Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 4, 2015

Happy New Year! Looking ahead, we anticipate sharing delicious reviews from new Disney restaurants. And we just heard that STK will be coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World.

Tiramisu Cupcake

Tiramisu Cupcake

And you know we’ll be visiting old favorites like Captain Cook’s. Recently while checking out the new Polynesian Lobby (click the link to see photos!!), we found a Tiramisu Cupcake there!

Plus, read the top Disney food news from 2014. Just click on the links below!

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!

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 from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Our readers continue to tempt us with delicious food from Walt Disney World. Let’s take a look at some items from the Animal Kingdom! Here’s a Mac and Cheese Hot Dog courtesy of Katie.

Mac and Cheese Hot Dog

Mac and Cheese Hot Dog

Or for table-service, head to Yak and Yeti for these yummy appetizers sent in by Angelica.
Yak and Yeti Appetizers-001

Do you have a favorite find? Share your Disney food photos!

Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book Today for $5 Off!

Want a big discount on our most popular DFB Guide in time for the new year? Or, you know, just cause you want to start planning your 2015 Disney trip TODAY? ;-D

dfb_guide_2015_3d

It’s yours! Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining today and use promo code HAPPYNEWYEAR for $5 off!

We know that when it comes to your Disney vacays, planning ahead is practically essential these days. And if you can save time and money in the process — even better!

And that’s why today, when you pre-order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and enter promo code HAPPYNEWYEAR, you’ll save $5 off of the already low cover price!

But the really cool part? You get two books for the price of one! We’ll deliver the 2014 Guide to you immediately, and email you the 2015 Guide as soon as it is available early next year.

Here are a couple of sample pages for you — just click to enlarge!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Sample Page

Samples Pages of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013

What’s in the DFB Guide?

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is stuffed FULL of helpful features to help make your trip go smoothly, like:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from [Read more…]

Review: Restaurantosaurus at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

When I’m in the mood for a “wild” lunch, I love to head to Restaurantosaurus at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Seriously — it’s one of my favorite counter service spots in all of Disney World!

This enormous restaurant, located in DinoLand USA, is super-themed…but you really have to look hard to see some of the great sight gags and imagineering details.

I recently met a friend for lunch here. It’s always fun to stroll around — I find something new every time I visit. But Restaurantosaurus usually boasts some interesting choices on its menu. I love their Chicken Nuggets, but who knows?…I may surprise you today!

Time to check in and see what’s new!

Atmosphere

While visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you may be tempted to write off Restaurantosaurus as just another fast food joint. That would be a mistake. There’s more to this place than just food. The quirky themeing transforms the eatery into an attraction.

Outside

Outside

And the fabricated history of DinoLand USA and Restaurantosaurus is fascinating. For the complete story, check out this history of the area. (You can read part two here.)

But for now, here’s the short version: Restaurantosaurus began life as the cafeteria for college students participating in a dig nearby. To subsidize their grant income, the students opened the Restaurant (isn’t that a great name?) to the public.

And where did the additional “osaurus” in the name come from? It seems that this is a running gag perpetrated by those zany college kids. Look around, and see if you can find just how many instances in which “osaurus” has been added to words. But the granddaddy of them all is, of course, adding it to the name of the restaurant.

The dormitory and restaurant grew over time, with residents adding whatever sound structures they could to expand the space. And just when you thought there was no use for that old Airstream…

Outside View of the Airstream

Outside View of the Airstream

Step inside, and you find the main hall, which houses the kitchen and ordering area. You can see it gets pretty busy during peak times. This picture was taken when the restaurant first opened for the day!

Ordering Area

Ordering Area

But before we settle down to consider our selections, let’s take a look around. Be sure to check out the lights. They’re one of the few design elements that feel like they’re here on purpose, rather than being scavenged. With the little dinosaur cut outs, they’re intricate and interesting.

Lighting

Lighting

Carve out some time just to meander while you’re here. There’s just so much to take in.

Decor

Decor

Homey kitchen items are stored close by, ready to be put to good use.

Kitchen Stuff

Kitchen Stuff

Check out the pictures and other mementos that the students have displayed.

Decor

Pictures, Postcards, and Knickknacks

As with other Disney restaurants, Restaurantosaurus is most likely much larger than you realize at first. There are several seating areas, all themed as different rooms. The feel is that the building was expanded over time.

Seating

Seating

My favorite spot remains the area affectionately known as “The Hip Joint”. Ha ha!!

The Hip Joint Sign

The Hip Joint!

This student hangout houses a half-court gym and lots of recreational equipment. And to expand seating, here’s where you’ll find that [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…]

What’s Your Favorite Restaurant in Each Walt Disney World Park?

One question I get asked ALL the time: “What are your favorite Disney restaurants?”

Favorite Walt Disney World Theme Park Restaurants

And my answer is always the same: “My favorites are always changing, because the only consistent thing about Disney restaurants is that they’re inconsistent!” That said, I do have a few that I head back to over and over again… .

It’s fun to seek out new things, to be sure. And Disney is always introducing new restaurants! But still, it’s always comforting to go back to the same place each visit and have your favorite meal.

