Disney Food Post Round Up: September 5, 2010

Welcome to the Disney Food Post Round-Up! Our favorite piece of news this week is that the tarps have come down from around La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico!

Check out these gorgeous photos of La Hacienda de San Angel in Disney World’s Epcot. Also, check out this interior concept art!

The restaurant should be opening in mid-September (15th or 16th). Reservations will be available for dates after Oct. 15th. For more details and menus for La Hacienda de San Angel and La Cantina de San Angel, check out our La Hacienda de San Angel info page.

Also in the news — save some space for Orlando Magical Dining Month! $30, 3-course meals with part of the profits donated to charity! Take advantage all through September. AND, if you’re in northern Cali, head over to the Walt Disney Family Museum for a film and food tribute to the Bay Area!

And now, on to the round-up!

Orlando Sentinel‘s Daily Disney blog posted info about our very own upcoming WDW Foodie Fest! Check it out! We’re famous! (Thanks to “A Mom and the Mouse” writer, Kristin Ford!)

Cakewrecks has takes another look at Disney cakes gone wrong!

WDW Character Hunt shares the rumor that Special Agent Oso (a la Playhouse Disney) will be replacing Jo Jo at Hollywood and Vine’s Play and Dine Character meal.

Main St. Gazette takes us to Tusker House for dinner!

BritMick laments the lack of a good cuppa on Disney property — and gives her solution to the problem.

The Givens Chronicles is posting one recipe per week from the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival all this month! This week’s recipe? Mango Lassi from India!

A Taste of Wonderland follows Disney World’s Chef TJ to his new digs — the Grand Floridian’s 1900 Park Fare!

Eating Around the World reviews Coral Reef Restaurant in Epcot.

Samland’s Disney Adventures takes a look at Disneyland’s Roastie-Toasties!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets has a Spring 1970 copy of the Disney News, which includes this great historical find — find out how Disneyland feeds “those enormous appetites” of the guests!

Cooking With Mickey celebrates her anniversary at Club 33 in Disneyland!

Makin’ Memories brings us to Disney World’s ‘Ohana for breakfast!

Deb’s Digest, Deb Wills’ personal blog on AllEars.net, showcases Jim, the fun-loving Casey’s Corner pianist.

Touring Plans Blog‘s Tom Bricker has a food photo face-off, while blogger Kristen Helmstetter brings us to Epcot’s Via Napoli!

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World has some pics of the new Epcot F&W Festival pins!

WDW Magic has some news about menu changes at Animal Kingdom’s Restaurantosaurus.

Thanks to Global Disney Pinvestigation for sending Hacienda pics!

Photos of La Hacienda de San Angel

Here are a few recent photos of La Hacienda de San Angel with no tarps!

New Mexico Pavilion Landscape

View from the Lagoon

Hacienda de San Angel

Outdoor Lagoon Seating

Hacienda de San Angel Outdoor Seating Area

La Cantina

Cantina Seating

Fore more details on La Hacienda de San Angel, including menus, see our Hacienda de San Angel page!

Thanks to Global Disney Pinvestigation for the photos.

This post is part of the DisMarks Disney Blog Carnival! Check it out for more great Disney-related content and information.

Hacienda de San Angel Interior Concept Art

WDW Magic put up three new concept art images for the interior of Mexico’s upcoming La Hacienda de San Angel!

Here’s one of them, showcasing the floor-to-ceiling windows from which guests will be able to watch Illuminations!

Sounds like Hacienda might be opening on September 15th. I wait anxiously!

Head over to WDW Magic to see the rest!

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 22, 2010

News you can use:

Swan and Dolphin have released more info about the Food and Wine Classic! Check it out here.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Fan Site offers the results of their recent reader poll: Best Eats at the Mara.

Daveland has some vintage shots of the Golden Horseshoe AND he’s got another Club 33 visit documented. I love when Dave goes to Club 33. He takes the best pictures.

Studios Central reviews Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Fairfax Fare.

Breakfast at Norway's Akershus

Eating Around the World brings her little prince to meet the princesses at Epcot’s Akershus breakfast.

