ROAD TRIP, everybody!!! Today we are cruising over to Flo’s V-8 Cafe!
Located in Cars Land in Disney California Adventure, it’s the perfect place for a quick fuel up.
I already know what you’re gonna say. “AJ, you JUST went to Artist Point.”
And you’d be right. We reviewed this signature spot not long ago. And even Disney signature dining spots that I frequent, like Le Cellier or Flying Fish Cafe, usually don’t get that much coverage here on the blog.
But here’s the thing: that last visit was NOT awesome. From food to service, we left having felt completely underwhelmed. And I received several comments from readers requesting a “re-review” when a brand new chef took the helm.
So on a recent trip, I knew I had to check in. Even if everything hadn’t instantly transformed bippety-boppety-style, I was hoping to see some movement in the right direction.
Read on to see how the evening unfolded.
The decor of Artist Point, like the rest of the Wilderness Lodge, pays tribute to the Arts and Crafts style as well as the sweeping vistas of the Pacific Northwest.
But it differs from the rest of the resort in that it’s a touch less rustic, a bit more refined. Whereas the rest of Wilderness Lodge plays up warm wood hues with exposed beams and woodwork to drive home that cabin feel, Artist Point is dressed up with a creamy palette and beautiful artwork celebrating the region. [Read more…]
Earlier this week, we had the chance to check out a sneak preview of some of the wonderful offerings at the 2015 Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic.
The Swan and Dolphin Resorts’ companion event to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival kicks off TONIGHT! And if you haven’t gotten your tickets already, no worries — you can purchase them at the Will Call Table.
The Food and Wine Classic consists of two different offerings. You can attend informative seminars, where you can learn about everything from Cheese Pairings and Pasta Making to Wine Blending and how to make the perfect Caipirinha!
But there’s also the Causeway Grandtasting. Set up between the two resorts, the Causeway offers tasting-size portions of special dishes that represent all of the resort’s restaurants. There are also additional areas highlighting the diverse talents of the Swan and Dolphin Culinary Team.
I have plenty of new stuff to share with you, and there are some great food and drinks returning. Let’s take a look around at what the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic has to offer this year!
Carnival Corner will be a brand new addition to this year’s Food and Wine Classic! The area, inspired by sweets and treats from childhood, will showcase the Swan and Dolphin Food Trucks/Trailers.
In this special area, guests can enjoy four different fun foods: Mac and Cheese, Corn Dogs, Funnel Cakes, and Nitro Kettle Corn! [Read more…]
We are back for another visit to Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Tree Tavern — and this time, it’s for dinner.
What’s the difference between lunch and dinner? Well, it’s major, actually. Lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern is an a la carte offering — you order what you want off the menu. I’ll often go for their Angus Chuck Cheeseburger. And the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake is one of the best desserts on property. (Here’s the recipe.)
But dinner is a completely different deal — and still quite good. You’re treated to a family style feast consisting of roasted meats and all the trimmings.
I haven’t covered dinner at LTT here on the blog for a long time…for two reasons: 1.) It’s always the same. The food rarely changes, and everyone gets the same thing, so our previous reviews are still totally valid when it comes to the food. 2.) For some reason, every time I’ve been there for dinner in the past year, something has happened to keep me from getting the photos I need to blog the post. Either a member of my party gets sick or one of the kids has a meltdown…or we’re with a huge group and the food is decimated before I can take a picture.
So, I made it a focus on my last trip to get over there and make it happen! Here we go!
Liberty Tree Tavern is a Magic Kingdom icon. It’s been there since the Park opened, and there are many Disney fans who count a meal here among their earliest Disney memories. It’s located on Liberty Square, near the Hall of Presidents and other exhibits celebrating Colonial American History.
Liberty Tree Tavern offers seating in six different rooms, each themed to a notable historical figure. They include Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Paul Jones, Paul Revere, Betsy Ross, and George Washington. You can see a more in-depth atmosphere review here.
If your kiddos are studying American history, it’s fun to take a look around each of the rooms to see some of the more well-known stories come to life. Ben Franklin’s kite and George Washington’s wooden teeth appear in their respective rooms.
And if there are any invasions or revolutions that require your help, you’re all set. Grab your cloak and three corner hat, and you’re off!
Seating throughout the vast network of rooms is made up of booths and tables. Primarily you’ll find ladder back chairs that are fairly comfortable surrounding rectangular and round tables.
If you prefer some natural light, be sure to request a seat in one of the outer facing dining rooms. But don’t plan on parade- or people-watching. The glass is bubbled and wavy, so you’ll just see blobs of color.
As I mentioned before, if you dine at Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner, you’ll be partaking in a prix fixe, family style meal. That means that each person in your party will pay a set price — one price for adults, and a lower price for children. (Children under 3 are free.)
Your meal includes everything listed below, including a standard beverage and dessert. The format is all-you-care-to-enjoy, so there’s no reason to ever leave a Liberty Tree Tavern dinner table hungry.
We began with a [Read more…]
Welp, boys and girls — it’s time to head into Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and take in lunch at Crystal Palace! This is a beloved character spot for many Disney fans, and a must-do character experience for lots of you.
Me? I hadn’t been to Crystal Palace in foreva…not since an ill-fated late-night visit a couple of years ago when the food was AW-FUL! Yep, it was the end-of-the-night dregs of the buffet and we were pretty much just grossed out. (Have you ever seen a buffet about 15 minutes before a restaurant is about to close? Not pretty.) We ate very little and left as soon as we could. Sad, since we do love dining with Pooh and friends.
But it was time to revisit the 100 Hundred Acre Wood — after all, we’d had lots of great meals here previously — and I made reservations with some friends for lunch.
We have tons of shots to show you, so let’s get started!
