Even More Top Disney Dining Tips from the Experts!

We are back with some great advice some of the best experts around when it comes to planning your Disney Dining — DFB Readers!

Top Disney Dining Tips from the Fans

Seriously, you guys are the best, and I’m always excited to learn new things from your experiences! So when it came time recently to update our Top Tips for Disney Dining, we turned to you for input and advice. And you responded with tons of great suggestions.

Check out just a few of them below, as we offer you even more Top Disney Dining Tips from the Experts!

Have a Plan…and Don’t Blow Those Snack Credits on Things You Can Get at Home!

It was important enough for several different DFB readers to mention — and expound on! Do not waste those precious Disney Dining Plan snack credits on something as ho hum and common as a piece of fruit or a bottle of water.

And…I have to agree here. You can get a banana and a Dasani in your supermarket at home. But when was the last time you waltzed into Kroger and picked up a Carrot Cake Cookie or Schoolbread?

Yep, they can sometimes pile up on you toward the end of the trip. So spend a little time planning beforehand so you don’t waste a single one. Here’s a TIP: DFB Snack Guides can come in handy for this endeavor; we have one for every park at Walt Disney World with our recommendations for the best snacks!

Carrot Cake Cookie at Writer's Stop in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Make Those Snack Credits Count with a Carrot Cake Cookie

Get the Dining Plan…And Don’t.

One of the most interesting suggestions for stretching your Disney Food Budget came from @Greg_Crowder: he suggested that you go halfsies on the Disney Dining Plan. He writes: “2 of us had the free plan a couple of years ago and 2 didn’t. The snacks and counter [service] meals were plenty for all 4 people.

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios Are Totally Shareable!

It’s true that Disney portions can be pretty big, and eating lots of large meals and rich snacks and then walking 100 miles a day may be a tall order. So if you’re willing to share, this can be an excellent way to keep costs down. It also means that you pre-pay, so your spending money goes a little further.

Just note that if you’re all staying in the same room, you all need to be on the same plan; so this tip only works if your compadres are in a different room.

Don’t Forget About Resort Restaurants.

Many readers chimed in that visitors should never forget to check out resort dining options, saying that you should definitely venture out of the Park for incredible food. Resort restaurants offer some of the most amazing dining on property.

Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well-seasoned Butter Chicken and Chicken Vindaloo

Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well-seasoned Butter Chicken and Chicken Vindaloo at Sanaa — Be Sure to Schedule a Meal Here

Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was mentioned lots of times. For instance, reader David Mendoza says: “Whether you are staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or not, make the trip to the Sanaa restaurant. Wonderful food and such a picturesque setting, watching the beautiful animals as you dine on some of the most awesome food in Disney World! A real must see! And when you are done you can take a stroll and get even closer to the animals. Truly a wondrous place.”

I couldn’t agree more! (Read my latest Sanaa review here.)

Allergies and Food Sensitivities? No problem.

We’ve written about it lots of times — Disney is tops when it comes to serving guests with allergies, food sensitivities, and special diets. And our readers are eager to agree that Disney routinely goes above and beyond to ensure their guests have the best experience possible, regardless of their dietary limitations.

Jiko Allergy-Friendly Menu -- Appetizers -- Click to Enlarge

Example of Jiko’s Allergy-Friendly Appetizer Menu

Ann Hooghuis Dealy weighs in by saying, “If you have food allergies or sensitivities [Read more…]

Snack Series: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake and Key Lime Pie at Boardwalk Bakery

I’ve fallen into a bit of a habit when it comes to walking the Boardwalk in Walt Disney World, and it always includes heading into the Boardwalk Bakery to check out what’s new!

This big bakery with a teensy-tiny little sales area for purchasing goodies is a hidden gem and hot-spot when it comes to unique, can’t-get-em-anywhere-else sweets and savories like the Cheesecake Brownie and Mickey Face Cake.

Atmosphere

As I said, while the bakery itself is large (they create baked goods and wedding cakes for the area), the area where guests can actually purchase things is very small. Almost an afterthought.

Boardwalk Bakery Sign

And as much as I love Boardwalk Bakery, the big detractor is the lack of indoor seating. Rain or shine, sweltering or less sweltering, you have to take your purchase outside to eat it. Sure there’s a bit of an overhang, but that hardly constitutes indoor seating.

Bakery Seating

Still, it can be very nice — should the weather cooperate — to sit outside and enjoy the view of Crescent Lake. There’s also great people watching to be had here! (If you see me say Hi — I’ll be the one with the camera who’s super sweaty and probably running late for something…and I’ll likely still have chocolate on my face from something or other.)

Eats

Still, this is a terrific spot to have in your back pocket as you head off to a busy day in the parks. They have a variety of [Read more…]

Disney Food Tips: Everything You Need to Know About Disney Snacks

We all know how important snacks have become in Disney World and Disneyland.

