We made Theme Park Reservations for our arrival day at Hollywood Studios. We had nothing specific we wanted to do attraction wise. We just wanted to get some pictures and videos. We decided to get there by way of boat. I just love the view around this whole area!
We arrived around 11:30 a.m.
We walked through some of the shops on the way in.
We were walking toward Toy Story Land, when we came upon some filming going on:
We took some time to go in to see Walt Disney Presents, and had a meet and greet with Sulley! Yes, character meet and greets are back!
We finally made it to Toy Story Land, and decided to get in line for Toy Story Midway Mania, which had a 40 minute wait time posted.
My friend reallllllllly wanted to get the Margarita flight at the The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge. I had never been here but always wanted to try it! It’s seating just outside of the regular Brown Derby restaurant. So that was our next stop. The menu they gave us was actually different than the one they had posted online. This one included items from the actual inside table service The Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant.
I am just noticing that I forget to take a picture of one of the beverage pages. I ordered the Sangria pictured below and I don’t see it on the menu! There were so many good drinks to choose from and this was super refreshing during this hot day.
Chrissy got the Margarita Flight.
We also ordered the Charcuterie Board:
I am not a charcuterie meat person, but I did like the cheeses and the pickles. Chrissy prefers the one at BaseLine Taphouse.
And the famous Cobb Salad:
This was amazing! And I absolutely would get it again.
I did ask for this cheese to be on the side because I don’t like too much of it.
Overall, I really liked it here. I liked the expanded menu, the outdoor seating for the right time of year, and the staff was great.
After our snack here, we decided to head back to the resort because our check in time was approaching.
My Annual Pass expires on May 14th…so I knew I had to take one last, quick trip to Disney! My good friend and fellow travel agent, Chrissy, joined me. I was able to find one night with my DVC points, and a travel agent rate for the next two nights at a different Disney Resort. Our flight left Philadelphia at 5:30 a.m., and once we landed, another fellow travel agent texted and asked if we wanted her to pick us up from the airport and stop for breakfast.
We checked My Disney Experience for dining availability and landed on Cape May Cafe, which is located at the Beach Club, where we were staying for the night. This used to be a character dining experience, but that has not yet returned.
The restaurant is located right off the main lobby of the resort.
Right inside the entrance to the restaurant is an omelette station.
They have returned to a regular buffet style meal. There are four different sides with food. This side had the fresh sliced ham and rolls.
It also had fresh fruit, yogurt, and oatmeal with toppings.
The first dish on the left was a steak and egg scramble, then regular scambled eggs, bacon, and sausage.
Also on this side was a poached egg on top of hash, asparagus, breakfast potatoes, and something with tofu/vegetables.
The third side featured the kid section…Mickey waffles, chocolate chip pancakes, and tater tots.
And CREPES! There were also a few toppings for the crepes that are not pictured here.
The fourth side has eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits with sausage gravy.
My FAVORITE item at this buffet were the Salted Caramel Beach Buns that were brought to our table. This was also served with a vanilla sauce not pictured. This was like cinnamon roll texture. Super soft and squishy on the inside!
Overall, we all loved the meal and would definitely return. It was $25 per person for an adult. Our waitress was great!
This night we wanted to make reservations for a restaurant so we could check out City Walk. My traveling partner chose The Cowfish! I have walked past this restaurant every single time I’ve entered City Walk or either of the theme parks, and have never eaten here. Probably because I don’t eat any type of seafood, so the “sushi” part was throwing me off!
We arrived right on time for our reservation, and there was a long line waiting to check in. If you didn’t have reservations, the wait was two hours. I strongly encourage you to make reservations for any of the table service restaurants at City Walk. If they aren’t available on the Universal website, you can look for them on Open Table or try calling the restaurant directly.
The inside of the restaurant was open and airy, and consisted of 3?? floors I think?!
The weather was really nice, and we were happily led to this table overlooking City Walk. (It was open…no window!)
We started off with some drinks. I had the Ruby Panther–Deep Eddy Ruby Vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, pink lemonade, and raspberries–$14.00. It was delicious! I love fruity and this was perfect.
Megan had the Hokkaido Nights–44 North Nectarine Vodka, lemongrass syrup, fresh basil and mint, cucumber–$14.00.
We wanted an appetizer, so we chose the Crispy Brussels–Flash fried Brussels sprouts, wasabi yuzu vinaigrette, rice noodles, bonito flakes, sesame seeds, with a jalapeno citrus aioli dipping sauce–$8.00. These were SO GOOD! They were bigger than any brussels sprouts I’ve ever seen, and the flavor was amazing. I loved the dipping sauce!
