What’s New Around Disney World: January 23, 2015

The year isn’t the only thing new around Disney World… we’re on the lookout for new eats, sweets, and refurbishment feats. Please keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside your ride vehicle at all times as we tour all four Disney World Parks to see What’s New!

Something's always just around the corner at Disney World!

Something’s always just around the corner at Disney World!

Animal Kingdom

We’re starting out with another WILD trip to Animal Kingdom, which includes a couple of menu updates. At Yak & Yeti Restaurant, Firecracker Shrimp and Ahi Tuna Nachos for Two join the appetizers (the Dim Sum Basket for two remains), and Ginger Salmon with Japanese Udon has been added to the noodle dishes. Chicken Tikki Masala is among the new specialty entrees, and Malaysian Seafood Curry arrives under Wok selections.

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Be sure to check out the Specialty Drinks for some fun new beverages: Pink Himalayan, Kiwi Kimono, and a Rickshaw Rickie.

Right next door at Local Food Cafes (also known as Yak & Yeti Counter Service), Korean Stir-fry Barbecue Chicken has replaced the Sweet and Sour Chicken.

Local Foods Cafe menu

Local Foods Cafe menu

At Dino Diner in Dinoland, U.S.A., the Snow Cone has been switched out for Nachos, served with just cheese or as Nachos Supreme (at least for these cooler months).

Dino Diner

Dino Diner

Dino Diner

Dino Diner

Tamu Tamu Refreshments has undergone another menu refresh, currently offering the Slow-cooked Chicken Curry, Vegetarian Curry, and Roasted Chicken Salad.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

This isn’t entirely unexpected, as the menu here seems to go through a standard rotation. So, if you’re disappointed that the Slow-cooked Pulled Beef Sandwich is no longer available, Hakuna Matata. It could very well make its way back around in a few months.

And, as we discussed a few weeks back, Flame Tree Barbecue is closed for refurbishment with a tentative reopening of April 1st. Find out where you can find some of your favorite Flame Tree foods at other locations around the park!

Flame Tree Barbecue closed for refurbishment

Flame Tree Barbecue closed for refurbishment

Speaking of refurbishments, construction of [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 4, 2015

Happy New Year! Looking ahead, we anticipate sharing delicious reviews from new Disney restaurants. And we just heard that STK will be coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World.

Tiramisu Cupcake

Tiramisu Cupcake

And you know we’ll be visiting old favorites like Captain Cook’s. Recently while checking out the new Polynesian Lobby (click the link to see photos!!), we found a Tiramisu Cupcake there!

Plus, read the top Disney food news from 2014. Just click on the links below!

Disney Food News

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, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

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!

Our readers continue to tempt us with delicious food from Walt Disney World. Let’s take a look at some items from the Animal Kingdom! Here’s a Mac and Cheese Hot Dog courtesy of Katie.

Mac and Cheese Hot Dog

Mac and Cheese Hot Dog

Or for table-service, head to Yak and Yeti for these yummy appetizers sent in by Angelica.
Yak and Yeti Appetizers-001

Do you have a favorite find? Share your Disney food photos!

Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book Today for $5 Off!

Want a big discount on our most popular DFB Guide in time for the new year? Or, you know, just cause you want to start planning your 2015 Disney trip TODAY? ;-D

dfb_guide_2015_3d

It’s yours! Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining today and use promo code HAPPYNEWYEAR for $5 off!

We know that when it comes to your Disney vacays, planning ahead is practically essential these days. And if you can save time and money in the process — even better!

And that’s why today, when you pre-order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and enter promo code HAPPYNEWYEAR, you’ll save $5 off of the already low cover price!

But the really cool part? You get two books for the price of one! We’ll deliver the 2014 Guide to you immediately, and email you the 2015 Guide as soon as it is available early next year.

Here are a couple of sample pages for you — just click to enlarge!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Sample Page

Samples Pages of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013

What’s in the DFB Guide?

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is stuffed FULL of helpful features to help make your trip go smoothly, like:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from [Read more…]

Disney Details: Yak and Yeti Restaurant Lighting

One of the lesser-known, but still pretty awesome restaurants in Disney’s theme parks is Yak & Yeti, found in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Our experiences there have always been good when it comes to the food, but one of my favorite parts of the dining spot is the decor.

