It’s our 200th episode! We’re so excited to celebrate this milestone that this week we’re talking about how you can make any celebration at Disney special!
Sleepy Hollow is a quick service restaurant located in Liberty Square within the Magic Kingdom. This is a prime location off the hub heading into Liberty Square across the bridge. This cute walk-up has limited seating outdoors both covered and uncovered. The only downside to this location is that it is a very busy walkway so seating can be at a premium and you may find yourself jostled a bit if you are in the uncovered seating area.
The menu is limited but what they do have is pretty great! This is where you can get the famous waffle sandwiches! You can choose the sweet option with Nutella and fruit, or there is the spicy chicken waffle. There is also a breakfast version served until noon!
If you aren’t here for a waffle there is also sausage and cheese stuff pretzel, baked potatoes and funnel cakes! There is also an ice cream cookie sandwich and plenty of drink choices such as water, lemonade, coffee, milk, soy milk, and orange juice.
On my last trip I tried the spicy chicken waffle it was very good and the portion is huge! So if you do get this my suggestion is to ask for the coleslaw on the side this will prevent the waffle from getting soggy while you eat it. Or you could always split it and it makes a pretty filling snack for a good price.
I also tried a bit of the Nutella and fruit waffle and found this to be so delicious! This would make a great and quick breakfast and again very easy to share!
In November I was really excited to take an adults only trip with my favorite Dole Whippies to Walt Disney World. You would not believe the amount of people who were incredulous about the idea of going to Disney without my child, with other adults! But let me tell you, it was an amazing choice! Here are some great reasons why you should take a kid free trip to Walt Disney World.
5. No sharing! Unless you want to! You know how your child will order ice cream that is blue just because it is blue, and you order a delicious mint chocolate chip scoop? Except yours always looks more appealing once it shows up. Well no sharing required, you get that Dole Whip to your self!
4. Explore the World Showcase! This is one place it is hard to appreciate with kids who are just looking for their next snack or attraction. You can really soak in the atmosphere of the different pavilions and experience all there is to do at your own pace!
3.You don’t have to get the light up toy. You know, the kind on the cart that comes out at dusk and they are so bright and flashy and your kid MUST have it and you have to figure out how to get it home. Not this time! You can stroll smugly by and keep your wallet in your purse or pocket.
2. Sleep in and stay out late. Both of these things can be very hard to accomplish with kids of any ages, they get tired or grumpy or both. Well this happens with adults too, but it is generally a little easier to handle. You can take advantage of nighttime extra magic hours and enjoy really low crowds. No reason to get up early with the little ones, just close the curtain and hit snooze!
1. Freedom, sweet freedom. You get to choose which attraction you want to do, which character to meet. You can push lunch back by and hour and not have too many melt downs. Or maybe you decide to linger over a drink or dessert. Or you can try on all the tiaras in the shop in Germany and accomplish nothing else that day. But that is ok because you do what you want.
I can’t recommend enough how much fun it is to feel like a kid at Walt Disney World by going without kids. It is good for the soul and trust me, you will be a better parent for it when you return home!
Recently we did a podcast with 2017 pricing and looked at many different budgets. My budget was for $2,500. The guidelines were that is must be for 3 nights and 3 day park tickets for a family of 2 adults, 2 children 10 and 5.
My trip was June 12-16, 2017 at Port Orleans French Quarter in a standard room with 5 day base tickets the total is $2440.70
If we cheat a little bit and go over budget you can add Memory Maker and the grand total would be $2589.70
I wanted to also price out a similar vacation that included some type of dining plan. Using the same dates of June 12-16 we move over to a value resort All Star Movies standard room. For tickets we have the 3 day base tickets and the Quick Service Dining Plan the total is $2466.98. Bringing this just under the budget!
Of course these are priced out without any type of discount. If a discount is available that will help you save some money as well.
Ready for some more Disney music inspiration for your runDisney or Disney themed playlist? Well look no further! Here is part II with a new list of upbeat and fun songs to help pass the time while you are training or just doing some exercising.
I hope you’ve enjoyed adding some new music to your playlist! Happy Trails runners!
