We spent some time visiting the Grand Floridan and Polynesian Village Resorts while on our way to the Magic Kingdom, and spotted some menu updates for you!
Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Go teams! No matter who you’re cheering for it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy our weekly round-up of the most delicious Disney food news. (I’m a Bills fan, so as long as the Giants, Pats, Cowboys, and Dolphins stay out of the big game, I’m happy ;-D)
We are still celebrating the grand launch of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2016 e-book! The Guide is fully updated for 2016 vacations and is available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining plans at Walt Disney World! You can use code HAPPYPLACE to get a $4 discount off the cover price!
We love answering your questions and this week’s reader question was “Where can we get a good breakfast if we are NOT into characters or buffets?” You can check out our answer here.
We have a lot to share with you this week, so let’s jump right in…
Disney Food News
- We love brownies and this week we were talking about the Best Brownies in Walt Disney World!
- Residents of the Super Bowl States – the Carolinas and Colorado – can get a great deal at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel and residents of the winning team’s state get a free upgrade!
- Ever wonder what the best one credit restaurants are with the Disney Dining Plan? We have some recommendations.
- Afternoon tea is coming to the Crescent Solarium at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
- We reviewed the Smoky Cheddar Grits at the Smiling Crocodile in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
- Disneyland’s River Belle Terrace is now accepting Advance Dining Reservations!
It’s gettin’ to be big times again at the ol’ Poly, my friends…
With the recent addition of the Poly Tiki statue greeting guests above the water structure in the still-relatively-new lobby, and the soft opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (not to mention the recently open Bora Bora Bungalows), what has been a previously unprecedented level of renovation for a Disney Resort is — at long last — shaping up rather nicely, indeed.
Amidst all these huge changes, it can be hard to remember there are plenty of other small things to find and appreciate! Take, for instance, these macadamia pastries I spotted at Kona Island. I loved that even this small dining location was themed appropriately — to the islands!
Just look at the generous amount of Macadamia Nuts covering these Sticky Buns!
You can also spot them in the center of [Read more…]
You’re planning your first trip to Walt Disney World. Or your 50th. Or your 100th. And you reeeeeeeally want to know what NEW dishes you MUST try? Weeeeeeelllllllllll, we’ve got a few suggestions for you!
We’ve got about nine of our favorite you-HAVE-to-EAT-this dishes and snacks featured in our brand new DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015 e-Book, which you can pick up today for $4 off using code 2015 right here!
But I wanted to take a second to share just a few of those must-eat treats here with you as well.
Must-Eat Walt Disney World Treats in 2015
Yep — here at DFB, we always like to kick off each new year with some of our favorite treats spotted during the last few months. But when I sat down to brainstorm this post…well, at first it seemed like 2014 didn’t offer a whole lot of new stuff.
That said, when I started scrolling back through everything we ate this past year, I realized there was a lot to be said for 2014 and its culinary prowess.
There is one really big difference between this year and previous years, however. Most of our crave-worthy dishes are savory this time around! I know! WUT?!??!?!?!?!? Don’t worry, though — I’ve got a few sweeties thrown in.
Here’s the New Food I Want to Stuff My Face with at Disney Parks in 2015!
Barbecue Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese
We thought that Mac and Cheese, that king of comfort foods, was enough. But little did we know what we had been missing, until Disney started putting additional delicious food on top of its cheesy goodness.
We first saw the dawn of Gourmet Mac and Cheese — we’re just gonna call it that if that’s all right with you — a while back. Friar’s Nook introduced the concept, and we were smitten with their Bacon Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese and Blue Cheese Mac right away.
BUT THEN — this happened.
Even if you’ve paid a visit to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, you may not be familiar with Kona Island.
This pleasant little stop upstairs in the Great Ceremonial House sits directly next to a much larger restaurant: Kona Cafe. So it can be pretty easy to pass by — unless you are in the know of its reputation for being one of the places on property where you can enjoy some sushi, or even a press pot of Kona Coffee, brewed to order.
Kona Island was closed for a while in the late summer to accommodate some of the construction going on at the Polynesian (among those changes, the eagerly-anticipated addition of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto to the resort).
But it reopened by the end of September, and more recently I finally had a chance to stop by and sample something I’d been curious about.
Hawaiian Shaved Ice is now part of the offerings. You can get all one flavor (“Kumau”) for $3.99, or a combo of two flavors (“Haukalima”) for $4.99.
