Monday, December 17, 2012

Disneymoon Adventures: FOOD!

Sorry about the radio silence, folks!  I thought I would suddenly have so much free time that I wouldn't know what to do with myself once the wedding was over, but, as it turns out, married life is busy, too!  I'm really going to try to not let that (a whole week without posts) happen again.  Here's hoping I can stick to that promise!

 One of the best decisions Mr. Geek and I made when planning this honeymoon was to go ahead and purchase a meal plan.  (The #1 best decision we made was using a Disney travel agent!)  I'll have a post later this week that goes into more detail about how awesome a meal plan was for us, but the gist of it is- we were able to eat large, fabulous meals at amazing Disney restaurants all week long that we likely would not have been able to enjoy otherwise.  This post is devoted solely to those large, fabulous meals.

Try not to drool on your keyboard :)

Cinderella's Royal Table, Magic Kingdom
character dining, 2 credits each
Sunday 7:15PM dinner

 Of course this restaurant is located inside Cinderella's Castle, and as it's character dining, it's more of an experience than a dinner.  The package includes a print of a Photo Pass picture with Cinderella, and throughout the evening, other princesses are announced and make the rounds from table to table.  I believe the princesses themselves vary; take a look at my characters post to see who visited during our dinner, but there may be different princesses when you visit.

I had to turn off the foodie in me for most of the trip, and remind myself that we were in a theme park, but even so, everything was really really good all week- no complaints from either of us.  Cinderella's Royal Table is definitely more about the experience than the food, so it wasn't the best food we had all week, but it was still delicious.  But, like I said, dining here is more about the experience than the food- there are constant distractions, between the visitors at your table every few minutes for a hug and a photo and the beautiful fireworks show, Wishes, that takes place right outside the dining room!

What we ate:
                                    Him                                                       Her
Appetizer          rock shrimp cocktail                          cheese tasting platter
Entree                   beef tenderloin                               grilled chicken pasta  
Dessert             pumpkin cheesecake                            pumpkin cheesecake

Pizzafari, Animal Kingdom
quick service, 1 credit each
Monday breakfast (no ADR)

When we got to Animal Kingdom, we went straight to Expedition Everest, since all our research suggested this would be necessary in order to ride it.  We were definitely in Disney at the perfect time of year, however, as there was absolutely no wait whatsoever.  After screaming our heads off on Everest, we were huuuuuuuuungry for some breakfast, so we wandered around aimlessly for a bit, looking for a quick service restaurant that was open for breakfast.  Of course, Mr. Geek had been smart enough to grab a map at the park entrance, though I'd insisted we didn't need one, and Pizzafari was the first restaurant listed that fit the bill.  I'm so glad we found it!  The cast member working the register was so patient with us as we learned out the meal plan worked, and he helped us figure it out.

breakfast panini
Most of the food offered at the quick service restaurants are the same no matter where you are- we could've had this exact breakfast at any of the quick service restaurants in Walt Disney World.  That doesn't make it any less delicious, though!  Mr. Geek scarfed down his breakfast sandwich so fast that I didn't have time to ask for a taste!

What we ate:
                                    Him                                                       Her

Entree              breakfast panini                           spinach and goat cheese frittata  

Yak and Yeti, Animal Kingdom
full-service, 1 credit each
Monday 1:00pm lunch

This place was a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.  It's designed to feel like an inn decorated by an eccentric collector- all the decor items are authentic pieces found all across Asia.  We were led to our table on the second floor, up a large wooden staircase, by a very talkative hostess who seemed giddy at the fact that we were on our honeymoon.  That definitely set the tone for a wonderful lunch!

This is Stacey, our waiter, and the best part about eating here.  He was so nice, so entertaining, and gave really wonderful recommendations- I'm pretty sure we ordered everything he pointed out on the menu!  At the end of the meal, he left a survey card with the check, and I enthusiastically filled it out- I was in such a good mood and wanted Disney to know exactly why I was so happy.  In the open-ended comments section, I raved about the sauce on the dessert I was still enjoying, saying I simply must find the recipe!  Sure enough, when Stacey came back out to check on us one last time, he handed over a card with the list of ingredients on it!  He explained that the chef told him that proportions were tricky, as they make it in such large quantities every day, but that the key is to not over-mix and really judge it on flavor.  Seriously my best experience at a restaurant, ever.

