One of the best things about a Disney trip is the food! – Oct. 2016 Trip (Complete 4/13/17)

I just returned last Friday from a trip to Walt Disney World (Oct. 25 – Nov. 4, 2016) and as usual, one of the things I enjoyed most about this trip was the FOOD!   During my 10 days there I was able to check off some new Disney dining experiences from my list, as well as return to a few of my tried and true favorites.   Here is a list of the places/events which I will be reviewing in this trip report:

Table service Restaurants

  1. Captain’s Grille Dinner (Yacht Club)
  2. Morimoto Asia Dinner (Disney Springs)
  3. Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria Dinner (Epcot, Italy)
  4. Tiffins Lunch (Animal Kingdom)
  5. Liberty Tree Tavern Lunch (Magic Kingdom)
  6. Flying Fish Dinner (Disney’s Boardwalk)
  7. Garden Grill Character Breakfast (Epcot)
  8. California Grill Dinner (Contemporary Resort)
  9. Grand Floridian Cafe Breakfast (Grand Floridian Resort)
  10. Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian’s Garden View Tea Room
  11. Narcoossee’s for Dessert, WISHES, and more! (Grand Floridian Resort)
  12. ‘Ohana Breakfast (Polynesian Village Resort)
  13. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Dinner (Disney Springs)
  14. Chef Mickey’s Breakfast  (Contemporary Resort)
  15. Lunch at Frontera Cocina by Chef Rick Bayless (Disney Springs)
  16. 50’s Prime Time Cafe Lunch (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Quick service/Specialty Shops/Kiosks

  1. Starring Rolls Café (Hollywood Studios)
  2. Amorette’s Patisserie (Disney Springs)
  3. Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie (Epcot, France)
  4. Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery (Animal Kingdom)
  5. Creature Comforts Coffee Shop (Animal Kingdom)
  6. Gaston’s Tavern (Magic Kingdom)
  7. Boardwalk Bakery (Disney’s Boardwalk)
  8. Joy of Tea (Epcot, China)
  9. Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (Epcot, Norway)
  10. Ample Hills Creamery (Boardwalk)
  11. Karamell-Küche (Epcot, Germany)
  12. Roaring Fork Breakfast (Wilderness Lodge Resort)

Bars & Lounges

  1. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar (Disney Springs)
  2. Rose & Crown Pub  (Epcot)
  3. Dawa Bar  (Animal Kingdom)
  4. Yak & Yeti Bar (Animal Kingdom)
  5. AbracadaBar (Disney’s Boardwalk)
  6. Territory Lounge  – Round 1 (Wilderness Lodge Resort)
  7. A Look Inside the Display Case at Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar (Epcot, Italy)
  8. Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace & Grog Grotto (Polynesian Village Resort)
  9. Tambu Lounge (Polynesian Village Resort)
  10. Territory Lounge – Round 2 & 3 (Wilderness Lodge Resort

Special Food & Wine Festival Events & Booths

  1. Food & Wine Pairing Lunch at The Wave (Contemporary Resort)
  2. Chef Andrew Yeo’s (Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island) Culinary Demonstration (Epcot)
  3. Our tour of 20+ Epcot Food & Wine Festival Booths
  4. Party for the Senses held Oct. 28, 2016 (Epcot)
  5. Swan and Dolphin’s Food & Wine Classic held on Oct. 29, 2106 (Swan & Dolphin Resort)
  6. French Family Meal Traditions Lunch held at Monsieur Paul on Oct. 30, 2016 (Epcot)
  7. Italian Regional Food & Wine Pairing Lunch held at Tutto Gusto on Nov. 2, 2016 (Epcot)

Miscellaneous

  1. Yacht Club Room 4235 Review
  2. Halloween at the Boardwalk
  3. Wilderness Lodge Room 4046 – Standard View?? 
  4. Sunrise from the Wilderness Lodge Boat Dock

And that just leaves an introduction to our cast of characters for this Disney World dining adventure.  I was fortunate to be able to spend much of my trip with this great couple…

Barb (me), Hunter & Paula

But off and on throughout the trip we were joined by other friends…

From left to right: Beth, Barb (me), Mike & Niki, Hunter & Paula, and Rachel

So please join me and my friends as we eat and drink our way through Disney World! Oh, and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions along the way.  It makes the “journey” much more enjoyable when I know who’s along for the ride.  ;)

Now let’s get started, shall we?  

