My Top 8 Most Underrated WDW Dining Locations

Cheeseburger Bao Bun from Satu’li Canteen

When it comes to planning a trip to the most magical place on earth, choosing where to eat is a big decision, and one that has to be made quite far in advance if you want to snag all the right places.

I love planning for advanced dining reservations (ADRs), and I’m always on the hunt for somewhere new and different to try; I like to believe that one day I’ll have eaten in every restaurant on Disney property, but I’ll always end up going back to my favourite spots, plus I doubt I’ll ever keep up with the expansion and addition of new eateries, but I can dream, hey?

And you don’t even need to be a total Disney buff to know of some of the most talked about dining locations of WDW; places like Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table are so iconic that I defy anyone who wouldn’t want to take a trip to these magical places. But are they the best?

These are some of my favourite lesser-known dining options that you may want to visit on your next trip:

Table Service

Grand Floridian Cafe – over 1900 Park Fare

I must admit, when I used to think of a good place to eat in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, my mind always used to jump to 1900 Park Fare. I’ve never eaten there before myself, but I see lots of people going there all the time, although I have heard some mixed reviews. Instead, I’ve always opted for GFC, and I’ve had both breakfast and dinner there, both of which have blown me away.

Sure, you don’t have the character element that 1900 Park Fare gives, but the menu is absolutely flawless in my opinion, and if you’re not on the dining plan, its actually one of the most reasonably priced table service meals I’ve ever seen – our dinner there should have cost around $65 plus gratuity for the two of us (main and dessert), and when I had breakfast there it would have been only $41 for two of us.

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ – over Hoop de Doo Revue

Again, I’ve never actually done Hoop de Doo, but having had the BEST time at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, I’m in no rush to switch. Both cost the same both in cash and dining credits, both are unlimited buffets which included beer and wine for over 21s, and both have musical entertainment but Mickey’s Backyard has the added bonus of character meets and the opportunity to get up and get involved in the dancing with Mickey and the gang, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a night of more fun on Disney property. I’ve got a full review here.

Skipper Canteen

I was actually really surprised by the lunch we had here back in November – I had booked it because I wanted to try somewhere new, and then when we looked at the menu both Matthew and I felt a little meh about the offerings, but when the food actually arrived it was amazing! Yes, its a Jungle Cruise themed restaurant so there’s puns flying everywhere, but its also got a real Joe Rohde vibe to the place and the cast members were all really lovey, plus it was pretty quiet when we went!

Tusker House

I feel like I rarely hear people talking about restaurants in Animal Kingdom, so this may not be as underrated as I think it is, but absolutely rate this place. Now I haven’t been since 2014, so there may have been some changes but my whole family were blown away by the food, which not only catered for my picky-eating cousins (who at the time went as young as 5) but also for the adventurous adults in the group. Its a buffet – bonus – and although we had no idea when we booked it, its also a character meal!

Quick Service

Flame Tree Barbecue

If you ever need to make your dining credits go further, or need good value for money on your meals while in Animal Kingdom, this is the place you need to go – one meal could easily feed 2-3 people with the portion sizes you get! Also, if you want a decent view of Rivers of Light without queuing or paying for the dinner packages, grab your food from here early on and head down to the seating area on the edge of the water. Sure, you’re a little further away from the main seats, but you still get a great view!

Satu’li Canteen

This may not be underrated exactly, but if you’ve heard that its good, then that’s wrong because its AMAZING. Hands down, this is probably the best quick service meal I have ever had.

Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes

Last Animal Kingdom place, I promise! If you’re a fan of the table service restaurant, but maybe you aren’t on the dining plan, I’m gonna share a secret with you: the honey chicken that you get in the restaurant for $18.99 is identical to the quick service alternative at $10.99, its just in a plastic container rather than served on a proper plate. This is also a good place to grab breakfast if you’ve run to Expedition Everest at park opening rather than joining the 3 hour queue for Flights of Passage..

Pinocchio Village Haus

Now this may be out of date as I’ve heard rumours that PVH is changing/has changed its offering, but this was always one of my favourite places to grab lunch when in Magic Kingdom. The flatbreads make a wonderful alternative to the normal doughy pizza bases you get in most quick service places and there’s always a tonne of seating available, plus I like waving to the Its a Small World boats as they pass below the window!

What restaurants do you think don’t get enough attention?

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Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria Al Forno

When Walt Disney World announced its newest character breakfast back at the start of the year, I’ll admit to a lot of squealing, followed by a desperate need to book it for our November trip.

It was a combination of a few of my favourite things: the Boardwalk, plus Flynn Rider and Rapunzel, plus adorable themed pastries = a very happy Lottie. Oh, and did I mention Ariel and Prince Eric come along for the adventure too?!

Once seated in the restaurant, each table gets a presented with a frying pan full of delicious breakfast pastries including chocolate braids, fruit-filled clam shells and mini muffins to start you off while you peruse the menu.

All of the menu options are either Tangled or Little Mermaid themed, from a tower of pancakes to a swimmer’s delight omelette; its certainly fancier food than your regular Disney breakfast, and its delicious! I personally couldn’t decide between the Tangled eggs or the Tangled pancake tower, so my server was wonderful enough to offer us the chance to get a half-size portion of the pancakes on the house as well as each of our choices, so I got to try them both!

The characters are announced as they enter the dining room – they come in individually, staggered by about 5-10 mins intervals, and they head to the far end of the restaurant first, and work their way back. As well as coming to everyone’s tables, there’s also a little procession that happens, where kids are invited to parade around the restaurant with the character while music plays, which is very sweet! We met Flynn first, followed by Rapunzel then Ariel and lastly Eric, but don’t be put off by the fact that they come up individually, the characters interact a lot with each other while making the rounds so often Flynn will call Rapunzel over to look at things etc, and in any case you can ask for group photos!

The meal counts as one table service credit on the dining plan, and if you’re paying out of pocket then you’re looking at about $38 per adult once tax has been added, and while its a little more than some other character breakfast options, its à la carte rather than buffet and the food options are a bit nicer than some of your other options! For me, the real selling point is the ability to meet Flynn and Eric, who are rare meets otherwise, plus Tangled and The Little Mermaid are two of my favourite films anyway!

What’s your favourite place for breakfast in Walt Disney World?

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Be Our Guest – Which Meal Is Best?

Be Our Guest Restaurant is one of the most popular dining spots in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, and tomorrow actually marks 5 years since the Beast’s castle opened its doors to guests.

Situated in Fantasyland, the restaurant opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and each meal offers guests a different dining experience. I recently ticked breakfast off the list of meals I’ve had here, so now I’ve done the set, here’s the low-down on what each meal offers!

Breakfast

BOG is one of the three restaurants in Magic Kingdom that opens for breakfast at 8am, meaning that if you can get a reservation then you get early access to the park, and the perks that come with that AKA empty Main Street and castle photos! Now don’t let the word reservation fool you – while advanced reservations are usually for table service meals, breakfast is actually quick service, so a worthwhile use of a QS credit if you’re on the dining plan! That said, however, while you do visit a counter to pay for your meal, the food is brought directly to you at your table. And to add more magic to the experience, you can actually pre-order your food on the Walt Disney World website so that you don’t have to even worry about deciding what to eat on the day! As for the food..

This is the Croque Madame, which was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had in WDW, but there are a few options from classic breakfast dishes to sweet options, and every table also gets a selection of fruit and assorted pastries to tuck into as well!

