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Category Archives: Disney Dining

Fall into Magic this Year at Walt Disney World Resort

Parties, races, culinary delights and more await guests during the upcoming fall season

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Tastes, toys, treats and more are all on the menu this fall at Walt Disney World Resort. From culinary creations to sporting events to special parties, there are many different ways to fall into magic during the cool-down season, both in the theme parks and all across the resort.

23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Offers New Tastes

The aromas and flavors of more than 30 global food and beverage marketplaces, plus a full menu of new offerings such as “Sunday Brunch with the Chef,” welcome guests during the 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Aug. 30-Nov. 12. One of America’s top food festivals since 1996, the 75-day Epcot dine-around extravaganza will surprise guests with new and inspiring sips and bites throughout the park’s World Showcase and several Future World venues. Highlights include:

  • The grandest of the festival’s don’t-miss tasting events, Party for the Senses in World ShowPlace, will welcome acclaimed chefs and vintners Sept. 22, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and Nov. 10. They will showcase creative bites and palate-pleasing sips with sensational live entertainment.
  • “Eat to the Beat” concerts – 225 in all – will rev up the America Gardens Theatre stage three times nightly with new musical acts including Vertical Horizon, 98 Degrees, Sheila E. and others. Selections span a broad range of eras and genres from rock and pop to rhythm and blues.
  • “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops Wednesdays and Thursdays provide new opportunities for guests to interact with visiting chefs, mixologists and other pros.

Throughout the festival, guests will find something for everyone in the family:

  • A Ratatouille-inspired adventure is back as Chef Remy encourages families to play together during Remy’s Ratatouille Hid ‘n’ Squeak scavenger hunt.
  • On Friday and Saturday evenings, enjoy an interactive Character Dance Party.
  • In the new Junior Chef Kitchen, children become the chefs and eat what they make in this complimentary experience each Sunday in the Festival Center.

This is just an appetizer for what’s to come this fall. The 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is included with theme park admission, but certain programs require a separate ticket and/or reservation; for full details, visit TasteEpcot.com.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Starts Sooner than Ever

Let’s boo this! There are even more nights to celebrate the spooky season this year during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This special-ticket event runs select nights Aug. 17-Oct. 31 at Magic Kingdom Park – the earliest in the calendar year it’s ever started. It’s also the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney Pictures’ “Hocus Pocus,” so what better way to celebrate the film than the spellbinding Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular at Cinderella Castle, where the Sanderson Sisters take “stage fright” to another level.

Guests should keep their eyes open for dancing ghosts, the Headless Horseman, plus Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan and many more beloved Disney Characters in the Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade. There will also be plenty of sweets for all trick-or-treaters around the park, including allergy-friendly options. And each night during the party, the skies above an eerily lit Cinderella Castle come alive during Happy HalloWishes, a magical fireworks extravaganza that definitely goes bump in the night!

Advance tickets start at $75 for adults and $70 for ages 3-9 (plus tax). For a full list of event dates, visit MickeyHalloween.com. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as space each night is limited. For more information, call (407) WDISNEY (934-7639).

New Toy Story Land: A Perfect Place for Fall Fun

Where better to spend a beautiful fall day than playing in Andy’s backyard, the young toy owner from Pixar Animation Studios’ Toy Storyfilms. In this extraordinary new land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests are “honorary toys” surrounded by Andy’s favorites – Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and many more.

Across 11 fun-filled acres, guests can hop on the all-new Slinky Dog Dash for a family-friendly roller coaster ride, take a spin and enjoy some interstellar beats on Alien Swirling Saucers and go for the high score playing midway games inside the 4D world of Toy Story Mania! When toys get hungry, there’s no better place to grab a bite than Woody’s Lunch Box, a walk-up window featuring a bevy of nostalgic delights – from a grilled three-cheese sandwich to a Lunch Box Tart and much more.

Toy Story Land also offers a collection of new merchandise items, allowing guests to take their special memories home with them. Among the many highlights: a Buzz Lightyear Bubble Blower and a Slinky Dog headband.

Disney Junior Dance Party Shimmies into Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Later in fall, the new Disney Junior Dance Party premieres at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This live performance will feature high-energy music, a vibrant party atmosphere, special effects and characters from popular Disney Junior TV shows. Guests are invited to join all the fun with the stars of “Mickey and the Roadster Racers,” “Doc McStuffins,” “The Lion Guard” and the newest hit series, “Vampirina.”

