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disney world

0 In Disney/ Disney Tips & Tricks

Disney Trip Gift Ideas and Essentials

I am excited to bring my mom on her first Disney World trip since 2018, so of course, I had to create her a gift basket full of the essentials for someone traveling to Disney World. I wanted her gifts to be practical, yet adorable, you know both the essentials and also a few things that are just for fun! So here are my favorite Disney trip gift ideas that I bought her!

Disney Themed Extras

50th Inspired Minnie Ears

My mom is a sucker for a good pair of sparkly Minnie ears, so I knew I had to find her the perfect pair. I searched long and hard for the perfect pair and kept coming back to this pair. They were just the right amount of EARidescent to keep with the theming of the anniversary.

The ears had a quick turnaround time, the shop owner Cristina was amazing to work with, I ordered them on a Sunday and had them by Thursday.

Let me tell you this, the ears are even more stunning in person, they shine.

Get them on Etsy starting at $25, available in 2 headband styles.

Disney Princess Medley Casetify Phone Case

You can really get into the magic with a little bit of sparkle and your favorite princesses. I love this entire Princess line, however, they just launched a new case with all of the princesses. Casetify was kind and gifted this princess-themed glitter case to my mother.

The cases are durable, which is great because previously I did shatter my screen on Hollywood Blvd. I vowed never to let that happen again, which is why I love these cases for my phone

Get it from Casetify for $40+, it comes in various patterns, and case types, and for different phone models.

Mickey Retirement Celebration Button

Yes, you can get buttons for free in the park, but they are generic and force you to write on something that you are celebrating in most situations. These buttons look exactly like the ones you get in the park except you can celebrate anything you want.

There are hundreds of designs to choose from, and you can even get your own custom button printed.

Get it from Etsy for $4.50.

Clinique Sugarcoated Color: Makeup Set

This was actually one thing my mom requested, new makeup. I wanted to give her a little something extra for when she was being filmed by me in the parks.

This one is perfect for traveling as they are all travel-sized items!

Get it from Ulta for $24.50.

Park Essentials

Of course, I had to give her everyday park items that she will not only want but need in the parks. This isn’t my ultimate park essentials list, as I had previously bought some things! But these are just a few things I feel like she will really be able to use!

Herschel Alder Cross Body Bag

I personally use the Herschel Fifteen Waist Pack in the parks, so I knew I had to get her some version of that because I love my bag so much. This bag is just the right size to hold everything you need, all while being compact and slim, and easy to carry around.

Get it on Amazon for $31.99, it is available in various colors.

Mickey ID Holder

What is better than an adorable little Mickey-shaped wallet? Probably nothing. This is perfect for the parks. It is not the most amazing quality but for less than 10 bucks it’s perfect to take out every time you head to Disney!

Get it on Amazon for $8.59, available in 6 colors.

Sea-Band Anti-Nausea Acupressure Wristband

Look, my mom is not great with motion sickness. I took her on Flight of Passage and it took her the whole day to recover. I won’t be bringing her back on Flight of Passage this trip, but I want her to experience things like Soarin’.

These bands have great reviews online, I will edit this article once the trip is over with her full thoughts, and I will be updating throughout the week on my Instagram stories!

Get them on Amazon for $8.54.

FuelRod Portable Charger Kit

Has your phone ever gone dead in Disney World? Then you have probably heard of FuelRods, which are external batteries, when you’ve used all the power in these batteries you simply find a kiosk and swap it out for a fully recharged one. And the swaps are FREE!

This is great for my mom so she doesn’t have to charge an external battery every night.

Also, run don’t walk to this deal, they are currently 2 for $25 online, but in the parks, they will cost you $30 each!

Get it on Amazon they are 2 for $25, with a coupon!

Handheld Mini Fan

When in Florida, one needs a mini fan. Usually, I love a good powerful fan, however, this time I wanted something small that would fit into my mom’s small bag.

This fan checked all the boxes, small, compact, rechargeable, a flashlight(?), and can be used as a power bank.

Get it on Amazon for $13.59.

Disney Reusable Straws

Disney has pretty much entirely switched over to paper straws in the park, and I simply cannot. That is why I love these Disney-themed reusable straws, they are perfect for bringing in the park and come with a handy cleaning brush.

I own at least three packs of these and will continue to purchase them!

Get them on Amazon, starting at $12.98, in 2 different patterns.

Totes Rain Poncho

Look, we all know it rains in Florida, my mom didn’t have a lightweight rain jacket so a cheap poncho is the way to go. I hate the dollar store ones because they are such terrible thing quality, so I gave her a slight upgrade.

Get it on Amazon starting at $10.

I hope that helped you brainstorm some ideas of not only gift ideas when going to Disney, but somethings you just need in the park!

The links on this page may contain affiliate links and I receive a small commission if you chose to purchase from my link, at no cost to you. All prices are accurate as of the time of publishing.

0 In Disney/ Disney Drinks/ Disney Food/ Disney Trip Reports

Eating Around Disney World: Hollywood Studios/Disney Springs/Epcot

It is time to kick off a breakdown of the second day of my last Disney World vacation, so let’s talk about everything I ate and drank. This was quite a full Disney day, the morning started at Hollywood Studios with a 9:30 AM reservation at Oga’s Cantina. Honestly, it tends to be a difficult reservation to get, so you have to take whatever is available. Luckily, we had also snagged a pretty early Rise of the Resistance boarding group, so I was happy to be able to squeeze that in after Oga’s.

Then it was off to Disney Springs around noon to meet up with Touring Plans, we were on a mission to find the Halloween Treats in Disney Springs, and boy did we, more on that in a later post. We grabbed a quick lunch at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, it’s right on the water and it is a great place to enjoy the sights while grabbing a drink and a meal.

