Review: Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace at Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort

CHEERS! COWABUNGA! TULLEEHO! KUNGALOOSH!

It’s already time to go back inside (and outside!) Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

While both the Grotto and Terrace continue in soft openings with an official opening anticipated for late April (when all the sought-after souvenir glasses will be available for guests to take home), these new hot spots remain the talk of the town.

On March 28th, when both the Grog Grotto and the Tiki Terrace soft opened for the first day, tales of lines up to 6 hours long were nearly as much of a story as the bars opening themselves. So a common question now is, “What are the wait times like?”

How long until you can get past Trader Sam's door?

How long until you can get past Trader Sam’s door?

Grog Grotto Hours of Operation

Grog Grotto Hours of Operation

Unsure of what to expect, my husband and I arrived at the Polynesian at 2 pm on a weekday for the 4 pm opening, and no line had started yet (though the bar is open until midnight, after 8 pm only guests 21 and older are permitted).

At 3 pm, we decided we’d better stake out our spot, so we went to the inside door of the Grog Grotto, where two Cast Members were waiting. We were told we were the first for the day, and could start the line outside at the metal bench pictured below.

The line starts here

The line starts here

The next guest arrived at 3:15, and a line in earnest began to form at 3:30 pm. Around 3:50, a Cast Member came outside and gave us all a stamp to show at the door as our proof that we’d been counted in the line. At this time, I counted around 40 people waiting, and when we were let in at 4:00 pm, everyone made it inside to fill up the 51 person capacity. Huzzah!

Outdoor entrance into the Trader Sam's hallway

Outdoor entrance into the Trader Sam’s hallway

Now, I’m not claiming this will be the case everyday. We clearly arrived early anticipating a wait and were shocked that there wasn’t one, especially during what’s considered a peak time (still in the Spring Break window). Now, I had a friend in town Saturday of the same week. She arrived at Trader Sam’s at 7:30 pm and was given a pager for a 90 minute wait, and folks arriving a while after were looking at a couple hours at least.

Pager for Trader Sam's

Pager for Trader Sam’s

That’s not altogether surprising, though, since I think we can all anticipate longer lines on weekends for what is sure to be a popular destination for locals as well as vacationers for a long time to come.

Okay, logistics, schmogistics! WE’RE IN! It’s time to see a little more of what Trader Sam has in store for his guests…

TRADER SAM’S GROG GROTTO

Atmosphere

You’ve now entered Trader Sam’s “happy hideaway.” The story of the Grotto is told to us by Skip, Manager of the Jungle Cruise Navigational Company (just click the image below to enlarge). As head salesman of the jungle that we all know and love from the Jungle Cruise, Trader Sam discovered a passion for mixology as an extension of his professional interest in head-shrinking potions. As he traveled the globe for ingredients, he picked up many a souvenir and brought them back to the Grotto.

The story of Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

The story of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Entering the Grotto for the first time was — for me, at least — overwhelming in the best way possible. While you want to grab a table or a seat at the bar (and lemme tell ya, it’s best to move quickly to get one), it’s difficult to not want to try to take in every bit of the INSANE amount of details and decoration right away. This room is simply the stuff of dreams for fans of Disney detail and history.

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Before we take in a few of those gems, the basic setup is small and…well, I don’t know if “cozy” is the word. It’s snug, for sure, but somehow not in a bad way. The way everyone is close together, it seems to encourage a party atmosphere and festive mood.

Oh, my… where to start? Well, I’ll take a cue from a Jungle Cruise Skipper and point out a few of my favorite details! There’s this one.

Postcard

Postcard

And this one.

Family Tree East Coast Branch

Family Tree East Coast Branch

I like this one.

Picture of Walt Disney

Walt Disney

Ooookay, so CLEARLY that joke doesn’t play out in writing the same way it does on the Jungle Cruise when your Skipper deadpans pointing out his or her favorite plants ;) . Still, you get the point. There is just a TON of [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 5, 2015

Happy Easter! Whether you’re celebrating the beautiful Spring holiday with a luxurious meal, or you’re hunting up eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny, I hope that you’re having a relaxing Sunday.

Cinderella's Coach Egg

Cinderella’s Coach Egg

After a couple of weeks jam-packed with exciting Disney news, this week was a little more relaxed on the information front, as guests enjoyed the Spring Break Season in the Parks. Lines have been long, and we’ve seen all kinds of pop up food spots to feed hungry vacationers.

