Apr 26

WDW Downtown Disney Food Truck

Laurie is here again with another review and this time she tackles the Food Truck at Downtown Disney.

I see myself as a Food Explorer who boldly goes where few dare go. I visited Namaste Cafe food truck that is parked next to Cirque Soleil on the Westside of Downtown Disney. It is covered in art representing things seen in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I am soy and gluten/wheat free so they warned me that there is wheat flour in the truck that probably cross contaminates food. I boldly went for the the slow-cooked beef short ribs but they switched me to butter chicken as the beef has soy sauce in it.

They serve shrimp, with tandoori spices, that is not tandoori cooked, the beef short ribs, and the butter chicken. These are served on a bed of fluffy white rice with naan bread, and a medley of pickled carrots, tiny cucumber slices, and onions. At home I make baked chicken breast with butter shoved under the skin so that is what I was thinking when I saw chicken chunks in a drab brown sauce. Butter chicken is the leftover bits of chicken tikka Marsala with butter and other ingredients used to make a new dish of scraps just like Cobb did with his salad.  It is chunks of chicken in a sauce of yogurt/other dairy, onions, peppers sometimes, tomatoes, oil or butter, India’s vast array of herbs and spices, chili, coriander/cilantro, bit of brown sugar, and garam Marsala.

I do not recommend the food trucks to those with inhalation allergies or severe food sensitivities. Chef Brian is trying hard to make it easy for them to deal with dietary limitations but the tiny trucks have very little room to store anything and the cramped area makes it easier to cross contaminate. The rice and pickled veggies were pretty safe and AWESOME!! The complex nature of the chicken and beef will make ordering pretty hard. The sauce had that Indian subcontinent heat and medley of spices that is not for weaklings. It packed a punch that nearly knocked me off my scooter and had me crying for ice cream, cheese, and milk.  It is not hot as in that cocktail sauce at Cape May buffet, but still enough to make a grown man cry. PERFECTION in the medley of mild, fuffy rice and the crunchy, tangy cold pickles versus the spicy burn of the chicken chunks. The sauce was so good that next time I am bringing me some rolls for sopping up the sauce.

I recommend Namaste Cafe food truck but do warn that the only vegan items are the rice and pickles. For those without restrictions I highly recommend this food truck but for those with restrictions be prepared for a delay in getting information and maybe not finding something to eat. Chef Brian is mulling over my suggestions to make it easier for them to know what is in the food, they are just starting out, so have patience. They serve glasses of wine, beer, water, and soda pop too.

 

Apr 12

WDW Dining and Other News

Check out what Laurie found out for us………

The Turf Club currently is out of stock of their awesome Caesar salad dressing but they have bounced back with an awesome temporary replacement. Be there at the end of the month for their refreshing, lighter summer menu. Kona Cafe is due for some summertime changes but with no parking without a reservation I need to wait to check on that as I cannot hike two miles for dinner. Captain Cook’s has a temporary new home and new hours so check before going to Polynesian for a meal.

It is wallet hurting time at Earl of Sandwiches in DTD. Sandwiches, wraps, and salads are up 50 cents while some drinks went up $1.50. They have added to breakfast Skinny Bagel Egg White Sandwich and the Made To Order Omelets. They are adding Phillie Cheesesteak, Avocado BLT, Veggie sandwich, Pastrami Reuben, and a Chicken sandwich while removing Cannonballs, All American, Best BLT, and Caribbean Jerk chicken. Tiny price changes means smaller sandwiches and less of the fillings
Wetzel’s Pretzel’s and Hagen Daaz are moving to a spot next to DisneyQuest. Starbucks is moving into a spot next to Bongos so I might be seen over there a lot more. As I predicted it is Bye Bye McDonald’s as the Pollo Campero building is being torn down. Team Mickey, BabyCakes, Bodie’s, Pollo Campero, Fuego cigar bar, and so much more of WDW history is gone. Patina Group is bringing a two story restaurant to Paradise Island area of DTD, no word yet on what they are offering. Buena Vista Drive is getting 2 pedestrian bridges, a dedicated bus lane, and increase to 10 lane. Be warned that van parking for the disable and all parking is at a premium for the next year or two. 5 pm and I could not find a van spot so I had to find a car spot then figure how to get the scooter out of the van, sigh.