ARRIVAL DAY – TUESDAY, OCT. 25  – Yacht Club

My flight was about 15 minutes late getting into the Orlando airport, touching down at about 7:15 p.m.  I was worried I would be late for our 8:15 dinner reservation.  I texted Paula to let her know I would probably be late and she replied that they were already at the Yacht Club having a pre-dinner cocktail at the Crew’s Cup Lounge.  She was told at the restaurant’s check-in desk that as long as we were seated by 9:00 p.m. it would be fine.  So I relaxed a little once I had boarded my Magical Express bus at 7:50.  But then we sat and waited, and waited some more…for 20 minutes!!  Finally at 8:10 we left the airport and were on our way to Walt Disney World.   And thankfully the first of our three stops was mine…the Yacht Club!

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So by 8:45 (1 1/2 hours after my plane touched down at the airport) I was standing at the podium for the restaurant where I was to have the first meal of my trip…

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Arrival Night Dinner at Captain’s Grill

It was about 10:15 when we finished dinner.  After a long day of travel I was ready to find my room there at the Yacht Club and get to bed.  So I said my goodbyes to Paula and Hunter (but only until tomorrow) and jumped on the elevator in search of Room 4235.

Review of Yacht Club Room 4235

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26 – Hollywood Studios, Contemporary Resort, Disney Springs

The plan for this morning was to meet up with Paula & Hunter at Hollywood Studios so that I could go on one of my favorite WDW rides, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, before it closed the next day for a two week refurbishment.

However, I arrived at the park early and had some time to kill so headed to Starring Rolls Cafe in search of breakfast.

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Starring Rolls Café Breakfast

Just as I was finishing my last few sips of coffee, I spotted Paula and Hunter so it was time to use our only Fast Passes for this day to ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster…

While in the photo it looks like I was in pain, I assure you that I was not.  I LOVE THIS RIDE! :thumbsup2

It was then time to leave the park and catch a bus to the Contemporary Resort…

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…for our lunch at The Wave.

Food & Wine Pairing Lunch at The Wave

After lunch we hopped on a bus to Disney Springs, and we were the only ones on the bus…

Well, except for our driver…

…who was a Mickey ears wearing, fun-loving guy!

So the fun continued with some on-the-road selfies…

And then at Disney Springs…

What happens at Disney Springs, stays in Disney Springs…except when it’s captured on film by a Photopass photographer.  ;) :laughing:

But what’s even sweeter than Hunter?   Hmmm,perhaps something at…

A Visit to Amorette’s Patisserie

After further exploration of Disney Springs, we decided to quench our thirst at…

Happy Hour at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

While still at the Hangar Bar, we met up with our friend, Beth.   Later the 4 of us moved on for our dinner at…

Dinner at Morimoto Asia

Following our dinner, I did something that I’d wanted to do at Disney World for at least five years.

Yes, after many unsuccessful attempts on my previous trips to the World, I finally made it to Port Orleans Riverside to see Yehaa Bob Jackson perform.  And I was not disappointed!   So my advice to anyone who hasn’t yet seen Yehaa Bob is to get your butt over to the River Roost Lounge, ASAP!!!  Oh, and FYI, he performs there most Wednesday through Saturday nights from 8:30 – 11:45 but you should check out the schedule on his website at yehaabob.com just to be sure.

We finished out our evening by having our picture taken with the very friendly and talented Bob Jackson…

And he even posted our photo on Facebook…

Check out Bob’s Facebook account to see all of the fun photos he takes with many of his devoted fans.

