Old Port Royale Food Court Review

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Old Port Royale Food Court is the quick service dining at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World. This review features food photos and my thoughts on the menu, among other things. Old Port Royale has multiple ordering “shops”, so its menu has plenty of options. In terms of money-saving info, it participates in the Disney Dining Plan as a 1-credit counter service restaurant, but does not accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount.

I want to start this review out with a little “keepin’ it real” for context. No one is booking a Walt Disney World vacation because they are itching to get back to Old Port Royale for another Cuban Burger. This isn’t even the Le Cellier of counter service–it’s not a place people hype up on all corners of the internet. Even Caribbean Beach superfans don’t become giddy thinking about enjoying the pleasant breeze while lounging at the food court.

This review is aimed solely at those who are going to be staying at Caribbean Beach Resort and wondering if they should skip the food court or give it a try. While I think that Old Port Royale Food Court is underrated–even a hidden gem, the fact of the matter is that no one staying elsewhere at Walt Disney World should plan a special trip to Caribbean Beach Resort to try this gem. I don’t want you to read the praise that follows and make the pilgrimage from the Polynesian to Caribbean Beach, and in the process waste so much time that you end up on an episode of “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong.

So, yeah, this is a food court review only relevant to those staying at this Walt Disney World resort hotel. Exciting stuff. Don’t worry, I’ll try to liven it up with some big budget theatrics and hilarious* comedy jokes… (more…)

Top of the World Lounge Review

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Top of the World Lounge is a bar in Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort that offers sweeping views of Walt Disney World comparable to those of California Grill. It’s more or less exclusively for Disney Vacation Club members, although there are some exceptions to that “rule.” In this post, we’ll take a look inside the Top of the World Lounge, and share some thoughts and photos of their light menu.

The requirements for admission to the Top of the World Lounge are shrouded in mystery. Basically, you show up to the downstairs check-in desk, are asked a series of questions to test your wits, and are allowed up if deemed worthy by the guardian of the sacred order of the Disney Vacation Club. Well, sort of.

The official word on gaining entrance to Top of the World Lounge is this: Disney Vacation Club Members staying at any Disney-owned-and-operated hotel at Walt Disney World Resort (whether they booked with vacation points or cash) may enjoy access.” Blockout dates apply, and are basically the evenings when there are 360-degree fireworks shows (New Year’s and Independence Day, plus the days before) and whenever else special events are planned. This rule has been relaxed a couple of times already, probably due to the fact that the Top of the World Lounge is almost never even remotely busy. I’ve gained entrance to Top of the World Lounge every single time I have tried by showing my Disney Vacation Club Member ID, and that includes the Fourth of July. Your mileage may vary.

With that said, is it worth the effort to head up to this ghost town of a lounge? Let’s take a look… (more…)

Cookes of Dublin Review

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Cookes of Dublin is a counter service restaurant in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World. It’s probably best known as the companion dining option to Raglan Road, an Irish pub that has gained tremendous popularity among Disney fans. The menu here has a ton of options, from Irish pies to fish & chips and more. In terms of money-saving info, it participates in the Disney Dining Plan as a 1-credit counter service restaurant, but does not accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount.

As with Raglan Road, Cookes of Dublin is similarly highly-regarded with Walt Disney World guests, and this is in large part because it serves unique cuisine, with a few items that you can’t get elsewhere. This is also due to its exceptional value on the Disney Dining Plan for a few menu items. It probably also doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the few counter service options at Disney Springs, which is mostly known for its table service offerings.

I note all of this acclaim because it’s only fair to point out that a lot of people really, really love Cookes of Dublin (at least if “the internet” is any indication) before I offer up a fairly critical review. Maybe this is one of those, Dear Cookes: it’s not you, it’s me reviews… (more…)

Don’t Read Before Lunch: Recent Meals at Disneyland

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We’ve been revisiting a lot of our favorite Disneyland restaurants lately, and thought some updates to older reviews might be in order to keep things fresh and so that we weren’t offering advice based on old menus or just generally “stale” info. This post is basically a “heads up” that we’ve updated certain reviews, along with some photos from restaurants that we have yet to review (some of which are overdue!) so you know what to order and what not to order.

