TMSM Munchies: The Flavor Lab

Out with the old and in with the new! The food offerings at Disney are constantly changing, which often leaves us scratching our heads and wondering why. Let’s look at little deeper into this and figure out why these changes happen.

In the past, food at theme parks, including Disney, was an afterthought. It was to be quickly served and consumed so visitors could get back to enjoying park activities. Today, we are more savvy diners and have higher expectations of meals we consume and spend our hard earned money on. In other words, hamburgers and chicken nuggets just aren’t making the cut anymore. With the growing popularity of food related TV shows like The Chew, Top Chef, and Chopped, the demand on theme parks for an increased sophistication in their dishes has intensified, and Disney is responding to the demand with higher end offerings.

To help facilitate the changes, Disney opened the Flavor Lab in 2016, a 7,000-square-foot workspace in an unmarked facility located near Port Orleans Resort. This facility, which serves all Walt Disney properties from Florida to Shanghai, includes a culinary station, conference room, large classroom, full-service bar, equipment room, test kitchen, and advanced technology that allows chefs from around the world to work together in real-time through live-stream cameras. The motto: EAT. DRINK. CREATE. They employee 18 full-time cast members including chefs, mixologists, and sommeliers as well as other on a part-time or temporary basis. In the facility, everything from the restaurant design, layout, equipment, designing of drinks, and development of menus takes place. In addition, chefs from existing Disney restaurants can utilize the state-of-the-art space to revamp current menus, exchange ideas with other chefs, and experiment with new ingredients.

So, do you like the menu changes Disney has been making over the last few years? What is your favorite new menu item? Tell us in the comments!

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Author: Susanne

Susanne Kain was not born a Disney fan, but after marrying into a family that loves all things Disney, it didn’t take long for them to transform her into a Disney lover too! Since then, she has been to Disney over 10 times and falls in love even more with each visit. A self-proclaimed foodie, she is always looking for the next best dish that Disney has to offer! When Susanne isn’t dreaming of Disney, planning her next trip, or visiting a park, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son who also share her love of Disney.

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