DFB Challenge: 2012 Walt Disney World Cheese Crawl

We’re sending our courageous (and hopefully hungry) readers on another crawl.

Not surprisingly, this one is all about cheese! ;-) (You asked for it…and we thought it was an AWESOME idea!!) The best part? You’ll visit mostly counter-service and/or grab ‘n go locations on this cheese crawl, so no Advance Dining Reservations required! (Of course, if you want table-service cheese options, check out our Disney World Cheese Plates here!)

Some of you have attempted the 2011 Disney cupcake crawl and the 2012 Disney cupcake crawl and now it’s time to tackle another DFB favorite…

The Disney Food Blog’s “Walt Disney World Cheese Crawl” Strategy

Gear up for tasting cheese selections on menus all over Walt Disney World. Your challenge is to sample these sweet and savory items, hopefully in a single Disney World vacation.

Follow the crawl step by step, or opt to select the items that you find most appetizing. You’ve reached the Cheese finish line when you’ve visited at least seven locations and sampled at least seven different cheese items.

Remember that Disney World menus have a way of changing, so if you need to substitute out new options for the ones below, we won’t deduct any points! Depending on your level of tolerance, you may want to split this crawl up over a couple of days. Either way, we won’t judge!

Tutto Gusto Cheese

Some of these items can be purchased for a Disney Dining Plan snack credit, so save up those snacks!

EPCOT: Cheese required = 2

Depart your hotel for a morning in Epcot’s Future World. At 11am, make your way to World Showcase! Your first stop is the Rose & Crown pub in Canada.

Rose & Crown Pub
Rose & Crown pub in United Kingdom is an awesome spot to hang with friends over drinks and apps. Be sure to say hi to Carl for us!

  • Cheese Plate: Here’s an updated cheese plate with layers of flavors. Which cheese will be your favorite — Cotswolds Cheddar, an aged

    [Read more…]

Reader Favorites: Best Walt Disney World Counter Service Restaurants

Whelp, it’s time to re-visit one of our favorite topics around here: Best Disney World Counter Service Restaurants!


We polled our readers back in 2009 for their favorites, and things are looking slightly different these days… ;-)

We recently asked our Disney Food Blog Facebook Fans via the Disney Food Blog Facebook page for the best counter service restaurants inside the theme parks at Walt Disney World. Let’s find out where everyone is eating…

Best Magic Kingdom Counter Service Restaurants

Best Disney World Counter Service Restaurants

Winner: Columbia Harbour House
In a quiet corner of the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, the Columbia Harbour House sets the scene for traditional Americana in a colonial village — and steals our Best Magic Kingdom Counter Service title away from Pecos Bill’s this year!

Columbia Harbour House

The decor of the restaurant emphasizes a nautical theme with plank flooring and hurricane lamps. Downstairs, seating is divided into small dining rooms giving the space a colonial charm.

Here’s a Favorite DFB Tip: The upstairs seating area is usually the quietest and offers some tables with quaint views. Brick hearths add even more “warmth” to the dark-wooded rooms.

Grilled Salmon… this meal belongs on a real plate.

Serving popular soups (awesome clam chowder!), salads, and sandwiches such as the Lighthouse (hummus with tomato and broccoli slaw) and Anchors Aweigh (white tuna with lettuce and tomato) served on toasted multigrain bread; and recently adding a Lobster Roll and Grilled Salmon to the menu, Columbia Harbour House offers selections beyond the usual chicken nugget fare. (Although, there are those too!)

Lobster Roll with real chunks of lobster at Columbia Harbour House

Runners Up: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Be Our Guest Restaurant (lunch only), and Casey’s Corner.

Best Epcot Counter Service Restaurants

Winner: Sunshine Seasons
Soarin’ isn’t the only main attraction in The Land pavilion! According to our readers, Sunshine Seasons gets a lot of traffic too.

Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

With five food stations including a [Read more…]

Review: New Steak and Pork Platter at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe

Thanks to our Disney Food for Families columnist, Erin Foster, we have a review of a hearty new meal at Magic Kingdom’s Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe!

This Frontierland hot spot is still sporting their standard menu, which offers some great options like giant angus burgers, a barbecue pork sandwich, and a taco salad.

But there are a few new options that have been added for the summer season!

Pecos Menu - click image for larger version

Now, for a whopping $14.49, you can kick up your heels with the brand new Steak and Pork Platter. It’s served with corn bread, and choice of corn on the cob (also new on the menu), apple slices, or fries.

