Total Pageviews

Saturday, June 30, 2012

My 5 Favorite Table Service Locations

This week, we are covering and reviewing My 5 Favorite Table Service locations on Walt Disney World property.  We have covered quick service/counter service locations, and last time snack locations.  This week, we get down to some really serious dining.  I love food.  But, I am pretty picky.  So I must add that I love really GOOD food.  Let me know if you agree with any of my choices below.  Give me your feedback.  Let me know what your favorites are in the comment section.  So, without further delay let's begin!

#5 ~ Crystal Palace
Of course the big draw for me at this location IS the location!   Also the setting and  the architecture (one of the prettiest restaurants in Magic Kingdom which would seem more like a Victorian Garden if it didn't have the ceiling and walls-with it's airy atmosphere it's a great escape from the crowds in the park), but most of all the characters.  I am a really big fan of Pooh and friends, especially Eeyore.  He is so near and dear to my heart.  Past experiences at Crystal Palace always bring a smile to my face when I think about them, and I want to get that same warm, cozy memory feeling with a new dining experience with my husband.  We have ADR's  (Advanced Dining Reservations) at Crystal Palace for lunch on our day at Magic Kingdom in October.  This is a buffet location, and the food is very good.   The breakfast buffet features omlets, fresh fruit and the standard breakfast fare.  The lunch menu consists  of a salad bar, deli bar, pasta dishes, chicken and fish.  The dinner buffet has such offerings as chicken, pasta, fish and carved meats.  They also have an ice cream sundae bar for lunch and dinner guests.  Kid appropriate dishes are available for the young palate.
The Crystal Palace is located toward the end of Main Street U.S.A, near Adventureland.

#4 ~ Kona Cafe

Kona Cafe is located in one one my favorite resorts, The Polynesian.  We dined at Kona Cafe our first night on WDW property on our last trip as we stayed at the Poly.  This restaurant is located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House around the corner from O'Hana.  Great food, wonderful servers!  The setting is full of warm colors, soft lighting and has a south sea decor, which makes this a very cozy and relaxing spot.  The menu tends toward the more exotic side as far as a Disney "casual" eatery goes, but they have some great choices.  Lunch and dinner have a definite Asian flair.  Breakfast lunch and dinner are served here as well as snacks.  Kona Cafe has a great reputation for having some of the best coffee on Disney property!!  I can attest to was wonderful!!

#3 ~ Whispering Canyon Cafe

The name is a bit deceiving, as there is nothing quiet about this place!  "The Canyon" is one of the most boisterous  Disney restaurants.  All meals are offered A-la-cart or Family Style.  Breakfast fare is bacon, hash brown, and eggs, etc.  Lunch has pulled pork sandwiches, salads and the like.  Supper is totally delicious!  The family style (in my humble opinion) is the way to go. It is served in a big skillet that they put in the center of the table.  It contains pork ribs, and pulled pork, brisket and the "to-die-for" apple rosemary rotisserie chicken!  It is heavenly, and I can't wait to bite into it again.  This is a very fun location, with great food.  What more can you ask for??  Hint: If you ask your server for Ketchup, BEWARE!!  ;-)

 #2 ~ Tokyo Dining

I have written several review on this location.  The following is the most recent review that was published on
Tokyo Dining: To sushi, or not to sushi, that is the question. By: Kris Banas

As an avid sushi - lover/eater, the answer to this question is an astounding YES! My husband and I are big sushi lovers, and Tokyo Dining in the Japan Pavilion at EPCOT, has some fabulous sushi. We had Advance Dining Reservations, and I told them at the time that I made them, that we were going to be on our honeymoon. They were so sweet to us when we checked in at the host desk, and greeted us with “Happy Honeymoon”!

When we were taken to our table, we ordered drinks, (My husband, Kirin Beer, and myself I ordered a glass of Plum Wine.)

