Walt Disney World is a very magical and the happiest place on earth. Everyone is happy and eager to help. There is a hidden gem of a restaurant that things just aren’t what they appear. The restaurant is Whispering Canyon Café located in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort.

Walking up to the podium, you’re surrounded by headdresses of past Native American chiefs and other relics from past times. The restaurant’s theme has the same motif. It’s an Old Western eatery that has bottomless platters and chuck wagon favorites will please the whole gang.

Breakfast starts with an all you care to enjoy family platter that’s loaded with breakfast meats, eggs, potatoes and buttermilk biscuits. Lunch and dinner also have some finger licking delicious food. For lunch, there’s a very expansive menu to order from and come dinner time, the family platter isn’t to be beat. It has an all you care to enjoy selection of foods such as chicken, sausage, ribs and amazing sides.

If you’re lucky enough to be at Disney over Thanksgiving or Christmas, be sure to check out the special menu at Whispering Canyon Café. Be sure to make your reservations early, as they will fill up quick! Even though the food is spectacular, the hidden secret are the cast members. While these cast members have the same happy and eager to help attitude, they also have a reputation for sassing customers. They like to play along with the customers and get into some shenanigans. There’s also plenty of fun for the kids! They’re encouraged to play with Lincoln Logs, coloring, spirited sing-alongs and even hobby horse races.

Along with the rustic atmosphere, the fantastic food, and the good natured fun of the cast members, this is a restaurant that you don’t want to miss on your next trip. One tip though, be careful when you ask for refills!

Leigh Miller

Travel Specialist

 

One of the most popular questions I am asked is “Where is the best place to eat at Universal?”  Unlike Disney, Universal’s in-park dining selections are fairly limited and if you are in the mood for something a little better than burgers, chicken fingers and fries, it is really convenient to leave the park and head to CityWalk.  With so many selections for table service restaurants with prices comparable to in-park counter service restaurants, I highly recommend a table service meal at CityWalk as a much-needed break from the parks.  On my last trip, I visited NBC Sports Grill and Brew and it was my absolute favorite meal.

Menu Selections: For a bar and grill, this restaurant had a huge variety of pastas, burgers, steaks and comfort food selections.  My table enjoyed the Chicken Mac and Cheese, Chicken Pot Pie and the Smokehouse Stack Burger.  As much as we each enjoyed our entrees, the star of this meal was the Large Warm Soft Pretzel.  This was the biggest, most buttery, delicious soft pretzel I have ever had.   Aside from food, you can’t miss the brew!  The beer lover in your family will be in heaven with more than 100 beer selections including one beer brewed exclusively for the restaurant.

Service: Next to the pretzel, I think the service was the next best part of the experience.  Our server made the meal so enjoyable with quick beverage refills and timing the appetizer and main menu service extremely well.  She was fast and very efficient, while also friendly and engaging with our table.

Environment:  If you are there to enjoy each other’s company, this may not be the place for you.  However, if you are trying to catch a game or have a sports-lover in your family, this is the dream.  The restaurant boasts 90+ HDTV screens with every sport/match imaginable.  In the bar, you can find glass-top foosball tables if you want to have competitive drinks with friends.  The theming even carries into the bathrooms with more screens and an athletic locker room feel.  You just can’t help but smile in this place!

During my visit, my family and I walked in during prime dinner hours and were able to get a table immediately so reservations are not required.  With prices between $10-$40 per entrée, and just a couple minute walk from the entrance of Universal Studios park, I highly recommend dining at NBC Sports Grill and Brew.  It’s not only a great meal, but it is an incredibly themed experience you are sure to enjoy.

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

My husband and I decided to celebrate our birthdays by trying out a new dining experience. Despite our many visits to Walt Disney World, we continue to strive to have as many new experiences as possible!

We entered the restaurant and we felt as if we had been transported to the Pacific Northwest. The ambiance was very warm and comforting. The décor was rustic yet with notable elegance. We were promptly greated by our server and presented with a beautiful leather bound menu! There was also an extensive, award winning, wine list . They offered over 130 wines from the Pacific Northwest wineries!