What we ate:
                                    Him                                                       Her
Appetizer       Thai chili chicken wings                            pork pot stickers
Entree           duck with plum chili sauce                     sweet and sour pork  
Dessert                   mango pie                            cream cheese wontons in vanilla sauce

The Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood Studios
full-service, 2 credits each
Monday 7:50pm dinner

This place is modeled after the real Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, down to the original Cobb salad (which neither of us ordered because we wanted steak!)  The service was wonderful and the food was exquisite.


Oh the food!  By now we were getting to the point where by dinner, we were still full from lunch!  Had our tummies been emptier, we may have been able to wipe our plates clean- it was definitely tempting, but I was full to bursting!

What we ate:
                                    Him                                                       Her
Appetizer          crab spring rolls                        mushroom and bleu cheese Napoleon
Entree                bison tenderloin                           beef tenderloin with pesto sauce  
Dessert               grapefruit cake                                 chocolate three ways

Sunshine Seasons, Epcot
quick service, 2 snack credits each
Tuesday breakfast (no ADR)

We wandered slowly through Epcot when we first arrived, not sure what to do first.  World Showcase doesn't open until a bit later in the day, so we were limited to "the nerdy half" for the morning.  We made our way to Mission: Space which had absolutely no wait for the "intense" version, but I wanted to have some breakfast in my tummy first.  We grabbed Fast Passes though we absolutely did not need them, then made our way to The Land Pavilion and the little quick-service cafeteria on the bottom floor.  Time to use some of those snack credits!

What we ate:
                                    Him                                                       Her
Entree                 cinnamon roll                                            croissant  
Drink                          OJ                                                    iced mocha

Biergarten, Epcot
full-service, 1 credit each
Tuesday 12:00pm lunch

Oh, Biergarten!  This place was fantastic and recommended by everyone- for good reason!  The food was fantastic- and all-you-can-stuff-in-your-mouth buffet of German food and a selection of beer so thorough you could spend an entire day here!  Our server was so charming, and they seat you with other parties "in the Oktoberfest tradition" so we got to chat with two brothers who had slipped away from their massive family reunion to taste their way through the Biergarten beer selection.  The best part, though, was definitely the band.  Because we made sure to mention the whole honeymoon thing with every dining reservation, we got certain perks in certain places; here, they had the crowd lift their glasses in a toast to us!  So awesome!

Yachstman Steakhouse, Yacht Club Resort
full-service, 2 credits each
Tuesday 8:30pm dinner

Somehow, we neglected to take any pictures of this beautiful restaurant.  Probably because we were exhausted by the time we got there, and it was so very swanky that I would've felt silly pulling out my camera to snap pictures of the food, blogger though I am.  Oh boy was it swanky!  They've relaxed the dress code in recent years since the majority of guests come straight from the parks, so Mr. Geek wore shorts and a polo shirt and I wore a casual dress- the outfits we had been roaming around in all day.  The Beach and Yacht Club resorts are on the water just outside of Epcot, so we walked from World Showcase (though we could've taken a boat if we'd been patient enough to wait for one).  The resorts are just across the way from the Boardwalk, where we were tempted to spend the rest of the night hanging out, were it not for the fact that our feet were screaming at us and our eyes could barely stay open.  (Hey, we knew from the beginning that Disney would not be a relaxing honeymoon- but it was sooooo worth it!)  Again, the little honeymoon perks were fantastic- they gave us personalized menus to take home with us, a small plate of chocolates with the word Congratulations written in chocolate, and I had a glass of red wine on the house (Mr. Geek opted to pay for a whiskey and Sprite instead).  If you're celebrating any sort of special occasion, do so here- but come with a big appetite!
What we ate:
                                    Him                                                       Her
Appetizer            lobster bisque                                        Caesar salad
Entree             16oz boneless ribeye                                  filet mignon  
Dessert               creme brulee                          a trio of chocolate and peanut butter