After we ordered our food, our server came back with a group of others staff members, and they sang a song to us in Japanese about being married. It was really sweet. They even made us origami swans, and another little gift that was pink, and white paper and written in the middle it said, “Happy Honeymoon, Happy Marriage”. Sadly, I have misplaced this little gem, but will remember the time and effort that went into making our visit so special.

They brought us a fabulous salad with delicious ginger dressing, miso soup, edamame, and a delicious variety of sushi and sashimi, that was bar none, some of the best we have had. Living in the Chicago area, we have a wide array of sushi restaurants to pick from. We wondered if it could compare to some of the top notch places in the city. It ranked right up there with the best!
Tokyo Dining is a modern Japanese restaurant with a fabulous menu for lunch and dinner including sushi, sashimi, tempura and grilled steaks and chicken.

Perfect for connoisseurs and those who like new and exciting tastes, Tokyo Dining provides the finest in flavorful Japanese cuisine with fresh fish and vegetables and high-quality meats offered in a modern setting. Celebrate the excitement of modern Tokyo mixed in a harmonious union with the traditional food culture of ancient Edo.

Even if you are not the sushi lover like we are, there are other tempting items on the menu to enjoy. I highly recommend Tokyo Dining.

Since writing this article, I have found our little missing "gem" from this visit!!  I hid it where it would not be lost.  Isn't that always the case?  Safe keeping, and then you can't remember what you did  with it?   the picture is below along with a beautiful shot of the dining room.  

Try and get a table next to the window over looking World Showcase.  Great Illuminations viewing!!

#1 ~ California Grill

Sitting a-top the Contemporary Resort, this Disney signature dining location is number one on my list for multiple reasons.  First off, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!  The view from this place is absolutely wonderful.   Superb views of sunsets, and Magic Kingdom Fireworks can be seen.  Secondly, the service here is great.  They never rush you, they give you your space which allows you to have a leisurely meal without feeling a server breathing down your neck to get you done and out to fill the table again.  Thirdly, the food is delicious.  California Grill has been named "restaurant of choice" by Orlando Magazine, and for good reason.  Their ever changing menu always features something delicious.  Such items as wood-fired California flat-breads, oak-fired beef filet, goat cheese ravioli, sushi and grilled pork tenderloin, just to name a few. 
They have a fairly extensive wine list, and even offer a great selection of vegetarian items on the menu.
Reservations are almost a must, and if you have the Disney Dining Plan, this will take two table service meals for each person in your party.  Well worth it. We have ADR's for California Grill on our last night at Walt Disney World for our October trip.  This is the night before we will be leaving on our Disney Cruise Line DREAM adventure.  What a segue into our next adventure! 

There you have it.  My opinions, reviews and experiences at My 5 Table Service restaurants at Walt Disney World.  Please join us again, as we will dive into some of the experiences I am looking forward to having on our next trip.  There are still so many things I have not done.  Attractions I have yet to go on, resorts to explore, restaurants to dine at.  Until we meet again, Addio, Abschied, farval, despedida, прощание...farewell!

Monday, June 25, 2012


Hi, and good Monday to you!  It's time once again to feature one of our members with pictures and stories from a very memorable trip to a Disney park or cruise.  Today we feature Darlene Mikolajczyk!  Darlene sent me this story:

We are the Mikolajczyk family.  My name is Darlene, my husband Mark, my oldest son Andrew 22 years, middle son Kyle 12 years and youngest son Colton 8 years. We are from Mahwah, NJ. In 2008 we became  Disney Vacation Club members and we just love visiting Disney World. We go on a Disney cruise every year and spend two weeks at Disney World for Christmas. That is my favorite time of the year to go. Disney is extra magical for the holidays. I have some photos of my family at Christmas in Disney.  Sometimes we go with my friends from Colorado who have 3 boys around my younger boys ages. Visiting Santa and all the Disney characters in our Disney resort is extra special. We bring a small Christmas tree, stockings and some Christmas decorations for our room. On Christmas morning we go to Mass at the Contemporary resort and eat dinner at the California Grill. My boys have such precious memories that they will never forget at Disney.