We also got a side order of Sweet Potato Fries, and these were good as well.
I originally went in with the idea that I would be getting a burger…but I didn’t know they had CHEESEBURGER SUSHI! So I decided to go with The All-American Bacon Double Cheeseburgooshi–Seasoned premium black angus beef, yellow cheddar cheese, white cheddar cheese, and applewood bacon wrapped in soy paper and potato strings then flash fried. Topped with dill pickle, red onion, roma tomato, served over housemade Cowfish sauce, topped with ketchup and mustard–$19.00. THIS.WAS.AMAZING! And my favorite food from the entire trip! The flash fried potatoes on the outside made this meal. It was like eating fries and a burger in one bite. The flavors were all so good together. I would 100% go back to just order this!
Megan ordered the Dion’s OMG! Roll–Tempura coconut shrimp, kani, and English cucumber inside, coated in tempura flakes. Topped with fresh mango, avocado, spicy honey marmalade and coconut flakes–$18.00. She really liked this!
I was actually reluctant to eat here, but am so happy we did! It was my favorite meal as I said. I would definitely return!
As my luck would have it for this trip…I was also able to score a reservation for 4 to Topolino’s Terrace, which has been on my bucket list for the last several trips! There was so much going on this day with food, so people had to pick and choose what was important to them. This was first on my list!
Topolino’s is located at Disney’s Riviera Resort. The easiest way for us to get there for breakfast was to take a Lyft from our resort.
This resort is absolutely gorgeous! It kind of reminds me of a mini Grand Floridian in its style and decor.
The lobby is kind of on the smaller side.
This is one view out the back from the lobby area.
We took the elevator up to Topolino’s Terrace.
We were seated promptly right in the middle of the restaurant, which was busy, but not too busy.
We were brought this delicious basket of pastries, and condiments. Crossaints, muffins, and fabulous maple?? turnovers. All of it was SO GOOD!
I had read many different reviews while deciding if I truly wanted to eat here. A majority of them said that they would do this meal again hands down. It also varied on what you could order. Because you are paying a set price per person, it was assumed that you could get one entree, however that is not true. You can order one entree and then ask for sides or small orders of other things if you wish.
I knew for sure I wanted the Fruit Plate–Seasonal Fruits, Honey Yogurt, Seed Granola, Toasted Sunflower Butter. It arrived and it was fantastic!
My daughter chose the Sour Cream Waffle–Roasted Apple, Chantilly, Orange-Maple Syrup, and served with Sausage. I was also torn between this and what I ordered. Luckily I was able to try this, and it was SO GOOD! I would order this again for sure!
My niece ordered the Quiche Gruyere–House-Made Pancetta, Roasted Potatoes, Gruyere, Lemon Vinaigrette, Sausage. She really liked this, especially the potatoes.
I went with the Two Eggs Any Style–Roasted Potatoes served with Sausage. This was your standard (real) scrambled eggs. The potatoes were really good! I knew I was going to be tasting my daughter’s waffles, so I wanted something somewhat “healthy.”
While we were eating, the characters took turns coming around. They did make an announcement with music so you knew someone was coming. They did not get close to the tables, but did stop next to us so we could get pictures or videos. I loved Minnie’s outfit!
A look inside the restaurant:
When we were finished eating, we were able to go outside on the terrace to have a look around. The views were amazing! It was pretty windy, but the weather besides that was perfect.
I would 100% do this breakfast again, even for the cost. It’s a character meal, with delicious food, a gorgeous resort, and spectacular views. I would try to align it with a Hollywood Studios or Epcot day so you can take the Skyliner after eating.
Our server here was meh. She wasn’t very personable and didn’t ask if we wanted anything extra. She was also nonexistent for a majority of the time.
Posted at 10:53 am by taryngirl, on February 18, 2022
By some miracle, I was able to score a reservation to the brand new restaurant in Epcot…Space 220! It was only for 4 people, so our group of 14 had to draw straws. Kidding, kidding!
I had read reviews, looked at food pictures, checked the menu, and reallllllllly wanted to have this experience! So I was very excited that I was one of the “chosen ones.”
The restaurant is located right near Mission Space. The entrance is kind of tucked away on the right hand side of the building. Once you check in at that desk, they send you through the doors to another check in desk.
