50′s Primetime Cafe

50s primetime cafe outside2wm

If you’re looking for a fun place to dine, be sure to check out 50′s Primetime Cafe, located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios near Echo Lake!  As you enter the restaurant, you will immediately be transported into the 1950′s.  You’ll first see themed seating areas, also known as “Dad’s living room” upon entering.  It looks straight out of a living room from any home during the 50′s.  There are so many details so take time to look at everything from the furniture, TV’s, wallpaper, and lots and lots of knick knacks!  It’s always fun to find something that reminds you of your own family’s décor (hopefully from a while back and not as decorated today!).  This place is fun and sure to bring a smile to your face before the dining experience even begins!

50s primetime waiting area

 If you arrive early for a meal or just want to grab a drink and a quick bite to eat, there is a great bar called Tune-In Lounge featuring selections from Dad’s Liquor Cabinet.  You’ll find Dad’s Classic Cocktails, wine, beer and the infamous glowing drinks using Dad’s experimental electric ice cubes.

50s primetime cafe bar

From the way they call your name when your table is ready, you’ll know you’re in for a unique experience.  You will be escorted through the kitchen into a dining room and here’s where the fun begins!  The dining room features a variety formica tables and chairs (and more knick knacks).  Some tables even feature a TV for your viewing pleasure.  You can watch clips from shows such as I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, The Dick Van Dyke show and more.  Note: I recommend requesting a table with TV upon arrival.  No guarantees but it never hurts to ask.

50s primetime cafe table

Remember, you’re part of the family in this home, “Mom’s” doing the cooking and one of your “cousins” will be your server. Be sure to bring your sense of humor as your cousins will want to make sure you use proper table manners.  There are some rules you’ll need to follow while dining such as no elbows on the table, eating all your veggies, no cell phones/hats at the table.  If you don’t show proper etiquette, be warned as you could end up not getting dessert or having to stand with your nose in the corner.  If you aren’t willing to play along, I wouldn’t recommend dining here as the role play is really what the restaurant is all about. Some cousins get more into their role than others.  Typically, the more you interact with them, the more you’ll get in return.

 50′s Primetime Cafe serves lunch and dinner and is all about Mom’s comfort food. You’ll find yummy flavored sodas, milkshakes, malts and root beer floats.  The PB&J milkshake is to die for!  There are some great appetizers, soups and salads to start your meal with such as Grandpas crab cake and Cousin Amy’s Iceberg Lettuce Wedge.  You’ll find entrees on the menu such as Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken (my favorite), Dad’s grilled Pork Chops, Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast, Cousin Barry’s Olive Oil Poached Salmon, Uncle Dana’s Artichoke and Risotta Agnolotti and Cousin Ann’s Traditional Meatloaf.  Not sure which entree to pick?  How about going with a sampling of Mom’s favorite recipes!

50s primetime cafe milkshake

If you have saved room for dessert, only at 50′s Primetime Cafe will you be able to view your menu through a Viewfinder.  Love it!  On the dessert menu are S’mores, Dad’s Brownie Sundae, Ice Cream Sundaes, 50′s Boston cream Parfait and more.

If you are looking for a fun, unique place to dine there are some great restaurants on Disney property. Obviously 50′s Primetime Cafe is one of my favorites.  Feel free to contact me at corby@travelwithtthemagic.com and I’ll be more than happy to assist!

 

 

Queen Victoria’s room at Victoria and Albert’s

Disney’s Quick service dining plan

 

On our recent trip to Disney World in Early December, My husband and I were able to take advantage of the free dining promotion that Disney offered during that time.  Since we were staying in the brand new Art of Animation resort, the promotion offered a free quick service dining plan. Usually when Disney does free dining promotions you get the quick service plan if you are staying at a value resort or the Disney Dining plan if you are staying at a moderate or deluxe resort.  We had the option to upgrade to the Disney Dining Plan for the difference in price and we toiled back and forth with what to decide. Since we were going on a budget (we are big believers in budgets!) we decided in the end to stick with the Quick Service plan (free is good!)

Big Collage

Quick Service meals are a part of every Disney Dining Plan.  A common myth regarding quick service is that it is just fast food with no real dining experience. I beg to differ.

