I sure won't lie! One of my favorite things to do at Disney is to eat! Disney has so many great restaurants, but it's not just IN the parks that have good food, but outside too! Disney Springs, the Resorts, they are all known for having an incredible variety of unique and wonderfully delicious foods.
While that's great, what if you are at the park and want a quick bite? We've got suggestions for you! All of these places are included on the Quick Service Dining Plan, so they aren't going to cut into your budget, but they will provide a nice place to stop, rest and fill up your stomachs! Quick Service doesn't mean fast food! Your portions won't be small, and neither will the value for your meal if you go with one of these favorites!
At a Quick Servace restaurant, entrees will be $14.99 or less, but the average price for a burger and fries (or similar) is $10-12, same as at a fast casual place back home.
These are where we always suggest at Magic Kingdom, and why! We've even got a few suggestions for who this might, or might not, be appropriate for.
Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest is our ultimate favorite. Who wouldn't want to eat a meal in a castle? You can do breakfast or lunch as Quick Service, but we have only ever done breakfast. With food so amazing it makes your taste buds explode with every bite and a pastry platter for every table, this is always a once per trip for us.
Portions aren't overly large, but they are generous enough that with the pastry platter, and refills on beverages allowed, it's always been more than enough.
Why don't we go to lunch since we enjoy breakfast so much? The simple reason is the menu. Neither of our kids would be interested in the kids offerings. Breakfast is pretty standard, but the lunch is definitely on the fancier side, with things like meatloaf with broccoli and zucchini, shrimp with broccoli, pork with green beans and mashed potatoes. Just not stuff our kids would want. We also don't want to take the extra time of a longer sit down meal.
Stop by, (reservations is really the best way) and try at least once, you won't be disappointed at all in the incredible decor or the food, just make sure if you have kids you've looked at the menu ahead of time!
Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe
Our second favorite, and once we stop at often, is Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. There's a fun, spaceport kind of feel here with tons of indoor, air conditioned seating, though the tables are quite small. We've never had a problem with finding a place to sit, even during the peak times of the day during summer.
The menu portions are quite large. and they offer food that everyone in the family will love. I always get the half chicken, with mashed potatoes and green beans, while Mr. Disney Magic usually gets a burger, beef or vegetarian. They've also got hot dogs, salads and chicken sandwiches. For the kids, there's a salad, mac and cheese, pbj or chicken nuggets, plus your choice of sides. Adults can sub out their sides too, and there's even a toppings bar, with all kinds of things to customize your sandwich.
This is a great place for lunch, or dinner, and we eat here multiple times per trip.
Tomorrowland Terrence goes last because while it's got amazing views with covered outdoor seating, and a menu with things you won't find elsewhere, it's only open seasonally, and even then, just at peak times so there's not really a way to plan if you can go there that day other than to walk past and hope. The Terrence is also host to the the special ticket firework desert parties, so you won't be able to snag a table if it gets too late in the day.
The portions are average, and the menu is small but nice. You've got your standard burgers and salads, but also banh mi sandwiches, and home made chips. The kids fare is standard too, nuggets, mac and cheese and pbj.
Of the multiple times we've gone past, they've only been opened once. Perhaps your luck will be better than ours!
Those are our favorite quick serves! As you can see, Quick Service isn't something like McDonalds, when you are at Disney. You still get the quality of a casual restaurant, with the convenience of a quick in and out so a meal doesn't take up half your day, or a ton of your budget!
New year, new changes. That happens every where, Disney included. For 2018 there's been a slight change in the cost of the Disney Rapid Refill Mug. Is it still worth it?
The price of the rapid Refills Mugs in 2017 was $17.99 for the length of your stay. 2018, it's $18.99. That's just a dollar, but... is it worth it?
Lets start off with a review about what the Rapid Refill Mug is.
Disney offers a really nice perk to those staying on Property. A souvenir mug that's not only solid quality but will stand up to many times in the dishwasher and many tumbles onto the floor without any fading, cracks or marks.
Anyone staying at an on property resort can buy one of these refillable mugs, but those who purchased the Disney Dining Plan get to have the mug included at no extra cost. If you want to learn more about the Disney Dining Plan, click right here to read my post about it.
What is this mug?
The refillable Disney mug lets you fill up your mug as often as you want, with whatever you want in the food court area of your resort, or any other for the length of your stay. There is a RFID chip in the bottom of it, that allows the owner to fill it up. There is a small time delay between fill ups. If you tried to use a different cup, say a regular sports bottle without the RFID chip in it, the machine won't dispense the beverage.
