Yak and Yeti

Friends, I was so excited to go to Yak and Yeti! We had avoided it for several Disney visits because I wasn’t sure how we could make it work with the boys’ food allergies. However, I did quite a bit of research and managed to find options for all of us. This was also where A discovered his love of dumplings…

And he’s been obsessed ever since! While we were enjoying our appetizers, we checked out the menu. Look how fun the kid’s menu is!

B got the burger (yes, they have a burger) as did the boys….

I chose the sweet and sour chicken, with fried rice and it was excellent:

But let’s be honest. There’s one reason that I came to Yak and Yeti, and that’s for the mango pie:

It was absolutely perfect. Creamy and sweet, but not overly sugary. It was the perfect ending to the meal! Afterward we wandered back out and ventured into Pandora at night, which was a great way to end the evening!

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Be Our Guest

This was one of our most highly anticipated dining reservations, in part because when we went to Disney in 2017 we had to cancel our reservation due to the boys getting sick. We rebooked it for this trip, and it’s definitely one you want to get a reservation for. The standby line to get in the restaurant was long. Let me re-emphasize that by saying that was the line to be put on a wait list, not the actual waiting time. Anyway, we ordered ahead through mobile order (one of the few restaurants right now that requests you do that), and then walked up to an outside stand and got a rose, that we then brought inside, and then you pick a table. Somehow they know how to find you, even though I think we returned the rose. We picked the room with the dancing Belle and Beast because that seemed like the obvious choice:

The paintings on the wall were also lovely:

We waited about ten minutes and then our lunch arrived. I got the roast beef sandwich with consommé:

B got a carved turkey sandwich:

And the boys got assemble your own pasta, which they loved:

It was all very good! This is one of the pricier quick service meals (let’s face it, part of the reason you’re eating here is to see the inside of the Beast’s castle because it’s the only way to see it), but we all really enjoyed the food, and the boys liked that it comes on a fancy cart straight to the table. I would definitely add it to your trip list for these reasons and because I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually becomes table service for lunch.

In addition this was our food reservation heavy day (we had three). If you want to go to several restaurants in the Magic Kingdom area, here is an idea of what we did:

  • Breakfast: Ohana 7:50 a.m.
  • Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • It’s a small world 
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Lunch: Be Our Guest 12:20 p.m.
  • Seven Dwarves 1:05-2:05 FP x 2 B & J
  • Little Mermaid 1:10-2:10 FP x 2 N & A
  • Carousel of Progress
  • Space Mountain 3:10-4:10 FP x 2 B & J
  • Tomorrowland Speedway 2:30-3:30 FP x 2 N & A
  • Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor 
  • Buzz Lightyear 4:35-5:35 FP x 4 
  • Dinner: Ohana 6:50 p.m.

This worked really well because it was on a Saturday and the park started off not too bad and then got really crowded. It was so crowded that after we had dinner at Ohana we headed back to our hotel because we didn’t feel like fighting the crowds again to see the fireworks. Happy trip planning!

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Ohana 2018

I did a review of the dinner at Ohana two years ago, however, I’m reviewing it again because one of the main questions people have about Disney dining is the consistency. I can say that we’ve had dinner at Ohana three years in a row and it is consistently great. The service has always been spot on, the atmosphere is wonderful, and the food is really fresh and delicious. In case you haven’t been to Ohana for dinner here is a run down of the food. Located within The Polynesian Resort, Ohana dinners are served family style, so there isn’t a menu to pick and choose from.

You start with ‘Ohana Pineapple-Coconut Bread

And then they bring out Mixed Greens Salad with a Lilikoi dressing

Then you get a Pork Dumplings tossed in Garlic-Ginger Sauce And Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings

And then they start bringing out all of the meats cooked over an oak fire grill

Our favorite is the sweet and sour chicken and the peel and eat shrimp (the sirloin steak is fine, but we have found that sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s just okay):

And then when you finally think you can’t eat anymore…

They bring out bread pudding with ice cream and warmed caramel sauce

And you definitely eat all of that too. We love Ohana and no matter what reservations we make at Disney, it’s always on our list. This is definitely a place to make an advanced dining reservation and if you are staying at a Disney resort, you want to put it as one of your first places to reserve.

