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

One of my fellow agents, Ryan Gross, wrote a blog on all that was sweet and savory in Walt Disney World {read it, here!}, and mentioned ‘poutine’ as one of his favorites.  If you’d like to know more about this savory treat, you’re in luck!

The Daily Poutine - Disney Springs Dining

The Daily Poutine is a small, brick, ‘snack’ stand in Disney Spring, located roughly behind the Lego Store in the Marketplace, but not quite in the Town Center. It overlooks a lovely fountain and the savory smells billowing from this stand will keep you close by.

 

Promoting ‘gourmet frites’, the Daily Poutine makes 4 different poutine dishes.  Served in a large bowl, you will find it filled with french fries and cheese curds, and topped with heavenly items.  It’s a great treat to share for two {or a great meal for one}!

 

Classic poutine is covered in brown, beef gravy.  Simple, delicious, and so filling. I had never had it before – and it was my favorite! Italian poutine tastes like a meatball sub on french fries. Mmm! French poutine reminds me of cream of mushroom on french fries…I didn’t like it, but it may be your favorite!

BRAND NEW: As of Memorial Day weekend 2017, The Daily Poutine has added a Cheeseburger Poutine to its menu! French fries are covered with ground beef, Beer cheese sauce, traditional burger toppings – including house-made pickles!  It’s topped with traditional poutine cheese curds as well!

The Daily Poutine - Disney Springs DiningIf you are looking for a ‘meal’, I suggest the Latin poutine.  It uses fried yucca instead of fries, however, you’ll get black beans, rice, melted cheese and pulled pork on top!  It’s just the right spice, warmth and texture to fill that comfort food void.

 

What’s a great thing about poutine, well, next to the comforting flavors?  Low prices for a snack that could serve as a meal; and if you’re on the dining plan, most drinks at this location are covered as a snack credit.  

 

If you’re looking for something quick, portable, and that ‘hit the spot’ taste…look no further than the poutine at The Daily Poutine at Disney Springs. Ready to take the stress away from planning your Disney vacation? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today, we would LOVE to help plan your next magical getaway!

Amy Sowinski

Travel Specialist

A Hidden Gem

Grand Floridian Resort For our family, having a great breakfast is an essential way to start a busy day in the parks. Our restaurant of choice is the Grand Floridian Café, which is inspired by the sea coast resorts with a Victorian charm. The café has beautiful views of the resort pool and gardens.

The café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (or a quick dessert or snack), but it is our go-to restaurant for breakfast for a variety of reasons:

  • It is a nice start to a day we plan on spending at Magic Kingdom no matter which resort we are staying. If you are not staying at the Grand Floridian, it has easy access by taking the bus to Magic Kingdom and hopping on either the monorail or a water taxi.
  • The service is friendly
  • The food is plentiful
  • We have found it an easy choice as a last-minute reservation. We are generally able to get a reservation by logging into the My Disney Experience App while in our room and able to get a reservation for a time after factoring in travel time. Reservations are highly recommended.
  • On trips that we aren’t on the dining plan, we find the prices are very reasonable for plenty of food.
  • The menu is small, but there are many options to satisfy a variety of pallets. They have a nice selection of seafood choices including lobster benedict.
  • Since I have a food allergy, Disney makes eating gluten free on vacation easy and plentiful and for breakfast the Grand Floridian Café has the best selection and the most accommodating. They cater to gluten free allergies at breakfast, lunch and dinner, but a big breakfast is my special treat while on vacation. Grand Floridian Resort

 

Whether you start your day with a relaxing breakfast or end the day with a nighttime dessert, the Grand Floridian Café is a convenient hidden gem.

Janene Jaroscak

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

Dining Plan at Walt Disney WorldIs the Disney Dining Plan worth adding to my vacation package?  What’s included in the Dining Plan?  Do we have to order from a select few entrees?  These are just are a few questions about the Disney Dining Plan that we are asked from our clients.

 

YES!!!  The Disney Dining Plans is worth it.  With over 200 restaurants on property that accept the Disney Dining plan, you will find a wide variety of dining options on the menus at restaurants across the parks, resort properties and Disney Springs.  Your dining credits are available from the moment you check-in to your Disney resort and are applicable until midnight of the night you check-out.  This flexible plan allows guests options in using their dining credits. Dining Plan at Walt Disney World

 

The Disney Dining Plan can actually SAVE you money.  In fact, it is about a 20% savings on the Disney Dining Plan and about 25% on the Deluxe Dining Plan.  My family was recently on vacation at Walt Disney World and this is an example of my dining for the day.