I was able to eat around the world in Epcot taking in the sights, sounds, smells, and cultures of countries such as Japan, Morocco, and France. I ate breakfast at Main Street Bakery on Main Street USA. I ate on the waterfront with a perfect view of Mt. Everest and local wildlife at Flametree BBQ in Animal Kingdom. I dined in the grand ballroom of the Beast’s castle while watching the snow magically fall at Be our Guest.

Dining Experiences

Snacks are a really fun part of the dining plan. Below are a few of my favorites. Since I don’t usually eat dessert with every meal I ended up saving a lot of my desserts for later as more snacks. You also have healthier options like fresh cut fruit at many locations for your dessert or snack. I figure if I’m walking 5+ miles per day at Disney I can eat whatever I want while I am there. SO I had lots of cupcakes, cookies, and dole whips for my desserts and snacks!  A Cinnamon Roll at Main St. Bakery is a snack so even some of my breakfasts only “cost” one snack credit.

Snacks

All in all I was very happy with the quick service plan. It allowed us to have some really amazing dining experiences, great food (and more than enough), wonderful variety. We also enjoyed the flexibility to eat whenever we wanted since we didn’t need reservations and the ability to split meals (which you cannot do at table service meals) allowing us to try a lot more foods and locations.

If you need dining recommendations of any kind, need help choosing a dining plan, or have any other questions or needs concerning a Disney vacation please contact me!  I would love to help you plan a magical (and delicious) vacation!

–Aleshia Sokoloski  Aleshia@travelwiththemagic.com 1-800-670-4312 ext, 139

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

Looking for a unique dining experience while vacationing at Disney World?  You’re in luck because there are quite a few but one that stands out to me in particular is Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant which is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, near the Streets of America.

From the exterior outside, nothing really stands out in particular.  You may even walk past it and not even realize exactly what it is.  When you walk inside the restaurant it looks as if you have entered a dimly lit soundstage with movie memorabilia scattered throughout. There are walls blocking you from seeing where the tables are at this point. There are a couple of benches and a desk where you check in but nothing too exciting…yet.  I have eaten at this restaurant several times (since it’s my son’s absolute favorite) and my experience is to expect a bit of a wait upon arrival, even with advanced reservations.

Once your name is called, you will follow the host on a walk down the hallway.  As you enter the room you will be dining in, you are immediately transported to a drive-in movie theater.  I’m always amazed as I walk in to this restaurant.  This is truly some of Disney’s best themeing, in my opinion.  The room is dimly lit and rather quiet which can be a nice break from the excitement of the parks.  You will see rows of 1950′s style convertible cars lined up facing a large movie screen. Each car has two or three rows for seating. There are also a few picnic style tables in the back of the restaurant so I would recommend requesting a car table upon arrival to add to the ambiance.  Be warned though, if you are sitting in a car table, you will not be dining face to face with your family.  More than likely you will be seated two by two with the “driver” (complete with driver’s license) in  the front and “hitchikers” in the back which can be a little cumbersome with younger children.

 

While dining, you will view campy horror movies that are just down right over the top and silly but it’s fun.  I was worried my son would get scared (he’s overly sensitive), the first time we dined here without knowing what to expect but he absolutely loved it. He now requests to eat at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant each visit.

Besides the ambiance, some other reasons to like Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant are the following: The food is actually quite good, the servers I’ve had have all been wonderful and the prices are rather reasonable. You can find entrees such as Shrimp Pasta, Whole Grain Pasta, Rib-Eye Steak and various sandwiches but burgers, fries and milk shakes are definitely their specialty and what I would recommend.

If you haven’t dined at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, you should!  I think you’ll be glad you did!

If you are planning a trip to Disney World feel free to email me at corby@travelwiththemagic.com or you can call me at 800-670-4312 x128.

 

Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits ~ More Than Just Water and Chips!

So you’ve purchased one of the Disney dining plans and have no idea what to do with the multitude of snack credits included in the plan.  Disney’s dining plan brochures list a few examples which include popcorn, soda, water and fruit.  While these are all certainly good choices (because we all know Disney popcorn is the best on the planet!) there are many more interesting ways to redeem your snack credits.

