Review: Cheese Danish at Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

If you’ve picked Disney’s Hollywood Studios as your first stop of the day, with plans to swing by your Resort’s Grab-and-Go to pick up a Cheese Danish before making your way to the park… may I offer a word of advice?

Don’t.

It’s not that it’s a bad choice, per se. There’s not a thing wrong with the standard cheese danish available across resort food courts. It’s fine. But it’s nothing compared to the Cheese Danish waiting for you at the Writer’s Stop.

We’re big fans of Writer’s Stop around here for a couple of reasons. Reason One: it offers a nice respite thanks to its out-of-the-way location in the Streets of America and low key coffee shop/bookstore vibe. It blends in so seamlessly in this area filled with TV and movie set false fronts that a lot of people don’t even realize it’s an operating snack stop.

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

The casual bookstore-and-coffee-shop vibe inside invites you to meander and browse for a while.

Inside Writer's Stop

Inside Writer’s Stop

Inside Writer's Stop

Inside Writer’s Stop

Book shelves

Book shelves

Small seating area

Small seating area

Reason Two (ok, maybe this should be Reason One ;) ): it’s home to the famous Carrot Cake Cookie! We love this legendary snack so much that we’ve yet to sing the praises of the danish pastries available in this stop, because it’s so hard to resist the Call of the Cookie.

Carrot Cake Cookie at Writer's Stop in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Carrot Cake Cookie at Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

But since there really is no better way to start a day than with an enormous pile of cream cheese doused in icing, today is the day that the danish gets its due. I’m obviously focusing on the Cheese Danish, but you can often find [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!” Snacks (Vol. II)

We’re back with another installment in The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney series!

Snacks are a big deal around here. Heck, we plan entire events and crawls around them! And it’s clear Disney thinks snacking is where it’s at, too. We’re seeing more and more small plates restaurants open. Spots like Tutto Gusto, Spice Road Table, and The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge cater to the grazing crowd.

Today, we’re talking about some of our favorite snacks that we enjoy nearly every time we visit Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Dig out your stretchy pants, or plan to do an extra lap on the treadmill, and let’s do this!

Cheshire Cake Cup

Who doesn’t love a ginormous cupcake? You know I’m a big fan of these edible works of art. But at the end of the day, I pretty much see them as frosting delivery systems. So you can imagine my delight when I got wind of Cake Cups at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe!

Layers of alternating cake and frosting make a parfait-style dessert that’s hard to resist.

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

I know, I know. I talk about these a lot. But I figure if there’s something I NEVER miss when I’m at the Magic Kingdom, I should take every opportunity to suggest it so you don’t miss it either. ;-)

Frosting!!

Frosting!!

Two new, equally gorgeous varieties have recently made an appearance — White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts versions! Expanding the cake cup line? We are ALL IN.

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

These are the closest snacks I’ve found to them just giving me a bowl of frosting and a spoon, soooooo, yeah.

Dole Whip

Next up is one of my favorite Disney snacks of all time, the classic Dole Whip.

Oh, sure, you have your cult classics. Your Turkey Legs. Your Mickey Bars. And they’re great. But if there’s one snack I must have every time I’m at either Disneyland (umbrellas and cherries!!!!) or Walt Disney World, it’s some variety of Dole Whip.

This creamy pineapple-flavored soft serve made news here on Disney Food Blog for a different reason last year, when we brought you word not of what it is — but what it isn’t! Seems that our favorite Disney chilly treat is now Vegan, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free!

Dole Whip Float at Disneyland's Tiki Juice Bar

Dole Whip Float at Disneyland’s Tiki Juice Bar — My Favorite!

So if you’re looking to indulge in a creamy, delicious snack, but [Read more…]

Spotted! R2-D2 and Darth Vader Lunch Bags… with Special Effects!

‘Tis the season… and I’m not talking about Christmas! Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are upon us (starting TOMORROW!!), and some extra fun Star Wars themed merchandise is arriving along with them. And when that merchandise is food-related?! Well, that’s all the better!

Check out these cool R2-D2 and Darth Vader lunch bags I saw at Tatooine Traders (the store next to the Star Tours attraction in Hollywood Studios) and Writer’s Stop! I don’t remember these from last year, so while I’m not sure if they’re new, they are new to me…

Darth Vader and R2-D2 lunch bags

Darth Vader and R2-D2 lunch bags

Now, when I say “cool,” I do mean that I think they are neat, but these padded lunch totes are also thermal for keeping your food cold. Score.

Thermal feature

Thermal feature

But the best thing about them is that they have special effects!

