Our family has been to Disney Land before… but Disney World? Never. For my brother’s senior trip, he wanted to go to Disney World. So for our 2016 Spring Break trip we all piled in the car and drove to Florida.
(note: all these pictures were taken from my iPhone so I apologize if the quality is not very good!)
While this post is mainly going to focus on the food we ate at Disney, some other stories and tips might sneak their way in! Disney was so amazing and incredible and the only thing that was less than stellar was a jerky pin trader (more on that later!). We had so much fun there and one of my absolute favorite things was the food! From cupcakes to fruit sushi everything was fantastic.
We were on the Disney Dining Plan during our stay, which entitled us to one table service meal, one quick service meal, and one snack per person per day. I highly recommend the Disney Dining plan because it was really nice to be able to order whatever we wanted on the menu and not have to worry about the price. We actually got a special offer so the DDP came free with our resort. I will separate this post into the three meal sections, and then a fourth section to talk about other things like pin trading and etc.
These are the things that cost a snack credit at Disney. Snack credits are the most versatile and you can use one on anything from a sweet potato in Liberty Square, to a gigantic cupcake! Basically, anything $6 or below counts as a snack credit. One of my favorite uses of a snack credit was this strawberries and cream ice cream macaron. You can find it in the France section of Epcot. They hand scooped the ice cream and put it in-between two freshly baked cookies and served it in this cute French newspaper bag.
Other snacks we had include “frushi” from Japan, which is fresh fruit with raspberry coconut rice, toasted coconut and whipped cream made to look like a piece of sushi. It was very good, but not my favorite treat.
Dole whip was another treat with mixed reviews from my family members. Dole whip is a pineapple soft served ice cream and my dad absolutely loved it and it was his favorite snack at Disney. My brother who loves pineapple surprisingly did not like the dole whip. I normally don’t like pineapple but I thought the ice cream was okay.
Quick Service meals are like fast food meals. They include a meal, a drink, and a dessert. On the first day we got to Disney it was already 5:00 so we were planning on finding a nice quick service meal. While exploring our hotel (we stayed at the Grand Floridian) we stumbled across this quick service restaurant called the Gasparilla Island Grill and it was fantastic. They had a make your own salad station, which was a great healthy option, and for the dessert I got a chocolate dipped Mickey bar. We also ate at Rosie’s All-American café and got a pretty average meal, but the desert was pretty cool. They had the option of a Darth Vader peanut butter chocolate cupcake or a vanilla BB-8 cupcake.
Another great Quick Service place was the Tangierine Café in the Morocco section of Epcot. They had absolutely fantastic food and it was my parent’s favorite quick service meal.
The “Be Our Guest” restaurant counts as a quick service meal for breakfast and lunch, and a table service for dinner. Back in January I was researching on Pintrerst different places to eat in Disney. I love Beauty and the Beast so I really wanted to eat there. But, when I went online to make reservations I noticed the little writing on the website that said “reservations highly recommended 180 days in advance.” I still tried to get a reservation but, of course, they were all filled up. I was taking about it with one of my friends and they reminded me that people cancel reservations all the time so I shouldn’t give up all hope of dining there. On our last day at the parks, we had reservations to eat breakfast at our hotel, then we planned on chilling in our hotel until lunch time and heading to eat lunch in Epcot. I still wanted to try to eat at Be Our Guest so while my mom and brother took the monorail to Epcot, my dad and I went to Magic Kingdom. I even called the restaurant to see if there was any availability and the guy on the phone said no. I didn’t give up hope though, and my dad and I showed up at the counter. There were three girls in front of us who didn’t have reservations and the people at the counter told them it would be about a 35 minute wait. When we asked them though, she told us a spot for 2 just opened up and we could go right in! We didn’t even have to wait a minute! The restaurant was my absolute favorite place in Disney. Moral of the story: it’s a very good idea to make reservations, but don’t freak out if you don’t!
The inside looked EXACTLY like the inside of the ballroom that Belle and the Beast danced in.
I was in charge of making all the table service reservations, and so we knew every table service meal 3 months in advance. All the table service meals come with a meal, drink, and dessert. All the table service we had were buffets, except the Sci-Fi dine in.
Biergarden was my dads favorite table sevice meal. It is a restaurant in Germany and it has a German buffet while an entire German show is happening below you! As a warning, the tables are 10 person tables so if you don’t like to be seated with people you don’t know then I would not recommend this place. The people we were seated with were quite unusual. The guy was wearing an actual kilt! That was odd, but the food was amazing there. The potato leek soup and spazel were my favorites. The only thing that nobody really liked was the schnitzel!!! Amazing…you would think that the German place would have great schnitzel, but it wasn’t. Really, it was awful. Other than that, everything else was yummy.