Trilobites in Animal Kingdom is offering a pulled Buffalo chicken waffle sandwich and milkshakes. Star Wars Character meals are breakfast at Sci Fi Diner and dinner at Hollywood & Vine. Meet disney characters dressed up as Star Wars Characters with commerorative photo included. Also be on the look out for Star Wars cupcakes and merchandise.

EASTER IS NEAR!!!

The Grand Floridian Resort has a display of Disney themed edible Easter Eggs. Resorts with have Easter egg hunts, games, and other activities. FOODIES be on the watch for Easter themed cupcakes. The Swan and Dolphin are PEEPS crazy with Peeps themed desserts, a secret to be revealed on April 19, 2014, diving for eggs at the pool, Easter Bunny, Peeps smores at the campfire, crafts and games. Check with them for details on their Pinterest Peeps contest and information on what is for nonguests of their resorts. Egg-Stravaganza is April 10 – 20 where guests pay $4.95 for a map with stickers at Epcot. Find the dozen hidden character eggs, put a stick in the proper location, return to designated locations where the guest gets a “surprise” which would be a pin, probably. The Contemporary Resort will have 2 Roman Catholic masses and a Protestant service at Fantasia Ballroom on April 20, 2014.

The resorts will be having some sort of activities and some will have bunny plushies, baskets, and make your own baskets for sale. Fort Wilderness Campground with have easter eggs on display in the lobby through April 22, 2014 and A Mouse Merchantile will have make your own Easter baskets.

EASTER DINNER

The Diamond Horseshoe will offer sandwiches for lunch through April 28, 2014 and turkey dinners April 13 – 19, 2014. Kouzinna has a regular and Easter menu. The Wave will offer an Easter buffet/brunch and Chef Mickey’s will have a brunch on Easter Sunday until 1 pm. Olivia’s, Boma, and Portobello are offering Easter dinners. There may be other Easter Dinners out there. Hurry as Easter and Mother’s Day reservations go fast.

EARTH DAY

Party for the Planet is at Animal Kingdom on April 22, 2014. The Seas Pavillion in Epcot will have Earth Day activities on that day that are marine related. There will be a $1 donation to a conservation group with each Earth Day themed Duffy bear. There should be a few Earth Day themed items including a pin.

Apr 09

ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill – ESPN Wide World of Sports

I love having Laurie blog for me.  She lives very near Disney and is there often.  See what she has to say this time about ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill………espn7

They were going to charge me $16 to enter to dine but were very kind to let me in for free. They have a very helpful and friendly staff that makes the day so pleasant. Just off the main entrance is a lobby with a snack bar that hides delicious food, snacks, and drinks that looks more like the lobby for a movie theater but in the back is a kitchen serving up delicious food. I ordered the bacon cheeseburger with onions, tomato slices, and lettuce which was better than most WDW burgers. They can handle common limitations such as soy, egg, dairy, and gluten/wheat allergies only at the Grill. Guests will have a hard time finding snacks that are diet friendly due to the nature of the location. Guests with dietary limitations beyond the top 8 allergens or with complicated diets should speak with Disney Dining about what can be offered with advanced notice. espn5This restaurant has a limited pantry and staff but did an excellent meal for me. They offered me Itzkadoozie ice pops, chicken wings, fries, cheeseburgers, and turkey sandwiches, oh my, so many choices. With advanced notice they can do the frozen Kosher boxed meals. Guests can dine outside if they do not like the cacophony and televisions going on.

Overall I had a great lunch and peaceful time while watching the latest sports on the big screen televisions. The Grill offers a bar in the back with tall barstools except one tiny table for two guests to stare at the wall.espn4 I hate carpet but they have commercial type carpet that is easy to get around and easy to maintain. The Wood chairs and tables can be pushed together for large groups. One of the staff told me how athletes wearing a brace or cast can prop up their leg on the chair across from them. There are overhead sportscasters, the bar in the back, and overhead big screens that may overwhelm some guests but they do offer food to go and have outdoor seats. The ordering is done in the lobby so guests with visual limitations should not have a problem with ordering. Staff is very friendly and offered to carry my tray then stopped by to ask how I was doing.  They use GPS in the form of a coaster sized device to locate where to take an order so no more sitting in a corner as your food goes around the room. Hours vary depending on season and events but usually before 5 pm.