After spending some time in Springs, it was off to Epcot, this was my first look at Food and Wine in 2021. I didn’t eat much, but I did make my way around World Showcase and scout out what was on the list for later in the week! Overall, it was a great day of eating around Disney World, now let’s break it down!

Before we start talking about food, let’s break down some of the trip details:

Dates: September 6-10, 2021

Resort: Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House

Jump to:

Day One – Animal Kingdom

Day Three – Hollywood Studios (coming soon)

Day Four – Epcot (coming soon)

After Hours – Boo Bash (coming soon)

Disney Springs Halloween Treats (coming soon)

Resort Dining (coming soon)

Breakfast – Hollywood Studios

Bloody Rancor

A liquid breakfast counts as breakfast, right? Look, when you get a reservation to Oga’s you take it no matter the time of day. Which is exactly why I was drinking at 9 am in Batuu, plus its vacation so don’t judge me. I did score this reservation using Touring Plans Reservation Finder, so if you are trying to snag Oga’s, give it a go.

So, the Bloody Rancor isn’t on the menu anymore, it has become a hidden menu item that Millennials on Main Street gave me the 411 about. Honestly, I am not the world’s biggest Bloody Mary fan, but this one was good. The highlight for me was the meringue bone that comes on the top.

Location: Oga’s Cantina

Price: $18.00

Rating: 7.5/10

Would I Order it Again: Yes, if I were hungover.

Batuu Bits

Look if you are rushing to get to your reservation, haven’t eaten anything yet, and are prepared to down 2 cocktails in under 45 minutes, this Batuu Bits is fine.

Honestly, nothing about it is good, and I don’t understand why they can’t do something a little bit better at Oga’s. I said what I said. I also refuse to pay $21 for the underwhelming looking Charcuterie Board, go to Baseline Tap House after and order their $10, it is outstanding.

Description: Crispy Galaxy Snack Bits with Spiced Chermoula Dip

Location: Oga’s Cantina

Price: $11.00

Rating: 1/10

Would I Order it Again: Absolutely not.

Lunch – Disney Springs

After spending the morning on Batuu, it was off to Disney Springs to meet up with my friends from Touring Plans. We were on a mission to try all the fun Halloween treats in Disney Springs, and we did, more on that in a later post. But my other goal was to stop by Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar to try the loaded pretzel, I have heard the hype and I just needed to order this one!

Air Pirate’s Cargo Loaded Pretzel 

Honestly, this pretzel is a masterpiece, it is like a combination of a pretzel and a charcuterie board and I am LIVING for it. Jock Lindsey’s is a fun time to begin with, if you love Indy, you have to visit. They always are adding something unique and fun to the menu, for example, Bacon of Doom, which was chocolate-covered bacon that came with a smoke show.

But back to the pretzel, I loved every aspect of this one, the pretzel was fabulous, I couldn’t decide what I enjoyed more, the beer cheese or the spicy mustard, both were outstanding. But seriously, there is so much to eat on this plate that it is easily a full meal.

Description: Prosciutto, Sliced Brats, Artisan Pepperoni, Smoked Cheddar, Black Diamond Cheddar, Caraway Pickles, Spicy Mustard, and Beer Cheese Fondue.

Location: Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

Price: $22.00

Rating: 10/10, dare I call this the best pretzel at Disney World?

Would I Order it Again: Yes, all day every day.

Afternoon Snack – Epcot

Park hopping was in the cards this day, there was a lot to do and see. We had evening reservations at Citricos, more on that later, but spoiler alert it was phenomenal. After dropping off the Halloween goodies, we took the bus over to Epcot to get a first look at Food and Wine. Am I late on the trend, yes, but it is what it is?

Char Siu Pork Udon

Upon arriving at Epcot a good ole afternoon Florida rainstorm came through, so we took shelter by the main entrance and waited for it to stop raining. The downfall of that, the humidity because like 1000% percent and it feels so hot. So what better place to stop first than the brand new, The Noodle Exchange. This one is a take on Far East noodles, so we are talking hot soup, but boy this booth was about to impress me this whole trip.

I had heard amazing things about the Char Siu Pork Udon and I knew I had to order it, despite the full-body sweating. Someone said that two hot things cancel each other out, and while I don’t think that is true, I went with it.

My first thought is, is this traditional Udon? No. Despite it feeling like 100 degrees out is this delicious and did I want to eat the whole thing? Without a doubt. The pork was actual perfection, I have no other way to describe it. The flavor was phenomenal, and it was tender and delicious. I would order this one every single time… if I didn’t want to try other things on the menu.

Description: with Enoki Mushrooms, Bok Choy, and Soy Pickled Egg

Location: The Noodle Exchange at Food and Wine

Price: $5.50

Rating: 9/10

Would I Order it Again: Yes.

A Day of Eating

This about wraps up my second full day of eating in Disney, after that we hopped on the monorail over to Grand Floridian for my first look at the new and revamped Citricos. I know my review isn’t up yet, but if you are about to make dining reservations, book it now! You’ll see why I loved it so much later, no one aspect of that restaurant disappoints.

Be sure to come back for the next part of my series, because we are headed back to Hollywood Studios to eat. Trust me when I say Hollywood Studios has the best Halloween snacks of any Disney Park!

0 In Disney/ Disney Drinks/ Disney Food/ Disney Trip Reports

Eating Around Disney World: Animal Kingdom

There is always so much food to choose from at Disney World, and narrowing down the choices and figuring out what you might want can be difficult. I am kicking off a brand new series where I break down everything I ate during my Disney World trip, it’s essentially a look into what I eat in a day. I’ll tell you what I loved and would order again, and what wasn’t my favorite and I probably avoid from now on.

