Travel, Uncategorized

3 Things I will NOT take into Disney parks

We have traveled to WDW several times over the years, we started traveling when my boys were very little.  Now they are not so little anymore, they are in high school and college.  Our love for the Disney parks hasn’t changed at all, but what we take in the park has.  Now, I understand if you have babies or young children you will have to take in everything you need for your little one.  The tips on this blog post are for families with older children and adults.  The parks will get hot, you will walk many miles each day and it rains often in Florida.  So having said that, here are the top three things I would NEVER take or wear into the park ever again….

  1. Bottled Water – You can stop at any quick service restaurant and some food kiosks at any of the Disney parks and get free cups of water.  Unless you are adverse to drinking tap water or the water that Disney serves, don’t bother bringing water bottles.  Nothing will weigh you down more than heavy water bottles.  We have never been turned away when asking for water at Disney, the cast members are always more than happy to supply us with complimentary water even if we are not buying food at that moment.  Water bottles are too heavy, leave them at home or in your resort/hotel room. IMG_4238.jpg
  2.  Large Bag or Back Pack – Bless his heart, my poor husband has toted a heavy back pack throughout the Disney parks many times over the years.  He actually doesn’t mind so much carrying a backpack, but I’m not a fan.  It’s much too hot and heavy to haul all day long.   If you must take a backpack, be very careful what you pack in the bag. (NO water bottles!) I have small drawstring bags that my boys can carry on their backs for their phone, passes or wallet. IMG_7806 I like to use a small crossbody style purse or small bag.  The key is to keep it small and only bring essentials for the day.  I will bring a credit card, photo i.d., small travel size sunscreen, travel size antibacterial soap, chapstick and my phone. That’s it.  Nice and light.
  3. New Shoes – Never wear your cute new shoes into the parks.  You will be walking ALOT!!!  So. much. walking…. You will get hot and you may get wet if it rains or you ride a water ride.  I’m sure you don’t want to get your new kicks wet and smelly, PLUS you should wear shoes that are tried and true in terms of comfort.  Be kind to your feet and wear your most comfortable shoes that are already broken in.  If you must wear your cute new shoes, save them for a fun night out at one of Disney’s great restaurants.  But please don’t wear uncomfortable shoes, that’s the best way to wear yourself out and ruin your feet for the rest of  your vacation.

There you have it…my top three tips for now!  Let me know what you like to take in the park!!!

 

 

 

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Travel, Uncategorized

Three of my favorite Quick Service restaurants at Epcot’s World Showcase

IMG_4233Yorkshire County Fish shop – $11.49
There is only one entree option at this quick service restaurant but it’s a great one. The fish and chips are crispy on the outside, flakey on the inside and fabulously greasy straight out of the fryer… Certainly nothing healthy about it, but well worth the risk.  Just make sure to walk off all those extra calories – that should’t be a problem at Epcot! The fried fish is served with extra large steak fries and an assortment of condiments. Probably my favorite thing about this place is the outdoor patio seating. The tables are located to the right of the restaurant on the water. It provides a beautifully manicured view of the water and England Pavilion, just beware of the insanely hungry ducks and egrets lurking under every table. This is a nice stop for a quick snack to share with someone or enjoy for lunch or dinner. Our trip is not complete unless eating our beloved fish n chips at the England pavilion in Epcot!IMG_3276

Pro: Good food and ambiance
Con: Hungry birds galore!

IMG_4413Les Halles boulangerie patisserie: located in the back of the France pavilion in Epcot. It opens in the morning to provide a wonderful breakfast option. Add a piping hot cup of coffee or espresso and your in business. We usually eat here for a late afternoon “pick me up” snack. My favorite snack here is the mousse which costs $4.50. The mousse is chocolate, decadent and absolutely divine, it has a perfectly rich consistency and is absolutely delicious. The seating is not ideal at this quick service location in my opinion. It is an extremely popular restaurant and is usually very crowded. The inside seating area lacks some of the Disney ambiance that we have become accustomed to. You’re essentially dining in the France Pavilion gift shop. It’s quite difficult to even score a table at the eatery, it’s not unusual to have people pacing and waiting to lunge as soon as those with a table swallow their last bite. There are some quaint outdoor tables which provide a better Disney dining experience and has the beautiful Disney “esque” theming that we all know and love. This restaurant also offers a wide variety of sandwiches, quiche and an assortment of breads and cheeses as well.

Pro: Opens early with park opening – Most of World Showcase is closed until later in the morning but Les Halles opens early to provide a wonderful breakfast option.
Con: Seating is limited and difficult to obtain

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La Cantina de San Angel, located in the Mexico Pavilion: My favorite go to menu item here is the Tacos de Pescado – Seasoned Fried Fish, Homemade Corn Tortillas, Mexican Rice, Refried Black Beans, Slaw, and Habanero Aïoli – $12.50.  The portion sizes are not super huge, but definitely big enough for a decent lunch. The tacos taste fresh and the entree comes with all my favorite sides. I love the location, the tables are outside and several are right on the water with spectaculars views of the World Showcase Lagoon.  It’s a great location to watch the fireworks show, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth”, if you can time it just right and land the perfect table. The lines can get very long at this quick service restaurant and tables are sometimes hard to come by but If you love Mexican food, you can’t go wrong here.

