Something Besides Burgers at Disney

Something Besides Burgers at Disney

Headed off to a Disney vacation but afraid of burger burn out? After all that is the only option theme parks really offer. Right? And they will be overpriced too. Right? Well Grumpy cannot disagree about the overpriced but there is no need to suffer from burger burn out. There is something besides burgers at Disney.

In fact you do not have to pay to have a fancy sit down dinner or hit one of the character buffets to escape the bun. There are plenty of options from sushi (yes Grumpy really said sushi) to bbq ribs that will not set you back a fortune. In fact most of them are one quick service dining credit.

Top Quick Service Options By Park

So where do you find these options? First let’s take a look at Grumpy’s top choice for each park (and one honorable mention.)

Magic Kingdom

Columbia Harbor House: In the Magic Kingdom and looking beyond Pecos Bill’s or Cosmic Ray’s? Give Columbia Harbor House a try. Located in Liberty Square you have probably seen it a million times and never paid attention. But you are passing up some good food! The menu centers around seafood and includes tuna, battered fish and shrimp. Have non-seafood people in your party? There are also chicken nuggets on the menu. The theme in the Columbia Harbor house is also worth a look.

Something Besides Burgers at Disney

Epcot

La Cantina de San Angel: Located in the World Showcase’s Mexico pavilion La Cantina de San Angel is an excellent escape from burgers.  La Cantina de San Angel offers excellent Mexican selections like Tacos de Barbacoa. These shredded beef tacos are a Grumpy favorite. The only drawback to La Cantina is the seating is very limited and is outdoor. Note: Don’t confuse La Cantina de San Angel with La Hacienda de San Angel. La Hacienda is in the pyramid and is table service (much higher prices.)

Hollywood Studios

Fairfax Fare:  If you head down Sunset Boulevard towards the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith and smell something good cooking it might be Fairfax Fare. This is another one of those places that is easy to overlook. Most people head to ABC Commissary or the Studio Catering Company. They are missing out on some good barbeque. Fairfax Fare offers chicken and spareribs. As with La Cantina de San Miguel one of the big drawbacks here is outdoor only seating.

Animal Kingdom

Flame Tree Barbecue: A real favorite for visitors to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Flame Tree is found on Discovery Island and offers ribs, chicken and pork sandwiches. The seating area is large but spread out and outdoors. But there is some bad news…Flame Tree is currently closed for refurbishment but some of their offerings are available at kiosks like Beastly Kiosk (also on Discovery Island) and Trilo-bite in Dinoland.

Honorable Mention

Be Our Guest: Be Our Guest is one of the hottest meals in the Magic Kingdom. And by hottest Grumpy means it is hard to get into not that the food everywhere else is cold. In fact it is so popular it is the only quick service (as of publication date) that offers Advanced Dining Reservations.

So why is it honorable mention? For one because you probably will not be able to get in there and it doesn’t really matter what they offer or how good it is if you cannot get in. Secondly, it is only Quick Service for breakfast and lunch. At dinner it becomes Table Service.

Be Our Guest is located in the new Beast’s Castle. It is impressive from the outside and inside. The menu has a French flair to it and includes Croque Monsieur (Grilled Sandwich of Carved Ham and Gruyere Cheese and Bechamel) with Pommes Frites, carved Turkey Sandwich Carved and carved prime chuck roast beef sandwich.

SOMETHING BESIDES BURGERS AT DISNEY

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Disney Changing Refillable Mugs

Disney Changing Refillable Mugs

Disney is changing Refillable Mugs again! Guests will no longer be able to purchase mugs for short stays at a reduced rate. All mugs will instead be $16.49+tax

Those who have been around a while will remember mugs used to be much cheaper than that. The mug was good for the length of your stay and only meant to be used at your resort for that stay.

Disney Changing Refillable Mugs

Of course there was some abuse. People would reuse mugs from previous trips without ever paying again. (For the record that is stealing whether you think the price is too high or not. Whether Disney is charging too much or not is another matter.) Grumpy even had a picture of a woman filling jugs of soda at one of the resorts. Unfortunately I cannot find it again.

