Episode 350: It’s time for our annual Disney March Madness competition! This year we can’t help but continue our love of Disney food but we also expanded it to include drinks this time! We start with a new category for this year…walk-up locations like festival kitchen’s and food carts. Then we move on to another new category, Bars/Lounges! Then we move over to Quick service and Table service restaurants. As usual we ended up with some surprising results. Let us know what you think of our choices and if you agree or disagree with the winner. Also, we chose locations that we frequently visit so if your favorite wasn’t on our bracket let us know and we will check it out as we are always open to new locations to try!
Episode: 337. Happy early Thanksgiving to all! Today Jon and I are holding down the fort as Jason is on the road this week. Jon gives us an update on booking dining as his trip is now 60 days out. He tells us his experience with searching for and grabbing those important dinning reservations. We then move on to some news. It was a fairly light news week but we manage to find some interesting things to discuss. The big rumor that we hope will be revealed this weekend is that a certain night-time parade could be coming to Walt Disney World. Also, a certain CEO isn’t able to make it to the D23 event in Orlando this week. There’s been a lot of PR work on Disney’s part to explain why he won’t be there.
Episode:329 In today’s episode we talk a lot about food! Space 220’s menu is released and we take a look through it and talk about what catches our eye. Jason and I try to decide if the menu is enticing enough for us to try and get in the walk-up line for it. Yes, that’s right there’s no reservations for the first week, it is walk-up only. We also have a debate over how popular this restaurant will be. Space 220 comes with an out of this world price tag on the prix fixe menu. In other culinary news, some more buffet style restaurants are re-opening soon and we quickly rank the best sit-down restaurants at Magic Kingdom. In some non-culinary news Primeval Whirl looks like it will finally get demolished and Finding Nemo will get a new show next year. We only hope that the new show will be a little bit shorter than the last one. To wrap the show Jon and I do a brief recap of our trip to Disney 20 years ago. We were at Disney just 2 days after 9/11 in 2001. It was certainly a surreal experience.
Back in July 2020 it was a lot easier to get a reservation at signature restaurants like California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This one happens to be my favorite restaurant on property. In fact this year in our March Madness bracket episode we named California Grill as the best thing at Walt Disney World! I love this restaurant so much that I chose to brave covid-19 and dine here last July. It was the first restaurant that I had visited since the start of the pandemic. I was definitely a little nervous but we quickly felt at home thanks to the wonderful cast that works here.
Why do we love California Grill so much?
First of all, the views are incredible. You can look down into the Magic Kingdom and see the tops of the mountain range. When fireworks are happening the restaurant dims the lights and guests can exit the restaurant onto the rooftop to have a unique view of the show. The food is fantastic and the drinks are top notch! I love the sushi, the flatbreads and the bread service is good as well. I almost always order the beef filet which is my favorite. I haven’t had anything bad here.
3 hour dinner
We enjoyed this experience so much last July that we stretched it out as long as we possibly could. We made this dinner last over three hours. It felt so good to have a semi-normal experience again that we didn’t want it to end. We asked our server to bring us everything slowly because we didn’t want to rush. Our kids had full charge on their iPads and my wife and I just sat and enjoyed our drinks. This dinner was a much needed break from the reality of the pandemic that surrounded us.
When it comes to the food. We wanted some of everything since this was our fist sit-down meal in months and at the time we didn’t know how long it would be before we would have another one. We ordered flatbreads for the kids and as an appetizer for us we ordered the sushi. My favorite one on the menu is the Spicy Kazan roll with the fireball sauce…delicious! For the entrées my wife chose the Grouper while I went with the Filet of beef. Both were outstanding! The desserts are also a winner here!
To sum up, We love the California Grill because the staff here make sure that you have a good time. Even when it looked as though we were going to have a very negative experience they more than made up for it. There was a time in 2019 where we were an hour late getting to our table. We had a large group but that was still no excuse. The manager more than made it up to us by comping some appetizers for the table and by giving us all additional fast passes for the next day because we missed out on some that night. That’s why I say it is the best restaurant on property. The food is great, the views are great but also the cast members who work there are amazing!
