Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 1, 2012

Complimentary Champagne Toast at Victoria and Albert's Chef's Table

Happy New Year, everyone!! We hope your year is filled with delicious treats and lovely toasts, but most of all, we hope your year has a little Disney in it!

To start things out right, here’s a recap of the Disney Food news that’s been happening over the past week while we were all stuffing ourselves with fudge, cookies, and egg nog (oh, wait, that was just me?). ;-) Believe it or not, there were a LOT of developments last week!

Brand New Disney Food News

For more delicious food news, stop by our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis! And don’t forget to follow along on our 2011 Holiday Dining page!

On to the Round-Up!

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups hangs out at the Dawa Bar in the Animal Kingdom. Sigh — so relaxing!! One of my favorite places!

Tokyo Disneyland Club 33 Pins!

RocketNews24 shares six reasons Tokyo Disneyland’s secret restaurant Club 33 is awesome! I’m LOVING the pics in this one!

SamLand Disney takes a power lunch at The Brown Derby restaurant. Check out the vintage phones!

Gorillas Don’t Blog shares a vintage Disneyland photo of the Red Wagon Inn, Walt’s personal favorite restaurant in 1955.

AllEars.net celebrated 15 great years at the beginning of December, and did so with some delicious Disney food.

Main St. Gazette celebrates the season with some Pumpkin Fudge! Great pic, Ryan!

Disney Parks Blog shared recipes for two of Trader Sam’s holiday cocktails! If you can’t make it to Disneyland, make one at home!

Guest Review: The Mara

I’m happy to welcome back Bill Iadonisi with another enlightening review. This time he explores the counter-service eatery, The Mara, at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House. Take it away, Bill!

Hello Disney Food Blog fans! I know it’s been long between reviews, so let’s get started on this month’s eatery! I have always said that Disney’s resorts hold some of the best places to eat on property. Usually much quieter and less hectic then the restaurants in the parks, and many times you can just walk in and sit down.

Today we are going to the dark continent of Africa for this review. Well, maybe a quick safari trip to Disney’s Jambo house is what we’ll do. The main attractions at this beautiful resort are the breathtaking views of the African Savanna from select rooms. But it’s also home to some of Disney’s finest restaurants.

Although not a five-star eatery, Jambo House’s counter-service establishment, The Mara (named after the Mara River in Africa) is a wonderful place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it does all three equally well.

The Mara Story - click image for larger version

Atmosphere

So before we explore the eats, let’s take a look at the décor.

Themeing and Decor
Located very close to the Jambo House pool, the Mara is themed (like all Disney eateries), but not as strongly as, say, Pizzafari or even the Flame Tree Barbeque.

Entrance

Inside is a spacious dining area with a colorful mural of African flora and fauna on the two back walls.

Spacious Dining Area

The tables and chairs are plain and Spartan, but overhead are metallic cut-outs that resemble tree leaves, and several support posts that have large wooden beams resembling tree limbs make it appear as though you are [Read more…]

Chocolate Chip Mickey Waffles?! The Future is Here.

OK — for those of you who, like me, think that chocolate chips make everything just a little bit better, I have some GREAT news!

Over at Whispering Canyon Cafe, you can pair two of the best things in the world: chocolate chips and Mickey waffles!

We got word from Jennifer M. today about her delicious adventure with a brand new kind of Mickey waffle, and she even sent a pic!

Chocolate Chip Mickey Waffles at Wilderness Lodge

These look deeeelicous! Hoping to get a [Read more…]

Reader Favorites: Disney Grab-and-Go Breakfast Items

It’s apparently a breakfast-y week here on the Disney Food Blog, so here’s another fun, nourishing post about the most important meal of the day! When your main goal is conquering Space Mountain after rope drop or securing FastPasses for Toy Story Mania, a quick breakfast will help get you there before thousands of your fellow vacationers!

Breakfast at the Main Street Bakery

DFB followers and Facebook Friends shared their on-the-go fave breakfast options via the Disney Food Blog Facebook page.

Favorite Disney Grab and Go Breakfast Items

The most mentioned breakfast items were cinnamon rolls, Mickey waffles, and muffins (mostly blueberry)! Favorite Orlando and Anaheim locations for early morning fueling were the Main Street Bakery in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Disney Resort food courts, and White Water Snacks at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort.

