Let's talk a minute to talk about the most anticipated part of a meal at Walt Disney World which is dessert! Disney specializes in creating deliciously, sweet confections that serve as happily ever after to your meal; but, of course, we have a few favorites! Take a look at a few of our favorite Table Service Desserts and just try not to get hungry!
Are any of our sweet favorites yours too?
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Today's theme is "Family Favorites!" We decided to pick one of our favorite Disney World snacks, AKL's Zebra Domes!
In our opinion, Epcot has the best places to eat at WDW. You really can't go wrong with the restaurants and quick service spots here, and the service and cultural flair never disappoint! But of all the places at Epcot to grab a snack or a quick meal, the small bakery in France has always been a favorite; however, that baker recently underwent an expansion and opened earlier this year as Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie!
On our last trip, we stopped by the newly expanded bakery to see, and taste, for ourselves and were delightfully surprised with the changes! The bakery itself is large and is lined with glass cases filled with fantastic goodies, such as French Bread, cheeses, sandwiches, quiche, salads, soups, and, of course, an amazing display of desserts!
Also, Les Halles offers an eating area inside with café tables and chairs. There's even a long bar where you can stand and eat, which may be your only option, as this bakery is often crowded and an open seat is rare! But, in Les Halle's defense, there was next to nothing available before; and there are tables outside.
Here's the new eating area! As you can see, Les Halles is very popular!
Let's skip right to the desserts, shall we? To be honest, these items will be the first to draw your eye when you walk in anyway, right? You can choose from a classic French éclair or layered mousse with berries!
How about a hearty fruit tart? Doesn't it look delicious? The chocolate mousse with sugar beads on the top looks tasty too!
There were quite a few sandwiches to choose from, including ham and cheese sandwiches for the pickier eaters. Take a look at how large the offerings are! We had a hard time finishing it!
We had the yummy berry parfait to the left, it was delicious! We also recommend the Napoleon because you are dining at the France pavilion!
If you're looking for a quick meal or a snack at the France pavilion, Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie is definitely a great choice! The servings are large and there's a lot of variety. You can also ask for a box or a bag to take your purchases to go!
On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, we dropped by New Fantasyland's incredibly popular Be Our Guest Restaurant!
If you haven't already heard, Be Our Guest is a new restaurant that is meant to resemble the Beast's Castle from the classic film, Beauty and the Beast. Here, you get the chance to dine in the West Wing with flashes of lightning, torn tapestries, and the wilting, enchanted rose, or the Rose Gallery which celebrates Belle and the Beast, or the famous ballroom with its massive gold chandeliers and snow falling gently out of the towering windows!
Disney has really outdone themselves with this restaurant, as you truly feel as if you have stepped into the film. But it's also a whole new breed of Disney restaurants with innovative, new methods.
For example, at lunch, Be Our Guest is a counter service restaurant; but at dinner, it becomes a table service restaurant. Also, during the counter service hours, Cast Members actually wheel out your orders to you instead of trying to balance those heavy, crowded trays through the crowds.
Since Be Our Guest is so amazing, it's naturally very popular! Dinner reservations are extremely difficult to get; and at lunch, there is almost always a line down the drawbridge to get in!
We decided to visit for lunch and ended up in a line that began past the sign at the end of the bridge; but the line actually moved quickly and we were inside in about 20 minutes. While that may sound long to some, we found it to be a reasonable wait for such an impressive dining experience!
This is the entrance to Be Our Guest, a crumbling archway leading up to a drawbridge with a picturesque creek, a waterfall, and snow covered trees as your scenery!
Here's what you find at the end of the drawbridge. The detail here is just amazing and the mosaic above the door tells the story of the enchanted rose, just like in the stained glass sequence in the film!
Once you enter and pass through the foyer, you will head down a hallway which is lined with "enchanted" suits of armor! While you wait, you will hear them whisper and even snore!
The next room you enter is where you order; and Be Our Guest is unique yet again in that it offers self-ordering kiosks and Cast Members who take your order in the traditional manner. This particular room is full of details and feels very regal. We especially like the fireplace detail complete with glowing embers!
Of the three dining rooms to choose from, the ballroom is the big favorite! It really does look like you stepped into the movie! Fortunately, there is a lot of seating here; but the tables next to the window are the best in that you can watch it snow outside! There are royal themed soda fountains against the ballroom wall where you can fill up and grab any extra condiments you might need.
We managed to grab a table in the ballroom and pretty much just stared in awe at our surroundings throughout our lunch, all while listening to the familiar Beauty and the Beast soundtrack playing softly in the background!
