Today Harriet from Toby and Roo is talking about two of my favourite things – Disney and food! I have seen so many wacky and wonderful places to eat at Disneyworld, Orlando Florida so she has given some brilliant tips in this ace final guest post of the week:
One of the best experiences of my life so far has been visiting DisneyWorld in Orlando and before we left I had a few things that I was dead excited about, with food being high up on the list.
It’s such a mixed bag but there are a few tips that can help you navigate the potential minefield!
180 days before your trip, you can start making dinner reservations and you really need to use it! I was told by a few friends that I needed to book some time off work, get up early and don’t do it online because you WILL NOT get that coveted spot. It all sounded a bit over the top, I mean, who books dinner 6 months ahead of time?
You do if you want to go to the best places at Disney because booking the elusive Be Our Guest Restaurant at 12pm is like trying to find rocking horse poo, it is better to make like Elsa and Let it Go.
So where are the best places?
Here are our favourites and why:
• HollyWood and Vine for the Disney Junior experience at lunch
We loved this. It was the first experience that we did and it was awesome. You met Sofia the first, Jake (Neverland pirates), Handy Mandy (those with Disney Junior fans over the age of 5 will remember this helpful dude) and Doc McStuffins. The kids were in their element and they loved joining in. Remember to grab an autograph book and DON’T forget your pen! We did and asked the table next to us if we could borrow theirs, from the reaction we may as well have asked to buy their children. The staff weren’t overly amused either but the peppy happy pills they seem to be fed stopped them from telling us to do one. Take your own.
Don’t expect much from the food, it was average at best and a real mash up of random buffet fares BUT the desserts were yummy and it was all you could eat (which for me is a lot so YOLO)
• La Hasienda before the Epcot illuminations – it’s on the lagoon so easy access!
This was delicious food, truly. The mexican vibe was lovely and not at all commercial and the sides that you were just given as extras (without having to order, think prawn crackers in your local Chinese) were EPIC. All of the dips were on the spicy side though but my kids could manage with only minor complaint. Save room as the puddings are HUGE.
• Stitch breakfast at the Ohana
We did both Ohana experiences and this was my favourite. It was very standard breakfast fare but because we cleaned the first (giant) platter, the server bought another one over. There was no end to food. It was a really friendly atmosphere for breakfast (which is MUCH more than we could say for dinner which was overcrowded and we actually removed gratuity because the servers were *that* bad – a major slap in the face in the US). The bread you start with is, like everything in the US, sweet to the point of sickly but the food itself wasn’t bad and the vibe was lovely.
• The Rainforest Cafe for dinner
Delicious food and a TOTAL must. Seriously, this was the night that Edith scratched my eye and I ended up in hospital but I still remember the food being amazing and worth the expense. Buy a souvenir cup here because they are fab, we came home with a tonne and the kids love them. Only negative is that it is very noisy in there and the servers do this special thing where they all start shouting VOLLLLCCAAAANOOOO for a specific dessert. It happens a lot when you are there and if you have a timid one, maybe avoid this place or be prepared. Also the light flash and the animals move a lot so ask to sit somewhere without animals if the kids are easily scared. This place has a fab shop and outside play area too.
• T-REX for lunch
When we go back (note: when, not if) we will book T-REX at least 2-3 times. I can’t tell you how much we loved this one. The food was on point, the staff were equally as lovely as they were at the sister restaurant The Rainforest cafe, though the same applies with noise and flashing lights.Do NOT leave this place without drinking a cottontini, you get to bring your shakers home and the drink it AWESOME. Also, buy souvenir cups here and get a beer as you get to claim a complimentary glass from the awesome shop next door where they have a dino digging site and dino build a bear.
• Be Our Guest
Controversially I HATED this place. We spent more time queuing than anything, despite our reservation, the staff were abrupt because it was so packed, you couldn’t move and it was overwhelming to say the least. The food was lovely but it was bought to your table and you were finished in roughly 2.4mins after nearly 60 mins queuing. Avoid it at lunch.
Don’t miss it at dinner though! We spoke to some seasoned Disney goers and they said that dinner was a totally different experience. Not only was there (a little) less queuing but it was full table service so once you were seated (in one of the three amazing great halls) you could enjoy the whole thing much more and the evening food was far better than the very basic sandwich or soup day time fare.
Cinderella’s Royal Table for Breakfast
A true must. I have moments in my mind of Reuben throwing his arms around the princesses that will last a lifetime. It was magic. A touch of boring queuing while waiting to take a photo with Cinderella but generally lovely atmosphere and servers.
Don’t order the french toast unless you like sweet stuff – Adam made that mistake and basically spent the whole meal struggling through bread and butter pudding for breakfast.
• Mama Melrose
Best pizza (and pasta!) in the place, and that’s saying something as there was more pizza knocking about that confetti at a wedding. I really did enjoy it in here but be aware the portion sizes are possibly the biggest I have ever seen – so much so that we ended up forgoing our pre-paid dessert. It was just too much. You can buy a glowing souvenir cup here too, we bought a Little Mermaid one and a Buzz Lightyear one. Cute but not half as good as the T-Rex or Rainforest ones.
There were so many places that I wanted to eat but we just never got around to it, asian restaurant Yak & Yeti and even the Sci-Fi Diner which we had booked but missed out on because of the delayed plane on the way in. Either way, you should totally factor these places in to your DisneyWorld trip!