Thursday, January 10, 2013

Orlando, FL edition: Disney!

One of the things that is really awesome about my blog is that I get to combine two things I really enjoy: the socialization with my friends and food. If you notice, I'll sneak in photos of who I was with at the restaurant because I like being able to include my friends in something that is important to me. It's also cool when I have big life events that I can somehow incorporate into my blog - like my first time at Disney!

Yes, I'm 24 years old, and I had never been to Disney (I just turned 24, so I was 23 when I went). That's also a reason for the lack of updates lately. While the rides and shows were AMAZING, I want to talk a little bit about the food there. We were so busy, so I don't have a ton of notes, but I do want to document it.

Flame Tree Barbecue on UrbanspoonDisneyAnimal Kingdom
DisneyWe went to this park as soon as we got off the plane because it closes earlier than the others. We went straight to the Flame Tree Barbecue, which is a counter-service restaurant. I got a pulled pork sandwich with a side of coleslaw.

While we were there, we also stopped at an ice cream stand. I kept hearing over and over again that I have to try a Mickey Ice Cream. Well, I did! Just like Dairy Queen's Dille Bar.



Epcot
DisneyAfter Animal Kingdom, we headed to Epcot to check out their rides. I think this is more of an adult park, as they have the world showcase (we'll come back to this!). But we were so exhausted from the plane and the first park that we did a few rides, then opted for dinner. We went to Morocco and ate at Restaurant Marrakesh.

DisneyDisneyRestaurant Marrakesh on UrbanspoonI actually made reservations from my phone on the Disney app, and we walked right in. It was gorgeous. It was definitely a little bit more expensive, but we had a coupon that we used. We ordered the goat cheese with crispy bread appetizer, which was to-die-for. It had a mixture of cheese, kalamata olives, tabouleh, red pepper sauce and a balsamic vinegar reduction. For my main entree, I got the shish kebab, which was grilled tenderloin of beef marinated in herbs and spices and served with seasoned rice. This was so tender and amazing; I think it may have been my favorite meal the entire trip. Absolutely divine.





Hollywood Studios
Disney
DisneyOn the second day, we headed to Hollywood Studios. We first hit up the Starring Rolls Cafe, which was a sweet little breakfast place that had gorgeous, scrumptious pastries and desserts. I got a muffin. Delicious. It was blueberry with large chunks of sugar on top. They also had tons of pastries displayed in these cases that I seriously considered having a piece of pie or cake or other delicacy at 10 a.m.

DisneyDisneyDisney

Starring Rolls Café on UrbanspoonExcept a bird pooped in my hair waiting for it. Oh well. Then, for lunch, we got to go to Pizza Planet - which I was SO excited for. Who wouldn't want to eat at the restaurant from Toy Story? I had a personal pizza and a delicious cupcake! They had a cool arcade that we didn't really check out because it took so much time to go through the lane. It was just quick-service, but apparently it's a really hot spot because we had to wait for quite a while. But it was a good size pizza, and it wasn't bad.

Pizza Planet on UrbanspoonAfter lunch, we headed toward an area to watch the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights. While we were there, I hit up a stand for some hot cocoa and a Mickey-shaped pretzel, with some cheddar cheese. It was actually really nice to sip on the cocoa and watch these lights sparkle like crazy.






Downtown Disney
DisneyDisneyBy the time we were done watching Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios, we were hungry, but it was pretty late. So we went to Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney has some pretty cool stops, and we went straight to Paradiso 37 - "Taste of the Americas." They are known for their tequila. I ordered fish tacos, and a margarita. These fish tacos were SO good. three filled with chunks of fried fish, topped with corn salsa, slaw, creme fraiche. Just divine.

We also stopped by the Ghiradelli store for a free sample! Delicious!

Paradiso 37, Taste of the Americas on UrbanspoonGhirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop on Urbanspoon




Magic Kingdom
DisneyMagic Kingdom was all we had on our agenda for the third day, and boy was that a packed day. For lunch, we went to the Pinocchio Village Haus. It was quick service, with pizzas. I got the caprese, and it was fantastic - huge globs of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, a balsamic reduction on flatbread. For some reason the photo has escaped me, though!

DisneyDisneyWe also took a trek to Gaston's Tavern to try the Le Fou Brew. It was such an odd combination - it had apple juice, toasted marshmallow syrup, topped with passion fruit-mango foam. Crazy yummy.

DisneyDisneyWe got another snack at the Dole Whip stand, which is apparently a class in the park. They have pineapple, vanilla and orange. I wanted pineapple and orange because vanilla is, well, vanilla. But they were out of that combo. So I went for the pineapple and vanilla. It wasn't crazy about this, honestly. But It's a must try.

For dinner, we went to the Plaza Restaurant. I got a basic hamburger, which was decent.

