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…]

Top 5 Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Table-Service Values for 2012

Now that you’ve booked your 2012 Disney World vacation, it’s time to make your Advance Dining Reservations. Which restaurants are credit-worthy?

The vacation package add-on called the Disney Dining Plan is a meal plan with a set price in exchange for a certain number of credits. Many table-service meals in Disney World cost one credit, but are you getting the best value?

Stick to the one-credit restaurants, order the most expensive meal on the menu, and maximize your savings! Let’s get to my top picks for best value at “one table-service credit” Walt Disney World restaurants. I think some of them will surprise you!

Criteria Used

When we looked at values, our main criteria was price. These restaurants offer a great bang for your buck when paying with the Disney Dining Plan.

We also looked at enjoyment level and food quality, but these criteria were secondary and tertiary to cost. Note that these aren’t necessarily our favorite restaurants, but they are good values for one Disney Dining Plan credit.

Tutto Italia

Tucked into the Italian pavilion at Epcot, Tutto Italia Ristorante boasts regional cuisines from Italy in an Old World setting. Table service is attentive, although the fine-dining atmosphere can lead to longer waits.

This restaurant serves up a Roasted Rack and Leg of Lamb ($34) as an entree. End your meal with Copetta Sotto Boscue, a dessert specialty comprised of berries, zabaglione cream, gelato, and chocolate sauce, which has an out-of-pocket price of $14. When both of these items are ordered, Tutto Italia becomes quite possibly your best one-credit table-service value in Walt Disney World.

There’s also a Veal Roast which would run you $31 out-of-pocket but… perfectly worth one dining credit!

Veal

Tutto Italia is closed for refurbishment until [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: December 11, 2011

Gluhwein in Epcot's Germany

We’re in Walt Disney World this weekend eating lots of good stuff and capturing tons of great photos to share with you as you plan your upcoming Disney trips, including a new caramel apple margarita, an ice cream cookie sandwich filled with pumpkin ice cream, and even a caramel-fudge-cookie sundae that only costs one Disney Dining Plan snack credit!

Speaking of upcoming trips, here’s a bit of Disney food news to keep you in the loop!

Weekly Disney Food News

Want more news? Stop by our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis! And don’t forget to follow along on our 2011 Holiday Dining page!

Disney Food Blog Gift Certificates Make Great Gifts For Disney Fans!

Our popular Disney Food Blog Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and new DFB Dining Adventures e-Books have been very popular, and now there’s a way for you to give them as gifts to your friends and family!

Using our new Disney Food Blog e-Book Gift Certificates, you can instantly give all of this great dining info and advice to your favorite Disney fan, and it’s EASY! Get all of the details — and great holiday discounts — at http://dfbguide.com/giftcertificates!

Don’t let your friends and family go to Disney World unprepared. Get a DFB Gift Certificate for your favorite Disney fan today!

On to the Round-Up!

WDW For Grown-Ups takes a look at Adult-Friendly Character Meals! Great idea!!

WESH.com names Top 5 Holiday Food Picks at Walt Disney World — written by yours truly!

Goofy at Cape May Cafe -- an Adult-Friendly character meal!

Daveland Blog reminisces about a long-lost Disneyland coffee shop.

DisMarks has another great Disney Blog Carnival this week with lots of fun Disney food articles!

Stuff from the Park travels back in time to take a look at a 1970s menu from the American Egg House at Disneyland.

MiceChat.com reviews dining with diabetes aboard the Disney Dream.

BabyCakes NYC Blog shares the news that Downtown Disney’s Babycakes Bakery will now fulfill vegan and gluten-free cake orders for Disney World resort guests!

Main St. Gazette checks out the scene at Epcot’s Sommerfest! Happy Birthday, Ryan!!

Disney Weddings Blog highlights a new trend — mashed potato bars!

Review: Breakfast (and the new menu!) at Kouzzina

Since it opened, Kouzzina, by Cat Cora, has long been one of our favorite breakfast stops. We’ve reviewed it once before, but now there are brand new menu items to chat about!

And this is a two-part post! We’ll:
1. Chat about the new menu items, and
2. Welcome back guest author Melissa Sorrells Galley with her full review of a recent Kouzzina breakfast! She’s got a few menu updates in her review as well!

