Category: Dining

#TripReportTuesday – Dining with Dinos

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Keeping up with our Animal themed day, we had made reservations at T-Rex Cafe located in Disney Springs, which back then was known as Downtown Disney.

Since we were staying at Saratoga Springs we had plenty of transportation options in getting to Downtown Disney. You can take a bus, boat or my favorite option when it is available: Walk! Of course we chose the walking option.

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Here is the boat option:2015-05-11-15h09m15 As we were walking, we saw some lucky folks taking one of the new amphicar rides! How fun! I love this view!2015-05-11-15h06m30The path we took led us to the Marketplace side of Downtown Disney and T-Rex is more toward the middle between Marketplace and the West Side, so we walked some more until we saw the giant T-Rex Fossils! We quickly checked in and were told to enter the restaurant where we would be called shortly.

2015-05-11-15h23m55The inside of this restaurant is so cool! It is like Rainforest Cafe except with Dinosaurs. They are actually both owned by Landry’s Restaurants and not Disney. When you first walk in, there is a giant T-Rex animatronic and a decently sized gift shop with all the dinosaur merchandise one’s heart could ever desire!2015-05-11-15h28m04There are different themed dining rooms. The underwater one holds the bar, but there are also dining tables to be found within it.2015-05-11-15h28m10There is also a fern forest room toward the back of the restaurant. This one is my least favorite because it looks too much like Rain Forest Cafe and just doesn’t have the same WOW factor as the other rooms!2015-05-11-16h38m56The ice cave room is my favorite mainly because the baby Woolly Mammoth is just so stinking cute!2015-05-11-16h38m052015-05-11-15h34m522015-05-11-15h39m26 2015-05-11-15h39m54I wished I could take the little Woolly Mammoth home!2015-05-11-16h38m15We were seated in the middle of the restaurant, in the volcano/lava room so we had a pretty good view of all the dining areas from here. On of the fun things about this restaurant is that ever 20 minutes or so, a meteor shower takes over the restaurant with very loud and eye catching effects. Be warned it gets really loud to the point of not being able to carry on a conversation, so if you are looking for a quiet meal, skip this place! 2015-05-11-15h28m18 2015-05-11-15h34m42

Once we were seated, we perused the huge menu! No matter the pickiest of eaters in your group, there will be something they can eat within the menu because there is a great variety! Check it out HERE.

They have a good cocktail selection here, so I decided to indulge a little and go with a Cotton Candy Martini because when you are on vacation, this is what you do.

Here is the menu description of the drink I got, they also have a tropical fruit version:

Candy Apple Cotton-tini

Featuring Sobieski Vodka, DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker Schnapps and a splash of sweet & sour

Below is a picture of the drink. The cotton candy has obviously became part of the drink, but when they bring it out it is all fluffy on top! Please don’t mind that I look exhausted and hungry in this picture. You can also see the souvenir drink shaker that this drink came with.

2015-05-11-15h42m08 As mentioned, the menu is extensive, but I had finally settled on the meatloaf/mashed potato meal which I think is a seasonal or special offering because I do not see it on the menu. It was really tasty and filling though!  I think Justin ended up going with a New York Strip steak because he was feeling carnivorous given his surroundings.

Overall, our experience at T-Rex Cafe was a great one! The servers were attentive, the menu has plenty of options and the food is prepared well. I don’t know of anywhere else on Disney property that you can get a cotton candy martini, so that is a bonus!

If you have any dinosaur fans in your group, make sure to get reservations to this place! We have since returned to T-Rex Cafe and it was still wonderful and even have reservations for this summer when we have family coming down for a visit, mainly because one of the children in our party is a die-hard Dino fan! I cannot wait to experience this place with him!

After our meal, we walked around the restaurant a little bit, checked out the shop and decided to walk by the Boathouse restaurant to check out an amphicar launch! I so want to do this one day!

