Review: Disneyland Soundsational Menu Items…Will They Become Permanent?

Welcome back Carrie Hayward as she returns to show us specialty menu items from Disneyland’s Soundsational Annual Passholder event! And don’t forget to read Carrie’s bio at the end of this post — she’s pretty amazing!

Over the last week, Disneyland has hosted two after-hours parties to give annual passholders an up-close look at the new Soundsational parade and how it was created. Four special menu items were introduced for the events, each available at a different location and only between the hours of 4pm and midnight that day. However, word on the street is that one or more of them may have been a test for future inclusion on park menus.

Soundsational Eats

Let’s see how the four potentially new menu items stack up!

Mac & Cheese Hot Dog – Main Street Refreshment Corner
Definitely the most talked-about special menu item, this diet-busting snack featured one of Disneyland’s new larger — and reportedly more flavorful hot dogs — smothered in neon macaroni & cheese and topped with bacon bits.

The last Disney hot dog I ate was at Walt Disney World (at Disneyland, I go straight for the corn dogs) and it didn’t seem particularly puny or bland, so I can’t comment on whether the new dog is an improvement.

Disneyland’s has a snappy casing and a salty, beefy taste. The macaroni and cheese was not quite up to par with my beloved Walt Disney World Mickeyroni — more plasticky and less cheesy — but it still had that satisfyingly creamy quality that tells you you’re eating a hot dog covered with mac ‘n’ cheese!

The bacon crumbles were the packaged kind you can buy at the market and didn’t taste like much of anything… think of them as savory sprinkles.

Mac n Cheese Hot Dog

Soundsational “Cupcake” – Blue Ribbon Bakery
As it turned out, there was no Soundsational cupcake at Blue Ribbon Bakery on either party night, and at the first party, bakery cast members acted as if the sign announcing the cupcake was the first they’d heard of it. By the time the second party rolled around, the chef had pulled something together on the fly — a chocolate-chocolate chip muffin topped with cream cheese frosting and a white chocolate Mickey pumpkin.

This sounded like it might be weird, but the muffin was so [Read more…]

Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Beer and Pizza Tasting Event

Beer lovers beware! Beer and Pizza Tastings at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy is a new event being offered at this year’s 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

We got a chance to head to the very first one last week, and we really enjoyed ourselves! Here are the specs on these new-this-year events:

When: Tuesdays from 2-4pm
Where: Via Napoli, Italy, Epcot
Pricing: $50, plus tax. Gratuity included.

All beers

Atmosphere

We checked in for this event at the regular podium at Via Napoli and were then escorted into the side room at the restaurant (the side room had recently been enclosed — it was all open to the elements last year when the [Read more…]

Adventures by Disney Mediterranean Magic: The Pizza Farm

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster takes us with her on her summer vacation, European travel – Disney style. This was a three-part trip which included two Adventures by Disney packages (Barcelona Escape and Mediterranean Magic), plus a Mediterranean cruise on the Disney Magic, all sandwiched together. Her trip of a lifetime included culture, relaxation, breathtaking scenery, and of course, plenty of food.

Welcome sign.

I went to a pizza farm this summer.

Well, we weren’t exactly picking pizza off trees during my Mediterranean Magic Adventures by Disney trip last month, but we did the next best thing — making pizza at a family-run farm that grew all the components of our meal right there on site.

For those of you unfamiliar with Adventures by Disney, this is an arm of the company which offers high-end group tours of locales in Europe, Asia, South American, Central America, North America, and Africa. There’s no Mickey Mouse stuff on your Adventure, just world-class service provided by Disney-trained guides who give you unprecedented access to activities and attractions. The pizza farm experience is included in the 2012 Central Italy Family Vacation tour. If you’re looking for a taste of what to expect on that trip, read on.

Snacks at the Pizza Farm.

Visiting The Pizza Farm

The pizza farm visit occurred on [Read more…]

New World Showcase Mickey Ears Hats Featuring Foooood!

I absolutely love that the Disney Store is carrying some theme park merchandise now. And these Ears Hats might be the perfect headgear for your upcoming trip to the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Highlighting Epcot’s World Showcase countries, these Ears Hats may not be all the rage just yet, but after a few brews I can see ya posing for a pic or two! And when you do, share it at the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza. Please!

Germany Ears Hat

Guten Tag! Take a look at the Germany Ears Hat with a foodie favorite — the soft pretzel — on an ear!

If you’re heading to the Biergarten or stopping by the Germany booth at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, you need this topper. (This may look better after an Altenmunster at the Brewer’s Collection booth. Just sayin’ ;-)!)

Germany Ears Hat

Italy Ears Hat

Ciao! Before heading to the Italy pavilion or Italy Booth, don your gondolier outfit or… just get this Ears Hat.

With a giant pizza [Read more…]

Guest Review: Coronado Springs Resort’s Pepper Market

Bill Iadonisi returns with a colorful and impressive review of the Pepper Market at the Coronado Springs Resort. Take it away, Bill!

When guests vacation to Walt Disney World, they are looking forward to going on their favorite attractions, seeing World-Class shows and entertainment, and of course meeting the Disney Characters. A trip to Disney is an exciting adventure for all. But for many, the rides and attractions are just the tip of the iceberg.

I know that for myself, dining at Disney is a whole world of fun! With menu options from around the world and a huge diversity of food choices, the dining scene is a theme park unto itself.

Welcome!

While most guests hanker to dine in the parks, the resort venues are just as impressive. We know the classic restaurants such as Citricos, the California Grill and Jiko, but the resorts are also home to some of Walt Disney World’s “sleeper” restaurants.

These eateries are hidden gems with mostly low crowds, fantastic menus and easy access. Many times when the parks are booked, you can usually walk right in or have just a short wait before dining. Some of my favorites are the Kona Café and the Captain’s Grille. And here we will review; Coronado Springs Resort’s Pepper Market restaurant.

Atmosphere and Ordering Process

Pepper Market is an open food court located in the main building area of Coronado Springs Resort, called “El Centro.” It is a counter-service restaurant, although your drinks are brought to the table by a server.

But what makes this eatery special is its extensive menu and expansive dining area. Even during crowded times, you can usually find a table. It is themed after a south of the border-feel marketplace. Huge and airy, it is also very colorful, bright and gives the feeling of space versus claustrophobia — something we love in Disney restaurants.

Dining Area

As you make your way to the entrance, (next to Coronado’s table-service restaurant, the Maya Grill) you walk on terracotta tiles and past wrought iron fences adorned with green plants. Everything is vibrant and very colorful. It puts a smile on your face before you are even seated. At the entrance is a [Read more…]

Review: Wolfgang Puck Cafe

Wolfgang Puck is the epitome of “celebrity chef.” Having successfully taken LA and several other USA cities by storm, he’s created a global empire (and worldwide name recognition) the likes of which have yet to be attained by any other chef that I know of.

Puck’s empire exists in Disney World’s Downtown Disney in the form of two counter-service restaurants, both named Wolfgang Puck Express; and two table-service restaurants — Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Dining Room.

On our visit, we headed to Wolfgang Puck Cafe — the less upscale and more boisterous of the two table-service restaurants — found in Downtown Disney’s West End.

Upon entering, you’ll know exactly what you’re in for. On any given evening, this restaurant is bustling. During busy dinner hours, it’s loud (due to the echoing-ly high ceilings and tile decor), colorful, and energetic.

Sushi Bar

The bright colors and geometric shapes of the decor here will remind 80’s kids of [Read more…]

Guest Review: Palo Brunch on the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Welcome guest author Vikki Hurley-Schubert with a review of brunch at Palo on the Disney Wonder (Alaska Style)!

Vikki and her husband with friends!

Brunch at Palo is a must-do for us when onboard any one of the Disney Cruise Line ships. So, we were excited for our brunch while aboard the inaugural Alaskan cruise earlier this month and delighted in every morsel we tasted.

The highlight of the meal for me was the strawberry soup – I must confess, I did have two – one during brunch and one for dessert! It was a fragrant, rich, bright strawberry flavor and a rich magenta color with a minty background. It wasn’t too creamy or watery either – it tasted like fresh picked strawberries!

Strawberry Soup

Before our entrees arrived, we hit the tables of seafood, cheeses and fruit. The shrimp were cooked perfectly as were the crab legs. My husband loved the salmon, salmon mousse and cheeses. The asparagus wrapped in prosciutto were [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 22, 2011

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Popcorn Bucket

We’re reporting from Walt Disney World this weekend, and over the past couple of days I’ve racked up about a hundred new things to share with you! Better get your stretchy pants, my friends!!

This week in Disney food news:

Here’s what’s happening in the World of Disney Food this week…

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Reviews

Thanks to Magical Kingdoms for publishing a great review of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining! Here’s what they had to say…

The 250 pages cover pretty much everything you need to know about dining at Walt Disney World, and even those who have made multiple trips may learn something new by reading this book.

See the full review here. And get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining right here!

And now… on to the round-up!

The Passporter Moms Podcast this week is all about Disney food, and guess who they asked to join them? Thanks to Jennifer and Sara for letting me talk about my favorite subject with them!

Yesterland bids farewell to Pizza Oom Mow Mow in Disney California Adventure.

Fatherhood…Video Games…and Ice Cream shares what it’s like to be Prince of the Day at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

DisneyContemporary.com leads us to some fun (and romantic!) Contemporary Resort dining options for grown-ups.

Main Street Gazette reviews the Steakhouse Salad at the Contempo Cafe.

All Fare’s Food Blog features a guest article (by yours truly ;-) ) about dining aboard the Disney Dream.

Around Disney highlights upgraded menus at Disneyland.

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 15, 2011

Credential Front

Hope everyone’s had a great week, and all of you D23ers are having a blast in WDW!

Disney Food News

In Disney Food News his week, we heard the latest on Disney California Adventure’s two new restaurants set to open on July 1st!

AND we got the chance to put on our guest passes and (virtually) walk the black carpet at Disneyland’s Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Premiere with our fearless Disneyland columnist — Heather Sievers!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book Recommendation

On MiceChat, Sam Gennaway recommends Disney World essentials, including The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining!

A quick quote from the review: “[AJ’s] goal was to write a book that is unlike any other Disney guidebook. In that respect, she has succeeded. This could only come from somebody who realizes that dining is more than just eating at Disney, it is an important part of the whole experience. Plus, the book tries really hard to find the proper balance between planning and spontaneity, which is not easy anymore.”

Thanks to Sam, again, for this review, and thanks to MiceChat for sharing it! If you’d like to check out the e-Book, pick up your copy here!

And now, on to the round up…

A World View reviews our own Disney Food Blog Restaurant Search Tool! Thanks, Bruce!

Main Street Gazette reviews the sweet Sacristain pastry treat at France’s Boulangerie Patisserie.

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World shows us where to find freshly made potato chips and sweet potato fries.

Progress City, U.S.A. examines the Germany pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase including the Biergarten! Grab a snack from Sommerfest and check out these details.

Pitch interviews a former WDW chef. Find out how Celina Tio began cooking at Disney!

Thanks to Stitch Kingdom for giving us a heads up on a new cookbook to be published this fall.

Portobello, the Italian restaurant in Downtown Disney — not the mushroom — showcases pictures from their Cooking Class on May 13th!

MousePlanning reviews the brick oven made pizza at Via Napoli.

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…]