What’s New Around Walt Disney World: June 24, 2014

For this round of “What’s New,” we’re heading to three Disney World parks and five Resorts to check out candy apples, menu changes,  comfort foods, and oodles of cold drinks to help you cool down in hot temperatures! Welcome back to “What’s New!”


Character-inspired Treats

Magic Kingdom rang in the summer with the 24-Hour Rock Your Disney Side event. Several treats debuted that day, which were originally intended to be around just for those 24 hours; but a few made the cut to stick around a little longer, including these eye-catching Maleficent Krispy Treats and cake pops found in the Main Street Confectionery and Big Top Treats.

Maleficent Cake Pops and Krispy Treats

Maleficent Cake Pops and Krispy Treats

If you followed our coverage that day, you may have seen the Sunshine Tree Terrace’s Orange Bird join the candy apple ranks as well, but just in case you missed it, here he is!

Orange Bird Candy Apples

Orange Bird Candy Apples

He’s too cute to not show twice ;) !

Orange Bird Caramel Apple

Orange Bird Caramel Apple

And at Main Street Bakery, the Olaf the Snowman Carrot Cake Cupcake remains, alongside a Frozen-themed one as well.

Olaf Cupcake

Olaf Cupcake

Frozen Cupcake

Frozen Cupcake

Columbia Harbour House

In Liberty Square, Columbia Harbour House is offering two new dinner-only comfort foods: Seafood Macaroni & Cheese and Chicken Pot Pie. You can read our review here!

Columbia Harbour House

Columbia Harbour House

Seafood Macaroni and Cheese

Seafood Macaroni and Cheese

Full entree

Full entree

The Plaza Restaurant

The Plaza Restaurant added a great-sounding choice to their list of entrees: a Beef Brisket Onion Burger.

Plaza sign

Plaza sign

Plaza Entrees

Plaza Entrees

Tony’s Town Square

At Tony’s Town Square, guests can now choose a Seasonal and Sustainable Fresh Catch Salad. And at lunch, a Meatball Trio has replaced the Meatball Sliders.

Tony's Sign

Tony’s Sign

Tony's Town Square Menu

Tony’s Town Square Lunch Menu

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is serving up a new Cherry Slush topped with Lemon-Lime Fomz.

Cherry Slush at Cosmic Ray's

Cherry Slush at Cosmic Ray’s

Cherry Slush topped with Lemon Lime Fomz

Cherry Slush topped with Lemon Lime Fomz

Read more about it (and the mystery that is “Fomz”) by clicking here!


The Refreshment Cool Post (found in the Africa Outpost as you stroll around World Showcase) is offering a few summer treats: Pineapple and Coconut Frozen Yogurt (served solo or swirled together) and a Mango Rum Smoothie featuring African Starr Rum. Check out our review of the new Frozen Yogurt flavors here!

Refreshment Cool Post

Refreshment Cool Post

Pineapple Coconut Swirl Frozen Yogurt

Pineapple Coconut Swirl Frozen Yogurt


A couple of really fun new adult beverages have arrived in Animal Kingdom!


Head over to Asia’s Drinkwallah for a Coconut-Lychee Lemonade with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum. We’ll have a review on the blog soon!



Drinkwallah Menu

Drinkwallah Menu


Or if you’ve really got to tame your sweet tooth, try [Read more…]

Top 4 Disney Chocolate Goodies to Share With Your Valentine!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone!

We can’t let this day go by without thinking dreamily of all the ways we’d be celebrating if we were lucky enough to be in Walt Disney World Today! Like chocolate ganache, maybe? Here’s a fun holiday cupcake found at many Disney’s Hollywood Studios restaurants right now!

Valentine's Day cupcake in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Yep — Valentine’s Day means chocolate to us here at DFB! ;-)

Let’s check out a few more awesome ways to celebrate the Disney Food Blog way!

Enjoy Red Velvet Pancakes at Kona Cafe

Every year, these gorgeous pancakes — topped with cream cheese icing!!!! — make their appearance at Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Resort for a few weeks. Today’s the last day you can get ‘em this year, though, so head on over!