To finish off the night, we stopped at The Main Street Confectionery to get a piece of fudge. It was DELICIOUS. Sweet, but not too sweet and super decadent.



Plaza Restaurant on UrbanspoonMain Street Bakery on Urbanspoon

The Pinocchio Village Haus Restaurant on UrbanspoonGaston's Tavern on UrbanspoonAloha Isle on Urbanspoon




Epcot
So for our fourth and final day, we had left it open so we could come back to it if we didn't have enough time at one of the other parks. Since Epcot kind of got pushed out of the way because we didn't spend a ton of time there, we decided to come back. That, and my birthday was coming up, so we decided to drink around the world. And snack at quite a few places, too.

Disney
DisneyMexico - We stopp- ed at the Mexico Marga- rita Stand instead of head- ing into La Cava becau- se it was so busy. I got a frozen margarita - the "Fiesta" edition because it included lime, strawberry and mango. It wasn't bad, but I probably wouldn't order it again.



DisneyDisneyNorway - Since we were going clockwise, Norway was next on our tour. We went to the Norway drink stand, and I ordered a Carlsberg beer. It was actually much tastier than I was expecting.





DisneyDisneyChina - We actually did China out of order (first) because we wanted to eat at Nine Dragons, so we had a drink with our meal. I ordered the sweet and sour pork.

DisneyNine Dragons Restaurant on UrbanspoonI also got a frozen daiquiri - the Shangri-La Blend, which has strawberry and mango with rum. This drink was the best I had in the park - it may be because it was a dine-in restaurant. But it was so tasty, but pretty strong, too. You have to mix it all up, and it turns into this fruity/icey delicious cocktail



Disney
Germany - While most people think you MUST have a beer in Germany, I just wasn't having it. I had just had an entire beer in Norway, and I didn't want to keep switching back and forth between beer and liquor if I didn't have to. So I opted for a white wine. It wasn't bad, but I kind of wish I would have at least got a souvenir glass.







DisneyDisneyDisneyItaly - We decided to head into the Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar, which was quite fancy. They had a huge book full of wines, but I picked some random sweet white, and my friend and I shared a panini. The waitress warned us about how small they are because they had complaints. But we didn't want anything too big anyway, so we put an order in for the cheese one. It was pretty good, but it was VERY small. I think I had about a bite and a half. It did come with a small side salad with bleu cheese that we split. Not too shabby.

We casually mentioned that we were drinking around the world for my birthday, and the waitress brought out a small piece of chocolate cake with mousse. It was delicious. And free!



DisneyAmerica - This was the one I was least looking forward to. It's just boring. And their beverage options? Bud Light. Yum-o.... We also had to use the restroom here, and they were the weirdest things. It was in like a trailer behind the park, with half-working doors. So odd.










Katsura Grill on UrbanspoonDisneyJapan - We decided it was time for another snack, and we were heading toward Japan. So, sushi it is! We went into Katsura Grill, which is a quick-service restaurant. You go up to the counter, order and have a seat. It was fairly generic tasting, but the plum wine was a good complement.



DisneyMorocco - Since we had already eaten at Restaurant Marrakesh, we just opted for the drink stand here. I ordered a Habibi daiquiri, which the sweet men behind the counter informed me means "My love." I forgot to mention that each pavilion in Epcot has folks who are from those individual countries. Which was awesome! At this point, I was feeling the previous seven drinks, so my photos get a little blurier from here on out.






DisneyFrance - I was especially excited for France because I do speak a little French, and I've been to Paris. Fun Fact: This is the THIRD Eiffel Tower I've seen (Paris, Las Vegas, Epcot). I got a Grey Goose frozen martini type of drink. The guys working the stand handed me my drink, and I said "merci," to which they asked if I spoke French. I said "a little" en francais. Then they began speaking, and my French isn't that up to speed lately, so I said slow down! But we exchanged a few words, and it was a nice little banter.






Yorkshire County Fish Shop on UrbanspoonDisneyUnited Kingdom - Time for another snack! We went to the Yorkshire County Fish Shop where we got a beer and a small fish and chips basket. We all shared this round. The fish was piping hot, breaded and delicious. I know I could've used way more of it. The beer was stout and strong. But between bits of fried food, I was happy.



Disney
Canada - (Every time I try to type Canada, I try to type my name). I got a Torontopolitan, which has iceberg vodka, creme de cassis, triple sec, and cranberry juice. We also somehow convinced the women at the counter to give us a free popcorn.

 Maybe that was our prize for drinking around the world. I feel like I should give a disclaimer - only do this if you're 21. But if you're 21, you should totally do it. Just make sure to snack in between, like us. Not only was it fun to snack at lots of places, but it keeps you from overdoing it. Now that I've spend 5+ hours on this blog, I think I'll let you all go now!



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