Two New Restaurants, Reimagined World of Disney Opening at Disney Springs

  • James Beard Award-winning Chef José Andrés – one of “The 100 Most Influential People of 2018” according to Time.com – will open a new location of his popular Jaleo this fall. It will offer an extensive menu of tapas that reflects the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine. Designed by renowned Spanish designer Juli Capella, the new multi-level restaurant will feature breathtaking exterior architecture and a vibrant, theatrical décor representing the colorful, dynamic culture of Spain. Andrés’ Disney Springs venue will be his largest and most ambitious location to date.
  • A new restaurant by James Beard Award-winning Chef Wolfgang Puck will also open this fall. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will modernize the traditional “bar and grill” concept in a setting inspired by traditional farmhouses – with a touch of elegance. The restaurant will capture the essence of laid-back California dining made popular by Puck’s Spago, his flagship restaurant in Los Angeles.
  • In late fall, Disney Springs will reveal the newly reimagined World of Disney store, where guests will discover the products they love from Disney Parks in a dynamic and distinctly Disney environment. The flagship store remains open throughout the enhancement process.

New Hotel and Ticket Package Available Labor Day Week

The “Ultimate Disney Fall into Magic Package” is available this year for the week of Labor Day. The limited-time offer, available for booking through Aug. 19, includes a five-night stay at a select Disney Moderate, Deluxe or Deluxe Villa resort hotel for arrival Sept. 3 and departure Sept. 8, 2018. The package also features four-day Magic Your Way tickets and an itinerary full of special experiences in all four parks – including access to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and two hours of exclusive evening access to Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Packages start at $149 per person, per night for a family of four in a standard room at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. For more information, contact us today!

New Details Revealed for Dining Locations at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

A few months ago, we shared updates for some of the common areas at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World® Resort. Today we have more exciting news about two dining locations.

When the reimagining of Old Port Royale is complete in just a few months, the former Shutters table-service restaurant will open in an all-new location as Sebastian’s Bistro!

Located along the Old Port Royale waterfront, Sebastian’s Bistro will feature beautiful views, warm island hospitality and a menu that blends Latin and Caribbean flavors from market-fresh ingredients.

When you arrive at the casual, family-friendly restaurant, they’ll be welcomed by a blue shiplap marquee featuring everyone’s favorite red crustacean. And inside, Guests will feel as though they’ve just stepped into a tropical beachfront home.

Every detail celebrates the natural beauty of the Caribbean – from coral patterns and kelp filigree, to lure-inspired art and nautical designs. You may even notice abstract artwork and landscapes featuring Sebastian and friends.

We’re also excited to give you a look at the resort’s quick-service dining location, Centertown Market.

As previously shared, Centertown Market will be expanded to create an indoor street market vibe.

You will enter the space under a large palapa-like structure, accented with glowing, colored light pendants made from glass bottles. The market will feature open shutters, wooden light posts, awnings, ornamentation and unique seating areas. Guests will also have access to the Grab n’ Go market for specialty coffee and quick bites.

Stay tuned for more details!

Reservations Now Open for New Character Dining Experiences at Disneyland Resort Hotels

Reservations are now available for Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Character Breakfast at Storytellers Cafe and Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast at Disney’s PCH Grill at Disneyland® Resort hotels. These dining experiences both start on July 10 and are the perfect way for you to start your Disney day.

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Character Breakfast

At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Guests dining at Storytellers Cafe will join Mickey Mouse and his friends for Mickey’s Tales of Adventure. Discover the fun with your adventurous storyteller, Mickey, as he welcomes you into his immersive tales of adventure through his magical Adventurer’s Journal. Enjoy a bountiful Farmer’s Market Buffet of all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast specialties, including made-to-order omelets, Mickey waffles, fresh-baked goods and seasonal fruit. Mickey’s Tales of Adventure will be offered Monday-Thursday, 7-11:30 a.m. and Friday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast

Over at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Donald will be reunited with his heart-throb Daisy at Disney’s PCH Grill, and is bringing all the beachy fun with him! Soak in those rays and catch some waves on the dance floor with Donald, Daisy and Stitch as you chow down on an all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast buffet. Try the build-your-own-parfait stations, chef’s signature flatbreads, egg white frittatas, chilaquiles, smoothies, smoked salmon and more. Kids will love the Mickey waffles, Minnie pancakes, Bananas Foster French toast and a selection of hot and cold cereals, sausage, bacon and seasonal fresh fruit. Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast will take place Monday-Thursday, 7-11 a.m. and Friday-Sunday, 7-11:30 a.m.