Valentine's Day Treat: Red Velvet Pancakes at Kona Cafe

Valentine’s Day Treat: Red Velvet Pancakes at Kona Cafe

Share a Chocolate Milkshake at the Plaza Inn Restaurant

One of my favorite under-the-radar dining spots in Disney World is the Plaza Restaurant in Magic Kingdom. Affordable by Disney standards, they have some delicious dishes. AND your view as you dine if you’re lucky? Cinderella Castle! So how could you go wrong for a hassle-free romantic date night?

While I’ve enjoyed most everything I’ve ordered here, hands down my favorite menu items are the Hand Dipped Cookies and Cream Milkshakes. They’re incredible! They come served in those heavy, old-fashioned, footed glasses that you can only get in soda shops of our childhood!

Plaza Restaurant Milkshake

Plaza Restaurant Milkshake

Top it with Whipped Cream and a Cherry, ask for two straws, and sip away with your Honey Pie while you take in the castle views. Sounds like a pretty awesome date to me. :-)

Nibble on a Salted Caramel Chocolate in Epcot

Or maybe you think there’s no better date night than a stroll around World Showcase in Epcot. With stunning views, charming shops, fun attractions, and delicious eats, I couldn’t agree more!

But after you’ve shared a bowl of Spaghetti e Polpettine at Via Napoli, or perhaps a luxurious French dinner at Monsieur Paul, save a little room for dessert. And my suggestion is a walk over to the Germany Pavilion for a stop at Karamell-Küche.

This little German-inspired sweets shop is home to some of my favorite Epcot indulgences. Snag a bag or two of their caramel popcorn for the road. But for sharing with your special guy or gal, try the Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Caramel.

Chocolate-Covered Sea Salt Caramel at Karamell Kuche in Epcot

Chocolate-Covered Sea Salt Caramel at Karamell Kuche in Epcot

Because you’ll know it’s true love if you can actually share this heavenly treat. Come to think of it, you probably should just go ahead and get two of them. For the sake of your relationship.

Make Your Own Sweet Treat at Goofy’s Candy Company

Teamwork! Anyone who’s been on the merry go round of relationships knows that success comes with [Read more…]

Monstrous Summer Specialty Foods Available at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts

Kicking off a “Monstrous Summer” at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, the creative Disney chefs have designed special eats for the Monstrous Summer all-nighter scheduled for May 24-May 25, 2013!

Mike and Sully on Spaceship Earth announce the Monstrous Summer All-Nighter!

The event, which takes place at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World on the East coast, and Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure on the West coast, will host guests from 6 a.m. on May 24 to 6 a.m. on May 25.

As always, Disney has planned a few special bites for the special event. Here are a few of the noshes planned!

Walt Disney World Monstrous Summer Food

Crazed about Disney cupcakes? The New Fantasyland venue Gaston’s Tavern (Magic Kingdom) will feature a chocolate cupcake topped with “Monsters University” sweets.

Chocolate Monsters University Cupcake!

Ice cream fans can stop by the Ice Cream Parlor or Plaza Restaurant on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom for an “Eye Scream Sundae” in your choice of mint chocolate chip or strawberry flavors.

Monsters University Sundaes!

Themed drinks, including Randall’s Suds and Mike’s Punch — will be offered at The Lunching Pad in Tomorrowland.

Disneyland Monstrous Summer Food

Keep your eyes open! There are monstrous eats everywhere. Start with [Read more…]

Guest Review: The Plaza Restaurant in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

DFB Guest Author Joey Beyer returns with a review of The Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. Take it away, Joey!

Greetings everyone! I am very excited to bring you a review of The Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. So, lets walk right down the middle of Main Street USA and check out The Plaza.


The Plaza is located right next to the Ice Cream Parlor after you turn right off of Main St. to go towards the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. This little passageway is also a great way to circumvent the perpetual traffic jam that is usually taking place in the hub, assuming you want to go to Tomorrowland.

The restaurant is all around an unassuming place. There is a check in desk right on the walkway where you can get your pager, or check for table availability. Once your table is ready you are shown into the restaurant, or to an outside table if you would prefer one (and there is one available).

One striking thing about The Plaza is how small it is. I never thought it was huge, but I never realized just how quaint and cozy it is, despite all the pictures I had seen. This restaurant truly captures the charm that we all love about Main Street.