Light and sound effects

Light and sound effects

I’m partial to the R2-D2 bag.

R2-D2 lunch bag

R2-D2 lunch bag

R2-D2 lunch bag side view

R2-D2 lunch bag side view

R2-D2 lunch bag handle

R2-D2 lunch bag handle

Part of that is because I love him, but also the effects are pretty great. When you press the indicated button on top of the bag, you suddenly hear R2’s signature beeps and boops… but, get this: his lights also flash!

Flashing lights

Flashing lights

Flashing lights

Flashing lights

The best part? You can order your own here!

Darth Vader’s helmet bag has no lighting effects, but when you press the button you hear [Read more…]

Our Favorite, Must-Eat Disney Cakes!

Oooooh, we’re talkin’ CAKE TODAY!!!!!

must eat disney cake

Okay, okay — so technically, National Cake Day was yesterday, apparently. But since we had so much fun with National Pie Day last week, I thought it would be awesome to start sharing some of my favorite Disney cakes. (I’m pretty shocked I haven’t done a cake post before — so much goodness to talk about!)

So here’s the deal with cake at Disney. It can take many forms… . And we’re going to include a bunch of ‘em! In honor of National Cake Day, let’s take a look at some of our favorite entries into the category of cake!

Gourmet Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

I recently discovered Cake Nirvana at Disney. Because, in my universe, eating cake is usually a thinly-disguised, socially acceptable way to consume as much frosting as possible.

If you’re giving me a piece of cake, I’m getting a corner piece, with as many frosting roses as possible. That’s just how I roll.

So it’s always pretty great when a bakery can get on board with the “Frosting is the Whole Point!!” perspective. And Cheshire Cafe at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has done just exactly that.

With their beautifully themed Gourmet Cake Cups, you can choose from a Vanilla Cheshire Cake Cup or a Mad Hatter Mocha Cake Cup. Characters from Alice in Wonderland are silk-screened onto a sweet round of white fondant and top each of the cake cups. (Sometimes. Sometimes you don’t get the characters. But who cares.)

Themed Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

Themed Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

THIS is what you get when you order. Confetti cake. FROSTING. Confetti cake. FROSTING. Confetti cake. F R O S T I N G!!!!!!

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Yep. That’s all frosting on top. There’s no cake there my friends. And it’s glorious. Thick, bakery buttercream that’s so sugary it’ll make you sick. LOVE!

Frosting!!

Frosting!!

I know a lot of you don’t have the love affair with frosting that I do, but for those who feel the same — you’re welcome! :-D

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls

And how could we pay homage to cake without mentioning the original single serving cake? We are talking Disney Cupcakes, of course!

One of my favorites from way back at the beginning of the Cupcake Renaissance is still around and garnering rave reviews — the Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This is one monster chocolate cupcake that you must experience to believe. Well, the cake is chocolate. And so is that incredible fudgy middle. But the pile of frosting on top is pure heavenly vanilla, topped with a crown of [Read more…]

Review: Red Velvet Peppermint Shake and Other Holiday Snacks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Thanks in part to a little annual shindig known as The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, Hollywood Studios has a reputation for spreading holiday cheer in its own unique way… and that’s right down to the snacks!

This year there are a few newcomers to the mix as well as some old favorites. We were so excited to find these killer new snacks to share with you!

Red Velvet Peppermint Shake

Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner is playing host to a VERY hidden holiday gem… so well hidden, in fact, that you can’t even see it on a sign.

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner Menu

On the menu, you just see the simple mention of “Seasonal Shakes.” I took it upon myself to find out exactly what that means in regards to the Yuletide… and THIS is what I found: the Peppermint Shake!

Seasonal Peppermint Shake

The name “Peppermint Shake” is actually a bit misleading. The peppermint comes solely from the crushed candy cane on top of the whipped cream. The base, however, is made of Red Velvet ice Cream.

Seasonal Peppermint Shake

That mild cocoa flavor that Red Velvet is known for is [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: November 10, 2013

This week, we take a look at Disneyland’s NEW Market House, featuring Starbucks. You’ll want to stop here for brew, goodies, AND the cozy decor!

Starbucks Logo on the Window of Market House

I love the holiday season at the Disney parks; mark your calendar with the Disneyland Candy Cane dates. Those sweet swirls are a popular tradition and not-to-be missed!

If you missed any Disney food news this week, check out the articles below!

Disney Food News

  • Starbucks has opened at the Market House on Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A.!
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to one of our favorite bakeries in Walt Disney World — Writer’s Stop.
  • Check out the Disneyland Candy Cane Dates for 2013!
  • Check out the new Mickey Macaroons!
  • The Old Port Royale Food Court at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort showcases tropical pastries. Look for Mango Almond Tartlets, Banana Turnovers, and more!

