Disney Food Post Round-up: March 12, 2017

Happy weekend! This is a super exciting weekend because not only is the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival in full bloom, but the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival has kicked off too!

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is Officially Underway!

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is Officially Underway!

We were at the Flower and Garden Festival on opening day for the 2017 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival with its Outdoor Kitchens! We have all the menus and food photos for you!!

This weekend we’re at the 2017 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival. Check out the full booth menus and all the food photos for the DCA Food and Wine Festival!

And don’t forget, the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival starts in August this year!

We have a lot to share with you this week, so let’s jump right in…

Disney Food News

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Review: Strawberry Cheesecake at Restaurantosaurus

You’re gonna hear us saying this a lot over the next several months: there’s a TON of stuff going on in the Disney food world at Animal Kingdom.

First we’ve got quality bites at Tiffins and Nomad Lounge. Second we will soon have two brand new dining options in Pandora — The World of AVATAR: Pongu Pongu and Satu’li Canteen. And third, old standbys like Yak and Yeti and Flame Tree Barbecue are still killin’ the food game. Animal Kingdom has stepped up the food game yet again.

But should you find yourself way over in Dinoland digging on something sweet and indulgent, adventure your way right over to Restaurantosaurus. It’s just past the spinning triceratops and across the way from the dig site. You can’t miss it.

While I LOVE Restaurantosaurus, we have had a bit of a hit or miss relationship with Animal Kingdom’s desserts-in-a-glass, and we’re happy to see them being replaced by better options. The Warm Turtle Brownie we tried recently was a big hit! And since we’re always open to try new things, on this visit we ordered the Strawberry Cheesecake.

Restaurantosaurus Strawberry Cheesecake

Restaurantosaurus Strawberry Cheesecake

Let’s just start by saying this ain’t a dessert in a glass. Look at that crust! It’s all graham crackers and buttery-ness! It’s just the right thickness to add texture without overwhelming the contents of its shell.

[Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: September 20, 2016

The Halloween decorations are up and the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival is ON! It MUST BE FALL in Walt Disney World!

Halloween Decoration in Magic Kingdom

Halloween Decorations at Magic Kingdom

So please join us for a very pumpkin-spiced edition of What’s New ;) ! [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 17, 2016

Happy Sunday! We hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

Funnel Cake Closeup

Funnel Cake Closeup

We’re so excited to announce the grand launch of the Disney Food Blog Guide to Epcot Snacks 2016-17 edition e-book! We’ve updated the instantly downloadable guide and this edition features more than 340 Epcot snacks, including more than 60 new snacks!

To celebrate the grand launch of the Disney Food Blog Guide to Epcot Snacks we’re offering the guide for a 25% discount off the cover price! Simply use the code Epcot16 at checkout to get the discount! And, as always the Disney Food Blog Guide to Epcot Snacks comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.

We have a lot to share with you this week, so let’s jump right in…

Disney Food News

[Read more…]

Review: Updated Menu and Premium Topping Bar at Animal Kingdom’s Restaurantosaurus

We’re stepping back into the Age of the Dinosaurs at one of our favorite Animal Kingdom eateries, Restaurantosaurus!

Okay, well… that’s not actually the case. Even though Restaurantosaurus is set in Animal Kingdom’s whimsical Dinoland, U.S.A., this Counter Service eatery is actually themed as a home base for paleontology students. Which they eventually turned into a restaurant. Which totally makes sense.

So while we’re not exactly traveling back to the Age of the Dinos (you’ll have to hop onto the Dinosaur attraction to do that), the paleontology students “visit” the prehistoric age all the time, as evidenced by the plentiful and often hilarious details tucked throughout the restaurant. It’s the superb theming that makes this one of our favorite Counter Service stops in the whole park.

But even though the students explore stuff that goes waaaay back, we’re actually here to explore some NEW items on the menu as well as some terrific additions to the Topping Bar (which, we gotta say, is now giving the famed Fixin’s Bar at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe a run for its money).

Wanna check it out?

Restaurantosaurus Sign

Restaurantosaurus Sign

Excellent! Then let’s take the advice from the ol’ water tower… [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: March 15, 2016

Happy Spring! At least, it’s Spring in Disney World where temperatures are starting to rise once more with warm days leading into gorgeous nights!

