drink

Top Five Restaurants for Dessert and Drinks.

This post brought to you by Christina Wood of Pixie Vacations, the preferred Disney vacation travel planner of The Disney Blog.


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There are a ton of great places to eat on Disney property and I’ve tried most of them (and I’m working on the ones I haven’t!), but what if you just want drinks and a quick, sweet snack later at night? The good news is, most restaurants have a bar attached or nearby that serves the restaurant’s menu. I’ve compiled a list here which is by no means complete, but I think it’s close to the best choices for a quick late night nosh on property.

5.  Brown Derby Lounge in Disney Hollywood Studios (pictured above).

Confession: This location, part of one of my favorite signature restaurants, is kind of a cheat: You’re not exactly in the restaurant. Instead, you’ll eat outside in the lounge area, a pretty little walk-up place that lets you people watch and snack. It’s especially nice in the early evening, when you’re “snack” hungry but want something a little more upscale than a Mickey Bar or a carrot cake cookie. Bonus: If you want something that’s not sweet, they have great tapas-style plates.

4.  Rose and Crown Pub at Epcot’s UK Pavilion.

Well, it’s a British-style pub so it’s kind of a given that you’ll find great beers on tap plus a lively crowd that gets even livelier after dark, but if you’ve got a hankering for something sweet, try the Sticky Toffee Pudding. It’s a caramel, moist, pudding-like British tradition that deserves your attention right now if you haven’t tried it yet.  Oh, and don’t share. I mean, share your beer if you must, but keep the dessert to yourself.Read More »Top Five Restaurants for Dessert and Drinks.

Five Dishes to Make Your EPCOT Food & Wine Experience A Success

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Had some friends in town and my wife and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary this week, so we planned a return trip to EPCOT yesterday with the goal to graze around the world sampling some of our old favorites and a few of the new dishes that debuted at this year’s festival. I think it’s safe to say the evening was a success.

All in all I think Disney has done a great job with the festival this year. Many of the old favorites have returned and there are a healthy dose of new dishes to sample this year. They’ve improved the seating around the popular Belgium and Germany booths. The Eat to the Beat concert lineup is also very strong this year.

I’m still not a fan of having so much of the festival take place away from the world showcase in the old Wonder’s of Life pavilion (but I do appreciate the air conditioning there). I also think they’re under utilizing the World Showplace (the big blue tent originally built for the Millennial Celebrations) as it could hold a day long party for all attendees just as well as the few big evening events. I’d love to see food from 60+ countries one day instead of the 25ish we have now. Finally, generally speaking (but not 100% in all cases) the food is much saltier this year than before. After two days of sampling and coming home feeling red in the face with fingers swollen, I’m not happy about all the salt.

Planning your own trip to EPCOT’s International Food & Wine Festival in 2013? While I haven’t sampled all the various dishes (I’m not made of gold), I think I have found a few of the newer selections that really are worth a trip. They are, in no particular order:Read More »Five Dishes to Make Your EPCOT Food & Wine Experience A Success

Pork Two Ways at the California Grill: An Old Friend Returns, Only Better.

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I have a confession to make:  I’ve been having a deep, personal relationship with the pork two-ways from California Grill.  You may say “Oh, it’s just another pretty dish” or “How can it be any better than its previous incarnation, the pork loin?” Well, it’s better, trust me. And it’s completely worthy of its own post.

If you dined at the California Grill before the recent refurbishment, you know that the pork loin was its number one dish for two decades. It was simple peasant food really, just a basic polenta flavored with goat cheese and topped with a few slices of lightly seasoned tenderloin and some button mushrooms. It’s simplicity, of course, was also what made it perfect.  But while it was filling and satisfying, it had gotten a little bit boring. In recent years, I’d found myself straying over to the scallops or, if I was feeling especially adventurous, the sushi.  It, not unlike the décor and the overall feel of the rest of the restaurant, was in serious need of an overhaul.

