My 2011 Disney World Wishlist

Cinderella's CastleTwenty-one days until we’re back in the most magical place on Earth. I thought I’d countdown the “21 Things That I’m Looking Forward To Most” on this trip.

  1. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (free hot chocolate and gingerbread men!)
  2. Epcot’s World Showcase Wine Walk (six wine samples around the world)
  3. The Villas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  4. Dole Whip!
  5. Spending time with family
  6. Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House
  7. The New Star Tours Continue reading

Dining Reservations at Walt Disney World

Cinderella's Castle at Disney's Magic KingdomEditor’s Note: This post is featured on the Disney Blog Carnival #27. Read more great posts about all things Disney!

Today marks 130 days until we’re at Walt Disney World again. We are all set to spend Dec. 1 through Dec. 3 at a villa in Jambo House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Then, on Dec. 4, we embark on a 4-day cruise of the Caribbean taking in stops at Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s own private island – Castaway Cay.

So, today I wanted to take a look behind how to make a dining reservation at the most magical place on Earth…

At 180 days, you can begin to make dining reservations for your meals at Disney World. The “advanced dining reservation” process can be a bit complicated since you need to count backwards 180 days from when you check in. That marks the day you can make your ADRs. For us, our 180 mark was June 4.

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Book Review: The DFB Guide to WDW Dining

Disney Food Blog Dining e-book coverI have to say that one of my fave spots on the interwebs is the Disney Food Blog. I must commend AJ Wolfe on the spectacular job she has done over the past two years compiling reviews, photos and mucho information to the dining at my happiest place on Earth.

Recently, AJ (and her awesome team of helpers) published an e-book titled “The Disney Food Blog’s Guide to Walt Disney World Dining: Steps to a Stress-Free, Personalized Plan.” Since I just bought an e-reader, what was my first purchase?

Of course you know what it was!

The guide is 256 pages of colorful photos, tips, planning guides and tidbits of knowledge that you won’t find anywhere else.  The guide takes out all the stress of getting those so-desired ressies at Chef Mickey’s character breakfast at the Contemporary Resort or dining with the princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom.

Even a die-hard Mickey fans like me can find some new info. For instance:

  • You don’t have to stay at a Disney resort to make an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR).
  • There’s baby food (albeit limited) available to purchase at Baby Care Centers located in the theme parks. You can find diapers, formula and other baby needs, too.
  • There’s a place at the Polynesian Resort where you can get Dole Whips 24/7. (Mmm, Dole Whips…)

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Bring the Taste of Disney home

Disney is bringing foodies more multimedia of their restaurants, recipes and other culinary treats through a video series called “Taste of Disney.”

Join food writer Pam Brandon and her daughter, Katie, as they explore places like Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and the annual Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. You can also find recipes for Disney-inspired treats such as Cheshire Cat cupcakes or a gingerbread house a la Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Check out more of the fun (and food) on Disney’s website.

Pam is the author of one of my favorite cookbooks – “Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs.” You may remember it from this Key Lime Pie recipe I did last year from Olivia’s at the Old Key West Resort.

Yeah, I Ate That Series: The Chocolate Moose

Editor’s Note: This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival. Head over there to see more great Disney-related posts and articles.

Tucked away in the Canada pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park is Le Cellier Steakhouse. This primo dining spot is hard to land a reservation at all year.

As you come in from the gardens outside, you’re transported into an old wine cellar decked out in dark woods, stone floors and archways, and minimal lighting.

While the steaks on the menu are aged to perfection (I highly recommend the mushroom filet mignon with mushroom risotto, as well as the Moosehead Beer Cheddar Cheese soup – just be sure to save some of the pretzel breadsticks for dipping), there is one item on the menu that is both fun and tasty.

Chocolate Moose at Le Cellier at EpcotThe Chocolate Moose dessert is chocolate mousse wrapped in toasted chocolate crumbs. Then, it’s decorated with chocolate candies, maple-flavored antlers and a bright red cookie tongue.

Kids and adults both will enjoy this dessert for its creativity and decadence.

If you don’t happen to see it on the menu the day you dine at Le Cellier, don’t be afraid to ask your server if the culinary team might be able to make it.

Want to see the other desserts at Le Cellier? Download the dessert menu.

A peek at Epcot’s Karamell-Küche

Entrance to Karamell-Kuche at EpcotI’m very happy to introduce this next guest blog. A few week’s ago I posted a video from Disney Parks that takes a sneak peek inside Karamell-Küche, or caramel kitchen, at Epcot’s Germany pavilion in World Showcase. This is the only free-standing shop for Werther’s, which is run by Storck.

My husband’s cousin, Ronna Larsen, just returned from a trip at Walt Disney World. She has some great photos and a quick review of this new destination!

Take it away, Ronna!

Before you even walk into Karamelle-Küche (The Caramel Kitchen), in the Germany Pavilion at Epcot, you are entranced by the sweet smell of caramel corn being made. Besides caramel corn, you can watch chocolate/caramel-dipped strawberries and a variety of caramel apples being made.

Making caramel strawberries.A Disney cast member makes chocolate and caramel-covered strawberries.

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[Video] Inside Karamell-Küche at Epcot

The great peeps at Disney Parks on YouTube have posted this video of the sweet treats you can get at Karamell-Küche. This new shop is at the German pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase. Karamell-Küche means “caramel kitchen” in German, and this little spot churns out Werther caramel-covered apples, marshmallows, strawberries and more!

Take a peek inside: