Akershus Lunch Review

Recommended:  No for the food.  Yes to see the Princesses in one swoop.

Located in Norway, but surprisingly void of Anna and Elsa, I’m torn on whether or not to recommend Akershus, which is the only character meal available in the EPCOT World Showcase.

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If you are looking to collect a lot of princess autographs quickly, this would be the way to go.  A number of princesses, like Snow White and Belle, are not available for very hospitable hours.  Usually, you have to already know where they’ll be and line up a half an hour before they arrive to get your photo and autograph.  Typically, once the princess arrives to her outdoor station, the line to meet her has already been cut off.  Then, if it rains, the character doesn’t come out at all.  So, when thinking of Arkerhus in those terms, it is an easy way to meet five princesses in one shot.

They say the line up can change any time, but these are the princesses that we saw:

Belle meets you as you enter the restaurant.
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Then you’ll see Cinderella,
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Followed closely by Aurora,
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next is Ariel (in a green dress that she NEVER wears in any of the films – my daughter thought she was Merida because of that),
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and last is Snow White.
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Snow White only hangs around in EPCOT these days, and she is one of those weather-permitting princesses.  We’ve had trouble getting to her in the past, which is what brought us to Akershus in the first place.

However, be warned that there are NO Photo Pass photographers once you get to your table, so you will be on your own there.  There are also a lot of tables crammed into a little bit of building (Akershus was clearly built before Disney World saw the volume of tourist that is does today), so getting great pictures that show off the princesses beautiful dresses will not be a likely possibility.

We also felt very rushed with the time the princesses gave our table.  Much like Chef Mickey’s, we got about 2 minutes per princess in.  It was, hello, hugs, autograph, pose for photos, and goodbye.  They keep these characters on too tight of a schedule, it would be nice if the kids could have a few more sentences with each one and create a stronger memory of the event (like my daughter training squirrels with Rapunzel or teaching yoga to Merida).

The princesses also do a gathering/parade for all the little ones who want to join in.  That seems to happen at every character meal, and it’s always a cute touch.
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The Akershus building is magnificently beautiful.  It feels like an Old World castle that has been refurbished by a modern owner.  As you can see in the photograph above, the walls are stone, and put together in an uneven, ancient architecture type of style (something like Merida’s castle, I suppose).

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The artwork on the walls ranged from tapestry and flags to very somber paintings.

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And even the roof was magnificent.  My daughter said it looked like Elsa’s snowflake.  While the waiter denied any resemblance, I’d be surprised if the designers of Frozen didn’t find some inspiration in this building.
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The food is where the experience gets iffy for me.  Norwegian food is weird, if not gross.  At Akershus, there is a set price, and that include the salad bar, an entree, and a plate of three Norwegian desserts for the table.  Here’s a not-too-great picture of the Oven Roasted Chicken Breast.

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It came with potato dumpling and Brussels sprouts, but they had been cooked (boiled?) until they tasted the same with the same bland texture.  Definitely not my favorite meal from Disney, although my father highly recommended the meatballs.

The dessert portion of the meal was interesting.  They brought out two sets of the desserts, which included a piece of Apple Cake (not my cup of tea, personally), Chocolate Mousse (amazing, actually), and Rice Cream (no, not Ice Cream, a tapioca kind of warm, solid, goop – not a fan!).  Having two sets of desserts for five people, and only one of those desserts being any good, essentially leads to a fight over the Chocolate Mousse.  That is worth the fight, fork your children if you have to so that you can try a piece!  haha.  But, really, it would have been nice if everyone has a smaller sized sampler plate than making everyone share.  I actually missed out on the photo opp here, but I found a picture from DisneyFoodBlog.com to share.

