Drink: Pina Colava

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As I’m fairly certain I have mentioned previously, my absolute favorite drink at Disney is the Pina Colava, hands down. What makes it different from a Pina Colada is that it has some lovely raspberry in it.

When I drink alcoholic drinks, I prefer not to taste the alcohol and the Pina Colava delivers. I have had many of his drink at varying locations around Disney and have yet to be disappointed. I would absolutely recommend this drink to those that like something sweet and frozen with just a bit of alcohol.

The Daily Poutine: Dinner

Another place at Disney Springs that I really wanted to try was the poutine at The Daily Poutine. If you are unfamiliar with the term, poutine is a Canadien dish that consists of gracy, cheese curds, and fries. So, really, there is no way to go wrong with that kind of a combination.

We decided to order the traditional poutine with some Yeungling on the side (one of Alec’s favorite beers). While I enjoyed the dish, I have to say I have been spoiled by actually eating poutine in Canada and the two really do not compare.

Some notes I would say about the food include: the gravy tasted a little watered down and was not very flavorful, which I would say contributed to make the dish a bit mushy. The cheese curds were on top of the fries which cooled them down and made them stand out in terms of texture and consistency of the dish. Again, I thought as a whole the poutine was good, but it was not remarkable and Alec had similar feelings towards it as I did.

So if you’re down to try something new, I would say go ahead and give The Daily Poutine a go. But if you’re near somewhere that you can get a more authentic dish, I would definitely opt out and use your money or appetite elsewhere.

T-Rex: Lunch

Alec and I had an opportunity to spend the day exploring Disney Springs on our last trip and I had a blast. I wouldn’t say it was as much fun as the parks, but Disney Springs is a great place to get the Disney feel without paying for it.

While out and about, we decided to enjoy a meal at T-Rex. Neither of us had been but it was on our radar from our previous trip and we both knew we wanted to try it out. When it comes to price, this was the best sit down restaurant that I have found so far. While $15 for a burger sounds fairly steep to those of us in Indiana, it is incredibly reasonable at Disney. We left with our bellies full from a great meal at just over $50 including the tip.

I would not say the atmosphere of the restaurant screams Disney, but it also doesn’t take you out of the Disney feel entirely either. We we seated right by some lovely dinos and the meteor shower every 10 or so minutes was fun. If you have a dinosaur fan in the family (Alec loves dinos), then I would definitely suggest stopping in.

After having some disappointing experiences with guac at many various Disney properties, I am pleased to say that the Guac-asaurus Burger was just the right thing to renew my faith in guac. The burger was quite yummy and I was happy to actually be able to taste the guac. Alec enjoyed the Bronto Burger, which was similar in nature but did not include guac. Of course, the waffle fries were great but I almost always love waffle fries.

Overall, my ratings would go as follows:

Atmosphere: 10 – Food: 9 – Price – 9

The atmosphere was awesome with all the dinosaurs and varying little landscapes/habitats and I very much enjoyed my burger. As for the price, if you’re paying out of pocket, head over to T-Rex. But as a heads up, if you’re on the dining plan this would be a hard place to get your money’s worth as it counts as a table service credit. All in all, I would be happy to dine here again (and I may do so at a different location nearer to my permanent residence)!

 

Beauty and the Beast Falling in Love: Thomas Kinkade Puzzle

One of our purchases from our most recent trip came in the form of this wonderful, 1000 piece puzzle. We started he puzzle on a Monday evening and put about two hours in before heading to bed. We managed to get the borders and parts of Lumiere and Cogsworth.

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Tuesday night we got another two and a half hours in, managing to get a good portion of the beauty and the beast as well as the castle and Maurice with his flying machine.

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Wednesday was the longest about of time we put into the puzzle, adding five more hours to our total. However, we found ourselves almost done apart from the sky.

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Finally, Thursday rolled around and two more hours of work later we were done.

In sum, it took Alec and I around 11.5 hours to get this puzzle done. It was a fun thing to do and a good way to spend time together rather than getting distracted by media like we so often do, especially since neither of us had completed a puzzle in years. I ordered a frame and it should be here next week – I can’t wait to see it up on our wall!

If you’re looking for some hard earned wall decor, a Thomas Kinkade puzzle may be what you’re looking for. It’s a great excuse to get your gears moving in your head and to get yourself out of media for a while.

 

B.B. Wolf’s: Lunch

After my family’s trip to Disney, we had some time to explore Disney Springs before our flight. Hungry, we settled upon B.B. Wolf’s to grab a bite to eat. Considering we were no longer on the dining plan, this was an out of the pocket meal.

After a week of meats, I decided it was time for a change of pace with the vegetarian sausage (first picture). The sausage itself was rather bland, but the peppers, onions, and marinara helped liven up the dish. My mom and brother both ordered the foot-long Bavarian bratwurst (second photo) and neither had any issues finishing. Pretzel buns are always good, in my opinion and after taking a bite of my mom’s sandwich, I was pleased by the flavors. In this case, the meat definitely trumped the vegetarian sausage. I think my dad made the best decision with the 3 little pigs trio (third picture) simply because of the variety you get on one dish.