Springtime Treats at Main Street Confectionery

Springtime Treats at Main Street Confectionery

No matter what the thermometer says in your neck of the woods, why not enjoy a bit of spring with us here at the DFB as we travel all over Disney World to find out What’s New!? [Read more…]

DFB Reader Questions Answered: Where Can I Get a Free Counter Service Refill in the Parks?

We’re tackling another question from the DFB Reader mailbag today! Our reader asks:

Which counter service locations in Walt Disney World have self serve kiosks offering free refills?

This is an especially good question from a budget perspective. Since the Resort Refillable Mugs can’t be used in the parks, you might want to know where you can go to get more than one drink from the soda fountain. Let’s check out a couple of spots where you can grab a drink when you’re extra thirsty.

Disney Counter-Service Halloween Drink Cup

Just note: you do need to purchase a drink from these locations before filling up your cup again and again! Also, our DFB team members have checked with cast members at each location to confirm that refills are, indeed, allowed during your meal at the restaurant. [Read more…]

Review: Restaurantosaurus at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

When I’m in the mood for a “wild” lunch, I love to head to Restaurantosaurus at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Seriously — it’s one of my favorite counter service spots in all of Disney World!

This enormous restaurant, located in DinoLand USA, is super-themed…but you really have to look hard to see some of the great sight gags and imagineering details.

I recently met a friend for lunch here. It’s always fun to stroll around — I find something new every time I visit. But Restaurantosaurus usually boasts some interesting choices on its menu. I love their Chicken Nuggets, but who knows?…I may surprise you today!

Time to check in and see what’s new!

Atmosphere

While visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you may be tempted to write off Restaurantosaurus as just another fast food joint. That would be a mistake. There’s more to this place than just food. The quirky themeing transforms the eatery into an attraction.

Outside

Outside

And the fabricated history of DinoLand USA and Restaurantosaurus is fascinating. For the complete story, check out this history of the area. (You can read part two here.)

But for now, here’s the short version: Restaurantosaurus began life as the cafeteria for college students participating in a dig nearby. To subsidize their grant income, the students opened the Restaurant (isn’t that a great name?) to the public.

And where did the additional “osaurus” in the name come from? It seems that this is a running gag perpetrated by those zany college kids. Look around, and see if you can find just how many instances in which “osaurus” has been added to words. But the granddaddy of them all is, of course, adding it to the name of the restaurant.

The dormitory and restaurant grew over time, with residents adding whatever sound structures they could to expand the space. And just when you thought there was no use for that old Airstream…

Outside View of the Airstream

Outside View of the Airstream

Step inside, and you find the main hall, which houses the kitchen and ordering area. You can see it gets pretty busy during peak times. This picture was taken when the restaurant first opened for the day!

Ordering Area

Ordering Area

But before we settle down to consider our selections, let’s take a look around. Be sure to check out the lights. They’re one of the few design elements that feel like they’re here on purpose, rather than being scavenged. With the little dinosaur cut outs, they’re intricate and interesting.

Lighting

Lighting

Carve out some time just to meander while you’re here. There’s just so much to take in.

Decor

Decor

Homey kitchen items are stored close by, ready to be put to good use.

Kitchen Stuff

Kitchen Stuff

Check out the pictures and other mementos that the students have displayed.

Decor

Pictures, Postcards, and Knickknacks

As with other Disney restaurants, Restaurantosaurus is most likely much larger than you realize at first. There are several seating areas, all themed as different rooms. The feel is that the building was expanded over time.

Seating

Seating

My favorite spot remains the area affectionately known as “The Hip Joint”. Ha ha!!

The Hip Joint Sign

The Hip Joint!

This student hangout houses a half-court gym and lots of recreational equipment. And to expand seating, here’s where you’ll find that [Read more…]

Top 8 Restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is my favorite park in Disney World when I’m in it. The theming is incredible. I could wander around just looking at things there for days! But the other thing that keeps me coming back to Animal Kingdom again are some seriously awesome restaurants. This place has it all!