While flavors may vary due to available syrups, I was able to choose from eight on the day of my visit: orange, passion mango, cherry, coconut, blue raspberry, strawberry, pineapple, and pina colada. I could’ve happily tried all eight flavors (and many thanks to the extremely patient Cast Member who waited while I took a crazy long time to decide!). But I ultimately chose a combo of pina colada and cherry.
The swirl of white (you can see it much better on the red cherry side) is [Read more…]
It’s time to take another trip around the World, from Downtown Disney to EPCOT… and we’ll be visiting all sorts of Disney Resorts along the way! Strap in, folks, because there’s always something to find when you’re searching for What’s New at Disney World with the DFB!
The name of the game all over Downtown Disney these days continues to be, of course, construction for the transformation into Disney Springs. Here are a few recent shots of what will be The Boathouse restaurant, which seems to be coming along nicely.
On the West Side, The Smokehouse has introduced a new item: Smokehouse Nachos!
The Nachos can be customized with [Read more…]
Hubba hubba! There are some serious new treats in Epcot right now, kids!
Yep — the long-awaited L’Artisan des Glaces opened this week in the France Pavilion, and it’s surpassed all expectations. With 16 decadent flavors of ice cream and sorbet along with the option of topping them with three liqueurs, it’s a great stop for both grown-ups and kids!
Check out our first look, with photos and information about the new Epcot France ice cream shop; and enjoy some spectacular treats for the eyes with our review of the “ice cream martini!”
Disney Food News
Enjoy this week’s tidbits!
- Sample the Chocolate Raspberry Mickey Tart from The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
- The Kona Kone has a new look at Disney World’s Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Resort!
- The new L’Artisan des Glaces Ice Cream and Sorbet Shop has opened in Epcot’s France. Check out the full menu of flavors and options!
- Indulge in the newest grown-up treat in Disney World’s Epcot — the Ice Cream Martini at L’Artisan des Glaces in France!
- Vote for the seminar to be featured during the Disney World Swan and Dolphin’s 4th Annual Food and Wine Classic in Walt Disney World!
- Stop by Troubadour Tavern when you head to Mickey and the Magical Map in Disneyland Park!
- Check out some awesome new Goofy’s Candy Company Disney Vinylmation!
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 South African Winemakers Tour at Jiko, Heinz Natural Ketchup at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Steakhouse 55 Wine and Dine Experience for Disneyland’s Annual Passholders, Sorcerer Mickey Candy Apples at Disneyland candy locations, Be Our Guest Restaurant earns an award, Chef Chris Windus leaving Todd English’s bluezoo, and sushi update at Kona Island Sushi Bar in Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
DFB Reader Finds
The Backlot Express seems to be dispensing some extra magic to guests lately. If you hear Cast Members chanting “magic tray”, they’ll be delivering a free dessert to the lucky guest! DFB reader Jennifer tweeted “ate at the Backlot Express & got the “Magic Tray” & won a free dessert! Lemon Meringue cupcake.” We still don’t know what the “magic tray” is, but we want one!
And while you’re at Backlot Express, we suggest this delicious Angus Onion Straw Cheeseburger sent in by DFB Reader Mandi!
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Did You Purchase a Previous Edition of the DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks?
Read more about our extra discounts for previous purchasers here! For more detailed information and sample pages from The DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, head over to DFBMiniGuides.com!
On to the Round-Up!
features a classic Mickey Mouse waffle iron! Perfect for Summer Saturday breakfasts!
All About Ami explores popcorn stands at Tokyo Disneyland! (Keep scrolling down when you click over…it’s a LONG post, but you’ll get to the popcorn stands eventually!)
Walt Disney World for Grown Ups enjoys adult slushes in Epcot’s France pavilion.
Yesterland features the original billboards at Paradise Pier in Disney’s California Adventure. Includes Coca-Cola and McDonald’s advertisements!
Theme Park Insider dines at Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom.
disZine features an updated version of the cooking series That’s Fresh on the Disney Channel.
Main Street Gazette features the Grand Floridian Cafe.
Whew! What a WEEK! It was Food and Wine Festival-icous! You’ll have to forgive my one track mind this week, all, but here are the latest news items:
- Here’s the latest on the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival:
- All the news and photos from the Tables in Wonderland 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Preview dinner
- Epcot Food and Wine Festival booth menus are now available! Click on each booth to see photos of items coming back for 2010.
- Food and Wine Festival merchandise and artwork sneak peek!
- Updates to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Events page were made as well. Don’t forget — Booking opens July 20th at 7am!
- Check out this Taste of Africa Street Party food photo tour!
