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Bethany Vinton

0 In Disney/ Disney Recipes

Disney at Home: Woody’s Lunch Box Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Disney Parks Blog Just released their official recipe for the Grilled Three-Cheese to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day, so today I am making it at home.

When I saw the recipe for the grilled cheese from Woody’s Lunchbox (aka the best grilled cheese ever) pop up on Disney Parks Blog, I knew I had to recreate it. There is no better day than National Grilled Cheese today, so come along as we enjoy a little Disney at home since the parks are still closed.

I will say the only thing missing is their adult lemonade, and if you have tried it you know what I mean. So I am going to do my best to recreate it using only ingredients I have at home, because quarantine.

Woody’s Lunch Box Grill Cheese Recipe via https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/

Here's the official recipe for the Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich from Woody's Lunch Box in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

Cream Cheese Spread

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Garlic Spread

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Sandwich

  • 8 slices artisan bread
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices provolone

Instructions
 

For Cream Cheese Spread

  • Combine cream cheese, Double Gloucester or cheddar, heavy cream, and salt in food processor. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

For Garlic Spread

  • Combine mayonnaise, garlic, and salt in small bowl and stir until blended. Set aside.

For Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich

  • Lay out artisan bread slices on parchment paper or large cutting board.
  • Place 2 slices of cheddar on 4 of the bread slices. Place 2 slices of provolone on remaining bread slices. 
  • Equally spoon cream cheese spread on slices with provolone. Gently smooth cream cheese spread over each slice.
  • Press cheddar side and provolone side together.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes, until hot. 
  • Brush both sides of the sandwiches with garlic spread.
  • Grill sandwiches for 2 minutes on each side, until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown.

Quarantine Adult Lemonade

Ingredients:

1.5 oz cherry vodka, see below to see how to infuse your own

8 oz lemonade

splash of berry puree, recipe follows

To make berry puree:

Combine a handful of berries (whatever you have in the house will do), a pinch of sugar and a splash of lemon juice to taste, into a food processor and blend. Strain out seeds by pushing the mixture through a metal sieve with a spoon.

To make Adult Lemonade:

Combine all ingredients over ice and stir to combine.

Don’t have any cherry vodka at home? Simply place vodka and maraschino cherries in a container and allow to infuse for at least an hour, shaking throughout the process to combine. I used 2 cherries per shot of vodka and it was perfect.

What Disney recipe do you want to see next? Let me know!

0 In Disney/ Disney Recipes

Disneyland Corn Dogs Copy Cat Recipe

Disneyland has the best corn dogs, sorry Disney World, it’s true, though the corn dog bites from Casey’s Corner are outstanding. Anyways, with the parks closed there is nothing I wanted more than a corn dog at home. They honestly aren’t hard to make and they fry up quickly, so it’s a pretty easy meal. So when you can’t visit the parks you can always make visit via your kitchen.

Disneyland Corn Dogs Copy Cat Recipe

Bring Disneyland home with this corn dog recipe.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 8 dogs

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk see notes for substitute
  • 2 T butter melted
  • 1 quart canola oil you can use vegetable oil
  • 8 hot dogs
  • 8 skewers

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil over medium heat to 350°, using a thermometer to check the temperature. While the oil is heating assemble corn dog.
  • Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until fully combined.
  • Add in beaten egg, buttermilk, and melted butter. Whisk until fully combined and all of the dry ingredients are hydrated.
  • Transfer mixture to tall glass to make dipping the corn dogs easier.
  • Pat every hot dog dry, it's essential to get all of the moisture off of the hot dog in order for the batter to stick.
  • Skewer each hot dog, and push the stick about 4/5 of the way up the hot dog, try to keep the skewer in the middle of the dog.
  • Dip your hot dogs into the batter and twist to coat.
  • Remove the hod dog from the batter and hold above the cup allowing the excess batter to drip off, it should take about 20 seconds. Batter them one at a time and place directly into the oil.
  • When your oil is to temperature, fry each corn dog 3-4 minutes, rotating to ensure all sides brown evenly. You can fry 2-3 dogs at a time, just don't overcrowd your pan as it will cause the oil's temperature to drop rapidly.
  • Once corn dogs are cooked, place on a wire drying rack and allow to cool slightly.
  • Top with your favorite corn dog toppings and enjoy!