Episode:277. I talk about my recent trip to Walt Disney World! I go through the safety measures that Disney has in place and if it made me feel safe. We also cover the recent news like the fact that Disney has officially announced the closure of three attractions. Could more closures be on the horizon? What other attractions could be at risk? We also talk about the annual pass options for cancelling or extending your pass. During my trip report I talk about the crowd levels on each day and my first ride experience on Mickey and Minnie’s runaway railway. At Epcot I got to experience what I call the Flower, Food, Wine and Garden festival, I give my pick for best dish at the festival. I also had great dinning experiences at California Grill and Olivia’s. Overall if you are considering going to Disney in the near future I would say that you should use extreme caution and make sure that you are OK with the risk but also know that Disney has done a lot to make things as safe as they can.
Episode 271: Today the team discusses the plethora of new details that are coming out about the re-opening of Walt Disney world! There’s a lot of news surrounding the limitations and restrictions that guests will face once Disney World re-opens on July 11th. Guests who have existing reservations at a Disney resort are not guaranteed entry to the parks. Some resort amenities and restaurants will also not be available right away. We list out all of those details for you. Other topics we cover are things like, the castle repainting has resumed and The NBA is officially going to finish their season at the Wide World of Sports complex. We wrap up the episode by going through some Disney history from this week in June.
Episode 259: Better late than never! This week we had a delay in our recording schedule because of our recent Disney trip but we have so much news to cover that this is a jumbo episode of Traveling with the Mouse! Disney has a new CEO and Walt Disney world has a very bad week full of ride issues. Spaceship Earth has an official refurbishment date and the Emperor is in fact a clone in Rise of Skywalker. Jason and I went to Disney World this weekend and Jason got to ride Rise of the Resistance for the first…and second time but it wasn’t without drama. We had some really good dining experiences and we survived the crowds and short park hours. This is a big episode…get ready!
Episode 208: Today we are going over when and how to make your Disney World advanced dining reservations! We discuss some of the most difficult restaurants to get reservations for and we give you some tips for grabbing those hard to get reservations. You can reserve dining 180 days from your arrival but for some like me who plan Disney trips well within that time frame there are still some ways to get those pesky dining reservations. We also have a discussion on character dining and which ones are hard to get vs. the ones that still offer a great experience but just isn’t as popular.
Episode 206: Today we answer the age old question…How do I decide which Walt Disney World theme park to visit for each day of my vacation? We talk about the factors that go into making that decision. We try to break down those factors in a simple way to help make the choice a lot easier. We know that there are a lot of complexity to planning a Walt Disney World vacation but if you take some time to do a little research then you can save time and money but more importantly add more fun to your vacation!
Happy Valentine’s day everyone! In honor of this special occasion we are giving you our list of most romantic things that you can do at Walt Disney World. We go through each of the four parks at Walt Disney World and give you our most romantic attractions and reasons why we picked them. We of course go into our picks for most romantic Disney World Restaurants. There’s a lot to choose from but we pick the ones that offer the most romantic atmosphere, food, and experiences. Finally we give our picks for the most romantic experiences that you can have at Walt Disney World with your significant other. Let us know if you think we missed something on our list!
In this episode, I discuss my recent Walt Disney World trip. This time I stayed at Pop Century resort and I give my opinion on my first stay at this resort. I also had 2 meals at the Japan pavilion at Epcot. Both were very good but all things considered I liked one a little better than the other. I also had a very special experience on Kilimanjaro Safari…We were there the day that a giraffe gave birth. Also, I discovered a nice quiet spot to view the Happily ever after fireworks at Magic Kingdom. This trip was also my first time visiting over a marathon weekend. I have some tips one how to make the most of the time if you are not involved with the marathon.