- And here are all the details on the dining options available at Aulani, DVC’s newest property being built in Hawai’i!
- Finally, the Wishes Dessert Party has been extended through December 2010!
Hopefully you got a chance to check out my blog post over at Touring Plans all about the NEW additions to the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Also, give a listen to the recent WDW Today Podcast, where we chatted about some of the upcoming festival attractions! Thanks, Touring Plans and WDW Today!
I came across a Progress City USA post from 2009 that shows us what dining was like at early WDW. Anyone remember the Pueblo Room?
DisZine reports that the Disney World Swan and Dolphin are announcing a Personal Pantry feature.
Touring Plans blogger Kristen H. writes about her favorite counter service restaurants at WDW.
Heatherw25 has created some more amazing Disney food scrapbooking layouts!
Main Street Gazette compares a favorite Disney World counter-service dish at Sunshine Seasons to one of his local favorites.
A Taste of Disney shows us how to make California Grill’s delicious Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli.
The Daily Disney reports on a new Meatball Sliders and Beer menu at WDW Downtown Disney’s Portobello Restaurant.
Designing Disney looks at inspiration for the Market House Deli in Disneyland Paris.
Chip and Co wonders what makes Aloha Isle so popular.
Pee Dee Foodie reviews Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Disney Parks Blog announces that the Kona Island Sushi Bar is a permanent fixture at the Polynesian Resort in WDW!
DisUnplugged reviews breakfast at Disneyland’s Steakhouse 55.
Many thanks to Amanda Tinney, writer of the fantastic DisneyEveryDay.com, for guest blogging about this fun food spot! Can’t wait to try it!
Ah YES…Joy and Rapture! Disney has added another Sushi Bar to the Walt Disney World Resort! As a Disney Veteran I am embarrassed to admit that I just recently found out about this latest addition last month and come to find out… they have been serving up Sushi for about a year now. Shameful!
Welcome Disney epicureans to the Kona Island Sushi Bar!
Specs and Eats
If you’re guessing that this Nosh Spot is in the Polynesian Resort…You are correct! The Kona Island Sushi Bar is situated right next to the Kona Café on the second floor of the Polynesian. In the morning this hot spot is the Kona Coffee Bar, but it is magically transformed in the late afternoon to serve Sushi to hungry tourists and locals alike.
The bar is open from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. and has two seating areas, which will accommodate roughly twenty people, total. A little over half of the seating is at a bar on a glass wall that overlooks the beautiful gardens and water features that make up the entrance to the resort. The remaining seats are directly in front of the bar where the chefs prepare the sushi. But do not despair if you can’t get a seat at the bar; the full sushi menu is served at Kona Café and vice versa — the full Kona Menu is served at the Sushi Bar.
Here’s a peek at the Sushi Menu…
We sampled the Volcano Roll, Dragon Hand Roll, and California Luau Roll. Everything we had was delicious!
The California Roll was a nice surprise as it had pineapple in place of the standard cucumber and the citrus flavor made it taste even fresher than sushi normally tastes.
The Volcano Roll, made with Spicy Tuna, Seafood Lau’ai and Tempura Crunch, filled the entire plate….
I was so excited to eat the Dragon Hand Roll that I forgot to take a picture of it. I am a big fan of eel and had never eaten a hand roll before so I dug in without thinking…sorry.
But! While we were at the bar, someone ordered the Tuna Poke. When the chef placed it on the bar I snapped a picture of it. It was beautiful! It looked like three large tortelloni (a tortellini-ravioli hybrid) with diced tomato on top, but was actually the most perfect, red tuna salad served over round crisps.
And here’s a shot of the Shrimp Tempura Roll, which consists of Tempura Shrimp, fresh mango, and Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Sauce:
…and the Kona Crab Cake Roll which is made with a Fresh Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, avocado, and Asian tartar sauce…
Costs and Cocktails
If you think you’ll have to break the bank to eat here, think again. Prices are very reasonable considering the quality of food that you will get for your money. The chefs that we spoke with that night had worked at The California Grill at the Contemporary. Plates start at $8.99 and go up to $15.99.
I was also surprised to discover that Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale is served here! I got a chance to sample it at the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and gave it a rave review!
The Kona Island Sushi Bar also serves traditional sake as well…
If you decide to check out this eatery on your next visit make sure to look for the Hidden Mickey in the bar.
As a local…I will definitely be returning for some nom nom’s at the Kona Island Sushi Bar! Amanda Tinney signing out! Dewa kore de! Bye for Now!