There aren’t many things that make me WANT to rise out of bed early. The oh so obvious Christmas morning is one. However, the other is the ultra-exciting ritual of booking my dining reservations 60 days in advance on MDE. I hear my alarm. I rise out of bed and not long after, the aroma of coffee fills my nostrils as my father drops off an order of doughnuts from our hometown doughnut shop. The day has arrived and it’s time to get to work. My next Disney trip is only 60 days away! MDE do not fail me now!
Best DVC Foods of 2022– My List
I’m always amused by the quirky shirts I see people wearing around the parks and the super unique sayings they think to put on them. But among these sayings, the one I relate most to is the one that says, “I’m just here for the food!”
For sure, when we chose our home resorts, the one thing we most wanted was home resorts with dining options we really enjoyed. The first meal we ate at Topolino’s DEFINITELY helped seal the deal for our Riviera purchase. With that being said, I wanted to take a bit of time to share with readers what dishes/meals I most enjoyed at the DVC resorts during 2022. It took me a while to compile a solid list of what I loved most this past year in which there are seven. Are you up for hearing what I think? Let’s do it!
Number 7-Enchanted Rose at Grand Floridian Villas
If there is one thing I’ve learned from the brilliant people I follow on DVC fan, it is to allow myself enough chill time from my planning to go check out the lounges at the DVC resorts. Don’t be fooled, needing a dining reservation to eat does not guarantee a great meal! We had a great meal at The Enchanted Rose at the Grand Floridian Resort. My husband, my mother, and I dropped into this chic little lounge and got most of the sharable plates on the menu to share with one another. We ordered the flatbread, truffle fries, and a cheese plate. They were all exceptionally good. It’s worth mentioning- all the plates are prepared in the Citrico’s kitchen next door, so no wonder the quality is high. I wasn’t sure if eating in a lounge was going to satisfy, but all I gotta’ say is I love pleasant surprises!
Number 6- Steakhouse 71 at The Contemporary
Never have I ever not booked at least one breakfast for each trip I take. And if I plan to go into one of the parks early, it makes the most sense to book a breakfast at a resort that takes me in the direction of my destination. I booked a Steakhouse 71 breakfast one morning on the way to Magic Kingdom in the month of October. Steakhouse 71 serves pancakes that are flavored according to the season. The pumpkin spice pancakes I ordered were hands down the best pancakes I’ve ever had!
These pancakes are pumpkin spiced, served with a cream cheese drizzle and an espresso maple syrup! Do I need to say anything else? If you visit during the month of October, don’t walk, run to get these pancakes!
Number 5- Trattoria Al Forno at Boardwalk Resort and Villas
The next meal brings us to one of my home resorts- Boardwalk Villas. I believe that Boardwalk Villas is home to a hidden breakfast gem, Trattoria Al Forno. Not many people I speak to about Disney seem aware of the great breakfast options at Trattoria. However, I always make an effort to eat breakfast there if I am staying at BWV.
My favorite thing to order for breakfast there is the Tiramisu French toast. This French toast is quite decadent. It can almost be shared among two people. They take two thick slices of French toast and layer them with a fluffy mascarpone filling and espresso-soaked lady fingers. They also serve it with a side of maple syrup and your choice of side. Having this breakfast option right at my home resort where I stay so often really enriches my DVC experience. I love it!
Number 4 – Topolino’s at Riviera Resort
The salesmanship of the weight staff at all the great restaurants in Disney never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes I’m pretty sure they could sell me a bucket of dirt and I would reply, “Bring me more!” This is what led me to order a type of dish that is completely out of the ordinary for me- fish. Upon my first trip to Topolino’s a server convinced me the Sole Meuniere was one of the best plates on the menu. Therefore, I very reluctantly agreed to order it since I’m not a huge fan of fish and I definitely don’t enjoy spending a lot of money on it!
Fortunately, some risks are worth taking because this dish has become one of the things I look most forward to eating when I come to Disney. The chef lightly pan sears the Sole, serves with small potatoes and other veggies, and tops it with a super light lemon sauce. It is so light and earthy; it gives me a warm feeling just thinking of it.
Number 3- California Grill at The Contemporary Resort
The California Grill atop of The Contemporary Resort serves great food extremely consistently. So trust me, there is no shortage of great plates at this restaurant. However it was necessary for me to mention this one dish that has been so surprisingly memorable to me- The Duck A L’ Orange Pizza. Just saying the name of it is a mouth full. This artisanal style pizza is topped with duck prosciutto and confit, pickled shallots, fig jam, blue cheese and arugula. It has a pretty sweet flavor that contrasts nicely with the funkiness of the blue cheese.
When eating at the Cali Grill during the 50th anniversary, you will pay a set price per person and choose one option out of each category on the menu- starter, main course and desert. My husband chose the pizza for his starter while I chose the wontons and although I thoroughly enjoyed my wontons, it took everything in me not to steal his entire pizza!
Number 2- The Flying Fish Boardwalk Villas
There are several places to order lobster bisque in Disney World- Narcoosees, and Yachtsman to name a couple. But there is none quite as good as the lobster bisque on the menu at The Flying Fish at Boardwalk Villas.
To be honest with you, I know the basic method in making a seafood bisque. However I cannot pinpoint what the chef does to make this lobster bisque explode with such flavor. How do they do it? It is incredible! You guys, I could seriously bathe in this stuff. If I could only eat only one thing on Disney’s Boardwalk, this would be it and keep it comin’!
Number 1- Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Finally I want to mention a dish suggested by DVC Fan owner and contributor, Pete Werner.
An unexpected illness of my father forced my husband and I to leave The Grand Floridian Villas this past summer. Our choices were to either go home or pay cash to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Since going home was just too heartbreaking, we cracked open our wallets and stayed in Jambo House. Since our lodging plans took an unexpected turn, we also rearranged our park and dining reservations. Eating at Jiko while we stayed in Jambo House seemed like a no-brainer.
I have frequently heard of the steak with mac and cheese served at Jiko and thought it strange. Steak and potatoes, yes. Steak and mushrooms, yes. But steak and mac and cheese, really?
Topping a filet with a chocolate red wine reduction sounds less strange to me than eating one with mac and cheese. However, I digress. The sauce was so good, and the dish wouldn’t be the same without it.
I have never been more wrong in assuming mac and cheese doesn’t pair well with steak. As a matter of fact, now I am home, whenever I go to a steak house, the first thing I do is try to find mac and cheese on the menu! This dish is so good and I am sure it is the best thing I ate in 2022.
The Year 2023
Compiling this list with confidence was a difficult task. There are so may wonderful restaurants within the world of DVC with brilliant chefs. In fact, that is one of the things I love most about Disney Vacation Club. I hope in the year of 2023, new leaders at Disney will remember how important food innovation and quality is to the Disney brand. My first trip of 2023 happens the first week of February and I’m excited to try new foods anywhere I eat. After all, I’m just here for the food!
Let Me Know What You Think
I would love to hear from readers. Is there any dishes within the world of DVC you can’t live without that did not make my list? Is there anything I should give a try or avoid during my next trip? Would you be willing to try any of the dishes you read about today? I would love to hear your opinions or suggestion!