Pro: Great location on the lake and for watching fireworks
Con: Long lines to order

Travel

Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is a fabulous place to visit over the Thanksgiving holiday but can get very crowded, so make sure to plan ahead. There are no Thanksgiving activities to speak of, but the Christmas celebration is in full swing and the parks are bustling with Christmas cheer! Although there is not much going on for Thanksgiving, you can still enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the yummy fixings. I love it this time of the year and don’t even mind the crowds.

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Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

We have visited Disney twice over the years during the Thanksgiving holiday. On both occasions we ate dinner within the WDW resort. The first time we were there on Thanksgiving Day we were traveling with our own family as well as with extended family and we ate at Jiko located at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. They provided a full traditional Thanksgiving dinner as well as everything on their regular menu. I opted for the traditional Thanksgiving feast and the food was outstanding, I was very pleased! We had a large group, but were all able to sit together at a comfortable table and the service was exceptional. I would recommend this restaurant not only for Thanksgiving but for any time of the year. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great place to explore after dinner and check out the animals right on the property, it’s a beautiful resort.

The second time we visited Disney on Thanksgiving was with a large group of friends and we ate at the Rose and Crown Pub at the England Pavilion in Epcot. It seemed a little ironic to eat at the British themed Rose and Crown but it really was a great experience! They also had the traditional Thanksgiving option as well as their main menu items. I enjoyed their Thanksgiving fare and was very pleased with my meal. We had late dinner reservations which worked out well, it gave us more time to enjoy a nice evening in the park, then finish the day with a delicious meal and great memories with friends.

My NUMBER ONE TIP is to Make sure to make reservations as soon as you can!!! If you haven’t then you may need to have alternative plans. If you are unable to make reservations, try visiting lounges within some of the resort restaurants that provide full menu options. You will have a wait time but it’s a great way to eat at a nice restaurant opposed to quick service dining on Thanksgiving Day.

Popular Disney restaurants that usually provide Thanksgiving dinner:

Magic Kingdom
LIbery Tree Tavern

Disney’s Contemporary Resort
The Wave
Chef Mickey’s
California Grill

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Narcoossee’s

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Whispering Canyon Cafe

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Mickey’s backyard BBQ
Trails End

Epcot
Le Cellier
Rose and Crown
Biergarten Restaurant
Akershus Royal Banquet

Hollywood Studios
Brown Derby

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Jiko
Sanaa

Be sure to check the Walt Disney World website, disneyworld.disney.go.com to get all their updated information for the Thanksgiving Day Dining options and to make your reservations!

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Travel

My Favorite Quick Service Restaurants in Magic Kingdom

  • Columbia harbor house: located in Liberty Square across from the Haunted Mansion. This is a New England themed restaurant with fish n chips, lobster rolls and clam chowder on the menu. They provide a salmon option for those wanting something a bit more healthy as well as veggie chili and salads. Of course there is a great kids menu for the little ones. I really like this restaurant because of it’s menu but I also feel like it’s off the beaten path (even though it’s not) once I’m inside. I like the salmon but we are fans of the fried fish also. There is also plenty of seating available, with two stories of seating as well as an elevated area over the walkway between Liberty Square and Fantasyland with great views. I feel like I can find a little area upstairs to sit and relax away from some of the hustle and bustle of the crowd, get some great food and feel refreshed to continue our day in the park. It’s American seafood cuisine and offers the mobile orders option if you have the Disney App which can save you valuable time in the park!
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe: My main reason I love this quick service restaurant so much is simply because of the location, it’s in Tomorrowland and located not far from Cinderella’s Castle. I enjoy dining here in the evening for dinner and getting a table where I can see the castle and enjoy the nighttime ambiance. They have American cuisine with hamburgers, BBQ sandwiches, chicken and a full kids menu. They offer a Caesar salad option and an extensive menu for those with various food allergies. My boys enjoy their Angus cheeseburger and the toppings bar with onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce and all the regular condiments located in the restaurant. I do not eat red meat so I would order the veggie burger however they no longer have it on their menu so if you are looking for a good veggie burger head over to Peco’s Bill Cafe in Frontierland. Because of it’s popular location the lines can get long and the restaurant gets crowded. Try eating at an off time to avoid some of the long lines and wait time. You can also order using your mobile Disney app.
  • Main Street Bakery: I love coffee, I love baked goods and I love Disney so it’s only natural that I would love main street bakery! The bakery is right on main street in a cute turn of the century themed cafe close to the parks entrance. This is a good option to start the day with a Starbucks coffee and pastry or breakfast sandwich. Or take some time out for a much needed afternoon coffee pick me up. Grab a cookie or cupcake and settle in to watch the parade on main street. In addition to all the wonderful Starbuck coffee and specialty drink options, there are all the favorite seasonal drinks available during certain times of the year!

For more information on Disney Dining options check out disneyworld.disney.go.com

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