With some serious innovation on Disney’s part, snacks are no longer just a between meal throwaway, but something that inspires full-blown planning sessions! The day of snacks has dawned in Disney parks!

A lot of this is due to folks wanting to get the best value for their snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan in Walt Disney World. But the newly available variety of snacks also means that it’s much easier to piece together a less expensive mini-meal than it ever has been before.

Note that in mid-2015, Disney updated the definition for a “snack” on the Disney Dining Plan. It now includes many more items, like cups of soup, plain caramel apples, two scoops or less of hand-scooped ice cream (yep, sundaes too!), any menu item listed as a side, and any single-serving, non-alcoholic beverages.

We’ve put together a lot of info about Disney snacks over the past few years, and with so many trips coming up for our readers it’s time to share them all in one place.

Hope this is helpful, and don’t forget to share your best Disney snack tips with us in the comments. I’d appreciate hearing and sharing what you’ve learned!

A classic Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar!

Best Disney Dining Plan Snack Values

When using the Disney Dining Plan, it’s important to make the most of your snack credits.

Don’t waste a credit on an inexpensive and/or less-than-stellar treat; indulge in a snack that will be memorable!

Here are our favorite ways to use a snack credit. One of our favorite tips: if you’re lucky enough to be visiting Epcot during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, use those snack credits for trying international, tapas-sized dishes.

Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Best Chocolate-Covered Disney Snacks

If you enjoy a snack even more once it’s dunked in chocolatey goodness, we suggest trying any of our Top 5 Chocolate Covered Snacks.

From a caramel delight at Karamell-Küche, to the iconic Mickey Ice Cream Bar, chocaholics can make the most of their snack credits (or vacation dollars) with these decadent treats.

Chocolate-Covered Sea Salt Caramel at Karamell Kuche in Epcot

Top 5 Disney Take-Home Snacks

Let’s face it. Disney departure day is a complete bummer. And I find it [Read more…]

Tips For Visiting the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is coming up soon, and we’re already covering the latest news about the event.

Shrimp Tacos, Rib Eye Tacos, Flan and Strawberry Lime Margarita from the Mexico Booth

You can “follow the festival” on our Food and Wine Festival page here, and start making plans to attend September 28-November 12, 2012.

This annual event showcases food, wine, and other beverages from around the globe at marketplaces set up around Epcot’s World Showcase. You can also take advantage of some of the great seminars, demos, and events going on throughout the festival!

So, to kick off our coverage appropriately, let’s take a look at our…

Fun Tips for Visiting the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Here are a few of our favorite dining tips when it comes to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! I hope they’re helpful, and that you’ll share some of your great tips, too!

1. Make It A Meal

The World Showcase Booths around the Lagoon offer some great eats in small, appetizer sizes! Save one or two (or three!) meals for “eating around the World” Showcase.

Some of the perennial favorites include: Canada’s Cheddar Cheese Soup; Australia’s Shrimp on the Barbie; Italy’s Baked Cheese Ravioli; Argentina’s Grilled Beef Skewer; Poland’s Pierogies; and Germany’s sausage. We’re hoping that griddled cheese is [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…]

9 Top Tips for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is now less than a month away! And we asked Epcot Food and Wine Festival Fans on facebook to share their personal tips for navigating the festival!

We received some valuable information that has been Festival-tested! For example, Michelle O. shared a personal experience warning of the dangers of sipping around the world before attending a seminar on The World’s Sharpest Knife. Learn from her experience. Bring first-aid or sip AFTER the knife session!

Here are a few more tried and tested tips…

Tip #1: Share

Facebook Fans Michelle J. and Susan S. advise Festival-goers to share their eats with family and friends. Joline S. agrees: “Share what you buy so you have enough room to try more things.”

Heather P. likes to share too! “If you want to try more than one item at each booth have everyone that is with you order something different so that you all can have a taste.”

Sharing is Caring at the Ireland Booth: Lava Cake, Fisherman's Pie, and Meade

Tip #2: Meal Planning and Touring Strategies

Sometimes planning ahead and taking your time while at the festival are the best ways to make sure you’ll be able to sample everything that you want. (Psst… taking a look at our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus and Food Photos will help with the planning ahead!)

Christopher N. has mastered a dining (and grazing!) technique: “We plan a day where our lunch and dinner dining is at the festival booths. We start at one end of World Showcase with a preplanned idea of what items we want to try. We take our time and [Read more…]

2012 Disney Dining Plan Changes

Details for the 2012 Disney Dining Plans have begun to be unveiled! See Pricing below (thanks to reader Pudge the Fish for this!). And there are a few changes you need to know about if you’re planning a 2012 trip.

Standard Disney Dining Plan to Include Refillable Mugs

Let’s look at the thirst-quenching addition first. The standard Disney Dining Plan will include refillable mugs!