Notes

If you don’t have buttermilk, use 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of white vingar. Combine the two, allow the mixture to sit five minutes and use that in place of the buttermilk.

What Disney recipe do you want me to recreate next? Also, don’t forget to tag me on social media if you create these corn dogs at home, I love seeing what you guys make in the kitchen!

0 In Disney Recipes

Galaxy’s Edge Copy Cat Ronto Wrap Recipe

Bright Suns, Travelers! If you’ve been to Galaxy’s Edge and have tried the Ronto Wrap, you will fully understand that cult-like following surrounding the it and the need to find the perfect Ronto Wrap recipe. Being a long way from the parks I set out on a mission to make a Ronto Wrap recipe for at home. A bunch of recipe tests later I feel like I have come up with a version that is close to the parks and transports you to Batuu via your kitchen.

There are a good amount of types of Ronto Wraps if you combine what is available in both Dinsey World and Disneyland. From breakfast wraps to vegan options, I have tried them all and I still think the original Ronto Wrap is the best. There is something about the way the pork sausage melts with the roasted pork, all while being smothered in that delicious peppercorn sauce. I did recently travel back to Batuu and can say with confidence that this Ronto Wrap is real close to the version in the parks.

Galaxy’s Edge Ronto Wrap Copycat

Servings 4

Ingredients

Tangy Slaw

  • 1 Cup Green Cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Carrots shredded
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Peppercorn Sauce

  • 1/2 Tbsp Black Peppercorns Crushed (If you don't have whole peppercorns on hand just use black pepper)
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Beef Stock You can sub this for chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Shallot finely diced
  • 1 Clove Garlic finely diced
  • 1/2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
  • salt to taste

Ronto Wrap

  • 4 Mild Pork Sausages see notes
  • 1 Pork Tender Loin about 2 pounds
  • 3 Cloves Garlic diced
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 ribs of celery (optional)
  • 4 Pita Breads

Instructions

Tangy Slaw

  • Shred carrots and green cabbage, you can do this by hand, with a box grater, or with an attachment on a food processor.
  • In a medium bowl combine, carrots, green cabbage, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, basil, sugar, and mix to evenly coat.
  • Once fully combined add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Refrigerate until ready to assemble. Though not necessary, this slaw can be made a couple of hours ahead of time and would allow the flavors to meld.

Peppercorn Sauce

  • Melt butter over medium heat in a medium frying pan. Add shallots and cook until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add in garlic and peppercorns and cook until fragrant and the edges of the garlic begin to lightly brown, about 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Add in Worcestershire and beef stock and stir to fully combine, making sure you scrape down the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking.
  • Pour in heavy cream and add salt to taste.
  • Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat so the mixture is at a simmer.
  • Cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens. It should coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove from heat and set aside until ready to assemble.

Roasted Pork

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix together olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Using a brush spread the mixture over the pork loin.
  • Place the meat onto a meat rack, or you can use 3 celery stalks placed perpendicular to the length of the pork.
  • Roast until the internal temperature is between 145 – 160 degrees F, which should take about 20-25 per pound of pork.
  • Remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes, before slicing into 1/4" thick slices.

Pork Sausages

  • Cook sausages according to directions on the package.

Assembly

  • Toast pita bread. I like to toast mine on the open flame of my gas stove, however, you can grill them or just lightly toast them in the oven or a pan.
  • Place 3-4 slices of the roasted pork in the middle of the pita bread.
  • Place sausage on top of roast pork.
  • Add about 1/3 of a cup of slaw on top of the sausage.
  • Top with a generous drizzle of the peppercorn sauce.

