Skipper Canteen Review

IMG_2746Yes, finally the long-awaited (well maybe not THAT long) but much anticipated Skipper Canteen Review. So officially on December 16, 2015, The Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen opened to the masses. I was able to go eat there for lunch on January 29th, along with a few other Dole Whipped ladies. I will start by telling you how excited we were! I love new and Disney and I am always trudging along missing things they take away but almost always blown away by the new stuff. Like Maelstrom, I am grudgingly withholding judgement about the whole Frozen Ride in Norway until I see it because I know Disney blows new stuff out of the theme park. So, this new restaurant I did not have to be sad or miss anything because basically it was an addition and not a replacement. So, all is well. We arrived around 10:35am and they let us go ahead and put our name on the list and instead of handing out pagers they took a cell number and said they would text us when our table was ready, sometime after 11am when they opened.

This was easy peasy so we sauntered off to spend our time efficiently so we walked over IMG_2756to the Jungle Cruise ride but the wait was quite long so we kept on walking and managed to find ourselves at the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe (one of our favorites!) We definitely were able to spend our time shopping. We managed to each buy something for ourselves and right at the moment of payment our text from Skipper Canteen came and off we went!

When we were seated they do a mini tour telling us about what each room was and where to find the story of the restaurant (on the back of the menu).

They had a few names of food and drink items were fun and themed like the Schweitzer Slush named after Dr. Albert Slush. I ordered the Fanta Melon Frosty drink from Thailand IMG_2776and it was great! It was a melon flavored product (go try it at Club Cool) and very refreshing! Jamie ordered a Punch Line Punch and really enjoyed it as well (similar to POG juice so what is not to love?). Shannon went with the tried and true diet coke (and it was a hit!)

 

We scoured the menu and honestly we found it a bit limiting and a bit IMG_2783pricey for lunch. So, we each ordered appetizers and thought we would also order desserts at the end. Jamie and I each ordered a Falls Family Falafel and I was excited to try these as I am a BIG falafel fan. Shannon ordered the Baladi salad which is a classic salad with a Garlic-Coriander Vinaigrette dressing.

Before the meal was served they did IMG_2781bring bread and a honey dip. The bread was just a bland wheat bread but was soft and the honey dip was okay but had a bit of saffron (or something similar) that gave it a bit of an odd taste. But, it was definitely edible and we ate it all up!

Both Jamie and I were disappointed in the falafels. They were very dry and a bit hard to swallow. The yogurt dressing on them was good and helped some but it was a very light amount of dressing and so I made it about halway (3 out of 6 falafel rounds) before giving up. Shannon’s salad was good and we all tried it. The dressing was good and the perfect amount, though it was garlic heavy so if you do not LOVE garlic or want to kiss a lot after then skip this maybe or bring a toothbrush! But, we did enjoy the salad and thought with steak on top it would be a good meal.IMG_2782

After the meal we all were not overwhelmed or very motivated to try the desserts. Because of a birthday celebration amongst us the server brought over a small bonbon (that is not on the menu) and we each had a small bite and gave it a thumbs up.

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Overall, the decoration was great and as always attention to detail was inspiring. The menu, food and service was a solid C+ and so definitely can use some Disney TLC. I am sure next time we try Skipper Canteen some kinks will be fixed – if not get the Thai soda and dessert!

Have you eaten at Skipper Canteen? What did you think?

 

Podcast Episode 80: Planning a Girls Trip to Walt Disney World

Here at Dole Whipped, we believe that every group of friends should take a girls trip to Disney. Join us this week as we’ve compiled a whole host of ideas to help you plan the perfect vacation with your friends.

Happy listening!

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Roller Coasters at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is known to be a family friendly park, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their share of roller coasters. Having grown up not far from Cedar Point I am a roller coaster junkie! But Disney does have pretty great roller coasters that will please even the most-picky of riders.

 

Epcot is sadly lacking a roller coaster. This isn’t to say there aren’t a few thrilling attractions, but no roller coasters.

 

Magic Kingdom

The Barnstormer is a junior roller coaster located in Fantasyland. It is the perfect beginner roller coaster for smaller children. It is themed with Goofy as pilot and is sure to please the young and young at heart. It is short coaster so if they don’t care for it, it doesn’t last long. FastPass+ is offered for this attraction, but not recommended.