And with that, it was back to my room at the Yacht Club and one last look at the nighttime view from my balcony before going to bed…because tomorrow I would be moving to the Boardwalk Inn.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER  27 – Epcot, Boardwalk Inn

Today I was up early to pack my bags and send them off with a bellman to be transported across Crescent Lake.   Their destination was my home for the next 5 nights of my trip…

But before reuniting with my luggage there, I spent a fun (& food)-filled day and evening with my friends at Epcot.  My day there began shortly after the park opened at 9:00 a.m.   Entering through the International Gateway it was a short and easy walk to France…

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…the home of my breakfast destination.

Boulangerie Patisserie Breakfast

Following my leisurely breakfast eaten at one of the outside tables in France, I ventured into Future World to ride my favorite WDW ride Soarin’ for the first time since being revamped.  And while I loved it when it was limited to just flying over the state of California, I love it even more now that its horizons have been greatly expanded.  I do though miss the smell from the orange groves. ;)  So what do you all think of the new version of Soarin’?

Anyway, after Soarin’ I met up with my friends, Paula and Hunter, to ride Spaceship Earth and then we proceeded to the Festival Welcome Center to pick up our demo tickets and check out the special Food & Wine Festival merchandise being sold there.  Soon it was time to get in line to get good seats for our 12:00…

Culinary Demonstration by Chef Andrew Yeo, The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island

Following the culinary demo we did the loooong cross country trek through Epcot to the American pavilion so that we could get our wristbands from the Chase Lounge.  The wristbands were for seating in the Chase reserved section at one of that night’s Eat to the Beat concerts.  The wristbands are for Disney Chase VISA customers only and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.   Once we had secured our wristbands for the 6:45 show, we were ready to begin Round 1 at the Food & Wine booths, starting at the nearby Hops & Barley booth…

Hops and Barley Booth

Our tour of Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival booths

While in the area of the Belgium booth, we met up with our friend Vicki and her husband, Jay.   Together we proceeded to France and Vicki and Jay treated us to a frozen cocktail from the kiosk there.

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Les Vins de France Kiosk (aka the Adult Slushie Stand)

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As always, I chose the Grand Marnier Orange Slush and as always, it was delicious!  It looks like Paula also got the orange but Vicki went with the lemon.  As for Hunter, it seems that he opted for a glass of wine.  They sell wine here too??  Who knew?  ;)

We enjoyed our cocktails together in France…

And one more photo, because I love this one of Hunter and Paula…

It was great to see Vicki again, as I had not seen her since our Disney Divas trip in Dec. 2013.  And it was nice to finally meet Jay.  Sadly this was the only time our trip schedules matched up but hopefully I will see them again next year for the F & W festival.  Let’s definitely not wait another (almost) three years! :thumbsup2

By about 4:00 we were feeling a little parched and in need of a cocktail.  And as luck would have it, we were in the United Kingdom area and within a few steps of the…

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Happy Hour at the Rose & Crown Pub

Eventually it was time to give up our prime real estate (a table and four chairs ;)  ) at the pub and make our way towards the American Gardens Theater in the American Adventure Pavilion for the Eat to the Beat concert, which we had gotten Chase Disney VISA wristbands for earlier in the day.

My camera battery had died earlier and I only took a video at the concert with my phone.  However, I’ve discovered that posting videos is not allowed by WordPress on their free blogs, so I’m afraid you will just have to imagine Billy Ocean singing, “Get Outta my Dreams, Get into My Car”.  And trust me that he was awesome! ;)

Our next stop before checking in at Via Napoli was for a pre-dinner limoncello toast at Italy’s Enoteca…

Although I’ve never really been a fan of this Italian lemon liqueur, I must admit that the limoncello shot went down pretty easily.  Salute!

Then it was time for PIZZA!!!

Our Dinner at Via Napoli

After dinner it was time to find my new home for the next 5 nights, Room 3297 at the Boardwalk Inn…

Yep, just a regular room, not like the huge room I was lucky to have during my last stay at the Boardwalk Inn in Oct 2015.