Did you miss Part I? No problem, check it out here.
If you’ve signed up for a runDisney race chances are good you are a Disney fan. So the perfect choice to get you moving and running is some Disney music! I am a big fan of Disney music and I listen to it frequently at home, in the car and yes while running.
Here is a playlist of Disney music to get you through the miles.
I hope you can find some motivation from these songs! Happy trails! Don’t forget to check back for Part II of the runDisney playlist!
On our last vacation we booked as part of our split stay a night at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We had booked a standard room in the Atrium (the main building). Our room was 4722 located on the tenth floor with a gorgeous view of Bay Lake!
The room is 394 square feet, and we felt we had plenty of room to move around and contain all of our items. Upon entering, to the right there is a small bar with the coffee maker, cups and ice bucket. There are two closets in this area as well. The closets contain a luggage rack, ironing board, iron, safe, and two drawers and of course plenty of space to hang up your clothing.
To the left is the bathroom. This features a separate room with a toilet and hamper, as well as double sinks, and a full shower/tub. The best features in here are the awesome shower head, double sinks and clean lines. The bathroom has really great lighting too if you need to see to get ready. Included are towels that are a bit nicer and some really nice and decent sized toiletries, including lotion and body wash.
Walking further into the room to the left is a long desk with a chair and a small rolling table. There are two queen sized beds that are very comfortable. You can really tell the difference from the Moderates and Values in the beds at the Deluxe resorts. The mattresses are more comfortable, the sheets, pillows and blankets are much nicer here as well. To round out the sleeping area on the opposite wall there is a couch that folds down into a bed. It did take us some time to figure out how to turn the couch into the bed (you pull top part down towards you) but we managed! On the same wall as the couch was a large screen television.
The icing on the cake is the amazing balcony with two chairs and a small table. This view was just beautiful and I could have sat all day overlooking the pool, grounds and Bay Lake. Going back to the entrance you could look out your “front door” and get an amazing view of the Magic Kingdom!
Jillian: I was so excited to stay here! This is the one resort that I had always wanted to stay at growing up. It did not disappoint. I thought the room was spacious and clean and I love a modern look, so this was perfect for me. I also think this is a great option for someone who isn’t into Disney because this resort does feel grown up. I thought the beds and furniture were comfortable, the views were spectacular. We had a great experience with bell services so no complaints there.
The not so good: I did find check in to be slow but maybe because we were so excited to see our room. We also found that there were issues with food trays being left in the halls for hours, over 12 hours to be exact! That is pretty bad for a Deluxe resort. Next was our issue with the monorail. This did not run for more than 30 minutes after park closing and the only other option is to walk. I can handle the walk, but I can see families with little ones or those with disabilities having issues with this. Literally the only option to get to the Contemporary is the monorail or to walk. The walk is probably 12 minutes when you are going at a decent clip.
I really enjoyed using the monorail services (when they were running) and even the walk to the Magic Kingdom. I think this resort offers great dining options from quick snacks to extra fancy meals! I loved exploring the shops and amazing views from the decks. The layout of the resort can be a little tricky, just trying to figure out which floor you have to go to get on the monorail or different restaurants took a little work, but mostly we had Tara as our guide since she is most familiar with the resort.
Tara: I had not stayed at Contemporary since I was a wee lass and really have no memory of it. I was thrilled to check it off the list since had recently stayed in Bay Lake Tower it was nice to compare. I love how convenient staying in the Tower is to everything. It is such a quick trip to stores, restaurants, and the monorail. You can not beat the convenience of everything. The room was nice but not Disney enough for many people. It is not “special” but more like an upscale Hilton or Marriott. I LOVED the bathroom though and found it more than special and comfortable. One thing that was nice is at night when you walk into the bathroom it has a sensor and a dim light comes on to help you maneuver. This was a great perk since I did not want to wake up the other girls! The beds were very comfortable and the view was great. I enjoyed it and would stay again, but it is at the bottom of the three monorail resorts for me with Polynesian and Grand Floridian taking the top spots.
