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…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: November 18th, 2014

Ready for another trip around the World? We’re heading to three parks and a few resorts to check out holiday treats, gingerbread feats, and new menu eats! And which Counter Service location is now serving up steak? Just read on to find out and see What’s New!

HOLIDAY TREATS

Red and green aren’t the only colors taking over Disney World now that the holiday season has launched around here… hues of blue decorate the festive snacks at this year’s brand new “Frozen” Gingerbread Display at the Contemporary Resort!

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display

We tried the Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Read our review and see all the other treats available at the new display here!

Get ready for all your favorite Disney World bakery items (we’re talking Krispy Treats, Candy Apples, and Mickey Macarons) to be dressed up for the holiday season in spots like the Main Street Confectionery, Seashore Sweets, and Big Top Treats.

Holiday Bakery Case

Holiday Bakery Case

Ornament Candy Apples

Ornament Candy Apples

More candy apples!

More candy apples!

Holiday cupcakes

Holiday cupcakes

Red and Green Mickey Macarons

Red and Green Mickey Macarons

And now let’s look into some ways the Parks are getting into the [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: May 6, 2014

Today we’re talking everything from Mac & Cheese to Mine Trains, and from slushes to steins. Please join us for another trip around the World to see What’s New!

Magic Kingdom

Friar’s Nook made waves around New Year’s when the menu changed to feature some very unique styles of Macaroni and Cheese, while hot dogs remained available as a choice. Well, they’ve been brought together in the form of a Truffle Macaroni & Cheese Dog.

Friar's Nook Menu

Friar’s Nook Menu

Why not, right? They had all the ingredients handy since they introduced all that Mac & Cheese goodness to the menu, and it’s always a lovely thing to find more Mac & Cheese Hot Dogs available at Disney World!

The Omnipresent Macaroni and Cheese Hot Dog

The Omnipresent Macaroni and Cheese Hot Dog

But something a bit more unexpected has also arrived: Pot Roast Macaroni & Cheese has replaced the Blue Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Balsamic (whaaaat…?!?).

Pot Roast Mac & Cheese at Friar's Nook

Pot Roast Mac & Cheese at Friar’s Nook

Soooo, what’s it like? Stay tuned for our review!

Pinocchio Village Haus has reopened since its refurbishment. This Magic Kingdom Counter Service restaurant is known for its many rooms with beautiful artwork honoring the film Pinocchio, and it appears the refurbishment was just a general spruce-up with no major changes.

Pinocchio Village Haus

Pinocchio Village Haus

The entrée menu continues to feature flatbreads, and there are only small changes to report.

Pinocchio Village Haus Menu

Pinocchio Village Haus Menu

Those changes are found on the back of the menu: Lemonade Slush and Blue Raspberry Slush have replaced Pinocchio Punch (though you can find the same beverage at Sunshine Tree Terrace: All-Natural Lemonade with Wildberry Foam).

Lemonade and Blue Raspberry Slush

Lemonade and Blue Raspberry Slush

No sign of that Jiminy Cricket’s Slush, either, but the Slushes here do tend to change with some frequency, so we’ll see if Pinocchio’s conscience makes a return one of these days…

Liberty Square Market often reveals some surprises in the small signs around the registers in addition to the more permanent offerings listed on the hanging menu. While this snack stand has had Slushes available for a long time, on my most recent visit they were also offered in the souvenir Horseman’s Stein.

Additional items available at Liberty Square Market

Additional items available at Liberty Square Market

The stein itself has been available at Sleepy Hollow, but this was the first time I’d noticed it here. I adore anything to do with the old Ichabod Crane and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow film, so seeing this piece in other places makes me smile.

Horseman's Stein

Horseman’s Stein

Sing it with me! “He’s the new school master! What’s his name? Ichabod! Ichabo-od Craaaaaane!”

Horseman's Stein

Horseman’s Stein

There’s one more spot where you can grab a Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae (affectionately known here on the DFB as the “Mickey Pants Sundae”). This sign was spotted at the check-in counter for the Plaza Restaurant.

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae

While these aren’t limited to the Magic Kingdom, the Main Street Emporium is the first place we first got to see the new line Princess and Villain mugs. On a more recent visit, we spied the remainder of the collection! Here is the Cinderella mug

Cinderella Mug

Cinderella Mug

Cinderella Mug

Cinderella Mug

… and while the general design differs, we thought you might like to see the new Maleficent and Evil Queen mugs, too!

