Day 5 in review

Today was another exciting day at Disney! And we had an amazing time even though we weren’t in the parks today!

We started by heading to 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort. This was a wonderful character breakfast with Mary Poppins, Alice, Tigger, Pooh, and The Mad Hatter! They had a great food selection at the buffet, the Mad Hatter Juice was AMAZING (Orange, Guava, and Passion Fruit). The Mad Hatter was absolutely hilarious! He had us in stitches!

In our original plan we were going to head to a water park today, but after all that food, and the adventures we’ve had the last few days (and the weather didn’t look so “magical”) we opted to head back to the French Quarter for some R&R! We napped and while we were napping the most magical thing happened, the weather cleared and it got beautiful outside!!! We were able to spend some time at our amazing resort pool!

For the evening we went to Downtown Disney and saw Cirque de Soleil La Nouba. It was so incredible! Amazing artistry, acrobatics, and something I didn’t expect- funny!!! Super fun show!

We ended the evening with dinner at Cookes of Dublin (attached to Raglan Road) and some shopping!


A low key day was just what we needed… The next two days are park days, so the rest was needed!

Today’s step count-

30 Day Disney Challenge- Day 14 “Favorite Table Service Restaurant”

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

With SO many different options to choose from this is a very another difficult choice to narrow down.  I’ve had some amazing meals at all of the parks.  They all bring something unique to the table (pun intended).  Many offer unique experiences with entertainment, or characters, and some just dazzle with amazing food, and atmosphere.

We try every visit to experience new dining, and I have certainly not been to every restaurant.  I’ve been to quite a few, but not all of them.  The location that we visited last summer that has stood out in my mind is Biergarten in Germany.  We loved the live entertainment that happened during the meal.  It was fun to watch people abandon their seats and get up and polka with the live band!  We also enjoyed the seating.  We were seated with another family and had the opportunity to visit with them and get to chat.  (This isn’t for everyone, but we really enjoyed it)  and then there is the FOOD!!!!  It’s a buffet, so you get the chance to try many different foods, and if you don’t like something you’re not stuck with it.  I enjoyed just about everything I tried!

While we try to visit as many new restaurants as we can on each trip, this is one that we are revisiting on our upcoming trip because we enjoyed it so much last time!

Biergarten Restaurant

Biergarten Restaurant

Thinking about planning your next Disney vacation?  Be sure to email ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com!  She can help with all of your planning needs, and best part is that her services are free of charge!  Email today for your free quote!

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

30 Day Disney Challenge- Day 13 “Favorite Quick Service Restaurant”

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

Today is another tough choice.  Walt Disney World is sprawling with places to eat, many of them being quick service locations.  I am going to highlight a few of my favorites, just because there are SO many options between the parks, and resorts.

Magic Kingdom- Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe.  If you’re on the dining plan, you can’t beat their chicken and ribs combo at dinner time.  The cost is about $16, and by the time you add in your dessert and drink you’re easily looking at a $21 value.  The meal is HUGE and very sharable if you’re one who likes to share your quick service credits.  This location also has indoor seating which is a plus when it’s hot outside and you want to sit in the AC.  There is also animatronic entertainment in the seating area.  It’s always fun to watch “Sonny Eclipse” with his stand up comedy and music!

Sonny Eclipse

Sonny Eclipse

Hollywood Studios- ABC Commissary.  I love this location because it has a unique selection of food.  Many locations have your typical hamburger, hotdog, and chicken fingers.  ABC has unique selections Salmon, Steak, Shrimp (Yes this is a quick service location!!!) Salads, and a unique twist on burgers.  Another perk here again is the indoor seating and air conditioning.

ABC Commissary Menu

ABC Commissary Menu

I know this isn’t at WDW, but the best meal that I’ve ever consumed at a quick service location was at Disney’s California Adventure Park- Flo’s V8 Cafe.  When I visited in 2012, the Radiator Springs part of DCA was brand new, and was just WONDERFULLY details!  I loved every part of it, and we made sure that eating in radiator springs was part of the plan!  I am going to have to make this my #1 choice as far as best quick service location I’ve eaten at.  I had the turkey breast meal.

