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!


Hoop De Doo: I promise It’s for YOU!


Yes, I think I failed at making the title rhyme/singsong but I tried. But, what I hope not to fail at is convincing all of you naysayers to hop off the fence and make your Hoop De Doo reservations for your next Walt Disney World trip now! I was one of you and thought Hoop De Doo was not for me. I was not into Western musicals or theming and considering I could not find myself ever in the campgrounds it did not seem to be convenient. But, all that has now changed and I am singing praises and fun from the barn roof.

We decided to go to Hoop De Doo as a request from a friend who loved it as a child and wanted to see it again as an adult. We grudgingly made the reservations and took the latest show reservation at 8:30pm (so not to miss too much time at the park) and handed over our 2 TS credits (well you do not actually hand them over but for dramatic effect I thought it worked). One good thing was because we did the later show we got an upgraded category and had good seats! Anyway, it is always 2 TS credits but the earlier shows only Category 2 and 3 are available for DDP. If you wait until the latest show you can get Category 1 as well as an option. Anyway, needless to say we had good seats and truly not a bad seat in the space – though personally Category 3 being upstairs is probably not desired but still decent.

We took the boat over from Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness and it was a nice and quick boat ride and then we arrived at the campground. I had never visited the campground so I looked around some and I am guessing these campgrounds are much nicer than other non-Disney campgrounds and if you are a camper – go for it! Before dinner you also have an opportunity for a photopass picture and there were some different Western props, etc. to make cute pictures. The show was in Pioneer Hall and it was a great space and good atmosphere.

Two main parts to review

012f2195b75a45fa038646e966e21d0a1547fb9daeFood – the food was amazing. It was served Family style and it was so good. It is salad, ribs, fried chicken, corn, baked beans, and strawberry shortcake. There were many of us in a food coma by the time dinner was over. I would definitely be ready eat!

Show – great interaction and so funny! It was a vaudeville type show with the actors including the audience and improving and kept me laughing and entertained the entire time. The Pioneer Players really know how to keep you laughing and playing along. It was one hundred times better than I imagined and I would go again!

After the show we boarded the boat back to Magic Kingdom and tried to keep our eyes open or at least our mouths closed and snoring to a minimum as it was over pretty late (shows last about 2 hours) and we were not at our resort.

I am not an easy person to please in certain type shows. I get bored and do not thing cheesy things are funny (sorry this is just the way I am). So, I am shocked I loved it so much – but it is Disney and they always do things pretty well and once again this time they did it again!