What’s New Around Walt Disney World: June 4, 2014

For this round of “What’s New,” we’ve got food news (and menu changes galore) from every single Disney World park… and beyond! So settle, in, make yourselves comfy, and join us to see What’s New!

Animal Kingdom

We’ll start with the fact that Dole Whip (with or without rum, y’all) can now be found at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom’s Africa! (Yep; we’ve had confirmation from Dole that it IS indeed authentic Dole Whip Pineapple Soft Serve.)

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Pineapple Soft-serve (Dole Whip!) menu

Pineapple Soft-serve (Dole Whip!) menu

But we don’t want to miss the chance to mention that Tamu Tamu has also brought back some old favorites with a recent menu refresh: The Slow-cooked Pulled Beef Sandwich is back (hooray!), along with the return of the Quinoa Salad. The Roasted Chicken Salad and gorgeous Fresh Fruit Salad made the cut from the previous menu.

Tamu Tamu Menu

Tamu Tamu Menu

Inside the pulled beef sandwich

Inside the pulled beef sandwich

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

And I’m very happy to say that the Fresh Fruit Bowl is back in time for summer!

Fruit Bowl at Bradley Falls Kiosk

Fruit Bowl Salad

The Fruit Salad has returned to Bradley Falls, too.

Bradley Falls menu

Bradley Falls menu

Remember, Bradley Falls operates seasonally, so if it’s closed during your visit, it’s good to know you can head over to Tamu Tamu for a Fresh Fruit Bowl.

Have you seen (or heard?!) this awesome Musical Tumbler found at various food locations throughout Animal Kingdom? Get the full scoop here!

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

The Royal Anandapur Tea Company is a perfect spot to grab a cup of hot tea (assorted varieties available) or coffee. However, they’re currently offering some flavored Iced Teas in light of the warmer temps.

Royal Anandapur Tea Company Menu

Royal Anandapur Tea Company Menu

Though not food-related, I’d like to offer this next picture as a small tribute. Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade wrapped up its nearly 13-year run as Animal Kingdom makes way for all sorts of new adventures. I don’t think I’m speaking solely for myself when I say this unique, beautiful and fun parade will be missed.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade

Magic Kingdom

The Lunching Pad has added one more option to its gourmet hot dog selection: the BLT Hot Dog joins the Coney Island Dog and the Philly Cheese Steak Dog.

Lunching Pad Menu

Lunching Pad Menu

Now, here’s something you don’t see everyday… this next bit is not a new item, but rather a new [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 5, 2013

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Don’t forget to indulge in our Disney Magarita Gallery today!!

And there’s plenty of fun Disney food news this week, but we hope you’ll check out our FULL review of the incredible, newly re-opened Boardwalk Bakery!

See some of our favorite new treats here!

Disney Food News

Let’s take a look at a few of the big news items this week…

  • Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World has unveiled a new lunch menu!
  • The Garden Grove at the Disney World Swan and Dolphin will offer a Mother’s Day Brunch this year!
  • The California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will re-open late summer/early fall 2013 with a new look and a new menu. Here are even more pics from the new California Grill menu!
  • Read our FULL review of the Grand Re-opening of Disney’s BoardWalk Bakery!
  • L’Artisan des Glaces will open in June as the place to stop in Epcot’s France pavilion for ice cream and sorbet. Find out what flavors will be offered!
  • Check out the Jungle Juice at Harambe Popcorn in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World — and the brand new treat that I dreamed up!!

And there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including Mother’s Day Dining at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen and the CHOC Walk at Disneyland.

Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

From the newly re-opened BoardWalk Bakery, Reader Deanne sends us this delectable photo exclaiming “@disneyfoodblog made me do it! #startmydietmonday”. Awesome!

BoardWalk Bakery Goodies!

And a huge thanks to Andy Jackson from Eating (and Drinking) Around the World for this FUN find. The DFB Team LOVES this new t-shirt at Disney World!

Food Critic Shirt!

Awesome Deal! Pre-Order A 2013 Disney Dining Guide and get the 2012 Edition for FREE!

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Then you will be automatically emailed the 2013 Guides when they’re published. Get two editions for the price of one and start planning right away.