Spice Road Table Coming to Morocco Pavilion at Epcot

Spice Road Table is coming soon to Epcot, offering a variety of Moroccan small plates and specialty drinks. Regional flavors from the Mediterranean are highlighted, along with a scenic view of the World Showcase lagoon in front of the Morocco pavilion.

Spice Road Table Coming to Morocco Pavilion at Epcot

Perfect for IllumiNations viewing or relaxing with a selection of Moroccan flavors and cocktails along World Showcase Lagoon, the lounge is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds, say the designers. There’s an array of small plates: zesty harissa chicken drumettes; a Mediterranean omelet with sausage, potatoes and caramelized onion; mussels with preserved lemons and tomato sauce baked in an earthenware tagine pot; Moroccan merguez sausage with a fresh tomato salad; garlicky jumbo shrimp in a spicy chile pepper sauce.

Spice Road Table Coming to Morocco Pavilion at Epcot

Recent Photo of Current Construction

Inspired by the outdoor cafes along the Mediterranean, the whitewashed façade of Spice Road Table is accented in icy shades of blue from the famous “Blue City” of Chefchaouen in Morocco’s Rif Mountains. A collection of shops in the colorful style of a Moroccan “souk,” or marketplace, stretches along the front of the building – and a henna tattoo artist will create temporary body art from traditional and modern designs.

With 120 outdoor terrace seats, the inside will seat 60 with cozy booths, Moroccan light fixtures, tile work, tapestries and art representing Morocco’s indigenous Berber tribes.  Spice Road Table will be a welcome addition to the incredible dining options at Walt Disney World Resort!

Re-imagined Disney Magic Debuts New ‘Drawn to Magic’ Dinner Show

One of the incredible aspects about the re-imagined Disney Magic is that the transformation wasn’t just an aesthetic makeover. Walt Disney Imagineers worked hard to bring guests a fresh look all around the ship, but they didn’t stop there. WDI is always looking to entertain in new and exciting ways, and that is exactly what they accomplished with the enhancements to the Disney Magic.

Re-imagined Disney Magic Debuts New 'Drawn to Magic' Dinner Show

Take Animator’s Palate as an example. Featured on all four ships, it’s Disney Cruise Line’s signature family dining room and no doubt a guest favorite. Knowing how much guests love the look of the restaurant on the Disney Magic, Imagineers kept the same classic theme but enhanced it with all-new, animation-adorned walls, larger high-definition flat-screens and updated furnishings like custom-built Mickey Mouse chairs.

But that’s not even the best part. On every Disney Magic cruise, guests will get to enjoy a completely re-imagined “Drawn to Magic” dinner animation show, which incorporates even more scenes from favorite Disney films and a dramatic transformation from black and white to color.

Re-imagined Disney Magic Debuts New 'Drawn to Magic' Dinner Show

Throughout the meal, diners will see black and white character portraits sketched in real-time on the over sized digital canvases lining the dining room walls, making a fun game for your family as you guess which favorite heroes and villains are coming to life. As appetizers arrive, pencil tests of Disney characters are revealed, bringing to life iconic moments — from Disney favorites like “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Princess and the Frog” and more — one canvas at a time. Guests get their first taste of color during dinner when the character pencil tests around the room are treated to ink and paint.

Re-imagined Disney Magic Debuts New 'Drawn to Magic' Dinner Show

As dinner winds down and desserts are selected, the grand finale begins, immersing guests in an animated show about a hero’s journey with scenes of Disney and Pixar films on screen, accompanied by dramatic lighting shifts throughout the restaurant. Finally, with the dining room in full color, the celebration comes to life with a fun appearance by Sorcerer Mickey and a parade of the “transformed” wait staff (they also get a full dose of color!)

Re-imagined Disney Magic Debuts New 'Drawn to Magic' Dinner Show

Don’t Miss Any of the Incredible Additions to the
Re-Imagined Disney Magic!

