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One of my favorite places to eat in Disneyland Park is the Carnation Café.  Situated right on Main Street, it is a great location to have a casual and hearty meal, while people-watching at one of their outdoor tables.   Way back in 2009, my sister and I were having lunch at the Carnation Café, when we were suddenly greeted by a true Disney legend… Chef Oscar Martinez!  Chef Oscar is currently Disney’s longest tenured employee, as he started working at Disneyland as a busboy back in 1956.   When I mentioned how much I was enjoying my Loaded Baked Potato Soup, he gave me the recipe (and even autographed it!). 


 Since winter is lingering in some parts of the country (even though it is April!), I thought a nice, warm bowl of soup would sound good.  Even here in Texas we are having some cool weather, and really, there is no bad time to enjoy this recipe.  Here is a photo of the actual dish at the Carnation Café:



Here is a picture of the ingredients:




First, in a large pot, heat 1 oz of vegetable oil, 1 pound of chopped bacon and 2 oz of unsalted butter. 




While the bacon is cooking, prep your vegetables.  Dice 4 large russet potatoes, 4 medium red potatoes, 2 large stalks of celery, 1 medium onion and 1 large carrot.




Cook the bacon until it is crisp (but not burnt).  Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on some paper towels.  Yum!  Try not to snack on too much or you won’t have enough for the soup!




Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan.  Cook these for a few minutes. 




Add the potatoes and cook for 4 minutes.




Add 2 oz of flour and stir to make a roux.   Cook the roux until it is blond in color (about 5-7 minutes).   Stir constantly. 




Add 16 oz of chicken stock and half of the cooked bacon.  Season with salt and pepper.




Bring the soup to a simmer and cook 15 minutes (until the potatoes are tender).  Mash some of the potatoes until you get the texture that you like.  Add 32 oz of heavy whipping cream and simmer 5 minutes. 




Garnish with some cheddar and monterey jack cheese, a drizzle of sour cream, the remaining bacon crumbles and some chopped chives.




Oh my… it is soooooo good! 



Obviously this is a pretty decadent soup and it probably should be reserved for special occasions (although this will be hard now that I know how easy it is to make it).   This is absolutely delicious, but in the future I am going to try to “lighten” it a bit, so I can enjoy it more often.   That will be a future blog post! 

Do you love the Loaded Baked Potato Cheese Soup at the Carnation Café?


Loaded Baked Potato Cheese Soup - Carnation Cafe - Disneyland Park
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  1. 4 large Russet Potatoes (peeled and small diced)
  2. 4 medium Red Potatoes (small diced)
  3. 2 large stalks Celery (small diced)
  4. 1 large Carrot (peeled and small diced)
  5. 1 medium Onion (small diced)
  6. 2 oz Unsalted Butter
  7. 1 lb Bacon (chopped)
  8. 16 oz Chicken Stock
  9. 32 oz Heavy Whipping Cream
  10. 2 oz Flour
  11. 1 oz Vegetable Oil
  12. Salt and Pepper
  13. Garnish: Chopped Chives, Sour Cream, Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese (shredded)
  1. Heat vegetable oil, butter and bacon in a stock pot. Render the bacon cook it until crisp.
  2. Remove the bacon from the pot and drain on a paper towel.
  3. Add the onions, carrot and celery to the pot and cook until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the potatoes and cook 4 minutes.
  5. Add the flour and make a roux. Cook the roux until blond in color, while stirring constantly.
  6. Add chicken stock and half the bacon back into the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Bring the soup to a simmer for 15 minutes. Mash some of the potatoes until it is the texture you would like. Add whipping cream and simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Garnish with cheese, chives, sour cream and remaining bacon.
  9. Enjoy!
Dining with the Mouse


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Disney Recipe – Jack Skellington Sugar Cookies

These are really easy and cute cookies to make for your kids (big and small!) around Halloween time!   These are just simple sugar cookies… but turning them into little Jack Skellingtons  (from the Nightmare Before Christmas movie) really makes them fun for the holiday.   This recipe is based off of a recipe printed in the Delicious Disney Holidays cookbook, although I made some changes.   The book states that these cookies can be found seasonally at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.