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I also didn’t appreciate that we were a party of 5, we had made reservations months in advance, and we were crammed into a table for four.  There was not enough room for plates, the kids had to climb over people to get to the princesses, and the room we were in (the rounded room in the castle tower portion) was already a tight enough space without putting someone on the end like a baby in a high chair.  That was very poor dining management from whomever decided to seat us there…

So, if you’re looking for a good place to eat, skip Akerhus, there is much better places in the World Showcase.  If you’re looking for a guaranteed slew of princesses, this is your best bet in EPCOT.  It just depends on what you’re looking for.

The Crystal Palace – Lunch Review

Recommended:  Yes to meet Eeyore and Piglet.  Toss up to go for the food alone.

I’m not sure what The Crystal Palace was originally designed to be, but I think the Winnie the Pooh character meal was not their initial intent.  This is a beautiful building, very closely resembling the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.  But, somehow, throwing Pooh and his friends in the mix does not hurt the charm of the place at all.  In fact, while it doesn’t seem to fit together theme wise (I know Pooh is a British story), the old and new elements work well together and make the place very fun and lively!

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I have to say that I really, really loved the entry presentation.  The main Pooh cast done in flowers!cp10

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While you dine, your buddies from the Hundred Acre Wood will come to your table.

You’ll see Tigger,cp2

Pooh (my husband’s favorite),cp5

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and Piglet.
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Other than during the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, I have not seen Eeyore or Piglet available anywhere else in Disney World.

Now, the downside to a character meal/buffet is that you’re getting up and down, and you may not be able to see the characters coming before they hit – or miss – your table!  Tigger, especially, seems to carve out his own walking path, and we ended up missing him at first.  The waitress asked his handler to get him to stop by again before he left for the other side of the dining hall, but Tigger was Tigger and didn’t listen!  It was over an hour before we were finally able to catch him again, and this was after even a manager asked him to come back.  >.<  So, keep your eyes open, and be prepared to pounce if you see a character walking away from your table!

This was also the anniversary celebration meal for my husband and myself, so we got a little extra gift!  Apparently, it was supposed to be a photo of the Pooh gang, but those ran out.  I still like this one all the same, though!cp7

To get to the food, as I mentioned before, it is a buffet.  The options are pretty random, stretching from salads and traditional carved meats to samples of Indian and Mexican food.  A number of standard desserts were available.  Nothing was really bad, but nothing was really amazing either.  It reminded me of a smaller scale Golden Corral.

Honestly, though, if you have a party of two adults and two children under 10, you are looking at roughly $80 for any sit down meal that you have, before the tip.  At The Crystal Palace, we paid just around the $100 mark before the tip, and that included time with the characters and any beverage that we wanted, so it’s not an awful deal for Disney prices.  For the extra $20, I prefer to get the character experience and let the kids meet the hard-to-find guys.  So, even though the food wasn’t stellar, considering any other sit down lunch would have cost the same, I’m not dissatisfied with what we got.

San Angel Inn Restaurante Review

Recommended:  Toss up.

I came very, very close to cancelling our reservation at San Angel after hearing a number of bad reviews.  By a number, I mean that I posted a question about the restaurant and over a hundred people responded with their bad experiences, and only a few listed positive ones.  With that in mind, I had very low expectations when entering the restaurant.

Just to be clear, there are several restaurants named San Angel in the Mexico section of the World Showcase in EPCOT.  The one I am reviewing is the place inside the Mayan temple, the other two are La Hacienda de San Angel and La Cantina de San Angel.

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Like most other guests, I highly recommend sitting next to the water.  It’s very cool to watch the boats go by for the ride in Mexico.  Now, the place can be packed, so the only way to guarantee that you can sit by the water will be to book a reservation for as soon as the restaurant opens, and check in about 15 minutes early (as recommended).  We did that, we were the first ones to check in, and even though we didn’t get seated first, we did get an awesome table with a beautiful view of the water.

Now, there are three major complaints that I heard about San Angel Inn – it’s too dark, the tables are too small/tight, and the portion sizes are way too small for the price.  I tend to agree with all three of these points.  Most of my photos are blurry from a severe lack of light, and the small lanterns at the table just aren’t enough.

