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Old 03-14-2011, 10:07 PM   #31
MommytoaSweetie
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Day 4 - Sunshine Seasons lunch & Akershus dinner

Day 4

After a good night’s sleep, we headed out for morning EMH at Epcot. Since we had an early morning, we ate our on-the-go breakfasts again… it was so nice to just be ready to go in the morning!

When we were ready for lunch, we headed over to

Sunshine Seasons

I love the selection there! So many options and varieties, and the desserts are wonderful. It’s a little hectic in the food area, especially with two small children at your side. It would be easier if you knew what you wanted before you went in, but that’s hard to do with so many food areas, so we just had our kids stick close to us and it worked fine, just a little stressful for a few minutes until we got seated at a table.

DH went to the Asian area and got the Mongolian Beef with noodles and broccoli. He says it was okay – not amazing… he’d get it again if he was in the mood, but maybe try something else. I actually think he’s had the beef before, so if he thought that previously, he must not have remembered. He also got the Key Lime Pie for dessert – that thing is BIG, and looks delicious… if it wasn’t sour. I make it at home not-sour (and DH still likes it that way), but I don’t like sour things so it’s too much for me. But if you like Key Lime Pie, it’s a good choice.



I got the sustainable fish of the day… it was some white fish, maybe tilapia? I think I asked, but now I don’t remember. It was very yummy, though! Not super fishy-tasting, and the pine nuts and sauce on top were delicious with it. It was served on a cold salad of marinated green beans, potatoes, and tomatoes. The salad was good – different than I’d think to make at home, but I really enjoyed it and I might try something similar with our CSA green beans this summer. I really enjoyed that meal! My dessert was a chocolate mousse cake (it’s in the picture above), and it was very tasty and chocolatey.



Our girls wanted mac & cheese, so they split that and each got an applesauce as a side (we forgot our own), and I let them get a treat of chocolate milk to drink. Our kids never get chocolate milk at home (only when Daddy is on a business trip), so it’s a big treat on vacation. They finished up their meal quickly, and then DD1 ate my tomatoes and DD2 ate some of DH’s noodles before we all split the desserts.



Overall, I’d give Sunshine Seasons a 10/10 for quick service – there is so much to choose from, lots of seating, and the location is great because it’s so close to other rides.

For dinner, we had a reservation at our favorite princess place,

Akershus!

This was our 3rd visit – we’d been before once for dinner and once for breakfast. Our girls, especially DD1, were EXTREMELY excited for this!! DD1 was remembering a LOT about it – she honestly remembers a lot about all of her trips to WDW (she’s now been 3 times), even from her first trip when she wasn’t even 2 yet. So her memory of Akershus was pretty good, and she knew what was going to happen. After taking a picture with Belle (DD1 was feeling a bit shy, so just DD2 went up), we sat on the side near the entrance of the princesses. It’s nice to see them come out and know right when they’re getting to your table. Our server came by, took our drink order, and made sure we knew what was happening. We were welcome to go to the cold buffet any time, but since princesses started coming out, we waited for them first.

Meeting the princesses was WONDERFUL – DD1 was SOOOOO thrilled to meet each of them (even though she has before, it’s still an extremely fun experience at her age), and couldn’t help her squeals of delight as they came through the doors. She went up to each (we saw Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and Ariel), smiled with them, and gave them a big hug. A year since she last saw them, she now initiated getting out of her seat and all of her interaction – she kind of wanted to talk to them a little more, but still didn’t know what to say yet so it’ll be fun to see her grow. They were all very sweet and we weren’t rushed with them. When Ariel came through the door, there was extreme delight at our table – we had been to Akershus before, but had somehow never seen Ariel there, and DD1 was hoping to meet her in her dress. So as Snow White got to our table, Ariel was out in the restaurant, and DD1 kind of rushed through meeting her so that she wouldn’t miss Ariel. The excitement clearly rubbed off on DD2, who until that point had stayed in her highchair (they didn’t have booster seats, btw). As soon as Ariel came close, DD1 rushed out of her chair to give her a hug, and DD2 asked to get out and hug her, too! It was so fun to see her get in on the fun, too!

