Breakfast at Disney World

July 23, 2012 Cheryl 0
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There is no shortage of breakfast options at Walt Disney World…from a quick bite to eat at your hotel to elaborate character breakfast buffet’s at the theme parks.  And while you can’t really go wrong, there are some menu items that are simply out of this world!

~The Hotels~

By far my favorite is the Tonga Toast, served at the Kona Café at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.  On the menu since 1971, Tonga Toast is a thick slice of sourdough bread that is stuffed with bananas and then deep-fried and coated with cinnamon sugar.  It is served with pineapple, your choice of breakfast meat, and delicious strawberry compote, all for $12.99.  This no-so-healthy-but-oh-so-delicious concoction has almost as much of a following as the famous Dole Whip…people crave and talk about it when they are away from Disney World and can’t wait until they return to be able to taste it again…and is worth every calorie-laden bite!  Other delicious options at the Kona Café include Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes, Fresh Seasonal Fruit served in a fresh Pineapple with Banana-Nut Bread, and Mickey-shaped Pancakes for the kids.  Located on the second floor of the hotel, it is just a few short steps from the monorail station.  For my family, it is not a trip to Disney World without Tonga Toast!!

1900 Park Fare, located off of the lobby at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, is home to Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, Tigger, Pooh…and the most supercalifragilisticexpialidocious chilled strawberry soup you have ever tasted!   This character breakfast (Adult price range: $22.36-$26.62; Child (ages 3-9) price range: $12.77-$14.90) offers an impressive array of buffet items ranging from Mickey waffles to lobster Eggs Benedict to made-to-order omelets, but the crowning jewel is the chilled strawberry soup.  Is it an appetizer…is it a dessert?  Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Chef Mickey’s, located in the lobby at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is a wonderful way to get up close and personal with Mickey and his pals…and have a substantial breakfast before your day in the park as well. Breakfast (Adult price: $30.88; Child (ages 3-9) price: $17.03) includes a premium fruit bar, cereal selections, pancakes with lots of fun toppings, Mickey Mouse waffles, eggs, omelets and pastries, breakfast pizza…and our family favorite…Pluto’s cheese blintzes!  These tender delectable little pockets of cheese, found off of the beaten path near the cereals, come with their own topping bar – yum!!

~The Parks~

Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery boasts a wide variety of goodies, including Egg, Ham, and Cheese Croissants ($5.99), Muffins ($2.59), and Apple Turnovers ($2.69)…but the ultimate breakfast treat is the Warm Cinnamon Roll ($3.99). You can find this monstrous pastry (seriously, it’s huge – consider sharing!!) at the end of the bakery line, where they’ll scoop it onto a plate and then – and this is the best part – add another scoop of gooey frosting on top!!! This is probably the biggest and most delicious cinnamon roll I’ve ever tasted – the cinnamon ribbon and sweetness of the roll goes all the way through – no dry pastry here!   Add a specialty coffee and a piece of fruit for a delicious breakfast on the go!

Mickey waffles are a staple of most breakfast menus…but combine one with Nutella and fresh fruit and you really have something special (Nutella and fresh fruit waffle sandwich $5.59).  Sleepy Hollow, located in Liberty Square near the Hall of Presidents in Disney’s Magic Kingdom, is a great place for a quick and delicious breakfast on the go.   Grab a seat either in the shaded location off to the side, or at one of the tables overlooking the moat of Cinderella’s Castle and enjoy. The best thing about the food at Sleepy Hollow? It is prepared as you order it, so your Mickey Waffles or funnel cakes are not sitting under a heat lamp, getting soggy!!

Last, but certainly not least, is the Harambe Fruit Market, located right next to the Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.  It is just a simple fruit stand, but there is just something mouth-wateringly delicious about seeing that fruit on a hot Florida morning!

~Bottom Line~

Disney World is known for its food selections just as much as it is known for characters and rides.  Offering everything from over-the-top experiences to cereal and milk, breakfast at Disney World is a great way to start your magical day – enjoy!! What is your “can’t miss” favorite?