We were excited to sample Be Our Guest's menu for ourselves, especially their Potato Leek Soup we've been hearing so much about! Of course, we were not disappointed! It was absolutely delicious and is something we can't wait to have again.
Speaking of soups, we also tried Be Our Guest's French Onion Soup. Just look at all that cheese! It was good, but the Potato Leek Soup is still our favorite here.
For our entrée, we decided on the restaurant's steak sandwich with pommes frites. It wasn't incredible, but very good and filling! I would definitely order it again; and despite the name of the fries, their pretty much just fries! But hey, that's fine with us. After all, we're eating in the Beast's ballroom!
After we ate, we decided to explore Be Our Guest and were amazed by the West Wing. It's hard to take pictures due to the dark, but the enchanted rose that is actually wilting is incredible to see and must-do when you visit this restaurant!
Have you purchased the Disney Dining Plan for your next Disney World Vacation? Or are you taking advantage of a Free Dining Plan Offer? If so, we have a few suggestions on how to best maximize the Disney Dining Plan to your advantage!
1.) Signature Restaurants-Signature Restaurants at WDW are some of Disney's best and offer some amazing menus and edible creations; however, they are the most expensive and can be a big strain on many Disney guests' budget. However, with the Dining Plan, you can dine at a Signature Restaurant without paying another dime! This way, it's actually fun to get the check and see that what would've costs you hundreds actually only costs you the flat fee you paid for the plan. Although, Signature Restaurants require two dining credits instead of one, so you do lose there, but it's worth it for an experience you may not have otherwise.
2.) Epcot International Food and Wine Festival-This annual Epcot special event takes place in the fall and features culinary demonstrations and tons of booths offering samplings of food from different countries! If you like to eat, this already sounds amazing; but what's really great is having the Dining Plan during this event! You see, most of the dishes being offered at these booths count as snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan. Therefore, you can literally enjoy Canada's Le Cellier filet mignon with white truffle sauce for one snack credit! It's a good thing Epcot is so big, you are going to need to walk off all of the delicious dishes!
3.) Be Picky with Your Snack Credits-Many items at Walt Disney World can count as snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan, such as pastries, frozen treats, fruit, water, sodas, candy, and Dole Whips! Yum! However, since you are only allotted a small number of snack credits, be smart and maximize! For example, don't use a credit for a bottle of water or a soda. Pay out of pocket for those items and use your credits for larger or more filling and expensive treats.
4.) Water-Disney World can get HOT! Therefore, water is a must; but instead of using the plan for water, ask for a free cup at a Disney restaurant or bring a flat of bottled water to your resort or have one shipped there for you!
5.) Stretch the Dates-One of our favorite ways to maximize the plan is to stretch the dates of availability. What we mean is, if a Free Dining Offer ends on December 22, check in on that day and the plan extends for the rest of your trip! If you're smart, you can even make a Free Dining Offer stretch over holidays and other special events!
6.) Character Meals-At least one character meal is a must-do on a Disney Vacation, particularly when it's your first visit. Character Meals can be a little pricey, but with the Dining Plan, it's no problem! In fact, you can book a character meal each day of your trip with the plan, something you probably wouldn't do if you were paying out of pocket!
7.) Get Dessert-On the Dining Plan, dessert is included with your meal. This means that every person on the plan get a free dessert with each meal; and believe me, Disney desserts are amazing and magical! So when the waiter asks if you want dessert, don't say no for the sake of the check, say yes!
8.) To-Go Goodies-On a budget? Want to save cash on food for the way home? Some items on the Disney Dining Plan can be eaten later, such as boxed cookies, chips, and more. Use your snack credits for these items and save!
Looking for a hearty, home-cooked style meal while at Walt Disney World? One of our favorite spots is the Liberty Tree Tavern found at Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom.
This restaurant follows the theme of Liberty Square in attempting to take you back in time to the early days of our country and immerse you in history and patriotism; and it does so through Disney's signature attention to detail and historical accuracy.
When you enter Liberty Tree Tavern, you will find Cast Members dressed in colonial garb. We dropped by Liberty Tree Tavern when it opened for lunch and witnessed a restaurant tradition, the welcome by the first family of the day! The family who was first to be seated were given a bell, went to the balcony that overlooks the restaurant lobby, and welcomed today's guests into Liberty Tree Tavern!
It definitely pays off to be one of the first to be seated when the restaurant opens, as you have most of the place to yourself which is great for pics and usually means great service!
