Review: California Grill

When planning meals for our October trip to Walt Disney World, I realized it had been a LONG time since we’d visited California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort! And I haven’t reported on it here on the blog for over a year, so I figured it was time to get a little updating in!

Let’s head over to the check-in desk, shall we…?


To access California Grill, guests need to head to the 2nd floor of the Contemporary Resort and visit the restaurant’s check-in desk (you can get here by elevator, or by taking the stairs/from the back of the lobby).

Once you’re checked in, you’ll be waved over to a special elevator — one used only for California Grill guests — and taken up to the restaurant itself on the 15th floor of the hotel!

Entry from Elevators

I’m always immediately impressed by the nearly 360-degree view of Walt Disney World. The gorgeous, sprawling Grand Floridian Resort in front of you; the spires of Cinderella Castle, Big Thunder mountain, and Space Mountain to your right; and the Wilderness Lodge and Epcot to your left will make it difficult for most folks to tear themselves away from the walls of windows to take a look at the menu!

When you walk in, you’ll be greeted at the podium and (likely) handed a pager. No worries; there’s lots to do while you’re waiting. Start walking toward the windows and you’ll pass the California Grill Bar and head into the lounge area.

California Grill Bar

California Grill Bar

California Grill Lounge

Here’s a tip! If you don’t have a [Read more…]

WDW Foodie Fest Countdown! One Week to Go!

Our second annual WDW Foodie Fest in Walt Disney World is only ONE week away! (And we just ordered extra Mickey Bars and Mickey Rice Krispie Treats for our October 2nd Main Event, so you gotta come help us eat ‘em)!

Whether you stop by to participate in the scavenger hunt, or to just hang out with food and fellow foodie fans, it’s sure to be an awesome time!

Scavenger Hunt Specs

The focus (besides the food!) at the Foodie Fest Main Event on October 2nd will be our 2011 scavenger hunt through Epcot and the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. You will need Epcot admission to participate in this hunt. Those who finish will be eligible to win a prize!!

How It Works
You’ll be able to pick up your scavenger hunt pages at the Foodie Fest Registration Tables. Both hunts will require participants to find answers to clues. Use those answers to discover the [Read more…]

WDW Foodie Fest Scavenger Hunt Sneak Peek!

Only 18 days until our second annual WDW Foodie Fest in Walt Disney World!!

As you know, we’ve already announced two more WDW Foodie Fest events (for a total of four!), but we’ve got more news today on our Main Event!

WDW Foodie Fest Main Event

Taking place on October 2, 2011, from 11am-1pm at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, the WDW Foodie Fest Main Event is an Open House full of food (just ordered even more Mickey Bars and Mickey Rice Krispie Treats for the menu!) and games (should you have the inclination). All are welcome!

But for those of you who are a bit more adventurous, we also prepare a WDW Foodie Fest Scavenger Hunt through the Epcot Food & Wine Festival! (Guests will need Epcot admission if they’d like to take part in the Scavenger Hunt.)

Scavenger Hunt Sneak Peek

Similar to last year’s Hunt, we’ll have two options: the “Grown-Ups” hunt and the “Family” hunt. Usually, kids over the age of 8 should be able to handle the “Grown-Ups” hunt — it’s just a bit tougher than the “Family” hunt, which is designed for younger kids to enjoy.

When you arrive at the WDW Foodie Fest, grab a Mickey Bar and head on out to Epcot with your Scavenger Hunt clues. Those who finish and get the correct answer to the master clue at the end of the Hunt will be entered in our drawing for prizes!!

Could ice cream be the answer?

This year’s Scavenger Hunt is nearing completion, and we wanted to give you a sneak peek at a couple of the questions! Do you know the answers…?

What is the street address number of La Hacienda de San Angel?

What Funnel Cake topping in the American Adventure pavilion costs just $1.00?

What animal can be found above the [Read more…]

WDW Foodie Fest: Two New Event Dates Announced!

With Disney Food Blog’s second annual WDW Foodie Fest just a month away, I’m excited to announce the dates for two more events during our week-long celebration of Disney food! Check out the schedule of events here!

WDW Foodie Fest

Join the Disney Food Blog team during the first week of the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival as we gather to celebrate Disney food! With several events to choose from, we hope we’ll get to see all of you at least once!

Currently we have four WDW Foodie Fest events scheduled (with one more possibly on the way)! Personally, I can’t wait for the main event on October 2nd at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011: WDW Foodie Fest Main Event

We’ll be at our very own private location — Ariel’s in Disney’s Beach Club Resort — from 11am-1pm enjoying the comforts of [Read more…]

First Look! Epcot’s Kabuki Cafe and Menu

8/8/11 UPDATE: The menu has been shortened a bit, we hear. It no longer offers many of the savory food items that we see on the original menu below. We look forward to hearing your feedback as this location adjusts.

