After spending a week in Orlando, Florida with my family, I’m glad to be back in Utah and back to work.  On the first day of our trip, I got a little too excited jumping into the pool and forgot to take my iPhone 5 out of my pocket.  All my plans for writing multiple reviews and taking tons of pictures were ruined. I decided to do just a recap of the week and a couple of things to watch out for and keep in mind if you are going to be vacationing at Disney World anytime soon.

Disney Dining Plan

I decided not to go with this plan.  We had an 8 day park hopper pass and were staying 9 nights in Orlando altogether.  To get the Disney Dining Plan that provides 2 quick service meals, and 1 snack per person per day I was there for a family of 2 adults, a 10-year-old, a 7-year-old, and an infant would have run me about $1050 dollars.  If I would have gone with this plan, I would have paid adult price for my 10-year-old, and the price per day really jumps up from a child to an adult.  Plus, Disney does not allow you to buy only a 5 day meal plan for example.  You have to buy a meal plan for everyday you are staying at a Disney World resort.  At the end of my trip, I counted up all my food and drink receipts and I ended up spending about $900 total on food, so I didn’t really save a ton of money, but we did have a few nice table service meals, and tons and tons of soft frozen lemonades.  If and when I go back, I think I actually might try the meal plan.

Magic Kingdom

  • Pecos Bill Cafe – The pluses here were all the free toppings that Disney provides that included cheese sauce and sautéed mushrooms.
  • Sleepy Hollow – They have waffle sandwiches that were really good.  One of the flavors had a huge buffalo chicken patty with cole slaw on it.
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant – Basically this is the new place over in the new Fantasyland, you get to eat in a Beauty and the Beast themed castle.  Free refills, ambiance, and good food here.
  • Gaston’s Tavern – One of my favorite places to visit while we stayed.  They had La Fou’s Brew which was basically frozen apple juice with toasted marshmallow syrup in it, with a mango foam on top.  Easily one of the best drinks I had at Disneyworld.

Hollywood Studios

  • Mama Melrose Italian – The food was awesome, the service was awesome.  Free refills on drinks.  When you are paying $3 bucks a pop in the park, you will appreciate getting your beverage fill here.  The prices weren’t that bad at all.
  • Soft Frozen Lemonade – Most places in Disneyworld sell the soft frozen lemonades.  But most places make the vendors put lids on them.  If you go to Hollywood Studios, visit the stand that is on the street leading up to the Hollywood Tower of Terror.  They sell the lemonade at the same price, but don’t put a lid on it, and make a huge swirl of frozen lemonade goodness on top.  Definitely the best value.
  • Backlot Express – If you are going to do a quick service, this is the best place to go, because they have their soda fountains out in the dining area where you can refill your drinks.  Other quick service places like the one by the Honey I Shrunk the Kids park, don’t have drink refills.

Epcot – Epcot probably has the most food choices of any of the other parks.  I wish we could have got to more.

  • Biergarten – Definitely the food highlight of my trip, but also the most expensive.   Biergarten is a German style buffet all you can eat restaurant where the food was awesome.  They had these cheesy potato dumplings that were legit amazing.  Plus they have German performers that will come out and play a bunch of cool musical instruments.
  • Cantina de San Angel – We had a few tacos here.  They were pretty good.  This is a good spot to get a late dinner in around 8:30 or so, and then you can eat through the nighttime Illuminations show and have a good view of the lake.
  • Boulangerie at France – Uhm. French Pastries.  No need to say more!

Animal Kingdom

  • Tusker House BBQ Tree – We eat here both days we went to Animal Kingdom.  If you like salad, they have a really good BBQ chicken salad.  The first day we went with ribs because the kids asked for them, but soon figured out, that quick and easy is the way to go at Disney.  The ribs while tasting good, were a little too involved.

Downtown Disney Another place with lots of food and dinner choices.  We are definitely trying the Irish Pub next time.

  • Earl of Sandwich – One of our favorite Disney World spots.  The sandwiches here are not only amazing, but only $5.99 which is unheard of for Disney.  You can get refills at the soda machine.  I only wish our hotel was closer to Downtown Disney, I would have eaten here everyday to save money.
  • Planet Hollywood – We won’t be back.  If you stay at a Disney Resort, they give you a 15% off coupon to use, but there are just so many other great options at Downtown Disney, I would look elsewhere like T-Rex or something.  The portions we got were kinda small.  It wasn’t as good as I remembered it being.

Well that’s it in a nutshell.  Disney will nickel and dime you to death at the parks.  Know where to go, and give priority to places that will refill your drink.  Soft Frozen Lemonade saved my life on numerous occasions.  No I never got the huge turkey legs they serve here.  Last time I had one there was more tendon than meat.  I’m only sad that I didn’t get to have a pineapple dole whip or a monte cristo sandwich that I always get at Disneyland.


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