We began our meal with a selection of artisanal cheeses all from the Pacific Northwest as well. Each cheese came with a delicious seasonal accompaniments. We had marinated pairs and grapes, a fig and nut bar, a fruit mustarda, and fresh honey. The Point Reyes Toma was my favorite. It was very creamy and delicious on its own, but when paired with the fresh honey it was a whole different flavor explosion.

Artist Point is known for using seasonal ingredients for their “farm to fork” menu. The menu offered many incredible offerings. We both ordered the filet mignon, however my husband added the blue cheese enhancement. The biggest debate of the evening was what sides we were going to order with our entrée! We decided on the mashed potatoes and the truffle macaroni and cheese. We made the right choice! The potatoes were light and creamy and there was plenty to share. The truffle macaroni and cheese was one of the best I have ever eaten. The creamy rich cheese sauce, with the perfectly cooked orecchiette pasta with a crunchy crumb topping. The steaks were perfectly cooked to our specifications and simply presented with a large grilled bulb onion! We were unfortunately too full to order dessert, but they were incredibly tempting!!

Our service was impeccable and we truly savored our celebratory dinner!! Artist Point is a Signature dining location and would require 2 dining entitlements per entrée. Guests are asked to adhere to a dress code, but no fear a jacket is not required! The next time you are looking for a unique dining experience, with a fresh seasonal menu, this is your
place to try. Your travel specialist is here to help you find your next delicious dining experience!

Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist

 

Tucked away in the World Showcase at EPCOT, guest can enjoy authentic Italian cooking at one of my favorite restaurants…  Via Napoli!  This family-friendly restaurant and pizzeria is not to be missed on your next visit to EPCOT.

Family style the Italian way is felt with the large table that stretches all across the whole width of the dining room.  Via Napoli is a warm, welcoming restaurant where guests can enjoy a culinary tour of Southern Italy with authentic Italian cooking, including hearty pastas, fresh salads and thin-crust pizzas that are perfected in a wood-burning ovens named after the 3 active volcanoes in Italy – Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius and Stromboli.

These mouth-watering pizzas are made with fresh mozzarella cheese, San Marzano tomatoes and real Caputo flour imported from Southern Italy. Water for the dough is even sourced from a spring similar to Italy’s Campania region.

Via Napoli is designed to be reminiscent of the architecture in Florence, Italy.  It features an open kitchen and prep area, where guests can watch pizzas be created.  Our family was sat in the middle of the restaurant at the “family table” with a great view of the ovens.  My children loved watching the chefs toss the dough, build each individual pizza and bake each pizza just under 2 minutes in the volcano ovens nearby. Our pepperoni pizza and baked lasagna were amazing!!

The World Showcase at Epcot is a dining destination for both local families and Guests to Walt Disney World.  If you are looking for a delicious Italian meal and family-friendly atmosphere, then Via Napoli will become a quick family favorite restaurant on your next Walt Disney World vacation!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

I want to share one of Walt Disney World Resorts “Best Kept Secrets” for a mouthwatering Steak Dinner Introducing: Yachtsman Steakhouse located at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in the Epcot Resort area.

Yachtsman Steakhouse is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you are using the Disney Dining Plan in 2017, you will need to use 1 Table Service Credit for breakfast and lunch and 2 Table Service Credits for dinner. In 2018, the Dining Plan can only be used at Dinner and will take 2 Table Service Credits. Advance Reservations are recommended and can be made 180 before your vacation begins so be sure to contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Agent for assistance with your dining.

This Signature Dining Experience, guests are asked to abide by a dress code. Men may wear khakis, slacks, jeans or dress shorts and collared shirts. Sport coats are optional. Women may wear Capri pants, skirts, dresses, jeans or dress shorts. The following items are not permitted: tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, hats for gentlemen, cut-offs, torn clothing and t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics.