The Polynesian Village Resort has continued to take center stage at Walt Disney World this week, as the classic hotel celebrated its official grand re-opening. And of course, lines continue to be long at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto during its first preview days.

Let’s kick off this holiday Sunday by re-capping the Disney Food News from this week.

Disney Food News

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 Special Holiday Events, Menu Changes, Restaurant Closure Updates, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or about Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Today, we’re featuring treats that YOU make at home!

Julia Scillieri Blake has created this beautiful Frozen-inspired cake for one lucky birthday girl!

"Frozen" Birthday Cake by Reader !

“Frozen” Birthday Cake by Reader Julia Scillieri Blake!

Kay Ray has made my mouth water with her homemade rendition of the famous Hollywood Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake! (Make your own with this handy recipe.)

A Homemade Version of the Famed Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake -- Perfect for Spring!

A Homemade Version of the Famed Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake — Perfect for Spring!

Do you have a favorite Disney Food find? Share your photos with us!

Deal of the Week: The FULLY UPDATED DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book, 2015-16 Edition

Magic Kingdom Snacks are some of our favorite treats in all the World! And in fact, many of them can just about amount to a meal. And those are just a couple of the reasons we are so excited to announce that the 2015-16 Edition of The DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book is now available!

To celebrate the 2015-16 launch of this important book, we have a great discount for you! Our readers can get the new guide for $3 off the purchase price for a limited time — just use code MK15 at the check-out!

It’s time to snag your copy! Here are the details.

The Disney Food Blog Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book

The DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book is one of the many fun and informative Disney Dining e-Books offered by Disney Food Blog!

Now we’ve updated our best-selling DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book for 2015-16 with even more great information, photos, and…yep!…snacks (about 30 more than the 2014 edition)!

Don’t Miss Out on the Best Snacks in the Magic Kingdom!

This guide is guaranteed to help you find the best snacks and treats (even mini-meals!) for your family while visiting the Magic Kingdom — or we’ll refund the purchase price. We all know that treats at Magic Kingdom are just as nostalgic as our first flight on Dumbo!

The DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book includes: [Read more…]

FIRST LOOK! Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort

AHOY!!!! Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is now in soft openings at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!!!

Trader Sam's door sign

Trader Sam’s door sign

And we are SO excited to share pictures from some of our awesome DFB Readers who were there to ring in the occasion!

Many thanks to Lori Hope Fries, DFB Reader and co-founder of TheMainStreetMoms.com, for sending in some awesome pics for us to share with you, along with her review! We’re also suuuuuper grateful to our friend David Shearer for sharing his incredible photos as well! We’ll be using the collection of both of their pictures along with a few of ours to tell the story of the very first days of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.

But before we go in… what is a “soft opening,” exactly? Basically, a soft open means that guests may find Trader Sam’s in operation during a visit to the Polynesian from now until it’s official opening (expected for late April), BUT it can be closed at any given time to continue any necessary work. So, fair warning.

Okay, enough with the logistics! The anticipation is killing me!! Let’s step behind the door…

Trader Sam's door

Trader Sam’s door

Umm, actually, let’s head inside the Grotto after we wait in line. Just getting in on the first day was no easy task!

Take, for instance, this anecdote from our good friend, Mealtrip: “The system is, you get a pager, then they call you in. So there was a 3 hour wait to get a pager and then another 3 hour wait once you had the pager. There is no “pager waiting line”, and you can’t just wait in the hallway for a pager.”

Pager for Trader Sam's

Pager for Trader Sam’s

And so, a head’s up: for at least the first months of operation, we can all expect longs lines to be rule, not the exception. Anyone who’s had experience with Trader Sam’s in Disneyland will be fully aware of this gigantic problem. Okay, with that out of the way, NOW let’s step inside and see what treasures await!

Take it away, Lori!

“We have been on watch for months, waiting for Trader Sam to land at the Polynesian Village Resort. Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Room, at the Disneyland Resort, is a favorite stop when we go, and have been there many times. My middle son, Dennis, is an avid tiki mug collector, so we watched as the lobby walls came down around the fountain and a cast member showed us the door leading to Trader Sam’s new location. We watched and waited.

Trader Sam's door

Trader Sam’s door

When you go on the Jungle Cruise in each Adventureland, Trader Sam, the head salesman of the jungle, will greet you. From coast to coast, these two men share a name and a job (and some jokes), but each coast has their own Sam. We were excited to see how the tiki bars of the same name differed.