So, let’s kick this one off on day one of my last trip to Animal Kingdom. If you want to get my full reactions to these foods, head over to my Instagram story highlights, where you can see my real-time reactions! Now, let’s head to Animal Kingdom!

Before we start talking about food, let’s break down some of the trip details:

Dates: September 6-10, 2021

Resort: Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House

Jump to:

Day Two – Hollywood Studios/Disney Springs/Epcot (coming soon)

Day Three – Hollywood Studios (coming soon)

Day Four – Epcot (coming soon)

After Hours – Boo Bash (coming soon)

Disney Springs Halloween Treats (coming soon)

Resort Dining (coming soon)

Breakfast

Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit

Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit from Pongu Pongu

I heard a tip that the best biscuits in Animal Kingdom can be found in Pandora at Pongu Pongu, which is unsuspecting at first – However, the central kitchen is located right behind Pongu Pongu, so essentially it has something to do with the proximity from the kitchen to consumer.

This biscuit did not disappoint, the biscuit itself was perfectly golden brown, buttery in all the good ways. The cheese was perfectly melted to bring the sandwich together, and I have added this one to my list of must-order foods in Animal Kingdom.

Location: Pongu Pongu

Price: $6.99

Rating: 8.5/10

Would I Order it Again: Yes!

Rum Blossom

I will be honest, I usually don’t drink this early at Disney World, but this was a hair of the dog situation as I was struggling from drinking around the monorail the night before. Honestly, this drink never disappoints and is a staple when I am in Pandora.

My biggest complaints are, it melts fast in the Florida heat, and you have to stir it and ruin the pretty colors to mix in the rum which as served just sits on top. This one is a good combination of Desert Pear Limeade and Apple, the limeade cuts the sweetness and this one just blends so well together. There is also a non-alcoholic version of this one called the Night Blossom if drinking in the morning isn’t your thing!

Description: Bacardi Superior Rum with layers of Apple and Desert Pear Limeade topped with Passion Fruit Boba Balls.

Location: Pongu Pongu

Price: $13.00

Rating: 10/10

Would I Order it Again: Yes, and I always do!

Lunch/Snack

Look, you are going to have to roll with this one because I am more of a grazer and not someone that eats three-round meals at Disney World. So that being said you typically won’t find me eating a traditional lunch, so let’s break it down as I wander around the park. On a side note, Animal Kingdom has the best food of any Disney World Park, and you can quote me on that, so let’s continue eating!

Ngumu Jungle Juice

Orange Ngumu Jungle Juice from Dawa Bar

Okay, so recently, Disney World had a Jungle Juice shortage, the supplier they were using discontinued it, and they were without POG Juice until they could find a new supplier. It was on the menu when I went to Dawa Bar, so I asked the bartender about it. He said this was the first shift he had seen POG Juice back, and he warned me that it was different (never a good sign).

Overall, the new POG Juice is different, our beloved juice has changed, but it is still good. The Ngumu Jungle Juice is such a well-balanced drink, with peach schnapps and vodka, and it is a perfectly refreshing cocktail for when you get off the safari.

Description: Snow Leopard Vodka, Bols Peach Schnapps, and Tusker’s famous Jungle Juice.

Location: Dawa Bar

Price: $13.00

Rating: 7.5/10, this one is taking a hit solely because of the new POG Juice situation.

Would I Order it Again: Yes, but I might be trying other things.

Mr. Kamals’ Fries

Grilled Curry Corn on the Cob, Ngumu Jungle Juice, Chicken Dumplings, and Mr. Kamal's Fries

Did I choose to drown my sorrows in food when I realized the POG Juice was different? You better believe it, luckily Mr. Kamal’s is just down the path from Africa and the perfect place to grab a snack.

These fries are perfectly spiced without being spicy and are amazing if you catch them fresh out of the fryer. I hate making decisions, so that being said I will say I love the dipping sauces equally. There is a Curried Honey Mustard and the Korean Chilli Ketchup, and I enjoy mixing them together.

Description: Served with curried honey mustard or Korean chili ketchup.

Location: Mr. Kamal’s

Price: $5.99

Rating: 9.25/10

Would I Order it Again: Yes, these fries are heaven.

Chicken Dumplings

Okay, so the fries at Mr. Kamal’s typically get all the hype… however, that means you might be overlooking the chicken dumplings when you shouldn’t be! These dumplings are deep-fried to perfection and come with a ponzu sauce to dip them in. The sauce has a hint of citrus and is perfect for keeping the dumplings light and fresh.

My biggest complaint, there are only 3 dumplings for the price, so it is never going to make the list of one of the best deals in Disney.

Description: Served with Ponzu.

Location: Mr. Kamal’s

Price: $5.99

Rating: 7.5/10

Would I Order it Again: Yes, they aren’t the best value so I don’t order them often, but they are always a good treat.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

I know that corn on the cob might not be the quintessential theme park food, but you have to try this one when you are in Animal Kingdom. You have the option to get it with or without the African spices, but take my advice and order it heavy on the seasoning.

The spices are a combination of African Berbere Spice, and curry powder, and are the perfect seasoning for some fresh corn on the cob. One of the best parts about Harambe Fruit Market, which is where they sell this, is they grill the corn fresh on a large grill in front of you!

Description: With or without African Spices.

Location: Harambe Fruit Market

Price: $5.29

Rating: 10/10

Would I Order it Again: Yes, it is my number one must-order thing in Animal Kingdom.

Pumpkin Pie Latte with Kahlúa

Joffrey’s is such a staple of Disney Parks and one of my favorite locations is in the little building tucked away right across from the Yak and Yeti quick service. If you follow the path to the right of the building it will also take you down to a little seating area on the water, and it is the perfect place to character watch as they pass by on the boats.