Here are the ingredients…



First, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Whisking the mixture brings all the ingredients together. 



Beat the softened butter and sugar until smooth.  Then beat in eggs and vanilla.  After this, add the flour slowly and mix together.   





Then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.



Preheat oven to 400. 

On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a 1/4 inch thickness.  Using a cookie cutter (I used an overturned glass), cut dough into circles.   Place cookies at least 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.





Bake 8-10 minutes.  Cool completely.



For the icing, mix 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar with enough milk to create a glaze.  Vanilla extract can be added, but it will make the icing a bit tan, instead of pure white.   Any other clear extract would work fine for a bit of flavor. 





Spread the glaze on the cookies and let this set. 



Using a black frosting tube, decorate each cookie like a Jack Skellington face (or as close as you can get!).



Aren’t they cute?  They are tasty too…   the cookie has a cake-y texture and isn’t too sweet.  The frosting added the right amount of sweetness.   Boo!   Happy Halloween!

Jack Skellington Sugar Cookies
Yields 18
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  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 3/4 cup butter, softened
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Icing
  1. 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  2. Milk
  3. Vanilla extract, optional
  4. Black cookie decorating icing in a tube
  1. First, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Whisking the mixture brings all the ingredients together.
  2. Beat the softened butter and sugar until smooth.
  3. Then beat in eggs and vanilla.
  4. After this, add the flour slowly and mix together.
  5. Then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 400.
  7. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a 1/4 inch thickness.
  8. Using a cookie cutter (or an overturned glass), cut dough into circles.
  9. Place cookies at least 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  10. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  11. Cool completely.
For the icing
  1. Mix 2 cups of confectioner's sugar with enough milk to create a glaze. Vanilla extract can be added for flavor.
  2. Spread the glaze on the cookies and let this set.
  3. Using a black frosting tube, decorate each cookie like a Jack Skellington face.
Dining with the Mouse


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The Bread Pudding at ‘Ohana is considered by many to be one of the best desserts on Walt Disney World property… it is so warm, sweet and delicious.  Perfect comfort food.  Here are some pictures of the actual dessert at Walt Disney World.

When I have dinner at ‘Ohana, I make sure I don’t eat too much of the meat and side dishes (even though this is hard to do!) because I would be very sad if I were too full to eat my bread pudding! 

The good thing is that this dessert is very easy to make at home.  Here is a peek at the ingredients.

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Then, get the biggest mixing bowl you have and whisk together 5 large eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg and 3 cups whole milk. 

Next, cut up one loaf of challah bread into 1/2 inch cubes (about 10 cups).   Add these bread cubes to the milk mixture along with 8 oz of canned crushed pineapple (drained).   The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of sweetened shredded coconut and an optional 1/4 cup of raisins, but I decided to omit both of those ingredients.   Stir to combine ingredients.

Then pour the mixture into a buttered (or sprayed) 13x9x2-inch pan. 

Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes.  After baking, let it stand for 5 minutes. 

While the bread pudding is baking, make the bananas foster sauce.  In a medium pan over high heat, combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1/2 cup heavy cream.  

Bring this to a rolling boil.

Boil for 10 minutes and then add another 1/2 cup heavy cream.  Boil 1 more minute. 

This is where it gets a little tricky… adding alcohol to the sauce.  For safety, take your pan off of your heat source.  Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 cup spiced or dark rum.  Flambe using a long-stemmed lighter.  Let boil until the flame goes out.  When I tried to light the mixture, nothing seemed to happen.  So, I stirred it up and tried again… whooosh… big flame.  Be careful!  I don’t have a picture because it is impossible to flambe a sauce and take a picture of it at the same time… safely at least  :)

When the flame goes out, return the pan to the heat and simmer.  Stir with a heatproof spatula.  Add 3 bananas that you have peeled and sliced.  Remove from heat.

Now for the good part… take a huge slab of pudding and put it on a plate.  Then douse liberally with the bananas fosters sauce and top with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Yum!  The taste is very close to the bread pudding at ‘Ohana. 

Make this tonight.  You know you want to :)

What do you think of the Bread Pudding at ‘Ohana?  Would you make it at home?

