What’s New Around Walt Disney World: December 11, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Disney World!! The season is rolling right along with festive treats and special events. And, as always, there’s plenty of other food news to go around: menu changes, new eats (did somebody say “Barbecued Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese?!”), completed refurbishments, ongoing Downtown Disney construction, and more. So join us on another trip around the World to see What’s New

EPCOT

Holidays Around the World is in full swing at Epcot! This annual festival shares holiday traditions from around the globe through story, music, and — our favorite! — FOOD!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

France decoration

France decoration

Remember, this is the only time of year to grab such treats as Happy Face Fried Cakes at the Joy of Tea in China, Gingerbread Ice Cream at L’artisan des Glaces in France, and Panettone sweet bread at Italy’s Gelato Stand.

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Panettone Sweet Bread display

Panettone Sweet Bread display

But there’s plenty of non-holiday food news as well… Starting in Morocco, Spice Road Table has not only started taking Advance Dining Reservations — they’re also now accepting the Disney Dining Plan.

To offer guests the ability to maximize their one Table Service plan credit, this tapas-based restaurant is now also serving full-sized entrees, including Coriander Crusted Rack of Lamb, Roasted Chicken, and a Mediterranean Vegetable Platter, among others.

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table menu

Spice Road Table menu

Staying in Morocco, Tangierine Cafe debuted new entrees as well: a Meatball Platter and Saffron Rotisserie Chicken.

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe entree display

Tangierine Cafe entree display

At the United Kingdom’s Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room, the [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World: August 12, 2014

It’s time to take another trip around the World, from Downtown Disney to EPCOT… and we’ll be visiting all sorts of Disney Resorts along the way! Strap in, folks, because there’s always something to find when you’re searching for What’s New at Disney World with the DFB!

DOWNTOWN DISNEY

Construction

The name of the game all over Downtown Disney these days continues to be, of course, construction for the transformation into Disney Springs. Here are a few recent shots of what will be The Boathouse restaurant, which seems to be coming along nicely.

The Boathouse construction

The Boathouse construction

The Boathouse construction

The Boathouse construction

The Smokehouse

On the West Side, The Smokehouse has introduced a new item: Smokehouse Nachos!

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse Menu

The Smokehouse Menu

The Nachos can be customized with [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Top 5 Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Values for 2014

Now that you’ve booked your 2014 Disney World vacation, it’s time to make your Advance Dining Reservations.

Top5DisneyDiningPlanOneCreditTableServiceValuesfor2014

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. ;-)

Tutto Italia

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!

Braised Meatballs and Shortrib

Braised Meatballs and Shortrib

Kouzzina

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!

Baklava Dessert Close-Up

Baklava Dessert at Kouzzina

Teppan Edo

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.

Steak and chicken

Steak and chicken at Teppan Edo

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.

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee at Chefs de France

Rainforest Cafe

While Rainforest Cafe gets mixed reviews, [Read more…]

DFB Food Challenge: The Walt Disney World Gelato Crawl!

There’s not a lot that I love better on a hot day in Florida than a little ice cream. But leave it to Disney World to kick ice cream up a notch by offering Gelato!

Disney World Gelato Crawl

And we’re seeing it in a lot of different spots across Walt Disney World, and even in Disneyland. If you are a fan of this richer, more dense version of that snack we all scream for, then you’re in luck.

Today, we thought it was high-time to offer some inspiration for another DFB Food Challenge, and so we are going in search of all things gelato we can get our hands on with the Walt Disney World Gelato Crawl!

Since you can only enjoy so many desserts in a 24 hour period, feel free to bring along friends to split all the goodies, or pace yourself on the crawl by spreading out the stops over several days.

I hope you came hungry. Let’s get started!

Gelato Bars

Since our very first visit, Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has been one of our favorite counter service destinations. And one of the biggest reasons for that is their killer Gelato Bar!

If you’re lucky enough to be staying at Art of Animation, this first stop on the Gelato Crawl will be a snap! Check ‘em out!

Gelato at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Gelato at Landscape of Flavors in Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

But my favorite thing about the Gelato Bar here — aside from the variety of flavors — is that you can also add toppings for a perfectly customized treat.

Toppings! Woo!

Toppings! Woo!

Pick your scoops, pick your sprinkles, and off you go!

My Favorite Combo -- Raspberry and Chocolate

My Favorite Combo — Raspberry and Chocolate

A couple of other Disney resorts also have gelato available. If you’re staying at Disney’s Coronado Resort, feel free to amend your crawl and start your gelato journey at Cafe Rix.

