Doing Disney Solo

single rider TT

Back in October, I had the opportunity to head to Disney World by myself.  Alone.  Without my family.

It was AWESOME.

Now, before you go thinking I’m horrible for not wanting to take my kids with me to Disney, let me just say that I LOVE taking my family on Disney vacations.  Spending time with them there is my favorite way to visit the parks, but there’s something to be said for traveling light, so to speak.

Pros:

-Easier to maneuver around the parks.  The weekend I went was crowded and it was nice to not have to worry if I’d gotten separated from my group.  I WAS my group!

-Easier to get FastPass+ selections.  There’s only one of me, so I could just get what I wanted fairly easily.

-Didn’t have to concern myself with making my family happy at mealtimes.  I don’t know about your kids but mine are picky.  One likes pizza but hates burgers, one like burgers but hates pizza, one doesn’t like anything except french fries…you get the idea.  I didn’t have to worry about anyone but myself.  As a mother of three, that doesn’t happen often.

-Transportation was a snap.  I could hop on a bus even when it was almost full.  Only one spot to stand in the monorail?  I’ll take it.  Let’s go!

-Single. Rider. Line.  That’s all I’m gonna say.

-Able to just enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of Disney.  If I wanted to stop and sit on a bench and just take it all in, I could do that.  Normally my family would be all about go, go, go, but by myself I could just take my time and enjoy.

You get the idea.  If you’re touring the parks by yourself, you can just do you.

The cons?  Well, I missed my family.  There were times when I would do or see something and think “Man, I sure wish they were here.”    Overall, I had a blast and I would totally visit by myself again if I had the chance.  No one way is better, but I’m all about new and different Disney experiences.  If you ever get the chance to do Disney solo, I highly recommend it.

Podcast Episode 38: WDW Traditions

Join us this week as we discuss our favorite Disney World touring habits!  Find out how we like to travel to the parks, what we like to do once we get there, and what we do to spare ourselves the misery of going home!  Maybe we can inspire you to make some new traditions of your own next time you take a Disney vacation!

Happy listening!

Listen to Desktop

Listen to iTunes

Guest Blogger: Danielle Brabson Review of Disneyland’s Grand Californian and GC’s Club Level

GrandCalifornianHotel01As Disneyland’s premium hotel, The Grand Californian Resort and Spa is a fantastic place to stay at Disneyland.  I know opinions on this vary, and we have stayed both on and off property, but we prefer to stay on property. The hotel itself is beautiful. It’s built as a craftsman era hotel, with a great deal of detail in all the woodworking and stone that surround you in the hotel. The lobby is fantastic and is six stories high. You can look down from each floor into the massive lobby. The lobby is well-appointed with plenty of seating and a giant fireplace. There is even a TV with little chairs so the kids can have their own spot to watch Disney shows. And at Christmas time (which is when we usually go) it is even more magical, but Christmas at Disney is its own post all together!  There are plenty of restaurant choices as well. The Grand Californian houses one of Disneyland’s fine dining restaurants, Napa-Rose-e1321321280926-768x1024Napa Rose. We got to enjoy Napa Rose on our last trip! There is also a great family restaurant, Storytellers, as well as some quick service places like White Water Snacks. If you’ve been to Disney World the Grand Californian is similar in theme to the Wilderness Lodge. We will always choose the Grand when visiting Disneyland and we also always select Club Level. Here are few reasons why.

Pros:

  • It’s the closest to the park entrances of all the on property resorts. We debated staying at one of the others but when looking at the map we liked the proximity of the Grand to the parks. We have a younger child (2.5) so the ease of quickly being able to get back to the hotel for a nap if needed was a highlight for us.
  • It has its own entrance to the California Adventure Park. Again the ease of getting back to the hotel was a draw for us (as was being able to get right into the park from the hotel on Magic Morning).
  • Some rooms have bunk beds and a trundle. So for our family of five, this was great. The older kids got one of the bunks and the younger one got the trundle. So everyone had their own bed, no sharing and less fighting (well except who got to sleep on the top bunk…).
  • The sink is separate from the shower and toilet. I believe this is the case with most Disney hotels, and it’s a positive for sure. As someone can be showering while others are getting ready. There are double sinks and plenty of room to move around.
  • You have multiple view options, this is not a huge one for us but I know others that like to have a view to go along with the rest of the Disney magic.
  • You leave the hotel and you’re right in Downtown Disney. So in the event you forget something (like tennis shoes…) or just need a break from parks and want to shop or eat you have so much to choose from without having to walk or get in the car and drive somewhere. There is a World of Disney right there as well so you can get all your Disney Souvenirs!
  • The pools! Yes plural! There are three pools at the Grand. The children’s pool and also a pool that includes a water slide. There are even cabana’s you can rent to enjoy a rest day at the pool.
  • Pinocchio’s Workshop – You can leave your kids here to play and you can go P16-0002enjoy time alone and maybe go to the full service Spa or Napa Rose. We utilized this on our last trip and the kids (ages 10 and 8) had a good time. They ate dinner, played games, did crafts and didn’t complain! This is open to all guest staying on property but it’s located in the Grand.

