Leaky Cauldron - Universal StudiosIf you are like most Universal Orlando guests, you start your morning by running to the back of Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure to beat the crowds to see all of the Harry Potter attractions.  After some playing, you are bound to feel hungry.  Good news!  You can continue to feel the magic of the Wizarding World with meals and snacks inspired by the series.
On the Universal Studios side, immerse yourself in London, get all of your Wizarding supplies and grab a meal at the Leaky Cauldron.  This restaurant serves breakfast,  lunch and dinner in the setting of the famous pub right out of the movies.   I prefer to grab breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron just after my ride on the Escape From Gringotts and before heading over to Hogsmeade on the Hogwarts Express.  On the Islands of Adventure side, head over to Three Broomsticks from some traditional English fare.  The ordering stations are laid out to look just like you are checking in as a guest of this famous inn.  This restaurant does a fabulous job of immersing guests into the movie while they enjoy a tasty meal.

 

Do I need to make reservations?

Leaky Cauldron - Universal StudiosNo!  Both of these restaurants are considered counter service locations so simply decide when you want to eat, walk up and order.  Prices range from a reasonable $9.99-$16.99 or 1 counter service credit on the Universal Dining Plan.  Both of these restaurants are pretty busy all day, but don’t let a line deter you.  They move people very quickly and there is always room to sit.

 

Leaky Cauldron - Universal Studios

If you are having way too much fun to take time to sit and eat, but still want to experience some Harry Potter treats, there are plenty of options.  If Butterbeer is what you crave, there are plenty of Butterbeer carts in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley served regular, frozen or my personal favorite, Butterbeer ice cream.  If you want a more magical snack to take home as a souvenir, visit Honeydukes in Hogsmeade.  You can fill your own bag of Bertie Bott’s, take home some Butterbeer fudge or surprise your friends with some Exploding Bon Bons!

 

Leaky Cauldron - Universal StudiosUniversal does an excellent job of immersing guests in the magic of Harry Potter.  Eating like a wizard here is a magical experience for both adults and kids.

 

For more information about Universal or to book your vacation, please contact a Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist. We are highly trained in both Universal and Disney destinations, and we would love to assist you!

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

Disney World bucket list item….CHECK!

Morimoto Asia at DisneyWhen I first heard Chef Morimoto was opening a restaurant in Disney Springs, I knew immediately that this dining reservation was on the top of my list! The influence of Japanese, Chinese and Korean flavors on the menu pretty much guaranteed Morimoto Asia was sure to become a favorite of mine!

This new spot is located in a modern new building at the Landing in Disney Springs. (It shares an area with Raglan Road that allows you to enjoy the outside entertainment across the way while you wait for your table.) This beautiful restaurant has an amazing menu that anyone should be able to find something they would love. They also have a children’s menu, and there were plenty of families with young ones who all seemed happy. Morimoto has many traditional flavors, House sake, a pretty extensive sushi menu, and several specialty drinks. You’ll need to take some time with the menu. Be sure to watch all the entrees sizzling past your table as you decide. Morimoto Asia at Disney

Because I like to try several different things, I chose the Lunch Combination, opting for: miso soup, white rice, dumplings, pickled cucumbers, and the most flavorful orange chicken I’ve ever had. There wasn’t a single item on my plate that I did not love. For dessert, I finished with the Sorbetto Trio which was just a perfect, refreshing ending to the meal. We also saw many people enjoying the Spare Ribs! They were a generous portion of ribs that was devoured by everyone who had ordered it. I’ve added that to my must-try list for a future visit!

Overall, the service was great, the food was terrific, and the dining room was quite lovely.Morimoto Asia at Disney

Make a reservation for the main restaurant or grab Morimoto Street Food entrees to go!

If you are on the Disney Dining Plan or the Deluxe Dining Plan, lunch is 1 table service credit and dinner is 2 table service credits. The Quick Service Dining Plan applies only to the Morimoto Street Food to Go counter downstairs.

 

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

  1. Jolly Holiday Bakery Café, Disneyland – At the top of Main Street, you’ll find this gem. Amazing for breakfast (scrambled egg and cheese on a croissant!), even better for lunch and dinner with amazing sandwiches, soups and salads. And yes……there are a TON of yummy dessert treats! Disneyland Quick Service Restaurants
  2. Bengal Barbecue, Disneyland – Not the best location to find a seat, but the Jungle Skewers they offer up are delicious. My picks – a beef skewer and a veggie skewer. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water!
  3. La Brea Bakery, Downtown Disney – Although not owned by Disney, La Brea Bakery has been making waves in Los Angeles for years with their amazing bread. This is my go-to to pick-up lunch when heading back to the resort to relax. They have quite a large menu, but my favorite comfort food from La Brea Bakery will always be their Grilled Three Cheese sandwich with a Tomato Bisque on the side. Disneyland Quick Service Restaurants
  4. River Belle Terrace, Disneyland – Once Walt’s favorite place to stop and have breakfast, this restaurant is now open only for lunch and dinner. If you love Southern cooking, they have fantastic chicken or pork sandwiches. My favorite is the Half Chicken plate which can easily be shared.
  5. Sonoma Terrace, California Adventure – This relaxing spot serves wine and beer, but I love the Gourmet Cheese Plate!
  6. The Little Red Wagon on Main Street, Disneyland – Look for the unassuming little red wagon with the long line, and you’ll find the best corn dogs around!
  7. French Market, Disneyland – This Creole-style restaurant has great jambalaya, and it’s got a great view of the Rivers of America with frequent entertainment in New Orleans Square. Disneyland Quick Service Restaurants
  8. The Golden Horseshoe, Disneyland – This is one of the original buildings at Disneyland and was one of Walt’s favorite places to hang out. It’s a bustling saloon inside where chicken is the main star.
  9. Smokejumpers Grill, California Adventure – They’ve got great burgers, but I prefer the Grilled Chicken and Jack Sandwich. The chipotle aioli makes this sandwich!
  10. Hungry Bear Restaurant, Disneyland – Tucked in the back of Critter Country, this restaurant offers a place to relax in the shade overlooking the Rivers of America. For me, this restaurant is all about finding a quiet retreat with a view!