 

Plaza Restaurant

July 21, 2012 Cheryl 0
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Located just off Main Street, USA this Victorian-inspired full-service restaurant has plenty of turn of the century charm.  The restaurant itself is not very large, and the menu is limited to soup, sandwiches, burgers, and salads, but it is well known as the least expensive table-service restaurant in the park, and is one of our favorite spots to grab a meal while at the Magic Kingdom because you can’t beat the desserts!

The last time we visited the Magic Kingdom, I made sure we had a reservation for the Plaza Restaurant, as it is often very crowded and the wait times without a reservation can be very long (if you can get in at all).  We were dining at 5 pm, but there is no difference between the lunch and dinner menus.

After being seated, the three of us (my husband, son, and I) looked over the menus.  My husband and I have some food allergies, so when I made the reservation I noted them on the reservation form.  The chef came out of the kitchen personally to go over the menu and discuss which items would be ok, and which to avoid.  While he was standing there, my son dropped his crayon on the floor and hit is head on the table while standing up.  After making sure he was all right, the chef immediately called over the head waitress and ordered my son an appetizer-sized cup of mint chocolate chip ice cream to calm him down. Now, I am not a big proponent of soothing kids with food, but I have never seen tears turn to a smile that quickly…talk about some Disney Magic!

We placed our orders, and waited for our dinner to arrive. Several times a day, the Mayor and other character inhabitants of Main Street will come in to the restaurant and interact with the guests, so we were treated to a show while we waited for food to arrive.  The service was fairly quick, and soon we had our meals.

My husband ordered the Angus Chuck Cheeseburger ($13.99), which is a nice sized burger served on a Kaiser roll with lettuce, tomato, and onion. You then can choose from the following toppings: Cheddar, American cheese, bacon, grilled mushrooms, or grilled onions, and comes with your choice of broccoli slaw, homemade chips, or French fries.  Veggie burgers are also available upon request.  He pretty much loaded up his burger, and had it with a side of fries.  He rated the burger as average, but liked all of the topping options.

I ordered the Plaza Club ($11.49), which is a pretty standard club sandwich with ham, turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise layered on sourdough bread. I added cheese and paired it with the French fries.  The sandwich was very tasty, and large – I probably left about half of it so I would have room for dessert!

My son ordered off of the Children’s Menu, and got a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, grapes, and white milk ($8.59 including dessert). Pretty standard fare, and he woofed it down with no complaints – his “head injury” long forgotten!

Now, no trip to the Plaza Restaurant is complete without ordering something sweet from the dessert menu!  Ice Cream is “imported” from The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, and is the perfect ending to your meal.  Menu items include cheesecake and a wide variety of ice cream concoctions ranging from simple bowls of ice cream to floats and shakes to banana splits and brownie sundaes.   Our family’s favorite though is The Plaza Restaurant Sundae ($4.99).  This classic sundae includes the ice cream of your choice (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, mint chocolate chip, no sugar added raspberry sherbet, no sugar added butter pecan, or nonfat chocolate-vanilla swirl) topped with choice of hot fudge, strawberry sauce, crushed pineapple, chopped nuts, whipped cream, and a cherry.  Yummy, and perfect for sharing! And if it happens to be your birthday…they will serenade you and present you with a special birthday cupcake, complete with candle!!

One more added bonus of eating at the Plaza Restaurant is that if you time it right, you can walk right outside and have a prime viewing spot for the parades or fireworks!

So, if you are looking for a place to cool off, grab a simple meal, and some delicious ice cream, consider making a stop at the Plaza Restaurant during your next visit to the Magic Kingdom.

Planning Tip:

Although they do take walk-ups on a first-come, first-serve basis, I recommend making advance reservations for this restaurant.   Park admission to Magic Kingdom Park is required, and the Disney Dining Plan is accepted (1 Table-Service Meal).