2011 Wine and Dine Half-Marathon Finish Line Party Tickets on Sale Now

The 2011 Wine and Dine Half-Marathon Finish Line Party is a celebratory event following the Wine and Dine Half-Marathon and Half-Marathon Relay on October 1, 2011, in Disney World. For those who have a friend or family member running the race, tickets for the after-party are now available for purchase!

Specs and Pricing:
* $59 by August 31, 2011
* $69 between September 1 and September 24, 2011
* $79 between September 25 and October 1, 2011

Tickets ordered after August 31, 2011 will not receive the commemorative ticket and must be picked up at a will-call location on site before the event. Purchase here.

The Craziness That Was Last Year's After-Party

The Party’s Gonna Be Better This Year, We Promise!
Here’s the language I received about the party after registering for the race this year:

The post-race party will be expanded in 2011 to include a variety of Epcot® attractions and many more food and beverage locations. In addition, the half marathon finish line will be moved to just outside the main entrance to Epcot®. Our intent is to provide more space for the finish itself, a larger spectator viewing area, and a greatly expanded baggage claim operation. The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon finish area will be [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Big Thunder Ranch BBQ Review

Happy Cinco de Mayo!! Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers is back with more buckets of food ;-) Check out this Big Thunder Ranch BBQ review, then go check out a few more of her columns here.

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

In my household, there has always been controversy surrounding the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. We’ve been on and off supporters of it for about 15 years. The controversy? Over the years, it’s been good, it’s been bad, it’s moved around (for a while BBQ was being served at the Rancho del Zocalo location), it’s even been non-existent. We passed it by for the last few years and recently we decided to give it another chance. I’m happy to report that we are once again supporters.

Welcome Sign

Welcome Sign

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ is located in the corridor just outside of Fantasyland as you are entering Frontierland. There are no rides directly around it, making it a quiet area where you can get away from [Read more…]

WDW Swan and Dolphin to Host BBQ Bash on July 2nd

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resorts have announced a summertime Stars & Stripes Celebration featuring a BBQ Bash! See booking details here.

Date: July 2, 2011
Time: 3:00 – 8:00 pm
Location: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Fantasia Gardens Pavilion
Cost: Kids: $25, Adults: $45

It’s a family-friendly barbecue offering entertainment from a live band and good ol’ carnival style games. Chefs will tantalize taste buds with mouth-watering BBQ foods. The menu will include: coleslaw, potato salad, watermelon, burgers, hot dogs, mac & cheese station, baked beans, cornbread, mini apple pies, snow cones and more!

Cash bar will include wine, beer buckets and specialty cocktails.

The outdoor venue, Fantasia Gardens Pavilions, is located adjacent to the Fantasia Gardens miniature golf course on Epcot Resorts Blvd. across from the WDW Swan and Dolphin resorts.

Special all-inclusive, over-night packages available for families of all sizes! Please call 888-828-8850 for more information and to make your reservations. To purchase tickets only, click here.

Book your accommodations and your BBQ now!

And Don’t Forget:

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is coming up October 7-8, 2011!

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Comfort Food

We love the new pictures we’ve been receiving in the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! Warning: Don’t try looking at them when you’re hungry! ;-)

The Disney Food Pics of the Week this week feature Comfort Food. For a taste of home, try one of these comforting menu items!

Mom loves an excuse not to cook! This Mom’s Night Out tray from Pop Century’s Everything Pop Food Court makes a hearty meal of Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans & corn bread.
Photographer: Chrissy Field/siriusthinking

Mom's Night Out Special

Home-style meals such as Mom’s Chicken Pot Pie are available at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe in [Read more…]

What’s Your Favorite New-To-You Disney Food?

We’ve all experienced it — that moment when you first bite into something you’ve never had before…and realize you now have a new favorite food to add to your list of must-eats! I’ve had that experience multiple times in the past year, and thought it might be fun to trade stories with you guys.

First up, and probably my very favorite, is that completely-pre-processed-and-I-know-it fried ice cream at the American pavilion in Epcot stand on the Boardwalk! I mean, come on. Melty ice cream goodness covered in crunchies, fried, and drowned in dark chocolate syrup?! GIMB! (Translation — Get In My Belly!)

Fried Ice Cream Close Up

Next, I’ve got to give the spotlight to the Disneyland hand-dipped corn dog. I know this isn’t a “new” item at all, but it’s new to me this year, and I’m in love.

Corn bread just tastes better in Disneyland — at least I think so — and when you wrap it fresh around a savory hot dog and stick a few fries on the side, it’s like heaven in a basket. You may have [Read more…]

Snack Series: Boardwalk Bakery’s Cheesecake Brownie

On the same trip to Disney World’s Boardwalk Bakery where I found the (life-altering) peanut butter cupcake, I tried one of the bakery’s famous Cheesecake Brownies for the very first time!!

Boardwalk Bakery Cheesecake Brownie

This brownie has been around for quite a while — its recipe is even highlighted in Disney’s Delicious Disney Desserts cookbook — and there’s a reason why this snack/dessert has stood the test of time.

