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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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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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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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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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!

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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