Disney Recipe: Clam Chowder from Disney World’s Liberty Tree Tavern

UPDATE: Thanks to reader Elizabeth for calling our attention to an error in the recipe! We consulted one of our favorite Mickey Cookbooks to bring you the correct details!

One of my husband’s fa-vor-ite dishes in Disney World is this super creamy clam chowder from Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom!

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

It’s a New England style clam chowder, which means it’s made with milk and ends up creamy instead of brothy in the end. This delicious goodie has been a staple on the Liberty Tree Tavern menu for years, and it’s a guest favorite.

Clam Chowder from Liberty Tree Tavern

But here’s a DFB Tip: don’t have time for a long lunch? Head on over to Columbia Harbour House nearby to get a similarly delicious chowder fix, counter-service style!

Let’s get cookin’…

New England Clam Chowder

Liberty Tree Tavern, Magic Kingdom

Ingredients (Makes 6 Servings):
1/2 cup celery, diced small
1/2 cup onions, diced small [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Pot Roast Throw Down

What makes for a good pot roast is a very subjective set of criteria in my opinion. What passes for Best! Pot Roast! Ever! for some might just be meh for others.

Dearly departed Sunday Roast at Rose & Crown

So today we are entering this hallowed comfort food ground. We are throwing down the gauntlet to decide, once and for all, where to find the BEST Pot Roast in all of Disney World! See what you think, and be ready to tell us all about your favorite!

50s Prime Time Cafe

Who makes it better than Mom? We have to kick off this homage to pot roast with a trip to 50s Prime Time Cafe!

The atmosphere here is pure 1950s sitcom kitsch, and servers are your cousins, demanding that you behave like the nice young person you were raised to be. That means NO elbows on the tables, and you had BETTER know the color of that soap if you go to the bathroom.

50s Prime Time Sign

To be sure, Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast is a reader favorite. This one is slow-cooked until there’s no need for a knife, and served on a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes. Smothered in a rich gravy, the roast is topped with carrots, celery, and onions for some good nutrition. And you best eat all your veggies!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Pot Roast

A way cool thing about the pot roast at 50s Prime Time is that you can [Read more…]

Top 5 Disney Dessert Recipes!

I know you’ve got a big event planned soon and you’re looking for the perfect recipe to try out…right?

OK, even if you’re not, I think today’s post might inspire you to start planning a dinner party! Let’s check out my top 5 favorite Disney dessert recipes! Which ones have you sampled in the parks?

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding at ‘Ohana

Alrighty — it’s time to start out with a BANG! There are few things that I love to eat in all of Disney World more than the Bread Pudding at ‘Ohana.

This Polynesia-meets-churrascaria restaurant can be somewhat unpredictable in terms of quality. But one thing is always certain: the dessert is PERFECT. Seriously…every single time!

The bread pudding is served warm with a heaping scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, and the most incredible sauce ever. I could easily eat a bowl full of it.

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding at 'Ohana

It was a happy day when I discovered the ‘Ohana bread pudding recipe, and with it, the power to make this one at home!

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern

Say what you will about Liberty Tree Tavern, the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake is a must-order!

While Liberty Tree Tavern dinner is served family style and consists of roasted meats and traditional sides, lunch features an a la carte menu…and it’s awesome. There are many dishes on the menu that I look forward to having when I visit, but I never leave without ordering dessert, and it’s always Ooey-Gooey Toffee Cake!

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

Less a cake and more like a rich, shallow, muffin-shaped chocolate chip cookie, I fell in love with this treat the first time I tasted it! And I could have kicked myself for having passed on it before then. The flavor combo of [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for First Time Disney Visitors

Everyday we receive lots of mail from you, our awesome DFB readers, asking for restaurant suggestions and recommendations. And while we certainly have our favorites, we know that you do, too!

So when a Disney first-time visitor recently asked what restaurants we would recommend for their upcoming trip, we couldn’t think of a better panel of experts to ask than YOU!

When I put the question out on the Disney Food Blog Facebook page, I was overwhelmed by the huge and immediate response that I got!

Let’s take a look at your recommendations for the restaurants first timers must experience on that inaugural Walt Disney World trip!

If you have other thoughts or ideas — or, better yet, stories of your favorite restaurants during a first-time visit — please share them with all of us in the comments section! More suggestions are always better!

Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

When it comes to first time Disney dining, the winning restaurant recommendation is, hands down, Chef Mickey’s in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Many of you agree that anyone visiting the Happiest Place on Earth for the very first time MUST experience a buffet that includes lots of character interaction.

Chef Mickey's is highly recommended by our DFB Readers!

But the suggestion is practical, too. Readers pointed out that a character dining experience offers terrific value for your Disney dollar, with an all-you-care-to-eat option.

A View of the Castle from Chef Mickey's

And with the addition of characters, you have a less rushed (and air conditioned!) meet and greet opportunity that guarantees you’ll see lots of characters without waiting in long lines in the parks.

Also, don’t forget that Chef Mickey’s is walking distance from the Magic Kingdom. This is a great
place to start or end your Magic Kingdom day!

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland

Judging from the reader response, we’d say that Disney definitely hit the mark with one of its newest restaurants, Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Bridge Entrance

Set in Beast’s Castle (from Disney’s animated classic, Beauty and the Beast), the huge eatery is a counter service location for lunch and table service location for dinner (see our “Everything on the Menu!!” Review Here!).

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom

The menu has a French flair — and chefs worked hard to create tasty, interesting meals for the younger set as well.

Be Our Guest Restaurant also has the distinction of being the only spot within Magic Kingdom where guests can order beer and wine. While it broke with tradition when Disney announced the decision to offer adult drinks in the otherwise dry park, they felt it was necessary in keeping with the French-inspired menu.

The Beast occasionally greets visitors in his study during dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Many guests celebrate special occasions at Be Our Guest Restaurant, and if that’s you, be sure to mention it to your server. He may actually bring you a celebratory taste of “The Grey Stuff” — mentioned by Lumiere in the film!

This cookies and cream panna cotta truly is “delicious!”

The Grey Stuff -- It's Delicious!

Guests seem to be loving this spot for many reasons, and Advanced Dining Reservations for dinner remain hard to come by.

While we’ve tasted just about everything here and agree that the food’s quite good, most of you especially love it for the incredible, immersive themeing. So, remember that even if you can’t get a reservation for dinner, you can still enjoy the restaurant itself — including getting a peek at all three dining rooms — if you dine here for a counter-service lunch!

braised pork -- coq au vin at Be Our Guest Restaurant -- for LUNCH!

Here’s a TIP: if at all possible, snag a table in the West Wing and keep an eye on the [Read more…]

Guest Review: Liberty Tree Tavern Lunch in Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Please welcome back DFB Guest Author Joey Beyer with a review of lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom. Home to fried cheese, delicious burgers, and memorable desserts!

On my latest visit to Walt Disney World, I had the opportunity to return to the Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch. I first visited here back in March, after reading the DFB’s Best Burger’s post, and saw that Liberty Tree was on the list.

The restaurant is very unassuming, and is located in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom. It fits in perfectly with the theme of the land. The Liberty Tree itself has a fascinating story, which I encourage any interested parties to seek out!

Atmosphere

The restaurant is organized into multiple different rooms, each of which is themed to a different American historical figure (e.g. Thomas Jefferson, Betsy Ross, George Washington, Ben Franklin, etc).

George Washington Room

Benjamin Franklin Room

Benjamin Franklin Room

All of the rooms are cozy, and are filled with random pictures, books, and anything else that is prudent to the person being represented, and consistent with the overall colonial theme.