Notes

(Pork Sausages) I have been trying to find the perfect pork sausage for this recipe. On my deep searches of the internet I read they use a Portuguese sausage in the park. When I first created this recipe I used the ‘Silva Liguica Portuguese Sausage‘ that I found out my local Target. While the flavor was accurate I did find it to be quite a bit tougher than the sausage at the park. If you are going for an authentic Ronto Wrap, I would still highly recommend using this sausage if you can find it near year. I also only used two of these sausages and cut them in half because they were so large. 
You easily can use a mild pork sausage in this recipe, or even chorizo. It depends on whatever you can locally find, or what type you perfer. 

If you are looking for a little more details on how to make this recipe, head over to my Instagram and check out the Ronto Wrap story highlight, where I take you through the steps of making Ronto Wraps. Plus, there is also a recipe for a spiked Tatooine Sunset over there!

May the spires keep you!

If anyone tries out this recipe at home (or if you happen to work in Galaxy’s Edge) let me know what sausages you use in your Ronto Wrap.

Looking for other Disney Park themed recipes, be sure to check out my previous posts to see what you can cook up in your own kitchen!

0 In Uncategorized

Review: Hoop Dee Doo Revue

Let’s raise the roof inside the Hoop Dee Doo! If you ask me what a must-do at Disney World would be, I would 100 percent say the Hoop Dee Doo Revue over at Fort Wilderness Campground. Why? I fully believe that in my top 5 favorite nights at Disney, every trip to the Hoop Dee Doo would rank in the top 5.

What is the Hoop Dee Doo?

It’s a dinner theater show, filled with singing and dancing, endless food, and unlimited drinks (and yes, I am talking about the alcoholic ones). It’s located at the Fort Wildnerness Campground, and runs 3 times a night, 7 days a week.

Getting There

I will be there first to say that getting to Hoop Dee Doo isn’t easy at all. In fact, I feel like it is probably the hardest place to get on all of property. Look getting to Pioneer Hall, where the Hoop Dee Doo takes place, is so complicated they don’t even list a recommended travel time because it just takes that long. Unless you are staying on the monorail loop or Wilderness Lodge expect to take at least 2 forms of Disney transportation.

However, there is a nice hack! Minnie Vans. Minnie Vans will drop you off right outside of Pioneer Hall, a place regular ride shares can’t drop you off. That’s right, if you take a regular rideshare they will drop you off at the front of Fort Wilderness and you will have to take the internal bus to get to the show. Minnie Vans are the one workaround, they will deliver you directly there, for a price of course. They are significantly more expensive, you can expect to spend around $30-40 to get to Pioneer Hall from elsewhere on Disney property, but they are much quicker and cut your commute time by a significant amount. Would I recommend taking a Minnie Van? Yes, it’s the only way I have traveled to the show, the van is wonderful and carries 2 car seats for the kiddos, plus, your drive is a Disney Cast Member, assuring you magic the entire trip.

Hoop Dee Doo

Once you get to Pioneer Hall check-in at the host stand directly across from the building. Usually, they begin checking people in about 30 minutes before, and this is where they assign your table. I like to arrive early, check-in and grab a cocktail at the window at Crockett’s Tavern, located next door to the show, and take a seat in one of the rockers on the porch. Last time I went there was a lightning storm in the distance and it was the perfect way to relax before the show started.

The inside of Pioneer Hall

Once showtime rolls around you can head over to Pioneer Hall, previously they had a photo pass photographer outside the Hall but this past time they didn’t, which was a bit of a bummer. My recommendation, don’t head over until showtime, people tend to line up to get in, but it doesn’t really matter, seats have already been assigned.

The Show

Once seated you can start chowing down and cornbread and salad which is already on the table. The cornbread might honestly be the best part of dinner, it is just that good! Your server will be over to collect your drink order and then you are off. One thing to note gratuity is already included with the ticket price, however, I like to keep those unlimited sangrias coming, so I do put a tip out on the table at the start of the show and my drink NEVER goes empty!

Menu at Hoop Dee Doo Review

Once you get settled in the stagecoach will “pull up” outside and the show begins. The show itself is nicely timed as you don’t find eating a huge distraction from watching all the silly antics because of how well they pace food and fun. Expect singing, dancing and little crowd interaction before they break for the main course.