Our first clue that this addition was likely in the works was via the release of the Virgin Holidays 2012 free dining package details for United Kingdom guests. And we can now confirm that refillable mugs will be included in all standard Disney Dining Plan packages! You’ll receive one refillable mug per person for refills at quick-service locations ONLY in your Disney resort hotel.

Refillable Mugs

Quick-Service Dining Plan Reduces Snack Quota to One Per Day

Quick Service Disney Dining Plans didn’t fare as well for the 2012 season. If you love snacks (cupcakes, Dole Whip and more!), the significant change is that [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 12, 2011

Jiko Tasting Wines

Hi everyone! As summer vacations start revving up, we’re looking forward to sharing lots of news with you in the coming weeks as the dates for the Disney Food Blog’s WDW Foodie Fest and The 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival grow nearer.

Summer travelers, don’t forget to keep hydrated while touring the parks and seek out air-conditioning dining locations for rest breaks, snacks and meals!

Latest Disney Food News

New Disney Food Blog Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Review

Thanks to Jenn at Chip and Co for reviewing the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book!

There are tips for saving money, where to find last minute reservations, and how to celebrate special occasions. In other words, this book has everything and even helps the most experienced Walt Disney World traveler figure out how to plan a trip around meals, or at least enjoy their eating experience while at the parks!

You can read her full review here.

Get your copy of the book here!

Now, On to the Round-Up!

A Wedding Cake Blog inspires our inner princesses with a Cinderella engagement cake — Kardashian style.

Eating (and Drinking) Around WDW is anticipating the 2011 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic! Check out what he’s signed up for here.

Main Street Gazette takes us to dinner at Tutto Italia.

DAPS Magic celebrated his birthday in Disneyland with a fantastic Muppets cake!

Everything Walt Disney World explains how to work those snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan!

Fruitnet reports that Chiquita Brands International has signed an exclusive deal with the Walt Disney Co. to bring their products into the parks, resorts, and cruise line.

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!”: Snacks and Drinks

We’ve recently started a fun new series based on the Food Network’s (very cool) show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Due to some keen suggestions from readers, we’re splitting our series up into different sections: breakfast, appetizers & side dishes, snacks & drinks, entrees (lunch & dinner), and desserts.

Today, we’re taking a look at Snacks & Drinks! I’ve done my favorite brand of informal polling (i.e. posted questions on twitter and facebook ;) ) to find out others’ experiences of the “Best Thing They Ever Ate” — snacks and drinks style — in Disney parks and resorts. To be sure, the answers sounded veeeery similar to our recent post about the Best Value for your Snack Credits, but we had a few different ideas as well!

Snacks

Who doesn’t indulge a bit with some of the great snacks available on a trip to Disney? Here are a few of the favorites, as determined by Disney Food Blog readers:

Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a classic! The Mickey Premium bar has been sweetening Disney trips for years, and I doubt that will stop anytime soon. While other ice cream treats come and go, I’m pretty sure you can count on the Mickey Bar to be available just about everywhere you can find the Big Cheese himself.

Mickey Premium Bar

Thanks again to Morgan! (Photo courtesy Morgan and Jeff Rooks via flickr)

School Bread

This Norwegian delight is a staple in the World Showcase and a favorite of [Read more…]

The Five Best Uses for Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits

News Alert!
The Disney Food Blog Newsletter has officially been established! We’ll be sharing our favorite Disney Dining tips, tricks, and resources as well as the latest news and discounts with you every month. There will also be exclusive content just for DFB Newsletter readers!

So head over to that little subscribe button to the right and join us! :-)

Now returning to your regularly scheduled Disney Food Blog post…
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UPDATE: Check out our Top 6 Uses for a Disney Dining Plan Snack Credit for 2012 here!

We had a reader question about the best way to use Disney Dining Plan snack credits, and my mind jumped back to the first year I used a Disney Dining Plan. We had no idea what to do with our snack credits, so we ended up buying a whole bunch of bottled water the last two days of the trip just to use them up!

So, believe me, I know the need for good snack credit advice. I opened it up to the Disney Food Blog twitter and facebook crowds last week. Here’s the word from the experts on the best way to use up your Disney Dining Plan snack credits!

1. Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths

I have to list these first, because they’re just such an incredible deal for a snack credit. For those visiting during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival (October 1-November 16, 2010), most of the international booths around the World Showcase promenade accept snack credits as payment for their menu items!

Food and Wine Festival Booth Menu

My suggestion? Save all of your snack credits, then “eat around the World” for at least one meal! How far do you think you can get before those credits run out…or you’re stuffed to the gills? :)

Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Roll

2. Bakeries

You know we love our bakeries and cafes here on the Disney Food Blog, and bakeries came up as the most suggested venues for snack credit use in our twitter and facebook polling.

Breakfast is a great time to use your credits at a bakery, because you can often get cereal with milk, or a portion of oatmeal for one credit. Of course, you can also get cinnamon rolls, butterfinger cupcakes, paw print brownies, crepes, school bread[Read more…]