Tag: disney dining

THE ROSE AND THE CROWN: NOT OUR “CUP OF TEA”

Looking for a place to have a drink? Stop by the Rose and Crown Pub in London’s Epcot. Looking for a place to have authentic British food like fish and chips? Feel free to try but be prepared to wait.

One more piece of advice? I would not suggest this to be a family friendly atmosphere.

Service is slow and the food is pricey. While I was excited to dine here given the wonderful reviews, my frustration began when there was no real place to park a stroller with convenience.

The walk to the tables is extremely hard to navigate. Maybe that’s how it is in London?

The one bathroom is in the pub, right next to the bar area – which is often filled to capacity with adults doing what adults do at a bar. It’s not the easiest place to bring a toddler who wants to go to the bathroom. What did we have to do multiple times? Go to the bathroom. I chose instead to leave the pub and walk across the road to the public restrooms.

I was not totally thrilled with the menu, found here.

Long and short of things was that our server took so long that we did not even stay to wait for the dessert that came with our dining plan offering. This restaurant was a total disappointment.

As far as Epcot’s England, however, definitely walk around the tea garden and shops. The country itself is not to be missed.

 

FIVE FLAVORS YOU MAY FIND AT BOMA FLAVORS OF AFRICA

BOMA Flavors of Africa is designed much like an African Marketplace (not like Tusker House, though, in terms of urban feel).   

If you are lucky enough to be the first family to arrive at Boma for the evening, you will be treated to a live drum dance in your honor. 

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As far as dining, there is a buffet.  You will find a kid friendly station with macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets at the far right. 

My take on this restaurant? It did not have as much of an African feel as some of the other Animal Kingdom Restaurants. If it weren’t for the food offerings, you could have been anywhere.  The children’s selection was not as varied as some of the other Disney buffets. Let’s face it, there is a strong likelihood that children will not want to try all of what Boma has to offer (as delicious as it is).  There should have been way more children’s options. 

Here are a few flavorful foods that you may find at Boma: 

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  1. Hibiscus is a flavor used in West African cooking and has a sweet and sour taste. Not only is it used in recipes for sweet tea(sometimes also called roselle or Jamaican Water), but the flower is also cooked in main dishes such as Hibiscus Flower Enchiladas.
  2. Jungle Juice:  Don’t fear the name.  This is simply a delicious blend of passion fruit, guava, and other juices to nourish your body.  For those moms who are breastfeeding, click here for more info on the benefits of jungle juice to breastfeeding moms
  3. Bread Pudding – Did you think Bread Pudding originated in New Orleans? Food historians trace the history of bread pudding to the early 11th and 12th centuries, as frugal cooks looked for ways to use stale, leftover bread instead of letting it go to waste. In 13th century England, bread pudding was known as “poor man’s pudding,” as it was a popular dish with the lower classes. Now, the pudding offered at Boma will amaze your tastebuds and leave you full for days.
  4. Ghanian Ox-tail stew – don’t let the name scare you. Oxtail stew is the perfect one dish meal to keep you nutritiously satisfied – and an African tradition. Don’t want to try a whole bowl? Take a few tablespoons!
  5. Soups: Harira Soup, South African Lobster Soup
  6. Watermelon Rind Salad – probably my favorite of all. Perfect combination of sweet and tangy.

 

FIVE THINGS NOT TO DO AT JIKO THE COOKING PLACE

Also the name of Animal Kingdom’s Signature Dining Experience, “Jiko” is Swahili for “a cooking place.” So “Jiko – The Cooking Place” literally means “A Cooking Place – The Cooking Place.”    In true “cooking place” form, Jiko has two wood burning ovens that make you feel as if you are actually standing next to a fire.  The chefs prepare offerings in an open kitchen for all to see. 

Here are five things not to do if you decide to enter Jiko: 

  1.  DON’T wear a bathing suit and flip flops. You might be at a Disney Resort, close to the pool level, but this is a Signature Restaurant and there is a dress code.  According to Disney, Signature Dining restaurants provide unparalleled cuisine in upscale, elegant surroundings, sampling only the finest fare Disney chefs can prepare. Dress for the occasion! At least cover yourself up!

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  2. DON’T expect to see any animals while you dine. Jiko does not have any windows overlooking the African Savannah. Disappointed? Don’t be. The food on your plate will be so delicious and inviting that you won’t be able to focus on anything else. 
  3. DON’T forget your wallet – this restaurant is pricey. Two points on the dining plan and anywhere from $70-150 per adult. Don’t worry. No need to bring African currency – the restaurant takes US dollars, credit cards, and Magic Bands! For those who are wondering, US dollars are also very popular in Africa and can usually be used as currency without  converting.  Many places frequented by the Bantu people also use shillings as a form as currency – but currency throughout Africa varies.

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    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  4.  Looking for a red wine to go with your steak? DON”T expect to see Malbec or your favorite French Wine on the menu. Jiko is known for authentic African wines. There are wines that you won’t be able to find anywhere else on property and very few locations across the US outside of Disney World. For you wine fans out there, this is a great opportunity to try and experience new flavors and test your wine palate. If you want to take this experience to the next level, you can schedule a wine tasting that is offered on Wednesdays. You will get to sample wines from the South Africa region along with cheese pairings. The wine pairing experience is by reservation only.  For guests over 8, the Wanyami Safari Experience (special reservation through Guest Service) allows time for you on a trek through the African Savannah and then a multi-course dinner with wine tasting is supposed to be incredible!

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    Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com
  5.  DON”T be afraid to try new foods – because I guarantee, if you are not familiar with African culture, you will not understand more than half of what is on the menu. But it is tasty, I promise. Start out with the “Taste of Africa” you will see!Green Eggs
  6. DO bring your appetite! We were stuffed after this experience. Because you do not want to miss a bite!

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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). 

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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.  

 

 

 

CAPE MAY CAFE REVIEW

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.

CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO DISNEY’S MENU

 

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.