What can you fill it up with?
Disney has Coke products, and you'll generally find the same things on tap that you would most any fast food place, Sprite, Coke, Diet Coke, Hi-C, lemonade, root beer, etc. You can also get tea from their tea machine, which usually has four different kinds available, sweetened, unsweetened, white citrus or green. If you like hot drinks, it's all you can drink hot tea, hot coffee or hot chocolate. You will not find juice or milk available to fill in the mug. There are also mug wash spots near the drink dispensers so if you want to fill your mug with orange soda, the last few drops from your morning coffee won't make it taste strange.
How much does this cost?
The mug, and it's unlimited refills costs $18.99 for the length of your stay.
Where can I fill this up at?
At your resort, or any other Disney resort if you feel like carrying it around. You cannot fill it up within the Parks though. If you want to fill it up in the morning and drink it at the bus stop, be prepared to carry it with you until you get back to your room.
How does this work?
After you have selected the color mug that you want, (usually available are red, green, blue, yellow, purple and pink) take it to the cashier and he or she will activate it. Go over to the drink station and follow the instructions on the digital pad. (Basically setting the cup down, waiting a few seconds, then pushing the button to dispense the beverage choice)
Why is this right for me?
This might be right for you if
Why should I skip this?
You might not want to buy the mug if
If the average person bought only three drinks a day, let's say a morning coffee ($2.79), an afternoon soda ($3.29) and an evening tea ($3.29), based on food court prices it would come to $9.37. On a 3 day stay that equals $28.11. The mug is more than paid for, and it's cheaper to have the drinks, plus the mug to take home as a run reminder of your vacation.
I'm on the fence as to if I should get this.
In our opinion, it's completely worth it for the mug since just three drinks in it a day and it's paid for by day two, but I know there are people who don't drink anything other than water, so you'll need to figure out what works best for you. There is always the option of just buying one or two mugs for a family, if some are soda/tea/coffee drinkers and some are not, and sharing.
What about you? Have you ever gotten the Refillable Mugs before? Do you like them or is it not a good buy for your family?
This year's Advent Calendars are a little different! They have regular ones, sent from their Grandmother in Texas, but we also stumbled across these Star Wars ones at Target. There were a few different designs, and they were $3.50 each, a little more than a regular advent calendar, but they were Star Wars!
Every day's chocolates are the same, it says Star Wars, though there are two different shapes, oval (shown below) and rectangular, more of the classic look, which at first made the boys sad, but I'm thinking after Christmas I'll save the candy mold, so that I can reuse them (maybe?) to make my own Star Wars chocolates, or mold candy melts for cupcakes in the future. Makes me want to find some Disney ones now, too!
New year, new Disney Dining Plan!! There have been a few changes, and it’s up to YOU to decide if the Disney Dining Plan is still the best for your family or not.
The price has gone up compared to in 2017, however there has been an addition that might make it more appealing for you. Keep reading!
Disney Dining Plans can be a little bit confusing if you've never used one before. If used wisely, the Dining Plans are a fantastic way to save a little or a lot on your trip, depending on what you eat or how much you drink, letting you add even more magic to your vacation!
Here's a basic overview about the Disney Dining Plan for 2018 to help you decide if the plan is right for you.
Disney World offers three dining plans for guests staying on property. The Quick Service Dining Plan, the Dining Plan, and the Deluxe Dining Plan. Each plan comes with a refillable souvenir mug that can be used at any resort during the length of your stay. Each restaurant will have a different theme, so it's often fun to try a new place each time.
The Quick Service Dining Plan is our favorite right now since we have small kids who don't want to sit still at a sit down restaurant for very long. This plan includes 2 meals per day, consisting of an entree and it's included side(s) (think half chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes, or sandwich and fries) and new to 2018, those under the age of 21 can choose to have soda, tea or coffee, a milkshake, smoothie or other specialty non alcoholic beverage. Those over the age of 21 with valid ID can choose to have a beer, cider, mixed drink or wine if available. This plan also includes 2 snack credits which can be used on a variety of things from soups or salads, drinks, desserts or packaged snacks. My favorite thing to use a snack credit on are the themed cupcakes. Gigantic works of art and delicious! We have never felt like we've sacrificed food choices with this plan. Quick Service doesn't mean you are stuck with just burgers and fries. There are yummy salads, seafood, fajitas, and so much more. Mr. Disney Magic loves going to Animal Kingdom and having lunch at Flame Tree BBQ so he can order the Ribs, chicken and pulled pork plate that includes baked beans, coleslaw and jalapeno cornbread. With Quick Service meals, no gratuities are charged and you do not need reservations.