Steak and Pork Menu item

According to Erin, Pecos had a great concept with this new dish. A filling meal without an Advance Dining Reservation! She dug right in, hoping this would be a new winning dish in the Magic Kingdom… [Read more…]

News: WDW Restaurants Open for “One More Disney Day,” February 29th

The restaurant list has been posted for One More Disney Day! On February 29th, Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park will be open for a full 24 hours, and dining options will be available the whole time.

Here are the restaurants that will be open in the Magic Kingdom, along with the times of [Read more…]

The Hidden Laws of the Magic Kingdom

On a visit through Adventureland and Frontierland last month, I noticed that some of the local restaurants had rules I wasn’t even aware of… . Figured I’d share them here with you so that you can avoid finding yourself in a sticky bind in the future…

Should you find yourself wandering into Tortuga Tavern, remember the Code of Conduct below (be sure to click to enlarge — you’ll need to read it all), including “Every man has equal right to fresh provisions (iffin he has the gold),” and “A witness shall be present for gaming at cards or dice. (Short drop and sudden stop for cheatin’ scallywags.).”

And, of course, no monkeys.

Tortuga Tavern Code of Conduct

Next door at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe there is a shorter list of rules, but they’re no less important (after all, this is the Code of the West). Methinks the last one is likely the most [Read more…]

Guest Review — Theme Park Throw Down: Counter Service

After long deliberation, Nick T. of Disney & Beyond has ranked the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks based on his interpretation of the quality of their counter service offerings! Every once in a while we like to stir things up on the Disney Food Blog, so we’d love to hear your opinion on the matter — did Nick get it right, or would you change some things around?  Take it away, Nick!

Backlot Express

Just over a month ago, a friend and I, both avid readers of The Disney Food Blog, got into a debate about the best overall counter service options in Walt Disney World’s parks. What started as a fun, simple discussion quickly turned heated, and I started to wonder what the reaction would be if I shared my opinions with the world. Thanks to AJ, now I can. I’d simply like to rank, in my humble opinion, the four Disney World theme parks based on counter service offerings.

For this list, I have taken into account both food and atmosphere. The food part is obvious, but I take atmosphere into account because I feel that is what makes the experience uniquely Disney, and it can actually add to the dining experience. But enough of this chit chat, yak yak, and flim flam. Just refrain from hibernating and enjoy the show. (Some Disney Fudge to whoever is the first to recognize that line.)

ABC Commissary

4. Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Yes, I rank the park formerly known as Disney-MGM Studios as the worst overall in park counter service. Why? Well, to me, both the food selection and the atmosphere of the counter service restaurants in the park are quite [Read more…]

Best Restaurants for Magic Kingdom Parade Viewing

The Magic Kingdom Parade is a rite of passage for every Walt Disney World guest, and with a little planning, you can save time by dining and watching the parade at the same time!

Best Restaurants for Magic Kingdom Parade Viewing

Here are a few of my favorite ways to combine two “must-do” activities — eating and parade viewing — in the Magic Kingdom:

Casey’s Corner Outdoor Tables

Grab a Hot Dog at Casey’s
The location of Casey’s Corner, a counter-service restaurant specializing in hot dogs, is just about perfect for parade viewing. Situated on the end of Main Street right next to the hub and the Castle, the main outdoor dining area of Casey’s will provide a fantastic view of the parade floats going by.

You’ll need to snag a spot early, so head over to Casey’s about 15-30 minutes before the parade is scheduled to begin, order your food, and commandeer your red-and-white striped umbrella table. The closer you are to Main Street, the better. While crowds of people might block your view of some of the characters on the street, this is nice, shaded spot from which to see the floats. I especially like this spot for watching SpectroMagic (or the Main Street Electrical Parade). Keep your spot to watch Wishes.

If you don’t like the idea of holding a table, grab your dogs and dine while holding your spot on the curb!

Get an Outdoor Table at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
…but it has the be one of the correct outdoor tables! This counter-service eatery located in Frontierland has several outdoor dining areas, but the one you want will be closest to the front door. This dining area butts up against a slatted fence, which you’ll be able to [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Weekly Round-Up: April 4th, 2010

From Mad Hatter's Peep Party Diorama

Welcome to the Round-Up! Quick Disney food news recap on this Easter Sunday morning:

Finally, don’t forget to head over the DisMarks Disney Blog Carnival for some great reads (30 submissions!!) about your favorite topics! And now, on to the Round-Up!

The Washington Post showcased these videos of the Marshmallow Peeps Diorama competition, two of which show dioramas themed to Disney movies (Winner: “Eep” — a representation of “Up.” Finalist: “The Mad Hatter’s Peep Party” — a representation of “Alice in Wonderland.)!

