Review: The Fountain at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts

We’re coming at you today from The Fountain at Disney’s Dolphin Resort!

And if “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM,” this is THE place to get it if you’re staying at the Swan & Dolphin.

In fact, for those less familiar with Disney’s Swan & Dolphin Resorts, they’re just a stroll away from Epcot and Hollywood Studios, in the same general area of Disney’s BoardWalk, Yacht, and Beach Club Resorts. And if you’re having trouble getting into Beaches and Cream at the Beach Club (it’s been a little more challenging ever since they started accepting Advance Dining Reservations), The Fountain can be a terrific alternative.

But this isn’t just some shadow of Beaches and Cream. Boasting diner favorites (and twists on the classics) as well as one of the best ice cream selections on Disney property (shakes, sundaes, and more),  The Fountain is worthy of a visit in its own right, and I’d like to show you why…

The Fountain Sign

The Fountain Sign

[Read more…]

News: Full Menus Announced for the 2015 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

While we’ve been focusing on all the excitement that Fall brings for Disney Food Fans, we have another fun event to update you about — the 2015 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Logo 2015

The two-night event, back by popular demand for the sixth year in a row, will once again take place over Halloween Weekend in 2015. Mark your calendars for Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31!

The Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is made up of two components: Seminars and the Causeway. Seminars center around learning more about food and beverage in a fun, interactive way. For more details on this year’s Food and Wine Classic Seminars, be sure to check out our Food and Wine Classic Seminar Page.

But guests stay and play for the evening on the Causeway!

If you’re new to the Food and Wine Classic, the Causeway is a collection of food and beverage booths set up in the walkway that links the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Every single restaurant from both the Swan and Dolphin — all nine! — participate, and bring tapas-sized eats to the party. Chef Robert Ciborowski, the executive chef of the Swan and Dolphin Resort, also prepares some dishes in Cib’s Smoke Shop.

Shula's Booth Is Always Popular at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Shula’s Booth Is Always Popular at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

In addition, there are tents representing beer and wine from all over the world, offering tasting portions. [Read more…]

Review and Preview: The Causeway at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

It’s almost time! The Fifth Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is just around the corner!

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Thumbnail Logo

This event, which takes place concurrently with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, is a fantastic evening for food and wine lovers.

This year’s Food and Wine Classic will take place on Friday, October 31 (yep! Halloween!) and Saturday, November 1. The two-day event consists of food and beverage tasting booths set up on the resort’s beautiful causeway each evening. And new for 2014, a Beer Garden experience has been added for even more great food and drink.

Guests can also take part in a number of special food and beverage seminars for an additional fee. Seminars take place at 4:30PM both days, and the Causeway booths are open from 5:30 until 9:00PM on Friday and Saturday.

We’ve enjoyed the event every year since it began, and 2013 was no exception! We thought a look back at last year’s event was the perfect way to get excited about what’s in store for 2014. Let’s head out to the Causeway for a delicious evening.

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!


Whether you’re staying at the Swan and Dolphin or you’re arriving from another location, head to the Promenade that connects the two resorts — that’s where the evening’s festivities will take place. We stopped by the Will Call Booth to pick up tickets.

As far as admission goes, you have options. Purchase an all-access ticket, and it’s an all-you-can-eat-and-drink pass to the booths. If you prefer, you can choose a la carte tickets instead, which are sold in books of 25.

Will Call Booth

Will Call Booth

The Check In Table provided us with handy plates and plastic wine glasses.

Check-In Table

Check-In Table

These would come in handy as we juggled plates and drinks on the Causeway.

Food and Wine Classic Tray and Glass

Food and Wine Classic Tray and Glass

Booths line the walkway leading from the Swan to the Dolphin as well as the path directly behind the Swan. There’s a lot to take in!

The Promenade

The Promenade

Hi-Top tables are scattered throughout the middle of the Causeway. You’ll also find large tables with chairs off to the side directly behind the Swan.

High Top Table

High Top Table

At the end of the Causeway closest to the Dolphin, a stage is set up for musical performance. While you sip and stroll, you can listen to live tunes!



In addition to the food and beverage booths, last year’s Classic featured a large [Read more…]

Disney Food Blog Challenge: The Disney World Milkshake Crawl

Sweet, dreamy, creamy milkshakes. When you are craving one, nothing else will quite do. In honor of National Ice Cream month, it’s time to do another Disney Food Blog food crawl: MILKSHAKES!

Not surprisingly, some of my favorite milkshakes can be found right in Walt Disney World. If milkshakes are a favorite of yours, too, allow me to tempt you with a brand new food challenge — the Disney Food Blog Milkshake Crawl!

This one is a doozy! So if you break it up over a couple of days, we totally understand.

And be sure to let us know in the comments which milkshake is your favorite and which ones you highly recommend!

