Category: CHARACTER DINING

A Peek at Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew

Who needs a babysitter when you can leave your kids (ages 4 to 12) with a pirate with a hook for a hand? 

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He comes with excellent references and will watch your kids from 5:00 to 8:30pm at just $55 per child (price includes dinner). Parents are welcome to drop their kids off as early as 4:30pm at the Seaside Retreat at Disney’s Beach Club.  Dinner is served between 715 and 745. 

Upon entering Pirate Hideaway, seasoned members of Captain Hook’s crew will assist you in the first, most crucial step towards becoming a pirate—receiving your pirate name. Next, they’ll teach you the many skills crucial to life on the high seas such as talking like a pirate, swabbing the deck and singing sea chanties!

Captain Hook himself will be checking in to examine progress and get kids started on their first treasure hunt. Kids will solve puzzles and gather clues on land before setting sail along Crescent Lake. Yes. They do set sail. Apparently there are enough Disney Cast Members to ensure kid safety. All kids are required to wear life vests. Captain Hook isn’t the only one who should be scared of the crocodiles.

While subject to change, the menu features several entrees, including Cannon Meatballs with Marinara and Macaroni and Gold Sauce—as well as the Treasure Chest Treat or fruit for dessert.

If you’re worried about leaving your kids with a pirate, teach them what to do in case they are forced to walk the plank and they will be fine. My plan, I’ll be teaching my kids what to do in the events things turn for the worse for them while I make a reservation for a nice restaurant to go to while they are on their pirate adventure. 

 

THE NEWEST ADDITION TO HOLLYWOOD & VINE.. VAMPIRINA

She always seems to be the new kid in town.. and here she is again, making her debut at Hollywood and Vine for the breakfast buffet.

Even though we could technically be at the Hauntley B& B, the buffet is less than ghoulish, it is one of my favorites. There’s an omelette station, Greek Yogurt station, and the usual breakfast fare.

Here are a few things to know about Vampirina before you go:

  • Vampirina’s full name is Vampirina “Vee” Hauntley.
  • She may look young, and fits in with 6 year olds, but she is actually 200 years old.
  • Be careful while whispering at your table, she has super hearing
  • She loves to dance – see if shell dance with you! she can also be found at the Disney Junior Dance Party.

Who else will you see there? While character experiences can always change, plan to see Princess Sofia and Doc McStuffins – someone else usually stops by as well.

 

SNOW WHITE HAS ARRIVED AT THE WILDERNESS LODGE

Did you know there is now an Enchanted Forest within the Wilderness Lodge?

I’m whistling while I write.

Long ago, I wrote on this site that Snow White deserved more. Snow White has been at the parade, she has dined with other princesses at Akershus, and she also has a special spot on Main Street.

And now, Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy and the Evil Queen all have their own dining experience at the Wilderness Lodge.

Although reservations are very hard to get, I got them. I can’t wait to report on the new dining experience at Artist Point, in the Wilderness Lodge!

With this menu, all you can do is hi ho all the way to dinner.

This meal costs $55 for adults and $33 for children ages 3-9 (tax and gratuity not included). For those on the Disney Dining Plan, one table service credit will be redeemed per Guest.

Once you get into the Enchanted Forest, you’ll find that the meal is very different (or so I have heard). So different, that each guest gets their own enchanted apple.

According to Disney sources, the storybook-themed dining experience begins with shared appetizers including Hunter’s Pie with chicken, black truffle, and stone fruit preserve, Winter Squash Bisque with caramel loli and granola served in an adorable black cauldron, Wicked Shrimp Cocktail with soy, miso, avocado, thai chili, and greens, and From the Garden, an array of fruits, vegetables, cheese, and create-your-own honey butter.

Then, you’ll be able to choose from an entrée from a prix fixe menu. Feast on the Royal Prime Rib Roast, Brother’s Grimm Roasted Chicken, Magic Mirror Slow Braised Veal Shank, Seafood Stew and Bashful’s Butter Poached Snapper. Or enjoy the vegetarian option – A Stroll Through Nature – featuring butternut squash, arugula and gnocchi.

Children can choose from Royal Prime Rib Roast, Grilled Chicken, Princess Pasta and Vegetarian Steam Bun.

For dessert enjoy “Poison” Apple; Fairy Tale Gooseberry Pie; a sponge cake with chocolate gems and buttercream icing called Miner’s Treasures; and The Hunter’s Gift to the Queen, which features cracked maple popcorn with a ganache heart.

The meal is roughly $35 for kids, $55 for adults, or 1 credit on the dining plan.

Stay tuned for pictures! And feedback! And remember, you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine!


