Podcast Episode 220: Disney Holidays Trip Report

Here at Dole Whipped, we love sharing our Disney experiences with our listeners.  This week we have a trip report for you from Shannon, who experienced Disney during the holiday season!  We talk about all the holiday magic and festivities you can find at Walt Disney World this time of year!

Happy listening!

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Unique Dining Outside of the Parks – Part I

Sometimes when planning dining reservations for a Walt Disney World vacation people focus on restaurants in the parks.   Fortunately, there are many, many choices outside of the parks and if you plan correctly going to a dining reservation outside of the parks doesn’t have to take a lot of time out of your day.  Of if you aren’t planning to visit a park you can still have plenty of fun and even meet some Disney friends!

 Magic Kingdom Resort Area:
Grand Floridian Resort has two very unique character meal options both at the same restaurant, 1900 Park Fare.  For breakfast you can meet Mary Poppins, Alice, the Mad Hatter, Tigger and Winnie the Pooh.  For dinner you can meet up with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drizella.

Also at the Grand Floridian there is Victoria & Albert’s a very upscale restaurant, having an AAA Five Diamond rating since 2000.  There is also the highly coveted Chef’s Table at Victoria & Albert’s which features 13 courses and the chef personally conversing between courses.  This is definitely a bucket list item!


Photo via Disney.com

Citricos Dining with an Imagineer is a very unique option outside of the park.  Who wouldn’t love to pick the brain of a Disney Imagineer?  This is your chance to ask questions and learn about the behind the scenes of Walt Disney World. 

Within the Wilderness Lodge you will find the Whispering Canyon Café, a buffet with some shenanigans.  If you love great food, a neat atmosphere and sassy and fun cast members you will want to make the trip to Wilderness Lodge for this family style bottomless platters!  Just be careful when you ask for ketchup or straws!

 In the Polynesian Village Resort there is a unique character meal featuring Lilo and Stitch as well at Mickey and Pluto in Hawaiian gear.  Lilo is not featured anywhere else so if you have a person who loves Lilo and Stitch this is THE place to go!

 Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is located at the Campsites at Fort Wilderness and boasts an amazing dinner show with great food, fun, vaudeville comedy, singing and dancing.  And of course Strawberry Shortcake!  There are multiple shows each day in different price categories based on your seat.  You can read Tara’s review here.

Epcot Resort Area:
Another great character meal option is at the Beach Club, Cape May Café!  This is a character meal for breakfast only and features Minnie and friends in their beach attire!  So if you are in Epcot or Hollywood Studios or staying at an Epcot are resort this is a fantastic option that isn’t as well-known as other character meals.  You can read a review right here! 


Photo via Disney.com

Beaches and Cream in the Beach Club boasts more than just ice cream.  This old-fashioned soda fountain has a full menu of burgers, salads, sandwiches, and soup.  But most people are coming for The Kitchen Sink.  This creation has scoops of 5 different types of ice creams, every topping imaginable plus a whole can of whipped cream.  You will need the whole family to finish this monster!  But beware when you order it you will cause some heads to turn since the whole restaurant will light up as this treat makes its way to your table.

 Todd English’s bluezoo located in the Dolphin Hotel is a sleeper choice.  It is a pricey dinner, so maybe for a special occasion this is a great choice.  It has won numerous awards and does awesome seafood as well as plenty of beef, chicken and pork dishes to keep everyone happy.  They even feature a pretty great kid’s menu if you are bringing the whole family.  The restaurant itself is beautiful and you will want to get dressed up for this dinner.


Photo via Disney.com

Check back soon for more  dining suggestions on the Animal Kingdom Resort area and Disney Springs!


Beaches and Cream Soda Shop is the Best Ice Cream in the World…and More

Thanks to Disneyworld.disney.go.com for the photo!

Thanks to Disneyworld.disney.go.com for the photo!

One of the priorities of every family at Disney is good eating (or it should) and one of the best treats (or meals – hey it is Disney) is ice cream. There are many places for you to grab a Mickey Bar or other frozen treat (Dole Whips are also a must of course) but the best ice cream at Walt Disney World and maybe the world is at Beaches and Cream.

Side bar: I am on a mission to find the best ice cream in the world and based on this, I feel I am an expert on ice cream. With all this experience, I am well qualified to recommend a visit to Beaches and Cream on every single Walt Disney World vacation. “Wow (you must be thinking) how lucky you are to come across this blog article because how rare it is to find an ice cream expert – this Beaches and Cream place must be something special”. You are right! You are lucky (haha) and it is special! Though not only do I heart the ice cream, I truly like the non ice cream food at Beaches and Cream as well. So you are in good hands with this dining recommendation.