Mickey-Mouse-Tusker-House-417x625

Let’s take a look at some of our favorites — and what sets them each apart from the crowd.

Tusker House

If you haven’t booked a meal at Tusker House, then you’re missing out.

This sprawling restaurant sits on the main thoroughfare in Harambe Village within the Africa section of the park. And with some of the best immersive theming anywhere at Disney World, it’s hard to take in all of the intricate details and Imagineering here with just one meal.

Tusker House -- Outside View

Tusker House — Outside View

But it’s not just the surroundings that are interesting. Tusker House has some incredible food as well. Inspired by the flavors of Africa, you’re in for a treat whether you’re dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

We especially love the Spit-Roasted Meats. And taking advantage of the all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet may save you on other meals during the day.

Spit-Roasted Meats Are a Specialty at Tusker House

Spit-Roasted Meats Are a Specialty at Tusker House

Oh, and did we mention that one of your fellow Tusker House visitors is MICKEY MOUSE?!?

Eating a big breakfast will fill you up -- and cost less than dining big later in the day!

See Your Favorite Disney Friends in Safari Garb

That’s right! Tusker House offers Character Dining to Animal Kingdom guests, and Mickey and friends (Donald Duck among them) are dressed to go on a Kilimanjaro Safari with you!

Nomad Lounge

Just before the bridge into Pandora — The World of AVATAR, there is an oasis by the name of Nomad Lounge.

Nomad Lounge

Nomad Lounge

Love of travel is the theme for this beautiful bar, inspired by the adventures of the Disney Imagineers who designed the park itself.

Travel Banners

Travel Banners

Nomad Lounge Menu Intro Page

Nomad Lounge Menu Intro Page

Indoor and outdoor seating are both plentiful and beautiful.

Nomad Lounge

Nomad Lounge

Nomad Lounge Patio

Nomad Lounge Patio

While the small bites menu doesn’t blow us away, the drinks — both cocktails and mocktails — are creative, unique, and refreshing, and unlike offerings you’ll find elsewhere in Disney World.

Nomad lounge Specialty Cocktails

Nomad lounge Specialty Cocktails

We love the Hightower Rocks — a watermelon twist on your typical margarita!

Hightower Rocks

Hightower Rocks

Make sure your inner traveler plans a visit to Nomad Lounge!

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Looking for something exotic with an Asian twist? Then check out Yak and Yeti Restaurant. You can’t miss the big purple building in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom!

Themed as a grand home that’s been converted to a hotel, guests to the town of Anandapur are guaranteed to find

[Read more…]

What’s Your Favorite Restaurant in Each Walt Disney World Park?

One question I get asked ALL the time: “What are your favorite Disney restaurants?”

Favorite Walt Disney World Theme Park Restaurants

And my answer is always the same: “My favorites are always changing, because the only consistent thing about Disney restaurants is that they’re inconsistent!” That said, I do have a few that I head back to over and over again… .

It’s fun to seek out new things, to be sure. And Disney is always introducing new restaurants! But still, it’s always comforting to go back to the same place each visit and have your favorite meal.

So today, my question for YOU is: What is your favorite restaurant in each of the four Walt Disney World Parks? What table would you park your feet under during each and every visit if you could? (Or do you?)

I’ll share my picks first, and then I can’t wait for you to jump in by adding your answers in comments below!

Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom

Ah, Liberty Tree. You have been around since the dawn of time. (Or at least since pretty much the first day that Magic Kingdom was opened.)

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

And while lots of fantastic places to eat in Magic Kingdom have come about since then, I’d still eat at Liberty Tree Tavern during every single visit if I could.

Lots of Disney fans prefer dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern, which is a family-style, all you care to eat affair, offering carved meats and sides. Having traditional Thanksgiving foods all year around is a treat, after all! But I really prefer lunch, because I can get my favorite: the amazing Liberty Tree Tavern Burger!

Liberty Tree Tavern Burger

Liberty Tree Tavern Burger

And there’s no better way to finish the meal than one of my favorite Disney desserts, the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake! This has been on and off the menu in recent months, but we’re always glad when it’s on-again.

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom.

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake is a Must Have

Sometimes I have to resort to [Read more…]