New York Deli Review


New York Deli is a counter service restaurant in Tokyo DisneySea’s American Waterfront port-of-call. The Deli serves a variety of small sandwiches similar in nature to what you might find at an actual deli in New York. The flagship menu item here is the Mile High Deli Stack, which is so popular(?) that there are posters for it elsewhere in the American Waterfront. Other than that, there are a few other sandwiches and a salad.

It is themed after a local New York deli (pretty obvious given then name), but the restaurant also bleeds over into the surrounding storefronts in American Waterfront, with seating areas representing a variety of other small shops and the personality of their proprietor. Suffice to say, this restaurant has a pretty thorough backstory, especially for a counter service spot.

Let’s take a look at a few of the different rooms… (more…)

Disney World Free Dining 2014 Dates

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Walt Disney World has not yet announced 2014 free dining dates for the general public, but we have reason to believe that Free Dining may be offered to Disney Visa credit card holders beginning on May 1 for arrival dates the entire month of September, with the possibility of some blockout dates. The general public would then be able to book Free Dining packages approximately 3-4 days later. Given that the bounceback offer covered the entire month of September 2014 (and last few days of August–which also might be included in this promo), we aren’t too surprised by the earlier than normal start-date. However, we would expect a later end-date, which likely means that this is going to be the “Late Summer 2014″ Free Dining offer, with a “Early Winter 2014″ covering dates in October through December 2014 to be announced at a later time.

If you will be traveling during these dates, we highly recommend making Advance Dining Reservations now, before the promotion is announced and everyone gobbles up the good ADRs. You also might want to start preparing September travel dates that might work and be ready to call (or have your travel agent call) bright and early on the morning the promotion is released to book it. Some popular/low capacity resorts (like Port Orleans French Quarter and Art of Animation, if it’s even offered for these resorts) book up fast.

It is important to remember at this point that these dates are purely rumor at this point–nothing has been confirmed by Disney. However, by looking at dates from past years, we can get an idea of when the discount will likely be offered, as the dates are typically substantially similar (minus differences in blockout dates) each year. Walt Disney World last ran its “Free Dining” promotion for Fall & Winter 2013 guests with arrival dates most nights between September 29, 2013 and December 22,  2013. At present, there are no 2014 Free Dining dates for the general public, although it is expected that dates will be announced in late spring 2014. When the promotion is offered, Value Resort guests receive the Quick Service Disney Dining Plan during the promotion, and all other guests receive the standard Disney Dining Plan. 

See below for block out dates and details for the previous Fall/Winter 2013 Free Disney Dining Plan promotion. Barring a substantial change in strategy, expect similar dates for 2014. (more…)

Boma Review

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Boma – Flavors of Africa is a buffet in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World. This review features photos and thoughts about dinner at Boma. The menu at Boma features a wide variety of American and African cuisine, and features both adventurous cuisine and more conventional options, making it one of the most diverse buffets at Walt Disney World. Arguably the best buffet at Walt Disney World, participates in the Disney Dining Plan, and accepts Tables in Wonderland for a 20% discount. While it’s not a great use of a Disney Dining Plan table service credit if you’re trying to maximize your value on the Disney Dining Plan, it isn’t a bad option either.

We’ve dined at Boma for dinner on a few different occasions, and each time have been really full. It’s certainly not the cheapest buffet on property, but we think it’s the best due to its huge range of high quality options, especially the soups, meats, and desserts (especially those delicious zebra domes pictured above). It’s not a character buffet, so if that matters to you but you still want the kids of foods found at Boma, we recommend lunch at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom (the park) instead. In terms of cuisine, it’s like Boma-lite.

Boma is located on the lower level of Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House, adjacent to Jiko – The Cooking Place (one of our favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World) and The Mara (one of the best counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World). With this hard-hitting trio plus the often-overlooked Sanaa in Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village, Animal Kingdom Lodge has arguably the best dining of any resort hotel at Walt Disney World. Only the Grand Floridian really gives it a run for its money. (more…)

S.S. Columbia Dining Room Review

The S.S. Columbia Dining Room is located onboard the eponymous ocean-liner in the American Waterfront port of call at Tokyo DisneySea. It’s considered one of the flagship (that’s awful pun #2,573 on this blog, for those keeping score at home!) restaurants at Tokyo DisneySea, along with Magellan’s. Certainly, they’re the two most expensive restaurants in the park. Prior to our first trip to Tokyo Disney Resort, we decided to do a few table service meals at restaurants that were highly regarded, and the S.S. Columbia Dining Room fit the bill.

In terms of theme, the S.S. Columbia Dining Room is styled with an elegant Art Nouveau look. It definitely has strong elements of Art Nouveau, but overall it felt to me less like a luxury ocean-liner (like the Disney Dream cruise ship) and more of a cross between the Grand Floridian and Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom due to the color palette used throughout. (more…)

Hungry Bear Restaurant Review

Hungry Bear Restaurant is a counter service dining location in Tokyo Disneyland’s Westernland. Despite sharing them sharing a name, this restaurant bears no resemblance to Disneyland’s Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country. Besides maybe the fact that both contain some stray Country Bear Jamboree references (Hungry Bear Restaurant in Tokyo Disneyland is right next to Country Bear Theater; Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland used to be right next to Counter Bear Playhouse).

This version of Hungry Bear Restaurant specializes in curry. And by specializes, I mean that’s the only thing on the menu. There are a couple of curry restaurants in Tokyo Disney Resort, including our beloved Casbah Food Court, and if these restaurants are any indication, curry is relatively popular in Japan. In fact, Hungry Bear Restaurant is so popular that it hungered for an expansion a couple of years ago and consumed Mile Long Bar in the process.

Terrible puns aside, Hungry Bear Restaurant is absolutely huge, but it doesn’t feel like it at all. Each room in the restaurant looks and feels different, and is very well detailed. It can be very busy in Hungry Bear Restaurant during the prime dining hours, but it never feels like a loud mess hall due to how the restaurant is divided up. Some booths are even located in jail cells! (more…)

Awesome Tokyo DisneySea Snacks

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Not only is Tokyo DisneySea the greatest theme park in the world, but it’s also one of the greatest in terms of food and snacks. Beyond the famous popcorn flavors and their prized-after popcorn buckets (check out the Christmas 2013 green alien above!), and the Gyoza Dog, Tokyo DisneySea has some incredible lesser-known snacks. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of our favorite snacks in Tokyo DisneySea. If you’re looking for snacks in Tokyo Disneyland, check out our Awesome Tokyo Disneyland Snacks post.

Although many snacks and food options can seem odd to foreigners, many of these snacks are quite normal, and in terms of taste, pretty much all of them would appeal to an ordinary American palate. With that said, we approach food with open minds when traveling, and eat just about anything we come across.

We’ll start out this post with my absolute favorite spot in Tokyo DisneySea, which is Sultan’s Oasis in the Arabian Coast port of call (otherwise known as “Chanduland”). (more…)