Tag Archives: walt disney world

WIA[WDW]

19 Jul

a.k.a. What I Ate at Walt Disney World!

I’m a few weeks behind (um, obviously) but I figured I’d do a special WIAW post on how to eat at Disney. :)

Note: We were fortunate enough to have a full kitchen at our hotel, which influenced the way we ate somewhat. I’ll still chat about some of the park options though I definitely didn’t photograph everything we ate! Also some of the photos are of less-than-stellar quality since I took them with a camera phone… sigh.

Breakfast:

Not photographed, but I basically had oatmeal every single morning; I had the foresight to bring some packets with me, and when we went to the grocery store we stocked up on a canister of oats for my dad & mom. If you have a microwave in your hotel this is a much cheaper, healthier option than eating at the parks!

Lunch/Dinner:

Usually we ate one meal at the park and one at home (which was usually some variety of sandwich, often with boiled eggs… I would have loved to actually cook something, but we didnt’ want to buy cooking spray/oil or furnish the kitchen for 10 days, so we stuck to some simple stuff).

Animal Kingdom

We ate at Pizzafari and I got some kind of salad that had a bunch of random stuff on it… including salami, which I gave to my father (I was trying to not make a huge fuss and just go with the flow, but I wasn’t really interested in cheese pizza).

Epcot

Epcot DEFINITELY had the best options. My favorite was inside “The Land”; there was a little “food-court” type area called Seasons that had a variety of vegetarian options and was generally much healthier than the rest of the food in all of the parks.

I had a fabulous vegetable soup with a cracker.

My mom had a grilled veggie and hummus pita (well, I helped :) )

My dad had a beet & feta salad… and a huge piece of chicken but I left that out.

There were fish options, stir fries, and a cold case full of different to-go wraps and even some gluten-free bars.

Definitely the most health-friendly spot I found.

Epcot’s World Showcase

This had the most INTERESTING eats, though we barely touched most of it. The World Showcase has mini areas devoted to a number of major countries, and each one has restaurants for that particular country’s cuisine. All of them looked fantastic, and if I’d had loads of time I probably would have gone through methodically and sampled a bit of everything on different days. As it was, we just wound up eating at the French bakery one day.

While they didn’t really have a vegetarian sandwich, they did have a cheese plate that came with a loaf of bread… Not exactly the most balanced meal in the world, but it worked.

Of course we saved room for dessert. :) We actually saw a few families walk out with trays FULL of desserts as their entire meal… I wish ;)

I love berries. And my camera lens. Swoon.

Personally I wanted to eat some of the falafel in Morocco, but we never got a chance. Oh well!

Magic Kingdom

We ate at the Columbia Harbor House, which was probably the best option within this park that I found… They had a good Hummus sandwich on thick, hearty bread. It had a kinda weird broccoli slaw, but it was still pretty good (if not photogenic).

Universal Studios

I originally wanted to partake in Harry-Potter themed goods at their restaurant, but none of the options looked especially good, so we wound up walking out of the park to Moe’s at citywalk where I had a delicious taco salad (I’m obsessed with salads with beans & tons of salsa!)

Other goodies

I just love going around to all of the bakeries and admiring their beautiful cupcakes & cookies & caramel apples. We didn’t really have any, but they’re so colorful & fun!

We did, however, end up going to Ghirardelli for ice cream on our final day, at Tara’s recommendation. :)

And one of my personal favorites are the chocolate covered frozen bananas they sell throughout all of the parks, though I didn’t ever photograph any of them!