You’ll find Crystal Palace to the left of Main Street USA’s end, just as you approach Cinderella Castle. The beautiful glass building, inspired by ornate conservatories of the late Victorian Age, is a slice of Disney history as well. The restaurant has been around since opening day in 1971.
And here’s a tip if you’re looking for an extra-special experience during your Disney vacation: try and book Crystal Palace for an early breakfast. You’ll be one of the first guests into the Park when you do this, and visiting a nearly empty Magic Kingdom is an event to remember.
Once you step inside, you’ll see whitewashed walls that carry the bright, light decor throughout. Artwork depicting inspiration for the architecture as well as photos of lush palms cover the walls.
The soaring atrium above is gorgeous — especially on a sunny day!
After you check in, you’ll wait for your table outside on the shaded veranda. But once you step in, pause a moment to take it all in.
Tons of windows and glass domes allow for plenty of natural light in the two dining areas.
And really — look up. Because the windows are really stunning. I love the beautiful stained glass detail.
The decor puts you in mind of a Victorian conservatory, with its outside-but-inside feel. Lush flowers and what reminds me of patio furniture finish the area.
Crystal Palace is, of course, a character dining experience, and you’ve stumbled onto a party!
In fact, visit here, and you’ll take part in a Friendship Day Celebration with Winnie the Pooh and his friends.
Just check out these gorgeous flower topiaries of the whole gang!
The sweet little figures appear to be made of dried roses, and foreshadow the characters you’ll meet while you dine.
And beautiful hanging arrangements of tropical flowers complete the classic conservatory feel.
Seating is standard and fairly comfortable. Heavy, padded chairs share the space with booths, but some tables are situated a bit too closely for our comfort.
Seating along windows gives you a glimpse of guests waiting to be seated! But beyond them, you’ll also see a beautiful view of [Read more…]
I have a super special treat for you today!
I know I’m not the only person in love with the Macaroni and Cheese at Jiko, right? This signature restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge — and this dish in particular! — regularly tops my list when I’m visiting Disney World.
While the filet is a mainstay on their menu, the side dishes that it’s paired with tend to change up regularly. But Jiko created a legend with the filet and cheesy goodness combo; it had legions of fans! So normally, even if the mac and cheese isn’t on the menu, you can request it.
And now you can make it at home too!
Jiko — The Cooking Place, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients: [Read more…]
Macaroni and Cheese — that glorious food that is both side dish and main dish.
The dish is so well loved that it’s even made its way onto the menu over the years for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in the France Marketplace Booth. Will it make the cut for the 2014 Food and Wine Festival? Only time will tell!
But for the mac and cheese lover, this dish has everything! Sharp, tangy Gruyère cheese, golden crust, and it’s plenty big enough to share — if you want to! (Confession: Usually I don’t want to.)
But what are you to do if your next advance dining reservation for this wonderful spot is months off, and you’re craving some of this awesomeness, like, yesterday???
Why, make it at home, of course! Because with this recipe, the cheesy power is in your hands.
Ingredients: [Read more…]
Mickey’s Toontown is the perfect place to visit when you want to feel like a kid again. It’s easy to believe that you’ve been dropped right into a cartoon as you venture into this land based on Toontown in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Exploring Mickey’s and Minnie’s houses, and seeing all the cool detail, is one of my favorite things to do here!
And it’s great knowing that Toontown is still alive and kicking in Disneyland, since it went by the wayside to make room for New Fantasyland expansion in Walt Disney World.
But what if you’re looking for a bite to eat in the land of ‘toons? You’re in luck! There ain’t much to eat in Mickey’s Toontown, but what’s there sure is fun!
Among the wonky architecture and interactive attractions in Toontown, you’ll find an assortment of stands for grabbing a bite to eat between rides. And no worries about picky eaters — everything here is sure to please even the littlest members of your crew!
Let’s take a little tour of the counter services spots and see what they have to offer. Fortunately, they’re all nestled close together, similar to a food court – great for a family or group whose members all want something different for lunch!
The first stop on Toontown’s Restaurant Row is Daisy’s Diner. Donald’s girlfriend serves up Pizza in two varieties — Cheese or Pepperoni. Pizzas are individually sized, and are pretty standard Disney pizzas. If you’ve eaten Disney counter service pizza anywhere else, you’ll know what to expect.
You can also get a limited assortment of drinks here — Soda-Pop, Milk, or Juice. The Souvenir Sipper is also available. We’ll see a pic of that in a sec. There are also a few desserts available as well.
The next stop is Pluto’s Dog House. CUUUUUTE! I have serious love for that hotdog skewered on the fork above the window. Even the road signage out front lets you know what’s happening in this part of town.
It probably won’t surprise you to find out that Pluto serves up Hot Dogs. Get a basket with a side of Apple Slices or Chips.
Pluto’s also features a few Kid’s Meal options, including a Kid’s Hot Dog or Turkey Sandwich, which both come with sides. There’s also a Toddler Meal featuring Macaroni and Cheese. Assorted desserts are available here, too.
In the drink department, Souvenir Sippers are also for sale here, along with the same beverage options that Daisy’s Diner features. However, you can also get Coffee, Hot Tea, and Hot Chocolate at Pluto’s — which are available in a Travel Mug.
Our next stop is Clarabelle’s! Head to the awning with the cute cow spots if you’re looking for something a little fresher for lunch or dinner.
Options include “Moo” Plate Specials (bahahahahahaha!), and you see the word [Read more…]
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival has come to close, but there was one recipe that I simply couldn’t get out of my head!
DFB reporter James Armstrong had the opportunity to attend a special event — Sweet Sundays with Chef Carla Hall…
…and she made THESE! Mac n’ Cheese Bundles!
I’ve been dreaming of the dish ever since I read about it! And just in case you have been as well, here’s the recipe!
Ingredients: [Read more…]