It’s fall, and that means it’s pumpkin season! We’ve already tried our share of pumpkin-y goodness at Disney World, but the pumpkin goodies in Disney World seems to never end!!
We were VERY curious when we found out Chef Mickey’s would be reopening at Disney’s Contemporary Resort during Disney World’s phased reopening. As soon as they began accepting reservations, we promptly booked ourselves a table at this iconic spot!
But like so many newly reopened restaurants at Disney World, Chef Mickey’s has had to make several modifications. They’re no longer offering character dining or buffet-style dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the time being. In fact, dining is just limited to breakfast for now. We’ve already shown you some of the BIGGEST changes Chef Mickey’s has made since it reopened, but now we want to share with you all the details of what our FULL experience was like!
We are kicking off this week right with one of my favorite breakfasts in all of the Disney Food Universe — Kona Cafe!
This mainstay of Walt Disney World flies under the radar quite a lot of the time. If you don’t know better, you’ll probably write it off as just a garden variety hotel lobby restaurant, good for grabbing a bite before you move onto bigger things.
For me — and for many Disney fans in the know — it’s a destination.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a look around, then dive right into the eats.
If it’s been a while since your last visit to the Polynesian, then you’re in for a bit of a surprise. The hotel, one of Disney World’s original resorts, recently underwent a huge renovation.
The work not only added many new enhancements, like Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, and the Pineapple Lanai (your home for Dole Whip at the Poly). But it also transformed areas like the hotel’s lobby. While I miss the sound of the old waterfall, I think this assortment of glass float lights is a nice, new focal point.
Still, for better or for worse, Kona Cafe has remained largely unchanged. Located off of the second floor atrium, it still appears to be a rather ho-hum restaurant. [Read more…]
Editor’s Note: River Belle Terrace no longer serves breakfast as of February 10, 2016, and is now a table service restaurant for lunch and dinner.
On a recent trip to Disneyland, we had many things to cross off of our list. But when it came time for breakfast in the Park one morning, only one stop would do — River Belle Terrace!
You’ll find this counter service spot in Frontierland along the Rivers of America. And that last bit of information is important. After all, you may come to River Belle Terrace because you’re hungry, but it has more to recommend it than the menu. Here we go!
Located in New Orleans Square, the aesthetic of River Belle Terrace is Antebellum all the way. The entrance is fashioned to look like a grand Southern mansion on a small scale.
Step inside, and you see gracious touches that echo that feeling. Arched windows allow plenty of light into the seating area, so even if you choose to dine inside, you’ll still have the sense of being in an outdoor garden setting.
Ornate ceiling medallions and flowering vines on the chandeliers fancy up the spot a bit.
And keep this in mind: it may not look all that interesting or distinguished, but River Belle Terrace deserves a pause in your Disney Day. This restaurant has been serving since Disneyland opened in 1955! As the story goes, you could find Mr. Disney enjoying breakfast here often on serene Sunday mornings.
While the indoor seating is pleasant, it’s the terrace that is truly beloved by so many. Don’t you love the old-fashioned, tasseled umbrellas? They could have updated them and used something modern, but they haven’t. And I’m so glad.
And this — this view. It’s why you come to River Belle Terrace. Eat your breakfast and watch for the Mark Twain Riverboat to paddle by. There’s nothing like this view of the Rivers of America, and if you can enjoy a classic Disneyland breakfast at the same time, it’s a win/win!
Speaking of classic Disneyland breakfasts, it seems like the right time to move on to the food. 🙂 Let’s check it out.
Although River Belle Terrace offers all-day dining, it’s breakfast that we usually enjoy here. In addition to some standard offerings, you’ll find comfort food favorites like Biscuits and Gravy. But there are some really unique options, too. We’ll get to a couple of my favorites in just a moment.
Menus, for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner, offer only a few selections. But the food is hearty and interesting. (Note to self: come back for that River Belle’s Roast Beef and the Messy Mississippi BBQ Sandwich at lunch time.)
When it’s time to order, your first stop will be at the [Read more…]
Most of the time when I visit Disney, I indulge in a mix of meals. I may book a table service advance dining reservation for one part of the day, and leave the rest to chance — looking to discover new things at the parks’ kiosks and counter service spots.
Today, I’m counting down my favorite places in Disneyland Resort to grab a quick meal!
Disneyland is second to none (yep — even compared to Disney World) at putting together truly outstanding counter service, quick service, and fast food meals. And the one consistent theme that you’ll find in Disneyland counter service spots — a lot of the time, the food and venues feel like table service quality (right down to real plates!)
Let’s get started!
is legendary for its beautiful atmosphere. Located where Main Street and Tomorrowland intersect, this charming spot has been open forever — and it’s been pleasing guests in search of a good meal all the while.
Even Walt was a fan!
A character meal table service location for breakfast, it morphs into a counter service buffet (sans characters) for lunch and dinnertime.
The Roast Beef and Pasta dishes here are both good choices. But ask most Disneyland food fans what the must-have dish here is, and you’ll get a resounding response: the Fried Chicken! The huge — and I mean HUGE — platter comes with three pieces of Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, a Vegetable, and a Biscuit. I shared this with a friend the last time I got it, and we still couldn’t finish!
Incidentally, you should try and save room for dessert, too. (I know…I know.) When strawberries are in season, I’d definitely recommend the luscious Strawberry Shortcake!
But the Carrot Cake is pretty awesome, too.
Flo’s V-8 Cafe
Dining at Flo’s V-8 Cafe within Cars Land at Disney California Adventure is an immersive experience. As with the rest of the spots in this newest Disneyland Resort section, you feel like you’ve wandered right into the animation!
But step inside the enormous restaurant, and you see all kinds of kitschy fun, inspired by the roadside diners that once peppered legendary Route 66.
The name of the game at Flo’s is the kind of comfort food that you’d expect to find in such spots, with spit-fired meats dominating the dinner menu. There’s also an inventive vegetarian option here — the Veggie Tater Bake!
But it’s Flo’s breakfast that we love love LOVE the most!
For a super sweet start to your day, you’ve gotta try the Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas. (Dessert for breakfast? you ask? Well, yeah; pretty much! But…bananas!!!)
Or, try the option that serves up a delicious Mexican food-inspired twist — the Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde.
And be sure to stop back by later in the day for dessert — Flo’s Signature Apple-Cheddar Pie-O-Rama is spectacular!
Rancho del Zocalo
The beautifully themed Rancho del Zocalo, located in Disneyland Park’s Frontierland, is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach!
Gorgeous murals and lighting fixtures dominate the walls inside, while a beautiful patio covered with gauzy awnings wins our vote for best place to sit here.
Following the pattern of many Disneyland counter service spots, Rancho del Zocalo is counter service with the feel of a cafeteria. Guests order their main entree, and then visit stations to pick up extra courses, like salads and desserts.
The Mexican influenced menu is small, but the ingredients and preparation are always high quality, and a cut above what we think of as fast food. One of my favorite options here is the Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken. (You can also get them with beef.)
The addition of Peppers as well as Sour Cream and Guacamole on the side makes this a winner for me. I look forward to having it whenever I have a chance to visit Rancho del Zocalo!
Hungry Bear Restaurant
Mention that you’re looking for a breakfast restaurant during a stay at Walt Disney World, and you are bound to be met with this piece of advice: “You MUST go to Boma.”
It’s true! This buffet restaurant is among the most favorite options for lovers of Disney food, myself included. We’ve even named it as one of our most favorite Disney brunch destinations!
But even though dinner offers an amazing spread, your Disney friends will tell you that breakfast is the “can’t miss” meal here.
It was a shock to me when I realized that I had never actually reviewed this all-important meal on the blog! Time to remedy that right now!
There’s one pretty important distinction that sets Boma apart from other very popular buffets at Disney. Many of the others are primarily character dining experiences. But you won’t find any characters at Boma. That’s an important detail to keep in mind when planning your advance dining reservations.
“Boma” is actually an African term for a fence made of sticks that forms a safe enclosure for gathering. Throughout the entrance of the restaurant, you see the stick fence motif captured in different materials.
Here, Imagineers used wrought iron to line the bridged walkway leading into the space.
Beautiful statuary decorates the low wall that separates the buffet from the seating area.