Liberty Tree Tavern Tables

Kite in Ben Franklin Room

Eats

We chose to begin our meal with the Tavern Fried Cheese, which is code for mozzarella sticks. I mention this because there are some restaurants that I have been to that actually serve a large piece of cheese that is fried, and also call it fried cheese. That is what I was expecting the first time I ordered this appetizer.

That being said, the fried cheese is delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I completely forgot to snap a picture before it was expeditiously gobbled up by my dining partners and me.

Tavern Fried Cheese was once the larger portion size that is pictured

The order includes five mozzarella sticks, total (Editor’s Note: the photo above is from before the serving was cut down and they still offered the fried cheese curds as well. The cheese sticks are still the same.). The breading on them is thin and crisp, and they are filled with an abundant amount of delicious cheese.

In my opinion they are a little pricey, but there is no arguing the fact that the fried cheese is delicious.

When we finished the cheese, it was time for entrees! First up was the Colony Salad, which is a grilled chicken salad with dried cranberries, apples, pecans, and applewood smoked cheddar cheese. The salad is served with honey shallot vinaigrette.

Colony Salad

This salad has a lot going on, but it really blends well together. I love the different textures, especially the crunch of the pecans and crispiness of the apples. The grilled chicken is [Read more…]

More Great Disney Dining Tips from the Experts!

A while back, we polled Disney Food Blog readers — Disney fans who have been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt — on their top Disney Dining Tips.

Not surprisingly, the top tip mentioned was the advice to make Disney Dining Reservations, since you don’t want to be shut out of your favorites or from the most popular restaurants. So this time around we thought it would be fun to ask about their SECOND best Disney Dining Tips!

Read on to see what our Disney Food Blog twitter followers shared as their second best Disney dining tips, and be sure to share in the comments whether you agree or disagree! Share YOUR tips to help your fellow Disney lovers!

Enjoy Some Disney Snacks

We LURVE our Disney snacks around here! And so do our readers! Many of the tips we received were about the favorite classic pre- and post-meal goodies we all love to tuck into in the Parks.

While Brian C. had a unique, sweet option on the mind (“Try the beignets!”), Twitter pal Amber B. writes, “Do NOT skip the Schoolbread!” We can heartily agree!

Norway School Bread

Whether you prefer a sweet or salty treat, there are plenty of cupcakes, cookies and specialty pretzels to choose from.

And if you need a little help selecting the treat you’ll try first, make sure to download our DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks and our DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks.

Eat at “Off Hours”

Disney vacationers cannot live on snacks alone, though—there are too many great Disney restaurants!

Several of our twitter friends recommended taking advantage of “off” meal times by enjoying a late breakfast/early lunch, or a late lunch/early dinner! This is when the restaurants are less likely to be packed with families sticking to the traditional meal times.

Coral Reef in Epcot is even more serene during non-traditional dining hours!

Paul B. tweets, “Off hours eating leads to taking advantage of shorter attraction lines during the normal meal times.”  So while everyone else is waiting in the lunch line, you’re able to hop onto Splash Mountain with a much shorter wait.

And when you are ready to enjoy your late lunch, not only will you have a quieter, more intimate meal, but you’re more likely to get a coveted window seat or other special seating area (like a car-booth at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater). Dining bonus!

Awesome convertible car booths at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

Visit the Resorts for Meals

If you’re not able to take advantage [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern

Sometimes I find a dessert in Disney World that takes my breath away (‘Ohana Bread Pudding, I’m looking at YOU!). And I’ll be honest with you — I really didn’t expect it to be this one!

When I first saw the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake on the lunch menu at Liberty Tree Tavern several years ago, I ordered something else thinking I didn’t really want “cake.”

Man-oh-man did I learn my lesson on the next visit, when I ordered it only because it was the dessert I hadn’t had before. (I know! I can’t believe it, either!)

For those who haven’t tried it, this isn’t “cake.” It’s more like a crispy-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside toffee chocolate chip cookie-ish sort of thing.

