Disney Quick Service Dining – Day by Day

We’ve used the Disney Dining plan several times on our past vacations, but we’ve always had the regular plan which includes a Table Service meal, a Quick Service meal and a snack each day.  On our recent trip, the timing worked out so we got the free dining promotion, where the meal plan was included with our vacation package.  Since we weren’t staying at a moderate resort, the free option available for guests at the value resorts was the Quick Service plan which include 2 Quick Service meals and a snack per day.

I am always pleasantly surprised by the portion size of quick serve meals – I never leave hungry! And since the dining plan includes a dessert with every meal, there’s no way to feel deprived regardless of which Disney Dining plan you choose.

In addition to the free meals, refillable drink mugs were included with the plan.  I was a little nervous about the new “Rapid Refill” system after reading some reviews, but I didn’t notice any difference from when we’ve used the mugs in the past (other than I couldn’t bring my mug from home.)  Here’s where our quick serve dining took us over the course of our trip:


Magic Kingdom (Lunch): Golden Oak Outpost

We were heading to Pecos Bill’s but the line was out the door so we kept walking and found the Golden Oak Outpost, which was a food kiosk around the back of Pecos Bill’s.  Hint: there are two lines on the right and left – everyone was lined up on one side because people didn’t realize there were two lines. The spicy chicken sandwich was delicious!

Golden Oak Outpost - Magic Kingdom

Golden Oak Outpost (View from seating area) – Magic Kingdom

Epcot (Dinner): Yorkshire Country Fish Shop (U.K.)

MMM… fish and chips!


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Ideas while waiting for Anna and Elsa

By now I think everyone has heard of the insanely long lines to meet and greet Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen in the Norway pavilion of Epcot.  I did not wait in the line, but my sister and her family did (4 hours with 2 kids) and I started to think of ways for families to pass the time while waiting in the line. During my brainstorming, I had a breakthrough and I think I actually invented a new game!  Well, not technically new, but a Disney-fied version of the old favorite Rock, Paper, Scissors.

I call it Snowball, Snowflake, Carrot.

Snowball, Snowflake, Carrot

Snowball, Snowflake, Carrot

The rules are the same as Rock, Paper, Scissors, but in case you don’t know here they are: Continue reading

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2014 – Photo Gallery

On our recent trip to Disney World, we visited Epcot just a few days before the official start of the 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.  I didn’t think we’d get to see any of the displays but I was excited to discover that we were able to view a lot of the amazing topiaries (although some were partially hidden until the official festival opening date.)  We were at Epcot for the Flower and Garden Festival a few years ago (here are some photos from that visit) and I thought a lot of the displays would be the same but I was wrong – there were so many characters that we hadn’t seen before!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - Chip and Mrs. Potts

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Chip and Mrs. Potts


Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - Phinneas and Ferb

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Phinneas and Ferb

Here’s a hidden one – I just stuck my phone through the bushes and took a pic: Continue reading

I love MagicBands! (for some things)

On our recent trip to Disney World, we were very excited to use the new MagicBands that I had heard so much about!  My friend and former cast member Jo Anne wrote a guest post a few months ago, and I was anxious to try them out for myself.

Disney MagicBands

Disney MagicBands

Tickets & Charging

For the main purpose of using the MagicBand as a park ticket and room key with charging privileges, I absolutely loved it!  At first I felt naked leaving my resort without having my purse – no key to the world, no money, but I soon realized all we needed were our colorful and handy MagicBands!  There was one scare in Epcot when we saw someone getting carded for a beer (we had not brought our ID’s), but apparently we look old since we didn’t get carded. Whew! That could have been bad.  Scanning and entering the pin number made spending E-A-S-Y.  Luckily we had the free dining plan so we weren’t really ‘spending’, but boy do MagicBands make it simple!


The other main purpose of the Magic Bands is to store FastPass+ reservations. Continue reading

Spice Road Table Review

Dining in Epcot is always a challenge for me because there are too many good options!  But when I saw the opening of a new restaurant in Morocco, Spice Road Table, I decided I would have to find a way to fit it into my already-cramped dining schedule during my recent trip.

Spice Road Table at Epcot

Spice Road Table at Epcot

Around the back of the World Showcase, Morocco sits between France and Japan.  There is already both a quick serve and table service restaurant in Morocco, so I was a little surprised that a third restaurant was opening as well.  (Am I the only one who is dying for a quick serve restaurant in Italy!? Come on Disney!)  The restaurant is on the water overlooking the lagoon where the Mo’Rockin group used to perform. (Now they have a stage across the way.)

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Disney Magic Navigator’s Verandah

A few years ago, my family started thinking about going on a Disney cruise.  None of us had been on a cruise before, so before dropping the chunk of change required for a Disney cruise, we decided to go on a cheaper 3 day cruise to test it out.  The cruise was okay, but the main thing I realized on our ‘test cruise’ is that I am not a fan of the interior rooms.  As someone who is a bit claustrophobic, I wasn’t sure how I’d get through the vacation when I dreaded going back to the room every night.  I got used to it as much as I could, but I vowed that I would never stay in a room like that again!

When our Disney annual passes expired at the end of 2013, we thought it would be the perfect time to book a Disney cruise instead of going to the parks.  Even though we had booked the Oceanview Navigator’s Verandah, I still had some anxiety remembering the tight living space on the last cruise as I walked down the long corridor to our room.

I felt a huge relief when we opened the door to our stateroom – it was amazing!  The first thing I noticed was that there were separate bathrooms – toilet and shower – which is roomy by cruise standards.  Next was a queen sized bed followed by a couch (which would flip over into a bed) and then the best part – the verandah with porthole!

Disney Magic Ocean View Navigator's Verandah

Panorama View – Disney Magic Oceanview Navigator’s Verandah

Although the room was probably small compared to regular hotel standards, it felt big and we had plenty of room to move around and relax. Continue reading

Why Disney needs Big Kid meals

As we get ready to take our last Disney vacation with someone in the 3-9 age bracket, I started to think about what will change when she’s officially an adult according to Disney ticketing and dining standards.

Other than the price increase, the big difference will be the bigger meals.  For this trip we are using the Disney Dining plan (Quick Service version) and I started to get a little worried that my daughter might just starve based on the kids meals in the parks.

Note – the meals I’m referring to in this post are the quick service meals, but my pictures are table service meals – apparently in my thousands of Disney pictures I haven’t taken any of a kid’s quick serve meal!

Cinderella's Royal Table

Cinderella’s Royal Table –  age 4

Just looking at the age range that is considered a kids meal – from preschool to 4th grade – there’s no way that a one-size-(meal)-fits-all. Continue reading

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