It’s clear that Disney’s imagineers searched high and low for authentic props and “set dressing” for this restaurant, and I’ve always been captivated by the lighting particularly.

On a visit many years ago, I snapped shots of several of lamps, light fixtures, and even chandeliers that make this restaurant so eclectic. I just came across the pics and wanted to share them with you. Be sure to leave a comment and let me know which Disney restaurant decor you’re most fond of!

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Yak and Yeti Restaurant Lighting Elements

This incredible chandelier hangs above the main staircase up to the second floor. Its tiered crystals practically drip down to the railing!

Atmosphere from lighting

A few old-fashioned and vintage options look like they were taken right out [Read more…]

Review: Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

At the request of my family, I decided to venture away from my familiar dining locations and try Yak and Yeti in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Earlier in the day, we chose to move up our Advance Dining Reservation from 4:45PM until later in the evening. A quick phone call to 407-WDW-DINE and we were able to re-schedule for 7:30PM.

Atmosphere

After utilizing the single rider line at Expedition Everest, we trekked to Asia’s Yak & Yeti and were one of the last parties seated for the evening. (Isn’t Animal Kingdom awesome in the dark?!)

Expedition Everest at night

Expedition Everest at night

Upon arrival, the upper level was closed off, but the lower dining rooms were still bustling.

Yak sign

At first, we were led to a table right outside the kitchen and nearby the elevator. It was so loud that we couldn’t enjoy our conversation and quickly asked to be seated in a quieter spot.

Decor in Yak & Yeti

Decor in Yak & Yeti

In the next interior room, we settled at a table that was conducive to dinner conversation and also enabled us to enjoy the restaurant’s decor. (Big kudos to the hostess that assured us that she wasn’t a fan of tables near the kitchen and completely understood our request.)

Dining Room

Dining Room

Statue

Statue

Our waiter was very informative and fun. We asked questions about how the new My Magic+ payment system was working for the staff. He shared his frustration with weak wi-fi connections; sometimes he has to move around the restaurant to find a better signal!

Reception Area

Reception Area

He also indicated that it’s more difficult taking Disney Dining Plan credits with the new system; although he felt it was much easier to deal with customers paying with their room accounts. The Cast Members at this restaurant were extremely friendly!

Dining rooms at closing time

Dining rooms at closing time

Bar at Yak & Yeti

Bar at Yak & Yeti

Since I love themed restaurants, I was anxious to take in the detail within the walls of this Asian hideaway. The exotic menu foreshadowed the unique dishes we’d find inside the booklet.

Look inside for exotic dishes

Look inside for exotic dishes

While chopsticks were added to our tabletop, we stuck with our silverware skills!

Chopsticks

Chopsticks

Eats

Already fans of the Crispy Honey Chicken served at Anandapur Local Food Cafe (Yak & Yeti counter-service), hubby and son confidently put in their wok-based order. Made with tempura chicken, broccoli, carrots, and honey sauce, this dish did not disappoint.

Mr. 13 ate heartily (including the brown rice) although he pushed his broccoli to the side. Both agreed that the rice was cooked well, chicken was very tender, and the honey sauce had just the right amount of sweetness.

Crispy Honey Chicken

Crispy Honey Chicken

All three of us chose [Read more…]

Three Must-Try Disney Pies!

GUESS WHAT!!!! It’s NATIONAL PIE DAY!!!!

Today, in honor of this most momentous occasion, we couldn’t resist sharing with you a few of our very favorites. Whether they inspire you to bake a pie of your own, or plan a trip and let Disney do the baking for you — well, you’re welcome.

1. Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie From Boardwalk Bakery

So many truly wonderful things have come out of BoardWalk Bakery since it reopened after a major renovation last year.

While some classics remain, others, like the Cheesecake Brownie, received makeovers as well. But the real story are the amazing newcomers to the menu! One of my favorites, hands down, is the Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie.