Dinner a Hoop Dee Doo Revue

Do you want food?!? You’ve got food! The main course is true southern cooking, with fried chicken and ribs being the main feature. Both are good, but not the best food I have had at Disney. Expect typical sides as well, mashed potatoes, bbq beans, a veggie (and hidden menu item, you’ve got to ask for it, mac and cheese). It’s enough food to feed a small army, but if you do run low you can always ask for more. The pacing is nice at the Hoop Dee Doo as they break out into song right before dinner is served and take a nice break so you can actually enjoy your meal.

They will be back for a little more song and dance after dinner and that’s when the real crowd participation takes places. They will pull up four audience members to have a little fun. If you love being on stage, I strongly suggest being enthusiastic all night, as they tend to notice those people and pick them.

Audience participation at Hoop Dee Doo Revue

Dinner concludes with a crowd favorite, Strawberry Shortcake, and you want to save room for this one. Fun fact, the only real thing to change in this show since it’s been opened is they switched from apple pie to strawberry shortcake as dessert, so the song leading into dessert had to be adjusted too. Besides that, the show has remained the same for 45 years, and it’s one of the longest-running dinner show in American history. This is also the point where they bring out the beloved washboards, so you can play along and snag that great Instagram pic!

Wash board playing during the Hoop Dee Doo Revue

Holiday Season

Holiday decorations on the outside of Pioneer Hall

One of the things I love about this show is that during the holidays they decorate the building and they add some Christmas music into the show. While the show is great either way, there is something about a little holiday cheer that really makes the show wonderful during the Christmas Season.

How to Book Your Reservation

So, the show sounds like fun? You can book your reservation 180 days in advance online or by calling. Tickets for ages 10 and older range between $64-72 depending on where you are sitting, with kids ages 3-9 tickets ranging between $38-43 and some tickets are eligible for the Disney Dining Plan.

Overall, if you are looking for a hooting good time, the Hoop Dee Doo is a great break from all things “Disney,” you won’t find Mickey Mouse here and the singing and comedy work for adults and children alike. Come for the singing and dancing and stay for the unlimited food and drinks!

4 In Disney/ Disney Recipes

Disney World’s Cheeseburger and Pepperoni Pizza Spring Rolls

Have you had the spring rolls from the cart in Magic Kingdom? If the answer is no, first off you are really missing out. Second, I am here to give you the best at-home recipe for them, that way you don’t need to travel all the way to Disney to enjoy them.

The spring roll cart is located between Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean and is one of the hidden gems in Magic Kingdom. Their signature is the Cheeseburger Spring Roll, or often referred to as an egg roll, and they usually have a rotating spring roll. While the rotating spring rolls have a limited run, they are always delicious. In the past the rotation has included, Philly cheesesteak, bacon mac and cheese (these were ah-mazing) and buffalo chicken. Currently (as of my last visit in August 2019), they are featuring a pepperoni pizza spring rolls, they might be greasy but they are delicious.

I have made these spring rolls a couple of times and have finally settled on a recipe I love. I originally made them with egg roll wrappers because that is what my local grocery store had, but I now take the trip to my local Asian Market to get spring roll wrappers because they make them a little more authentic to what they make in the park. If you can only find egg roll wrappers, no worries, they will 100 percent work, and my taste test team seems to be torn on what wrapper they prefer.

Without any further delay here is the recipe for Cheeseburger Spring Rolls, and keep scrolling for a bonus (and my first attempt) at the Pepperoni Pizza Spring Rolls.

Cheeseburger Spring Rolls

Bethany Vinton
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 1/2 cup dill pickle diced
  • 6 oz Velveeta Cheese
  • 2 TBSP yellow mustard
  • 5 shakes Worcestershire
  • spring roll wrappers
  • 1-2 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Brown ground beef and onion in skillet on medium until brown, breaking up the ground beef as it cooks, about 10 minutes.
  • Drain excess fat from pan and return to heat.
  • Add Velveeta and cook on low heat until cheese is melted and evenly distributed, stirring frequently.
  • Remove meat and cheese mixture from heat and transfer to a bowl, stir in pickles, mustard and Worcestershire, and combine.
  • One by one, fill spring roll wrappers with meat and cheese mixture.
    To make the perfect spring roll, place wrappers on your work surface so they are in a diamond shape. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture onto the lower half of the diamond, leaving room around all the edges. Starting at the bottom wrap the spring rolls tightly tucking in the ends as you go. To seal moisten the top corner with a bit of water and press to seal.
  • Fill a deep frying pan with 1/2 inch of vegetable oil. Heat oil to 325°F (160°C). Fry the spring rolls in small batches 2-3, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on each side until crisp and golden brown. Remove from oil and place on wire rack or a plate lined with paper towel.

So, as an added bonus I have decided to recreate the Disney Pepperoni Pizza Spring Rolls as well. These are by far my favorite rotating spring rolls, though I might be a little bias as I grew up on pepperoni pizza in New Jersey. Either way, these are delicious.

Pepperoni Pizza Spring Rolls

Bethany Vinton
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 bag sliced pepperoni
  • spring roll wrappers
  • 1-2 cups vegetable oil
  • marinara sauce for dipping

Instructions
 

  • One by one, fill spring roll wrappers with cheese and pepperoni.
    To make the perfect spring roll, place wrappers on your work surface so they are in a diamond shape. Place about 1/8 cup of the cheese onto the lower half of the diamond and stack about 0 pepperoni on top of the cheese , leaving room around all the edges. Starting at the bottom wrap the spring rolls tightly tucking in the ends as you go. To seal moisten the top corner with a bit of water and press to seal.
  • Fill a deep frying pan with 1/2 inch of vegetable oil. Heat oil to 325°F (160°C). Fry the spring rolls in small batches 2-3, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on each side until crisp and golden brown. Remove from oil and place on wire rack or a plate lined with paper towel.

Both of these spring rolls were a huge hit when I brought them to ‘Disney Night’ with my friends. In fact, I have made the Cheeseburger Spring Rolls a few times and they are a living legend amount my friend’s co-workers.

Have you visited the spring roll cart in Magic Kingdom? If so, what are your favorite? And even if you have never been what sounds like a good combination for their next rotating spring roll?

0 In Disney/ Disney Tip and Tricks

Best Fastpasses at Every Disney World Park 2019: Plus, the Top Common Fastpass Mistakes

Fastpasses, people will tell you they can make or break your Disney World Vacation. If you are trying to ride the most popular rides a Fastpass is easily your best bet as it can save you so much time while at the park. The question is, what are the best Fastpasses in every park? Today I will tell you the Fastpasses you should be booking, and the common mistakes I see people make all the time.

Fastpass Overview

A quick rundown about booking Fastpasses in advance:

  • You get 3 advanced book Fastpasses per day – you can only book one park per day (be sure to read the mistakes about how to get the most out of those 3 Fastpasses)
  • You can book 60 days out from the first day of your trip if you are staying on property, 30 days if you are not staying on Disney property
  • When you reach 30 or 60 days out from your first day you can book Fastpasses for the entirety of your trip
  • Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios all operate with tiers. This means you only can get one pass at a time for their top tier rides, so anything in Pandora or Toy Story Land.

Disclaimer: I am typically head to the park with 1 or 2 people, so if you are booking for an entire large party some of these rides and tricks might not work for you.

Magic Kingdom

On a busy day at Magic Kingdom lines can get out of control, so if you can book Fastpasses, do so. There are rides that you should grab a Fastpass for if you see one, and one’s you should totally pass over.

Book these passes at Magic Kingdom:

7 Dwarfs Mine Train This is probably the most sought after Fastpass at Magic Kingdom, if you want to ride it and don’t want to wait hours, book it if you see it. Pro-tip: If you are attending a party, ie. Halloween or Christmas, you can’t book Fastpasses during the party, however the lines are always significantly shorter.