 

Pinocchio’s Village Haus – $15.00

Snack (Dole Whip) – $5.00

Character Dinner at Chef Mickey’s + tip – $60.00 +$12 

Snack (Mickey Ice Cream Bar) -$4.00

Total Cost – $96

 

Dining Plan at Walt Disney WorldOn the 2017 Disney Dining Plan (Disney’s most popular dining plan), you receive 1 table service restaurant, 1 counter service restaurant and 2 snacks per person for each night’s stay at your Walt Disney World resort.  The cost of the day’s worth of dining on the Disney Dining Plan would be around $70.00!!!

Whether your a family who is “on the go” and doesn’t want to be “too scheduled” with your day, a family that enjoys adding character meals to their itinerary to get that extra one on one time with multiple Disney characters, or a couple looking to experience the amazing Signature Dining experiences that Disney offers its guests, there is a Disney Dining Plan for you!  Your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist will work with you to determine which dining plan (Quick, Disney or Deluxe) is the perfect fit for your Disney vacation. Dining Plan at Walt Disney World

If you are like my family, you like having the details of your vacation taken care of.  Adding a Disney Dining Plan allows you to save money, as well as lets everyone choose exactly what they want to eat without having to discuss:  “How many drinks are we buying?  Can I have dessert?”  With the Disney Dining Plan, the details are already taken care of for you.

We love the ease and money savings that the Disney Dining plans add to a resort guests stay at Walt Disney World.   Let your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist know that you want to include the a Disney Dining Plan to your resort vacation package.

 


2017 DISNEY DINING PLAN PRICING

 

*All Disney Dining Plans include a Resort Refillable Mug ($18.00 value) for each guest

**Guests 2 years old or younger do not have to be on a Dining Plan, but are welcome to share a meal with another family member.

 

                    Per Adult, Per Night                                      Per Child, Per Night

                            (ages 10 years and older)                         (children ages 3-9 years old)

 

Quick Service Dining:     $49.00                                                            $22.00 

Disney Dining Plan:         $70.00                                                            $26.00

Deluxe Dining Plan:       $106.00                                                            $40.00


 

Any other questions? Contact your Me and The Mouse agent!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

While vacationing at Walt Disney World, there are a lot of things on your must do list.  Some of the essentials are getting to meet your favorite Disney character, enjoying some good food, and making sure you’re building unforgettable memories.  There’s one place that you can achieve all three of these things at the same time.  It’s at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ!  It’s a seasonal dining event that can be sometimes overlooked.  We stumbled upon it a long time ago, and now it’s on our must do when we vacation at Walt Disney World.

Mickey's Backyard Barbecue

What makes is so special you ask?  Well there are more than just a few things.  When you arrive at the pavilion at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, you will have your choice of seating at one of many long picnic style tables.  Once the food is ready, everyone is able to get their food at their leisure.  It’s available throughout the entire evening and is a buffet of all of your BBQ favorites.  The food is outstanding! There also some frozen desserts available as well as all of the typical drinks, including beer and wine.  This is all included in the price of admission {or the 2 table credits from the dining plan}.

Mickey's Backyard BBQThere will also be times throughout the evening when you can venture off to the sides of the pavilion and get a quick autograph and picture with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, or Chip ‘n Dale, who are all dressed in their best Western attire!  Next, you will meet the MC’s for the evening who will be introducing a cowboy who will amaze you with his unbelievable rope tricks.  Followed by being able to dance with Mickey and friends to the music of a Country Western band.  The best part about all of this – the kids can come up close to watch the Cowboy or come out to one of the dance floors to let loose and have fun with their Disney pals.

It’s a great dining experience for the whole family.  One that the kids don’t have to sit still in their seat.  Actually, they are encouraged to get up and have some fun.  That goes for all ages of kids!  I would strongly recommend this if you are looking for something a little different, but something that will provide you with a fun, unforgettable evening.

Leigh Miller

Travel Specialist

 

 

Boma is located inside the Jambo House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.  This restaurant has a wonderful décor and African drummers provide a lively authentic atmosphere at the entrance.  Dinner is served buffet style with a wide variety of food choices and included is a soft-drink selection with refills.  Drink orders are taken by a waitress.  You may want to enjoy premium drink options with an African flair for an additional cost.  Disney characters do not make appearances here, but the restaurant provides character and charm.

