Expedition Everest

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Read Time:3 Minute, 0 Second

Back in Asia, in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, stands Mt. Everest, and you are invited to conquer it. As many times as you want! Expedition Everest – The Legend of the Forbidden Mountain is one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World, and for good reason. Quite frankly, it’s awesome. Opening on April 7, 2006, Expedition Everest is the tallest attraction at WDW, standing 199.5 feet (Disney keeps all of their attractions below 200 feet to avoid having to put airplane beacons on the tops of them, hence ruining the illusion). It is also the tallest Disney mountain in the entire world. The ride is set in Nepal, and the queue has a stand-by line and a single rider line (it also has a fastpass return lane, but Disney is not offering fastpasses at this time). The queue starts in the office of the Himalayan Escapes Travel Agency. From here, you continue into a tea garden. The trains of the ride are modeled to look like tea trains, because Himalayan Escapes Headquarters used to be a tea plantation, and the trains were used to carry tea from the mountains down to the base camp.

From the tea garden, the queue then enters an equipment room that displays equipment used in successful expeditions. You then proceed to the “Yeti Museum,” that showcases artifacts and photos from Yeti Expeditions.

Expedition Everest was designed by LEGENDARY Imagineer Joe Rohde, who was the lead designer for both Expedition Everest and Animal Kingdom. He was also the lead designer of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, located in Hawaii. Joe joined Imagineering in 1980 during the development of EPCOT, where he worked as a model designer and scenic painter of the Mexico Pavilion. Following the creation of Aulani, he was tasked with designing Pandora: World of Avatar. He also led the team that transitioned the Tower of Terror in Disney California Adventure into the Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout ride. He retired in 2020.

Joe Rohde did a lot of really awesome, groundbreaking things at Disney Imagineering, but people will never let him forget that we’re still waiting for him to fix the Yeti! (I kid, I kid. I love you, Joe!!) When the Yeti, Disney’s largest and most complex audio animatronic EVER created, actually moved, it required the same force as a 747 jet engine. FOR EVERY RIDE TRAIN. That is incredible. No WONDER it stopped working so quickly!! Until 2019, this was the most expensive roller coaster in the world, costing $100 million. (Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure replaced it)

Now, about the ride: the ride features a first-of-its-kind “proprietary silent chain lift” hill. This is designed to make it seem more like a real train expedition and less like a roller coaster. It features WDW’s longest ride trains, with 17 rows. This gives the ride a lot of potential and kinetic energy. PHYSICS!

The trains reach 55 MPH, making this the third fastest attraction at Walt Disney World! There are two track switches that create the 180 degree switch to go backwards and change paths. The ride does NOT go upside down when you’re going backwards in the dark. The darkness and backwards motion is designed to trick your brain and make you think you’re going upside down, but you’re really just going down a spiral track, closely resembling the track going outside down the final hill.

So there you have it: Expedition Everest! I LOVE the rides that have incredible stories attached to them, and this one does NOT disappoint! Have you conquered the Yeti?

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Unveiling of the Disney Wish!!!!!

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Read Time:3 Minute, 49 Second

MASSIVELY HUGE NEWS from Disney Cruise Line this morning! Disney has officially unveiled their fifth cruise ship, the Disney Wish, this morning, announcing it will officially set sail on June 9, 2022.

Starting with the water entertainment, Disney has created new, exciting spaces for one and all. First is the first-of-its-kind attraction at sea, the AquaMouse! From the brief description, it sounds a lot like Mickey’s Runaway Railway, only on a waterslide, but we’ll all have to wait and see just EXACTLY what this attraction at sea has in store for us all! Also new will be a Toy Story Splash Pad for little ones (and, hopefully, me). There will be bigger and more family spaces to swim and play and, of course, the Adults-Only area. I’m already excited and this is just the beginning!!

Up next, FOOD! There are 3 new dining concepts, from dinner and a show to classic Hollywood! “Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure” will be a first-of-it’s-kind dinner theater experience, featuring Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf. Worlds of Marvel will allow you to dine while you solve a mystery as AN AVENGER!!!!! And 1923 will celebrate The Walt Disney Company. They all sound amazing, and I want to spend every day as an Avenger, please!

