Saturday, May 18, 2013

Disney Food

Disney Post 6 of 6:  Disney Food
(see bottom of this post for links to other Disney posts)

We chose to purchase the Disney Dining Plan, which includes 1 quick service meal, 1 table service meal, and one snack per person per day.  If you are unfamiliar with the Disney Dining Plan, you can read about it here and here.  The Dining Plan isn't for everyone, but for our family of 3, it was great. 

If you are a food lover, the best blog out there about dining at Disney is The Disney Food Blog.  It features restaurant reviews, Dining Plan FAQ, links to menus and great tips on where and what to eat at Disney.

One thing I will say is that not all of the reviews and comments I read on various blogs held true.  I remember reading some negative things about 1900 Park Fare and being unsure if I should make a reservation.  It turned out to be wonderful in every way, so if there's a place you want to try, go for it. You can preview all of Disney's menus before your trip, which is a great way to help make your decisions in advance.  Note that you can make reservations 180 days out, and the most popular restaurants and time slots fill quickly.

Our first Disney food item of our trip was the Dole Whip.  The Dole Whip apparently has somewhat of a cult following, so I knew I wanted to try one.  I got the float with pineapple soft serve and pineapple juice.  It was a little tart for Superfrydad, but I thought it was perfect.  Superfrykid got plain vanilla soft serve, and .  Both counted as a snack on the dining plan, which was great. Orange soft serve was also offered, and I would have liked to have tried orange and vanilla swirled together.  But alas, I could only choose one, so I went with the classic pineapple. 

Our first dinner was at Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Resort.  We really enjoyed this restaurant on our last trip, and since we were staying at the Wilderness Resort, it was convenient.  The food was okay, but it wasn't our favorite meal of the trip.  It's rowdy and fun, and worth checking out if it suits your family's style.  Having eaten there twice, I would probably choose another place to eat on our next trip. 

Most of our breakfasts were at our resort's quick service cafe, Roaring Fork Snacks.  They had Mickey Waffles with chocolate chips or strawberries, pancakes, breakfast croissants, and lots of assorted other breakfast items.  

At Hollywood Studios, we had lunch at Sunset Ranch Market, a quick service/counter service place.  We had burgers and chicken tenders with fries.  The adult meals came with dessert, so I decided to try the Lemon Meringue Cupcake.  It was huge!  The lemon cake was pretty good, the icing/meringue on top was pretty good, but the lemon filling in the middle was awesome!  You can see the chocolate cake in the back to the right.  We gave it to a kid at a table next to us because it was just too much food.  

Dinner at Hollywood Studios was at the 50's Prime Time Cafe.  Superfrydad got the combo with fried chicken, meatloaf, and pot roast.  It was served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.  I got the fried chicken with potatoes and collard greens.  Superfrykid got chicken tenders.  The food was good, our server was funny & the atmosphere was super retro cool.  

The next day was Animal Kingdom day.  We had lunch at Yak & Yeti....Honey Chicken with Rice & Broccoli.  It was delicious & was big enough to feed all 3 of us.  We had dinner at Rainforest Cafe, which was Superfrydad's favorite meal of the whole trip.  He got steak, shrimp scampi & coconut shrimp with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli, which is his kind of food.  He wasn't really a fan of the Asian food at lunch, so this made him really happy.  Superfrykid was a little afraid of Rainforest Cafe.  It's a little dark and the animatronic animals were a little on the creepy side for her.  I thought it was great, but if you have a child who is afraid of everything, this might not be the place for you.  

Thursday was our best day food-wise.  We started out with a character breakfast buffet at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort.  We arrived a few minutes early for our 8:10 reservation, but we went ahead and checked in with the hostess.  They take your picture when you arrive with a nice background, but no character.  Later, they come to your table and offer the photo package for around $30, I think.  I was determined to NOT buy the package, but the picture was actually a really good one and I am disappointed that I was a cheapskate & did not buy it.

Getting ready to go to the hostess stand
After having our picture taken, we were instructed to stand in line by the doors, which were closed.  One of the hostesses came up to us and asked if Alaina would like to help "open" the restaurant for the day.  This consisted of saying the magic word - supercalafragilisticexpialidocious.  When Alaina yelled the word, the doors opened and Mary Poppins was there, waiting to lead Alaina into the dining room.  

Receiving her instructions

Waiting for her moment.

Opening the doors & seeing Mary Poppins!

Mary Poppins leading her to our table.

Her official certificate, rose and light up Tinkerbell toy.

Mary Poppins came back to visit later.

I'm not sure Superfrykid stopped smiling until a few hours later.  She was so excited to be picked to open the restaurant with Mary Poppins and it was one of those "magical moments" that Disney is known for.  The food at 1900 Park Fare was delicious.  They had pretty much any breakfast item you could ask for, and more.  They have a specialty item that I don't think you can get anywhere else at Disney - the strawberry soup.  I had to try it, even though I was a little skeptical.  I am happy to report that it was very good!  
Looks like Pepto, tastes like fresh strawberries with cream.

