Reader Poll: Rather Eat Thanksgiving Dinner at Home or at a Disney Restaurant?

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family is considering having Thanksgiving in Disney World next year, and I wanted to hear some opinions about that! So we asked our Facebook Page Fans:

Would you rather have Thanksgiving Dinner at home, or at a Disney restaurant?.

Our readers chimed in with their holiday preferences! While dining at home was a strong contender due to family traditions, leftovers, cost-savings, aversion to holiday crowds, and a palate for a real home-cooked meal, ordering Thanksgiving dinner at a Disney restaurant was the clear winner!

And these voters didn’t care where they ate at Disney — they just wanted to be in the middle of the magic for the holiday. In fact, we think some of you might be happy with one of these!:

Disney Turkey Leg

Here are some of the other suggestions we received!: [Read more…]

Review: Wolfgang Puck Cafe

Wolfgang Puck is the epitome of “celebrity chef.” Having successfully taken LA and several other USA cities by storm, he’s created a global empire (and worldwide name recognition) the likes of which have yet to be attained by any other chef that I know of.

Puck’s empire exists in Disney World’s Downtown Disney in the form of two counter-service restaurants, both named Wolfgang Puck Express; and two table-service restaurants — Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Dining Room.

On our visit, we headed to Wolfgang Puck Cafe — the less upscale and more boisterous of the two table-service restaurants — found in Downtown Disney’s West End.

Upon entering, you’ll know exactly what you’re in for. On any given evening, this restaurant is bustling. During busy dinner hours, it’s loud (due to the echoing-ly high ceilings and tile decor), colorful, and energetic.

Sushi Bar

The bright colors and geometric shapes of the decor here will remind 80’s kids of [Read more…]

Disney Carrot Cake Review

Every once in a while I get an idea for a particular post that I can’t wait to write, and this is one of those! CAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!! Cream cheese FROOOOOOOOOSSSSSSTINGGGGG!! (For those of you who are getting tired of my frosting obsession, my apologies. Sometimes a little too much of it can sneak its way into the blog.) Anyway, carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts — all those healthy carrots — it’s the perfect way to end a meal! Or begin a meal. Or have a meal…

Carrot Cake Cookie Close-Up

So, I’ve been compiling data for this post for a long time, and I’m ready to share what I think are the best Disney options for carrot cake lovers like me! I hope you’ll share in the comments what your favorites are — and if I missed any, I’d love to know about it (more research is always good)!

Here are my reviews, from best to worst!

Review of Carrot Cake at Walt Disney World!

Goofy’s Candy Company Carrot Cake Cookie

Goofy’s Candy Company is more often known for its make-your-own confectionery creations, but every once in a while you’ll find a hidden gem in the bakery case of this Downtown Disney mainstay. Plus, the wonderful staff here is more than enough draw to stop by and pick up a sugary treat.

I saw this Carrot Cake Cookie at Goofy’s and then saw it again at the Main Street Confectionery in the Magic Kingdom, so I think you can get this bad boy in several different locations from time to time (though they may not be there during your stay).

Another Carrot Cake Cookie

Which is great news, since it’s incredible! The heft and build of the cookie reminds me of [Read more…]

Wolfgang Puck Cafe, Fulton’s Crab House, and Portobello in WDW’s Downtown Disney Offer Group Cooking Classes

Group cooking classes are being offered at these Downtown Disney Orlando Restaurants! Gather your crowd and book an adult class at Wolfgang Puck Cafe or Portobello, or let the kids show off their culinary skills (or learn new ones ;-)) at Portobello!

Wolfgang Puck Cafe

Downtown Disney Orlando’s Wolfgang Puck Cafe has announced the availability of group cooking demonstrations. Group demos can be arranged by calling 407-828-8996 for a minimum class size of 30 people. Of course the Cafe won’t let you leave hungry so, you’ll get lunch too!

Live Love Eat!

Each session taught by chefs of Wolfgang Puck Cafe offers a four course meal cooking class. The menu will feature California rolls, Chinois chicken salad, pumpkin ravioli and Bananas Foster. Your group will take home recipes and customized menu cards commemorating all four courses.

The minimum class size is 30 budding chefs! The cost to enjoy this event includes a $300 event fee plus a charge of $40 per person. Optional commemorative cookbooks and aprons will be available for an extra cost.

Cookbooks and aprons to commemorate your event experience are also available at an additional price.

Portobello Restaurant

Portobello is offering cooking classes for groups of 20-40 people!

Adult classes include audience participation, exclusive recipes, personalized menu cards, a chef presentation, and [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants Not on the Disney Dining Plan

As you know, Kim L. is our behind-the-scenes manager here at the Disney Food Blog, a Disney World Moms Panelist, and a blogger! You’ll begin to see her name more and more in that little author line! Learn more about her on our staff and contributors page! Here, she discusses her top choices for Disney World restaurants not on the Disney Dining Plan!

UPDATE 4/2012: The restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin Resort are not yet on the Dining Plan, but the others — T-Rex, Rainforest Cafe, Portobello, Fulton’s, Paradiso 37, Wolfgang Puck Cafe The Dining Room, and House of Blues, should now be on the Dining Plan!

Lots of guests want to know the top restaurants when dining with the Disney Dining Plan, but since those restaurants seem to fill up more and more quickly these days, we’ve also been getting requests for recommendations on restaurants not included in the Dining Plan. Here are my picks for the best table service locations that do not participate in the DDP! ;-)

Top 5 Restaurants Not on the Disney Dining Plan, for Adults

Portobello
For guests craving a casual meal with value, Portobello at Downtown Disney dishes out hearty Italian fare. Choose from a value dinner menu, wood-burning oven pizzas, signature sandwiches plus a meatball and beer bar!