There is SO MUCH MORE, but we’re going to have to wait to see what else is in store for us! Ok, so…if you’re currently a Platinum, Gold or Silver Castaway Club member, OR a Disney Vacation Club Member OR an Adventure Insider with Adventures by Disney, be among the VERY FIRST to book a new Summer 2022 Disney Wish cruise before they go on sale to the general public on May 27, 2021!! This special early booking window is exclusive to the inaugural season of the Disney Wish and includes an extended booking window for Platinum Castaway Club members based on their total number of sailings. All Castaway Club members should sign in to their account before booking begins to verify their Castaway Club status and their number of sailings. Due to anticipated high call volume, booking through a travel agent—or online at Disneycruise.com beginning May 20—is strongly recommended.

BOOKING WINDOWS:

If you want to book the very first sailing aboard the Disney Wish on June 9, 2022, you should be aware that a non-refundable deposit of 20% must be paid by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the day of booking. Final payment for suites and concierge-level staterooms is due 150 days prior to setting sail; and final payment for all other stateroom types is due 120 days prior to setting sail.

A 50% cancellation fee applies from 44 to 30 days prior to setting sail. A 75% cancellation fee applies from 29 to 15 days prior to setting sail. A 100% cancellation fee applies from 14 days to the date of setting sail. And don’t try to cheat the system! The Castaway Club member must remain on the reservation to be valid. Date changes are not permitted once a booking is made; Guests must cancel and rebook. Booking cannot be combined with any other offers, discounts or future cruise credits.

So contact me NOW to get added to my Disney Wish Wait List!!

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Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC

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Read Time:3 Minute, 12 Second

Good morning! How about a nice pastry for breakfast? Sounds AMAZING, right? Oh, but you can’t do that. You have food allergies. So you have to sit at Walt Disney World and watch all the normies eat all the yummy nomz while you chew on a sugar packet or two. OR you can head to Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC at Disney Springs and get your OWN pastries!

Disney Destinations are FANTASTIC with food allergies. There are options everywhere, for simple and complex allergies. You can read all about WDW and their Special Dietary Requests policy here. The basics: talk to a chef everywhere you eat. Simple as that. They can easily accommodate Top 8 allergies. If you have a more complex, or lesser known, allergy, you may email special.diets@disneyworld.com and let them know what you need.

So back to the pastries….I’m sure you’ve seen posts about amazing baked goodies shops like Gideon’s or Everglazed Donuts, or Amorette’s Pastisserie, and drooled. But in the back of your mind, you know there’s not a chance there is a safe, dedicated place where they can safely make allergy-friendly baked goods. So you know you’ll never ever enjoy those delicious nummies. And you get sad.

Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC

NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND!!! Have you ever heard of Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC? They are a DEDICATED gluten, dairy, egg, and soy free bakery, specializing in gluten-free, vegan, and kosher baked goods. Located at Disney Springs (and, obviously, NYC and other locations), no longer do you (or kids) have to watch everyone else eat baked goodies while you chew on another chalk cookie or eat another dish of gelato. You can now get SAFE cupcakes, and cookies, and bagels, and donuts, and cake slices, and cake, and more. AND THEY ARE DELICIOUS.

Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC

My last visit, I got myself a lemon blueberry cupcake (that I ate almost as soon as they handed it to me) and a MASSIVE chocolate whoopee pie (that was not only delicious, but survived the plane ride home) that was to die for. It was amazing. It did not taste like other gluten free baked goods I’ve had before, it was as close to the “real thing” I’ve had since I discovered gluten makes me sick. Such an awesome option, and it is on the docket for every single trip for the rest of my life.

To get these yummy, delicious, safe-for-you treats, just head over to Disney Springs and get in line at Erin McKenna’s. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! You don’t have to just wait in line! You can order ahead for pickup OR order to have it delivered! HOW AWESOME IS THAT??!?!?! You could potentially order for the week, have it delivered to your room when you arrive, and be set up for morning pastries and goodies for the week!

Erin McKenna's Bakery online ordering
To order from their awesome website, click here

For me, while I love going to Disney Springs, I don’t always find it the most convenient thing to do. The busing scenarios can sometimes be a nightmare, and the lines can be long. So the thought of getting off the plane at MCO, going to their site, and placing an order THRILLS me! I could have my goodies delivered to my room and likely get there at the same time they do! I cannot WAIT. Plus, if you want to get a large order (like multiple bagels and cupcakes and cookies for the week) it might not be that much fun to carry them all over Disney Springs THEN to take it on a bus.

Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC
Gluten, Soy, Egg, and Dairy-Safe Allergy Goodies

Did you know about Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC? Well now you do! Are you ready to plan your Disney Theme Park vacation? Contact me today for your free, no obligation vacation quote!!!

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Things To Pack That You Might Not Think About

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Read Time:7 Minute, 18 Second

I hate packing. I do, I hate it. I hate packing for overnight trips, I hate packing for long trips, I hate packing to move. I. Hate. Packing. That said, it is a necessity, and it is especially important for Disney vacations. Walt Disney World, especially, is a MASSIVE place. You will be far from home and far from many things, like cheap groceries and clothes that don’t cost the same as a mortgage payment. Of course, now you can order things, which makes things a little easier, but if you’re like me, you’d rather just do it right the first time.

So here is a list of 20 things that you simply MUST pack, but it goes beyond underwear and t-shirts!

  1. Lysol I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “well we’re in a pandemic, DUH!” but no, that’s not why this is on my list. How to say this….many of your hotel situations will involve just one bathroom. And in close quarters. Disney generally involves a lot of eating. And….. so anyway, I’ve always brought a travel can of Lysol to store in the bathroom. Everybody does it….
  2. Reusable Straws So Disney is trying to do the right thing and reduce their carbon footprint. YAY DISNEY! Unfortunately, this means paper straws. I don’t know about you, but paper straws just don’t cut it for my super thick milkshake. So bring some reusable straws! There are tons of them: metal, silicone, bendable, straight, bamboo, whatever you fancy. Get them in many colors and each family member can easily keep track of which one is theirs. You can also get a cleaning brush and wash them in the sink in your room each night.
  3. Reusable Silverware Along those same lines, if you, personally, try to reduce your carbon footprint, instead of using plastic, bring your own!
  4. Gold Bond Powder or Spray/Body Glide So this one, you may be saying “what in the world?” But listen, not all of us have been blessed with a thigh gap. And some of us just don’t enjoy the boob sweat and boob chafe. Body glide is GREAT to keep the thighs from starting a friction fire and Gold Bond keeps certain areas cool and dry (your unmentionables). The Gold Bond powder also provides cool relief at the end of a day of walking and sweating. Trust me, you’re going to need it.
  5. Multi-plug Outlet Your entire family has a phone/iPad/tablet/laptop/computer. As much as Disney has refurbished their hotel rooms, there is not always enough places to plug all your stuff in at the end of the day. Bonus tip: get one with USB ports AND regular plugs to maximize outlets.
  6. Reusable Water Bottle Save OODLES of money by not buying drinks. If you bring your own water bottle (I personally like the Brita bottles because Florida water gives me the bubble guts), you can fill up at the filling stations OR get FREE WATER at any Quick Service Restaurant (or table service before you leave the restaurant) and keep your bottle full. You can also fill up at the refill stations in every hotel (which are now REOPENED!!), but only water, unless you buy a drink. Anything other than water is gonna cost you!
  7. Hand Sanitizer Again, in COVID times, this is a big DUH, but honestly, if you weren’t already using this in the parks…..EW! Have you ever thought about what you’re touching?!?!?!?
  8. Extra Travel Deodorant or Deodorant Wipes I like to throw this in my bag and take it into the park with me. Sometimes, you smell people. I like to make sure that I never walk by someone and become the topic of their conversation (well, because of my scent, at least).
  9. Travel Face Wipes Along those lines, I also like to put these in my bag. Washing my face throughout the day makes me feel SO much better as I continue to sweat.
