What’s New Around Walt Disney World: May 20th, 2015

Sure, we may have said “So long” to the Flower and Garden Festival for this year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to look forward to at Walt Disney World! Springs moves to summer as Disney World gears up for the busy vacation season, otherwise known as the “Coolest Summer Ever”!

©Disney

©Disney

And since it’s a very special time of year for Star Wars fans in particular, why don’t we start our ‘round the World tour at Hollywood Studios to see What’s New!

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Star Wars Weekends kicked off on May 15th!

Star Wars Weekends 2015

Star Wars Weekends 2015

The excitement! The pageantry!  The CUPCAKES! The Jabba the Hutt Cupcake has joined the Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes this year.

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

It can be found at counter service locations such as Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, The Trolley Car Cafe, and Tusken Fridge Raiders — the premiere Star Wars snack stop, located inside Darth’s Mall.

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

But cupcakes aren’t all that’s in store…

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Like last year, several temporary pop-up bars can be found all over the park for the weekend events.

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

However, they feature all-new drinks this year. Each bar serves two out of of four drinks: The Mustafar and The Tatooine, or The Endor and The Alderaan.

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

We’ll be taking a closer look at those beverages soon, but once again this year, it’s ALL about the souvenir glow cubes: drinks come with either a Millennium Falcon glow cube or your very own mini Death Star.

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

The Jedi Mickey Character Dinner at Hollywood and Vine and Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast returned to Hollywood Studios earlier this month (on May the Fourth Be With You, naturally). But brand new to Star Wars Weekends this year is the Rebel Hangar — A Star Wars Lounge Experience, which has effectively converted half of Backlot Express into an abandoned spaceport in the Sullest system.

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Blue Milk!

Blue Milk!

You can read all about this special month-long dining event featuring small plates and specialty cocktails in our full review of the Rebel Hangar!

Believe it or not, though, it’s not all Star Wars at Hollywood Studios… we’ve got some regular ol’ menu changes at some favorite Table Service restaurants to report as well. Sci-Fi Dine-In has added the Sci-Fi Popcorn Treat to the appetizer selection. It’s popcorn soup (for watching those old movies, of course!) with buffalo popcorn chicken and celery sticks, drizzled with blue cheese dressing.

Sci-Fi Dine-In

Sci-Fi Dine-In

New entrees include Grilled Marinated Salmon, while the Veggie Burger got a [Read more…]

Tip from the DFB Guide: Budgeting For Disney Snacks!

So you’re planning your next trip to Walt Disney World. And we all know that the FastPasses are the most important detail to cross off your list, right?

dfb2015_guide_3d

Wrong. Because the real reason we go to Walt Disney World? The Snacks!

Okay — they’re both important. But I bet that we can agree — one of the biggest reasons we both love Disney is the amazing variety of food choices, and fun snack options E-BER-Y-WHERE.

But the sheer volume of choices can be overwhelming! After all, how do you choose? And once you choose, how do you budget in order to try everything on that must-have list you’ve been compiling?

I totally get it! And that’s why we’ve dedicated a large section to snacking — our favorite Disney recreation — in our best selling DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015!

Let’s talk through some of my Best Tips for Snack Budgeting. And if these tips are helpful to you, pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Budgeting Money or Snack Credits

Whether you’re paying out of pocket for your snacks, or you’ll be using Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits, planning ahead is the key to ensure you enjoy the treats you’ve been been dreaming about.

Who Can Resist a Handmade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich in the Shadow of Cinderella Castle??

Who Can Resist a Handmade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich in the Shadow of Cinderella Castle??

One of my favorite features of the DFB Guide Books are the worksheets that we provide you to plan every facet of your eating journey. And snacking is no exception!

Use the handy worksheets to jot down all of the snacks that you’re anxious to try. Our Snacks Chapter is a great resource for browsing all of the possibilities! With full lists and reviews of snacks throughout Walt Disney World, you have everything compiled in one easy place!