Height Requirement: 35 inches

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The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is also located in Fantasyland. It is the newest roller coaster at Walt Disney World and it is extremely innovative! It is a roller coaster combined with a Disney dark ride. Partially inside and outside with Audio Animatronic characters from Snow White. The cars on the coaster swing from side to side so the ride could not be smoother. It offers FastPass+ and it is highly recommended, this line is long. It also has an interactive queue so you will be entertained if you have to stand in line.

Height Requirement: 38 inches

Space Mountain is the original Disney roller coaster. Located in Tomorrowland, you will blast off in your rocket ship in this indoor dark roller coaster. The coaster doesn’t get above 27 MPH, but the darkness really adds to the thrill factor. This coaster is pretty bumpy and jerky, so ride with caution. There is FastPass+ and a single rider line and it is recommended to make use of either of these for the shortest wait.

Height Requirement: 44 inches

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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, located in Frontierland is another great Disney roller coaster. Themed as a runaway mine train in an old mining town, you will love the thrills of this roller coaster, with its charming clicking and clacking up the hills. It has three large hills and so many neat things to look at as you take in the attraction. This is perfect for kids who are feeling a bit more brave but aren’t up to Space Mountain just yet. The ride is relatively smooth and is fun to do day or night! It has FastPass+ and it is a pretty good use if you are looking for mild thrills.

Height Requirement: 40 inches

 

Hollywood Studios:

Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is the single coaster in Hollywood Studios, but it is an awesome one! If you are wanting thrills this indoor roller coaster will take you from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds. This roller coaster features the music of Aerosmith and you will even see some familiar faces in the preshow. This coaster does go upside down so be aware of that when you get in line. It has Fastpass+ and a single rider line. It is a fantastic use of your FastPass+ but if you also go at park opening you can get on the attraction a couple times without long waits.

Height Requirement: 48 inches

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

Animal Kingdom:

Primeval Whirl: This is an off-the-rack coaster. That means you will find similar rides in many amusement parks, it is also a spinning coaster. Located in Dinoland USA, it is themed with a time travel and dinosaurs. This attraction can be pretty jerky so if you have neck or back issues stay clear of this. It does have FastPass+ but don’t waste one on this.

Height Requirement: 48 inches

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Expedition Everest. This is hands down the best coaster at Walt Disney World! It doesn’t have any large drops but it makes up for that by taking you backwards pretty quickly and for a long time. It is amazing to get to the top and realize there is no more track and the only way down is backwards. The inside parts of the attraction with the Yeti are thrilling and well themed. While this may be a coaster for those brave little ones who meet the height requirement, you will not want to miss it if you are a thrill seeker. It does have FastPass and a single rider line which can make your wait a lot shorter, it is recommended to make use of this.

Height Requirement: 44 inches
Do you have a favorite roller coaster at Walt Disney World?  If so, let us know what it is!

Sleepy Hollow Review

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Nestled in a small corner right near Cinderella Castle lies one of my very favorite eateries in all of Disney’s Magic Kingdom: Sleepy Hollow Inn. Sleepy Hollow Inn serves funnel cake, ice cream cookie sandwiches, a variety of drinks and most importantly, waffle sandwiches.

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Sleepy Hollow offers 3 varieties of waffle sandwich. In the morning and evening hours you can get a Nutella (hazelnut spread, for those not familiar!) and fresh fruit waffle sandwich. During lunch time you can also get a spicy chicken waffle sandwich and a ham, prosciutto and swiss waffle sandwich. During this trip we got the spicy chicken and Nutella sandwiches.

Each sandwich was substantial enough that we could call it “lunch”. I had the spicy chicken waffle sandwich that had a sweet and spicy sauce on the chicken, plus some slaw and the waffle. It was perfect! I ate every bite. Tara tried the Nutella and fresh fruit waffle sandwich which came stuffed full of strawberries, banana and blueberries. This sandwich was also a hit!

Another major benefit of eating at Sleepy Hollow is the location. With a view of the castle that is hard to match there are also several tables to sit and enjoy your waffle or funnel cake. In my opinion Sleepy Hollow is a spot not to be missed!