Cozy interior of the Plaza Restaurant

The tables and chairs are pretty plain, but fit in perfectly with the theme.

The wall decorations and light fixtures are gorgeous, with a strong art nouveau design.

Plaza Restaurant's Light Fixture

As I mentioned the restaurant is quite small, as you can tell from the pictures. There were a few tables behind me, but what you see is pretty much what is there.

Being on Main St. you do catch glimpses of Cinderella Castle and any fanfare that is taking place in that area of the park. If you look closely in my pictures, you can see the Main St. Electrical Parade through the windows.

I would [Read more…]

Review: Plaza Restaurant at Magic Kingdom

I love the Plaza. Here’s why:

  • It’s less expensive than many other table-service restaurants
  • It’s good quality
  • It’s easy

What more could you want in a restaurant when you’re fighting Magic Kingdom crowds, dying to use your Splash Mountain fastpass before the parade, and coping with your tired and hungry troops?

The Plaza offers less-expensive, but delicious, food right in the middle of the Magic Kingdom. And, believe it or not, it’s not all that difficult to get an Advance Dining Reservation here!


The Plaza is a tiny little restaurant located between Tomorrowland and Main Street USA in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Plaza sign

It’s right next door to what some folks call the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor, but is actually — according to the sign — the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. Which [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Hidden Mickeys!

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 feature some hidden and not-so-hidden — Mickeys! Do you see Hidden Mickeys everywhere you go too?

This photo of Escargots served during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival distinctly shows a Mickey shape! Photographer: Kelly Tressler

Escargot at Epcot's 2010 Food and Wine Festival

The condiments are an important part of our Disney meals and you’ll be seeing Mickey when yours are served at the Plaza Restaurant in the [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…]

WDW Moms Panelists on Best Dining Values in Disney World

I’m really excited about this post in the Walt Disney World Moms Panel mini-series! You’ve met some of the moms and heard about their most magical Disney dining moments, but today we get into the nitty gritty of Walt Disney World planning: what restaurants offer the best value for the money?

Looks from the answers that the Picnic in the Park at Animal Kingdom, the Flame Tree Barbecue, and Teppan Edo were big winners in this category, along with Whispering Canyon Cafe’s skillet!

From Mom Erin F.

I’d suggest any of the buffets – particularly if you go for lunch. Have a bagel or coffee breakfast, and chow at a buffet lunch; that will get you through the day. For counter service, I’ve had good experiences with Tangierine Café – you get a variety of food and great vegetables. And my kids love flame tree barbecue.

From Mom Anna S.

A Full Plate at Teppan Edo

A Full Plate at Teppan Edo

Good food at a worth it price for table service is Teppan Edo. Plus you get the show the chef performs in front of you to boot! We’ve always gotten very generous portions here, more than enough to share with each other without feeling like you’re sacrificing half the meal for the kids to each have a taste, and I can’t remember a time when we’ve eaten here and not had something leftover!

I’m not sure this technically counts as counter service, but I could talk all day about the Picnic in the Park at Animal Kingdom. My husband and I went with our two younger children, ordered the rotisserie chicken for three, and left with our desserts in the nifty bag they give you, we were so full! This was an awesome Disney dining experience, and we can’t wait to do it again!

From Mom Kara B.

I’m totally cheating here and going for the non-counter/non-table service restaurant: the picnic in the park at the Animal Kingdom. What a smashingly brilliant deal. We had a TON of food for a family of 5 — so much so that we brought nearly half of it home with us (glad we were at a resort with a fridge) and were left with a shopping bag that I still use all the time. I love having comments about it as clerks bag my groceries. The park is filled with all sorts of fun places to picnic; we opted for the secret path by the Tree of Life and nearly had the area to ourselves (just a few people walked through). Not to mention, ordering the picnic is simple and with little to no wait.

From Mom Joanne M.

Hands down, for me the best counter service for taste, selection and value is Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney. The menu selection has something for everyone, from pizza and pasta to sandwiches and rotisserie chicken. The food and service are consistently excellent. We often stop in on our last day and pick up a pizza for the flight home!