AJ recommends the Bucatini!

House of Blues
Got late night munchies at Downtown Disney? House of Blues is open til 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights! The southern-inspired menu includes a large variety of sandwiches and seafood such as Creole Jambalaya. To soothe your soul, look for [Read more…]

St. Patrick’s Day Events and Menus in Disney World and Disneyland

We certainly don’t need a reason to celebrate (with beer!) while visiting a Disney park, however we’re really excited about the extra Irish-inspired fun that Disney is dishing up for St. Patrick’s Day. Below, we detail events and special menu items throughout Disney World and Disneyland!

Raglan Road, WDW Downtown Disney
Raglan Road opens their doors at 11:00AM on St. Paddy’s Day for a full day of festivities! The fun begins at Noon with musicians, dancers and face painting. While savoring the traditional Shepherd’s Pie, look for the house band, Creel! In the evening, toast your Irish friends and watch eLevation as they perform your favorite U2 songs. There is a $10 cover charge.

Raglan Road

Earlier in the week, Raglan Road is celebrating with a few more events! This Sunday, attend their first ever traditional Irish Ceili (pronounced kay-lee) and join in the Irish dancing! As Lorraine from Raglan Road says, “We’re pushing the furniture back and letting everyone join in!” Sounds like fun! Click the image for [Read more…]

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…]

Cooking Classes for Adults at Downtown Disney July 10, 2010

Portobello, Fulton’s Crab House, and Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe are hosting a one day, progressive adults-only cooking class on Saturday, July 10th, 2010.

Where: Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe, Fulton’s Crab House, and Portobello in Disney World’s Downtown Disney
When: The progressive class will take place from 11 AM to 2:00 PM
Pricing: $59.95 per person

Adults will learn how make the restaurant’s signature recipes and will enjoy their own creations with complementing wine pairings.

Specs and Menu:

Wolfgang Puck Café
o Maryland Style Crab Cakes
o Paired with Concerto Grunerveltliner

Fulton’s Crab House
o St. Augustine, Florida Yellowtail Snapper
o En Papillote with Julienne Vegetables, lemon and Fresh Thyme
o Paired with Fulton’s White Wine

Portobello
o Panna Cotta with Florida Peaches
o Paired with Oltrepo Pavese Muscato Dolce

Space is limited and reservations are recommended by calling 407-828-8996.

Disney Food Post Round-Up: March 7th, 2010

Eat hereHappy Sunday, all! Just a quick reminder of a couple of updates before we launch into this week’s round-up:

LaughingPlace has the latest on St. Patrick’s Day menus for WDW’s Portobello, Fulton’s Crab House, and Wolfgang Puck Cafe.

CakeWrecks showcases some amazing Alice in Wonderland themed cakes.

SamLand’s Disney Adventures brings a Disneyland popcorn stand into focus.

StitchKingdom posts an info-packed story with the latest news about the D23 Expo, the WDW Fantasyland Expansion, and more. In it, he mentions the upcoming Be Our Guest Restaurant and also showcases some delicious Disney event dessert photos.

PSCalculator reviews Trail’s End Buffet restaurant in WDW’s Fort Wilderness!

Bakerella has some fun Oscar season recipes inspired by nominated Disney films! (Check out the “Up”cakes and Frog Pops.)

Zannaland recaps her experience at the February Tables in Wonderland “Wave Discovery Dinner” in WDW.

Main St. Gazette shares a creamy grits recipe from Olivia’s at WDW’s Old Key West Resort.

Watch Me Eat visits Epcot’s Lotus Blossom Cafe.

A World View visits three of WDW’s best counter-service spots: Flame Tree Barbecue, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, and Earl of Sandwich.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has a unique profile of the New Orleans chef who was inspirational to the Princess and the Frog story.

Valentine’s Day Dining Options in Disneyland and Disney World

ladyandtramp
If the candies and cookies highlighted in our Disney World Valentine’s Day Treats post (yum!!) don’t satisfy your “savory tooth”, several Disney hotels and restaurants are featuring delicious Valentine’s Day prix fix meals or specials. Here are the details:

Tutto Italia Carnevale Celebration
Join in the party as Tutto Italia in Epcot’s World Showcase celebrates Carnevale! Bring your own mask or buy one there! You can see details and booking info by clicking on the image below:

Carnevale Menu and Info at Tutto Italia

Carnevale Menu and Info at Tutto Italia

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort
Todd English’s bluezoo at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is introducing a special romantic menu just for Valentine’s Day Weekend (Friday, Feb. 12th – Sunday, Feb. 14th). It includes:

  • wagyu ny strip and mero seabass for two: caramelize onion rosti, hammock hollows braised greens, béarnaise, lobster jus $90
  • halibut: parsley root, baby fennel, finger lime, lemon balm $36
  • cocktail: flaming heart: hangar one raspberry, godiva white chocolate liqueur, pama liqueur, rose petal-tea, fresh muddled raspberries, topped with flaming raspberries $13

For more information or reservations, call (407) 934-1609. Reservations recommended.

Tables in Wonderland Valentine’s Day Chocolate Dinner
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with fellow tables in wonderland members with a Chocolate-focused dinner! You can see the full menu [Read more…]