Jamie: Walking into the Contemporary for our stay felt so much different from the previous visits I’d made to the resort. We took the elevator up to our room and when we stepped out there was a huge glass wall… and Space Mountain. How cool, to open the door to your hotel room every morning and there is Space Mountain! It’s an experience I’m glad I was able to have. The room was very nice. I especially loved the balcony and our view of Bay Lake. My main “cons” are the ones that Jillian has already mentioned, from the food in the hallway to the lack of transportation at the end of the night. Overall I think the resort is pretty great, but it still wasn’t able to knock the Polynesian off of my top monorail resort spot!
If you haven’t yet given the Contemporary Resort a try you may want to add it to your list of resorts. You can’t beat the location, views, and dining at the Contemporary!
This new restaurant located at Disney Springs in The Landing area is a clear winner. It is open, spacious, bright, and really has the feeling of comfort. It felt so homey and cozy, but also fresh and new. The décor is beautiful and it is so cool to look into the open kitchen. The chairs were very comfortable and felt plush while looking casual at the same time. You could easily dress up for a night out on the town with drinks or wear your shorts and sneakers while taking a break from the parks.
We had a party of 4 for lunch and we all thought the Church Lady Deviled Eggs sounded good. It is 6 full sized eggs so it is easy to share with a larger group. You may be thinking, really deviled eggs? But I assure you these were so, so delicious! The flavoring was just right and the eggs tasted so fresh! These were a winner all around at our table!
My choice for entrée was the Fried Chicken Sandwich. This is a buttermilk-brined for 24 hours and double battered chicken topped with hot sauce, aioli, lettuce, and bread and butter pickles. This was really good! I think the toasted bun just brought it all together so well. It was fresh and filling without weighing you down for a busy day. For a small upcharge I changed the homemade chips for the Iron Skillet Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Cane Sugar, and I must say it was a great choice! These sweet potatoes were just awesome! They are swimming in butter and sugar so don’t think they are a healthy option but get them anyway you will enjoy them!
JAMIE: One of my favorite meals of the entire trip. A+++! I had the same chicken sandwich as Jillian and it was something really special. The long process that goes into making this chicken really does show in every bite. I had the french fries with it and everything came out piping hot and perfectly prepared. I’ll definitely be returning, ASAP.
TARA: LOVED IT! I really enjoyed this lunch and I was excited to try it. I had heard mostly great reviews but was a tad concerned. I had read a few from Southerners that they may fall short on a few items being truly Southern cooking. I definitely did not find this to be the truth – but in fairness I avoided the item that seems to get the bad reviews (green beans). Instead, I had the Chicken Salad and it came with a house dressing that was a mix of ranch and vinaigrette. The dressing was wonderful and very tangy. The salad was fresh and a favorite salad that I get often so I was curious how it stacked up and it came out on top. And just to add to the glowing review of the deviled eggs – they are a must now every time I visit. I am not a huge deviled egg fan but these were definitely special!
CHRIS:For lunch I had the HFK Barbecue Bun sandwich. This was their chopped pork with sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, topped with southern slaw and served on a brioche bun. The pork was perfect, seasoned and cooked just right and served with their sweet and spicy barbecue sauce (which in hind site I wish I asked for an additional side of barbecue it was that good!). In lieu of chips I ordered an additional side of their southern slaw, which lived up to its southern name! Portions were a perfect size for lunch!
The service was great, our waitress was quick to refill our glasses before they were empty, but never hovering around. She was helpful and able to answer all our questions about the menu as well as suggest food choices for us.
This is definitely a great family restaurant or for a night out. The kids menu is small but you could always go with a couple of the sides for kids also. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough and you HAVE to get the deviled eggs!
One of the must try restaurants for me this trip was Columbia Harbor House! I am a huge fan of seafood and this is the go to place in the Magic Kingdom for that. This quick service location is in Liberty Square, just look for the cast member ringing a bell.
I mentioned seafood but that is not the only thing on the menu, there are salads, chicken pot pie, macaroni and cheese, and soups.
