But in the future, it will be home to three Table Service locations, as Disney has announced that a Signature Dining experience “inspired by the natural beauty of Japan” is on the way to the Pavilion!
Happy weekend! Here’s all the Disney food news this week!
The 2018 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is ON! We have FULL MENUS for the Epcot Flower and Garden FESTIVAL plus Photos of EVERY FOOD ITEM and most beverages!
And, Pixar Fest is ON at Disneyland Resort! This fun festival runs through September 3! Click here to get a checklist for ALL the food at Pixar Fest and see our review!
We have a lot to share with you this week, so let’s jump right in…
Disney Food News
- We have a sneak peek of the Lamplight Lounge coming to Pixar Pier!
- Pixar Fest Eats: We checked out the three-course menu at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland and the Habanero Meaball Cone at Cozy Cone!
- The house-made S’mores have returned to The Ganachery in Disney Springs.
- Check out all the spots for Mother’s Day Brunch at Disney World!
- Find out what’s new at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
- We reviewed Teppan Edo in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion!
- Check out the latest news about Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- The new DisneyStyle Store is coming to Disney Springs soon!
- The Adorable Snowman is now open at Disney California Adventure!
- Check out the new Tiramisu Popsicle in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion.
- There’s a secret menu at D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs!
- Check out the best Disney Dining Plan quick service restaurants for 2018.
- New DFB YouTube videos: Best Attractions with Low Waits in Epcot, How to Master the Disney Dining Plan, and !
Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including menu updates, restaurant closures, special events, and more! We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go. [Read more…]
Teppan Edo… it’s been a while, my friend!
Too long, I might say. I tend to not visit Teppan Edo in the Japan Pavilion as often as other spots around Epcot’s World Showcase — not because I haven’t enjoyed it in the past (because I have). This is due to the fact that as Epcot’s resident hibachi grill, the menu and experience doesn’t tend to change very much. So from a reviewer’s perspective, there isn’t a hugely revised menu or anything to keep readers posted on.
But from a Disney fan perspective (and Epcot fan. And Japan Pavilion fan. And FOOD fan!), I was rather keen on making a new Advance Dining Reservation here. And when @DininginDisney and her family happened to be going, I was excited to tag along!
So, let’s see how this recent visit went!
Check-in for Teppan Edo is located just outside the steps leading up to the restaurant.
We previously shared with you our picks for the Best Disney Dining Plan Value in Disney Signature Dining. Today, we continue our series exploring which Disney Restaurants offer the best value for your Disney Dining Plan credits!
One of the biggest questions that we get here at DFB is whether or not the Disney Dining Plan is a good deal. To begin answering the question, we armed ourselves with calculators and menus and ran the numbers to see which spots had the most expensive average entrees.
But it’s more than that, isn’t it? I mean, no matter how much the average check runs, if the food or the atmosphere doesn’t appeal to you and yours, it won’t be a good value, no matter how you slice it.
With the calculations in mind, we were curious to determine which One-Credit Disney Table Service Restaurants offered the best deal or value price-wise — but also could be recommended by the experts here at DFB for atmosphere and food quality. All of the restaurants that we considered are One-Credit spots, meaning they’ll require just one credit to dine with the Disney Dining Plan.
Here are our picks for the restaurants that give you the best overall bang for your Disney Dining Plan buck when it comes to single credit table service spots.
Best Friends Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana
When we set out to determine which one-credit restaurants offered you the most in terms of sheer cost, one trend emerged immediately: you can’t go wrong by spending your credit on a Character Meal.
And with only one exception (Cinderella’s Royal Table), all Disney World character meals require only one DDP table service credit.
And while character meals are not one size fits all — you should definitely check out our tips before booking one — they’re for sure an experience everyone can enjoy with a little planning.
As for our favorite, this year we are really enjoying character meals that are served family-style like ‘Ohana’s breakfast. These include Garden Grill at Epcot, which you can now book for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
But my favorite remains the Best Friends Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana. For a combination of cute characters (Mickey in a Hawaiian Shirt, and Lilo is awesome!) and delicious food, it just can’t be beat.
And while buffets are great for a bounty of offerings, sometimes it’s nice to sit back and let the food come to you — especially if there’s a baby or toddler along for the ride.
Hot on the heels of character meals though, you should probably also consider other buffets or all you care to enjoy service formats if you’re truly interested in “getting your money’s worth”.
Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge doesn’t offer characters — but I don’t see that as a bad thing. The food here is interesting and delicious. Don’t miss the Soups or the Carving Stations at Dinner! (Here’s the recipe for that killer Coconut Curry Chicken Stew!) Breakfast offers some great pastries and more.
Then of course, there’s the Zebra Domes.
