Top 5 Disney Restaurants in the Parks

Last week I wrote a post on my favorite restaurants at the Disney resorts. Now it’s time for my favorites in the parks!

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This was a tough decision, and I tried to spread them out amongst the parks as best I could so there was at least one place per park (all sit down restaurants). Just know there are a lot more great places to eat other than these, but the ones below are some of my favorites!

1.) Coral Reef: Enjoy your meal while sitting next to a gigantic fish tank! You are even given a fish guide so you know which ones you are looking at. Bobby gets fish, I get steak, but we both get warm chocolate lava cake! This is a more fancy place for a park, but kids stay entertained watching the fish. Ask for a seat next to the tank if you can. You may have to wait a little longer but it’s worth it.

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2.) Liberty Tree Tavern I love Liberty Tree for lunch in particular. Why? Four words: Ooey gooey toffee cake. This my friends is the best dessert on Disney property. I also order the pilgrims feast (turkey, dressing, potatoes, green beans) it’s a nice break from fried fried fried that I eat at a lot of other Disney meals. It’s a nice sunny restaurant, very well themed, and of course it’s right in the Magic Kingdom.

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3.) Be Our Guest: I ate here for the first time in February and think Disney did a fabulous job with the theming. We sat in the West Wing and I was bummed at first but ended up loving it. It was much more quaint and quiet than the main ballroom. I love that you can take a picture with the Beast after dinner, and the menu is very nice for a park restaurant.

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4.) Yak and Yeti: This is in Animal Kingdom, and has great theming. It is Asian inspired, so again a nice break from what a lot of the other restaurants offer. I usually get sweet and sour chicken with rice and Bobby gets some kind of shrimp which he really enjoys. We typically do lunch here, and love sitting in the room that has giant windows overlooking the park. People watching at it’s finest!

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5.) Sci Fi Dine In: Best atmosphere of the park hands down. Who doesn’t want to eat in a car at a drive in movie theater? With that being said, the menu is limited, and I honestly don’t ever order anything but a cheeseburger and fires and a cookies n cream milkshake, which is to die for. If you are looking for a fancy culinary experience, this is not the place. However if you are wanting a unique experience don’t miss this one!

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Others I love but couldn’t choose them all:

Le Cellier (Epcot)

Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom)

Splitsville (Downtown Disney)

QOTD: Did your favorite make the cut? What am I forgetting?

*Remember I can book your trip for you at no additional cost to you! [email protected]

 

 

 

Top 5 Walt Disney World Resort Restaurants

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about my favorite Disneyland restaurants. It was such a hit, I had people asking me to do the same for Disney World resort restaurants. There are SO many great places to eat in Disney World that I decided to break the post into my top five favorite places to dine in the resorts, and then another post with my top five favorite restaurants in the theme parks. Also keep in mind these are all sit down or “table service” restaurants in this particular review. Enjoy!

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1.) Trails End Dinner Buffet

We “discovered” this buffet on a recent trip. It’s one of those places I always knew existed, but didn’t get a lot of hype. Luckily, I went out on a limb and booked it, in an effort to try something new. This place is now a must go to for my family and a hidden gem among Disney World resort restaurants! It’s a good old fashioned country buffet with all the comfort foods you could imagine. Not to mention, the price point is great for a Disney buffet. For sweet tea drinkers: this is the real deal. Only place on property that makes tried and true “homemade” sweet tea. Everything from ribs, to fried chicken, to mac and cheese, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, and cornbread is yours for the eating. For dessert there is red velvet cake and soft serve ice cream with toppings like gummie bears and hot fudge, as well as some other southern favorites. You won’t leave here hungry and the servers are very friendly. *Please note there is NO PARKING at the restaurant. You have to park at the front of Fort Wilderness and take an internal bus to the back.

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2.) Citricos

This has been a long time favorite of mine at the Grand Floridian. Beautiful, elegant, and delicious are a few words I would use to describe Citricos. It has my favorite steak in the world, as well as a great drink menu. The sweeping views of the grounds are relaxing, and the open kitchen is fun to watch. A great fancier meal while not being stuffy, Citricos gets two thumbs up. it is on the second floor of the Grand Floridian, so you can stand at the railing and listen to the orchestra or pianist at night while you wait for your table. So romantic!