Thanks, once again, to Andy Jackson who writes the great Eating (and Drinking) Around WDW for sending along photos of this new addition to the Epcot Japan pavilion! The Cafe isn’t open yet, but the construction walls are down and he got a sneak peek!

Epcot's Kabuki Cafe

The Kabuki Cafe will replace the old Kakigori stand, but will offer plenty of new menu items (including kakigori, of course). You can see from the menu below that the stand will offer not only icy, sweet treats, but also sushi, ribs, sake (hot and cold), snacks (Miso Soup and Edamame), soft drinks and Ramune, green tea, and more!

Kabuki Cafe Menu -- click for larger image

I can’t wait to sample some of the new offerings! If you get there first, let us know what we should try! :-)

Review: Wolfgang Puck Cafe

Wolfgang Puck is the epitome of “celebrity chef.” Having successfully taken LA and several other USA cities by storm, he’s created a global empire (and worldwide name recognition) the likes of which have yet to be attained by any other chef that I know of.

Puck’s empire exists in Disney World’s Downtown Disney in the form of two counter-service restaurants, both named Wolfgang Puck Express; and two table-service restaurants — Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Dining Room.

On our visit, we headed to Wolfgang Puck Cafe — the less upscale and more boisterous of the two table-service restaurants — found in Downtown Disney’s West End.

Upon entering, you’ll know exactly what you’re in for. On any given evening, this restaurant is bustling. During busy dinner hours, it’s loud (due to the echoing-ly high ceilings and tile decor), colorful, and energetic.

Sushi Bar

The bright colors and geometric shapes of the decor here will remind 80’s kids of [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Seafood Dishes

Thanks for submitting your photos to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! These photographs are fantastic! This week, the Disney Food Pics of the Week feature tantalizing seafood dishes!

Grilled Mahi-Mahi created with ragu of rock shrimp served on Jasmine rice topped with hearts of palms at the Coral Reef in Epcot.
Photographer: Julie Nova/travelhyper

Grilled Mahi Mahi

Langoustines Royale Sauce César is a Royal Norway Lobster with Caesar Sauce served at the adults only restaurant Remy aboard the Disney Dream.
Photographer: Kristen Kirk VanTassle/TheDVCMom

Royal Norway Lobster

Kona Sushi with California Roll, Tuna Poke and [Read more…]

Something’s Fishy in the Land of Vinylmation

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster is also our Vinylmation specialist around here. These last few releases are right up her alley!

Vinylmations are my gill-ty pleasure, so the folks at Disney merchandise clearly had me in mind when they designed their latest creation: the Vinylmation sushi set, which you can purchase at

So. Crazy. Cute. The top row consists of a a piece of shrimp, California roll, and unagi. The bottom row is salmon roe, tuna, and a salmon roll. But best of all are the accessories: Vinylmation juniors the color of ginger and wasabi, along with your very own pair of Vinylmation logoed [Read more…]

Review: Kimonos at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

Sometimes the best things happen at the last minute.

I’d never been to Kimonos over in the Swan and Dolphin Resort, and a friend invited me to join a group for dinner at the last minute this week. Luckily, I was able to swing by and I’m so glad I did!

I’d been hearing for years how great Kimonos was — “they have the best sushi in Walt Disney World!” was the standard review — and I was really looking forward to trying it.

Kimonos Seating Area and Bar

The atmosphere of the place is excellent. A long, narrow room bordered on both sides with windows features a full bar at the back, a sushi station to the left, and a karaoke stage to the right as you walk into the restaurant.

Sushi Counter

Oranges, yellow, and black are the dominant colors in the clean, contemporary Japanese decor, but pops of color and texture come from [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 27, 2011

Pollo Campero and Fresh APeel

It’s been a great week for foodies!  The addition of new counter-service restaurants to the Disney Dining Plan was welcome news. And we’re already green with envy about the culinary events at Raglan Road for St. Paddy’s Day Week!

Also looking forward to the opening of Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel!

But for now… on to the round-up!

RedWhiteBoston’s offers a mom’s personal insight to WDW survival tips.

AllEars blogger Laura Gilbreath reviews the food on the Disney Dream Christening cruise.

Main Street Gazette samples the White Chocolate Elephant Cupcake at Kusafiri Bakery in Animal Kingdom. (Though it’s painful for me to read that he wishes there were less frosting…)

Danielle’s Brain Bits is disappointed by the [Read more…]