Crystal Palace: Dinner

One of my favorite dining venues would without a doubt be the Crystal Palace. On our September trip, it was raining hard and the porch was a nice place to hang out while waiting for our reservation time.

My rankings for this venue is as follows:

Food: 9 – Price: 7 – Atmosphere: 9

For a buffet, I really enjoyed the food. Of course, buffets almost always have me overeating, which is a downside to the whole affair. But in terms of things, I am always down for some mashed potatoes and gravy as well as a hearty serving of beef.

Of course, this is still Disney World and just at the end of Main Street USA at Magic Kingdom, so there is always going to be a rather hefty price tag for those not on the meal plan. While I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from trying out the Crystal Palace at least once, I do not think I would ever enjoy a meal there unless I have a table service meal on my dining plan.

If you’ve read my blog before, you’d know that I absolutely love character dining. The Crystal Palace offers meet and greets with the wonderful characters of Winnie the Pooh. One of my favorite parts is that every now and then, the characters put on a parade where all the children hop in line and march around, which amps up the atmosphere and give parents a fun photo opportunity.

All in all, the food is pretty great and the characters are always bubbly and keep the place alive. I love the bright lighting and colors of the restaurant and when trying to escape the rain, it’s a perfect place to spend a little extra time (and possibly find some more room to stuff yourself silly). This is why I’ve given the Crystal Palace such a high rating. So if you’re on a meal plan and have some kiddos in tow (adult kiddos count too, of course), I’d suggest planning a meal at the Crystal Palace!

 

 

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Tsum Tsum Subscription: The Fox and the Hound (March 2017)

When Alec and I first heard rumors that this month’s subscription would be the Fox and the Hound, I was super excited. My parents actually own one of the movie cells and it is one of my favorite things decorating my family home.
The box came in yesterday and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. The mini fox and hound are adorable and the little log is cuter than what I had in my head. However, I do understand why some people are upset about the price, and this month’s box definitely did not fit the bill of the $27 price tag.

While adorable and coming with a prop, two minis will run you about $12. The city based mini with little extra items (for instance, Chicago dog Mickey and deep dish Minnie) run about $15. So saying the fox and the hound would cost $12 at a store and maybe the log would cost an extra $6 (price of a mini tsum), I would say the value of this box is only at about $18, unfortunately.

Nonetheless, the Fox and the Hound is one of my favorite movies and the price hasn’t made me any less excited to add these to my collection!

Main Street Confectionary

Since Alec is usually not one for sweets (unless they involve peanut butter), we had not actually stopped at the Main Street Confectionary before this past trip when Alec’s mom and sister raved about the chocolate chip cookies.IMG_0254

 

The food went fast so I was only able to grab a picture of the peanut cluster. We tried out a caramel apple, two cookies, and the cluster. Everything was absolutely delicious and it took me quite some time to come down from that sugar high.

I have two pieces of advice, however. (1) Your eyes are likely bigger than your stomach. These sweets are very decadent and I definitely had too much. (2) These are a bit pricey, so if you’re not using dining plan snacks it would likely be better to error on the side of caution by not getting too much! Or, if you’ve brought some plastic baggies, this may be a good time to put them to use.

I’m actually a little mad Alec’s family introduced me to this fine establishment because now I know I’m going to stop in for sweets during every future trip!

 

Gaston’s Tavern

One of our favorite new places to go on recent trips has been Gaston’s Tavern. It is near Be Our Guest back in the Beauty and the Beast area of Magic Kingdom. Often times this place is pretty busy, but the tables and chairs are well spread out so it does not feel cramped or crowded.

Of course, apart from being a cool place to hang out, using a snack on a gigantic cinnamon roll is great fun too. Is it the best cinnamon roll I’ve had? No, but it’s still very good and a pretty good deal when it comes to using a snack credit.

I also liked the LeFou’s Brew, which I’ve had quite a few times. I didn’t enjoy the foam on top too much, but Alec really liked it and didn’t have any trouble polishing it off. The remaining is essentially frozen apple juice, which I thought was awesome and really enjoyed.

All in all, I really enjoy using this place as a hang out location where we also can snack and cool off. It’s both convenient and enjoyable, plus the decor (especially the giant chair) is super great for photos of your burly family members!