Walt Disney World and Disneyland

Many locations are available for quick-service breakfast items in Disney’s Orlando and Anaheim theme parks. With the quick-service locations at the hotels, finding a [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Breakfast at White Water Snacks

Our Dining in Disneyland columnist, Heather Sievers, shares breakfast with her family — and a guest! — at White Water Snacks in Disney’s Grand Californian Resort.

Looking for a tasty, quick, and affordable breakfast while staying at the Disneyland Resort? Head over to White Water Snacks at the Grand Californian and you won’t be disappointed. My family stays at the Disneyland Resort a few times a year, and when we do, we always have at least one breakfast at White Water Snacks.

Atmosphere
The atmosphere is very casual; it’s walk up with no table service. You can order hot or cold meals, you pay the cashier, you’re given a number, and when your meal is ready, they bring it out. Although the restaurant is located on [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Mickey Waffles

Thanks to all who have contributed their photos to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! Keep sending them along! This week, the Disney Food Pics of the Week are some fun breakfast treats!

Here are a couple of our favorite faces ready for breakfast at Carnation Cafe in Disneyland! Photographer: CookieRojas73

Junior Plate at Carnation Cafe in Disneyland

Gluten Free Mickeys!!! Found at Plaza Inn in Disneyland…
Photographer: [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney!”: Breakfast

We’re headed back to our “Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney!” series today

I did a post a couple of weeks back titled The Five Best Things I Ate In Disneyland, which sparked a fun series based on the Food Network’s (very cool) show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Based on some keen suggestions from readers, we’ll be splitting our series up into different sections: breakfast, appetizers & side dishes, snacks, entrees (lunch and dinner), and desserts & drinks.

Today, let’s talk breakfast! I’ve done my favorite brand of informal polling (i.e. posted questions on twitter and facebook ;) ) to find out others’ experiences of the Best Thing They Ever Ate for breakfast at Disney. I must say, the conclusions aren’t all that shocking, but they are delicious! Here’s what we’ve all come up with:

Mickey Waffles

Ah, the glorious little Mickey Waffle! I have no idea why these little guys taste as wonderful as they do, but it’s like melt-in-your-mouth happiness as soon as you bite into one (you think I’m being overly dramatic, but I promise, they’re delicious).

Multi Grain Mickey Waffles from The Wave!

Luckily, you can get them all over Disney World (I have a partial list here) — book a breakfast buffet and you’re almost sure to see them. If you’d rather not deal with locking off time for a full meal, head to [Read more…]

Disney Foodie Friday: Holiday Gift Ideas Part 4

We’re on our final week of Disney Foodie gifts! That’s right, Christmas is only one week away and, Disney fans, if you’re like me and have procrastinated this far…well…it’s time to step it up! ;-) Suck it up, pay for the fast shipping, and order some cool Disney foodie gifts for your friends!

plates


Movie Night Disney Snack Plates — Set of 4 I have seen these at WDW several times and almost bought them. They’re ON SALE now, which is very cool. Come to think of it, everything seems to be on sale now. I really AM late to the game!














villains candy dish


Disney Villains Candy Dish This thing is snazzy. It’s perfect for those who prefer villains to princesses, and they can leave it out year-round. According to Amazon, there are only two left…














princess tiana cooking set


The Princess and the Frog Princess Tiana Cooking Set This looks like so much fun, and it’s perfect for your little princess who just abandoned Cinderella for her new favorite — Tiana! ;-) I love the little plastic veggies.














holiday snack tray


Disney Mickey Mouse Deluxe Snack Tray This is the thing you want to buy if you have to send something to a client and you haven’t gotten around to it yet. FYI. You can have it shipped directly to them. Seriously.














Mickey Waffle Maker


Disney Mickey & Gang 5 in 1 Tasty Baker Waffle Maker They’ve discontinued so many of the old Mickey Waffle Maker versions, so this is one of the few options left. It makes all kinds of baked goods, and also includes spots for the other Fabulous Five friends.