   Thank you to Darlene for sharing these great photos!!  It's always nice to see those great smiley faces at Disney!!

If you are interested in sharing a short story and some fun pictures with us, please send them to

See you all next week!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Planning continues, but not without frustration

As we continue our planning of our wonderful trip to Walt Disney World and our cruise aboard the Disney DREAM, it is not without frustration.  Don't get me wrong, it's not really the planning or results of planning. That is all going very smoothly.  It is the reaction of certain family members knowing that we are going on this trip.  Sorry, but I am going to vent a bit here.  If you are a frequent Disney traveler, you will more than likely be able to relate to my frustration.

Do you get those looks from co-workers when you say that you are going on a trip to Walt Disney World, or Disneyland?  The look or even the comments that say, "you are going there, again?!"   Your response is more than likely, "yes, we are.  And we are really looking forward to seeing all the new things going on, that have been added."  What you would really like to say is, "YES!  WE are because we LOVE it there, and it's really NONE of your business!"  The comments from them like "Why? Nothing ever changes there."  WHAT?  Are they really serious?  Do they not watch the news?  Do they not read the paper?  Do they not see the big stories on the internet about all the awesome things happening at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland?
Nothing ever changes?  Really?  With the HUGE Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World going on through 2014, and CARSLAND just opening up at Disneyland...really...nothing changes?  Are they kidding?

If a friend or co-worker who visits the shore every summer, or goes to the mountains every year says they are doing that for their I say "Why?  Nothing ever changes there!" ??  NO,..........I say. "GO!  Have a wonderful trip!"  Not,  "the only thing that changes at the shore is the tide, and the only thing that changes at the mountains is the trees grow taller."  If that is what you like to do, then do it.  Have fun.....just like we will do at my very favorite place in the world to visit and vacation.

Now, lets get to the family member.  My Father-in-Law, is a narrow minded individual.  It's unfortunate.  And I tell my husband that he better not ever get like that.  His comments are "why are you going there?  You were just there 2 years ago?" Two years, actually it will be 2.75 years! (can you say withdrawls?)   As my friend Amy Petermann wrote in a post on her blog called The Relocated Tourist,  "Stop apologizing," I will not apologize for our vacation choices.  It's not his money, so why should he care where we go?  I know I need to let this go, and let it roll off my shoulders..... but it's not easy!  This vacation we are taking (as many of you know), is in celebration of Paul's victory over cancer. This is to celebrate life, (since I came very close to losing him).....and a release, as we both went through a great deal.  By the grace of God, we are able to take, and enjoy this trip.  You would think that his own father would be a little more encouraging.  Oh well.  You just can't change some people, so I give up trying.

Now, let's get to the good part.  Plans are progressing.  We are booked at Port Orleans Riverside from October 9-14, 2012.  We will be staying in the Magnolia Bend area in the Magnolia Terrace building.  I requested that because it is away from the two buildings that have been renovated into the "Royal Rooms."  My reasoning behind this choice is the fact that we are not traveling with kids.  Been there, done that.  Not that I don't love kids, I do.  But, we will have them all over the place, and surrounded by them in the parks so there is no reason to throw yourself in the middle of them for your "resting time" too.
Traveling as just a couple (which is so much fun....try it some time!) so different that being at Disney with kids.  You don't have to worry about ANYONE other than the two of you!!  You can eat where you want, you can go for cocktails if you want, you can ride the attractions you want, and not have to "baby pass".
I had wonderful times with my kids, but the best trip ever was just my hubby and I on our last trip in 2010.