What about Club/Concierge Level?  We really like the Club level. It offers its own check in area on the 6th floor and a lounge which has food and drinks throughout the day and evening. I’m sure there are plenty of articles out there that debate if the Club level is worth it and it’s probably not for everyone. This is my experience with it and why we like it.  The lounge is only available to guests on the Club Level floor and a valid room key is required to enter the lounge. There are three “meals” throughout the day and drinks are always available.

The breakfast is a nice option for us because the kids are antsy to the get the park and don’t want to sit down for a full meal and I am not the traveler who keeps milk in the fridge so the kids can have cereal in the room. The breakfast choices are usually assorted pastries and muffins, fruit, cereals and milk, bagels with cream cheese, assorted meats and cheese (we usually make a bagel sandwich). And of course juice, coffee, tea and pop. This year they added an espresso machine so you can really get moving!  You can also request bottles of water which are great to take into the park with you if you’re bringing a bag since you can refill them at any restaurant for free.

The afternoon tea option has assorted tea sandwiches, cookies, and fruit. There are also goldfish crackers and a party mix (think Chex mix). We usually fill a lidded to-go cup with the snacks and either bring them into the park or back to the room with us. And again all the drinks are available anytime throughout the day.

The evening reception offers beer and wine, assorted cookies, scones, chocolate dipped strawberries, nuts and dried fruit. This is a nice option if you’re taking a quick break from the park and want to spend a few minutes relaxing.

You can also view the fireworks from the balcony, and they broadcast the music along with it. So it’s a great option if you have smaller kids that will be going to bed earlier than others.

The last thing they have is story time with cookies and milk. The kids can sit on the floor with their cookies while a cast member reads them a few stories. You can sit at a table and enjoy a glass of wine and relax right along with them! It’s a nice way to end the day.

An ending note about the Club level is the personalized service you receive. They will call you to touch base before your trip to make sure of your plans and any additional needs. They will also help you make dining reservations and offer dining suggestions. We were there when it was raining and they helped us repair rips in our rain gear by sharing their duct tape! They really up the magic factor in my opinion.

Cons:

I had a difficult time coming up with cons, but finally had one.

Sometimes the line to get into California Adventure on Magic Morning can be huge and it’s faster to go to the main entrance. However, I will note that on my last trip they seemed to improve the logistics of this so it wasn’t as bad.

Like I said at the beginning this is our preferred hotel on the Disneyland Resort, so of course we would recommend it. I hope you get a chance to enjoy some time there too.GrandCalifornianChristmas

Jillian’s DCL Trip Report- Day 3

If you haven’t read Day 1 or Day 2 check them out!

The third day of our cruise we all woke up nice and early! I apparently wasn’t alone in my “I can’t sleep at Disney” mode.  We were already in port at Cozumel, Mexico. This day we had planned for a special character meet and greet, the Disney Junior characters. This meet had Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. If you have a kid under seven years old this is one meet and greet you will not want to miss out on. So again get those tickets first thing when you get on the ship. My daughter was wearing a custom Sofia-inspired dress and Sofia thought that was the bee’s knees! Doc and Jake were great as well and this is a great place to meet these characters as they only appear at Hollywood Studios so it is a rare thing to meet them in the parks.

After our morning meet we went to breakfast at Triton’s. This restaurant ended up being one of my favorites. It was just so pretty and the food and service were exceptional. I had eggs benedict, Petra had Mickey Waffles and Chelsey had something, probably food, but I didn’t snap a picture so I am just guessing.