Cookies and Cream Milkshake at Plaza Restaurant

The Plaza Restaurant is one of my favorite table service spots in Magic Kingdom. It’s rarely super busy, and the prices are reasonable. As a bonus, there are some pretty amazing ice cream dessert options on the menu, thanks to the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor right next door.

My favorite beverage-meets-dessert options here are the Hand-Dipped Milkshakes.

Milkshake at Magic Kingdom

Served in old-fashioned glasses, and topped with [Read more…]

2012 Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Menus, Meet the Chefs, Special Rates

As you know, the Walt Disney World The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is back this year with seminars, tastings, sweets, and beverages! And scroll down to see some special rate codes from Disney Food Blog for this year’s classic…

The Third Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will take place Friday, October 12, and Saturday, October 13, 2012, from 5:30 – 9:00 pm at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts in Walt Disney World. These resorts are just a short walk from Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which means this is a great way to supplement your 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival trip!

Food and wine lovers can immerse themselves in this culinary festival while strolling the Crescent Lake causeway. Savor culinary delights from the resort’s award winning restaurants and lounges while listening to live music.

With 17 restaurants and lounges, the Swan and Dolphin resorts have a nationally-recognized culinary team that can’t wait to show off their talents! I had a chance to go to the event last year, and I can highly recommend it.

Swan and Dolphin Causeway

Tasting Booth Menus

Choose selections from over 30 stations that showcase food and drinks from Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria, and Todd English’s bluezoo, among other great Swan and Dolphin restaurants.

Also select from your favorite beverages, including wine, sake, beer, and cocktails. If you love wine, vintages will be offered from around the world. With over 70 certified wine sommeliers and more than 1,400 wine selections, this beverage team has a lot of knowledge to share!

Shula’s Steakhouse
Friday and Saturday: Carved Prime Rib with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Shula's Carved Prime Rib, Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Cib’s Smoke Shop
Friday: Texas Style Beef Brisket, Fried Pickles, Brioche Puree
Saturday: Smoked Pork Belly, Garlic Toast, Baked Bean Foam

Beef Brisket

cibs smoked pork belly

Todd English’s bluezoo
Friday: “Shrimp Cocktail” Steamrollers; plus Oyster selections will include Traditional Rockefeller – Creamy Spinach, House bacon, Parmesan; Six Shooter – Bloody Cocktail, Horseradish, Celery, Corona, Lemon Foam, Old Bay; and Traditional – On the half Shell, Choice of Mignonette or sauce
Saturday: Pan Seared “Shrimp n Grits”, Seared Local Shrimp, Anson Mills Cheese Grits (I’ve had the shrimp and grits from bluezoo, and they’re well worth [Read more…]

Disney Ice Cream Gallery

July is National Ice Cream Month!!!

And since Sunday was National Ice Cream Day, we’ve put together a gallery of some of our favorite chilly treats from Disney parks and resorts! (Yes, you have permission to have ice cream for breakfast.)

We know we’re not covering everything, and we’d love it if you would leave us a comment mentioning your favorite ice cream-based dessert in a Disney restaurant. Can’t wait to find out what your choices are! :-)

So now, without further ado, here’s where to go to get some of our favorite sweet-cold treats in our favorite theme parks!

The Plaza Ice Cream Sundae

Scoops of vanilla ice cream drizzled with hot fudge is then covered in whipped cream when you order this Plaza Ice Cream Sundae. There’s not just one, but many crowning cherries on this divine treat.  And that’s all before you get to the crunch of a delicious waffle bowl (if you even make it that far…we didn’t)!

Okay, it’s served in a plastic bowl, which makes it a little less decadent but the crispy waffle bowl will make up for the lack of glassware. Got spare time while waiting curb-side for the parade? Grab one of these little beauties before staking out your piece of pavement! (Or, better yet, let someone else stake it out for you, then head over to the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor to snag one of your own.)

Location: Main Street Ice Cream Parlor

Plaza Ice Cream Parlor Sundae

And don’t forget to pick up this little favorite at the Plaza, too! A Mickey Ear ice cream cone!

Mickey Ice Cream Cone

Dole Whip Float

This is practically a food staple at WDW. Hey, it’s a daily fruit serving, right?! The Dole Whip float is soft serve treat with pineapple juice and should be on your Magic Kingdom touring plan.

No visit to Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom is complete without a Dole Whip. Before your flight on Aladdin’s Magic Carpets, sit for a spell and give your taste buds a sensational journey!

Location: Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace

Disney World Aloha Isle Dole Whip Float

Kitchen Sink Sundae

It’s everything but the kitchen sink! This must-share, ginormous dessert begins with [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants Not on the Disney Dining Plan

As you know, Kim L. is our behind-the-scenes manager here at the Disney Food Blog, a Disney World Moms Panelist, and a blogger! You’ll begin to see her name more and more in that little author line! Learn more about her on our staff and contributors page! Here, she discusses her top choices for Disney World restaurants not on the Disney Dining Plan!

UPDATE 4/2012: The restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin Resort are not yet on the Dining Plan, but the others — T-Rex, Rainforest Cafe, Portobello, Fulton’s, Paradiso 37, Wolfgang Puck Cafe The Dining Room, and House of Blues, should now be on the Dining Plan!

Lots of guests want to know the top restaurants when dining with the Disney Dining Plan, but since those restaurants seem to fill up more and more quickly these days, we’ve also been getting requests for recommendations on restaurants not included in the Dining Plan. Here are my picks for the best table service locations that do not participate in the DDP! ;-)

Top 5 Restaurants Not on the Disney Dining Plan, for Adults

For guests craving a casual meal with value, Portobello at Downtown Disney dishes out hearty Italian fare. Choose from a value dinner menu, wood-burning oven pizzas, signature sandwiches plus a meatball and beer bar!

AJ recommends the Bucatini!

House of Blues
Got late night munchies at Downtown Disney? House of Blues is open til 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights! The southern-inspired menu includes a large variety of sandwiches and seafood such as Creole Jambalaya. To soothe your soul, look for [Read more…]

Top 5 Budget Friendly Table-Service Restaurants in Disney World: A Tip From the DFB Guide

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining –is chock full of foodie info! Let’s take a look at another tip from the book — The Top 5 table-service restaurants in Walt Disney World for those dining on a tight budget…

Milky Way Sundae — Beaches and Cream

We chose these options because they are less expensive than other table-service locations, but also because we genuinely like to dine in these restaurants. A cheap price isn’t the only thing that makes dining in a restaurant worth it; good food and good atmosphere definitely have to be taken into account! So here are our favorite low-cost spots for taking a relaxing break from the hectic pace of the parks:

Top 5 Table-Service Restaurants on a Budget
» Beaches and Cream: This fun diner in Disney’s Beach Club Resort is tiny, but worth the wait! Order classic burgers and hot dogs, and the biggest ice cream sundaes you’ve ever seen!

» Trail’s End Restaurant: Tucked away at Fort Wilderness Resort, this country-style eatery is a buffet for breakfast and dinner and an a la carte spot for lunch. Be sure to try the sticky bun sundae!

» The Plaza: A small restaurant a stone’s throw from Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, this spot specializes in comfort food! We love the price, the service, and the view!

» The Fountain: Another diner reminiscent of the 50’s, this Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin restaurant has more milkshake varieties than we could try in a month of Sundays!

» 50’s Prime Time Café: One of our favorites for food and atmosphere, this Hollywood Studios diner themed to Mom’s 1950’s kitchen serves up some great fried chicken and pot roast, and will likely make you laugh ’til you cry!

Top Five Budget Friendly Restaurants at Disney World

You’ll find this and 19 more Top 5 lists of favorites in the The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining!

What are some of your favorite budget-friendly restaurants in Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments section below.

Review: The Fountain at Disney World Swan and Dolphin

Here’s the scenario: you’ve spent the day at the park, you’re exhausted, your kids are exhausted, your spouse is exhausted, you don’t have an ADR, and you’d rather not stand in line at another counter service restaurant. You need comfort food and you need it now.

I’ve got a great answer for you…

The Fountain at the Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort brings back memories of your favorite diner. With a bright red stools at the tiled counter, an ice cream freezer flanking one wall, booths in the back, and more milkshakes than you can could possibly drink listed on the menu, this is the perfect place to sit back, relax, and indulge [Read more…]

Exclusive: First Look at Menus and Details from the Swan & Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

I recently had the incredible opportunity to speak with Anthony “Tony” Porcellini, the Director of Food and Beverage at the Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort and the brains behind the brand new annual Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Tony was kind enough to share with me a few more details on the upcoming event, including menus for the tasting booths, specifics on the seminars, and a few surprises for next year’s event! I also received fantastic photos of some of the menu items that will be available in the tasting booths! You can see a few of them below, and a few more will be highlighted over the upcoming weeks.

What We’ll Be Tasting at the Food and Wine Classic

Six Swan and Dolphin restaurants will be featured at the Causeway tasting stations on Friday and Saturday nights (October 8th and 9th, 2010). The offerings will change each night, so be sure to check out the menus below before deciding your dates (or just head over both nights — that’s what I’d do!)

Todd English’s bluezoo
The first night of the festival will feature one of the restaurant’s trendiest dishes: Shrimp Steamrollers! According Tony Porcellini, to make the steamrollers, bluezoo Executive Chef Chris Windus basically “deconstructs a shrimp cocktail in a tube.” Eating them is an even bigger adventure! Chef Windus will be on hand at the tasting booth to demonstrate.

bluezoo Steamroller

Another trendy dish takes the stage at the bluezoo booth on Saturday. Pipettes filled with buerre blanc sauce will spear small pieces of scallop and bacon. To eat, simply pull the scallop and bacon from
[Read more…]