Depending on which dining plan you purchase each person will get 1 – 2 snack credits per night of your trip.  The credits are “pooled” on your account and are not child/adult specific (unlike meals) so for example a family of 4 with 2 adults, 2 children staying 5 nights and using the Disney Dining Plan has a total of 20 snack credits loaded on their account at check in.  You may choose to use as many as you’d like each day until the balance is depleted.  All credits expire midnight of your check out day.

Items that qualify as a snack credit are identified on counter service and cart menus with a purple DDP next to them.

One way to put your snack credits to good use is to use a credit for a pastry.  All of the dining plans include a souvenir mug which includes refills at your resort for the length of your stay.  So, grab some coffee in your mug and cash in a snack credit for a cinnamon roll, chocolate croissant or bagel and – voila – breakfast!   You’ll find most pastries at the resort counter service restaurants as well as the various bakeries throughout the parks are included in the dining plans as a snack credit.  So, breakfast, afternoon coffee break or late night dessert ~ check out those bakeries!

Frozen treats included as snack credits include the infamous Dole Whips in Adventureland as well as various ice cream sundaes at select locations throughout the parks and the classic popsicles such as Mickey bars sold at the kiosks and carts.

You’ll find credits can also be used for favorite theme park snacks such as churros, pretzels, fudge, funnel cakes, cotton candy and nachos.  Just be sure to look for the DDP symbol on the menu as choices vary by location.

If you are fortunate enough to be at Epcot during the annual Food and Wine Festival in the fall you are in luck!  Snack credits can be used for most of the food at the tasting booths throughout the festival.

Each time you use a snack credit your receipt will show how many credits remain.  If you are down to your final hours at Walt Disney World and find yourself with remaining credits no worries!  Most resort gift shops as well as the larger gift shops in each park offer take home snacks that work great as neighbor/co-worker/teacher gifts!  Some options include Disney themed lollipops, Mickey shaped rice krispie treats, Mickey pretzels and fudge.

 

So have a little fun with those snack credits and make sure you don’t leave any unused!

I would love to answer any questions you may have or help get you started on planning your Disney vacation.  I provide concierge booking and planning services at absolutely no cost to you!  Contact me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com and follow me on facebook at SusanHeidenrichTravelwiththeMagic.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

 

BBQ Time at Walt Disney World – Amy Blades

The words BBQ and Walt Disney World really didn’t seem to fit together  for me, however after many suggestions I decided to take the plunge and check out  Mickey’s Backyard BBQ which is located at The Fort Wilderness campground.

I didn’t quite know what my expectations were going to be, other than a quick glance at Mickey and a piece of BBQ chicken.

 I was wrong , and am so glad  that I was. This has now become my favorite meal to do with Mickey.

The evening started with an assortment of country music from a live band and a greeting from Goofy. As we entered the airy pavillion there was an incredaible picnic area where we were overwhelmed by the smell of a down home BBQ.

The menu was out of this world, there is no way you can leave this meal hungry. The assortment starts with burgers, hotdogs, bbq ribs, chicken, corn on the cob, beans and that’s just to name a few. The selection of ice cream for dessert was unlike anything I had ever seen…….and it’s all you can eat.

Once you have finished your meal you have a chance to dance off the calories with line dancing, dance floor activities for the kiddos and a show rope trick show that will make you want to go home and try it yourself.

The interaction with Mickey and friends is priceless and gives you plenty of photo opportunities and hands on fun with your favorites.

If you choose to use your meal plan it will count as 2 credits, well worth it in opinion. You can also choose to pay cash which will run you between($36.00 – $59.00)You will have to pre pay if you are not using your meal plan. Your gratuity is included.

If you or someone yo know is looking for a little downhome fun at Walt Disney World, let me help! My services are FREE. Contact me at amyb@travelwiththemagic.com or 1-800-397-4674!

Amy Blades

Travel with the Magic

Kids fun at Disney!

What’s a great idea for kids to do at Disney?  How about getting autographs from all of their favorite characters!   On our most recent trip, I ordered autograph books before I left, and the kids went and bought special pens.  We were ready to go as soon as we arrived at the Magic Kingdom.  Our first stop was dinner at The Crystal Palace.   We got Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet to sign our books.  A character meal is the perfect place to get autographs.  You don’t have to wait in any lines.  All the characters come up to your table and are ready to take pictures and sign your books.