The restaurant serves breakfast and dinner, and we’ve enjoyed both. And because Boma doesn’t feature characters, I find the ambiance to be a little more relaxing as a result.
But don’t forget spots that offer all you care to enjoy, but do the heavy lifting for you. If you wish that everyday was Thanksgiving Day (but without the clean up!), then make your advance dining reservation for Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom. Besides getting a hearty helping of history, you’ll also see endless platters of Turkey with all the trimmings.
And that is truly something to be thankful for.
Be Our Guest Dinner
But if you’re looking to spend those credits wisely, then don’t leave Magic Kingdom just yet. Because any Disney Food Bucket Lister will tell ya — you’ve gotta book dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant at least once.
For starters, this spot is truly magical. If you’ve ever wanted to tumble through a movie screen and join in the action, this is your chance to do it, as Beast’s Castle has been reproduced in painstaking detail.
But then, there are some pretty great reasons to eat here as well. Of course, the menu is French-inspired. We’ve tried pretty much everything, and give high marks to the Potato Leek Soup, the Pork Chop, and of course, the Grilled Strip Steak!
And if you enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, take advantage of ordering one here — the only spot in Magic Kingdom where you can enjoy this indulgence.
Choosing Dessert may be tough. We enjoyed most of the options, but the Master’s “Grey Stuff” dessert will be the most high-profile.
Les Chefs de France
What’s that? You’d like to go to the REAL France?
Well, I can’t deliver that to you at Disney, but I can get you pretty close to the real deal. If you travel over the Epcot, that is. When you get there, head to World Showcase for some of the best spots to spend those table service credits.
While many of the restaurants in this international village boast steep pricetags, we love some better than others. And in terms of beautiful atmosphere and consistently delicious food, Les Chefs de France gets a gold star from me.
I know, I know. Epcot international dining can be less than authentic. But all of the restaurants in the France Pavilion are owned by the Bocuse Group, and I’ve enjoyed lots of fare that reminded me of my time traveling as a student through France and Switzerland.
Service can be slow and reserved. But the restaurant offers a beautiful setting.
But as I mentioned, you aren’t limited merely to France in Epcot. There’s a whole world out there, of course. When it comes to fun and value, consider Teppan Edo.
This Japanese Habachi-style experience is as much food theatre as it is eating. The chefs here are wonderful at all of the tricks that you might expect to see in a Japanese steakhouse. We especially like the fire-based ones.
And the food is bountiful. While I’m partial to ordering the Steak, I also love the combos here. Steak and Chicken or Steak and Shrimp give you the opportunity to enjoy different textures and flavors.
And with bountiful sides, I guarantee you won’t leave the table hungry.
And there you have it! With so many varied experiences, flavors, and settings, it’s hard to go wrong with Disney Dining. But you won’t go wrong if you decide to try a few of our favorite one-credit options!
Ready for All of Our Best Tips?
We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips — including LOTS of restaurant suggestions for your every need — in our big, bold 2016 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining!
With more than 530 pages, The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 20+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!
With sample dining itineraries, plus our “Disney Dining at a Glance” section, featuring “Where Can I Find?” options, you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining E-book — and use code HAPPYPLACE for an extra $4 discount for a limited time!
Now, I’d love to hear from all of you guys! What are your best picks for value when it comes to DDP one credit table service spots? Leave a comment with your favorites!
Summer’s coming! And we know that you’ll be looking to stay cool at Disney. And I can’t think of a much better way than by enjoying some terrific soft serve treats!
So we weren’t too surprised when we checked out pics that our members have posted on Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group. We came away with all sorts of soft serve inspiration!
If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, head over there! But before you do, let’s take a look at some of the goodies we found while we were surfin’.
Soft Serve at Paradise Pier
Photographer: Riniel Calaelen
What makes a Soft Serve Ice Cream Cone even more delish? How about enjoying it with an awesome background, like Paradise Pier! I can almost feel that beautiful California sunshine coming through the pic, can’t you??
Pineapple Soft Serve at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Photographer: V No Privacy
This great pic features treats from Pineapple Promenade at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival. It really captures the contrast between the soft serve and the Sammy’s Beach Bar Red Head Macadamia Nut Flavored Rum!
Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace
Photographer: HTH Photography
But sometimes, you don’t necessarily want to check nutritional discipline at the Purple Gates. You may think that healthy eating at Walt Disney World is an oxymoron. But more and more, that’s simply not so. Sure, you can indulge to your heart’s content. But whether you’re looking to sub out just one meal or snack a day for a health-savvy option, or you plan to stick to your guns in the nutrition department while you’re amidst the magic, we have some great tips for finding healthy and tasty options at Walt Disney World! They come courtesy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2018! And if you find these tips to be helpful, pick up your copy of the Guide today!
