Best Disney World Restaurants Not on the Disney Dining Plan

As you know, Kim L. is our behind-the-scenes manager here at the Disney Food Blog, a Disney World Moms Panelist, and a blogger! You’ll begin to see her name more and more in that little author line! Learn more about her on our staff and contributors page! Here, she discusses her top choices for Disney World restaurants not on the Disney Dining Plan!

UPDATE 4/2012: The restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin Resort are not yet on the Dining Plan, but the others — T-Rex, Rainforest Cafe, Portobello, Fulton’s, Paradiso 37, Wolfgang Puck Cafe The Dining Room, and House of Blues, should now be on the Dining Plan!

Lots of guests want to know the top restaurants when dining with the Disney Dining Plan, but since those restaurants seem to fill up more and more quickly these days, we’ve also been getting requests for recommendations on restaurants not included in the Dining Plan. Here are my picks for the best table service locations that do not participate in the DDP! ;-)

Top 5 Restaurants Not on the Disney Dining Plan, for Adults

Portobello
For guests craving a casual meal with value, Portobello at Downtown Disney dishes out hearty Italian fare. Choose from a value dinner menu, wood-burning oven pizzas, signature sandwiches plus a meatball and beer bar!

AJ recommends the Bucatini!

House of Blues
Got late night munchies at Downtown Disney? House of Blues is open til 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights! The southern-inspired menu includes a large variety of sandwiches and seafood such as Creole Jambalaya. To soothe your soul, look for [Read more…]

Disney Restaurants Offer Easter Meals in 2011

Many WDW restaurants will have special meals for Easter. If you’ll be dining on more than chocolate eggs, make sure to make an Advance Dining Reservation at one of these locations!

HOPPY EASTER IN THE MAGIC KINGDOM

Captain’s Grille: Easter Brunch Buffet
The menu at Captain’s Grill will include cheese, soups and salads; pork loin, carved roast beef, and glazed ham; and a cold seafood bar. Multiple desserts, including a gelato bar!, will be included. Cost: Adults $28.75, Children $12.77.

Cape May Cafe Easter Dinner:
The menu at Cape May Cafe includes Clam Chowder, a carving station, a spicy seaweed salad with mussels, and barbecue pork ribs! End your meal with the famous Oreo Bon Bons from [Read more…]

St. Patrick’s Day Events and Menus in Disney World and Disneyland

We certainly don’t need a reason to celebrate (with beer!) while visiting a Disney park, however we’re really excited about the extra Irish-inspired fun that Disney is dishing up for St. Patrick’s Day. Below, we detail events and special menu items throughout Disney World and Disneyland!

Raglan Road, WDW Downtown Disney
Raglan Road opens their doors at 11:00AM on St. Paddy’s Day for a full day of festivities! The fun begins at Noon with musicians, dancers and face painting. While savoring the traditional Shepherd’s Pie, look for the house band, Creel! In the evening, toast your Irish friends and watch eLevation as they perform your favorite U2 songs. There is a $10 cover charge.

Raglan Road

Earlier in the week, Raglan Road is celebrating with a few more events! This Sunday, attend their first ever traditional Irish Ceili (pronounced kay-lee) and join in the Irish dancing! As Lorraine from Raglan Road says, “We’re pushing the furniture back and letting everyone join in!” Sounds like fun! Click the image for [Read more…]

Disney World and Disneyland Dining for Valentine’s Day

Romance can be found all over Walt Disney World and Disneyland. And at these dining venues, there won’t be a single character in sight! Some restaurants feature special menus for Valentine’s Day.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Sweetheart Dinners
These special meals for two are offered all year-long at Walt Disney World, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to splurge on this decadent dining experience.

Enjoy a 3-course, prix-fixe meal that includes an appetizer, entrée and a shared dessert. Toast your love with a selected beverage in etched champagne flutes, then take [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: October 31, 2010

Disney Halloween Decor...Featuring Caramel Apples

Happy Halloween! Don’t forget to check out some of the many spooky and fun treats found in Disney Parks:
Halloween Cupcakes in Disney Parks
Disneyland Halloween treats
Disney World Halloween Treats
Even MORE Halloween Treats in Disney Parks

And here are some of our favorite Disney food posts from around the web:

Watch Me Eat heads to WDW’s House of Blues for the Gospel Brunch!

Disney Parks Blog showcases an incredible Halloween Wedding Cake!

Main Street Gazette tempts us with a trip to Karamell Kuche!

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World makes Sweet Potato Puree with Mango BBQ sauce from the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Theme Park Mom comments on La Hacienda de San Angel’s decor!

Wine-Girl.net reviews the Disney World Downtown Disney Portobello Meatball Bar.

