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

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.


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…]

Review: Fish & Chips at the Yorkshire County Fish Shop in Disney World’s Epcot

Are there any Disney experiences that are such important vacation traditions for you that, had they not taken place, you’d almost feel as though you hadn’t really been to Disney?

Allow me to give you an example: “I haven’t really been to Magic Kingdom until I’ve been on the Haunted Mansion.” Or, of course, any of these great first day at Disney traditions!

Well, mine ways always: “I haven’t been to Epcot until I’ve had Fish & Chips from the United Kingdom Pavilion.”

Is anyone with me here?

Let’s head back to the Yorkshire County Fish Shop for its signature dish!


The Yorkshire County Fish Shop blends in fairly seamlessly with the rest of the Pavilion. The shop itself stands independent of the seating areas, and can be identified by its forest green signage, which identifies (just about) everything on the menu: Fish & Chips!

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

It’s not at all unusual to find a line here at any time of day, but the midday lunch rush and the half hour before Illuminations are particularly busy.

Upon receiving your order, the next part of your adventure is finding a place to sit. There isn’t a ton of seating in the area, and the tables to the right (facing the Fish Shop) are rather large, not leaving a lot of options for smaller parties or more tables.

Tables to the right of the shop

Tables to the right of the shop

If you can score a table, you’re rewarded with some of the best views World Showcase can offer. However, be warned — you may also be visited by some birds… they are not even remotely shy here.

Even with more ample seating, it would likely be a struggle to find a place, because it’s nearly always hoppin’. There is a bit of additional seating with smaller tables towards the back of Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room.

Walkway to the back

Walkway to the back

This group of tables is separated from the Rose & Crown seating by a small wall, and it offers a bonus of being right by the water.

Back of Rose & Crown and Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Back of Rose & Crown and Yorkshire County Fish Shop

While these benches aren’t only for guests of the Fish Shop, they do offer enviable seating when you’re enjoying your fish & chips while waiting for Illuminations to begin.

View of World Showcase from the UK Pavilion

View of World Showcase from the UK Pavilion

For my part,  when I spent some (admittedly far too brief) time in London, I picked up fish & chips at a few stands that never had any sort of seating, and I just found a random place to sit wherever I could. So that’s exactly what I do at the UK Pavilion. I pass the gardens across the street and head towards the back.

Back of the UK Pavilion

Back of the UK Pavilion

Bench in UK Pavilion

Bench in UK Pavilion

We found a seat… now it’s time to tuck in!


Like I said, the signs on the Fish Shop tell you just about everything you need to know about the menu, specializing in only one entree…

Yorkshire County Fish Shop Menu

Yorkshire County Fish Shop Menu

Fish & Chips!

Fish & Chips

Fish & Chips

Prior to grabbing your spot, you’ll want to stop by [Read more…]

Review: Disney World Resort Quick Service Pasta Options

Thanks to DFB Author Wendy for a look at some great counter-service carb-loading options for your runDisney races this year!

Are YOU running the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler (or any of the other runDisney races this year)? If so, you might be interested in participating in a good old-fashioned carbo-load before your race!

Even if you’re not tackling those ten on October 5th… odds are good you’ll be putting in plenty of miles at the Parks at some point, no matter what.

It’s time to fuel up, people ;)!

Spaghetti time!

For those running one or more of the east coast races this season, there are plenty of places all over Disney World property where you can take part in the time-honored runners tradition of a pasta “carbo-load.”

Today we’re going to focus on some of your pasta options in the resort Quick Service restaurants.

Counter Service Pasta Options at Walt Disney World Resorts

Let’s start with this terrific trend: Create-Your-Own-Pasta stations are cropping up in a few of your favorite Quick Service restaurants!

Create Your Own Pasta

Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors already has a reputation for innovative and delicious dining, and you can read a full review of the Create-Your-Own-Pasta experience here.

Add-ins for Create Your Own Pasta at Landscape of Flavors

Spaghetti Carbonara with Broccoli

The Riverside Mill at Port Orleans Riverside also offers this fun option!

Riverside Mill

Create Your Own Pasta Options at Riverside Mill

Unique to the Grand Floridian’s recently refreshed Gasparilla Island Grill is a [Read more…]

How MyMagic+ Will Affect Disney Dining

Planning your Disney World vacation is about to change—big time. While making your Advance Dining Reservations 180 days in advance will still be important, MyMagic+ is going to make it easier to pre-plan your trip and maybe even save your Disney dollars at the same time!

We’ve outlined the basics of the new Walt Disney World Resort technology below, followed by a healthy dose of Disney dining tips for making the most of the new system — including how it will change your Disney Dining planning, and how you might save money using MyMagic+!!

How MyMagic + Will Affect Disney Dining

MyMagic+: The Basics

This past week, MyMagic+ — a new, tech-savvy planning process for your Disney vacation — officially rolled out across the Walt Disney World resort. Relying on RFID technology, this will create a “more immersive, more seamless and more personal experience” for guests, according to Disney Parks Blog.

A major piece of the MyMagic+ puzzle is the new My Disney Experience website and mobile app, which help guests plan their trip. The interactive tools allow guests to log in to book advanced dining reservations and ride times for popular attractions as well as parade and fireworks viewing locations with FastPass+. They’ll also make it easy to change those plans on the fly from any smartphone or Guest Relations kiosk.

All of that MyMagic+ data—including ride and meals times—will be encoded onto the new must-have Disney accessory: the MagicBand. These high-tech bracelets will replace the Key to the World card, becoming a room key, theme park ticket, PhotoPass card, FastPass and charge account in one.