Three Baking Sheets to the Wind created some amazing Alice in Wonderland themed cupcakes. Just wait until you see the “Tweedledee and Tweedledum” ones… Wow.

Progress City USA has a picture of Jim MacPhee drinking Beverly. (You won’t know if it’s worth looking until it’s too late.) Also, a piece of history with Disney’s launch of French-fried ice cream.

Designing Disney has an Easter Egg Hunt on his blog… see if you can find ‘em!

Disney has released photos of the Walt Disney Signature dining installation in collaboration with design innovator, Cappellini, for this year’s Dining By Design DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) event in New York City.

AllEars has a great photo blog from The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Disney Parks Blog shows us how to find our favorite candy on Mainstreet USA!

Disney Shawn shows us the ins and outs of Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in WDW’s Magic Kingdom.

Studios Central has a great write-up of the recent counter service menu changes in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Orlando Sentinel talks about butterbeer at the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios (I know…not technically Disney…but awesome!)

WDW Radio shares a special find — the Adventureland Veranda serving meals again…if only temporarily!

Disney Every Day has some pics of breakfast at the Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe.

Magical Kingdoms reviews Cafe Mickey in Disneyland Resort Paris.

Disney Food Post Round-Up: March 7th, 2010

Eat hereHappy Sunday, all! Just a quick reminder of a couple of updates before we launch into this week’s round-up:

LaughingPlace has the latest on St. Patrick’s Day menus for WDW’s Portobello, Fulton’s Crab House, and Wolfgang Puck Cafe.

CakeWrecks showcases some amazing Alice in Wonderland themed cakes.

SamLand’s Disney Adventures brings a Disneyland popcorn stand into focus.

StitchKingdom posts an info-packed story with the latest news about the D23 Expo, the WDW Fantasyland Expansion, and more. In it, he mentions the upcoming Be Our Guest Restaurant and also showcases some delicious Disney event dessert photos.

PSCalculator reviews Trail’s End Buffet restaurant in WDW’s Fort Wilderness!

Bakerella has some fun Oscar season recipes inspired by nominated Disney films! (Check out the “Up”cakes and Frog Pops.)

Zannaland recaps her experience at the February Tables in Wonderland “Wave Discovery Dinner” in WDW.

Main St. Gazette shares a creamy grits recipe from Olivia’s at WDW’s Old Key West Resort.

Watch Me Eat visits Epcot’s Lotus Blossom Cafe.

A World View visits three of WDW’s best counter-service spots: Flame Tree Barbecue, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, and Earl of Sandwich.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has a unique profile of the New Orleans chef who was inspirational to the Princess and the Frog story.

Disney Food Post Weekly Round-Up: February 28th, 2010

lorelaybovequeenofheartsWelcome to the weekly round-up! You’ll see we have a different photo on the blog this week: it’s a painting by Disney animator Lorelay Bove being featured in an exhibit called Curiouser and Curiouser: Inspired by ‘Alice in Wonderland’ at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, CA. I absolutely love Bove’s art and thought there might be a few fans out there. If you happen to get to the exhibit, let me know how it is! Now…on to the round-up!

Firstly, I’d like to send a thanks to Jeannie Kim and Redbook Magazine for recommending The Disney Food Blog in a recent article about Walt Disney World planning.

Tables in Wonderland events for March are now available for booking!

The OC Register reports that Philippe Tosques comes from the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas to join the Napa Rose team as General Manager, replacing Michael Jordan.

Yesterland‘s Werner Weiss reviews Wally Boag: Clown Prince of Disneyland, highlighting one of The Golden Horseshoe Revue’s finest performers.

Samland’s Disney Adventures posts incredible historical information about and concept art of Disneyland’s Club 33.

AllEarsNet‘s Jack Spence brings us to the Yacht Club’s Crew’s Cup Lounge.

Progress City U.S.A. posts about a 1977 Gourmet Pantry cast-member-only sale on frozen meat. This is hilarious. Pls read.

Bluebonnets and Brownies developed a new Schoolbread cupcake based on the recipe for Epcot’s Norway pavilion’s famous pastry!

Etckt has shared a Disney Photo Challenge on flickr seeking out the most beautifully plated dishes (gorgeous!). Go join in and/or vote!

The Disney Chick is back with another great Boma recipe walk-through — Curry Butternut Soup.

Only WDWorld posts a review of Epcot’s Les Chefs de France.

Tim Maughan Books shares some Ponyo Cupcakes! (Thanks to Imaginerding for the link.)

Cooking With Mickey shares a review of Disneyland’s Goofy’s Kitchen.

Watch Me Eat heads to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe.