food IS a theme park
September 15, 2014 3:11 PM   Subscribe

The Disney Food Blog offers in-depth news, reviews, and information about food and restaurants in Disney’s parks, resorts, and cruise ships, along with reviews and photographs of and about anything food-related in Disney parks, resorts, movies, and events. Disney food FAQs. Disney food news.
posted by Room 641-A (50 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
I took my daughter last week to the Magic Kingdom. We stopped at the Pinnochio / German themed restaurant for dinner which, true to it's heritage, primarily served flatbread pizza.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 3:22 PM on September 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Nothing about The French Market restaurant, the place I gave the best twelve weeks of the summer between senior year and college to. Humph!
posted by benito.strauss at 3:34 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


At MK, there's Be Our Guest and meh. The other parks and the resorts are where the good food is.

The DFB is a really good resource if you're going to the parks and want to find decent food.

Protip. If you want steak, don't go to La Ceilier in the Canada Pavillion, go to Yachsman's Steakhouse in the Yacht Club. Truly excellent steak.
posted by eriko at 3:35 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mmmmmmmmm, Dole Whips! Also, I first became aware of grapefruit beer in EPCOT.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:36 PM on September 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


At MK, there's Be Our Guest and meh.

Damn. We almost ate there. I think I was intimidated by the possible hassle of a costumed Gaston flailing about the place.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 3:38 PM on September 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


It was a taste of Norwegian salmon at 13 in Epcot followed by two whole days on my own in the parks (my dad was at a conference) that turned me into the adventurous-eating solo traveler I am today. Without that salmon there's no asam laksa from Penang in my life, and that would be a goddamn shame, to be certain.
posted by GamblingBlues at 3:39 PM on September 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


Damn. We almost ate there. I think I was intimidated by the possible hassle of a costumed Gaston flailing about the place.

In an odd coincidence, I just read the following in Adam Resnick's new book, "Will Not Attend":
The only way back to [Disney Resort's] Wilderness Lodge was by shuttle or ferry boat. Traveling by boat was out of the question, as I had a premonition of a bearded man in a striped vest playing the banjo.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:49 PM on September 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh, and now, in AK, you can get a Dole Whip with dark rum on top.
posted by eriko at 3:50 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, I forgot the most important link, the one that led me to the blog: the post about Cheesy Bread Cones.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:53 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Wilderness Lodge is a fine place, and has one of my absolute favorite restaurants, Artist Pointe. Try the salmon or the buffalo. The boats are fine, but don't run in very bad weather. The rest of the MK resorts are on the Monorail.

Disney also makes a killer Manhattan.
posted by eriko at 3:56 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


In terms of the resorts, we've only stayed in a Disney resort twice, and both times it was Port Orleans. The Boatwright Dinning Hall had some pretty great food, actually, and apparently the review site agrees.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:01 PM on September 15, 2014


Oh, and now, in AK, you can get a Dole Whip with dark rum on top.

Shut the front door! I thought that was only a Flower & Garden/Food & Wine Festival offering! Yesssssssss......
posted by kimberussell at 4:03 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Food and wine was Dark Rum, F&G was coconut rum, and Tamu Tamu refreshments at AK has both.
posted by eriko at 4:07 PM on September 15, 2014


Best restaurant for me is Jiko. But Yacthsman is a close second.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:08 PM on September 15, 2014


Just yesterday, I went to Trader Sam's, the tiki bar at Disneyland. I didn't try the food, but the minute the bartender started yelling and spraying water at people after I ordered a drink called a Shipwreck I knew that I had found the best bar ever.
posted by Itaxpica at 4:13 PM on September 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


Jiko is pretty awesome. Tops for me is Citricos in the Grand Floridian. Haven't been to Be Our Guest or the renovated California Grill yet.

I will get to finally go to V&A at the end of October, despite it breaking one of my most important rules -- I don't wear suits at Disney. But it's a friend's bday and V&A is her kind of place.
posted by eriko at 4:13 PM on September 15, 2014


(The Shipwreck wasn't half bad, either)
posted by Itaxpica at 4:14 PM on September 15, 2014


They're putting in a Trader Sam's at the Polynesian. They are not, however, reopening The Adventurers Club. Dammit.
posted by eriko at 4:17 PM on September 15, 2014


I love Disneyworld!
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:28 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ok now it is officially food day on Metafilter...
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:30 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's a food world, after all.

I'm sorry.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:39 PM on September 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


Oh goodness I need one of those Chili Cone Quesos asap. (It comes with corn chips on top!!!!)
posted by FritoKAL at 4:44 PM on September 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's a food world, after all.

Speaking of that

you can easily poison the biosphere,
or simply destroy the atmosphere,
and it really isn't far,
you can just blow the star,
it's a small world after all.

posted by eriko at 4:55 PM on September 15, 2014


We went to MK with a kid and a grandma so we went to one of the fine dining restaraunts. It was fine.

Which was a big step up, to be honest.
posted by shothotbot at 5:29 PM on September 15, 2014


They even have a two-part review of the members-only Club 33!
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:00 PM on September 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I love this! Thanks Room 641-A for the post, and thanks Cash4Lead for the pointer to that Club 33 review. Some wonderful details in there.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:16 PM on September 15, 2014


Is there a chance there's a MeFite that is a member of Club 33, I wonder?
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:18 PM on September 15, 2014


Thanks Op! These links are fantastic. That South African Bobotie looks very promising.

And it just so happens that I'll be dragging Son of 1066 to the Food and Wine Fest this year. Does anyone know if Florida allows a 20 year old to sample parents' alcohol?
posted by 1066 at 6:34 PM on September 15, 2014


There's a 100% chance that a MeFite was a guest of a daughter of a member of Club 33.

Great view of the fire and light show (Fantasmic?) on Rivers of America. The little girl on her dad's shoulders amid the masses below us craning to see the excitement through all the heads and bodies looked up and noticed us with our Manhattans and our escargot on the balcony and nudged her dad and seemed to ask if they could watch with us, where there was a better view.

No, I saw him say. We can't.

That was years ago. Fancy steakhouse is what I remember. We ordered escargot because we never had and here we were at Disneyland eating escargot.
posted by notyou at 6:37 PM on September 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Going to Aulani on Oahu in a month or so. Any good eats recommendations on or off the resort?
posted by m@f at 7:07 PM on September 15, 2014


Go to Yachsman's Steakhouse in the Yacht Club. Truly excellent steak.

I've stayed at the Yacht Club the last two visits and the whole place has excellent food.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:35 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


My mom is a member at Club 33. It's fine if unremarkable. Mostly we use it to get a meal plus entry to both parks for less than a two-park ticket.
posted by dame at 7:44 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


My god, it's just sugar piled on sugar.
posted by angerbot at 7:46 PM on September 15, 2014


I like the wine cave in Epcot Italy. Olives, cheeses and prosciutto, and a couple of Italian microbrews are usually on tap (unfortunately they're like $14 apiece). And you can practice your Italian.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:48 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


My dining experience at Disney World has been mostly just ok (and since I go every year, I've had a chance to try most of the restaurants). Not bad - just consistently ok.

A few exceptions: Le Cellier in Epcot Canada is consistently good. And for quick service, Sunshine Seasons in Epcot's Land Pavilion has a number of delicious options including a fantastic beet and goat cheese salad. For dessert I recommend the candy apples at the Wurther's sponsored caramel shop in Epcot Germany (they aren't fine dining but they're still fine eating).

Memorable in the "this place is more fun than the food" is the character breakfast at the Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. The food is ok, but the character dining experience puts a smile on my jaded face every time.

Memorable in the "just ok" direction is Cítricos at the Grand Floridian hotel. It's billed and priced as a fine dining restaurant, and it certainly looks the part. The food is...ok. Great compared to everything else at Disney, but ok in general.

Memorable in the wrong direction: Kouzzina on the Boardwalk. For a while this was Cat Cora's only restaurant, but eating there made me call into question the entire premise of "Iron Chef." If this was Iron Chef quality food, then something was very wrong indeed.
posted by fremen at 8:53 PM on September 15, 2014


A few exceptions: Le Cellier in Epcot Canada is consistently good.

But Yachtsman's Steakhouse does the same food far better in a far friendlier space.

And for quick service, Sunshine Seasons in Epcot's Land Pavilion has a number of delicious options including a fantastic beet and goat cheese salad

I'm told that the new food court at the Art of Animation resort is better, but I haven't been. Having said that, yes, yes, a hundred times yes. When I can't figure out what to eat and I need to eat, that quick service is several miracles. They even have Coke Zero.

Memorable in the wrong direction: Kouzzina on the Boardwalk.

Seriously? The couple of times I've been there for dinner, it's been fine, for breakfast, awesome. Alas, this argument becomes moot in six weeks, and worse, they're replacing it with the last thing we need -- Yet Another Italian Restaurant.

Thankfully, they're not touching Flying Fish or Big River Brewing. But still, Italian? Might as well put in a Olive Garden.
posted by eriko at 9:43 PM on September 15, 2014


I've stayed at the Yacht Club the last two visits and the whole place has excellent food.

Captain's Grille at the YC is one of the secret treasures of the park. Excellent breakfast and dinner, and unlike the Beach Club, no characters.

Not that I'm completely against character dining, but I need a lot of coffee to handle that in the morning. Having said that, with suitable caffination, I've enjoyed dining with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald at Cape May Cafe in the BC, but it's character dining, and if you aren't ready for it, it's an issue. Normally, I don't want that, but that time, I was ready for it and it was good.

You need to go into that with the right attitude and the right people. Thankfully, Disney is very clear about which restaurants have characters and which don't.

And either your standards are different or you hit it on a bad day. I live in Chicago and I'd be happy to have Citricos around here. I'll soon find out if the theoretical Michelin 2-Star* on the resort is really worth bringing a suit to WDW. But then again, this is a matter of opinion. Both you and I can be right here. Still, give Artist Pointe, The California Grille, and Jiko's a shot. I think they are stellar.

I've also heard that Narcoossee's is good, but I haven't been. Ditto Flying Fish or Paul's.


* Restaurants not completely controlled by their chefs are not eligible for Michelin stars. I've been told by a number of people, included a couple of Michelin reviewers, that if V&A was eligible, it would rate two stars. That may be bluster. I'll find out, I've dined at a number of one star restaurants. If it's clearly better food, then yeah, it's a two star.
posted by eriko at 9:56 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


The best food at Disneyland is a corndog from the little red wagon. That is all.
posted by sleeping bear at 10:06 PM on September 15, 2014


I've been told by a number of people, included a couple of Michelin reviewers, that if V&A was eligible, it would rate two stars.

At least based on the review of it on the Disney Food Blog, it really doesn't sound like a two-star place. It seems solidly in line with the one-star places here in the Bay Area, but based on the blogger's report it's a little too conventional to merit two. But I'll be interested to hear what you think of it.
posted by asterix at 10:24 PM on September 15, 2014


Alas, this argument becomes moot in six weeks, and worse, they're replacing it with the last thing we need -- Yet Another Italian Restaurant.

I did not realize Kouzzina was closing.

Captain's Grille at the YC is one of the secret treasures of the park. Excellent breakfast and dinner, and unlike the Beach Club, no characters.

Now that I think about it, I did have a fairly decent steak at the Captain's Grille a few years ago.

I live in Chicago and I'd be happy to have Citricos around here.

The one time I went I had a braised osso bucco that was just uninspired. It was slightly dry, served on a bed of something mushy and non-descript, and came off as a dated dish I might find in a white tablecloth restaurant from last century. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't terrible. It just wasn't great either.

I've been told by a number of people, included a couple of Michelin reviewers, that if V&A was eligible, it would rate two stars.

I have not done Victoria and Albert's, but I'd love to try it.
posted by fremen at 10:28 PM on September 15, 2014


Going to Aulani on Oahu in a month or so. Any good eats recommendations on or off the resort?
posted by m@f


We ate at MonkeyPod which was not fancy but the food was beyond excellent. Good truffle fries.
posted by honeybee413 at 10:51 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


We stopped at the Pinnochio / German themed restaurant for dinner which, true to it's heritage, primarily served flatbread pizza.

Considering Pinocchio was written by an Italian - Carlo Collodi, flatbread pizza doesn't seem like an odd choice.
posted by FreezBoy at 5:15 AM on September 16, 2014


1066: I don't know the Florida legalities exactly but Disney can be strict about checking for ID. While having dinner at Jiko with my parents I had a sip of their wine, having not ordered anything alcoholic myself, and our waitress came over to ask that I present some ID or stop drinking it. I was 27 at the time, presumably not ordering your own wine and then drinking someone else's looks a bit suspicious.

It's a few years since I have made it back to WDW but I keep an eye on the Disney Food Blog to see how many giant elaborate cupcakes await me on my return.
posted by penguinliz at 5:32 AM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've also heard that Narcoossee's is good

It was "ok". You know, nothing to complain about, but nothing really exceeded my expectations, either.
posted by mikelieman at 6:56 AM on September 16, 2014


And a day later, I can't believe I blew the chance to drop an "eponysterical!" on my own wife (FritoKAL) for her comment about the Chili Cone Queso and its cornchips on top.

I have a deep, deep shame.
posted by Tknophobia at 8:56 AM on September 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I stayed at Art of Animation last month. We ate in the food court one night, and it was...all right, but a pain in the neck to navigate four separate lines, and then go wait to pay. (We ate breakfast in our rooms, having brought a bunch of food and a toaster along with us.)

I will point out that they sell a very nice pizza for $13.99, so two different nights I bought three of these (to the manager's unfailing surprise) for my family, and we ate out by the pool.

Also, the caprese flatbread at "the Pinnochio / German themed restaurant" was actually not bad. A bit too much balsamic vinegar, but I ate every crumb.

We ate lunch at Be Our Guest twice, and it was rather nice.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:03 AM on September 16, 2014


Having said that, with suitable caffination, I've enjoyed dining with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald at Cape May Cafe in the BC, but it's character dining, and if you aren't ready for it, it's an issue.

You know I did the character breakfast at the BC and it was now themed "Goofy's Beach Party". All the characters were there EXCEPT Mickey.

When I asked a CM I got a jaunty "This is GOOFY'S Beach party! Mickey is having his own party somewhere else". So yeah.

In any case, it's amazing that you can have two identical hotels (BC and YC) separated by a some decor changes and a $50 difference in rack rates and come out with two radically different hotels.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:07 AM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've also heard that Narcoossee's is good,

It was ok, but other than for the atmosphere (fireworks from MK are visible, even more so if you take the boat back to MK instead of the monorail) it isn't on our list of "yes, we'd do that again." Unless you're really in the mood to add a lobster tail onto your entree as a means of truly maxing out your dining plan points.

Our two best meals last December were at SciFi Dine In in Hollywood Studios (man, someone please find me the recipe for the homemade candy bar dessert!) and at the newly revamped California Grille in the Contemporary. I'm already planning our next trip (this time for Food and Wine) and those are the only two I plan on trying again.
posted by librarianamy at 10:11 AM on September 16, 2014


One thing that this blog is a symptom of is the enormous ecosystem that surrounds Disney travel now, and the pressure that it puts on vacationers.

The requirement to select one-hour windows for your rides sixty days in advance, and to make meal reservations up to 180 days in advance, requires that travelers acquire and keep current a large body of knowledge. An army of blogs, podcasts, books (paper and electronic), web discussion boards, and mailing lists have sprung up to serve this need; many of them will ask for money, and all feature tons of advertising. There are phone apps and planning apps and touring plans and line-predictors.

And it's hard to know which of these sources is credible, with recent visits or a local source, versus someone who hasn't been there in nine months and is just working from the same press releases that I saw.

Amid all this, Disney restaurants open and close, often with little warning; likewise, other details (park hours, dining programs, promotions, etc.) change without much notice -- and it is the guest's responsibility to be aware of these shifts and to adjust their plans accordingly. Made a dinner reservation six months out? Well, since you did all that, they shut the restaurant or changed the park closing time or added a new fireworks show or closed part of the food court or started selling $60 tickets for the spot where you used to sit and watch the fireworks for free.

The costs of a Disney trip are so high that the "stakes" of the trip are also high. Our recent trip was our first in eleven years, and with six people there was a lot of money riding on it. I wanted my kids to have a good time, but a part of me also didn't want to blow it and feel like I had wasted the price. So yes, I prepared and studied and read/listened/browsed.

Yes, it's totally a First World Problem. Yes, I could have stayed home. But I didn't, and I felt pretty overwhelmed for the months before my trip. Now I am home, and the realization that I can unsubscribe from all those sources is like slamming the door on a noisy party and marveling at the sudden silence.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:15 AM on September 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


wenestvedt, hear hear. I grew up going to Disneyland my whole life, so this "reservations months in advance" thing when I went to Disneyworld was just insaaaaaaaaaaane. We showed up at our hotel (Yacht Club, incidentally) and were totally bleary-eyed and had to pick everywhere to eat right then and there? Uh, what?
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:11 AM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


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