Festival of Fantasy Parade

March 10, 2014 Cheryl 0

The brand new Festival of Fantasy Parade debuted at the Magic Kingdom® on Sunday March 9th and I was there to see it, and let me tell you…it was amazing!  The floats, the characters, the catchy music….for all the hype this parade was getting, it certainly did not disappoint!!

We were actually able to get Fastpass+ reservations for the parade so we had a prime viewing spot right in the circle, with a view right towards Liberty Square – so we saw the parade coming right at us and then making the turn…pretty sweet spot!  Being the inaugural event, two lucky high school marching bands started off the festivities, soon followed by the grand marshal of the parade.  Then it was time….the music began and here came the floats!!

The first featured Belle and Beast, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Tiana and Prince Naveen, and the characters everyone was waiting for … Anna and Elsa from Frozen!  The sections of the floats rotated, so you didn’t always get to see who you wanted…we had a great view of Tiana, but only about a second of Anna and Elsa.

Next up was the Tangled float – featuring swinging I-am-still-not-sure-whats with Rapunzel, Flynn, Maximus, and even the Mime!!  The float itself had such great detail – and a lot of hair!!

Ariel then floated up sitting on a clam shell, surrounded by lots of dancing fish!

Then along came the Lost Boys, Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, the Tick Tock Crock, and even a canon-firing ship!

We then moved to the opposite side of the world for a little Scottish dancing, Merida and the bear princes from Brave!  That was one large bagpipe!!

The highlight (at least for me) was next – an actual fire breathing dragon!!  The good fairies showed up and Malificient was not happy, so she turned herself into the dragon and tried to take out the Prince!!  Very well done!


Next up was a mix of characters – Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, Alice and her friends from Wonderland, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Chip and Dale…all leading up to the big cheese(s) – Mickey and Minnie!

All in all it was a great parade, and one I highly recommend adding to your schedule while at the Magic Kingdom!  It is performed daily at 3:00 pm!  Here is the full video if you just can’t wait to see it in person…enjoy!





Two new interactive experiences announced at Walt Disney World

January 23, 2013 Cheryl 0
[caption id="attachment_1837" align="alignleft" width="249"]©Disney-Pixar.  All rights reserved. ©Disney-Pixar. All rights reserved.[/caption]

The Walt Disney World® Resort has announced two new interactive experiences to their Theme Parks this spring!

Bring out your inner Russell (from Disney•Pixar film Up) and  become a Wilderness Explorer in Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Using field guides, Guests will be able to help complete challenges and earn badges throughout the park. With over 30 different badges,Wilderness Explorers will be a fun new way to experience the park!

Have you always wanted to be a pirate?  Inside the Adventureland® Area of Magic Kingdom® Park, you can soon take part in A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas. Fight off pirate enemies like Captain Barbossa and Royal Navy, and earn a place in Captain Jack’s new crew.  Using their pirate map and magic talisman, Guests will be able to complete five different pirate raids and  help find the missing treasures. Unlike the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom® game, this new adventure will not be a card-powered game.

 Although no official dates have been announced, Wilderness Explorers and A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas are planned to open this spring.   Keep posted here for future updates!

It’s Official – the New Fantasyland is open!!

December 6, 2012 Cheryl 1
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It’s official!!  Today, the Magic Kingdom marked the grand opening of its new Fantasyland with opening of new and reimagined attractions inspired by “The Little Mermaid”, Dumbo, and “Beauty and the Beast.”  Although parts of the new area have been open for months (Storybook Circus), and several attractions have been on a trial run period for weeks, Walt Disney World threw a big party to celebrate!  Today’s grand opening included hosts Ginnifer Goodwin, star of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, and American Idol alum Jordin Sparks…plus a bunch of Disney executives, your favorite characters, some fireworks, and a whole section of media outlets from around the world!

This project was largest expansion in the park’s 41-year history, doubling the size of the original Fantasyland, and tripling the number of castles!!  Located beneath the Beast’s Castle is the Be Our Guest Restaurant featuring French-cuisine and beer and wine at night. Outside of the Castle is Enchanted Tales with Belle, a character interaction experience, and inside Belle’s Village is Gaston’s Tavern, where you can buy  LeFou’s Brew –  apple juice with just a hint of toasted marshmallow and passion fruit-mango foam.  I have heard it compares to Butter Beer over at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ (which is really yummy by the way – especially the frozen kind) but I haven’t had a chance to taste it yet.  Head east and you’ll reach another new castle — Prince Eric’s Castle. This is part of the new attraction “Under The Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid”, and is located in the lagoon where “20,000 Leagues under the Sea” used to be.

