DisneyDining http://www.disneydining.com Disney Dining Plan and Reviews Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:10:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Disney Dining Review: Cookes of Dublin Review http://www.disneydining.com/disney-dining-review-cookes-dublin-review/ http://www.disneydining.com/disney-dining-review-cookes-dublin-review/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:41:56 +0000 http://www.disneydining.com/?p=16634 Disney Dining Review: Cookes of Dublin Review

In the mood for hearty Irish pub fare but don’t have a reservation for Raglan Road? Cookes of Dublin has you covered! Located right next door to Raglan Road at Downtown Disney, Cookes of Dublin is a small, quick service restaurant great for anyone wanting some great tasting, fresh pub grub. If you need a pint to wash it all down, there’s the Hole in the Wall bar right next door.

Cookes of Dublin is very tiny, you can see from one end of the restaurant to the other in the pictures, and this means seating can be hard to come by at busy times. We were there right before the dinner rush and were able to find a table inside. There is much more seating available outside, but it can still be packed during lunch and dinner.

The Cooke family owns the restaurant and many of the dishes are made the way they were in the 1930’s, when the restaurant was established. They are well known for their fish and chips, which uses fresh fish brought in daily. Inside you will see signs everywhere assuring you that all the food is fresh. This means you do end up waiting a bit longer than your usual quick service restaurant, but that’s because your meal is being made to order.

Upon ordering you receive a number to take to your table where your food will be delivered. Next to the cash register is a case of very tempting desserts! A bit past the counter is the soda fountain and condiment bar. The condiment bar has several unique options such as cocktail sauce, Dalkey mustard, HP sauce, and malt vinegar. There are photographs of the Cooke family throughout the restaurant, so feel free to look around while you wait for your food!

On this visit we ordered the original one and one, the battered burger, and the chicken sandwich. I wanted to try one of the Dublin style pies, but I was told they wouldn’t be ready for another hour because they were still being made. I also ordered a D’oh Bar, which is a fried Snickers bar!

While I did not try the fish and chips, they got very high marks! My dining companion proclaimed they were perfectly light, flakey, and moist. The batter was also light and not greasy. The fish and chips are served with tartar sauce on the side. The chips, served with all the dishes we sampled, were thick but cooked all the way through. They were crisp, but not too crunchy. The only complaint was that there should have been some lemons out for the fish, as they were missing just a touch of citrus.

The battered burger sounded too interesting to pass up. The burger is served with garlic mayo, tomato chutney, and mixed greens, all on a very fresh onion bun. Unfortunately, the meat was a little on the dry side, but the batter added a nice crunch. It was lightly fried, but nothing too heavy. The tomato chutney had a very pronounced flavor, much more so than the garlic mayo.

For my meal I ordered the breaded chicken sandwich, which is served much like the burger with an herb aioli, tomato chutney, and greens. The sandwich was incredibly hot when it came out, proof that it was made to order. I felt there could have been more of the condiments, given the enormous size of the chicken filet. The breading wasn’t greasy and had a nice crunch to it. The chicken could have been moister, but overall was pretty good. The bun was the highlight for me. It was served on the same sweet onion roll that the burger came on. The onion bits were a nice sweet touch without being overpowering, and the bun was pillowy soft while also being toasted.

      

Last up was the D’oh bar, which I was really looking forward to! I’m not a huge Snickers fan, but the gooey, chocolaty bliss inside the dough was divine! There was a sweet and salty component to the bar that I particularly enjoyed. While this dessert wasn’t the prettiest to look at, it was absolutely delicious, and I highly recommend giving it a try!

Overall, I enjoyed Cookes of Dublin. In the future I would definitely try one of the Dublin style pies. If you are a fish and chips fan you have to give these a go, and the D’oh bar is also a must try. With plenty of stick to your ribs dishes, and several lighter options, there is something for everyone here.

F.A.S.T. review

Food – One of the better quick service spots at Disney, with fresh, hot food. The original one and one is a must!

Atmosphere – This is one tiny restaurant, so be prepared to find little to no seating if you are there during peak hours.

Service – Everyone was very helpful and nice, and our food was brought to our table after a short wait.

Tips – If you can’t get a reservation at Raglan Road, this is your best bet, with plenty of options for the whole family.