Theme Park Insider shares his thoughts de cuisine from a recent trip to Epcot.

Makin’ Memories Photo Blog takes a look at Columbia Harbour House in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

A World View enjoys the character breakfast at Cape May Cafe in Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

Main Street Gazette taste tests taffy!

The Disney Chick shares the recipe for and makes Artist Point’s Berry Cobbler!

La Hacienda de San Angel Reservations Available After October 15th

A few more details have been released on La Hacienda de San Angel, opening mid-September in Walt Disney World’s Epcot.

Reservations will be available for dates after October 15th, and the dates from opening through October 15th will be a soft opening period (i.e. walk-up guests only).

The Disney Parks Blog caught up with Richard Debler, the president of San Angel Inn LLC, and Executive Chef Ernesto Zendejas, in charge of the big changes at the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. Here are some of the new insights:

New “Flex-Space” Concept for Disney Dining
The space will be used as an air-conditioned dining room for La Cantina de San Angel next door during the day, and as a full-service restaurant after 4pm.

The Cuisine and Menu
Two taco specialists are being brought in from one of the best taquerias in Mexico to work with the La Hacienda team. Corn tortillas will be made fresh on the premises daily for La Hacienda and La Cantina (the counter-service restaurant next door). Tomato, chipotle and serrano, tomatillo, and mango salsas will be made fresh as well, and there will be unique flavors from different regions of Mexico represented, including cilantro and habenero flavors Southern Mexico.

Favorite La Hacienda de San Angel menu items include mini tacos, including [Read more…]

The Most Popular Disney World Restaurants (And Alternatives When They’re Full)

Chef Donald

You guys remember when we covered the Top Ten Disney Dining Tips, right? Overwhelmingly, the tip that was mentioned the most by Disney Food Blog readers was making Advanced Dining Reservations for high priority meals at Disney parks and resorts.

While this might be obvious to many, not everyone knows which Disney restaurants fill up the fastest when it comes to reservations. Having a little frame of reference on this might be extremely helpful as you’re planning your Disney dining and trying to determine what meals are high priority for you. So, I’ve prepared a little primer on which Disney restaurants are the toughest to book, along with great alternatives if you don’t happen to get your favorites!:

1. Le Cellier

Le Cellier Steakhouse has been, for years, one of the toughest tickets in Disney World for both lunch and dinner. Seriously, I have heard Le Cellier cast members mention more than once that they’re continuously booked up for lunch and dinner 6 months in advance, with walk-up reservations rarely an option. In my opinion, this is due to three things: [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for Fireworks Viewing: Part II

World Showcase

World Showcase

Here’s the second in our series of Best Disney World Restaurants for Fireworks Viewing! Today, we’ll discuss the restaurants with the best views for Illuminations fireworks viewing. (The previous blog post, Part I, has information about Wishes fireworks viewing.)

Illuminations, Reflections of Earth, is shown at Epcot at 9:00PM every night, Saturday-Thursday. Friday nights vary between 9:00PM and 8:00PM depending on Epcot’s schedule.

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room, patio table
Rose and Crown in Epcot’s United Kingdom pavilion is the quintessential dining and viewing spot for Illuminations. If you’re lucky enough to get one of the coveted tables out on the covered patio, Rose and Crown’s view of Illuminations will offer you one of best experiences in Walt Disney World. There’s simply nothing like it.

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room

That said, the fierce competition for these tables has made me forego even making a reservation for dinner at Rose and Crown over the past few visits to Disney World. While Rose and Crown cannot guarantee their ability to grant requests for patio tables, hopefuls begin crowding the podium before 7:00PM each night, willing to wait as long as it takes. The line of patrons waiting to check in can stretch all the way to Tudor Lane. As a result, Rose and Crown has instituted a policy (in my experience) that those checking in at the podium may wait only one hour for a table request; after an hour, they must take the table offered, or choose not to dine at Rose and Crown.