When the California Grill opened back up a few weeks ago, I was pleased to see that they had updated, but not removed entirely, some of its best dishes, the pork being one of them. Now you’ll get a smaller serving of pork loin topped with fried sage and another serving of pork belly. Pork belly, you say?  Think a big square of bacon. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.Read More »Pork Two Ways at the California Grill: An Old Friend Returns, Only Better.

Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Returns For Fourth Year of Treats

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You may not realize this, but the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is not the only must-attend event for foodies this fall. The culinary team at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is already gearing up for the annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic. Get your plates and wine cups ready for two nights of outdoor food and fun on October 18 – 19.

Last year was my second year attending and it was bigger and better that the previous year. I left with a very fun stomach and a list of wines I knew I wanted to try again. The chefs and staff of the Swan and Dolphin’s best restaurants partner with their top vendors to make this an experience you’ll savor. Now that the classic is returning for its fourth year I urge you to attend and savor the flavor of culinary innovation along the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel’s lush causeway.

So what will you find at the classic? Join me below:
Read More »Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Returns For Fourth Year of Treats

Starbucks Makes Splash at EPCOT a Bit Early

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I snuck into EPCOT today after a little bird told me that the new Starbucks was opening a few days ahead of schedule. Turns out it was just a preview, but karma was on my side and I was allowed in with a group of guests to help the team work out any final kinks before officially opening tomorrow, September 4th.

The new location keeps the Fountain View name, but ditches the ice cream for other, more caffeinated treats. The layout will look very familiar to those who have visited the Magic Kingdom Starbucks. Only instead of turn of the century look and feel, there’s a vaguely futuristic, decidedly fluid watery environment. It’s appropriate given the Fountain View location.

It is a slightly smaller space than the MK location. Similarly there are no tables or chairs, or even benches, inside. There is a small space on an exterior porch for some tables, but you’re exposed to the elements there. So you take your chances if the winds blow the fountain mist your way.

Another change is that there is now only one entrance via the front doors that face the fountain. I’m not sure this is a good move, as it means there’s no way to get coffee without getting wet when it’s raining and no where to hangout inside when it does.

I love me some Starbucks, of course your mileage may vary depending on your addition level. Having it at EPCOT is going to make those chilly mornings easier. It’s nice that the prices aren’t that much above your typical Starbucks location either.

More photos below the jump:

Read More »Starbucks Makes Splash at EPCOT a Bit Early

18th EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival – The Marketplace Menus

Want to know what delicious goodies are being cooked up for the 18th EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival marketplace kiosks? Disney has released what looks like a complete list of all the marketplace menus. I remember reading somewhere that we were getting scotch eggs, but I don’t see them on the list. Anyone know what happened there?

The Kalua Pork Slider (not the liqueur Kahlua but the Kalua barbecue method of cooking) returns to the Hawaii tasting marketplace

The Kalua Pork Slider (not the liqueur Kahlua but the Kalua barbecue method of cooking) returns to the Hawaii tasting marketplace

Brazil (All-New Menu)

Seared Scallop with Ragout of Tomatoes, Peppers, Hearts of Palm and Steamed Rice
Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Onions, Avocado and Cilantro
Cerveharias Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer
Carnaval Moscato White
Frozen Caipirinha featuring LeBlon Cachaça

Scotland (New)

Seared Scottish Salmon with Cauliflower Puree, Watercress and Malt Vinaigrette
Vegetarian Haggis with Neeps and Tatties-Griddled Vegetable Cake with Rutabaga and Mashed Potatoes
Scottish Banoffee Tart with Bananas, Scottish Whisky Toffee, Walkers Shortbread Crumbles and Sweet Cream
Innis & Gunn® Original
Loch Lomond featuring Glenfiddich® 12 year
Glenfiddich® Scotch Flight (12, 15 and 18 year)

Read More »18th EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival – The Marketplace Menus