Disneyland Must-Eats: Fried Chicken at the Plaza Inn

I’m not sure how to emphasize how good the Plaza Inn‘s Fried Chicken is. Let me just say this: it is the best fried chicken I have ever eaten. (Yes, that includes Homecomin’, which is incredibly tasty as well.)

Fact: Plaza Inn’s Fried Chicken — literally — is the best.

Plaza Inn Sign

Plaza Inn Sign

Plaza Inn is located on Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A., and its exterior is quintessentially Disney. So many great details on the awning and posts, not to mention the swirls of wrought iron on the sign. [Read more…]

Review: ALL! THE! CHEESE! at Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom

Question: If you go to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and skip Casey’s Corner, were you ever really there?

Well, I can’t speak for everybody. But in my case, the answer is: Nope! Especially now that plastic cheese is back.

Wait. That’s not right. PLASTIC CHEESE IS BACK! You know how I love this King of All Condiments — ooey, gooey yellow cheese that comes on rib-sticking favorites like Chili Cheese Nachos.

Well, by now you know that Plastic Cheese disappeared for a while. We found some from time to time, but it was never enough. And we still couldn’t dunk our Corn Dog Nuggets in it whilst gazing lovingly at Cinderella Castle from the quaint patio of Casey’s Corner.

Thank goodness those dark days are over! Welcome back to Casey’s Corner, home of amazing hot dogs and even more amazing plastic cheese!

Atmosphere

Casey’s is quintessential Main Street, U.S.A., fulfilling Walt’s vision of a Main Street reminiscent of one of his childhood home in Marceline, Missouri. It’s got tremendous architectural detail, from intricate molding to fabulous window casings.

Casey's Corner

Casey’s Corner

Inside the small ordering area are lots of decor pieces harkening back to a simpler time. Oh, and there’s lots of classy striped wallpaper, too (which I kind of love). [Read more…]

Review: Contempo Café in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Aaaaand I’m back at Contempo Café!

No surprise, really. After all, this Counter Service spot in Disney’s Contemporary Resort is easy enough for anyone to get to, regardless of whether or not you are staying at any of the Resorts on the Monorail Loop. Because I’m thinking it’s a pretty safe bet that your Disney World vacation plans include a trip to the Magic Kingdom. And the Contemporary boasts not only easy access via Monorail; it’s also the only Resort you can walk to directly from Magic Kingdom!

Even more, though, I love to stop here due to Contempo Café’s history of serving better-than-you’d-expect counter service grub, from surprisingly memorable entrees to some seriously stellar desserts.

So stroll or Monorail on in with me to check out what’s new (and which of my favorite entrees has remained, thankfully, nearly unchanged) at the Contempo Café!

Atmosphere

Contempo Cafe is located in the Grand Canyon Concourse adjacent to Chef Mickey’s. Basically, there’s no way you can go hungry in this zone! Contempo Cafe definitely has that we’re-trying-to-be-contemporary vibe that we know and love of the Resort, with lots of linear design and brushed nickel finishes.

Contempo Cafe Entrance

Contempo Cafe Entrance

It’s bright, open and, well… pretty loud most of the time. Aside from the Monorail zooming through regularly (hooray!), you get chatter from both open-air restaurants and the general hullabaloo of a busy resort. I find it to be festive, but if you’re craving some quiet, this may not be your spot. [Read more…]

Review: New Sandwiches at The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jambo from The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were here, pointing out three Must-Eat Snacks at the Lodge’s Counter Service option and sipping on some new-to-The-Mara Frozen Jungle Juice. But the Jungle Juice wasn’t the only new thing we found on that visit, which is what we’re excited to share with you today.

Longtime standouts at The Mara for lunch and dinner include unique items such as African Potjie Stew and tasty Soups of the Day alongside classic Burgers, Flatbreads, and Chicken Breast Nuggets.

That said, they aren’t afraid to switch things up every once in a while — and that’s a VERY good thing! Every so often, your basic Hot Dog or sandwich gets a bit of an African-inspired twist, as is the case with two of the three new items we’re trying today.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

So, come right back into The Mara with us!

Atmosphere

The Mara gets its name from the Masai Mara National Reserve, located in southwestern Kenya on the border of Tanzania.  The small food court is only accessible from outside the resort, on the lower level and near the pool. Once inside, you’ll immediately notice the ceiling artfully mimicking the tree tops and some soft ambient lighting that creates interesting shadows. [Read more…]

Review: Grab-and-Go Menu Available at Art Smith’s Homecomin’!

We’re so excited to share that one of our favorite new restaurants in Disney World — Chef Art Smith’s (awesome!) Homecomin’offers grab-and-go options! (Oh, and yes, apparently the name has changed from “Homecoming” to “Homecomin’.” Just FYI.)

Y’all know that Disney Springs has added lots of quality food stops, including Top Chef Master (and master of Mexican cuisine in America) Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina and the fully updated Paddlefish. But even before its opening, Homecomin': Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine — the official full name of Art Smith’s labor of love in Disney Springs — captured our attention.

