Review: New Menu at Liberty Tree Tavern at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! It’s time to head back to one of our favorite spots — Liberty Tree Tavern!

Ah, how we love thee, Liberty Tree. Located in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, there are plenty of reasons why this park original is still one of our favorites. First of all, although we can embrace and even enjoy change (within moderation ;-) ), Liberty Tree Tavern has literally been around since the beginning. And that makes it a shoe-in for a spot in some of our collective earliest memories. A show of hands out there — how many of you recollect this Colonial-inspired dining room as one of your first Disney meals?

But then, it keeps us coming back as grown-ups for delicious comfort food! The a la carte menu served at lunch features one of DFB’s Favorite Burgers, the Angus Chuck Cheeseburger! And who could possibly resist the Pilgrims Feast at lunch? Because Thanksgiving Dinner served all year ’round is A-OK with me!

Recently, we learned of updates here (what?!?!) to the dinner menu. And while I don’t usually need an excuse to make an advance dining reservation at Liberty Tree, I figured it was the perfect reason to visit.

Join us to see what’s new — and what remains the same — when you dine at Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner!

Liberty Tree Tavern Entrance

Liberty Tree Tavern Entrance

Atmosphere

To step into Liberty Tree Tavern is to step back in time. The restaurant offers seating in six different rooms (none of that modern open floor plan stuff here).

Seating and View

Seating and View

Of course, an argument could be made that the throwback nostalgia here is part Colonial, part 1970s. But you know what? We’re totally fine with it. While some rooms offer paneling a plenty…

Decor

Seating and Wood Paneling Decor

Others are awash in white. Still, ample wood accents and parquet floors lend warmth and a feeling of antiquity. [Read more…]

Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar, Coming Soon to Disney Springs

Today, we’re sharing a few more details about another restaurant coming soon to Disney Springs — Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar.

Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar

Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar

We already know that the restaurant, which is the brain child of celebrity chef and Florida native Art Smith, will feature the “farm-to-fork” cuisine that Smith is known for. [Read more…]

Guest Review: Breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel

Today, we head to the west coast for a guest review of Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel. Let’s take a tour — courtesy of guest author, Liz Jostes.

GoofysKitchen_16-001

For our family’s first trip to Disneyland, I booked breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen. Since we were staying at the Disneyland Hotel and our flight home wasn’t until the afternoon, it was a perfect and convenient stop on our final morning on property.

Goofy’s Kitchen is located next to the pool area in the Disneyland Hotel, and a short, easy walk from the Downtown Disney District (for those not staying at the Disneyland Hotel).

Atmosphere

As you walk through the doors of Goofy’s Kitchen, you enter into a lobby and wait for your turn to check-in and pay for your meal (gratuity is automatically included). Then you are welcome to meet Goofy while waiting for your table. [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at Flo’s V-8 Café in Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land

ROAD TRIP, everybody!!! Today we are cruising over to Flo’s V-8 Cafe!

Cars Land Sign

Cars Land Sign

Located in Cars Land in Disney California Adventure, it’s the perfect place for a quick fuel up.

[Read more…]

Re-Review: Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

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.

Atmosphere

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.

Artist Point

Artist Point

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…]

First Look: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic 2015

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.

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Logo 2015

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!

NEW! Carnival Corner

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.

Carnival Corner Food Truck -- Funnel Cake Truck

Carnival Corner Food Truck — The Funnel Cake Truck Is Ready To Go!

In this special area, guests can enjoy four different fun foods: Mac and Cheese, Corn Dogs, Funnel Cakes, and Nitro Kettle Corn! [Read more…]

Review: New Barbeque Chicken Macaroni and Cheese at Friar’s Nook in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Friar’s Nook is at it again! Becoming known for their oft-changing macaroni and cheese-based menu items, this spot has a new version to add: Barbecue Chicken Macaroni and Cheese!

Friar's Nook Sign

Friar’s Nook Sign

Atmosphere

Tucked into Fantasyland, Friar’s Nook is a walk-up location with all-outdoor seating. [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

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!

Atmosphere

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 Entrance

Liberty Tree Tavern Entrance

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.

John Paul Jones

A door in the John Paul Jones Room

Decor

Model Ship and John Paul Jones Portrait

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.

Kite in Ben Franklin Room

Kite in Ben Franklin Room

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!

Coats and Hat Hanging at the Ready

Coats and Hat Hanging at the Ready

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.

Seating

Seating

Seating

Seating

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.

Seating and View

Seating and View

Eats

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.

Liberty Tree Tavern -- Click to Enlarge

Liberty Tree Tavern Menu — Click to Enlarge

We began with a [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Crystal Palace in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

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!

Atmosphere

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.

Entrance to Restaurant

Entrance to Restaurant

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.

Artwork and Framed Photos

Artwork and Framed Photos

The soaring atrium above is gorgeous — especially on a sunny day!

Crystal Palace Atrium

Crystal Palace Atrium

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.

Dining Rooms

Dining Rooms

Tons of windows and glass domes allow for plenty of natural light in the two dining areas.

Dining Room from Another Angle

Dining Room from Another Angle

And really — look up. Because the windows are really stunning. I love the beautiful stained glass detail.

Stained Glass Windows

Stained Glass Windows

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.

Evening Light

Afternoon Light

Crystal Palace is, of course, a character dining experience, and you’ve stumbled onto a party!

Center Atrium -- Up Close

Center Atrium — Up Close

In fact, visit here, and you’ll take part in a Friendship Day Celebration with Winnie the Pooh and his friends.

Banner -- Up Close

It’s Friendship Day!

Just check out these gorgeous flower topiaries of the whole gang!

Pooh and His Hunny Pot

Pooh and His Hunny Pot

Eeyore Topiary

Eeyore Topiary

The sweet little figures appear to be made of dried roses, and foreshadow the characters you’ll meet while you dine.

Piglet Topiary

Piglet Topiary

Bouncing Tigger Topiary

Bouncing Tigger Topiary

And beautiful hanging arrangements of tropical flowers complete the classic conservatory feel.

Fresh Flowers

Fresh Flowers

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 for Two

Seating for Two

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…]

Disney Recipe: Macaroni and Cheese from Jiko at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

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.

And when you run into me having dinner here, chances are better than great that I’ll be enjoying their Oak-Grilled Filet with a side of their amazing Mac and Cheese.

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.

Oak Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

Oak Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

And now you can make it at home too!

Jiko’s Macaroni and Cheese

Jiko — The Cooking Place, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients: [Read more…]