Tip from the DFB Guide: How to Outsmart the Heat and Crowds at Disney World This Summer

We’re coming into the very hot, very crowded summer months at Walt Disney World. And that gives me a chance to share with you one of my favorite tips from the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining!

2014 dfb guide 3d cover

So, dining in the theme parks is awesome and convenient, since you’re probably already there. BUT, it can also be a hassle…because you’ll get hungry for lunch, well, just about same time that everyone else does!

So one of my favorite tips for dealing with crowds during lunch at Disney Parks? Escape the Parks for lunch at a nearby resort.

The food is as good (and sometimes it’s better) than what you’ll find in the Parks. And with all of that wonderful air conditioning comes another pleasant surprise. Since most guests are busy running to and fro to attractions, you’ll often find little to no wait at Resort restaurants.

When I’m at Magic Kingdom, I love to hop a boat and head for lunch at Trail’s End Restaurant. Located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort Campground, getting there by boat is actually a smart move, since the restaurant is located all the way at the back of the resort.

Grab this Sticky Bun Sundae -- or another mouth watering menu item -- at Trail's End on your Magic Kingdom Day

Grab this Sticky Bun Sundae — or another mouth watering menu item — at Trail’s End on your Magic Kingdom Day

ESPN Club is a short walk from both Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and it’s a great place to catch up with what’s going on in the world of sports while you cool down!

Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has amazing food, and it’s an easy commute from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

You Just Might View Some Animals While You Take in Lunch at Sanaa

You Just Might View Some Animals While You Take in Lunch at Sanaa

And don’t forget [Read more…]

Review: Trail’s End Restaurant at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

It’s been a while since I’ve slept in a camper, cabin, or tent, but that doesn’t stop me from loving Trail’s End Restaurant!

Located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, the down-home spot is one of my favorites for many reasons — but delicious food and reasonable prices top the list.

While I love lunch and dinner at Trail’s End, I hadn’t visited for breakfast before, so I decided it was time to do just that on a recent trip.


Getting to Trail’s End is half the adventure. It’s located waaaay at the back of the resort, in the area known as the Settlement.

Now, wait. To be fair, adventure is kind of a generous word. It’s actually kind of a pain to get here. Maybe that’s why I like it so much — it’s rarely too packed!

If you’re coming here via bus from a theme park, or via your own car, you’ll park way up at the front of Fort Wilderness and have to take some internal buses to get back to the Settlement. That’s why I prefer to get to Trail’s End and the other Fort Wilderness restaurants via boat from Magic Kingdom, Wilderness Lodge, or the Contemporary — much less intensive on the travel end, and more enjoyable as well.

On this morning we took the bus, so we had some sight-seeing to do on our way from the bus stop back to Trail’s End… .

Welcome to the Settlement!

It’s not uncommon to see horses at Fort Wilderness, where there are carriage and wagon rides available.

Ft. Wilderness Activities

Pioneer Hall shares space with our destination. I love this place! It looks like a giant log cabin. The surrounding by tall pines and live oaks dripping in Spanish moss really give it the feeling of a pioneer settlement.

Pioneer Hall

Pioneer Hall is home to several popular destinations at Fort Wilderness. You’ll find Mickey’s Backyard BBQ close by. But it’s also where you’ll head for an evening of down home fun at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue!

Pioneer Hall -- Up Close

Just past the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue venue, you’ll find our destination for the morning — Trail’s End table-service restaurant. This location shares [Read more…]

Guest Review: Trail’s End Restaurant at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Join me in welcoming back guest author Julie B.!

She returns with a review of Trail’s End Restaurant in the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. The journey to this restaurant is part of the experience, right?!

Howdy folks! Even though we’re on vacation, sometimes you just want the comforts of a home-cooked meal. Trail’s End Restaurant at Fort Wilderness Campground brings all the happiness of home to its dinner buffet.

Remember, this spot is a little distant from some parks and resorts. You can reach Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness by taking a boat from Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, or Wilderness Lodge; or by taking a bus from any park or Downtown Disney to Fort Wilderness. Note that if you take a bus, you’ll have to transfer to the Fort Wilderness internal bus system to get to Trail’s End. (DFB recommends taking a boat if possible — so much easier.)

Trail's End Sign


Trail’s End is a cute little restaurant, featuring the theme of a cabin in the woods. It blends perfectly with the campground!

Welcome Mat

The walls are adorned with the best of the outdoors and the back country. Large wooden beams finish setting the scene for your meal in the wilderness.

Holiday Decor

Dining Room

On the lower level (just down a small half-flight of stairs), Trail’s End is also home to Crockett’s Tavern.

The bar is themed the same way as the restaurant and even features a [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.

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 29, 2010

Grilled Pineapple Vanilla Gazpacho from a 2009 F&W Demo

As always, let’s start this round-up with the latest Disney food news:

And now, on to the round-up!

Global Disney Pinvestigation previews the holiday Gingerbread pins for us! Can’t wait to see the depicted Gingerbread structures built in the resorts!

Daveland has some incredible vintage shots of Disneyland’s Plaza Inn.

Disney Turkey Leg

All’s Fare Food Blog has an account of her turkey leg experience!

Kevin Kidney reprints a piece where Mickey, Goofy, and Donald help you with your summer cook-out.

Babes in Disneyland takes a look at the Disneyland picnic area — great suggestion for a birthday party!

Disney Every Day takes us on a photo tour of Epcot’s Via Napoli! (More bathrooms!)

A Taste of Disney shares a video and recipe for a Liberty Tree Tavern favorite.

Main Street Gazette threatens my diet with these Chocolate-chip Peanut Butter Mickey Mouse cookies.

Touring Plans‘ blogger Ryan K. delves into doing the Dining Plan with kids.

Pee Dee Foodie shares a story about a special postcard at the Polynesian Resort.

Disney Parks Blog has a list of Moms Panelists’ favorite coffee spots in Disney World.

Have a great week, all!

Trail’s End Lunch Goes From Buffet to a la Carte

Everyone’s favorite inexpensive buffet is making a change. Starting Sunday, August 27th, 2010, Fort Wilderness’ Trail’s End Restaurant will be serving a la Carte items for lunch instead of a buffet (on a trial basis). Menu items could include chili, fried chicken and waffles, sautéed catfish, grilled pork chop, spicy grilled shrimp and andouille sausage, Wilderness s’mores and a warm sticky bun sundae.

Breakfast and dinner remain buffet-style through the trial period.

Source: WDWMagic

No Park Tickets? No Reservation? No Problem!

The main complaint I hear regarding the re-instated 180-day window for Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations is that it’s impossible to get a seat in a restaurant “on a whim.” I wanted to address that concern and add another challenge: what if you don’t have park tickets, either?

I thought it’d be fun to tackle this situation and suggest a few spots in both Disney World and Disneyland for those who find themselves in this “pickle!”

Beaches and Cream Beef Sandwich Au Jus

Walt Disney World

Nope! I’m not kidding. It doesn’t have to be a hassle to find a good, table-service meal in Disney World — even when you don’t have a reservation or a park ticket! Here are four of my favorite go-to locations at all different price points:

Beaches and Cream $
Welcome back to the 1950’s soda shoppe! Beaches and Cream is located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and doesn’t even take reservations, so you won’t ever run into the no ADR problem! This spot serves simple, but delicious, [Read more…]