Old Port Royale Food Court, Caribbean Beach Resort
quick service, 2 snack credits each
Wednesday breakfast (no ADR)

We popped into our resort's food court before driving over to Universal on Wednesday morning and finally picked up our complementary drink mugs included in our package.  These mugs are refillable for free at the food court so we got our morning injection of caffeine without needing to use snack credits on coffee.   The same cinnamon rolls Mr. Geek enjoyed in Epcot were available here, so we both enjoyed one before heading to Hogwarts!

The Three Broomsticks, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Wednesday lunch (no ADR [obviously])

We both ordered fish and chips at this magical little pub, though I opted for the child's size since the super-sweet Butterbeer was actually kind of filling and I wanted to leave ample room for dinner.  Mr. Geek sampled the Hog's Head Brew while I tried some pumpkin juice in a cute souvenir bottle.  The fish was actually really, really good, and the pub was cozy and not too crowded.  By the time lunch was over, we were definitely eager to try some Honeydukes candy!

Liberty Tree Tavern, Magic Kingdom
full-service, 1 credit each
Wednesday 6:10pm dinner

Originally, we'd asked our travel agent to get us reservations at The Crystal Palace, just off Main Street USA, but it is apparently extremely popular (probably because it's a character dinner) and therefore was booked.  This place was certainly a fine substitute, and we had the perfect seating time- the Main Street Electrical Parade started literally just as we were leaving, so we got to watch it from the steps of the restaurant.  Liberty Tree Tavern feels like it was plucked right out of Colonial Williamsburg and the food is delicious!  It's served family style with a fixed menu, and it basically feels like Thanksgiving dinner (only three times bigger than any I'd ever have the sanity to prepare).  We were seated in a small window alcove at a tiny table for two where we could people watch or otherwise stare lovingly into each others' eyes :)

Trail's End Restaurant, Fort Wilderness Resort
full-service, 1 credit each
Thursday 7:30am breakfast

Again, we sadly have no photographs from this restaurant, probably because it was very early in the morning and we were very tired.  Because it was so early, we weren't sure the buses would be running in the right direction (we would have had to take a bus from our resort to Downtown Disney, then grab a bus to Fort Wilderness), so it was just easier to drive.  We parked at the front of the resort, then took an internal bus to get to the restaurant.  I gotta say, if we were camping people, it would probably be pretty awesome to stay in one of the cabins at Fort Wilderness...if we were camping people.  Trail's End has two options- pop in and pick up a snack, or grab a table and peruse the buffet.  Everything is served on tin plates and cast iron skillets, but it's certainly better than any food I've ever had while camping.  Our waiter was an adorable older gentleman who explained that "every dish has a little card on it telling what it is, but if you see something you don't recognize, just take the spoon, put some on your plate, and odds are, you're gonna like it."  Sage advice, there.  We definitely recommend starting your day here!

Boardwalk Bakery, Disney's Boardwalk
quick-service, 1 credit each
Thursday lunch (no ADR)

Oh man.  We probably didn't need to even eat lunch that day, but we had credits to spend!  The Boardwalk is a pretty quaint little place, easily accessible by the water taxi from Hollywood Studios.  We popped into this little bakery expecting to grab a sandwich and drink, but we learned that the deluxe meal plan afforded us a full meal here, too- a sandwich, a side item, a dessert, and a beverage.  So, once again, we grabbed way too much (delicious) food and sat at a table near the water, watching the water taxis shuttle people back and forth and the ducks playing near the pier, hoping for some sandwich crusts to be tossed in.  After lunch, we grabbed the water taxi again and headed for an afternoon in Epcot.