After meeting all the princesses, we went up to the buffet. They have salad greens, various other salads (pasta, potato, cucumber/tomato, shrimp, beets, etc), cut melon, deli meats, cheeses, rolls, capers, and smoked salmon. I really enjoy the buffet – it offers some less traditionally-American foods and a good opportunity to try something you might not normally, with plenty of options for more picky eaters. DH got salad, pasta salad, some meats, cheese, and a roll.



I had salad with other salads on top – beets, cucumbers, potato salad, pasta salad, and shrimp salad, with some cheese. It was all REALLY tasty – especially the shrimp salad! I could seriously eat just from that buffet and not need more.



Our girls chose some ham, cucumbers (which were gone before I took the pic), beets, cheese, and fruit. I loved that our girls – who sometimes will eat them but not always – ate the beets because they were princess pink.



For our entrée, I got the salmon, and it was delicious!! Cooked wonderfully, the vegetables underneath were great, and I loved the whole thing.



DH got the Traditional Kjottkake, which are described as dumplings, but it turned out they’re really like our version of meatballs. Once he realized that his expectation was just wrong, DH enjoyed them.



Our girls got pizza – I just ordered one because they were going to split it (since DD1 was on the plan), but they brought out two, and didn’t charge us for the second! I think they did this for us when DD1 was younger (she was almost 2 at her first trip there for dinner), but I was still surprised they did it again. It’s such a nice gesture, and the pizza was pretty tasty! (I tried a bite since they weren’t going to finish theirs).



Dessert comes out served family style, with three items to share. The chocolate torte was very yummy and we all finished it off. The rice cream was okay – if you like rice pudding, you’d be a fan… we ate some of it, but it wasn’t anyone’s favorite. The puff pastry was really yummy – it’s filled with a cheese mixture, similar to a cream cheese, and the berries with it were good, too. I like that they give you different options of items we wouldn’t necessarily choose, but are fun to try.



At some point during our meal, there was a Princess Processional for children to parade around the room with the princesses. I’m not sure if we just missed this before, but we hadn’t seen this done, so our girls weren’t exactly sure what to do. DH took them up and had them hold hands, and then the sweetest girl (who had been sitting at the table next to us and we had talked to a little) – she was probably 9 or 10ish – held hands with DD1 and helped our girls walk around with the princesses. It was SO SWEET!! If she hadn’t done that, our DDs probably would have come back to the table, but she helped them feel comfortable with the situation and they talked about it the rest of the trip (and since then!). I thanked her parents after taking pictures, and I hope they know how their daughter made our vacation more special.

Another mom came up to us as they were leaving (we were a little slow with our food, as is usual for our family… our girls are slooooow eaters ), and she was expressing how much fun she had watching our DD1 with her excitement about the princesses. She had and older daughter, who used to get that way, and it was a fun reminder to her… and it was a really good opportunity for me to remember to enjoy the moment of our girls being young – they will grow up and change (which is good, too), and I’m so thankful that we have been given these opportunities with them.

Overall, we’d give Akershus a 10/10 for everything… the food, princess interaction, guest entertainment, etc… it’s such a special place! And yes, if you read in my first post, we did go there again – the next day – so we really do enjoy it.
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We are so blessed! Trip to WDW in the 80s courtesy of Make-A-Wish, two trips in the 90s thanks to youth group and a band trip, then a trip in 2004 with DH - what started the trend. Another short trip in 2005, a trip to DisneyLand in 2008 with our DD1, another trip to WDW in 2008 with DD1, trip in 2010 with DD1 and DD2, and just another in February 2011 with DD1 and DD2. It's been amazing!

DH, me, and our two beautiful girls (5 and 3)

Our dining report from our February 2011 trip
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:26 AM   #32
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Yumm...This is making me hungry, and is VERY helpful! Thanks for sharing
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:47 AM   #33
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Loving your report so far!

Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:51 AM   #34
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I'm so glad you enjoy Akershus. We will be dining there for the first time, on our trip this summer. My DD will be 8 and has done CRT 3 times now so we wanted to try something different. I was a little concerned about the food choices being a little "different" at Akershus. My kids are not adventurous eaters. I feel better seing things like meatballs and pizza! Of course my kids would never eat beets...even princess pink ones
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:55 PM   #35
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Oh a new chicken parm dish at PH? Hope its still there in Sept, that has to be new!
I hope it sticks around till sept, it looks like a great dish!
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:53 PM   #36
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Loving your reviews!
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:05 PM   #37
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Wonderful reviews
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:58 PM   #38
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Day 5 - Akershus lunch and Everything Pop dinner

(I'm so sorry I've been slow in finishing this up!! Who would have thought my life would get so busy in mid-March!? )

Day 5

We had another day at Epcot… it’s just too big of a place for us to get through the whole thing in one day! So we had our on-the-go breakfasts and had a fun morning in the park. After our AAA Storytime Experience (Jasmine was our storyteller), we were very close for our lunch at

Akershus! (again!)

We booked Akershus twice this time because DD1 soooooo desperately wanted to see Ariel in her dress and it was our best chance… besides that they just love it there and there was no reason not to. I originally had a Garden Grill ADR, but changed it for the hopes of Ariel, and I was so thankful I did after our first masked-character experience.

When we checked in the night before, the wait was about 5-10 minutes… no big deal. Well this time, checking in for lunch was a 10 minute line in and of itself, and then there was another 10 minute wait after that just to get in the line to see Belle. Kind of annoying, but not a huge deal. Thankfully, once we were in line for Belle, things went quickly and it was a wonderful experience. Again.

We were seated in a different room this time, which was especially nice, just to make things different. We definitely knew the drill this time, and the princesses weren’t near us yet, so we went up to the cold buffet first. By our 5th day, we had also learned an important lesson – if you’re paying for a “big” meal (like a buffet), you might as well get your money’s worth. We learned that on our Animal Kingdom day, where we ate enough at a late breakfast to just have snacks at lunch. So since we were paying for a “big” lunch, we ate like it was dinner… so we loaded up our buffet plates. HA! I don’t have any pictures, because the food was the same and it was still delicious, and we enjoyed it again.

The lunch menu was different than the dinner menu had been for smaller, lunch-size portions. So we were extra glad to fill up more at the buffet. The lunch food was still yummy. I got an open-faced chicken sandwich with a vegetable soup. I enjoyed the sandwich, although the bread was a little hard and it was difficult to eat gracefully. The soup had a lot of flavor from all the different vegetables. I liked that it was NOT salty, but still seasoned nicely.



DH got the chicken and green beans. He liked it, but getting him to describe anything more about it is not happening right now, so I’ll just say it must have been fine.



Our girls again got the pizza, and they again each got one. And our server was so sweet... this meal we had put a note about their birthday on the reservation, so she brought out a cupcake for each birthday girl with a card signed by the princesses - plus our server had written a note on the card to them (personally!) in her own Norwegian language. It was such a special touch, and we really appreciated it! And our girls definitely enjoyed the cupcakes.



Dessert was the trio again – since we were pretty full, we didn’t even touch the rice cream this time, and we knew that we liked the puff and the chocolate best.

The best part of going to Akershus a second time was that DD2 knew what to expect this time – and wanted in on the action! She wanted to hug all the princesses, the girls both held hands and went around during the princess processional… the whole time was just beautiful. I was so thankful we ate there twice! Considering that at this age, princesses are the best part of DisneyWorld for our girls, to get that extra time with them was definitely magical. I’m not sure we’d do it again (since there wouldn’t be a need), but if our girls asked us to (and we were on the dining plan ), I’d probably agree to go twice again.

We made our second Epcot day a half-day and left around 4:30, so we swam in the pool a bit and then got dinner at

Everything Pop

The food court there has a lot of variety, similar to Sunshine Seasons. I really like that! But it’s also a bit confusing to walk around, especially with little kids. Thankfully it wasn’t too busy so that didn’t add much stress. DH got a pulled port sandwich with fries – he again says that it was good. That’s all. (that’s not a bad or good description for him… it was food so he ate it… that’s just him )



I was going to go for the Mom’s special thing (I think it was roast turkey?) but when I got up and saw the salmon, I changed my mind to that. It came with rice that was a little more flavored than I anticipated – not bad, just not what I was expecting, green beans that were yummy, and corn bread similar to Boston Market. It was great!