Trader Sam from Disney World's Jungle Cruise

Trader Sam from Disney World’s Jungle Cruise

We were in the Magic Kingdom when we learned that Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto was holding a soft opening. We hopped on a monorail and headed for the Polynesian Village Resort. The wait time was up to four hours to get in! Luckily, we got a pager from a friend who couldn’t stay, and combined the wait.

Pager for Trader Sam's

Pager for Trader Sam’s

We headed to the new patio [Editor’s note: Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace], which has the same menu as inside, and ordered [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: March 29, 2015

Spring is underway and with it has come a rush of notable news throughout Disney. And at Disney World especially this week, we’ve seen tons of big stories — including rumors of new restaurants, new meals, new menus, and even a Food and Wine Festival update!

Nautilus Drink at Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Nautilus Drink at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

The biggest news is that the new Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto “soft” opened at Disney Polynesian Village Resort yesterday. Crowds were off the charts (6 HOUR WAIT TO GET IN!), but we’re putting a First Look post together and will have pics for you tomorrow morning (including this awesome Nautilus drink, thanks to DFB reader Lori Hope Fries)! Yay!

But back to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2015 is a big year in the history of the event as we celebrate 20 years of Eating and Drinking Around the World.

We’ll bring you every detail and dish as the news unfolds, but in the meantime, this week, we have word of the very first acts lined up for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series!

We’ll get started today by taking a look at some of the week’s biggest stories.

Disney Food News

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 Restaurant Closure Updates, Special Events at Disney Restaurants, Seasonal Pop-Up Food Stands, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

DFB Reader Finds

If you discover a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or about Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

It’s a chilly day across much of the US today, but we’re dreaming of warmer temperatures. So today, we’re featuring Ice Cream Treats from around Magic Kingdom!

Let’s take a moment to enjoy some Hand-Dipped Ice Cream from the new landscape in the Magic Kingdom Castle Garden area, courtesy of reader Kristen Figuerado. That view makes it even more delish. :-)

Ice Cream in the New Garden at Magic Kingdom

Ice Cream in the New Garden at Magic Kingdom

Reader Sheri Robb shows us that, not only is the Mickey Pants Kitchen Sink Sundae adorable — it’s plenty big enough to share!

Mickey Pants Kitchen Sink Sundae

Mickey Pants Kitchen Sink Sundae

Do you have a favorite Disney Food find? Share your photos with us!

Deal of the Week: 2015-2016 Disney World Vacation Must-Have E-Book Sale!

OK — so you have a Walt Disney World Trip on the books for this year — Woohoo!! There’s nothing more exciting than counting down the days to your next Walt Disney World Trip!

dfb2015_guide_3d

But, even the most spontaneous Disney fan knows that planning ahead is the key to a stress-less vacay. And that mantra is absolutely true when it comes to dining.

If you really want to dine in the hottest restaurants, you pretty much have to plan ahead. Be spontaneous, of course. But get a couple Advance Dining Reservations in place.

But which ones?

That’s where Disney Food Blog comes in! You already enjoy our reviews, news, and tips daily on our Blog. But did you know — that’s JUST the tip of the iceberg. Because we have lots more to share with you in our complete line of DFB Guides.

If you’re ready for a fun, easy way to personalize eating and drinking your way through Disney, then check out the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book.
Fully updated for your 2015-2016 adventures, the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 490 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subject — Eating Your Way Through Disney! So you save time and money as you enjoy planning one of the most important parts of your trip. ;-)

And to thank all of you for your support of DFB, we are offering extra savings on our most popular DFB Guide right now. Just enter promo code 2015 at checkout and you’ll save $4 off of our cover price of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book!

But if you’d like to enjoy even more detail, check out another great offer.

DFB Everything Bundle SALE!

If you’d like even more great information, pictures, and tips, then the DFB Everything Bundle is the right fit for you.

Everything Bundle Collages

And to get you ready for that next big trip, we are offering the DFB Everything Bundle for $15 off the already low price! It’s like getting an entire book for free. Just enter promo code Everything15 at checkout to take advantage of this offer.

The Everything Bundle includes, well, Everything! When you purchase this special bundle of DFB Guides, you’ll get it all: [Read more…]

Coming Soon! Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

UPDATE: News today from Disney states that Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto should be opening officially in late April. 

As Disney fans and DFB readers know well by now, plenty of changes have come to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort over the past several months of major resort-wide refurbishment.

