"In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room...in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room...."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter in Walt Disney World

A couple years ago we spent Easter week in WDW.  We did a split stay between the Swan and then the Grand Floridian in a Royal Palm Club room. *My all time favorite room category at WDW*  Easter was at the end of March that year and we arrived Tuesday before Good Friday.  The Flower and Garden Festival was in full swing over at EPCOT and the weather was gorgeous.  The crowds were actually surprisingly low from Tuesday until Friday morning.  After that there was a noticeable difference.  By Easter Sunday at EPCOT we were feeling the crowd crunch.   Luckily the heat was on and we spent the afternoon swimming and relaxing. 

The resorts have their own schedule of fun events.  I remember the Grand had a continental breakfast out in the courtyard, family craft and game activities throughout the day, an Easter egg hunt on the courtyard lawn, and more.    Grand Floridian Easter

The parks also have a few special events on Easter.  Here is a list of what they have scheduled for this year....
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The ‘Good Times Gathering Spot’ returns to Camp Minnie-Mickey from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 28 to April 10. Guests can meet Thumper and Miss Bunny, listen to Pocahontas tell stories and groove to a D.J. The Easter Bunny will greet guests at 2:30 p.m. Easter Sunday (April 4).

Magic Kingdom
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny will hop along during the pre-parade show, which begins about 2:50 p.m., on Easter Sunday. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the couple will greet guests intermittently in the Tour Guide Gardens and pose for photos.

Meet the Main Street Poodle Society Ladies and the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids in Town Square on Easter Sunday. They also will stroll down Main Street with Mr. and Mrs. Bunny in the pre-parade show. The Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade will start from Town Square at noon and 3 p.m.

Guests will be able to meet the Easter Bunnies in the Tour Guide Gardens near City Hall on Main Street USA. They are scheduled to appear 8am to 5pm from March 28 to April 4 2010.

On Easter Sunday, children ages 3 to 9 years old are invited to gather at Heritage Garden at the American Adventure pavilion for Easter egg hunts every 30 minutes from 11:40 a.m. to 5:40 p.m.

Easter egg relays will be held for kids ages 6 to 12 at Future World West Garden (outside Character Spot in Innoventions West) every 40 minutes from 10:40 a.m. to 4:40 p.m.

Religious services
Disney’s Contemporary Resort will host a Protestant service (9 a.m.) and Catholic Masses (8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) in the Fantasia Ballroom on Easter Sunday. Disney advises all guests not staying at the Contemporary or having a dining reservation to use Disney transportation due to strict monitoring of parking that day.

Disney hotels
The hotels typically host Easter activities for their guests, including crafts, egg hunts, cookie decorating, candy scrambles, appearances by the Easter Bunny and Easter brunches and dinners. Advance dining reservations are definitely recommended; call 407-WDW-DINE.

 When we were in EPCOT on Easter Sunday,  Alice & the Mad Hatter and friends were holding a tea party for kids.  There were Easter egg hunts throughout the park, too.  Everything was included in your park admission, but you had to sign up in advance at the location.  Guests  received an "invitation" showing their scheduled hunt or party time that was to be presented at check in for the scheduled fun.

Tea Party at EPCOT....

 There were also Easter decorations all through the park.....giant eggs on the grass, bunnies, and then of course the beautiful topiary and gardens of the flower festival.   Disney is always fun for the holidays!


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Monday, March 22, 2010

The Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom

 The Plaza Restaurant in Main Street USA

 I was kind of having writer's block....between life going on here and running kids around like a crazy person....planning Disney vacations for other people, and not even having time to think about my own summer trip.....I was stumped for something  - just a little something to put down here.....I asked my daughter for some inspiration and she said FOOD! lol....well there is a lot of food in WDW....too much for one little blog post.  So I said, let's narrow it down.....together we decided I should write about a little secret we have.  We love the Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.  It's not so well known....many people just seem to pass it by on their way to Tomorrowland or the castle without giving it much notice, but this little gem at the end of Main Street is one of my family's favorite restaurants in WDW....my kids actually love eating here.  Many trips we eat here twice.  For my kids the Plaza even beats out some of the character meals - including.....Chef Mickey's....they serve just good fresh basic items and sometimes after the wild loud atmosphere of the character meals,  buffet food &  and some fancier but often heavy table service options....the Plaza Restaurant fits the bill for just good food.  During vacations I sometimes find myself just craving home cooked food....and salads!  The Plaza works for that craving.

The dining area is on the small side, so it is much quieter here than in many other Disney restaurants.  The decor is pretty and Victorian but not overdone.  It's very comfortable. The specialties are sandwiches and delicious ice cream desserts. 

Once you check in at the podium right outside the entrance, you're given a pager.  You can sit down at the yellow and white umbrella tables and just soak in the excitement all around between the castle hub, the entry to Tomorrowland, the people making their way into the park from Main Street....it's a lovely place to just sit and people watch.  Sometimes the Dapper Dans will be roaming around the area and performing right there, too.   It's a pleasant place to just sit and feel in the midst of the Magic.

We have often seen the Mayor of Main Street and his "Lady Friend" (yes...not his wife..but his girlfriend) stop in and visit and chat with guests in the Plaza.  He makes a big production of the 100th guest of the day...that guest gets a Magical Moment certificate and free desserts for their party.  The Mayor also enjoys going around from table to table and singing "Happy Birthday" to anybody celebrating.  The kids always get a kick out of this.  He doesn't let anybody hide from a birthday song or celebration.  *I tried*
 Sometimes the Mayor makes a spectacular entry all alone......
He's very proud to be the Mayor of Main Street

We have been "regulars" of the Plaza for about 15 years now.    We've never had a bad meal there.  Although....I do miss their fantastic potato salad.  Things change....they now only serve fries or home made sweet potato chips. 

This is their menu....you can't go wrong with anything here.....but my favorite is the Plaza Club.

(sandwiches served with choice of broccoli slaw, homemade chips or French fries)
Add Soup of the Day $3.99 or Tossed Salad for $4.49)
Grilled Chicken Sandwich - grilled chicken breast topped with shaved ham and Swiss cheese served on a flour-dusted Kaiser $11.99
Angus Chuck Cheeseburger - served on a flour-dusted kaiser roll with lettuce, tomato, and onion. Choose from the following toppings: Cheddar, American cheese, Bacon, Grilled Mushrooms and Grilled Onions $11.99 (Veggie Burgers available on request.)
Cheese Steak Sandwich - shaved beef, grilled with onions, mushrooms, red peppers, and white American cheese served on a hoagie roll $11.49
Chicken Strawberry Salad - fresh garden greens, grilled chicken breast, fresh strawberries, gorgonzola cheese, tossed in a white zinfandel vinaigrette dressing $12.99
Tuna Salad Sandwich - tuna salad with lettuce and tomato on freshly baked croissant $10.49
Grilled Reuben - thinly sliced corned beef on grilled marble rye with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing $10.49
Plaza Club - smoked ham, turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise layered on toasted multi-grain bread $11.49
Vegetarian Sandwich - fresh mozzarella, hummus, basil pesto, cucumber, roasted red pepper, tomato, and lettuce on a freshly baked foccaccia $10.49
Turkey Sandwich - smoked turkey, bacon, lettuce, vine ripened tomato and mayonnaise on toasted multi-grain bread $11.49

From the Fountain
Ice Cream Flavors - chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, mint chocolate chip, cookies and cream, no sugar added raspberry sorbet, no sugar added butter pecan or non-fat chocolate-vanilla swirl
Creamy Hand-Dipped Milkshakes $4.69
Ice Cream Floats (Made with Vanilla Ice Cream) Coke Classic, Diet Coke, Sprite or Root Beer $4.49

Original Banana Split - chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream topped with hot fudge, strawberry sauce, crushed pineapple, chopped nuts, whipped cream and a cherry $6.49
New York Style Cheesecake served with strawberries $5.49
The Plaza Restaurant Sundae - ice cream (your choice) with hot fudge, strawberry sauce, crushed pineapple, topped with whipped cream, chopped nuts and a cherry $4.99
Brownie Sundae - vanilla ice cream and a fudge brownie topped with hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry $5.99

No Sugar Added Ice Cream Shake - Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl or Butter Pecan $4.69 

Complimentary refills on soft drinks or iced tea $2.69, coffee/hot tea $2.19

Evian Spring Water (330mL) or Perrier Sparkling Water (330mL) $4.50
Tinker Bell and Friends or Lightning McQueen Raceway Punch - Minute Maid Light Lemonade Punch served in a souvenir Fairies or Cars cup with a glowing Tinker Bell or Lightning McQueen Clip On Light $6.49

Kids have their own menu..... and the Mickeylodeon is great...it's an upside down sugar cone on a scoop of icecream with two chocolate candy disc ears.  My kids have had their share of those over the years.  Anything can be customized, also.....change up the flavors for your own specialty.