My rankings are as follows:

Atmosphere: 5 – Food: 8 – Price: 10

For the price, this is a fairly filling meal. Getting a meal at Disney Springs for four people costing about $40 is very reasonable. However, this is a simple food stand so the only seating is outdoors, which does not always work when it comes to Florida’s propensity to rain. This is in the 7-8/10 range for food.

 

Snack: Cake Pop (Hollywood Studios)

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After coming highly recommended by Alec’s sister (a Disney cast member), I decided to try a cake pop. It is hard not to like a bite sized piece of cake and this was no exception. I grabbed this at Beverly Sunset Sweet Shop in Hollywood Studios, though I am fairly certain you can locate a cake pop at many sweet shops throughout the parks.

I’m not sure why, but I was expecting the cake pop to have a vanilla center and was slightly surprised to bite into a rich chocolate filling. I was absolutely not disappointed and had a hard time sharing with Alec. For not being a big fan of chocolate, I loved this cake pop and would definitely grab it again given the chance!

Snack: Funnel Cake (Hollywood Studios)

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You can imagine my surprise (and delight) when Alec and I happened upon this awesome snack option at the Oasis Canteen in Hollywood Studios. Keeping in mind it can be a little difficult to find a snack over $5, I was stoked to find this snack credit item at around $9. If you’re looking to settle down a sweet tooth and feel the impact of a serious sugar rush, I would highly recommend this funnel cake with strawberry, ice cream, and chocolate sauce. It is a good idea, however, to sit down while eating as it is quite messy! This was definitely one of my favorite finds of the entire trip and by far the best use of a snack credit.

Tangierine Café: Dinner

Alec and I saw the third place ranking (best in Epcot) on wdwprepschool.com for the most worthwhile use of a quick service credit and decided to give Tangierine a try.

We enjoyed the Shawarma Chicken and Lamb Platter. It was later in the evening so we opted to split a meal rather than get our own. This is a good idea if you are looking for a filling snack, but it is not enough food for two people. It is hard to go wrong with hummus and Moroccan bread, if you ask me. Both were quite good and my favorite part of the meal. Of the meats, I preferred the lamb; I thought the cucumber sauce was a good pairing considering the meats were a little dry. The tabouleh and Tangierine couscous salad were both different (considering my very American diet), but enjoyable.

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My rankings are as follows:

Atmosphere: 6 – Food: 8 – Price: 8

The location is cramped and it is hard to maneuver around the tables and chairs, plus it is hard to find a table that is not near an open door (we were there on a chilly evening). The food itself is quite good, but likely a little too pricey if you are not on a dining plan. Overall, a 7/10 experience.

Restaurantosaurus: Lunch

I got too excited about the meal and forgot to take photos at the beginning! Two things I enjoy when I find them at quick service restaurants are topping bars and self-serve drink machines.

Alec and I split the 1/3 pound Angus Bacon Cheeseburger. The toppings bar had sauteed mushrooms and onions that I enjoyed with the burger as well as some sort of spicy baked beans mash that I mixed with the sauteed vegetables in our little food boat to enjoy with the fries.

The burger itself was very good but I thought the toppings added to the overall taste to keep it from being too bland and meaty. Then of course we stayed a little longer to enjoy free refills of soda, which always help when you need a bit of a caffeine rush to get over the ‘tired hump’ of being at the parks all day. Overall, it was a good place to drop in, get a good amount of food (when you take into account the toppings bar), and fill your belly with soda before adventuring out more into the parks.

It was not my favorite quick service meal (especially considering Flame Tree is in the same park), but it was pleasant, easy, and quick. Overall, I would give it a 7/10 on my personal scale for quick service meals.

Columbia Harbour House: Lunch

After a busy morning of walking around, we snagged a fast pass to the Haunted Mansion and had a little bit of time to kill. Alec (fiance) suggested we get some food and had heard good things about this restaurant, so we decided to stop in.

We decided on the fried shrimp plate mostly because I was not in the mood for fried fish or chicken but I still wanted fries. You can find the full menu here.

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This was a lower cost meal considering we were on the quick service dining plan, but I was excited when they said I could get the frozen lemonade with the dining credit (I had been craving one for some time). The fried shrimp was to be expected – better quality than, say, Long John Silver’s but not up to Red Lobster standards. The fries were good, no complaints. Alec and I agreed the coleslaw over at Flame Tree Barbeque in Animal Kingdom was far tastier than the one we had here (just in case anyone is in the mood for coleslaw). I did enjoy the frozen lemonade quite a bit; it was the right combination of sweet and tart. However, I would suggest using a regular straw rather than the cute Mickey shaped one because it is not nearly as effective.

I am glad we used this place as more of a snack (since we had more quick service meals than needed and we split this entree) rather than a full meal because it was filling but not remarkably good. If we are in the area, I would not mind eating here again but I would rather opt for lunch somewhere else in Magic Kingdom.