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie

The tart starts with a Chocolate Short Dough Crust. Peanut Butter is introduced to the party via the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Filling, which is pie poetry. Because as much as I love rich peanut butter filling, this lighter approach is killer.

This sweet and salty goodness is wrapped up in a Chocolate Glaze. Add to that a little mound of creamy Banana Topping, and a sprinkling of Candied Bacon, and you’ve got a winner!

peanut butter, banana, and candied bacon pie cross section

peanut butter, banana, and candied bacon pie cross section

Sound awesome? Make a similar version at home with this recipe!

2. Lobster and Scallop Fisherman’s Pie From the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Many of the pies that stand out from the crowd at Disney are savory rather than sweet. Case in point: the beloved Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie from the Ireland Marketplace Booth at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie

Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie

We’ve been enjoying this delicious for the last several years and hope it comes back again this year!

This hearty, casserole-like main course consists of large chunks of [Read more…]

Guest Review: Yak & Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Join us in saying “Jambo” to Guest Reviewer Katie Roth! In this review, Katie takes us to Yak & Yeti in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Until my recent trip, the only restaurant that I had dined in at Animal Kingdom was Rainforest Café – I decided to go out on a limb here and try something new.

As most of you know, when you get your “staple” restaurants at Disney World, it is really hard to throw something new in the mix; so it was tough for us to try Yak and Yeti!

Atmosphere

In my opinion the restaurant is easy to miss. Okay, sure – the building is purple, but in the colorful Asia area of Animal Kingdom EVERYTHING is colorful. Once you do find it and step into the unassuming building, you are transported to something that (we thought) felt like it was straight out of an Indiana Jones movie.

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Dining Area

Beautifully themed

The building is adorned with dark, worn woods and accented with unique lanterns, trinkets, and treasures from old Asia.

Unique lighting!

Decor at Yak & Yeti!

Through the dim lighting, we decided on some [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 29, 2013

I’ve been tasting my way around the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, so be sure to check out all the NEW photos from the marketplace food booths!!

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Plus, we have full Epcot Food and Wine Festival menu listings that include Disney Dining Plan snack credits and prices!

Don’t forget to check out our Disney Food Blog Bingo challenge for this year’s Festival! It’s a great way to get the whole family in on the fun!

Still hungry? We’ve got more sweet news…

Disney Food News

New treats!

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 a Murder Mystery Dinner Show at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, 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 Mandi has us salivating with these phenomenal pictures of delicious eats! First up: Cream Cheese wontons, skewered with fresh pineapple and served with fresh strawberries and spearmint leaf, drizzled with a warm vanilla honey sauce from Yak & Yeti in the Animal Kingdom.

Cream Cheese Wontons

Of course, stopping by Captain Cook’s in the Polynesian Resort for unique food is always a good idea. And we LOVE Tonga Toast!

Tonga Toast

Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures!!

The DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book THIS WEEK! It’s almost time for the festival to begin! With over 190 pages and multiple bonus items, it’s pretty substantial. And just in time to make your plans — the festival is under way!

This week, we have a discount option for DFB readers (as always!). You can get the mini-guide for $3 off the regular purchase price — just use code TRAY at the check-out!

As always, we’ve made this mini-guide instantly downloadable for your convenience, and easily installed on your mobile devices. It’s a PDF guide with over 190 pages of detailed information about the Festival as well as photographs and customized bonus items to help you get the best experience possible.

Bonus Items

The DFB Mini-Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival includes customized bonus items that go above and beyond any other Food & Wine Festival coverage currently available. These include:

  • A full, daily schedule of events for every day of the festival
  • A printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist that you can use to plan, and easily bring with you to the festival
  • Themed World Showcase booth crawls (there’s even one for the kids!)
  • Food and Wine Festival customized Touring Strategies for One Day visits, Budget-Conscious visits, visits with kids, and more
  • A chapter dedicated to all “New for 2013″ events, menu items, booths, and more
  • Full food, wine, beer, winery, and chef indexes, including dates and locations of where you can find your favorites
  • Epcot Food and Wine Festival recipes
  • And more!

Want an Even Better Deal?

We’ve got it! For an even bigger discount, head over to the DFB Storeand check out our e-Book Bundles!