New Lounge at Hollywood Brown Derby Debuts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Just like starlets of yesteryear at the original Hollywood Brown Derby, guests can enjoy a beautiful afternoon or evening relaxing on the new patio lounge at The Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

New Lounge at Hollywood Brown Derby Debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Shaded by big umbrellas, guests can sip wine, beer and cocktails such as a classic Mint Gimlet (Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, simply syrup, lime juice and fresh mint) or a Bloody Mary with Absolut Peppar Vodka. There are flights of martinis, Champagne, wines, Scotch and Grand Marnier. And wine by the glass or half bottle.

New Lounge at Hollywood Brown Derby Debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios

New Lounge at Hollywood Brown Derby Debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Small bites are on the menu and include artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, duck confit tacos, steamed Prince Edward Island mussels, Derby Cocktail with jumbo lump blue crab, black tiger shrimp, avocado and a horseradish-tomato juice, and two Derby Sliders—a Wagyu beef slider with cognac mustard aïoli, smoked gouda cheese, bacon and avocado; and a house-made chorizo slider with chipotle mayo, manchego cheese, pickles and crispy onions.

New Lounge at Hollywood Brown Derby Debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Artisanal Cheese Board

New Lounge at Hollywood Brown Derby Debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Duck Confit Tacos

You can also just stop for dessert, with Chocolate Three Ways (praline milk chocolate cream, crunchy ganache and orange-chocolate mousse), a banana-white chocolate toffee tower on a cocoa-almond cookie and bananas Foster, or strawberry Champagne cheesecake.

New Lounge at Hollywood Brown Derby Debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Seating is first-come, first-served, with no reservations. Tables in Wonderland discount is applicable, but Disney Dining Plan is not accepted.

Singapore Is Still So Misunderstood! – Guest Blog Post

I have a friendly wager with Kingdom Magic Vacations’ Rick Howard.  Not a huge fan of Singapore’s “performance” at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival over the past few years, I think it’s fair to say that Rick doesn’t hold out much hope for their offering in 2013.  Yet, from my perspective, well, you’ve already seen me extoll Singapore’s virtues in this space a month or so back HERE.

Singapore Is Still So Misunderstood!

If you remember, my biggest wish was for Singapore to dump their, for me, unappealing Beef Rendang into the South China Sea.  Well, that they did as they introduce Lemongrass Chicken Curry with Coconut and Jasmine Rice in 2013.  I’m really looking forward to this new offering!

The chicken curry is accompanied by an encore of Seared Mahi Mahi with Jasmine Rice and “Singa” Sauce.  Introduced in 2012, I rated this particular plate among my Top 10 dishes last year.  By the way, the “Singa” is, more or less, a Thai-style sweet-hot sauce.

Singapores Mahi Mahi with Jasmine Rice

Back to the bet.  We’ll cover Scotland in more detail later, but I’m convinced that Singapore is going to “out-do” Food & Wine’s rookie kiosk from the U.K.  And, my wager with Rick rests on that happening.  Frankly, by the time the festival is over, I’m convinced that we’re ALL going to agree that Singapore did step it up in 2013 … and I’m CERTAIN that Rick will pick Singapore over Scotland any day of the week!

Singapore Is Still So Misunderstood!

Singapore’s menu finishes with a selection of beverages including:

  • Tiger Beer
  • Marqués de Caceres Satinela (a medium-sweet white wine)
  • Singapore Sling made of Hendrick’s Gin and a Cherry Liqueur and topped with a maraschino cherry)

The Sling has taken a lot of criticism in the past, and I’m not going to argue that those negative comments aren’t without merit.  After all, when I see a recipe that mixes alcohol with all of that cherry “flavoring”, I think immediately of cough syrup.

At the end of the day, however, I think Singapore’s food offering will overrule the unsavoriness of their namesake drink to raise this marketplace in all of our esteem.  I’ll give them a pre-festival grade of “B”.

It’s not too late to book your trip
to experience Epcot’s International
Food and Wine Festival!

Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations Today!


Guest Author Bob SikonGuest Author – Bob Sikon Bob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

‘Downtown Disney Foodtopia’ at Walt Disney World Resort Brings Delicious Prix Fixe Menus in October

Fantastic flavors from some of Downtown Disney’s signature restaurants will take center stage this fall and feature some of the restaurants’ most popular dishes during “Downtown Disney Foodtopia,” October 1-October 31.

