Five Dining Memories To Make at Walt Disney World

No matter how you vacation at Walt Disney World, the primary goal is always the same: to make memories that you can cherish and share for a lifetime. And with hundreds of attractions, shows, and experiences to try, there’s no shortage of ways to make those memories.

Hello from Disney World!

Hello from Disney World!

But one of our favorite ways to make new and lasting memories is by enjoying special dining experiences in the World. So if you’re officially planning your next vacay (or just daydreaming, as you should!), here are five unique and special dining experiences sure to leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Dine Above the World

Anyone can sit at ground level and enjoy some tasty Fish and Chips or a tray of Chicken Nuggets, but if you want to elevate your dining, you gotta get above the World. And thanks to some thoughtfully placed restaurants, you can do that with ease! [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 15, 2017

Happy Sunday! We hope you’re staying warm this weekend! We have so much exciting food news to share this week.

Deconstructed Purple Sweet Potato Pie

Deconstructed Purple Sweet Potato Pie

The first-ever Epcot International Festival of the Arts started on January 13 and we have photos of every food item at the Food Studios! We also have the full menus for the Food Studios!

After the Festival of the Arts is the 2017 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival with its Outdoor Kitchens, and don’t forget, the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival starts in August this year!

We have a lot to share with you this week, so let’s jump right in…

Disney Food News

[Read more…]

Review: Tokyo Dining in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

It’s been a while since we enjoyed a dinner in one of the many, many restaurants located around World Showcase. So today, we’re stopping in to Tokyo Dining!

Tokyo Dining is one of two table service restaurants that you’ll find in the beautiful Japan Pavilion, which happens to be a pretty great place to hang out. Mitsukoshi Department Store offers an endless of supply of intriguing merchandise, and the shop in the back is a wonderful spot to discover a new favorite snack. I don’t care if you can now score Pocky at Target — I still can’t resist grabbing some when I’m here!

I could go on. The Sake Bars (yep, there are two…this one and this one), counter service at Katsura Grill and Kabuki Cafe, Kakigori…there is SO much good food here!

But it’s been a while since we’ve taken in a meal at the table service spots. And while I love me some Teppan Edo (read our latest review here), things don’t change much at that Habachi Grill spot. So we decided to check back in with another favorite, Tokyo Dining.

Let’s head in. Or rather, up.

Atmosphere

I say “up” because you’ll actually find both Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining on the second floor of Mitsukoshi Department Store. Whether you’re checking in for an advance dining reservation or you’re checking availability for walk up spots, start at this booth located just to the right of the steps leading up to the restaurants.

Guest Check In for Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining

Guest Check In for Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining

Entrance

Entrance — Up the Steps

As I mentioned, Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo are both located here. Teppan Edo occupies the back of the second floor, while Tokyo Dining is located to your right at the top of the stairs — in the front of the building. [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Healthier Options in Walt Disney World

Many of us regard a trip to Walt Disney World as an opportunity to take a break from healthy eating and counting calories, carbs, etc.

 

2017-DFB-Guide-to-WDW-Dining-Cover_3D

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 2017! 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.

Disney Grab and Go Healthy Options

Disney Grab and Go Healthy Options

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.

Sunshine Seasons Fruit and Cheese Plate

Sunshine Seasons Fruit and Cheese Plate

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.

Grab and Go Sushi

Grab and Go Sushi at Landscape of Flavors

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!).

Create-Your-Own Satu'li Bowl

Create-Your-Own Satu’li Bowl

Another option that I can recommend is the Japan Pavilion at Epcot. Whether you choose a counter service meal at Katsura Grill or you opt for [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Japan Food and Beverage Pairing

We are ramping up for another fantastic Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Today, we’re reviewing a fun Special Event from the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

We are heading over to Tokyo Dining in the Japan Pavilion for the Food and Beverage Pairing experience. The light meals feature beverages paired with tasting-sized portions of the restaurant’s cuisine.

I’ve enjoyed dinner at Tokyo Dining as well as lots of fun meals at Teppan Edo, so I was pretty sure I was in for a treat! While we’d done the Morocco food and beverage pairing event, we’d not yet experienced the Japan version. Here we go!

Atmosphere

When I arrived for the Food and Beverage Pairing, I checked in at the stand that serves both Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining. The cool, sleek waiting area features simple, modern decor and comfortable low lighting.

