Breakfast Options at Animal Kingdom

Part 3 of our breakfast series! Where can you find a good breakfast at Animal Kingdom?

Quick Service

Pizzafari Pizzafari is a great place to use a quick service credit for breakfast at the Animal Kingdom. From a bounty platter featuring eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast, potatoes AND a biscuit to a creamy ancient grain hot cereal (oatmeal, quinoa, and barley) with salted caramel crumble there are some interesting choices for your first meal of the day at Animal Kingdom. Pizzafari also has a breakfast burrito and breakfast croissant sandwich on the menu, in addition to other assorted pastries, danish and more.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments The menu at Tamu Tamu refreshments changes often, but it has been known to feature a breakfast flatbread that is delicious! Another major benefit to Tamu Tamu is it’s location: close to Kilimanjaro Safari, making it a perfect place to stop and grab a bite to eat if you have a few minutes to burn before your FastPass+ return time.

Table Service

Rainforest Cafe Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom serves a table service breakfast. From Belgian waffles to steak and eggs the Rainforest Cafe boasts a large menu sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. To make the most of your morning at Animal Kingdom we suggest making a pre-park opening breakfast so when you’re finished eating you’ll be able to enter the park through the Rainforest Cafe’s entrance to the park, which is separate from the main gate!

Tusker House We’ve mentioned many times here at Dole Whipped that Tusker House is a hidden gem at Disney World. With great food and amazing character interaction, Tusker House is the perfect place to have breakfast at the Animal Kingdom! Though there are no character guarantees, Tusker House usually features host Donald Duck as well as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Daisy, all dressed in safari gear! The breakfast buffet consists of typical breakfast fare: Mickey waffles, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, pastries, fruit and more.

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In addition to these locations you can also grab a quick snacky breakfast to go at many kiosks around the Animal Kingdom like the Harambe Fruit Market or the soon to be opened Starbucks at Animal Kingdom.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Walt Disney World?

When to visit Walt Disney World is a much debated and purely personal decision.  There are many factors to consider when deciding which time of year is right for your family.  If you’ve got kids, you need to think about whether you want to pull them out of school, time off work can be a problem, not to mention the traffic at the parks themselves.  I’m going to give you a list of considerations to include when trying to decide when to plan your trip.

1.  How’s the weather?

Do you loathe hot and humid weather?  Yeah, me too.  If you have a hard time not melting in the heat, stay away from Florida from May to October.  The summer heat and humidity are brutal.  If a little warm weather is just what you’re after, September (after Labor Day) is a great time to visit as crowds tend to be lighter.

2.  Party Animals

Ain’t no party like a Disney party!  If you want to experience Halloween like you never have before, visit in the fall when Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is happening.  If Christmas is more your speed, wait a few months and go for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  These events are seasonal and include lots of magical things you can’t see without a party ticket!

3.  May the force be with you.

Have you got a Star Wars fan in your family?  You might enjoy going during Star Wars Weekends.  These run in May and June at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and include lots of special Star Wars events you can’t see other times of the year.  Mickey and the gang show up in Jedi gear and there’s even a special Star Wars character meal!

4.  Food & Wine

If you’re a foodie or a wine connoisseur, you’ll want to head to Epcot’s Food & Wine festival.  This runs from September to November and includes lots of special food kiosks just for the event.  Crowds tend to be a bit heavier, especially on the weekends, but is still manageable.

5.  Crowded house

If crowds really aren’t your jam, avoid all holidays, including Christmas, Easter, New Year’s Eve, and Independence Day.  The parks are packed to the gills and you could even get turned away at the gate.  Avoid, avoid, avoid.

Disney Cruise Line News Round Up May 2015

Photo via Disney Parks Blog

Photo via Disney Parks Blog

*Disney recently announced fall 2016 sailings and the biggest excitement was the return to New York! Along with the Big Apple Disney will be sailing from Miami Fl and Galveston TX.

The sailings from New York to the Bahamas includes a stop at Walt Disney World and includes a park hopper ticket plus round trip transportation. And of course since you are in the Bahamas a trip to Castaway Cay is in order.

Also there will be one five night sailing to Canada with stops in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick.

