The Year in Review: Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2014!

We are standing on the cusp of a brand New Year, and we can’t wait to see what 2015 holds in store for us — and Disney!

Top10DisneyFoodNewsStories

But we can’t wave goodbye to the old year without looking back on some of the biggest food news that happened throughout Disney Parks.

Most of this year’s big news happened at Walt Disney World, but we have a few memorable moments to share with you from Disneyland as well as other Disney Parks around the globe.

Today, we bring you a look back at 2014’s Biggest Disney Food News Stories! We have a LOT to cover — let’s get started!

First up, a little something I like to call…

The Beginning of Finally Doing Something with Pleasure Island

It’s the story we feel like we’ve been watching for years — what’s happening at Downtown Disney Orlando’s now defunct Pleasure Island??

Well, 2014 finally saw some solid progress, and the Disney Springs story seems to be coming to life.

An Artist's Rendering of Disney Springs

An Artist’s Rendering of Disney Springs

Lots of changes have made a trip to Downtown Disney a challenge in the last couple of years. But as the year draws to a close, the parking garages are open, and we are seeing some of the plans take shape!

2014 kicked off with a surprise restaurant opening of sorts — the House of Blues added a new counter service offering, The Smokehouse. We say surprise because we told you about the restaurant for the first time just days before the walls came down and the doors opened for business!

The Smokehouse at The House of Blues

The Smokehouse at The House of Blues

The Smokehouse is strictly a walk-up window venue. But the covered outdoor seating is pleasant, and you can often take in live music as you enjoy barbecue favorites, like their Beef Brisket Sandwich, St. Louis Ribs, or Smoked Turkey Legs.

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw from The Smokehouse

But it wasn’t all good news for Downtown Disney this year. Guests at T-Rex Cafe last Spring were in for some decidedly unpleasant dinner excitement, as one of the restaurant’s humongous fish tanks sprang a leak during dinner service!

However, no one was injured and all of the fish were reportedly rescued. We’re glad that all turned out happily in the situation, but we’ll never look at those huge fish tanks quite the same way again!

Also in the Spring, we said hello to a spot that’s quickly become one of our most favorite spots to shop in all of Walt Disney World — the Marketplace Co-op!

Disney Centerpiece

Disney Centerpiece

We have found some totally awesome stuff in the store’s Disney Centerpiece Section, including dishes, glasses, and other tableware that celebrate all of our Disney cult favorites. Whether you’re a Dole Whip fan or love memorabilia celebrating Tomorrowland, chances are you’ll find something that you’ve just gotta have!

Orange Bird Section

Orange Bird Section

Starbucks also continued to [Read more…]

Review: Hawaiian Shaved Ice at Kona Island in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Even if you’ve paid a visit to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, you may not be familiar with Kona Island.

This pleasant little stop upstairs in the Great Ceremonial House sits directly next to a much larger restaurant: Kona Cafe. So it can be pretty easy to pass by — unless you are in the know of its reputation for being one of the places on property where you can enjoy some sushi, or even a press pot of Kona Coffee, brewed to order.

Kona Island was closed for a while in the late summer to accommodate some of the construction going on at the Polynesian (among those changes, the eagerly-anticipated addition of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto to the resort).

Kona Island sign

Kona Island sign

But it reopened by the end of September, and more recently I finally had a chance to stop by and sample something I’d been curious about.

Kona Island

Kona Island

Kona Island

Kona Island

Hawaiian Shaved Ice is now part of the offerings. You can get all one flavor (“Kumau”) for $3.99, or a combo of two flavors (“Haukalima”) for $4.99.

Koan Island Hawaiian Shaved ice sign

Koan Island Hawaiian Shaved ice sign

While flavors may vary due to available syrups, I was able to choose from eight on the day of my visit: orange, passion mango, cherry, coconut, blue raspberry, strawberry, pineapple, and pina colada. I could’ve happily tried all eight flavors (and many thanks to the extremely patient Cast Member who waited while I took a crazy long time to decide!). But I ultimately chose a combo of pina colada and cherry.

Hawaiian Shaved Ice, cherry and pina colada

Hawaiian Shaved Ice, cherry and pina colada

The swirl of white (you can see it much better on the red cherry side) is [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: March 19, 2014!

It’s time to take another stroll around Disney World and see what’s new and awesome! We’ve got parade pics, Olaf apples, Gaston-themed headwear, and more! Won’t you please join us :) ?

Fun “Frozen” Finds

Everything’s coming up “Frozen” at Walt Disney World to celebrate the release of the movie on Blu-Ray and DVD.

Blue "Frozen" Treats

Blue “Frozen” Treats

Olaf the Snowman has been bestowed a true Disney character honor… He’s now a Candy Apple!