Patio View

Patio View

How can you improve your chances? Visit Disney World during a slow season (e.g. Winter or early Fall), book your reservation for around 7:30-7:45pm (it’s simply not fair to the servers to book earlier; unless, of course, you’re willing to pay three times the tip!), and tell the cast members when you check in that you’re willing to wait the hour for a fireworks-view, patio table.

Back Patio

Back Patio

Note that the Rose and Crown patio stretches around the Rose and Crown, meaning you might be seated at the side of the restaurant. You can still see the fireworks here, but the view will not be as good as from the back patio, directly next to the lagoon. You can specify that you’re requesting a back-patio, fireworks-view table, but patio is patio… .

Side Patio

Side Patio

Rose and Crown is a casual restaurant; park-wear is acceptable. No reason to dress up. By the way, the potato and leek soup is to die for!

La Hacienda de San Angel
One of Epcot’s newest restaurants, La Hacienda de San Angel, offers — for the first time in Epcot history — an Illuminations view rivaling that at Rose & Crown! While many of the tables offer excellent views (the windows are expansive), those that are right up against the windows will be highly prized.

View from Our La Hacienda de San Angel Window Table

One of the Main Dining Rooms at La Hacienda

Bistro de Paris
This high-end restaurant located on the second floor of the building housing Les Chefs de France in Epcot’s France pavilion has excellent Illuminations viewing. Again, you’ll want to arrive early and request a window table, but a steep price and nearly hidden entrance (the entrance to Bistro de Paris is hidden around the back of the Le Chefs de France building) mean that competition for seating is limited compared to Rose and Crown.

Fireworks from Bistro de Paris Window

The dining here is top-notch, but the view from the second story windows can’t be beat. Dress up for this one and make it a celebration.

Cantina de San Angel
The Mexico pavilion’s counter service dining option has been touted by some, panned by others, but everyone agrees that it’s a good option for watching Illuminations…assuming you can commandeer a table and stand your ground!

Cantina de San Angel

Because the tables are lined up along the World Showcase Lagoon, patrons have complained about kiddos squeezing themselves between tables and fence to get a better view. Also, folks who might not have as much need for personal space as you do may invite themselves to infringe upon yours by “sharing” your table.

This spot might be more hassle than it’s worth, but it’s an inexpensive way to get one of the best views in the park. And the food’s tasty, too!

Tokyo Dining
Tokyo Dining, in Epcot’s Japan pavilion, was recently renovated and re-opened in 2007. Specializing in sushi and tempura, the restaurant shares the second floor of the Mitsukoshi Department Store building with Japan’s other table-service restaurant, Teppan Edo.

Tokyo Dining

This might be your best bet for getting an advanced dining reservation less than 90 days out, as many folks don’t yet know about Tokyo Dining, aren’t sure where it is, or simply don’t want to try the food. Luckily, this means that the floor-to-ceiling window views are up for grabs!

Dining Room

Dining Room

As with the other restaurants, make a reservation for an hour or so before Illuminations and arrive early. Request a window table (tell them you’ll wait if necessary). Once seated, enjoy your meal leisurely until the show begins.

View of World Showcase Lagoon

View of World Showcase Lagoon

Note that there is an outdoor, public walkway along the windows at Tokyo Dining. If people notice it’s there, they may crowd it before the show. You’ll still be able to see the fireworks, but this could possibly block the view a bit.

Outdoor Walkway

Outdoor Walkway

Tokyo Dining is a more casual restaurant; park-wear is acceptable.

Other Potential Viewing Spots With Dining
While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend either of these spots for Illuminations viewing, Tangerine Cafe in Morocco and Liberty Inn at the American Adventure might offer a decent place to sit to see the higher-up fireworks. At Tangerine Cafe, even if you’re sitting outside (the windows are too opaque to see from the inside), the crowds will likely mar your view of the action on the water. At Liberty Inn, the American Gardens Theater tends to block out the lagoon view. But both offer spots to sit, take a load off, and nosh a bit while you listen to the music and enjoy at least some of the show.

If you have other ideas and options, be sure to let me know in the comments section below!

Check out the other “Best Disney World Restaurants” in our series!