Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

To be honest I was unsure how this dinner was going to go. Five princesses, three boys, and on the last night of our trip. However, despite A’s face above, the boys loved it. Let me preface, as other reviews have stated, this meal is really all about the princess experience. Our dinner meal was fine, but both B and I agreed that the appetizer buffet and desserts were the highlight. The appetizer buffet was mainly crudités, cheeses (the smoked Norwegian goat cheese was so good we are trying to find it at home), and rolls and honestly I could’ve just eaten that.

As for the desserts (my picture was blurry because the lighting was low):

They were very good, but my very favorite was the little apple brown butter cake in the middle. It was so good!

Other highlights besides food were the princess meetings:

And the Royal processional that all the girls seemed to know what it was about, but my boys were quite confused:

Overall, I was glad that we decided to go! I don’t know if we’d go there again because princesses aren’t high on the boys’ lists of characters to meet, but it was definitely worth it to at least experience it once.

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The polite pig

In a little corner of Disney Springs, is a bustling BBQ joint, with exposed pipe work, craft beers, and a guy literally making the brisket right in front of your eyes. This was our first eating stop (a quick service credit on the dining plan) at Disney, and despite it being very busy we quickly ordered and found a table.

J was slightly excited to be at Disney, if you couldn’t tell. We ordered pulled pork, brisket, Mac and Cheese, and chicken strips:

The kids’ meals were okay. The mac and cheese was okay (a little over sauced), and the chicken strips were what you expect from a kids’ meal. I have to say my favorite of everything was the sides (sweet potato tater totes and fried cauliflower). The pork was super tender, and I would rate the brisket as “fine”, but I’m biased because B’s brisket is so amazing.

Overall, I like the style of the restaurant, the food is kid friendly and it’s a good expenditure of quick service credits if you are on the dining plan!

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Wilderness Explorers

Hidden among the rides and animals:

Is a lesser advertised adventure full of animal information:

The Wilderness Explorers!

The boys picked up a Wilderness Explorers guide on the way in the park and they literally took us through the entire park. The only stops we made were for lunch and our fast passes, but other than that they were collecting “badges” (stickers) learning about all the different wildlife.

They found each of the guides and learned about animal habitats, conservation, and how animals help us every day:

In addition to all the information, I think they enjoyed that they were taking us through the park, instead of us leading the, from place to place. We really enjoyed it because we were able to sit! And chat with each other off to the side while the boys worked on their badges.

This to me is the true uniqueness of Disney, that you can be among all these rides and attractions, but also have a calmer more laid back experience. Which truly makes it more of a vacation, rather than a trip you need a vacation from after you get home!

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DW: The snack element

DW: SnacksWhen we started planning our Disney trip we did some initial budgeting and pricing and decided that the dining plan would be a good choice for our trip. One of my favorite things about going to Disney is the table service restaurants and with the character dining we were going to do, we decided it would be a good budget choice. This is a little bit more about the snack portion of the plan, which by far was the trickiest for us to keep up with…

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Favorite Souvenirs

DW: Favorite Disney SouvenirsI still have a few Disney posts left! Next up is our favorite souvenirs from the trip. The items that I’m featuring are “park exclusives”, but many of them you can order on the Disney Parks App. The boys (B included) purchased several books, however, I have to say you can get the books MUCH cheaper on Amazon (yes, I price checked). In the future I think I would tell them boys I would collect their book list and then have them shipped to arrive at our house when we returned from the trip. So that set aside here is what I thought were very much worth the purchase (and the boys still play with and love).

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Disney World…Sunshine Seasons

DW: Sunshine SeasonsI love both The Land and The Seas at Epcot because A) They are well air conditioned, and B) The rides are typically easy to walk on to (minus Soarin’) and C) They have good food choices for both quick service and table service. One of those quick service choices is Sunshine Seasons at The Land. Here is a little more about it…

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Disney World…Favorite Downtime Spots

DW: Favorite Downtime SpotsOne of the best pieces of advice I had read before we headed to Disney was in order for kids of the boys age to really enjoy it, it’s smart to give them time to just “be” and experience downtime in the parks. As crowded as Disney World can be during the summer this may seem impossible, but we found some spots to enjoy the park without standing in a line…

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Disney World: Favorite Rides

DW: Favorite RidesWe tried to fit in as many rides as possible (including this score ride of walking on to Pirates of the Caribbean at 9 a.m.). The two big ones that we missed were the Tomorrowland Speedway and Test Track, but that gives us something to look forward to for next time! A typically liked the slower rides and J is definitely our thrill seeker and wanted to ride every fast ride he was tall enough for (which was almost everything). Here’s a few more of the rides (and my panicked face)…

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