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46 days of special events, 29 food and beverage tasting booths, and celebrity chefs to meet? How do you fit it all in without breaking the budget? Make sure you make the most of your time and money at Disney World’s Food & Wine Festival!

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On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix tempts us with a fun new Turkey Leg Watch, Mickey Ice Cream Bar Tee

DisneyCaribbeanBeach.com enjoys s’mores on the beach!

Disney Postcards shared this fun 1965 Pepsi commercial from Disneyland. Yep! Pepsi used to sponsor the Golden Horseshoe in Disneyland!

Disney Parks Blog gives delicious ideas for Mother’s Day in Disneyland!

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World noshes around World Showcase at Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival.

Changing Latitudes drinks around World Showcase in Epcot.

Main Street Gazette shares an awesome photo from the 1986 campaign for the cookbook “Cooking with Mickey“!

The Press-Enterprise announces a Mother’s Day brunch with Cinderella at the Disneyland Hotel.

News! Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Unveils New Lunch Menu…With Some Surprises!

The Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa has debuted a new lunch menu! And we have all the details and a few pics courtesy of guest author Julie B.!

You all know how much I LURVE Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village (BUTTER CHICKEN!!!). And I’m excited to share that there have been some interesting changes made to the lunch offerings since our recent Sanaa lunch review.

In fact, it’s the most dramatic menu makeover since the restaurant opened.

Let’s take a look at what’s been updated…

Bread Service

The Sanaa bread service has been a major fan favorite for years. Basically, you’ve always been able to get a choice of three breads (including the gorgeous and buttery Naan bread) and three accompaniments for $8.99.

A Few Bread Service Choices -- Naan - Onion Kulcha - Paneer Paratha

Now, Sanaa diners can pay an additional $2 to receive all nine accompaniments with the bread service! Just two bucks and NO MORE CHOOSING!

Bread Service Menu.

You’ll get all those delicious sauces and chutneys for $10.99! Seriously good deal.

All nine bread service accompaniments!

Appetizers and Salad Sampler

The Appetizer Sampler for Two has changed its offerings.

OLD Appetizer Sampler for Two -- Potato and Pea Samosas - Lamb Kefta - Roasted Cauliflower

NOW, instead of samosas, lamb kefta kabobs, and roasted cauliflower, it features samosas, lamb kefta sliders, and a choice of Seasonal Soup or Chana Tikki (a new appetizer described as Spiced Chickpea Cakes with Tomato Chutney).

Appetizers and Salad Sampler.

The Lamb Kefta Sliders have replaced the former kabobs, and a seasonal soup is now a regular feature on the menu.

Never fear, the totally awesome Tomato Soup with Paneer Cheese is still there!

Tomato Soup with Paneer Cheese is safe on the menu!

Two new salads have appeared on the salad sampler – Kachumbari (didn’t get a detailed description, the Cast are still getting used to everything, too) and Mango salad. These replace the Golden Lentils and Tomato Salad, and the Roasted Beets salad.

Slow-cooked in Gravy

Another menu change Julie got to sample personally was the different variety of “Slow-cooked in Gravy.”  She says:

You can sleep soundly tonight knowing your beloved [Read more…]

Review: Sanaa at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

On a recent whirlwind trip to Disney World, I planned to get together with friends for lunch. I had a hankering for the totally incredible Butter Chicken at Sanaa, so I couldn’t wait to head over there for lunch!

This wonderful restaurant, located at Animal Kingdom Lodge‘s Kidani Village, still flies under the radar. However, in the past, it has been the location of some of my very favorite meals.

And, let me tell you dear DFB readers, it is going to be VERY difficult to edit this review considering how much I want a big ol’ plate of that Butter Chicken right now. I had half a twix bar in preparation, but I don’t think it’s going to do the trick.

That said…we’re off to the races!

Atmosphere

You’ll find Sanaa at Kidani Village, the portion of Animal Kingdom Lodge that’s a Disney Vacation Club property.

Outside of Sanaa

The same care and attention to detail that went into the decor of Animal Kingdom Lodge is at play here as well. The soaring lobby greets you with colorful African decor and a thatched roof! I love it!