Waiting Area Serves Both Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo

This area is also shared by the two restaurants.

Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo Waiting Area from Another Angle

Step into the Tokyo Dining seating area, and the same modern Japanese vibe is prevalent throughout. A sushi show kitchen takes up space along one wall.

Tokyo Dining Seating and Open Sushi Kitchen

The other side of the restaurant is dominated by [Read more…]

Review: Tokyo Dining in Epcot’s Japan

Craving sushi or just need a relaxed and elegant spot for lunch or dinner? It’s time to book Tokyo Dining!

Although we have recommended Tokyo Dining a number of times as a decent spot for catching Illuminations, I’ve never posted my own review of this restaurant. So we made it a priority to head over and dig in — for the sake of the blog. ;-)

This spot is located on the second floor of the Mitsukoshi Department Store building in Epcot’s Japan, adjacent to the Hibachi-style Japanese steakhouse, Teppan Edo.

And while we know it’s a terrific place to stop by for sushi (and it’s rarely crowded), they’ve got plenty on the menu for non-seafood palates as well. Let’s take a look!

Atmosphere

Like a growing number of World Showcase restaurants, Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo now have an outdoor check-in area for busy days. On our visit, it wasn’t that crowded; so the cast member told us to head on upstairs to check in.

Check-in Desk Outside Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining

We were met by two very gracious Japanese cast members, signed in, and directed to wait in the lobby of the two restaurants.

The quiet, sleek, and spacious waiting area is a welcome respite from the relative activity of the theme parks. It’s very restful.

Waiting Area

Once your name is called to be seated, you’ll be directed to one of two main dining rooms at Tokyo Dining.

The first room features an on-stage sushi kitchen, where you can watch chefs as they prepare dishes for guests.

Additional Seating and Open Sushi Kitchen

The other dining room features some seriously cool indirect lighting, plus plenty of natural lighting and panoramic views of World Showcase.

Here’s a weird tip: the tables by the windows have super cushy padded chairs, while the others are less comfortable. Just an FYI…and one good reason to request a seat by the window.

Another good reason? Illuminations. Yep; you really can see the fireworks from here (albeit they can be slightly obstructed by trees or people standing on the balcony outside).

Dining Room Seating

We were here during the day, however, so I was happy to take in the views from my cushy window seat. ;-)

View From Dining Room

We had lots of items to choose from, so after taking in our surroundings, it was time to settle down and decide [Read more…]

News! 2012 Candlelight Processional Lunch and Dinner Packages On Sale Now

It’s time!! The Candlelight Processional Dinner Packages are finally on sale!

This coveted ticket provides guests with a lunch or dinner meal at select Epcot restaurants and guaranteed seating to the popular Candlelight Processional holiday spectacular.

At the event, the Christmas story is told by a celebrity narrator while a 50-piece orchestra and choir accompany the re-telling. The event is held on select nights from November 23 – December 30, 2012, in the American Gardens Theatre at Disney World’s Epcot.

Package Details

The package includes your choice of an appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage or 1 full buffet from the restaurant’s menu. Guests also have access to an special Illuminations Fireworks viewing area.

Prices [Read more…]

Candlelight Processional Dinner Packages On Sale Now!

The Candlelight Processional Dinner Package provides guests with a lunch or dinner meal at select Epcot restaurants and guaranteed seating to the popular Candlelight Processional holiday spectacular. Recently Disney’s added in a VIP viewing of IllumiNations, Reflections of Earth, to make this a really great deal!

At the event, the Christmas story is told by a celebrity narrator while a 50-piece orchestra and choir accompany the re-telling. The event is held on select nights from November 25 – December 30, 2011 in the American Gardens Theatre in Disney World’s Epcot.

Package Details

Does not include park admission. Includes your choice of an appetizer, entree, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage or 1 full buffet from the restaurant’s menu. Prices exclude tax and gratuity.

