Magical Memories – Visiting Pizza Planet

As you wander the Streets of America in Hollywood Studios, there is a great quick service restaurant called “Pizza Planet”. It is based on the restaurant that Andy frequents in the Toy Story movies. Robert and I had a great time here during our last visit to Walt Disney World.

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food

This 2 story restaurant offered plenty of seating both inside and out. The food was yummy and the arcade was a lot of fun. Our lunch consisted of personal sized pizzas for each of us (1 adult and 1 child), a salad, applesauce, our drinks and a cookie for Robert. You can use your quick service credits from your dining plan to pay for this meal. After we ate, my son had so much fun being a ninja slicing fruit, hip hop dancing, practicing his skee ball skills, and of course, challenging me to air hockey.

fruit ninja

arcade interior

hip hop

I do have to say my favorite details were the little green aliens seen hanging from the ceiling. I loved these guys in the movies.

green alien

And what Pizza Planet restaurant would be complete without “The Claw”!

the claw

If you are looking for a quick and easy place to grab your lunch or dinner, Pizza Planet is a great choice. It will also give you a great chance to sit and cool off while your children burn off some extra energy (and quarters).

If you have any questions and would like to use a planner for free – contact me at Robyn@travelwiththemagic.com or call me directly at 1-800-670-4312 ext 125. I have an unexplained passion for Disney and making sure that everyone is getting the most that they can out of every visit!

Boma: Dining with Food Allergies, Intolerances, or Sensitivities

Boma Collage

I will admit that I am not a huge fan of buffet style dining. However, I AM a HUGE fan of Boma, which IS a buffet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. One of the reasons I do not particularly enjoy dining at buffet style restaurants is because I have many food sensitivities and intolerances. Eating out can be difficult when you have such limitations so ordering from a menu is usually more appealing as it usually allows you customize what you get. So, the while the prospect of dining at Boma was a little uncertain for me, I was willing and excited to give it a try because of all of the rave reviews I have received from others who have tried (and loved) Boma.

Boma Buffet Stations

Since we made Advanced Dining Reservations, which I HIGHLY recommend, our server was already aware of my dining limitations when we arrived. Once we were seated, greeted, and had our drinks, James (a Boma chef) came to our table and talked to me about my dietary needs. He then walked me and my husband through the whole delicious spread and described each dish and pointed out the best options for me and the dishes that were completely safe for me to eat. I never felt rushed or like I was a burden at all. In fact, I felt quite special to have a chef give me my own tour of the menu! I was able to ask questions of James as well as the other cooks in the open style kitchen.

Kitchen

Not only did our server continue to check on us throughout our meal but James also checked on us multiple times. This was a long meal since there was SO much great food to try and I wanted to try everything I could!

One of my favorite stations was the soups. I LOVE soup! Luckily the one I wanted to try the most was also the best option for me and it did not disappoint. I still think of that soup sometimes! The family that was seated next to us lives in the area and said they come to Boma often for family dinners since everyone can find unique foods they enjoy. They were raving about the mushroom soup but found out it was only served on Mondays and we were there on a Friday. They talked to their server and a little while later a chef brought them each a bowl of fresh mushroom soup. They were so happy you would have thought they got it for free!

Boma is known for their fabulous dessert spread and so I was disappointed to find out most of the desserts would not be OK for me and my dietary restrictions. But, by the end of the meal I was so full that I really was OK with not having dessert. Just as my husband sat down with his plate of desserts James arrived at our table with a beautiful dish of fresh fruit sorbet prepared just for me. I was amazed since I hadn’t ordered or asked for this. But it was totally safe for me to eat and the BEST sorbet I have ever had.

Desserts

Boma is located in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House- just downstairs from the main lobby. Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my favorite spots in all of Walt Disney World. After supper, be sure to hit the gift shop which is a unique store with some one of a kind finds.

Location

Boma has variety (including child friendly food), uniqueness, and friendly chefs. The atmosphere is energetic; especially when the African Drummers come around and the kids join in. I would recommend Boma to anyone –even those with allergies or sensitivities. I can’t wait to try the brunch buffet and I will definitely be more apt to try other Buffet style dining experiences at Walt Disney World.

If you have special dietary or other needs, talk to your travel agent so they can help you make the most of your vacation! I would love to help you plan your next Disney trip. Contact me at Aleshia@travelwiththemagic.com or 1-800-670-4312 ext 139.