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One of my favorite meals at the Disneyland Resort is the Sonoma Chicken and Apple Salad that is found at the Pacific Wharf Cafe in Disney California Adventure.   Yes, it is a salad, but it is still hearty and filling because it is served in a huge, fresh sourdough bread bowl that is baked right next door at the Boudin Bakery.

A great thing about Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park is that they still serve soups, chowders and salads in sourdough bread bowls.  The Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom (WDW) used to serve their chowder in bread bowls, but sadly stopped the practice several years ago. 

Here is a picture of the actual salad at the Pacific Wharf Cafe…



Looks good, right?  It is a fairly easy salad to assemble and can be even easier with a few minor changes to the recipe.  This recipe will easily fill 4 small bread bowls. 

Here are the ingredients (minus the romaine lettuce which I decided not to use)…



First, in a medium pot, boil 4 cups of water.  Add two chicken bouillon cubes and stir to dissolve.  Lower the heat to a simmer and add one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast.  Cover the pot and cook for about 8 minutes (until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees).   Place the chicken in your refrigerator to cool it. 




Thinly shred about a 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, or purchase bagged lettuce that is preshredded. 

Place a 1/4 cup of diced celery, 1 granny smith apple that has been peeled and sliced into wedges, 1/4 cup walnut halves, 2/3 cup honey mustard dressing (I used Ken’s because that is the brand that is often available in the Disney parks) into a medium bowl and mix. 



Dice the cooled chicken into small (1/4 inch) pieces and add to the mixture in the bowl.  Stir.



I found nice bread bowls at Panera bread, and although they are about half the size of the bread bowl you will get at Disneyland, it is still plenty of bread.  Cut the top off of each sourdough bread bowl and scoop out some of the insides, leaving a nice border of bread. 



Fill the bread bowls with your shredded lettuce and place the chicken salad in the center. 



Top with some dried cranberries and some chives.  Pretty!

I did find the chicken to be a little bit chewy and I think that some leftover baked chicken or some meat from a rotisserie chicken would be easier and tastier.  I don’t think the extra step of poaching in broth was worth the hassle.  Also, I thought the full amount of dressing left the chicken slightly overdressed, so you could try a bit less and see if it is dressed enough for your taste.  You can always add more.  I used full fat honey mustard dressing, but obviously a light or fat free dressing could be used instead.  Enjoy! 



Do you think everything tastes better in a sourdough bread bowl?

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Have you ever been to the BoardWalk Bakery in Walt Disney World?  It is a tiny place, but they pack it full of wonderful treats!  Since everything looks so good, it is difficult to decide what to order.  However, now that I have had the Brownie Cheesecake, it is going to be difficult to order anything else!


Doesn’t that look delicious?  The brownie was dense and fudgy and the slightly tart cheesecake balanced the sweetness nicely.  It was really rich and well… just awesome!

So, I thought I would attempt to recreate this magical marriage of brownie and cheesecake at home.  Here are the ingredients…


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan.  Then sift together 2 cups of sugar, 1 1/4 cups flour, 2/3 cup cocoa powder, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking powder.


Put the flour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer (or you can use a hand mixer or mix it by hand if you like).  Add 5 eggs and beat the mixture until smooth.


Slowly add 2 sticks of melted butter.



Isn’t this a nice, glossy batter?

Next, fold in 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Yum!


Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake around 30 minutes (until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean).  Remove from oven and cool.


When the brownie is cool, begin preparing the cheesecake.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Cream 3/4 cup sugar, 3 Tbs cornstarch, and 4 8-oz packages of cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer.


Add 1 Tbs lemon juice and 2 tsp vanilla extract.  Then add 2 eggs, one at a time.


Take the bowl off the mixer and fold in 2 Tbs heavy cream and 2 Tbs sour cream.

Pour the batter on top of the brownies in the pan.


Bake until firm and lightly browned, about 55 minutes.


Cool completely and refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving. Serve with whipped cream and a decorative chocolate, if you wish.


I think it turned out really well.  It wasn’t quite a pretty as the Brownie Cheesecake from the BoardWalk Bakery, but the taste was very close.