This is where we received our boarding pass for our visit to the Centauri Space Station.
We lined up with another party against the wall, waiting for someone to escort us to the elevator.
Everyone stood around the center and looked down. We were blasting off and heading to space!
Once we made it to the Space Station, we walked down a very neat hallway.
The restaurant itself is amazing! When you walk in, to the right is the “lounge” where you can also order food. It’s a separate menu, and the seating area is small. You CAN make reservations for this area now, or you can wait in line for a walk up. Note, the full dinner menu is not available in this area.
All throughout dinner, things would go flying across…astronauts, shuttles, satellites, etc. It was neat!
Lunch and dinner here are a little bit different. For dinner you get to choose one appetizer, one entree and one dessert for $79 per person.
Here’s a look at the dinner menu:
One thing I forgot to get a photo of was the incredible drink menu! The drink menu was great and we all had a hard time deciding what we wanted.
You can’t tell by this photo, but my drink was bubbling like crazy!
Someone else ordered this one…that is cotton candy!
Centauri Caesar Salad–Miniature Romaine, Classic Caesar Dressing, Parmigiano Reggiano
Blue Moon Cauliflower–Tempura Fried Cauliflower, Housemade Hot Sauce, Blue Cheese Dust
This was my appetizer and it was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! I want to try to recreate it at home in my air fryer! It was perfectly cooked and the sauce was not TOO spicy for me. I would 100% order this again.
This also had a great presentation. I didn’t taste this one, but it was reported to be good.
Lemon Mousse–Lemon Mousse Sphere adorned with White Chocolate Rings, Lemon Custard, Marinated Blueberries, Lemon Curd
This is what I ordered. I LOVE lemon! So I was excited to try this. It was very good! (I did prefer the chocolate cheesecake to this though.)
This was a giant serving! And very good.
Overall, we really loved our experience here. Yes, it’s pricey at $79 per person. But that includes an appetizer, entree, and dessert. It’s really not THAT much more than a two credit Disney table service restaurant. The atmosphere was really cool, and the service was great. I definitely would come again for lunch or to sit in the lounge area!
Posted at 11:22 am by taryngirl, on November 11, 2021
Somehow I was able to score a lunch reservation at the BRAND NEW restaurant, Steakhouse 71, located at the Contemporary Resort where The Wave used to be. This was the grand opening day and we were very excited!
We left Magic Kingdom and took the monorail to The Contemporary Resort. We checked in at 11:40 a.m. and they told us they were running a little bit behind from breakfast. At 12:15 p.m. we were paged.
Compared to The Wave (the restaurant this used to be), I thought the decor was much brighter, which made the dining area look much bigger.
Like I said before, this was opening day, so I knew there may be some hiccups. We sat, and waited and waited for our server to come. She did not, but a manager did. He took our drink order and then our food order as well. Our drinks came and we had ordered appetizers, and those eventually came as well. (We still didn’t see our server!)
I ordered the Fork & Knife Caesar Salad $10. This was delicious and possibly one of the best salads I’ve had!
My friend ordered the Baby Iceberg Wedge Salad (house-made bleu cheese dressing, toy box tomatoes, pickled red onions, bacon, hard cooked egg) $11.
At some point during appetizers, our waitress appeared. She explained her last table (during breakfast service) was super complicated and had a bunch of different payments. We also noticed that they had random people bringing out food and managers were busing tables. Nothing seemed organized and it seemed like they were struggling!
At one point, someone else brought us two more salads, and we told them we were already served.
For entrees, my friend ordered the Crab Cake Sliders (lump crab cakes, old bay remoulade, tomato, pickled slaw on a brioche bun, served with parmesan fries). You could also choose a petite wedge salad or pasta salad as your side. $19. She really liked these. She smashed them down so she could fit them in her mouth.
I ordered the Steakhouse 71 Stack Burger (signature blend of beef, American cheese, lemon aioli, red onion, house-made pickles, on a brioche bun served with parmesan fries) $20. This was amazing! I asked for the lemon aioli on the side because I wasn’t sure I would like it, but it was really good.
Overall, the service was not that great. We didn’t get out of here until 2:00 p.m. But the food more than made up for it. The staff was very apologetic and friendly, they were just overwhelmed. I will 100% be back here again. I think this is a great alternative to a table service in Magic Kingdom, especially at lunch time.