 

Battered Burger 1 Battered Burger 2 Battered Burger 3 Building Front Chicken Sandwich 1 Chicken Sandwich 2 Cookes and Hole in the Wall Cookes Counter Cookes family Cookes Sign D'oh Bar 2 D'oh Bar Famous Fish and Chips Fish and Chips 1 Fish and Chips 2 Menu Size of Restaurant Table number ]]>
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Latest News and Photos of 7 Dwarfs Mine Train Ride in New Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom http://www.disneydining.com/latest-news-photos-7-dwarfs-mine-train-ride-new-fantasyland-magic-kingdom/ http://www.disneydining.com/latest-news-photos-7-dwarfs-mine-train-ride-new-fantasyland-magic-kingdom/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:56:07 +0000 http://www.disneydining.com/?p=16540 Latest News and Photos of 7 Dwarfs Mine Train Ride in New Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom

Today more of the walls around this ride came down, allowing the theming and track to emerge into view for those in New Fantasyland today!  Disney was filming for the commercial about this new ride so we got a look at a great deal today.  Still waiting to be revealed is the sign and Entrance to the queue.

We were able to watch the train go on its own today carrying either weights, a few construction workers, or  a set of actors.  They all looked to be enjoying the experience.  I would have gladly traded places with them if they were not.  It is truly amazing how Disney can take a space that has nothing, and turn it into an amazingly themed ride.  This one was especially challenging as it was in the middle of New Fantasyland, completely surrounded by other attractions.

The speed was not at thrill level, so hopefully no one will be too disappointed. It has been described as a “family ride” making the height requirement lower so more of the family can ride and enjoy it together. I think the draw for this ride will be the incredible theming and a little bit of swaying as it moves around the track.  Children through grandparents should enjoy this ride.  Looking at the photos you can see a little bit of swaying of the cars, but not as much as I expected.

The Cast opening and the Annual Passholders opening have not been announced.  I was told by a CM that they have not even been scheduled yet.  “They are keeping everything very close to the chest on this one,” she said. “The actual ride cast members have not even been trained yet; just the Coordinators, Managers, and Trainers have been trained.”  Everyone is looking forward to the opening but no one knows the date yet.  I spoke with the mothers of two children actors on the ride today who said the actors were hired for five hours today but they got a late start due to some complications with the ride. We did see TV crews set up on two sides of the mountain.

The details on the train are so good and it is great how the plants and trees started here around the base of the mountain are looking strong and growing well.

      

I am encouraged that these things are happening today and that more of the walls have come down.  We will keep an eye on this ride and let you know any announcements concerning the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train ride.

By Cassie

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]]> http://www.disneydining.com/latest-news-photos-7-dwarfs-mine-train-ride-new-fantasyland-magic-kingdom/feed/ 0 Review and New Menu at Pinocchio Village Haus, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom http://www.disneydining.com/review-new-menu-pinocchio-village-haus-fantasyland-magic-kingdom/ http://www.disneydining.com/review-new-menu-pinocchio-village-haus-fantasyland-magic-kingdom/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 23:42:32 +0000 http://www.disneydining.com/?p=16525 Review and New Menu at Pinocchio Village Haus, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom

By Cassie

This week Pinocchio Village Haus finally reopened.  It closed in February for a refurbishment that was to last six weeks but this one lasted a little longer.  This is one of my favorite counter service restaurants so I am happy it is open again.  There are some changes to the menu.

The plain cheese flatbread (adult size), Meatball Sub, four breadsticks with pizza sauce, Italian Wedding Soup, Iced Coffee French Vanilla or Mocha, and Pinocchio’s Punch are no longer on the menu. New on the menu is Lemonade Slush or Blue Raspberry Slush for $4.49. The prices did not increase.  Ironically the menu posted just to the side of the main entrance an older menu.  The one currently on the Walt Disney World website is also the older menu.

I loved the flatbread pizzas, breadsticks, soups and salads here.  I had not tried the Italian Flatbread Sub Sandwich before so I opted for that and a frozen Lemonade Slush.  The sandwich is easily a foot long, and it is served extra-crispy.  It was a bit over-crispy for my taste.  The sandwich carried a great deal of fillings composed of Italian smoked ham, salami, chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes and purple onion, ripe olives, sweet banana peppers, kidney beans, cheese, and a very tasty Balsamic Vinegar dressing. Because it was toasted so much the dressing could not soak into the bread but runs out the other end so be careful with this.  This messy sandwich was very flavorful and I was surprised by the amount of flavors in each bite.  My only criticism would be that it was toasted too much which made it more difficult to eat and did not allow for any of the dressing to soak into the bread.  I had to break off pieces of the ends with my hands because it hurt my teeth to try and break it.  The other ingredients helped to soften it enough to bite through it, but they did not extend the full length of the sandwich. I recommend this sandwich to anyone who wants more than the average theme park sandwich, just be armed with lots of napkins.  I would order this again, but it is not by top choice for Pinocchio Village Haus.  I still love the Flatbread Pizzas and the soup the most.