DD1 wanted a hotdog and DD2 wanted mac & cheese, so we just let them each get their own… it’s only $5 for another meal and we needed the drinks & sides anyway. They both wanted applesauce, and then DD1 saw the “Jammin Gels” and really wanted that, too… so I felt nice and let them get that, too. They loved having it for dessert! I was actually impressed by it, too… it does have some fruit juice in it, so it wasn’t total junk. Of course, neither of our girls ate all their meals, but they finished their applesauce and jello.





Now here’s where I tell you the BEST part of that meal. With the dining plan, you get a dessert with an adult meal. We know that. And last year we learned that you could get a brownie sundae as your dessert, so we asked our cashier if we could do that again. Yep. So we had two brownie sundaes on our receipt. At our table, DH read the stamp on our receipt… it said that we had to get our sundaes within 90 minutes. We ordered at 6:30 and finished eating at 6:50. A new plan was born. We quickly got our kids back to the room for a fast bath, got them in bed (where they fell asleep easily since they were so tired), and then DH went back to Everything Pop for our sundaes. He texted me a picture of the choices…



So I chose Rocky Road ice cream with hot fudge, nuts, chocolate chips, and sprinkles… and he was able to get all of that! It was SO HUGE and SO GOOD. And the best part - OH YEAH! We got to eat them ALL TO OURSELVES!! A big brownie sundae, sitting on bed, watching TV with my husband – it was like our own vacation within our family vacation. LOVED it. I HIGHLY recommend this idea to anyone, although especially to parents of young children.



(As an FYI, I have a big event coming this weekend, so I know I won’t get to write any more until then – I’m so sorry to not get it finished all at once! But I will, I promise!)
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We are so blessed! Trip to WDW in the 80s courtesy of Make-A-Wish, two trips in the 90s thanks to youth group and a band trip, then a trip in 2004 with DH - what started the trend. Another short trip in 2005, a trip to DisneyLand in 2008 with our DD1, another trip to WDW in 2008 with DD1, trip in 2010 with DD1 and DD2, and just another in February 2011 with DD1 and DD2. It's been amazing!

DH, me, and our two beautiful girls (5 and 3)

Our dining report from our February 2011 trip
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:54 PM   #39
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Really enjoying reading your reviews! That sundae from POP looks sooo yummy to me right about now and I don't even do ice cream Our girls LOVE akershus too. I love how you write about your girls...you can just tell that you guys are great parents, not trying to force the characters on them. My DD's were always fearless with characters, santa, etc... DS is questionable but he does seem much more timid than the girls ever were.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:16 PM   #40
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What were your dates in Feb? We were there as well from the 3rd to the 15th and we stayed at Pop.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:47 AM   #41
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great reviews and great photos.......thanks so much for taking the time to do this......I am SOOOOOO READY FOR DISNEY...
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:26 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilandvisma View Post
Really enjoying reading your reviews! That sundae from POP looks sooo yummy to me right about now and I don't even do ice cream Our girls LOVE akershus too. I love how you write about your girls...you can just tell that you guys are great parents, not trying to force the characters on them. My DD's were always fearless with characters, santa, etc... DS is questionable but he does seem much more timid than the girls ever were.
You're sweet, thank you! And you don't "do" ice cream!?!? Are you crazy!?!?

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Originally Posted by Lil Bo Peep View Post
What were your dates in Feb? We were there as well from the 3rd to the 15th and we stayed at Pop.
We were there Feb 12-19, so we definitely overlapped a few days! Our room was in the 90's, near the parking lot - not ideal for some, but perfect for us since we rent a car.
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We are so blessed! Trip to WDW in the 80s courtesy of Make-A-Wish, two trips in the 90s thanks to youth group and a band trip, then a trip in 2004 with DH - what started the trend. Another short trip in 2005, a trip to DisneyLand in 2008 with our DD1, another trip to WDW in 2008 with DD1, trip in 2010 with DD1 and DD2, and just another in February 2011 with DD1 and DD2. It's been amazing!