In many cases, our thoughts on the restaurants didn’t change a whole lot. However, we’ve now dined at nearly every restaurant at Disneyland Resort, which has changed our perception of some restaurants (relative to the others), especially places we reviewed early on when we had limited experience with Disneyland dining.

Over the course of the next few months, I’ll be working to add to and update nearly all of our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews, and I’ll toss up a post like this to bring it to your attention when I do. In the meantime, if you have a question about a particular restaurant or menu item, feel free to leave a comment and ask. I’m more than happy to help!

With that said, here’s a look at some of the things we’ve eaten recently, along with random thoughts and links to the updated reviews… (more…)

Great American Waffle Co. Review

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Great American Waffle Co. is a counter service restaurant at Tokyo Disneyland that sells delicious Mickey Mouse waffles that are the size of a small child. That’s really all you need to know about this place. It takes the concept of the mini-Mickey waffles at Walt Disney World and Disneyland to the next level by mega-sizing them and adding delicious toppings.

More importantly, these waffles are all freshly made in a show kitchen by a single Cast Member who I assume has the title “Mickey Mouse Waffle Iron Chef.” It is pretty cool just standing in line watching this Cast Member prepare the waffles with deadly accuracy. This educational waffle-making show is nice, because you will definitely be standing in line here. It should come as no surprise that Great American Waffle Co. usually has a line out the door. In fact, on our first few trips to Tokyo Disneyland, we skipped it entirely because the line was always so long. We are talking popcorn cart length lines.

Despite the simple menu, guests flock to this place. Makes sense, as waffles are delicious and foods shaped like Mickey Mouse are awesome. Put them together, and you have one dangerous combo. About the only thing that would really up the game of this place is some fried chicken, but I fear if that were added to the menu, the lines here would be about as long as a Duffy meet & greet.

What else can really be said about Great American Waffle Co? Oh, another ~500 or so rambling words… (more…)

Be Our Guest Restaurant Breakfast Review

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Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland now serves breakfast! This review features photos and our thoughts on breakfast here, including whether it’s a good value, and to whom breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant might most appeal. For starters, Be Our Guest Restaurant is the spot we’ve named the best counter service option in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World–for lunch, at least. The restaurant is set inside Beast’s Castle and themed to the various rooms from said castle in Beauty and the Beast. It’s a 2015 Disney Dining Plan participant as a one-credit counter service restaurant for breakfast, which actually makes it one of the best counter service values when on the Disney Dining Plan. You can read more background about the restaurant in our Be Our Guest Restaurant Lunch Review.

Demand for Be Our Guest Restaurant has been high since it opened with the first phase of the New Fantasyland expansion, and a couple of years later, it still hasn’t really died down. This is in large part due to the cool setting, which makes it one of the best themed restaurants at Walt Disney World. However, as is true of much of what ails the world, I blame the internet. Irresponsible bloggers have written about the difficulty of scoring Be Our Guest reservations and others have hyped this into the new “it” Walt Disney World restaurant. Like Cinderella’s Royal Table and Le Cellier before it, Be Our Guest Restaurant has become more popular by virtue of its popularity, as everyone wants to get into the restaurant that is difficult to get into (only the finest syntax here on DTB). In other words, its popularity is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It only makes sense that Disney has responded to said prophecy by finding a way to open the restaurant for another meal. While I was personally hoping for “Fourth Meal” seatings catered by Taco Bell, I guess breakfast will have to suffice. This gives more guests the chance to enjoy the fun setting of Be Our Guest Restaurant and allows Walt Disney World to sell more meals.

Seems like a definite win-win…OR IS IT?! (more…)