Front AND Back of Maleficent mug

Front AND Back of Maleficent mug

Evil Queen Mug

Evil Queen Mug

And among all these small changes, we sure can’t ignore the biggest change of all! The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Roller Coaster was dedicated in New Fantasyland on May 2nd, with the official opening date for the public announced for May 28th.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios is preparing for Star Wars Weekends 2014 beginning on May 16, and two all-new Star Wars Character Meals have already made their debut in advance of the celebration!

Breakfast is being served at Sci-Fi Dine-In with Darth Vader and some of his fellow Dark Siders at the Star Wars Galactic Dine In.

Star Wars Galactic Dine In sign

Star Wars Galactic Dine In sign

While over at Hollywood and Vine, Jedi Mickey and pals joined guests for dinner at Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine! Check out our full review of this special event!

Jedi Mickey!!!!

Jedi Mickey!!!!

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Even with all this going on, Hollywood Studios has still managed to remember [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Expert Reviews of Walt Disney World Restaurants

Ever wonder where to eat on your next Walt Disney World vacation? Are you a veteran visitor looking for somewhere different to dine? Or perhaps your family will be first-time visitors and you’re just trying to figure out your options?

where to eat in disney world

Yep, we’ve been there too! Countless restaurants and ever-changing menus keep us all wondering where to dine when visiting Disney World! Whether you are just seeking sustenance or long for a memorable meal — knowing ALL of your options is key to making the best dining choices for your family.

We understand that you have budget considerations and differing palates to contend with — and finding the right restaurant for your group may seem daunting. What you need are — restaurant reviews!

Our recommendations will provide you the information needed to make the most informed dining picks for your family! We’ve taste-tested many items for you! And after years of eating at Walt Disney World restaurants, we also tell you about the service and atmosphere.

In our The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 e-Book, we have mini-reviews of EVERY Disney World restaurant. Pick up your copy here for an extra $4 off using code 2014 for a limited time!

With our comprehensive DFB Guide, you’ll learn which character meals are our favorites — and where to find the best treats. Don’t dine without reading our reviews!

Counter Service Restaurants

Let’s dig in to the comprehensive listing of counter service restaurants that we’ve included in the DFB Guide to share with you our opinions of quick service spots.

And our reviews are completely honest. We’ve had some less than stellar eats at Electric Umbrella in Epcot, however in our mini-review, we acknowledge that the Vegetarian Flatbread was a hit. And we’d definitely return for another one!

We recommend the Veggie Flatbread at Electric Umbrella!

We recommend the Veggie Flatbread at Electric Umbrella!

Snack Kiosks

When you’re busy touring Walt Disney world and need a quick snack (yes, it happens to us, too!), choosing the right pick-me-up is key. Don’t waste [Read more…]

New!: Italian Spiced (and more!) Roasted Corn at Liberty Square Market

It’s funny: Liberty Square Market is smack dab in the middle of Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square. And yet, somehow it remains something of a hidden gem. I’m referring to the structure itself, and also its food offerings. You never know what you might find at Liberty Square Market.

Liberty Square Market

Liberty Square Market

Well, that’s not entirely true. You do always know you’ll find lots of grab-n-go options, like bagged chips and whole fruit. And you’ll find them in a pretty cool setting! But there are always a few surprises here, too! Let’s check out a few of the details.

Atmosphere

There is a lot of charm packed in this not-so-huge space. And all of it perfectly complements its Liberty Square surroundings, from the open-air building…

View of Liberty Square Market

View of Liberty Square Market

…to the font used on the menu.

Liberty Square Market Menu

Liberty Square Market Menu

I like the barrels of Mead, Ale, Grog, and potatoes! (Please note: Liberty Square Market sells neither mead, nor ale, nor grog ;D) . It does, however, sell potatoes! More on that in a few…)

Barrels o' Mead and Grog!

Barrels o’ Mead and Grog!

My very favorite is the cart full of chips. I like to think this was how the Founding Fathers picked up their Doritos and Cheetos after a long morning of drafting Constitutions and what-not. You know.

Cart full of chips

Cart full of chips

You can take your goods to this seating area behind the Market. Tables are often [Read more…]

What’s New Around the World!

What’s new in your favorite Disney World “chomping grounds”? What’s changed? Read on to find out what we’ve checked out recently!

Downtown Disney

The biggest change over the past week has been the addition of The Smokehouse to Downtown Disney’s West Side. This stop for all-things-barbeque features a lovely outdoor seating area and the chance to enjoy live music.

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw

Live music!

Live music!

Signs of bigger changes to come can be spotted all over Downtown Disney as the area delves into its transformation to Disney Springs … and when I say “signs,” I mean actual signs.

We’ll be sharing more in a future post, but the artwork all over Downtown Disney give us an idea of what guests can look forward to in the future.

Artwork depicting the future Disney Springs

Artwork depicting the future Disney Springs

Artwork depicting the future Disney Springs

Artwork depicting the future Disney Springs

Artwork reflecting the West Side Starbucks, opening Spring 2014

Artwork reflecting the West Side Starbucks, opening Spring 2014

A smaller change – yet nearly as significant for fans of “Earl’s” ;) – is that Earl of Sandwich has added [Read more…]

NEW! Hot Sandwiches Debut in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square!

DFB reporter Zach Metzger has a great review of the brand new sandwiches from Liberty Square Market in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!

Hot dogs, popcorn, turkey legs, baked potatoes: just a few of the vittles available to satisfy your appetite in Walt Disney World’s Liberty Square.

Liberty Square Market, home to the aforementioned hot dogs and baked potatoes, is now also the home to two new sandwiches: the Hot Ham and Cheddar and the Hot Roast Beef and Swiss.

Both sandwiches are $6.99 not including tax, and are served wrapped in foil and piping hot, as advertised. I had the chance to try both!

New Sandwiches in Liberty Square

Liberty Square Hot Roast Beef and Swiss Sandwich

The roast beef is presented on a nice French bread “sub”. The bread is crusty on the outside, providing good bite resistance, and moist and springy on the inside.

Piled high with meat, it’s far from skimpy. The flavor on the roast beef was robust; and the Swiss cheese was also in ample supply and at the perfect stage of melty-ness.

Hot Roast Beef and Swiss Sandwich

I tried to cut through the sandwich to show a cross-section, but the plastic knife lost the battle to the crusty bread. Tearing the sandwich in half worked a bit better, but also mostly destroyed it. Oh well. You can use your imagination to picture a [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 1, 2012

Pomegranate Martini Conquers Everest

Happy April Fool’s Day! No tricks here, today — just treats!! In the Disney Food news this week, we take a look at Springtime treats, new menu items, more menu changes, and some new adult beverages!

We’ve also gathered some really fun and fascinating reads in the round-up. Cheers!

Disney Food News

Here’s the latest…

We’ve got more delicious news on our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!



The DFB Podcast Second Episode

Episode 2 of the DFB Podcast is rarin’ to go! In this episode, we’re talking about some of our newest counter-service finds, answering listener questions, and awarding our first DFB Podcast Trivia prize!! :-) Head on over and click on the Mac and Cheese Hot Dog!

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it. :-)

If you have any Disney dining questions, send them along to us to be answered on the podcast! Just contact us here, and put PODCAST in the subject line!

On to the Round-Up

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups heads to the Wilderness Lodge for breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Pixie Crust throws a vintage Disneyland party featuring Dole Whip cupcakes!

AllEars.net tours Europa – the adult entertainment district aboard the Disney Fantasy!

Disney Tourist Blog reviews one of my favorite counter service spots in Disneyland — the Plaza Inn!

Main Street Gazette samples the new Slow-roasted Pulled Beef Sandwich at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in the Animal Kingdom.

Laughing Place reviews one of the rotational dining restaurants on the Disney Fantasy — Animator’s Palate! But Inside the Magic didn’t love the Animator’s Palate food on the Fantasy — see why here!

stuff from the park looks at a vintage menu from Disneyland’s Cafe Orleans.

DisneyContemporary.com shares a recipe for Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta from the California Grill. Love this stuff!!!

Hidden Gem: Liberty Square Market (Now Serving Sweet Potatoes!)

One of my favorite hidden gems in Disney World is the Liberty Square Market, located next to the Hall of Presidents in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

This open-air market offers a great variety of eats that you might not be able to find anywhere else in Disney World, including filling snacks like baked potatoes and corn on the cob! And on my recent visit, I noticed an updated menu…

New Menu - click image for larger version

I love the old-fashioned looking mug holding the frozen slush! ;-)

But more on this menu later. My favorite new addition was the baked sweet potato! Scroll down for my review and pics!

Sweet Potato and Corn on the Cob - click image for larger version

There is also a variety of fresh fruits and veggies sold here along with grab and go items like [Read more…]

Snack Series: Liberty Square’s Baked Potato

The Liberty Square Market kiosk is the place for a different kind of snack — a baked potato!

Baked Potato

That’s right; not all Disney snacks are packed with fat, sugar, and calories. Over in Liberty Square, right next to the Hall of Presidents, you can reward your tummy with a snack that has no preservatives and no artificial ingredients — plus it tastes great; especially on chilly Florida winter days!

Liberty Square Baked Potato- click image for larger version

The potato sells for $3.49, and comes with [Read more…]