DH, me, and our two beautiful girls (5 and 3)

Our dining report from our February 2011 trip
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:36 PM   #43
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Day 6 - Cosmic Rays lunch & Cosmic Rays dinner

Day 6

Thursday was our last day at Magic Kingdom. We enjoyed morning EMH and then spent the rest of the morning around Fantasyland & Tomorrowland, so when we were ready for lunch, the obvious choice was…

Cosmic Rays

I like the variety of food there, but it would definitely be a bigger pain if your family members want foods from the different three “bays,” since you pay at each one and wait there for your food – different than the way the value food courts and Sunshine Seasons work. But the benefit is that if your family all wants food at the same area, it’s an easy line to keep young kids together in. I guess there’s no true EASY way when it comes to getting food with little ones.

Thankfully, DH and I both wanted the barbeque chicken & ribs meal (we were pretty hungry after all of our rides and walking!). It comes with tasty green beans and mashed potatoes, both of which we gobbled down. The chicken was good, too – moist and not super fatty. I wasn’t a big fan of the ribs, but they’re really not my thing – DH ate mine. He says he ate them, but they weren’t that great – definitely not falling off the bone. He also actually ate all of his green beans, which really means they must have been good! We also got the chocolate cakes for dessert and shared them at the end.



Our girls wanted chicken nuggets and grapes, so we just got two packages of grapes. Still the yucky processed chicken nuggets. What’s up with that!? They also split an apple juice, with water for after (juice is a treat in our house). They did eat pieces of my chicken, too, and nibble on my mashed potatoes and green beans.



What really cracked me up about Cosmic Rays is that DD1, who if you’ve been reading this report you know is very afraid of masked characters, thought that Sunny Eclipse (the singer) was AMAZINGLY funny, and even insisted that I get a picture of her standing in front of his stage! Considering that I kind of think that alien guy is a little creepy, it really surprised me that she enjoyed him so much. But it made for a fun dining experience! Overall, we’d give Cosmic Rays an 8/10 for our lunch.

I still don’t really know quite how it happened – we were ALL over the park that day. I mean, we spent lots of time in Frontierland, Adventureland, everywhere. But somehow when it came time that we were hungry, we were back near Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. And the last rides we wanted to hit were right by there, too, so we again ended up at…

Cosmic Rays

We would have preferred to choose somewhere else, but it didn’t make sense to move around for our timeframe, so we just decided to eat there again and get different food.

This time, DH and I both wanted the same thing again (yay for not having to deal with different food bays!) – Pulled Pork sandwiches. We got them with apple slices (I was a little surprised that DH chose those for his side instead of fries, but he did!). I actually didn’t eat any fries the whole time we were in Disneyworld. I do like fries, but I just wasn’t craving them then so I didn’t see the benefit. Anyway, the apple slices were pretty tasty! I feel like sometimes when you get them - prepackaged and sliced – they can get a little mushy and lose their flavor. Maybe these apples were just more fresh, but they tasted pretty good – not as amazing as just biting into a fresh, crisp apple, but satisfying. The sandwich was good – nothing amazing, but filling and I appreciated that the bun was wheat-ish (I don’t think it was 100% whole grain, but it had more flavor than a plain white bun). (and sorry for the really blurry pic!)



I don’t have a picture of our girl’s meal, but they split the peanut butter & jelly uncrustable sandwich with applesauces, plus apple slices from our bags. We also split the two chocolate cakes that DH and I got again. They’re really yummy!

For dinner at Cosmic Rays, we’d again go with an 8/10… it’s not the best-ever counter service food, but it’s filling, has ample seating, and a good location.

Sometime during the day, we also got a few snacks – while we were waiting for the parade, it got hot so we shared some Dibs ice cream bite things with a snack credit, and we also got a bucket of popcorn at some point (the bucket isn’t a snack credit, but I think it’s worth it for the value of the bucket – ours is currently being used as a container for playdough tools, and it’s a fun momento!).

