Review: Frozen Ever After Dessert Party at Epcot!

These days, if there’s a Nighttime Spectacular at a Disney World park, there’s bound to be a Dessert Party to go with it! These extra-ticket events have become a popular splurge option for guests who want some sweets to go along with the fabulous nighttime shows (not to mention the ease of reserving a prime viewing spot without waiting an hour before the fireworks begin).

Recently I reviewed the Happily Ever After Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom; but the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party kicked off in Epcot in July, so I wanted to get in on that action to relax and unwind after my VERY full day covering the Best of the Fest at the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Frozen Ever After Dessert Party

Frozen Ever After Dessert Party

‘Cuz that’s how I roll. Check it out with me!

You may recall that for the past few years, guests could reserve the Sparkling IllumiNations Dessert Party, which also featured a dessert buffet and a reserved area for IllumiNations viewing.

But in July, Epcot replaced the Sparkling Party with the current Frozen theme. Now, look: we know some of you are completely Frozen-ed out. We hear you. But your kid may not be just yet. And this new party includes one neat perk. It still features plenty of desserts, and it still offers a great view of the show. But now, an after-hours ride on Frozen Ever After is included once the smoke clears from IllumiNations! [Read more…]

Queso Blancooooooooo + Corn Dog Nuggets at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Hold your horses, cowpokes!

Because we’ve got a tasty new combo to show you courtesy of  Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe.

Here’s the deal: you may already know (and love!) the Corn Dog Nuggets made famous in the Magic Kingdom thanks to Casey’s Corner. And now that PLASTIC CHEESE has returned to the beloved hot dog haven, you can dip those Nuggets right on into what I consider the World’s Best Condiment.

Plastic Cheese used to be available at Pecos Bill’s, too, when it was the Magic Kingdom’s most popular burger joint. But a few years ago this Counter Service spot switched to Mexican and Southwest-style fare, and the Pecos Bill’s Fixin’s Bar followed suit. (Plus Plastic Cheese had likewise been removed from Counter Service restaurants all over Disney World, anyhoo.)

But things are looking up with regard to CHEESE at Pecos Bill’s, because Queso Blanco has hit the scene! And we couldn’t help but immediately pair it up with a certain item on the Kids’ Menu, so we can now proudly present to you: Corn Dog Nuggets and Queso Blanco!

Mini Corn Dogs with Queso Blanco

Mini Corn Dogs with Queso Blanco

I’m a huge fan of queso blanco, and when it originally showed up on the menu at Pecos Bill’s, I was excited to try it. Unfortunately, it was lackluster, to say the least. Prepackaged. Lukewarm. Just… blah. [Read more…]

SUCCESS!: Vintage Bacon and Cheese Dip Returns to Cookes of Dublin in Disney Springs!

You know when you lose your favorite tee shirt and, for weeks, months, or even years you lament that you’ve had to live so long without it? And then one day you find it, wedged behind the washing machine, still as comfortable and doggone perfect as ever?

That’s what’s about to happen to our taste buds. Because Vintage Bacon and Cheese Dip is returning to Cookes of Dublin in Disney Springs on August 31!

Now, many of you know that I’ve been campaigning for this forEVER…at least ever since they took it away. I circulated a petition on facebook. I launched a kickstarter. I bent the ear of everyone I knew who had anything to do with Cookes of Dublin. (OK, not those first two, but I did do the third one.) AND IT’S BACK. DREAMS DO COME TRUE. (At least they said it’s coming back…so that’s all I have to go on.)

That sound you hear is the chorus of bacon and cheese angels that I hired to celebrate this news.

Irish Cheese and Bacon Dip

Irish Cheese and Bacon Dip

[Read more…]

Review! Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Treats (with Haunted Mansion Portrait Desserts!)

Friends, it might be summer in the rest of the country, but at Walt Disney World, Autumn is ON! And while some might say it’s too early for Halloween and Pumpkin-Spiced-EVERYTHING, I am not that person. So you KNOW that while I am happily in Disney World to cover the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, I also HAD to grab my ticket for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

It's Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!

It’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

Every year, Mickey welcomes his pals to this special extra-ticket event at the Magic Kingdom. This year, the party is taking place on select nights from August 25 through November 1. And you’re going to want to read on to find out where you can scare up goodies like THIS…

Stretching Room Chocolate and Peanut Butter Tart

Stretching Room Chocolate and Peanut Butter Tart

… plus TONS of other treats! And not just of the candy-in-my-trick-or-treat-bag variety, although there’s plenty of that, too! [Read more…]

Disney Food Crawl: Pimento Cheese Edition

Cheese, glorious PIMENTO Cheese! It’s time for the ultimate Disney food trend crawl: the Pimento Cheese Crawl! We’ve been seeing this creamy cheese pop up in about two zillion places as of late, and with good reason.

Pimento Cheese BLT

Pimento Cheese BLT

In case you’re not familiar with the “caviar of the South”, it’s basically creamy cheddar cheese mixed with mayo (or sour cream) and pimento pieces. There are some spices in there as well, and those can vary from chef to chef (or from grandma to grandma!).