If you’re not on the dining plan, entrees are $25.

Lunch

Lunch is also a quick service meal, but as with breakfast its highly recommended that you get a reservation, but if you can’t snag one, try to get to the restaurant for when it opens and you stand a good chance of a minimal wait! Again, while being technically classified as a counter service, you order at a booth but the food is brought to you wherever you choose to sit, whether that’s in the West Wing, the Ballroom or the Gallery.

The menu is primarily sandwiches and salads, but there are some soup and other veggie options. I tend to stick to the Croque Monsieur, which is basically a ham and cheese toastie but it comes with a good helping of fries and definitely worth a quick service credit!

Entrees at lunch are all around the $17 mark.

Dinner

I did dinner for the first time here in February this year. Dinner is table service, and as such guests receive a bit more of a magical experience, including each party being given a Lumiere to light their way to the table. The restaurant is a little more packed in during dinner (or at least it felt like it the one time I was there!) so it can be a bit louder.

The food is also a lot fancier, which you’d certainly hope for with a table service meal. I really enjoyed the food – I mean when do I not? – but compared to other amazing meals I’ve had in WDW it was average, so personally I don’t think I’d do dinner here again if I wasn’t on the dining plan.

That said though, once you finish your meal you get to experience the other magical moment that having dinner here gets you, and that’s meeting the Beast himself!

Dinner entrees range from $22-36, appetizers are $10-15 and desserts are $5.

Good things to know

With it being such a popular destination, the restaurant can be pretty noisy, especially during the quick service mealtimes, but if you get breakfast early it can be quite quiet, depending on the time of year. The restaurant is also well set up with plenty of different table sizes, including big round tables that can fit a party of 10.

What I cannot fault about the restaurant in any way is the decor, so be sure to explore each of the three rooms of the restaurant, including seeing the Enchanted Rose in the West Wing! My favourite room is the Grand Ballroom, and I love watching the snow fall outside the window.

Whatever meal you choose, you’re in for a magical meal and its an absolute must for any Beauty and the Beast fans!

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Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris

On our last trip to Disneyland Paris, the family and I decided to try something we’ve never done before, and as we were staying at Hotel Cheyenne and the cowboy feel was everywhere, we thought we’d give Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show a try!

We went to the earlier show, so arrived at about 6.15 and were presented with our seat tickets and cowboy hats before going through to the bar area, where a live band were performing country music favourites – even Goofy made a special appearance! When the show was about to begin, guests were invited to make their way into the show arena. We were in the red section, so we were sat on the left side of the arena, and as we had category 2 tickets we were seated in the third row, but the view was great so I don’t imagine you get it much better by paying the extra for category 1. The seating is done in a row of benches, and we were lucky to get in first so we were right on the end of the row, but there wasn’t any room to get passed people so other people were having to climb down into the seating, which was a bit of a faff.

The benches were laid with all the crockery ready to go, and there were several baskets of tortilla chips spread along the row, but it was a little unclear what the protocol for food was going to be so we weren’t sure if we should be diving in or saving ourselves. The servers came along with jugs of drinks, and the options were water, coke or beer and these options were unlimited as part of the meal, but if you wanted anything else you could go to the bar and order drinks separately.

Once the show started, the food also started being served, and first up there was a course of chilli with cornbread, then once that had been cleared away there was chicken, ribs, sausages and potato wedges, and the portion sizes were huge so we definitely weren’t left wanting! If you had any room left at the end of all that, dessert was an apple crumble with ice-cream and there was coffee available too.

The show itself was bizarre and excellent at the same time! It was a combination of cowboy stunts such as trick-roping and cow-hearding (yes, there were real cows involved) and also skits and sketches, plus more live music, oh, and I did I mention that Mickey and the gang were there?! As well as the real cowboys and performers, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and the chipmunks took part in the fun, they were dressed for the part too! The show also featured some native American scenes, so the whole frontier was represented.

The second half of the show was done as a sort of tournament; each colour section had cowboys and indians representing them as they took part in various contests, and the audience was encouraged to bang the benches, cutlery and plates while cheering on the contestants which was a lot of fun, and there were also a few opportunities for audience participation.

Overall, it was a fun evening, and I’m definitely glad we did it but I’m not sure if I’d rush to go back. The food was great and the show was entertaining but I imagine it would be the same every time and I think that the novelty would wear off quickly. On a side note, I also have no idea if there are any vegetarian options available as I didn’t see any alternatives dishes being served and about 80% of the food was meat, so worth bearing in mind if you are a veggie!

You do get to keep the hat though!

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Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast at Cape May Cafe


Something I love doing when planning Disney trips is finding new and different restaurants, especially those that don’t seem to be on the radar of most people, and when they’re little-known character meals, its even better!

Disney’s Beach Club Resort is my dream WDW resort, and when I discovered that they have their own character breakfast, hosted by Minnie Mouse, I knew it was somewhere to visit on my trip with Sarah. Cape May Cafe is located on the ground floor of Beach Club, and the restaurant fits in with the theme of the hotel perfectly, from the beach hut style canopies and cute seaside artwork.



The food is a classic Disney buffet breakfast, with hot options like sausages, bacon and eggs, assorted pastries and fruit options, cereals, yogurts and sweet goodies like Mickey waffles and pancakes. We planned our breakfast for the morning after I ran the Princess 10K, so I filled several plates – in the interest of re-fuelling, of course! I love making a buffet breakfast feel like multi-course meal, starting with savoury goodness and finishing with a dessert style final plate!


As the name suggests, of course Minnie makes the rounds to the tables, and she’s also joined by Donald and Goofy. They’re all set for a day at the seaside in the cutest beach outfits, and throughout the meal they stop for a little surfer dance number in the middle of the restaurant. All three of them spent a good amount of time at each table, and we had a great interaction with everyone.


If you’re looking for a character breakfast that’s a little different to the others available, I definitely recommend this, plus it means getting to spend a morning in the Boardwalk area, which is one of my favourite places in WDW! Because you can’t use the International Gateway at Epcot until the World Showcase opens at 11am, if you’re staying onsite you’re better off getting a bus to Hollywood Studios and then hopping on a boat to the resort, or going to Epcot and transferring to a Beach Club bus.

See you at the seaside!

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Mickey’s Backyard BBQ

Just to warn you, I’m about to start gushing because this was easily the best night of our trip.

I’d actually never heard of Mickey’s Backyard before, until one day while trying to decide on our ADRs for Feb, I was scrolling through the dining page of the WDW website, and suddenly it caught my eye. Sarah is a huge country music fan, and the thought of buffet food and dancing with Mickey and the gang had me hooked on the idea of it. Needless to say, it wasn’t a hard sell.

We got the bus from Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness and walked round to the Fort Wilderness Pavilion, taking in all the beauty of the campground. We had Category 1 seating, so after we checked in we were taken straight to our reserved spot on the communal bench tables, where we could leave our stuff and head up to meet Mickey and Minnie, and Chip, Dale and Goofy without any queues as it was before Category 2 were let into the pavilion.

We could go straight up to the buffet, where there was a spread of classic bbq food – burgers, hot dogs, ribs, pulled pork, chicken etc, as well as salads, corn bread, macaroni cheese, buns, and we filled our plates with as much as we good, and then grabbed drinks and got back to our table before the crowd of other guests descended, and it wasn’t long before the show kicked off.

