Minnie’s Holiday Dine Review – Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine


The newest character dining opened up, over the holidays, as a one-off for dinner at Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood Studios. It was a one-off experience because it was supposed to just be a holiday party event called Minnie’s Holiday Dine. It was so popular that they decided (because they are SMART) to make it every night and it would change themes based on seasons.

  • January 4, 2016 – March 20, 2016
    Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine

    Celebrate Hollywood blockbusters at a banquet honoring the glitz and glamor of Tinseltown!
  • March 21, 2016 – June 5, 2016
    Minnie’s Springtime Dine

    Shake off winter’s chill with a fabulous fête marking the bright and beautiful delights of spring!
  • June 6, 2016 – September 11, 2016
    Minnie’s Summertime Dine

    Heat things up at a beach-inspired bash welcoming the excitement of the season!
  • September 12, 2016 – November 6, 2016
    Minnie’s Halloween Dine

    Head to Minnie’s favorite haunt as all her pals gather for a frightfully festive Halloween feast!
  • November 7, 2016 – January 6, 2017
    Minnie’s Holiday Dine

    Deck the halls at a dazzling dinner party filled with holiday cheer and the joy of the season!

IMG_2730We went on our girls trip at the end of January and got to partake in the Silver Screen Dine which was a fantastic theme and so much fun. We had reservations at 6:40pm and Hollywood Studios closed at 8pm. We did have to wait in the rain for a few because we got there early and they did not allow us to even check-in early so that was a bummer. The reason I am sharing this info is because it ended up making the experience even better because we were in the last waveIMG_2725 of diners and once it started clearing out the characters had all the time in the world to play with whoever was left. Daisy was decked out in diamonds and an evening dress and was asking all the boys to dance. The family next to me had a beautiful teenage son who had special needs. Daisy was amazing and made his trip total magic. She kept pointing to her ring finger and he figured out she wanted him to propose. Those two danced the night away as I sat there with the other girls in tears of joy watching Disney magic right in front of us.

The characters that are there are of course Minnie, our gracious host, Daisy, Mickey, Goofy and Pluto. They all were in cocktail dress and tux attire and looked very fancy! The food was good, it was Hollywood and Vine and a buffet so lots of IMG_2732options and the desserts were really quite nice. But, it was the fun with the characters that made this a favorite.

I want to go to all the different themes and smart they are because this is not the normal one and done character meal. No more been there done that until you hit all seasons!


Podcast Episode 82: In Depth: Pop Century Resort

We continue our in depth resort series with Dole Whipped favorite, Pop Century!  We discuss all the amenities, conveniences, and excellent themeing this resort has to offer.  We think you’ll like it as much as we do!

Happy listening

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Dinner Review: Big River Grille


During the Dole Whippies’ girls weekend at Walt Disney World we decided one night to try and grab dinner at Big River Grille & Brewing Works at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn resort hotel. An easy walk from our Yacht Club location, we walked up to the counter and were seated right away. The biggest draw to this restaurant for us was being able to sit outside on the patio. The view of Crescent Lake and ability to watch all the activity on the Boardwalk are a major draw for this restaurant. It gave us all that “we’re on vacation!” feeling, which sometimes lacks at other Disney restaurants.

On to the food!

I had the Hazlenut Crusted Chicken: Sautéed and served in sun-dried cherry sauce. Accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables. $16.50


Tara had the Kobe Burger: A premium 8 oz. American-style Kobe beef burger is grilled to order and served with lettuce and tomato. $14.50


Shannon enjoyed the Blue Ridge Pork Sandwich: A Traditional pulled pork with Rocket Red Barbecue Sauce. $9.99


Big River Grille is also a brewery, where you can watch a brewmaster at work crafting 6 specialty beers available for purchase during your meal.

We all agreed, the food was good. But just good. While we’ve had much better meals at Walt Disney World there are two big things going for Big River Grille: 1) The atmosphere and 2) Availability. Big River Grille is a great option for those who have an open night (a “date” night perhaps!) or didn’t make dining reservations, especially those in the Boardwalk area resorts.


Have you eaten at Big River Grille? What did you think?

A First Timer’s Review of Boma

On our January girls trip, I got to experience Boma for the first time.  Jamie and Tara had already been there before so they filled me in on what to expect.  They love this African inspired buffet in the main building of Animal Kingdom Lodge and so did I.  I’m sure you will too!


First of all, don’t get hung up on the “African inspired” part.  Yes, there are a few things on the buffet you might not be familiar with, but overall, there is enough selection and enough familiar that everyone is going to find something that they like.

Again, it is a buffet.  The price includes a non-alcoholic beverage plus all you care to eat.  Buffet items include: a variety of salads, a carving station that includes prime rib, a variety of soups, several different vegetables and sides, a bread selection, and a very extensive dessert collection.  Don’t worry, there are still standbys like mashed potatoes, different fruits, assorted hummus, and even sweet potato fries!