And the next morning, in the light of day, I went outside onto my balcony to check out my view…

This is the covered walkway that leads to the bus transportation area for the Boardwalk resort.  Nothing to write home about there.  :laughing:   I’d gotten exactly what I’d paid for, a standard room with a standard view.  And that was fine with me, because with my busy trip schedule I wouldn’t be spending much time in it anyway.  ;)

And speaking of that busy schedule, it’s time to move on to Day 4…

FRIDAY, OCTOBER  28 – Animal Kingdom, Epcot for the Party for the Senses

I met up with my friends, Paula, Hunter and Beth, at Animal Kingdom.  Our first Fast Pass was for the safari ride, but I arrived in Africa before my friends.  So I decided to grab a bite to eat and a cup of coffee from the nearby…

Breakfast from Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery

Paula and Hunter arrived as I was taking my last few sips of coffee, so it was safari time…

While out on the Reserve we encountered all the usual suspects, including flamingo…

Alligators…or are these crocodiles???  I can never tell the difference, lol.

Giraffe…

And elephants…

But we did get to see something that is not a common occurrence…

The lion out in plain sight and awake.

If only he would have turned his head this would have been an awesome shot…

But alas, he was camera shy.  Perhaps one of these days I will get a good photo of this lion, lol.

Following our safari we were milling about in Africa trying to decide what to do next.  We had planned to attend the 10:00 Festival of the Lion King show but we were too late for that.  So as we were mulling over our other options, I noticed this very photogenic setting…

While I had seen and admired photos of the Bicycle Land on Instagram, I never knew exactly where in Animal Kingdom it is located.  I won’t give its location away though (other than that it’s somewhere in the Africa section of the park) and let you have the fun of finding it for yourself (if you are so inclined).

Soon we found ourselves near Tusker House and the bar next door…

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My First-Ever Visit to the Dawa Bar

Beth joined us while we were at the Dawa Bar and eventually the 4 of us made our way from Africa to the Discovery Island area of the park to have lunch at…

Our Lunch at Tiffins

Sorry I’ve been away from my blog for so long.  I was back at Disney World from Dec. 10 – 19 and then came Christmas and all which that entails.  But I’m back now and hopefully able to update on a regular basis.   

So picking up where I left off at Animal Kingdom.  Following our lunch at Tiffins, we stopped in at the nearby coffee shop for Hunter’s Starbucks drink.

A Visit to Creature Comforts Coffee Shop (Starbucks)

Before leaving the park later that afternoon, we decided to check out the bar at…

Drinks and Snacks at the Yak & Yeti bar

After our visit to Yak & Yeti we all left Animal Kingdom and returned to our resorts to get ready for the Party.  Before you know it, it was time to meet my friends at Epcot for the…

Party for the Senses held on Friday, Oct. 28th (Yelloween Masquerade)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29 – Magic Kingdom, Food & Wine Classic (Swan & Dolphin)

On Saturday morning I met up with Paula and Hunter at Magic Kingdom…

But I arrived early and was hungry so headed to Fantasyland’s…

Breakfast at Gaston’s Tavern

As I was finishing up my breakfast I received a text from Paula to meet her at the Peter Pan ride to use our first Fast Pass of the day.

Once we had returned from Neverland, we met up with Hunter at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride for our second Fast Pass.

Doesn’t Hunter look like he’s having fun?  Lol

Our 3rd and last Fast Pass of the day was used at the Haunted Mansion…

Then it was time to check in for our early lunch at…

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Lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern

As soon as we left Liberty Tree Tavern, we went in search of a corn dog for Hunter.  Unfortunately a corn dog could not be found anywhere in Magic Kingdom…not even at Casey’s Corner, which has only corn dog nuggets.  So Hunter had to settle for a Cheeseburger Egg Roll/Spring Roll…

…which we found at this cart in Adventureland.