The show was lead by Cyclone Sally and Tumbleweed Will who introduced the band and the characters and kicked off the singing and dancing. The evening was filled the music, and once we’d filled our stomachs with the INCREDIBLE food – at least two plates worth – we headed up to dance with the characters. It may have been a little hard to get to some of the characters with all those pesky kids in the way, but we still had the most fun!

At times, the music and dancing was paused and the floor cleared for a trick roper who performed incredible lasso tricks and displays, and also intervals to give the characters (and us!) a break from dancing in the heat – its a great job the pavilion is open air, because it gets quite warm on the dancefloor! In some of these breaks, Mickey and Minnie met by the entrance to the pavilion, and Chip, Dale and Goofy had a spot in the corner to meet, but the queues were always pretty long which is why we were lucky to get in early!

Dessert came in the form of chest freezers filled with premium Mickey bars, and there was also an open bar serving wine and beer for 21+ guests. The whole show lasted about 1.5-2 hours – probably the right length for some of the little kids as it meant everything was wrapped up by 8pm – and the music varied from country classics to Disney favourites, and Chip doing a full dance routine to Let It Go was possibly the highlight of the night for me. There were also group dances – the Cotton Eyed Joe, the macarena etc – and dances performed by the characters. I probably keep saying it, but it was all just so much fun!


The show used two of our Table Service credits, but it was 100% worth it, especially when the bill showed that it should have cost the two of us $144 in total if we’d paid out of pocket. I’d recommend it over any other dinner show and would easily do it again and again!

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Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table

If you’re looking for somewhere totally magical to eat in the Magic Kingdom, does it really get any better than eating in Cinderella Castle itself? No. The answer is no.

Cinderella’s Royal Table is one of the few restaurants in MK that offers reservations prior to park opening, meaning early access to Main Street USA before the crowds descend, and for me that’s always worth the stress of those 180 day advanced dining reservations! Its a bit of a first-day tradition for me, and both Sarah and I were dying to eat breakfast with the princesses.

With the new welcome show, you’re not able to walk through the castle from Main Street, so its a little detour past Sleepy Hollow and round to the back of the castle from there. Once you’ve checked in for your meal, you enter the castle to be greeted by Cinderella herself in a grand entrance hall – psst, look out for Gus Gus and Jaq! Once you’ve had your photo and your party has been announced, you climb a spiral staircase up into the dining room and are escorted to your table.

I really loved the size of the dining room. I expected it to be much bigger, but its a perfect size to not feel enormous, but also not crowded, and it means that you’re never too far from the gorgeous stained glass window that looks out over Fantasyland. We were brought out a plate of beautiful pastries while we decided on what to choose from the menu, and the juice was constantly flowing so our glasses were never empty.

Over the course of the first 10-15 minutes of our meal, each princess was announced as they entered the restaurant, and we seemed to have a prime seat as we were the first table visited by almost every princess. We met Aurora, Snow White, Ariel and Jasmine, all of whom were so lovely and friendly, and didn’t rush our interactions at all. At points throughout the meal, there was also a wishing ceremony, for which we were each given a plastic wand to wave – I don’t know if they normally give wands to adults but our server David brought us one each anyway!

As well as the pastries, we each ordered the traditional breakfast, which was delicious but after a Mickey shaped blueberry muffin, I struggled to finish the whole plate. Being on the Disney Dining Plan, the meal was 2 table service credits, which was totally worth it for the food, the characters and the experience of dining in the castle – plus our wands of course! The cast members were also so sweet, which for me always makes any meal feel even better, and it was the perfect start to our trip.

We also just had to stop to use the restrooms on the way out just so we could say we’ve been to the loo in the castle, ha!

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Chef Mickey’s, Hong Kong Disneyland

Even if you’re not staying at Hong Kong Disneyland’s Hollywood Hotel, its definitely worth making the trip to visit Chef Mickey’s!

Chef Mickey's Hong Kong Disneyland

The restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner, with lunch available during peak times, and Mickey visits during breakfast every day, and lunch and dinner during weekends and public holidays, but you can understand his absence when he must be so busy in the kitchen preparing the multitude of food that’s available!

Chef Mickey's Hong Kong Disneyland

Chef Mickey's Hong Kong Disneyland

Chef Mickey's Hong Kong Disneyland

All meals are done as buffets, but there is quite literally something for everyone, with dinner dishes ranging from traditional cantonese to sushi, curry to pizza to salad, and an incredible range of dessert options, including an ice-cream bar, and just as many options available at breakfast!

We ate here for both breakfast and dinner, and everything was perfect both times, and with it being one of only two character dining experiences in Hong Kong Disneyland, you’ve gotta try here!

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Shanghai Disneyland’s Royal Banquet Hall

You know that big beautiful castle that towers over that Mickey built in Shanghai? Well did you know that it contains a big beautiful restaurant?

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet

Royal Banquet Hall is an absolute must-do for royals and non-royals alike! The entrance is on the ground floor of the castle, but after waiting for your table in the most beautifully decorated reception area, you’re escorted to a side room for a photo with one of the princesses – Aurora was so lovely! – before being lead upstairs to the main restaurant

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

The restaurant itself is comprised of a few different rooms, each one themed to a different classic princess. We were in the Snow White room, but there was also Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Princess and the Frog, all of which were just totally stunning, but while the princesses played a big part in the design of the restaurant, the characters were a whole other level of royalty!

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

That’s right, Mickey and the gang were dressed in their fanciest gear to hang out with us while we ate, and eat we did! The food was INCREDIBLE. Its a set menu, with four options for starters and desserts and six main course options, so plenty to choose from! I had the tomato soup, which was delicious, but I didn’t finish it as I knew I’d want to save myself for my main: pumpkin and chicken stew, which was served inside a real mini pumpkin with a pile of Mickey shaped rice! It was such a huge portion but I managed as much as I could, and I’m still thinking about how great it was! Also, I could stuff myself up because the lovely cast member serving us gave us as much time as we needed before bring out our desserts.

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

But were they desserts or works of art?

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Honestly I could not fault a single part of this experience! As well as three courses, drinks were unlimited (although souvenir cups were available for an extra charge) and included tea and coffee, and the bread basket was forever being topped up by helpful and friendly cast members – all of which were so polite and spoke English really well! The price was 368 yuan per adult, plus 15% service charge, which is around £45, or £30 for a child, which was pricey compared to other restaurants in the park, but not unreasonable compared to character meals in the American parks or Disneyland Paris, and I really think it was good value for money considering the quality of food, and the character interactions involved! I also really loved the fact that although there is a princess meet, the main characters are Mickey and friends, making it suitable for all – I know my family aren’t keen on princesses!

What’s your favourite character meal?

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Cafe Mickey Dinner Review

On my recent Disneyland Paris trip, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to dinner at Cafe Mickey in Disney Village. I had breakfast there on my birthday back in October and loved it, so I was really excited to go back!

Cafe Mickey dinner review

The restaurant is situated at the hotel end of Disney Village, and if you’re sat by a window you can get a pretty great view of the lake, Sequoia Lodge and Newport Bay. I’d describe the decor as ‘classic Disney’; lots of bright colours and patterns, bold and contemporary, although some parts are looking in need of a spruce, especially the toilets – there are only a few for the whole restaurant and they’re tiny and pretty yuck.

We were seated upstairs, which seemed to be quite a bit quieter than the downstairs area, but didn’t differ at all in terms of set-up. There are tv screens all over the place playing classic cartoons and movie clips, which is fun because there’s always something going on, you know, if a bustling restaurant isn’t busy enough!