 

THE WORST PLACES TO GO DRESSED AS A DISNEY PRINCESS WHILE ON DISNEY PROPERTY

This is Disney, so you can be a princess anywhere, right? – well yes. But there are certain things that you may NOT want to do while dressed as a Disney Princess. Here are a few rules: 

  1. Do not jump in the adult or kiddie pool area while dressed as a Disney Princess.  Not only do most of the Resort Pools have rules as far as what you can wear while in the pool, but a pool will certainly damage your princess dress.  Disney Resort pools, especially in the kid areas, tend to have a lot of chlorine in the pool. Chlorine ruins clothing. Especially princess clothing. As a general rule: wear a bathing suit, goggles, and plenty of sunscreen.  Definitely DON’t skip a frolic in the pool just because you want to keep your princess dress on. 

    Goggles not heels

     

    Bathing suits do best in the water

    Make sure you have a towel
  2. Do Not go on Safari while dressed as a Disney Princess. Most of the safaris on Disney Property are sandy, dusty, and sometime muddy.  You do not need your princess gown getting damaged in any way, shape or form.  Unfortunately, Disney Cast Members will not hold up your princess train or long skirt for you, so plan accordingly.  What should you bring on safari? Long socks, comfy shoes, sunscreen, plenty of water, and a camera. 

    It gets hot and dusty on safari
  3. Do not go on Splash Mountain, Kali River Rapids, or any other water ride while dressed as a Disney Princess (see #1 for advice on chlorinated water and princess attire).   While you are always not Guaranteed to get covered in water on some of these rides, you must assume that you will be and prepare accordingly. Which also means that you must secure your phone, wallet, and anything else that you may not want getting wet. (Most of these rides have lockers to lock your personal items away. But, if you take off your princess dress and put it in a locker, please be sure that you have on a bathing suit underneath). 

    You run the risk of getting wet at many Disney rides and play areas.
  4. Are you an adult? If so, then you MUST NOT wear any princess dress on Disney Park Property. Disney has official rules on this. They do not want people confusing you with actual cast members. You may do something called Disney Bounding. That will be explained another day.

    Do not pick up the phone and cancel your trip yet!
  5. Are you frustrated yet? Are you wondering why you should go to Disney at all if there are so many reasons NOT to wear your princess dress in certain places? Do not call your friends to cancel your trip! Here are some great ways to have fun in your princess attire while on Disney Property: 
  6. Cinderella came to Akershus

  •  Go to Akershus Castle, Cinderella’s Castle, and Be Our Guest Restaurant and dine with other royalty. At Be Our Guest Restaurant, you may not meet other princesses but you will surely have the chance to tame a wild beast.
  • All of the character meet and greets welcome guests dressed as princesses. You will surely be treated the way a princess deserves to be treated.  But be careful: If you choose to dress as a Disney Princess and meet another Disney Prince or Princess, they will surely ask questions about your character. 
  • Want to go to a regular restaurant dressed as a princess? Feel free! Also feel free go shopping. Everyone knows that princesses love to shop. 
  • No-one will stop you from sleeping in your princess dress instead of your pajamas but lay down carefully so as not to wrinkle anything. 
  • Do you want to go to the arcade dressed as a Disney Princess? Feel free. But bring a purse for $$ for the game room.  Most of the arcades have a machine that requires Disney guests to put $$ on a game card. 
 

LIFE ON A LEASH.. SO TIRED OF THIS DRAMA

There’s a great big hunk of world down there, with no fence around it. And beyond those distant hills, who knows what wonderful experience. 

Having a bit of drama in your relationship? Go to Italy. You’ll find olive trees and an authentic wine cellar. We still haven’t tried the food, but I’ve heard it’s delicious.  To stay drama free, Lady and her Tramp are forever perched by Epcot, in Italy. Why Italy? Because the romance of Italy is demonstrated in the Venetian architectures: Bridges, Towers, and fountains.

Side by Side with your loved one, you’ll find enchantment in Italy.  I just wish there were some rides or attractions. Why not a Gondola ride? or a dance? Something is definitely missing.

Did you know: 

  1. Lady from Lady and the Tramp is based on a real live dog named “Lady?”
  2. Tramp from Lady and the Tramp was based on a female dog from the poind that Walt Disney later adopted? 
  3. It took fifteen years to finish Lady and The Tramp, because of WWII
  4. Peggy Lee, the famous singer, was the voice behind those two evil Siamese cats
  5. Walt gave his wife Lillian a puppy in a hatbox, much like the scene in the movie. 

The question remains: Where do Lady and Her Tramp like to grab a bite? They run over the hills on an adventure to the Magic Kingdom, where they have a special table at Tonys Town Square Restaurant – which has become an entire restaurant dedicated to the happy couple.