Peter Pan This queue on this ride gets insane REAL fast. I have in the past snagged last minute Fasspasses, but if this is a must ride for your kids I strongly suggest it. Unless you don’t mind waiting 95 minutes for a ride that will having you saying, “cute, but not worth 95 minutes.”

Space Mountain If you are looking for a little adventure, do it.

Rides that others might suggest, but use your own judgement:

Big Thunder Mountain This is always my go-to last ride of the night and the line is usually short after fireworks. I have had a Fastpass for it in the past, but every other time I have gone I just wait and almost walk on. Plus, this ride is sooo much fun to ride at night and gives you a great view of the castle all lit up.

Jungle Cruise Hello ‘Day of Fastpass’! I typically never book in advance because day of there are often Fastpasses available, and they tend to be ones where the ride is on a pretty hefty wait, but the next Fastpass booking is in 5 minutes.

Animal Kingdom

So, like I previously mentioned Animal Kingdom is a tiered park, with Avatar being the only rides in the top tier. This means you are putting Flight of Passage up against Nav’i River Journey, while everything falls to a lower tier.

Book these passes at Animal Kingdom:

Tier 1

Flight of Passage This is by far my favorite ride is all of the parks (minus The People Mover) but I would NEVER wait 300+ minutes that this ride climbs to on some peak days. If you see a Fastpass for it, book it.

Nav’i River Journey If you cant get the Fastpass to Flight of Passage, of course book Nav’I River Journey if you have the chance. Also, if you are not a fan of motion simulated rides, I also suggest Nav’i. This ride is like Pirates of the Caribbean on steroids.

Tier 2

Kilimanjaro Safari The lines for the safari can get long. I always use one of my fast passes for this ride. I have scored some same day Fastpasses for this ride as well, but you never know. Pro-Trip: Book your Fastpass for early morning, it’s when the animals tend to be most active.

Expedition Everest If you are looking for a serious thrill ride, Everest has you covered. My one tip would be if you are going during the off season and are a single rider, don’t bother on a Fastpass. Everest is the only ride in Animal Kingdom that has a single rider line. During peak times it can get a little busy (I have seen it online at about 45 minutes) but I personally have never wait more than 10-15 minutes.

Dinosaur If you have people on your trip that you think will like this ride, do it. I usually always skip this one but haven’t really been able to score a same day Fastpass.

Rides that others might suggest, but use your own judgement:

Kali River Rapids If you are headed there during the summer and want to cool off, booking a Fastpass can work.

Epcot

Again, Epcot is another tiered park, things will probably shift with the addition of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2021, but for now, here is what you should book.

Book these passes at Epcot:

Tier 1

Frozen If you love Frozen this is a must ride. The animatronics on this ride are amazing, and I have ridden it every time I have gone to the park.

Test Track If you have a need for speed I would suggest Test Track. The queue is pretty interactive, so it keeps you well entertained beyond the ride itself.

Soarin’ I love Soarin’, I mean love it, however I would 100 percent prefer a Fastpass for either Frozen or Test Track. Plus, if you hit this queue at the right point of the day you typically can find standby down to about 30 minutes.

They are all great, so honestly, don’t make me choose. I personally love Frozen, so that is always my go to as it tends to have the longest line. However, all are equally good choices. I also tried to hold out of the same day Fasspass for Soarin’ on my last trip and it didn’t work for me at all.

Tier 2

Spaceship Earth This ride is closing in 2020 for almost 2 ½ years, so get it in while you can. Also, there are many times throughout the day where the line is less than 15 minutes, if you don’t have a Fastpass, ride it then.

Mission Space Again, I have walked on this ride, but it’s a good choice.

Rides that others might suggest, but use your own judgement:

Living the Land One might say I am crazy for putting this on the list, but last time I was there the line was 45 minutes. I mean I love Living the Land, but I am not waiting 45 minutes for it… unless it’s raining.

Hollywood Studios

With Star Wars: Galaxy Edge now opened, there will probably be a shift in things at Hollywood Studios. However, they are not offering Fastpasses with the area opens. Again, it’s tiered and as of recently they have bumped more rides into the top tier.