Now let’s talk coffee, of course, I had to be basic and go with a pumpkin latte, and of course, being me, I had to spike it. And if you are looking to make this into an adult beverage, they will add shots of anything you want, so that is always a great option.

Description: Pumpkin pie syrup, milk, and espresso.

Location: Royal Anandapur Tea Company

Price: $6.09 without the alcohol.

Rating: 8/10

Would I Order it Again: Yes.

Nomad Lounge

Did you even visit Animal Kingdom if you did stop by Nomad Lounge? This lounge is tucked in right next to Tiffins and right before the bridge to Pandora, and is the perfect spot to relax and grab a drink. The waitlist often gets to capacity, but keep checking it and also ask the host if there is any availability.

Jenn’s Tattoo

Honestly, there isn’t any cocktail on this menu that you would be disappointed in if you like what is in it. Nomad Lounge does an outstanding job with their cocktails, and depending on my mood depends on what I order.

Jenn’s Tattoo is well-balanced, and I love watermelon during the summer. It also comes with a Hibiscus flower, which you can eat, and is often referred to as “nature’s fruit roll-up.”

Description: Ketel One Vodka, Watermelon, Hibiscus, and Lime Juice.

Location: Nomad Lounge

Price: $13.00

Rating: 9/10

Would I Order it Again: Yes.

Churros

Churros in a basket with two dipping sauces in front, a chili-strawberry and a Vanilla Crema

“You go and save the best for last.” These are the best churros in Disney World and that is not up for debate. Not only are they perfectly golden and covered nicely in cinnamon sugar, but they are also GLUTEN FREE. For $9 you get an entire basket, which I feel is a great Disney deal. Also, the sauces that you dip them in are perfection, the chili-strawberry has a nice kick to it, and I love dipping my churro in both.

PSA: You can also order these churros to go. Just let the host know you want to order and she will direct you to the end of the bar where you can order to-go drinks AND CHURROS!

Description: Vanilla Crema, Chili-Strawberry.

Location: Nomad Lounge

Price: $9.00

Rating: 12/10

Would I Order it Again: Yes, and if we are meeting at Nomad, please order your own!

A Day of Eating

I usually am not one to have dinner in the parks, I just think the resorts and Disney Springs offer much better options. So, usually late to mid-afternoon, I will head back to the resort to freshen up before dinner. I hope you enjoyed eating along with me on this first day of my trip, and I can’t wait to share the rest of the foods I enjoyed on my Disney trip!

Be sure to follow along because tomorrow I am wrapping up a busy day of my trip as I hopped from Studios to Springs, to Epcot, and the treats were plentiful.

1 In Disney/ Disney Recipes

Disney Parks Copy Cat Recipe: Be Our Guest French Onion Soup

Be Our Guest is always on my list for people on their first trip to Disney World. How can you top enjoying a meal in Beast’s Castle?! I don’t usually visit Be Our Guest on every trip, but I do miss their French Onion Soup, it’s cheesy and delicious, and previously it was vegetarian! So of course, I had to recreate this one at home!

  • Be Patient. Cooking down and caramelizing onions takes time, in the case upwards of 45 minutes, don’t rush this process, you want the onions to get a nice color, not burn.
  • Use a Broiler Safe Dish. In order to get the browning on the top of the cheese, you are going to want to stick these under the broiler, something like these French Onion Soup Crocks are perfect.
  • You don’t have to stick to the recipe. The former beauty of the Be Our Guest French Onion Soup was that it was vegetarian, however, it is no longer that way and this recipe can be adjusted for a little more flavor, simply swap out the vegetable broth for beef stock. Also, if you can’t find Gruyere cheese you can easily substitute Swiss!

Be Our Guest Inspired French Onion Soup

This soup is a staple at Be Our Guest, and it's vegetarian.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yellow Onion Sliced Thin
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Dried Bay Leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • French Bread
  • 5 oz Gruyere Cheese shredded
  • 4 slices Provolone

Instructions
 

  • In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium-low heat.
  • Once butter is foamy, add sliced onions and sugar. Cook stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown, this should take about 45 minutes – don't rush it.
  • Once cooked add in flour and stir to coat, cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in vegetable broth, herbs, salt, and pepper to taste, then bring to a boil – turn the heat down to low and simmer for one hour.
  • While the soup is simmering, slice bread thin and toast in a 450-degree oven until lightly browned, 5-7 minutes.
  • Once the soup has cooked, ladle into 4 ovenproof dishes.
  • Top with the toasted french bread, cover each crock with a slice of provolone, and top that with the grated gruyere.
  • Place under the broiler and cook until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Hopefully, the Quick Service option will be back at Be Our Guest soon, I use to get a lunch reservation and just order this soup! Because even though it might be 100 degrees in Florida, I will always order this soup!

The links in the post may contain Amazon Affiliate links and I receive a small commission if you chose to purchase from my link, at no cost to you.

0 In Disney/ Disney Tips & Tricks

Disney World Dining Guide: Table Service Dining

Plant-based Rigatoni Bolognese from Trattoria al Forno at Disney's BoardWalk Resort

What is Table Service Dining?

Yes, Disney might have different names for the types of dining, but it is pretty easy to break down. Table Service is any meal where it is sit-down dining. Here’s a general breakdown of what you can expect at a table service restaurant.

  • Service: The main distinction is you will have a server taking care of you, there is no walking up and placing your order at the counter here. 
  • Price: Of course, with all the added benefits you will be paying a higher price.
  • Experience: Disney breaks Table Service down into a few categories: Buffet/Family Style, Casual Dining, Character Dining, Dining Events, Dessert Events, Dinner Shows, Fine/Signature Dining, and Unique/Themed Dining. 
  • Reservations: Reservations are highly recommended when looking to dine at a Table Service Restaurant. They can be made 60 days in advance beginning at 5:45 AM Disney World Time, and some reservations go quickly.