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Gaston’s Tavern Review

I had the opportunity to try Gaston’s Tavern on my recent Disney visit and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

Gaston's Tavern Review

This little quick service nook is hidden away in the back of Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom.  You have to walk past Be Our Guest and it’s tucked away there on the left.  It’s a small place with only a few tables and chairs, but if you can find your way in there, it’s worth the walk.

The menu includes chocolate croissants, warm cinnamon rolls, and fresh fruit.  The day I visited was a nice sunny day, not too warm, so I decided to have the Tavern Beef Stew ($9.99).  It’s served piping hot with a generous portion of baguette for dipping.  I have to say, as someone who loves beef stew, my expectations were low.  I was pleasantly surprised by how good the stew actually was!  The beef was nice and tender and the broth was seasoned well.  The potatoes could have used a bit more cooking time as they were not quite as soft as I would have liked, but that didn’t really bother me.  The baguette was crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside.

I washed my stew and bread down with a Le Fou’s brew which I will review in a future blog post so stay tuned for that!

Overall, I highly recommend trying the Tavern Beef Stew at Gaston’s Tavern.  You won’t be disappointed!

Shipping Packages to Your Resort

There is a little known way to save some money at Walt Disney World. Did you know that you can send packages ahead of your visit to your resort? It is a simple process but there are a few things you will want to know.

The first is that at any resort that is a considered a conference resort will charge a fee. These resorts are the Contemporary Resort, Beach Club, and Coronado Springs Resort.

You will need to address it correctly. Here is the format you should use:

Your name- Hold for Guest Arrival *date of arrival*
C/O Resort name
Street Address of resort
City, State Zip code

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When you arrive for check in you will want to ask the cast member at the desk if your package has arrived and they will have it delivered to your room. You do not have to be in the room to accept the package delivery so if you have plans to go elsewhere do not worry.

So what would you have delivered ahead of you? The one thing I always order is a case of water. Water costs $2.75 a bottle and when you multiply that by the number of people it really adds up. You can get free cups of ice water but we like to be able to take our water with us on the go. If you don’t drink Coke products and have to have that Pepsi this is a good way to have your drink of choice without having to purchase them one at a time or bring them with you. This is a good way to get snacks to your resort too. Another great item to ship ahead is diapers and wipes. Baggage prices can be expensive so only taking a small number of diapers with you can really save the luggage space. This is especially helpful if you are going for a longer vacation.

Another great reason for shipping to your resort is if you are planning to use only Walt Disney World transportation. This means no stops off to a grocery store or Target to pick up these essentials. So in the end it can save you a lot of money if you plan it out correctly!

Podcast Episode 79: Disney Cruise Line Budget Comparisons

Have you ever thought about how far your money will travel aboard a Disney cruise?  We’ve got the answer for you!  We break different ships and itineraries down by cost amount so you can get a great idea of how much cruise your budget allows.  We’re positive there’s a cruise out there for you!

Happy listening!

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5 Things NOT to Pack for Walt Disney World

We talk a lot about our packing lists: things to bring in your luggage, things to bring if you’re driving, carry on only, cruise line specifics… but we haven’t touched on one thing! What should you NOT pack for your Walt Disney World vacation.

 

MAKES

  1. Selfie Sticks. As of the summer of 2015 selfie sticks are banned at Disney parks, so leave yours at home!
  2. Pool towels, especially if you’re staying at a moderate or above. At moderate and deluxe resorts pool towels are available by the pool. At value resorts you can take the towel from the room if you’d like, and request more from mousekeeping the next day. Another option is to purchase a beach towel for the pool from the resort gift shop. It’s a great souvenir!
  3. Costumes, if you’re an adult. In order to avoid confusion with costumed Disney characters they ask that adults not dress up as their favorite character. Consider trying Disneybounding instead!
  4. Some toiletries. From a shampoo/conditioner combo and bar soap at the value resorts to shampoo, conditioner, body gel and lotion at deluxe resorts Disney provides H2O brand toiletries in your hotel room. They’re some of my favorites.
  5. A bad attitude ;) What, you know we had to sneak something corny in there! Pack your A game, and your patience and you’re sure to have a great vacation.

What do you leave at home that others consider necessities? Are there things you’d like to pack but can’t due to space? Let us know in the comments section!

Top 5 Tips For A Girls Trip To Disney

So you and your buddies want to plan a girls trip to Disney!  Awesome, however this vacation will be a little different than the ones you’ve planned with the family.  I’ve got some good ideas that will make your girls trip a raging success!