In Miami, they are now offering seven night sailings to the Western and Eastern Caribbean and all will include a stop at Castaway Cay.

Galveston will also feature seven night sailings for the Bahamas and Western Caribbean and even a four night to Cozumel, Mexico.

These booking open May 20th so get with your trusty travel agent to get yourself booked!

*River Cruising was announced earlier this year by Disney and they have now added two more sailings for 2016. The first is a seven night Budapest, Hungary to Vilshofen, Germany on the Danube. It includes stops in Slovakia and Austria.

*Halloween on the High Seas for 2015 has been announced!

  • Dream: Sept 7 – Oct 30
  • Fantasy: Sept 5 – Oct 31
  • Magic: Oct 4 – 28
  • Wonder: Oct 1 – 23

Here are some of the activities according to Disney Cruise Line’s website:

  • Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, an atrium party scare-a-bration (in addition to Pirate Night) with ghoulish games, trick-or-treating, dancing and some favorite Disney Pals in their Halloween attire
  • Halloween-themed activities for all ages, including mask-making and pumpkin-carving
  • Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing and Scream, an interactive movie experience where you’re part of the action, followed by a meet-and-greet with Jack and Sally
  • Haunted Stories of the Sea – a campfire-style storytelling experience on the deck
  • Halloween Isn’t Just for Kids – an adults-only party that includes a costume contest


*The Very Merrytime Cruises for 2015 have also been announced!

  • Dream: Nov 9 – Dec 24
  • Fantasy: Nov 14 – Dec 19
  • Magic: Nov 11 – Dec 23
  • Wonder: Nov 6 – Dec 24

Here are some of the activities to look forward to if you sail during this time:

  • Deck the Deck Tropical Holiday Party, a celebration in addition to Pirate Night, with candy-cane limbo, dancing and games
  • Tree Lighting Ceremony, where kids can help light the tree and kick off the holiday festivities
  • Santa Claus meet-and-greet, an exciting opportunity to take family pictures and see Santa and his elves
  • Meet-and-Greets with some favorite Disney Characters, dressed in their holiday attire
  • Teen-only and tween-only holiday parties—private celebrations where teens and tweens can hang out with new friends
  • Holiday storytelling, with new and old tales about holidays at sea and around the world
  • Themed activities and crafts for kids—decorate stockings, make holiday cards, go on a holiday scavenger hunt and more
  • A life-sized gingerbread house made completely with edible ingredients—and the opportunity to make your own gingerbread house
  • Holiday merchandise available for this event

*October 4-24, 2015 the Disney Dream will go into dry dock and there will be some really exciting changes coming to the ship. There will be a new Star Wars themed area, a candy store insprired by Wreck it Ralph and the addition of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! But Disney didn’t forget the adults, they will also be adding Satellite Falls to the Dream, this is an adults only area sure to please.

dream dry dock 2 dream dry dock

*With the coming addition of a Rapunzel stage show we just don’t know what we are most excited about! 2015 and 2016 are going to be the best time to take a Disney Cruise!

Podcast Episode 53: New Experiences Trip Report

If you think there’s nothing new to try at Walt Disney World, then this episode is for you!  Tara gives us the low down on all the new things she tried during her recent trip and we hope she inspires you to do some new things on your next trip!

Happy listening!

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Hollywood Studios Tips

Arrive early, at least 30 minutes. As with Epcot sometimes the park will open early so if you are there early you will be one of the first ones in the gates! Of course you can always make a reservation for Hollywood and Vine for a pre-park opening breakfast.

HS Water Tower

Go right! If you want to check out the headliners most of them are to the right side of the park.

In Disney Jr Live on Stage don’t sit in the front. The view is not going to be great but if you sit towards the middle/back then you will have a much better view of the show.

If you plan to sign your child or children up for Jedi Training Academy this will be one of the first stops you want to make. You will get a show time and make sure to show up with plenty of time to spare.

Get the Fantasmic! Dinner Package. This costs nothing extra. You can use your dining plan credits and get reserved seating and save your FastPass+ for something else. Plus the seating for Fantasmic! is in a really great spot!

Check out The Magic of Disney Animation, you can meet characters, take an animation class and see some really neat Disney memorabilia.


Make a plan, this is important for Hollywood Studios if you want to see more than two shows. In a park that is show heavy you have to make sure you are in the correct place at the time the shows start or you will be waiting a while for the next one.

Meet characters! This is a great park for hard to find characters like the Disney Junior gang or Phineas and Ferb. It is usually home to the newest characters, previous to Hiro and Baymax from Big Hero 6 there was Wreck it Ralph and Vanellope so always check for new character meets!

A and S with Vanellope

Try a cupcake! Hollywood Studios always seems to have always changing cupcakes with some great standbys too. Well worth a snack credit!

See fireworks. If there are fireworks going on at Hollywood Studios do not miss them! They are by far the best of all the parks. Plus it will be less crowded than the Magic Kingdom.

Have a missed a great tip? Share it here I would love to add it to my list!

How To Save Money On A Disney Vacation

card_classic_nemo_front-300x186Have you been dreaming of taking your family on the perfect Disney vacation but you’re afraid you can’t afford it?  I have some tips that will help you save money and make those dreams a reality.

1.  Travel during the off-season.

People will say that there is no off-season at Disney and that’s not entirely true.  There are certain slower times of year that are perfect for visiting.  There is usually some kind of discount for those times as well and using that will definitely save you money!

2.  Think twice about the dining plan.

While extremely convenient, the Disney dining plan is not always a cost effective option.  Think about how you and your family eat, especially when you’re on vacation.  Price out a typical food day using the menus on Disney’s website to see if you’ll even eat enough to justify the cost.  If you plan on doing at least one character meal, the dining plan can save you some cash, since those meals tend to be more expensive.

3.  Consider getting a travel incentive credit card.

There are many different kinds of credit cards that offer a cash back or similar incentives on everyday purchases.  A lot of people use the Disney Chase Visa for their Disney vacations.  One other perk with the Disney Visa is they sometimes offer promotions to cardholders first before it’s release to the general public.

4.  Pack Snacks.

Did you know you can bring your own food and drinks into the parks?  There are certain rules like no glass or coolers, but you can definitely bring your little one’s favorite crackers and juice.  Bringing in your own snacks and drinks can save you from purchasing more expensive snacks at the park later on, saving you a wad of cash.

5.  Purchase autograph books and costumes offsite.

This is kind of a no-brainer, but purchasing autograph books and pens at the parks can be more expensive.  The Disney store website often has Disney Parks products on sale and purchasing them beforehand can save you some money.  Same goes for Disney costumes your kids might want to wear to the parks.

What’s your favorite Disney vacation money saving tip?  Leave it in the comments below!

Remember that as travel agents with Magical Moments Vacations we are here to help you save money! We’re knowledgable about Disney discounts, and will apply any you are eligible for to your reservation. Our planning and expertise are also a great value, they’re FREE when you book through us! Interested? Click on the “Free Vacation Planning” tab above and let’s talk vacation 🙂

Hidden Gem? Animal Kingdom Kidani Kids Pool Area


The whole pool area is great and the kids play area is super cute!


On my recent visit to the World we were lucky enough to be able to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Kidani Pool Chairs...extra comfy!

Kidani Pool Chairs…extra comfy!

Animal Kingdom is a favorite for many, including myself, but I had not stayed there in a few years. On this visit we stayed in a one bedroom villa in Kidani and LOVED it. One area I have never heard about it is the pool area at Kidani called the Samwati Spring Pool and the kids pool area at Kidani. It is never mentioned in passing when talking about the pools and so I just assumed Kidani’s pool in general was a standard Disney pool (great but nothing too special). Well I was wrong. The pool area for everyone is very nice, chairs are great and it has The Maji Bar for when you get hungry or need a cold drink.

One of the great things is it was never very crowded and the theme is the African Wilderness so the decor and ambience is amazing. They do have games like Bingo and trivia and Movie Nights so make sure to check the schedule if you want to partake or avoid these times.

I was exploring the area and came upon the kids area and was fascinated by how much there was for kids to play and the music piped in and seriously hidden gem. It is a large interactive water play area intended for kids under 48″ tall. In addition there are two water slides at the Samwati Springs Pool which is great. One is a traditional larger slide intended for the big kids and then a smaller slide that is just for preschoolers.