Reservations for Table Service Dining

One question I always get is, “Do I need to make a reservation?,” the short answer is YES! If you are planning your trip far enough out, you should have the date marked for when you can begin making your reservations.

You can book dining 60 days out from your arrival day, beginning at 5:45 AM Disney World Time, with most restaurants becoming available at 6 AM. 

Pro-Tip: One of the benefits of staying on property is you can book the length of your stay, up to 10 days, when you are 60 days out from your arrival day. If you aren’t staying on property, you will have to go in and book each day separately as the 60-day window opens for that day. 

There are however a few caveats to keep in mind:

If you can book the entire length of your stay, move those hard-to-get reservations to later in your trip. They should have more availability since not everyone can book all days at once. And try and snag the hard to get reservations first, it might make sense to go in order – but you need to be booking those hard to get ones first, they include:

  • Be Our Guest
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Topolino’s Terrace
  • Le Cellier
  • Ohana
  • California Grill
  • Oga’s Cantina

If you dont snag a reservation, you do have a few options:

  • Walk-Up Wait List: Most restaurants do offer a walk-up waitlist, however, they fill quickly and I wouldn’t count on them. You can join them by going to the host stand or joining via the My Disney Experience App. They are a good option if you are looking for a last-minute reservation, but I would try the other two options below if you still have time! 
  • Reservation Finder: I’ve said it before and I will say it again, if you didn’t snag that reservation you wanted, try using Touring Plans Reservation Finder. You simply put in when and where you want to dine, and they will send you a text and an email when a reservation opens up. Did I also mention it is completely FREE? For how to use it, check out my Instagram Reel
  • Checking the App: You can always look for openings in the Disney App, I suggest clicking through all the times for the day you want, as the app can be a little glitchy. Also, check about 24 hours before for last-minute cancelations people to avoid getting charged a no show fee!

Disney World Dining Guide: Table Service

Topolino’s Terrace

Location: Riviera Resort

Type of Cuisine: French Italian 

Disney Official Menu

Stand Out Dishes: 

Ricotta. This ricotta is made in-house and is a must-order when I visit, it is creamy and pairs perfectly with their Epi Bread. 

Rigatoni. I DREAM of this rigatoni often, it comes with braised chicken and honestly is perfect. 

Classic Sole Meunière. Even if you don’t love fish, you’ll love this dish – it isn’t fishy at all, just perfect.

Topolino Tips:

Breakfast is also outstanding at Topolino, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy join you for breakfast, and in my opinion, it is the best character dining meal in Disney.

If you can, book this one at sunset and you can enjoy a cocktail on the patio while watching the sunset over your favorite park icons like Tower of Terror.

California Grill

Location: Contemporary Resort

Type of Cuisine: American

Disney Official Menu

Stand Out Dishes:

Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli. This isn’t your typical Ravioli, this is made with a wonton wrapper and in a very light tomato broth.

Braised Beef Short Rib Wontons. Literally, this dish is what dreams are made of, tender beef short rib in a spicy garlic chili oil. Yes, this one does have a kick to it, but it’s delicious.

Braised Beef Short Rib Wontons in a chili oil from California Grill at the Contemporary.
Braised Beef Short Rib Wontons from California Grill

20-oz Bone-In Rib-Eye Steak. One might not think steak when it comes to California Grill, however, it’s one of the best I have ever had on Disney Property, and if the mac and cheese make an appearance as a side, you won’t regret it.

California Grill Tips:

With fireworks back, book your table around Happily Ever After and enjoy the view from the observation deck!

Sanaa

Location: Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village

Type of Cuisine: Indian/African

Disney Official Menu

Stand Out Dishes:

Indian-style Bread Service. Probably the most famous bread on Disney Property. This one comes with 9 different sauces, and I will leave them ranked in a photo below, and 5 different types of bread. Honestly, this could just a meal in itself.

A Ranking of the Sanaa Indian Bread Service Dips.
Sanaa Bread Service Dips Ranked

Potjie Inspired – Butter Chicken. A true staple here, I like that you also can pick the side vegetable, my personal favorite is the Aloo Masala, which is a potato dish.

Sanaa Tips:

If you can, ask to be seated with a savanna view, that way you can watch the animals from your table while enjoying your meal.

Trattoria al Forno

Location: BoardWalk Resort

Type of Cuisine: Italian

Disney Official Menu

Stand Out Dishes:

Insalata Caprese. Three words, house made burrata.

In-house made Burrata with tomatoes and basil form Trattoria al Forno.
Insalata Caprese from Trattoria al Forno

Plant-based Rigatoni Bolognese. Okay, when I tell you that this dish is one of the best plant-based options on Disney Property, I mean it. The flavor in the bolognese is phenomenal, and honestly, I wouldn’t even be able to tell this was plant-based if it was a blind test.

Lasagna al Forno. This isn’t your mother’s lasagna, but in the best way possible.

Teppan Edo

Location: Japan Pavilion in Epcot

Type of Cuisine: Japanese

Disney Official Menu

Stand Out Dishes:

Filet Mignon. When it comes to hibachi you can’t go wrong with the classics, this filet mignon is cooked to perfection in front of you.

Ebi. aka Shrimp.

Tori. aka Chicken.

‘Ohana

Location: Polynesian Resort

Type of Cuisine: American

Disney Official Menu

Stand Out Dishes

‘Ohana Noodles. The internet lost its mind when they announced the reopening of ‘Ohana without the noodles, but fear not, they heard the cries of the internet and they are back on the menu.

‘Ohana Bread Pudding. Honestly, the most satisfying thing ever is pouring that caramel sauce over the ice cream on this pudding. It is one of the best desserts at Disney and you can quote me on that.