Posted at 12:37 pm by taryngirl, on October 21, 2021
It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten at Mama Melrose in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so I wanted to check it out! The last time we ate there, I really wanted to try the famous steak and JUST THAT WEEK they removed it from the menu. After lots of customer complaints, they brought it back, so I was anxious to try it, and honestly, by the time we made reservations, our choices were limited with both location and times.
We got to Hollywood Studios at around 3:30 p.m. Our reservation was at 4:45 p.m.
We walk through some of the shops on the way in, then checked wait times on the rides. Toy Story Midway Mania only had a 20 minute wait, so we went on that. Once we came out of there, we made our way over to Mama Melrose right on time.
The decor and atmosphere are super cozy and cute inside this restaurant. To access the menu at the table, you scan a barcode and it pops up on your phone.
To start, they brought us some amazing bread. It was warm and had a great olive oil dip. I also asked for straight up butter.
Jamie ordered the Mama’s Caesar Salad–Fresh Romaine Lettuce, Housemade Caesar Dressing, Herb Croutons, and Parmesan. $11.00.
For her main dish, she ordered the Oven-Baked Chicken alla Parmigiana–Breaded Chicken Breast with Marinara Sauce topped with Melted Mozzarella over Spaghetti $25.00.
I ordered the Charred Strip Steak–Four Cheese Macaroni with Pancetta, Aged Balsamic Shallot Butter, and Chianti Wine Reduction $33.00. At Italian restaurants I always order some type of pasta, just because I feel like I should! But I’ve heard so many amazing things about this steak, that I had to give it a try. I LOVED IT! Both the steak and mac and cheese were so good! If I come back here, I 100% will be ordering this again.
We were so full there was no way we could do dessert here. Plus, I still had Gideon’s cookies back in the room!
After we left here, we went and stood in the standby line for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which had a posted time of 30 minutes I think. We were pretty beat at this point from traveling, so we took some photos and then headed back to the resort.
Up next…Magic Kingdom for the 50th Anniversary Celebration!
Posted at 10:58 am by taryngirl, on October 8, 2021
After I finished my breakfast, I made the walk over to Disney Springs. It was about 9:20 a.m. at this point, and Disney Springs opened at 10:00 a.m. My main goal was to check out Gideon’s Bakehouse, which I still had not been able to visit since they opened! Their cookies weigh almost half a pound, and they also have delicious looking cakes, and possibly the most popular item…the Peanut Butter Cold Brew.
Here you can see just how big the Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa is. There are several sections and several bus stops. I was starting near the Carriage House and had to make my way through Congress Park to the bridge that connects to Disney Springs.
It’s important to note that previously, the line for Gideon’s has been long. They sometimes have to utilize a virtual line, giving people a return time to come back. I had no idea what to expect when I got there.
The line stretched back to the Morimoto entrance. I was about 20th in line. No workers were out yet. I got there around 9:45 a.m. Once the workers came out at 10:00 a.m., they did not offer any kind of virtual line. I got inside around 10:15. They were limited the number of people inside. I was out with my goodies in 10 minutes! The line was even longer now stretching down around Morimoto, and they still were not offering a virtual line.
Some pics of the inside decor:
I had looked at the menu online, and read some reviews ahead of time, so my choices were somewhat narrowed down.
I had read one review where the lady went back 3 times…just to get this particular cookie. So I figured I had to try it! This is an extra buttery, vanilla bean cookie, filled with cinnamon strudel and topped with homemade double baked butter crumbs. This one is only available in the morning until they sell out. This was SO GOOD! Tied for my favorite of the 4 different kinds I got! Also, these things are HUGE. It took days to finish them, and I didn’t even eat it all! 10/10 for this one.
Also tied for 1st place for me was this delicious Lemon Poppyseed Cookie! I love lemon desserts…lemon meringue pie is one of my favorites, so I knew I had to try this. This was a special flavor for the month of September only. Besides lemon and poppyseed, this cookie also has a mix of white chocolate chips and mini lemon chips. 10/10 for this one! This is the only cookie I finished completely and it took me 3 days.
Next up is the Peanut Butter Crunch Cookie. I love all things peanut butter, so definitely had to try this one. The dough for this is made mostly with peanut butter, and it’s topped with candied peanuts and peanut butter chips. This was also good! 8/10 for this one.
The last cookie I had to get was the original chocolate chip. It’s the foundation for the who the company is, and who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies?! This cookie is packed inside and out with a variety of chocolates, infused with different vanillas. This was just okay to me. I wasn’t blown away. It’s also the last one I tried, and because I loved the others so much maybe this just underwhelmed me? 6/10 for this one.