Cafe Mickey dinner menu

It’s a set menu for dinner: a starter and main, or starter main and dessert. I ordered the chicken caesar salad, without the dressing. It was described on the menu as coming with croutons, but actually came with a small piece of garlic bread – which honestly I was pretty happy about because I always struggle with croutons in salads! The salad itself was pretty decent – can you screw up a salad? – but the bowl it came in was a stupid design because as soon as I tried to put my fork down, it slipped out and fell on the floor..

Cafe Mickey dinner review

For my main, I chose the pizza, onto which you can add three toppings. I chose goats cheese, pepperoni and ham. It was pretty huge, considering I’d just eaten a whole bowl of salad and I actually struggled to eat half of it which was a shame because I did really enjoy it! It had a nice thin base, which I often prefer, and they definitely didn’t skimp on the toppings! My base was a little burnt in places, but as I normally cut around the crust so I don’t fill up too much, I wasn’t too upset.

Cafe Mickey dinner review

But were we really there for the food? Nah.. Let’s talk characters!

We met Goofy, Pluto, Minnie, Tigger and Mickey, but these can vary. Its clearly stated that characters will come directly to the tables, so it always bothers me when I see parents sending their children off to find the characters and try to interrupt someone else’s time. Agh. Considering we were a big table, the characters were really patient with each one of us taking our turn to go up for photos, autographs, ‘who’s camera is who’s’ and ‘who’s taking who’s picture for them’ conversations.. Well, all except Mickey actually. We’d been there almost two hours before he made it to our table, and when he did he saw half of us, then got distracted by a small child and left, then we had to wait for a bunch of other tables to see him before he came back. I get that he’s the boss and he’s very busy, but he just seemed a little rushed compared to others; especially as Goofy and Tigger came back several times!

The set menu price for started and main is €33.99 or €41.99 with dessert as well, so including a drink we each would have paid about €37, but as annual passholders we had the added bonus of 10% off!

If I’m being completely fair, I would not say this was my favourite dining experience at Disneyland Paris, and after a lovely breakfast here back in October, dinner was a little bit of a let-down. I think I’d return for breakfast, but won’t be rushing back for dinner as there are plenty of other places I prefer.

My opinions may differ to yours, tell me what you think!

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Friday Favourite Five – Disneyland Paris Restaurants

Today I’m sharing five of my favourite places to eat in Disneyland Paris! There’s a mixture of table and counter service, all of which serve some incredibly delicious food, because what is a Disney trip without way too much food?

Bistrot Chez Remy

1. Blue Lagoon

I love everything about Blue Lagoon: the setting, the food, the ambience.. Pirates of the Caribbean is always one of my favourite rides and I love that Disneyland Paris has a restaurant inside it like there is in Disneyland California, and the food is SO GOOD!

2. Bistrot Chez Remy

This is the absolute cutest restaurant ever. It really feels like you’ve been transported into Ratatouille, with every detail of the decor being so well thought out!

3. Walt’s

There is so much to love about Walt’s. Firstly, you’re on Main Street USA and if you’re sat by a window you can watch the world go by below you, and even catch the parades if you time it right! I also adore the decor; each room is themed to a different land of the park, but in such a classic way that its not glaringly obvious, but the little details really make it! Oh, and the food is to die for!

4. Earl of Sandwich

Ok, so this is in Disney Village and isn’t specifically a Disney restaurant, but OH SO GOOD

5. Hakuna Matata

We all love chicken nuggets, right? For a counter service restaurant, its a great size and there’s always seating available, and I love that there are healthy options available – even if I don’t always choose them!

Where are your favourite places to eat in Disneyland Paris?

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The Skinny Kitchen

You know when a place is really hyped up and you worry that it won’t live up to the expectations?

Well that was me with The Skinny Kitchen. I’d made three attempts to eat there before I was actually successful due to it being so busy, so when we finally managed to squeeze ourselves in for lunch, I was praying that it was worth the amount time I’d spent hoping to eat there!

The Skinny Kitchen Bournemouth

The Skinny Kitchen originated in Ibiza, and as the name suggests, is all about providing clean, healthy and delicious food; eating and feeling great about it. The menu ranges from protein shakes and smoothies to pancakes to burgers, with all the nutritional information carefully calculated, and has its own key to highlight dishes that low carb, GF, veggie friendly and vegan friendly to help customers make an informed decision about their meal.

But you want to know what I thought about the place, right?

The Skinny Kitchen Bournemouth

The Bournemouth restaurant is actually pretty small – part of why its always packed! – but is fairly minimalist in design so it doesn’t feel crowded. I loved the lighting features, including the neon sign ‘Pancakes, Weights & Protein Shakes’ and the natural wood effect tables pleased the blogger in me so much!

So I ordered the Pumpin Iron protein bowl; just reading the contents from the menu made me happy so I couldn’t resist – so many of my favourite foods in one dish! To save myself for the food, I just asked for tap water, which came with a lemon slice, but Jess had the Super Skin smoothie which looked amazing; shame I’m not an avocado fan! The wait for the food was torture because I was so excited, and I worried that because it was busy that we’d have to wait some time, but it soon arrived and I can honestly say I squealed a little – such a pretty bowl of food!

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Photos taken, and it was time to dive in, and oh my gosh.. All that over-hype and anticipation disappeared, and instead I just got to enjoy possibly my favourite dish of food ever (once I’d ditched the tomatoes onto Jess’s plate). I feel like I’m gushing but it was all just perfect, from the chicken to the sweet potato cake and pesto dressing, and can you believe its only 260 calories, and under £10?!

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The staff were also so lovely and friendly, which always goes a long way for me, and the whole experience has had me totally overlooking the three failed attempts! I can’t wait to go back and try more of the incredible sounding food on the menu!

Bring on the protein pancakes!

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Ariel’s Grotto – World of Color Dining Package

Its no secret that Paradise Pier in Disneyland’s California Adventure park is one of my favourite areas of any Disney park, and its especially beautiful at night with Mickey’s Fun Wheel lit to perfection. Its also home to one of my favourite nighttime spectaculars, World of Color, a beautiful show of light and water with the pier as its backdrop, so the World of Color dining package was hugely appealing to me.

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The package can be used at three different restaurants, for three different prices, and I chose Ariel’s Grotto, which is situated on the boardwalk of the pier itself. I had no idea that the restaurant was actually on the lower level underneath the boardwalk, and when we were seated outside (there is indoor seating), we were literally on the water’s edge which gave us the most stunning view!

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For the dining package, it’s a set menu of three courses. Our waitress took our drinks order and starters – soup or salad – at the same time, and only minutes after she left a huge basket of freshly baked sourdough bread was delivered to the table, still warm! The soup of the day was butternut squash, which is one of my favourites, and it was delicious! It was thick and creamy, went perfectly with the sourdough, and it was a nice manageable portion, although if I didn’t have my main course coming soon I could have happily eaten that all day.

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I chose the pork chop for my main, which came with mashed potato and ‘seasonal vegetables’, although this turned out to be a small handful of leaves when I was kind of hoping for some real veggies. It also had an apple sauce which I mostly scraped off – only because I don’t like apple sauce, I’m sure it would have been lovely if I did! The pork itself was absolutely perfect, soft and easy to cut away from the bone, and it was a real sizable chunk of meat. This had me feeling pretty stuffed (although half a loaf of sourdough may also be responsible), so I was pretty upset when the dessert arrived..