Liberty Tree Tavern features colonial style architecture and décor; and it also pays homage to some of our founding fathers as well. Each room of the restaurant is themed after a historical figure, such as Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, John Paul Jones, Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, and George Washington. Pay attention to what you find on the walls and in the corners for references to these American heroes to see which room you're in!
Here's a view of one of the many dining areas at Liberty Tree Tavern.
As we said, Disney is all about the details and historical accuracy, even when it comes down to the bathrooms! In fact, the only bathroom you can find in this restaurant is at the top of the narrow stairs above the restaurant lobby; but as you may discover, it's very, very small!
Why? Because in the colonial days, there was no indoor plumbing, so Disney installed the least amount of bathrooms and facilities as required to be consistent with the actual past; and this tiny bathroom is actually the only bathroom in Liberty Square. Some may point out that there are bathrooms in Columbia Harbor House down the street; but technically, those bathrooms are located in Fantasyland, not Liberty Square, keeping with the land's historical accuracy.
So the lesson here is... use the bathrooms in another part of the park or expect a long wait!
We dined in the John Paul Jones room! See the nautical touches? We also liked the three cornered hat and coat hanging near the door, which makes this restaurant truly feel as if you are back in time in a colonial home!
Now for the menu! Liberty Tree Tavern is home to some popular, American dishes with equally America names, such as the Declaration Salad, New England Pot Roast, the Pilgrim's Platter, Colony Salad, Martha Washington's and Johnny Appleseed's Cake, New England Clam Chowder, and more!
However, for dinner, the menu changes from a la carte to family style, where you and your family will be served platters of turkey, beef, and pork with mashed potatoes, veggies, and stuffing!
Since we visited for lunch, but were in the mood for Thanksgiving style fare, we chose the Pilgrim's Platter which was a hearty offering of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and gravy! Yum!
It was delicious and definitely something we would order again!
This is Liberty Tree Tavern's most famous dessert, and one of the most popular treats on property, the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake!
It's vanilla cake filled with bits of toffee which forms sort of a cookie-like taste and texture. It's served with a generous helping of vanilla ice cream and then drizzled in caramel sauce! It's a big dessert but a huge hit with guests, including ourselves! However, we understand that this dessert is only served at lunch; and while that may change, be sure to check when you make reservations if this is on your to-do list.
Overall, we fully enjoyed our lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern and would definitely visit again in the future!
Overall: 4 Glass Slippers
Adults: 4.5 Glass Slippers
Teens: 4 Glass Slippers
Kids: 4 Glass Slippers
Dining at Disney World is truly an experience in itself! Each Disney restaurant has its own theme and offers a range of Disney magic, whether it's in the form of Disney Characters, unique menus, picturesque settings, or award winning reputations!
There are several restaurants at WDW that are especially popular and can be challenges when it comes to getting a reservation, such as Cinderella's Royal Table, Chef Mickey's, 'Ohana, Be Our Guest, and Le Cellier.
While we are a fan of all of these restaurants, our favorite is Le Cellier at Epcot's World Showcase's Canada pavilion!
Le Cellier is open for lunch and dinner and is considered a Signature Restaurant at both, meaning that the prices are high and a meal takes two Disney Dining Plan credits. But trust us, it's worth it!
Now Le Cellier is themed after a wine cellar and doesn't really have a lot of personality when compared to the others listed, as it is aimed more towards adults. However, the dim lighting and calm, cool atmosphere is a welcome retreat from the rowdy character meals and intense summer heat; but there are a few Disney touches here too!
For one, each section of the restaurant is themed after a different Canadian province; and for those who struggle reading in the dim light, Le Cellier's menus actually are illuminated. When you open them, the light up! Kids are sure to get enjoy this!
Also, we personally believe that the service at the World Showcase restaurants is some of the best you find on Disney property, and Le Cellier is no exception! However, the real reason this restaurant ranks so high on our dining list is due to the food!
It all begins with the bread, Le Cellier's famous pretzel bread! This stuff is truly amazing and it's difficult to restrain yourself from filling up on this alone. It's especially delicious accompanied with Le Cellier's equally famous Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, which is another must-have for us when we visit. (On the Dining Plan? The soup isn't offered? Don't worry! You can order it separately and pay out of pocket, which is worth it. Many guests do this.)
Now Le Cellier is a steakhouse, so there is naturally many delicious dishes to be found; but the real gem, and the only option for us, is their Filet Mignon with Mushroom Risotto!
