Review: Red Velvet Peppermint Shake and Other Holiday Snacks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Thanks in part to a little annual shindig known as The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, Hollywood Studios has a reputation for spreading holiday cheer in its own unique way… and that’s right down to the snacks!

This year there are a few newcomers to the mix as well as some old favorites. We were so excited to find these killer new snacks to share with you!

Red Velvet Peppermint Shake

Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner is playing host to a VERY hidden holiday gem… so well hidden, in fact, that you can’t even see it on a sign.

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner Menu

On the menu, you just see the simple mention of “Seasonal Shakes.” I took it upon myself to find out exactly what that means in regards to the Yuletide… and THIS is what I found: the Peppermint Shake!

Seasonal Peppermint Shake

The name “Peppermint Shake” is actually a bit misleading. The peppermint comes solely from the crushed candy cane on top of the whipped cream. The base, however, is made of Red Velvet ice Cream.

Seasonal Peppermint Shake

That mild cocoa flavor that Red Velvet is known for is [Read more…]

Review: Peanut Butter and Candy Bar Brownies at The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Not so long ago, I took a trip to The Mara, the Quick Service location at Animal Kingdom Lodge to check out the Giraffe and Zebra Cupcakes. But when I posted my review, we also shared pics of a couple of delicious looking brownies that we’d seen at the bakery… .

Peanut Butter Brownies in bakery case

Candy Bar Brownies in the bakery case

I guess they grabbed the attention of a few DFB Readers as well :), because when I read over the comments on that article, several went something like this:

“Yep, the cupcakes look great. But, ummm… HELLO! What can you tell me about that Peanut Butter Brownie?!?” (And THIS is exactly why DFB Readers are So. Great. :) )

So, with that… it’s back to The Mara we go!


Located on the ground floor of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Mara is one of the more interesting quick service locations in Disney World.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Mara offers unique eats in a unique setting. From African Stew and a delicious variety of soups to something on the menu called an “African Chili Cheese Dog” (Note to self: find out what that’s all about), there is so much more here than your standard cheeseburger.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

What I most appreciate about the atmosphere is that it has a more “grown-up” feel for a Quick Service location, with its nods to the majesty of nature. Yet it’s still completely comfortable and approachable, in large part due to the whimsical artwork on the walls.

Part of the wall mural at The Mara

Part of the wall mural at The Mara

For this visit, I took my goodies to the outdoor seating area.

Outdoor Seating at The Mara

Outdoor Seating at The Mara

It’s lovely and [Read more…]

More Great Disney Dining Tips from the Experts!

A while back, we polled Disney Food Blog readers — Disney fans who have been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt — on their top Disney Dining Tips.

Not surprisingly, the top tip mentioned was the advice to make Disney Dining Reservations, since you don’t want to be shut out of your favorites or from the most popular restaurants. So this time around we thought it would be fun to ask about their SECOND best Disney Dining Tips!

Read on to see what our Disney Food Blog twitter followers shared as their second best Disney dining tips, and be sure to share in the comments whether you agree or disagree! Share YOUR tips to help your fellow Disney lovers!

Enjoy Some Disney Snacks

We LURVE our Disney snacks around here! And so do our readers! Many of the tips we received were about the favorite classic pre- and post-meal goodies we all love to tuck into in the Parks.

While Brian C. had a unique, sweet option on the mind (“Try the beignets!”), Twitter pal Amber B. writes, “Do NOT skip the Schoolbread!” We can heartily agree!

Norway School Bread

Whether you prefer a sweet or salty treat, there are plenty of cupcakes, cookies and specialty pretzels to choose from.

And if you need a little help selecting the treat you’ll try first, make sure to download our DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks and our DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks.

Eat at “Off Hours”

Disney vacationers cannot live on snacks alone, though—there are too many great Disney restaurants!

Several of our twitter friends recommended taking advantage of “off” meal times by enjoying a late breakfast/early lunch, or a late lunch/early dinner! This is when the restaurants are less likely to be packed with families sticking to the traditional meal times.

Coral Reef in Epcot is even more serene during non-traditional dining hours!

Paul B. tweets, “Off hours eating leads to taking advantage of shorter attraction lines during the normal meal times.”  So while everyone else is waiting in the lunch line, you’re able to hop onto Splash Mountain with a much shorter wait.

And when you are ready to enjoy your late lunch, not only will you have a quieter, more intimate meal, but you’re more likely to get a coveted window seat or other special seating area (like a car-booth at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater). Dining bonus!

Awesome convertible car booths at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

Visit the Resorts for Meals

If you’re not able to take advantage [Read more…]

Snack Series: Banana Cake at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

Every once in a while you come across a truly incredible counter-service restaurant, and Sunshine Seasons in Epcot’s Future World is one of those.

Located in Epcot’s Land pavilion, this food court-style restaurant takes up nearly the entire first floor of the place. But with multiple choices and many varieties of food, even this ginormous place can get busy! (That’s because it’s AWESOME.)

When I visited with a friend a couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to purchase a snack I’d been wanting to try for ages — the Banana Cake.

I know, it doesn’t sound all that interesting as a snack; and it is a pre-packaged treat after all. But I was bowled over.

Banana Cake

You’ll find this little cake in the refrigerated section of the grab-and-go area, and it does look pretty unassuming. But just take one bite and you’ll know you’ve found something special.

I’m a big fan of [Read more…]

Snack Series: Napoleon at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

As you know, one of my favorite places to go for extreme Disney cupcakes is Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and my recent visit was not at all disappointing!

While I did try one new cupcake (stay tuned for a review!), I also snagged two new-to-me items that I’d never tried before.

I’d heard for months about the Napoleon at the cafe, and I couldn’t wait to finally see what all the fuss was about.

Turns out, the fuss is well-deserved…

Napoleon at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios

In the case, the Napoleons don’t look all that special next to the over-the-top cupcakes and fancy schmancy desserts. But ya gotta push past the first impression here, folks — it’s well worth it.

When I got my new little treasure out to an umbrella table in the Starring Rolls courtyard, it was definitely starting to show off its sugary appeal. Though I’ve never figured out how to eat things like this without making a complete mess! ;-)

Side View of Napoleon

This next shot shows some serious decadence. The glaze on top seems to be a thick confectioner’s sugar glaze — kind of what you get when you order [Read more…]

DFB Podcast Episode 7: “Mystery” Snacks

Hey all! Great news today for all you commuters, walkers, runners, gym-goers, and other assorted podcast listeners!

Just wanted to drop a line to let you know that the seventh episode of our DFB Podcast is now posted and ready for downloading! AND — this episode has a special discount code for two of our DFB e-Books, so listen quick! :-)

In this episode we cover the latest Disney Food News, discuss Disneyland and Walt Disney World mystery snacks, answer a few listener questions, and reveal the answer to our Episode 6 trivia question (as well as dish out a brand new trivia question)!

Click here to go to the Podcast page for Episode 7. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS or on iTunes!

Take a listen and let us know what you think!

Your feedback is important to us — [Read more…]

Fun Gluten-Free and Allergy-Free Snacks in Epcot

Vacationing with dietary requirements can sometimes be a challenge, but Disney continues to lead the field in options available to guests who have special dietary needs.

On a recent trip to Epcot’s The Land and its fabulous counter service spot, Sunshine Seasons, we spied some fun eats for special diets!

First up: who doesn’t love a little something sweet, crunchy, and indulgent on a trip to Walt Disney World? If you need to find a treat that is gluten- or nut-free, check out Rocky Mountain Caramel Popcorn! Perfect for sharing — if you want to!

Gluten and Nut Free Caramel Popcorn

Gluten and Nut Free Caramel Popcorn - Close-up

If you’re looking for a delicious cookie, but you’d like to avoid [Read more…]

Cars Land First Look! Fillmore’s Taste-In in Disney California Adventure

When you’re in Cars Land and you are drooling over Radiator Springs Racers (which are totally worth drooling over), don’t forget to check out the fun little details Cars Land has to offer. 

One of my favorite sights caught my eye as I was walking over to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. On my way to ride, I got completely distracted by the psychedelic glow of Fillmore’s Taste-In. So much so, that I went over to check it out before hitting the spinning tractors!

Fillmore's Taste-In


Fillmore’s signage is cleverly made of mufflers dangling from hubcaps, and his tent is just a “prop.” My guess is that inside is a storage area. The actual store consists of stands filled with what Disney calls “healthier” snacks and drinks.

Fillmore's Signage

Just like Fillmore’s character in the Cars movies, the Taste-In makes groovy “natural” snacks available to help you refuel and keep you racing! I was lucky to get to see Fillmore’s at night; the colors were spectacular, changing every few minutes (hence the crazy glowing [Read more…]

Cars Land First Look! Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel in Disney California Adventure

Walking through Cars Land, you literally feel like you’ve stepped into the movie Cars. I honestly do not see how it would be possible to improve the themeing for this new area of Disney California Adventure. 

Cozy Cone Motel Sign

Every single detail was well thought out and taken directly from the movie. The experience I had while strolling the streets of Radiator Springs is definitely how I’d imagine jumping into a movie screen and becoming an animated extra would be (OK, maybe I’m a little weird imagining myself as an animated character, don’t judge…)! 

The Cozy Cone Motel is perhaps one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen “come to life.” In this post, we’ll walk through each of the Cones, then take a look at the special Imagineering details at the Cozy Cone Motel as well as an “after dark” photo tour of the amazing neon and lit-up cones here! Here we go!


I got the chance to review some of this food at the media preview a couple of weeks ago, but being there was totally different!

My first thought when I walked up to the Cozy Cone Motel was, “Man I wish I could actually stay here.” It looks exactly like the movie; I mean everything from Sally’s office (aka hotel lobby) to the actual cones, which are perfectly sized to make us humans feel like, well, cars.

Sally's Office

Cozy Cones from "the street"

My second thought? “Woah, those are some serious long lines!” 

The Cozy Cones are apparently the place to be!

But don’t you worry, I will be back very soon to give all of the cones a try….  In the meantime, check out our previous review, and feast your eyes on the amazingness that is the Cozy Cone Motel!

The Cones

We’ll go through each of the cones in order, so you know what to expect!

Cone #1: Churros
The Churro Cone serves up churro bites with cinnamon-chocolate sauce, regular & cinnamon-spiced hot cocoa, and Ramone’s “Pear of Dice” Soda made with dessert pear syrup, mojito syrup, and Sprite. Coca Cola products are also available here.

Churro Cone

Churro Cone Menu

Cone #2: Ice Cream Cones
This is the place to grab a soft serve ice cream cone in vanilla, chocolate, or vanilla/chocolate twist. You also have the option to “dip” it in chocolate! 

“Route Beer” floats in souvenir cups as well as [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…]