Reader Question: Planning a Special Vegetarian Meal at Disney World’s ‘Ohana

We recently had a question submitted by a reader regarding the vegetarian meal at ‘Ohana. Now that Chef TJ has taken his culinary skills to the Grand Floridian, our reader, who is celebrating her birthday at ‘Ohana, wondered if Chef TJ’s famed vegetarian meal (six courses!) was still being offered.

Tempura Asparagus at 'Ohana

I’m not sure what the current meal is for vegetarians at ‘Ohana since Chef TJ left, so here’s what I suggest — contact the Disney Special Diets folks (email SpecialDiets@DisneyWorld.com or call 407-WDW-DINE or 407-824-5967) and ask them what number to call if you have a special diet, have booked a particularly special meal, and would like to speak with a particular restaurant.

Once you get a direct number for ‘Ohana, ask if you can set up a time to speak by phone directly with the Chef at ‘Ohana, explaining that you booked a birthday meal there based on the rave reviews, but you understand there’s a new Chef there and you’d like to discuss options with him ahead of time since this is a special meal for you. Share the same info with him and see if you can work together to create a multi-course birthday dinner menu.

Be persistent about wanting to talk with the chef. You might run into [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Learning Opportunities for the Budding Chef

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster captures some great ways to encourage your kids’ love of cooking!

Obviously one of the many reasons that families find Disney destinations to be such compelling vacation spots is that the parks and resorts are fully prepared to accommodate the interests of children. At various points, all of my girls have been captivated with the idea of becoming a chef (well, at least until they began to realize that kitchens have to be cleaned after they are used).

Disney does a wonderful job of indulging the interests of the budding chef by allowing children, and their parents, plentiful opportunities to observe and interact with the real-life culinary craftspeople that make the food magic happen.

Where to Learn from the Masters: Sweets

Our favorite Walt Disney World venue for chef interaction is at Goofy’s Candy Company at Downtown Disney. On one recent trip, my girls and I spent over an hour standing at the candy prep counter there watching a cast member make pan after pan of swoon-inducing fudge.

Fudge in the pan

Fudge prep at Goofy's Candy Company

We have found that the cast members there are particularly gracious in taking the time to explain to curious bystanders exactly what they are doing, and why. We’ve even been offered small tasting spoonfuls of warm fudge batter to better assess the product as it transforms from [Read more…]

News: Refillable Mugs, Extended Dining, and Via Napoli Pizza-by-the-Slice

Hey Disney die-hards and foodie fans! Here is some news for your nourishment.

New Refillable Mugs
New refillable mugs for the 2011 “Let the Memories Begin” promotion are on sale now for $13.99 at your WDW resort.

2011 Refillable Mug

Lids (and handles) are now in blue, black, yellow and pink. Yes, pink! I know a few moms that will be grabbing up the “princessy” mugs! ;-)

Make sure each member of the family gets a different lid color. That way Mom doesn’t have to sip Dad’s coffee and Dad won’t be taking unintentional gulps of Mom’s diet soda. Note that not all the resorts appear to have the black lids. Let me know which mug types you spot during your WDW resort stay!

Extended Dining Options
It’s almost Spring Break time! WDW is extending dining times at Boma, Cape May Cafe, Chef Mickey’s, Garden Grill, Le Cellier Steakhouse, ‘Ohana and [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for Big Groups

Please welcome Kim L. to the Disney Food Blog team! A current Disney World Moms Panelist back for yet another tour on the panel, we’re proud to have her working with us both “backstage and on stage” on the blog as well!

Last week we polled our Disney Food Blog Facebook Page for their answer to this question: “What Disney restaurant would you recommend for a large group or family reunion?” Among the many awesome answers, the three restaurants mentioned the most by our Facebook Friends were ‘Ohana, Whispering Canyon Cafe and Crystal Palace!

‘Ohana

With a resounding 20 comments, Facebook Fans raved about their group dining experiences at ‘Ohana! Located at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, ‘Ohana offers all-you-can-eat family-style meals. After all, ‘Ohana means family! In this tropical setting, groups savor the Polynesian-influenced flavors (Yummo Sticky Wings!!). With a morning character meal and evening entertainment, it’s easy to see why this restaurant was tops! You can check out our most recent ‘Ohana review here!