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The plan for the rest of the evening was to head to Hollywood Studios for some Fantasmic and Extra Magic Hours. Join us next Tuesday!

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My Favorite Disney Date Night Restaurants

Date Night

With Valentine’s Day this weekend, I started thinking about my favorite romantic Disney restaurants and realized there were tons of places that I would consider romantic. While you can definitely have a date night at any Disney restaurant, there are some that are some of my favorites either because of the menu or the atmosphere. While I have not eaten at all the Disney restaurants (yet!!), here are my favorite romantic meal places that I have tried in no particular order!

  1. Sanaa  – Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village

    Why I Picked It: You get to eat with with the giraffes! Well, not exactly with them, but you get to watch them while you eat. That is why I recommend an early dinner or lunch reservation so that it is still daylight. The food here is amazing, I especially recommend getting the Bread Service and trying each of the dips. Since this place is off the beaten path at Kidani Village it feels a little secluded and that makes it romantic, plus did I mention there are ANIMALS!?
    Sanaa Sign Sanaa Bread Service Sanaa Giraffe

  2. Le Cellier – Epcot – Canada Pavilion

    Why I Picked It: This restaurant is small and feels very cozy as it is supposed to feel like a cellar. Plus there is the most amazing Cheddar Cheese soup and delicious filet with mushroom risotto here! The garden leading up to the restaurant is beautiful too!
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  3. California Grill – Contemporary Resort

    Why I Picked It: At the very top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort is what is probably my favorite restaurant EVER. The views of Magic Kingdom and the surrounding areas are a sight to behold and if you time it out right, you can watch Wishes from your dinner table or watch it from the observation decks. The food is top notch, another wonderful filet can be found here, but honestly, everything about this place is superb right down to the desserts!
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  4. Be Our Guest – Magic Kingdom Park 

    Why I Picked It: This place is straight out of a fairy tale and the food is pretty darn good too. You can eat in the room where Belle and Beast dance the night away, what is more romantic than that? Don’t worry, no talking candlesticks or clocks will interrupt your meal, but you do have the opportunity to meet the Master himself after you finish your meal.
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  5. Sci Fi Dine In Theater – Hollywood Studios


    Why I Picked It:
    It is like a drive-thru but with good food and even better milkshakes! The cars are pretty small, so it will require you to be close to your significant other and you get to watch fun Sci-Fi clips “under the stars.” I feel like Sci-Fi Dine In Theater transports you to a simpler time.
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  6. Les Chefs de France – Epcot – France Pavilion

    Why I Picked It: The entire France Pavilion screams romance with its fountains and gardens, and this restaurant is no exception. They have one of the best French Onion soups I have ever tasted!
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  7. San Angel Inn – Epcot – Mexico Pavilion

    Why I Picked It: Nothing is more romantic than eating under the stars and San Angel Inn definitely gives you that feeling even though you are completely indoors. Like Le Cellier, this restaurant is on the smaller side. The food is authentic Mexican and incredibly delicious. My favorite part is that you get to watch the boats float on by from the Gran Fiesta Tour.
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Honorable Mentions:
Cinderella’s Royal Table – Magic Kingdom Park
Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs
Coral Reef – Epcot
Jiko – Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House

I am definitely hungry now! Do you have a favorite date night or romantic restaurant at Disney? Let us know in the comments!

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#TripReportTuesday – A Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue Review

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It’s Tuesday, so that means a new installment of the trip report!

I was so excited to get ready for our dinner because we were doing a true Disney classic for the first time: The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue! This dinner show musical comedy held at the Fort Wilderness Resort & Camground is one of the country’s longest running dinner shows as it opened in 1974!