This day was a little strange because we didn’t have any table service meals, but it did allow us to go on more rides, see more attractions, and meet with characters (the ones you can’t see at a character meal ). That’s the downfall to the regular dining plan – table service meals take longer, but they’re also really nice to sit and relax. It’s totally a personal preference.
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We are so blessed! Trip to WDW in the 80s courtesy of Make-A-Wish, two trips in the 90s thanks to youth group and a band trip, then a trip in 2004 with DH - what started the trend. Another short trip in 2005, a trip to DisneyLand in 2008 with our DD1, another trip to WDW in 2008 with DD1, trip in 2010 with DD1 and DD2, and just another in February 2011 with DD1 and DD2. It's been amazing!

DH, me, and our two beautiful girls (5 and 3)

Our dining report from our February 2011 trip
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:56 PM   #44
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Day 7 - Toy Story Pizza Planet lunch and Chef Mickey's dinner

Day 7

Friday was our last park day. We made it our DHS day, as we knew we didn’t need more than a half-day there. After a really rough morning – everything we wanted to do was down (TSM, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast wasn’t scheduled until later, etc), we went over to the Indiana Jones show. This was a low-crowd-forecasted day in February (and felt that way)… but because of all the other flukes that day in the park, 10 minutes before the show started it was open but standing-room only! Urgh! Not happening with two little ones. So by that point we just decided we were hungry enough for lunch, and we REALLY wanted a fresh start. We headed to our favorite DHS counter-service restaurant…

Toy Story Pizza Planet

First of all, my reasoning for this being our favorite place at DHS has a little history. On our first trip to WDW together, DH and I ate there because we were able to get a pretty cheap meal and we enjoyed the pizza – plus we like the Toy Story theming. So on every subsequent trip, we’ve gone back – the pizza is still good, and since any other fast-service place we’ve tried at DHS hasn’t been great to us, we continue to go back. Our girls like it there, too, so it’s just kind of a tradition. The negative there is the seating – there’s usually plenty up at the top, but getting up there on the steps can be a challenge, and the elevator is kind of out of the way. Oh well.

We went up and ordered our pizzas (DH and I both got the pepperoni pizza combo with a soda and a Mickey rice crispy treat)… weirdly, DH specified “large” for his drink and I had forgotten, but I noticed the cashier change her button on the register so I made sure my drink was a large, too… it had been originally entered as medium. Not a huge deal, but since either size is fine with the dining plan, I’d rather get a bigger diet coke and keep it in our stroller if I don’t finish it all then. So I guess it’s just a point to note – I hadn’t specified before, and had always received large drinks at restaurants that had them, but I guess DH’s way of just ordering a large drink is smarter. After we ordered, it took AWHILE for our food to be made – I still don’t know what was taking them so long, but it was pretty ridiculous. I finally just headed upstairs with our girls and we waited for DH.

The pizza was still yummy – hot, good chewy crust, just tasty – I mean it’s not the best pizza I’ve ever had, but it also doesn’t taste like a frozen pizza or anything similar. Especially on a hot day at Disney, we enjoy it! The big bummer this time was the salad – woah have they made those smaller!! Now they’re Caesar salads instead of a garden salad like they used to have, and the container makes the salad inside MUCH smaller. Big disappointment! It was still an okay salad, but I like my lettuce (and other veggies) and we were not impressed with the salads.



Our girls split a kid’s cheese pizza meal – with, what do you guess? Applesauce and grapes of course! We had a second applesauce with us so they didn’t have to share that. They had apple juice with it, and although I don’t have a picture, they thought it was a great meal and helped finish some of my pizza, too.

We shared the Mickey rice crispy treats afterward – they’re okay, but they taste more like the packaged Rice Crispy Treats in the blue wrappers, not like fresh homemade treats. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with eating them, but they always make me want to make fresh rice crispy treats at home. YUM-O. But their shape makes them taste better anyway.

Overall, our rating of Pizza Planet would probably be 8/10… it gets a good rating still for the pizza and atmosphere, but lowered due to the smaller salads.