‘Ohana Tips: If you can book your dinner around the fireworks in Magic Kingdom, do it. There are seats that have a window view, but you also can head out to the Polynesian Beach where they pipe in the Happily Ever After Music!

Top Table Service Ranked According to Instagram  

Of course, we all have different tastes, so I took to Instagram to ask my followers about their favorite Table Service restaurants in Disney, and they delivered.

  1. Topolino’s Terrace
  2. Le Cellier
  3. Sanaa
  4. California Grill
  5. ‘Ohana
  6. Skipper Canteen
  7. Hollywood Brown Derby
  8. Homecomin’
  9. Trattoria al Forno
  10. Yak and Yeti

Top Dishes Around Disney

There are so many great dishes around Disney World, and while the restaurant might not make the top list for this one, they shouldn’t be overlooked. One of my favorites on this list is the Plant-based ‘Seafood’ at Toledo, honestly, that whole menu is amazing!

Filet and Mac and Cheese at Jiko

Fried Chicken at Homecomin’

Bread Pudding at ‘Ohana

Disney World Dining Guide

This post is just a small part of my series on all things Disney Dining, where I break down the best restaurants and what you should order. So, be sure to check out the complete Disney World Dining Guide!


Looking for the Top Table Service Dining in PDF Form? Fill out the form below to download it!

0 In Disney/ Disney Tips & Tricks

Disney World Dining Guide

The bread service at Sanaa, nine different sauces and 5 different types of bread.

Where should you eat in Walt Disney World? I’ve got you covered. With over two hundred restaurants, thousands of snacks, and hundreds of cocktails, diving into Disney Dining can be overwhelming. But with a little guidance and this Disney World Dining Guide, you can be planning your best Disney Vacation and you won’t be missing out on any of the best dining spots in Disney. 

In this Disney World Dining Guide, we will be diving into all things Disney Dining, from Table Service and Quick Service favorites, to what restaurants in Disney give you the best experience because everyone deserves a magical and delicious Disney vacation. 

What are the different types of Disney Dining?

  • Quick Service
  • Lounges

What specialty dining do they offer in Disney?

  • All You Can Eat
  • Disney Experience
  • Disney Springs
  • First Time Must Do’s

Let’s Talk Everything Disney Dining Basics

Table Service

If you are looking for a full sit-down meal with a server at Disney, you are going to want to book Table Service. Reservations are strongly suggested for these meals and can be made 60 days in advance. 

Disney does break down Table Service Restaurants a little more, which includes Signature Dining – they are the top Table Service Restaurants, All You Care to Enjoy Restaurants – where you pay one price and get unlimited food. All you Care to Enjoy used to serve as buffets in a lot of locations, but have since changed. Finally, you have dinner theater, which currently is not operating, but includes shows like the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue.

Quick Service

In Disney, your basic fast food style service is known as Quick Service, it is essentially any restaurant where you order from a counter. That includes both restaurants and carts and kiosks located throughout the park. 

As one would expect, Quick Service is always a cheaper option when it comes to Disney food, and is abundant. You don’t need to worry about making advanced dining reservations, however, you do need to familiarize yourself with Mobile Order.

Lounges

Lounges fall somewhere between Quick Service and Table Service, they are essentially the bars of Disney World. Most offer light snacks and drinks, and you always can grab to-go drinks at these spots. 

You’ll find Lounges throughout the parks, and at the Deluxe Resorts, with a few at the Moderate Resorts as well.

Breaking Down Disney Dining

The questions I get most often about Disney Dining break down into the following topics. I find that people are looking for these types of restaurants most often when planning trips. So while Disney doesn’t categorize them this way, I think it is the easiest way to break them down!

All You Care To Enjoy

One thing Disney is well known for is its all-you-can-eat restaurants. Previously, these use to be in the form of buffets, but now for the foreseeable future have been converted into family-style meals. 

Most, but not all, character dining tends to be all you can eat, and there are also some themed restaurants as well.

Disney Experience 

One thing Disney does well is restaurants that are so immersive that you feel like you are in the story. This is in no way an official Disney category, but there are restaurants you should visit, both Table Service and Quick Service if you want to experience all things, Disney. The price point of these restaurants tends to be higher, as you are paying for the overall experience and not just the meal. 

A great example of these would be Be Our Guest, where you dine in Beast’s Castle from Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella’s Royal Table, where you dine inside the iconic Cinderella Castle.

Disney Springs

Located on Disney property is Disney Springs, it is a shopping pavilion with lots of food options. Most restaurants here are own by outside companies, and the food choices are endless. It is a lively area that can be a great escape from the parks!

First Time Must-Do’s

So you’ve booked your first trip to Disney but don’t know where to eat? These are the must-do restaurants in that category that really make a Disney trip feel like magic. It could involve character dining or dinner with a great view of the fireworks. It’s my list of restaurants I tell people that have to dine at, at least once.

Disney Dining Guide

Disney Dining is always an experience, and with over 200 restaurants around Disney World, it can be overwhelming. Be sure to dive into the guide above for more details on specific categories, including where I recommend dining, and what to order.

More of a visual person? You can also find my full guide in video form over on my Instagram!

0 In Disney/ Disney Recipes

Disney Parks Copy Cat Recipe: Churro Ice Cream Sandwich

Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom use to sell Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches, they were the perfect combination of Disney Churros and a way to cool off in the Florida heat. Sadly, they took them off the menu, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make them at home. There is just something about the smell of churros that makes me feel like I am at Disney.

Yes, making churros from scratch can seem daunting. Here are a few easy tips to help your piped churros come out perfect!