Tier 1

Slinky Dog Dash This is on my list because I have been to Disney twice since Toy Story Land opened and I have yet to ride it. At no point have I been able to secure a Fastpass no matter how many times I look. Book it if you see it! Side note: I was in Disney on Toy Story Land opening day, and someone noted the line was over 300 minutes, or how they put it “that means you can watch all three Toy Story movies just while waiting in line.” No thanks, I will pass.

Alien Swirling Saucers I have chosen this time and time again since Slinky hasn’t been available and I do not regret it. I love so much about this ride.

Toy Story Mania Again, another good option. However, this ride was around before Toy Story Land, so it is something to note.

Tower of Terror

Rockin’ Roller Coaster

Tier 2

I feel like day of Fastpasses have been harder than ever to get in Hollywood Studios, and I don’t feel like Galaxys Edge opening will help in the least bit. Remember that when you are in the park and you use all three of your pre-booked Fastpasses for the day you can book another tier 1 attraction if it is available.

Star Tours Honestly, this is the only Fastpass I would say you should score in tier 2, everything else is typically easily booked day of. So, pick another ride or show and go with it.

I hope you take some of these tips and tricks in order to help make your Disney experience amazing. What Fastpass did you score using these tricks? Let me know in the comments.

2 In Disney/ Disney Recipes

Epcot Food and Wine: Mezzi Rigatoni and Limoncello Margarita

It’s officially here, Epcot’s Food and Wine 2019 has kicked off. While I am not in Florida to experience the first few days (33 days until I am back at Disney), all the new food has me excited to try everything. It also has me thinking about a few things that got left of the menu this year. So, I figured it was the perfect time to enjoy Food and Wine at home, and of course I had to make this an at home stroll around Italy.

The ‘Mezzi Rigatoni’ and the ‘Limoncello Margarita’ seem like the perfect way to cure my FOMO and get my psyched for my visit to Food and Wine. While the rigatoni was left off the menu this year, the Limoncello Margarita is back in Epcot, but luckily you can enjoy both of them this year at home.

The Mezzi Rigatoni is essentially pasta with vodka sauce, with the addition of pancetta to give it that extra flavor. It is simple to make and delicious. If you can find pancetta, no worries you can always sub it out for bacon.

The Limoncello Margarita is light and perfect for those late summer days, and I always love adding a hidden Mickey to my drinks at home to give it that Disney flair.

Mezzi Rigatoni

Bethany Vinton

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 pound pancetta
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1/2 small onion sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 12 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup penne
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta till al dente. Drain and cover.
  • Brown pancetta over medium high heat, about 8 minutes.
  • Melt butter over medium heat, add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic to mixture and cook, but do not burn, about 2 minutes.
  • Add red pepper flakes and basil, stir to combine.
  • Remove pan from heat and add vodka. Return to the heat and cook for about 1 minute.
  • Add marinara sauce and pancetta, simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Add cream and bring sauce to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes until sauce thickens, stir to prevent sticking.
  • Stir in 3/4 a cup of parmesan cheese into sauce.
  • Stir pasta into sauce and serve. Top with grated cheese.

It can’t be a true Food and Wine experience without pairing the dish with a drink. This Limoncello Margarita might not be wine, but it’s currently being served up at this years Food and Wine, and you won’t regret ordering it, or making it at home.

Limoncello Margarita

Ingredients
  

  • 2 oz frozen limeade concentrate defrosted
  • 2 oz triple sec
  • 2 oz silver tequila
  • 2 oz limoncello
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup recipe below
  • 1 lime for serving
  • 1 cup ice

Instructions
 

  • To make simple syrup: In sauce pan combine 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • To make margarita: Combine all ingredients in blender and blend till smooth. Slice lime and place on rim of the glass. I love adding two lime slices to the glass to give the appearance of Mickey ears!

What is your favorite Food and Wine dish? Let me know in the comments below and you might see me recreate it!