As is the case with most Mexican restaurants, you get complimentary chips at the table.  They come with an interesting green dip and a very, very watered down tomato based salsa.  I like my salsa chunky and fresh, and, in this area, I wasn’t too impressed.

I had the Pollo a las Rajas, which was grilled chicken breast served with red peppers & onion cream sauce, poblano rice, and queso fresco.  I didnt really stop and think that poblano rice was not the usual, brown/red rice that comes with most Mexican dishes, and it seemed like some of my rice was not fully cooked.  But, the meal got better with every bite, so I was not disappointed.  Although, considering how cheap foods like rice are, it would have been nice if they at least were overly-generous with that part.  There really wasn’t much side at all considering that it was $19.50 and a $9 plate at a local Mexican restaurant outside of the park would have been double the food.
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My husband asked the waiter for a recommendation, and ended up getting the Tacos de Carne – which he is still obsessively raving about to this day.  To quote the menu, it is grilled New York strip on flour tortillas, topped with chipotle pepper sauce, scallions and avocado.  He couldn’t get over how amazing the avocado made it.  Although, he was very sad that the three tacos are very, very small for the $21 price.  The photo below is not of a very large plate, and the tortillas were the smallest size I’ve ever seen (roughly half the size of Chipotle tortillas, if that helps as a sizing reference).  Just like with Be Our Guest, he left the meal still hungry.
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My daughter was very happy to find Cheese Quesadillas on the menu.  Those are her safety Mexican food that won’t “spice my tongue,” as she puts it.  Again, though, there wasn’t a lot on the plate for $8.50.

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Finally, my son had the kids Grilled Chicken with Rice.  Oddly enough, he got more rice than my husband and I combined.  His was probably the best value in terms of quality, price, and size of the meal at $9.50.
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So, I will say that it’s a toss up as to whether I would recommend San Angel Inn.  The food was definitely good, but there just wasn’t a lot of it offered, the prices are very high considering the amount of food you get, and it is dark with cramped tables.  Apologies again for the blurry images, that’s a side effect of the advance darkness.  But, overall, I’m glad to have went, but I don’t think that I’d book it a second time.

Be Our Guest FastPass Lunch Ends in February

Like all good things, the FastPass lunch at Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom is coming to an end.

According to http://www.beourguestlunch.disney.go, the official website for booking Be Our Guest for lunch (only available if you have a resort reservation), the FastPass testing period will end on February 24, 2015.

However, there is some good news here too!  The website says that on February 25th you can find more information on Be Our Guest lunches at MyDisneyExperience.com.

While that is a little vague, it likely will mean one of three things.  Either, 1) anyone (even non-resort guests) will be able to book Be Our Guest for lunch, 2) Be Our Guest will be a non-reservation dining venue, like all of the other quick service restaurants in Disney World, or 3) Be Our Guest will not be a quick service option for lunch any longer, and they will have a sit down menu like they do for dinner hours.

I have to admit, Disney has done this “test” for lunch Fast Passes for a few years now, so I’m curious what their final decision will be here.  But, no matter what they do for lunch, as long as they keep the restaurant open, it will give more guests an opportunity to experience this beautifully detailed venue.

None of this should change Be Our Guest for dinner time, which has always been a sit down/reservation location.

Be Our Guest – Lunch Review Part II

Recommended:  Yes for the sake of seeing the interior, but be mindful of what you order.

Back in early October, I had a horrid experience with Be Our Guest at lunch (review can be found right here:  https://disneyfangirl.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/be-our-guest-lunch-review/ ).  Now, I have had so many people argue with me that I’m crazy and Be Our Guest is marvelous at lunch that I decided to give it another try.  Maybe I was there during a bad day and several unusual factors ruined our experience, because our dinner (review at:   https://disneyfangirl.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/be-our-guest-dinner-review/ ) was not anywhere near as bad as our lunch had been.