Brainstorm everything you’d like to sample, and include their locations. Then, figure out where the snacks fit into your master plan.

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

Be Sure to Save Room for Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

If you’re paying for food out of pocket, the keep in mind that most Disney snacks run between $2 and $10, with many of them priced in the $3-5 range. If you’re working with Snack Credits, a general rule of thumb is that a single serving food under $5.19 is usually available for your Snack Credit.

Budgeting Stomach Space

So you’ve done the planning, and you know exactly which snacks you want to try on your next visit. You’ve worked out the budget, and the money and credits are there to cover it all.

Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel

A Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel is Worth Saving Room For

Now comes the next big question: [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: March 22, 2015

It’s been a stellar week for Disney food fans! After months of speculation, Disney not only confirmed that Be Our Guest Restaurant would begin service breakfastbreakfast service began before the week was out!

Be Our Guest in the First Light of Morning

Be Our Guest in the First Light of Morning

Currently in a “testing phase” through June 18, we enjoyed our very first early morning trip to the Beast’s castle this week! While we’ve offered you a First Look at just what breakfast is about, we’ll have more details for you in our full review on Monday.

For now, let’s take a close look at all of the interesting news that we’ve brought you this week. Just click on the links to see more detail about each item.

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 Closure Updates, Special Events at Disney Restaurants, Seasonal Pop-Up Food Stands, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or about Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Today, we’re featuring delicious reader finds from the France Pavilion in Walt Disney World’s Epcot!

We can never resist a trip through Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie, and apparently, reader Kristina Dennett agrees wholeheartedly. Check out her delicious assortment of French Pastries! Do you think she’ll share? ;-)

Les Halles Goodies

Les Halles Goodies

When it’s time for coffee, nothing beats a well-crafted Cappuccino. Reader Zara Agnew’s husband ordered one at Les Chefs de France, and it was topped with this beautiful heart. Froth art is the best!

Cappuccino with Love from Les Chefs de France

Cappuccino with Love from Les Chefs de France

Do you have a favorite Disney Food find? Share your photos with us!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015

We recently launched The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book! This valuable resource is fully updated for 2015-16 Disney vacations, and is now available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining plans while in Disney World.

dfb2015_guide_3d

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 490 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next trip! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBStore.com to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2015 to get a $4 discount for a limited time! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!

Note: If you purchased the 2014 Guide last year, scroll down for details on repeat purchase discounts.

Here’s Just Some Of What You Get With Our 2015 Guide:

[Read more…]

Review: Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate and Caramel Cream in Epcot’s France

We’re already back at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie!

And why not? With the huge assortment of classic pastries, desserts, soups, sandwiches… let me think, did I miss anything? Oh, right… quiche, salads, baguettes, macarons…. well, you’re gonna need more than a few trips to hit it all! Should you be a wee bit overwhelmed with your choices here (and who could blame you?), we’re here to help.

It’s more of the sweet stuff today, and we’re focusing on a classic as well as a dessert with a little twist.

The Mousse au Chocolat is our classic.

I don’t know if it’s my bias towards all things Les Halles, but the Chocolate Mousse here — both in appearance and flavor — strike me as a bit darker and richer than other mousse desserts I’ve tried.

Mouse au Chocolat

Mouse au Chocolat

As expected, it’s light and creamy, and you can definitely call it “airy,” though it still has a bit of substance to it.

Topped off with a sprinkling of crunchy garnish, the mousse scratches that itch for [Read more…]

Spotted: New Macaron Merchandise in Epcot’s France Pavilion

So, remember last fall, when we scoped out the Macaron-themed merchandise in Epcot’s France Pavilion? Well, there are some new macaron souvenirs dedicated to this classic French cookie. So, if you’re not able to pop into Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie or enjoy the latest macaron filled with house made ice cream at L’artisan des Glaces,  these finds will still help you proclaim your love for these colorful and tasty treats!

Macarons from Les Halles

Macarons from Les Halles

Box of Macarons from Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie

Box of Macarons from Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie

Simultaneously celebrating macarons and Epcot’s World Showcase (specifically the France Pavilion), as well as the Main Mouse, this line differs from the previous by featuring more animated graphics in pastels.

Macaron merchandise display

Macaron merchandise display

Another difference is the location. The previous collection had a display in the merchandise area connected to Les Halles. The new collection can be found at L’Esprit de la Provence shop, just to the right as you enter the back of the pavilion.

L'Esprit de la Provence

L’Esprit de la Provence

The girls and women’s shirts feature a simple “I Love Paris” sentiment.

I Love Paris t-shirt

I Love Paris t-shirt

I Love Paris t-shirt

I Love Paris t-shirt

I Love Paris design

I Love Paris design

“Bon appétit!” is the phrase that graces the apron, keychain, coasters, and [Read more…]

Snack Series: Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Meringue from Epcot’s Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie

We are back to take another look into the tempting pastry cases at Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion!

You know that we love Les Halles. I never pass up a chance to stop in here for a breakfast pastry. The Frangipane Triangle is my favorite!

At lunch, I often enjoy one of their deliciously authentic sandwiches, like the Jambon Beurre. It never fails to transport me straight back to France!

But you will never guess what I decided to try on this visit…

Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Meringue

On my last trip to Walt Disney World I, of course, had to stop by Les Halles. And I finally took the opportunity to try the — I can’t believe I’m going to say this — Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Meringues.

Wait. No. You have no idea how HUGE this thing is from the picture of it in the case. So, being the very helpful AJ I am, I knew I had to get one for you guys! If for no other reason, so you could see it on a plate.

Chocolate Chip Meringue -- In the Case

Chocolate Chip Meringue — In the Case

Okay, here we are, out in the light at one of those great little cafe tables, tucked back into the France Pavilion. And now, you can appreciate the enormity of this meringue for yourself.

Chocolate Chip Meringue -- Up Close

Chocolate Chip Meringue — Up Close

Still not getting it? That’s a fork on the plate beside it, for scale.

Maybe I was a little bowled over here. But I have never seen a meringue this big in my life!

Chocolate Chip Meringue -- The Dipped Side

Chocolate Chip Meringue — The Dipped Side

Now, giant size aside, you know how I feel about meringues. Basically, they’re [Read more…]

Holiday Snack Series: Bûche de Noël from Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion

It’s time for another stop of the season on our Holidays Around the World Tour of Epcot!

This is such an exciting time of the year to visit Walt Disney World. With the beautiful decorations and incredible gingerbread displays, there’s so much to take in! But be sure to carve out some time in your busy holiday schedule for a day at Epcot during your trip.

We recently enjoyed a few days in the midst of the magic, and today we’ve got a review of a classic holiday treat.

Bûche de Noël from Epcot’s Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie

It’s hard to resist Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion on any given day. But there’s no way I’m passing up this delicious spot when holiday treats are on the menu!

Bûche de Noël at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie -- Part of Holidays Around the World

Bûche de Noël at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie — Part of Holidays Around the World

The bakery pays homage to French Christmas tradition with the inclusion of a Bûche de Noël for a limited time. And this year’s version is completely different than last year’s — a great reason to try it in 2014!

Bûche de Noël -- In the Case

Bûche de Noël — In the Case

If you’re familiar with the traditional dessert, then you know it’s usually a simple roulade, made with sponge cake spread with buttercream and frosted with more buttercream. The whole thing is decorated to look like a bûche de Noël, or Yule log.

But of course, Les Halles had to take it to the next level.

To begin, the Bûche de Noël you’ll find here is an individual portion — and I don’t mean a slab of cake. :-)

Individual Bûche de Noël

Individual Bûche de Noël

Each little log is crafted and garnished in perfect, petite fashion. You won’t have to fight with anyone over who gets the [Read more…]

Review: Parfait aux Fruits and Duo Mousse Cake at Epcot’s Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie

It’s become one of my life goals to eat my way through the entire bakery case at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion.