  • Use a churro tip and a piping bag. This dough is thick, so it is worth a couple of dollars of investment. The Wilton Decorating Tip, No.8B Star is perfect for this one. I like that the details of it, and it is thick enough to produce a good churro. I also prefer disposable piping bags, just because it is near impossible to get them completely cleaned out.
  • Trace out the size you want your churro sandwich to be. I trace out how big I wanted my churros to be, which gave me a great guide when piping. All I did was draw the circle on the backside of some plastic wrap, and then I piped my churros directly on the other side, this also helps prevent them from sticking in the freezer.
  • Don’t skip freezing the churros. This will help them hold together and keep them from falling apart, no one wants a messy ice cream sandwich.

Disney Parks Copy Cat Recipe: Churro Ice Cream Sandwich

This one may no longer be on the menu at Sleepy Hollow, but that doesn't mean you cant make it at home!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Freezing Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 4 Sandwiches

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 8 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon divided
  • 1 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • Oil for Frying
  • Vanilla Ice Cream

Instructions
 

  • Combine water, butter, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in a saucepot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.⁠⠀
  • Add in flour and stir and press down until fully incorporated, remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. ⁠⠀
  • Add in eggs, one at a time, fully mixing to combine before adding the next. ⁠⠀
  • Fill a large piping bag fitted with a star tip with the dough and pipe in large circles onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Pro-Tip: Make sure all the layers are touching, and pre-draw how big you want your churros on the parchment, it will be a good guide.)⁠
  • Freeze for at least 4 hours⁠⠀
  • Heat about 2 inches of vegetable or canola oil in a pot to 350 degrees. 
  • Remove churros from the freezer and fry until golden, and let drain on a piece of paper towel. ⁠⠀
  • Combine 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and fully coat your warm churros in the cinnamon sugar. ⁠⠀
  • Sandwich a scoop of ice cream between 2 churros and enjoy! ⁠⠀

Fingers crossed we will be able to find these Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches in Magic Kingdom again, but these are just too good to not make at home!

The links in the post may contain Amazon Affiliate links and I receive a small commission if you chose to purchase from my link, at no cost to you.

0 In Disney/ Disney Drinks

4 Disney World Drinks I Would NEVER Order Again

Galaxy's Edge Blue Milk

Usually, I like to give my favorite suggestions, but I thought it was time to talk about things I would never order again. ⁠ I have tried so many different drinks across the parks in Disney World, some of them are outstanding, and some of them miss the mark. Here are the drinks you will NEVER see me ordering in Disney World again!

Blue Milk

Milk Stand in Galaxy’s Edge – Look you are either #TeamBlueMilk or #TeamGreenMilk – or #TeamAllTheMilksSuck, and there honestly is no in-between. However, that being said you will NEVER catch me drinking the blue milk again. Green Milk – you aren’t my favorite, but you kinda taste like Froot Loops, so I kinda like you. ⁠⠀

Kings Cooler

Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom – Now, I will never slander Dole Whip, but I will slander it when they combine it with an extremely artificial tasting watermelon-strawberry syrup. I could not in good faith tell anyone to order this. ⁠⠀

Troll Kreme

Cart in the Norway Pavilion – Okay, I know I am going to lose some of you because some of you LOVE this drink. But I’ll be honest, this is the second worse drink I have had in Epcot, the number one spot is more deserving of the terrible title. To me this just tasted like bubble gum, I am not sure how, but apparently, vanilla, cranberry, and dragon fruit combine to taste like bubble gum. ⁠⠀

Frozen Kirin

Kabuki Cafe in the Japan Pavilion – Okay, I have no beef with Kirin, in fact, I think it is a great light drinking beer. Where I draw the line is putting a slushie on the top of it. This is touted as the first place you could find this in the continental US, but honestly, we would have been better off without it.⁠⠀

What are your least favorite drinks at Disney World, you know the ones you didn’t even want to finish?

You also might like…

The Ultimate Epcot Drinking List

Epcot’s Tipsy Ducks in Love Recipe

0 In Disney Drinks/ Disney Tips & Tricks

The Ultimate Epcot Drinking List

These are the drinks you NEED to order the next time you are in Epcot. Drinking Around the World can be overwhelming, there are plenty of options to choose from, but the real question is, what should you be ordering? I have tested many drinks around the World Showcase, and have determined that these are the drinks you need to order.

Of course, we are starting in Mexico, because it is the only right way to drink around the world – I mean, you do you, but the true Epcot people will judge you.

Mexico

Of course, you have to grab a margarita when in Mexico, and I recommend heading into the pavilion and checking out La Cava del Tequila. Their variety of margaritas is unparalleled to the kiosk outside – even though they are own by the same company. The drink of choice in Mexico has to be La Cava Avocado, it is their famous avocado margarita, yes, it actually has avocado in it, however, you don’t really pick up on that flavor, it just contributes to more of a creamy texture.

La Cava Avocado – La Cava del Tequila $15.50

 
 
 
 
 
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Norway

Heading to Norway, you have limited options compared to some other countries. But I always recommend heading into Kringla Bakeri, their snacks are cheap and delicious, and I prefer it over the cart outside. My go-to choice is the Viking Coffee, which you can order both cold and hot. It is a combination of coffee, Kamora, and Baileys, and it is the perfect not too strong tasting spiked coffee.

Viking Coffee – Kringla Bakeri OG Cafe $13.00

China

China has some of the most slept on drinks in Epcot. Joy of Tea which sits right on the lagoon, is completely unsuspecting but houses some of the best drinks. Honestly, by the time you have reached China it is probably getting warm out, and the Canto Loopy is the perfect refreshing drink. It’s a combination of Cantaloupe Juice and Vodka and is a must when you pass through China.

