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!

The Skinny Kitchen Bournemouth Pumpin Iron

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?!

The Skinny Kitchen Bournemouth

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?