MagicBands: Take 2

If you saw my first custom MagicBand post, you could probably guess that I would customize MagicBands for our January trip. Alec wanted a red band this time and I wanted to make ours more ‘coupley’ since we were doing this trip solo. After some thinking, I settled on the Lion King’s Simba and Nala.

I followed most of the same steps I did in my first post, the main change being that I had Alec and I try on the bands and determine where we would want the to clasp. I then clasped the bands at those parts and painted them at that part. For sealing, I decided to paint on two layers of mod podge before a last layer of clear nail polish. Below is the final result.

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So how did they hold up? In short, better than the first round! Alec and I wore these for five days and the paint itself did not chip! However, the nail polish did crack at the edges just a bit.

Overall, I was quite pleased with how they held up. On the next round, I think I am going to do away with my current nail polish seal and try mod podge along with either a new nail polish or possibly a spray paint sealer. We will see!

Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine: Dinner (Early)

Being on the quick service dining plan, we decided we only wanted to shell out money for one table service meal this past trip. After looking into various restaurants, we decided we wanted to try something new and settled on this mainly because it gave us priority seating for Fantasmic, my favorite evening time show.

This is a buffet and if you have small children, I would absolutely recommend hitting this place up for an early dinner because the amount of character time we got was insane. We sat down for our meal a bit before 4PM and all the characters came by at least four times, waving and stopping for photos if we wanted.

With not many people at the restaurant, we watched as families got all kind of time with the characters. Two young girls next to me had such a great time doting on the characters I couldn’t help but smile.

The food itself is quite good, though maybe not on the same quality level as the table service restaurants that are not self serve. I loved the little pastas and probably had more meatballs and shrimp than I needed, but it was a great opportunity to stuff my face. And since we were paying out of pocket, I believe it was very strategic of us to do the early dinner because we didn’t need as much in the morning and after stuffing ourselves silly, we didn’t need much in the evening either.

One thing food wise I really loved was the decorations on the desserts. The little ‘grammy’ statue Minnie was really cute – I think it was white chocolate so I enjoyed it too. My favorite item was the little ‘apple pie’ tasting item. I could’ve eaten quite a few of those had I not already eaten so much. Alec loved the little chocolate peanut butter ball, but I was not as much of a fan because of the texture.

Overall, it was a great restaurant and I loved all the character time we got. My only complaint is that Mickey still seemed to be the star of Minnie’s show because he was the one standing at the entrance where a cast member took PhotoPass photos. I guess I can understand why, as more people seem to want Mickey pictures than Minnie pictures, but I still was not a big fan of that aspect.

As for personal rankings, I would say Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine is:

Atmosphere: 10 – Food: 8 -Price: 7

This was by far the most character time I have gotten at a table service and for that I had a really great time. The food itself was very good, I only wish I had saved more room for the wonderful desserts. Lastly, as this is Disney and nothing comes without a decent price, this place was about in the middle when it comes to table service, but it is definitely a bit hard to swallow when paying out of pocket and seeing the dollar signs versus as credit on your dining plan.

I will absolutely be returning to Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine at Hollywood & Vine in the future. I am excited to take my future children here simply because I see them having a truly magical experience meeting and getting special moments with the characters, which is reason enough to go again and again!

 

Snack: Troll Horn

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While hanging out in Epcot with a rather large amount of snack remaining on our meal plan, we decided to stop into the bakery at Norway (admittedly not for the first time) and try out this wonderful Troll Horn. Being a collector of trolls, the name absolutely sold me.

This tasted like your average grocery store creme horn, though a bit more dense. The shell part wasn’t very crumbly and it was very sugary (as seen on the outside). I liked the creme part pretty well but I can’t say I was sold enough on this dessert item to want to try it again.

My mom, however, is a super big fan of creme horns and I’m sure this would have been right up her alley. So if you’re like my mom in that you love creme horns, I’d say knock yourself out and get a nice troll horn to snack on.

The Ganachery

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While at Disney Springs, Alec and I decided to pay the Ganachery a visit after seeing some great reviews. Seeing the price tag on the available items, I opted to go cheap and try the little squares (2 for $6). We tried the peanut butter and pistachio chocolates and I have to say I now understand why people spend so much money on these chocolates. They are absolutely delicious.

As a matter of fact, I would not mind having some of this now (though I’m sure my wallet would)! The chocolate melts in your mouth and I actually enjoyed the dark chocolate even though I typically avoid it. I am sure I will stop in again on future trips to enjoy these lovely little beauts.