New Tiki Statue in Lobby

New Tiki Statue in Lobby

For Disney food fans, perhaps none of the openings have met with as much anticipation as the eagerly awaited Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto! All sorts of signs (some of them literal!) are pointing to its imminent opening!

Updated Dining Sign with Trader Sam's

Updated Dining Sign with Trader Sam’s

Updated Dining Location Direction Sign with Trader Sam's

Updated Dining Location Direction Sign with Trader Sam’s

Of course, no sign is more telling than the one on the door to the Grotto itself…

Trader Sam's door sign

Trader Sam’s door sign

Other signs are less obvious, but bring to mind the nautical theme that we’ve been told to expect for the east coast version of Trader Sam’s, influenced by 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Guests can now see the painting below and oars lining the hallway that starts at Captain Cook’s on the ground floor of the Great Ceremonial House and leads to Trader Sam’s.

Submarine Grotto Painting

Submarine Grotto Painting

Oars lining the wall

Oars lining the wall

Oar on the wall

Oar on the wall

So, what else do we know? So far, at least five adult beverages will be unique to the Disney World location, including the Castaway Crush, Polynesian Pearl, Tahitian Torch, and the Dark & Tropical Stormy. As is the case at its [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: March 26th, 2015

I’m not sure what it feels like in your neck of the woods, but the calendar says it’s officially SPRING! And the season is ON at Walt Disney World, with new food items to help feed those spring break crowds (did somebody say “Grilled Cheese”?), as well as an egg-stra special Easter display at the Grand Floridian Resort.

But that’s not all! There’s much more in store… so let’s hop to it, as we take another trip around the World to see What’s New!

MAGIC KINGDOM

Be Our Guest Breakfast

Hey, has anyone heard of some little dive by the name of Be Our Guest Restaurant? ;)

Be Our Guest in the First Light of Morning

Be Our Guest in the First Light of Morning

Well, in case you didn’t know about the Advance Dining Reservations heard ‘round the World, the popular restaurant is now open for BREAKFAST! Huge hits on the all-new prix fixe menu include the Open-Face Bacon and Egg Sandwich and the Croissant Doughnut.

Open-Face Bacon and Egg Sandwich

Open-Face Bacon and Egg Sandwich

Croissant Doughnut and fresh fruit

Croissant Doughnut and fresh fruit

You can read our Opening Day Everything on the Menu review HERE!

Sweet Treat Makeovers

Not sure how long this gem will be around, but the Cinderella Coach Apple celebrating the recently released live-action “Cinderella” film sure is a beauty!

Cinderella Coach Apple

Cinderella Coach Apple

You can find it for a limited time at the Main Street Confectionery and Big Top Treats. (Keep an eye out at spots outside of Magic Kingdom like Goofy’s Candy Company and Sweet Spells, too!) A few of the Krispy Treats have joined in on the fun, as well…

Cinderella Coach Apples and Krispy Treats

Cinderella Coach Apples and Krispy Treats

Snack Location Switcheroos

Looking for your favorite Dole Whip or Citrus Swirl over in Adventureland?

Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace

Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace

Well, the homes for these beloved snacks have changed places. You see, Sunshine Tree Terrace — home of the Citrus Swirl — is now located where Aloha Isle used to be. And Aloha Isle, boasting its signature Dole Whip? It’s now located where Sunshine Tree Terrace used to be.

New Aloha Isle location

New Aloha Isle location

New Sunshine Tree Terrace location

New Sunshine Tree Terrace location

Confused? Fret not — you can read all about it here! Rumor has it that this all has something to do with a new restaurant on the horizon for Adventureland. (And what’s this we’re hearing about a possible Jungle Cruise theme?!) Time will surely tell!

Speaking of location changes… If you’re hoping to enjoy a Jumbo Turkey Leg in Magic Kingdom, they’ll be available at Cool Ship in Tomorrowland starting TODAY.

Cool Ship

Cool Ship area

Walt Disney World Turkey Leg

Walt Disney World Turkey Leg

This temporary move will allow for [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 8, 2015

This was a BIG Disney Food news week! No worries though — we’ll get you caught up now. First up, you’ll want to know that Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant will start accepting Advance Dining Reservations for lunch starting February 25th. No more FastPasses for your afternoon meal at the Beast’s Castle.

Trolley Car Cafe sign

Trolley Car Cafe sign

Now, let’s move on to the newest hot spot in Walt Disney World. Trolley Car Cafe, a Starbucks location, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now serving up your favorite beverages.