'Ohana Fire Pit

Kathy B. and Caroline V. raved about their post-wedding parties! Fiona L. agreed: “‎’Ohana, we had our fab wedding meal there last month. Staff were great, a bit of entertainment for the kids, but not loud and [Read more…]

Guest Review: Tambu Lounge and ‘Ohana

Thanks again to Sarah Holodick for reporting and reviewing from one of our favorite spots, ‘Ohana in Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort!

Back in July I made a dinner reservation to go to ‘Ohana in January. It had been several years since Matt last went, and over 16 years for me! I don’t remember much, if anything, of what was served back then. Our reservation was for 7:15 p.m.  and we arrived early to have a drink at Tambu Lounge.

Tambu Lounge
We noticed that they’ve expanded their appetizer options since the last time we were there. They also have added a page dedicated to the Tambu Lounge specialty cocktails, which when I last saw it was simply the generic property-wide menu. We both highly recommend the Backscratcher! I checked in at the podium and had about a 15 minute wait until we were seated for dinner.

Tambu Lounge Menu

Tambu Lounge Specialty Drinks

‘Ohana
They led us to our table and, to start off, they serve sweet ‘Ohana bread. We dove in before [Read more…]

A Vegetarian in Disney — Tips From an Expert

Many thanks go out today to Disney World Moms Panelist Kathie F., who has kindly answered a few interview questions about how to make dining vegetarian in Disney a thoroughly fulfilling experience! Stay tuned after this to hear more from Kathie as she continues to contribute her tips and experience in upcoming Disney Food Blog articles!

My questions for Kathie are in bold!

Q. What foods are your most common options when visiting Disney World? (e.g. What can guests expect when ordering the “vegetarian option.”)

A. I don’t know if I have one; since there are so many options at so many restaurants I like to try and mix it up every visit! One of my stand-by restaurants is Teppan Edo. Our family loves the show that accompanies the food, and I love the veggies and noodles served there! As you’ll see from some of my other answers — I don’t shy away from any Disney restaurant no matter what the printed menu says!

onion volcano at Teppan Edo

If you’re planning on dining vegetarian at WDW, just expect the unexpected. Don’t [Read more…]

What Disney Foods Do YOU Crave?

Well, I’ve been home from Walt Disney World for two weeks now, and I’m already craving some dishes and snacks I know I’m going to have on my next trip (um…Karamell Kuche, anyone?).

So, a while back, I asked over on the Disney Food Blog Facebook Page: What Disney Dish Are You Craving Today? I got some fantastic answers! Let’s take a trip down a delicious road of favorite dishes and menu items in Walt Disney World… (Note: You’ll see some sad news about the Jiko Filet with Mac and Cheese about halfway down the page. I’m just warning you.)

A Few of the Classics…

With all the changes in Disney World’s menus lately, it’s nice to know these favorites have been around for a good long time:

Fried Chicken at 50’s Prime Time Cafe
This classic, simple dish has been on the menu at 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for ages, and we’re glad it’s not going away!

Fried Chicken at 50's Prime Time Cafe

‘Ohana
Folks wrote about loving the wings appetizer and the dessert — that fabulous Bananas Foster Bread Pudding — at [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 19, 2010

Ladies and Gents, my next round-up will be coming to you from Walt Disney World! Very exciting, but right now, let’s talk about the great — and not-so-great — Disney food news from this week:

Also, we got word from DFB reader Lori Kiehl that ‘Ohana might be closed during breakfast from 17-20 of January. No official word on that, but FYI.

And now, on to the round-up!

Studios Central shows a detailed look at where you can find elements of Star Tours in Disney Hollywood Studios’ Sci-Fi Dine-In.

Main St Gazette reviews the Zebra Cupcake in Animal Kingdom (agreed that the cake was the best part on this one, Ryan!)

OC Register reports as Disney California Adventure says goodbye Pizza Oom Mow Mow and hello Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.

Disney Geek shows off the new Halloween popcorn bucket for the Disney parks!

etckt reviews Via Napoli!

WDW Magic reports that Bongos Cuban Cafe has been added to the Disney Dining Reservations System.

The Givens Chronicles is counting down to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival by making recipes from the 2009 festival! Here’s her rendition of New Zealand’s Lamb Sliders!

Disney Dispatch is also counting down to the Festival with a look at Argentina.