For Mickey's little friends ages 9 and under
All meals served with 1% milk, bottled water or juice

French fries and soft drinks available upon request


Tomato Soup
Mixed Salad
Grilled Chicken Sticks with apple wedges, rice and BBQ sauce
Cheeseburger with carrots and ranch dressing
Grilled Cheese Sandwich with grapes
Mickey's Turkey Sandwich with apple wedges
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich with grapes and bananas
Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies and Milk

The Plaza Restaurant is definitely on our MUST DO list each time we visit WDW.  We have our WDW dining favorites, some have let us down over the years, some we just scratched off and said NEVER AGAIN lol, and there are some we have yet to try....but the Plaza is a staple that hasn't ever let us down & we make sure to stop in and enjoy a lunch here a few times a year.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mickey and Minnie....Homeless in Walt Disney World.......

I hear that come September Toon Town will be going away.  Seems that with the Fantasyland expansion, there is no room for a couple sweet mice & their friends that have made their houses comfy homes for the past several years.

I guess Toon Town was one of those things we kind of took for granted.   My kids always LOVED to tour Mickey and Minnie's homes when we were visiting the Magic Kingdom, but sometimes I never got around to letting them do it.....I thought or said to my kids..."Boring" or "The houses have no air conditioning and it's too hot out" .....or "We don't have time for that"...and the always popular "We'll stop back after we go on (insert anything)" and then we'd never make it back.  BUT when we did take the time to walk through and visit the homes, my kids got such a kick out of them.  Early on when they were little they really BELIEVED that Mickey and Minnie lived here.  They weren't sure about Donald...that boat with all the squirting water didn't seem like it would be comfortable 24/7...even for a duck - and even to kids.    But Mickey and Minnie called Toon Town home. They were sure of it.

I think it's just sort of sad that many kids won't get to visit the houses and know what Mickey likes to do in his spare time...(garden) and how Minnie likes to decorate for the holidays & how she enters her arts and crafts in the fair each year, and what they keep in their refrigerators (cheese, cheese cake, cottage cheese, more cheese....)

Where will Mickey and Minnie live?  Maybe bum some sofas in Cinderella's castle?  Get a couple little apartments on Main Street?  In the last scene of Carousel of Progress??  I hope Disney can figure it out....I feel bad that the big cheese and his girl are being displaced like they are nobodies.......

Here are some photos of the houses and the Toon Town that my kids love.  I hope we get back to see it one more time before it goes away.  I wonder if we'll see Mickey's birdhouse on Ebay?   Or Minnie's neat chair that my kids always had to sit in *if there was a line they would wait their turn.  They HAD to sit in Minnie's wicker chair*  You'll see from the photos LOL.  That chair was a priority. Too bad Mickey's kitchen remodel won't ever be completed.....that's been going on for years now.   My kids used to be sure that one of the times they visited they'd see it all spankin' new and fresh!   Not gonna happen.......I hope Mickey can find a new somewhere nice to hang all his tuxes. 

That was Mickey's cozy little home...... 
But with my two daughters...Minnie's was the BEST!  
 They loved popping in here for a quick visit and to see what Minnie has been up to lately....she is quite the crafter.  
We would have never known 
had it not been for the little tour of her house.


Donald's Boat....the Miss Daisy

Goofy's Barnstormer
I remember the first time my youngest daughter rode this...she thought she was such a big kid riding a roller coaster

And even Pete's Garage....who my 19 year old son knew about from watching 
The Goofy Movie when he was young....

Toon Town was always busy....there was never a shortage of curious visitors.......

Bye Bye Toon Town! We are gonna miss ya!!
*Maybe somebody will change his mind and move them to another part of the Magic Kingdom?*  
I can hope....

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