Head for the Grab and Go
Not too long ago, Walt Disney World was a sea of hamburgers, fries, and soda pop. And some people think that’s what it STILL is. But, honestly, things have changed.
Sure, you still have lots and lots of choices in the burger genre. But they’ve definitely expanded beyond the fast food mentality when it comes to quick eating options. My best tip for eating healthy — and this goes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time — is to head for the Grab and Go section.
You’ll spy Grab and Go spots in lots of places, and there are always robust choices in the Resorts. There, you’ll find everything from prepared salads and sandwiches made with lean meats to sushi and hummus with veggies. Check out Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort for a great selection! And when it comes to a Park option, Sunshine Seasons offers choices that can’t be beat.
So if you have the resolve to stroll past the pizza and burgers, a healthy meal is totally in your grasp!
Be Mindful About Restaurant Choices
If you have healthy eating in mind, then you probably shouldn’t pencil in a counter service lunch at Casey’s Corner. Don’t get me wrong — Corn Dog Nuggets are totally boss. But let’s face it — planning ahead to eat at a restaurant that offers lots of fresh choices and grilled options is probably a better idea when you’re trying to stay on the healthy bandwagon. Fortunately, better-for-you options abound at Walt Disney World. One of my favorite spots to grab a healthy counter service lunch is Satu’li Canteen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can’t go wrong with their Create-Your-Own Satu’li Bowl, for which you get to select from healthy proteins and bases (including Romaine and Kale Salad!).
It’s time for another fun addition to our Disney Food Galleries!
And today, we’re introducing a brand new gallery for all of you red meat lovers out there! Yep, we’ve gathered a whole buncha steaks from around Disney World to help you make your choices on your next visit.
Remember, some of these may drop off menus from time to time or have side dishes or preparation changed, but hopefully this will give you a good overview of what’s available! Here we go!
Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club is one of my top picks when it comes to steak at Walt Disney World. After all, they decorate with meat — the first thing you pass en route to your seat is the Steak Trimming Room!
Chefs here pride themselves not only on the very best cuts of meat, but appetizers, side dishes, and desserts inspired by market fresh ingredients. Yachtsman combines the very best of seasonal flavors with the traditional steak experience.
My absolute favorite pick at Yachtsman is the 16-ounce Boneless Ribeye. It is always a melt-in-your-mouth choice.
But we are also big fans of the 12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak, served here with a rich potato gratin stack.
Shula’s at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin is the kind of place that you think of when you envision an upscale steakhouse. As your eyes adjust to the dim lighting and you check out the menu — printed on a football! — you’ll settle into the refined elegance of your surroundings.
When I have the chance to dine here, I almost always go for my favorite, the 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye (are you sensing a theme?). The Bone-in Steak has been excellent on every visit. The flavor is unbelievable!
Looking for a lighter approach to soothe your carnivore cravings? We’ve also enjoyed the Steak Mary Anne. Delicate by steakhouse standards, the 5-ounce medallions are served with a simple demi glace in this case. It’s the perfect plate for the guest who prefers all the flavor of prime, aged beef in a smaller serving.
If you’re a landlubber like me, then finding a great steak at a restaurant known for fabulous seafood is a dream come true. But it’s not impossible if you’re dining at Flying Fish Cafe.
When I visit, I always order the Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip. The creamy Sauce Foyot is such a great accent — and they’re never chintzy with it!
Can’t decide between surf and turf? You don’t have to! Try the two house specialities side by side with the Entree Duo, which features the Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak and the restaurant’s most famous fish dish, the Potato-wrapped Red Snapper.
Jiko offers some of the most interesting food at Walt Disney World.
And while I enjoy the fusion of African, Indian, and Meditteranean flavors when it comes to appetizers and desserts, I rarely deviate from my favorite entree: the Oak-Grilled Filet.
And even when their delicious Mac and Cheese isn’t featured as the dish’s side, you can usually score it as a special request (and I totally recommend that you do).
In the mood for steak with no Advance Dining Reservation? Then head to Epcot’s Liberty Inn. Their New York Strip Steak, served with Red Wine Butter, Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli, is surprisingly good.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant
Even though most of my favorite steaks at Disney World are featured at signature restaurants, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good option at moderately priced restaurants, too, like Sci-Fi Dine-In.
Recently, I was pleasantly surprised by [Read more…]
Now that you’ve booked your 2014 Disney World vacation, it’s time to make your Advance Dining Reservations.
But which restaurants are worthy of your precious Disney Dining Plan credits?
What’s the DDP? The vacation package add-on called the Disney Dining Plan is a pre-purchased meal plan. Based on the plan you choose, you’ll receive a certain number of credits to be utilized during your Disney stay. (Remember your college meal plan? Yeah; it’s kinda like that!)