And there is more to come – opening in 2013, the Princess Fairytale Hall is where the Disney Princesses will be available for meet and greets.  Then, opening sometime in 2014, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will allow families to partake in exhilarating journey inspired by the classic Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  I am really looking forward to this ride – apparently it features a first-of-its-kind ride system, and I am interested to see what that means!!

All in all a very exciting day to be at the Magic Kingdom – I wish I was there to celebrate!!

For more pictures of all of the festivities, please click here!


Are you getting ready to head down to The Walt Disney World Resort to see all the new and exciting attractions?  Let me help you plan your trip!  Contact me today, and let’s get planning!!

Cheryl Tennant Koren • Magic Maker
Off to Neverland Travel® – An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

Overview Series: Magic Kingdom

September 29, 2012 Cheryl 0

This is Part 1 of the Walt Disney World Overview Series.

Magic Kingdom is one of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort located near Orlando, FL. It was the first park built at the resort, and opened on Oct. 1, 1971. The park’s layout and attractions are similar to Disneyland, which is located in Anaheim, CA.  Called The Most Magical Place On Earth, it is divided into six themed lands.  In 2011, the park hosted approximately 17 million visitors, making it the most visited theme park in the world. Designed like a wheel with the hub in front of Cinderella’s Castle, pathways spoke out across the 140 acres of the park and lead to these six lands.  Here is a quick overview of the Park, including the rides, shows, dining and attractions.

Main Street, U.S.A.

Main Street is lined with shops selling merchandise and food. The decor is early 20th century small-town America, and features architecture from around the United States.  There are plenty of opportunities to greet characters, meet the Mayor of Main Street and other residents, view a Dapper Dan show, and get your picture taken in front of the castle.  Main Street also offers great viewing spots for the daily parades and nightly fireworks.

Attractions:  Walt Disney World Railroad, City Hall (Guest Relations), Main Street Chamber of Commerce (package pickup). Town Square Theater (character greetings), Main Street Vehicles, Harmony Barber Shop, Firehouse (Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom)

Dining:  Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Main Street Bakery, Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, The Plaza Restaurant, Casey’s Corner, The Crystal Palace – A Buffet with Characters 

Shops: Box Office Gifts, Chapeau Hat Shoppe, Curtain Call Collectibles, The Emporium, Main Street Gallery, Uptown Jewelers, Main Street Confectionery, Newsstand

Other:  Main Street Baby Services, Magic Kingdom Stroller/Wheelchair Rental, Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, Move it!  Shake it!  Celebrate it!  Street Party, Main Street Electrical Parade, Wishes


Adventureland represents the mystery of exploring foreign lands. It is themed to resemble the remote jungles in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America and the South Pacific, with an extension resembling a Caribbean town square.  There are no parades in this land, but there are opportunities to meet characters.

Attractions:  Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook, Swiss Family Treehouse, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean

Dining:  Aloha Isle, Tortuga Tavern, Sunshine Tree Terrace

Shops: Agrabah Bazaar, Island Supply, Pirate’s Bazaar

Other:  The Pirate’s League


Frontierland is where guests can relive the American Old West – from cowboys to exploring the mysteries of the Rivers of America.  The Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade ends in Frontierland, and there are opportunities to meet characters.

Attractions:  Walt Disney Railroad, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Toy Sawyer Island, Country Bear Jamboree

Dining:  Golden Oak Outpost, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café, Westward Ho

Shops: Big Al’s, Briar Patch, Frontier Trading Post, Prairie Outpost and Supply, Splash Mountain Shop

Liberty Square

This area of the park is based on an American Revolution colonial town. The Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade passes through part of Liberty Square on it’s way to Main Street U.S.A. and there are opportunities to meet characters.

Attractions:  The Hall of Presidents, Liberty Square Riverboat, Haunted Mansion

Dining:  The Diamond Horseshoe, Liberty Tree Tavern, Sleepy Hollow, Liberty Square Market, Columbia Harbour House

Shops: Heritage House, Yankee Trader Gourmet Shop, Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe

Other: sign up location for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom behind the Christmas shop


In the words of Walt Disney: “Fantasyland is dedicated to the young at heart and to those who believe that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.” Fantasyland is themed in a medieval-faire/carnival style.  This section of the park includes the original footprint, as well as two new areas – Storybook Circus and Fantasyland Forest, which will be opening in stages beginning December, 2012. There are no parades in this land, but there are plenty of opportunities to meet characters.