New Kouzzina Breakfast Menu Items

On my recent visit to Kouzzina, I noticed a couple of fun new menu items that I had to try! First up, the French Toast Baklava! This super-sweet breakfast extravaganza includes Grilled Fig and Anise country bread with honey, walnuts, and cinnamon along with Bacon or Chicken Sausage for $11.99.

We were extremely glad that we also ordered the new savory dish on the menu, because we really needed some salty to cut through the sweet in this dish. That said, this breakfast was phenomenal. By the way, it also includes an apple-y syrup! Talk about dessert for breakfast!

Baklava French Toast

Chicken Sausage

The second new item we ordered was the Breakfast Skillet with eggs, Pequillo peppers, Nueske’s bacon, onions, Greek cheese, and Sweet potato hash topped with arugula for $13.99. This was a wonderful dish and a great spin on your classic hearty breakfast. While the skillet isn’t “all you care to eat” like at Whispering Canyon Cafe, it’s definitely worth an order!

Breakfast Skillet

Now, check out the guest review below for even more updates to the Kouzzina menu!

Guest Review — Kouzzina Breakfast

Once again, thanks to Melissa Sorrells Galley for this great review of her breakfast at Kouzzina…

I love breakfast. It’s my favorite meal of the day. Pancakes, oatmeal, egg sandwiches or toast: you pretty much can’t go wrong. I love breakfast so much that [Read more…]

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Update: Cat Cora Event Canceled

It’s come to our attention that Iron Chef and Kouzzina Celebrity Chef Cat Cora will no longer be appearing at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Kitchen Memories Event slated for October 28th, 2011.

We’ll watch for news of another celebrity chef taking over the kitchen during this 3-course lunch since the listing is now marked “To Be Determined.”

Disney should be contacting all guests with bookings; you can also call 407-WDW-DINE for options.

Also, we note that dates for Cat Cora’s Signature Dinners are no longer appearing on the official Food and Wine Festival calendar.

UPDATE: We’re hearing from readers that Chef Cora will be appearing at the signature dinners, but we haven’t found confirmation. If you have updates, please let us know.

We wish Chef Cora well. Canceling something like this at the last minute is usually not due to positive news eh? :-(

Thanks to my good friend Andrew Serio for the heads up on this news.

Chefs and Beverage Presenters at the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The list of Visiting Chefs and Presenters has been announced for the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Are your faves on the list?

Visiting Chefs and Speakers include Cat Cora, the Food Network’s Iron Chef known for her Greek and American cooking. WDW guests love Kouzzina! You’ve seen Robert Irvine on several Food Network shows including 2011’s Restaurant: Impossible. Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern may shock picky palates with his Bizarre Foods but he’s also a huge fan of Walt Disney World! And Keegan Gerhard, host of multiple Food Network Challenges, will surely present something mouth-watering!

Visiting Chefs - click image for larger version

And the renowned Walt Disney World Chefs (insert huge applause!) include Chef Brian Piasecki, Chef de Cuisine at the California Grill! Chef TJ Sudiswa has wowed many guests dining on a Special Diet. Once at ‘Ohana, he’s now [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 17, 2011

2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Event Banner

We’re so excited about the response to our 2011 WDW Foodie Fest Snack Attack event. Tickets sold out within just a couple of hours on Friday!

For those who won’t be able to join us, we’d love to see you at the other WDW Foodie Fest events. You can check out the Schedule of Events here!

Disney Food News

Check out some of the latest news in the Disney food world!

New Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide Just Around the Corner…

Yep, we’re finishing up the final edits on our brand new Mini-Guide e-Book!

As you know, our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book covers a wealth of information about Disney World food. But after hitting 250 pages, we reserved some of the more detailed info for our upcoming series of Mini-Guides.

The first in the series will be the Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and it will be debuting very soon.

Detailed reviews, photos, prices, and snack-credit-worthiness of over 70 snacks in the Magic Kingdom are packed into this Mini-Guide, but, as always, we’ve included a few extras and bonus items as well!

We’ll have more information for you very soon; we can’t wait to hear what you think!

Let’s go…On to the Round-Up!

WDW for Grownups checks out some Disney dining discounts!

Disney Tourist Blog reviews Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue in Disneyland Resort.

DisneyContemporary.com looks back at the Contemporary Resort’s Fiesta Fun Center.

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World looks at tuna-inspired dishes.

Main Street Gazette tours the Magic Kingdom restaurant signs that beckon us to dine.

Hoperatives reviews the brew pub, Big River Grille and Brewing Works at the Boardwalk resort. Find your “better beer”!