1. Choose your resort carefully.

You and your gal pals are splurging for a trip just for yourselves so you might as well start things off right with a great resort.  For this, I’d choose a Deluxe resort like Disney’s Polynesian Village or maybe Grand Floridian.  You want to be close to the action and feel a bit pampered at the same time.  Grand Floridian even has a Senses Spa on site so it would be a great choice.

2.  Decorations!

If you have space in your luggage, you might consider picking up a few things to decorate your resort room.  If it’s a bachelorette party, say, you can pick up some cute decorations at a party store in your hometown, or have them shipped to the resort via Amazon.  And if you don’t want to do the work yourself, check out Disney Floral & Gifts.  They can deliver right to your room!

3.  Special meals and drinks.

Because it’s a special vacation with your friends, see if you can get reservations to some of the nicer restaurants on property.  Maybe check out California Grill or Narcoosee’s.  If you and your girls want to get something fun to drink, try Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at The Polynesian, or Jock Lindsay’s Hanger Bar at Disney Springs.

4.  Get VIP treatment.

You and your ladies are staying at the best resort, so why not get the VIP treatment and upgrade to Club Level?  There’s complimentary food and drinks all day, plus a cocktail hour every evening.  It’s a great way to take your resort experience to the next level.

5.  Get those buttons!

Let everyone know you and your girls are here for some very special girl time and be sure to get those celebration buttons from your resort check in desk or Guest Relations at the parks.  Maybe you’ll even get a little extra pixie dust!  How fun!

Enjoy this time with your best friends and make the most of your kid-free, spouse-free vacation!

 

 

 

Top 5 Cupcakes at Disney World (at least today!)

The cupcake is a special thing and has it’s own life at Disney. One of the zillion of reasons that Disney is a very special place is their prioritizing of snack foods, like the Dole Whip, but also the cupcake. They do not make one cupcake they make lots of different cupcakes and there is one for every person…keep trying if you have not found it because I believe there is a cupcake soulmate out there for you. Disney also celebrates special events and seasons with special cupcakes and when you find your favorite it will have you coming back and running back into the park for one more (believe me this is my life). This list is subject to change on a daily basis.

  1. Pina Colada Cupcake – Gasparilla’s Grill at the Grand Floridian. This is a new 01882901cad87115f7a1e4ed08131d143985df13dcfavorite because it is a NEW cupcake (at least for me)! Gasparilla’s is the remote quick service at Grand Floridian that let’s face it with all the other great food options at GF why would anyone go there just to try the quick service? Well, we did and then we went back because of the cupcake. It was delightful and not to heavy. It is similar to a coconut cupcake with the added fun of the pina colada flavor and pineapple. YUMMMY!
  2. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake –  Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary Resort This little delight is the perfect mix of peanut butter (my favorite) and chocolate (the World’s favorite). The odd thing is I am not a huge fan of chocolate but this cupcake is above all that. Coincidence that it is at another quick service that you have no business at unless you are a guest at Contemporary (which I was not)? Clearly, I go to all the resorts trying out their quick service cupcakes or something?
  3. Dulche de Leche – Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary Resort. If the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake did not get you there then this one should. It is so gooey and moist just like the best dulche de leche. It is worth every bite and being at Disney has no calories so…monorail over there daily.
  4. ff35a09acde8a7c00d825f6f1e0e824cSmores Cupcake – Roaring Fork at Wilderness Lodge Resort (yes ANOTHER quick service all the beating path). This does not maybe sound appealing or just too plain but it is a great messy wonderful bit of fun. The perfect balance of moist and cakey is one to compare with all of their counterparts and will come out on top. For you chocolate lovers it is topped with a Hersey piece.
  5. Oreo Bon Bon Cupcake – Boardwalk Bakery (for one place and NOT a quick service) at Boardwalk Inn. This yellow cake with vanilla frosting but do not despair chocolate lovers it has Oreo crumbles on top. It is such a great cupcake and everyone loves it from kids to adults alike.

So today these are my top 5 but I will be most likely changing this list next week as I visit the World and have different experiences. All of these cupcakes are available all the time and are not special or seasonal (well they are special but you know what I mean…). What is your favorite cupcake?