You can literally cut this steak with your fork; and once you've had your first bite, you will forever be ruined when it comes to steak ever again! The risotto is the perfect compliment and is mouthwatering all on its own; and while it may not appear to be a large serving, we guarantee you will feel full before you finish. Plus, out of all the times we have dined at Le Cellier, (which have been many), this dish is always consistently delicious and top notch.
Now let's talk dessert! Le Cellier offers several sweet treats; but the favorite is their Maple Crème Brulee, a light, but certainly sweet dish, with just a touch of maple flavor, perfect for Canada, eh?
If you have the opportunity to visit Le Cellier, we recommend you take the plunge! Despite the fact that it is a Signature Restaurant, it is still family friendly. Kids are a common sight and welcome at Le Cellier, and the kitchen is usually happy to accommodate picky guests.
Have you heard of this dish over at the new Art of Animation Resort? It's a big favorite with guests and a great deal too!
This Cheesy Pesto Bread is sliced Ciabatta covered in pesto and melted mozzarella; and, as you can see, it's served with marinara sauce.
Why do you want it? For one, it's delicious! If you like pesto and cheese, this is sure to be a win and it's a great alternative to pizza. It's also a great size for someone who is looking for something on the small side or for a side dish to their meal.
Next to taste, you want the Cheesy Pesto Bread because of it's price! Which is only around $5! Which, if you know Disney, few food items are a good deal; but to make this value even better, it also counts for a Snack Credit on the Disney Dining Plan!
Art of Animation's food court, Landscape of Flavors, is a new species of Disney food courts and is whipping up some tasty alternatives to the standard burgers and fries fare, so be sure to drop by to try this Cheesy Pesto Bread for yourself and to see what other edible goodies you may find!
Walt Disney World is home to a vast variety of delicious sweets and treats, including many types of cupcakes! Some of the big favorites would be the S'mores Cupcake, Butterfinger Cupcake, Oreo Bon Bon Cupcake, the themed King Cupcake, and even a Caramel Corn Cupcake!
Today, I'm featuring a Carrot Cake Cupcake I tried from The Land's Sunshine Seasons pavilion at Epcot, as well as a little tip I picked up along the way.
After a long afternoon at Epcot, and a ride on Soarin', I discovered that I was starving! So before heading to the bus stop, I dropped by the Sunshine Seasons bakery for a quick snack and settled on the Carrot Cake Cupcake.
I'll be honest. I wasn't expecting much. I figured it would be sweet and filling, but probably dry in the middle and covered with a little too much frosting. Fortunately, I was wrong!
The Carrot Cake Cupcake was moist all the way through and topped with an excellent cream cheese frosting! The texture did contain quite a bit of carrot, but it was just right in my opinion.
So not only was my hunger put at bay in a scrumptious way, but I also tried out a handy way to eat a cupcake while on the go that I read about from a fellow Disney blogger. When paying for my cupcake, I grabbed a soft drink cup and a fork. I put my cupcake in the cup and ate it on the go without any mess!
While great for adults, this tip would work especially well for kids. This way, you can avoid a sticky mess or losing half the cupcake when going through the parks! Give it a try!
Anyone who has ever been to Disney's Animal Kingdom knows that it doesn't take much to work up a sweat! Fortunately, we found one of the best ways to cool down at Animal Kingdom: Jungle Juice!
What is Jungle Juice? It actually goes by several names at WDW and can only be found at selection locations. The juice itself is a combination of passion fruit, guava, and orange juice. It's sweet and mellow and you can't enough of it!
Where can you find it? At Tusker House at Animal Kingdom it's called Jungle Juice, at the Polynesian's 'Ohana Breakfast it's called POG Juice, and we've heard that at Whispering Canyon, it's referred to as Moonshine Juice and it may even been served at Boma. But regardless of what you call it, you now can refresh yourself with this sweet, tropical treat without a restaurant reservation at Animal Kingdom's Africa!
Now the Africa section of Animal Kingdom can be pretty crowded, seeing how there's quite a bit happening all in one place; and when we went looking for Jungle Juice, we had a hard time finding it.
Surprisingly, Jungle Juice can be found at a simple popcorn stand near Tusker House known as Harambe Popcorn. Who knew, right? Also for you Disney Dining Plan guests, it counts as a snack credit!
Once you order, your Jungle Juice will be served in a simple, plastic cup; but it is served somewhat frozen, perfect for the Animal Kingdom heat!
So when you visit Animal Kingdom and feeling a little parched, take our advice and drop by Harambe Popcorn for a cup of Jungle Juice! We guarantee you will be as much of a fan about it as we are!