Flo's V8 Cafe- Disney's California Adventure Park

Flo’s V8 Cafe- Disney’s California Adventure Park

7330204_orig

The best quick service meal that I’ve enjoyed from a resort was at Pop Century’s court-“Everything Pop.”  They have unique selections at all times of the day, including a breakfast sandwich that uses pop-tarts as the bun.  I enjoyed lunch there during my last stay, and it was delicious (I had just run a 1/2 marathon too, so I was REALLY hungry!)  I had their turkey sandwich (Oven-roasted Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Cornbread Stuffing, Cranberry Mayonnaise, and Watercress on Texas Toast served cold with House-made Chips, Pasta Salad, or Coleslaw)… my mouth just watered thinking about it again!  It was so yummy!

Everything Pop Food Court

Everything Pop Food Court

With so many choices at WDW and DL you really can’t go wrong!

If you’re interested in planning your next trip to Disney World or Disneyland, be sure to contact Ashley@Charmingtravelsllc.com and she will get you set up!  Her services are free of charge and planning Disney trips is one of her FAVORITE things to do!

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

Restaurant Review- Downtown Disney: Raglan Road

Raglan Road has a very special place in my heart.  I ate at Raglan Road after running my very first marathon back in January 2011. My husband and I had only been to Disney twice as a married couple, and were not quite as Disney savvy as we are now.  While we did stay on property for this trip, we didn’t know much about the Disney dining plan.  Our very first time we did just order appetizers, buy WOW WOW WOW were we impressed!  (Seriously, try “Smokie City”).  One could assume that after running 26.2 miles that just about anything would taste wonderful, and that is probably some what true, but the food was definitely awesome

Raglan Rd after 2011 Disney Marathon

Raglan Rd after 2011 Disney Marathon

RR2

The comfy chair was a post race blessing!

We had such an amazing time on that short trip for the marathon weekend that we went again that summer.  This time around we were on the dining plan, and certainly enjoyed the entrees!

Starting out at Raglan Road you’ll be served Irish brown bread with an amazing Guinness reduction.  (My mouth is watering as I type)

Raglan Road Irish Brown Bread

Raglan Road Irish Brown Bread

While the appetizers are not included on the dining plan I do have to recommend two appetizers because they’re just too good not to mention.  Smokie City (as I mentioned before) and the Mighty Mussels.  Smokie City is creamy smoked haddock & Dubliner cheese dip with potatoes, tomatoes & crostinis.  Don’t let the fact that it has smoked fish throw you for a loop, it’s totally cheesy and totally worth it.  It’s definitely big enough to share too!  The Mighty Mussels are 1/2 lb. of fresh Blue Hill Bay mussels in a coconut infused curry broth, and are absolutely amazing.  The coconut curry broth really has a unique flavor that will leave you craving more!

Smokie City

Smokie City

Now for the entrees, I don’t even know where to begin as far as making a recommendation.  The entree menu is quite large.  Generally in the restaurants they offer 6-8 entree options.  Raglan Road offers 21 entree options as well as 6 entree sized salads.  The average price for an entree is between $16 and $30, depending on what you’re in the mood for.

The Disney Dining plan is accepted here, and counts as a table service credit (includes a beverage, entree, and dessert).

The last WONDERFUL thing that I will mention about Raglan Road is the live entertainment!  You may catch a live band while you’re there like we did during our first experience, or perhaps an Irish dance performance!


There are lots of amazing restaurants to choose from at Downtown Disney, but Raglan Road is definitely worth the time!

For help planning your own Disney trip be sure to contact Ashley with Charming Travels LLC.  She can help you with all your planning needs and dining reservations!  Email ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com for your free quote today!

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

Restaurant Review- Dining in the World Showcase: Mexico

Let this be said about me, I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD!!!!!!  I mean seriously, there is a restaurant near our house and we eat there EVERY Wednesday.  There are even times that we eat there twice in one week because we love it so much.  With that being said, eating in the Mexico pavilion at the world showcase is almost a given on any trip of ours.  The difficulty with this is choosing between the two table service restaurants- La Hacienda de San Angel, and San Angel Inn.  La Hacienda is the newest restaurant having been added to the pavilion in 2010.  We have dined at both restaurants and they both have amazing qualities.  Here are my thoughts on both-

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn is located inside the pyramid in the Mexico Pavilion.  I love love love the atmosphere of this restaurant.  The entire inside of pyramid is set up to be like a nighttime open air market place in Mexico.  The restaurant is situated between the market and the river that houses the “Gran Fiesta Tour” ride.  The setting for this restaurant is quiet, romantic and peaceful.