If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, Le Cellier in the Canadian Pavillion at Epcot (I’m really not biased) offers one of the best deals for one dining credit. The mushroom filet absolutely melts in your mouth, and similar meals are two credits at some of the other resort restaurants. And the chocolate moose dessert is super cute
and soooo good!

For overall value, I always recommend going to some of the more expensive restaurants for lunch. This way, you get to experience the finer restaurants at reduced prices. One of my new favourites is Epcot’s Chefs de France in France. They currently have an awesome table d’hote special for $20, which includes decadent
lobster chowder or the best French onion soup ever, a main course selection (including a rich quiche), and dessert. Service is fabulous, and the setting is very francais!

From Mom Amber V.

I think a great table service that offers good food at a value is the Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. Granted, the food is nothing fancy, but the portions are plentiful and we have always enjoyed excellent service here. You really can’t go wrong with any of the sandwiches, and there are occasionally chef specials as well. The desserts alone are a reason to visit the Plaza, and they are definitely
large enough to share!

For a great counter service value we go to Cosmic Rays at the Magic Kingdom. Their combo meals are absolutely large enough to share. I also love Columbia Harbour House. It is one of my favorite counter service restaurants at Disney. I feel that the menu selection is diverse and the food is good quality and decent portion sizes.

From Mom Heather R.

The Plaza Restaurant and the Trail’s End Restaurant both fall into that category. Really, any buffet will offer bang-for-the-buck, particularly if you have big eaters (or teenage boys!) in your family.

While not the least expensive option out there, I’d highly recommend the Canyon Skillet at the Whispering Canyon Cafe in the Wilderness Lodge. It’s a family-style meal that is both delicious and bottomless! If you’re watching your budget, consider booking a late lunch for a $9 savings over dinner price.

At that same price point, for dinner I really like the clam bake at the Cape May Cafe in the Beach Club resort. It’s a buffet so you can eat till your heart is content, and I’m particularly fond of their miniature desserts (so yes, you finally can sample one of each!)

Lots of Choices at Cosmic Ray's

Lots of Choices at Cosmic Ray's

For counter service, I think that the Bacon Double Cheeseburger at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in the Magic Kingdom is a very good value. It’s served with fries and is really quite large, easily split between two people. Although the price point is higher, the 1/2 chicken and BBQ rib combo there is also a large meal, and a step up from typical counter service restaurant offerings.

I also found that I was unable to finish my counter service lunch of Honey Chicken from Yak and Yeti, as the portion was larger than I was expecting. When eating there the next time I’ll plan on sharing it with one of my children so we don’t have as much waste.

From Mom Whitney P.

I see “value” through two different lenses: the food plus experience and just the food. If we’re talking food plus experience, three top my list:

If you’re a parent, you may have been urged by friends to seek a Character Dining meal while at Disney. I’ve seen many parents get stressed over these meals, especially with the inability to get advanced reservations for last-minute trips. A comparable memory-making dining experience for many children can be found, however, at the animatronic restaurants of T-Rex and Rainforest Cafe. In fact, Rainforest is probably the most-requested restaurant by my kids! PLUS: the menu is more affordable than the Character Dining buffets.

A close third is Sci-Fi Dinner Theatre. It gets panned by many who are on the dining plan, and rightfully so, because you could spend that same dining credit on more expensive fare. But when I go to Disney without the dining plan, and I’m looking at paying for both the experience as well as the food, Sci-Fi fits the bill for creating a memorable theme with food that’s comparable in price to some counter-service combo meals! My husband loves the Reuben.

Your View From the Flame Tree Barbecue

Your View From the Flame Tree Barbecue

If we’re talking food value sans experience, I tend to lean toward the counter-service restaurants. Again, three come to mind, all in different parks:

1. Flame Tree BBQ, Animal Kingdom: Our family of six can order two 1/2 slabs of ribs and the 1/2 chicken combo and we’re good. Top this off with a seat under the tree canopy down by the water behind the restaurant and you’ve got my number one value for food and experience for family-eating in the parks.

2. We can do the same thing at Cosmic Ray’s with its 1/2 Chicken and BBQ Rib Combo, but because the food is so similar, we usually don’t eat at both Flame Tree and Ray’s on the same trip. (By the way, while my family is gorging themselves on the ribs, I’m eating all the delicious green beans–YUM!)