Gelato Flavors and Pricing at Cafe Rix

Gelato Flavors and Pricing at Cafe Rix

You can also check out a pretty awesome selection at End Zone Food Court over at All Star Sports!

End Zone Gelato Bar

End Zone Gelato Bar

Ahhhh…don’t you just love having options??

Gelato Cookie Sandwiches in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

After polishing off your first gelato of the day, head straight for Epcot, where you’ll have lots of different ways to enjoy your frozen favorite! Next stop: the Italy Pavilion.

View from Epcot's Italy Pavilion

View from Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

For your next foray into gelato, stop by the little [Read more…]

Guest Review: Lunch at Tutto Italia Ristorante in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

Welcome back Guest Author Katie Roth with a review from Tutto Italia Ristorante in Epcot!

My husband absolutely loves lasagna, so I knew we had to try Tutto Italia. I wasn’t convinced that it would be better than Mama Melrose’s or Via Napoli, but I was willing to give it a shot. On this particular day, we were dining at lunchtime.

Atmosphere

The décor was very fancy; dark woods everywhere, crystal chandeliers, ornate carpets, and colorful murals lining the walls. This atmosphere seemed too fancy for tank tops, shorts, and sweats.

Inside Tutto Italia!

Dining Room.

Our seating area wasn’t in the main dining room, but a smaller room that connected to the outdoor dining area.

View of Outdoor Patio.

Once we were seated, a waiter came to take our drink orders. What was very offsetting about this was the fact that he would not acknowledge my presence no matter what I did. I had to practically yell as he walking away that I wanted a Coke. Working in a male-dominated industry and going through this every day while getting my undergrad degree, I was used to it; however, I do not think behavior such as this is appropriate AT ALL in a public service driven industry. I think steam was coming out of my ears. (I’m off of my soapbox now.)

Finally, our primary waitress came to our table and took our order. She was very helpful and guided us through the menu while making suggestions to me, the non-lasagna-enthusiast. She was very nice.

Before our entrees arrived, we were treated to a [Read more…]

What Should I Do in Epcot on a Kid-Free Night?

Check out this great DFB reader question we received a while back!:

I am traveling to Orlando on business and will be in Epcot for one evening. What would you suggest that I do with this rare dining opportunity? Normally, my family accompanies me on this trip, but this year, I’m looking forward to a kid-free night in the park!

There are TONS of great options for a kid-free night in Epcot. I’ve got a couple in mind, but I can’t wait to hear what YOU would do!

Evening at Epcot is Extra Magical!

But also, as much as we all love our families, it’s fun sometimes to have a little grown up time in the parks.

And if you’re a parent who hasn’t had a chance to do that, we still bet that you’ve got a couple of great suggestions dreamed up just in case! So share your suggestions for a dream night in Epcot in the comments section below!

As for what I would do? After about six rides in a row on Maelstrom, Spaceship Earth, Soarin’, and Test Track in a row, here’s what I’m thinking food-wise…

Tutto Gusto for Dinner

For dinner, I would choose Tutto Gusto. The wine bar, one of the newer additions to World Showcase’s Italy Pavilion, features a wonderful menu of tempting small plates — and you don’t need a reservation to dine there! Also, it’s very solo-diner friendly.

You can see a recent Tutto Gusto review right here!

One of Tutto Gusto's Cheese Boards

The atmosphere is cozy, and the [Read more…]

Review: Tutto Italia in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

Anytime that I have an opportunity to dine in Epcot’s World Showcase, I grab it!

There are so many wonderful restaurants here, and I’m always lamenting the fact that I haven’t been to one or another in a long time.

When I was in town recently for the New Fantasyland media event, I had some free time and decided that it was the perfect night to pop in to Italy to see how Tutto Italia was faring after its most recent renovation.

So after arranging my Advanced Dining Reservation for 8pm, I headed over to meet my friend for a late dinner amid the beautiful holiday decorations in World Showcase.

Tutto Italia in Epcot's Italy Pavilion

Atmosphere

Tutto Italia and the newly opened Tutto Gusto Wine Bar are situated in the back left corner of the Italy Pavilion (if you’re facing into the pavilion). The restaurant reopened after a renovation in early Summer and now features updated seating and the brand new wine bar next door.

Tutto Italia

Tutto Gusto is a new stop on your Drinking Around the World odyssey, and is definitely worth your time and dollars. You can see my initial impressions of Tutto Gusto in my review.