DLP.info shows updates us on construction at Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost in Disneyland Paris.

4Parks1Blog.com reviews Kouzzina at the Boardwalk resort.

Kouzzina Chef’s Table and Flying Fish Chef’s Counter Updates

Editor’s Note: Kouzzina’s Chef’s Table has been discontinued.

We mentioned back in December that Kouzzina was going to be announcing a Chef’s Table soon, but now we actually have some details thanks to reader Chris H!

We’ve also got some updates about the Flying Fish Chef’s Counter next door to Kouzzina (thanks to the same!).

Kouzzina Chef’s Table

Kouzzina offers a Chef’s Table tasting menu at this Boardwalk Resort restaurant, and Iron Chef Cat Cora’s worked hard at creating the menu! (Nope, Cat’s not usually there, but at least her stamp is on the dishes.)

Guests of the Chef’s Table will be presented with some of Cat Cora’s personal favorites during this five-course experience in the intimate CoraNation Room. Explore the flavors of the Mediterranean as the Chef (the day to day Chef; not Cora herself) interacts during the presentation of each course. While candles flicker, your dinner will include fresh seafood and oak-grilled specialties. Check out a photo of the appetizer course here.

The Kouzzina Chef’s Table experience costs $69.23 per person and can accommodate up to 24 people (age 10 and older). Complement your special meal with wine pairings for an additional $35-plus per person. Payment is due when reserving. A dress code applies: Men – Khakis, slacks, jeans, dress shorts, collared shirts. Sport coats are optional. Ladies – Capris, skirts, dresses, jeans, dress shorts. Reservations which are highly recommended can be made at 407-939-3463 up to 180 days in advance of your meal. Please note any special diet needs when booking. A 48 hour cancellation policy is in effect.

When
Friday and Saturday 6:30 p.m.

Flying Fish Chef’s Counter Update

The Flying Fish Cafe’s Chef’s Counter offers a memorable meal for guests 21 and over!

Crispy Tempura Soft Shell Crab

Previously guests were seated in six chairs on the left side of the saute/pasta station. Due to popular demand, more seats have been added to this special tasting experience! At least 3 additional seats are now available on the right side directly in front of the fish/risotto station. These new seats can get a bit [Read more…]

2011 United Way Chef’s Gala To Be Held in Epcot on May 21st

Benefiting Heart of Florida, The United Way’s Chef’s Gala will be held in Epcot’s World Showplace on Saturday May 21, 2011. The 19th annual Chef’s Gala touts the event as “A Tasteful Way to Make a Difference” which raised almost $170,000 last year! Walt Disney World has hosted the Chef’s Gala since its inception with over a million raised in that time!

Chef's Gala

Specs
The festivities begin at 6:45 pm. with a cocktail attire dress code.

6:45 – 8:15 pm Champagne Served and Martini Bar Opens
7:30 – 10:00 pm Chefs Begin Serving

Guests will enjoy a silent auction and wine reception. This tasteful event continues with a scrumptious tasting featuring over 20 top chefs (and restaurants) from Central Florida. There will also be paired fine wines, desserts and specialty coffees. For questions about wine and wine pairings, Sommeliers will be on hand.

Participating restaurants include: Artist Point, Kouzzina by Cat Cora, La Luce by Donna Scala, Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, Sanaa, Todd English’s bluezoo, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Tusker House Restaurant, The Wave…of American Flavors, Disney’s Contemporary Resort Bakery, Epcot Bakery, Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company.

Ticket Info: [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: December 26, 2010

Magic Kingdom Christmas Tree

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! We’re looking forward to the new year here at Disney Food Blog, where we’ll be unveiling some fun new features we’ve been working on. In the meantime…

Here’s the latest Disney Food News!

Now, on to the round-up!

Disney Parks Blog was teeming with foodie fun this week. Check out this great recipe for a Tom and Jerry (these are really popular in my hometown, so it’s fun to have the Disney recipe for them!).

Main Street Gazette features one of my favorite brownies on Disney property — the paw print brownie from Animal Kingdom’s Kusafiri Bakery.

Yesterland — in an oldie, but goodie history article — discusses the Tahitian Terrace, and gives us a menu to peruse!

Watch Me Eat goes to Pollo Campero in Disney World’s Downtown Disney!

Makin’ Memories has a fun video from Karamell-Kuche in Epcot’s Germany!