During our visit, we were impressed with how friendly and helpful everyone was. The high- quality, grain-fed beef is aged in-house. As our gracious hostess seated us, we were able to watch butchers hand cut steaks to perfection and we also checked out the chefs preparing dinner on an oak-fired grill in the open kitchen. We were fortunate to be seated by the window and got to enjoy the view of the Stormalong Bay pool. If you choose to experience this fine dining location – after being seated, be sure to look up so you don’t miss seeing the exquisite and intricate woodwork on the ceiling.

Paul was our waiter and had a warm and welcoming personality. He was very helpful making suggestions to enhance our dining experience and was happy to answer any and all questions we had. We could not have asked for a better dining experience! Paul added his own special “magical” touch to our meal.

My adult children and I each selected the Filet Mignon served with Mashed Potatoes and Cabernet Wine Sauce. My husband chose the New York Strip steak served with Potato Gratin with Peppercorn Brandy Sauce. Each steak was partnered with the perfect sauce and potato choice. I could not resist adding a side of Truffle Macaroni and Cheese and it did not disappoint. I reluctantly shared with my family. It was a “winner” by a unanimous vote. Other tempting choices offered on the menu for starters were French Onion and Lobster Bisque soup. Salad choices include a Caesar Salad and the Yachtsman Wedge Salad.

Appetizer choices included: Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Artisanal Cheeses, Tuna Tartare, and Quick-friend Shrimp and Calamari to name a few.

Steak choices were: Filet Mignon, New York Strip, Prime Rib-Eye Steak, Roast Prime Rib of Beef, Kansas City Strip Steak and a 32 ounce Porterhouse for two people. Additional Entrée selections included: Elk Tenderloin, Live Maine Lobster, Braised Beef Short Ribs, Sea Bass, All Natural Roasted Chicken and Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato-filled Pasta.

In addition to our favorite Truffle Macaroni and Cheese side dish, the Yachtsman’s Twice-baked Potato was very enticing as a side option. Caramelized Onions, Creamed Spinach, Spring Pea Risotto and Sautéed Mushrooms and Sautéed Vegetable Fricassee were also available.

We ended our meal very full, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to try (and share) The Admirals Cake. The Admirals Cake consisted of Valrhona Chocolate Brownie/Sponge Cake Layered Banana’s Foster Jam/Caramel Crisps/Sea Salted Ganache. We just couldn’t stop eating.

Additional dessert choices included: Chocolate Peanut Cake, Lime Semifreddo, Carrot Cake (a no sugar added dessert), Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake, The Yachtsman Sundae (a trio of Gelato), Seasonal Sorbet Trio, and Crème Brulee.

If you are bringing children, don’t worry, you are dining at Disney so children are not forgotten here. Yachtsman offers diverse kid menu options: Grilled Chicken Breast, Baked Fish of the Day, Macaroni and Cheese, Oak-grilled Steak Skewer, and Orecchiette Pasta and Meatballs.

I am excited to share my family’s experience with you and I hope you will consider visiting Yachtsman Steakhouse on your next visit to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Agent to assist your family with a “magical” dining experience at Yachtsman Steakhouse.

Traci Perjak

Travel Specialist

 

For fans of Disney’s Wreck it Ralph, or anyone with an imagination and a sweet-tooth…you’ll want to explore Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats aboard the Disney Dream! You’ll find this confectionary inside the Cabana’s, with limited hours.

Vanellope’s has a wide array of candies, ice creams, gelatos, and confections, that you’re sure to find something for everyone in your family to enjoy*.  It’s whimsically decorated to resemble “Sugar Rush”, Vanellope’s video game in Wreck it Ralph…complete with Sour Bill, King Candy, and Vanellope herself!

While I could gush about the insane amount of goodies I drooled over this summer while on board the Disney Dream, I want to talk about Vanellope’s specialty items! The menu for Artisan Sundaes is jam-packed full of movie-referenced concoctions for you and your family to enjoy. The BEST part??!!  You can special order ANY of these sundaes AND they will hand-deliver for your dessert any night you choose!  It was so exciting!