I think that the next time I make these (oh yes, there will be a next time!), I will bake the brownie portion for only 15-20 minutes or so.  Enough time to set the top, but I really don’t think they needed to be completely baked prior to getting the cheesecake topping.  They baked another 55 minutes and I think that made the brownie bottom overdone and a tiny bit dry.

Definitely give the cheesecake time to cool in the refrigerator before serving because the flavor only improved after chilling.

I hope you make these at home and let me know what you think!

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The Liberty Tree Tavern is a wonderful restaurant in the Liberty Square “land” of the Magic Kingdom.  I really like the colonial atmosphere and I have always had a good meal there.  The Liberty Tree Tavern serves a la carte lunch options and a “family style” turkey meal at dinner.  I love the options at lunch and I enjoyed the New England Pot Roast entree a few years back. 

Here is the menu description of the pot roast:
New England Pot Roast… Our Tavern Keeper’s Favorite – Braised beef in a Cabernet wine and mushroom sauce served with mashed potatoes and garden vegetables – $18.99

Sounds like a good choice for dinner, right?  There are a few different recipes for the Liberty Tree Pot Roast floating around on the web and in the Disney cookbooks… and I chose to follow the New England Pot Roast recipe in the Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs because I only had about 2 1/2 pounds of meat (some recipes called for 6 pounds).  I did tweak the recipe a bit, but I will explain that as I go. 

Here is a picture of all the ingredients needed:

First of all, I heated 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in my pot.  Then I seared the meat on all sides.  I used about 2 1/2 pounds of chuck roast.  The recipe calls for 3 pounds boneless beef shoulder roast.
Then I took the meat out of the pot and set it aside.  I added 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter to the pan and let it melt.   Make sure you keep all of those brown bits in the pot… it gives the sauce great flavor.
Next, I added 2 cups large diced carrots, 2 cups large diced celery and 2 cups large diced onions.
Then I added 1/4 cup chopped garlic.  Normally I would recommend chopping it fresh, but someone had brought this jarred garlic over to my house the other day, so I used it. 
Now, this is one place where I ventured away from the printed recipe.  The entree description mentions a mushroom sauce and there are no mushrooms to be found in this recipe (although they are in some of the other versions of this recipe).  Since I had mushrooms on hand, I added them.  Just one package of sliced white mushrooms.  I actually wish I had added more because they were very good in the sauce.
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme went in next.
Saute until the veggies are tender and then stir in one cup of flour. 
Cook the flour a bit so that your dish doesn’t taste like paste.  Add 1 cup wine (the entree description mentions a Cabernet sauce, so I used a Cabernet).  Don’t worry about the funny purple color the dish has… it comes out fine 🙂
Stir in 6 cups of beef broth.
At this point you can add the beef back into the pot and cover it.
I didn’t want to deal with hoisting it in and out the small oven at my In-Laws’ cottage, so I cooked the pot roast on the stove top (low flame).  If you want to put in the oven, the recipe calls for 350 degrees. 
The recipe says to cook the roast for 45-60 minutes, which is crazy-talk!  There is no way pot roast can get tender in 45 minutes.  I cooked mine for almost 3 hours and it could have gone longer. 
Here is the finished pot roast…
I sliced the meat and served it on top of mashed potatoes.
The verdict?  It was really good and my husband approved.  The meat was tender and the gravy was full of flavor.  The recipe made an enormous amount of gravy (even if I had doubled the amount of meat), but don’t throw it away after eating the pot roast.  I saved the gravy and used it to make a shepherd’s pie the next night.  I browned up some ground turkey (you can use beef if you like), then I mixed in the pot roast gravy and vegetables.  I put it in a casserole dish, covered it with some mashed sweet potatoes and some cheddar cheese.  I popped it in the over to brown the potatoes a bit and melt the cheese.  It was yummy way to use the leftovers. 
The pot roast was a success.. the recipe was easy and the results were close to what the Liberty Tree Tavern served.  It is just too bad that I wasn’t able to go for a ride on the Haunted Mansion after this meal!
Is the Liberty Tree Tavern New England Pot Roast a go-to of yours or do you choose a different menu item when visiting the restaurant?   I like several items on the menu so I will be cooking some of the other Liberty Tree Tavern dishes for this blog in the future.   What’s your favorite?
Liberty Tree Tavern New England Pot Roast
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  1. 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  2. 2 1/2 Pounds Chuck Roast (or boneless beef shoulder roast)
  3. 1/2 Cup Butter
  4. 2 Cups Carrots, large-diced
  5. 2 Cups Celery, large-diced
  6. 2 Cups Onion, large-diced
  7. 1/4 Cup Garlic, chopped
  8. 2 Cups White Mushrooms, sliced
  9. 2 Tbs. Fresh Thyme, chopped
  10. 1 Cup Flour
  11. 1 Cup Cabernet Wine
  12. 6 Cups Beef Broth
  1. In a large, oven-safe pot, heat oil and then sear the beef on all sides. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in the pot and add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and thyme. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Add one cup flour and cook for one minute.
  4. Add the wine and beef broth. Stir.
  5. Cook on a stovetop on low heat for at least 3 hours. If you prefer putting it in the oven, cook it at 350 degrees until tender.
Dining with the Mouse