I think he actually received two rolls (for about $4.50) but I didn’t remember to take a photo until he’d already eaten one.  Anyway, Hunter gave the cheeseburger springs rolls a “thumbs up”.  He was very disappointed that there was not a single corn dog to be had in all of Magic Kingdom but this was a decent substitute…for now.  ;)

Soon after Hunter finished his spring rolls we parted ways, with Paula & Hunter going to Epcot to attend a beverage seminar while I went back to my room at the Boardwalk to rest up a bit before the…

7th Annual Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30 – Epcot, Boardwalk for Breakfast and Dinner

I had a big lunch on the schedule for today, so I opted to grab a quick breakfast at the…

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Breakfast from the Boardwalk Bakery

Later I headed to Epcot to use my only Fast Pass scheduled for this day to ride Frozen Ever After for the very first time…

Though I didn’t look too excited, I did enjoy this ride.  However, Soarin’ (especially the new version of Soarin’) is still my favorite Epcot ride.  Have you ridden Frozen yet?  What did you think?

Anyway, after riding Frozen I made my way from Norway to France to meet up with my friends for our lunch at Monsieur Paul.

French Family Meal Traditions Lunch held at Monsieur Paul

After our lunch I returned to my room at the Boardwalk Inn to sleep off the effects of the generous amounts of wine we had been served.  After my nap I changed for our dinner at Flying Fish, but first I met up with Paula and Hunter at the Boardwalk’s…

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Curious Cocktails at AbracadaBar

Then it was time for our 7:00 dinner reservation next door at…

Dinner at Flying Fish (post-remodel)

MONDAY, OCT. 31 – Boardwalk Resort, Epcot, Contemporary Resort

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

In case you were wondering if the Boardwalk Resort does anything special to celebrate Halloween, the answer is YES!!…

Halloween at the Boardwalk Resort 

I was off to Epcot early this morning for my breakfast with Chip ‘n’ Dale & their Disney pals at…

Breakfast at Garden Grill

Following my breakfast I had some errands to run before meeting up with Paula and Hunter to use our Frozen ride fast passes and then have lunch around the Food & Wine Festival booths.  Since this was the third day that I had visited the Epcot Food & Wine Festival during my trip, I now qualified to receive an Annual Passholder Exclusive Food & Wine Festival glass.  To get my glass I had to go to the special area set up in the Innoventions East building.  Within a few minutes they had scanned my Magic Band (to confirm that I had visited on 3 separate days) and that I am an Annual Passholder.  Then after a quick glance at my photo ID, I was presented with this pretty, etched tumbler…

The system for distributing the souvenir glasses was much improved over last year when they gave out 20th Anniversary Epcot Food & Wine Festival port wine glasses.  In 2015 you were required to go to Innoventions West and have your Food & Wine Festival passport stamped on each day of your 3 required visits.  So kudos for making the process easier but “boo” because I heard that they were out of glasses by November 9, five days before the end of the festival.  I’m sure there were many disappointed annual passholders during those 5 days.

Anyway, my next errand required a trek all the way across the park to the American pavilion in World Showcase.  But it was worth it because I was able to get a wristband from the Chase Lounge for a seat in the Chase reserved area for one of that night’s Eat to the Beat concerts.  I’ll keep you in suspense just a bit longer as to what band I saw though.  ;)   Oh, and I probably have mentioned this before but the wristbands (a limited quantity for each of the concerts, 5:30, 6:45, and 8:00) are available to Disney Chase credit card customers on the day of the concert, starting when the lounge opens at 11:00 a.m. and continuing until they are all given out.

Then it was time to meet up with Paula and Hunter, who I found in China having a few snacks from the Joy of Tea kiosk…

Joy of Tea

Joy of Tea Snacks Review

After riding Frozen…

…Hunter decided he wanted something from the Norway bakery.

Kringla Bakeri og Kafe Snack Review

After our Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico…

…it was time to check out more of the Food & Wine Festival booths.  This second day of lunching at the booths was combined with our first day into one review, which I previously posted…

Our tour of Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival booths

Then Paula & Hunter were scheduled to attend a couple of beverage seminars so I decided to head back to my room at the Boardwalk Inn and rest up for my busy evening.  But during my walk back I came across the Boardwalk’s new ice cream shop…

Ample Hills Creamery Now Open at Disney’s BoardWalk

My First-Ever Visit to Ample Hills Creamery

My evening plans began back at Epcot, where I attended my second (and last) Eat to the Beat concert of the trip…

Yes Hanson, as in the popular late 90’s boy band of three brothers, Isaac, Zac and Taylor Hanson…

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Is it just me, or does Zac look like a triplet sister of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (aka Michelle Tanner of the TV show Full House)??