Attractions:  Cinderella’s Castle, It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Prince Charming Regal Carousel, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Barnstormer, Walt Disney World Railroad, Casey Jr. Splash n’ Soak Station, Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid (opening December 6, 2012), Enchanted Tales with Belle (opening December 6, 2012), Ariel’s Grotto (opening December 6, 2012), Princess Fairytale Hall (Scheduled to open in 2013), Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (opening date to be determined)

Dining:  Cinderella’s Royal Table, Pinocchio Village Haus, The Friar’s Nook, Storybook Treats, Cheshire Café, Be Our Guest (opening November 19, 2012)

Shops: Castle Couture, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Fantasy Faire, Hundred Acre Goods, Seven Dwarf’s Mine, Sir Mickey

Other:  Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Dream Along With Mickey


Tomorrowland is themed to be an intergalactic city; a concept of the future as seen from around the 1950s: rockets, UFOs and robots, etc. There are no parades in this land, but there are plenty of opportunities to meet characters.

Attractions:  Tomorrowland Speedway, Space Mountain, Astro Orbitor, Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Stitch’s Great Escape, Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor

Dining:  Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, The Lunching Pad, Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant

Shops: Buzz Lightyear Shop, Buzz’s Star Command, Merchant of Venus, Mickey’s Star Traders, Space Mountain Shop, Ursa’s Major Minor Mart

Other: Club 626 Dance Party, Push the Talking Trash Can

Parking and Transportation

There is no shortage of ways to get to the Magic Kingdom:

Ferryboats:  to the Ticket and Transportation Center

Monorails:  to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and the Ticket and Transportation Center

Boat Launches: to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Buses:  to all other Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

Parking:  available at the Ticket and Transportation Center

BREAKING NEWS: WDW Magic Kingdom to serve alcoholic beverages

September 13, 2012 Cheryl 1

When Be Our Guest opens its doors it will be making Disney history!  For the first time, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park will be serving alcohol. According to Stuart McGuire, Beverage Director, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, “As part of the overall theming, we wanted to offer wine that enhances the guest experience and complements the French-inspired cuisine.”  The wines featured will be from the various wine regions of France – including Champagne, Alsace, Loire, Rhone, Burgundy and Bordeaux.  They will be available by the glass or the bottle.  The new beverage menu also features an impressive French and Belgian beer selection – Kronenbourg 1664, Hoegaarden Wit, Saison Dupont, and Chimay Blue.

Unlike the other Disney World Parks, Guests will not be able to get “to-go” cups, and the alcoholic beverages will only be available inside the restaurant and at the table-service dinner only (not at counter-service lunch).

There are several other Disney bloggers that are up in arms that this change goes against Walt’s wishes for Disneyland (and thereby Disney World) to be a dry park.  (Disneyland has a private club – Club 33 – where alcohol is served, but the public parts are all alcohol-free.  And up until now, the same has held true for Florida.) I, for one, think that it is very presumptuous of anyone to assume they know what Walt would have wanted.  He was very forward thinking, and above all, he wanted his Guests to feel as if they stepped into a different time and place when they entered his Park.  This restaurant is just one more way that Guests can become part of Belle’s world, and if that experience includes eating a meal in France, then having French wine with your dinner is only natural.  And, in my humble opinion, having alcohol in a controlled environment (in one restaurant, only at dinner) does nothing to diminish the family environment of the rest of the park.  That’s my opinion – what do you think?

Rainy days at Disney always get me down

August 20, 2012 Cheryl 0

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Friday:  The day started out great with my favorite Disney breakfast – Tonga Toast (congrats to Jessica and Christine for guessing the picture on FB!).  From there we headed over to Animal Kingdom.  Now, I know it is August, and I am in Central Florida, so it is going to rain.  And it has rained pretty much every day we have been here, but the storms seem short-lived and they haven’t really effected our touring plans.  Today was different.  The clouds rolled in earlier and the storm lasted a lot longer.  Which really wouldn’t have been a big deal had we been at EPCOT, where most of the rides are inside.  But in a theme park that has water rides, outdoor amusements and lots of animals, being in a thunderstorm is really not fun.  We were on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride when it started, and the lightening continued for good hour and a half, even after the rains slowed down.  Luckily we were able to get into the 3:00 Finding Nemo, the Musical show.  This show is a must see – it brings the cartoon to life in a musical set and score that is ready for broadway.  I highly recommend seeing it!  When the show was over, the sun had finally come back out and we were able to ride on Everest and then get wet again on the Kali River Rapids ride!  It ended up being fun (as every day at Disney does) but a little less rain would have been fine too!!

