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The Best Disney Character Breakfasts

28 Oct

Best Disney Character Breakfasts

At Disney World, character dining meals are designed to offer you the best of both worlds—great food in a fun atmosphere and the chance to meet your favorite Disney characters.  Since the dining areas have a limited capacity, the characters have more time to spend with each family, making a character meal a great option for groups traveling with kids.

Character Breakfast Basics:

Disney offers character dining locations in the theme parks and at Disney World hotels and resorts. The characters that you’ll meet depend on the location you choose. There are meals featuring the classic Mickey pals, Disney princesses and Winnie the Pooh and friends along with a few other character based options. The food is served buffet style, and features everything from eggs to pastries, fruit to breakfast meats.  Overall, the food served at character breakfasts is tasty and there is something for everyone.

You’ll need to make a reservation for any character dining experience, breakfast included. Some of Disney’s hardest to get dining reservations are for character meals. If you want to dine with Cinderella in the castle at the Magic Kingdom, you’ll need to book your table six months in advance. Other popular locations, like Chef Mickey’s , fill up months in advance as well.

As of October 2011, Disney has instituted a new reservations policy for character dining; you’ll need to give a credit card number to reserve your seat, and show up on your chosen day or time, or pay a cancellation penalty of $10 per person.

Best Character Breakfast Locations:

Cinderella’s Royal Table:

The original is still one of the best character meals offered. Guests report to Cinderella Castle for an elegant breakfast in a royal setting. You’ll meet Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother and a host of other royal guests when you dine at this location. Schedule your breakfast early in the morning, and you’ll get the chance to wander down Main Street USA before the park opens, and enjoy a rare moment of solitude in the usually bustling Magic Kingdom.

Story Book Dining:

Epcot’s Norway pavilion is home to a princess breakfast your little one will love. Each day, an assortment of the Disney princesses welcomes guests, poses for pictures and signs autographs table-side. This location has one of the best breakfast menus you’ll find, featuring fresh fruit and yogurt, eggs and bacon, and some of the best potatoes you’ll find on property. You never know who you’ll meet here, though Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Mulan and Snow White are almost always on hand to greet guests. You’ll also get a souvenir photo of your party with one of the princesses to take home with you when you leave this location.

Chef Mickey’s:

If princesses aren’t your thing, or if you want to try a diverse meal in a great location, then consider the wildly popular Chef Mickey’s, located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You’ll enjoy fantastic food in a fun setting—and be just a monorail ride away from either the Magic Kingdom or Epcot. This location features tableside visits by Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald and Goofy, and is one of the best character meals to visit if you or a member of your family has special dietary needs. Chef Mickey’s offers a huge array of meal options, and can accommodate special food requests as needed.

A character breakfast really tops off a Disney World vacation, the food is great, the entertainment is outstanding, and the kids really have a great time. Plus, if you and your family take in a character breakfast then you will not have to waste your precious time at theme parks chasing down characters to get their autographs and pictures.

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Epcot and The Animal Kingdom: The Parks that Disney Forgot

23 Sep

You will be missed.Epcot and The Animal Kingdom, 50% of the Walt Disney World parks have been ignored for far to long. While the Magic Kingdom receives a whole new Fantasyland, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios receives a new Star Tour with fifty possible scenarios guests can experience, Epcot and The Animal Kingdom are left in the dust. Disney pretends like new things are always coming to The Animal Kingdom when the most recent additions are Finding Nemo the Musical and Expedition Everest, which does not even have a working Yeti anymore. Now we are getting some sort of Avatar land, that’s great if you like Avatar. I don’t. Star Wars has a ride, not a land, so if you do not like Star Wars, you can just pass it. We will just have to see how it turns out. Epcot has always been slow to change The Wonders of Life pavilion had a slow death that was replaced by nothing. It took a long time to get any characters in the park, and the wand on Spaceship Earth was up for an insane amount of time, which you can read my thoughts about it here. So what is it about these two parks that make them so slow to change? I could see how it could be hard with Animal Kingdom with all the live animals, but Epcot? Maybe it is because it is nothing like Walt’s original plan, and they feel like everything they do is not what Walt would want. I understand that but Walt did say this: “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. We’re always exploring and experimenting.” So in this case I really think they should listen to what Walt Disney would say.