After our lunch, the rest of our time at DHS was better, but it still made us question if we’ll go back there the next time we’re in WDW. We still haven’t settled that decision. We left in time to head back to our room to change and then head over to the Contemporary for dinner at

Chef Mickey’s

We hadn’t been there before, so we were excited to try it out. I’ve seen it get a lot of various reviews – some love it, some hate it. We got there before the restaurant was opened (our ADR was for 5:10, and the restaurant opened for dinner at 5). First, we were sent to the photo area to take our picture with the Mickey statue. Since DD2 was still napping in DH’s arms, they said we could come back later for it – I double checked that the photo wasn’t included with our meal and since it’s not, we conveniently never went back for that photo op. It’s not hard for us to say no to buying a ridiculously-overpriced photo package, but it just didn’t seem worth the hassle to go back. Anyway, so we waited with others as the staff prepared everything and then did a little mini-ceremony for opening the restaurant. Tables started getting quickly called, and soon we were, too.

We were seated by a sweet older gentleman, Mr. Al, and then our server came to explain how things work. We had also noted this meal as a Birthday meal (since a previous trip it had been noted more than once and only celebrated once, I figured if I put the note on more than one, then there was at good chance of our girl’s birthdays being celebrated… lesson learned, we now know better who does something fun and know that we don’t need to note it on everything). It turns out that at Chef Mickey’s, the birthday cupcake comes out in the BEGINNING of the meal, and they bring extra candles and a pack of matches, too. Then you’re suppose to light the candle as each character comes by for a photo op. In reality, it was kind of silly, especially with two little girls who just wanted to eat the cupcake. But they actually did REALLY well and ate their other food first (until the last of the characters came by and they asked if they could eat them). But still, unless one of our girls REALLY wanted to do it again, I don’t think I’d note a birthday celebration on a Chef Mickey’s reservation again.



Donald came by first, and since it had been a few days since a face-masked character meal, we discussed the idea of characters beforehand with our girls. DD1 decided that she wanted to be braver and she would sit in her seat and smile at me with a character behind her. I reminded her that she didn’t HAVE to do that, but I also didn’t want her to regret not having photos for her book, so I said we’d take it a character at a time and she could let me know. So for Donald, she did just that – smiled at me (and the photo clearly shows her concern peaking out!), and she was so proud of herself. DD2 still had no interest. Mickey came by and the same thing occurred, as with Pluto later. When Goofy came by the smile was much more forced (he’s a tall guy, which is funny to me because DH is tall, too, but he really intimidates my girls!). However, when Minnie came by, DD1 was up out of her seat sooooo quickly! She had hugged her (timidly) last year for the first time, and this year she was so happy to get to hug Minnie! Minnie actually came by two more times throughout our meal, and each time DD1 insisted she needed another photo.

Anyway, the buffet at CM is the same on both sides, so our server suggested we go to the left side – this turned out to be a smart suggestion. Except that after Donald and Mickey came by, both of our girls wanted to go up to the food with me. And as I’m sure happens with other parents, when you’re walking with a child in each hand in a slightly busy area and they start heading in a different direction than you’re intending but will still work for what you need, you just go with it. Or I did at least. So we went on the right side. Yep, it was slower. Oh well! Both DD’s chose fruit, cheese, and some croutons and shredded cheese. I think there were grapes and strawberries on their plates, but they were gone before I took the picture.



So then I got my starting plate – salad and a bowl of clam chowder. I don’t have clam chowder very often, but this was REALLY rich… I could only eat about 1/3 of it. It was tasty, though. The salad choices were slim – no good fresh vegetables (other than the cucumbers & lettuce), and I added a potato salad, pasta salad, and some cold seafood thing (kind of like a gumbo?). The plate was okay, although the cucumbers had a strange bitter taste and nothing was awesome.



