Fantasmic Dining Package at Mama Melrose Ristorante Italiano

If you think, like me, that a trip to Hollywood Studios isn’t complete without seeing Fantasmic, then this might just be the dining deal for you.

I’d known about the Fantasmic Dining Packages for a little while, but had always dismissed them as I assumed that they would be costly and not part of the dining plan, which I normally have, but when planning our last trip and knowing that Matthew was a huge Fantasmic lover, I wanted to do something special that would make seeing the show even more magical.

Well it was certainly a magical discovery that I realised that the dining package is not only covered by the Disney Dining Plan, but it is also only the usual amount of table service credits – I say this as the dining package is available at 3 locations, Mama Melrose, Hollywood and Vine, and The Hollywood Brown Derby, and HBD is a 2 table service credit location, so the package is 2 per person at that location. The package can be booked like any other ADR, however rather than being able to book it at the 180 day mark for the whole trip, it only becomes available 180 days before the exact date, so don’t panic if you try it a few days early and it says there’s nothing available!

What’s even better still, is that at Mama Melrose, the dining package means even more food than normal, so trust me when I say that if you book this, don’t eat for a good few hours (at least) beforehand, cos you’re gonna explode! Rather than the usual main course and dessert plus drink that your table service credit will normally get you, the package includes an appetiser also, and these appetisers include flatbreads the size of whole pizzas, and that’s before you get onto the mains of pastas, steak and more! Oh, and then there’s dessert! You get the option of a plate of mini desserts, or ice-cream, but we struggled to get past our mains!

It was my first time dining at Mama Melrose, and I thought the food was great – personally you can never go wrong with Italian if you ask me! Our server was also so lovely and made sure we had a great meal and knew exactly what we needed to do for the show later on. So onto the Fantasmic side of the package..

 

When you get the bill, your server will bring you your Fastpasses. These are paper, and a particular colour, which relates to where you’re going to sit in the theater. Its still recommended that you get to the theater 20-40 mins before the show is due to start, same as with any Fastpass, but rather than clamouring for a good seat, there is a whole chunk of the theater cordoned off for dessert parties and dining packages, and these are the centre few blocks, so don’t get swept up with the other Fastpass holders, and keep an eye out for cast members and what they’re calling out. You will need to show your passes at a few different places, so don’t put them away once you’ve started the walk up to the theater!

Well our seats were great, definitely the most central I’ve ever sat, and we were about halfway up, having got there with about half an hour to spare – if you want to be near the front then you definitely want to be queuing at the rope before the theater even opens!

If you’re not on the dining plan, then the Mama Melrose package is $42 per adult or $18 for children, but as I mentioned, you do get a tonne of food for that price. And if you are on the dining plan, I would 100% recommend doing this if you’re a Fantasmic fan because its only 1 credit and you get so much more out of it!

Some imagination, huh?

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Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 12

I’m afraid to say that I’ve been pretty poorly today, so a lot of the day has been spent in bed! I did get up for lunch at Pepper Market, and also did get some laundry done, but I’ve mainly been curled up watching Disney movies and feeling a little sorry for myself.

We did get out for the evening though, heading to Hollywood Studios for a few hours. We saw the Indiana Jones Stunt Show, grabbed some dinner at Catalina Eddie’s, while watching some of the new Tower of Terror projections and being snowed on, then went to ride Star Tours and meet BB-8 in the Star Wars Launch Bay.

We wrapped up the evening by using our the Fantasmic fastpasses we’d got from our dining package the other day. The seats were great, but it was a little windy so we got slightly damp from the fountains, but oh well!

I’m hoping to get a good nights sleep so I feel a little more alive tomorrow, let’s see how it goes!

Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 10

So it turns out I accidentally numbered my posts wrong and today is actually day 10, not 9 as I had thought, oops!