After breakfast, Petra was wanting to visit the Oceaneer’s Club, but at this time there was an Open House which means you can come and play but parents have to stay with the children. We walked in and she said she wanted to color so we went in and to our surprise there were some princesses in there. Cinderella, Ariel and Tiana were just hanging out coloring with kids. Peter Pan soon joined them and we had a lot of fun just chatting. We learned that Michigan is the first star to the right according to Peter Pan. Soon, a Youth Activities Cast Member asked if they wanted to play Memory Wall. It is basically the game Memory with Disney characters but played on the wall instead of the floor. Petra thought this was pretty neat too as she got to really interact with the princesses and Peter Pan. It was absolutely hands down my favorite part of our cruise. I was probably more excited than the kid.

We decided to drop Petra off at the Oceaneer’s Lab and we would go check out Quiet Cove-the adult’s only pool. I will say it was a cool day but that wasn’t stopping me from getting in the pool and I had the thing to myself! It was quiet and empty and the loungers are beautifully padded. I could have stayed all day long. It was pretty glorious to be on a cruise ship of a couple thousand people and be the only one in a pool. But my kid apparently wanted to swim too so a quick stop to the kids club to pick her up and then another to the room and we were at the Goofy pool watching Aladdin while we paddled around in the very full pool. Not nearly as fun as having it to oneself but the movie made up for it.

The day before we settled on the Ocean View Explorer Tour.   This tour is for all ages, last 2-2.5 hours and costs $47 for adults and $36 for kids 0-9. Our excursion started at 11:45am and we met in Promenade Lounge for our excursion to leave. When they called our group up they also told us the sea was pretty rough so they said we could take the anti-nausea medication and we did pick up two packets just in case. We went off the ship and were immediately greeted by the excursion company employee, Adrian who gathered us all up and walked us to the pier where we were met by our tour guide whose name eludes me. He broke us into groups of 8 and loaded us into taxis. The taxi ride to and from was also included in the price of the excursion. We rode a short way towards another pier and were soon boarding our mini-submarine. You are in a boat about four feet underwater and you take a tour around Paradise Reef. First we went to a shallower reef and we circled it twice so that each side of the boat could see it. After that we went out a little further and again circled it twice.

Once we were done we headed back to the pier. There was a person who took pictures before we got on the boat and when were returned they were selling a framed copy. My daughter refused to look at the camera so we didn’t opt to purchase it. We then loaded onto taxis and returned to our pier. Instead of getting right back on the ship we did a little shopping and walking around. So what did I think of this excursion? I think it was very nice! I liked how it was great for all ages, it was affordable, I didn’t have to pack a backpack full of extra clothes, towels sunscreen and so on. It was short and sweet but so neat! We saw a ton of neat fish and even a giant eagle stingray! I would recommend this one to people with young kids in particular. It is not outside a lot which can help if it is hot or really sunny. The only downside we had was it was pretty rough seas so that made us all feel a little weird even after taking the medication.

On our way back to the ship I walked under something that was dripping grease, I have no idea but the ground was super slippery and I almost fell too so it was time to get back. The laundry was really close to our room so I decided to do a quick load of laundry. I am not one who likes to do laundry on vacations on purpose but it worked out well! It cost $3 including the soap and you can use your key to the world card to pay for it. No one else was there so I had my pick of machines. In the laundry there is also a large sink for rinsing and ironing boards and irons for communal use! So don’t be afraid to take that nice shirt or dress for formal night.

After our excursion we had a late lunch of pizza, hot dogs and drinks. Petra again wanted to go to the kid’s club and they did an activity called “Hats off to Peter Pan” where she met him again. She didn’t last long and soon she wanted to swim so we let her go in the Mickey pool where she made lots of new friends while we tried to stay warm on deck. Soon it was time to get dressed and ready for dinner.  Don’t laugh I am a northerner but it was chilly and the pool emptied quickly.

This night we were at Parrott Cay again but with a different menu. This dinner was much better than the previous night but we were all pretty tired from the medication and busy day. I had the Tuna Salad, artichoke dip, and Creole Crusted Grouper, Petra stuck with macaroni and cheese and Chelsey had a St. Maarten Stack and Slow Roasted Prime Rib. For dessert Petra had a Mickey Bar, I had a warm sticky date pudding and Chelsey went with a sorbet.

After dinner we split up again, Petra to the club (who is shocked?) I went to the gift shop and Chelsey went for a martini. But we were soon together again, tonight was “Toy Story: the Musical” and I knew we would all like it. Who doesn’t love a stage show with singing featuring some of your favorite Disney characters? She said this was her favorite show and I will admit it was a very close second to being my favorite. It was just so adorable! They really make the shows so that the entire family can see them down the littlest ones so they are well worth taking in! And really who doesn’t love to eat popcorn and listen to your favorite sarcastic potato.

