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…]

Seven NEW Experiences to Try at Walt Disney World!

Whether you’ve been to Walt Disney World one time or one hundred times, there’s always something new to do. And right now, there’s a ton! Besides the opening of Pandora, the World’s newest land located at Animal Kingdom, there are seven other fun and functional new experiences you’ve gotta try!

Mobile Ordering

Mobile Ordering has been offered since May 2017, and now it’s expanded to more locations! Mobile Ordering allows guests to use their My Disney Experience app to pre-order and pre-pay for meals at counter service locations.

Satu'li Mobile Ordering 2

Mobile Ordering lets participating guests bypass the ordering queue and go directly to the Order Pick-Up window. No more waiting in long lines to order your nuggets, y’all!

[Read more…]

Review: Must-Eat Sundaes at Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop!

Summer is the season of frozen treats, and while we don’t think you ever need a specific reason to indulge in ice cream, the heat in central Florida is certainly a sufficient and easy excuse.

Enter Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop!

Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop is located in the Marketplace of Disney Springs, with the “Spitting Stitch” entrance of World of Disney on one side and the Marketplace Co-Op on the other (Disneylanders can find Ghirardelli in Disney California Adventure, too). You might know Ghirardelli as the San Fran-sophisticated shop that emits the irresistible scent of chocolate (and the spot where you can still snag a free sample of the famously creamy Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares).

In addition to chocolate, Ghirardelli always plays a great Sundae game. Treats come complete with San Francisco-inspired names like the Golden Gate Banana Split. There’s also a spectacular four (or more) person delight called the The Earthquake with its EIGHT scoops of ice cream and full toppings (think of it as akin to Beaches and Cream’s Kitchen Sink, only without an Advance Dining Reservation).

So, everybody, grab a spoon, and join us as we try two Sundaes we hadn’t tried on previous visits: the Presidio Passion and the Crissy Field. 

Ghiradelli Menu

Ghiradelli Sundae Menu — click to enlarge

FYI, Presidio National Park is located at the Golden Gate in San Francisco, and the Presidio Passion Sundae inspired by this unique park is a chocolate-covered strawberry lover’s dream!

Presidio Passion Sundae

Presidio Passion Sundae

Swirls of strawberry and chocolate come together in this indulgent cup (the cup is key here, as it’s easy to carry with you if you’ve grabbed your sundae on the go!). Just LOOK at it…

[Read more…]

Review: New Drinks at La Cava del Tequila in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot

We’ve sure been doing some talking about Epcot lately, what with the 2017 International Food and Wine Festival starting in less than a month (!!!) and some sneaky peeks happening over the past few weeks.

But lest we get lost in a sea of future Marketplace Booths, there is plenty happening in the here and now, too. And one of the places it’s ALWAYS happening is La Cava del Tequila inside the Mexico Pavilion of World Showcase.

This cave full of liquor features one of my absolute favorites with the Avocado Margarita, which remains near the top of my Drinking Around the World list. It’s creamy, surprisingly refreshing, and fully satisfying on a hot day. But if you’re looking to stray outside the list of tried and true favorites, with over 70 types of tequila you can easily find something new-to-you!

So let’s head on down to La Cava, inside the Mexico pyramid. And remember, you can queue up to grab your drinks To-Go; or you can wait for a table to open up at this cozy little spot.

Entrance into La Cava del Tequila

Entrance into La Cava del Tequila

But if you do choose to sit a spell, you can’t beat the atmosphere. Low lighting, lots of stone and brick work, beautiful murals showcasing the tequila-making process, and carved chairs help this place feel right at home in the beautiful Pavilion while still having a vibe unique to anywhere else in Disney World. It’s a great little getaway. [Read more…]

Review: Happily Ever After Fireworks Dessert Party in Magic Kingdom

Who doesn’t love capping off a night at Disney World with a Fireworks spectacular? I know I do, whether I’m standing shoulder-to-shoulder with literally thousands of other guests in the Hub of Magic Kingdom or taking it all in from the balcony at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

But there is one thing that can make a nighttime show even better…

Desserts at the Happily Ever After fireworks dessert party

Desserts at the Happily Ever After fireworks dessert party

And that’s DESSERT. Better yet, make that plural: DESSERTS.

That’s where Fireworks Viewing Parties come in! At present Disney is offering the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Hollywood Studios, and the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party at Epcot, which pairs desserts and a ride on the Frozen Ever After attraction with a showing of IllumiNations.

But on my last trip, I booked what might be the highest in demand of them all: the Happily Ever After Dessert Party (technically named the Fireworks Dessert Party) at Magic Kingdom. [Read more…]

News and Review: Pretzels at Magic Kingdom’s Lunching Pad — Our Favorites are BACK!

We talk a lot about pretzels here at the DFB — because we pretty much love all of them. Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pretzels? Love. Authentic German pretzels in World Showcase? Uh-huh. Pretzel Roll Breadsticks at Le Cellier? Yaaaass x 5000!

So when we heard that the Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel (which they’re now calling the Pepper Jack pretzel) we’ve loved for years (and which has always been available in Disneyland) was staging a comeback, we got twisted up in a whole bunch of excitement. So you know we had to get over to the Lunching Pad ASAP to tear off a piece of that.

The Lunching Pad is located at the base of the Astro Orbiter adjacent to the Tomorrowland stroller parking — so beware that this area can get super crowded at times. But it’s worth it to pick your way through the chaos because the Lunching Pad serves up some great classic theme park grub. We particularly enjoy a good Hot Dog or Frozen Carbonated Beverages. Yum!

But on this visit, we just wanted pretzels. All. The. Pretzels.

Lunching Pad Menu

Lunching Pad Menu

[Read more…]

News: Gluten Free Eats at the 2017 International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot!

Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival kicks off on August 31 with an epic and record-breaking number of food booths — 35 — representing cuisines and lifestyles from around the globe.

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Banner

And as part of the Festival’s on-going commitment to providing awesome eats for guests of all kinds, many of the booths are featuring Gluten Free options! We expect to see lots of signage indicating the GF dishes. And of course cast members can also answer your food allergy questions.

[Read more…]