Guest Review: Cinderella’s Royal Table Breakfast at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Welcome guest author Sarah Gurung as she shares her character dining experience at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Yay!!!

On my most recent trip to Walt Disney World, I wanted to plan lots of first experiences for myself and for my family, comprised of my husband and my five-year-old daughter. We booked our trip just before the 180 day mark, and I serendipitously found myself staring at an available Cinderella’s Royal Table breakfast Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) shortly thereafter. I couldn’t pass it up! In fact, over the next few months, I regularly checked back to see if we could get in even earlier when, low and behold, I was able to grab a pre-park opening ADR. Even better!

Cinderella’s Royal Table is one of those Disney World experiences that is truly exquisite. The setting is stunning, the food is delicious, and the entertainment is so fun — for kids of all ages, really.  

Sign outside restaurant

Sign outside restaurant

Atmosphere

Let’s start with the beauty that is the restaurant itself. The check-in desk is toward the back of the castle on the right. This process was efficient, and we were quickly invited into the foyer of the castle for our Cinderella meet-and-greet. We found the foyer to be low lit but plumb full of details: shields, tapestries, and gorgeous lighting.

[Read more…]

Review: California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

On my recent visit to Walt Disney World, my husband and I made it a goal to carve out time for a date night at California Grill.

If you love signature dining at Disney World, then you probably know the Grill well. Perched atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the spot has Disney history on its side. After all, Top of the World, which originally occupied the fifteenth floor, dated all the way back to Disney World’s opening. California Grill opened as its replacement in 1995, and brought with it a new emphasis on market fresh ingredients and California fusion flavors.

It was more than just another new Disney restaurant. It, along with Victoria and Albert’s, paved the way for a more refined dining experience at Walt Disney World.

My recent experiences have been a little uneven, however. (Even California Grill isn’t immune to the Disney restaurant curse of inconsistency.) So it’s always good to check in on an old favorite. After all, this was our first visit after the departure of Chef Brian Piasecki, so we had to see what was happening in the kitchen. And that view makes it easy to take a chance with the Grill.

Let’s head to the second floor.

Atmosphere

Why the second floor you ask? Because if you want to go California Grill, your journey begins here. You’ll check in at the podium before you’re escorted to the elevator that takes you to the fifteenth floor.

Second Floor Check In Desk for California Grill

Second Floor Check In Desk for California Grill

Once you arrive, you’ll step into California Grill’s sleek environment. [Read more…]

Disney Dining Tips: What to Expect on Peak Booking Days

Are you ready? The countdown is on, and early booking will open for the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival in just a few hours!

That means that you and (and several thousand other people) will be calling Disney, trying to get into the Low-Cost Events,  Culinary Demos, Beverage Seminars, and Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! Workshops of your choice!

What else does that mean? Well, this is a great example of a Peak Booking Day for a Disney event.

You may be wondering: What’s a peak booking day? It’s anytime that you can expect a high volume of guests calling at the same time to book events. This goes for early booking days for certain groups, regular booking days, days for booking where a new restaurant or experience is announced, and days that offers of Free Dining for the Disney Dining Plan are announced. And experience has taught us that all the things are probably not going to go smoothly.

Free Dining Offer?!? Be Prepared for a Wait

Free Dining Offer?!? Be Prepared for a Wait

With that in mind — and the fact that forewarned is forearmed — we want to share with you just what you can expect when it comes to peak booking days with Walt Disney World as well as some suggestions that may just help you to be successful (and keep your blood pressure down). [Read more…]

News: Victoria and Albert’s Chef Scott Hunnel Promoted

If you’re a fan of Victoria and Albert’s then you might be super excited about this news — or totally bummed, maybe. ;-)

Scott Hunnel, chef de cuisine at Victoria and Albert’s, has been promoted to Executive Chef at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Chef Scott Hunnel

Chef Scott Hunnel

The move means that Chef Hunnel will oversee all of The Grand’s restaurants, which include Citricos, Narcoossee’s, and the Grand Floridian Cafe[Read more…]

Our Favorite Epcot Restaurants

We are big fans of Epcot around here, just like you are. It may not be the original Disney World Park, but it holds a charm that few other spots in the Disney universe can. After all, walking around there feels like  you’ve stepped into the dreams of Walt Disney himself. It didn’t start life as the Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow for nothing!