So, next working on my itinerary and dining choices.  We have Advanced Dining Reservations for the following:
 Arrival day: Tuesday 10/9  We have Advanced Dining reservations at Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge for 5:05pm, then on to Magic Kingdom for the evening.
Wednesday 10/10 -We will snack around at EPCOT Food and Wine Festival for lunch, and dinner we have ADR's for Tokyo Dining at 7pm.
Thursday 10/11 we have lunch ADR's at Crystal Palace at 12:20.  Then probably go back to the resort for a bit as we have tickets for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party that evening.
Friday 10/12 we have ADR's at Hollywood and Vine for 5:30, and then preferred seating for FANTASMIC, which I have never seen!  So looking forward to that!
Saturday 10/13 we do Animal Kingdom and first off we are booked for WILD AFRICA TREK, and then we have ADR's for California Grill for our last night. 

Really looking forward to going on the WILD AFRICA TREK.  Everyone I have spoken to about it totally raves about it, so we are doing it.  It is a very expensive tour to go on, but it will be worth it.  And, just something also in celebration of this trip.  The fact that Paul is physically able to do this, speaks volumes!!

So, there you have it.  Plans as they stand right now.  Not without frustration, but this will be one of our best trips "home" ever!! And, that is only the first section.  I will be posting our cruise information shortly.  We have to make final payment for that at the end of July.  At that time, I can make the reservations for shore excursions.  Look for this story at the beginning of August.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We have our 30th member!!

CONGRATS to our 30th member of this blog!!  John Cardona, you have won the prize I was giving away when we reached #30!  Thank you for joining, and please tell you friends about this blog. 

Monday, June 18, 2012


Hello all, and welcome one again to our weekly feature, "Memorable Monday."  This week we have a wonderful submission from our member DeeAnn Diacznsky.  Her story, and her two pictures are this:
Hello All!  I’m DeeAnn Diaczynsky.  My memorable moments are from my first trip as an adult in 2007.  My husband and I took our son and my niece with us.  We rode the Amtrak Auto Train from Lorton, VA to Sanford, FL.  It was an interesting mode of transportation.  The best thing about this trip was seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces.  I was so overwhelmed with the theming of the resorts as I had never stayed “on property” before.  We made sure to visit as much of WDW as we could since we didn’t know if we’d ever be back.  Famous last thoughts!  We’ve been fortunate enough to return every year since!

DeeAnn, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful pictures and story with us this week!!   I always love hearing about great Disney experiences!!

Come back again next week, when we will feature another member and their great photos and wonderful story about there "Memorable" Disney visit!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My 5 Favorite Snacks at Walt Disney World

Welcome once again to my continuing feature of "My 5 Favorites."  This week we are going to cover my five favorite snack foods and locations at Walt Disney World.  Funny, as I was going over all the places I have "snacked" over the years, and all my favorite places just happen to be in the same park.  They are all located in Magic Kingdom, with one of the items on the list being available at all parks.  So, without further delay, here are my choices for My 5 Favorite Snacks at Walt Disney World.

#5 - Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich @ SLEEPY HOLLOW
I love the Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich at Sleepy Hollow.  They also serve some other great sweet treats as well, including funnel cakes, cookies, Mickey waffles with various toppings and the new Nutella Waffle with fresh fruit. This looks so grand, that I will definitely be trying one on my next visit. 

#4 - Chocolate Croissant @ MAIN STREET BAKERY

Just the smell of this place as you are passing by walking "right down the middle of Main Street, USA" enough you almost hypnotize you as it lures you into the shop.  Oh my......just thinking about it, is making my mouth water. My VERY favorite thing there is a latte, and the Chocolate  Croissant.  There are almost no words, except YUMM!  I could not find a specific picture of the Croissant, but pictured below are some of there other delectable treats!!


This location is right near The Enchanted Tiki Room and serves this heavenly Citrus Swirl. The return of Citrus Swirl is making mouths water for the combination of frozen orange and soft-serve vanilla ice cream. Guests can get the cool treat in either a cone or a cup. I for one, can't wait to taste it again!!