This is one experience that we will definitely do again when we visit Disney.  The characters were great - Mary Poppins, Alice & the Mad Hatter, Pooh & Tigger.  The Grand Floridian lobby and grounds are beautiful.  We took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom straight from breakfast, which was convenient.  

Lunch at the Magic Kingdom was at Pinocchio Village Haus.  It wasn't my first choice, but it was raining and it was close, so we went for it.  It was actually pretty good.  Superfrydad got a flatbread pizza, Superfrykid got macaroni & cheese, and I got a chicken caesar salad.  We had chocolate gelato for dessert, which was ok, but we were too full to appreciate it.  No pics from this meal, because my camera and phone were both in ziplocs and I was too hungry and lazy to get them out.  

It rained a little during the day when we were at the Magic Kingdom.  By late afternoon, we had accomplished our to-do list, and the sky was dark, so we decided to head back to our resort for dinner.  However, just as we were about to leave Main Street, the rain started coming down, so we ran onto the porch of Tony's Town Square.  We did not have a reservation, but I stopped by the hostess counter to see if we could get a table and wait out the rain.  She said that they could seat us outside on the porch and we were seated within a few short minutes.  As we were looking at the menu, the afternoon parade came through and we had great front row seats!  Superfrykid got steak kabobs, which was the best kid's meal of the whole trip.   Superfrydad got chicken parmesan and a caesar salad, both of which were delicious. The bread was also really yummy!  I got mushroom ravioli with a garlic pesto cream sauce, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and crispy leeks.  I asked for the cream sauce to be served on the side, and I'm glad I did.  The sauce was really rich and delicious, but a little bit went a long way.  It was my favorite meal, by far.  
Mushroom ravioli with spinach, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and crispy leeks.  Garlic pesto cream sauce not shown.

Chicken Parmesan

Kid's steak kabobs...halfway eaten

Many of the reviews I read on Tony's Town Square said the food was just okay.  I found it to be excellent.  I'm sure there are better restaurants with fancier food or more exotic choices, but for our family, this was a great choice and we will definitely go back.  The service was excellent and sitting out on the porch was delightful.  

On our final day at Disney, we went to Epcot.  It was the Flower & Garden Festival, so there were character topiaries everywhere and so many beautiful flowers.  It rained on and off a good bit, so I didn't get very many good pics.  

English Garden in the UK - the flower teapots were so cute!

For lunch, we stopped by the Coral Reef Restaurant, so see if they had any available tables.  We waited about 20 minutes, but were finally seated at a table with a great view of the giant fish tank.  While we were there, we saw a diver inside as well as sharks, a giant turtle, and lots of cool fish.  The menu was a little pricey for lunch, so I got an appetizer as my entree.  Spicy shrimp, very much like Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill.  I thought they were really good.  Superfrykid got grilled chicken breast with french fries, vegetables, and a fruit cup for dessert.  Superfrydad got steak with potatoes and vegetables.  The bread before the meal was delicious, too.  Not sure if this is the best choice in Epcot since there are so many other unique restaurants, but it was definitely a relaxing and enjoyable lunch.
Superfrykid & me at the Coral Reef Restaurant - blurry photo taken by Superfrydad.
We went to Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles in France for a snack.  Superfrydad got an eclair, Superfrykid got a chocolate chip cookie & I got an apple tart.  All of them were wonderful, but the apple tart was my favorite by far.

Snacks from the French bakery...yum!

For dinner, we went to Teppan Edo, a Japanese Hibachi style restaurant.  The food was excellent, and we were seated with 2 very nice couples. 

In Japan after a great meal at Teppan Edo.
I can't say enough about the Disney Food Blog.  Reviews, recommendations, menus, tips and so much more! 

Disney Post 1 of 6:  Disney Planning 101 with KWTF
Disney Post 2 of 6:  Packing Must Haves and Road Trip Tips
Disney Post 3 of 6:  Magic Kingdom
Disney Post 4 of 6:  Hollywood Studios
Disney Post 5 of 6:  Animal Kingdom
Disney Post 6 of 6:  Food at Disney


  1. I can not tell you how much I have enjoyed all of your posts that you have written about your vacation. The narrative was succinct, but meaningful; very descriptive and amusing. The pictures were wonderful and your daughter is super beautiful-almost as beautiful as you were as a child! You are beautiful as well. I really admire you all for going to disney world. I would just as soon go to hell for the day as go there-I do not do crowds, amusements and rides very well. I am full of fear and impatience-in fact one might say I am an old fart! (?phart?)

    Love you all-Aunt Kate

  2. Thank you so much, Aunt Kate! I am not a lover of crowds or rides either, so we are alike there. Alaina looks like me but she acts like her Aunt Leigh Anne. Leigh Anne's daughter acts like me. Somehow this does not seem fair, lol. Love you too! Thanks for reading my blog!

  3. So...when's your Disney Cruise taking place? Hehehe...