Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Snack Attack at Disney World

Hello again!  Sorry it's been a while but I was on vacation in one of my favorite places, Disney World!  This trip was very special because we brought my Mama and Daddy along.  They have never been there so it was awesome to see their reactions.  My Mama grew up watching Walt Disney on television and watched all the movies with us kids, so I knew she would enjoy herself.  My Daddy, on the other hand, is not really into anything Disney.  His idea of a vacation is hunting or camping.  He said the only reason he was tagging along was so he didn't get stuck babysitting my dog.  So, I didn't have high hopes that he would love it.  However, they both had a wonderful time.  My Daddy really enjoyed Animal Kingdom, especially Kilimanjaro Safaris.  It's like being on the African savanna.  You ride in these big beat-up-looking trucks and can view all kinds of animals, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, even lions lounging on rocks.   Pretty cool.

I'd say he got into the spirit of it all!

He also loved Soarin'.  It's a ride at EPCOT where you hang glide over California.  As you swing back and forth, you are surrounded by this ginormous screen with views of the ocean, orange groves, even Disneyland.  Wind blows in your face and you can even smell the oranges and the ocean.  It's so realistic and very cool.

My Mama loved everything.  Seriously, everything.  She even loved when it rained.  She said it was a blast walking around in our ponchos and splashing.  She's awesome.

Here she is (in her poncho) with a souvenir bucket of popcorn.  There really is something distinctly different about the popcorn at Disney World.  It tastes so much better than any other popcorn I have ever had.  When I get home, I use these buckets for cookie jars, to hold snacks for the kids, as ice buckets, etc.  I buy one every time we visit.

She also adored the Festival of the Lion King show in Animal Kingdom.  Disney built a brand-new theater and recently reopened the show.  It was wonderful, a Broadway quality production.  My husband was (chosen to be) a volunteer (hee-hee).  He had to lead our side of the theater in making the sound an elephant would make.  He did great!  Sounded just like an elephant!  The kids got a kick out of seeing dear old Dad as a part of the show.

My favorite part of vacation is eating.  If you read my blog regularly, you know that I believe everything in moderation.  I would rather have a little bit of something delicious than a lot of something "diet".  However, on vacation I throw that out the window.  I eat what I want when I want it.  Boy did I do that on this trip!  Wow, did I eat some good stuff!  Here is just a sampling of what I ate during my snack attack at Disney World.

I already mentioned the popcorn, which is a must-have for my son.  My must-have is a Dole Whip.  If you are a Disney World traveler,  the Dole Whip needs no introduction.  If not, here goes.  It is heavenly.  Simply put, it's pineapple soft serve.  But, there is just something about it.  You can only get it in the Magic Kingdom at this little shop in Adventureland called Aloha Isle.   I always get one.  This year I got a Dole Whip Float, pineapple soft serve with fresh pineapple juice.  OMG!  It was delicious.  My Mama got an orange Dole Whip and my husband got orange and pineapple swirl.  Anyway you choose, you can't miss.

We like to dine at the Rainforest Cafe in Animal Kingdom for lunch.  We get to the park early, hit all of our favorite attractions, then have lunch before heading back to the hotel.  I must say, for a chain restaurant, Rainforest Cafe has some delicious food.  From coconut shrimp to BBQ ribs, everything was good.  I had the crab cakes, which was, according to my waitress, a new item.  They were packed with lump crab meat and seasoned just right.  I ate so much I barely had room for dessert.  (I said "barely").  We opted to try a few different things.  One of Rainforest Cafe's signatures is the Volcano.  When someone orders it, the wait staff brings it out and they all yell "Volcano!" and clap in unison.  It's enough to feed 4 people (at least).  It's made with brownies, vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.  Plus, it has a cute little garnish that looks like a sparkler (or an erupting volcano).

This was a big hit with everyone.  Fun, traditional ingredients that everyone loves.  If you have a group, this is a smart dessert pick.  If you are on the Disney dining plan, you can pool 3 peoples dessert credits to get the volcano.  It's pretty big, so that's probably a good way to go.

My daughter and I love cheesecake.  So, we opted for that.  It was smooth and silky, just what you want in a cheesecake.  It was garnished with a dollop of whipped cream, mint leaves and drizzles of chocolate and raspberry sauces.

My husband likes chocolate cake, so that's what he ordered.  He said it was good.  Typical chocolate layer cake, garnished the same way as the cheesecake.

Hollywood Studios was in the middle of Star Wars Weekends during our visit.  We did not attend on the weekend (too crowded) as we have done Star Wars Weekends in the past, but I did get to try a Darth Vader Cupcake.  First of all, it's huge.  I couldn't eat it all in one sitting.  (Don't worry, I ate the rest later in my hotel room)  It's a dark chocolate cupcake (naturally) with a peanut butter frosting that will rock your world.  It has a dark chocolate Darth Vader and some chocolate curls on the top.  He even has a red light saber, which I think is some sort of gummy candy.  This probably has a gazillion calories, but so what.  Calories don't count in Disney World, right?  This cupcake will "force" you to come over to the dark side!  (Too many Star Wars puns?)

While at EPCOT, my daughter and I ate at our favorite quick service restaurant, the Tangerine Cafe in the Morocco section of the World Showcase.  She had the Chicken Shawarma plate (her fav) and I had the Mediterranean sliders combo.  It was three small pitas.  One filled with lamb, one with chicken, and one with falafel.  It had sides of humus and salad.  Delicious!  But the best part of the meal was (of course) dessert.  In this case, baklava.  Crispy layers of phylo dough stuffed with nuts and honey.  Oh my word.

   One night, we ate dinner at O'Hana (which, if you have seen Lilo and Stitch, you know means "family").  They give you this wonderful sweet Hawaiian bread when you sit down.  It has pineapple and coconut in it.  Yum!  You'll fight over the last piece!

The bread pudding here is also good.  It's made with this sweet bread.  I forgot to snap a pic of it.  It was good, but not as good as the bread pudding at Raglan Road, the Irish pub in Downtown Disney.  This was hands down the best thing I have ever eaten.  No joke.  I made myself sick because I couldn't stop eating it.  It comes in a giant mug and on the side they give you a vanilla glaze and a butterscotch sauce.  It's dotted with golden raisins.  Heaven!  Just heaven!

The morning before we left to come home, we had breakfast at our hotel food court.  It's sort of a tradition of ours.  We eat our Mickey Waffles and say goodbye to Disney World.

Now that our kids are growing up, I'm not sure how many Disney trips will be in our future.  But we always have the great memories of the fun we had and the photos of these amazing foods!  This was just a sampling of the snacks we ate (if I told you everything I ate I would be embarrassed.  Trust me.)  So, if you get the opportunity to go to Disney World, I hope you enjoy the food as much as I did.  There is such a wide variety of options that you're bound to find something you'll love.

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