Scott Joseph Orlando Scott Joseph also takes us to La Hacienda de San Angel with his expert review.

Everything WDW reveals the 2011 date for the Wine and Dine run!

No Park Tickets? No Reservation? No Problem!

The main complaint I hear regarding the re-instated 180-day window for Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations is that it’s impossible to get a seat in a restaurant “on a whim.” I wanted to address that concern and add another challenge: what if you don’t have park tickets, either?

I thought it’d be fun to tackle this situation and suggest a few spots in both Disney World and Disneyland for those who find themselves in this “pickle!”

Beaches and Cream Beef Sandwich Au Jus

Walt Disney World

Nope! I’m not kidding. It doesn’t have to be a hassle to find a good, table-service meal in Disney World — even when you don’t have a reservation or a park ticket! Here are four of my favorite go-to locations at all different price points:

Beaches and Cream $
Welcome back to the 1950’s soda shoppe! Beaches and Cream is located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and doesn’t even take reservations, so you won’t ever run into the no ADR problem! This spot serves simple, but delicious, [Read more…]

Review: Portobello Restaurant

Located in Downtown Disney, Portobello (formerly the Portobello Yacht Club) is currently in an upswing. Consulting Chef Tony Mantuano — you’ve seen him on Top Chef Masters — has renovated the menu into a short, but delicious list of rustic, hearty Italian trattoria food.

Atmosphere

While simple, the decor offers a neutral and natural setting for a delicious meal. Unlike the more themed restaurants on Disney property, this one seems to prefer that we [Read more…]

News: Disney World Meatball and Beer Bar; New Disneyland Crepe Menu

Here’s a bit of mid-week news for ya:

Disneyland Cafe Renee Crepe Menu

DisZine has had a series of posts on Cafe Renee, a new crepe and funnel cake stick location in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney. The crepe menu is the newest addition of information:

Cafe Renee Crepe Menu

Looks delicious, doesn’t it?

Portobello Meatball and Beer Bar

The Disney Parks Blog is reporting on the new Meatball and Beer bar dreamed up by [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 18, 2010

Lamb From Australia Booth is Back This Year

Whew! What a WEEK! It was Food and Wine Festival-icous! You’ll have to forgive my one track mind this week, all, but here are the latest news items:

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Hopefully you got a chance to check out my blog post over at Touring Plans all about the NEW additions to the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Also, give a listen to the recent WDW Today Podcast, where we chatted about some of the upcoming festival attractions! Thanks, Touring Plans and WDW Today!

I came across a Progress City USA post from 2009 that shows us what dining was like at early WDW. Anyone remember the Pueblo Room?

DisZine reports that the Disney World Swan and Dolphin are announcing a Personal Pantry feature.

Touring Plans blogger Kristen H. writes about her favorite counter service restaurants at WDW.

Heatherw25 has created some more amazing Disney food scrapbooking layouts!

Kerrygold Cheeses at Ireland Food and Wine Booth

Main Street Gazette compares a favorite Disney World counter-service dish at Sunshine Seasons to one of his local favorites.

A Taste of Disney shows us how to make California Grill’s delicious Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli.

The Daily Disney reports on a new Meatball Sliders and Beer menu at WDW Downtown Disney’s Portobello Restaurant.

Designing Disney looks at inspiration for the Market House Deli in Disneyland Paris.

Chip and Co wonders what makes Aloha Isle so popular.

Pee Dee Foodie reviews Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Disney Parks Blog announces that the Kona Island Sushi Bar is a permanent fixture at the Polynesian Resort in WDW!

DisUnplugged reviews breakfast at Disneyland’s Steakhouse 55.

Cooking Classes for Adults at Downtown Disney July 10, 2010

Portobello, Fulton’s Crab House, and Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe are hosting a one day, progressive adults-only cooking class on Saturday, July 10th, 2010.

Where: Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe, Fulton’s Crab House, and Portobello in Disney World’s Downtown Disney
When: The progressive class will take place from 11 AM to 2:00 PM
Pricing: $59.95 per person

Adults will learn how make the restaurant’s signature recipes and will enjoy their own creations with complementing wine pairings.

Specs and Menu:

Wolfgang Puck Café
o Maryland Style Crab Cakes
o Paired with Concerto Grunerveltliner

Fulton’s Crab House
o St. Augustine, Florida Yellowtail Snapper
o En Papillote with Julienne Vegetables, lemon and Fresh Thyme
o Paired with Fulton’s White Wine

Portobello
o Panna Cotta with Florida Peaches
o Paired with Oltrepo Pavese Muscato Dolce

Space is limited and reservations are recommended by calling 407-828-8996.