  10. Light, Small Umbrella/Cheap Ponchos So many thoughts. First of all, they DO sell ponchos in the parks. But for the price of one pretty poncho with Mickey Mouse, you can get a 20-pack on Amazon. It pretty much is guaranteed to rain at least once on your vacation, especially in summer (it will literally rain every single day in the summer) but it usually (NOT ALWAYS) passes by quickly. When you get yourself a 20-pack, you can use it, take it off when the rain passes, and just throw it away. NO CARRYING WET PONCHOS. Me, personally, I hate ponchos. So I stick an umbrella in my bag. If it is raining REALLY hard, I will pull out a cheap poncho, but not usually.
  11. Chilly Pad/Frog Toggs/Cooling Towels The summer in Florida is the surface of the sun. I know this because we usually go in July or August. Teenagers can’t miss school as easily as younger kids, so there ya have it. Anyway, so you get these cooling towels, get em wet, ring em out, and VOILA! You have a cooling device! The towels we currently use can double as a headwrap/bandana, which is really nice because keeping your head cool helps the rest of you out. BONUS TIP: a cheap personal fan also is nice to have.
  12. Portable Rechargeable Cellphone Battery Charger You’re gonna use your phone. You’re gonna take photos and videos, you’re going to post to social media, you’re going to buy things, you’re going to use My Disney Experience. Your battery will last about 15 minutes. Get a charger. You won’t regret it!
  13. Sunglasses and Sunscreen The Sunshine State, y’all. It’s not ironic. The sun is bright, the sun is hot, and there is really not that much shade at Hollywood Studios or World Showcase. You need Sunglasses. And probably extra sunglasses. I left my prescription sunglasses in the hotel one morning and ended up dropping $25 on Mickey Mouse sunglasses. My mom’s sunglasses grew legs and walked away one morning, so she, too, had to get some Mickey sunglasses. And you should wear sunscreen anyway. Cancer is bad.
  14. Disposable Masks In addition to your super cute masks that perfectly match each and every outfit you packed, bring some disposables. Splash Mountain, Kali River Rapids, rain….these are all scenarios that will likely result in wet masks. Why not put a disposable on so that pretty mask doesn’t get soaked? Also, pack EXTRA super cute masks because going to Disney is not like a jaunt through Trader Joe’s!
  15. Extra Plastic Storage Bags, Assorted Sizes Stick some baggies in your park bag to keep electronics dry on water rides (or through heavy rains, RIP Halloween candy), stick wet bathing suits in a baggie to get them home without them getting everything else wet, pack your toiletries in giant baggies so your conditioner doesn’t get all over your favorite tank top you JUST got from Etsy.
  16. Tylenol/Advil/Aleve Etc Yes, this is all free at First Aid Stations (HIGHLY endorse them, they were incredibly helpful during someone’s unexpected lady days), but what about when you have aches and pains in your hotel room at 3am? Having these in your room will be a life saver, especially when you see that 20 pack of Advil in the hotel gift shop for $57.99.
  17. Moleskin/Bandaids (and Medical Scissors to cut it) You’re going to walk. A LOT. Most people are genuinely surprised when their feet hurt. Moleskin can make it incredibly more comfortable to walk the next day, too. And it can make kids whine less about their feet hurting.
  18. Epsom Salts Sometimes you might swell up from dehydration and the heat (don’t drink Dasani, they add salt to the water which then dehydrates you faster. Oh and Disney sells Dasani). A nice soak in some Epsom Salt can make feet go back to normal size and also feels really good!
  19. Extra Shoes/Flip Flops/Sandals Like I said, it’s going to rain. The last time I went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, a tropical storm rolled through and those shoes were soaking wet for a week. Thankfully, I had two more pairs of shoes and a pair of sandals in my suitcase.
  20. Light Jacket/Sweat Shirt/Hoodie While it is 300 Kelvin outside, some of the restaurants and shows are -400F. Initially this can feel really good. Then, once your sweat freezes to your skin, you’re shivering and miserable and you cannot enjoy your $59 steak at Le Cellier. Stick a hoodie in your bag and you’ll always be fine!

