Category: DINING


You wouldn’t eat broccoli if it was deep fried in chocolate sauce, right? What if it was an approved snack entitlement  in the world of Disney Dining?

Never heard of the disney dining plan? With the Dining Plan you enjoy pre-paid meals at over 100 locations throughout Disney Parks, Disney Resorts, and Disney Springs. After doing some research of my own, and trying the plan out.. I’ve decided. The plan is a million dollar idea (literally). It’s crunchy. It’s explosive. You can break free with it and sort of do your own thing. Almost as good as just the top of a muffin. Seriously.

What’s even better? You don’t have to sit at a diner counter and wait for your coffee to be poured. If the pretzels you choose as your snack make you thirsty, the plan includes a Resort Dining Mug, which has unlimited refills of coffee, soda, tea, hot chocolate, lemonade. You get these refills at all of the Disney Resort beverage stations, which are usually open from about 630am or so until as late as 11pm. 

Another great key to the Disney Dining Plan is that your trip is basically pre paid. The bill that often hits you at the end of a trip won’t be AS MUCH of a surprise. While gratuities are not included with the dining plan (unless you are at a few of the character meals), everything else is. 

If you like to eat, it’s a win-win plan. Just be sure to use up the plan before you go (HINT – take some snacks as gifts)))!! Because, who’s going to turn down a junior mint? It’s chocolate, it’s peppermint, it’s delicious!

Click here for a  link to WDW Dining Blog’s Dining Plan Chart with Prices and great explanations: 

All in all, as Julia Child once said, People who love to eat are always the best people. So if you are one of those “best people”, I suggest the dining plan. 




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. 



Cinderella’s Royal Table: food fit for a Queen… and an experience fit for a really patient Diva

Some boys take a beautiful girl and hide her away from the rest of the world.. other families try like crazy to get a reservation at Cinderella’s castle before they finally get one.  What did we do with our lives? We landed a spot at an odd time for lunch, 2:55 – but grabbed it. While the food was absolutely delicious, the entire experience took a lot of patience. 

For those of you that don’t know, the entrance to Cinderella’s Royal Table is located in the famous castle,  the first thing you see when you get to the Magic Kingdom. The entrance is almost directly across from the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. So with two very popular places, the area is almost just as crowded as Penn Station in NYC at rush hour. 

Disney does not make waiting for your table very easy. When you go to check in with the hostess, you will be told that you have to wait until your reservation time to approach the desk – they will not take your name any sooner. Each guest has a reservation at 5 minute intervals. There is only one bench. So on a rainy day like ours, you will be confronted with crowds packed together uncertainly having no idea where to go. 

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We wanted to be the ones to walk in the sun.. but we were stuck. Just waiting for our exact time to be shouted out into the crowd.

Finally, 2:55pm rolled around. We were given a small receipt to hold and brought into a beautiful waiting room where Cinderella was waiting for us. By that time, our children were so hungry they had no interest whatsoever in meeting her. But we couldn’t sit at our table.. yet. We were forced to wait and watch Cinderella meet her fans while a cast member hit a gong every few seconds to announce the next person to be lucky enough to get a table.


Not to worry. Although this picture didn’t work out I think Cinderella may very well be the easiest princess to find at Disney. More on that later. 

The gong finally rings, possibly by this time it’s the middle of the night. Trust me. You will have to wait. We were finally seated for our 2:55pm reservation at 4. 

Our server was wonderful. We received wands and swords in exchange for our long wait.  We had a delicious meal – check out the menu here. And there were other princesses to meet! There is some sort of wishing song that is sung but we couldn’t hear anything. The acoustics were horrible.

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The restaurant is expensive($$$) (2 dining points for those on the plan). The experience takes lots of patience. But, the working day was done. We were on vacation. Both our girls definitely had fun, which is all that matters. 


Putting Service to the Test at Be Our Guest – Can we have some more?

What is more handsome than food?   Eat right through the menu, loosen your belt, and work up a new appetite at the Beast’s castle

We finally obtained a reservation at one of Disney’s top restaurant’s! I was so excited to experience the mysteries of the Beast’s Castle. 

While all the visuals and sound effects were absolutely AMAZING we were out of luck with our server..who basically forgot that we were there, ended up bringing us our requested bread after we had all completely finished our meal, and then ended up charging us for a nonexistent person.. so we need to go back and really experience it. It was clear that our neighbors at other tables were having a blast!!

After checking in with the hostess (at the end of the drawbridge), you are invited to cross the bridge, look around, and even encouraged to use the restroom and explore the entrance hall. 