Today I start my day by day walk-through of my recent trip to Paris, which included 3 days at Disneyland Paris. I discuss how we booked our trip and the price of Disneyland Paris compared to the U.S. Disney parks. I talk about what it’s like to commute to Disneyland Paris by train and how the train system in Paris is pretty easy to figure out. I also talk about some of the frustrations that I had with Disneyland Paris…mainly the app. I had the most expensive lunch ever at Walt’s on Main Street but the experience made it acceptable and I give my thoughts on the Ratatouille attraction that will be coming to Epcot soon! I have a lot more to discuss in Part 2 next week so don’t miss it!
Today Jon and I discuss the character meal options at Walt Disney World. We go through each of the on property locations that are considered character meals and give our top 3 favorites. We start by talking about the character meals at the resorts and then move to the ones that are in the parks. We also talk about which ones have the best food, best atmosphere and best character interaction. Between the two of us we have done just about every character meal at Walt Disney World. Which one is your favorite?
Today I go over the basics of the Walt Disney World annual Pass! I start by going over the different types of passes and the current rates for those passes. I then talk about the process of activating your pass and how to get your passholder magic bands and magnets. I also, discuss the benefits of being a passholder including, discounts on hotels, merchandise, and dinning. I talk about what I think is the best benefit…the inclusion of memory maker and some of the other smaller benefits that I think are worth mentioning. I hope that this helps you determine if an annual pass is right for you.
Today Jon and I conclude our deep dive into the menus for this year’s EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival! We released part one last Thursday so if you want to hear the complete list of all menus…go back and listen to that episode first. We have fun going through the menus and selecting one food item and one beverage that we are most interested in trying. Also, enjoy listening to us try to pronounce all of the food and drink items on the menu. I’m pretty sure we got most of them wrong.
Today we welcome our first guest to the show! Jon’s brother James recently went on a Walt Disney World vacation and we spoke with him about it. As I mentioned in our last episode, Jon is a little preoccupied with the newest addition to his family so I have been going back in the TWTM archives to find some content that we haven’t released before. This is a recording that we made back in May and didn’t know what to do with it. We recorded this through speaker phone so apologies if the quality is not great at times but we hope you will still get some enjoyment out of it. Also, just to let you know, this episode begins as a trip report and then kind of goes all over the place. We talk about attractions, restaurants, and other random Disney topics. It is our intention to get James and my brother on the show to talk about Disney past and present. Let us know what you think and we will get back to our regular schedule soon!
Today on the show we are putting out Part one of our deep dive into the menus for the 2018 Epcot international Food & Wine festival! This was originally going to be one big long episode but we haven’t been able to record the whole thing yet because Jon’s daughter Olivia decided to discover America a few weeks earlier than expected. Everyone is doing well but obviously Jon is a little preoccupied with more important things this week! We will finish up with part two soon and get back to our regular schedule. In this episode we start going through the menus in alphabetical order and decide which items we are most looking forward to trying. The Epcot food & wine festival runs from August 30th through November 12th!
To day we are talking all about Disney Springs! We discuss the past present and future of this area. Originally opened as the Lake Buena Vista shopping village in 1975, This area has seen a lot of changes over the years. Mostly during the late 80’s and of course the recent changes that transformed this area from Downtown Disney into Disney Springs. Jon and I talk about some of our earliest memories here which includes a character meal at the Empress Lilly restaurant (now Paddlefish). Below is the photo from 1983 where Pluto jumped into Jon’s Dad’s arms (can you imagine this happening today?)
There is so much to see and do here that it is worth your time to come to Disney springs at least for a half-day.
Today Jon and I have another round of Disney Pros and Cons! This is the game where we randomly select something from Walt Disney World and one of us will list the pros and the other has to list the cons. This time we added restaurants and resorts to the list as well. The way it works is that we use a random number generator that we match to a number on our list of attractions, dining locations, and resorts. We go through several rounds and see who can make the best arguments for or against something.
In Today’s episode Jon and I preview the 2018 Food and Wine festival! This year the festival is 75 days starting at the end of August and ending in mid-November. We give a general overview of the festival and share some of our tips and experiences from our times visiting during Food and Wine. We share what we currently know about the new things coming to this year’s festival! Be on the lookout for future episodes on Food and Wine once we know more details.