Apparently I have no pictures of DH’s food. He probably got a salad and then other food. He doesn't remember. I know that he went up to get other food for our girls, and brought back the plate below – Mickey Mac & Cheese with broccoli and green beans. The mac & cheese was sooooo cute! Our girls didn’t eat much of it, but I figured it was because they weren’t that hungry by then. So when I was done with my plate (which I’ll write about in a second), I went up and got some mac & cheese, too… I just wanted some good comfort food. Um, bad idea – that stuff was adorable LOOKING, but oh man, it was awful!! NO flavor, not a good texture (and I’m not super picky about mac & cheese, I like lots of types!), and it just was NOT good. I only ate one bite! So much for that. No wonder our girls didn’t eat much.



When I went up for entrée food, I got the plate below – salmon (see I’m not kidding, I LOVE salmon!), a pasta dish, a turkey pot pie, and some broccoli. I was really looking forward to it! Then I took a bite of the salmon. Woah. It was BAD! It was super-super-super salty and just gross. I’ve never not liked salmon before and I don’t know what they did wrong to it (maybe it was the sauce on top? No idea), but all I could eat was that one bite. If I had been at home, I probably would have spit it out… it was really THAT bad. The rest of the stuff wasn’t as bad, but nothing was great, either… the pasta was just eh, the pot pie was bland and the broccoli was just broccoli but nothing special. I was pretty disappointed, although having known that there are some negative reviews of Chef Mickey’s on here, I was less disappointed than I would have been if I was expecting excellence. That’s why I got the mac & cheese, and clearly that didn’t help me, either.



So it was on to dessert. Thankfully Chef Mickey’s at least did that well. DH took the girls up to get their dessert – and get this, DD1 fell down while they were walking by the dessert stand and according to DH’s tale of the story, Minnie RUSHED over to her, helped her up, and gave her a kiss! DH says Minnie got to DD1 before even he could. How sweet! It was quite the story when they came back to the table. Even DD2 (still fearful of Minnie) was talking about it. So then they got their desserts – here’s what I know happened. DD1 decided that she wanted ice cream with candy on top for her dessert, so she got hers. DD2 had decided that she wanted that, too, but then when she saw the candy on DD1’s ice cream, she changed her mind and decided that she wanted JUST the candy. That’s my girl. Their bowls are below…




DH got a Mickey Mousse thing, a key lime tart, and a piece of bread pudding. They were all presented well, but honestly the Mickey Mousse looked way better than it tasted – bland mousse on an Oreo cookie. But at least it was adorable. The rest of the desserts were good, too… I don’t have a pic of it, but I got a Minnie’s Cheesecake that was tasty, and I loved DD2’s idea so I got a few jelly beans and Reese’s Pieces, too. At least our meal ended sweetly.



Overall, the character interaction at Chef Mickey’s was great – they all handled the shyness well and posed for some very cute photos. Obviously, Minnie even went above-and-beyond. So for that aspect, I’d give a 10/10. But the food was severely lacking. I don’t think I’ve ever had that many negative feelings about food at a restaurant. Maybe we just had a really bad night? Either way, for food, I’d give it a 4/10 (redeemed only by the fruit and desserts). So I guess overall I’d give it a 6/10. Would I go back? I’m not sure. It’s an easy way to meet the Fab 5 and the theming of the restaurant is all really cute, and maybe the food would be better again. So I’d probably give it another shot. I’m just forgiving like that.

There's only one day left! I'll finish up soon with Day 8 - 1900 Park Fare Breakfast and Mara lunch.
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We are so blessed! Trip to WDW in the 80s courtesy of Make-A-Wish, two trips in the 90s thanks to youth group and a band trip, then a trip in 2004 with DH - what started the trend. Another short trip in 2005, a trip to DisneyLand in 2008 with our DD1, another trip to WDW in 2008 with DD1, trip in 2010 with DD1 and DD2, and just another in February 2011 with DD1 and DD2. It's been amazing!

DH, me, and our two beautiful girls (5 and 3)

Our dining report from our February 2011 trip
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:50 AM   #45
DisneyStoryMania
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Location: kentucky 1st Home, Disney 2nd Home
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reading and waiting great idea and ty for taking the time.....
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CBR October 2009POR October 2010AKV (KIDANI)July 2011 AOA November 2012
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