So there you have it. My tried and true “don’t leave the house for Disney without em” list!

Looking to plan a Disney vacation? Contact me today!!

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Animal Kingdom Sustenance

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Read Time:3 Minute, 45 Second

Disney food is it’s own subculture. There are restaurants that are impossible to get into; there are snacks people will wait in incredibly long lines for; and there are all kinds of Mickey-shaped foods. In short, there is literally something for everyone, from kid staples hot dogs and chicken nuggets, to adult staples like corn dogs and chicken tenders.

Wocka Wocka. So anyway, Animal Kingdom has some awesome eats. Here is a list of my Top 5 Places to Find Food at Animal Kingdom:

Tusker House Restaurant

The only reason this isn’t ranked is because it is not open right now (please, Disney, will you reopen???) and when it does reopen, it’s likely to not be a buffet, BUT….based solely on what I know already, this is actually my number 1 Nomz stop at Animal Kingdom. In the before times, this was an awesome buffet, with something for everyone and featuring food with an African flair.

**As a reminder: Disney’s current policies require all guests ages 2 and up to wear face coverings at all times unless actively eating or drinking (while stationary) or for socially distant photos. Photos may not show current compliance, as they are older.


We have eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner here and we have never left hungry OR disappointed. And there was a chef that brought me not one, but TWO special allergy plates. You cannot beat that kind of service. Hopefully Tusker House reopens soon!

5. Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Yak and Yeti Restaurant is a Landry’s restaurant, so you can join Landry’s Select and get a table without an Advanced Dining Reservation. Serving pan-Asian food, it is good, but not great. I did like that the chef took my order for food allergies and basically made whatever I wanted (I ordered beef lo mein and while it was delicious, I’ve had better in my own kitchen), rather than me having to stick to a limited menu. The highlight of my meal was the excellent mango sorbet with raspberry sauce and fresh mango. IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD!!!!

4. Nomad Lounge

The Nomad Lounge has specialty cocktails and appetizers, and I’m sure they’re wonderful, but the only reason I go here, and the only reason this is on the list, is for ALLERGY-FRIENDLY CHURROS. Those with gluten/wheat, peanut/tree nut, and fish/shellfish allergies can safely eat these treats right here at Nomad Lounge!!

3. Flame Tree Barbecue

Located in Discovery Island near the entrance to Dinoland USA, this is one of the best quick service restaurants in Walt Disney World. They have HUGE portions, so meals are shareable. Get the ribs and chicken!! This is a great way to save money! Or a great way to try the whole menu! BONUS: they are currently serving the adorable Flamingo Cupcake!!

2. Tamu Tamu Refreshments

ATTENTION: Dole Whip with rum! While this may be the reason many people go to Tamu Tamu, it actually has a little bit more to offer. They’re currently serving a Colossal Mickey Cinnamon Roll for breakfast, among other options. Currently, they have the Simba Sunset, which is a Dole Whip pineapple with watermelon, strawberry, and coconut-flavored syrup that I hope is still available on my next trip, because it sounds AMAZING!!!

1. Restaurantosaurus

Maybe not what you were expecting? A quick service restaurant when there’s Tiffins? For starters, I travel with picky eaters, and have been known to be one myself. Secondly, the last thing I want to do when I’m sweaty from Animal Kingdom is go to a super nice place to eat. And Restaurantosaurus LITERALLY has something for everyone, now that they offer the Impossible Burger! VEGANS RISE UP! I mean, I’m not a Vegan and I like meat, but since I have dietary restrictions, I appreciate restaurants that try to be all-inclusive, and serving the impossible burger is quite a start.

The theming is GREAT! Perfect for Dinosaur lovers! And there is ample seating inside and out.

So there you have it! My Top 5 (plus Tusker House) places to eat at Animal Kingdom! Did your favorite Nosh Pit make the cut?!

**As a reminder: Disney’s current policies require all guests ages 2 and up to wear face coverings at all times unless actively eating or drinking (while stationary) or for socially distant photos. Photos may not show current compliance, as they are older.

Looking to book a vacation? Contact me today for your FREE no obligation vacation quote today!

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Top Spots to Get Ice Cream at Walt Disney World

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Read Time:3 Minute, 3 Second

There is nothing better on a hot day in Central Florida, and Disney World has many places to go to get that perfect ice cream treat. Here, I present some of my favorite picks for ice cream spots.

10. Aloha Isle. I know I’m going a different direction than most Disney fans, but while I LOVE me some Dole Whip, it is not my favorite ice cream spot. For starters, if you want anything other than Dole Whip or vanilla, you’re not getting it here. Secondly, Dole Whip is not something inherently unique to Disney. Still, it is a must-do for me each and every trip!

9. Pineapple Lanai. This is basically Aloha Isle, with 2 distinct differences: since it is located in the Polynesian, you don’t need a park ticket to get a Dole Whip, and second, you can get the Dole Whip with rum. Also much like Aloha Isle, Pineapple Lanai offers some seasonal variations on the Dole Whip. I highly recommend getting yourself a Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai and eating it while walking to the Magic Kingdom.

8. The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. This place would literally be nothing special except for the fact that you can eat your ice cream while staring at Cinderella’s Castle. Plaza Ice Cream has still not reopened since being closed due to Covid, so check for availability.

7. Hollywood Scoops. This spot is a perfect stop for guests of the Hollywood Tower Hotel. But seriously…while there is nothing absolutely spectacular about Scoops, Hollywood Studios is an incredibly hot park, and ice cream is the perfect snack.

6. Storybook Treats. I’m bucking the trend here, because most people disregard this location, but I happen to love it. First of all, the Peter Pan float, which is lime Dole Whip with Sprite and a chocolate feather, is perfectly refreshing. If lime isn’t your thing, you can make a float with chocolate, vanilla, or swirl ice cream and fountain drink of your choice (COKE FLOAT!).

Photo via Disney Food Blog

5. Ghirardelli Soda Fountain. Located at Disney Springs, this popular spot is full of delicious goodies. If you make the journey to Disney Springs, I highly recommend it. I would rate it higher, but it is out at Disney Springs and I would rather go somewhere in the parks than to take a trip all the way out there just for ice cream.

Photo via Disney

4. Anandapur Ice Cream Truck. Let me tell you exactly why I love this place: pineapple Fanta float. Pineapple Fanta sounded, quite honestly, really gross until I had it in a float with delicious vanilla (highly underrated ice cream flavor) soft serve. So take a ride on Everest and then grab a snack and sit and rest.

3. Sunshine Tree Terrace. Sorry, Dole Whip lovers, but the Citrus Swirl is the superior treat, and that is why Sunshine Tree is ranked so much higher than Aloha. That and the better variety and, of course, pot stickers. Now, with the new mobile ordering, I might not even have a Dole Whip anymore. There. I said it. (Just kidding, I’ll totally still get one)

2. Beaches and Cream Soda Shop. I know it has the same Edy’s ice cream as the Plaza but HOLY MOLY what a different experience. First of all, there’s food. Secondly, Mickey and Minnie Souvenir Sinks. Third, cookie fries, Fourth, THE KITCHEN SINK.

Photo via Disney
  1. L’Artisan Des Glaces. Located in the France Pavilion, just trust me. Go there. Macaron “ice cream sandwich” or ice cream served with warm brioche. Ice Cream Martini. Just delicious and amazing.

So where is your ice cream go to? Planning a Disney trip? Contact me today!!

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Kona Cafe Breakfast

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Read Time:2 Minute, 0 Second

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I don’t know if that’s true, but I know that it’s my favorite meal of the day. Sweet, savory, and COFFEE collide to make everything better. One of the most excellent places to have breakfast is the Polynesian Resort. Unfortunately, Ohana is currently still closed, but you can get your noms on at Kona Cafe! Kona Cafe is known for it’s Tonga Toast.

My husband requests it every time he comes to Disney World with us. He says it’s the most amazing breakfast food on earth. For those of you with allergies, it is listed on the allergy menu as safe for fish/shellfish and peanut/tree nut allergies. That means my celiac self has never had it, but I’ve heard rumblings in the allergy community that you can request it directly from a chef, and they will make it for you. Same thing with making gluten-free macadamia nut pancakes. I will try it on my next trip and report back!

For my allergy meal, I had the eggs any style, with ham and potatoes, and I may have said “and can I please get some Mickey waffles, too?” and batted my eyes at them. I will not confirm or deny. I have also ordered the fruit plate, which was absolutely perfect on a hot summer day in Central Florida. I do recommend you attempt to eat a pineapple here. It really fits in with the Hawaiian theming. And pineapple is delicious!!

My daughter had pancakes that she said were delicious but not as good as mine because they didn’t have chocolate chips. She was able to order off of the kids menu even though she is technically older than “kid” by Disney standards. Which brings into question: if there’s nothing I like on the menu can I order off the kid’s menu? The answer is yes, but in certain scenarios, they may charge you an adult price and/or bring you an adult portion. Always ask your server.

Kona Cafe accepts advanced dining reservations, and they are strongly recommended. If you can’t get a reservation right away, keep checking! People cancel reservations and change reservations constantly. If you still can’t find a recommendation, check the My Disney Experience app and see if there is space available to join the walk up list. I promise, you won’t forget it!

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Mobile Ordering – Disney Parks

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Read Time:4 Minute, 51 Second

What is “Mobile Ordering?”

Mobile Ordering is the relatively new system available at Disney Parks that allows you to order your food before you even get to a Quick Service Restaurant. It is available at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and I have been blessed with the opportunity to try it out in both parks. Honestly, it’s a true game changer, and I do not know how we ever lived without it! It is basically like using the Starbucks app to order your coffee while on your way, instead of sitting in the drive thru line for an hour. Plain and simple, that’s truly it!