Mickey waffles for breakfast the day after Christmas sounds just about right…if you want to know how to make ‘em at home, check out this post with the secret ingredients for Mickey Waffles.




For the other posts in this series (e.g. more gift ideas!), click here:

Please note: By making purchases via certain links, a tiny percentage of what you spend goes toward supporting the Disney Food Blog. This week, all of these links will return that benefit.

‘Ohana Character Breakfast: Mickey and Friends

Pinvestigator Cody, of the Global Disney Pinvestigator Blog, is back with another round of comments and photos about a recent meal. This one, breakfast with Mickey and Friends at ‘Ohana, is one of his favorites; you’ll see why when you see these amazing photos! Thanks, Cody!

sign-11

‘Ohana means “family,” and the restaurant stretches that feeling throughout the meal! Opening at 7:30am, we arrived at 7:20 for a 7:40 Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR). There were about 20 families in front of us waiting to check in, but we were the second family to be seated (they really do pay attention to those ADR times!)

'Ohana Breakfast Open Kitchen

'Ohana Breakfast Open Kitchen

The hostess took us to our table, giving us a short tour of the restaurant along the way. We briefly stopped by the open kitchen where the hostess took our appetizer plate from the rows and rows of Pineapple and Cinnamon Raisin Bread (both are delicious, by the way), explaining that giving bread to family is one of the ‘Ohana customs celebrated at the restaurant.

Pineapple Bread and Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Pineapple Bread and Cinnamon Raisin Bread

We sat at our table, which included a great view of Cinderella Castle.

view from 'Ohana

Right away, a server came out with our “POG Juice” — Orange, Pineapple, Guava! It was delicious.

POG Juice

POG Juice

Not less than 5 minutes later, we got our food. It’s served family-style at ‘Ohana, with all-you-can-eat bacon, eggs, sausage, and potatoes.

breakfast

Another server also came around regularly with a bowl of Mickey Waffles, hot out of the “iron.”

Mickey Waffle

Mickey Waffle

Additionally, we received a small fruit platter, with pineapple, cantaloupe, grapes, and more.

'Ohana Fruit Platter

'Ohana Fruit Platter

Finally, the characters made their appearances! They were great and spent an equal amount of time at each table. Every 30-45 minutes is the ‘Ohana Family Parade, where the characters invite everyone to dance and sing and “shake!”, all to the song “Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride.”

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse

Stitch

Stitch

Pluto

Pluto

Lilo

Lilo

Overall the meal was really enjoyable, and definitely delicious. This has to be my FAVORITE
Disney resort character breakfast.

Rating: 4.5 of 5
Tables in Wonderland: yes
Characters: 5 of 5
Food: 4.5 of 5

Crystal Palace: A Great Reason To Get Up Early

Early Morning on Main Street

Early Morning on Main Street

The Early-Morning Advance Dining Reservation (ADR)
One of the well-known tips among Disney enthusiasts is that you should always try to book a dining reservation for breakfast in a theme park before it opens. Why? Because this means you get in before the general masses. You get the golden opportunity to wander through a practically empty Disney park. It’s magic at its finest. (Plus, if you eat quickly enough, you can make it over to the Adventureland rope and be first in line for Splash Mountain…but I didn’t tell you that.)

Empty Tomorrowland

Empty Tomorrowland

One of my favorite restaurants at which to snatch up one of these break-of-dawn reservations is Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom Theme park of Disney World. This is a character breakfast, so you get to share your noms with Pooh and the gang (usually Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet); it’s a buffet, so you pretty much dictate how long your breakfast lasts; and it’s HUGE, so you have a great chance of getting those elusive 8:05 AM time slots.

Nearly Empty Main Street

Nearly Empty Main Street

So with all that going for it, you’ve got to give it a try! And I didn’t even mention that many guests deem Crystal Palace eats to be some of the best buffet food at Disney, scout’s honor.

...And the Castle

...And the Castle

Getting Into the Park for Your Reservation
While it may seem like a red tape nightmare to get into the park an hour early, it’s usually pretty streamlined. Bring your dining reservation confirmation number with you to the park and show up about 20 minutes before your scheduled time. You’ll simply enter through the turnstyles marked for the Breakfast crowd (usually all the way to the right, but this can change); a Cast Member might check off your name and confirmation number, and then you’re free to explore Main Street in all its empty glory. This is why I suggest arriving 20 minutes early; you get to take all of those fascinating photos. Don’t forget to make your reservation for a day without extra magic hours in the morning!