Anyway, although my daughter loved them, I was not a member of their fan club.;)  But fast forward about 20 years, and now I can “MMMbop” with the best of them.   :laughing:

So what do the Brothers Hanson look like now?

Well, here is the oldest, Isaac (complete with costume, as this Halloween night)…

Followed by the middle brother, Taylor…

I wasn’t able to get a good photo of the youngest brother, Zac, because he remained seated behind his drums throughout the concert but I was happy to see that he no longer could be mistaken for an Olsen sister. ;)

I really enjoyed their concert, which combined their hits from the 90’s with some of their more recent music.

After the concert I exited Epcot through the International Gateway and jumped on a boat to Hollywood Studios…

By the time I arrived there was already a large crowd in front of the Chinese Theater, waiting for Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular to begin.  I found myself a spot with what I hoped would be a decent view and about an hour later the show finally began with some fireworks…

And then the very cool Star Wars themed projection show…

And  then both fireworks and and projection show…

Immediately following the show I made my way through the crowd and out of the park to catch a bus to the Contemporary Resort for our dinner at…

A Late Dinner at California Grill

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 – Grand Floridian Resort, Magic Kingdom, Wilderness Lodge 

Today I was transferring to the third and last resort of my trip, but first I had another busy day planned.  So after packing up (and sending my luggage on to the Wilderness Lodge), I left the Boardwalk and headed to the Grand Floridian Resort.  There I met up with Paula and Hunter to have breakfast at the…

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Grand Floridian Cafe: A Tale of Two Breakfasts

After our breakfast we parted ways for a few hours.  Paula & Hunter headed to Epcot for a Culinary Demonstration, while I boarded the monorail to Magic Kingdom.  My plan was to meet up with Niki, Mike and Sally to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train together, but they were running a bit late.  So with my Fast Pass about to expire, I boarded the train for a solo ride…

I finally remembered to raise my arms for the camera! :laughing:

Next I headed to Liberty Square to catch the new Muppet Show (aka The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History).

While enjoying the show, Niki, Mike, and Sally caught up with me.  Our next Fast Passes were for Buzz Lightyear, so the four of us headed to Tomorrowland.

Sally and I teamed up to battle the Evil Emperor Zurg…

I must confess that my shooting skills on this ride are woefully poor.  My trigger finger/arm usually gets tired about half way through the ride, so I usually just give up.  But Sally must be my lucky charm because for the first time I wasn’t ashamed of my score…

While I was still not even close to being a Galactic Hero…

…but I was finally a Planetary Pilot instead of a Ranger 1st Class!  :laughing:

Following my personal record-breaking battle with Zurg, I nursed my battle wounds with a relaxing ride on the People Mover.   After disembarking from the ride we found ourselves right by The Lunching Pad…

Unlike me, Niki, Mike and Sally had not had a big breakfast so they wanted a snack to hold them over until our 2:30 reservation for tea.   I believe they got two of these from The Lunching Pad to share…

Ham & Cheese-Stuffed Pretzel

From their comments, I think they enjoyed these.  :thumbsup2

After doing some “clubbing” at the nearby Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, it was time to head back to the Grand Floridian…

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Tea for Six at the Garden View Lounge

Following our tea, I returned to Magic Kingdom to catch a boat to the beautiful Wilderness Lodge, my home for the last three nights of my trip…

Wilderness Lodge Room #4046 – Standard View??

