News: “Disney Family Culinary Adventure” Cooking Class Now Open to All Disney Guests

We recently told you about new cooking classes at Walt Disney World that take you behind the scenes and into the kitchen with Disney Chefs for a family cooking adventure.

And today, we’re back with tons of details about this hands-on learning experience.

Even Younger Guests Get in on the Action

Even Younger Guests Get in on the Action

The Disney Family Culinary Adventure takes place in the giant catering kitchens 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…]

Tip from the DFB Guide: Where To Dine With Both Picky AND Adventurous Eaters!

We’re sharing another great tip from our critically-acclaimed e-Book, The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014!

disney dining tips

Today, we’re talking about a common conundrum: How do you satisfy all of the people, all of the time?

We’ve all been there. You have a picky eater in your group. No problem, right? Hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets are all available throughout the parks and resorts.

But where do you go when you have both picky and adventurous eaters among your number?

How about a buffet or food court?

Disney excels at offering some truly interesting, all you care to eat options and food court choices, where the picky and the persnickety can both find satisfying options. Let’s check out a couple.

Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of our favorite stops for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The restaurant features a wonderful spread of African-inspired food. And at breakfast and lunch, you also have the added benefit of a character dining experience!

Goofy Strikes at Pose at Tusker House in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Goofy Strikes at Pose at Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

If you’re feeling adventurous, start your meal off with the interesting array of Chutneys and Spreads, before moving on to interesting house specialties like Bobotie or Potato and Pea Samosas.

Beef Bobotie at Tusker House

Beef Bobotie at Tusker House

And lovers of food and pickier eaters alike are [Read more…]

Review: Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort

We are heading into Carthay Circle Restaurant today for dinner with a healthy dose of Old Hollywood glamour!

Carthay Circle Restaurant

Carthay Circle Restaurant

Located on the newly re-imagined Buena Vista Street at the entrance of Disney California Adventure, this is one majestic building. Let’s head in!

Atmosphere

If there is one word that I would use to describe Carthay Circle as I approach, it would be impressive. Disney is in the business of re-creating scenes from film, as well as re-imagining the past and forging the future. And once more, they’ve done an excellent job.

Carthay Circle Premiere!

Carthay Circle Premiere!

I mean, I’ve seen Carthay’s likeness so many times. There’s a gorgeous mural inside Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios depicting the night that Snow White premiered at the famed Tinseltown icon. You’ll find an old framed print of the theatre in one of my favorite Studios haunts, Writer’s Stop (home of the famous carrot cake cookie.) You can also spy it in the relief work of the Studios arch, and there’s a mini version on Hollywood Boulevard, doubling as a gift shop. (For more info, check out this great post.)

Carthay Circle Restaurant Menu

Carthay Circle Restaurant Menu

It’s clear that Carthay Circle holds a special place in the hearts of the Imagineering team. And since we’ll never have the chance to venture into the original theatre, it’s a joy to see it so lovingly recreated as part of the DCA overhaul.

Beautiful Detail on the Tower

Beautiful Detail on the Tower

Two sets of double doors greet you at the entrance of the building. The mirrored doors are great!

Carthay Entrance

Carthay Entrance

Don’t forget — this is a replica of an old Hollywood movie theatre. So naturally, you’ll find ticket windows on either side of the doors. I think it’s fun to see the scale here, don’t you?

Ticket Windows

Ticket Windows

A plaque reminds you of just why Carthay holds such an important place in Disney history.

Plaque Commemorating the Historic Premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Carthay Circle Theatre

Plaque Commemorating the Historic Premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Carthay Circle Theatre

And be sure, if you have the chance, to swing by here at night — if for no other reason than to see this gorgeous view.

Carthay Fountain at Night

Carthay Fountain at Night

As you head in, you’re greeted with separate doors. Two sets lead to Carthay Circle Lounge — and subsequently, onto the restaurant. The other set leads to the exclusive, members-only 1901 Lounge.

Don’t worry! Helpful Cast Members are there to show you the way.

Welcome!

Welcome!