Many table-service meals in Disney World cost one credit per person, but are you getting the best value?
If you reeeeeeally want to get your money’s worth, stick to the one-credit restaurants, order the most expensive meal on the menu, and maximize your savings! Let’s get to the DFB guide’s top picks for best value at “one table-service credit” Walt Disney World restaurants.
Remember: this is primarily based on food cost, but we have taken atmosphere and food quality into consideration a bit as well. We don’t want you eating at a bad restaurant, after all.
Offering regional specialties, Tutto Italia is located in Epcot’s Italy pavilion. With dinner entrees costing about $30, and a pricey dessert topping $13, your one meal here is a great use of a table service dining credit!
Kouzzina features Mediterranean cuisine showcased on a menu created by Celebrity Chef Cat Cora. A dinner at this BoardWalk restaurant can be costly. With a $35 grilled steak entree and $10 desserts (Baklava!!), Kouzzina is a smart choice for your dining credit use!
Teppan Edo is a fun Hibachi restaurant in Epcot’s Japan pavilion. Order the $32 Filet Mignon and a dessert at $5-7 to make the most of your table service credit.
Les Chefs de France
Located in Epcot’s France pavilion, Les Chefs de France serves up delicious cuisine. Dinner entrees cost $20-35 with desserts about $9 each. Use your table service credit here for a memorable meal.
It’s time to go back to a restaurant we haven’t been to in AGES, my friends!!
Teppan Edo, in Epcot’s World Showcase, is often considered a guest favorite. The upscale Japanese show + cuisine is a must-do for many Disney fans.
So why hadn’t we been back in years? Well, due to the pretty consistent menu and often similar Hibachi grill dining experience, it simply made more sense for us to spend our time and money reviewing other restaurants for you. But seeing as how we hadn’t reviewed this place in for-ev-er, it was time to take a look and see if it still held up to the hype.
Hoping that it would still be a fun and delicious experience, we arrived at the check-in booth in front of Mitsukoshi Department Store.
Soon, we were headed up the wide staircase for what we hoped would be another fantastic experience and meal.
Teppan Edo is a teppanyaki-style restaurant. More commonly called a “Japanese steakhouse,” the experience combines cooking and service into one fun performance, I was looking forward to a hearty meal of traditional Japanese favorites.
Once you’re upstairs in the restaurant, you enter the waiting area that’s shared by Teppan Edo and its neighbor — Tokyo Dining.
After you receive your pager (which you’ll get from the cast members at the top of the stairs once you’re inside the restaurant), it’s time to sit a spell until they’re ready for you in the restaurant.
The decor here is sleek and unfussy. It immediately puts me at ease; there’s just something so peaceful about the uncluttered space, and I love these lights! The indirect lighting behind the benches is warm without being too bright or glaring.
Here, you also catch a glimpse into the other Japanese table service restaurant, Tokyo Dining. For more about their options, check out our recent Tokyo Dining review.
Your pager will go off eventually (it didn’t take long for ours), but because Teppan Edo seats guests at communal tables, you’ll have to wait until all of the guests sharing your table (even if you don’t know them) have presented at the podium. More on the communal eating later!
The eating area at Teppan Edo is comprised of many small dining rooms, joined together by this long hallway. I can’t get enough of this austere set up! It’s so unlike any other restaurant that you visit here.
A peek inside one of the rooms [Read more…]
It’s no secret that my daughter Louisa is more than a little produce averse. There was a period of about four years when NO fruit or vegetable crossed her lips, and even now at age 12 she still has to be cajoled into having more than a bite or two of something as innocuous as sweet potato or banana.
So you can imagine my surprise when, on a recent trip to the Animal Kingdom’s Yak & Yeti restaurant, she consumed nearly the entire plate of wok-fried green beans we had ordered for the table. It was one of those parenting moments where you hold your breath and move slowly so as to avoid breaking the spell.
Those Yak & Yeti yummies didn’t turn Louisa into an inveterate bean eater, but she is now occasionally willing to nibble on a tempura string bean if we’re out for Japanese. Based on our prior track record with legumes, I’m going to count that solidly in the win column.
The Theme Park Food Effect
What was it about the Yak & Yeti beans that made Louisa such a fan? Yes, they were quite tasty, and yes, the green part was handily obfuscated by a crunchy, yumtastic fried breading coating; but we had tried similar ploys in the past to no avail. My theory is that the Yak & Yeti beans were flavored by the spice of (cue the orchestra) The Theme Park Food Effect.
Much like campers will say that meals eaten on the trail are the BEST, you know that their experience is colored by the fact that their senses are overwhelmed and they’re starving from an [Read more…]