For all the details on the above news and more, just click on the links below!

Disney Food News

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 restaurant closures, menu updates, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or about Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

It’s always a great time for chocolate, right?! Check out the Mud Pie shared by Facebook Friend Wendy. You can pick one up at Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure.

Mud Pie at Flo's V8 Cafe

Mud Pie at Flo’s V8 Cafe

Frosting lovers — do not walk by Cheshire Cafe in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Stop and get a gourmet cake cup like this Mad Hatter Mocha version sent in by Facebook Friend Jacki.

Mad Hatter Mocha Cake Cup

Mad Hatter Mocha Cake Cup

Do you have a favorite find? Share your Disney food photos!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015

We recently launched The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book! This valuable resource is fully updated for 2015-16 Disney vacations, and is now available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining plans while in Disney World.

dfb2015_guide_3d

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 490 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next trip! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBStore.com to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2015 to get a $4 discount for a limited time! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!

Note: If you purchased the 2014 Guide last year, scroll down for details on repeat purchase discounts.

Here’s Just Some Of What You Get With Our 2015 Guide:

  • Over 490 Pages of Disney Dining and Planning information, tips, reviews, and recommendations!
  • An in-depth Disney Dining Restaurant Reviews section, covering all Disney restaurants, food kiosks, bars, and lounges
  • An updated Disney Dining Plan section and price analysis [Read more…]

News and Sneak Peek: Check Out the Drinks Coming to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto!

There’s lots of cool stuff happening at Walt Disney World this year. But one thing that we are crazy excited about is the opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto -- Coming to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Soon!

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto — Coming to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Soon!

While there’s still no official word on exactly when this Spring we’ll be able to belly up to that bar, we do have a few more details about some of the drinks they’ll be featuring!

We’re hearing that beverages will be “hand crafted”, so we’re expecting delicious fresh flavors with a tropical twist! We can’t wait to get our hands on the Castaway Crush. And it won’t be long before we can indulge in a Polynesian Pearl, a Tahitian Torch, or a Nautilus. But personally, the first drink I’ll be enjoying here is the Dark & Tropical Stormy!

I'll Have Whatever She's Making, Please!

Could That Be a Polynesian Pearl??

In addition to a whole bevy of new drinks, Trader Sam will also bring a couple of tried and true favorites from his Enchanted Tiki Bar at Disneyland to the Grog Grotto. The menu will include the Shrunken Zombie Head, Uh-Oa!, and Krakatoa Punch, in addition to others. We’re still awaiting word on whether we’ll be able to get a Kungaloosh! Surely, we will, right! :-D (Check out our review of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar here!)

Uh Oa!

Uh Oa!!!

And if you don’t indulge in alcoholic beverages, no worries — there are some great non-alcoholic options as well! We’ll look forward to telling you all about Skipper Sipper and Schweitzer Falls, and [Read more…]

The Year in Review: Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2014!

We are standing on the cusp of a brand New Year, and we can’t wait to see what 2015 holds in store for us — and Disney!

Top10DisneyFoodNewsStories

But we can’t wave goodbye to the old year without looking back on some of the biggest food news that happened throughout Disney Parks.

Most of this year’s big news happened at Walt Disney World, but we have a few memorable moments to share with you from Disneyland as well as other Disney Parks around the globe.

Today, we bring you a look back at 2014’s Biggest Disney Food News Stories! We have a LOT to cover — let’s get started!

First up, a little something I like to call…

The Beginning of Finally Doing Something with Pleasure Island

It’s the story we feel like we’ve been watching for years — what’s happening at Downtown Disney Orlando’s now defunct Pleasure Island??

Well, 2014 finally saw some solid progress, and the Disney Springs story seems to be coming to life.

An Artist's Rendering of Disney Springs

An Artist’s Rendering of Disney Springs

Lots of changes have made a trip to Downtown Disney a challenge in the last couple of years. But as the year draws to a close, the parking garages are open, and we are seeing some of the plans take shape!

2014 kicked off with a surprise restaurant opening of sorts — the House of Blues added a new counter service offering, The Smokehouse. We say surprise because we told you about the restaurant for the first time just days before the walls came down and the doors opened for business!