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including restaurant closures, TripAdvisor Award for Victoria & Albert’s, Splitsville Adds Gluten Free Dishes, and more!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

DFB Reader Jennifer emailed us a picture of the Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich at Captain’s Grille. She says “… It’s served on Foccacia bread with an arugula & red onion vinaigrette. It’s served with orzo salad or French fries. … It is my favorite lunch of all time.

The bread is flavorful, soft, but crisped on the outside. The tomatoes are sweet and the fresh cheese, creamy. The arugula vinaigrette adds just enough tangy bite and brings the entire sandwich together nicely. I usually ask for extra dressing and started using it for my fries also. I thought it was a hidden gem, I should share!”

Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich

Thanks for sending your yummy photos and tips!

The “DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2013″ Grand Launch!

Tis the season for the Grand Launch of the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2013 e-Book!

And since we want you to save some cash right NOW, we have a steep discount for DFB readers (as always!). Get the brand new guide today for $3 off the regular purchase price for a limited time! How? Use code JINGLE at the check-out!

The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2013 e-Book features 270 pages of all the info you need to know before you head to Walt Disney World for the holiday season, including NEW events and holiday happenings, over 250 photos, and an informative FAQ section. It includes:

  • Detailed descriptions and photos of every holiday event and activity happening at the parks and resorts this year — including tips on how to make the best use of your time and money when visiting!
  • A fully comprehensive holiday dining section with listings of holiday snacks, treats, meals, and menu items offered this year — from popcorn kiosks all the way to Signature Restaurants.
  • A clickable 3-Month Schedule of Holiday Events so you can see at-a-glance what looks interesting to you.
  • Comprehensive listings — with color photos! — of Disney Resort holiday decor and gingerbread displays
  • Our recommendations on ways to SAVE while you’re in Disney World this holiday season.
  • A section dedicated to all “New for 2013″ events, dining options, and activities, including what’s new at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, The Celebrate the Magic Castle Show, and the Epcot Candlelight Processional.
  • NEW Scavenger Hunts
  • NEW Disney Cruise Line Chapter
  • A Preview of the 2014 Holidays in Disney World
  • And more!

For more detailed information and sample pages from The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2013, head over to the DFB Store!

And if you want an even BETTER deal, snap up our DFB Holiday Bundle! This includes the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays AND our original DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013!

With a 100% 30-day, money-back guarantee on all of our guides, you have nothing to lose! :-)

On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix warms our hearts (and stomachs) with this Mickey and Minnie cookie jar! Order now; for Disney fans on your holiday list!!

Mickey and Minnie Cookie Jar!

Daveland highlights the new Starbucks at the Market House in Disneyland.

Walt Disney World For Grown Ups features new cocktails on Disney World’s bar and lounge menu.

Disney Hipsters visits Sommerfest in Epcot’s Germany pavilion.

Mouse on the Mind receives some Disney Magic — a free Mickey Ice Cream Bar!

TripAdvisor names Victoria & Albert’s as top 3 fine dining restaurant in United States!

News and Review! Writer’s Stop Debuts Mickey Macaroons!

Many guests line up at Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the popular carrot cake cookie!

It’s easily one of our favorite places to hang out in the Studios!

But we’ve got something NEW to share from Writer’s Stop today — Mickey Macaroons! More like a macaron than a macaroon (but we’ve had that definition battle before), this is basically a fluffy baked cookie sandwich. :-)

The best part of this Fall-colored treat? It’s Mickey-shaped!

Mickey Macaroons in bakery case

Macarons have popped up in earnest over at Epcot’s France pavilion (they even have an awesome macaron ice cream sandwich!), but this is one of the first times we’ve seen them in a standard Disney bakery.

You can get your Mickey Macaroon for $2.49 or a Disney Dining Plan snack credit.

A new treat from Writer's Stop!

According to DFB reader and friend Daniel Wanderman, who sent the pics this morning, the macaroon [Read more…]

Review: Writer’s Stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Dude. If you haven’t been to Writer’s Stop, YOU. MUST. GO.

Seriously, Writer’s Stop remains one of my favorite spots in all of Walt Disney World. Even though they’ve re-vamped the place since I initially fell in love with it (and got rid of my favorite little window seat in favor of a coffee flavoring station…hmph…), the charm of this place is not matched in any other Disney coffee joint.