So if you’re like me, and you love all things Pimento Cheesy, THIS is the crawl for you! So, let’s begin.

Pimento Cheese BLT

First up, you’ll need to start your day at Animal Kingdom. Lucky for you, there’s a lot going on over there with the opening of Pandora — World of Avatar. So it’s the perfect time to hit that rope drop, work up an appetite on Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey, then make your way over to the Smiling Crocodile in Discovery Island. [Read more…]

Review: Contempo Café in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Aaaaand I’m back at Contempo Café!

No surprise, really. After all, this Counter Service spot in Disney’s Contemporary Resort is easy enough for anyone to get to, regardless of whether or not you are staying at any of the Resorts on the Monorail Loop. Because I’m thinking it’s a pretty safe bet that your Disney World vacation plans include a trip to the Magic Kingdom. And the Contemporary boasts not only easy access via Monorail; it’s also the only Resort you can walk to directly from Magic Kingdom!

Even more, though, I love to stop here due to Contempo Café’s history of serving better-than-you’d-expect counter service grub, from surprisingly memorable entrees to some seriously stellar desserts.

So stroll or Monorail on in with me to check out what’s new (and which of my favorite entrees has remained, thankfully, nearly unchanged) at the Contempo Café!

Atmosphere

Contempo Cafe is located in the Grand Canyon Concourse adjacent to Chef Mickey’s. Basically, there’s no way you can go hungry in this zone! Contempo Cafe definitely has that we’re-trying-to-be-contemporary vibe that we know and love of the Resort, with lots of linear design and brushed nickel finishes.

Contempo Cafe Entrance

Contempo Cafe Entrance

It’s bright, open and, well… pretty loud most of the time. Aside from the Monorail zooming through regularly (hooray!), you get chatter from both open-air restaurants and the general hullabaloo of a busy resort. I find it to be festive, but if you’re craving some quiet, this may not be your spot. [Read more…]

Review: New Sandwiches at The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jambo from The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were here, pointing out three Must-Eat Snacks at the Lodge’s Counter Service option and sipping on some new-to-The-Mara Frozen Jungle Juice. But the Jungle Juice wasn’t the only new thing we found on that visit, which is what we’re excited to share with you today.

Longtime standouts at The Mara for lunch and dinner include unique items such as African Potjie Stew and tasty Soups of the Day alongside classic Burgers, Flatbreads, and Chicken Breast Nuggets.

That said, they aren’t afraid to switch things up every once in a while — and that’s a VERY good thing! Every so often, your basic Hot Dog or sandwich gets a bit of an African-inspired twist, as is the case with two of the three new items we’re trying today.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

So, come right back into The Mara with us!

Atmosphere

The Mara gets its name from the Masai Mara National Reserve, located in southwestern Kenya on the border of Tanzania.  The small food court is only accessible from outside the resort, on the lower level and near the pool. Once inside, you’ll immediately notice the ceiling artfully mimicking the tree tops and some soft ambient lighting that creates interesting shadows. [Read more…]

Review: Fried Pickles at Intermission Food Court at Disney World’s All-Star Music

Welcome back to Intermission Food Court!

Located in All Star Music Resort, Intermission Food Court shares a lot in common with its fellow All Star Food Courts: End Zone and World Premiere in All Star Sports and All Star Movies, respectively.

You’ll find lots of Counter Service classics like burgers, chicken nuggets, pizzas, hot dogs, and the like. And while you can find menu items unique to each spot and plenty of good grub (remember those super fun milkshakes we talked about earlier this summer?), things can start to feel a bit same ol’, same ol’ every so often.

Which is why it was a fun surprise to find a new savory snack at Intermission! I mean, what about those moments when you’re kinda over French Fries and chips? Enter: Fried Pickleswhen you can find them, that is (more on that later).

Fried Pickles

Fried Pickles

These Fried Pickles are an option as a side for an entree, and you can also get them as a snack on their own. They come with six pickle spears and a pouch of Ken’s Ranch Dressing. [Read more…]

Review: Skipper Canteen in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Greetings, fellow Explorers and Adventurers!

We’re back for another dining adventure at the Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen… more often referred to (for obvious reasons) as the Skipper Canteen, or — before we learned that tongue twister of a full name — the Jungle Cruise Restaurant, themed for the classic Jungle Cruise attraction.

Your very own Jungle Cruise Skipper is ready to take you on a culinary tour through the Jungle Cruise’s regular stomping — or floating — grounds of Asia, Africa, and South America. That’s what makes up the “World Famous Jungle Cuisine!

And you may just enjoy some of that Jungle Cruise slapstick — both from your server and your surroundings — while you’re at it.

So, welcome back, Cruisers…

Skipper Canteen Entrance

Skipper Canteen Entrance

… as we once again set foot inside the Skipper Canteen! [Read more…]