Boma is paradise for food lovers.  You will need a big table to provide plenty of room to try all of the unique dishes along with the classics.  The food has an African flair and provides a unique dining experience.  A variety of favorite American classics are offered as well.  The food has amazing flavor without being overwhelming.  It is one of my top five favorite restaurants on the Disney property. Dinner at Boma Animal Kingdom Lodge

Do you have picky eaters in your family?  We did!  We avoided Boma for years because we had small children.  Once they became teenagers, we became adventurous and tried Boma for “the experience” and it did not disappoint!  It is on our “must visit” list every time we go to Disney.

Even if you do have picky eaters in your family, don’t despair!  Boma has so many choices; there is truly something for everyone.  Foods are grouped into sections:  salads, soups, hummus, meats, fresh fruit, desserts plus much more.  Two of my personal favorite sections are soups and desserts.  The best advice I can give to everyone whether you consider yourself a picky or adventurous eater is to PACE YOURSELF!

It is best to take a small portion of a variety of foods on your first trip.  You can always go back and fill up on your favorites.  There are less adventurous items to keep everyone happy.  My husband and son love the meat carving station for their hearty appetites.  There are safe options for kids to enjoy such as baked chicken legs, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes.  Mealie Bread is a Boma specialty along with Coconut Curry Chicken Soup.  Are you a pasta lover?  You will find Penne pasta with Meatballs and Marinara sauce.

Did you save room for dessert?  Probably not, but you NEED to have some anyway!  A variety of pastries are offered.   Warm apple cobbler, banana and butterscotch bread pudding with the options of vanilla and rum sauce should not be missed.  Be sure to try the coffee tarts and the zebra domes for something different.  In addition, chocolate brownies and cookies are on the menu too!

Boma provides family fun and you do not need to purchase a park ticket to enjoy this adventure.  Advance reservations are recommended so contact your Me and The Mouse travel specialist to make this a part of your Disney dining experience.

Traci Perjak

Travel Specialist

La Cava del TequilaAs much as I enjoy the tradition and nostalgia of long standing attractions at Walt Disney World, I also enjoy trying something new!  Somehow, over the many trips, I missed the opportunity to enjoy , until now!

I was planning a girls weekend at the Food and Wine Festival and stumbled upon information about this hidden gem!  I was instantly intrigued! We knew this would certainly be at the top of our list!

The entrance is just inside to the right in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot.  When we arrived there was a lengthy line, but after all of our research, we knew it was worth the wait.  After being in the line for only a minute or two, we realized we were in the line to get a margarita to go!  We then noticed there was a cast member near the entrance and she was seating guests inside.  We were immediately seated!

La Cava del Tequila The seating area was very intimate and a great place to cool off!  The cast member who greeted us asked if we were “on twitter”?  He then told us if we “followed” @cavadeltequila we could purchase the “house” tequila for only $5!  We each ordered a margarita and the “house” tequila.  As I have come to learn, tequila is not only an addition to a drink, but can be sipped.  Our tequila arrived with a side of tomato juice, as well as a slice of lime and salt.  We both ordered a traditional margarita on the rocks, and I will admit, it was amazing.  It was made with fresh juices and had the classic salted rim.  We also ordered the queso and tortilla chips!  They do offer a trio of dips that include the queso, guacamole and fresh salsa. They had an extensive tequila menu (I had no idea there were so many types)!  My friend who is a tequila aficionado enjoyed the opportunity to sample different tequilas.  Before we knew it, we had been there for 3 hours!!!!  We enjoyed a very relaxed afternoon. My husband and I also made sure to stop in here as well on our recent weekend away.  It did not disappoint either time!!! La Cava del Tequila

La Cava del Tequila is open every day from 11:30am-9:30pm.  Advanced reservations are not accepted.  If you are seeking a fantastic and possibly unique (avocado, pineapple, jalapeno and many more) margarita this is the place for you!  Don’t forget you also have the opportunity to purchase a fresh made margarita to enjoy as you explore world showcase.  We are now hooked!  This will be a part of our tradition and we will continue to make sure to stop in for a delicious margarita!

 

Missy Zolecki

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