Today started much like yesterday, a lie in, followed by a gym session before heading out to the parks, and today our destination was Hollywood Studios. When we arrived, my first port of call was Adrian and Edith’s Head to Toe shop, as I had decided the night before that I was finally going to buy the Sorcerer Mickey hat I’ve wanted for ages, and I wanted it embroidered with my name, so we got that one going to collect later in the day. From there, I grabbed a giant cookie for brunch, then we headed to the Indiana Jones Stunt Show as we had fastpasses. This is a favourite for both Matthew and me!

After the show we hit Tower of Terror, and then Matthew went to do Rock’n’Roller Coaster; I was put off by my experience from the other day so instead I did some shops and grabbed a Starbucks before going back to meet him, and we went on to do Toy Story Midway Mania.

After Midway Mania, we headed to our late lunch reservation at Mama Melrose – we had booked this as part of the Fantasmic dining package – and then went to collect my finished hat, then met Mickey and Minnie before rushing back across the park for the last performance of Beauty and the Beast.

Unfortunately, Matthew wasn’t feeling very well after the show, so we decided to head back to the hotel, having been reassured by guest services that we could utilise the Fantasmic ticket we’d received as part of the dining package on another night instead, which was nice!

Back at the hotel, I went to pick up some merchandise that we’d sent back from the parks, and filled up our resort mugs, then started the mammoth task of reorganising my suitcase to make sure I’ll have enough room for everything I’ve bought!

Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 5

Today we were up bright and early to get to Hollywood Studios for opening. We grabbed a quick snack for breakfast and then headed to Toy Story Midway Mania, riding it once via the standby queue and then again using our fastpass, although the standby still wasn’t more than 30 mins even an hour later. From there we did One Man’s Dream, which is showing a preview of the new Pixar film, Coco, which looks so good!

After that, we decided to brave the standby line for Rock’n’Roller Coaster, but despite the line saying 45 mins, and a cast member announcement warning that it might be slightly longer, we definitely didn’t wait more than about 30 mins. My head took a bit of a bashing on the ride, so we opted for a sit down in Muppet Vision 3D after that.

Lunch was at Sci-Fi Dine In, and I was a happy girl with a steak/mac and cheese combo which was to die for! After lunch we did Star Tours, and we had hoped to do Beauty and the Beast afterwards, but unfortunately my head was really giving me grief after RnR, and I was starting to feel dizzy so instead we went back to the hotel room so I could have a lie down.

Once I was feeling a little better, we decided rather than going back to Hollywood Studios, we’d head to Fantasia Gardens mini golf, then walk along the Boardwalk into Epcot. I’ve been wanting to do mini golf in Disney for a while now, and despite having to wait about 25 mins before we could start due to it being quite busy, I really enjoyed the course, plus we timed it with the end of Fantasmic, so we could actually hear the show from the course!

At Epcot, we decided to trial some of the Food and Wine festival offerings, starting from the International Gateway and working anti-clockwise. As it was late, and we’ve got a whole day planned for this next week, we just hit a few booths but I’ve discovered a serious love for Brazilian cheese bread so yeah that’s gonna happen again..

Once we were back at Future World, we washed down the food with a few samples from Club Cool, then headed out of the park just before the Illuminations crush incurred, and managed to get a resort bus to ourselves!

February Disney Trip Day 8

Happy Tuesday guys! Our day kicked off in Hollywood Studios, and with quite the bang – a fastpass for Rock’n’Roller Coaster, and of course we were pretty hyped to be in the back car of the limo. Sensibly, we saved breakfast for afterwards, grabbing a drink and a snack from Trolley Car Cafe and sitting to watch the First Order March through the park.From there, we had to make a quick detour to guest relations before heading back to Tower of Terror for our second fastpass of the day. Sarah dared me that I couldn’t do it without holding on – which I always do because I’m awful on this ride – and for the first time ever, I had my hands in the air for almost the whole ride! Yay me! I got myself a celebration button as a reward.