Our plan for this evening’s dinner was to do a monorail crawl, making stops at Trader Sam’s and/or the Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian and Mizner’s Lounge at the Grand Floridian for drinks and appetizers before ending our evening at Narcoossee’s for dessert and fireworks viewing.   But we decided to first meet downstairs at my resort, the Wilderness Lodge, and kick off our evening with a drink at the…

Territory Lounge – Round 1

Soooo…we ended up spending way more time at the Territory Lounge than we had originally planned.  We had to postpone our Monorail Crawl plans and go straight to the Grand Floridian for our 8:40 reservation at…

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Narcoossee’s for Dessert, WISHES, and more! 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2 – Polynesian Village Resort, Epcot, Disney Springs

I was up early this morning to catch a boat from the Wilderness dock to the Contemporary.  Then from there I boarded the resort monorail and got off at the Polynesian for my 7:45 reservation at…

Breakfast at ‘Ohana

Following my breakfast at the Polynesian I took the monorail to Magic Kingdom. From there I caught a boat back to the Wilderness Lodge to relax for a bit before taking a bus to Epcot.  (Boat, monorail, and bus…I rode them all in one morning! :laughing: ) Once at Epcot I met up with my friends, Paula & Hunter, and we headed to the Italy pavilion for our 12:00 food and wine pairing lunch at…

Italian Regional Food & Wine Pairing Luncheon

A Look inside the Tutto Gusto Display Case

Before leaving World Showcase, I made a stop next door in Germany at…

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A Disappointing Visit to Karamell-Küche

After riding Test Track with my friends…

I documented my last day at Epcot (for this trip) by getting this PhotoPass photo taken before I exited the park…

Then that evening I was off to Disney Springs for dinner at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’…

Dinner at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3 – Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary Resort, Disney Springs, Polynesian Village Resort

With another early morning breakfast on my schedule today, I was needing to catch a boat to the Contemporary.  When I reached the Wilderness Lodge dock that morning I was treated to this jaw-dropping view of the sunrise over the lake.

To see many more photos of the beautiful sunrise taken from the Wilderness Lodge boat dock, click on the LINK

I felt like this gorgeous display was a reward for getting up early this morning and following through with my plan to have breakfast at Chef Mickey’s.  I had stayed up very late the night before watching my beloved Cubbies win their first World Series in 108 years…after 10 long innings plus a 17 minute rain delay!!

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Plus,  following their championship winning game,  I had to watch every single minute of the team’s celebration, as well as celebrate with my Cub-loving family back home by group text.  Needless to say, I was too excited to get much sleep that night, so my morning alarm seemed to go off just minutes after I’d finally dozed off.  I strongly considered skipping my breakfast reservation and paying the no-show fee.  But I somehow found the energy to drag my tired butt out of bed and down to the boat dock in time to see the beautiful sunrise before boarding a boat to the Contemporary for breakfast at…

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Chef Mickey’s Character Breakfast

My original plan was to go to Magic Kingdom following my breakfast, but being a very excited Cubs fan I had gotten very little sleep the night before.  So I cancelled my Fast Passes and left the Contemporary…

…and boarded a nearly empty boat back to the Wilderness Lodge.

It was just me, the captain, and this guy who jumped on board about halfway back to the Lodge…

Once the boat docked at the Wilderness Lodge…

…I returned to my room and went back to bed, where I soundly slept until it was time to head to Disney Springs for our lunch at…

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Frontera Cocina Lunch

It was mid-afternoon by the time we finished our lunch.  After walking around Disney Springs for a bit, we decided to head back to my resort, Wilderness Lodge.  While waiting at the bus stop I took a photo of Hunter & Paula, because I think they are both freakin’ awesome… ;)

Once we got to the Wilderness Lodge we started our final evening together by having drinks at our WDW favorite, the Territory Lounge…

But because we also ended our evening with food and drinks at the Territory Lounge, I decided to skip this for now and combine the two visits into one review later.

So our next two destinations that evening were at the Polynesian Village Resort, where we first visited Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace & Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto…

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Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace & Grog Grotto Review

We didn’t have far to go for our next destination…just a flight of stairs to the second floor of the Polynesian.

