doritos? There may be a Disneyland connection!

Main St. Gazette clearly agrees with me that the Picnic Burger is a slam dunk at Disney World’s Sci Fi Dine-In! Woo!

WDW Parkhoppers heads to dinner at the Polynesian’s Kona Cafe.

MousePlanet reviews the story behind Mama Melrose’s at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

DisneyParks Blog shares favorite healthy eats at Walt Disney World.