But on this night, we were headed into Tutto Italia. When the restaurant first reopened I was glad to see that not much had changed. The grand and formal space really feels like it could have been transported from Rome. The gorgeous murals made the cut (though I heard that they almost didn’t stay!).

Italia kept the murals!

And the crystal chandeliers continue to add elegance to the restaurant. Sometimes it’s a bit jarring to see people dressed in Mickey t-shirts amid all this finery, but I’m so glad that Disney has preserved some of the original vision of the World Showcase restaurants.

Italia Chandelier

Seating includes some tiny two tops (is it just me, or do you always kind of feel like you’re eating with the people next to you when you’re sitting at tables this close together?) as well as seating for larger groups and families.

Guests can also dine in a Sunroom or on the new outdoor patio!

Italia Table Seating and the Sunroom beyond

Here’s one of the biggest tables…this one’s for [Read more…]

Top 10 Disney Dining News Stories of 2012

2012 draws to a close today, and what a year it’s been!! Here at Disney Food Blog we’ve been following every bit of Disney Dining and Food News, and we’ve narrowed down the list to 10 amazing stories we’d like to share with you!

Check out The Top 10 Disney Food News Stories of 2012!

#1: Alcohol Served at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World

In a move that shocked most and delighted many, Disney announced that it would begin serving alcohol within the gates of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for the first time in the park’s 41-year history.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Wine Menu -- click for larger image

At the brand new Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland, guests are now able to indulge in their choice of several French and Belgian beers and wines!

According to Disney Imagineers, it was important to complement the French menu of the restaurant with an excellent beer and wine list.

Kronenberg Beer at Be Our Guest

However, while adult beverages are now being served in the shadow of Cinderella’s castle, they will only be available during Be Our Guest’s Table Service dinner and will not be available “to-go.” So you won’t see anyone strolling around with a cocktail or a glass of wine awaiting their turn on the teacups. ;-)

#2: Starbucks Debuts in Disney Parks

It’s no secret that Disney has never been known for fantastic coffee — until now! In 2012 Disney and Starbucks announced a partnership to bring the iconic siren behind the main gates and into the parks.

Mickey and the Siren Unite

Starbucks has already opened its first stop in Disney California Adventure’s Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe and five more locations are planned in the near future.

Fans of the chain will welcome the first Walt Disney World Starbucks locations to the Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom and Fountain View Cafe in Epcot in 2013.

Starbucks Sign in Disney California Adventure

A location on Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A. is planned for the Market House in late 2013.

#3: Citrus Swirl Returns to Sunshine Tree Terrace in the Magic Kingdom

You spoke, and Disney listened! One of the biggest stories of 2012 was the return of the Citrus Swirl to Magic Kingdom’s Sunshine Tree Terrace.

Citrus Swirl

This refreshing treat hearkens back to the early days of Magic Kingdom, when Disney and the Florida Citrus Commission partnered to have orange treats in the park. The original soft serve was a [Read more…]

Guest Review: Italy Dessert & Wine Event at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Join us in welcoming guest author Michelle Buchecker with a review of the Italy Dessert and Wine tasting event at last year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival. While we’re not sure yet if this event will be repeated at the 2012 Festival, it’s likely that it will!

Tutto Italia and Gusto Wine Cellar

We attended the Italy Dessert and Wine event that was new to the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. First and foremost, do not make the mistake we did by booking this event on the same day as your Biergarten lunch!

We had lunch at noon, and the event was at 2 pm. Not nearly enough time to digest. (Editor’s Note: I can second that!)

Atmosphere

The event was held in the back room of Tutto Italia. The check-in process went very smoothly, and we were escorted to a table that the 2 of us shared with 6 other people. There were about 50 guests in total and all chairs were taken.

The main presenter, Gabriele, was charming and humorous. He was obviously native Italian, and he took the time to introduce each course. The wine rep from Batasiolo, Jerry, mentioned that he was told to keep his comments short so we could eat and drink more. But at the beginning of each course, he did introduce each wine and described it.

Jerry warned us that all wines at the tasting were frizzante, which means they are lightly bubbly and have low alcohol content to keep it sweet.

Eats

Now on to the courses!

Dessert and Wine Menu

The first course was a Tiramisu paired with the Batasiolo Asti. I found the contents of the Tiramisu pretty basic: repeat layers of soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone topped with a cocoa dusting and chocolate curl.

The presentation was nice as this was all in a Martini glass. The Asti was sweet and crisp.

Tiramisu

The second course was Cannoli. This was huge!! While we were served utensils with it, Gabriele commented that he had to give us the knife and fork but encouraged us to eat it with our [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…]