What’s New Around Walt Disney World: March 15, 2016

Happy Spring! At least, it’s Spring in Disney World where temperatures are starting to rise once more with warm days leading into gorgeous nights!

Springtime Treats at Main Street Confectionery

Springtime Treats at Main Street Confectionery

No matter what the thermometer says in your neck of the woods, why not enjoy a bit of spring with us here at the DFB as we travel all over Disney World to find out What’s New!? [Read more…]

Recommended Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credit Values

We are back with the final installment in our popular series sharing our picks for the Top Value Restaurants when it comes to using your Disney Dining Plan in Walt Disney World.

Disney Food Blog Recommended Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credit Values

Previously, we shared our recommendations for the Recommended Disney Dining Plan Two-Credit Restaurants as well as our choices for Recommended Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Restaurant Values.

Today, we’re sharing our recommendations for Quick Service Restaurants when you’re using the Disney Dining Plan.

Remember — the name of the game here is finding the restaurants that hit the right balance: they have 1) a high average entree price, but they’re also 2) spots that we here at DFB would recommend.

Why is this important? Because we want to help you maximize those Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credits. Note that we have plenty of our own favorites that don’t make this list because the average price didn’t put them at the top.

Here are our picks for the restaurants that give you the best overall bang for your Disney Dining Plan buck when it comes to quick service credit spots.

Wolfgang Puck Express

Wolfgang Puck Express has been around forever, it seems. But one thing doesn’t change — even after all of these years, it still represents amazing quality and value, whether you’re dining on the DDP or not.

Wolfgang Puck Express Roast Chicken -- One of My All-Time Favorites

Wolfgang Puck Express Roast Chicken — One of My All-Time Favorites

That’s because the food here is easily on par with many table service spots. And when you consider that the average price of an entree here is just over $13, it also makes a lot of sense to spend your DDP credits here. [Read more…]

DFB Reader Questions Answered: Best Disney World Breakfasts Without Characters or Buffets

We’re tackling another question from the DFB Reader mailbag! And today, it’s all about breakfast.

The Samoan at Kona Cafe

The Samoan at Kona Cafe

Our reader asks:

Where can we get a good breakfast if we are NOT into characters or buffets?

There are lots of spots to enjoy a terrific breakfast at Walt Disney World — even if you prefer not to have characters, and you’d rather order a la carte.

We’ll break down a few of our favorites below, and share why these spots are tops for starting your Disney Day.

Good Counter Service Options

If you are crunched — for time, money, or both — then consider some of Disney’s best Counter Service Breakfast options.

Deluxe resorts are some of my favorite spots for counter service eats. Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge offers Mickey Waffles with a variety of toppings. We love the Bananas Foster option!

Wilderness Lodge Waffles

Wilderness Lodge Waffles

And at Captain Cook’s, located in the Polynesian Village Resort, you can indulge in an iconic Disney breakfast — Tonga Toast — without paying table service prices!

[Read more…]

Review: Chocolate and Carrot Cake Mini Whoopie Pies at Art of Animation Resort

We are back at Landscape of Flavors in Disney World’s Art of Animation Resort!

Landscape of Flavors remains relatively unique by Disney Counter Service standards. Sure, it offers quick service eats served up food court-style in keeping with the dining set-up at the all Disney World Value Resorts. But with a Tandoori/Mongolian Station serving sides like Naan Bread with dipping sauces (and don’t get me started on the uber-tasty Cheesy Pesto Bread) alongside favorites like burgers and sandwiches, the best-of-both worlds approach to international flavors and American fare have earned this spot high marks since the resort first opened in 2012.

That said, while its reputation for entrees has been deservedly high, Landscape of Flavors hasn’t been a huge destination for desserts (Gelato Bar notwithstanding, of course!). So when I noticed a little something — or somethings — new in the bakery case, it definitely piqued my interest.