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

Rich, buttery flavor is complimented by the bittersweet chocolate chips. Ice cream tops the whole thing off, and the dessert is drizzled in chocolate and toffee. Basically? It’s one of the best desserts on Disney property…hands down. And here’s how you make it…

Liberty Tree Tavern Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake Recipe

Cake Bottom

Serves: 5-6
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 10 min

Ingredients
1 box yellow cake mix
1 large egg
1 stick butter (softened) [Read more…]

What’s Your Favorite Disney Burger?

It’s usually my job to smash though the stereotype that theme parks only serve burgers and fries, but today…it’s time to embrace it! We’re going to talk burgers, all! Are ya ready to share your favorites?

It’s time to update our “best burgers in Disney World” list, and we think there are some seriously unexpected meat-and-bun creations that go far beyond what you would expect from a theme park burger. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable in the bunch.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, though! I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments below!

Favorite Disney Burgers

Picnic Burger at Sci-Fi Dine-In

UPDATE: Please note that the Picnic Burger is not currently being served at Sci-Fi-Dine-In Restaurant, but they often feature a specialty burger on the menu in addition to the Build-Your-Own Burger. 

The All American Picnic Burger is a flame-broiled Angus burger patty topped with…wait until you hear this…a grilled hot dog! On top of this, you get sauerkraut, sautéed onions, ketchup, mustard, and a pickle spear! Yep — this one is HUGE…and messy!

Served at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it’s a picnic on a plate. Go ahead and indulge!

Picnic Burger

Beaches and Cream Burger

The simple Beaches and Cream Burger made our very first “Best Burgers” list way back when, and now their upgraded Bacon and Blue version has made our list again!

Beaches and Cream is your spot for comforting food, including malted milkshakes, chicken noodle soup, awesome ice cream sundaes, and Angus cheeseburgers.

Bacon and Blue Burger at Beaches and Cream

Surf and Surf “Burger” at Landscape of Flavors

This is probably the newest on the list, and hails from Art of Animation Resort’s Landscape of Flavors!

Not technically a burger, the Surf and Surf is actually a Crab Cake topped with fried popcorn shrimp, tomato, lettuce, and Cajun remoulade on a brioche bun. There are plenty of other great burgers to choose from at this new counter-service stop, though, so [Read more…]

Guest Review: Liberty Tree Tavern Dinner

Join me in welcoming back guest author Aaron Crum as he takes us to the Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom for a family-style meal!

Imagine this: you are walking through Walt Disney World, and suddenly you find yourself immersed in colonial America.

Not only are you reliving some of American history, you discover that it’s Thanksgiving Day and a feast has been prepared for you to enjoy.

Welcome to Liberty Tree Tavern!

Atmosphere

Liberty Tree Tavern is located in the Liberty Square area of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The lobby has somewhat of a “lodge” feel to it. There is a lot of exposed wood and very open spaces.

Exterior

When we visited, the computers were down, causing several delays and the restaurant to be extremely crowded. After waiting outside for our table to be ready, we were summoned to the lobby and taken to our table.

Decor

There are several different dining rooms within Liberty Tree Tavern, all themed after historical figures from United States history. We happened to be seated in the [Read more…]

Reader Poll: Rather Eat Thanksgiving Dinner at Home or at a Disney Restaurant?

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family is considering having Thanksgiving in Disney World next year, and I wanted to hear some opinions about that! So we asked our Facebook Page Fans:

Would you rather have Thanksgiving Dinner at home, or at a Disney restaurant?.

Our readers chimed in with their holiday preferences! While dining at home was a strong contender due to family traditions, leftovers, cost-savings, aversion to holiday crowds, and a palate for a real home-cooked meal, ordering Thanksgiving dinner at a Disney restaurant was the clear winner!

And these voters didn’t care where they ate at Disney — they just wanted to be in the middle of the magic for the holiday. In fact, we think some of you might be happy with one of these!:

Disney Turkey Leg

Here are some of the other suggestions we received!: [Read more…]