So today, my question for YOU is: What is your favorite restaurant in each of the four Walt Disney World Parks? What table would you park your feet under during each and every visit if you could? (Or do you?)

I’ll share my picks first, and then I can’t wait for you to jump in by adding your answers in comments below!

Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom

Ah, Liberty Tree. You have been around since the dawn of time. (Or at least since pretty much the first day that Magic Kingdom was opened.)

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

And while lots of fantastic places to eat in Magic Kingdom have come about since then, I’d still eat at Liberty Tree Tavern during every single visit if I could.

Lots of Disney fans prefer dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern, which is a family-style, all you care to eat affair, offering carved meats and sides. Having traditional Thanksgiving foods all year around is a treat, after all! But I really prefer lunch, because I can get my favorite: the amazing Liberty Tree Tavern Burger!

Liberty Tree Tavern Burger

Liberty Tree Tavern Burger

And there’s no better way to finish the meal than one of my favorite Disney desserts, the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake! This has been on and off the menu in recent months, but we’re always glad when it’s on-again.

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom.

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake is a Must Have

Sometimes I have to resort to [Read more…]

Try It! The “DFB Favorites Crawl” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

You know that here at DFB we’re very, VERY fond of sampling snacks in the Disney parks and resorts!

And today we’re excited to show you a few more of our favorites — salty, sweet, creamy, crunchy, or a cross between!

We’re highlighting one of our classic food crawls! These little adventures are a great way to mark off some popular foods, all while touring the park at the same time!

And no worries — if you love this one, we have seven more food crawls for you to tackle in our new DFB Guide to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom Snacks! I hope you’re hungry…let’s go!

Chocolate Peanut Butter or Chocolate Butterfinger Cupcake

Begin with a Disney Food Blog Favorite from way back — Cupcakes!

Once you enter the park, walk straight down Hollywood Boulevard and start your day with a cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe. For the DFB Favorites Crawl, we recommend that you stick with one of two classic choices: the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake, or the Butterfinger Cupcake.

If you choose the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake, be forewarned: this one is for avowed chocoholics, or fans of that crazy amazing chocolate peanut butter combo. It’s chocolate with more chocolate with the cake and chocolate curls on top. But then, it’s crowned and filled with the most amazing chocolate peanut butter frosting! You have to taste it to believe it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake

Or, you can opt for the [Read more…]

News! Disneyland’s Refreshment Corner Adds a New Chicago-Style Hot Dog

When you’re in Disneyland and in serious need of a hot dog, we have just the place for you — the Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner!

Refreshment Corner -- Outside View

This spot will remind East Coasters of Casey’s Corner with its decor and location. With a nod to early twentieth century vintage, this spot anchors Main Street U.S.A. with lots of charm as well as good eats.

And today, we’re bringing you news and pictures of a brand new menu item here. Let’s take a look!

Refreshment Corner

Refreshment Corner occupies a corner of Main Street U.S.A., just before you get to Jolly Holiday Bakery and Cafe. It’s compact to be sure, and seating is all outdoors, but there’s plenty of fun decor to check out!

Tiffany-Style Shades with Coca-Cola Branding

This spot is best known for [Read more…]

Review: Disneyland Soundsational Menu Items…Will They Become Permanent?

Welcome back Carrie Hayward as she returns to show us specialty menu items from Disneyland’s Soundsational Annual Passholder event! And don’t forget to read Carrie’s bio at the end of this post — she’s pretty amazing!

Over the last week, Disneyland has hosted two after-hours parties to give annual passholders an up-close look at the new Soundsational parade and how it was created. Four special menu items were introduced for the events, each available at a different location and only between the hours of 4pm and midnight that day. However, word on the street is that one or more of them may have been a test for future inclusion on park menus.

Soundsational Eats

Let’s see how the four potentially new menu items stack up!

Mac & Cheese Hot Dog – Main Street Refreshment Corner
Definitely the most talked-about special menu item, this diet-busting snack featured one of Disneyland’s new larger — and reportedly more flavorful hot dogs — smothered in neon macaroni & cheese and topped with bacon bits.

The last Disney hot dog I ate was at Walt Disney World (at Disneyland, I go straight for the corn dogs) and it didn’t seem particularly puny or bland, so I can’t comment on whether the new dog is an improvement.

Disneyland’s has a snappy casing and a salty, beefy taste. The macaroni and cheese was not quite up to par with my beloved Walt Disney World Mickeyroni — more plasticky and less cheesy — but it still had that satisfyingly creamy quality that tells you you’re eating a hot dog covered with mac ‘n’ cheese!

The bacon crumbles were the packaged kind you can buy at the market and didn’t taste like much of anything… think of them as savory sprinkles.

Mac n Cheese Hot Dog

Soundsational “Cupcake” – Blue Ribbon Bakery
As it turned out, there was no Soundsational cupcake at Blue Ribbon Bakery on either party night, and at the first party, bakery cast members acted as if the sign announcing the cupcake was the first they’d heard of it. By the time the second party rolled around, the chef had pulled something together on the fly — a chocolate-chocolate chip muffin topped with cream cheese frosting and a white chocolate Mickey pumpkin.

This sounded like it might be weird, but the muffin was so [Read more…]