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Crystal Palace Lemon Bars (Sort of)…

My attempt to make the lemon bars from the Crystal Palace was quite the adventure.  While dining at the restaurant for lunch and dinner, you may be lucky enough to find their delicious lemon bars on the buffet… 



I love a good, tart lemon bar, so I was excited when I found that someone on the internet had been given the recipe from their server at the Crystal Palace.   However, I looked at the recipe with skepticism, because it sounded a bit off… but if it was from the actual recipe from the restaurant it had to be right, right?   Well, part of this blog is to show my failures at cooking Disney recipes and this was one big failure.   The bars’ crust seemed ok, but the filling was weird.  It called for a ton of butter, which just melted down in the oven.  It was a big, liquidy-oily mess and never transformed into yummy lemon bars.

Oh no….



But now I had a hankering for lemon bars, so I found a promising recipe by Barefoot Contessa, which I will demonstrate here. 

Here are the ingredients.


First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixer,  cream together the butter and sugar until light.  Then, with the mixer on low, add the flour and salt until just combined. 


Scoop the dough out onto a floured board and (with floured hands) press it into a 9x13x2 inch baking sheet.  Then chill for 15 minutes.  Since I was baking in a glass dish, and I worry about putting a chilled dish into a preheated oven, I chilled the dough ball for 15 minutes first, and then pressed the dough into the dish and put it into the oven. 




Bake the crust for 15 – 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Let cool.


 In the meantime, make the filling.   Wait until the crust is already cooled to start the filling because if you mix the lemon and the eggs too early, the mixture could start to curdle. 

Whisk together the eggs and sugar…  


Then add the lemon zest…


Then the lemon juice…


… and the flour.


Pour the lemon mixture over the cooled crust and bake for 30-35 minutes, until set. 




Let cool and then dust with confectioners’ sugar.


Then you can enjoy your delicious sweet and sour treat… yum!




These are even better once chilled for a bit, since they set up and the filling gets a bit more firm.

This recipe states that it is 12 servings, but I think 24 is more realistic… they are very good, but very rich.   The smaller serving is just enough. 

This lemon bar recipe didn’t exactly recreate the bars at the Crystal Palace (the shortbread crust was similar, but the filling was a bit softer and had a stronger lemon flavor), but it is a good recipe when you have a craving for a lemon bar. 

Do you like lemon desserts or do you prefer chocolate desserts?


Crystal Palace Lemon Bars (Sort of)
Serves 24
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For the crust
  1. 1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 2 cups flour
  4. 1/8 tsp kosher salt
For the filling
  1. 6 large eggs, room temperature
  2. 3 cups granulated sugar
  3. 2 tbs grated lemon zest (about 6 lemons)
  4. 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  5. 1 cup flour
  6. Confectioners' sugar
  1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light. Then, with the mixer on low, add the flour and salt until just combined.
  2. Scoop the dough out onto a floured board and (with floured hands) press it into a 9x13x2 inch baking sheet. Then chill for 15 minutes. Since I was baking in a glass dish, and I worry about putting a chilled dish into a preheated oven, I chilled the dough ball for 15 minutes first, and then pressed the dough into the dish and put it into the oven.
  3. Bake the crust for 15 - 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool.
  4. In the meantime, make the filling.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour. Pour over the cooled crust and bake for 30-35 minutes, until set. Let cool and then dust with confectioners' sugar.
Dining with the Mouse

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Top Five Disney Restaurant Tips  (with toddlers) –

Walt Disney World has great restaurants that are appropriate for children of all ages… especially your toddler.  You will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else that make families feel more welcome.