We kept it simple, ordered in advance, and, low and behold, the system had lost our meal and we had to reorder.  I will say that ordering for lunch is a huge frustration, as Disney is trying to make it magical over functional.  They stick you at a terminal and you go through the menu to order, just as you would if you had done so at home.  There is a flaw here, though, as so many Disney World visitors do not speak English at all, or they are indecisive lookie-lou’s who cannot just make their choices and keep the line going.  If Be Our Guest offered some better options to preview the menu before ordering, I think that would help alleviate this issue a lot…

But after we finally got through the ordering line, things improved.  I felt a little more frazzled in our October lunch, having never been in the building before.  However, being an old pro now, I knew that we could choose what room we ate in, and we picked the room with all the beautiful artwork (also the only room we had not yet eaten in).

The food comes to your table “magically,” via a food cart with a server.  This is likely the only time that you will have any host/server/etc come to your table, so if you have a question or need something addressed, you should do it then and there.

My daughter and I had just come from the Perfectly Princess Tea Party (review can be seen here:  https://disneyfangirl.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/my-disney-girls-perfectly-princess-tea-party-review-photos/ ), so I doubted she would eat much here, a few hours later.  My son also hated the food he was given for lunch at Be Our Guest last time, so the kids just ordered a side of french fries and a strawberry cupcake to split.  We kept it simple and had no problems there.  My husband picked out a Master’s Cupcake and I had a strawberry one.  We didn’t eat the desserts first, but, for the sake of throwing up the picture where it’s relevant, the desserts were much better.  They tasted fresh and the bread was moist.
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For our entree, my husband and I both ordered the roast beef sandwich, something that many people recommended.  Now, the beef was good, not great, but it tasted much better than the ham sandwich.  The bread was very hard though.  I’m not sure if that was just the type of bread it was, but it made it seem old and made the sandwich less “happy” for me.  You also cannot hold or substitute anything that comes on the sandwich, unless you have an allergy.  I find that annoying for a $14 meal, because, for that price, I should not be wiping off unwanted sauces with a napkin.
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Overall, we paid around $50 for lunch, and it was a decent lunch, but not a great one.  Other than the decor, there is nothing special about having this meal.  I really do not recommend Be Our Guest for lunch if you have the ability to eat there at dinner instead.  The Beast is not available for meet and greets for lunch time, and it is all a quick service experience that is indoors.  Food wise, it’s no better than any other quick service restaurant, except for the desserts, perhaps (if they’re good that day), and the temperature controlled building.

But, because I do adore the interior design at Be Our Guest, here are most, if not all, of the artwork from the room that we ate in (if you take these photos, please right-click, save the image, and give DisneyFanGirl.wordpress.com credit):
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Extra disclaimer:  (c) disneyfangirl.wordpress.com in no way implies that I created or own the licensed images/paintings/characters.  It is a watermark on my personal photographs due to continuous bandwidth stealing from other blogs/websites.

Be Our Guest Lunch Review

Recommended:  NO!

Be Our Guest is a beautifully detailed restaurant with three main rooms.

The Ballroom (very detailed, with a gorgeous ceiling):
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The West Wing (way too dark, and people constantly walking in and using a flash on their camera to take photos):
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And, well, I’m not sure what, I’ve heard it called the Rose Room and the Tea Room, but it has beautiful and original images of Belle and the Beast together (this is, by far, my favorite room):
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Lunch at Be Our Guest is a quick service, meaning there’s no wait staff, the food comes quickly, you pick your own seat, and it’s a bit more rushed.  However, unlike other quick service venues, Be Our Guest takes reservations – but only if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort (see tips for getting a reservation at:  https://disneyfangirl.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/the-trick-to-getting-a-be-our-guest-lunch-fastpass/  ).  You can try your luck as a walk-in, but most of those people waste their time and don’t get seated.  If the park is busy, you can usually bet that most, if not all, table space has been reserved by resort guests already.

So, you go in, you order (or confirm your order, if you selected everything online), scan your magic band, and your food magically finds your table (via some help by a server-type person) within a few minutes.  This has to be done via magic band tracking, and it is pretty neat.  Sadly, the scenery and delivery is where we all stopped being impressed.