Beaches and CreamBeaches and Cream is a fun, diner style restaurant that will remind you of an old-fashioned Eastern seaboard ice cream shop. The restaurant is small and only houses a few tables and some vinyl booths; plus some extra seating at the counter where you get a front row view to the grill and all the going ons with the food! Beaches and Cream is a one credit Table Service restaurant (on the Disney Dining Plan). A tip for you though is it is also a good place to pay out of pocket if you are in need of an extra table service credit. If you want to use two table service credits for one of the amazing signature dining options or just want an extra sit down meal during your trip then this is where you should take advantage. It’s pricing is not overly expensive (on Disney’s scale) and the food and options are top notch. Last year they did start taking reservations, for lunch and dinner, which was a great thing because the wait to sit down and eat could easily be over an hour during busy times. Beaches and Cream is located at the Beach Club Resort and to get there just head out the back side and over to Storm Along Bay. You have two options to get served there by either having a reservation (or waiting for a table or sit at the bar) to order from the full menu or they also have a separate to go line to order ice cream or beverages from if you want to enjoy these items outside by the pool or at one of the outdoor tables they have set up. Yes, you may be already thinking it is too far or difficult to get to if you are not staying at one of the Boardwalk area resorts. Well, to you I say first why are you not staying at one of those amazing resorts and yes it is worth it! Just walk out the International Gateway (back side) of Epcot and either walk or take a Friendship boat over to the Beach Club. Even if you have to take a bus or taxi, it is still worth it, and honestly if you have to walk from anywhere I would still tell you to go.

First let’s talk about the menu that does not include ice cream. I know, I know, but saving Beaches and Cream burgerthe best for last and all that. But, do not discount the menu or think all that is good is the ice cream because besides having the best ice cream in Disney they also have the best burgers on property as well. I always announce I am only going to eat ice cream instead of a meal first so I can have lots and lots of ice cream…but I get there and start smelling the burgers and I can’t resist. So, order the burgers and fries…it is really a great burger. The other items on the menu are great as well. We have tried the chicken sandwich and the Beaches hot dog and both were great. For vegetarians out there or just someone who wants something a little different they offer a vegetarian falafel and though I have not tried it, I have first hand knowledge from a picky vegetarian that it is wonderful. Oh, and the grilled cheese and tomato bisque soup – now that is my favorite combination of foods at home and I am sure they do it top notch there but honestly at Disney I am usually not ordering soup…but that is just me! The lunch and dinner menus are the same and pricing is the same too for both and ranges from $10-$17 and it is a great value for the excellent food.

Now on to the piece de resistance and that is the dessert menu, in which everything includes ice cream and usually a twist…it is not just apple pie or even apple pie a la mode but it is apple-cranberry pie a la mode. The options are endless and start with a good old fashioned sundae with two scoops of ice creams “drenched with your choice of one of the following toppings: Marshmallow, Strawberry, Pineapple, Peanut Butter, Hot Fudge, Caramel, or Chocolate Syrup topped with Whipped Cream, Toasted Almonds, and a Cherry”. If you want something different and my favorite try the No Way Jose which

No Way Jose

No Way Jose

is a “Peanut Butter and Hot Fudge delight featuring Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Morsels, Whipped Cream, and a Cherry” and is one of a kind. If you are the most daring you will order the flagship item of the “kitchen sink”. This is “scoops of Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Coffee, and Mint Chocolate Chip smothered in every topping available” and serves four (so they say but I would not order two if you have more people!) For all of you interested but think oh how much could it really have in it for toppings a cherry or two and some whipped cream? Well here is the list:

  • ½ cup fudge topping, warmed
  • ½ cup butterscotch topping, warmed
  • ½ cup peanut butter topping, warmed
  • 1 medium banana, sliced in 1/2 –inch slices
  • 1 cinnamon spice cupcake (2 ½ x 1 ¼-inch), quartered
  • 1 angel food cupcake (3 x 1 ½-inch), quartered
  • 2 4-oz. scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 2 4-oz. scoops chocolate ice cream
  • 2 4-oz. scoops strawberry ice cream
  • 1 4-oz. scoop mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • 1 4-oz. scoop coffee ice cream
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • ¼ cup marshmallow crème
  • ¼ cup strawberry topping
  • ¼ cup pineapple topping
  • 1 14-oz can dairy whipped topping

    Full Kitchen Sink! Thanks Disney Parks blog for the picture.

    Full Kitchen Sink! Thanks Disney Parks blog for the picture.

  • 1 brownie (6-inch x 6-inch), quartered
  • 1 regular-sized (2 ounce) candy bar, quartered
  • 4 chocolate cookies with cream filling
  • 1 tablespoon sliced toasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon dark and white chocolate shavings
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate cookies with cream filling, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jellied orange slices (approximately 2 large slices)
  • 1 tablespoon milk chocolate chip morsels
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter chip morsels
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 tablespoon rainbow sprinkles
  • ½ cup drained maraschino cherries

Hungry yet? The price of all but the kitchen sink desserts range from $6-$9 and the kitchen sink is a bargain at $28.99 because of all the sugary goodness in one “kitchen sink”. If you want to save a few dollars and have a lot less fun (okay maybe not a lot less but some less fun you can go for the mini kitchen sink or the “Mickey’s pants bowl” which

Mini Kitchen Sink

Mini Kitchen Sink

you do get to take home with you as a souvenir so this helps make up for less sweet goodness. Plus if you want to experience some magic not only do you get the kitchen sink the whole restaurant will know because the lights start flashing and alarms go off and bells are rung as the cast member delivers the treat to your table. It is a good time for all but warning this dessert is not for the faint of heart (or anyone on a diet)! Oh wait, I forgot there are no calories at Disney but if there were I would not know or tell you because who wants to ruin the magic?

Are you sold yet on Beaches and Cream? If not, you must be crazy because there is not a better combination than Disney and Beaches and Cream that I know of but you tell me…what is your favorite Disney ice cream?