You can visit my Disney/Gaming blog at The Four Parks

The Maelstrom at Norway – Epcot

22 Sep

Maelstrom – Norway Epcot

“Those who seek the spirit of Norway face peril and adventure.” Enter the mythological days of the Vikings when you ride Maelstrom located in Epcot’s Norway (between Mexico and China). Riders board their own Viking ships and tour around 10th century Viking Villages and the Norwegian forests. From polar bears to traditional Viking life your calm Norwegian boat ride seems like a nice day out to sea. But beware. Tricky trolls lurk in the darkness and want nothing more than to send you and your entire ship over the falls. Just when you think all is safe a troll pops out and casts a spell on your boat sending you backwards into rapids. In the distance you can see and hear a huge waterfall that you feel you will tumble backwards over. Instead of falling backwards over the large waterfall you suddenly feel your boat change course and end up in the middle of a storm. The storm does not last and before you know it you are back to the peaceful fishing village you came from. After your boat journey you are invited to watch a five minute movie on Norway. From the landscape to culture the movie offers watchers a brief look at history and life in Norway.

Maelstrom is a dark ride that is classified as “Mild But Wild Thrills.” There are no height restrictions to ride Maelstrom. Each boat holds 8 to 12 people.  A fast pass is available for the enchanting Norwegian boat ride and it is PAL Mickey friendly so do not forget Mickey. The ride duration is around 4 minute and 47 seconds and the movie afterwards (which is optional you can exit if you choose not to watch the movie) is around 5 minutes.  Maelstrom is a ride that everyone in your family will enjoy as long as they remember… “The spirit of adventure is always alive in Norway.”

Top Tens for Thrill Seekers

19 Jul

I guess there’s an idea floating around out there that Disney World is for kids and anyone looking for some thrilling rides and attractions should head over to Universal Studios. I think I’d like to take a crack at that one with this week’s top tens!

10. Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach is an imposing water slide at 120 feet high. It’s a no-turns, straight drop down a 360 foot long flume. Standing at the top and waiting to slide down is definitely heart-pounding.

9. A classic, Space Mountain has recently been refurbished and is once again open to scare the pants off those of us who would brave a coaster in the dark. Adding to the thrill? The “stars” you go zooming past can look a little too close to the top of your car for comfort.

8. EPCOT’s Test Track has been whipping guests around at 65 mph for twelve years. Climb into a model crash-test car and ride through a series of tests before shooting out of the building and around a banked track at top speed.

7. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Hollywood Studios may give you a fear of elevators, but it will definitely getting your heart pounding and your adrenaline going. The Disney secret? When the elevator goes into free fall, it doesn’t actually “fall”. Instead, a series of mechanically things that I’ll never understand pull the car towards the ground, making you feel as if you’re falling even faster and that the car has gone out of control.

6. If you don’t want to trek into the park, try the marina at the Contemporary Resort. There, you can go parasailing, tubing, wakeboarding, and waterskiing. It’s a great way to cool off in the Florida heat and still get some thrills into your day.

5. Mission: Space is a relatively new addition to EPCOT. Choose the Orange Team when you line up and then climb into a motion simulator for your flight to Mars where you’ll experience some serious g-forces and a harrowing space flight. (Warning: If you’re claustrophobic, this really isn’t the ride for you)

4. As the first coaster on this list, Rock n’ Roller Coaster definitely delivers the thrills. A fully indoor ride, it will take you through loops and corkscrews after blasting you out of the station at 60 mph in 3 seconds all while blasting Aerosmith music in through the back of your seat.

3. Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom isn’t an inverted coaster, but it’s just as fun. After you climb up the side of a mountain in your train car, you’ll ride through a series of drops both forwards and backwards, all while trying to evade the Yeti (probably the best animatronic I’ve ever seen. I swear that thing was real).

2. Sum of All Thrills can be tricky to find and the wait can be a bit long, but it’s so very worth it. Before you climb into the ride, you get to design your own track. Pick between bobsled, roller coaster, and jet then add inversions, turns, and twists. Save it then hop into a robotic arm which will ride you through your custom track, upside down and all! To track this one down, head into Innoventions East and look for the tall black arms with white carts on the end swinging around wildly.

1. Dinosaur!, tucked away in Animal Kingdom’s Dinoland USA looks tame from the outside but it’s certainly not for little kids. On this dark ride, you climb into a time travelling car to bring an inguanodon back to the future. The glitch? You get sent in just before a giant meteor is set to hit Earth and a giant dinosaur has tracked you down and is intent on eating you. This ride is fast paced, jarring, and full of things to jump out and scare the pants off you.

Rhys