Mobile Ordering

In the days pre-Covid, you could waste a lot of time both waiting in line to order your food, and stalking eating families to you and your family a table. Mobile ordering has limited the amount of people inside the quick service locations, and cut the time you need to wait for your food. Now, that’s not to say there is absolutely no waiting, because in peak times, you might not find a restaurant that has open times, but you can now order when you get in line for Splash Mountain and by the time you’re done riding, you can go pick up your food! Pretty cool, especially for hangry kids (and adults).

Right but HOW Do I Do It?

Mobile ordering in disney parks person using a smartphone

The first thing you MUST do is download and install the My Disney Experience App. This is the guide that you cannot live without! It manages your reservation, your dining, photos, and more, like MOBILE ORDERING! This is also what you need in order to make Genie+ selections, but that is another story for another day. The important thing to note: get the app!

Step One: Choose Your Restaurant and Order Time
mobile ordering at casey's corner

As you can see, I chose Casey’s Corner, and I can arrive between “now – 11:30 PM.” You can choose your window based on the times available, but as it is nighttime, I simply chose what is open and when. So, theoretically, you could order something at Woody’s Lunchbox in Hollywood Studios for lunch at 2:00 PM as early as park opening, and then you will not have to wait!

Below the return time, the app shows you the break down available for that particular menu. In this case, there are specialty beverages, entrees, plant-based, snacks, and beverages. Each person in your party can order what they want, customized to their liking, and, when you’re ready, you hit order.

You will need to have your payment information either connected to your account (usually your credit card on file) or ready to enter. If you are using gift cards, you can enter them here.

Your Return Window Has Arrived

Assuming you have your pop-up notifications enabled for your My Disney Experience app (which you should, so you know what is going on!), you will get a notification that your return window has opened, and you may return to the restaurant. When you are close, select “I’m Here, Prepare My Order.”

Once you arrive at the restaurant, you’ll find cast members around the entrance, and you show them your app. This is the golden ticket to get inside. Some places will not let you in until your order shows as ready for pickup, while others will let you in to locate a seat while you wait for the pickup notice. It is all at cast member discretion and we LOVE cast members, so be nice to them!

Again, back in the before times, it wasn’t uncommon to see families split up to stalk the area for tables. Limited capacity makes that a bit less necessary now, thank goodness. You can pay via the app by using credit card, gift card, and rewards card. Save time and order while in line!

It Says It’s Ready, Now what?

When your food is ready, the app will tell you which window to pick up your order at, and give you the order number. This is how the cast members verify it is your food. It’s so simple!

What if I Have Food Allergies?

mobile ordering allergy menu

Living with food allergies is challenging enough. Traveling with food allergies can be full of anxiety. As someone with food allergies, I can report that Disney is AMAZING with food allergies.

Many locations, table service and quick service, have their allergy menus listed online and on the app now, including those restaurants that offer mobile ordering. It is a wonderful addition that makes things easier for people with food allergies.

If you or someone in your party has allergies outside of the top 8 or allergies that are anaphylactic and severe, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS speak to a cast member to make sure your food will be safe. The last thing anyone wants is to have something terrible happen on vacation. In this case, just go directly to the restaurant, don’t even try mobile ordering. Better safe than sorry is ALWAYS my mantra!

Most restaurants and snack shops also have ingredient binders, which is especially helpful because Disney is constantly changing ingredients and vendors. This is especially helpful for those at high risk of cross contamination. Curious about food allergies at Disney Parks?

Have You Tried Mobile Ordering?

So what about you? Have you tried Mobile Ordering yet? Did you like it? Hate it? My personal favorite has to be mobile ordering my daily Dole Whip! The lines at Aloha Isle are atrocious! Or ordering our breakfast at Jolly Holliday at Disneyland while walking to the park from our hotel!

Ready to plan your Walt Disney World or Disneyland Vacation? Contact me today for your free, no obligation vacation quote today or set up a free vacation consultation!

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Toy Story Land

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Read Time:5 Minute, 11 Second
Toy Story Land, July 2019 **As a reminder: Disney’s current policies require all guests ages 2 and up to wear face coverings at all times unless actively eating or drinking (while stationary) or for socially distant photos. Photos may not show current compliance, as they are older.

YOU. ARE. A. TOYYYYYYYYYY! Ever since Toy Story first came out in theaters, waaaaaay back in 1995, I have felt validated. I just KNEW my toys were playing with each other when I wasn’t in the room. In 2018, Walt Disney World brought Andy’s Backyard to life when they created Toy Story Land, located in Hollywood Studios. Now, you, too, can shrink down to the size of a toy and play with Andy’s toys right in his backyard! Featuring three rides, one quick service restaurant, and tons of exciting eye candy, this has quickly become one of my absolute favorite places to visit in Walt Disney World.