Sunday:  T and I headed over to Blizzard Beach today to check out the water slides and the wave pool.  He had big plans for going on Summit Plummet – the 12-story wedgie-inducing speed slide – which ended as soon as he really saw how tall 12 stories is, and how fast you get from the top to the bottom.  As we stood at the bottom watching, a woman came down the slide then jumped up screaming “what the h@$# was that!!!” and just started to run away from the ride, which pretty much sealed the no-deal!  So we stuck to the wave pool, Teamboat Springs (a very fun family raft ride), the smaller slides and the lazy river.  Until the afternoon storm rolled through.  Well, I should say within a 6-mile radius a storm blew through, because although it never dropped a single drop of rain, the park closed for 1 1/2 hours.  We decided (along with pretty much everyone else) that it would be a good time to get an ice cream.  After at least a 45 minute wait (where we met some very nice kids from the U.K. and discussed the Olympics) we got our treats and waited out the “storm”.  Many people ended up leaving, so it was a lot less crowded after the rides reopened, so that was good at least!  But Blizzard Beach is definitely not a park you want to be in if there is a storm!

Monday:  Just for good measure, a very strong thunderstorm blew through the Magic Kingdom this afternoon.  We were on our way out, and could see the storm coming.  We tried to make it to the Monorail in time, but only made it as far as the bag checking area – and we hunkered down with several other families under the overhead cover.  This storm was doozy – high winds, very heavy rains and lots of thunder and lightning.  But it was gone as fast as it came.  Less than 10 minutes later we were happily on our way to the Monorail, just doing our best to avoid the rivers that the walkways had turned into!





Magic Kingdom!!

August 13, 2012 Cheryl 0
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Do you know that feeling you get when you step onto Main Street U.S.A. for the first time on your vacation, and you realize why you keep coming back to Walt Disney World?  It’s like the feeling you get the first time you fall in love – anticipation, excitement, and the swell of joy.  I got that feeling today from one of my favorite places in the world – where Pluto and Daisy greet guests and sign autographs, where the smell of popcorn makes you mouth drool in anticipation, and where all your dreams seem a little more magical.  Happiness seems to flow from the castle and down the street, welcoming you home.  It makes my heart happy, and that is why I keep coming back.

We had a pretty busy day today, which I guess is not surprising while on a Disney vacation!   We started out by figuring out the busing from our hotel – each resort is different in terms of how many bus stops there are and where they are.  Here at Old Key West Resort there are actually 5 stops within the complex.  We happen to be near the 3rd stop, so we anticipated having a pretty full bus, but as we are not early risers, it wasn’t too bad.   By the time we traveled to Magic Kingdom, picked up our park tickets from Will Call, got into the park, and made a quick stop at the Emporium (we left the suntan lotion in the room!), it was almost 11:30 am.  So we had a lot of time to make up.  Luckily it didn’t seem too busy today, so we were able to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (I won!!!) and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover before having lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café.  Then we tried to hit a bunch of the Tomorrowland and Fantasyland rides before we headed over to The Contemporary for dinner at The Wave.  Like I said, a very busy day!!

We are going to be at Walt Disney World for 2 weeks, or else I probably would have planned my day a little differently (and started a lot earlier!!) but I know that we will be back at the Magic Kingdom to hit the rest of the rides.  I definitely want to meet Merida (from Brave), check out the updated Dumbo ride, play a little Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, and do the rides in Adventureland, Frontierland and Liberty Square.  T was asking to go on Splash Mountain all day, but the passing thunderstorm put a kink into those plans today, so I am sure a soaking is in my future as well!!