Canto Loopy – Joy of Tea $11.00

Germany

When in Germany of course you have to have a beer, it’s the most German choice that you could make. There are quite a few beers and beer cart options in Germany, and I highly suggest picking up one of their huge pretzels, you know to soak up the alcohol. My go-to here is the Schöfferhofer Grapefruit, it is only 2.5% percent which is honestly the break your liver needs by the time you reach Germany.

Schöfferhofer Grapefruit – Beer Cart $9.50

Italy

Italy is the land of wine, and the pavilion in Epcot really reflects that, you can find wine everywhere and you can’t go wrong with it. However, my favorite beverage is seen at pretty much every festival, so you usually can find it at the festival kiosk. It’s the Italian Margarita – made with tequila and limoncello. There is something completely different about this one, and I know you wouldn’t expect to get a margarita in Italy, but I promise it’s delicious.

Italian Margarita – Italy Festival Booth

American Adventure

Things have changed recently in the American Pavilion, with the opening of Regal Eagle and the outdoor bar there. Now, I must admit I want to dig further into the bar menu than I have, but there is one clear stand out here. It’s the Moonshine Sour from Regal Eagle’s Outdoor Bar. It is the perfect combination of blackberry and blood orange, and according to the bartender, it is the most popular drink in Epcot right now.

Moonshine Sour – Regal Eagle Outdoor Bar $14.00

Japan

The Japan Pavilion hands down has the best drinks in Epcot, there, I said it. You can’t go wrong with any option in Japan, from the sake bar in the back of the pavilion to the garden house, you always can find a great option. I am the biggest fan of the Garden House and their signature cocktails, I am a die-hard Violet Sake fan, and it will always be my number one, but the Tokyo Sunset is also an excellent choice.

Violet Sake – Garden House $11.00

Morocco

If you’ve never visited the bar in the Morocco Pavilion, you need to add it to your list. The theming inside is amazing, and the drinks are even better. You might some people taking shots while drinking around the world, but I highly recommend their Moroccan Mule. It is a staple in the pavilion, and you can get it at the bar inside Spice Road Table, and no you don’t need to dine there, you can just grab your drink and go.

Moroccan Mule – Spice Road Table $14.00

France

France is one of my favorite pavilions, and by this point, you are probably really feeling drinking around the world, so might I suggest heading to the bakery and picking up a $2 baguette. It’s a steal and by your 9th drink, you are going to need it. Now onto the main event, the drink – to me the most quintessential Epcot drink can be found in France, it’s the Orange Slush from Les Vins des Chefs de France, which is a kiosk right on the lagoon. It’s a combination of Grand Marnier, Rum, and Grey Goose Orange. And if you are feeling extra, you can add an extra shot for $6.75.

Orange Slush – Les Vins des Chefs de France $14.50

United Kingdom

When visiting the UK Pavilion, you have to venture into the Rose & Crown, it is one of the best bars to grab a drink in all of Epcot. Of course, you can always go with a beer, I am a big fan of the layered beers they serve, and they have more combinations than you would think. However, my go-to drink is the Welsh Dragon, if you read the ingredients you might question my choice, but do me a favor and just go with it.

Welsh Dragon – Rose & Crown Pub $16.00

Canada

We have finally made it to the final drink in this Drinking Around the World Tour! Canada does not disappoint, because I believe the most slept on drink in Epcot resides here, though I am not sure if it’s slept on or because it’s most people’s 11th drink, so they probably don’t really remember. I am talking about the Ottawa Apple from Popcorn in Canada. It is a great combination of whiskey, apple, and maple.

Ottawa Apple – Popcorn in Canada $13.00

 
 
 
 
 
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Looking to take this list with you? Download the PDF version by clicking below!

Well, we have made it to the end of the Ultimate List. Epcot has so many great drink options, but these are my go-to favorites that you will always find me reordering.

What is your favorite drink in Epcot? What must you order every time you go? Let me know in the comments!

0 In Disney/ Disney Recipes

Galaxy’s Edge Copy Cat Ronto Wrap Recipe 2.0

As you know one of my favorite things at Disney is the Ronto Wraps from Galaxy’s Edge. In fact I have recreated them at home before and they were delicious. However, I got a few emails from fellow Ronto Wrap fans stating the ones in the park don’t have dairy in them, and that the peppercorn sauce is in fact mayo-based. So, I went back to work to perfect the recipe even more.

You can always check out my original recipe here. This time around I added a few shortcuts, and significantly cut the cooking time, and I will admit this version tasted so much closer to what you get in the park!

Galaxy’s Edge Ronto Wrap Copy Cat 2.0

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 2 Wraps

Ingredients
  

Tangy Slaw

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cole Slaw Mix
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp 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 Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Mayo
  • 1/8 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Prepared Horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
  • salt to taste

Ronto Wrap

  • 2 Mild Pork Sausages see notes
  • 2 Thinly Slicked Pork Loin Chops
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 Pita Breads

Instructions
 

Pork Chops

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Start by pounding out the pork chops so they are between 1/8"-1/4" thick.
  • Coat your pork chops in a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Roast for 16-20 minutes or until fully cooked.

Tangy Slaw

  • In a medium bowl combine cole slaw mix, 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

  • Combine 1/2 cup mayo, 1/8 cup white vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon black pepper, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon horseradish, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire, and salt to taste.
  • Stir to fully combine and refrigerate until ready to use.

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 pork chop 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 ‘Liguica Portuguese Sausage‘ that I found out my local Walmart. If you are going for an authentic Ronto Wrap, I would still highly recommend using this sausage if you can find it near year.
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 prefer.

Let me know if you give this recipe a go, and if it takes you to Batuu! Also, check out the video below for a quick step by step tutorial.

@bethanyvinton

Bright Suns, travelers. Here’s how you make a Disney Parks Galaxy’s Edge Ronto Wrap at home. #disney #disneyworld #disneyland #starwars

♬ Cantina Band (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Muta1206