So we all have our Disney food favorites.
You know them — the ones that would result in tears, anger, and staged protests if they ever disappear from menus. It’s okay. You can admit it.
Because I’d totally be leading the charge if they ever stop serving Dole Whip Floats.
But even with all the amazing favorites that give us warm fuzzies (and, in my case, cause me to go back to Disney parks over and over again), I still love Disney’s mission to surprise and delight guests with new offerings. It seems like every week, there’s something they’re debuting that I go nutso over — and off I go to add it to the next trip’s “must-eat” list.
Today, I’m offering a run down of the latest things that are on the list for my next trip. I’ve tried a few already, and others are completely new to me. And even though I’ll be in the ‘World smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, I’m saving room for these treats!
Gourmet Cake Cups at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe
You Guys. I have a new FAVORITE obsession. And this time, it starts with Cake. And ends with Cup. Instead of the other way around.
We brought you the first look at the new Gourmet Cake Cups at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe just recently. This spot in Fantasyland, formerly known as Enchanted Grove, has always been cute, but it’s never numbered among our “must-visits.”
But that has changed completely since they introduced these amazing treats.
I mean seriously, you would think they picked up the phone, called me, and said, “AJ, we’re making a new treat, and you’re in charge of R&D.”
The parfaits are a topsy-turvy, whimsical take on a cupcake, turning the über popular treat into what it should be: a vehicle for frosting. I mean really, when was the last time you ate a cupcake and said, “Gee, that was pretty good, but I really could have used more cake.”
And this cake cup got it RIGHT.
So it was a given that I made a beeline for Cheshire Cafe about five minutes after I checked in on my recent trip. And then I proceeded to think about this snack for the rest of the trip. And will I be right back here to have another on my next visit? You betcha!
Starbucks at Disney World!
We all know that Disney coffee used to be the stuff of legends. Bad legends. Scary ones. Like horror movies.
That is to say that the vast majority of guests, as much as they love Disney, have never been very happy with the coffee served there.
Well, Disney heard and responded. Whether they were tired of people bringing pre-purchased Starbucks cups into the parks, or they just saw an option for some good revenue, many guests are very excited that Starbucks has moved into the Disney Parks. You’ll find Starbucks stores located at the Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom and at Epcot’s Fountain View.
More park locations are planned for the future. (We’re guessing Writer’s Stop is next.)
Even though some fans of Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery aren’t happy with the absence of their cherished favorites, many have chimed in that the opportunity to get good — and oftentimes, their favorite — coffee is a huge plus within the Happiest Place on Earth.
I think it will be a long time before Starbucks lovers get over the novelty of strolling down Main Street USA with their favorite seasonal latte in hand, or peering at Spaceship Earth with through a window emblazoned with the familiar siren.
L’Artisan des Glaces Ice Cream and Sorbet
I knew that we were in for a special treat when Disney announced that the très popular Patisserie Boulangerie would be getting a larger space within Epcot’s France Pavilion. And Les Halles, the new bakery, is seldom without long lines and pleased patrons.
But who knew when they opened the new ice cream shop in the former boulangerie location that it would be super charming?
L’Artisan des Glaces Ice Cream and Sorbet has quickly won fans with its 16 varieties of French-style ice creams and sorbets, which are made right on the premises (believe me — I’ve seen the ice cream machines in the back!).
With unique rotating flavors like Profiterole, Caramel Fleur de Sel, and Pomegranate, this is definitely not your neighborhood ice cream chain.
Rich and creamy with fresh flavors, I can’t wait to have a scoop (or two). But it doesn’t stop there — you can also choose from some fun ice cream options. A must-try is the ice cream sandwich with a twist — made with French macarons! This thing is out of this world!
OR — if brioche is your weakness, try the brand new Brioche Pressed Ice Cream Sandwich. I love how France is expanding the definition of home-made ice cream sandwich — already a favorite of mine! Just imagine, it’s like a brioche and ice cream panini! Hot and fresh right out of the press. Pretty amazing.
And if you’re looking for a creamy option to add to the Drinking Around the World tour, check out the Ice Cream Martini — your choice of two scoops, topped with Grand Marnier, Rum, or Whipped Cream Vodka! (!!!!!!!)
Just About Everything at the All-New BoardWalk Bakery
The BoardWalk Bakery has been a food lover’s destination at Walt Disney World for quite a long time. So many of the bakery’s specialties have places in our hearts. I so love their Cheesecake Brownies that they’ve become a permanent fixture at Disney Food Blog Snack Attack dessert parties!
But the space here was incredibly small. Barely a handful of people could fit inside, even though it served breakfast and counter service lunch items, and also hosted one of the BoardWalk Inn’s refillable mug stations. It was big news when the space closed for an upgrade.
When it reopened, many of the most-loved sweets were re-imagined, and the pastry chefs introduced some truly outstanding additions.
On the morning the bakery re-opened, I headed over and surrounded myself with boxes of baked goods — check out our full review of the newly-opened bakery for the proof — and found lots of brand new favorites among the old ones. The Salted Caramel Ganache marries rich caramel and fleur de sel for one of today’s hottest flavor combos.
I also absolutely adore the brand new Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie. Candied Bacon, you guys!
Top prize, believe it or not, goes to what might just be my very favorite pastry in all of Walt Disney World. And those are seriously big shoes to fill.
But the Lemon Merigue Tart is equal to the task. With a lemon curd that has enough sour to stand up to the rich and sweet, the staff here have truly achieved perfection!
Lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant
One of the most highly anticipated features of the New Fantasyland expansion was Be Our Guest Restaurant. Situated in Beast’s Castle, the setting — both inside and out — are truly enchanted.
If you’ve ever wanted to escape into a film, here’s your chance!
While dinner is a table service, sit-down affair requiring tough-to-score advance dining reservations, lunch is counter service, and a little easier to get to. Granted, you may face some long lines, but I think they’re worth it!
If you aren’t interested in waiting, take heart: fast passes for Be Our Guest lunch are being tested, and look like they’re going to be an awesome option for guests who like to avoid waiting whenever possible.
With house specialties like Braised Pork that’s slow roasted for eight hours, how can you resist?
When it comes time for dessert, you MUST try the Grey Stuff Cupcake! It’s delicious!
And when the fabulous food is served on real plates with silverware instead of plastic forks, you hardly feel like you’re eating fast food.
All American Sundae at Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
When the mood strikes for an old-fashioned sundae while I’m in Magic Kingdom, only a visit to Main Street Ice Cream Parlor will do!
I’ve always loved this spot on Main Street USA for its cozy charm. But when they recently introduced the All-American Sundae, I was smitten all over again!
Generous helpings of hot fudge AND hot peanut butter topping melt the ice cream ever-so-slightly, mingling the flavors gloriously. It’s instantly become one of my favorites!
What’s my favorite thing about this indulgent treat? It’s another great way to show off my peanut butter devotion!
So there you have it — my top picks for the 6 new things you MUST try if you’re heading to Walt Disney World for the first time in 2013. I know, I know, it’s hard to venture away from your sentimental favorites, but trust me on this. I have a feeling you’ll find a few new loves on this list like I did.
Pencil in an extra workout or two to offset the calories. Or just run your first lap around the parks each morning! Whatever it takes.
Now I want to hear from you! Will you be trying any of these 6 New Things? Or do you have a New Things List of your very own to tackle? Leave a comment and let’s hear all about it!