Here is what we were in store for from Disney’s website:

Frontier-Style Family Fun

Join the Pioneer Hall Players for 2 hours of rousing Wild West dancing, singing and zany vaudeville comedy.You never know what to expect when Claire de Lune, Johnny Ringo, Dolly Drew, Six Bits Slocum, Flora Long and Jim Handy hit the stage. But you do know that it’s not going to be dull! Get ready to clap your hands, stomp your feet, sing along and have a good ol’ time at rustic Pioneer Hall in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

In between skits and song standards, chow down on buckets of all-you-care-to-enjoy fried chicken and smoked BBQ pork ribs, as well as a tossed green salad, baked beans, fresh-baked cornbread and strawberry shortcake.

Unlimited draft beer, wine and sangria are included for Guests 21 years of age and up (proper ID required). Soft drinks are also included.

Doesn’t that description just sound like so much darn fun!? Not only was I excited to see the show, but also visit Fort Wilderness because this was the first Disney resort I stayed at when I was 4 years years old, I just don’t remember it!

The show is held at Pioneer Hall, but in order to get there, you have to take a bus from within the resort because the campground is so big and spread out! I definitely did not take this into account in my planning, so we just made it! Make sure if you book, you give yourself plenty of time to get to the resort and use the in-resort transportation! I think the bus ride to get to Pioneer Hall can take up to 20 minutes depending on when you catch the bus, so just plan ahead! When we arrived to Pioneer Hall, we were one of the last people to get there and pick up our tickets so we didn’t have much time to explore because just as we picked up our tickets, they were opening the doors and having people be seated.

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A hostess brought us to our table which was so close to the front it felt like we were on the stage. When you make your reservation, you choose which section you wish to be seated in and there are 3 different categories. Category 1 is the main floor, Category 2 is in the back and some upper balcony looking straight on to the stage, and Category 3 is on the balcony to the sides of the stage. We had chosen Category 1 and really lucked out with our seats! We were also right next to the piano!

2015-05-10-16h16m02 2015-05-10-16h16m08Here was our view looking behind our table, you can see the balcony seating above and can see how jam packed this show was! Even though it has been going strong since 1974, it is still very popular, so definitely make reservations if you have your heart set on seeing it! They put on 3 shows a night: 4:00, 6:15 and 8:30. We were doing the first showing, but I am sure the others are just as packed!2015-05-10-17h03m38

Since they have to put on 3 shows a night, they start the show right away and soon the talented actors took to the stage and it was seriously hilarious! I did not know what to expect, but that was half the fun! I don’t want to give to give too much away, but I love how they use the audience interaction. There really never is a dull moment in this show and you will definitely be entertained the entire time!2015-05-10-16h28m59 2015-05-10-16h29m10 2015-05-10-16h30m16 2015-05-10-16h30m44 2015-05-10-16h29m40 2015-05-10-17h14m27

In between all the rootin’ tootin’ fun, your servers are bringing you literally buckets of fried chicken, ribs, mashed potatoes, corn, beans and salad. All of which is incredibly tasty!

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One of the most fun parts of the show is the way they present dessert! It is a whole production centered on Strawberry Shortcake and even your servers get in on the action! So much yum!2015-05-10-17h31m16

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Be prepared because this show is LOUD! And when you think it can’t get any louder, it does! And when you think it can’t get any funnier, it does! 2015-05-10-17h45m532015-05-10-17h35m19 2015-05-10-17h35m46

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We really enjoyed the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and were glad to cross it off our Disney Bucket List and I know we will definitely visit it again soon! The food is good and plentiful, but the actors are what make this show so great – I wish I had an ounce of their talent! If you are looking to kick back, have fun, laugh and just have a wild and loud time, book this dinner show!! If you are looking for a more quiet, laid back atmosphere, then this is definitely not for you!

I came across this great article on The Disney fan club site,  D23, which commemorates Hoop-Dee-Doo’s recent 40th Anniversary. There are some great old photos, a fun video and lots of history about the show. I have linked it HERE! Go and check it out.

See you next Tuesday when we head back to the Magic Kingdom for the evening (do we even go anywhere else?)

 

 

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