There was so much to choose from, I’m sure I didn’t try it all.  I have to say I liked everything I tried, some things I liked better than others, of course.  There is a tomato salad at the beginning of the buffet line that I just adored.  I really liked the chicken corn chowder, and the prime rib was amazing.


Speaking of prime rib, at that station there are a variety of sauces you can choose from to accompany your meat.  I decided to try them all.  There’s a chipotle sauce that’s very smoky, a pesto with pecans, a tamarind barbecue sauce that’s amazing, and the Boma mustard.  Save yourself some time and head straight for the mustard.  It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s everything you ever need in life.


Let’s move on to dessert.  Go ahead and grab yourself a few of those Zebra Domes because they’re the signature dessert here at Boma.  They’re a wonderfully light chocolate filling housed in white chocolate with a dark chocolate drizzle and they are so, so good.  I also tasted the apple cobbler which was great.  Other dessert offerings are assorted cookies and brownies, key lime cheesecakes, and even panna cotta.


I am truly not an adventurous eater and I have to say that I loved Boma and I can’t wait to go back.  So I highly suggest everyone step out of their comfort zones and give it a try!  You won’t be sorry!


Rapid Fill Refillable Mugs at Walt Disney World

At the Disney Resorts there is a very good deal you may have overlooked. The Rapid Fill Refillable Mugs that are available at the quick service locations at the resorts could save you a bundle of money. As of 2016 the cost is $16.99 plus tax for the length of stay. What this includes is a plastic mug that has an RFID chip embedded in the base. This allows you to fill the cup with fountain beverages (soda pop, Powerade, lemonade, and water), coffee, and iced tea. The RFID chip and the chip reader have a timer which will allow you to fill your mug every 2 minutes.


There are mug wash stations which have a faucet and sink. However if you are like me and want to mix up your beverages my suggestion is simple. Take a new, dry sponge and put some dish soap on it. Allow it to dry out, then cut into pieces. When it is time to go on vacation put a few of these pieces into a baggie and you have soap to wash your mug!

If you purchase the dining plan you will get the refillable mugs as part of that purchase. You will just need to choose your mug and pay with your Magic Band.

Some other things you will want to know. You can use the mugs at any Walt Disney World Resort, but not at the parks. Do not microwave the mugs, this will ruin the RFID chip which means no more drinks. Your refills will end the day you check out at 11:59pm.


Why do I think this is a great value? The cost of single 20 oz drink at Disney is around $3.50 and say you need your coffee in the morning and then need a pick me up or some lemonade in the afternoon, and then again in the evening you need some Powerade to hydrate you are looking at $10.50 and that is if you are the only one getting a drink. Plus at the end of your vacation you get a cute new mug to take home! The mugs are very sturdy and will hold up to many times through the dishwasher as my 2013 mugs will attest.

rapid refill

In order to get a good value you will want to look at how long your visit it. Next you will want to look at your drinking habits, are you a morning coffee, tea or pop drinker? Are you going to be hitting up the refill station at least another time during the day? If you are going to go at least two times I day I think it is worth it. Especially if you fill it up twice in one visit to the food court. Plus if you think of it a partially a souvenir the cost is really reasonable.

Podcast Episode 81: Girls Trip Report

Last episode we covered the planning of a girls trip and this week we have a trip report!  Jamie, Tara, and Shannon made the girls trip happen and they’ve come back to let you all know about the fun and informative things they did.  There’s even a segment on recon over at the Dark Side, aka Universal.  Don’t miss it!

Happy listening!

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A Hidden Gem at the Boardwalk: The Garden Cottages Review


The highly anticipated review (right??) of my stay at the Garden Cottages is finally here. It took awhile because I knew it was going to take a while to write and get in every last nook and cranny of what you need to know.

011cf45e9ca34f787d3aea51ca26aa6992c7de531eFirst, please if you can find a way book at least a night or two at the Garden Cottages on your next adults only (or small family trip). Though spacious, they do only sleep 2-4 people and after 2 people in a King bed the other two are on a sleeper sofa to make 4. The Garden Cottages at Boardwalk are the most special place to stay on Disney property. I can hands down put it up against the best of any resort and though I have not yet stayed on an over-water bungalow I have stayed at pretty much everywhere else and these cottages are unique and special in so many ways.

