Best Friends Character Breakfast

The week after we had made our table service reservations (180 days in advance), J asked if we were doing a character meal. When we said no, he started to pout out his lip and said “but then how will I visit with Mickey?” So I went back through the list of character meals and started watching to see if the Ohana Best Friends Breakfast had availablity. Luckily, one day there was a 7:50 a.m. reservation and I grabbed it. We have been to several character meals now, and our favorites are the “family style” rather than the buffet. Family style means there is a set amount of food they bring to the table, so there’s no getting up and down, and you don’t run the risk of missing a character, or feeling like you can’t go get food because you’re afraid to miss a character.

At the Ohana breakfast you get to see Lilo,

Stitch,

Mickey,

And Pluto after the meal,

This was the only aspect of the meal that I didn’t like. Pluto is outside the restaurant with a Disney photographer and while you do get an official photo, anyone in the hotel can get in line to meet Pluto, so we ended up standing in line for fifteen minutes waiting.

The meal itself is delicious with pineapple sweet bread,

A platter of scrambled eggs, Mickey waffles, sausage, biscuits, and ham,

And fresh fruit,

You also get POG juice (pineapple, orange, guava), and coffee. And great views:

 

Overall, it was an excellent meal! Our server was fantastic, the food was delicious, and the boys enjoyed visiting with the characters and the parade through the restaurant. The other thing we did which worked out great was drove and parked at The Polynesian because we also were having dinner at Ohana that night.

We took the monorail into the Magic Kingdom and then when we left after dinner we drove back to our resort, which was a lot easier than taking a bus back. A great idea if you have your vehicle with you!

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Lunch at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Before our Disney trip I blogged about our decision to spend our nonpark day at Animal Kingdom Lodge. We were hoping to see some animals and after some waiting, we did! At the time we were there they were renovating the pool, so quite a few of their scheduled outdoor activities didn’t seem to be taking place, so we wandered a bit, played on the playground, and had lunch at The Mara. Here is a bit more about our visit and our lunch!

We started by checking out the savannah and caught sight of some sunning birds…

We searched for giraffes, but they weren’t out, so we headed to The Mara for lunch. The boys had standard kids’ menu food (chicken nuggets, salad, French fries). B had a turkey sandwich on ciabatta:

As you’ve read before, B has quite a few food allergies, so this isn’t specifically a sandwich they have on the menu (they have something similar). The kitchen staff was awesome and made the sandwich to order. I had the flatbread pizza, which was fresh, straightforward, and enough to split with a friend (or your kids who like tomatoes)….

Overall, our lunch was simple, but delicious, and I love quick service that has a variety of choices, and The Mara definitely does. After having lunch we played some games at the arcade:

Good to note that if you get an arcade card at one resort it works at others (at least ours worked at both Animal Kingdom Lodge and The Beach Club). After we got done at the arcade we headed back out to see if any other animals had showed up and they had!

 

 

While Animal Kingdom Lodge is farther out than a lot of the resorts the animals and amazing theming of the hotel makes it worth it to visit. One of my favorite parts was the boys sitting with a cast member creating imprint shadings:

 

And the boys’ favorite part was playing on the playground:

And relaxing:

It was a great start to our vacation and the boys definitely have caught the resort hopping bug, they were already asking which resort we are visiting next time!

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Via Napoli

Is this our favorite pizza location in Disney World? Yes, yes it is. Why is it our favorite? Two words: no onions. Well, that and it’s delicious. But also no onions! Via Napoli makes their wood fire pizzas Neapolitan style, which means no onions in the sauce. It was delicious! I had the margharita pizza:

It had a perfect chew and spread of mozzarella, the basil was a bit lacking in placement, but other than that it was great.

B had pepperoni pizza:

Perfect little cups of spicy pepperoni spread out over fresh mozzarella with juicy tomato sauce and a perfectly fired crust with they chew you expect from a Neapolitan pizza.

And the boys had spaghetti:

Overall our food was delicious, our server was fantastic, and we left completely stuffed!

There are a few things that we noted for our next trip (because we will definitely go again), that I wanted to share. First, ask for a table near the wood fire grill. This isn’t a guarantee, of course, but I thought all the tables were in the room with the wood fire grill, and they are not. This was just a personal preference on my part, that I thought the boys (alright, me) would enjoy watching them make the pizzas. That’s not to say the other rooms aren’t fine, they are, but the wood fire grill area is especially neat. Second, get the red sangria. This is just good advice all around. Ha! But seriously, it was fruity,refreshing, and delicious. Third, make an advanced dining reservation. They were turning people away when we checked in for our reservation, so this is definitely a place that fills up. This is a place to put on your list for Epcot!

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Coral Reef Review

This was our second trip to Coral Reef in Epcot, and it was much improved from our first meal. The first time we ate at Coral Reef two years ago, our food was okay, our table was decent, and our waiter was fine. On this trip I requested a table by the aquarium (which we got), the food was excellent, and our waiter was wonderful. My advice with this is never count a Disney restaurant out. This was my husband’s pick on this trip, and I was reluctant to go. However, when the boys left the restaurant still chatting with the waiter and flying their Buzz Lightyear light up toys, I was sad it was already over! Now to share more about our experience!

Here is our friend that sat by J throughout dinner:

And A checking out the kids’ menu:

We started out with a basket of rolls (always a win in my book). These were fabulously fluffy yeast rolls, sprinkled with flour, and served with fresh butter:

Next we ordered the calamari appetizer. These were a tad salty for me (but I hardly like salt at all), otherwise they were perfectly tender, and the boys ate them up. They come with a very light corn salsa, which is a refreshing twist on the typical cocktail sauce you get with calamari.

For the boys’ meals A ordered Alfredo shells, which were creamy and rich:

And J ordered shrimp and grits, which were not overly spicy, so it was very apparent that the chef was mindful that this was a kid dish (which I appreciated greatly!):

The boys ordered fruit cups with their meals which were filled with fresh fruit:

I ordered the seared mahi mahi with jasmine rice, coconut and cilantro-lime sauce, and avocado mango salsa. The fish was flaky and tender, the salsa was refreshing, and I can see why it’s one of their highly recommended dishes:

And B ordered the grilled sirloin steak, and the steak was exactly medium as he requested and the mashed potatoes and creamed spinach were shared around the table!

And finally, the boys had ice cream sandwiches for dessert that were truly a sight to behold:

Fruity pebble “bread” with vanilla ice cream center and a chocolate pearl. Very instagrammable! They were a little tricky to eat, but they managed to make the fruity pebbles not taste overly sweet, and they kept their crispiness with a great chew added by the marshmallow.

The boys left the restaurant  zooming Buzz Lightyears through Epcot:

That matched the glow of Spaceship Earth:

And then we took a quick trip on the Nemo and Friends ride:

To finish off a great dinner and evening!

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