They’ve added Mini Whoopie Pies to the options, my friends! And my fellow Carrot Cake Connoisseurs will definitely want to read on…

Atmosphere

Just like Everything Pop at the neighboring Pop Century Resort, Landscape of Flavors is located directly past the resorts’s merchandise spot, the Ink and Paint Shop.

Lobby in Art of Animation

Lobby in Art of Animation

Oh, and be sure to check out the Storyboard Chandelier above you right before you enter! Several of the panels have been signed by Disney artists and actors involved with the films that the Art of Animation celebrates: The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid. Among several others, you can search for Jodi Benson’s signature (she’s the voice of Ariel) as well as Pixar CCO John Lasseter’s. Newly signed panels feature the signatures of Pete Doctor, Jay Ward, and Jerome Ranft who worked on Cars, and also the latest Pixar hit, Inside Out. Pretty cool, right?!

After you’re done with your signature scavenger hunt, just continue through the merchandise shop to find Landscape of Flavors. [Read more…]

News! New Refillable Mugs Rolling Out Across Walt Disney World Resorts

Greetings from Disney’s Pop Century Resort! We stopped by today to give you all a look at the brand new Refillable Resort Mugs that are rolling out across Disney World Resorts, capturing the moment of excitement as you enter Walt Disney World property through the entrance gate!

New Refillable Resort Mug Design

New Refillable Resort Mug Design

Here is a glimpse of the rest of the mug at various angles… [Read more…]

News: “Frozen Fever” Sweet Treats at Disneyland and Disney World

So… Frozen Fun ends in Disneyland on May 15th, and Frozen Summer Fun LIVE won’t return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios until June 17th. That’s one full Frozen-free month… What’s an Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf fan to do?!?

What will we do when there's no Frozen Fun?!

What will we do when there’s no Frozen Fun?!

Fret not, Frozen fans! In the downtime between the two events, Disney is releasing a few treats in honor of “Frozen Fever,” the film short that can currently be seen on the big screen prior to showings of the live-action “Cinderella” film.

As in the film short, these treats go about the task of celebrating Anna’s birthday… and what’s a birthday celebration without a little cake? Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake is a vanilla cupcake with blue buttercream frosting, topped with marshmallows, snowflake candies, and a white chocolate Olaf.

Anna's Happy Birthday Cupcake

Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake ©Disney

At Disneyland, you’ll want to check spots like the Jolly Holiday Bakery, Market House, Pacific Wharf Cafe, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, and The Coffee House.

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

While the cupcakes are already available at Disneyland, starting April 8th, Disney World guests can check various eateries scattered across property, in parks and resorts alike. Altogether, twelve restaurants will carry the cupcakes in WDW, including Main Street Bakery and Gaston’s Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, Starring Rolls Cafe and ABC Commissary in Hollywood Studios, and Sunshine Seasons and Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in Epcot.

Resort restaurants  that will carry the cupcake include BoardWalk Bakery, Beach Club Marketplace, Contempo Cafe, Gasparilla Island Grill, Landscape of Flavors and The Mara.

BoardWalk Bakery

BoardWalk Bakery

Looking for something a little more frozen to celebrate the cast of Frozen? Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day features birthday-cake flavored ice cream topped with hot fudge, mint marshmallows, brownie pieces (!), whipped cream, and sprinkles.

Olaf's Perfect Sundae Day ©Disney

Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day ©Disney

Those mint marshmallows look a lot like the ones currently available to enjoy with your Warm Hugs Hot White Hot Cocoa over at Olaf’s Snow Fest in Disneyland!

At Disneyland, the Sundae is available at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and Clarabelle’s.

Clarabelle's in Disney California Adventure

Clarabelle’s in Disney California Adventure

 

And again, starting April 8th, Disney World guests will find it at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, Hollywood Scoops, and Beaches & Cream.

Beaches and Cream at Disney's Beach Club Resort

Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

In a new twist, even a few Table Service restaurants are [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Healthier Options in Walt Disney World

Many of us regard a trip to Walt Disney World as an opportunity to take a break from healthy eating, and counting calories, carbs, etc.

dfb2015_guide_3d

But sometimes, you don’t necessarily want to check nutritional discipline at the Purple Gates.

