Check out this Deal- $200 + Savings for a family of 4.

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Let’s say you’re a family of 4.  The average quick service meal is $10.  So you’ll save about $40 per day… multiplied by 5 days is a savings of $200!!!!  Sounds like a great deal to me!!!

Contact Ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com to book your trip between 5/30 and 8/24 at a Value resort!  You must book by 2/12/17 to qualify for this deal!

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ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

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A taste of Disney… at home

Okay, so one of my FAVORITE quick service meals that we enjoyed at Disney during our July trip was the “Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese” from Bill and Min’s Dockside Diner.  This is located at Hollywood Studios.  As I mentioned in a blog post during our trip, this was our very first time at Bill and Mins. We often opt for air conditioned locations for our quick service meals because lets face it… its HOT in Florida during the summer!  With that being said, I had heard about this delicacy and was determined to try it, despite the outdoor dining area.  All I can say was that it was epic!  The only quick service meal that I think I enjoyed more was the pulled pork, cornbread waffle sandwich from Typhoon Lagoon.  (Yes… I will admit, I have a thing for pulled pork!)

  
So when I was grocery shopping at home and saw “Appleton Farms” pulled pork just staring at me from the meat case at Aldi, I knew what had to be done… I needed to recreate this awesomeness!

This recreation tastes remarkably close to the one at Disney and is very simple-

I used Stouffer’s Mac n Cheese, Appleton Farms Pulled Pork, and Tuscan Garden Crispy Onions.  If you don’t have an aldi nearby I would imagine you’ve got prepared pulled pork available, and French’s crispy onions.

   
 Mmmmmm… Maybe I will pretend I’m at Disney while I eat it 😉

  
Interested in visiting Hollywood Studios to check out Bill and Min’s for yourself?  Be sure to http://www.facebook.com/charmingtravels the travel agents  at Charming Travels are experts in Disney Vacation planning and will make your trip magical!

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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

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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

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

Making the Most of the Dining Plan Part 1

I am a big fan of the Disney Dining Plan option that you can add onto your vacation when staying on Disney Property.

I have personally done trips that included the Dining Plan as well as trips without the Dining Plan and I have learned so much about how to make the most of using the Dining Plan!

For the next few weeks I will be sharing things that I’ve learned along the way to get the most bang for your buck!

In today’s post I am just outlining the different dining plans and what they include!

There are several Dining Plan levels to fit different needs and budgets all the way from meeting the essentials all the way up to a truly premium experience!

The Quick Service Dining Plan- Includes 2 quick service meals an 1 snack per person per night of your stay.  You also get a resort refillable mug.

What is a quick service meal?  Those are meals where you go to a counter, order you food, and are served food on a tray and you find seating on your own. A quick service meal includes an entree (usually comes with a side), a dessert, and a drink (either a fountain drink or bottled beverage).

How much does the quick service dining plan cost?  For an adult the price is $41.99 per adult per night, and for children (age 3-9) the price is $16.03 per child per night.

Quick service style meal

Quick service style meal

The Disney Dining Plan– Includes 1 quick service meal, 1 table service meal, and 1 snack per person, per night of your stay. You also get a resort refillable mug.

What is a Table Service meal?  A table service meal is a traditional sit down restaurant.  You generally will need a reservation, you will be seated by a host or hostess, and will be taken care of by a waiter or waitress.  A table service meal includes an entree (generally with a side), a dessert, and a beverage.  There are also buffets and and character dining experiences that qualify as a table service meal.

How much does the Disney Dining Plan cost? For an adult the price is $60.04 per adult per night, and for children (age 3-9) the price is $19.23 per child per night.

Table Service Style Meal

Table Service Style Meal

Disney’s Deluxe Dining Plan– Includes 3 meals (table service, or quick service) and 2 snacks per person per night.  You also get a resort refillable mug.

How much does the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan cost? For an adult the price is $109.53 per adult per night, and for children (age 3-9) the price is $29.86 per child per night.

Disney Premium Dining Plan- Includes 3 meals (table service or quick service) and 2 snacks per person per night, unlimited use of select recreation activities (including golf), 1 admission per person to La Nouba, preferred firework viewing, unlimited admissions to select theme park tours.