The rich, tangy cheesecake taste coupled with that strong, super-sweet dark chocolate brownie offers the perfect marriage of two delicious desserts; but I will say that this snack is both large, and super-rich — it’s ideal for sharing!

Cheesecake Brownies at Boardwalk Bakery

As far as I know, Boardwalk Bakery is [Read more…]

Disneyland Hotel’s Trader Sam’s and Tangaroa Terrace Open May 25th!

Tangaroa Terrace – Casual Island Dining, and Trader Sam’s – Enchanted Tiki bar will open at the Disneyland Hotel on May 25, 2011!

Trader Sam’s

Opening very soon in the Disneyland Hotel, Trader Sam’s plans to offer tropical bar fare. Menu items will include sweet and spicy Asian wings, chicken lettuce wraps, panko-crusted Chinese long beans with Sriracha mayo, tamarind-glazed pork shanks with green papaya slaw and ahi poke (sushi-grade tuna) with avocado, green onion and crispy wontons.

Trader Sam’s—Enchanted Tiki Bar

Did someone say Tiki Bar? Trader Sam’s – Enchanted Tiki Bar will quench your thirst with vintage island cocktails. Served in campy glasses, the Krakatoa Punch (reserve aged rum, light rum, tropical juice, almond syrup and hibiscus grenadine) will have you enjoying “island time” before you reach the bottom. Place an order for an Uh Oa! (just because it sounds fun ;-)) and you’ll get an adult beverage with [Read more…]

New Disney Food Blog Mini-Guides: Tell Us What You Want To Know!

Hi guys! We’re working on another brand new Disney Food Blog project, but we need your input and thoughts to make it happen.

So Here’s The Plan

Remember when we asked what you’d like to see in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining? One of the responses we heard quite a bit went a little something like this…:

“I…tend to plan where I’m eating based on where I am going to be, or vice versa, so I’d love something like “if you are at Animal Kingdom, eat dinner at …”

We got several responses similar to this one, and since we often plan our dining to be close and convenient to where we’ll be that day, too, we thought it was a great idea. So we included in the DFB Guide several one-day dining strategies for specific circumstances (see a sample dining strategy below for guests staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge).

DFBGuide.com Sample Dining Strategy -- Animal Kingdom Lodge p1

DFBGuide.com Sample Dining Strategy -- Animal Kingdom Lodge p2

The Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide Series

We knew we had many more of our one-day strategies to share, and we wanted to add week-long strategies including some of our favorite restaurants, but the large size of the DFB Guide meant we had to cut it off somewhere!

So since we know there’s still a lot of in-depth info to cover in that area — and other areas — we’ve decided to produce Mini-Guides dedicated to specific aspects of Disney dining! Several of these mini-guides will focus completely on turn-key one-day, one-week, and two-week dining strategies for your vacation. We’ll give you our favorite suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner, AND snacks based on where you’re staying, what park you’re visiting each day, and even what special dining criteria you have to manage.

And we’ll take the guesswork out of travel/transportation planning for you! Our strategies will focus on making getting from “here” to “there” easy, quick, and convenient.

We Need Your Suggestions

To make sure we’re putting out the right Mini-Guides for you, tell us in the comments below what you want to know more about. Here are a few examples to get your brainwaves going:

  • Are you staying in a Magic Kingdom resort for a week and want to know the best places to eat and how to get to them?
  • Will you be spending several days in Epcot and need to ensure you get some variety?
  • Are you (or is someone in your party) eating vegetarian or gluten-free on your trip?
  • Do you want to be able to walk to your dinner restaurant from wherever you are that day?
  • Do you have three kids, two grandparents, a sister-in-law, and four cousins who all have a different wish-list when it comes to food…and refuse to take the bus?

Share with us what kinds of dining strategies would make your vacation planning 110% easier!

Other Disney Dining Topics You’d Like to See Covered in More Detail?

And let us know if there are other in-depth Disney dining topics you’d like to hear more about. The Mini-Guide series is slated to include a volume about planning for the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, one focused on the ins and outs of the Disney Dining Plan, a guide dedicated to dining with Special Diets in Disney World, and more! And don’t worry…we’re already working on a new Disney Food Blog project all about snacks!

I can’t wait to hear what YOU want to know!

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…]

Review: Plaza Restaurant at Magic Kingdom

I love the Plaza. Here’s why:

  • It’s less expensive than many other table-service restaurants
  • It’s good quality
  • It’s easy

What more could you want in a restaurant when you’re fighting Magic Kingdom crowds, dying to use your Splash Mountain fastpass before the parade, and coping with your tired and hungry troops?

The Plaza offers less-expensive, but delicious, food right in the middle of the Magic Kingdom. And, believe it or not, it’s not all that difficult to get an Advance Dining Reservation here!

Atmosphere

The Plaza is a tiny little restaurant located between Tomorrowland and Main Street USA in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Plaza sign

It’s right next door to what some folks call the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor, but is actually — according to the sign — the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. Which [Read more…]