Let me start by saying, I am NOT a food blogger. I don’t even take pictures of what I eat. So this will not be on caliber with real food bloggers, many of whom I love and admire!
But, as most humans do, I enjoy a good meal, especially at Disney! And we had a few of those on our recent trip to Walt Disney World! Go here to read part one of this report where I talk about where we stayed.
When all 5 of us go to Disney, signature dining is typically out simply due to cost (a signature dining meal for 5 can easily reach $300 or more). But when I’m with just one kid and he happens to be a true lover of good food AND celebrating a birthday? Let’s DO IT!
Our first great meal was at Disney’s Hollywood Brown Derby located in Hollywood Studios! I’ve dined here a few time over the years and honestly never had a bad experience. This time was no different! Our server was just right – not overly hovering but we always felt she was there when we needed her – and the food was all fresh and delicious. And the desserts – oh my word. We also got the coffee service which I adored. Something about finishing a great meal with dessert and coffee just makes it feel special to me. I would say the food was great but honestly, it’s the overall experience that makes this a place I’ll always return. Jack pointed out that all the pictures in the restaurant with gold frames were from the original restaurant in Hollywood where the ones in black frames were reproductions. Made it really fun to spot the real deal and admire how much Hollywood history is in this building!! 5 out of 5 Hollywood Stars for this amazing dinner. Small, fun detail we noticed: every booth has a phone jack. They aren’t working (we asked) but in the original these were for those high powered Hollywood types who did working lunches and needed actual phones that plugged in at their tables. Love it!
Our second signature dining experience was new to both of us! We were able to get a table at Tiffens at Animal Kingdom (located right outside the entrance to Pandora). First of all, I just loved the interiors in the restaurant – so well themed and so much great, original artwork! Every detail was thought through.
Our server shared with us that this is Joe Rhode’s favorite place to eat (he’s an amazing imagineer who designed Pandora and was on the team for this place as well) and that the whole sustainable fish is his favorite dish. So, for his birthday, the chef made him a birthday cake that looked just like the whole fish! Which is weird and very cool (just like Joe Rhode).
Great food, great wine, great server. We also had a nice bit of pixie dust when they handed us priority seating for Rivers of Light, the evening show at AK. We didn’t pay for the dining package, so this was a lovely surprise! The food here is adventurous but also just really, really good quality and our server really did a great job. Side note: this was the day that we lost amazing imagineer Marty Sklar so we made this dinner our “Here’s to Marty” meal and the server shared that he had just seen him at D23 and felt so blessed to have been able to do that. Rest in peace, Marty. You gave us so much!
Our other two table service meals, Tokyo Dining and Kona Cafe, were wonderful and as expected. I say that not to diminish how good they were (they were AWESOME!) but because I’ve eaten and both many, many times (my first experience at Kona was in 1979 and I’m not even sure it was called that then)
. Our favorite thing about Tokyo Dining is the service and the sushi, and at Kona (where we had breakfast) I love the pancakes. I am that weirdo who doesn’t like Tonga Toast (don’t hate me).
So, let’s see, a 3 night, 4 day trip and we managed to fit in 4 sit-down restaurants – not bad. Oh, almost forgot! Guess what else we did?
Be Our Guest breakfast pre-park opening! We managed to get this ADR at the very last minute (the night before in fact) and we loved it! Tip: if your reservation is any time before 9 (even 8:45) they let you in at 7:40 through a special entrance for those with ADR’s and they also let us into BoG as soon as we got there (our ADR was for 8:30). As always, Disney could change this at any moment and without warning, but this is how it worked for us. Is it expensive for breakfast? Uh, yes. Very. But we really enjoyed the food and atmosphere (I mean, really, who wouldn’t) and the fact that we go to ride 7 Dwarves Mine Train early was awesome! They let us in to ride at 8:45 and we were able to ride 3X before it was open to the public. This also allowed us to line up for Peter Pan (didn’t open early) and be one of the first on that so 2 major attractions done multiple times by 9:05. Definitely made it worth it if you’re going during a busy time of year. Also good to know that you can snag ADR’s for this last minute so if you can’t get in, keep trying!
OK, now on to my one complaint this trip is ridiculous. Truly ridiculous.
So, here’s the deal: I’ve been trying to drop some weight that’s been creeping up the last couple of years (I’m 47 and it’s a thing) and managed to drop 13 pounds in the last couple of months which I’m very happy about! And I truly was determined not to worry about calories on this trip (because it’s vacation!).
But I kept getting full! I know this seems dumb but I just can’t eat like I used to. Ya’ll, I didn’t even get a cronut (insert sad face) not because of the calories but because we were just eating so much and I just couldn’t. This is a ridiculous problem since I saved both money and calories, but I was just a little sad. Still managed a few of my favorite snacks (insert picture of Germany pretzel as large as my head here;).
Up next: the attractions! We did a lot of first this trip and I’ll review them all! Pandora and Pixar Live just to name a couple . . . See you next time!