The Sci-Fi Dine-In was really cool, too! The whole restaurant is made to look like an outdoor theater! All the tables are actually old fashion cars and they are all facing a movie screen that plays old 50’s sci-fi movies. I normally eat healthy, and I am all about clean eating, but when I saw that oreo milkshake and burger on the menu I ordered it before my health conscious brain could tell me no. I don’t even like oreos. I don’t know what possessed me to get one, but it counted as a drink and I am so glad I did. It was actually the best milkshake I have ever had in my life. The burger was incredible and the desert we had there was my favorite dessert of all the places. It was called the “homemade candy bar” and it was some sort of sponge cake wafer thing dipped in chocolate and it had little edible pearls on top. I was already so full from the milkshake and burger that I wasn’t able to finish it, but it was so so so good. Plus, at the end they gave us these free souvenirs called ‘speeding tickets’ (the bill…but it was free!).
Two of our table service credits were for breakfast, and those were 1900 Park Place, and Chef Mickey’s. Park Place was a neat little restaurant in our hotel which had really good food (try the strawberry soup, it’s really good!). Alice, The Mad Hatter, Winnie the Pooh, and Mary Poppins walked around and took pictures with us. In Chef Mickeys at the Contemporary Resort, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Minnie, Donald, and Pluto came and took pictures with us. Chef Mickeys had this entire pastry stand with chocolate crossiants, mini muffins, and a bunch of other yummy things!
Pin trading was a very fun thing we did a Disney World. Basically all of the cast members are wearing lanyards with pins on them. If you ask a cast member for a pin, then they have to give it to you and you exchange it for one of your pins. A tip is that everytime you go into a gift shop, ask to see if they have pin board, because most of the time they do. My brother collected pins that look like ties and have villains on them. I collected a set of pins that have Pascal (the cameleon from Tangled) in different colors. My dad collected a set of pins called vinylmation pins. It was really fun to go around and try to get all the pins in our collection. On the day we left Disney, we went to Disney Springs (formerly known as downtown Disney) and they had this huge pin trading place. I was able to complete my collection there, thanks to some of my family friends (shoutout to the Moons!!). My brother was only one pin away from finishing his collection. Now on to that jerky pin trader I mentioned earlier in this post. He was a cashier at this gift shop in Tomorrowland across from Space Mountain. This was before I had finished my Pascal collection so I was asking every cast member I saw to see if they had the pin I needed. Well, I asked this guy if I could see his pins and he brought out his lanyard and all of his pins were turned around so you couldn’t see what pins he had. He told us that in order to see his pins we had to answer some Disney trivia questions. We were like okay that’s cool trivia we got this. Then, he started asking us impossible questions. You might be thinking “oh they couldn’t be THAT hard.” They were. Here’s the first question he asked us: “In the Disney movie ‘The Three Caballeros’ what was Panchitos full name? They say it once in the movie.” The answer was Panchito Romero Miguel Junipero Francisco Quintero González Pistoles III. No joke. That was his actual question. The others weren’t any easier. We didn’t get any of his questions right (obviously) so we walked away 20 minutes later still not knowing what any of his pins were. My mom did a Disney survey and she reported him in that, and that was the only bad experience we had at Disney.
Another thing is a tip for meeting Anna and Elsa. I read a blog post that said that you can not get in to see Anna and Elsa unless you have a FastPass or are willing to wait an hour and a half. I was pretty disappointed to see that because I wanted to meet Anna and Elsa but I didn’t have a FastPass, and I was not going to wait in a super long line to see them. Luckily, on a day with extra magic hours I got in line to meet them at 12:30 AM and was able to get pictures with them within 5 minutes. The only bad thing was that it was 1 in the morning and I looked like trash in the picture. So, on our last day at the Magic Kingdom I got in line right before the park closed at 10, waited 5 minutes, and got a much better picture. So, if you want to meet Anna and Elsa, or Rapunzel and Cinderella, then go right before the park closes at night for a minimal wait time.
Another tip is that if you are visiting Disney Springs MAKE SURE YOU GO TO THE GANACHERY!!! It is this small shop in Disney Springs and it has the best chocolate I have ever eaten in my life. Seriously. It has a glass window behind you when you walk in where you can see the people making the chocolates. The chocolates are $3 a piece and they are so worth it. I really wish I had bought an entire box of them. They had a bunch of different flavors, but I got the mint one. My brother got the mango curry and a plain dark chocolate one. They were so good I can’t even describe it. Just make sure if you go to Disney Springs, that you go to the Ganachery.