We decided to try out The Wave despite the mixed reviews I had read about the restaurant.  I am glad that we did.  The food was excellent, the staff very attentive, and the atmosphere tranquil and relaxed. The server (Yvonne from Germany) was very nice and quick to replenish our drinks.  And the chef (Paul) came out to check on our orders and to make sure we all enjoyed our food.  We have food allergies, so he also personally took our orders to insure no cross-contamination.  I really love how Disney takes food allergies seriously.

We are on the Disney Dining Plan, so adults get a non-alcoholic drink, entrée, and dessert at lunch and dinner.  Children get the same or they can order a complete meal off of the kid’s menu, which usually includes a starter.  A lot of food for a 6-year-old!

The meal started with some very tasty multi-grain bread served with butter with Hawaiian Sea Salt.  A very tasty combination I would never have thought of, but thoroughly enjoyed.  Then J and I both ordered the Grilled Beef Tenderloin, and T ordered the grilled cheese on rainbow bread.  Ours came with Potato Gateau and Spring Ratatouille.  T’s came with baked fries and apples (a whole LOT of apples!) dipped in brown sugar – yum!!  The steaks were cooked perfectly, and were tender and juicy and had a good flavor.  For dessert T had a sundae, and J and I each had a dessert trio – three small desserts in one.  Combined we had a Key Lime Cube with Citrus Cream, White Chocolate Crème Brûlée with Raspberry Macaroon, Olive Oil-infused Chocolate Truffle Mousse with Salted Caramel Sauce, Coconut-Raspberry Bar with Roasted Pineapples, Vanilla Cheesecake with Florida berries, and a Chocolate Covered Banana Cream – wow!!

Our plan was to watch the fireworks from The Contemporary, but the show didn’t begin until 10 pm, and T was getting a little bit tired after such a busy day.  Plus our feet were starting to hurt and we still had to get from The Contemporary back to Magic Kingdom to catch the bus back to our hotel, so we decided to skip.  Tomorrow we are having dinner at O’Hanas at the Polynesian Resort, so we will be watching them from the beach after dinner.  Can’t wait – I LOVE fireworks!!

Dining Review: Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party

July 24, 2012 Cheryl 1
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As the sun begins to set, and the lights come on along Main Street, my thoughts turn to the fireworks that will soon be lighting up the night sky.  Usually at twilight I am getting comfy on the sidewalk somewhere around the Main Street Bakery, but on our last visit to the Magic Kingdom we decided to try something special…the Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party.

The event starts about an hour before the fireworks, and takes place along the lower tier of the Noodle Station.  Even though it is a limited seating event, the line to get in starts to form early.  As you wait, Cast Members will check off your reservation and place a special wristband around each member of your party.  Once you enter the party, you are lead to your pre-assigned table, which has your family name on it.  Hopefully you will be lucky enough to get a table up front.  If not, you are allowed to move down to the railing for the show, or even set up a tri-pod as my husband did.  You are not, however, allowed to bring chairs down to watch the display.

If you are a dessert lover, trust me, Disney does not disappoint…definitely come hungry!!  There are three different stations with all kinds of very decadent and very yummy desserts. Some of the goodies you will find are pistachio crème brulee, chocolate chip cookies, cheesecakes, brownies, chocolate mousse, key lime tarts, Italian cannoli, rice crispy treats, fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, and grapes, and my family’s favorite…chocolate covered strawberries.  There is also a coffee and tea beverage station, as well as a station with cool beverages such as lemonade, milk, ice tea, and water.  All of these items are constantly being replenished by Cast Members; so don’t feel like you need to fill your plate the first time…there is plenty available for seconds and thirds!

Once you have your fill of desserts, get ready for the show!  Now, I usually watch Wishes from Main Street, so I was interested in seeing what the show would look like from a different angle.  I personally didn’t think it was as spectacular as seeing the show straight on.  The castle is to the left of you, but instead of going off behind the castle, a lot of the fireworks look like they are to the right of the castle.  Plus, if you are seated in the back of the area, the overhang is too low that you can’t really see if you sit in your seat, so standing at the railing is the best option.  But, not having to fight the crowds or look over anyone else’s shoulder definitely has its advantages…and you gotta love Tinker Bell flying right over your head!!  Where is your favorite fireworks viewing spot?

Planning Tip:

This party is a perennial Disney fan favorite, and although they do take walk-ups on a first-come, first-serve basis,  I highly recommend making advance reservations, which can be made up to 90 days in advance.  Park admission to Magic Kingdom Park is required, and the Disney Dining Plan is not accepted.

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).