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The dessert was a set trio of a mini creme brulee, a smores tartlet and chocolate covered strawberry – hello heaven on a plate! I ate the whole creme brulee, and most of the amazing smores tart before admitting defeat; the strawberry was huge, I think I would have exploded.

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After the meal we sat and fed what was left of our bread to the ducks floating about on the water next to us, causing a few ducky squabbles, and once the bill was paid, our waitress brought us the World of Color preferred seating tickets that were included in our package. These put us right at the front of the crowds for the show later that evening, we couldn’t have got better places if we’d waited all day. The waterfront viewing area was split into a few tiers of viewing areas: those with dining packages at the front, then those with regular Fastpasses etc, which don’t open until an hour before the show. One thing I will say though – if you’re right at the front of the show, you will get wet! (psst, its only mist)

It was about $50pp; Ariel’s is the cheapest of the three options, but you can only book the package for dinner because its a character meal during lunchtimes. For the food you get and the ease of viewing the show, I would definitely say its value for money, especially if you have small children who may not get a good view of the show otherwise.

And if a dining package isn’t for you, go and see the show anyway, its truly spectacular!

Beaches and Cream

A gorgeous 50s style diner in Walt Disney World? Look no further than Beaches and Cream!

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Possibly the cutest little table service restaurant, Beaches and Cream is tucked away from the crowds at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, just a short walk from Epcot via the International Gateway, and across from the beautiful Boardwalk area.

Now when I say little, Beaches is probably the smallest table service place in WDW, so its definitely worth making those reservations as early as 180 days in advance, although if you’re just looking for one of their famous ice-cream sundaes, you can get one of them over the counter. The decor is the prettiest of pastels and 50s flair, complete with a neon jukebox, and the cast member uniform is the cutest too!

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As for the food offerings, its classic diner dishes: burgers, hotdogs, shakes and sundaes. Expecting American sized portions, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my burger wasn’t ginormous and came with a manageable amount of chips, and I could finish the plate without feeling stuffed beyond belief – very kid friendly!

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But its not burgers that Beaches is famous for, its those unbelievable ice-cream creations! There was no chance we were going to be able to manage the famous Kitchen Sink between the two of us, but we ordered a sundae each, and in hindsight, we could have shared one of those..

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This is a Fudge Mud Slide – ice-cream, brownies, hot fudge sauce with a heavy portion of whipped cream and a cherry on top! I probably only managed a third to half of it, but it was AMAZING, and given that this was our post-half marathon treat, I savoured every bite. (Oh great, now I’ve got a huge craving for this)

I definitely would eat here again, it was everything I had hoped it would be when I booked it! I’d also love to stay at the Beach Club Resort as well, its just all so beautiful!

Where’s your favourite place for a good ice-cream in Disney World?

Teppan Edo

If you’re looking for Disney dining with a difference, look no further than Epcot’s World Showcase for a huge selection of international cuisine, and after my trip to Japan last summer, I couldn’t wait to eat here.

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Teppan Edo shares its location in the Japan pavilion with Tokyo Dining, which is a regular sit-down dining experience, but offers guests a much more unique experience as your meal is cooked right before your eyes on the table in front of you!

Each table sits eight people, so as a party of two, we were sat with another family – small groups be prepared for this – but we were so immersed in the experience that it was totally fine, even though the other family was a little dramatic at times..

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We ordered our drinks and starters first, which were brought out to the table really quickly while we waited for our chef to arrive. I had ordered assorted tempura which I shared with Dad, who had ordered sushi which was prepared by the chef when she arrived.

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For the main course, all of the dishes had the same udon noodle and vegetable base, and then you chose the meat – steak, shrimp, chicken, swordfish or a combination – or the vegetarian option, and then they also come with a bowl of rice and a selection of dipping sauces. Our chef prepared the noodles and vegetables on the hot plate in front of us, while simultaneously cooking each of the different meats to perfection AND performing tricks like making an onion volcano; it was completely amazing to watch, and it was delicious!

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Now a few things I will mention if you’re thinking about eating here:

  • Firstly, this is an experience that takes time – it was maybe half an hour to 45 minutes before our main course was served, not that you noticed the time, but if you’re starving hungry I can imagine the wait would be a little torturous!
  • They don’t offer any substitutions – one of the dramas of the family we were sat with was that one of the girls was super fussy and wanted regular steamed rice instead of the rice on the menu, and unfortunately that couldn’t be accommodated, so double check the menu before booking with fussy eaters.
  • As well as being sat with other people if you’re a small group, if you’re a group larger than 8, you will probably be split between two tables.

Now all that said, it was one of our favourite meals of the whole trip – 100% unique! If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, it counts as a table service meal, and if not you’re looking at about $40pp excluding tax and gratuity. Oh, and don’t forget to make those reservations 180 days in advance to avoid disappointment!

What’s your favourite World Showcase pavilion?

Breakfast with Minnie and Friends at Plaza Inn

Don’t ask me why, but I’ve always felt that the best meal for meeting characters is breakfast. Maybe its the start of the day excitement, maybe it gears me up for a day in the parks.. Its probably the fact its usually a buffet..

With no character breakfast on the cards for while we were in WDW, I definitely wanted to book one for our stay in Disneyland, and Plaza Inn seemed like the perfect place – right at the end of Main Street USA, looking out at the castle. Yep, perfect.

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Firstly we were given a button each, and we were asked if we didn’t mind sitting outside on the veranda instead of in the main restaurant, but given that it was California weather, that wasn’t a problem for us. It meant we had a quieter meal away from the bustle of kids dying for autographs, and we could watch the world go by a little as we ate. It was also only a few minutes after we sat down that we were greeted by the first character of the day, Max.

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As the meal is advertised as ‘Minnie and friends’, we assumed that there would be a handful of classic characters, Pooh and friends for example, as well as Minnie herself, so it was a really nice surprise to not only have a great mixture of characters, but also to see as many as there were; we were only there for 30-40 minutes altogether and we saw 8 characters: Minnie, Max, Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Rafiki, Fairy Godmother and Suzie the mouse, and for all we know, there may have been more hanging around that we missed! They also came around regularly and spread out, so there was time to eat between each meet, but we didn’t feel like we were hanging around waiting for the next.

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As for the food, I can never really fault a Disney breakfast buffet. There were the usual hot breakfast items as well as omelette stations, and also breakfast pastries, cereals, yogurt and fruit etc. Oh and mini muffins, gotta have a mini muffin.

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It was $33.99 each, which for a buffet and the number of characters we saw seemed totally reasonable. I also really liked the fact the place didn’t seem overcrowded like some character meals can; this could be because it was an off-peak time and we were sat outside, but there weren’t queues for the food either and the staff were really friendly and efficient, always a plus!

Who doesn’t love a breakfast buffet?

Disneyland Paris: Walt’s

There are certain places in Disney parks that are just that little bit more magical, and Main Street USA is no exception, so dining on Main Street is an experience in itself, and you can do that at Walt’s.

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If you there a little early, the waiting area is a classically decorated room with a grand piano, pictures and plush furniture, and a bust of the main man himself! The restaurant is upstairs, and spans several rooms, which makes every table feel a little more personal, rather than sitting in a large restaurant. The decor upstairs is just as elegant and classic as the waiting room, with pretty wallpaper and curtains, and paintings on the walls, but each room is themed to reflect an area of the resort – ours was Adventureland.

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We chose from the set menu that was part of our dining plan; I had a Caesar salad starter, chicken main and chocolate fondant dessert.

