Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dining at Disney - Must Do's and where NOT to go!

I didn't want my Disney parks posts to get out of control long, so I decided to lump all of our Disney dining experiences together. I also have a post coming with all of my tips and the things I learned while there to share, so keep a lookout for that too!

Now, I didn't take as many food pictures as I thought I did, so bear with me here. We were just having too much fun I guess! 

First, I want to mention that there IS a Starbucks on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. I had researched food and knew exactly what I wanted and where we were going but somehow, all of the sites I was reading failed to mention this tidbit! Keep an eye out for it! It's on your right as you are heading towards Cinderella's Castle.


I'll be mentioning this on my Tips post as well but you have to go to a couple of character meals! We went to the Hollywood and Vine character breakfast at Hollywood Studios, which features Jake, Oso, June and Handy Manny. On our last day, we ate at Chef Mickey which is a MUST do for any trip to Disney! That breakfast has Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto.

The food is pretty much the same at all of them that we went to. It's a buffet of Mickey waffles, sausage, bacon, fruit, danishes, cottage cheese, eggs etc. Chef Mickey did have more options including pancakes, turkey hash (which was yummy), corn beef hash, and desserts.


The one place I really wanted to go but couldn't get in at was "Be Our Guest" at the Magic Kingdom. It's inside of Belle's castle. If you've been leave a review in the comments! 

I also scheduled a couple of lunches while we were there. At Animal Kingdom,  I made a reservation at the Rainforest Cafe. It's one of Brayden's favorite restaurants to go to. Chris and I shared the quesadillas and the black bean egg rolls and they were delicious! 

At Magic Kingdom, we ate at Cosmic Ray's cafe the first day. Cosmic Ray's has 3 bays where you can order different items so be sure to pick up a menu on your way in. Most bays do not offer the same items, so you may have to go to a couple of them to make everyone happy. Chris has the pulled pork sandwich which was quite fatty and I had a chicken breast sandwich which was really good! This is a quick service restaurant for those of you who have dining plans.

The last day at MK, we ate at Peco's Bills which is also a quick service. I had the Santa Fe Salad which had grilled chicken, corn, black beans, pico and guacamole on it. It was really good! 

Pretty much every restaurant at Disney offers similar kids meal options like mac and cheese, chicken, and uncrustables. They also offer a great selection of fruits and veggies for sides and milk and juice to drink. 

At Epcot, I had scheduled a reservation at the Coral Reef restaurant. It's more of a fine dining restaurant as far as Disney goes. You may remember it from Full House way back when! I was a little disappointed in Coral Reef and my honest recommendation would be to skip it! Go snack your way through all the countries at Epcot instead! 

Here's a picture of my lunch which was good but not super great. It's grilled chicken over black rice with a roasted tomato vinaigrette (which I am working on recreating). 


I have to talk about Ohana first. Ohana is a restaurant located inside of the Polynesian Resort at Magic Kingdom. From the park you can take the monorail there, or you can drive and try to find a spot at the hotel. Alternately, you can valet your car there for $15.  

(Note: You can valet your car at any of the 3 monorail hotels - Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary - for $15 and you can leave your car there all day. We did that when we had breakfast at Chef Mickey which is located inside of the Contemporary, then we rode the monorail over to the park and back).

Back to Ohana - It was my favorite meal of the whole trip! I wish I had a more appetizing picture for you, but you'll have to trust me that the food was yummy! Everything is served family style and while you're eating, there are coconut races that the kids can participate in. You start off with a delicious salad followed by wings and pork pot stickers. Then noodles and meats are brought around. Dessert is also included. It was a decadent pineapple bread pudding served with homemade vanilla ice cream and bananas foster. Confession: I don't like bread pudding OR bananas foster but I LOVED this dessert! 

Ohana is a MUST!

We had a couple of dinners at Downtown Disney as well. First we ate at Paradiso 37 which is a mexican restaurant. I really didn't care for it and then they overcharged us and we had to call back once we realized it. It was just a bad experience overall and I wouldn't recommend it. 

We also ate at the T-Rex restaurant in Downtown Disney. It was great! The inside was even more impressive than the Rainforest Cafe and the food was surprisingly good! Chris and I split their 3 tiered appetizer and a side of ribs and it was so good!

We also visited Disney's Boardwalk area which is small but cute, and ate at the ESPN Zone. Again, it was really great and the kids enjoyed the 80 millions tv's that had football on. 


There are a couple of snacks you HAVE to try!

At Magic Kingdom it's all about the Dole Whip. This is a DELICIOUS concoction of pineapple juice and frozen yogurt (I think that's what it is). We had one on both days we visited the park. You can find them at the Aloha Isle on your way towards Pirates of the Caribbean. 

At Animal Kingdom, there's this great frozen yogurt truck. I don't know the name of it, but it's easy to spot! They had some great treats to enjoy and I took this picture from a small group of tables right across from it. If you look closely you can spot Chris ordering. =)

I'm noticing a theme here...
And what's funny about this is I'm not really an ice cream person. Huh.

Anyway, the above is a picture of the very best dessert I had (yes, even better than the Dole Whip) while on vacation. It's from the Ghirardelli store in Downtown Disney. We had the sea salt and caramel sundae which was AWESOME. We should've ordered two!

At Epcot, we did order a crepe while in France. It wasn't very good (especially if you've had the crepes at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas) but it was a fun little snack.

And lastly, I don't have a picture of this one, but if you're at Hollywood Studios you HAVE to go to Starring Rolls Cafe. It was actually the only place we went were the cast members (that is what all Disney employees are called) were not friendly at all, BUT they have AWESOME cupcakes! We had a chocolate peanut butter (and the butterfingers looked fantastic too!). It's a must!

So to recap, here are my MUST visit spots!

For Breakfast: Chef Mickey located at the Contemporary Resort

For Lunch: Taste your way around Epcot!

For Dinner: OHANA!!! (Located at the Polynesian) 

Snacks: Dole Whip and Ghiradelli ice cream
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