Your meal starts out with chips and salsa, and I love the salsa at this restaurant, it has almost a smokey quality.  The food is good, but not great.  When I choose this restaurant it’s mainly for it’s quite romantic atmosphere.

San Angel Inn Dinner Menu

San Angel Inn Dinner Menu

La Hacienda de San Angel is located directly across from the pyramid.  While a beautiful new restaurant, the setting isn’t nearly as romantic or intimate as the atmosphere at San Angel Inn (just my opinion, feel free to disagree!)

La Hacienda interior

La Hacienda interior

While the setting isn’t as spectacular, the food is much better.  I like their food selection as the taste of the food.  (I had the Tacos Camerones and they were AMAZING!!! It was served with refried black beans with a crumbled cheese and I couldn’t get over how delicious they were!)

La Hacienda de San Angel menu

La Hacienda de San Angel menu

The prices of the two are comparable and a good value on the Disney dining plan.  While the setting isn’t as intimate, La Hacienda does have a very nice view of the World Showcase Lagoon.  If you plan your reservation accordingly and are willing to wait for a seat by the window you can have an incredible view of Illuminations.

There are definitely perks to both locations, so whichever you would choose, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!  Be sure to get your dining reservations, as you will need them at either location!

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

If you are planning your own Disney trip and would like help planning or booking, be sure to contact Ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com !  She can help with all of your Disney planning needs, including dining reservations!

Tuesday’s Tip- Making the Most of the Disney Dining Plan, Part 2

Tuesday’s Tip- Don’t use your dining credits on quick service breakfasts. *** (see exception at the very bottom)***

I’ve traveled to Disney MANY times, and I’ve had trips where I’ve used the Dining plan, and trips where I haven’t used the dining plan.  One of the things that I’ve learned along the way is to not use my dining plan quick service credits on breakfast.  All quick service meals include an entree, dessert, and drink.  When you use the credit for breakfast, you’re losing out on a dessert, as there are no desserts with breakfast, the savings are even less if you’re a coffee drinker.  You get a mug that you can refill at your resort, so you don’t even need to use your drink option on coffee.  And most breakfast entrees are significantly less expensive than lunch entrees.  If you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck, this isn’t the way.

For example, here is a sample of a Disney resort breakfast menu vs. a Disney resort lunch menu.  You’ll notice that the breakfast prices are considerably less expensive (and did I mention you get a dessert with lunch!?!)

Pop Century Breakfast Entrees

Pop Century Breakfast Entrees

Pop Century Lunch Entrees

Pop Century Lunch Entrees

quick service breakfast

Okay, so with that being said, you still have to eat breakfast!  Here are some tips-

1) Bring non-perishable breakfast items in your luggage and plan to eat those!  All resorts have a toaster in the food court area where you can toast your own bagels or breads.  Granola bars are a great option as well as cereal!  You can get a small carton of milk to use for cereal from the food court.

2) Consider using your snack credits at breakfast time.  With all dining plans you get 1 snack per person, per day.  Grab a pastry or a muffin from the self serve area in your resort’s dining area and fill your resort mug with your beverage, and bam, you’ve got yourself a quick breakfast that can maximize your dining plan.

3) If you love breakfast foods, consider using a table service credit at one of the character breakfasts!  Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort is great or the Ohana Breakfast at the Polynesian, as well as the Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom!

Meet Lilo and Stitch at the Ohana breakfast

Meet Lilo and Stitch at the Ohana breakfast

Crystal Palace Breakfast Buffet

Crystal Palace Breakfast Buffet

4) Even with the dining plan you may end up spending some out of pocket money for meals… save those dining credits for lunches and dinners and if you have to pay additional money for a meal do it at breakfast!

**** Here is a great exception to the “Don’t use your quick service meals on breakfast”  Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom JUST started serving breakfast.  The cost is $19.99 for adults, and $11.99 for children.  It includes a breakfast entree, pastries, and a beverage.  This still counts as a quick service restaurant at breakfast, so by ALL means, try to visit and get a lot of bang for your buck at this location!

Be Our Guest Adult entrees

Be Our Guest Adult entrees

Want even more tips on planning your disney vacation, and maximizing your dining credits?  Book your vacation with Ashley from Charming Travels LLC.  Contact her today for your free quote- ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com