0 In Disney/ Solo Disney

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before My Solo Trip to Disney World

Who are you going to Disney with? It’s the words ever solo traveler is bound to hear before they head out on a trip. I must admit… myself, always seems like a great answer to me. I just finished my first solo Disney trip and there are some things I wish I had known before I left. So, in no particular order, here are the 10 things I wish I knew before my first Disney solo trip.

It’s not that lonely.

Everyone that has never gone on a solo trip will tell you “the trip is going to be lonely.” Let me tell you this, the trip isn’t that lonely. You will find yourself too busy to even get to that point. Plus, you will have tons of interactions without really engaging with people. For example, when you are on a ride with a family they can be quite entertaining. My favorite was on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the dad of the family I was sitting with was blind and it was cool to listen to him describe his experience on the ride, it completely elevated my own experience.

You shouldn’t be afraid to engage with other people.

On night one I dined at California Grill all by myself. While I don’t think it is all that common judging by my interactions with all the Cast Members, it can be a really fun time. I spent the evening chatting with the lovely couple at the table next to me, and they even invited me to come over to their table during Happily Ever After to get a better view.

You can do what you want when you want to do it.

I am a planner for sure, so many spreadsheets. While I did follow my spreadsheets as closely as possible, it was nice to just leave the park when I felt like it. I took advantage of rainstorms to head back and shower real fast and then make a quick turn around back to the parks. This meant I missed most of the rain but since it was only me I could get back quickly and enjoy the park while it was empty.

You won’t get as much done as you thought.

Every solo Disney thing I read before going said I will get so much more done at the parks than I anticipated. It was so not true for me on this trip. Before I knew it, it was 4 pm every day. Don’t get me wrong I got a lot done, I just expected to have a time where I was essentially struggling to find something to do and that was never the case.

No one really notices you are alone in the park.

Honestly, if you are afraid of being awkward around others, don’t worry, no one will even notice you are alone. There is honestly so much happening around you that people tend to fail to realize you are alone.

Table service isn’t as awkward as you think.

I dined at both California Grill and Be Our Guest during my last visit. The benefit of solo travel is you can snag that last-minute dinner reservation for one. I snagged my Be Our Guest reservation a few weeks before I left. Honestly, Cast Members are the best when you choose to dine table services, they realize the situation and will they do everything to make your trip enjoyable and extra special.

You will score better Fastpasses than you thought you could.

Did I score a Nav’i River Journey pass that opened in 10 minutes as soon as I scanned my Fastpass for Flight of Passage? You bet I did. I found myself scoring pretty awesome Fastpasses throughout my entire trip and the window for most of them opened almost immediately after I snagged them. Be sure to use the refresh option to your advantage, after all, you are standing in line by yourself, so click through the times constantly and see what pops up.

You can grab a great last-minute spot for the fireworks.

My final night at Disney I decided I wanted to watch the fireworks from in front of the castle, the problem was fireworks were scheduled to start in about 7 minutes. What I realized as a solo traveler is that it is easy to get a prime spot for the fireworks at the last minute. Why is that you might ask? People think you are looking to meet up with your party so they clear the way for you to get through. As I scooched in the lights dimmed at the show started, it was the perfect last-minute spot.

Lounges are great places to grab a drink and chat.

Bonus, they are also a great place to cool down during the summer. Animal Kingdom has my favorite in the park lounge with Nomad Lounge. It’s right on the path to Pandora and has this wonderful outdoor seating area, so grab a drink and enjoy the view. I also love resort hopping and stopping at lounges all around Disney property. My personal favorite is Territory Lounge at Wilderness Lodge. I enjoyed an afternoon there before taking the boat to the Contemporary and walking to Magic Kingdom for the night.

You should appreciate all the details and take a ridiculous amount of photos.

One thing that I really enjoyed about my solo trip was the ability to stop and take photos of anything I wanted. Mainly, when I would stop in an area people would continue to rush by me to get to their final destination. This time allowed me to slow down, appreciate all the details and take lots of photos. My favorite spot was Pandora, there is so much to see and take in.

With my first solo trip in the books, I can’t wait until my next one. I feel like I have been able to figure out what works for me and I can’t wait to explore the parks by myself again!