On our recent visit to Disneyland, we had breakfast at the River Belle Terrace in Frontierland. This “fast casual” dining spot currently serves breakfast and lunch, but will soon be transitioning into a table service restaurant and dropping breakfast in favor of dinner. I thought I should post about our breakfast there while it’s still relevant. If you don’t get to experience breakfast at the River Belle Terrace, though, fret not. You’re not missing anything, and the new table-service conversion will likely be for the best. Continue reading
Category Archives: Disney Dining
Editor’s note: As we prepare for Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, we’re sampling some of the beverages that will be offered at this year’s festival at home. Our main focus will be on the beers more commonly found in the western United States, as they may not be as familiar to the Walt Disney World fans on the East Coast.
Shiner as the brewery is colloquially known actually is produced by the Spoetzl Brewery out of Shiner, TX. Their Shiner Bock is pretty much the official beer of Texas. It’s as ubiquitous as any beer is with pretty much any region in the country. This year, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival has included their Wild Hare Pale Ale in the offerings at the the Craft Beers kiosk.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That is, it’s planning season for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The Festival Marketplace menus were announced yesterday, and we want to take a look at what’s new, what’s returning, and what’s off the menu for 2014. We’ll also share our opinions, because such things surely must matter.
The Magic Kingdom’s newest table service restaurant is touted as a can’t-miss experience, and Danny and I have been waiting for nearly a year to check it out. While reviews on the food tend to vary, everybody is wowed by the massive restaurant’s detailed atmosphere and decor. I’ll spare you my grainy, low-light photos of the ballroom, where we ate our meal, but will share some blurry shots of the food.
The day after this year’s International Food & Wine Festival ended at Epcot, we noticed some new signage up at Promenade Refreshments. The menu, which boasted some seasonal offerings, piqued our interest. A manager and a handful of cast members happened to be carting supplies inside while we were passing, so we stopped to ask when the kiosk would be opening. We were told that some items would be served as early as the next day, while others, like the cider, would be ready by that weekend. We made a note to stop by again before we left town, and the day before flying home, we returned to view the crooked Christmas tree and try some goodies.
On our honeymoon, we were invited to join the FastPass+ test for the Be Our Guest restaurant’s lunch service. We didn’t make great use of FastPass+ on this trip, but we did use it to schedule what could otherwise be a substantial wait for a quick lunch. When we arrived at the entrance to the Beast’s castle, a FastPass+ sign was directing us to check in at the same spot where dinner guests with Advance Dining Reservations would check in for the evening table service. The line to get in standby looked to be about a 30 minute wait or more. We were whisked right past it. As part of the FastPass+ test, you can order your meals in advance when you make the reserve the FastPass+ time. We think that it’s totally crazypants to try to decide what you want to eat for lunch 30 days in advance, so we skipped that feature. Once inside, we waited only a few minutes to get to one of the ordering kiosks to place our lunch order. We decided to try a little of everything, which turned out to be pretty expensive — almost $40 — for a quick service lunch for two. Once we ordered, we made our way to the dining room to select a table. We were told that because we had Magic Bands, we didn’t need one of the cute RFID “roses” that most guests get while placing their order. Sure enough, a few minutes later, a food runner located us in the West Wing. By now you’ve either been inside Be Our Guest for yourself or have been bored to death by photos on other blogs, so I’ll spare you my grainy pictures of the dining rooms.
We started by sharing the French Onion Soup, which was ridiculously cheesy. In truth, it was kind of hard to eat because it was more casserole than soup. Between the abundance of cheese and onions, there wasn’t much actual broth. Danny gave up after only a couple bites, and I soon followed suit.
We each ordered a sandwich. I got the Croque Monsieur with a side of green beans. A sandwich with bechamel may not have been the lightest choice after that soup, but I destroyed that thing. There’s pretty much no way that I’ll dislike any form of hot ham and cheese sandwich, but this one was particularly decadent. The whole grain bread and the abundant layers of ham were the stars of the plate. The veggies on the side were a little overcooked, but I ate them anyway because I needed something to make me feel ok about all the saturated fat I was ingesting.
Danny had the Carved Turkey Sandwich and French Fries. He liked the carving-board style sliced turkey and the baguette, but thought that the dijon mayo either wasn’t strong enough or that there wasn’t enough of it on the sandwich for his tastes. That would probably have suited me just fine, but Danny likes mustard a lot more than I do.
For dessert, we shared the lemon meringue cupcake. The paper that wrapped around the cupcake was stiff and cylindrical, with a 90° angle where the walls met the bottom. It seemed like it would be a bit of a task to take the paper off and eat this cupcake in hand, so we just dug in with forks. As Disney cupcakes go, this one was pretty great. The cake was moist, and was helped to be that way by a gooey center of lemon curd. The meringue was a light topping that wasn’t too sweet. We’re no fans of the cloying cupcakes that are found in various bakeries around the World, so this was a nice treat for us. Overall, Be Our Guest was a hit for us. We were also able to have dinner there on our honeymoon, and that review will be up soon. I think we would return for either meal, but especially for lunch. We’ve always thought that the dining options in the Magic Kingdom are lacking, so Be Our Guest is a nice addition.
Today in our look back at the 2012 Food & Wine Festival, I’m visiting the other two booths featuring US States. In the past, these booths have changed from year to year, but both Florida Local and Hawaii will be returning for the 2013 Festival, the latter for its third straight year.
We’re still counting down to opening day of the 2013 International Food & Wine Festival at Epcot! This Friday, the Festival Marketplace will officially open and the food photos and reviews will start rolling in. Until then, we’re continuing our look back at last year’s Festival. Today we’re stopping by the booths at the American Adventure pavilion: Hops & Barley and the Fife & Drum Tavern.