 

THE BOARDWALK’S BON VOYAGE ADVENTURE BREAKFAST

Get out your compass and look for Disney’s Boardwalk! Because there is a relatively new character breakfast on the horizon and looking East, West, North & South you will finally get to see two of Disney’s favorite couples together in one room.  I love the looks of it!

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It looks like a regular restaurant, front – doesn’t it? But what you don’t know is that a feast for adventurers hides inside. 

And the two couples? Flynn Rider & Rapunzel, Prince Eric & Ariel. How often do you see them together, if not in the parade? 

The boys aren’t in these pictures. But trust me, they are there. And they are full of character and love to talk. AND sign autographs. Flynn Rider makes his presence known – even though he is on every wanted poster in the kingdom.

The menu has an Italian flair, with an under the sea theme.

I hear the tangled eggs were the fluffiest eggs on the face of this earth. My frittata, on the other hand, tasted like cardboard. I wasn’t there to eat, though (right?!). I was there for the adventure song. The Ariel parade. And the beautiful pastries served in the beginning for everyone to share. 

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YOU WON’T NEED A COMPASS TO FIND THE NEW ALE & COMPASS.. BUT THE FOOD IS DELICIOUS!!

It is portrayed as a gastropub inspired restaurant reminiscent of a cozy lighthouse. While I respectfully disagree with this description, I have to say that this new restaurant that replaces THE CAPTAIN’S TABLE and THE YACHT CLUB is  not to be missed.

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While there are no views that really made me feel as if you are in a cozy lighthouse, the food itself leaves an impression strong enough to serve as a navigational aid for a million maritime pilots at sea. Right now, the reservations are somewhat easy – but you should grab one now before the word starts spreading.

 

The gastrobpub inspired fare was inspirational (1 TS credit on the dining plan).  

The fare is not really toddler/child friendly. Kids can choose “skirt steak”, “cheeseburger”, or ravioli. Make sure that you ask that the side of fried green beans be substituted by fries. 

 

For dessert, kids have the choice of “smores” or mini macaroon ice cream sandwiches. All I have to say is, the picture below says a thousand words. As inspirational as it is, would you have tried this gourmet smore with dried strawberries at four years old? 

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Luckily, there were amazing appetizers and main courses for my children to nibble on with me. 

These rolls with bacon jam and chive butter on the side: 

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Or this grape leaf wrapped baked goat cheese: 

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The appetizers were a hit with my children, and the servers were more than happy to replenish the rolls and toasted baguette. 

For dinner, I chose the Tbone steak with truffled butter.

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The steak came with a side of homemade barbecue sauce. For me, the sauce was the best part. I used it as dip. Could not finish the steak – wasn’t the best I’ve tasted. 

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If I hadn’t been on the dining plan, I would have had appetizers instead of a main course, so I suggest you do the same until they work out the kinks!

Grape Leaf-wrapped Baked Goat Cheese

    •  – Oven-roasted tomatoes and toasted pumpkin seeds with grilled baguette – $9.00

Hearth Oven Pie

    •  – $19 White Clam pie $18 Caramelized Leek and Chorizo Pie $17 Seasonal Market Vegetable Pie – $17.00

Parker House Rolls and Spreads

    •  – With bacon jam, pub cheese, and citrus butter – $12.00

Roasted Garlic Shrimp

     – Roasted garlic shrimp – $15.00
    And don’t forget about the dessert! The pavlova and trio of puddings was absolutely amazing!!

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    • For a full menu, check

here at wdw info. The Disney menu doesn’t seem to be working – maybe they are tweaking it!

    Despite the pros and cons, I would definitely go back. It’s always exciting to have a new restaurant!
     So pump up your cuisine and your palette! Just go!

 

 

 

 

 

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH PRINCESS TIANA: OTHERWISE ENTITLED, IT AIN’T EASY BEING GREEN

Can Frogs cook? Just ask the ninth official Disney princess, Princess Tiana.

Disney’s first African American Disney Princess can tell you all about being green because she has actually spent life as a frog. Her Disney character is based loosely on The Brother’s Grimm “Frog Prince” and another story, “The Frog Princess” by E.D. Baker. 

Tiana can be found at the Magic Kingdom in Princess Fairytale Hall and at Tiana’s Riverboat Ride, an ice cream social which we still haven’t tried. 

At roughly $50 for adults and $30 for children the ride seems kind of pricey to meet the princess and have ice cream(three different types of Edys ice cream), cupcakes, and cookie sandwiches. (The ride does not take the Disney Dining Plan). 

Princess Fairytale Hall is a fast pass must. Tiana can be found directly across from the carousel. While she is couples with Rapunzel, we are hoping they give her her own New Orleans style meet and greet real soon. 