Kidani Village Lobby

Once you get to the restaurant downstairs, you’ll see why they chose the name. The word “sanaa” is Swahili for art, and is the perfect description of this beautiful spot that marries handcrafted artisan touches with food that’s prepared with care and tradition.

Sanaa is open for lunch and dinner. We suggest lunch or an early dinner for first timers — more about that in a minute.

Sanaa Hours

The entrance features some beautiful, handcrafted African artwork. The beads that line the podium are gorgeous.

Entrance

Look closely at the mats on the wall and you’ll likely spy a Hidden Mickey! We have two more hidden mickeys for you in this post — can you find [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: How to Avoid Crowds When Dining in Disney World

If you’ve ever eaten at a crowded Disney World restaurant, you KNOW it’s not something you want to repeat.

Endless lines, deafening volume, long waits for tables (or sometimes even having to sit on the floor at counter-service restaurants)…it’s definitely not a “magical moment.” After all, vacations are for relaxing — especially at meal times!

We know that you want to make the most of every moment of your trip, and that means eating when the restaurants aren’t crowded — and taking advantage of rides and attractions when restaurants are busy. You need stress-free Disney Dining!

Our recommendations will give you a chance to unwind, enjoy a great meal (or quick and tasty pick-me-up), and get you back to the Walt Disney World attractions! We’ve done the meal time research for you! After years of touring the parks and countless meals at Disney World, we’ve gathered tips to avoid the crowds!

Book an early ADR to get a great table without the crowds!

In our The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book, we have a whole section dedicated to avoiding crowds in Disney World. Pick up your copy here for an extra $4 off using code 2013 for a limited time!

With our in-depth DFB Guide, you’ll learn tips for avoiding the crazy in Disney World — and ensure  you have a relaxing and nourishing meal so you’re ready to get back out to the parks. Don’t go on your vacation without these tips for stress-free dining!

3 Awesome Tips to Avoid Disney World Dining Crowds

Let’s get right to our meal time strategies that we’ve included in the DFB Guide to make the most of your Disney Dining without the crowds.

We found Tortuga Tavern empty at 11am during a June visit! An hour later, there were no seats available!

1. Dine at “Off-Times”

If you’re visiting Disney World during a busy time (yes, Spring Breakers, Summer visitors, Christmas Folks, that includes you!), finding a restaurant without a wait will be difficult.

Still, crowds thin after the throngs depart during major meal rushes. We suggest avoiding 8-9AM, noon-1:30PM, and 6-7PM. We’ve found that booking meals for “brunch” at 10:30 or 11AM, late lunch at 3 or 4PM, or late dinner at 8 or 9PM works well for avoiding the crowd crunch. For counter-service restaurants, we [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Getting Kids to Try New Foods at Walt Disney World

It’s no secret that my daughter Louisa is more than a little produce averse. There was a period of about four years when NO fruit or vegetable crossed her lips, and even now at age 12 she still has to be cajoled into having more than a bite or two of something as innocuous as sweet potato or banana.

Frozen bananas, a gateway fruit.

So you can imagine my surprise when, on a recent trip to the Animal Kingdom’s Yak & Yeti restaurant, she consumed nearly the entire plate of wok-fried green beans we had ordered for the table. It was one of those parenting moments where you hold your breath and move slowly so as to avoid breaking the spell.

Yak & Yeti wok-fried green beans. My hero!

Those Yak & Yeti yummies didn’t turn Louisa into an inveterate bean eater, but she is now occasionally willing to nibble on a tempura string bean if we’re out for Japanese. Based on our prior track record with legumes, I’m going to count that solidly in the win column.

The Theme Park Food Effect

What was it about the Yak & Yeti beans that made Louisa such a fan? Yes, they were quite tasty, and yes, the green part was handily obfuscated by a crunchy, yumtastic fried breading coating; but we had tried similar ploys in the past to no avail. My theory is that the Yak & Yeti beans were flavored by the spice of (cue the orchestra) The Theme Park Food Effect.

Much like campers will say that meals eaten on the trail are the BEST, you know that their experience is colored by the fact that their senses are overwhelmed and they’re starving from an [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Great Disney World Restaurants for Boys

Much fuss is made about the ballyhooed princess dining experiences at Disney World. So much fuss, that parents of young boys sometimes find themselves wondering, “What does Disney have that’s special for me?”