This theft led to Disney changing refillable mugs by introducing the Rapid Refill Mug. The Rapid Refill mug looks about the same as the old mug but it comes with a special chip in it. This RFID chip communicates with the dispensers at the Walt Disney World Resorts to let them know if you are authorized to get a drink.

When the Rapid Refill Mug was introduced Disney also introduced a tiered pricing system that let guest pay less for shorter stays.

One thing that surprised a lot of guests was that there was a delay between usages of the Mug. You could not fill it up and drink it down and fill it right back up. There is a 2-3 minute cool down period before you could use it again. This, no doubt, was another attempt by Disney to reduce theft.

Now that Disney has changed the price again (it actually went down for some people doing longer resort stays!) everyone must again evaluate whether the mug is worth it or not. Here are the key things to consider before you shell out $17.

  1. How often are you going to use the mug? If you are not going to use it often it might be better to just buy a single serve paper cup.
  2. How close are you to the refill stations. Most resorts have at most two locations you can use the mug at. Are you going to walk across the resort to get a soda or use one of the vending machines
  3. The locations are not open 24/7
  4. And last but not least, even if you don’t use it that much you can take it home and it makes everything you drink at home taste a little better.

What do you think about the Rapid Refill Mugs and the new price?
For more information visit wdwinfo.com

Win A Disney Vacation

Win A Disney Vacation

Disney is at again and giving you a chance to win a Disney Vacation. The vacation is at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida and  includes a night in the coveted Cinderella Suite!

To enter you must take a picture of your “Disney Summer Style” or “Disney Summer Treat” and share them on either Twitter or Instragram. Be sure to include the #DisneySummerContest

For full details  and to enter click here.

Disney Free Dining Offer

Looking to head to Disney but not feeling lucky? I can help you with that. Just send me an email to get the process started! (In the interest of full disclosure I cannot get you into the Cinderella Suite)

New Disney Ticket Prices?

New Disney Ticket Prices coming soon?

Disney recently sent out a survey to annual pass holders for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The questions focused on whether pass holders would pay more for high traffic days. Such days would include summer, spring break and holidays like Christmas. Different days of the week could even have different prices. (Disney already charges higher rates to stay at its resorts for weekends.)

It should be noted this was only a survey. Nothing is set in stone (and Grumpy hopes they just set it in the trashcan where this proposal belongs.)

The proposal was a three tiered system. The tiers would be bronze, silver and gold. To add to the frustration of another possible price increase is the fact that you could end up paying three different prices for your tickets!

And to top it off, there is no savings for the bronze ticket. It would cost just as much to go on a slow day as it does now but busier days would cost more.

Disney has not offered a reason for the survey but it could be a way to reduce crowding. Or it could just be a way to squeeze more money out of the guests.

For more information check out thisDemand Pricing At Disney.

Shaking my Grumpy head. What do you think?

Disney World Free Dining

Disney World Free Dining

Disney World Free Dining for 2015 has finally become a reality! This is the most popular special that Disney offers. As such it is important to get your reservation made early. When they say the number of rooms are limited they mean it! When enough rooms are filled at a resort they will close that offer for that resort.

Getting dining reservations during the Disney World Free Dining Offer is even harder than normal! And it is never easy! Just another reason to let me help you get started today!

So When Is Disney World Free Dining Available?

Free dining is available when you check in during the following dates:   Aug. 28 – Oct. 2, Oct. 25-31, Nov. 8-19, Dec. 15-21, 2015.

To qualify for the Disney World Free Dining you must stay at least six nights and seven days. Your package must include tickets. Your tickets must include either the Park Hopper or the Water Park and More Option.

Which Resorts Are Excluded?

The latest information is that only Offer excludes The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard View Rooms, campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort and Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort (for select dates).

Prices and availability are subject to change without notice.

Ready to get started?