I know I won’t get the names right, but, I’ll just throw out what the item was and you can match it to the menu yourself.

I had the ham and cheese:
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I love ham so much that I will only get ham for holidays.  If someone has a turkey, I won’t be over to eat at their house!  But this ham was not good…  It was cheap, mostly fat holding together each slice, and way too much butter oozing out of the bread.  It’s really a sad meal if the fries are ten times better than your sandwich, and the fries themselves aren’t that special.

My son had the turkey sandwich:
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He wouldn’t say much about it, other than the tomato tasted awful and was pasted to the turkey (I imagine it had been sitting under a warming light for a LONG while).  He ate the fries and the cookie, but he fought and stalled and did everything in his power not to eat that sandwich.

My daughter ordered the closest thing to mac and cheese they offered:
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It came with shredded cheese and red sauce.  She said the sauce was gross and wouldn’t eat it, then told me that the noodles were disgusting because they were plain.  She ate the fries and refused to eat any more noodles (which were the giant, curly, macaroni noodles) once the shredded cheese ran out.  I tried a noodle myself and it was definitely not cooked very well.

We also had desserts:
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My daughter ordered the Lemon Raspberry puff – she said the lemon was bad (and I didn’t care for it when I tasted it either) and just flaked off some of the crust to eat.

I had the Master’s Cupcake, which everyone constantly raves about.  The little edible pearls were a nice touch, and it had a tiny amount of cookies and cream filling on the inside, but it was nothing special.  I could have purchased a 6 pack of chocolate cupcakes at Walmart for the same amount of money and had pretty much the same experience.

My son ordered the Strawberry Cupcake, and he enjoyed the toppings very much, but the cake tasted stale.  I can’t say for certain, but when I tasted a piece, it was almost like it had been refrigerated and brought out from yesterday’s leftovers.  Hey, I get that this happens in a lot of restaurants, but not with items made out of bread!  And certainly not a cupcake that cost over $4!  I was kind of expecting a cupcake made during the same day for that amount of money.  Again, $0.75 at Walmart and I could have bought a fresher strawberry cupcake.

Overall, I would not waste my money returning to Be Our Guest for lunch.  It was a pretty location to tour, but the food was not good at all.  The cheapest food at Disney World is still 2-5 times more expensive than McDonalds, so I have some reasonable expectations that the food will at least taste good.  I hated it, my kids hated it, and we would have all been happier going to Wendy’s or Burger King instead.  Save your money and skip Be Our Guest at lunch time!

Nine Dragons Review

Recommended:  No.

Inside of EPCOT’s China, there is a beautiful sit down restaurant called Nine Dragons.

The portion sizes at Nine Dragons are quite large on entrees, but the food is heavy and more than any normal person could eat at lunch, which means that you’ll end up throwing a lot of food away (unless you’re headed back to the hotel after).

I personally ordered an appetizer, which would have been the perfect sized meal with a side of rice.  It was a special menu item, I believe it was called “Spicy Pork Bao,” and it was decent, but very overpriced for the size of two small sandwich-type items.
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My kids were torn on this venue.  My son ordered a kids meal with rice and love it.  He all but licked the plate clean (which was a cute panda plate!).
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My daughter wanted dumplings, which she’s ordered at other places several times and enjoyed.  The dumplings here weren’t to her liking, though.
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I have to say, overall, that I shared her look of disappointment in the restaurant.

Again, it’s lovely to look inside of Nine Dragons, but I don’t know that I would recommend it.  It’s just not very special in any way.  And, personally, I like Chinese buffets, or a place where I can order sweet and sour chicken with fried rice.  I know not everyone will share my preference, but Nine Dragon’s menu felt more like an upscale Golden Panda than something that was authentic Chinese dining.