The down and dirty dino loving boy will be right at home at the T-Rex Cafe.

Well, never fear sports fans; I’m here to tell you that while, yes, the girly girls are pretty visible in the parks (it’s hard to miss the Florida sun glinting off a tiara), there are plenty of Disney dining experiences where the men in your family will feel right at home.

Let’s break it down …

Character Meals

There are 10 different character dining venues at Walt Disney World proper. Of these, only three and a half of them have princess themeing. The rest are totally gender-neutral.

Boys are certainly welcome at any of the princess meals, and many boys love them just as much as the other character meals (PLUS they’re given a neato plastic sword at the Royal Table); but honestly, they do skew more heavily toward girl interests.

All of the other character dining restaurants appeal equally to boys and girls. Your best options for boys in the character dining department are the following (characters are always subject to change): [Read more…]

Tip from the DFB Guide: Free Tours at Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants

We’ve added lots of fun and new dining info to our updated e-Book — The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013. One of my favorite tips in the book is the recommendation of the free tours at the Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants! Yep, free!

After you read all about this great Disney Dining Tip, learn more about our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining grand launch — including a limited-time discount code — here!

Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurant Tours

The Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World is known for quality table-service restaurants that offer some exotic menu items and exquisite, African-themed decor. But there’s a way to explore the restaurants without actually dining there!

Learn The Meaning Behind the Decor At Jiko Restaurant

Jiko, Boma, and Sanaa offer half-hour culinary tours each day! These tours cover some of the decor and meaning behind the architecture of the restaurants, and also explain certain menu items. You may even get to sample some of the restaurant’s dishes.

You can see our review of the Boma and Jiko Tour here.

Seating at Sanaa

When you don’t have time to eat at each restaurant, [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 1, 2012

Pomegranate Martini Conquers Everest

Happy April Fool’s Day! No tricks here, today — just treats!! In the Disney Food news this week, we take a look at Springtime treats, new menu items, more menu changes, and some new adult beverages!

We’ve also gathered some really fun and fascinating reads in the round-up. Cheers!

Disney Food News

Here’s the latest…

We’ve got more delicious news on our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!



The DFB Podcast Second Episode

Episode 2 of the DFB Podcast is rarin’ to go! In this episode, we’re talking about some of our newest counter-service finds, answering listener questions, and awarding our first DFB Podcast Trivia prize!! :-) Head on over and click on the Mac and Cheese Hot Dog!

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it. :-)

If you have any Disney dining questions, send them along to us to be answered on the podcast! Just contact us here, and put PODCAST in the subject line!

On to the Round-Up

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups heads to the Wilderness Lodge for breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Pixie Crust throws a vintage Disneyland party featuring Dole Whip cupcakes!

AllEars.net tours Europa – the adult entertainment district aboard the Disney Fantasy!

Disney Tourist Blog reviews one of my favorite counter service spots in Disneyland — the Plaza Inn!

Main Street Gazette samples the new Slow-roasted Pulled Beef Sandwich at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in the Animal Kingdom.

Laughing Place reviews one of the rotational dining restaurants on the Disney Fantasy — Animator’s Palate! But Inside the Magic didn’t love the Animator’s Palate food on the Fantasy — see why here!

stuff from the park looks at a vintage menu from Disneyland’s Cafe Orleans.

DisneyContemporary.com shares a recipe for Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta from the California Grill. Love this stuff!!!

Dessert Menu Changes at Sanaa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Sanaa, the table-service restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village, features an African- and Indian-inspired menu, delicious food, and gorgeous savanna (read: Zebra! Giraffe!) views.

While many of us don’t need any further enticement to return to Sanaa, there’s a new dessert on the menu that looks delicious!

Check out the Banana Kulfi Sundae with warm chocolate sauce, strawberries, and spiced cashews for $5.49. Looks amazing, right? I hope I get to try it soon.

Sanaa Dessert

Dessert at Sanaa

Also note that the Chai Cream is no longer available as a single-serving option; however it remains part of the Dessert trio, which includes [Read more…]