Disney Food for Families: Learning Opportunities for the Budding Chef

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster captures some great ways to encourage your kids’ love of cooking!

Obviously one of the many reasons that families find Disney destinations to be such compelling vacation spots is that the parks and resorts are fully prepared to accommodate the interests of children. At various points, all of my girls have been captivated with the idea of becoming a chef (well, at least until they began to realize that kitchens have to be cleaned after they are used).

Disney does a wonderful job of indulging the interests of the budding chef by allowing children, and their parents, plentiful opportunities to observe and interact with the real-life culinary craftspeople that make the food magic happen.

Where to Learn from the Masters: Sweets

Our favorite Walt Disney World venue for chef interaction is at Goofy’s Candy Company at Downtown Disney. On one recent trip, my girls and I spent over an hour standing at the candy prep counter there watching a cast member make pan after pan of swoon-inducing fudge.

Fudge in the pan

Fudge prep at Goofy's Candy Company

We have found that the cast members there are particularly gracious in taking the time to explain to curious bystanders exactly what they are doing, and why. We’ve even been offered small tasting spoonfuls of warm fudge batter to better assess the product as it transforms from [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: 10 Tips for Dining with Teens at Walt Disney World

A new post in our Disney Food for Families Column by Erin Foster:

In the early days of my family’s Disney travel, we routinely went to at least one character meal every day, sometimes two. On my twins’ sixth birthday, we even ate at three character meals in one day. My waistline is still trying to recover!

Bonding at the Food & Wine Festival

But now that my girls are older, the character meals hold somewhat less appeal for them. My daughter Charlie, now 14, even went through a phase where she was (Yikes!) “too cool” for characters. My challenge has become, “How do you keep the magic of Disney Dining alive without relying on the classic character meal?” In other words: How do you make Disney Dining fun for teens?

Idea #1: Make the vacation about the food.
I have been to Walt Disney World twice with just Charlie during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. We spent a couple of days working our way around the World Showcase booths, trying to sample at least one or two things from each represented country. This sparked some interesting discussions about food taste, texture, and preparation styles. We had bonding moments over our mutual favorite: the beef with chimichurri sauce from Argentina stand. More please. And we shared [Read more…]