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We were then escorted by a host who handed us a candle to help light our way to our tables. The interior is amazing. No matter where you sit, be sure to walk around and explore!  The Beast may very well be walking back and forth to his study, be wary! And don’t worry, you will be allowed to try and meet the Beast at the end of your meal. 

Once you pull up your chair, watch the show! Whether it be the snow falling outside the window, or the rose as its petals fall, or the Beast as he flies into a rage. The decor is absolutely amazing. 

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The food was delicious as well. We ate on the deluxe dining plan – so for one point were able to pick three courses. 

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Because we were celebrating a birthday, I had arranged for a specialty cupcake trio that was ordered ahead of time. It included the Grey Stuff which was definitely delicious and NOT TO BE MISSED!!

We absolutely loved Be Our Guest and can’t wait to try the lunch (which involves ordering from a computer and having your food magically find you). Our dining experience was delicious but would have been more memorable with a different server – so we are definitely going back!!! The Food was glorious and definitely worth the wait, we can only ask for More another time!

Overall rating? Food = 10; Decor = 10; Service = 3. 


Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show – it it worth it?

Short answer? No. For years I have had family members want to go to this and I have avoided it. Not this year. We went. 

Disney advertises it as a celebration of the spirit of aloha with spellbinding dancers, drummers, and a show-stopping fire-knife performer.  There are different tiers of seating: 1, 2, and 3. If you are dining on the Disney dining plan, you are only allowed category 2 or 3 seating. This means you will be somewhere in the middle or back. While you may be able to see the stage, your view will be slightly obstructed (as depicted here). 


For our 5:15pm performance, there were huge gaps in the performance on stage. We got through dinner and dessert before any spell binding dancers or drummers came out. The food wasn’t to die for. One plate of appetizers, one platter of ribs/pork/chicken/rice, and one dessert tray.  Children can separately order pizza. The only performance we actually saw (or heard from our seats) was one by Auntie Wini herself. 

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If you’re in the front one, category I seating, you probably get a great show whenever the performers come out. There is also a nice moment where people in the audience are asked to come out and learn the dance. 

We, did not even see the fire performers because it was an impossible environment for families with small children. If you are just adults out for a good time, try it. You may love it.  





If you’re staying at the Beach and Yacht Club you probably have a kitchen area in your room – I know we did. That’s a huge benefit because with kids you never know when they will actually eat. And snacks/meals in the room definitely make life a lot easier.

When we arrived at the Beach Club, I know how crazy it sounds but I didn’t have any desire to go to a restaurant. The first year, we used the Garden Grocer for easy food deliveries – click here for their website.  Second year, I took a ride to Celebration City and went grocery shopping with my MIL.

So with the fridge and cabinets stocked with snacks and a few easy meals for the week, why go to the Cape May Cafe in the hotel lobby for breakfast? Although it took a bit of urging from the rest of my family, I can assure you that once I saw the array of delicious food displayed at the buffet, and realized that we would meet Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Minnie before the characters headed out for a day at the beach, the 34.00 price for adults (kids 3 and under eat free) was right on the money.

This was unlike any other breakfast food buffet I have personally seen at Disney, and hands down better than Chef Mickey. The traditional items were present, along with healthy frittatas and omelettes. A small area for the kids with plastic plates, mickey waffles, and scrambled eggs completes the buffet. At one dining credit for those on the dining plan, this is a breakfast surely not to be missed before you head to the pool or park! Don’t leave before the dance party starts!!

*** ONE WARNING** – for those paying with your magic bands, gratuity is not included. That placed us in the awkward situation, without wallets, of not being able to tip right away. Luckily, staying at the hotel, I came back later with a few dollars for our server.  Also, it is really hard to get a reservation some times, but we were able to walk in right when it opened around 8am.



Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot – A new fantastic sight to see!

Wasn’t sure quite what to expect when we walked in here – we happened to stop in on our search for Princess Jasmine — but it was beautiful, amazing, entertaining, and quite filling!! We didn’t reserve a table and luckily, there were plenty. The entrance is beautiful, with two hostesses in traditional Moroccan garb in a carpeted and ornate entryway – the children were fascinated.

Visitors have a chance to sample exotic Moroccan cuisine while enjoying Moroccan entertainment (see belly dancer, below – she even came over and invited the kids to dance!). The belly dancer performs once an hour all day.

Surrounded by scents from the mid-east, visitors can sample Bastilla appetizers (meat or seafood baked in a thin pastry with vegetables or almonds), traditional couscous and kabobs are also on the menu. Click here to link with the official restaurant menu on Disney’s site.  Try the appetizer sampler for two and don’t miss the Moroccan Mint Tea. Come with an appetite!! This place is really filling.