You really don’t be worried about bringing your toddler to a sit-down restaurant at Walt Disney World.   In fact, it is a good place to teach your child how to act in a restaurant, without being nervous about other diners being disturbed.  With the exception of the very fanciest restaurants on Disney property, everyone expects children to be present and probably has their hands full with their own kids. 

These tips can be applied to families with older children too!

1.  Think carefully about your dining times.  Try to keep your kids on the same dining schedule that they are on at home.  If you normally eat dinner at 5pm, don’t try to have dinner at 8pm in the Magic Kingdom… you are just asking for tired, hungry and grumpy kids.  

Also, since touring the parks can over-stimulate children, consider reserving sit-down restaurants for Breakfast or Dinner… and not for Lunch.  Hopefully, your children are rested at Breakfast and also refreshed for Dinner after an afternoon break at the pool or nap at the resort.   Lunchtime can be tough because kids have had a morning full of fun and the last thing they want is to be strapped into a high chair and have a relaxing lunch.

This is what can happen with a late dinner at California Grill… asleep in the booth before dessert!



2.  Choose a restaurant with some entertainment.  Character meals and the dinner shows are obvious favorites, but how about enjoying the traditional “Oktoberfest” entertainment at the Biergarten Restaurant (with an invitation for the kids to dance in front of the stage),  participating in coconut races at ‘Ohana, or watching film clips inside you “car table” at Sci-Fi Dine In?   Kids can also view the marine life in the huge aquarium at Coral Reef, see a belly dancer perform at Restaurant Marrakesh, watch their food being cooked right in front of them at Teppan Edo, see the Irish stepdancers at Raglan Road at and interact with the “in character” servers at Whispering Canyon Café and 50’s Prime Time Café.

Here is one of the dancers at Raglan Road (Downtown Disney)…



3.  Just like at home, be prepared with some small toys in your bag (Fisher Price Little People Disney Princesses and Thomas Trains work best for us) and books to keep you kids occupied while waiting for your meal.  The kids’ menus have activities and pictures to color, but they don’t change very often and your child may be bored if they have to color the same picture at each meal during your trip.

4. If you think your child may need to nap in their stroller during the meal, ask the hostess to park allow you to park it at the table with you.  When my child was very young (8 months old), she couldn’t make it through a whole dinner in the high chair, but would happily lounge in her stroller while we finished our meal.  


A Mommy-Daughter lunch at the Brown Derby.  While I enjoyed a Cobb Salad…  she was comfortable in her stroller… and with her book…



5.  For your Character meals, consider Family-Style or Plated meals instead of Buffets.    Buffets are great because you do not have to wait for your food… it is ready when you are.  However, they can be a logistical nightmare.  If you are lucky to have two adults in your party, you will have to have one “food runner” and one adult stay at the table with the children.   This means that the food will arrive a bit at a time, and it is difficult for everyone to eat together.   If you only have one adult and more than one child, I don’t recommend the buffets at all.   It is no fun to maneuver through a buffet line with children and multiple plates of food.

The Family-Style and Plated meal Character restaurants include Cinderella’s Royal Table, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (there is an appetizer buffet here, but the entrée and dessert is brought to your table), Garden Grill, and ‘Ohana Character Breakfast.   At these restaurants, you can have a seat… all together… and relax as your server brings you your meal and you wait for the Characters to greet you.

Dining at Walt Disney World with your toddler(s) is actually a lot of fun… there are a ton of entertaining restaurants and it is the most family-friendly place you can visit.   Does anyone have any tips to add to this list?

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