All the Guides Bundle, Including Food and Wine: Planning a big trip and need the low-down on Disney Food across the board? We’ve got it all for you in this steeply discounted e-Book Bundle, which includes the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Guide and the Holidays at Disney World Guide!

Food and Wine Bundle: Another chance to pick up two of our very best-selling guides! Get a significant discount on our 400-page DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013, and the DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — together! This Food and Wine Bundle offers all of our insider tips and tricks for the Festival AND the rest of your Disney World visit!

For more detailed information and sample pages from The DFB Mini-Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival, head over to DFBMiniGuides.com/foodandwine!

On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix suggests hiding your cookies in this Snow White Evil Queen Cookie Jar!

Evil Queen Cookie Jar

WDW for Grown Ups features the Chase Cardholder VIP Lounge at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival!

Studios Central pays homage to Annette Funicello with a close-up look of the “net full of jello” in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Main Street Gazette sips a Bamboo Backscratcher at the Tambu Lounge in the Polynesian Resort!

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World enjoys lots of great eats around Walt Disney World, including a stop at the Cabana Bar and Beach Club at the WDW Swan and Dolphin Resort.

Disney Parks Blog showcases a brand new restaurant — Carioca’s — coming to Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic.

Disney Parks Blog celebrates Halloween with themed treats at Walt Disney World!

 

Review: Yak and Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Luckily, I recently got to attend a business meeting at Yak and Yeti in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

I haven’t been there in a while, but I’m pleased to report that this location is still offering great eats for those who want a bit more than pizza and chicken nuggets for their theme park dining.

You’ll find this spot in the park’s “Asia” area, near Kali River Rapids. The decor and backstory are a blast, and it’s well worth wandering around the restaurant a bit to take in all of the imagineering detail after your meal.

Atmosphere

The desire to stand and stare, taking in every detail, begins before you ever enter the Yak and Yeti. The striking purple building beckons you to come in and discover more.

Yak and Yeti Outside

Once inside, you start to peel back the layers of the restaurant’s backstory. In a nutshell, a wealthy merchant from Anandapur, Arjun, has fallen on hard times. As a result, he’s turned his regal home into a fine hotel and restaurant. You are his honored guests!

The Story behind the Yak and Yeti

Throughout Arjun’s extensive [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…]

Top 6 Disney Dining Plan Snack Credit Values for 2012

As always, we want to make sure all of us are getting the best value with our Disney Dining Plan snack credits!

For those who are unfamiliar with the Disney Dining Plan, it’s a way for guests to pre-pay for their dining when visiting Disney World. “Snack credits” are used by guest to purchase items like popcorn, candy, ice cream, and other low-cost treats.

I’ll list my top six choices, then you tell me your experiences. Let’s work together on finding the best snack credit deals!

Note that snack credits are usually accepted for items that are a single serving, and cost $4.50 or less (though some cost as much as $4.99 out of pocket).

1. Bakeries

A Disney Food Blog staff and reader favorite — bakeries! Not only can you use your snack credit for some incredible treats, but you can also get a pastry for your morning meal. Hey, it’s vacation!

Don’t forget to check out our Disney World Bakery Throw Down to see some of the very best spots to spend those credits.

Disney World Cinnamon Roll at Main Street Bakery

Consider some of these options at bakeries around Disney World: cinnamon rolls, butterfinger cupcakes, caramel cupcakes, white chocolate elephant cupcake, crepes, school bread…and so much more!

These are all great deals for one single snack credit.

2. Ice Cream Sundaes and Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed with what kinds of sundaes you can get for a snack credit in Disney World! Easily costing $4.50 or more out of pocket, these sundaes are awesome deals!

Stop by Storybook Treats in the Magic Kingdom to snag a Cookie Fudge Sundae that you can easily split between two! Other options at Storybook Treats include a Brownie Sundae and a yummy Strawberry Shortcake Sundae!

Hot Fudge and Caramel Cookie Sundae at Storybook Treats

Another ice creamy treat that’s not-to-be-missed is the homemade ice cream cookie sandwich. You can get these at all four parks, and while the snack credit payment option [Read more…]