For lunch I was torn between two options, luckily Jamie felt the same way and we agreed to split the two. The first one was the Lobster Roll with potato chips this was a hearty serving with lots of lobster and not a lot of filler. The roll it came on was so soft and delicious as well. I give this one thumbs up! The other choice was the Anchors Aweigh Sandwich with chips. This was a tuna sandwich with lettuce and tomato on a toasted multigrain bread. This was even better than the lobster roll. I really really loved this. The tuna was very plentiful and the bread made the sandwich even better. I give this one 2 thumbs up and I would get it again!
Jamie: I was so happy Jillian wanted to split our options for lunch, too! I couldn’t decide and really wanted both, but obviously didn’t want to eat both. I’d previously had the lobster roll so I knew it was good, but I really enjoyed the tuna sandwich, maybe even more so than the lobster. Plus the house chips are really delicious! Both of these options are miles above the “typical” counter service restaurants most people think of. While I enjoy a good burger and fries at Disney, having options like these at Columbia Harbor House really make even quick dining at Disney really enjoyable.
Tara: I had the chicken pot pie with steamed broccoli and since I thought that was super healthy I splurged and had the blackberry cobbler for dessert. The chicken pot pie and broccoli were really good and filling. I could not even finish the pot pie because I needed to save room for the cobbler which was a huge hit. The cobbler was topped with a vanilla cream that was perfect and made it worth the broccoli side at lunch. I definitely recommend visiting Columbia Harbor House!
Shannon: I had the chicken and fish plate. The fish was very good and cooked perfectly. The outside is crispy and light and the fish inside was very tender. The chicken nuggets are the same chicken nuggets you find in other areas of the parks and they are very good for what they are. The fries are basically the same as what you’d find anywhere else in the parks and that’s fine with me because I love them. I was not very crazy about the cole slaw that was included, but it wasn’t bad. I’m just picky about my slaw. Overall, I really enjoyed this meal.
This is a popular place so go early or a little later in order to avoid a long wait time or lack of seating. The food is very fresh and filling and you can find something for even the pickiest eaters. Put Columbia Harbor House on your short list of quick service locations to try!
There are plenty of ways to spend your hard earned dollars at Walt Disney World, but you don’t have to spend them all on your park tickets or resort room. Here are some ways to try out something a little different on your Walt Disney World vacation.
Club Level rooms- This splurge come with great views, continental breakfast, snacks, beverages (including alcoholic beverages), desserts and cordials. Plus if you need itinerary, dining, childcare, transportation services, or golf time set up concierge services can do that. See our series here.
Theme Park View rooms- If you really want to make your family feel special choose a theme park view at select resorts. You cannot beat waking up this type of view or watching fireworks from your bed!
VIP Tour Services-This is an amazing experience but comes with a big price tag. So this is a good splurge to share with friends. Groups are limited to 10 people and must me a minimum of 7 continuous hours.
Spa Services- There are a few spas to choose from at the Grand Floridian, Dolphin, and Saratoga Springs. Some services offered are massages, facials, nails and hair.
Epcot Seas Adventures- There are a few choices such as Dolphins in Depth, a 3 hour encounter for those 13 and up. There is also the Aqua Tour which is snorkeling in the 5.7 million gallon tank for a 2.5 hour experience for those 8 and up. If you are SCUBA certified and 10 years and older you can do the DiveQuest experience. During this 3 hour experience you can swim with over 6,000 sea creatures.
Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian- high tea is served every day in the afternoon features specially blended teas, sandwiches and desserts. What a fun and fancy way to add a little splurge to your vacation.
Victoria & Albert’s- This AAA five diamond restaurant experience located in the Grand Floridian is the ultimate splurge, particularly the Chef’s Table with is a 13 course dinner created just for your party.
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a zany vaudeville comedy show and served with all you care to eat fired chicken, BBQ ribs, salad, and strawberry shortcake. Drinks include unlimited draft beer, wine and sangria for those over 21. This two hour event takes place in Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness. Check out Tara’s review here.
Have you ever splurged for something really unique at Walt Disney World? If so what has been your favorite splurge, we’d love to hear!