Posted in Magic Kingdom, Travel Plans, WDW Dining

Gaston’s Tavern

Gaston’s Tavern is one of our new FAVORITE places to stop for a snack in the Magic Kingdom!

Check out the size of these cinnamon rolls… (Yes, that is a hat for size reference!) These snacks are as big as your head!

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Cinnamon Rolls at Gaston’s Tavern

These cinnamon rolls will cost you $4.49 (January 2017) or 1 snack credit. They are served warm and will easily fill up 2 (or 3) tummies. Gaston’s Tavern also serves fruit cups, veggies and dip, and hummus and chips. As parents of picky eaters, we often bribe our kids to eat their veggies with a sweet treat so if you’re in the same boat, you can make that happen at Gaston’s Tavern!

Lefou’s Brew is a delightful drink we love as well. The beverage itself is an icy apple drink topped with mango foam and can be used as 1 snack credit. The kids don’t love the mango foam as much as we do so we sip that off the top and share 2 brews for the 4 of us. It is a fabulous way to cool down on a hot day in the Magic Kingdom!

The souvenir goblet (sold separately) is a fun way to have your drink served, but it is only plastic and we’ve used it maybe 2 or 3 times since buying it the first time we visited in November of 2015.  We recommend skipping the goblet and enjoying Lefou’s Brew as a snack credit. Sip it while you wait in line for StoryTime with Belle!

But watch out for the brain freeze!

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Menu at Gaston’s Tavern

Make sure to check out the dining room on both sides of Gaston’s Tavern! The antler chandelier is pretty impressive and Gaston’s Man Cave Atmosphere is pretty fun place to enjoy your treats.

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Posted in Disney Budget, Travel Plans, WDW Dining

2017 Disney Dining Plan ~New Info!

I have to say that I was surprised to buy my first snack at Walt Disney World in January and find that I had 47 more snacks to go!

Last time we were in Disney World, we had 24 snack credits total for our family of 4 for the week. I thought there must be some mistake!

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Green Tea Cake

But I was happily surprised to find that we did, indeed, have 47 more snacks to go! Instead of clustering our Quick Service meals together like before (1 entree, 1 beverage, 1 dessert)…those desserts were magically transformed into snack credits to use at any time! Hooray!

I remember on our last trip we were always grabbing a cupcake or a packaged chocolate chip cookie so we wouldn’t waste that included dessert (and had cupcakes overflowing in our mini fridge by the end of the week! Way. Too. Many!). Now that this amazing change has taken place, we have snack credits galore! To use on breakfast snacks, desserts, or snacks any time of day!

Thanks Disney! Good call!

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Posted in Magic Kingdom, Recipe, WDW Dining

Disney World Homemade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich (better than a copycat recipe!)

20161016_143139One of our all-time favorite things to do at the Magic Kingdom in WDW is to get a Home-made Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor just off of Main Street to enjoy during the fireworks! This is truly one of the highlights of each trip! If you’re a Disney Long-timer, you know that these cookies used to be available at the Main Street Bakery….BUT….for Starbucks lovers everywhere…the Main Street Bakery has now turned into a pretty awesome Starbucks with yummy bakery items, too. At first, I was a little disappointed in this change because we loved that bakery…until I found out that 1 Snack Credit can get you a VENTI FRAPPUCCINO or Latte! SWEET! So, I for one, was happy to see Starbucks come to WDW!

Back to those amazing cookie sandwiches…

I believe planning a Disney trip is almost nearly as fun as enjoying one! As our family gets ready for our next trip to WDW, we plan fun activities to add to the anticipation. For example, every Friday in the months leading up to our next trip, we watch a Disney movie and sometimes plan fun desserts or dinner that have to do with whatever movie we’re watching. For example, if we’re watching Lady & the Tramp, we’ll eat spaghetti. If we’re watching Beauty & the Beast, we may eat some French cuisine. We just watched Disney’s The Shaggy Dog and while making homemade Dog Biscuits for our pooch is a fun idea, making Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches for us is even better! We’re making these this week in honor of our Grand Opening Celebration!

So…here’s my own version of the Homemade Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches specifically from the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World (although rumor has it, there are other places at WDW serving these now. Check out Disney’s food blog for more info!).

WDW Travel with Kids Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Full size coffee pot for size reference. These are HUGE cookie sandwiches!

1 cup sweet cream butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup pure sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups of flour (yes, 3! It’s what makes these the best!!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 package of chocolate chips (I use ghiradelli or toll house)
1 container of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

(A few variations: You can increase the sugar to 1 cup each…but that is WAY too sweet for me with the added ice cream! The butter can be changed to 2/3 cup butter recipe shortening and 2/3 cup butter. This makes it a creamier/buttery tasting cookie. Also, I sometimes use 1 cup of whole grain flour along with 2 cups of all-purpose flour. This actually makes them look more like the Disney version and I think it tastes better + its just a bit healthier that way.)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until creamy. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Add chocolate chips and mix lightly. To make Disney sized cookies, use 2 ice cream scoops of dough for each cookie! (see photo below) I always line my cookie sheet with parchment paper to prevent burning. Place the dough on your cookie sheet and  press until somewhat flat (remember, they need to make a sandwich).
Bake for 10 minutes but check them after 8. You want them to be only lightly browned. The cookies will actually continue baking on your cookie sheet once you bring them out of the oven so you don’t want them to look “completely done” while still in the oven.
Let cookies sit on the cookie sheet for 5 to 10 minutes. Then allow to cool completely on a plate. Put 2 or 3 scoops of ice cream between 2 cookies and enjoy!!