We chose the “Vanellope Von Schweetz – Race Car Sundae”, because who doesn’t want a replica of the race car that wins the Grand Prix!?  At $13, it’s quite a steal. Not only is the racecar yours to keep, but you get THREE choices of ice cream OR gelato (in any combination), your choice of FIVE extra toppings, whipped cream and a cherry on top!  For a family of 3, it was the perfect indulgence for all!

Our sweet shop chef not only took our order and dining time/rotation – but also guaranteed she would be the one to create and hand-deliver our dessert at our dinner that evening!  All we had to do was give our receipt to our server at dinner, he would place the call, and VIOLA! At dessert time, here she was!

It’s not just an ordinary sundae. Specially crafted chocolates adorned the sundae, and the awesome touches to replicate Vanellope’s car were so very memorable!  There are many custom sundaes you can order…but this one was the Sugar Rush-iest! 🙂

When you plan your next Disney Cruise aboard the Disney Dream with your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist, consider surprising your little one (or your own sweet tooth) with an awesome confection from Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats!

*Please note: nuts, milk, soy and other allergens are used in the making of most items in Vanellope’s. There may be gluten free options, but one would have to ask while aboard.

 

Amy Sowinski

Travel Specialist

A huge part of our family’s experience when we visit any Disney destination is enjoying so many amazing restaurants. Good food allows us to relax and simply enjoy the moment together. Great food keeps us coming back!

When we’re back home, we’ll think back on that special something and wish we could have just one bite! For me, the bread pudding at Ohana’s at the Polynesian Village is one of those “aaaaah” foods. Lucky for my family, it’s also pretty easy to make!

ohana bread pudding 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ohana bread pudding 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy Wideman
Travel Specialist

Incredible Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom ParkYak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

One of the best tips for making the most of your time at Walt Disney World is to stay in the parks for your meals.  While there are many great table service selections in Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, there are only a handful available in Animal Kingdom.  With the new Pandora expansion, more and more guests are wanting to spend time in Animal Kingdom so a table service meal inside the park is usually the best way to have a meal break without wasting time traveling to another part of Walt Disney World. I’m introducing you to one of my favorite spots to grab a bite to eat – Yak & Yeti!

 

Nestled in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom lies one of the most overlooked restaurants in all of Walt Disney World: The Yak & the Yeti. This restaurant is often overshadowded by Tusker House. However, this table service restaurants has one of the most diverse and delicious menus of any restaurant on property.  Since there are two Yak & Yeti locations within Animal Kingdom park {one table service and one counter service}, most guests think if you’ve experienced one, you have experience both, but that could not be further from the truth.  Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

 

Walking into this gorgeous, two-story restaurant, you immediately feel engrossed in the culture of Asia.  The Asian art and artifacts in this environment get you prepped and ready for the amazing meal you are about to have.  Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

 

We were seated in the quiet second story of the restaurant, and our friendly waiter greeted us! She offered several helpful suggestions!  Our tabled ordered the teriyaki chicken and the steak and coconut shrimp for our entrees and neither disappointed.  Both dishes had an Asian flair without being “too much” for the picky eater in your family.

Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

The real star of the show at Yak & Yeti was dessert.  Our table ordered the chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and the fried wontons! The cake was great! However, I cannot imagine this meal without the fried wontons. They were sweet cream cheese filled wontons on skewers with fresh pineapple, drizzled with honey-vanilla yogurt, strawberries and a side of vanilla ice cream. I can say it was  absolutely heavenly and so refreshing. It made for the perfect treat on an unbearably hot day.  If you are dining at Yak and Yeti, you cannot miss the fried wontons.

Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

The service and food were absolutely outstanding, but this meal is also a great value.  With prices ranging from $16 per plate, this is a great value if you are paying out of pocket.  Yak and Yeti is one credit on the Disney Dining Plan for one beverage, an entrée and a dessert.  Next time you are at Animal Kingdom, consider giving Yak and Yeti a try.  You will not regret it!