General recommendations:

  • If you have a fridge, go out and buy some bread & cheese/peanut butter and bring sandwiches some days. It gets extremely expensive to just eat at the parks; each meal is $8+
  • If you DO have to eat exclusively their food, look into the Disney Dining Plan. We didn’t use it, but it seems like a decent deal.
  • Go to a grocery store and stock up on some easy snacks. The Publix that’s 2 miles away had really great prices, while the other grocery store (Good’s?) that was closer was unkempt and exorbitantly expensive.
  • Only semi-related, but drink lots of water! Preferably by reusing waterbottles; there are plenty of drinking fountains.
  • It’s kind of hard to find healthy food or vegetarian food in all of the parks. A lot of the salads have chicken, though you might be able to ask them to leave it off. I’ve heard if you’re on top of things you can call in advance and they’ll accommodate almost any dietary restrictions, but we basically played it by ear. It turned out okay, but there weren’t a ton of options.
  • At Universal, they have a special key for restaurants with healthy/vegetarian options. Unfortunately, their idea of a healthy option is a Ceasar salad. And vegetarian = cheese pizza. Sigh.
  • If you get a chance, eat your way through Epcot. LOTS of options there, and the food is not just typical-park-food. :)
  • It’s easier to eat 1-2 good-sized meals rather than lots of mini-meals like I’m used to, and ends up being less expensive. You’re on vacation and walking a TON, so give yourself some slack and enjoy what you eat! :) My general thing is if I’m going to be spending lots of money & eating more calories, I damn well better be eating something delicious ;)
  • Try eating at some places outside of the parks themselves, as I think a lot of times they’re a little bit cheaper. HOWEVER, do not deny yourself the experience of having a truly Disney-ish meal; I think having at least one sit-down dinner in the parks is fun & worth the money. Might as well do it while you’re there! :)

Any experience eating out at theme parks?

How do you deal with eating “healthy” on vacation?

walt disney world: epcot’s future world

14 Jul

Hi, sorry I’m still failing at posting regularly. To be honest I’m in a bit of a funk (Disney withdrawal? :P haha) but I’m trying to revive my motivation. :)

Boys on the bus!

Our first full day at Disney was spent mostly at Epcot.

EPCOT originally stood for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow; apparently Walt Disney wanted to create a small utopian society and dabble in city planning. What we ended up with is a fusion of “Future World”, which features a bunch of techy & space stuff, and the World Showcase, which is a tour through some major countries in the world all within one park (which will be covered in another post :) ).

We started our morning out with Mission: Space.

See, none of us knew that this was probably the most intense ride at Disney; it’s a spaceship simulator involving a centrifuge. It was incredibly realistic-feeling (not that I’ve ever actually been launched into space) but I was definitely weaving a bit afterwards and my stomach was less than pleased. Still worth trying, but there’s a lighter version if you’re not up for the crazy spinning.

Of course, we also did Spaceship Earth (as photographed above, that big ole ball!). It goes through a bunch of animatronic scenes in the history of our planet and then speculates about the future. I just love animatronics, so while this is decidedly not a thrill ride, it’s still beautifully done and I enjoyed it. At the end there are also lots of techie futuristic toys and such you can play with…

Brother is focusing intently on racing.

But I just took pictures. :) Typical.

Similarly, there’s a place called Innoventions that has a bunch of different geeky things, including one of those design-your-own-coaster contraptions (though this one features physics), and a place where you can record your body movements and make a video game with yourself as the main character.

Play mine here! haha :)

Nifty, right?

Also within Future World is a little section called “The Land”

This is kind of their “agricultural-hippie” section, but it also features the ever-popular “Soarin’“.

What I liked best was my dad and brother’s worst nightmare… A little boat ride through some of the agricultural research labs they have onsite.

They were growing all kinds of vegetables and fruits and apparently experimenting with state-of-the-art technologiest, all of which was pretty neat to see.

It also ended up on my plate at the “Seasons” food court door (but food will be covered in another post… but here’s a sneak preview :) ).

And for the little ones, there’s THE CUTEST Finding Nemo ride… which I may have gone on twice.

My little cousin is adorable… and a GREAT excuse to ride all the kiddy rides ;)

So here’s the general breakdown.

Most popular (aka get a Fastpass or get there early!): Soarin’, Test Track (which was a lot of fun but I didn’t really get pictures of it).