F.A.S.T. Review:

Food- Pinocchio Village Haus has a great food selection that you don’t find anywhere else in Magic Kingdom.  It has great flavor and the portions are a good value.

Atmosphere-this is the cutest restaurant in Magic Kingdom.  I love the atmosphere both inside and outside.  Inside there are several dining rooms, including one that looks over the “it’s a small world” ride.  There is artwork on the inside that tells parts of Pinocchio’s story. Outside the umbrellas are helpful to get shade and protection from rain.  You have a great view of Fantasyland from here.

Service-the Cast Members in here were very friendly and filled my order quickly and correctly. Outside you may notice some CM’s with marionette puppets entertaining guests.

Tip-If the staircase is open, climb to find a second floor dining area and outside balcony dining area.  It is not always open and most people don’t notice it, but it is a favorite place of mine.

        

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A character breakfast can add to any Walt Disney World vacation. Who wouldn’t want to start the day with a chance to spend quality time with favorite characters, while filling up for the day? Character meals are a good way to introduce shy little ones to these larger than life figures, and they are also a lot of fun. There are many exciting dining experiences to choose from. These tips are meant to help you know what to consider when deciding which character breakfast is right for you and your family.

 

Find the Right Characters

Since a character meal is mostly about meeting the characters, learn who is at which meal. While characters do change from time to time, you can still get a good idea of who should be on hand. If meeting Donald is your number one priority, don’t book your only character breakfast at The Crystal Palace because you won’t find him there.

Learn the Alternatives

Some of the characters appear at more than one meal. Cinderella’s Royal Table is a hard reservation to get, but Akershus Royal Banquet Hall also features princesses. You’ll find classic Disney characters at several breakfasts. While you should try to make a reservation at your first choice, have a backup in mind in case there is nothing open.

Make Sure It Is a Character Breakfast

Some character restaurants do not have characters at all meals. Make sure that you are booking a character meal when you make your reservation. You don’t want to show up, autograph book in hand, only to discover that there are no characters at breakfast.

Location of the Restaurant

You will want to book your character breakfast at a restaurant that is easy to get to. If you are going to have to wait 45 minutes for the right bus and then travel across Disney property to make it to your reservation, you’re going to be in a bad mood when you get there. If you can easily get to the restaurant, your whole family will be happier.

Price of the Meal

Character meals are expensive. Some cost more than others. While a character breakfast is a splurge that your whole family will enjoy, make sure you know how much you’ll be spending before you make the reservation. Also find out what is not included in the price, especially if your vacation budget is tight. Remember too that for most character meals, the gratuity is not included in the price, so please be generous for good service.

How Many Dining Credits?

If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you might want to use table service dining credits to pay for a character meal. There are two things that you need to remember. The Quick Service Dining Plan does not include table service credits, so if that’s your plan you won’t be able to use it for your meal. Also, Cinderella’s Royal Table will cost you two credits, unless you’re on the Premium or Platinum Plan. Disney will sometimes quietly increase the number of table service credits required for a popular meal, so double check to make sure.

The Type of Food

Many of the character breakfasts are buffets, and there are standard items that you will find on most of them. You still might want to see what foods are available before you make your reservation, just to be on the safe side. You want to be sure that your picky eater will leave with a full stomach.

         

Ease of the Reservation

Some character breakfasts are not all that difficult to get a reservation for. Others can be quite a bit more difficult. If it’s getting close to your trip and you don’t yet have your reservation, you might want to find one that is easy to get. You’ll be less frustrated and better prepared. You can keep trying for the harder reservation if you want, but you’ll have a backup. Remember as well that if you have a reservation that you’re not going to use, cancel it. You’ll be charged a fee if you don’t and it will let someone else have a chance to take your spot.

Time of Breakfast

Timing your character breakfast correctly can add to your day. If you have an early breakfast inside a park you’ll be able to enter before the general public. You’ll see an empty park (which is always fun) and you’ll be able to get in line for the most popular rides earlier than most of the guests. If you’re not planning the breakfast inside a park you’ll still want to plan it perfectly. Reserve a later time and sleep in. A character breakfast on an off-day will allow you to recharge and you’ll still be doing something fun.

Which Day of the Trip

Another thing to consider is which day of your trip you want to enjoy your character breakfast. As already mentioned, the breakfast is a fun thing to do if you plan a day away from the parks. If you’re flying and you have an afternoon flight, a character breakfast on that final morning is the perfect way to wrap up your vacation. A character breakfast the first day of your vacation is also a fun way to kick off the magic. You know your family, pick which day everyone will get the most out of the breakfast and make a reservation.