Out of the blue, we discovered Bolt meeting in front of the Chinese Theater, so of course we stopped for a quick photo with him, then got in line for Voyage of the Little Mermaid, but as we got to the front of the line to enter the theatre, the cast member announced it was at capacity and we would have to wait an extra 25 minutes for the next show, which we couldn’t really be bothered to do in the heat, so instead we went and did Muppet Vision 3D, then grabbed lunch at Backlot Express.

Bellies full of bacon cheeseburgers, we headed back to the Chinese Theater for the Great Movie Ride (cowboy, if you were wondering), then as we went to leave the park, Sarah remembered that it was coming up time for character palooza again, so we decided to swing by before we left and boy was it worth it?! Unlike the 4 character we met the other day, they brought out 11 characters, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Pocahontas appeared followed by Meeko, and the two of them met together which made my little heart so happy! Also out were Robin Hood, Pluto, Donald, Rafiki, Evil Queen, Snow White, and Smee and Prince Ali – we were so lucky to see that many! On a side note, I’m super sunburnt today, and had to buy sun cream, and I also managed to drop and smash my phone screen, so I fully believe in karma today.

Riding the palooza high, we left the park and got on the boat to Epcot, and as we got into International Gateway, we decided to hang out in the UK pavilion for a bit in order to meet Alice, then wandered round to Mexico for a bit of air con inside the temple and a ride on the Gran Fiesta Tour. From there, we headed back to Future World and met Baymax again, before doing Living with the Land and the Circle of Life, and a quick Seas with Nemo and Friends, before going back to the UK pavilion for dinner.

As we waited for our Rose and Crown Dining Room reservation, we stuck our heads into the pub to see how authentically British it was, but the floor wasn’t sticky and it didn’t smell quite like a proper pub, so we definitely didn’t feel like we were in the UK! Our table for dinner was right on the lake edge, giving us a beautiful view of the now lit World Showcase as we dined on fish and chips and chicken tikka masala, cos y’know, UK tradition, and we were lucky enough to be served by our friend Milly who’s out here on the CRP, so between ordering we could discuss important matters like Character Palooza and a certain Wilderness Explorer.. We also got to watch Illuminations from our table, and while it’s probably my least favourite nighttime show, it was a pretty view for it.

After dinner, we hustled our way back up to Test Track as extra magic hours meant the park was open til 11pm, so we dived in the queue while it said it was a 40 minute wait, we were in and out within that time, before heading out of the park for the night, again opting to get on the bus to French Quarter rather than Riverside because the queue were that much shorter!

Goodnight y’all!

February Disney Trip Day 7

Another day in Disney paradise! We kicked off the morning with breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe, although the crazy number of people trying to get into the parks meant we were half an hour late for our reservation, but the cast members were really understanding and it wasn’t a problem at all.

After a quick explore of the hotel grounds, we caught the bus into Disney Springs for a few indulgent hours of shopping which involved a lot of Sephora (haul post to come!) and of course some World of Disney and the other shops available. Disney Springs has been developed so much even in the year since I was last there, and it’s so beautiful now with new water features and pretty new shopping areas. We refuelled with an Earl of Sandwich, then got the boat from marketplace back to the hotel to ditch our shopping bags before heading out to Hollywood Studios for the remainder of the day.

With a little bit of time from entering the park til we could use our Fantasmic fastpass, we decided to abuse our Memory Maker and get a bunch of photopass photos in various places, then grabbed some popcorn before we made our way into the amphitheater, getting almost front row seats for the magic! Now, as we discovered, that does come with a little bit of spray if the wind isn’t on your side.. Of course the show was its usual amazing self, encapsulating some of my favourite Mickey moments and even Meeko made an appearance on the boat!