MyMagic+ MagicBand

MyMagic+ MagicBand in action

Right now, guests saying at WDW resort hotels, Annual Passholders, and those who purchase PhotoPass will automatically receive a complimentary standard MagicBand. Upgraded wristbands, decorated with characters, will also be available for an additional fee.

Guests who stay off property will receive an RFID-enabled card, which will act as a park ticket, charge account and FastPass+ ticket, but they will have to purchase a MagicBand separately.

Don’t Forget Your MagicBand!

The new technologies will likely have a significant impact on your dining strategy, so we’ve put together a quick primer on how to make the most of MyMagic+:

Pay and Go

The most immediate and obvious impact of the MagicBand will be the ability to pay for snacks and quick service meals with the flick of a wrist.

Literally tap the RFID bracelet (or card for non-resort guests) against the sensor at the register to settle the bill on purchases of $50 or less quickly and efficiently. No more digging around for the Key to the World!

Schedule Your WHOLE Day

With the current system, FastPass dictates your return window based on how many FastPasses have already been distributed. On some days, it’s possible to arrive at Soarin’ at 9:30 a.m. only to be locked into a 6:35-7:35 p.m. return time. That presents a problem for those [Read more…]

Top 6 Disney Dining Plan Snack Credit Values for 2012

As always, we want to make sure all of us are getting the best value with our Disney Dining Plan snack credits!

For those who are unfamiliar with the Disney Dining Plan, it’s a way for guests to pre-pay for their dining when visiting Disney World. “Snack credits” are used by guest to purchase items like popcorn, candy, ice cream, and other low-cost treats.

I’ll list my top six choices, then you tell me your experiences. Let’s work together on finding the best snack credit deals!

Note that snack credits are usually accepted for items that are a single serving, and cost $4.50 or less (though some cost as much as $4.99 out of pocket).

1. Bakeries

A Disney Food Blog staff and reader favorite — bakeries! Not only can you use your snack credit for some incredible treats, but you can also get a pastry for your morning meal. Hey, it’s vacation!

Don’t forget to check out our Disney World Bakery Throw Down to see some of the very best spots to spend those credits.

Disney World Cinnamon Roll at Main Street Bakery

Consider some of these options at bakeries around Disney World: cinnamon rolls, butterfinger cupcakes, caramel cupcakes, white chocolate elephant cupcake, crepes, school bread…and so much more!

These are all great deals for one single snack credit.

2. Ice Cream Sundaes and Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed with what kinds of sundaes you can get for a snack credit in Disney World! Easily costing $4.50 or more out of pocket, these sundaes are awesome deals!

Stop by Storybook Treats in the Magic Kingdom to snag a Cookie Fudge Sundae that you can easily split between two! Other options at Storybook Treats include a Brownie Sundae and a yummy Strawberry Shortcake Sundae!

Hot Fudge and Caramel Cookie Sundae at Storybook Treats

Another ice creamy treat that’s not-to-be-missed is the homemade ice cream cookie sandwich. You can get these at all four parks, and while the snack credit payment option [Read more…]

Guest Review: Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort Dining

Welcome Ryan P. Wilson from one of my favorite blogs — Main Street Gazette — with a guest review from Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort. Let’s head to South Carolina – thanks, Ryan!

It may come as a shock to frequent Walt Disney World or Disneyland guests out there, but there is a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort that does not come complete with its own table service restaurant!

Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, located not surprisingly on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, actually spans two separate locations: the Beach House, which caters to the daily needs of beach-goers, and the main resort, which is outfitted with an assortment of guest rooms. Both of these areas have quick service locations, but today let’s stick to the resort itself.


Tide Me Over is the resort’s quick service stop, located in the Broad Creek Mercantile in the hub of the resort’s activity zone. Rentals of bicycles and fishing poles, the marsh-surrounded dock, campfire, swimming pool, and shop are all located in the same hub as the restaurant.

Unlike most dining establishments, however, all of Tide Me Over’s seating is outdoors. While some of the picnic tables are covered, the Mickey-posted stools offer up my favorite view!

Outdoor Seating

Of course, you always have the option of taking your food back to the room, or wherever your adventures are taking you that day. Guests even have the option to [Read more…]

Guest Review: Meadow Snack Bar at Fort Wilderness Resort

Welcome back guest author Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley with another guest review! This time she takes us to the Meadow Pool Bar at Fort Wilderness. And I love the awesome extra look around Fort Wilderness in this review — Yee-haw!

Deep in the winding wilderness, there’s an oasis of family fun waiting for you at the Meadow Recreation Area. Located near the center of Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, the Recreation Area is themed like a real old-fashioned swimming hole, with rustic wood touches; lots of open, grassy spaces; and stone-work details. It feels like an upscale summer camp … with very well-appointed bathrooms!

Meadow Swimmin’ Pool signage, which hangs over the entryway of the Snack Bar.


As you enter the Recreation Area, the Meadow Snack Bar—our stop for an afternoon cocktail—is on your right. The area reminded me less of the [Read more…]

Update: France Bakery Expansion in Epcot!

UPDATE: Menu info and slated opening date for new Epcot French Bakery And new ice cream shop! Plus, new name for Bistro de Paris will be “Monsieur Paul” — a fitting tribute to Chef Paul Bocuse!

While nothing is yet confirmed by Disney directly on this, we’ve got some GREAT potential news for those who love the France Boulangerie et Patisserie in Epcot (which, coincidentally, won our Bakery Throw Down!)

In a Notice of Commencement filed with Orange County on February 23, 2012, Walt Disney’s Operations Development department indicates that the bakery in Epcot’s France pavilion will be undergoing an expansion! Let’s hope for a more efficient queue as well as ample seating!

Seating Outside the Bakery in France

Proposed Improvements

The description of improvements specify that the France bakery will involve [Read more…]