Epcot!!!

Epcot!!!

The park has evolved a bit through the years, but we’re still enchanted by its dual personalities: Future World, celebrating technology and the promise of what’s to come; and World Showcase, which encourages visitors to embrace cultures from around the globe in order to learn from them. [Read more…]

News: Chef Changes at Disney World Signature Restaurants

There’s big news this week regarding chefs at some popular signature dining restaurants throughout Walt Disney World! Chef shakeups at three spots may mean changes at some of your favorites. Read on for all of the details.

Chef Yuhi Fujinaga Takes on Role of Executive Chef at Morimoto Asia

Earlier this week, Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Patina Restaurant Group announced that Chef Yuhi Fujinaga had taken on the role of executive chef at Disney Springs’ Morimoto Asia.

Yuhi Fujinag, Morimoto Asia's New Executive Chef (Photo ©Morimoto Asia)

Yuhi Fujinag, Morimoto Asia’s New Executive Chef (Photo ©Morimoto Asia)

Chef Yuhi first met the famous Iron Chef and restaurant mogul early in his career. “I met Chef Morimoto as a young chef in Hawaii, where I grew up. We bonded quickly over our love of fresh fish, big flavors and new cooking techniques,” said Chef Yuhi. [Read more…]

Best Disney World Character Meal Recommendations By Age

Character Meals. It’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all kinda world. You might think you’ll enjoy dinner at Chef Mickey’s with just your significant other.

Chef Mickey!

Chef Mickey!

After all, you’re kids at heart! But are you really thinking through the reality of it — complete with twirling napkins, blaring music, and loads and loads (and loads!) of kiddos everywhere?

Today, I thought we could break down some of the groups of guests who might want to take special care in deciding which character meal is best for them. Because when it comes to dining with your favorite Disney characters, no one should be left out! [Read more…]

Our Favorite Magic Kingdom Restaurants

Magic Kingdom, how we love you. You are, for many of us, the source of our earliest Disney Memories. Heck, some of us remember when you were the ONLY Park. (Am I showing my age here?)

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

But even though you’ve been around the longest, we’re no less fond of you. In fact, coming back to ride old favorites or experience new attractions always feels a bit like coming home. [Read more…]

FULL Review: The New Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen in Disney World’s Adventureland

You may have seen our First Look… and now we are back for our full review of Magic Kingdom’s brand new Table Service eatery!

Welcome back to the Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen!

With the exception, perhaps, of the arrival of Trader’s Sam’s Grog Grotto in Disney World last March, no new restaurant has met with as much anticipation as the Skipper Canteen since the opening of Be Our Guest Restaurant in 2012. But while Be Our Guest debuted as part of the all-new Fantasyland expansion, the Skipper Canteen finds its home in Magic Kingdom’s classic Adventureland. This land is also home, of course, to the Jungle Cruise, the beloved attraction on which the Skipper Canteen is based.

We enjoyed our first meal at the Skipper Canteen on its first day of soft openings, but today the restaurant officially opens to all Magic Kingdom guests. So, what better time to get to know this spot a little more?

Jungle Skipper Canteen sign

Jungle Skipper Canteen sign

So, my fellow Jungle Cruise passengers, let’s step back in, shall we? [Read more…]

News: Disney World’s California Grill to Offer “Brunch at the Top” Starting February 2016

Great news if you’re a fan of California Grill, Sunday Brunch — or both!

Coming on the heels of the announcement that Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian would begin offering a Sunday brunch, now we are hearing that California Grill will do the same.

The popular signature restaurant, which sits atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, has been a dinner-only spot since opening in the 1990s. But as Disney World continues to expand hours in table service restaurants across property, it looks like California Grill will soon join the trend.

The experience promises to be a hybrid of sorts. If you’d like, you can choose to begin your meal with something to drink. Options include both mocktails and cocktails, or indulge in a trip to the Bloody Mary Bar.

Bloody Marys from the Bloody Mary Bar

Bloody Marys from the Bloody Mary Bar

Guests begin their meal with house made Breakfast Pastries and Breads. Assortments will include Caramel Apple Monkey Bread, Cranberry Pecan Scones, and Tillamook Cheddar Biscuits, accompanied by Jam made from scratch and Orange Blossom Honey Butter. [Read more…]