Here are some pointers for getting autographs.  Get a bigger marker for the characters to sign with.  They have big gloves on, so a small pen does not work.  Open the marker and have a page ready for them to sign.  Take a picture with the character and attach it inside the autograph book when you get home.

These autograph books make great memories for kids, and they have a blast meeting all of the fun characters.

Let me help you plan your next magical vacation. My services are always FREE. Call me, Karen Kalinowski (877) 818-6106 or e-mail: Karen@travelwiththemagic.com.

Food & Wine, What a Wonderful Way to Dine

I’m pretty sure that my favorite time to visit Walt Disney World is in October.  The weather is great, the humidity from the summer months is all but gone, and it is still plenty warm enough for shorts and swimming.

I love all the fall decorations.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is so much fun, with special fireworks, a parade and trick or treating inside theMagicKingdom.

But the biggest reason I love Disney World in October is because of the Food & Wine Festival held annually at Epcot.

I really enjoy strolling around World Showcase and snacking on different foods and drinks from locations all over the world.  I’ve tried things I never thought I would, and developed a love for all different kinds of food.  The portions are small, allowing you to sample many items, and if you are on one of the Disney Dining Plans you can use your snack credits for many of the offerings.  This is a great value for your snack credits!

There are seminars, demonstrations and special dining experiences that you can sign up for.  These will cost you extra and they vary in price.  But, there is plenty to see and do that is included in your regular park admission.  There are taste seminars, HGTV seminars, book signings and the popular “Eat to the Beat” concert series.  These concerts are held nightly during the festival in the American Gardens Theater and include performances by many well known artists.

I’d love to help you plan your trip to Walt Disney World!  You can email me at michelle@travelwiththemagic.com or give me call (800) 670-4312 ext 127.  You can also find me on facebook,  facebook.com/travelwiththemagicmichellebeam

It Just Never Gets Old

I’m getting ready to go to Disney World and I am so excited I can hardly stand it!  I find myself questioning how it’s possible that I get so excited each time.  You’d think it was my first visit but I get like this before each and every single visit and I’ve grown up going to Disney World!

Not to get too psychological but I think what it goes back to is the fact that Disney World brings back so many feelings of nostalgia and comfort from my childhood, yet there’s always something new to try so it keeps things fresh and exciting at the same time. There is also something for each member of my family so everyone is happy which is very important to me while on vacation.  I love the same feeling I get as I walk down Main Street, seeing Cinderella castle in all her glory.  I love the night time parade, particularly Main Street Electrical Parade. I just can’t control myself from doing a jig each time I hear the Baroque Hoedown! Yes, my family rolls their eyes at me each time but oh well!   Seeing the fireworks makes me teary (embarrassing but true). I love riding Spaceship Earth, Haunted Mansion, the People Mover, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  Just the smells of Disney make me smile.  There is nothing quite like the scents of the Main Street Bakery, riding in a boat on Living on the Land, smelling the burning scene in Rome on Spaceship Earth or flying over the orange groves during Soarin’. These are some of my favorite things that I enjoy time and time again.

I’m not one who likes mundane things.  I like change in my life.  So how do these things not get boring? I’m sure people wonder how I can go the same place for a vacation multiple times a year.  I try to change each trip up by staying in a different resort, eating at a new restaurant, trying a new special event, seeing a new show, etc.  I am fortunate enough to go multiple times a year and I still haven’t run out of new things to try.  I find it keeps things new.  Only at Disney can you get completely immersed by staying in a particular resort.  You can view animals on a savanna from your room, walk through Radiator Springs and feel like you’re staying in the middle of a Pixar film. You can also  feel like you are staying the South Seas or an upscale yacht club and so much more.  I love that I can make my vacation completely unique each time yet get that same feeling of comfort because I know my surroundings so well and that’s what keeps me returning time and time again.

If you need assistance planning your own unique Disney vacation, feel free to contact me!  I’d love to help!  You can email me at corby@travelwiththemagic.com or give me a call at 800-670-4312 x 128. I look forward to hearing from you!