Carthay Circle Restaurant is actually located on the second floor of the building. As you enter, you find yourself in the check in area. Upon confirming your table, you’ll bide your time in a spacious and comfortable waiting area.

Carthay Circle Waiting Area

Carthay Circle Waiting Area

Spend some time taking in the beautiful decor here, as well as all the fun memorabilia. There are tons and tons of photographs and other fascinating pieces. Be sure to check out the collection of Snow White animated cels that are said to have hung in Walt Disney’s home.

Snow White Animation Cels

Snow White Animation Cels

Or you can step into the Carthay Circle Lounge, and enjoy a [Read more…]

News! 2014 WDW Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Dates and Seminars

Back by popular demand, The Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World has announced that it will hold its Fifth Annual Food and Wine Classic this Fall!

Coinciding with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic offers even more great food and drink for Disney fans!

This event is always amazing and very well done. We can’t wait to go again this year!

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Details

Mark your calendars for Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014. Seminars begin at 4:30 p.m. and the Causeway is open from 5:30-9:00 p.m.

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

This year’s event continues the tradition of fun and informative food and beverage seminars that focus on wine, cocktails, sake, beer, pasta-making, and more. The seminars are conducted by experts in each field and last for approximately 60-90 minutes.

At 5:30, the Causeway between the Swan and Dolphin comes alive as the staff of the Resort’s award-winning restaurants host tasting booths. In addition, there is live entertainment as you sample and stroll around the beautiful grounds!

Wine Seminar at the 2012 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars

You can see details on all of the 2013 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars here!

And new for this year, the Classic is adding a Cheese seminar!

Seminars this year include:

Causeway Tasting Booths with Optional Beer Garden Upgrade!

The Causeway between the Swan and Dolphin Resorts will have tons of great offerings again this year. And we can’t wait to see the menus! We’ll be back soon with full details for you!

Want a little more than just the standard tasting experience? Upgrade to the [Read more…]

Review: Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

I’ve got a little secret, and it’s something you probably know if you’ve been reading the Disney Food Blog for a while. I have some serious favorites among Disney restaurants.

But when it comes time to discuss great dining spots at Epcot, the competition suddenly grows fierce. Still, relative newcomer Via Napoli has won out as tops on my list since it opened a few years ago.

There are lots of reasons for that. The restaurant boasts the best pizza in all of Walt Disney World in my opinion — it comes closest to ideal than anything I’ve tasted since I moved from NYC a few years back. (Sigh. I still miss a Lombardi’s slice now and then.)

Via Napoli Window

Via Napoli Window

And truth be told, we visit Via Napoli pretty much every time I set foot within those Big Purple Gates. But we are creatures of habit, so I try not to report TOO much on dishes that you’ve seen before. Recently though, we visited and ordered some new things! So it’s high time to share with you the story of our latest visit.

Atmosphere

Via Napoli is a study in contrasts. From the outside, the restaurant, which anchors the back of the Italy Pavilion, is stately and grand, with an imposing, almost temple-like facade.

Via Napoli outside

Via Napoli — Outside

But inside, the space is one part grandiose, and one part whimsy, with just a sliver of chic thrown in for good measure. The feel here is that someone with a wonderfully modern aesthetic decided to open a restaurant in an ancient building. They kept the best of the old, and overlaid a feeling of modern and new.

Huge, floor-to-ceiling arched windows separate the waiting area from the dining room, and you begin to catch a glimpse of the action from here. Look up in the foyer to see this gorgeous, colorful chandelier that puts me a little in mind of Mardi Gras.

Entryway Chandelier

Entryway Chandelier

The main dining room is one huge, cavernous space (and LOUD!!!), but it’s broken up a bit by the ceiling of all things! Seriously — look up. There is a soaring atrium in the center, allowing for plenty of natural light. But you also have vaults supported by columns, which rescue the space from feeling like one large warehouse-type room.

Dining Room with Vaulted Ceilings and Arches

Dining Room with Vaulted Ceilings and Arches

The actual walls of the restaurant are covered in frescoes that have been chipped at to convey a sense of age. The blue and green backgrounds of the paintings contrast nicely with warm colors on the floor and ceiling.