The backstory here is that Chef Art is originally from Florida, and the restaurant is a charming homage to the state of his birth. From colorful murals depicting Florida agricultural life to booths reminiscent of church pews, Homecomin’ is clearly full of Art’s very big love.

Chef Art Smith on Opening Day

Chef Art Smith on Opening Day

[Read more…]

Review: Raspberry Smoothie at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies

Do you remember, by chance, how much we loved the Iced Coffee Float at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies?

If not, then lemme tell ya. We loved it a LOT. But since there’s a new sipping spot/coffee joint in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland with Joffrey’s Revive Coffee Kiosk, the offerings at Auntie Gravity’s (also located in Tomorrowland) have changed up a bit.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think Joffrey’s Revive is a terrific addition to Magic Kingdom. But I have to admit I was bummed to find that one of the subsequent changes was the removal of Iced Coffee Floats from Auntie Gravity’s.

So, with that, it’s time to find a different sipper from Auntie (who still serves up soft-serve ice cream, too, by the way).

Ice Cream and Smoothies sign

Ice Cream and Smoothies sign

Fortunately, she still has a few tricks up her sleeve, as Auntie Gravity’s is one of the few spots where you can find Smoothies, available in Raspberry or Strawberry. [Read more…]

Review: New Menu Items at Starring Rolls Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Quiet on the set! There are some new lunch items available at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that we have to share!

Starring Rolls is a tiny cafe on the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard — doesn’t that location just scream show business? I usually swing by to check out its collection of sweet treats and pretty pastries, but the often-overlooked lunch options are worth a shot! Soups, salads, and sandwiches are the stars of the show at lunch time, and we suggest finishing off lunch with one of our all-time favorites, the Napoleon.

Ready?

Starring Rolls Cafe on Sunset Boulevard

Starring Rolls Cafe on Sunset Boulevard

And, ACTION!

[Read more…]

Review: Fried Green Tomato Sandwich at Fairfax Fare in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

EDITOR’S UPDATE: Now that Rosie’s All-American Cafe is reopen from its refurbishment, the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich is now being served there instead of Fairfax Fare. Rosie’s All-American is also located in the Sunset Ranch Market. 

Welcome back to Fairfax Fare in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Fairfax Fare is part of Sunset Ranch Market: a string of Counter Service spots on Sunset Boulevard, which also includes Anaheim Produce, Hollywood Scoops, Catalina Eddie’s, and Rosie’s All-American Cafe.

Altogether, they serve just about the full array of typical Counter Service favorites, from pizza and burgers to ice cream and grab-and-go snacks.

Fairfax Fare in particular is known for “Smoked Specialties” such as spareribs and chicken dishes. In fact, it’s quite the carnivore’s destination, when you think about it. So it was with definite curiosity that we tried a more recent addition to the menu, which just so happens to be a vegetarian entree: the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich.

Atmosphere

Fairfax Fare, with its simple setting and ordering windows blends right in with the other Sunset Ranch Market eateries along Sunset Boulevard.

Fairfax Fare

Fairfax Fare

Of course, even though it blends in with the typical scene, it does stand out a bit more at the moment due to its next door neighbors — Catalina Eddie’s and Rosie’s All-American Cafe — currently undergoing refurbishments. (They’re anticipated to reopen on November 20th). [Read more…]

New! Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cupcake with Maple Buttercream Icing in Disney World

Ready for a little “Pilgrim”-age to Hollywood Studios? Sorry — I had to.

We are back again with yet another delicious new disney cupcake over at DHS. Replacing the Halloween Carrot Cake Cupcake is the all new Thanksgiving Pumpkin cupcake!

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cupcake

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cupcake

These can, as usual, be found at many of the quick service spots around the park. Keep in mind that Rosie’s All American Cafe and Catalina Eddies’s are currently closed for renovations! We found this one at Fairfax Fare.

[Read more…]

Review: Lunch at The Diamond Horseshoe in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland

The last time we visited the rarely-open Diamond Horseshoe in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland was last summer.

Since The Diamond Horseshoe is only open seasonally for lunch (and very rarely for its buffet dinner during the absolute busiest weeks of year) it can be tricky to try it out. But with Liberty Tree Tavern closed for its current refurbishment — and therefore taking one Magic Kingdom lunch option off the table — it has been a wee bit easier to stop by the ol’ (dry ;) ) saloon these days.

True, by and large folks are getting ready to head back to school if they haven’t already (Where the heck is this summer going, by the way???), so the peak crowd days of the this summer season are suddenly behind us. But you never do know when The Diamond Horseshoe doors will open again, and you’ll want to be ready when they do!

So, back inside the Horseshoe we go!

Diamond Horseshoe

Diamond Horseshoe

Because even a place that depicts a bygone saloon era still goes through some changes now and then… it’s magic, you know ;). [Read more…]