After Fantasmic, we joined the crowds in front of The Chinese Theater to watch the Star Wars fireworks, which I’d really hyped up to Sarah – the non-Star Wars fan – after I was wowed by them last year, but since the last time I saw them the display has changed a little and while it was still impressive, I wasn’t as completely blown away as I was last year. Then, to avoid the crush of people leaving the park, we stepped into the entrance area of Trolley Car Cafe for a little while and let the park clear a bit before we made our way out. This proved to be somewhat of a mistake, as when we arrived at our resort bus stop, the queue was CRAZY LONG. I’m talking maybe 3-5 buses worth of people, and that didn’t sound fun to us, so instead we queued for the French Quarter bus, and walked the path down to Riverside from there, tiring us out nicely enough for bed! Zzzzzzzz

February Disney Trip Day 5 and Enchanted 10K

Well that was an early morning, but I’ve done the 10K!


The race was a lot of fun. I took it pretty easy and stopped for quite a few characters along the way, including Tinkerbell who was with Terrence, Rosetta and Iridessa (AMAZING) and also Dopey, Marie and the Genie! Stopping for characters did bring my time up, but I had so much fun I didn’t really care and I still did pretty well considering!


After getting back to the hotel and recovering with a bath and a quite lay down, we hopped on a bus to Hollywood Studios, then got a boat over to Beach Club for breakfast at Cape May Cafe. It was a classic breakfast buffet, with Minnie, Goofy and Donald meeting in their adorable beach outfits!

Back to Hollywood Studios, and our first stop of the day was meeting Moana, which is at the back of One Man’s Dream. The staging of her meet is amazing; you queue through the cave from the film, with a waterfall backdrop, and you meet Moana on an island beach by the sea – it’s all super pretty! After her, we ticked Pluto off the list by Disney Junior’s, him being the final of the classic six characters for us to meet, then headed down Sunset Boulevard and caught a showing of Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage.


Next up, it was our fastpass for Tower of Terror. If you know me, you’ll know I have a love/hate thing with this ride, but it actually seemed to be over a lot quicker than it normally is so win win! From there, we went to hang out and wait for the elusive Character Palooza, where we eventually met Tiana, Bert, Pinocchio and Pocahontas, then back to Pixar Place for Toy Story Mania. I, of course, destroyed Sarah, but she was a first timer so I’ll let her off..
Another character to tick off the ever growing list, we went to meet Olaf at Echo Lake because Mickey and Minnie had a crazy 50 minute queue. He really liked my medal and wanted one of his own, so he decided to run with me tomorrow, although I warned him there’d be a danger of melting!


The next character we went to see was Chewbacca, although Sarah was pretty surprised as she was expecting Yoda – these non Star Wars fans eh? Continuing her Star Wars education, we marched back across the park to Star Tours, which I was really happy with because it was a scenario I’ve never had before and I basically always see the same ones! Now the queue for Mickey and Minnie was a bit shorter, so we jumped in. I was a little upset that Mickey had been moved from his old spot, but when I saw the new area all was forgiven because that area is really nice and both Mickey and Minnie were really fun and Minnie’s dress was so pretty!


Starting to really feel the 5 hours of sleep I’ve had, we grabbed some dinner at Catalina Eddie’s, then left Hollywood Studios for Animal Kingdom so we could catch Rivers of Light. Well it turned out everyone else had the same idea. We got to the stands with 15 minutes to spare, only to find that they were already rammed, and were queueing people up for the later showing over an hour later. We did a full loop of the lake area, then I had a brainwave to follow the seating for Flame Tree Barbecue all the way down to the waters edge – it maybe wasn’t as great a view as you might get from the stands, but there was seating and hardly anyone there so it makes the perfect secret spot. The show itself was not mind blowing; sure it was pretty and the floats were beautiful, but I definitely wouldn’t be queueing over an hour like some poor unfortunate souls, and I won’t hurry back either.

I’m now exhausted and my feet are really feeling the events of the day, so we’re heading back to the hotel for a good nights sleep, and I’ve got another 3.30am alarm for tomorrow’s half!