The Dining Plan is the standard meal plan with Disney World and it includes 1 Quick Service meal, 1 Table Service meal and 2 snacks. You get everything as above with the Quick Service plan, but the Table Service meal can be a buffet or a sit down restaurant, and includes a dessert. This is a popular plan because it's the best of both worlds. You can have a quick lunch if you want and a leisurely dinner to unwind after a day at the Parks. There are a few Table Service restaurants that even offer special seating for nighttime shows, or Character Meals including breakfasts, however some of those might require the use of two meal credits. Gratuity will be added on additionally for Table Service restaurants just like if you went to a sit down restaurant at home. Reservations are usually required, and may be reserved up to 180 days before your trip.
The Deluxe Dining Plan is the most expensive plan because you get a lot more. This plan includes 3 meals, your choice of Quick Service or Table Service. If you choose the Table Service, in addition to the above entitlements, you also get to choose an appetizer. Gratuity will be added on additionally for Table Service restaurants just like if you went to a sit down restaurant at home. Reservations are usually required, and may be reserved up to 180 days before your trip.
The prices for the 2018 Disney Dining Plans are as follows:
Quick Service - Per night Ages 10 and up $52.50 Ages 9 and under $21.74
Dining Plan – Per night Ages 10 and up $75.49 Ages 9 and under $25.75
Deluxe Dining Plan – Per night Ages 10 and up $116.25 Ages 9 and under $39.99
There are some legitimate reasons as to why, or why not this plan might be good for you. If you love the idea of having all meals paid for in advance and if you like to have Table Service meals and don't mind planning in advance this plan may be perfect for you. If you just like to snack in the park, or want to bring in part of your own food and just eat one meal in the park, you might not get as much benefit from this.
An incredibly easy way to see if you will come out ahead or not if you buy this plan is to use this fabulous dining plan calculator. DisTripPlanner.com has put a lot of work into making your decision as easy as can be. Just make sure that you do add in the refillable mug in step 2, in order to get the most accurate result. Just click here to see the calculator.
A few things to remember.
Want to read more?
Click here for tips and tricks to maximize your Disney Dining plan credits
Click here to read about bringing your own food in at Disney
Click here to read about how to save HUNDREDS in just a few minutes at Disney
It doesn't have to be a holiday to make a copcat Disney treat, but I really couldn't think of anything better than Halloween, and carmel apples. I FINALLY got one on our last trip, and for weeks after I dreamed of them! I tried to make my own, and I'm only slightly embaressed to say the 8 I made were gone in 2 days. I'd like to say I had help eating them, but to be honest, only one of them went to my oldest. Yikes! This time, I made a dozen, with the intention of sharing!
A quick note on the apples-- green apples last longer. They also balance the sweet of the caramel, so if you make these using red apples, they might not taste as good, and they won't last as long. These can last several days (just not in my house) without any taste loss.
These are super simple to make. The hardest part is unwrapping all those caramels. I used the recpie on the back of the bag:
However, I did use milk, instead of water, and I felt like that worked better than before, when I used water.
Also, make sure to wash and DRY your apples. If you don't dry them, the caramel won't stick! Put the sticks in. I ran out of sticks, so I cut bamboo skewers (like for the grill) in half. Those worked great!
So get your pan ready. I've done it both ways, bowl over simmering water, and straight in the pot. I really prefer in my pot. It goes faster, and I don't have a bowl trying to fall onto the stove.
Once you've decided how you want to melt your caramels, unwrap, put them in the pot and add your liquid. Stir, stir stir... it transitions... keep going until it's all melty. Don't leave it though! It could burn and ruin your caramels.
Dip your apples into the caramel, no photo here, it goes quick and starts to harden fast! Roll into nuts if you like, and place on a sheet of waxed paper. They set pretty fast!!
Aren't they sooo pretty? Takes less than an hour to do these. If you have people helping unwrap the caramels, it will go much faster!
So delish, and easy, and pretty close to the Disney ones. It's not spot on, but in a pinch, or dire Disney emergency, these will do the job!
Happy Halloween everyone!!