3. Sunshine Seasons, Epcot: What I call their “blue-plate special” line (The Grill) offers up some pretty hefty
meals that can satisfy big appetites for under $10! The rotisserie chicken can be split between two of my boys. The seared-tuna salad is large enough to share, also!

From Mom Jo Y.

We are normally on the DDP so don’t tend to choose restaurants for the best value, rather where we’d like to dine. Saying that, though, for counter service I would say Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney offers great value for money. Although you need to stand in line to order your food like
at a regular counter service a waiter actually brings your food to the table, so it feels like a table service. The portions here are huge and the choice is extensive!

For table service I’d choose the Cape May Clam Bake; for under $30 adults can eat as much as they want from a large selection of foods including soups, salads, prime rib, shrimps, clams, vegetables etc

From Mom Kay B.

My husband insists the answer is Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner, since they will keep bringing the platters of food until you say no more! He loves the turkey and roast beef and all the “fixins” that go with that! I think there are several spots in EPCOT where you get a lot for your money and those are Nine Dragons in China and Marrakesh in Morocco.

For counter service spots, Flametree Barbecue comes to the front, and then also Cantina De San Angel in Mexico….good portions, full meals, decent pricing.

From Dad Doug I.

For table service I actually think you get a lot of good food for your money at Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge.

Mosey On Down to the Whispering Canyon Cafe

Mosey On Down to the Whispering Canyon Cafe

You have to be hungry to take advantage of it, but the Skillets really work out to be a decent deal in the world of Walt Disney World dining.

For counter service I think there is no better choice than Flame Tree BBQ at the Animal Kingdom. The BBQ is fantastic, and the seating area, down in the riverside grottos complete with a dense, jungle-like tree canopy, is a real treat. I think it is a better dining experience than many table service restaurants!

From Mom Jodi G.

I think the Tangierine Cafe [in Epcot’s Morocco] is a great value — my personal recommendation for those who want to try out some new foods and fill up at a great price. As for table-service, I love the Crystal Palace buffet (especially dinner) because the buffet has some great food at a good price.

From Mom Beth C.

Teppan Edo in Japan is my choice for the best value for its price. The food is fresh, delicious and cooked to order. The food is served as soon as it is cooked, which is awesome. You have a lot of food for a reasonable price and you get a “show” for free. This is also one restaurant where everyone eats everything and we have no room for dessert (and we love dessert).

For counter-service, Animal Kingdom offers the All American Family Picnic. This is a unique idea on an American classic. Guests can preorder their lunch at Island Mercantile Shop before 1:30. You have a choice of sandwiches or roasted chicken. Everyone recieves their own sandwich, dessert and drink. The sides and roasted chicken are portioned to the number of people in your party. You pick up your lunch at the Tusker House in a reusable tote you get to keep. You can then take it to one of the many picnic spots located throughout Animal Kingdom. We ordered sandwiches for four and we had food leftover. The food is from Tusker House which buffet is very good and the picnic lunch is just as yummy.

From Mom Kim L.

We get the best value at the Boma breakfast buffet. Great food, awesome atmosphere and no one leaves hungry. For counter-service, I think Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney provides a great meal at a value price.

Liberty Tree Tavern's Pot Roast Lunch

Liberty Tree Tavern's Pot Roast Lunch

From Mom Margaret F.

I think the best deal for counter service on property has to be Pizza Planet at Hollywood Studios. For approximately $10, each guest can choose an individual pizza, salad and drink and for just a few dollars more a yummy dessert,. The pizza is a great portion size and easily fills us up, plus it is actually very yummy. My kids love the salad and t is just the perfect size.

For table dining locations, we love the value of the Liberty Tree Tavern lunch menu. The menu offers a great selection of hearty home cooked favorites like pot roast, the pilgrim’s feast of turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing and the catch of the day all under $20 and most around $15. The food is delicious and quite filling. The dinner menu is also a great selection of turkey, roast beef, potatoes, vegetbale and dessert served family style at approximately $30 per guest. Still a great price compared to some of the menu prices at other Disney dinner locations and my kids never leave food on the plate here.

Thanks again to all the “moms” who are participating in the interviews!