You may think that healthy eating at Walt Disney World is an oxymoron. But more and more, that’s simply not so.

Sure, you can indulge to your heart’s content. But whether you’re looking to sub out just one meal or snack a day for a health-savvy option, or you plan to stick to your guns in the nutrition department while you’re amidst the magic, we have some great tips for finding healthy and tasty options at Walt Disney World!

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

Head for the Grab and Go

Not too long ago, Disney World was a sea of hamburgers, fries, and soda pop. And some people think that’s what it STILL is.

But, honestly, things have changed.

Disney Grab and Go Healthy Options

Disney Grab and Go Healthy Options

Sure, you still have lots and lots of choices in the burger genre. But they’ve definitely expanded beyond the fast food mentality when it comes to quick eating options.

My best tip for eating healthy — and this goes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time — is to head for the Grab and Go section.

Sunshine Seasons Fruit and Cheese Plate

Sunshine Seasons Fruit and Cheese Plate

You’ll spy Grab and Go spots in lots of places. There are always robust choices in the Resorts. There, you’ll find everything from prepared salads, sandwiches made with lean meats, and even sushi. Check out Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort for a great selection! And when it comes to a Park option, Sunshine Seasons offers choices that can’t be beat.

Grab and Go Sushi

Grab and Go Sushi at Landscape of Flavors

So if you have the resolve to pass the pizza and burgers by, a healthy meal is totally in your grasp!

Be Mindful About Restaurant Choices

If you have healthy eating in mind, then you probably shouldn’t pencil in a counter service lunch at Casey’s Corner. ;-)

Don’t get me wrong — Corn Dog Nuggets and Plastic Cheese are totally boss. But let’s face it — planning ahead to eat at a restaurant that offers lots of fresh choices and grilled options is probably a better idea when you’re trying to stay on the healthy bandwagon.

Fortunately, better-for-you options abound at Walt Disney World. One of my favorite spots to grab a healthy counter service lunch is Tamu Tamu Refreshments at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can’t go wrong with their Chicken or Vegetable Curry.

Tamu Tamu Vegetarian Curry

Tamu Tamu Vegetarian Curry

Another option that I can recommend is the Japan Pavilion at Epcot. Whether you choose Miso Soup from Kabuki Cafe, a counter service meal at Katsura Grill, or you opt for [Read more…]

Grab and Go Food Items at Disney Resorts for Your runDisney Race

Is 2015 the year you will tackle your first runDisney race?

Artwork from the 2014 WDW Half Marathon t-shirt

Artwork from the 2014 WDW Half Marathon tee

Maybe you’ve already put some thought into where you’ll celebrate your accomplishment once the race is over. But what about before the race? You might have some questions about what’s available to nosh as you prepare to make your way to the starting line.

With Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend upon us, we thought now might be a good a time to show you some items that are typically available across Disney World Resort food courts — just some simple eats that might be similar to food you’ve eaten prior to training runs at home.

Everything Pop Food Court at Pop Century

Everything Pop Food Court at Pop Century

One thing all Disney races have in common (well, the daytime races, in any case :) ), is that they start EARLY. And you’ve got to get there even earlier. Your resort food court can be a great place to grab a few items the night before your race to have at the ready as you get dressed in the morning, or even bring to the race staging area to eat while you wait for your race to begin (at long last!).

Now, for many readers familiar with Disney Resorts, this info might be old hat. Then again, maybe it’s your first time visiting as a race participant, and you may never have looked at Grab and Go selections very carefully. So, here’s your chance to check it out!

A note before we begin: items may vary across resort food courts, but the photos below (taken at  Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors and Pop Century’s Everything Pop) are intended to give an idea of items that are typical around the food courts.

Be sure to check out both the bakery cases and refrigerated sections of the Grab and Go areas.

Bakery Case at Landscape of Flavors

Bakery Case at Landscape of Flavors

While the bakery cases are bound to have primarily dessert-style options, you can often also find muffins, bagels, and in some cases, plain white bread.

Assorted muffins

Assorted muffins

Assorted bagels

Assorted bagels

White bread

White bread

Spreadable toppings may be a little more difficult to spot, but pouches of peanut butter (not refrigerated), cream cheese, and Smart Balance (refrigerated) are usually not far away.

Peanut Butter pouches

Peanut Butter pouches

Cream Cheese and "Smart Balance"

Cream Cheese and “Smart Balance”

The refrigerated section holds [Read more…]

Snack Series: The Everything Brownie from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

We recently made a side trip to swing through Landscape of Flavors, the notable counter service restaurant at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

The spot is one of our favorites for their innovative menu. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner all offer both comfort food and international flavors. But we also love their out-of-the-box snacks and sweet treats.

We recently told you about the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake, served in an extra-fun way — on a Mickey Straw. We wouldn’t quite pick it up and eat it like a lollipop…but seriously! How fun!

Today, we are back to share with you another sweet that we couldn’t resist…

The Everything Brownie

So, as you can see, the Everything Brownie is topped with, well, a little of everything. This is from the same general genre as the white chocolate chip brownie over at Starring Rolls, and you’ll also find this one in several other resort bakery cases (just found it a The Mara this week).

The Everything Brownie

The Everything Brownie

Out of the brown paper wrapper, you can get a better idea of what you’ve got. Yep — it’s more than just a wrapper full of M & Ms, and Marshmallows, Chocolate Chips, and Nuts! You can begin to see the Brownie Base, and it has that yummy, gooey chocolate ganache-y type frosting as well.

The Everything Brownie -- of the Wrapper

The Everything Brownie — Out of the Wrapper

Though it doesn’t look like it in the photo, the brownie is [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 14, 2014

Are you ready for all of the appetizing eats and sips featured at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Yes! The Festival gets underway this week with a September 19th debut.

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée at the Patagonia Booth

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée at the Patagonia Booth

And we’ll be devouring ALL of the menu items as so that we can keep our readers updated with new reviews. Stay tuned this week for photos, reviews, and updated pricing on all of the Festival menus!

Plus, click below for all the details on this week’s Disney Food News!

Disney Food News

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 restaurant closures, and more!

DFB 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!

We’re featuring delicious entrees from Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in California! Here’s the Red Oak-Smoked Honey-Whiskey Barbecue Tri-Tip with mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies was shared by Facebook friend, Terry. Try it at Ariel’s Grotto.

BBQ Tri-Tip

BBQ Tri-Tip

We were also sent this pic of a Thai Lettuce Wrap on the menu at the Cove Bar — sent in by Facebook friend Joanne.

Thai Lettuce Wrap

Thai Lettuce Wrap

What’s your Favorite Find? Send it in!

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book

Pick up your copy of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book!

2014 Food and Wine Guide 3D

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book features all the info you need to know before you attend the Food and Wine Festival this year, from what’s NEW this year to touring strategies — and a new section with top tips on how to use MyMagic+ at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

As always, we’ve made this guide instantly downloadable for your convenience, and easily installed on your mobile devices. It’s a PDF guide with over 220 pages of detailed information about the Festival as well as photographs and customized bonus items to help you get the best experience possible. On a budget? Find out how to make those dollars (or Disney Dining Plan snack credits) stretch all around World Showcase. And we have a fully updated FAQ section that answers questions you didn’t even know you had!

Bonus Items

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival includes customized bonus items that go above and beyond any other Food & Wine Festival coverage currently available. These include:

  • A full, daily schedule of events for every day of the festival
  • A printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist that you can use to plan, and easily bring with you to the festival
  • Themed World Showcase booth crawls (there’s even one for the kids!)
  • Food and Wine Festival customized Touring Strategies for One Day visits, Budget-Conscious visits, visits with kids, and more
  • A chapter dedicated to all [Read more…]