Today, we’ve got even more reopening news for you, and this time it’s a little bit more on the wild side!
Hello, friends! Are you ready for a WILD dining adventure? (Sorry for the bad pun, but it feels necessary when writing about Animal Kingdom.)
We recently decided to head over to Pizzafari, as they’ve made some slight changes to their “Family-Style Dining.” Not familiar? Don’t fret! We’ll walk you through everything! But essentially, in the evenings Pizzafari offers a special menu as part of an all you care to enjoy option. We enjoyed it when it first rolled out, but with a price increase and new options, would we still feel the same?
is a hidden gem of Walt Disney World dining.
Located in the Swan Hotel in the Epcot resort area, Il Mulino is off the typical beaten path. But for those that find it, it’s often a meal to remember.
Il Mulino is an Italian restaurant modeled after the original and much-lauded Il Mulino in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. And you see a bit of that in the decor — but you taste a lot of it in the food. Menu items derive from the Abruzzo region of Italy and as such are comprised of an eclectic mix of ingredient from the mountains, the sea, and the pastures.
But origins aside, Il Mulino just serves really good food.
It’s been several years since my last visit to Il Mulino, and in that time, a lot has changed at the Swan and Dolphin Hotels. New dining and drinking spots have opened, there’s a new executive chef overseeing the seventeen (17!!) dining establishments in the two resorts, and the Swan and Dolphin Classic continues to wow with new (and returning) tastes year after year.
If you’re looking for a spot to enjoy a romantic (or, you know, just delicious) dinner at Walt Disney World on Valentine’s Day, Yachtsman Steakhouse has a special three-course menu made just for you.
Diners choosing the three-course option (the full a la carte menu is still available as well!) will select from Caesar Salad or Charred Octopus to start, followed by Chateaubriand for Two, and ending with a White and Dark Chocolate Mousse Sphere.
A brand new dining experience has just made its debut at Pizzafari!
Plzzafari is a Counter Service restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Located on Discovery Island, this spot is best known for its unique and colorful atmosphere, as well as its primary food item as highlighted in the name: PIZZA.
It’s always operated the same way you’d expect at any Counter Service location: place your order and pay at the register; pick up your food at a counter; then bring it all to whatever table you manage to find, depending on how busy it is in the moment.
But now — from 5:00 – 8:00 PM daily — a new service style is available. Though daytime will continue to offer the typical Counter Service experience, the evenings now ALSO present Pizzafari Family-Style Dining!
Let’s see how this works…
Now, if you’ve ever paid a visit to Pizzafari, things will look quite similar at first. In fact, the typical counter service operations also still take place in the evening, so guests seeking the regular meals here still have that option. [Read more…]
We’ve got all the latest in our What’s New at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom
! Come along while we share lots of menu changes, loads of 20th Anniversary merchandise, and a few construction updates!
Updated Menus and Eats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
has dropped the Salmon BLT from the menu, but the Turkey BLT and Pimento-Cheese BLT happily remain!
It’s the story that we’re continuing to watch: Disney’s Animal Kingdom is undergoing major changes!
And you may think that the updates are just relegated to attractions as the park transitions from a daytime-only to an all-day destination. But it only makes sense that more people staying longer will mean that they’ll need to eat!
While we look forward to brand new spots, like Tiffins Restaurant and the Nomad Lounge, we’re also seeing lots of menu updates to existing favorites. Today, we throw the spotlight on Pizzafari!
You’ll find Pizzafari en route to Africa on Discovery Island. The counter service restaurant offers mostly inside seating, which is always a major plus when trying to beat the heat.
Though the outside has been refurbished to reflect the more natural, earthy colors that are now prevalent around Discovery Island, the inside seating areas remain bright, colorful, and whimsical. [Read more…]
Welcome back to Pizzafari!
The last time we visited this Animal Kingdom Counter Service spot was to try some of the breakfast offerings after they had a menu refresh. But the star of the show here is all in the name, so we’re back to review Pizzafari’s take on “Meat Lovers Pizza.”
You’ll also find this item on the menu over at Pizza Planet in Hollywood Studios, and as far as atmosphere goes, that’s a pretty great spot, too. But I just so happened to be at Animal Kingdom scoping out the presumed location of the final in-Park Starbucks (the former Creature Comforts merchandise location), so Pizzafari it was!
Of course, it isn’t a trip to Pizzafari without checking out some of the signature murals all over the walls, no matter which room you dine in. I truly never tire of looking at these.
But, ultimately, I strolled past the poised bobcat at the entrance (at least, I think that’s what he is) and took my pizza outside.
It was one of those perfect “winter” days, and you simply have to take advantage of any days you won’t melt outdoors in Florida. (Covered outdoor seating is available at Pizzafari as well.)
Like all other pizzas served at Pizzafari, the Meat Lovers comes with [Read more…]
Ah, Steakhouse 55, a bastion of yesteryear near the Park That Started It All. Going to this place is like a living time capsule. Some historical exhibits celebrate the past by letting you look at it. But at Steakhouse 55, it’s like you’re actually stepping back through the years. And that’s a good thing.
But if we’ve learned anything about Disney, it’s that change is always potentially on the horizon. Recently, they decided that the menu needed an overhaul. Maybe to match to some degree the rest of Disneyland’s emphasis on healthier fare?
We actually visited Steakhouse 55 prior to the recent menu refresh. But there has been so much to tell you guys over the last month, I’m just getting around to sharing my experience! So be aware that if you plan to visit, the menu will look a little different than what you see here.