The salad was the perfect size, with croutons and big strips of chicken. It came with a dressing, but I asked for mine without and they were all too happy to oblige. My main course of chicken in Marsala sauce was beautiful! The chicken was tender and moist, and the potato and veggies went perfectly. The portions here were a little smaller than elsewhere, but I definitely didn’t feel that I was left hungry.

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The chocolate fondant was a clear winner out of the dessert options for me, although they all sounded great. It was warm with a gooey centre, and a thick vanilla cream; the best way to end a meal, even if I did wolf it down so I could get outside in time for the parade!

Dining on Main Street was a real treat to end our trip with, and great food and beautiful views overlooking the park just made it even more magical!

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Disneyland Paris: Bistrot Chez Remy

Did you ever see a restaurant in a movie that looked so great you wished you could eat there in real life?

Well now you can!

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Based on the Pixar classic Ratatouille, Bistrot Chez Remy gives guests in the Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris an opportunity to shrink down to the size of a rat, and dine on Remy’s gourmet menu.

And the setting?

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Giant fairy lights, corkscrew chairs, cocktail umbrella parasols and giant tableware match the setting from the film so perfectly, and if you’re sat near the big glass window, you can watch guests on the adjoining Ratatouille ride!

Needless to say, the food was divine, but you’d expect nothing less from a great chef like Remy!

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With our dining plan, we could choose from a set menu of delicious options. The starter was a nice leafy salad, with cheese (of course) and beetroot. I asked for mine without the chef’s dressing, but our waiter was nice enough to bring some balsamic dressing for me instead. Our waiter was so lovely, it really made the meal memorable!

For main, I couldn’t not have the steak! It came with a good helping of chips, and a small bowl of the signature ratatouille – well would you expect anything else? Dad, Hannah and I all had steak, all cooked differently, and all of them were perfect, which really says something about the skill of the chefs. Dessert for me was a chocolate fondant, with a perfect gooey centre and vanilla cream. The waiter brought it out with a candle and sang happy birthday, which made it even more special!

As a family, we were blown away by everything about Bistrot Chez Remy, and would recommend it without a doubt! Hats off to the chef!

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Disneyland Paris: Blue Lagoon Restaurant

In any Disney park, Pirates of the Caribbean is a classic ride, and in the Disneylands (California, Tokyo and Paris), if you look out on your journey round the waters, you’ll find yourself in the middle of someone else’s dining experience!

And what an experience it is; you’ve gotta eat here!

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We had a reservation for dinner on my birthday at 5pm, so it was before the main dinner rush and we almost had the place to ourselves. It has such atmosphere: the low lighting, boats floating by, a slight buzz in the air..

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And the food? Well I think it was the best meal I had in DLP!

Because of the dining plan we were on, we had a set menu to choose from. I skipped my starter (because I was still a little full from lunch!) and went straight for the main of Colombo Chicken, which was beautiful!

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The chicken was perfectly cooked, with crispy coconut flakes that added a fab crunch, and the sauce was smooth, creamy, and not too spicy, which for me is ideal. It was served with a mound of rice that complimented it really well, and the portion size was great.

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Dessert was a show in itself; creme brulee that the server lit in front of us to toast the top layer of sugar and wow, wow, wow was it yummy!

If you’re looking for a great place to eat on your next trip, this is the place to go!

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Friday Favourite Five – WDW Table Service Restaurants

It always amazes me how unique every dining experience at Disney World is. Sure, you sometimes might find yourself eating similar meals in a few, but every table in every restaurant gives you a totally different memory!

On our last trip, we tried to fit in as many table service meals as our dining plan would allow, and we had some incredible meals, but for now, here’s my favourite five:

1. T-REX

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If you’ve never been, imagine Rainforest Cafe, but instead of wildlife, its dinosaurs that run the show! Yep, dinner, dinos and delicious food; we had an awesome time here.

2. Tusker House

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Probably one of the best meals from our last trip! We made this booking following a recommendation from friends, but had no idea what to expect, so when we walked into a restaurant with incredible decor, a vast range of amazing food and character visits, we were blown away.

3. Crystal Palace

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You cannot go wrong with Crystal Palace. Magic Kingdom, check! Pooh and friends, check! Buffet including Mickey waffles, check!

4. Sci-fi Dine In Theater

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It probably doesn’t get more unique than eating dinner in a classic car and watching old movies on the big screen!

5. Chef Mickey’s

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A Disney World classic, and a great excuse to ride the monorail across from the Magic Kingdom. Fill your plate with grub, and get your napkins ready..

What are your favourite table service restaurants?

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Friday Favourite Five – WDW Quick Service Restaurants

I’m getting super excited about my upcoming Disney World trip, and when I’m excited my planning goes into overdrive! Because we’re on the Quick Service Dining Plan, I’m pretty excited to try out a lot more of the QS restaurants on this trip, but for now, here are my favourite five from the last trip:

1. Pizza Planet Arcade

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My absolutely favourite restaurant in Hollywood Studios, Pizza Planet is like walking into Andy’s favourite place to eat: pizza, arcade games, and plenty of Little Green Men!

2. Be Our Guest (lunch)

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Be Our Guest is quick service for lunchtime only, and even then getting in can be pretty competitive, but we managed it! If the perfect setting isn’t enough, the food was amazing!

3. Sunshine Seasons

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Sunshine Seasons is inside The Land at Epcot, and boasts a pretty amazing range of international cuisine. My Mongolian Beef, fried rice and whoopie pie might have been the best QS meal I had last year!

4. Pinocchio Village Haus

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We loved Pinocchio’s so much we ate there twice! As well as great food, there’s loads of seating both indoors and out, and if you sit by the big window you can watch the boats on It’s a Small World!

5. Boardwalk Bakery

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The Boardwalk is possibly the most beautiful and underrated place in Disney World, and the Bakery is full of yummy goodies, from incredible cupcakes to handmade deli sandwiches, and if you ever need to order a celebration cake, this is the place to go!

Where are your favourite places to eat in WDW?

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Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall

This was by far my favourite restaurant in Tokyo Disney. I had seen pictures online, and I knew I wanted to eat here!

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QoH is right in the centre of Fantasyland, next to ‘Its a Small World’, and you can’t miss it! Its surrounded by statues of the Alice in Wonderland characters, as well as the iconic teapot vending machines, and perfectly pruned shrubbery.

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Once you step inside, you’re transported into the Queen’s gardens; mazes, red roses, Playing Cards, even a Cheshire Cat! The restaurant is a ‘buffeteria’, a cross between serve yourself and being served (grab your own dessert, choose your main, be seated by a cast member). The scenery is phenomenal, everything from stained glass scenes to giant flowers!

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And as for the food.. Unbelievable! I had a seafood selection and a chocolate fudge cake, both totally faultless! All of the choices had something Alice in Wonderland themed about them, and some of the dessert selections had souvenir bowls or plates (my sister had the cake, I got the plate!).

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Sweet, right?! There was loads of seating, so we didn’t feel at all crowded, and entirely indoors which was perfect for the heat. It really was a totally unique dining experience, even the toilets were keeping with the theme! The Queen herself would be most impressed, and if you don’t eat here, then off with your heads!

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‘Ohana

Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. Or is left hungry..

Ohana is one of the many restaurants in Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and as the name suggests, family is top of the agenda. We booked for Mickey’s Best Friends breakfast on the last morning of our trip (booked the day before, not well in advance), mainly because the girls love Lilo and Stitch, who visit the table during the meal along with Mickey and Pluto, and we hadn’t had the chance to meet them for photos and autographs.