What we ate:
                                    Him                                                       Her
Sandwich            Italian sandwich                     turkey, bacon, and swiss sandwich 
Side Item                   chips                                             cucumber salad  
Dessert            cheesecake brownie                             strawberry cupcake

California Grill, Contemporary Resort
full service, 2 credits each
Thursday 7:50pm dinner

Apparently, by this point in the week, we'd pretty much stopped taking pictures, which is a real shame, because this place was FANTASTIC.  We took the monorail from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom, then switched trains and headed to the Contemporary.  The hostess for California Grill is on the main floor of the resort, where you check in, then when they call your name you're taken up in an elevator that only goes up to the top floor, where the restaurant is.  We were seated by the window, and Mr. Geek decided to sit next to me, rather than across, so we could watch the Epcot fireworks display.  Just before dessert arrived, the Christmas edition of Wishes was playing, so we walked out on the roof's observation deck with the other guests (and our glasses of wine) to watch the spectacular display.  Of course, in our hurry, we left the camera at the table, so I can't share with you just how beautiful it was.  Just trust me when I say that the roof of the Contemporary is the absolute best place to watch Wishes- so be sure to make late-night dinner reservations at California Grill!  The food was, of course, outstanding, and we were treated to another honeymoon perk here- complementary glasses of champagne!  These were meant to be a surprise, but our waiter, bless him, had to tip us off by carding us.  We both look young- a trait we've been told we'll appreciate when we're in our 40's- so he told us, apologetically, "I wanted to bring out a champagne toast on the house, but my manager said I have to card you first!"  Mr. Geek pulled out his ID and that satisfied him; we made sure to act surprise when the toasting glasses arrived :)
What we ate:
                                    Him                                                       Her
Appetizer            flatbread pizza                                           gnocchi
Entree                    veal chop                            pork tenderloin with Zinfandel sauce  
Dessert                 apple crisp                                      chocolate lava cake

Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano, Hollywood Studios
full service, 1 credit each
Friday 12:05pm lunch

This place felt like a New York-style Italian restaurant relocated to Hollywood (relocated to Disney World).  The food was really, really good and the atmosphere was inviting- we wanted to stay all day drinking wine and eating pasta!  Definitely a good place to recharge after pwning at Toy Story Midway Mania.  (We did have breakfast on Friday, but it was at a snack cart, and I can't remember what it was.  Suffice it to say we used a couple of snack credits each on breakfasty foods and coffee somewhere in the Pixar area of Hollywood Studios.)

What we ate:
                                    Him                                                       Her
Appetizer               calamari                                             caprese salad
Entree               pork "osso bucco"                        penne a la vodka with chicken  
Dessert            tiramisu semifredo                                chocolate cheesecake

Les Chefs de France, Epcot
full service, 1 credit each
Friday 8:00pm dinner

This was the perfect place to end the week- a beautiful French restaurant with beautiful French food and beautiful French wine!  Just as we were finishing dessert, the Epcot light show, IllumiNations, was starting, and we had a nice view from our table.  Unfortunately I didn't write down what we ate- bad blogger!- but I can tell you that it was delicious and we highly recommend eating here!

Well, I'm feeling full already reliving all these wonderful meals!  Have you ever received special treatment at a Disney restaurant when celebrating a special occasion?  Where are your favorite places to eat in Disney?

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos are personal*

PS Those of you who came here from Weddingbee- are you wondering why these Disneymoon Adventures posts haven't been making an appearance on the 'Bee?  (Probably not.)  The typical Weddingbee reader is interested in reading about weddings and wedding planning, and since I already shared my honeymoon planning posts with the 'Bee, I didn't want to distract any more from talk of actual weddings that typically happens there.  As you can see, I can spend ages talking about Disney, but Weddingbee is for talking about weddings!


  1. I've been to most of these places, but now I'm dying to go back! My appetite was diminished for a while after our wedding and I didn't get to fully appreciate all the great food we had. We loved the Brown Derby, the Cobb salad (minus the bacon for me) was wonderful, next time you should make room for it ;)

    1. Is it silly that I kinda felt bad for not ordering it? Everyone kept saying "Order the Cobb at Brown Derby, it's what they're famous for!" but when I saw the menu I was like "Um...steak. Definitely steak." Next time!