 

 

Posted in Kid Reviews, Reviews, WDW Dining

The Kitchen Sink

712860a9-c6e1-4206-8611-7fb49d121f25_zpsd9cevmz61This Dessert deserves a post of its very own! We’ve gone to Disney for over 30 years and this past year is the first time we had ever heard of–and tried–The Kitchen Sink!

You will only find this dessert at the Beaches and Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort close to the Boardwalk in the Epcot area.

We had a blast just getting to the Soda Shop! It is right behind Stormalong Bay at the Beach Club Resort. It was fun to see a resort we’ve never been to before. The theming is quite spectacular. Inside Beaches & Cream, the atmosphere is 50’s style and super duper small. It is hard to get an advance reservation here because this place is so popular but its necessary if you want a place to sit inside. Next time, we plan to get a Mini Mickey Sink Sundae to go and just sit outside by the water. But even getting it to go, the trip to the shop and the surrounding atmosphere is worth it to us to go back!

The Kitchen Sink Sundae is exactly like you’d imagine it to be….every topping imaginable and placed in a Giant Kitchen Sink replica bowl. There were 8 large scoops of ice cream in our sundae, a full can of whip cream, toppings galore (including snickers bars, brownies and pieces of cake!) and TON of cherries on top. It was a thing to behold! But trying to hold the kids back so I could take a quick non-blurry picture was futile, as you can see. They dug in with a vengeance. It was a magical experience for them and it was so memorable because we planned this as the first destination on our trip.

There is a fantastic review of this tiny Soda Shop along with great pictures of everything over on the Disney Food Blog. Make sure to check it out!

If your kids want in on the planning, here’s what our 9 year old has to say (it may be a bit graphic, sorry folks… but these are his honest-to-goodness thoughts):

Itvector-star-wars-character-chewbacca-vske1v-clipart was……………………AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But do not try to get to the bottom in a half an hour or else… HHUUUAAAARRRRRHHHHHHGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (that was me getting sick)… other than that enjoy. oh!! And one more thing: I can eat SO much I only need to share with 2 PEOPLE!!!!!!!! (Interruption by mom: Actually there were 4 of us eating and we didn’t get close to the bottom.)   I really liked the whole can of whipped cream and cake…. now dig in!

Sincerely Chewybomb.

 

 

Posted in Kid Reviews, WDW Dining

Dining at Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Amazing Amazing food at Sanaa!

Our 4 year old and 8 year old loved every minute of it! And I, for one, was a little shocked.

You see, as I was researching  restaurants for our last Disney vacation, my hubs said he wanted to try something different. And for us, you couldn’t get more different than Sanaa! The Disney guidebook I was reading said that Sanaa’s menu is “almost entirely Indian.”  And I have never been a big fan of anything with curry in it…a key ingredient in Indian dishes. But the reviews were excellent and the theming looked magical (take a look at this in-depth post on the Disney Food Blog which helped sell us on our risky undertaking), so we went for it and booked our reservations. We were most pleasantly surprised!

I ordered the Butter chicken and it was delicious!  Our kids enjoyed that as well. My husband ordered the Braaivleis – South African Braai Sample Plate which is a Trio of Grilled Meats with Seasonal Accompaniments and not only was it stunning to look at…it tasted great, too!

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But the best part of our Sanaa dining experience? DESSERT! Hands-down the best dessert experience we had at Disney this last trip.

My husband had the Afrika Povu which is Tanzanian Chocolate Mousse, Madagascar Vanilla Rum Caramel, Kenyan Coffee, and Kalahari Desert Salt. And since the dining plan allows each of you a dessert, we were also able to order the Dessert Trio: Afrika Povu, Lemon Lychee Tart, and Seasonal Kulfi!

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But hold on…

The kids wanted to order “Cookies and Milk” from the kids menu. And when you see “cookies and milk” on a menu, you obviously assume you’re getting cookies and milk. But this is what was delivered to our wide-eyed children:

On the menu, this simply says: Decorate-Your-Own Sugar Cookie, Strawberry Lassi. We had no idea what that meant. Come to find out at Sanaa it means a yummy sweet Indian drink with a strawberry milk-base, plus a sugar cookie, icing to frost your own cookie, m&ms and sprinkles! The kids were absolutely delighted!

And as parents whose children are generally bored stiff by this time during dinner… we were happy to see them entertained decorating their cookies while we were able to eat our dessert in peace! It was a beautiful thing!

Have you dined at Sanaa? What was your favorite meal? I want to try the Indian Style Bread Service next time!