I had also read amazing things about the cakes! So of course I had to try a piece… This was my hardest decision because they all sounded great. I decided on the True Red Velvet. This is a traditional buttermilk cake base with thick layers of cream cheese frosting, and lined with baked, candied walnuts. This was SO GOOD and super rich! I only was able to eat one layer. Super moist and lots of frosting. 9/10
Overall, I absolutely loved this place! I will definitely be returning on future trips. I actually brought everything back to the resort before trying anything, and was able to refrigerate the cake. Bell services held it for me until my room was ready.
Posted at 10:07 am by taryngirl, on October 7, 2021
I was so excited to be able to get away during the middle of my daughter’s soccer season, and visit the most magical place on Earth for the 50th anniversary celebration that was set to officially begin on October 1st! My friend and fellow travel agent Jamie, booked a room the second they were released for our dates. We knew it would book up quickly. I was unlucky with trying to make a reservation with my DVC points. She booked us at Art of Animation in a Little Mermaid room. Just a few weeks ago, I was browsing the DVC website to see if there was any availability, and Saratoga Springs Resort popped up! I snagged a Deluxe Studio in the Preferred section. I was excited to stay here because the rooms have recently been refurbished!
My flight was SUPER early…5:40 a.m. from Philadelphia. I was hoping to avoid a crowded airport with this early time, and make the most of my arrival day.
Upon landing at MCO, I was greeted with these cute wraps on the monorail shuttle to the main terminal.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as wait times for the Magical Express, but I decided to get my luggage from baggage claim and head that direction before making a decision to Lyft to the resort.
To my surprise, I was the ONLY person there! One person came after me, so there were only 2 people total on my bus besides the driver.
It was a quick trip to our resort, as we were the only stop. Upon arrival at the resort, there was some construction/refurbishment going on at the main lobby area and around bell services. This caused a little bit of crowding and confusion, but the bell services cast members were working hard trying to get everyone handled! There were little kiosks set up outside for those checking in.
I was starving, so after checking my luggage with bell services (since my room wasn’t ready), I went directly to The Artist’s Palette to check their breakfast options. You no longer HAVE to mobile order, although it is still an option with signage all over the place telling you how to do it. You can walk in here and order your food. I chose to do this so I could take some pictures.
There is a grab and go section, which I did not get to experience on my last trips in May and June! So things are slowly getting back to “normal.”
Here is the breakfast menu:
I always order the kid’s meal. It comes with two sides and a drink! (Mickey waffles are my must do breakfast…)
When I was finished eating, my plan was to walk to Disney Springs and check out Gideon’s Bakehouse! That’s up next.
Posted at 12:29 pm by taryngirl, on August 29, 2021
We had lunch reservations at Yak & Yeti Restaurant (the table service) and were SO EXCITED for it! We have eaten here several times before, and it remains a family favorite. This restaurant features pan-Asian cuisine and the theming inside is perfect!
Pork Egg Rolls with Chili Plum Dipping Sauce $11.99
These must have been good, because they disappeared quickly!
I chose the Korean Beef–Wok fried beef, peppers, onions, pineapple, and Korean BBQ sauce served with jasmine rice. I ordered without the pineapple. $21.99
This was excellent! The beef was slightly crispy on the outside, but super tender on the inside. I love the flavor of the sauce!
My daughter LOVES Garlic Noodles, and these were offered as a side dish. Since she couldn’t decide between this and something else, she got both!
Garlic Noodles $12.99
Of course she loved these! She couldn’t eat them all, so we took them back to the room and she ate them for breakfast the next day.
For her “regular” entree, she ordered Honey Chicken–tempura chicken, fresh vegetables tossed in honey sauce, served with jasmine rice. $20.99 This also comes with pineapple, but she ordered without.
This was delicious!
Another entree (I’m not sure which adult ordered this!).
Lo Mein Shrimp–lo mein noodles, carrots, cabbage, green onion, bean sprouts $21.99
I *think* someone ordered this as their entree with a side of fried rice…
Firecracker Shrimp–crispy fried shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce, Asian slaw $13.99
And finally, my youngest daughter’s choices:
Steamed Rice–Jasmine $5.99, Fries
Of course she loved these! She’s my super picky eater, so this was perfect for her.
Overall, everyone loved their food! My only complaint is it seems prices are rising and portions are not. It did help that I have an Annual Pass discount though! We definitely will be back!