ESPN Wide World of Sports offers guests at $16.95 (adult) admission various sports venues including tennis, rugby, and softball. They offer free parking in their lots that are located at Victory just south of Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts. Hard Ticket Events include Atlanta Braves, golf, cheerleading, dance, volleyball and some other events. Hard ticket events allow the ticket holder full access to the grounds as well as the event.. The main reason for paying so much is that there are top notch kid, high school, college, and professional players at the grounds. High School and College players come here for Spring training when you can see future star players before they make the pro teams. AAU, SUMMIT, USSSA, World Futsal, MAAC, KSA, Pop Warner, USA Field Hockey, and other organizations sponsor events on the grounds of ESPN Wide World of Sports and WDW golf courses. Check with https://www.espnwwos.com for schedules. Guests with a regular ticket do not get into the big events but they do get to watch some awesome sports. The site closes at about 4 or 5 pm unless there is a major event going on. ESPNThere is a sports gift shop packed with sports themed souvenirs as well as some great holiday and birthday gifts.

The recently closed Playsation Pavillion offered rentals of playstation devices so guests could play golf, football, baseball and other sports themed games. The fee was around $5 per half hour. There is no word on what will go into that location as it can be a private studio for broadcasting, private lounge, or another game room. It was located at the back of the restaurant behind the bar, way way way back and out of the way.

Apr 07

Electrical Parade Tips

Need some tips on the Electrical Parade?  Well Laurie is here to give you some ideas.

1. Best spot for comfort and ease of getting a last minute spot is along Frontierland. Best photo opportunities and overall spots are on Main Street. I rather be in Frontierland eating burgers, turkey legs, ice cream,and popcorn without being shoved or kicked.

Electrical parade

2. Crossings are choreographed to get as many folks through Main Street. Keep your kids and anyone easily lost out in front of you, on a leash, or holding your hand. I saw a kid get left behind when they closed a crossing for a float to go by. At DCA two kids were parked in front of us then I saw security and figured out that the kids were lost. They had been separated at a cattle crossing so they parked and watched the street show.

3. Make sure you have your space designated as yours. I had a lady sit on my purse. People will try to squeeze in front of you or stand in front of you. I try to save space for kids to sit in front of me. Do not stand up in front of others as us in chairs, scooters, and strollers cannot see past you.

4. Make sure kids are near you when a parade or event ends. People will walk over seated guests and try to pass others by walking along the edges of the route.

5. Clearly say “Walkway, coming through!” in a firm voice if someone is blocking the paths. There is tape and ropes so they do not need to be out there in the pathway. If they say anything or do not move then get a cast member.Electrical parade1

6. Disabled guests and stroller users should try Frontierland for a parade spot. There are designated areas for disabled guests but at times those can get crowded or full. Those disabled spots may not be on the curb but a row back or even two rows back. Single guests often can get a stranger to watch their spot when nature calls. I have had someone watch my spot when I needed a snack, bathroom break, or soda pop.

 

Apr 03

What Resort to Choose? It Is A Difficult Decision!

My client (Kristin) that I wrote about in another blog post could NOT decide which resort she wanted to stay at on her first ever Disney trip.  She wanted the perfect place and had 2 choices:  Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Contemporary Resort.  Until I threw her a curve ball and added the Polynesian Resort as an option too.  She is a family of 5, so what did she choose?  Go to her blog and find out what she decided upon, you might be surprised…….. Bolling With 5

Apr 03

“Mouse”cation Fans Favorite Magic Kingdom Rides

I recently asked what was your favorite ride in Magic Kingdom.  Here is the response that I got:

Can you guess what the top ride was?  There were actually two.

1.and 2.  Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion

3.  Splash Mountain

4.  Big Thunder Mountain

5.  It’s a Small World

6.  Carousel of Progress

7.  Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

8.  Space Mountain

9.  Peter Pan

10.  Jungle Cruise and WDW Railroad

Did your favorite ride make our list?  If not, please feel free to let us know what it was.

 

 

 

Apr 03

Pinterest Leads to a Travel Agent

I have a client that was doing some research on her upcoming Disney trip. She found a countdown chain on Pinterest and contacted the owner of that Pin. Well, that person happen to have been a client of mine in the past (Bethany). Bethany preceded to tell Kristin (my current client now) about her Disney trip and then told her about the travel agent she used. You guessed it, it was me.

Kristin contacted me and talked to me for a good little while to see what I could do for her since she already had her trip booked with Disney. She asked a lot of questions and we talked several times before she decided to hand over control of her trip to me. See what she has to say about her decision…….

Click on the link to read her blog post: Bolling with 5