The options on the menu are pretty limited, just like when you go through the line at the Golden Panda (ie all they have are a limited number of troughs to get food out quickly).  I don’t know what their kitchen structure is at Nine Dragons, but I saw very few items that I would be able to get at a real Chinese restaurant in any given city in the world.  In short, this restaurant wasn’t impressive to me and I don’t plan to go back again.

This part has nothing to do with the food, but I thought it was odd that the Chinese staff we interacted with had a horrible grasp on the English language.  I walked in and asked if they had a table for five, and the lady asked me to “please, in English.”  I had to repeat myself four times before she understood what a table for five meant, even while I was pointing to my hand holding up five digits.  Now, I don’t have a particular accent, and I’ve always been very conscious to speak properly – so if someone can’t understand me, it’s usually because they do not know English fluently.  The waiter was the same way, and we had to repeat ourselves multiple times on everything. It was like the staff had all studied English in school, but they had never spoken to native English speakers or had any real-life practice/usage of the language.

And, yes, I realize that EPCOT is set up to have people working in their home countries to make a more magical experience.  However, there are so many people in China who are fluent in English that it seems like a bad call to hire people who struggle with the language.  I can repeat myself a dozen times and maybe get my point across, but what about people with thick accents or who are from another country?  I mean, people come to Disney World from all across the globe, so that means many of the guests are not fluent in English.  Trying to communicate through multiple language barriers is so very difficult.  I expected a little better from Disney’s hiring on that end of things, and I’ve yet to have an issue communication with anyone else in the World Showcase.

The 10 Hardest Restaurants to Book at Disney World

I cannot recommend enough how imperative reservations are to a smooth visit to Disney World.  So many people get angry when they can’t walk into their restaurant of choice, they can’t step right into Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique, or the like.  It can be very frustrating, but you have to consider just how many people are at Disney World at any given day, and advance planning will really take a lot of these problems away.

Here is my list of the hardest dining venues to get a reservation at (in no particular order after #1):

1)  Be Our Guest – Magic Kingdom.  Often times, even if you try to book a reservation 180 days in advance (the maximum they allow), Be Our Guest is already booked solid.  Cancellations are rare, and if a spot does happen to open you you will have a lot of competitors fighting for the same table.  It’s safe to say that Disney would be wise to open an additional Be Our Guest restaurant in Downtown Disney or Hollywood Studios.

2)  Cinderella’s Royal Table – Magic Kingdom.  This is where you actually get to eat inside of the giant castle in Disney World, and it’s full of princesses that go from table to table.  Because it’s such a highly themed experience, it has people flocking to book up the tables.

3)  Chef Mickey’s – The Contemporary Resort.  Even though this restaurant is in a hotel (The Contemporary) you may still make reservations to eat there.  The food is very highly rated, and the classic Mickey crew is there to meet everyone.

4)  ‘Ohana – The Polynesian Resort.  This is my favorite breakfast location is all of Disney!  The seasonings they use are downright magical, and you get Lilo and Stitch visiting every table.  Reservations are usually pretty easy to get up until a month before your travel date, but this can very a lot depending on how busy Disney World is during your trip.

5)  T-Rex – Downtown Disney.  A lot of people have mixed reviews about the food, but the beef is to die for, and the menu has a wide array of choices to fit pretty much any budget.  However, the highlight of T-Rex is not the meal, but the environment.  Very similar to Rainforest Cafe, every inch of T-Rex is decked out in a dinosaur theme, and every 30 minutes or so a meteor shower happens, which causes the pre-historic beasts to come alive! 

6)  Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – EPCOT (Norway).  There is a lot of praise on the food at Akershus, and it is a princess character experience, which makes it a wonderful alternative (or addition) to Cinderella’s Royal Table.  I would also be surprised if Anna and Elsa don’t become part of the regular character experience before to long (as of this post, they are NOT).

7)  1900 Park Fare – Grand Floridian Resort.  If all else fails, try 1900 Park Fare for your princess fix!  At dinner time, all of the Cinderella crew is brought out to interact with guests.  This is a great way to get some uncommon signatures, like Prince Charming or the Ugly Stepsisters.  At breakfast time, you can enjoy Alice, the Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger too!

8)  ANYTHING that connects to a fireworks show in the parks (Fantasmic especially!).  There are multiple parks and multiple restaurants in each park to choose from, but the availability is very limited, which makes the seating very hard to get.

9)  Teppan Edo – EPCOT (Japan).  They are always packed and always well worth the price.  For the price of an average up-scale meal, you get a chef at your table cooking food for you.  It’s actually an incredibly entertaining experience!  Be aware, though, if you party is less than 8, you will very likely be seated with strangers (I like that aspect, but others do not). 

10)  My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party – Grand Floridian Resort.  This is probably the most expensive meal you can have a Disney World.  For just my daughter and I (this was her one birthday present she chose) the cost was $290+ dollars after tax!  And you do have to pay in full upfront.  Even though the price might scare many people away, they tea party is only throw once a day, at 10:30 am, and is not available everyday, making this one of the most exclusive restaurants in Disney.  The food is pretty light, and the money you pay goes more into the experience to meet Aurora and Rose Petal (a magical, living rose from Aurora’s garden), as well as receive the exclusive My Disney Girl 18″ doll, ribbon tiara, and silver bracelet (among other gifts).  If you can swing the cost and find a table, this is a really amazing mother/daughter experience.

My best advice to get your ideal set of dining plans is to book 180 days in advance.  Have your alarm set for 12am EST at the 180 day mark, and then reserve your heart out!  Some of these restaurants will still have space in them a month or less before your travel date, just due to cancellations and such, but many times the available reservations will be at awkward times (dinner at 9:30 pm anyone?).  I rarely go to Disney World with no plans, so I’m always trying to work around FastPass+ times or Run Disney races or the like, meaning the more I can plan things out, the better our vacations work out.

Flame Tree Barbeque Review

Recommended:  No!

If you’ve even come close to Dinoland USA in Animal Kingdom, you’ve probably gotten a whiff of Flame Tree Barbeque.  We went there this week after catching the aroma during out Easter visit.

Before, the barbeque smell was insanely strong, and amazing.  This time I really didn’t smell much until we got closer to the ordering area – which may have been because we were there right after they opened.

Kid-wise, mine loved the chicken legs.  My son tried to eat the bone, unsuccessfully:
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My husband finally got his giant turkey leg he’d been dreaming about for months:
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But I must admit, I felt a little shorted with my $10 turkey sandwich.  Yup, that’s a photo of the amount of meat I got, with the other half being roughly the same.  I mean, really, $10 and I can’t even get enough turkey to cover the bread area?  And my only side is a  slice of cantaloupe with no other option?
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Like I said, my kids were happy with their chicken wings.  I would have been happy with my sandwich had it actually had some turkey on it.  But then my husband bit into his turkey leg and it was really, really pink.  I don’t know that it was improperly cooked, but I can say that I tried a piece of his and was running to the bathroom repeatedly later – which is so fun to do in massive lines!  Now, it could have been my sandwich that made me sick, but my husband’s turkey leg tasted off to me, and, of course, I’m the one with the sensitive stomach.  My husband could eat branches off a tree and probably not have any after effects…

Some other odds and ends about Flame Tree – if you want fries or onion rings, you’re looking at another $4+.  Personally, with the way they skimped on the meat, I think fries are justifiable with the meals.  My kids’ meals came with carrot sticks, and my husband’s came with beans and coleslaw, so you do get some type of side with your food, but they don’t seem to substitute anything – so I was stuck with an individual cantaloupe slice because, obviously, everyone who wants a healthy turkey sandwich wants to remain hungry all day.

Water bottles are $2.50, which is cheaper than the soda, and gives you a water-fountain-refillable bottle to lug around with you for the rest of the day.  They also brought out a pin board while we were leaving, which was fun.  But, ultimately, I’d say Flame Tree Barbeque is a SKIP for your trip to Animal Kingdom.