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3.) California Grill

Situated on the top floor of the Contemporary, California Grill is the place to be when the sun goes down to watch the Wishes fireworks show. There is even a private viewing deck outside for diners to visit. If you love sushi, you have to try the food here. I personally don’t eat sushi, but the husband loves this restaurant, and I enjoy the steak. It has a fun lively atmosphere, with wall to wall windows looking out over Bay Lake. It can get a little loud, but the food and views make up for it. *Check in for the restaurant is not on the top floor, please follow directional signs

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4.) Ohana Dinner

This place is pure fun, and we always leave so full! Ohana serves food family style at the Polynesian resort. They bring a huge portion of different menu items in big bowls or platters, and you can eat as much as you want. For the meats, food is brought around on giant skewers and then pieces are put onto your plate. Be sure to save room for dessert, the bread pudding is delicious! For those with little mouseketeers, there are fun games going on during meal times, and celebrations like birthdays and anniversaries are always acknowledged.

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5.) Cape May Café Breakfast

Cape May is a character buffet (at breakfast only) at the Beach Club resort, and serves your standard breakfast fare, but plenty of it! I love that the characters come around to your table for photos, and really seem to take time with you, even if you are a “big kid” like me. The restaurant is beautiful and open, and the food is plentiful. It’s a great way to start your day before heading off to the parks. I have seen Minnie, Goofy, as well as Chip and Dale in their beach gear at this restaurant.

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RELATED: Sign Up for my FREE My Disney Experience and Magic Bands E-Course

QOTD: What are your favorite Disney World resort restaurants?

Favorite Posts of 2012

 

I am loving this short week business. Thursday already? I’ll take it! Does anyone still have outside Christmas decorations up? Guilty. I promise they are coming down today, it’s just been a little crazy around here. I thought it would be fun for me to share some of my favorite posts from 2012 with you, and break them into categories. For new RWS readers this will be a fun way to get to know me more, and for my old faithfuls (I love you!), hopefully still entertaining!

Most Read Post of 2012:

IT Band Stretches

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Most Commented on Post of 2012:

Under Armour Bra Giveaway with 315 comments

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Most Inspiring Post of 2012: To Be Great

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Favorite Race Recap Post of 2012:  Disney Princess Half Marathon

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Post with most Surprising Success in 2012: Castaway Cay 5k take two. This is a post I wrote recapping the 5k I ran in the Bahamas on Castaway Cay. I was definitely not expecting the success of this one, and it is still the third highest searched post on my blog and gets hits daily!

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Post I am most Proud of in 2012: How It All Began (my running story)

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Favorite “Tips” post of 2012: Now What? What to do after you run a 5k

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Favorite Recipe post of 2012: Enchilada Casserole with Ground Turkey

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I hope you enjoyed my little look back on some of my favorite posts of the year here on RWS, I can’t wait to share even more with you in 2013! Cheers!

QOTD: Do you have a favorite post on your blog? Share the link in the comments! If you don’t have a blog, do you have a favorite post from a blogger? Share!

Thanksgiving In Pictures 2012

 

Happy Saturday! Today Bobby and I are headed out on a long run, hopefully 14-15 miles, and then hopefully decorating our Christmas tree! My camera cord is still at home but I wanted to share some phone photos I took on Thanksgiving day.

We drove to my parents Thursday morning and then my cousin and her family arrived for lunch!

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We ate a great spread prepared by mom and dad, and enjoyed some awesome desserts as well (hello pumpkin pie!)

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Bella was very aware of the turkey carving going on and stayed close to my dad as he got the bird ready. She was being so funny, growling and barking at him to get some scraps (which she of course did get).

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Bobby and I took some Christmas card photos outside and I tried to take a photo of the picture on my camera to show you one but they are coming out blurry.

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I will post some “real” ones later on, so sorry.

Then later in the evening my aunt and her boyfriend came over to hang out and watch football….and we ate some more. Friday morning mom and I went shopping and got a lot done/gifts bought, and we brought pizza back to the house which we ate while watching LSU beat Arkansas! I would say we have had a great weekend so far and it’s only halfway over! Hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend, see you tomorrow.