Citrus Swirl is  Orange slush with vanilla soft serve ice cream.   Sunshine Tree also has pineapple juice floats, milk shakes, soft serve ice cream cups or cones (in Chocolate, vanilla or swirl), orange or raspberry-lemonade slush,  chips, cookies and drinks like cappuccino or espresso and soda. And don't forget....that adorable little Orange Bird is back!!  You can get Orange Bird merchandise at this location!!

 And check out the adorable orange bird sipper cup – for kids of all ages. Orange Bird and Citrus Swirl, so glad to have them back!!!

#2 - TIE!  Mickey Icon Ice Cream Bar and Mickey shaped or otherwise Rice Krispie Treats- various locations.

I could not choose between these 2 favorite of mine.  I love them both, so had to give them equal billing.  And, they are both as readily available as can be around the parks.  I cannot make a trip to the WORLD without indulging in both of these delectable  treats on more than one occasion.  there are carts around the parks about every 50 yards it seems where you can get the Mickey Icon Ice Cream Bar, and most shops carry the wonderful Rice Krispie Treats.  The best place I ever had the Krispie "square" was was the freshest and BIGGEST I ever tasted was at Wilderness Lodge.  All I can say is YUMM AGAIN!!

#1 - Dole Whip @ ALOHA ISLE

COME ON!  You know you agree with me, that this is the best snack ever at Walt Disney World!  I mean, that is you would more than likely agree if you have actually had one.  If not, you don't know what you are missing.  It's cool, it's refreshing, it's delicious!  Aloha Isle is located in Adventureland right near the Swiss Family Treehouse.  they sell the infamous Whip, along with pineapple spears and juice, pineapple floats and other tropical treats.  It will be the first snack I have when we take our trip in October!

So, there you have it folks.  Those are my choices for My 5 Favorite snacks at Walt Disney World.  Join us again next week, when we will be covering My 5 Favorite Table Service dining locations.  See ya then!


Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Memorable Monday!

Wow, can a week really pass that quickly?  It seems like it was just the other day that we had Memorable Monday!  Well, here we are again.  You have to deal with seeing my memorable pictures again this week.  A technical glitch with the submission for this week will delay it until next week.  So, here we go.
My last trip to Walt Disney World was with my husband Paul.  It was our belated honeymoon.  We were married in May of 2009, but were not able to take vacation time for this trip until the last day of January.  We were in Florida for 10 days, 5 of which were at Walt Disney World.  Since it was our honeymoon we splurged on staying at The Polynesian.  What a great resort!!  The first picture here is the view from our room.  We were on the lagoon, and this is what we saw each morning when we opened the drapes!

Our first night on property, we had dinner at Kona Cafe, and then went to Magic Kingdom because Extra Magic Hours were going on that day.  It was a Sunday.  We stayed late, but still got up early the next day, as we were going back to Magic Kingdom again.  I told Paul about Harmony Barber Shop and had him not get a haircut before we left on the trip so he could get one there.  Here is the picture of him with his "barber,"

Further into the trip, we saw Beauty and the Beast Live on stage!  WOW!  What an experience!  Like the movie came to life....hey, it really did!  That is one of my very favorite Disney movies, and I cried like a baby at the end!! (Yes, just like I do at home!)

Finally, one of my very favorite things to see not in the parks is in this picture.  Wilderness Lodge is one of my very favorite resorts.  We opted for The Polynesian on that trip because Paul had not been to WDW since 1975, (ya, can you imagine??)  and he wanted have the convenience of the Monorail at his fingertips. 
I took him over to Wilderness Lodge for a tour.  It was so nice to be back there.  It really brought back fond memories of being there with my boys. 

I just think these "teepee chandeliers" are so cool!!!