Ceilings are lined with large pieces of [Read more…]
There are restaurants that are hidden gems at Walt Disney World, and there are others that are definitely becoming known as must-do eats. Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort falls firmly into the “must do” list these days. And when it comes to breakfast, this place is, like, the holy grail of Disney World! There are at least four things on the menu that you have to try. 😉
If you plan to dine at Kona for lunch, be sure to check out our lunch review. But I knew I had to let you in on some great breakfast-y secrets this time…
We’ve said it before: Kona looks kind of boring. It’s true, at first glance this place looks like any old hotel eatery offering high-priced, mediocre food. But that’s just Kona being a chameleon so that only the true Disney insiders (like you and me) know how good it is.
The atmosphere strives to be Hawaiian-y with Polynesian-esque wall hangings, lighting fixtures, and wrought-iron detail. And with the Poly’s atrium just outside the restaurant, it can feel like you’re dining in a lush, air-conditioned Polynesian garden. (Well…a loud air-conditioned Polynesian garden.)
Bright colors and light wood surround you in the open space, and I like that you can peek in on what the Chefs are creating in the semi-open kitchen. When we’re here, they’re usually working on dessert!
And speaking of bright colors, be sure to look down at the beautiful, tropical-inspired carpet! You just might find a Hidden Mickey if you look closely. 🙂
Seating includes both booths and tables. As always, I love the round tables, which give you [Read more…]
Join us in welcoming guest author Catie Hiltz with a review of the food court at Port Orleans Resort French Quarter in Disney World! Yep — this is where you can get those one-of-a-kind beignets!! But Catie’s got some other treats in mind…start your morning with one of these yummy eats!
My husband and I loved staying at Port Orleans French Quarter, and found Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory (the resort’s counter-service food court) to be a great place to grab a bite to eat before or after spending some time at the parks. They carry all the standards for breakfast, from the always delicious Mickey waffles, to omelets, platters, and pancakes.
The resort itself is New Orleans themed, and has a relaxed, romantic feeling. The Food Factory fits right in with the theme — it’s large and open, and even during the breakfast rush, it’s loud but not deafening. It didn’t feel crowded at all.
With its mismatched chairs and tables — and the oversize Mardi Gras float decor — the Food Factory really makes you feel like you’re hanging out in the Big Easy!
Plus, since it was [Read more…]
Join me in saying Aloha once again to Mark Hickson – Disney fan, former Disney Imagineer, Hawai’i resident food blogger – and now comfort food reviewer! Thanks, Mark for sharing this article with our readers!
Can you say “Comfort Food“?
One of the best places to get a hearty breakfast is at the famous River Belle Terrace. World famous for their signature Mickey Mouse pancakes, they also serve my favorite Eggs, Sausage, and Pancakes. You get 3 scrambled eggs, 3 sausages, and 3 pancakes, all done to perfection. Add a hot cup of coffee and you are set!
One thing that has always been consistent is the quality of the pancakes served here. The grill is set at the perfect temperature so no matter how long the cakes are on the griddle they are never, never overcooked.
Back in the 90’s I asked a cook there what the griddle temperature was. She said only her Area Supervisor knew and that it took over an hour to warm it up right. It is continuously cleaned and [Read more…]
I recently had the chance to dine at Kouzzina — Iron Chef Cat Cora’s signature restaurant on the Disney World Boardwalk — for breakfast! I had only had dinner at Kouzzina previously, so I couldn’t wait to see what Chef Dee Foundoukis was cooking up for breakfast. 🙂 Luckily, this was part of the Disney World Five Stars to Mickey Bars event, so I got to take pics of my dining companions’ food as well! Score!
Kouzzina is reminiscent of its predecessor, Spoodles, in that the expanse, high ceilings, and heavy wood decor tend to feel like a big old Mediterranean farm kitchen; but Kouzzina brought a new elegance and simple formality along with the renovation. The restaurant opened in September 2009, and I showcased several photos of the lobby, dining room, and open kitchen in my Kouzzina dinner review.
For breakfast, the restaurant was lit with sun streaming through the floor to ceiling windows and pleasant white noise came consistently from the open kitchen.
It was a relaxing, pleasant place to start a Disney day, plus it was pretty empty. I can highly recommend it for a filling, delicious breakfast if you don’t happen to be [Read more…]