They are part of Boardwalk Inn and are club level so you get all the extra amenities of club level including the lounge access and special 013dc5dadb000aba94f0652f284bad6f38a28ded2bcheck-in so though the price of the cottages might scare you for a minute – they do come with lots of extras. We were lucky enough to get to stay here for two nights at the end of a longer trip that we were staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The last two nights just myself and my friend moved ourselves over and when we drove up to the valet entrance of Boardwalk and were whisked away (literally whisked) away to a side door I was so excited to hear “would you like to see the cottages first before check-in”. YES! I did not want to wait one more minute before seeing for myself these hidden gems. We went a secret way out of the building (it may not be secret but it was to me because do not ask me to replicate it) and shot out a side back door to an outdoor atrium area. In this area 019e194e383c8440ba27a51d6688329e6e1987bdd0there were pathways and lush grass and beautiful noises (I promise they pipe in special noises or Snow White was there with the birds chirping). You are surrounded by the Inn and can only see beautiful grounds and resort (and a wonderful quiet pool). You really feel like you have entered into a different world from way back in time when things were quieter and a slower pace. We walked along the path for a minute until our wonderful Cast Member stopped in front of a white picket fence with gate and opened it and said “Welcome Home”. You enter the gate into your own private garden area (and they are all designed a little different) and then your front door are beautiful french doors that open into your 2 story cottage.

There are 14 cottages total and they line up along the row each with their own fence, gate and cute little mailbox. I could/would and should live there.

Once we entered and squealed in glee, and tried to act cool for the Cast Member as if we 017b268f9f461fe3b190cff307b610021b58cb8692were always in places as nice as the garden cottages, we placed our carry over bags down and went to the club level lounge to check-in and graze a minute.

I have reviewed the Club Level Lounge at Boardwalk, so for more info on it please check HERE. Once checked in we went back to explore the cottages. So, let’s start with logistics the cottage is a 2 story loft with the bedroom being a loft overlooking the main living area (so no door to separate you from anyone on the sleeper sofa). When you walk in through the french doors from your private garden (LOVE saying that!) you enter a spacious living area with a full size sofa and a love seat, a large TV, a desk and coffee table. On the side is a half bath and a 0166a0166e58b5aeca93a2af7a21ab571cb2d57e3ckitchenette/bar area that is perfect for a cocktail party and inviting a friend or two over to share in your new home (um well for a few nights?!) We did just this and had a couple over to see our new place and have a “house warming” party before going to Food and 012651891314c853034e936bf3788a0d426028b3adWine for the evening at Epcot and they loved our new home so much they have invested in one as well come April! To the side of the living room is stairs going up to the loft with the king bed and dresser and end tables and then a very nice full size bath with the oversize tub and separate shower. One cool thing about the loft is across from it is a large overhang where there are a few large windows that let the sunlight in and out – coolest part is they give you a remote so you can lower these or raise them depending on what you want!

01f6a167b0f09625c1792662de7be9222dd19f39f7Overall the decor goes along with the Boardwalk theme of the 1920’s Atlantic City (or Coastal) decorations and colors. There were so many Disney touches like a beautiful Mickey desk lamp and other Disney treasures in Art on the wall and such that it made the place special. The one01f0f0d1142fcce4f0b0824395e3bb389998ae7d6f piece of info, since this is a review, is the furniture is a bit dated. I think the garden cottages might be ready for a furniture refurbishment. I would not let this stop you though because it is very comfortable and the location and extras far outweigh a bit of dated furniture.

We loved these cottages so much it was hard to pull ourselves away from them to go to the parks and honestly had a very relaxing last two days after a fast paced week relaxing in our quiet Disney world.


Mousekeeping brought us treats everyday we were there and everyone definitely made us feel loved. I had no idea how special these were and most people have never even heard of them! Have you ever stayed there or heard of them? Let me know!


Pick-a-Pearl Review

Located inside the Japan pavilion in Epcot is one of Walt Disney World’s hidden gems: the pick-a-pearl experience. For the reasonable price of $15.96 you get an experience and a souvenir! What could be better.

After paying at the register you’re given a number. They’ll call out your number when it’s your turn to pick a pearl. I didn’t have to wait long at all for my number to be called! The hostess instructed me to pick out an oyster, and made absolutely sure it was the one I wanted before she pulled it from the water. My personal strategy is to choose the ugliest oyster, the theory being that the ugly oysters sit longer and thus have more time to make a bigger and more beautiful pearl!

Luckily, my strategy worked this time. The hostess pulled my oyster out of the water and counted down (in Japanese of course) before opening the oyster. I was rewarded with a gorgeous 7.5mm white pearl!

The hostess cleaned the pearl for me, and put it into a small plastic bag. You do have the option of purchasing settings for your pearls at pick-a-pearl. They have earrings, cage necklaces, brooches and more. Here is just one example (from Tara’s pick-a-pearl!):


Gorgeous, right? And special. Don’t skip the pick-a-pearl experience on your next trip to Epcot!

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.

IMG_2787 IMG_2772 IMG_2771

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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