 

Ready to plan your trip to Animal Kingdom to try Yak and Yeti? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We can’t wait for you to join the Me and The Mouse family!

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

What’s better than visiting Walt Disney World?   Celebrating your BIRTHDAY at Walt Disney World!!!  There are lots of great ways to celebrate your special day.

To start your birthday celebration, you will want to make sure to pick up a free Birthday button at Guest relations or at your resort front desk (if you didn’t receive once at check-in).  You never know what Pixie Dust may happen when wearing your birthday button.

There are amazing desserts and treats to enjoy during your visit to Walt Disney World.   We often get asked about birthday cake options for celebrating  a loved one’s special day.  Walt Disney World offers several options for families, who are celebrating! Personalized Disney Birthday Cake

If you would like to add a non-personalized birthday cake to your birthday celebration while dining on property, guests may the request at the podium when they check-in for their dining reservation.  A 6 inch cake is available in both chocolate and vanilla. No notice is necessary.  You can order upon arrival at most Disney table-service restaurants for approximately $21. Candles are available upon request.

A personalized cake can be ordered and delivered to almost any Walt Disney World restaurant.     To discuss options and dietary needs, guests can order by calling the Cake Hotline at 407.827.2253.  Cast members can discuss the various options for cake decorations, styles and icing with you.  Please note that any personalized cake must be ordered with at least 72 hours notice.

Walt Disney World guests can also have a cake delivered to their room from Disney Floral & Gifts. Guests can select a six-inch two-tiered round cake that serve 4-6 people in either chocolate or vanilla. Celebration Cakes will be delivered to your room after you check-in. Cost is $55.95.  Forks, plates, napkins, and a cake server are all included.

Mickey’s Celebration Cake can be enhanced with two different add-ons: Magical Celebration with balloons and birthday tray for $93.95 or Grand Birthday Party with Walt Disney World® popcorn tin, a pair of Mickey birthday ears (personalization available), Mickey Mouse crispy rice treats, and five helium balloons is $131.95.

Please note that pricing and availability are subject to change. Contact a Me and the Mouse Travel specialist and let them know if you would like to add specialized birthday celebration to your vacation package!

 

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

A Universal Orlando Character Dine Review

Character Dining at Universal If you want to see characters on your next Universal Orlando vacation, avoid the long lines for character meet and greets and enjoy breakfast with some of your favorite friends.  Often overlooked is the character breakfast at Islands Dining Room located at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. {Read more about this incredible resort, here.} This breakfast has wonderful character interaction and a wide variety of breakfast foods all for a great value.

Every Sunday morning Islands Dining Room comes alive with characters from The Simpsons, Despicable Me, Hop and more while guests enjoy an all-you-can eat breakfast buffet.  Each character visits your table for photos, autographs and meaningful interactions.  Unlike many other character meals, I found the character breakfast at Islands to be peaceful, low key and very relaxing. Character Dining at Universal

Included in the buffet are many breakfast favorites like scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, waffles, pastries and an omelet station.  While nothing on the buffet is particularly original, I felt the quality, variety and taste were all excellent.  There is truly something for everyone, even the pickiest eaters.

I also really enjoyed the environment and the feel of this restaurant.  Islands is a beautiful, tropically-themed restaurant with views of lush tropical plants and the and  South Pacific-inspired décor.  It is easy to kick back, relax and forget you are just walking distance from the hustle and bustle of City Walk, Universal Studios-Florida and Islands of Adventures. Character Dining at Universal

The character breakfast at Islands Dining Room is offered only on Sundays between 7am-12pm.  At $26.99 per adult and $14.99 per child, this is an excellent value for an all-you-can-eat character breakfast.   During the off season, it is fairly easy to walk up and be seated within 10 minutes, however, reservations are recommended.  To reserve your breakfast at Islands, please contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist.

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist