Since our youngest developed a food allergy, we have become much more aware of how difficult it can be to dine out. One of the hardest things to get are desserts, so trips to Dunkin Donuts, or most any bakery treat have been out for a while now. While the particular treat he might want may not actually have his allergen in it, it could have been exposed to the allergen through cross contact. Cross contact is when chocolate donuts are put on the same pan that ten minutes earlier nuts were sprinkled onto an iced donut. Same thing with cupcakes, muffins, cookies, often pans aren't washed between batches. Unfortunately, just because you don't see the allergen doesn't mean it's not there. The oils and proteins aren't visible from a nut that was dropped, then brushed aside, and that's what can stick to the side or bottom of a treat can cause a reaction. Cross contamination stinks, especially when you are a kid, and just want a fun looking, and tasting dessert.
I've always been up for baking, but when my youngest kept talking about all the great cupcakes he had last time, and asking if they were going to be safe or not, I admit my heart broke a little. I told him they might not be, but promised I would learn to make whatever he wanted, and wow has he thrown some doozies at me. Some of them I'm worried to try, but I'm going to figure it out, and help YOU to figure it out too!
I've agreed to make one Disney Dessert a month, and chronicle it here, so that I can share how AWESOME, TASTY and EASY it can be to make a Disney Dessert, AND best of all, on a budget!
Here is the first he asked me to make, Pop Century's Banana Split Cupcakes, but, with vanilla icing, not banana flavored. If you really want the banana flavored icing, I bet you can find an extract for it at the grocery store.
These 24 delicious Banana Split Cupcakes were made for less than the cost of 2 cupcakes at Disney, with leftover ingredients for next time. Ready to learn how? I think you'll like them as much as my baby does!
Gather your supplies. You'll need:
A yellow box cake mix, your favorite brand plus all the ingredients on the back (not pictured!)
Butter, 2 sticks
1 half bag of confectioners sugar
a tbs of milk
1 tsp of vanilla
pinch of salt
Whipping cream, whipped cream in a can, or cool whip
Yellow icing dye
Maraschino cherries (not in the picture, I totally forgot to add them!)
Hershey's Chocolate sauce
Make your batter, and pour into your lined pans. Bake according to instructions.
While those are cooling, start to make your icing. If you have a stand mixer, that works best, but a hand mixer can get the job done too.
Beat the butter, and confectioners sugar. Add the salt, and vanilla, and drizzling in about half the milk while beating. After about 2 minutes, you will be able to tell if your icing is too stiff. If it is, add a little more milk until the icing is soft enough to push a spoon through, but not so soft a spoon can't sit upright when pushed into your icing without tipping over. If the icing is too soft, maybe it's a hot day, maybe you added too much milk, then add a little more sugar, a spoon full at a time until you get the desired constancy.
Once your icing is made, color it a cheery yellow. I like this brand of icing, it's a gel, and made in a nut free facility. I bought it at Hobby Lobby, for about $2 a bottle. I really like this better than the Wilton dye I used for so many years. It squeezes out, AND it's safe for my son's allergies.
Now it's time to put the icing on. I didn't pipe the icing on, I didn't see a need to do that, since it's going to be covered up. Just a nice dollop, and then spread almost to the edge.
Take your Hershey's Syrup, and make a circle, not quite to the outer edge of your cupcake. The syrup will actually become almost gel like after a few minutes, but in the meantime, if a few drips run down, just looks more like a Banana Split Sundae!
I didn't have cool whip or in the can whipped cream, so I had to make my own. If you've never done that before, all you need is heavy whipping cream, I used about a cup full, and a spoon of regular sugar to stabilize the cream. The sugar sweetens the cream, but it also stabilizes it, which is VERY important. It means that your whipped cream won't collapse, and turn back into a liquid state.
Beat at a medium speed until the cream starts to stiffen and make little peaks. Don't over beat, you'll make butter!
Either dollar on, or pipe with a bag and tip. I did it both ways, it looked great either way.
Shake on sprinkles, and if desired, add the cherry! It's very, very yummy!
Here is a picture of my version, and you can click here to visit Disney Food Blog and see a picture of the Disney version. Mine is smaller, and I don't have 3 inches of icing on there, but it's also not $6, yet still a generous portion, but not so much you can't finish it all, or feel obligated to share!
What do you think? Are you going to try and make them this weekend? I will tell you...they only LOOK hard to make!
The reports are rolling in that most places you might get a beverage at in Disney World are either offering a straw with no lid, a lid with no straw, or no lid and no straw.
I'm not sure about you guys, but if I pay $4 for a soda, I like it to stay in the cup, as I try and carry my tray of food through the gauntlet of pushing, impatient people jockeying to order their food or for a table.
We all knew this day was coming when Disney said they were going to make eco changes (and save money at the same time), but while a few have embraced it, I'll be honest, I haven't.
If you are like our family, and want a lid and a straw, while it is not ideal, I'm sure you already know you can bring a handful of straws, but what about that lid?
Glad Press and Seal Wrap! I cut off a small piece, and it adheres wonderfully to anything! A paper cup, a plastic cup, a Styrofoam cup... it's awesome! See? Even when you get it a jiggle or shake!
While it is one more thing to stick in my bag, I have been experimenting with cutting out squares, and putting them in a ziplock bag. So far they have unstuck for me pretty good. Maybe it's an idea for you! I know we plan to try it.
We were watching a Touring Plans video on Youtube the other night, when they said something very casually. I thought I heard wrong, so I rewound.
The person giving the tour, said that the average person visiting Disney World does 10 attractions a day, basically, 1 an hour.
Could that be true?
I did some googling, and couldn't find any answers, but when you think about it, if you spend 40 minutes in a standby line, 5 minutes loading into a ride, then riding it, then 10 minutes to walk to your next ride, that isn't too far off, and if you do standby for Peter Pan's Flight, or Slinky Dog or something, you are looking at a much longer wait. Maybe you'll only do 6 rides, if you want to eat lunch.
I don't know about you guys, but I think that number sucks. I don't save up for so long, and make such a long drive just to do 6 attractions in a day. That's why I think plans are so important!
If you research a little ahead of time, and make a list of what you want to do, you'll have more fun, and you'll get more than 10 attractions done in a day!
Not sure how many you can do? You can click HERE for all of my FREE touring plans, and you'll be surprised just how much you can fit in the first half of the day.
Do you remember the adorable Mickey goldfish crackers that appeared to help celebrate Mickey's 90th? They are back, with with an on the go, portable, or giftable size! I spotted (and promptly bought) these at Target. There are 24 mini bags, and these would be cute to send in for snacktime or as valentines, but I am actually going to save them in case I can't get more, for our upcoming Disney trip! Goldfish were already on the list,and I just know as yummy as these will taste, they will have a bit of extra magic while eaten in the Magic Kingdom!
If you are looking for them yourself, check in the section where they have the Valentine treats. These were $6.99.
Planning to get yourself some? I don't blame you! Going to Disney soon? Taking your own snacks to Disney is an awesome way to save a bundle, did you know that? They are really generous with how much food you can bring in. Click here, to read all about it!
We were thrilled to hear the news that some friends of ours are taking their kids to Disney in a few months! 3 of the 4 children have never been, and one is just a tiny man, he won't even be a year when he goes. When I mentioned that he would enjoy so many of the rides, the surprise they had at being told he could go on so many got me thinking.
So many times I have seem families talk about planning a trip and leaving behind their babies, because there wouldn't be anything that they could do. Personally, I think a shorter list would be what the under 3 set CAN'T do, because when you read this list, you might be as blown away as I was once I started looking around online, and in my favorite book, the Unofficial Guide to Disney World.
Disney really is a family place, and most anywhere you want to go, your kids can go too. Babies and toddles really do love these rides, I have seen it with my own kids, and others. If you are on the fence about taking your littles, take a look at all they CAN do! Neither of you will be missing out on the Disney fun if you take them along!
It's totally possible I missed a few, but if nothing else, consider this a good starting point!
Remember also, any show or character meet and greet will also not have a height restriction!
Magic Kingdom - Attractions Without Height Restrictions
Animal Kingdom: Attractions Without Height Restrictions
Hollywood Studios Attractions Without Height Restrictions
Attractions at Epcot With No Height Restrictions
So what do you think? Are there more options than you thought? I'd say it's time to start planning what to go on first!!