Now, we’ve never stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans resort.

Without knowing exactly what is there, I really think that Disney should add more of a New Orleans style restaurant to the Magic Kingdom.  New Orleans food is amazing!!! Why stick Princess Tiana with an ice cream social when New Orleans is so famous for its cuisine? And Princess Tiana came from a family with a restaurant? Does this make sense to anyone else? 

There are so many real life New Orleans locations in The Princess and The Frog that could be capitalized on: The French Quarter, Cafe du Monde, St. Louis Cathedral, Steamboat Natchez, the riverfront, the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar, the Bywater, Marigny, and Treme neighborhoods, the Garden District, Lafayette Cemetery number one, Audubon Park, the Audubon Zoo, Bayou St. John and City Park. 

New Orleans has always been on our bucket list. If Disney could create more of a world for Tiana I would consider checking it off.

Louisiana’s culture, music and food are something to be celebrated. 

While we can’t all visit Louisiana,  here are some questions you should consider asking Princess Tiana if you run into her in the Magic Kingdom: 

  1. How high did you jump as a frog? 
  2. What was it like being a frog? 
  3. What did you like to eat as a frog? 
  4. What was your favorite part of being a frog?(you get the idea..)
  5. What’s your favorite food to cook as a princess?
  6. What was your family’s favorite food to eat? 
  7. Was it hard being a waitress? 
  8. Who was the president of the United States when you were a frog? (I believe it’s Wilson)
  9. Would you like to dance? 
  10. Do you cook as a princess? 

 

ENJOY!!!

 

 

Steppin it up with the ugly stepsisters at 1900 Park Fare — not sure we want to get up close and personal with these two

 

Did you know that the ugly stepsisters were originally played by men? To make them more ugly? Those familiar with Cinderella’s Drizella and Anastasia know that what really makes the ugly sisters ugly is the personality associated with the characters. They’re mean. They rip up Cinderella’s dress. They make fun of her. 

So what would you expect when meeting the stepsisters at 1900 Park Fare’s Cinderella Happily Ever After dinner? I expected to meet the mean girls and experience their brutality. Instead, they danced for us (pretty terrible dancing), and kept us company for a while. There was nothing really mean about them. Maybe they thought we couldn’t take it, I don’t know. 

You would think that the stepsisters would live their roles to the fullest, given that they aren’t featured in many character events (they can also often be found by the carousel area in the Magic Kingdom).  They didn’t get their prince, but they did get a 1900 Park Fare character meal – they should be the lives of the party!

Food at Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner was your average buffet, with the addition of 1900 Park Fare’s signature gummies: link to menu here

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Both sisters made it clear that everything was still a competition with them, from their twirls in the middle of the restaurant to their stepmother’s affection. Although we did not see the prince himself (he sometimes makes an appearance), the sisters were understandably overshadowed by their mother and Cinderella.  Have a request for them? Ask them to sing for you. They’ll sing about a sweet nightingale.  Unfortunately for them, although they try to take over the Happily Ever After Dinner, they will never actually live Happily Every After. So try and pretend you enjoy their company, for their own sake. Give them a chance to be superstars.

Curious to learn more about the origins of the ugly stepsisters? Find Rhodopis, the Egyptian Cinderella tale. Then look for the earliest Cinderella story to appear in print, Pentamerone (1634), a collection of old folk tales compiled by a Neapolitan soldier named Giambattista Basile. In the folk tales, Cinderella was named “Cenerentola”. She was then transformed by Charles Perrault, then the Brothers Grimm, and even Roald Dahl. 

 

 

 

Surfin and exploring all that Tusker House has to offer

Early in the morning we started out, entered Animal Kingdom, and entered the world of Tusker House. It was amazing. Pictured above is the marketplace, which contains the buffet. The buffet contains your traditional breakfast (including Mickey Waffles, pastries, toast, fruit, eggs, bacon, sausage, and LOX) and traditional African dishes. Link to Disney’s menu here

Ok. So this is a different type of safari adventure than the one the Beach Boys are talking about. BUT it is a culinary adventure that shouldn’t be missed. I’ll admit that I was hesitant to try this restaurant because I wasn’t sure I’d be up for the traditional African cuisine – but there are other options for the cautious.  The characters are very attentive. At one point in your experience there should be a song and dance with a parade for kids.

For one dining credit, you get a delicious buffet and amazing characters (Donald, Daisy, Mickey, Goofy). While I did see a few people walking up without reservations, I highly recommend making a reservation as early as possible.

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The best part about this restaurant is the attention to detail that may make you think, for a slight second, that you are taking a dining break while on an African safari. So definitely ride this wave if you can.