Not related to the content but we were all so tired we were about falling asleep during this show so we went straight back to our room since we were all pretty much exhausted and were out in no time at all.  We had another full sea day ahead!  I’m sure you can guess there will be more swimming, kids clubs and food!

Narcoossee’s Restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Review

Nar1Narcoossee’s is one of my favorite restaurants (again) in all of Disney World. I say again because for a few years I had been disappointed with this favorite of mine and had taken a break…but we will talk about that later. First, I want to set the visual be it to remind you if you are lucky enough to have been or if you have not – I want you to see it in your mind. Why is this important? Because Narcoossee’s is one of the most romantic restaurants on property and aside from that the ambiance in general is appealing to everyone. It is located at the tip of the Grand Floridian’s closest side to Magic Kingdom. It is right on the Seven Seas Lagoon and across from the Floridian’s boat dock, so if you are at Magic Kingdom and have reservations the easiest way is to take the boat over to the Grand Floridian and when you disembark you are right there at Narcoossee’s front door. If you are riding over on the monorail, Disney bus or driving you will walk through the main lobby of the Grand Floridian and out the back doors and keep walking past the pool and the outlying buildings and then you will see the octagonal restaurant right on Seven Seas Lagoon.

The outside of the building has a wonderful waterfront verandah that you can walkNarcoossee out on and view the lagoon. It is also an excellent place to enjoy Wishes from at night as well as the Electrical Water Pageant with their panoramic lagoon views. They do pipe the music for Wishes into the restaurant as well as on the verandah for your listening pleasure.

Okay, as mentioned I had been on a break from Narcoossee’s because after having enjoyed their signature dining for several years it had started to decline in my experience. The food had not been up to par and the service was not what I had been used to, so I took a break. This last trip I decided to give them another chance and I am so glad I did. Once again the service was top-notch and the food was unbelievable…so I am happy to say Narcoossee’s is back in rotation as a favorite.

The menu at Narcoossee’s focuses on seafood and changes with their “Inspiration from the Sea and Season” choices such as currently they are offering a Columbia River Wild King Salmon served with Herbed Gnocchi, Romanesco, Golden Cauliflower, and Roasted Cipollini Onions with Sauvignon Blanc-Butter Sauce and Marcona Almond Romesco. I started with the Heirloom Tomato salad that is made from Jones Family Farms Sun-ripened Tomatoes, Goat’s Milk Feta Cheese, Red Onions, Crispy Torn Sourdough, Central Valley Extra Virgin Olive Oil, El Majuelo Spanish Reserve Sherry Vinegar, and Micro Basil. How could that not be amazing? The Maine Lobster bisque was also a table favorite.

foodFor entrees I had the Filet Mignon that comes with Smoked Boniato-Idaho Creamed Potatoes, Rainbow Baby Carrots, and Herbed Cabernet-Oxtail Reduction. One of my favorite parts of this meal was the rainbow baby carrots that came in all different colors…I had never seen that before!

Narcoossee’s has some of the best desserts on property in my opinion and you can not go wrong with any of them but I highly recommend the Braeburn Apple Tart which markets itself as Fragrantly Poached Apples and Vanilla Cream with a Calvados-Caramel-Cranberry Sauce and just remembering it is making me hungry.

Narcoossee’s is a great option for any occasion but especially for a date night or special occasion but even just if you want to try something new or have a new favorite.

 

Podcast Episode 37: Disney Dining 101

This week our show is all about the basics of the Disney Dining plans and how to make them work for you.  We talk about what they are, how they’re used, and even mention free dining.  If you’ve never used the dining plan or even if you’re a dining plan vet, you don’t want to miss this show filled with lots of great information!

Happy listening!

Listen to Desktop

Listen to iTunes

Earl of Sandwich Review

EoS One of my favorite places to eat at Downtown Disney is Earl of Sandwich.  If you think eating at Disney is going to just be pizza and burgers and fries, well, you’d be wrong!

Where I’m from here in Louisiana, we eat a lot of po’boys.  Maybe you call them hoagies, heroes, or subs, but whatever you call it, it’s a long sandwich.  My husband is a sandwich connoisseur.  I’m pretty sure it’s his life goal to find the perfect roast beef sandwich.  I don’t think he’s found it yet, but he does enjoy the journey, which leads me back to the Earl here.