My Highlights: The Seas with Nemo, Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Living with the Land (that boat tour)

Lowlights: Captain EO. Great dancing (Michael Jackson), decent special effects (Spielberg), apparently NO screenwriting/plot.

Recommendations: If you want to go see Soarin’, get there early. Even Fastpasses go REALLY quickly. Also, Test Track closes when it’s raining, so you’re probably better off doing that fairly early too. And Epcot has the best food. At least in my opinion. :)

Any fun experiences with EPCOT?

Do you use your younger relatives as an excuse to go on kiddy rides? I totally do… But I also shamelessly go on them myself anyways. 

disney shenanigans: the beginning

11 Jul

You want Disney? You got Disney. ;)

On Friday or Saturday I finally got through all 1900 of my pictures and somehow selected only 400 to put up on Facebook (I’m atrociously indecisive, okay?). Don’t worry; I won’t bombard you with ALL of them.

I’ve decided to mostly do it by park (though some parks will take more than one day), and my Disney posts will be somewhat interspersed so I can pretend like I’m still a “food” blogger (but what’s in a name, really?).

We’re going to get the boring-er stuff out of the way, so some of the logistics and my first day of Disney magic!

The Trip

I woke up at 3:30 to get on a plane at 6:30. Only for Disney, people.

Probably the best part of the flight was seeing the gorgeous mountains out my window when flying over Washington. What a lovely state.

The worst part? No food for, like, 8 hours. Well, we bought overpriced snacks on the airplane (no free pretzels or anything, American Airlines is no fun!) and our connection Dallas was INCREDIBLY tight. So no food there either. Not the most fun I’ve ever had on a plane, but I was asleep for a lot of it so I couldn’t hear my stomach gnawing itself to pieces.

The Hotel

After a nice little thunderstorm as we were landing (definitely saw a lightning bolt from the plane…) and a pit stop at a trashy, cheap gift shop for a Disney princess lanyard (completely necessary), we finally arrived on Disney territory.

We stayed at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. The line the buses always played when we were getting there like to say something about how it “brings the gingerbread architecture and whimsical charm of the Conch Republic right here to Central Florida.” (Can you tell we rode the buses a lot?)

It was rather cute though, I’m not going to lie. And there are lots of benefits to staying in a Disney hotel, even if it is more expensive (we have a timeshare thing that we exchanged for part of the price, or something to that effect). Namely that you can get in for early and late hours at different parks, you have an easy bus ride to all the parks, oh and there are random Mickey Mouses everywhere.

And the best part? They’re villas. Which means there are kitchens.

We didn’t do a whole lot of cooking, mostly just sandwiches and boiled eggs. But it was nice to be able to buy yogurt and such.

First Night Out

Even though I was positively exhausted, we wanted to make the most of our vacation and decided to head out to Magic Kingdom for a few hours that night (we had “Extra Magic Hours” since we were staying at a Disney hotel, so the park was open later for us… until 3 AM.)

Oh, did I mention it was pouring rain? Hello ponchos.


Florida rain is DRASTICALLY different than Seattle rain. I actually much prefer the warmer, denser rain in Florida to the cold nagging drizzle in Seattle. Much better to dance in. :)

After a rather annoying 30-minute wait for the bus, we FINALLY arrived at the Magic Kingdom!

I’ll go into excruciating detail about the absolute wonderland that is the Magic Kingdom at some point (I have 474 pictures of that park alone), but that’s a whole post of its own. Mostly I just adore my the castle. Oh, to be a Disney Princess…

Yes, this was my favorite park. :)

Do you like flying? I go back and forth. I HATE how dry it is in planes but it’s so fun to see a birds-eye view of everything… Assuming it’s clear, that is. :) And I hate being hungry, soooo the lack of even pretzels on a 4-hour flight was not my cup of tea.

Thunderstorms: yay or nay? I like them well enough, except that stuff shuts down. Like I said, though, the really intense summer showers are amazing; they have them in Brazil too and dancing in that kind of rain is SO much fun, and you don’t feel like you’ll freeze afterwards!