 

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Top 10 Animals You Don’t Want to Miss at Animal Kingdom http://www.disneydining.com/top-10-animals-dont-want-miss-animal-kingdom/ http://www.disneydining.com/top-10-animals-dont-want-miss-animal-kingdom/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 22:24:43 +0000 http://www.disneydining.com/?p=16503 Top 10 Animals You Don’t Want to Miss at Animal Kingdom

By Cassie

In 1990 the first discussions were held about a new animal park that would become Animal Kingdom. The project was announced mid-year 1995, broke ground on it summer of 1995, and the 500-acre park opened to the public April 2008. Animal Kingdom today is home to more than 1,700 animals, 250 species, and is an important voice for conservation, animal care, education and research.  There are a number of rare animal encounters here and well worth the price of a ticket.  You can meet everything from farm animals to extinct dinosaur skeletons. The animals are part of your learning here but also part of the entertainment you will only find at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Below is a short list of ten special animals you can encounter when you visit Animal Kingdom.

10. Hippopotamus (Kilimanjaro Safari Ride)-these animals love water. They will choose to walk along the bottom of a river rather than swim across it. They will spend up to 16 hours a day under the surface of a river or lake. They can hold their breath under water for up to five minutes. Their eyes and nostrils are located high on their heads which makes it easy for them to stay mostly submerged but still breath and listen. They secrete a substance that protects their skin from sunburn and germs. They spend the day in the water then at sunset emerge to walk as many as 6 miles a night, in a single file line, looking for plants to eat.

9. Giraffe (Kilimanjaro Safari Ride)-these are the tallest mammals on earth.  They have an insatiable appetite and live to be about 25 years. They stand between 14 and 19 feet tall. They can run about 35-mph but only over short distances. They are more comfortable running at 10-mph for longer periods of time. They like to stay in small groups. Thanks to their long necks they are able to reach the treetops where other animals cannot.  Their favorite food is acacias buds that grow at the top of the tree. I was surprised to see how long, 21”, the giraffe’s tongue is.  There is a relative of the giraffe on this safari called the Okapi, which have an 18” tongue that works the same way. These shy animals were also known as the forest zebra because of its black and white markings on its hindquarters and legs. Okapi are able to eat many kinds of plants including those that are poisonous to other animals and humans. Both the Giraffe and Okapi use their necks to defend themselves in a fight.

8. Giant Anteater (Oasis)-these toothless mammals can lap up 35,000 ants or termites daily. They do have sharp claws however that gains them access to large ant hills or termite mounds. Once the ant hill is open he sticks his long snout and superfast tongue to work inside.  He can flick his tongue up to 160 times a minute! They are also careful not to destroy the hill because he will come back another day to eat some more. They have very poor eyesight but a great sense of smell. An anteater’s tongue can extend more than 2 feet. Their tales are almost as long as their head and body length.  If an anteater is threatened they will rest on their tails and lash out with their 4 inch long claws. Even though they have no teeth they have been known to fight off big cats like the puma or jaguar.

7. Arapawa (Rafiki’s Planet Watch)-is a rare breed of New Zealand Goat, are critically close to extinction, but there are a couple at Rafiki’s Planet Watch for us to see. The most endearing one is named “Wilma”. She is the oldest of all the goats there. These are smaller than normal farm milking goats and the coat colors come in a variety and have distinctly patterned faces. Wilma is black and white in color. She has horns and is sporting a nice beard. Her coat is fluffy. She has an endearing nature and bonds with her caretakers. These goats are valued for their milk, meat and skin. They are self-reliant in their native island off the coast of New Zealand. You will see this tender goat gently tap her head to those who challenge her food supply no matter what their size is.  She is often seen standing atop the play structure guarding hay and slowly enjoying her meal. She especially likes her chin gently rubbed.

6. Rhinoceros (Kilimanjaro Safari Ride)-they like to cover themselves in mud because that thick skin is sensitive to sunburn and insect bites. He looks like he is covered in heavy armor, but he can run 30 to 40mph. A group of rhinos is called a “crash”. The small birds often seen sitting on a rhino removes ticks from the rhino’s hide and make a loud sound when feeling threatened that also alerts the rhino of danger. These animals have been known to stare down the Safari ride vehicles!

      

5. Komodo Dragon (Maharajah Jungle Trek)-this 10 foot long, 300 pound lizard is the heaviest on Earth. They will attack and eat almost anything despite its size.  He waits patiently until his prey walks by then he pounces with his powerful legs and claws the victim and bites with shark-line teeth. If his prey manages to struggle free, he is rare, and still won’t live long.  The saliva of this nasty reptile is poisonous with over 50 strains of bacteria. The dragon simply follows this prey until the animal dies, usually within 24 hours from the blood poisoning. The Komodo Dragon can reach speeds of 11-mph in short bursts.

