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…]

Guest Review: Allergy Friendly Dining at Walt Disney World

Join us in welcoming guest author Jennifer Harris with an informative review of allergy friendly dining at Walt Disney World. Are you on a special diet? Read on!

Oh Disney, how I love your allergen-friendly ways. Dining at Disney is half the fun for those with food intolerance/allergy while visiting its theme parks. From the very first meal, it is apparent their talented team of chefs has got your back and then some. With table and quick service, buffet, and fine dining options, the attention paid to preparing allergen-free cuisine is exemplary. The sky is the limit at Disney because serving their guests is top priority.

Preparation tables are sanitized, gloves are changed, and one chef handles the order from start to finish to ensure there is no cross contact. Disney can currently prepare meals for those allergic/intolerant to: wheat, gluten, peanuts and tree nuts, soy, eggs, corn, dairy and lactose, shellfish, and fish.

Gluten Free Mickey Waffles

Gluten Free Mickey Waffles

[Read more…]

Review: Apple Turnover and White Chocolate Eclair at Epcot’s France

Just when you think you’ve eaten everything there is to eat at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in France’s Epcot Pavilion…you find a couple more pastries hiding out in the case. It’s a tough life. ;-D

This bakery and pastry shop in Epcot’s France is your one stop for everything for a petite dejeuner in the morning. And their soups, sandwiches, quiches, and cheese plates make for a delicious light meal anytime of the day.

But their decadent pastries are still my favorite things to enjoy here. Today, we try two that are new to us — Chaussons aux Pommes and the Vanilla White Chocolate Éclair.

Chaussons aux Pommes

There’s tons to choose from here, but I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried the updated version of the Apple Tart. During a recent Orlando rainstorm (deluge…it was a deluge), I took refuge at Les Halles with everyone else and made lemonade out of those lemons!

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

No lie — I’ve passed over the Chaussons aux Pommes, or Apple Turnover, at Les Halles time and again for flashier stuff and old favorites (Oh, Frangipane). But it was time to try one of these sweet little apple empanadas.  [Read more…]

Review: Beignet at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion

Bonjour! We are popping into Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion today to take a closer look at a new-to-us pastry!

You may remember last year around Mardi Gras time when we shared with you the Beignets commemorating that time of year. They were really interesting — unlike what we normally think of as beignets. (You know, those fluffy fried pillows of deliciousness. Rectangular or Mickey-shaped — we’re good either way.)

But on a recent visit to Les Halles we were intrigued to read that the Beignets seemed to be different, since they were described as Chocolate Hazelnut-filled.

Wait. What?!

Yeah…that’s all it took to get us there.

Le Beignet at Les Halles

The previous beignets at Les Halles were Bugnes Lyonnaise, diamond-shaped with a hole in the middle, and were rolled in granulated sugar. So when I was handed this treat, it was clear that we were dealing with something completely different.

Enjoying a Beignet in a Quiet Spot

Enjoying a Beignet in a Quiet Spot

We took the snack to my favorite secret hide-y place in the France Pavilion. (Nope, not tellin’ ya where…OK, behind the perfume shops. But don’t tell.) It’s a wonderfully quiet and shady spot — a perfect place to dig into Les Halles loot!

As you can see, it looks like a traditional filled doughnut. Actually, it reminded me a lot of the Berliner featured at the Germany Booth during last year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Les Halles Beignet -- Up Close

Les Halles Beignet — Up Close

Time to cut into it! I went for it, expecting to see a snug little pocket of chocolate Hazelnut filling. But this is what greeted me on the cross section.

Beignet -- Cross Section

Beignet — Cross Section

Well, I knew there was filling in there. It was too heavy for there not to be! And so I [Read more…]

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…]