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The breakfast menu is classic: bacon, scrambled eggs, toasted muffins, and Mickey waffles, all brought to your table in a massive bowl for you to help yourself from. Your servers will also serve tea and coffee, and ‘Stitch juice’, which is delicious!

It was a nice meal, and a good way to finish our trip, but it wasn’t a mind-blowing meal like some of the other meals we had, so if you’re short for time or low on table service credits, I wouldn’t rush here again. All that considered though, if you’re nearby and looking for a good, hearty breakfast, here’s a good stop.

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Chef Mickey’s

Whether you’re staying in Contemporary Resort or not, Chef Mickey’s is definitely a place to go if you get a chance!

The food is an all you can eat buffet, with a salad bar, soup of the day, carvery meats, pasta bakes, and a load of veggies and side dishes, as well as kiddie options such as Mickey shaped mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and pizza.

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Oh, and did I mention its a character meal? Well it wouldn’t be Chef Mickey’s if the chief himself didn’t visit! Mickey, Minnie and the gang all come round to make sure everything’s ok with your food, and make sure you don’t get too messy, cos you’ll be needing your napkin for the famous napkin dance – yes, that is exactly what the name suggests; join the characters as you dance around the restaurant waving your napkin over your head!

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A real hit with the family, and a great excuse to ride the monorail from the Magic Kingdom!

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Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show

Get your hawaiian shirt on and practice your luau skills, you’re gonna need them at this exciting dining experience at Disney’s Polynesian Resort!

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First things first, you MUST book in advance, these seats get snapped up fast, and the poorer seats have a rubbish view of the performance. You will have to guarantee your table with a credit card, and if you’re on a dining plan, it’s two table service credits each. That being said though, its an all-inclusive meal; all you can eat food, served family style, with additional kids options, and all drinks are included, hello margaritas!

Big saving tip: while you wait to be shown into the restaurant, there’s a bar where you can buy drinks, but if you can hold off til you get inside, all drinks are available included in your meal, so don’t be tempted!

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So you get set up with some appetizers while the place is filling up, and once you’ve chowed down on those, the show begins! In an attempt to be more kid friendly, the show has a slight story to it of a luau dance school, which was kinda unnecessary I thought; you’re there to see some dancing!

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During a short interval, your mains are served up: pulled pork, ribs, roast chicken.. Fill your plates, they’ll bring more if you’re still hungry!

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The show covers traditional dances from several Polynesian islands: Tahiti, Tonga, New Zealand and of course hawaii, as well as a Samoan fire dancer! A nice, kid friendly touch was that the cast sang hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride for one of the dances, which Disney kids will know as the theme song from Lilo and Stitch; I thought that was pretty cool. There are also many opportunities for the audience to get up on stage and dance in the ‘birthday dance’ and ‘anniversary dance’; of course we sent up our happy couple..

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Overall, the show is a great way to sit back, relax, get some good food and enjoy some different entertainment, as well as having an opportunity to explore the Polynesian Resort in all its fabulous glory!

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50s Prime Time Cafe

Take a ride back in time to a decade where food was good, family was everything, and kitchens were retro!

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If you need to wait for your table to be ready, you can hang out in the attached Tune-In Lounge until your ‘babysitter’ seats you around your kitchen table.

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Choose from a wide selection of classic family recipes, from Aunt Liz’s fried chicken to Grandma’s pot pie, and be sure to eat all your vegetables, or your babysitter might just shout about it to the whole restaurant!

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If you’re into themed dining, then stopping by is completely necessary; kids will find the setting totally comical, and almost every adult will remember some relative that used to have a kitchen exactly like the set-up – my nan and gran in our family! The servers make everyone feel welcome, and while in my personal opinion the food left a little something to be desired, overall it was a fun family dining experience.

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Pizza Planet Arcade

Love Toy Story? Eat here.

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The Pizza Planet Arcade is a Quick Service restaurant, located in hollywood Studios, and is set up just like Pizza Planet from Pixar’s Toy Story.

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Once you’ve ordered your food from the counter, take a seat at a table, either on the ground floor, surrounded by arcade games to entertain the kids, or upstairs with the aliens!

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As the name suggests, the main item on the menu is pizza, but there’s also a few subs and salads available as well as a range of desserts; you can’t really go wrong!

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Fun for all the family and a great place to eat, don’t give it a miss!

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Sci Fi Dine In Theater

Disney is packed with unique dining experiences, but this one is fairly up there.

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Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the entire restaurant is set up as an old school drive in movie theater; you sit in classic cars, two by two, all pointed towards a huge projection screen playing a combination of black and white/colour movie clips, ads and classic cartoons.

Each row of the car has a little countertop style table across the row, just large enough for your meal, and comfortably fits two adults or three smaller bottoms. Sit back and enjoy the meal, the friendly diner staff take care of the rest!

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The food is classic American diner style – burgers, sandwiches etc. I had the steak, which came with garlic mash potato, vegetables and two fairly huge onion rings. Now I’m not a huge connoisseur of steak, but it was cooked to my liking and I enjoyed it very much, especially the blue cheese butter dressing, and the portion size didn’t leave me hungry – in fact, I could hardly touch my hot fudge ice cream sundae after all that.

There were a few cons though..

1. While it may work for some people, we found the atmosphere of the restaurant a little un-family friendly; while some tables are family style (where you sit around the table), most were in rows of two so felt a little unsociable, and as the whole room keeps fairly quiet so as not to disturb the reel on the screen, its difficult to feel part of a group, so I wouldn’t recommend it for families of smaller or more restless children.

2. The clips being played aren’t entirely kid-friendly. There were a few Tom and Jerry moments, but otherwise it was mainly adult sci-fi, which although part of the theme of the restaurant, didn’t appeal to the kids as much.

3. None of the tables are designed for groups of over 8. As a group of 9, we were given the option of trying to squeeze on a table of 8 (no chance would we have fitted seeing them), or to split between two cars. This meant that 2 of our group had to sit in a separate car, adding to the unsociable aspect.

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It was however a great meal, and while we, the adults, had our minor complaints, the kids didn’t seem to care too much, and in fact they thought it was the coolest place we ate!

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Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom

So you don’t have to visit Disney World to experience The Rainforest Cafe, but why not dine with the animals before/after visiting some real ones?!

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We planned to have breakfast here, as the Downtown Disney branch doesn’t open for lunch, but by the time we got there they were just about to open for lunch, so we had a bit of a browse of the huge gift shop area before being seated at our table.

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I’m no stranger to a Rainforest Cafe, but this one was enormous! They don’t even the whole restaurant for lunch its that big.

Without a doubt, it was the best meal I had during our stay. I had Parmesan Chicken; the portion size was huge, but if I had a bigger appetite I would have eaten every last bite!

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I cannot fault anything about this place; its so family friendly, our server was great, and the chimps sat next to us were great company!

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Coral Reef

Tucked round the corner from The Seas with Nemo and Friends is a real underwater dining experience.

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Coral Reef in Epcot shares a wall with the enormous fish tank from the ride next door, so you can enjoy dinner with fishy company!

While the food was really good, with options from fish dishes to chicken to steak, we didn’t have the best time here; they forgot to book us in when we arrived, so after a half hour wait, we were told we’d have to wait a bit longer for our table due to their mistake. We were also sat on the back row of tables, furthest from the tank, so the whole experience was kinda lost on us, except the occasional swim-by from a turtle or ray.