See ya Real Soon,

Aleshia

Disney Cruise Line’s Enchanted Garden

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Disney Cruises are nothing short of amazing in all aspects: the detail of the ships, the shows, the restaurants, the food… Oh, can we please talk about the food? I have never eaten as much food as I have on a Disney Cruise!

The only thing better than eating the food is the atmosphere in which you do it! There are 3 Main Dining restaurants on Disney’s Cruise ships. One of them is called Enchanted Garden. Located on Deck 2 of the Dream and Fantasy, this beautiful restaurant will have you “ooh-ing and aah-ing” before you even walk in.

Your servers will greet you with a smile at the entrance and take you to your seat. On your way there you will notice some of the seating areas look like oversized, round chairs.

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But the one thing that will grab your attention is the enormous, 7 foot tall fountain in the middle of the room…topped off with a stone Mickey Cherub. The décor is inspired by the gardens of Versailles and completely overtakes you from floor to ceiling…literally.

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The ceiling of this restaurant is something you’d have to see to believe. Look up at the “sky” and you will feel like you are right smack in the middle of a gorgeous garden. As if that’s not enough to look at throughout your meal, the sky transforms above you while you eat – from a daylight sky, to a pretty sunset and finally to a starry night. Even the light fixtures transform with the scenery. Flowers bloom and the entire room changes from day to night. Amazing!

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Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available at Enchanted Garden. Breakfast and lunch buffets are only available on certain days of your cruise. Your Personal Navigator (daily cruise schedule) will have more information as to what those days are. During lunch, the restaurant offers open seating. This means that you are welcome to sit anywhere you like.

Dinner at Enchanted Garden is a 4-course meal. There is something on the menu for everyone (including those picky kiddos- and even the pick adults!)…and what a menu it is! The best part – it’s included in your cruise cost so there’s no need to bust out the wallets!

For the most part, there is no additional cost for beverages – the exception being bottled water, drinks from the bar and specialty coffee. Regular coffee, soda, milk and juice are all covered!

Dinner starts with Apps, Soups and Salads such as:  North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli, Thyme and Garlic Brioche, Curried Carrot and Apple Soup or a Romaine Wedge with Creamy Romano Dressing and Homemade Spiced Croutons. Do I have your attention yet?

How about some of the Main Course menu items? Let’s start with my favorite:

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Grilled NY Strip Steak with Thyme Roasted Vegetables, Double-baked Potato topped with handmade Herb Butter.

Glazed Portobello Mushrooms with Brown Lentil and Parsley Sauce and Sun-dried Tomato Cream Drizzle.

The Enchanted Garden Tuna Salad (Sushi Grade seared Tuna on Organic Field Greens, Micro Greens, Wakame and Squid Salad, Sesame Seeds and White Shoyu and Lemon Vinaigrette).

 Marjoram Scented Organic Chicken Half a Chicken served with Baked Sweet Potatoes and Sautéed Baby Spinach

 Let’s not forget about dessert! Who could forget dessert?

Try the Sweet Temptations – A trio of Esterhazy Cake, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Chocolate Silk Mousse. Or maybe the Almond Meringue soaked in Maraschino Liqueur and layered Pastry Cream or the Banana Foster Sundae (Rum-glazed Bananas, Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, and Caramel Sauce).

Now I’m hungry!

Disney Cruise Line has some of the most elaborate restaurants you will ever see. Have you eaten in one of them?

For more information about Disney Cruise Line or any other Disney Destination, contact me today!

Erin Santamaria 1-877-377-0505 or erins@travelwiththemagic.com

You can also find me on Facebook or Pinterest.

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!

 

 

How to Dine at Disney with a Toddler (who doesn’t sit still)

We’ve all witnessed it. A family is trying to enjoy a meal and their young child is misbehaving; standing in their seat, sitting under the table, running around the table, etc.  I have never understood how a parent could allow their child to behave this way at a restaurant.  I had a son who could eat anywhere, perfectly well behaved…then… I had my daughter.  I quickly learned that sometimes despite everything you do, some children are just not destined to eat out. Our daughter is 2.5 and is usually very well behaved, until we eat out, that is! We have learned to eat at home instead of dining out these days. But what are you to do when you are on vacation at Disney?  Here are some tips I have learned through trial and error that help with my squirmy toddler:

Visit restaurants where there is a lot to look at. Coral Reef, Rainforest Cafe, T-Rex, 50′s Primetime Cafe and Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater are great examples. They each provide a unique themed atmosphere where there is a lot to take in visually.  Makes for a great place to play “I spy” game.

henley sitting at rainforest cafe

 Take them to a character meal.  Having trouble sitting still?  “Hey Look!  I think I see Mickey coming!”.