WDW Info reports that Chef Mickey is no longer table-side at Chef Mickey’s in WDW’s Contemporary Resort. According to user reports, he’s up front taking pics now rather than visiting table-side.

Finally, I wanted to share with you a few other perspectives on the La Hacienda de San Angel opening in Epcot this past week. Scott Joseph, Orlando’s premier food critic, has a fantastic video from his experience at the Grand Opening:

And here are some write-ups from around the Disney-sphere about the Grand Opening event:
Zannaland (Margarita menu!!!), Disney Everyday, Scott Joseph Orlando, Theme Park Mom, Daily Disney from Orlando Sentinel, WDW Radio, Lauging Place, Inside the Magic, WDW News Today

Disney Food Post Round Up: September 5, 2010

Welcome to the Disney Food Post Round-Up! Our favorite piece of news this week is that the tarps have come down from around La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico!

Check out these gorgeous photos of La Hacienda de San Angel in Disney World’s Epcot. Also, check out this interior concept art!

The restaurant should be opening in mid-September (15th or 16th). Reservations will be available for dates after Oct. 15th. For more details and menus for La Hacienda de San Angel and La Cantina de San Angel, check out our La Hacienda de San Angel info page.

Also in the news — save some space for Orlando Magical Dining Month! $30, 3-course meals with part of the profits donated to charity! Take advantage all through September. AND, if you’re in northern Cali, head over to the Walt Disney Family Museum for a film and food tribute to the Bay Area!

And now, on to the round-up!

Orlando Sentinel‘s Daily Disney blog posted info about our very own upcoming WDW Foodie Fest! Check it out! We’re famous! (Thanks to “A Mom and the Mouse” writer, Kristin Ford!)

Cakewrecks has takes another look at Disney cakes gone wrong!

WDW Character Hunt shares the rumor that Special Agent Oso (a la Playhouse Disney) will be replacing Jo Jo at Hollywood and Vine’s Play and Dine Character meal.

Main St. Gazette takes us to Tusker House for dinner!

BritMick laments the lack of a good cuppa on Disney property — and gives her solution to the problem.

The Givens Chronicles is posting one recipe per week from the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival all this month! This week’s recipe? Mango Lassi from India!

A Taste of Wonderland follows Disney World’s Chef TJ to his new digs — the Grand Floridian’s 1900 Park Fare!

Eating Around the World reviews Coral Reef Restaurant in Epcot.

Samland’s Disney Adventures takes a look at Disneyland’s Roastie-Toasties!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets has a Spring 1970 copy of the Disney News, which includes this great historical find — find out how Disneyland feeds “those enormous appetites” of the guests!

Cooking With Mickey celebrates her anniversary at Club 33 in Disneyland!

Makin’ Memories brings us to Disney World’s ‘Ohana for breakfast!

Deb’s Digest, Deb Wills’ personal blog on AllEars.net, showcases Jim, the fun-loving Casey’s Corner pianist.

Touring Plans Blog‘s Tom Bricker has a food photo face-off, while blogger Kristen Helmstetter brings us to Epcot’s Via Napoli!

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World has some pics of the new Epcot F&W Festival pins!

WDW Magic has some news about menu changes at Animal Kingdom’s Restaurantosaurus.

Thanks to Global Disney Pinvestigation for sending Hacienda pics!

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

I am SO excited!! Dessert!!!

Here’s the final post in our series based on the Food Network’s (very cool) show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. As many of you know, due to some keen suggestions from readers we’re splitting our series up into different sections: breakfast, appetizers & side dishes, snacks & drinks, entrees (lunch & dinner), and desserts.

Today, we’re finallly taking a look at desserts! 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” in Disney parks and resorts.

The following are the answers received from our readers about their favorite desserts! If your favorites aren’t here, please add them in the comments section below!

Yak and Yeti Cream Cheese and Pineapple Fried Won-tons: While I haven’t had the pleasure of trying these myself, you can bet Yak and Yeti is the first place I’m going when I arrive in September! (No kidding…it’s my first ADR…even before Liberty Tree Tavern lunch, and you guys KNOW how we feel about Liberty Tree Tavern lunch!)

Yak and Yeti Fried Cream Cheese Wontons.

Dole Whip: What better dessert [Read more…]