We stopped into Earl of Sandwich during a trip past because my husband had heard tell of the sandwiches and he was not disappointed.  He ordered and enjoyed the “Original 1762″ sandwich, a hot roast beef with cheddar cheese and horseradish sauce. I prefer the “Holiday Turkey” which is basically Thanksgiving dinner on bread.  It’s got turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce, and stuffing on lovely crunchy bread.

They really do have a sandwich for pretty much everyone in your group.  My sister is vegetarian and enjoys the Caprese (mozzarella, tomatoes, basil drizzled with balsamic) and she and I both enjoy the Earl Grey lemonade to drink.

If sandwiches aren’t your deal, they also have soups, salads and wraps, as well as freshly baked desserts.  They serve breakfast so you can get your sandwich on first thing, if that’s what you’re into!

Earl of Sandwich does participate in the Disney Dining Plan so that makes it even easier for you to get a really great sandwich while you’re visiting the Walt Disney World Resort.  Try it on  your next trip!

Jillian’s DCL Trip Report- Day 2

This morning we woke up and were ready for a full day at sea! The first order of business was breakfast at Beach Blanket Buffet! We all had a bit of everything, the clear favorite was the Mickey Waffles! I really enjoy the chocolate croissants and fresh fruit!

We went to the Lobby Atrium to meet some princesses next! We were a little early for our ticketed meet and greet so we went to meet Cinderella first. She quite enjoyed Petra’s dress as it lit up when she turned. After this meet we saw Rapunzel, Ariel, Tiana and Belle. They all adored the dress and asked if she had a Fairy Godmother who made it. After a quick wardrobe change we headed to our next meet and greet with Anna and Elsa from Frozen. I knew this one would be a hit with her because whose kid isn’t obsessed with Frozen still? While we waited in line they had us sit at a table and color so the line didn’t get too long.

Meeting princesses is fun and all but it was time for a swim. My daughter and husband hit up the pool while I went to the Buena Vista Theatre to see Big Hero 6!

When the movie was done my daughter was in the club and it was lunch time. We decided to check out Triton’s. I had the gingered-infused carrot soup, glazed meatloaf and key lime pie. Chelsey had the assorted sea food sampler, turkey melt sandwich, and the key lime pie as well. I have no idea what my daughter ate because she ate in the club which actually led to her trying new things!

At this point we signed up for a Mixology class! The cost is $15 per person but you get 5 drinks to try while you learn some mixing techniques and drink recipes!

Petra wasn’t tired of swimming just yet so we went again but this time to the Goofy Pool. It was really nice that Disney has swim vests so you can save the room in your suitcase! I particularly love how you can watch a movie while you swim around too, Teen Beach Movie happened to be on this time. Of course since we were so close we had to stop for ice cream and fruit!

This night was Pirates in the Caribbean so when we arrived in our room we had some bandannas and chocolate coins waiting for us. Dinner this night was not my favorite. The food just wasn’t good and we left with a feeling of meh. To eat I had Pirate’s golden pot stickers, Dutchman’s Dijon crusted sirloin of beef, and the sweet temptations sampler. My daughter enjoyed the macaroni and cheese with fries and broccoli.  My husband it looks like he had a crab cake and some steak.  Sorry about the lack of notes, but he too found the food lacking.

When dinner was done we went up to Deck 9 to check out the activities there. They were doing the challenge of Davy Jones, an interactive video game on the big screen. We played for a while before checking out the arcade. It is a smallish arcade, but it is fun if you want something else to do. The pirate party was starting complete with visits from many of the Disney characters. Is was pretty neat to see the type of show they put on complete with pirates coming down on ropes and Mickey flying over the deck to defeat Captain Hook! We watched fireworks (how awesome is that!) from Deck 10 before calling it a night.

Guest Blogger: Chris Gardiner’s Review of Tables in Wonderland

TIW

It surprises me how many Disney travelers that I meet that have never heard of Disney’s “Tables in Wonderland” program.  I truly find this to be one of WDW’s hidden discount perks and one that could save you a lot of money and convenience if it’s right for you.

For those who do not know, the “Tables in Wonderland” is a card you can purchase if you are a Florida Resident, Annual and/or Seasonal Passholder, or a DVC member.  The cost of the annual card is $125 for Florida Residents and $100 for Annual or Seasonal Passholders and DVC members.  There are some great benefits to having this card that I wanted to go over as well as some of my own experiences from using the card.