The Smokehouse at The House of Blues

The Smokehouse at The House of Blues

The Smokehouse is strictly a walk-up window venue. But the covered outdoor seating is pleasant, and you can often take in live music as you enjoy barbecue favorites, like their Beef Brisket Sandwich, St. Louis Ribs, or Smoked Turkey Legs.

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw from The Smokehouse

But it wasn’t all good news for Downtown Disney this year. Guests at T-Rex Cafe last Spring were in for some decidedly unpleasant dinner excitement, as one of the restaurant’s humongous fish tanks sprang a leak during dinner service!

However, no one was injured and all of the fish were reportedly rescued. We’re glad that all turned out happily in the situation, but we’ll never look at those huge fish tanks quite the same way again!

Also in the Spring, we said hello to a spot that’s quickly become one of our most favorite spots to shop in all of Walt Disney World — the Marketplace Co-op!

Disney Centerpiece

Disney Centerpiece

We have found some totally awesome stuff in the store’s Disney Centerpiece Section, including dishes, glasses, and other tableware that celebrate all of our Disney cult favorites. Whether you’re a Dole Whip fan or love memorabilia celebrating Tomorrowland, chances are you’ll find something that you’ve just gotta have!

Orange Bird Section

Orange Bird Section

Starbucks also continued to [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: December 14, 2014

The holidays at Walt Disney World fill our spirits with extra magic. From showstopping decor to heartwarming seasonal treats and beverages, the parks and resorts are at their very best.

Winter Berry Margarita

Winter Berry Margarita

And we always enjoy seeing the adult drinks that Disney’s Hollywood Studios has available before we tour the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

And we have a sneak peek at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto coming to Disney’s Polynesian Resort!!

Craving more news? Dig in below — just click on the links!

Disney Food News

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 restaurant closures, Field to Feast, Starbucks West Side Holiday Menu, Frozen Yogurt at Storybook Treats, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

We always love to see the seasonal treats that the Disney chefs dream up. This week, our fabulous readers show us their holiday finds.

Let’s start with this gorgeous seasonal cupcake featured at the Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant. We have this photo to share with you courtesy of reader Claire. She told us via email “This was from about 3 weeks ago. It was a seasonal offering at Be our Guest in addition to the other regular cupcakes for dessert. It was very cutely designed to look like a cup of egg nog, with chocolate handle on the cup and everything. It had a nice soft, moist texture to the cupcake which was a spice cake. But holy nutmeg Batman!!! I love spice as much as the next person, but the nutmeg seemed really pronounced. If you really like the Christsmas-y flavours, then this is for you.”

Egg Nog Cupcake

Egg Nog Cupcake

DFB Reader Rick tweeted “Cupcake, Gingerbread & Mickey. Who could ask for more!?!” We love this one, too, Rick!

Gingerbread Cupcake

Gingerbread Cupcake

What’s your favorite find? Share your Disney food photos!

DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2014

Tis the season to eat, drink, and go to Walt Disney World! And that means it’s time to pick up your copy of the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2014 e-Book!

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The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014 e-Book is Fully Updated!

The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014 e-Book features 310 pages of all the info you need to know before you head to Walt Disney World for the holiday season, including NEW events and holiday happenings, over 250 photos, and an informative FAQ section. It includes:

  • Detailed descriptions and photos of every holiday event and activity happening at the parks and resorts this year — including tips on how to make the best use of your time and money when visiting!
  • A fully comprehensive holiday dining section with listings of holiday snacks, treats, meals, and menu items offered this year — from popcorn kiosks all the way to Signature Restaurants.
  • New chapter on where to dine with no advance dining reservations.
  • New chapter on 10 must-eat snacks this holiday season.
  • A clickable 3-Month Schedule of Holiday Events so you can see at-a-glance what looks interesting to you.
  • Comprehensive listings — with color photos! — of Disney Resort holiday decor and gingerbread displays
  • Our recommendations on ways to SAVE while you’re in Disney World this holiday season.
  • A full chapter dedicated to all “New for 2014″ events, dining options, and activities, including what’s new at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, The Celebrate the Magic Castle Show, and the Epcot Candlelight Processional.
  • Updated Scavenger Hunts
  • Disney Cruise Line Chapter
  • A Preview of the 2015 Holidays in Disney World
  • And more!

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Holiday Fun!

You’re probably paying a lot of money for your Disney holiday vacation…and we’re here to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck! And with the holiday season already here, the time is now!

Holiday Guide Sample Pages

Holiday Guide Sample Pages

Booking early for holiday events and dining is critical, and our exclusive

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