Friday, January 16, 2015

Food Glorious Food!

One of the best parts of vacation is getting to eat out at restaurants and not have to worry about meal planning, grocery shopping, or washing dishes!  Disney has a ton of great places to eat!  Here were a few of our favorites!

#1:  Downtown Disney
We visited our second favorite restaurant on our first night in Disney.  Raglan Road in Downtown Disney is an Irish Pub that serves terrific food and has a really fun atmosphere.  During our meal, Irish step dancers performed intermittently.  The little kids especially loved it!  The young women that were dancing were wearing elf costumes.  We passed one of the dancers on the way to our table and Peter went as close as he could get and waved his hand and yelled, "Hiiiii" with an enormous smile on his face!  (Oh brother...he's definitely a teenager!)

It is super strange to have a son old enough to order beer!
 Also a favorite in Downtown Disney is the Rainforest Cafe.  The kids love the atmosphere....and the giant fish tanks are a good distraction while you wait for your meal!

The Earl of Sandwich has some really great choices!  Jay was disappointed we only got to eat there once!  T-Rex is a fun place if you have dinosaur lovers....we took Luke to "visit" the dinosaurs, but we didn't eat there this trip!

Arguably the best stop in Downtown Disney.....Ghiradelli's!  What could end a day better than a salted caramel and hot fudge sundae...or a dark chocolate espresso sundae...or a chocolate frappe...or a brownie sundae?  Yeah, we couldn't think of anything either!

#2:  Dinner At the Polynesian
Over the course of our trip, we ate at two different restaurants at the Polynesian Hotel.  The first was O'hana's, which is a family style restaurant that had awesome marinated steak, pork, and shrimp on a skewer.  They have delicious pineapple bread and these awesome dumplings and chicken wings!  Yum!
A "mostly smile" on Andrew!

My parents

It's a super family friendly restaurant and they have a couple of short kid activities:)
The other restaurant at the Polynesian, "Kona's Cafe", was really good, too!  They had small loafs of homemade sweet bread.  Most of us had steak that night and it was soooo good!  Kona's also had a lot of great allergy choices for people with gluten, dairy, and peanut allergies!  My dad, who is gluten free, had an incredible chocolate lava cake that he really loved.  All Disney restaurants are great about catering to people with food allergies, but Kona's is part of a pilot program that offers specific allergen free menus for all 3 meals.  If food allergies are a part of your family, I would highly recommend it!

 #3:  Poolside

While the food is certainly more of the sandwich, burger, chicken finger variety, eating lunch by the pool is always such a treat....especially in the middle of winter!

#4:  Prime-Time 50's Cafe
One of the restaurants in Hollywood Studios is the Prime-Time 50's Cafe.  It's a theme restaurant, and as you can see in the pics, all of the tables, chairs and decorations look like a 50's family dining room.  They play short snippets of famous 50's tv shows....which my mom enjoyed telling the kids about.  I really like the food here....especially the meatloaf.  The kids like the food...especially the milkshakes...but they don't love the restaurant.  I think that's because of the "family rules".....the servers call you brother, sister, mom and dad and if you have your elbows on the table or don't eat your vegetables you're likely to get scolded!  (On one trip many years ago, Jay had to stand in the corner!  My dad has that on video somewhere!)

#5:  Snacking

I know there's nothing super special about them, but I love those Mickey ice cream bars!  I may have shared a few with Kate while we waited for everyone else to get off a "big kid" ride!  (And it wasn't always after lunch;)

Andrew joined in sometimes, too!

Some people were a little addicted to the frozen coffees......
 #6:  Sampling From Around the World
Epcot is a favorite park for Jay and my older kids.  (My favorite is the Magic Kingdom:).  We spent multiple days in Epcot during our trip, and for lunch one of the days and dinner of our last day, we just ate our way around World Showcase.  We shared and sampled...and indulged in some desserts!    
The littles wanted hot dogs and fries in the U.S.

Peter, too!

There were stops in Germany for Bratwurst, apple strudel and a beer for Jay and Mike.


Not pictured are stops in England for fish & chips, China for honey sesame chicken, nachos from Mexico, and a Japanese beer just to round things off a bit!  On our last night, we got gelato and tiramisu from was soooooo good!

 #7:  Via Napoli

Our absolute favorite restaurant was Via Napoli in Italy.  It has incredible food!  Their pizzas are incredibly good!  We also shared some chicken parm, fried risotta balls, and spaghetti and meatballs!  Even their salad was awesome!  It was, by far, everyone's favorite meal!  It think we all overindulged a little at that meal...but it was our last day in Disney so we didn't feel too badly about it!  It was unanimously decided that on our next Disney trip, we need to eat there at least twice!

Everyone was so excited to eat at Via Napoli that it inspired some silliness!

Look at the size of that pizza!

Andrew and Kate sharing a dessert!
It was one of the few restaurants that we shared desserts after the meal!

 Hungry, yet?!?

If you're planning a Disney trip, make sure that you make your dining reservations 180 days in advance.  It's even hard to get into some restaurants making them the day you are able to!  We tried to get into Belle's castle and couldn't get a reservation!  Of course, we are a party of 14 so that's an extra challenge!