In addition it has a zero entry access at the pool and so once again a great option for the little ones!

So, I thought I would share some pictures of the area so you can see how special it is and it may be great for your next vacation.


Splashes of water to run through are everywhere!

Splashes of water to run through are everywhere!















The jungle gym set and slide are just the right size for your little ones!







The water pulley system helped keep you cool as you played!














I can just see little brothers cooling each other off with the little water squirt cannons (just to be nice haha!)






Mom and Dad can hang out in the hot tub while all the fun is going on around them!



Do not be afraid to climb up the big rock slide!




The main pool area is a great place to unwind and take a nap! Enjoy the lush plants and order a drink or sandwich at the Maji Bar and relax.


So have you been to this pool at Kidani Village in Animal Kingdom Lodge? What were your impressions? What is your favorite pool?








Podcast Episode 52: Disney For Boys

If you’ve got a boy in your life that you want to bring to Disney but you can’t think of anything to do that doesn’t have to do with princesses and fairies, then this is a must-listen for you!  We give you the low down on everything boy-centric at Walt Disney World.  We’ve got ideas for rides, shows, restaurants, and more!  Don’t miss it!

Happy listening

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Breakfast Options at Epcot

A recap of your breakfast options at Epcot. To say there aren’t many options for breakfast at Epcot is a bit of an understatement! With the World Showcase not opening until 11am Epcot is usually a better choice for lunch or dinner, but if you do happen to have an early morning planned at Epcot there are still a few options for you.

Snack/Quick Service

Starbucks Fountain View: The typical pastries and coffee are served at this Starbucks location but you can also find some more hearty offerings like breakfast sandwiches, wraps and smoothies. This Starbucks location also features an exclusive Epcot mug from Starbucks collectible “You Are Here” series (Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios also have their own mugs, as will the Starbucks Animal Kingdom location when it opens) so be sure to pick one up if you’re into Starbucks or Disney collectables… or both!

Sunshine Seasons: Sunshine Seasons provides a more filling quick service breakfast if you’re looking for good fuel to start your Disney day. From breakfast platters featuring bacon, eggs, sausage and potatoes to a breakfast panini, oatmeal, bagels and more there is plenty to choose from. Consistently getting some of the highest ratings from guests for food quality, Sunshine Seasons is a great option for breakfast in Epcot.

Table Service

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall: The only table service breakfast at Epcot, Akershus is a do not miss for my family. For breakfast we all prefer Akershus to Cinderella’s Royal Table. The food is delicious and the character interaction is top notch! Plates of bacon, eggs, sausage and potato casserole are served to your table, and there is also a buffet of pastries, yogurt, fruit and more that is available to you. Akerhsus is a great way to start your day at Epcot!

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Animal Kingdom Tips

Animal Kingdom gets a bad rap and I admit I am guilty of adding to it. But to redeem myself here are some tips that you may find helpful when exploring Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

The Kilimanjaro Safaris is worth doing more than once. If you can get a FastPass+ for this for later in the day then go on first thing. The animals may be more active in the morning and no two rides will be the same.614

Save Kali River Rapids for the end of your day, unless it is really hot. This way you will not have to walk around the park in wet clothes all day long. Alternatively you could always wear quick drying clothes or take an extra outfit with you. There are lockers located near the attraction.

Plan to take in at least one of the major stage shows. There are two great choices, Finding Nemo the Musical and Festival of the Lion King. Both are really well done and you can’t go wrong with either choice, but don’t waste a FastPass+ on it since there is plenty of seating for either.

Plan a pre-park opening breakfast at Tusker House. You can get in the park early have a great breakfast and then be in the park back by the Kilimanjaro Safaris when the park opens.


The Boneyard is a great place for kids to blow off some steam. Parents can also sit back and take a quick break while the kids play and dig.

Check out the Wilderness Explorers and earn badges. You will probably learn a lot on the way and maybe explore parts of the park you would not have otherwise seen!

Plan a dinner at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The restaurants in the park are fine but you will find some great places just a short bus ride away. Plus it gives you a chance to see this gorgeous resort and you just may plan to stay there next time.


While Animal Kingdom isn’t the most popular park but there are some great attractions and shows here that are worth seeing!