Personally, I think Slinky Dog Dash might be the most creative ride I’ve ever seen. Maybe not the most amazing ride (that’s totally Flight of Passage, YOU MUST CHECK IT OUT) or the most original ride, but the most creative, for sure. I always used to want to ride in my hot wheels on the track with the loop, and this is honest to goodness as close as that ever gets! First the basics, I would recommend this for all ages, except maybe for those with motion sickness issues. I had a friend that had an unfortunate trash can incident following this ride, so beware!! As long as you fit the height requirements (38″ and up!), you should be good to go. There are no massive drops and the one “big” drop is fairly slow. Sticking with the “you are a toy” theme of the land, you are a toy riding on Slinky Dog on a track that Andy built. (Pause for dramatic effect). My FAVORITE part of the ride is when it stops and pulls back, like Andy himself is pulling the train back to make it run.

Next, we hop over to Alien Swirling Saucers, for a super fun ride on some Aliens. YOU HAVE SAVED US! WE ARE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL!!! It is a swirling ride that is tons of fun. Height requirements are 32″ so basically everybody. It is a really fun ride but BEWARE: the line has nearly no shade, so if it is long, you will be incredibly hot.

Right outside of Aliens is a MASSIVE Buzz Lightyear, perfect for all your photo opportunities! This is especially awesome in COVID-times, when you may not have the opportunity to take a close-up photo WITH Buzz Lightyear (which, when/if character meet and greets resume, I highly highly recommend. And tell him you’re Mrs. Nesbitt.)

Woody’s Lunchbox is the quick service restaurant that is currently open and available with mobile ordering in Toy Story Land. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, unique beverages (including adult beverages), this is one of my favorite dining locations inside the parks. Tip #1: use mobile ordering, even if we ever get out of the COVID-times. It is so simple and so easy and so convenient. If you’re standing in line with your family for Slinky Dog and your six year old is starting to get hangry, simply open your My Disney Experience app, go to Woody’s Lunchbox in mobile ordering, and order your family’s meals. When you get done riding Slinky, then, open the app and tell them you’re on your way. They will start making your food then so that when you arrive, it will be ready! HOW GREAT IS THAT? For those dining with allergies, Woody’s has got you covered!

For starters, dining with Disney AND food allergies is absolutely AMAZING. I have food allergies and I have never once (knock on wood) gotten sick at Disney. Having said that, I also do not have any anaphylactic reactions, so I trust the menus for the most part. If you or someone in your party have anaphylactic allergies, DO NOT eat without talking directly to a chef!!! In this case, the menus are a good guide and you will have an idea of what to order once you get there. If you trust yourself, your allergy, and Disney enough to mobile order via the allergy menus, absolutely do it and save time. But if you want to speak to the chef at Woody’s to set your mind at ease when ordering, I highly recommend it. And sometimes, the chef may be able to make allergy substitutions on something that isn’t necessarily on the allergy menu. For me, it’s Celiac. I would not enjoy a Disney vacation during a Celiac reaction, so I check menus closely. At Woody’s, I LOVE THE TOTCHOS. OMG SO GOOD. My daughter loves the delicious grilled cheese and my husband likes food, so everything is fair game!

The final ride in Toy Story Land is Toy Story Midway Mania. It is a 3D ride set up like a carnival-style game. If your family is super competitive BEWARE. This game may bring out the fighting side of everybody! It is not a new ride to Hollywood Studios, but it is still perfectly themed to Toy Story Land. And the queue is SO UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME! Toys, games, drawings, Mr. Potato Head….I am not usually someone that tolerates standing in lines longer than 30 minutes, but honestly there is no shortage of things to look at while waiting to ride this ride.

From the barrel of monkeys hanging up to the Uno cards Andy used to make this ride, there is nothing the Imagineers didn’t think of. Toy Story Land is a fully immersive land that kids and kids at heart will absolutely love! You will truly feel like you are a toy!

Contact me today to book your vacation and get to see Toy Story Land in person!!

**As a reminder: Disney’s current policies require all guests ages 2 and up to wear face coverings at all times unless actively eating or drinking (while stationary) or for socially distant photos. Photos may not show current compliance, as they are older.

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