And why not? This place rarely churns out a dud, even though the selection is HUGE.

Now, I do have to say, I’m quite partial to my favorites: for example, the Frangipane (puff pastry with an almond filling), which I’ve adored ever since I tried it at the Food and Wine Festival’s Parisian Breakfast last  year, and the Brix aux Pommes, which has become a more recent favorite of mine.

So sometimes it’s hard to switch gears and choose beyond those. But a goal is a goal and I aim to do my readers proud! To that end, I’d like to show you a few other staples in that bakery case that I haven’t previously showcased on the blog.

Welcome back to Les Halles!

Les Halles

Les Halles

Les Halles

Les Halles

While there are plenty of savory options at Les Halles (it’s a great spot to grab soup and a sandwich), today we’re focusing on the sweet stuff. Let’s check out a few more French goodies tucked inside!

Bakery Case at Les Halles

Bakery Case at Les Halles

In fact, the treats we’re checking out today are displayed side by side in there, even though they are quite different from each other. We’re trying the Parfaits aux Fruits and a little something by the name of “Duo.”

Duo

First up, the oddly titled “Duo.” Initial impression? It’s gorgeous. A smooth chocolate dome reflects the light in the bakery case and catches your eye immediately.

Duo

Duo

The small chocolate topper gives you a hint as to [Read more…]

Snack Series: The Macarons Collection from Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France

We’re headed back for more macarons! Ready?

We’re on our way to that lovely spot where you can get house-made ice cream, mimosas at 9AM, frangipane, and more — Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in the France Pavilion of Disney World’s Epcot.

This spot underwent an enormous expansion a while back. And while there are things that we miss about the old bakery, on the whole it’s been a terrific success!

Not only do we have the amazing new L’Artisan des Glaces to tempt us, but the expanded bakery and pastry outlet means that you can enjoy a full meal.

Or you can continue to stop by for a treat between meals. :-)

Box -- Up Close

Box of Deliciousness

And that’s what we’re doing today as I finally get to sample a treat that’s part pastry and part art.

The Macarons Collection

On my recent visit to Walt Disney World, I knew I had to carve out some time to visit Les Halles for one reason: I had to try The Macarons Collection for myself.

They come packaged in this awesome little box — perfect for taking and enjoying one or two while strolling around World Showcase, and saving the rest for later. The packaging also makes for a great take home treat for you or a loved one — if you can stay out of them on the plane ride/car trip home. (Good luck with that.)

Box of Macarons from Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie

The Macarons Collection from Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie

Open the lid, and you see the assortment of beautiful colors that make up your gift box of goodies.

Under the Lid

Under the Lid

And I’m not kidding about these sweet little treats being as much fine art as culinary art. Just look at them!

Now, here’s where we need to talk. Because some of you out there may be tempted to dismiss macarons as frivolous, tasteless, silly little things.

All the Pretty Flavors!

All the Pretty Flavors!

That would be a mistake. Yes, several of them are beautifully dyed to suggest the flavors that hide inside. But they’re still delicious.

Let’s take a closer look at the [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World: August 12, 2014

It’s time to take another trip around the World, from Downtown Disney to EPCOT… and we’ll be visiting all sorts of Disney Resorts along the way! Strap in, folks, because there’s always something to find when you’re searching for What’s New at Disney World with the DFB!

DOWNTOWN DISNEY

Construction

The name of the game all over Downtown Disney these days continues to be, of course, construction for the transformation into Disney Springs. Here are a few recent shots of what will be The Boathouse restaurant, which seems to be coming along nicely.

The Boathouse construction

The Boathouse construction

The Boathouse construction

The Boathouse construction

The Smokehouse

On the West Side, The Smokehouse has introduced a new item: Smokehouse Nachos!

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse Menu

The Smokehouse Menu

The Nachos can be customized with [Read more…]