So, there you have this weeks picks from me for Memorable Monday.  If you would like to submit a sort story and some photos from a memorable trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney cruise, please send the pictures in an attachment in your e-mail to:  We always love seeing what brings back great memories for other Disney travelers!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My 5 Favorite Counter Service Locations

Hello to my members and readers.  It is Sunday, and that means it is once again time for my weekly feature of "My 5 Favorites."  This week, I will be rating, reviewing and giving my personal experiences of my top five favorite counter service locations on Walt Disney World property.  These are a good mixture from parks and resorts.  There are of course many locations that I have enjoyed over the years, and there ares still many more to enjoy on future trips.  We are in the process of choosing some new places to dine quick service for our upcoming trip in October.  I am looking forward to trying such places like "Flame Tree Barbecue" and "ABC Commissary."  I have heard such great things about both places.  Of course I can honestly only rate and review places where I have dined, so here we go with "My 5 Favorites" in counter service dining.

 On our 2010 trip to Walt Disney World we rather "winged" our dining for our day at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  I had always opted to eat at my resort or other locations on the days that I have been to this park.  So, I was not very familiar with quick service locations here.  We were just wandering around when we found Sunset Ranch Market.  With the "food stands" here, it seems like there were a lot of great choices.  Stands such as "Rosie's All-American Cafe" have cheeseburgers, chicken strips and soups.  "Catalina Eddies" offers pizza selections, sandwiches, salads and chocolate cake, just to name a few.  "Anaheim Produce" features fresh fruits and vegetables, juices and soft drinks.  "Toluca Legs Turkey Co." has of course, turkey legs, (which I totally do not understand why people like these when you have to hunt for meat in the midst of all the tendons in the leg.  Not for me.)  "Hollywood Scoops" has selections of creamy treats, and finally "Fairfax Fare" has smoked offerings like ribs, chicken, brisket and salads.  We chose "Rosies All-American Cafe" and I had chicken strips and Paul had a cheeseburger, which he classified as "average."  Really, unless you go gourmet, what can you do to a cheeseburger unless you cook it to death or serve it raw.  I do recall the chicken strips were pretty good.  Moist and not all dried out.  After this meal, we headed the short distance over to the theater for the Beauty and the Beast Live stage show, which was awesome!


We discovered this great counter service location while staying at The Polynesian on our last trip.  This eatery serves light fare that is either made-to-order or they also have prepackaged items. This location is open 24 hours a day, which I guess is really nice if you are staying that the Polynesian and you get the midnight munchies.  They serve sandwiches, salads, sushi, fruit, yogurt, Asian noodle bowls and freshly prepared breakfast items.  Breakfast was delicious, and we did dine here in the morning several times.  Tonga Toast!


Located on the lower level of The Land pavilion, "Sunshine Seasons" is one of the most interesting and diverse dining locations on Walt Disney World property.  There is plenty of seating here, which is really good because this place can get a bit busy at regular meal times.  This is due to the wide variety of food choices. It is a wonderful place for families with picky eaters, because there is so much to choose from. 
The "Sandwich Shop" has oak grilled flat breads, Reuben Panini's and many other food choices.  The "Soup and Salad Shop" has creative salads including roasted beet and goat cheese and seared tuna with sesame rice wine dressing.  All the soups are made fresh daily.  The produce used at this location along with the other areas at Sunshine Seasons comes from the items grown at The Land pavilion, I think that is so cool!   "The Grill Shop" has rotisserie chicken and pork chops, beef and grilled salmon.  The "Wok Shop" serves Mongolian beef with jasmine rice and noodle bowls.  Finally, the "Bakery" offers up fresh desserts, including the house specialty, "Soarin' Creme Brulee!"  Also served here are brownies (which are to die for!) and ice cream bars.   There is also a "grab-and-go" section that contains sushi, fruit and cheese platters, ice cream and other snacks.  We chose "The Grill Shop."  The grilled salmon was really good, and we had the brownies from the Bakery for dessert.


This is the largest counter service location in Magic Kingdom.  You will find this directly across from the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway in Tomorrowland.  There are three different areas for ordering food in the Cafe called Bays.  Bay 1 offers Rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken sandwiches and chicken nuggets.  This was the Bay we chose.  Bay 2 has cheeseburgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs.   Bay 3 has choices of soups, salads, wraps and BBQ pork sandwiches.  There are also Kosher selections available.  "Sunny Eclipse," is always fun entertainment. Don't know who Sunny is?  Well, he is the Audio-Animatronic character who is the "house" entertainer at "Ray's."  He is a sort of alien "lounge lizard" who tells jokes and sings songs.  Not only does this location have good food, but it also keeps you entertained at the same time.  You could be tempted to stay a little longer to watch Sunny "perform," but you will need to get back out to the park to continue with your day.


This counter service location is at Port Orleans French Quarter.  Remember please, the following statement as your continue to read this review.  I have not been to this counter service location since....1994!  You read it correctly.  Unfortunately, on trips since then, I just have not been able to get over to dine here.  The last time I was there, Port Orleans French Quarter, was still just called Port Orleans.  Think about this.  I have not been there for over 17 years, but I still remember the place, and the quality of food as if  I was just there last week.  That says a lot about this place, right?  The "ambiance" the food,  and the staff all left such an impression on me that I still remember it. I talk to people frequently who tell me it has not changed.  It is still a wonderful place.  If you have not taken a ride from a park, or another resort location to have a meal here, you are really missing something.  If you are at Downtown Disney, take a ride over on the water taxi down the Sassagoula River to Port Orleans French Quarter.  It is such a peaceful ride, and the smell of the cypress trees along the waters edge is heavenly.  Not as heavenly as what you will experience when you get to your destination.  The high quality food selections at the "Float Works" consists of pizza, pasta, gumbo, sandwiches, burgers and barbecued ribs.  Also served is spit-fired chicken and a wonderful selection of baked goodies including their famous beignets!!  Do not pass those up, they are delicious.  The atmosphere here is so fun and festive you will feel like you are in the middle of of a Mardi Gras parade.

Well, there you have it folks.  "My 5 Favorites" in quick service dining.  Join us next week for "My 5 Favorite in snacks at the parks! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012


As we have done for the past several weeks now, we are posting a picture and a brief story about one of our readers and a very memorable trip to a Disney park location. This week, the feature person is yours truly! The pictures I have submitted are from 2 trips to Walt Disney World. My first trip, back in 1976 as a senior in high school, and then my last trip which was in 2010. The first picture is of one of my very favorite Disney characters, Winnie the Pooh. Now, keeping in mind, that this was Pooh, 36 years ago. It is amazing to see the transformation of this loveable bear over the years. The next picture is of Pooh Bear, myself and our pal Tigger. Look at the change in Pooh! No hunny pot on the head anymore, and much taller. Can you tell we are all having fun here? This is one of my very favorite and memorable pictures! Want to submit a photo and an short story to share with our readers about a memorable Disney trip you had? Please submit your picture and a brief story to: Come back next week when a new Memorable Monday will be revealed!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Ok gang! So, after the last four weeks, I reviewed and gave my ratings of park attractions in "My 5 Favorites". One week was dedicated to each park on Walt Disney World property. We started with Magic Kingdom, then went to EPCOT, then Hollywood Studios and ended up last week with my coverage of Animal Kingdom. this week, I am covering my favorite attraction at each park and giving you my reason for picking each one in order. So, we will being with my number four choice and work our way up to my VERY FAVORITE ATTRACTION OF ALL TIME!
#4 - SOARIN'- This is actually my husbands pick for favorite attraction. I absolutely love it, but as I go on in my upward progression of my favorites you will see why I don't feel the same as he does. Our last trip to Walt Disney World in February of 2010, was the first time for both of us on this attraction. This is one of the reasons why it is my favorite at EPCOT, and my #4 rank of very favorites at Walt Disney World. The beauty of the film, the scents you get as you "fly" 45 feet in the air over this giant IMAX projection dome is almost unreal. This "ride" takes you soaring over upper Yosemite Falls of Yosemite Valley, past an active naval aircraft carrier in San Diego Bay, by San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and then down over the vast desert of Death Valley and to the lush wine country of Napa Valley. The gentle motion, unbelievable music, and scented breezes will "carry you away." It is calmer than traditional "thrill rides," but the sensation of flight is very realistic. I am afraid of heights, and this does not bother me at all.
#3 - TOY STORY MIDWAY MANIA- Take aim and ride an interactive 4-D "Toy Story" adventure. You get some 3-D glasses, (or should that say 4-D) before boarding your ride vehicle and zipping off into a world of immersive, midway-style games hosted by favorite characters like Woody, Buzz, Rex and Hamm! You use spring-action shooters to launch virtual darts at balloons, rings at aliens, eggs at barnyard targets and beyond. (Psssst. Certain targets trigger fun surprises!) On your final stop, the scores are tallied and the highest for the day are displayed. This is another attraction that was a first for us together, so it will hold a special place in my heart. We got to this attraction in the morning, and it was pouring rain. We had a 45 minute wait, but I said, "who's pouring outside, might as well stay dry in here." And, we got dry, as we had a long queue, but really got to "soak" it all in (no pun intended as it was raining, and we were all wet!) Loved the interaction with Mr. Potato Head, and all the cool toys from my childhood. The ride itself was a "blast," oh...there I go again...... Anyway, it was so much fun. We are really not that competitive with each other, but he won....who cares!
#2 - EXPEDITION EVEREST- Through the mists of Asia, a colossal adventure rises. Expedition Everest™! Hop on a high-speed train through the Himalayas for treacherous chasms and hair-pin turns which are just the start of the action. But beware, screams get the attention of the mountain’s guardian – the dreaded Yeti. In an instant, frigid winds blast and icy tracks hurl the train forward, then backward into the abyss on a spiraling drop into the mountain. You see the beast. Trouble is, he sees you too. This is probably the most fun I have ever had on a roller coaster. I am not a big lover of roller coasters per say, but this one definitely tops my list! I was afraid it was going to be too much for me, so I was a bit apprehensive when going the first time. I was pleasantly surprised, even though we went BACKWARDS for part of the ride. It was just so much fun!! Again, this was the first time on this attraction for my hubby and I, which again....has an effect on my choice here, to rank this number one as my favorite attraction at Animal Kingdom, and give it a #2 rank on my top four favorites list. I was ready to go again right after we got done with the ride the first time, and we are so looking forward to our visit in October so we can "see the Yeti" again!!
#1 - PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN- Well, I will tell you this. Pirates of the Caribbean will be my number one pick forever. Nothing can ever bump it from top spot, for several reasons. First off, it is the entire concept that I love. The story being told here as your boat cruises among the action of pirates, and fire, and cannons is fun all in itself. The tie that binds me and my two sons to this attraction will be forever in my heart. They loved it the first time, and called it "our ride," from that point on. My youngest is 19 now, and still says that. I look forward to the day when he will be able to take a trip to Walt Disney World with me, and we can experience this all over again. (I am a sap, and I know I will cry!) There is also now a deep tie to my husband with this attraction. We have seen all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies together, and love them. It was the first attraction at Magic Kingdom that we went on during our last trip, and repeated it several times. I feel so close to this attraction, that I could almost move in there, and feel right at home! "Yo ho, yo ho! A pirate's life for me!" Do you not keep singing that song after to exit the attraction? I sure do! So, take a wild voyage through secret caverns and fierce sea battles as you join the rowdiest rogues and rapscallions that ever sacked the Spanish Main. It's a boat ride through classic Disney swashbuckling adventures. And now that Captain Jack's joined the crew there is even more to see! Discover Captain Jack and his nemesis Barbossa interacting with some of your favorite Audio-Animatronics® buccaneers and adding a terrific twist to the classic adventure — along with new special effects. Number One for me, forever and beyond!
Please join me again next Sunday as I begin coverage of "My 5 Favorites" in Walt Disney World snacks!! Until then, have a magical week!