How much does the Disney Premium Dining Plan cost? For an adult the price is $204 per adult per night, and for children (age 3-9) the price is $149 per child per night.

Interested in booking your own Disney trip?  Be sure to contact Ashley with Charming Travels LLC- ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

She will get you set up with a free quote including any of these amazing dining plans!

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

Disney Water Parks

Alright, so in my Four Parks – One World post, we discussed the four main theme parks that Disney has to offer, but there are also golf courses, spas, a massive sports complex, a shopping district, and 2 water parks.  Today and Monday we will take a look at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

Blizzard Beach

Blizzard-Beach-6 map_blizzardbeach

 

There is no doubt that Disney goes all out whenever it develops a new attraction.  The theming is always incredible, and there is always a story.  The story that accompanies Blizzard Beach goes something like this.  There was a freak snow storm in Florida, so they decided to open Florida’s first ski resort. (Perhaps they had a huge polar vortex like we had in Ohio this year, who knows!) Of course though, with it being Florida and all, the snow didn’t last long.  The developers were ready to walk away and abandon the project when they heard the excited cries of “Ice Gator” racing down the hill on an inner tube (Ice Gator is the parks mascot).  The developers of the ski resort then saw the potential and converted the park into a water park rather than a ski resort.

The park includes many water slides for the whole family, and its biggest attraction is Summit Plummet, which is 120 feet high, and can reach speeds of 60 mph as you race down.  My favorite part is relaxing in the massive lazy river that completely circles the park.

In my mind there is no better way to relax and take a day off from the hustle and bustle of the Disney parks than chilling at the water park!  Just like any of the Disney parks, you can pack a lunch and spend the day.  There are lockers for rent ($10 for the entire day PLUS you get $5 of that back when you return the key!), so I recommend getting a locker.  There are also several quick service locations where you can purchase lunch.  Disney Dining Plan is accepted at the quick service locations.

On hot summer days the parks will fill up quickly, so I recommend going in the morning before the park gets really busy.  Enjoy a few hours in the morning, head back to the resort to clean up, and spend your afternoon and evening at Downtown Disney!

 

 

Be Our Guest Restaurant- Explained by Imagineers

Happy Wednesday fellow Mouskateers!

Craig and I are just 6 days away from our Disney vacation!  I am excited about the inspiration for new blog topics that will come, fulfilling blog topic ideas, and taking pictures for the blog that will happen next week!  Today though I am happy to share with you a video that I ran across about one of Disney’s newest restaurants- Be Our Guest Restaurant.  BOG is located in “New Fantasyland” in the Magic Kingdom. New Fantasyland is a MASSIVE expansion that started in the Magic Kingdom in 2011, and began opening in stages in 2013.  The final piece of the New Fantasyland puzzle opened in June 2014- The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, officially completing the expansion.

Be Our Guest is one of two restaurants in New Fantasy Land, both with a Beauty and the Beast theme.  The first, Gaston’s Tavern is as it suggests a small tavern where you can grab a snack or a quick service meal.  Be Our Guest is the much grander of the two.  The unique part about Be Our Guest is that it is both a quick service restaurant and a table service restaurant.  At lunch time (10:30-2:30) it serves as a quick service location, where you can grab a “Croque Monsieur on Millet Bread” (Grilled Sandwich of Carved Ham, Gruyere Cheese and Bechamel on Millet Bread with Pommes Frites) or Braised Pork – (Eight Hour Slow-cooked Pork with Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots and Bacon served with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans Jardiniere).  At Dinner (4:00-9:30) it becomes a table service restaurant serving up Herb-crusted Lamb Rack, Pan-seared Salmon on Leek Fondue, and Grilled Strip Steak.  If you want to get reservations for dinner, plan on selecting the 180 days out with the Advanced Dining Reservations.  Like I said, this is one of the hottest new restaurants on property.

Craig and I will be having a quick service lunch at BOG on the final day of our trip.  We lucked out and scored some fastpasses for lunch, where we were able to preorder our meal and come at a reserved time for lunch.  I am excited to experience it and to take photos of the ornate detailing that went into this restaurant.

Check out this video and get a view of the restaurant from the perspective of the imagineers who created it!