 

 

Nancy Wideman
Travel Specialist

So much food. So little time.
We have the perfect plan for you!

Today we’re discussing how to get the biggest bang for your buck with Disney’s dining plan! Let’s get started!

I know many guests add the plus dining plan to their Disney World package.  The plan gives you 1 table service, 1 quick service, and 1 snack credit per person per night stay.  You get ALL those credits at the beginning of your trip, meaning you can spend those credits whenever you’d like.  WDW Character Dining Lifestyle Shoot. 2013. Photographer: Melanie AcevedoMost guests plan to eat one table service meal per day.  The benefits are:  they get a break in their day, they regroup as a family, and try some of the best restaurants on property.

 

Something many don’t think about before traveling, is the amount of food they will consume by having a table service meal (along with a quick service meal and snack) per day and what is their personal food limit is.  Disney portions are VERY generous!  This may leave you rolling out of the parks at the end of your trip because you ate so much AMAZING food!  If you worry about this overfull feeling, the dining plan can STILL work for you.  You can modify the way you utilize your credits and still get your money’s worth.  This plan is also ideal for families that want some days with open schedules.  Disney vacations have so much planning, that those open days are worth something to a lot of guests!

 

On my last 7 night trip, we had THREE days with no dining reservations.  This allowed for stomach breaks, chances to try new amazing snacks, and a more open schedule for some unpredictability.  To do this type of schedule, try one or two signature locations (uses 2 credits instead of 1), or plan to eat at two locations in one day (having a breakfast and dinner).  This allows for fast passes being the only real “plans” you have for a day and are able to be modified, if need be (based on availability).

 

Day Park Dining Table Service Credit(s)
Monday Magic Kingdom No Dining Planned 0
Tuesday Epcot Cape May Breakfast 1
Le Cellier Dinner 2
Wednesday Hollywood Studios/Swim No Dining Planned 0
Thursday Swim/Magic Kingdom Crystal Palace Dinner 1
Saturday Animal Kingdom/Disney Springs Boathouse Dinner 2
Sunday Magic Kingdom No Dining Planned 0
Monday Check-out day 0
Total: 7

 

 

 

With this plan, we were able to still dine at a couple of our favorite locations, try new locations, and have “unplanned” days, knowing we didn’t have to get to a reservation.  If you’re looking for more flexibility in your vacation days, this is definitely an option to make it happen!  We carefully planned the use of our quick service credits in order to cover our dining needs on the “off days” to avoid paying out of pocket.

 

You can have wonderful food experiences AND open park days.  Get the most out of your vacation by making a plan that works best for your family!

 

**NOTE: In 2017, the plus dining plan will change to provide 2 snack credits

Megan Thompson

Disney Vacation Planner

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Cruise right in for a memorable meal at Hollywood Studios Sci-Fi Dine-In.  This Hollywood sound stage takes you back to the era of drive-ins and sock hops.  Your family will enjoy sitting underneath a sky full of your twinkling stars  in your “automo-booth or table” as classic black and white science fiction clips and commercials play on the big screen.

You will find classic 50’s drive-in foods, such as onion rings, milkshakes (be sure to ask about the milkshake of the day!) and build-your-own burgers, but that’s not all.  The menu hosts other memorable dishes, such as New York Strip Steak, Smoked Turkey sandwiches, and St. Louis-style Pork Ribs.  Your children will find a wide variety of choices on the kid’s menu, such as popcorn chicken, mac-n-cheese, cheeseburgers, and grilled salmon to just name a few.  You’ll want to save room for another milkshake for dessert or perhaps some warm cinnamon sugar donuts.

There are a few tables in the back that are picnic table-style. If you’d prefer one of those to the “car” set-up, be sure to request it. If you know you want a car, request it for good measure when you check in at the podium.  If you arrive early, please note that waiting area is not large and most families have to wait outside with their pagers.  Once inside, be sure to take time to explore the movie props and posters found throughout the restaurant’s “hallways”.

Whether it’s lunch or dinner, it’s always nighttime at the movies in this table-service restaurant built to look like a classic 1950’s drive-in theater.  Your family will be taken back in time when you hop in your car and allow your attentive carhop serve up a tasty meal at the local drive-in.  This is will quickly become a family favorite memory of your trip to Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios.  Advanced dining reservations are encouraged and can be made up to 180 days in advance.  This restaurant is 1 credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

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