Tucked into a corner of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this little bookstore-slash-coffee shop has been around since the 1990s. It’s so cozy — and often uncrowded — so when I stop in I always feel a little bit more like I “live” at Disney World. :-)

I’m pretty sure this is going to be the spot where Starbucks infiltrates Hollywood Studios (no official information, of course — just my personal prophecy), so if you’re going to check it out in its initial incarnation, I suggest you head over there ASAP… .

Writer's Stop -- Outside

Atmosphere

If you don’t pay attention, you could easily think that Writer’s Stop is just a clever bit of scenery amid the other storefronts at Studios. Especially since it sits right next to the Streets of America backlot area. But the rolls of film and vintage percolators in the windoe herald a real, honest-to-goodness coffee and bookshop.

Step inside, and you’ll recognize the themeing immediately. The little storefront gives the impression that it’s a hangout for writers situated in the corner of a studio. A makeshift counter has been fashioned out of crates, and studio equipment adorns the walls.

Writer's Stop -- Inside

Writer’s Stop actually began as a play on the set of Buy the Book, the fictional bookstore in the sitcom Ellen, which starred Ellen DeGeneres and aired during the nineties (thus the studio lights up above). When the series went by the wayside, Buy the Book morphed into Writer’s Stop — and gained a happy place in the hearts of Disney fans.

Be sure to take a slow look around Writer’s Stop. First off, they really [Read more…]

Best Cookie Snacks in Walt Disney World

OK, all. Today we’re talking about something that I know you can all appreciate…

COOKIES! Yep. Simple, sweet, and the perfect combo of portable and delicious, cookies are the oft-forgotten workhorse of the snack world.

Now, I know that there are dozens of awesome cookie options in Disney World. So many that we couldn’t possibly list them ALL in our “best of” post about cookies. But we’re going to take a shot at listing a few of our favorites…and hopefully a few that you haven’t yet sampled!

These are cookies that are truly something special — options that either I couldn’t get anyplace else, or treats that say Disney! loud and clear to me.

So I present to you the Disney Food Blog’s Favorite Cookies at Walt Disney World! Don’t forget to check out more awesome Disney Snacks like these in our 2013 DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book!

Carrot Cake Cookie

Ever since I discovered the Carrot Cake Cookie at The Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I’ve made it a point to visit this quiet little spot on just about every trip.

These are the epitome of awesome Disney snacks. Unique, only found in one park anywhere in the world, and truly, over-the-top delicious. They consist of two components: Cakey “cookies” and a huge amount of cream cheese icing — more than you would ever get on the run-of-the-mill slice of carrot cake.

The cookies themselves are moist, sweet, and spicy. And I liken this snack to the best version of a whoopie pie ever. :-)

Carrot Cake Cookie

This treat is huge, which makes it perfect to share or to eat as a snack over a few days!

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

You saw this one coming from a mile away, didn’t you? There is no fancy dessert that holds a candle to one of my favorite grab and go sweet treats, the Homemade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich!

Two ginormous cookies are smooshed together with a huge scoop of ice cream for a portable (if slightly messy) treat. Decadent, simple, and a great way to cool down on a hot Florida day!

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

But another fun fact that makes these sandwiches a favorite of mine is that often, you can customize them! Pick your cookie, pick your [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Getting Kids to Try New Foods at Walt Disney World

It’s no secret that my daughter Louisa is more than a little produce averse. There was a period of about four years when NO fruit or vegetable crossed her lips, and even now at age 12 she still has to be cajoled into having more than a bite or two of something as innocuous as sweet potato or banana.

Frozen bananas, a gateway fruit.

So you can imagine my surprise when, on a recent trip to the Animal Kingdom’s Yak & Yeti restaurant, she consumed nearly the entire plate of wok-fried green beans we had ordered for the table. It was one of those parenting moments where you hold your breath and move slowly so as to avoid breaking the spell.

Yak & Yeti wok-fried green beans. My hero!

Those Yak & Yeti yummies didn’t turn Louisa into an inveterate bean eater, but she is now occasionally willing to nibble on a tempura string bean if we’re out for Japanese. Based on our prior track record with legumes, I’m going to count that solidly in the win column.

The Theme Park Food Effect

What was it about the Yak & Yeti beans that made Louisa such a fan? Yes, they were quite tasty, and yes, the green part was handily obfuscated by a crunchy, yumtastic fried breading coating; but we had tried similar ploys in the past to no avail. My theory is that the Yak & Yeti beans were flavored by the spice of (cue the orchestra) The Theme Park Food Effect.

Much like campers will say that meals eaten on the trail are the BEST, you know that their experience is colored by the fact that their senses are overwhelmed and they’re starving from an [Read more…]