QOTD: Favorite Thanksgiving food?

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

 

clip_image002Hi, my name is Stephanie and I blog at Food and Fitness 4 Real. As a busy working mom with two young kids, I blog about trying to balance real life with healthy living while encouraging my family to eat real food! This week I am excited that I am able to guest post for Heather.

Heather and I met at the Healthy Living Summit in Philadelphia in 2011 and I have also featured her on my blog. We have several things in common; like being New Orleans Saints fans, healthy living bloggers and we both are runners!

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Today I am going to share my recipe for Pumpkin Protein Pancakes with you. When I started training for my first half marathon with Team in Training last spring, we would often have pancakes as our post-run meal. While in training, I learned that after long training runs it is important to have a recovery meal that includes protein, carbs and fat. This pancake recipe combines vanilla protein powder, pumpkin puree and chopped walnuts for a filling and delicious breakfast. It is lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup and can be topped with pecans, yogurt, fruit or agave.

The batter for these pancakes can be mixed the night before your long run and stored in the refrigerator. Once you get back from your training run, just stir it a few times while you heat up your griddle or pan the cook as instructed below.

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Every Sunday morning, I make pancakes for my family before we go to church. Unfortunately, my kids only want me to make PLAIN pancakes and I have yet to entice them with my Dutch apple pancakes, peach pancakes or coconut-pineapple pancake stackers. This pumpkin pancake recipe makes two servings, so I end up eating one serving by myself and freezing the second serving for later in the week.

Although I am not currently training for a long distance race, I still crave pumpkin pancakes this time of year. You should whip up a batch of these pancakes this weekend and share them with your family. Hope you enjoy!

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Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Servings: 2 (four pancakes each)

Prep time: 5 minutes, Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all purpose (or whole wheat) flour
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or agave or honey)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or low fat milk)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • *If you do not have pumpkin pie spice, use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

 

 

Directions

  • Heat a griddle to 350 degrees or a pan to medium high heat.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, protein powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, egg white, vanilla extract, maple syrup and milk.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Allow mixture to rest for 2-3 minutes.
  • Coat your cooking surface with non-stick spray. Spoon batter onto a hot griddle or pan and spread into a circle (about 4 inches across). Cook for 2-3 minutes or until edges are set and bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Continue with the remaining batter until all pancakes are cooked. (Batter makes about 8 medium size pancakes).
  • Top pancakes with 1 tablespoon chopped pecans and agave or maple syrup.

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QOTD: Do you like Pumpkin? What is your favorite pumpkin flavored food?

HLS 2012: Chobani Dinner at Evoo

 

On the Saturday night of Healthy Living Summit, I was invited along with a few other lovely blogger ladies to attend a special Chobani hosted dinner at a restaurant called Evoo. We took the shuttle to a nearby stop and walked to the restaurant.

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They had a private room set up for us with two tables.

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We found our seats and I took a look at what appeared to be an amazing menu!

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Of course we were tweeting the whole time with the #ChobaniEvoo hashtag and sharing photos from the night, which was really fun. We started with a cocktail hour/time and then the food started coming out! (In the order it appears on the menu above)

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Even though I don’t eat seafood I did try a bit of it. Smile The lamb and the dessert were my favorite parts, and I could have kept on eating. The chef then came out and talked to us about how they use yogurt as a substitute for certain ingredients in the dishes, it was really interesting!
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What is a fun and fancy dinner without great photos with friends?

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Alicia, me and Theodora

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Anne and I with our Verizon Wireless Samsung Galaxy SIII phones. We got to chat about how much we love them and got to use them this weekend! Friends, swipe makes my life so much easier. Also, 4G LTE is so super fast, I tell no lies.

All too soon it was time to say goodbye to our lovely hosts for the evening. It was so great to meet these ladies in person.

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Of course we had to take a group photo!

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We also got to take home some awesome Chobani swag. You should have seen me trying to stuff all of this in my suitcase!

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A huge huge thank you to Chobani for an amazing dinner with lots of great food and fun. It was so nice to relax and have some girl chat after the stresses of the Summit were over!

QOTD: Favorite greek yogurt flavor?

Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s post to see how you can win 2 pounds of fitmixer product!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided
with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the
product