'Downtown Disney Foodtopia’ at Walt Disney World Resort Brings Delicious Prix Fixe Menus in October

Seven restaurants are rolling out three-course dinners for $30, with a $60 option at Fulton’s Crab House (tax and gratuity extra). The seven restaurants include Bongo’s Cuban Café, House of Blues, Paradiso 37, Planet Hollywood, Portobello, Splitsville Luxury Lanes and Wolfgang Puck Café.

'Downtown Disney Foodtopia’ at Walt Disney World Resort Brings Delicious Prix Fixe Menus in October

Wolfgang Puck Cafe – Butternut Squash Soup

Each of the flavorful menu options include three full courses and a non-alcoholic beverage. For instance, at Wolfgang Puck Café, guests can start with garlic and white bean hummus, a Caesar salad or butternut squash soup. Entrees include pesto chicken, crispy pork loin or spaghetti Bolognese. Desserts are key lime pie, carrot cake or a brownie sundae.

'Downtown Disney Foodtopia’ at Walt Disney World Resort Brings Delicious Prix Fixe Menus in October

Planet Hollywood – Sicilian Eggplant Fries

Paradiso 37 is offering blackened mahi sliders, a hearty beef burrito or chicken enchiladas paired with a starter and dessert, while Planet Hollywood has a choice of their Celebrity BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, lasagna or their gargantuan Southwest Salad for your entrée options. Splitsville lets guests choose from eight appetizers and 10 entrees, with a brownie with ice cream for dessert.

'Downtown Disney Foodtopia’ at Walt Disney World Resort Brings Delicious Prix Fixe Menus in October

Fulton’s Crab House – Lobster

For guests craving savory seafood, the Fulton’s Crab House menu includes either shrimp cocktail, steamed clams and mussels or jumbo lump crab cake to start; a whole Rhode Island lobster, cioppino or filet mignon for an entrée, and a Tollhouse Cookie sundae, key lime pie or root beer float for dessert.

'Downtown Disney Foodtopia’ at Walt Disney World Resort Brings Delicious Prix Fixe Menus in October

Planet Hollywood Southwest Salad

Walt Disney World guests can sample all that Foodtopia has to offer any day of the week between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.  Reservations and payment are required at least 48 hours in advance. Reservations can be made starting Sept. 28.

And for those wanting to make it a dinner-and-a-show evening, guests who make a Foodtopia reservation can save on tickets to Cirque du Soleil “La Nouba” with a 20 percent discount for everyone in their party.

To make dining reservations for Foodtopia, contact your Kingdom Magic Travel Agent today.

Kingdom Magic Vacations Quick Tip – Japan Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase

Rick Howard from Kingdom Magic Vacations take us on a quick tour of the Japan Pavilion inside Epcot’s World Showcase to see all the sights and sounds from Japan!

We hope you enjoy this week’s video and share it with all your friends!

Let Kingdom Magic Book
Your Walt Disney World Vacation

Reservations Open For Re-Imagined California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Beginning Aug. 26, 2013, you can book reservations at the re-imagined California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, which debuts Sept. 9, 2013.

Reservations Open For Re-Imagined California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Still featuring those spectacular views of the Walt Disney World Resort, the California Grill dining room has been transformed with a sleek, contemporary interpretation of mid-century modern California design.

Reservations Open For Re-Imagined California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

The new menu features seasonal ingredients and lighter fare.  Guests will enjoy updated versions of longtime favorites, such as flatbreads, grilled pork tenderloin and oak-fired filet of beef. Plus, the sushi bar will offer a new chef’s choice menu.

Reservations Open For Re-Imagined California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

With 250 options on the wine list, there are 80 by the glass, 10 varieties of sake and eight types of craft beers and ciders. And, California Grill will feature its own menu of signature cocktails that you won’t find at any other Walt Disney World Resort restaurant.

Reservations Open For Re-Imagined California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Two communal tables of 10 are positioned at the north end of the dining room for optimal fireworks viewing. For outdoor fireworks viewing there are now two areas – one on the northwest side and a new deck on the southwest side.

Reservations Open For Re-Imagined California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

The re-imagined California Grill opens daily at 5 p.m. beginning Sept. 9, 2013.

Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations To Book Reservations
For Your Walt Disney World Vacation

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

Do you have one of those places? You know what I mean … one of those places for which you hear great things, but you just never seem to make it there? For us, call that place Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

We had heard about it on podcasts, even seen it featured by our own Rick Howard (owner of Kingdom Magic Vacations) on his “Travel with Rick” video-cast. For whatever reason, however, we never made the time to go over and visit. Well, my wife and I remedied that foolish oversight and enjoyed Walt Disney World Resort‘s “all-you-can-eat” barbecue feast, for the first time, a few months ago.

It was a hot day in Disney’s Magic Kingdom, and it was approaching lunch time. Where to eat? We toyed with the idea of visiting Pecos Bill but were really feeling in need of a sit-down meal. One of our favorite stops is the Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe, but it didn’t quite pique our interest that afternoon. Then, we thought about Whispering Canyon.

In possession of no ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation), we knew we would be “walk-ins”, and, as such, we were a little bit concerned that there would be “no room at the table” for us. As it turned out, though, the restaurant wasn’t crowded at all. Take a look!

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

Welcome to Whispering Canyon Cafe!

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

C’mon in!

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

Not that busy at all!

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

Looking towards the back of the restaurant.

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

Look past the diners. The restaurant opens up with a great view of the Wilderness Lodge lobby.

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

A look back at the entrance.

We were quickly seated at a comfortable table and handed the Canyon’s menu of “delicious-ness”.

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

How can we pass by the “All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Platter”?

My wife ordered some Evian, while I ordered a Diet Coke.

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

Don’t you just love using a Mason jar for a glass?

You have to love the “dinner-ware” too.

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

I would like to slip these shakers into my backpack. Shhh! No, I didn’t.

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

Look! A “not so” Hidden Mickey! Where’s the BBQ?

Our meal came out pretty quickly and was served “family-style”. Their delicious cornbread came first.

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

But, finally, the “star of the show” arrived!

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

From left to right: pulled pork, corn, sausage (slightly hidden), ribs, chicken, and mashed potatoes. Foreground: beans.

Dining Recon: Whispering Canyon Cafe

A place for almost everything!

As far as my wife and I were concerned, the pulled pork and the ribs were the best of the bunch. That’s where we had our “seconds”. And, “thirds”!

For the amount of food we got, and for the price (merely $21.99 per person), Whispering Canyon Cafe was a pretty good value, in our opinion. If you’re a fan of good BBQ, all of the “All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Platter” items were good. The ribs and pulled pork, however, were outstanding! We suggest you stop by and give them a try.

One suggestion, though? Make an ADR. We got lucky and hit the restaurant at the right time. They’re usually pretty darn packed! Oh, and whatever you do … ask for some ketchup. You’ll find out why!

Bon appetit!


Guest Author – Bob Sikon

Guest Author Bob SikonBob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

Kingdom Magic Vacations Disney Cruise Quick Tip – Rotational Dining

Rick and Leslie Howard explain how rotational dining works on a typical Disney Cruise in this week’s Kingdom Magic Vacations Disney Cruise Quick Tip.

Contact Kingdom Magic
to Book Your Next Disney Cruise!

Guests Enjoy New Dining and After Hours Experiences on the Re-Imagined Disney Magic

Guests on board the newly re-imagined Disney Magic will enjoy new dining experiences as well as new Adult lounge areas called After Hours.  It’s all part of the complete re-imagining of the Disney Magic taking place this summer, and we are very excited about the new changes coming to this amazing ship!

First, if food is always a favorite part of your Disney cruise, you’re going to love the magical makeover coming to dining experiences on the Disney Magic this October. Hear all about it in this video!

And finally, we hear all about the big city-style fun just for adults in After Hours, the new nighttime entertainment district coming to the reimagined Disney Magic cruise ship.

And, if all this magic sounds too good to pass up, special rates have been extended on select fall sailings! Book through Aug. 31, 2013.

Contact Kingdom Magic and Book Your Trip on the
Re-imagined Disney Magic Today!!

Enjoy a Dinner at the Flying Fish Cafe on Disney’s Boardwalk

We LOVE Dining at Disney! As a matter of fact, after all these years of visiting Walt Disney World and even Disneyland, now the restaurants are as much of an attraction for us as the Theme Parks! I know it sounds hard to believe, but Disney restaurants are an attraction in themselves!

After all, they do have world class chefs, wonderfully themed restaurants and fantastic and diverse wine lists themed to that restaurant, the best example that comes to mind is Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has one of the most extensive lists of South African wines than any restaurant in the country.

Dining at the Flying Fish at Disney's Boarkwalk Resort

So along with planning which park we’ll visit and how many FastPasses we can get, we think about which restaurants we’ll be dining in. On a recent trip, we had the opportunity to eat at one of our favorites, the Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk.

Dining at the Flying Fish at Disney's Boarkwalk Resort

At the Flying Fish, guests dine amid parachuting fish, funhouse mirrors, decorative roller coaster tracks and a whimsical, backlit Ferris wheel. The ambiance and décor really are incredible, it’s totally sets the stage for the wonderful meal you will soon be enjoying.

Dining at the Flying Fish at Disney's Boarkwalk Resort

As you walk into the restaurant to be seated, you will pass by and be able to peer into the onstage kitchen, where chefs use uber-fresh ingredients to create such succulent specialties as potato-wrapped red snapper, crispy crab cakes and char-crusted strip steak.

A very popular experience at the Flying Fish is the Chef’s Tasting Wine Dinner for a savory 5-course prix fixe menu with expertly chosen wines.

Take a seat at the chef’s counter, directly in front of the onstage kitchen, and interact with the talented culinary team preparing the evening’s specialties.

Dining at the Flying Fish at Disney's Boarkwalk Resort

The Chef’s Tasting Menu changes daily but may include such delicacies as miso-cured yellowfin tuna with shirred quail egg or ginger-laced Maine lobster ravioli.

Dinner seatings for this experience—which is designed for Guests 10 years of age and up—are at 5:45 PM and 8:15 PM, Sunday through Thursday. Groups of up to 6 can be accommodated and reservations must be made at least one day in advance.

Dining at the Flying Fish at Disney's Boarkwalk Resort

As we were seated, some warm bread arrived at our table and we selected a wine, the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. We were parched from a hot day in the parks and this fit our fancy wonderfully!

There we six of us dining, so we chose a variety of appetizers to start off. Actually we chose the three signature appetizers, Crispy Sesame and Togarashi-scented Calamari – with Asian Dipping Sauce, Yellowfin Tuna Tartare and Crispy Tempura Tuna-Vegetable Sushi Roll – with Wasabi Foam, and a Sweet-and-Spicy Sauce and Signature Flying Fish Cafe “Crispy Maine Coast Jonah Crab Cake” – with Vegetable Slaw and Ancho Chile Rémoulade. Each was fantastic, but I think the Calamari was incredible!

Crispy Sesame and Togarashi-scented Calamari

Crispy Sesame and Togarashi-scented Calamari

Yellowfin Tuna Tartare and Crispy Tempura Tuna-Vegetable Sushi Roll

Yellowfin Tuna Tartare and Crispy Tempura Tuna-Vegetable Sushi Roll

"Crispy Maine Coast Jonah Crab Cake" - with Vegetable Slaw and Ancho Chile Rémoulade

“Crispy Maine Coast Jonah Crab Cake” – with Vegetable Slaw and Ancho Chile Rémoulade

For our entrees, one of our friends had the Trio of Heritage Berkshire-Kurobuta Pork, which was incredibly which had a rich pork au jus and was incredibly tasty. Another tried the Fragrantly-spiced “Char-crusted” Yellowfin Tuna, which is one of my favorites and is maybe the best Tuna I’ve had anywhere. Another of our table mates ordered the Mussels appetizer and Roasted Heirloom Beets and Fresh Vermont Goat Cheese which was a great choice. Two signature entrees on the menu are the Idaho Potato-wrapped Red Snapper and the Char-crusted Angus New York Strip Steak always tough for me to choose between these two. Well thanks to the Chef, we don’t have to anymore! Now they have combined the two into a Chefs Thunder Entrée Duo.

Fragrantly-spiced "Char-crusted" Yellowfin Tuna

Fragrantly-spiced “Char-crusted” Yellowfin Tuna

Roasted Heirloom Beets and Fresh Vermont Goat Cheese

Roasted Heirloom Beets and Fresh Vermont Goat Cheese

Idaho Potato-wrapped Red Snapper and the Char-crusted Angus New York Strip Steak

Idaho Potato-wrapped Red Snapper and the Char-crusted Angus New York Strip Steak

The Char-crusted Angus New York Strip Steak comes with a Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Red Bermuda Onions, Young Carrots, and Haricot Verts with Classic Sauce Foyot which tops it off so nicely! The Char on it is perfect while the steak stays juicy and tender on the inside!

