Welcome to the 400th episode of Traveling with the Mouse podcast! Today, we have a double trip report for you. Jason and Adam share highlights from their recent trip to Walt Disney World. One of the main focuses of this trip was dining at signature restaurants, and they did not disappoint. Among the standout meals were Takumi-Tei, Le Cellier, California Grill, and Narcoossee’s. They also enjoyed drinks at the beloved La Cava del Tequila and tried out a new experience at Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ. Jason got to experience the Deluxe after hours where he got to ride Tron by himself. We also toured some friends around the parks this week. Thank you for tuning in to this special episode of Traveling with the Mouse podcast. Be sure to follow us on social media and stay tuned for more episodes filled with Disney travel tips and reviews.
Episode 370: There is an ongoing debate in the Disney Community about which form of Disney transportation is best, Monorail or Skyliner. (sorry Bus) Well, in order to truly get to the bottom of that we must fully explore all of what makes them both great. There are truly some great restaurants that are on the monorail and if you include the boardwalk area there’s many more options on the skyliner. But which of these two forms of transportation has the best overall restaurants? We give our top 5 picks for each and then decide which one overall has the better restaurants. We do also cover some news stories. The Disneyland resort is finally allowing renewals of their Magic Key (annual pass) program. The prices are different though. We also talk a little about this year’s Mickey’s not so scary Halloween party!
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 309: Today Jon and I discuss some of the top headlines of the week and then we go through Jon’s trip report to Legoland and a park-less trip to Disney at Art of Animation. You can now go mask less for outdoor photos at Walt Disney World. There’s some more delays on Disney Cruise line. Josh D’Amaro teased some new technology coming to the Disney parks as well as a working retractable light saber?!?!? I can’t wait to find out more about that! We get into Jon’s trip report and he walks us through is experience at Legoland. It was a mixed bag of long waits but good service and food that was included with his stay. Next he stayed a few days at the Art of Animation resort to check out the newly refurbished Little Mermaid rooms. He got to have a day at the big blue pool the day that it re-opened. He also had a good meal at Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and an unforgettable dinner at the California Grill. (Recently voted by us as the best thing at Walt Disney World) He capped it all of with Dole whips at the Polynesian and some great Disney cast interaction that reminds us why Disney is still a step above when it comes to service!
Episode 308: Today we finalize our 2021 March madness bracket and crown the champion of what believe is currently the best thing at Walt Disney World. Last week we started with 64 things in 8 different categories and we narrowed that down to 32. Today Jon joined us live from Walt Disney World from the business center of Art of Animation resort as we work to narrow down the top 32 all the way to the champion! Was Jon swayed by some of the things he experience on his trip this week? You be the judge! Oh, and look for his Orlando trip report next week. Let us know if you agree or disagree with our pick for this year’s champion as the best thing at Walt Disney World. I think we even surprised ourselves this year!
Episode 303: This week Jason and I returned from Walt Disney World and we give our trip report of what it was like during President’s Day weekend. Also, let us know if you like the new format for the trip reports! First we cover some of the news of the week like some financial reports for the Walt Disney company and the subscriber count for Disney plus is nearing 100 million. Disney Dining plan will remain unavailable for the foreseeable future and the Park Pass system is here to stay for now. The park hours remain all over the place but seem to be getting extended each week. More construction is continuing in preparation for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary later this year. In the trip report section, Jason and I talk about our experience at Pop Century resort, the Skyliner Bar crawl that we attempted and getting a boarding group for Rise of the resistance for 2 days in a row and showing up late to see what would happen. We talk about the different dinning experiences that we had this time including Olivia’s, Ale & Compass, and my birthday dinner at California Grill.
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 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.
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!
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!
In this episode…I walk through my recent trip to Walt Disney World. The primary purpose of the trip was to visit Toy Story land. I talk more in depth on Toy Story land in Episode 127 but this episode focuses on the entire trip. I talk about our stay at the Yacht club and all of the activities that we experienced at the resort. I also go over the meals that I had this time which includes another trip to California grill at the Contemporary! (My favorite place to eat on property right now) I also give some construction updates and a few tips on Fast Passes and Photo Pass.
What would you do on a Walt Disney World vacation if money was not a consideration? I’m sure that we’ve all pondered this question. Today Jon and I give our itineraries for our no limits Disney vacation. The only parameters that we placed on this scenario was that it could only be at Walt Disney World and an 8 day 7 night vacation. We go through each day of our no limits vacation and tell you exactly what we would splurge on. What would you do on your no limits vacation Disney vacation?
In this episode go through my most recent trip to Walt Disney World. I talk about my experience staying at the Contemporary and go over some of the changes that I noticed with the monorails. I also give my thoughts on the festival of the arts at EPCOT and how it compares to the other festivals. I wrap up by going through how I dealt with the crowds on a very busy day at Magic Kingdom.