Instead of sitting at the table while waiting to eat, take them to Biergarten at Epcot where they can watch the oompah band and get out on the dance floor and get some energy out. Mickey’s Backyard BBQ  and ‘Ohana are other good options for those that can’t sit still.

henley dancing at biergartenwm

 Take them somewhere where they won’t stick out- clearly a Signature restaurant isn’t the best choice.  Restaurants that are a bit on the “loud” side, (Whispering Canyon Cafe, I’m talking to you) may help drown out a toddler’s eating antics in comparison to others.

Limit your table service reservations.  Want to get a dining plan?  Maybe the quick service dining plan is a better option for your family during this stage.

Make sure children are well rested. Plan your dining times accordingly. If they are falling on their face tired, let’s face it, it’s just not going to be pretty. Perhaps start the day with a breakfast buffet instead of a late dinner or mid day lunch when a nap should be taking place instead.

Make sure they are really hungry.  If they just had a snack, forget it, they are not going to want to sit still and eat a meal if they are the slightest bit full.

Take advantage of the crayons and the two sided place mat coloring sheets  your server will provide upon seating.

Ask for more bread if they are hungry. If getting them to eat bread/butter while waiting on food to arrive will keep them from getting antsy, I say go for it.  Just don’t give them too much or they will be too full for their meal obviously.

henley with bread and crayonswm

 Ask for their meal to be delivered early.

Dining at a table service restaurant at Disney does take time. In the past (before daughter) I have enjoyed this because it provides a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the parks. It’s nice to sit down, take a break and enjoy some yummy food.  I have learned to tell the server ahead of time in a nice way that we have a squirmy toddler and if there’s anything they can do to get food/check out quickly, it would be great for us, them and basically anyone sitting near us.

When all else fails, take them for a walk!  It happens almost every time we eat a meal out. Either myself or my husband will have to take our daughter outside.  I refuse to be one of “those” who lets their kids run around wild at the table (or under the table) and if it means I have to eat in a hurry and take her out, I will.  My husband and I try to take turns so one doesn’t get the wrong end of the stick each time.

Hopefully these tips are helpful.  Remember you’re not the only one who has ever gone through the squirmy toddler stage.  Many a parent has walked in your shoes and has lived to tell about it so hang in there! Keep in mind, this too shall pass!

If you are interested in planning a trip to Disney World, I’d love assist!  Feel free to call me at 1-800-670-4312 x128, email me at corby@travelwiththemagic.com or find me on facebook!

Give Me Some Liberty at Magic Kingdom

I was in Disneyworld with my family in March this year and it was great. I had planned my days out of where we would go eat each evening and had my character breakfast all set up. This trip we were not using the dining plan due to myself participating in a convention so I had only planned on a few table service meals at night.

We were spending the day at Magic Kingdom and had planned on grabbing something quick for lunch which is what we typically do. However as we walked through Liberty Square the cast member from Liberty Tree Tavern was standing outside and we said what the heck. It was lunch time and we were hungry plus they had availability. So in we went. I have eaten at Liberty Tree for dinner before and enjoyed it. The dinner menu is served family style and boasts a “Pilgrims Feast” and it is. Lunch is more of an Ala-Carte experience which is really good. I ordered the “Son’s of Liberty Pork Sandwich” which was absolutely delicious. The sandwich has a pork steak which is slow roasted and topped with bacon, fresh green and tomatoes and  served on a  house made multigrain bread. The first bite and I was in love. My husband ordered the Colony Salad which features grilled chicken, Washington apples, apple wood smoked cheddar, dried cranberries and a honey shallot dressing. He really enjoyed his salad and so did my daughter who had to try it as well. My son ordered from the kids menu which has some really good choices other than pizza and chicken fingers. He chose the chicken noodle soup, roast turkey dinner and a ice cream sundae for dessert. My daughter chose the Pilgrims Feast which is you typical feast of roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and vegetables. It was also delicious.

I was so pleasantly surprised by our little detour lunch in Magic Kingdom and will definitely return. So next time you are in Magic Kingdom stop by Liberty Tree Tavern and you will not be disappointed.

Laure Simms