By the way, if you’re staying at a Disney resort and taking the bus to the Magic Kingdom, a “breakfast bus” usually begins running at least 30 minutes before the first reservation in any park. The monorail also starts running far enough in advance as well.

Time for Breakfast!

Time for Breakfast!

Checking In for Your Reservation
The Crystal Palace can be found between Main Street USA and Adventureland — it’s the huge, glass domed building to the left of the walkway. Simply head up the steps (past the throngs of people, most likely — the Magic Kingdom may seem empty, but almost everyone who IS in the park is at the same restaurant) and jump into line to check in for your reservation.

magickingdom1-093

Once your party is called, you’ll head into the beautiful Crystal Palace restaurant and be greeted by…

The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers...

The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers...

…some very familiar friends! Not to mention an absolutely stunning, light-filled atrium made entirely of clear and stained glass. For all of Disney’s signature dining restaurants designed by award-winning interior artists, I find Crystal Palace’s atrium to be one of the most gorgeous design aspects on property.

The Beautiful Central Atrium

The Beautiful Central Atrium

A Buffet With Character!
Once you’re seated in one of the two side rooms (these are beautiful, too — paneled with mirrors and filled with plants) you’re free to head up to the buffet.

There are two sides to the buffet, and these are mirror images of one another. The two sides culminate at the customize-your-own-omelet station in the center of the semi-circular buffet.

The Buffet

The Buffet

Hot Items are Identical on Both Sides of the Buffet

Hot Items are Identical on Both Sides of the Buffet

The Buffet

The Buffet

On the far ends of the buffet lines are cold items: yogurts, granola and other toppings, fruit, salmon, breads, etc. In the center you’ll find hot items: breakfast pizzas, breakfast meats, waffles, the famous puffed french toast, breakfast potatoes, and omelets.

Cereals

Cereals

In the middle of the room you’ll find muffins, cereals, and Pooh’s famous breakfast lasagne.

Pooh's Breakfast Lasagne

Pooh's Breakfast Lasagne

Baked Items

Baked Items

The food is fairly similar to most of the other Disney breakfast buffets, which is actually quite good. Here are a few more close-up foods of some of our favorites. That Mickey Waffle might look familiar to some of you! It’s my avatar on Twitter!

Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast Pizza

Mickey Waffles

Mickey Waffles

Puffed French Toast

Puffed French Toast

Pooh and Friends
Once you have your food, it might be time for the first Character Parade! Hopefully you haven’t forgotten that some of your favorite friends are here, and they can’t wait to have a great time with you (and/or your kids…they’re good to go either way).

Piglet Leading the Parade!

Piglet Leading the Parade!

While Character teams (Pooh and Piglet, and Tigger and Eeyore) take turns visiting tables on either side of the restaurant, some sort of Character Parade or Celebration occurs when it’s time for the teams to switch restaurant sides. This is when you should encourage your little ones to go find a character and follow along. Cast Members will be there to help move the parades forward.

There’s usually much singing and music; napkin “twirling” is a common activity during these functions. All in all, it’s a good time!

Eeyore Being Shy During the Parade

Eeyore Being Shy During the Parade

And then it’s back to signing autographs, taking photos, and making people smile for the characters (and back to eating for you!).

Tigger Signing Autographs...Sort Of...

Tigger Signing Autographs...Sort Of...

And then, if you’re lucky, you pay the bill when the park is just about to open. I couldn’t resist posting this photo of a family following Alice (in Wonderland) as she hurried to “unlock” Fantasyland and her TeaCups ride right at opening time!

Alice is Very, Very Late in Opening the TeaCups Ride!

Alice is Very, Very Late in Opening the TeaCups Ride!

So you can see why Crystal Palace is one of my favorites for breakfast, but don’t forget that you can dine here for lunch and dinner as well! Both of those meals are buffets as well, and offer great food (in my opinion).

Enjoy!