The Potato-wrapped Red Snapper is served over a Rich Leek Fondue with a Veal Glace de Viande and Red Wine-Cassis Butter Reduction. The fish is flaky, tender and moist, and the leek fondue just melts in mouth, delicious!

We did manage to save just a bit of room for dessert, I know sounds crazy, right? The Flying Fish is known for its Caramelized Banana Napoleon, Crisp Phyllo, Banana Mousse, Crème Caramel, Exotic Fruit Coulis, and Bitter Chocolate. As one of my friends who recently tried this said, “I’m so mad I just found out about this”!

We also tried the “Nuts about Chocolate” Indulgence, Caramel Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline Mousse, Candied Pecan and Butterscotch-laced Blondie, Chocolate Sorbet, and Candied Marcona Almonds, while the Banana Napoleon was really good, the chocolate sorbet and the almonds was my favorite!

"Nuts about Chocolate" Indulgence,

“Nuts about Chocolate” Indulgence,

Flying Fish Cafe is a Signature Dining location, which means that it is one of the pricier places to eat at Walt Disney World. Expect to spend $36-60 per person, or to use 2 credits per person on the Disney Dining Plan.

The Chef’s Wine Tasting Dinner includes a 4-course prix fixe menu that includes wine pairings for $149 plus tax – groups of up to 6 can be accommodated.

Reservations are highly recommended, and can be made 180 days in advance.  Reservations are required for the Chef’s Wine Tasting Dinner.

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Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany – Guest Blog Post

When I look back at the last two years of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, as well as at the “Food” & Garden Festival held this past Spring, I think I’m in the minority. When appraising World Showcase’s German Marketplace, I come away very disappointed.

Take 2011’s Food & Wine, for example. Their offering included Goulash Soup, Sausage in a Pretzel Roll, and an Apple Strudel featuring Werther’s Original Caramel and Vanilla Sauce.

Their 2012 effort presented, pretty much, the same Sausage (actually, a Bratwurst) in a Pretzel Roll, a Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese, and an encore of the Apple Strudel.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

2013’s “Food” & Garden Festival – OK, it’s really the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – switched things up a bit. We were served a Savory Bread Pudding with Spring Peas and Wild Mushroom Ragout, German Meatloaf Sandwich with Sweet Mustard and Fried Shallots, and Potato Pancakes with House-made Apple Sauce.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

For me, the menus were just OK. For example, as I look back at my notes, I find that I reported the following:

“The roast bratwurst was a disappointment. It was a relatively tasteless sausage on a VERY small pretzel roll. Both my wife and I gave it two thumbs down.”

“The Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese wasn’t a bad dish. It was just merely ordinary.”

“Both my wife and I came away unimpressed with their 2012 menu. In fact, we left Germany more unenthusiastic than we did from any other F&W kiosk – which must put us in the vast minority because the lines at Germany seemed to be constantly rip-roaring long.”

When it comes to this year’s “Food” & Garden feast, “I mean this next statement in the most complimentary of terms. Take Spam and cross it with a good old hot dog and you’d have Germany’s meatloaf.”

The potato pancake caused me to write, “A bit too much minced onion for my taste and a little too salty. I don’t need another helping, thanks.” Truth be told, after a chance meeting with Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann, where we told him the pancakes were a bit too salty for us (how did we have the nerve?), we DID try them again. The second time around, they were MUCH better.

Where’s all this going? Plain and simple, Germany has been “just OK”, in our opinions. But, for a country that sports great options with regard to cuisine, it should be able to offer much more and much better.

For 2013, given the chance to write the menu, I would lean back on one of my favorite dishes (and, a traditional German favorite) – Pork Schnitzel. I would bread it in Panko and cover it with a delicious gravy.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

Then, I would serve Beef Sauerbraten with Potato Dumplings.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

Finally, I would finish with a nice slice of Black Forest Cake.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

Yes, I know it’s a complete “reboot” of the Germany kiosk’s menu, but I’m confident those “rip-roaring long” lines will be even longer if we kick the food offering up these few notches.

What do you think?


Guest Author – Bob Sikon

Guest Author Bob SikonBob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

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