Seating is mixed, featuring both banquettes and chairs.

Via Napoli Seating and Frescoes

Via Napoli Seating and Frescoes

Floor Tiles

Hand-Painted Floor Tiles Contrast Warm and Cool Colors

While the building appears to be ancient, wall art also conveys a look at the past — the more recent past, though. You’ll find lots of interesting Italian travel posters throughout the restaurant.

Italian Travel Art

Ah…Napoli

Once you’re in the main dining room, you’ll spy [Read more…]

The Story of Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Disneyland

For those who are new to Disney parks, everything here has a backstory. Rides, shows, and, yes, even restaurants!

Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port

Recently, one of my good friends, Eric Chu, shared the backstory of Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port with us.

For those who haven’t been there, this counter-service restaurant is located in Tomorrowland at the Disneyland resort. Basically, you climb off of Space Mountain and there you are!

But do you know WHY there’s a pizza joint in the middle of the Milky Way? Let’s find out!

The History Behind Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port in Disneyland

“The only real problem with long-term space travel is that you can’t get a decent pizza.” — Dr. Tyrone Mantanio, INSA Sector 5

A-GREED! Can you imagine traveling through space without the ability to order pizza?! I know, right? ;-D And according to the always-creative Disney imagineers, solving the problem of finding must-have food in the cosmos became a goal for scientists!

Pepperoni Pizza Slice

Redd Rockett to the rescue! He set up a [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Mac n’ Cheese Bundles from Chef Carla Hall

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

Carla Hall Demonstrating Mac n' Cheese Bundles

…and she made THESE! Mac n’ Cheese Bundles!

Mac and 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!

Mac n’ Cheese Bundles

Serves 4

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: October 6, 2013

Are you ready for an awesome new treat??

Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich!

Check out the fantastic new Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich at Epcot’s L’Artisan des Glaces in France!

And while you’re in Epcot, don’t forget to enjoy all of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival offerings! We just had a whirlwind trip, and we’ll continue to bring you festival coverage throughout the event!

There’s also some important news that I don’t want you to miss. Be sure to check out the NEW cancellation policy coming to ALL Walt Disney World table service restaurants.

Let’s check out the rest of the news…

Disney Food News

Read on!

Of course, there’s more! 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 a New Dining Room on the Disney Magic, and more.

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!

We’ve got some fun sweets this week!

Reader Morgan sent this message: “Who wants a cinnamon roll from Gaston’s? YOU DO NOW! Buahahaha!”

Cinnamon Roll at Gaston's Tavern

Here’s another sweet [Read more…]

Review: Disney World Resort Quick Service Pasta Options

Thanks to DFB Author Wendy for a look at some great counter-service carb-loading options for your runDisney races this year!

Are YOU running the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler (or any of the other runDisney races this year)? If so, you might be interested in participating in a good old-fashioned carbo-load before your race!

Even if you’re not tackling those ten on October 5th… odds are good you’ll be putting in plenty of miles at the Parks at some point, no matter what.

It’s time to fuel up, people ;)!

Spaghetti time!

For those running one or more of the east coast races this season, there are plenty of places all over Disney World property where you can take part in the time-honored runners tradition of a pasta “carbo-load.”

Today we’re going to focus on some of your pasta options in the resort Quick Service restaurants.

Counter Service Pasta Options at Walt Disney World Resorts

Let’s start with this terrific trend: Create-Your-Own-Pasta stations are cropping up in a few of your favorite Quick Service restaurants!

Create Your Own Pasta

Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors already has a reputation for innovative and delicious dining, and you can read a full review of the Create-Your-Own-Pasta experience here.

Add-ins for Create Your Own Pasta at Landscape of Flavors

Spaghetti Carbonara with Broccoli

The Riverside Mill at Port Orleans Riverside also offers this fun option!

Riverside Mill

Create Your Own Pasta Options at Riverside Mill

Unique to the Grand Floridian’s recently refreshed Gasparilla Island Grill is a [Read more…]