4. African Lion (Kilimanjaro Safari Ride)-these are the only big cats that live in a group. These cats sleep away most of the day, so it is sometimes difficult, if not impossible to spot them up on the rocks. There is a decline of lions in the wild so their protection status is considered “vulnerable”. The animals that the females hunt are often faster than they are so they rely on teamwork to bring down dinner.

3. African Elephant (Kilimanjaro Safari Ride)-these are the largest land animal on earth. They and their ears are larger than the Asian Elephants. They like to shower themselves by sucking water into their trunks and spraying it all over, followed by a nice layer of dust.  That trunk is used for a lot of other tasks such as eating, breathing, trumpeting, grabbing their food, all while using 100,000 muscles in the trunk alone.  The guide tells us they have a 22-month pregnancy and this is only the second mammal to have their offspring stay at home into their teen years. (Humans are #1 in that category.) They have a life expectancy of 70 years.

2. Western Lowland Gorilla (Pangani Forest Exploration Trail)-These animals are endangered and prefer to live in heavy rainforests. They like to live in groups called a troop. The troop is usually led by the dominant adult male called a silverback. Although I have seen the alpha male here at Animal Kingdom pounding his chest and roaring loudly as a show of his physical power, he is considered non-aggressive and remains calm unless provoked. Gorillas eat plant roots, shoots, fruit, bark, pulp and wild celery. A baby gorilla is born weighing only 4 pounds. The baby clutches to its mother and rides her back from 4 months of age until two or three years old. In captivity gorillas have displayed an ability to learn simple sign language. Gorillas are hunted for their meat.

1. Tiger (Maharajah Jungle Trek)-this is the largest of the wild cats weighing up to 720 pounds in its six foot body.  Tigers usually hunt alone creeping close to its prey than sprinting to it.  If it is a larger animal the tiger will attack its throat and a smaller animal will have its neck broken. Tigers prefer a quick kill and then will eat off the carcass for days.  He eats until he is satisfied then covers the carcass with leaves or dirt, then comes back and does the same thing. The Tiger is the only one of the big cats that enjoys water.  Tigers have been overhunted for their beautiful fur, some medicinal qualities, and they are losing their habitat due to farming and logging. No two tigers have the same stripes! The female tiger can give birth to one to six cubs at a time and raised them on her own. At six months old a cub is taught to hunt. At one year they are capable of killing their prey but usually stay with their mother until at least two years old. You can face down a Tiger through a sheet of plexiglass on this trek.

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Disney Surprise Compilation http://www.disneydining.com/disney-surprise-compilation/ http://www.disneydining.com/disney-surprise-compilation/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 23:19:28 +0000 http://www.disneydining.com/?p=16500 Disney Surprise Compilation

Incredible mash up of of Disney surprise moments.

 

IPhone users, if you have any trouble watching this video CLICK HERE

 

 

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Which Disney Movie City or Town Should You Live In? Quiz http://www.disneydining.com/disney-movie-city-town-live-quiz/ http://www.disneydining.com/disney-movie-city-town-live-quiz/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 23:02:59 +0000 http://www.disneydining.com/?p=16498

      

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Incredible Proposal in Disneyland http://www.disneydining.com/incredible-proposal-disneyland/ http://www.disneydining.com/incredible-proposal-disneyland/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 22:53:52 +0000 http://www.disneydining.com/?p=16496 Incredible Proposal in Disneyland

This is one of the sweetest Disney proposals.  Having a Disney artist “pop” the question in a caricature is genius.   Disney Proposals Rock!

IPhone users, if you have any trouble watching this video CLICK HERE

 

 

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Soldier Returns Early, Surprises Girlfriend at Disney http://www.disneydining.com/soldier-returns-early-surprises-girlfriend-disney/ http://www.disneydining.com/soldier-returns-early-surprises-girlfriend-disney/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 22:34:40 +0000 http://www.disneydining.com/?p=16494 Soldier Returns Early, Surprises Girlfriend at Disney

What a cool surprise for this young lady!

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Walt Disney World Family Vacation – Music Video http://www.disneydining.com/walt-disney-world-family-vacation-music-video/ http://www.disneydining.com/walt-disney-world-family-vacation-music-video/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 18:27:08 +0000 http://www.disneydining.com/?p=16492 Walt Disney World Family Vacation – Music Video

Another amazing home video from a Disney World vacation.  I wish I had the time and the talent to pull this off!

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