Olaf Candy Apples

Olaf Candy Apples

Keep an eye out for him in candy locations like Sweet Spells, Main Street Confectionery, Candy Cauldron, and Goofy’s Candy Company… I’m hoping he’s here for the long haul!

You may also spy some favorite treats in a blue hue for a very limited time, including Mickey Krispy Treats and Marshmallow Wands.

Blue "Frozen" Marshmallow Wands

Blue “Frozen” Marshmallow Wands

Downtown Disney

A recent walk around Downtown Disney revealed that  the Disney Food Trucks are making their way around. Previously housed primarily between Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues (and occasionally spotted in the grassy area next to Bongos Cuban Cafe), the Food Trucks we’re spotted in new and different places around the West Side.

For instance, the World Showcase of Flavors truck was parked across from Splitsville.

World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck across from Splitsville

World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck across from Splitsville

And Fantasy Fare has been spotted over in the Marketplace (this is the spot next to World of Disney where Santa’s Chalet can be found during the holidays).

Fantasy Fare Food Truck next to World of Disney

Fantasy Fare Food Truck next to World of Disney

However, the one thing certain about the Food Trucks is that they are ever-changing :) . And we know something new is coming thanks to these Food Truck Park signs found around Downtown Disney.

Food Truck Park coming to Downtown Disney Orlando

Food Truck Park coming to Downtown Disney Orlando

What’s to come? Only time will tell!

The first sure sign of spring at Disney World is the Flower & Garden Festival. But a smaller sign is seeing all the things available to stuff your Easter basket at Ghirardelli.

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

The Starbucks construction site on the Marketplace side is really starting to take shape. You can now see the triangular top peeking out above the walls, matching the “Coming Soon” artwork.

Starbucks Construction

Starbucks Construction

Artwork on construction walls for Starbucks

Artwork on construction walls for Starbucks

And as new things arrive, we also say [Read more…]

Review: NEW! Shave Ice at Prince Eric’s Village Market in Magic Kingdom

DFB author Wendy is back with a review of ANOTHER newly-opened Disney dining option! Let’s head over to the Magic Kingdom for a look… .

Prince Eric’s Village Market is now open in Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland at the base of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

So if you’re looking for a cool treat on a hot day in New Fantasyland, you may want to make a quick stop at this new kiosk with refreshing snack options.

Prince Eric's Village Market in NEW Fantasyland.

Prince Eric's Village Market!

Prince Eric’s Village Market features ice-cold beverages like Honest Ade Iced Tea, apple and orange juices, Odwalla fruit drinks, Vitamin Water, and bottled water.

Honest Ade.

Odwalla.

Fruit Drink Prices.

Disney continues to offer more [Read more…]

Shave Ice + T-Shirt at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawai’i!

Ah… couldn’t you use a trip to Hawai’i right about now?? Yeah. Me, too.

Well, today we’re gonna come pretty close by venturing virtually to Hawai’i courtesy of my awesome friend Eric! It’s time to talk shave ice at Disney’s Aulani Resort!

Eric recently spent a vacation at Aulani on Oahu, and indulged in this yummo shaved ice with condensed milk and ice cream! The syrups are pineapple and cherry flavored…

Shaved ice.

He also sent over a pic of a fun Disney food-themed shirt found at Aulani! [Read more…]

Favorite Ice Cold Snacks at Disney Parks

Recently we polled our Disney Food Blog Facebook Page for their answer to this question: “What are your favorite icy cold snacks and treats in Disney parks?”

Among the many awesome answers, the three chilling treats mentioned the most by our Facebook Friends were Dole Whips, Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars, and Kaki Gori shaved ice!

Favorite Ice Cold Snacks at the Disney Parks

Dole Whips

UPDATE: Dole Whip is no longer being served at Captain Cook’s, is no longer self-serve, and is no longer available 24 hours a day. You’ll now find Dole Whip at the Pineapple Lanai in Disney’s Polynesian Village in addition to Aloha Isle at the Magic Kingdom. You can also find Dole Whip available intermittently at Animal Kingdom’s Tamu Tamu Refreshments, and at Epcot during some special events. On the upside, you can also get a Dole Whip Float at Pineapple Lanai!

We heard your your 34 shout-outs (!!!) to the Dole Whip. Not surprisingly, this palate-pleasing treat was the clear winner!

Disneyland Dole Whip Float

The Dole Whip’s popularity may be partly due to the many versions offered. First, there’s Dole Whip soft-serve in vanilla, pineapple and orange. Guests can further customize their dish by ordering a swirl. Or opt for the [Read more…]