Book Review: “Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World” Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Recipes and History

Hi everyone!

I received “Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World: Recipes & Stories from The Most Magical Place on Earth” to review. The book was originally to release on shopDisney September 29th with the companion book “A Portrait of Walt Disney World: 50 Years of The Most Magical Place on Earth” and “Art of Coloring: Walt Disney World” – but as is often the case right now, the book was delayed. “Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World” released today on shopDisney (the Amazon release date is April 5th, 2022 and can also be preordered there). Here is my review!

From Disney about the book: Filled with a heartfelt narrative and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, mouth-watering food photos, gorgeous Walt Disney Imagineering concept artwork, nostalgic restaurant menus and ephemera, and a little Disney magic, this cookbook-meets-culinary-history coffee table book enchants with more than 60 recipes. Including an assortment of appetizers, main courses, sides, desserts, and even joyful libations, these dishes come from fine-dining and quick-service establishments across the resort.

Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World” is by Pam Brandon, Marcy Carriker Smothers and The Disney Chefs. Brandon has written previous Delicious Disney volumes and Smothers wrote “Eat Like Walt” (a fantastic book that is more history book than cookbook) and the upcoming ‘Walt’s Disneyland: A Walk in the Park With Walt Disney“.

Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World” is a cookbook that celebrates the 50-year history of Walt Disney World. The challenging issue with the book is keeping it in good shape for reading AND using it to cook. I am very fortunate that I received two (a second came from a media event) so I can use one like I do a cookbook and the other will be for the shelf to read occasionally.

Recipes include photos and the book starts with Au Gratin Potatoes from the former Empress Lilly (now Paddlefish restaurant at Disney Springs). Two pages of photos and concept art follow, including Lillian Disney christening the riverboat. Not all recipes get that type of vintage treatment but some do.

The one recipe I have made several times since receiving the cookbook is the Beef and Barley Soup from King Stefan’s Banquet Hall (now Cinderella’s Royal Table). It is a wonderful recipe that I made a few modifications to (more vegetables and the inclusion of mushrooms). There is watercolor concept art from King Stefan’s Banquet Hall by Disney Legend Dorothea Redmond that takes up two pages, followed by a King Stefan’s menu from 1989.

Captain Jack’s Clam Dip comes with a two-page artwork, also by Dorothea Remond. The restaurant closed in 2013. There is also a frozen Kungaloosh from the former Adventurers Club.

There are several pages on the creation of the Handwich, which debuted in 1987, with a a fun look at advertisements and photo with Minnie. And there is a recipe for “Handwich 3.0“.

Another chapter includes recipes that have never left the menu “Because they are that good”. That includes Hoop-Dee-Doo Fried Chicken, Grapefruit Cake from The Hollywood Brown Derby and Tonga Toast from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. One recipe I made earlier this year during a virtual media event was the Le Cellier Steakhouse Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup (which is pretty easy to make and nice to be able to have anytime).

Another chapter deals with themed food and restaurants and there is some fun concept art and discussion about themed restaurants. Recipes here include Grey Stuff from Be Our Guest Restaurant and a Batuaan Ronto Wrap from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. A few page section is about “Kitchen Kabaret” and “Food Rocks” with photos and concept art.

EPCOT festival foods are covered in one chapter, including one of my overall favorite items: Berbere Beef Tenderloin Tips with Pap. This is not an item on the festival menu this year, so I look forward to this being one of the next recipes I try (with a little less of the chiles, which are too hot for me). Breakfast Lasagne from The Crystal Palace and S’mores French Toast from Woody’s Lunch Box are two sweet breakfast choices.

There is a page for Les Chefs De France, including chef Paul Bocuse who opened it – he was famous in France and his son Jerome just opened La Crêperie de Paris in the new expansion of the EPCOT France pavilion.

There are plant-based recipes and also desserts and more history to uncover in “Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World: Recipes & Stories from The Most Magical Place on Earth“. This book is a treasure of recipes vintage and current, along with a nice history of Walt Disney World food within its 300 pages. The authors are longtime Disney food experts and love the parks, which shows in the book.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the book out of stock fairly quickly like “Art of Coloring: Walt Disney World” was.  If that happens, keep checking back to shopDisney. I expect both to be replenished during Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary (and they release in April 2022 on Amazon).


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