Disney Dining Plan
Standard and Deluxe Dining – 2 table service credits per person for any meal/restaurant
Premium and Platinum Dining – 1 table service credit per person for any meal/restaurant

Out-of-Pocket Costs
Biergarten
Lunch – Adult $32.99 Child $17.99
Dinner – Adult $50.99 Child $25.99

Nine Dragons
Lunch – Adult $38.99 Child $12.99
Dinner – Adult $49.99 Child $15.99

Restaurant Marrakesh
Lunch – Adult $38.99 Child $12.99
Dinner – Adult $49.99 Child $15.99

Rose and Crown
Lunch – Adult $38.99 Child $12.99
Dinner – Adult $49.99 Child $15.99

Via Napoli
Lunch – Adult $38.99 Child $12.99
Dinner – Adult $49.99 Child $15.99

San Angel Inn
Lunch – Adult $38.99 Child $12.99
Dinner – Adult $49.99 Child $15.99

Coral Reef
Lunch – Adult $51.99 Child $13.99
Dinner – Adult $64.99 Child $17.99

Teppan Edo
Lunch – Adult $51.99 Child $13.99
Dinner – Adult $64.99 Child $17.99

Tokyo Dining
Lunch – Adult $51.99 Child $13.99
Dinner – Adult $64.99 Child $17.99

Tutto Italia
Lunch – Adult $51.99 Child $13.99
Dinner – Adult $64.99 Child $17.99

Chefs de France
Lunch – Adult $51.99 Child $13.99
Dinner – Adult $64.99 Child $17.99

Garden Grill
Dinner – Adult $52.99 Child $26.99

Le Cellier
Lunch – Adult $53.99 Child $14.99

La Hacienda de San Angel
Lunch – Adult $64.99 Child $17.99

Narrators:

11/25 – 11/27: Mira Sorvino
11/28 – 12/01: Michael W. Smith
12/02 – 12/03: Whoopi Goldberg
12/04 – 12/06: TBA
12/07 – 12/09: Isabela Rossellini
12/10 – 12/12: Neil Patrick Harris
12/13- 12/14: TBA
12/16 – 12/18: TBA
12/19 – 12/21: Trace Adkins
12/22 – 12/24: Susan Lucci
12/25 – 12/27: Blair Underwood
12/28 – 12/30: Marlee Matlin with interpreter: Jack Jason

Instead of waiting in a loooonnng line (to get a leftover seat) for this memorable holiday tradition, book a package now. Call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463!

Thanks to Heidi M. at White Glove Destinations for the heads up

Unique Meals for Kids: A Tip From the DFB Guide

We can’t wait to share more awesome Disney dining info from our 2013 Edition of the The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book! Today, let’s check out some more great tips from the Guide!

Pork Egg Roll

Making Food Fun for Kids
At first glance, the kids’ meals at WDW seem boring. But they don’t have to be! There really are locations to get more than chicken nuggets or mac ‘n cheese. With some advance planning, your family can visit restaurants that offer some very tasty alternatives for kids!

Take the monotony out of your menus for kids and plan to dine at Yak & Yeti in the Animal Kingdom where they have egg rolls and lo mein on the kids’ menu!

Need a table-service restaurant that offers more than kid pizza? In the Magic Kingdom, Tony’s Town Square has a fun menu for the kids in your party. One option is a cheeseburger calzone! Now that’s definitely more interesting than another personal pizza.

And at Tokyo Dining in Epcot, your kiddos can have teriyaki chicken or tempura shrimp!

Ready for All of Our Best Disney World Tips?

We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips in our big, bold, 450-page DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 — and the guide is your ticket to planning your best Disney trip yet!

mini_guide2014_300x250

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 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 the best vacation ever. Click here to get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 E-book — and use code 2014 for an extra $4 discount for a limited time!

The Most Popular Disney World Restaurants (And Alternatives When They’re Full)

Chef Donald

You guys remember when we covered the Top Ten Disney Dining Tips, right? Overwhelmingly, the tip that was mentioned the most by Disney Food Blog readers was making Advanced Dining Reservations for high priority meals at Disney parks and resorts.

While this might be obvious to many, not everyone knows which Disney restaurants fill up the fastest when it comes to reservations. Having a little frame of reference on this might be extremely helpful as you’re planning your Disney dining and trying to determine what meals are high priority for you. So, I’ve prepared a little primer on which Disney restaurants are the toughest to book, along with great alternatives if you don’t happen to get your favorites!:

1. Le Cellier

Le Cellier Steakhouse has been, for years, one of the toughest tickets in Disney World for both lunch and dinner. Seriously, I have heard Le Cellier cast members mention more than once that they’re continuously booked up for lunch and dinner 6 months in advance, with walk-up reservations rarely an option. In my opinion, this is due to three things: [Read more…]