Tambu Lounge

Our trio seemed to have a “T” theme going on this Thursday night, as we visited Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, Tambu Lounge, and ended our evening back at the Territory Lounge…

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Territory Lounge – Round 2 & 3

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – Wilderness Lodge, Hollywood Studios

Sadly all Disney trips must come to an end and for this trip, today was that day.  But with an evening flight home, I was able to squeeze in some park time before catching the Magical Express bus to the airport.  However, first there was packing to be done and getting checked out of my room at the Wilderness Lodge by 11:00.  So I opted to stay put and seek out breakfast right there at the lodge.  They have a couple of options for breakfast at Wilderness and have now added another with the opening of Geyser Point Bar & Grill in Feb. 2017.  I chose their quick service restaurant…

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Breakfast from Roaring Fork

After completing all the tasks that are necessary to prepare for my departure later that day, I boarded a bus to Hollywood Studios.  I had made a solo lunch reservation for Mama Melrose, as it was a restaurant that I hadn’t been to for several years and therefore had not yet reviewed for my blog.  Not long after the bus departed from the Wilderness Lodge I received a phone call from an unknown number.  Because it was from a (407) area code, which is associated with Disney World, I answered the call.  It turned out to be someone from Disney Dining telling me that there was some issue in the Mama Melrose kitchen today so they would be closed for the day.  They offered to switch my reservation to another restaurant, either at Hollywood Studios or another park.  Since I was already on the bus to the Studios, I chose my favorite HS restaurant…

Lunch at 50’s Prime Time Café

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That’s all for this trip folks, thanks so much for following along!  But before the curtain goes down, I would like to thank my friends, Paula & Hunter, for allowing me to join them for so many meals.  Dining with them not only improved the quantity and variety of food reviewed but also the quality of my reviews.   During my trip I was enjoying their company so much that I often forgot to take notes during our meals.  Therefore, I relied a great deal on their good memories when it came time to write this report.  So thank you Paula & Hunter for your tremendous help in writing my dining reviews!
I’m very much hoping to dine with my friends again during my Food & Wine festival trip this year.  But their ability to make the trip is dependent upon the success of Paula’s new side business as a LuLaRoe independent fashion retailer. If you are not familiar with LulaRoe, it’s all about comfortable yet stylish clothes at affordable prices.  Clothes like what Paula is modeling in this photo…
What a great outfit to wear at Disney, right?
So if you have enjoyed this collaborative dining report and would like to see another one like it next fall, please join Paula’s LuLaRoe Facebook group to check out the LulaRoe clothing line.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/lularoepaulamulder
But before my Fall 2017 Food & Wine Festival trip, I still have my December 2016 Disney World trip to report on.  This was a 10 day family trip with more than 30 dining reviews, and only a few of them are repeats from this trip.   But before I start that report, I have a non-Disney trip coming up this Saturday and I plan to share my dining reviews here on my blog during the next couple of weeks.  Where am I going?  The answer to that question is coming soon so please stay tuned.  :thumbsup2
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20 thoughts on “One of the best things about a Disney trip is the food! – Oct. 2016 Trip (Complete 4/13/17)

  1. Mike and I ate a Captain’s Grill later in our trip. I made the same error as you. The pasta 2as goo, but nothing like Mike’s Braised Short Ribs. They were awesome. I can’t wait to go bac

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  2. Ooohhhh….how exciting! I feel like I was in the presence of royalty!! We had so much fun! BARRRRBARRRAAA!!! Hahaha, I believe you will think of that and giggle!

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  3. HUUUNNNTTTEEERR!!! So glad you’re here! I will definitely need your help and Paula’s to get through this dining report as I did a terrible job of taking notes this time (was having too much fun with you guys) and my memory ain’t what it used to be. Lol

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  4. Your review of the Food & Wine Classic is so awesome!! M8ne on the Disboards pales in comparison. We had so much fun, but kept getting lost from y’all. Planning for this year I already have my Boardwalk reservation. Going Friday night this year, and leaving for home Saturday. I hope we can coordinatethis year too, and Don can join us again. We missed him.

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  5. Loved your review of the French Family Meal Traditions! Looks like you put two photos of the same menu for Paula and Hunter’s meals #2 and #3. I could go for one of those cheese sticks right now! 🙂

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  6. Mike and I were thinking the same thing about the tea. We might want to try another special event instead. Can’t wait for your Italian lunch report.

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