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Flame Tree Barbecue

I have to share our favorite quick service restaurant in Animal Kingdom, and maybe all of Disney. The boys liked it so much the asked to go back there for dinner on our next trip. It is situated near Discovery Island in Animal Kingdom, and it has all outdoor seating. While the outdoor seating may be a bit of deterrent, there is tons of it and several areas with roof tops and shading. We made use of mobile order for this meal and it was a great idea because it was quite busy that day.

B and A split the ribs, chicken, and pork sampler platter:

J got a hot dog

And I had the pulled pork French fries

The food is simple, straightforward, but so delicious! It is really good barbecue, and the switch-up from typical pizza or chicken nuggets for lunch was great. Here’s a breakdown of how we set-up our day at Animal Kingdom:

  • Wilderness Explorer Books
  • Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Jungle Juice Slush @ Tambu Tambu- Snack
  • Pretzel – Snack
  • Gorilla Falls Trail
  • Lunch: Flame Tree BBQ QS 11:00
  • Kali River Rapids – FP x 4 12:25-1:25
  • Dinosaur 1:50-2:50 FP x 2 B & J
  • Boneyard
  • Snack- Apple cider donut holes
  • Navi River Journey 3:05-4:05 FP x 2 N & A
  • Flight of Passage x 2 3:25-4:25 FP x 2 B & J
  • Expedition Everest x 2 4:40-5:40 N & A
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Flights of Wonder

We ordered lunch at the Gorilla Falls Trail, And then set it to be picked up about 11:15. As you can tell from our list, A is not big on the faster rides, so we split up our fast passes to reflect that. There are times that B & J used A & I’s magic bands, and A and I would grab a snack or get in a character meeting line. I plan the routes so we spend as little time as possible trekking back and forth across the park. Happy planning and eating!

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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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Big Top Souvenirs

 

We had a blast at Disney last week and I can’t wait to share all of our adventures, treats, and eats with you! First up, I had to share the boys’ favorite store/candy shop in Magic Kingdom. Storybook Circus is tucked away behind new Fantasyland and it houses a splash pad, the Dumbo ride, several circus themed character meet and greets, and the Barnstormer ride. The only time we entered Storybook Circus before this trip was when we were collecting candy at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party last year. Friends, we were missing out! We entered Storybook Circus on a whim this year, and we were able to walk on to the Barnstormer ride. We also headed into Big Top Souvenirs, and found a treasure trove of unique items.

First, in addition to many adorable plushies (Dumbo and his Mom!) there were more Tsum Tsums than any other shop we’d seen…

Including Wreck it Ralph Tsum Tsums that are currently not available elsewhere:

 

 

Then they also have a candy counter in the center that you can watch the cast members make the candy:

And they have a variety of sweets, including cake pops, candy apples, and rice crispy Mickey ears:

 

 

After much deliberation the boys settled on m&m coated Mickey ears:

And they tasted as good as they looked!

Big Top Souvenirs is now a must stop on our next trip! And speaking of the perfect treat, this kid here:

Is a perfect ten today! We were so glad to celebrate his birthday last week at Disney! He is kind, smart, funny, and my forever snack connoisseur and shopping buddy. He’s the best and we love him to pieces!

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Five new things for our Disney trip

We’ve learned a few things over our past two trips to Disney, so I thought I’d share five new things that we are either bringing on our next trip!

First up is new raincoats for the boys. Their raincoats from the last trip worked fine, but they complained about how sticky they were with the humidity, so I’ve purchased some sturdier coats that still fold up well.

 

Second, is Teva sandals. On our past two trips they’ve worn closed toe shoes, like these, but now that they are older, they wanted to wear flip flops, and Teva sandals were our compromise.

 

Third, is Disney gift cards. If you have a Target Card you can get Disney gift cards at a five percent discount. This means a set limit for souvenirs for the boys and hopefully a lot less complaining.

 

Fourth, is new cushioned flip flops for me because I wore out the soles on my old reef flip flops on our last trip:

Fifth, is AT LEAST four extra outfits for each person beyond outfits for everyday. There are some days that it is so hot, or you get soaked on a ride that you need to change back at the hotel. Both of our previous trips I have run out of clothes for everyone by the end of the trip.

This day was the hottest day of any of the trips we’ve been on. We went back to the hotel, changed, and went back out on this day.

And that’s our top five new things we’re bringing to Disney this year! We’re counting down the weeks!!

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