So if you are ready to book your vacation let me help you out. My service will not cost you anything and I will be your personal concierge from planning your trip to making sure you have a magical time while you are there. To qualify for this package your trip must be book by July 10, 2015.

 

Disney World Free Dining

Free Disney VIP Getaway

Free Disney VIP Getaway

Are you one of those people who has your next Disney vacation all planned out but then you look at the bank statement and say not this year? Grumpy knows that feeling but here is some good news! Coca-Cola is offering a free Disney VIP Getaway!

The Free Disney VIP Getaway is described like this:

Discover the enchantment of all fourWalt Disney World® Theme Parks on a 4-day VIP Disney spring getaway from Coca-Cola! Warm up your spring with some Disney magic and enter for your chance to win by completing the entry below.

Not exactly sure what makes that a VIP experience but if Grumpy wins that is VIP enough! Click here to enter and if you win you can let the rest of us knows how it feels to be a VIP! Expires April 30, 2015 so better hurry!

Not ready to trust your luck to get you to Disney? Grumpy can help. As part of Magical Vacations By Me (An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner) Grumpy can make book your next trip, make your dining reservations and help with Fastpasses so you can forget the hassle and focus on the fun! Click here to get started.

Free VIP Disney Getaway

New Star Wars Trailer

New Star Wars Trailer

Disney just released a New Star Wars Trailer! While some Disney purists might insist that the Star Wars universe is not part of the Disney universe Bob Iger would disagree. Four billion dollars does give you a sense of some ownership!

Iger has also teased those of us who are both Disney and Star Wars fans with hints about an expanded Star Wars presence in the Disney Parks. Hopefully we will learn something more concrete at this years D23 Celebration. Continue reading New Star Wars Trailer

Be Our Guest Testing Breakfast

Be Our Guest Testing Breakfast

For a while there have been rumors but now it is official. Starting March 20 Be Our Guest at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom will be testing breakfast. In fact the reservation system is already accepting requests for what is sure to be a popular breakfast option. The test will last until June 18th. Continue reading Be Our Guest Testing Breakfast

Soarin and Toy Story To Get Expansions

Soarin and Toy Story To Get Expansions

Disney just announced that both Soarin and Toy Story Midway Mania are being expanded. Soarin’ is one of the top attractions at Epcot. Toy Story Midway Mania is not only the most popular attraction at Hollywood Studios it is one of the most popular in all of Walt Disney World.Soarin and Toy Story To Get Expansions

Soarin’ will be getting another theater as well as some updates to its screen and projection systems. It has long been rumored that Soarin’ was being converted to a digital format. It has also been rumored that a new movie, perhaps one made just for Walt Disney World, would be introduced. Only time will tell if either or both of these rumors are true.

Rumors of an expansion for Toy Story Mania first became popular when the Studio Backlot Tour was closed. There was a lot of speculation that the show building for the Studio Backlot Tour would be converted to a third track for Toy Story. While Grumpy cannot confirm that the Studio Backlot Tour Building is where the expansion will be it has been confirmed that there will be adding more track to Toy Story. This should be a third track that will increase capacity by 1/3.

This expansion of capacity, even more than the one for Soarin’, should prove a huge help to crowd flow at Hollywood Studios. Toy Story Midway Mania is, in truth, the only ride at the Studios that is friendly to younger children. It was so popular that before Fastpass + was introduced the paper Fastpasses were over gone by 10 am. With the new Fastpass + system they are still among the hardest to get anywhere in Walt Disney World.

The bad news is that the expected completion date for the two expansions is not until late 2016. Till then it will be hard to get Fastpasses and long standy-by lines.

You can read the official release here.

Ready to book your own Walt Disney World Vacation? Click here.

Lunch Reservations For Be Our Guest

Did Grumpy really just say making lunch reservations for Be Our Guest? Why yes he did!

Be Our Guest was part of the New Fantasyland expansion. The building is a recreation of Beast’s castle from Disney’s 1991 animated movie Beauty And The Beast. Continue reading Lunch Reservations For Be Our Guest

News, Views and Reviews from Walt Disney World