The main perk is that the card offers a 20% discount on food and beverages (including alcohol!) at over 100 participating restaurant at WDW.  This includes the parks, resort hotels and Downtown Disney locations.  Considering how much you spend on dining at WDW this can be a great savings!  I find that the majority of the restaurants accepting the card are table service restaurants, while there are a handful of quick-service restaurants are sprinkled in (however I am not complaining because the table service restaurants are the more costly).  Another great advantage of this is that the 20% discount applies to parties of up to 10 people (including yourself). I personally have had the chance to be able to use my card on several trips where I had gone with multiple parties and we all had the chance to dine together.  One time was for the Princess Breakfast at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in EPCOT for a party of 7 and the other time was at Be Our Guest at the Magic Kingdom for a party of 9.  Trust me, when I was able to save everyone 20% on their meal it was a ‘magical moment’!  Now you do have to keep in mind a couple of things.  According to their policy when you using the discount “everyone has to be on the same check” and “the Tables In Wonderland member has to pay the bill”.  Honestly I have seen the “member having to pay the bill” enforced sometimes and not at other times.  But my suggestions is just to have a quick conversation with everyone prior to the meal to figure out that if you do have to pay for the meal who gives you money, etc..  Another thing to keep in mind is that by using the card an 18% gratuity is automatically added to the bill.  I have never had an issue with this and actually find it convenient as there is not going back and forth on paying the bill.

Another perk that Tables In Wonderland offers is free valet and theme parking for dining purposes.  If you are renting or have your own car I find this to be a great perk as valet parking at the Disney resorts is $20!  On my last trip we used Tables in Wonderland and dined at 3 Disney Resorts (so in addition to saving 20% on the meal we saved $60 in valet parking fees!).

There are a couple of items that you want to make sure you are aware of with Tables in Wonderland.  The first is that there are blackout dates!  The card cannot be used on:  Mother’s Day, Easter Sunday, 4th of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve & Day, New Year’s Eve & Day.  In addition to these dates several of the very popular table service restaurants have some additional blackout dates so make sure you check out www.tablesinwonderland.com for these specifics.

The other very important thing I have learned is do not LOSE or FORGET your Tables In Wonderland card!  You have to have your card with you to use the discount (they will not look it up for you) and if you lose your card you have to pay $50 fee to get a replacement one.  I know this for a fact because prior to one of my last Disney trips I had put my Tables In Wonderland card in a very safe location in my house and then proceeded to leave it at my house while I was at WDW.  So $50 later I learned a valuable lesson (but it was still worth it to have the card!).

As long as I have my annual pass I will continue to get Tables in Wonderland – it’s a great hidden perk that if used the right way can save you big time on your dining at WDW.  Enjoy!

Restaurant Review – Leaky Cauldron at Universal Studios Orlando

IMG_9249

IMG_9251

I was fortunate enough to dine at this fabulous quick-service restaurant on a recent FAM (familiarization) trip to Universal Studios and I will proudly recommend it to ANY Harry Potter fan I meet who will be visiting Diagon Alley!  The food is truly very good — not your typical theme park fare at all.  I enjoyed a wonderful lunch consisting of Cottage Pie, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and Fishy Green Ale to drink.  Yes, I said fishy when referring to a drink!  Don’t worry, dear reader, I haven’t lost my ever-loving mind…’twas just a cheeky name for bubble tea.  The “bubbles” were blueberry flavored and the drink itself was a super sweet cinnamon-mint concoction.  It was quite tasty but proved WAY too sweet for my liking.  I was only able to drink a tiny bit of it.  The Cottage Pie was incredible.  Large chunks of veggies and tender beef in a delicious gravy were topped with buttery, flaky pastry.  YUM!  The Sticky Toffee Pudding was also wonderful but, again, too sweet for my palate.  I wasn’t able to finish it, even with a child-size portion of the Cottage Pie.  My Cottage Pie (child portion) and Sticky Toffee Pudding both rang in at $6.99, while my Fishy Green Ale was $4.99.  I would absolutely skip the Fishy Green Ale on a return trip, and stick with my absolute favorite, Pumpkin Juice ($3.99).

 

IMG_9253I’ll definitely visit Leaky Cauldron again with my own family.  I have 2 sons who would be absolutely delighted with all of the wonderful details in this restaurant.  I feel they did an excellent job of staying true to the Wizarding World and skimped on no detail!

IMG_9303

 

 

 

 

Side note:  If you’re a beer lover, be sure to hop around the corner to The Fountain of Fair Fortune and try a Wizard’s Brew or Dragon Scale.  Being a stout fan, I ordered the Wizard’s Brew and cannot wait to return and have another!