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The restaurant setup wasn’t overly family friendly either, so unless you’re sat right by the fish, entertaining small children is a little tricky, and the restroom isn’t actually situated inside the restaurant; its outside in the waiting area.

I would recommend Coral Reef for families with older children, or as a place to eat if you want to use up table service credits on a dining plan, but if visiting with small children, I’d opt for somewhere a little more kid-friendly

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Be Our Guest

It is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight..

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Be Our Guest is the restaurant inside the elusive Beast’s castle, in the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland. It is open for lunch, which is quick service, and dinner which is table service, and absolutely must be booked in advance (180 days for the best chance of getting a table).

After a failed attempt at trying to get in for dinner, on our last day in the Magic Kingdom we were lucky enough to get there just in time to queue for the lunch opening..

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Wow. One step inside and you can understand why it is such a sought after place to eat; its just stunning. For a quick service lunch, you stop off at a counter to order on your way in, and then take a seat in either the ballroom, the gallery, or the out of bounds West Wing, which contains the enchanted rose. We sat in the ballroom, near the large glass window so we could watch the ‘snow’ fall outside the window. The settings in all the rooms are so accurate to the films, its like you’re actually in the film.

As if by magic, your food is delivered to your table, wherever you choose to sit, without you having to tell a cast member where you are (they track your Magic Band, or give you a tracker if you don’t have one). The lunch menu ranges from soups to sandwiches to salads, all with a French theme, and desserts are mainly cupcakes, including The Master’s Cupcake that is topped with ‘the grey stuff’ – delicious!

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I can’t fault the food, it was perfect. The whole place totally did it for me, and the family loved it too! On my next trip I’d love to try dinner here.

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If you get a chance, do not miss this fabulous opportunity, you’ll never forget it!

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Pinocchio Village Haus

Tucked behind the castle in Fantasyland is a little cottage serving fabulous Italian food..

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Ok so its not little at all, but the food is so good we ate there twice! With inside and outside seating on both ground floor and a tiny first floor, you’ll bound to find a table to sit at once you’ve ordered your flatbreads or subs, and if you can, sit by the large windows on the left of the restaurant: you can watch riders on Its a Small World – wave!

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One of our quick service eateries of the Magic Kingdom; plenty of space for our large group, good food and a nice setting.

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Columbia Harbour House

This fishy eatery is located in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom, and serves up a selection of sandwiches, platters and salads.

Its a standard quick service place, order at a counter, collect your food and grab a table in the spacious seating area – don’t forget there’s more seating upstairs!

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This was our first quick service experience, and honestly was one of the worst. Although the food was decent, there was a lot of mix up when our order was placed, resulting in a few of us getting the wrong sides or desserts, and the servers didn’t seem that motivated to help us resolve it.

A spacious place for a good bite to eat, but nothing to write home about.

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Crystal Palace

Tucked into a corner of Main Street USA, Crystal Palace is the fave place to eat of Winnie the Pooh and some of his very best friends. As the name suggests, the building is a stunning structure of glass and framework, and is decorated with displays of hanging baskets and impressive topiary centerpieces.

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We booked for breakfast on the first day of our trip. While the park isn’t open to the public until 9am, breakfast bookings start from 8am, giving a unique opportunity to see the Magic Kingdom first thing; an empty Main Street leading up to the castle: totally beautiful.

The food is all you can eat buffet-style, with a range of options from classic Mickey waffles to an omelette station, cereals and fruit to full cooked breakfast options. Mixed in with classic choices like bacon and eggs are unique specialties such as ‘breakfast pizza’, pizza base with an omelette style topping with vegetables, meat etc, and ‘breakfast lasagne’, layers of fruit, custard, and sponge, topped with granola.

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Once you’ve got a plateful of food, you can head back to your table and wait for your favourite childhood classics to come and say hi, and make sure you have your autograph books at the ready as Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore will all make an appearance!

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The characters make the rounds of the restaurant, one at a time, but they only visit once so you need to keep an eye out for them, not that you can easily miss them! They space out their visits nicely, so you’ve got time to go up and get food between each character. Make sure to have your autograph books ready, and to make it easier for the characters, stack them up ready for signing as they’ll do that first before posing for any photos.

We absolutely loved Crystal Palace; it was the perfect start to our Disney trip. The food was incredible, the setting was classic Disney beautiful, and who doesn’t love Pooh and friends?! An absolute must place to eat for all.

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Tusker House

Located in Africa in the Animal Kingdom, Tusker is a fabulous themed dining experience for all the family.

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We booked for lunch here based purely on a recommendation from a friend about the quality of the food, so it came as a wonderful surprise to find that breakfast and lunch are both character meals, with Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Minnie all visiting on a break from their safari adventures.

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The food is all you can eat buffet, and the restaurant is set up like an authentic African marketplace, with scarfs and trinkets hanging from every available space, and as I was admiring this one of the cast members told me that all of the masks on one of the balconies are genuine, and belonged to Joe Rodhe, the imagineer who designed the Animal Kingdom, how cool?!

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As for the food.. Wow. The selection available was huge, with a carvery station, salad bar, curries, vegetables, authentic African recipes and a delicious selection of desserts.

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As a family, we agreed this was probably the best meal we had on our trip. It was family friendly, especially with the unexpected character visits, and the food was incredible.

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Sunshine Seasons

For a selection of Asian inspired cuisine, definitely hit up Sunshine Seasons in The Land pavilion at Epcot

A quick service restaurant with tonnes of seating, it has three counters, each serving a different range of mains, desserts and snacks, with good portion sizes and something for all the family.

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And you absolutely have to have a red velvet Mickey Whoopie Pie!

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So if you’re heading towards Soarin’ or Living with the Land, definitely do it around lunch time and stop off here for some fuel!

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Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Located in Norway in Epcot’s World Showcase, Akershus is one of the lesser know princess character meals, probably because you don’t often see princesses outside of the Magic Kingdom. Nevertheless, I’d read about it on DisneyFoodBlog.com, and I can’t deny they had me at words ‘cheapest princess meal’ (not that it mattered much to us on the Disney Dining Plan), and when travelling with young girls, princesses are super important.

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You’ve gotta hope you visit in good weather, cos you’ll be waiting for your table outside until your ‘Royal Family’ is announced. Before you’re seated, you have the opportunity to have photos taken with one of the visiting princesses, we had Belle. Don’t miss this, you’ll get 3 poses, which during your meal are printed up and presented to you by the end of your meal, all included in the price much to our surprise!

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The dining style is a little odd.. Once seated, you’re invited to serve yourself appetisers from a buffet style selection of bread, sliced meats and cheeses etc. You then select your main from the menu of Scandinavian style options, sit back and enjoy as the princesses come to you!

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We were visited by Aurora, Snow White, Ariel and Cinderella, having already met Belle on our way in. They chatted to the girls, signed autograph books and posed for photos, it was a great way of meeting lots of princesses without having to queue elsewhere. Following your meal, there is a prince and princess procession where kids can line up with the princesses and parade around the restaurant to music and applause from everyone else, little ones will love it!

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Following the main meal, dessert is served family style; a selection of options are presented on a single plate for you to pick and choose from.

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Overall the food was alright, but definitely wasn’t the best meal we had. That being said, the experience of the meal was great as it meant we got to spend a lot of time with princesses, and the included photo prints were a fab plus!

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