While Steakhouse 55 underwent a bit of a refresh in the decorating department last year, we didn’t find much different when we visited recently. You’re still greeted by this iconic, enlarged photo of Walt Disney as you enter the space. Rich wood trim and painted paneling hint at the more formal environment. Once you’ve entered, it’s very hard to remember that Goofy’s Kitchen is right next door.
You’ll come to the Steakhouse 55 Lounge first. Incidentally, this is a great spot to keep on your radar. Reservations are not required and they feature a bar menu with some delicious and satisfying options.
Recently they’ve also begun offering the full Steakhouse 55 Restaurant Menu in the Lounge as well. Stash this away in your bag of tricks in case you find yourself starving and looking for an upscale dining experience if the steakhouse itself is booked up.
You’ll find shades of plum and silver, with plush finishes like satin and velvet. The bar area features a flat screen television, handy for checking out the latest scores.
Find a spot at the bar, or enjoy comfortable seating in softly upholstered chairs and plush couches and chaises.
Small tables are perfect for Bar Bites and Cocktails, but might pose a challenge if you’re enjoying a full meal.
Exit the lounge and you’ll find the main dining room. Low lighting and white tablecloths hint at the more formal setting here.
But you’ll find the same understated decor, punctuated by those large photographs of famous faces from years gone by.
The feeling here is retro chic, and it’s not hard to imagine what this spot may have been like when the name over the door was still Granville’s, and the people in the pictures were sitting at the next table.
I’ve shared with you that Steakhouse 55 is my absolute most favorite spot for breakfast at Disneyland, and Heather has written about her delicious experience dining in the Lounge. But it had been a while since I had taken in dinner here.
Unfortunately, my timing was just a little off. Immediately after we enjoyed this experience, the menu underwent a change.
Here is the menu that Steakhouse 55 featured at the time of our dinner.
Chef Marcel St. Pierre, a Disney veteran who was most recently over the kitchens of Club 33, has taken over at Steakhouse 55. Not surprisingly, he is eager to put his stamp on things here, and to experiment with some popular trends and classic French preparations.
Since the changes, I’ll try to note where the dishes that we ordered have been updated.
We began our meal with fresh, warm Sourdough Bread, served with softened, Unsalted Butter.
My husband was dining with me. And you long-term DFB Readers know — he never passes up the chance to enjoy a Caesar Salad, and this visit was no exception!
The classic version of the salad was served with Olive Tapenade atop a Parmesan Crisp. This salad has been replaced with Hearts of Romaine — served with Caesar Dressing. Yep. Basically the same. Just fancier.
Another classic dish that we couldn’t pass up ordering was the legendary Steakhouse 55 Seven Onion Soup. It’s delicious, but even better — it’s food theater. The soup comes together from two different dishes.
You are presented a soup bowl with [Read more…]
Welp, boys and girls — it’s time to head into Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and take in lunch at Crystal Palace! This is a beloved character spot for many Disney fans, and a must-do character experience for lots of you.
Me? I hadn’t been to Crystal Palace in foreva…not since an ill-fated late-night visit a couple of years ago when the food was AW-FUL! Yep, it was the end-of-the-night dregs of the buffet and we were pretty much just grossed out. (Have you ever seen a buffet about 15 minutes before a restaurant is about to close? Not pretty.) We ate very little and left as soon as we could. Sad, since we do love dining with Pooh and friends.
But it was time to revisit the 100 Hundred Acre Wood — after all, we’d had lots of great meals here previously — and I made reservations with some friends for lunch.
We have tons of shots to show you, so let’s get started!
You’ll find Crystal Palace to the left of Main Street USA’s end, just as you approach Cinderella Castle. The beautiful glass building, inspired by ornate conservatories of the late Victorian Age, is a slice of Disney history as well. The restaurant has been around since opening day in 1971.
And here’s a tip if you’re looking for an extra-special experience during your Disney vacation: try and book Crystal Palace for an early breakfast. You’ll be one of the first guests into the Park when you do this, and visiting a nearly empty Magic Kingdom is an event to remember.
Once you step inside, you’ll see whitewashed walls that carry the bright, light decor throughout. Artwork depicting inspiration for the architecture as well as photos of lush palms cover the walls.
The soaring atrium above is gorgeous — especially on a sunny day!
After you check in, you’ll wait for your table outside on the shaded veranda. But once you step in, pause a moment to take it all in.
Tons of windows and glass domes allow for plenty of natural light in the two dining areas.
And really — look up. Because the windows are really stunning. I love the beautiful stained glass detail.
The decor puts you in mind of a Victorian conservatory, with its outside-but-inside feel. Lush flowers and what reminds me of patio furniture finish the area.
Crystal Palace is, of course, a character dining experience, and you’ve stumbled onto a party!
In fact, visit here, and you’ll take part in a Friendship Day Celebration with Winnie the Pooh and his friends.
Just check out these gorgeous flower topiaries of the whole gang!
The sweet little figures appear to be made of dried roses, and foreshadow the characters you’ll meet while you dine.
And beautiful hanging arrangements of tropical flowers complete the classic conservatory feel.
Seating is standard and fairly comfortable. Heavy, padded chairs share the space with booths, but some tables are situated a bit too closely for our comfort.
Seating along windows gives you a glimpse of guests waiting to be seated! But beyond them, you’ll also see a beautiful view of [Read more…]