Orlando Journals

The Magic of Disney - A Guide to the World

A travel journal to Orlando by BostonChick

Disneys All-Star Sports Resort Photo, Orlando, Florida More Photos
Quote: As a former Walt Disney World cast member and now a very frequent visitor, I want to share some of my absurdly extensive knowledge (some might say obsession) of the Mouse's World. Check back for frequent updates, as I visit WDW regularly and will have new things to add.

The Magic of Disney - A Guide to the World

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Overview

Epcot Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Disney's talent for storytelling and attention to detail merge to create some of the finest theme parks in the world in Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. As soon as you step through the gates of any WDW, you are immediately transported to another world. The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney/MGM Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom combine to form one dynamic world. In the Magic Kingdom, you will find yourself amongst a world of fantasy. In Epcot, you will discover a world of technology, innovations, and cultures. In Disney/MGM Studios, you will be transported into the world of show business, and finally, in Disney's Animal Kingdom, you will go on wild adventures. ...Read More
Quote:
The All-Star Music Resort is categorized as a "value" resort. As with all Disney resorts, you will have complimentary transportation to all the parks. The buildings have larger-than-life icons at their sides. For example, the Calypso building has gigantic maracas. This is fun, especially for kids. Some adults may find them gawdy or tacky. The rooms at the All-Star Music are a bit tight. A family will fit comfortably, but there is not much extra space. The rooms are boldly decorated consistently with the building in which you are staying (i.e., jazz, Broadway, country, calypso music). There are two pools--one shaped as a guitar, and another as a piano. You will find a ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 8, 2005

Disney's All-Star Music Resort
1801 WEST BUENA VISTA DRIVE
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
407-939-6000

Disney's All-Star Sports Resort

Hotel | "Disney's All Star Sports Resort"

Disney's All-Star Sports Resort Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Disney's All Star Sports Resort is categorized as a value resort. As with all Disney resorts, you will receive complimentary transportation to all the Disney parks. This is a large resort with numerous buildings. Each building has a different sports theme (cheerleading, baseball, etc.) and is decorated with larger-than-life icons. Kids will love this, but some adults may find it gaudy or tacky. The rooms are on the small side. A family will fit comfortably, but there is not much ample space. The rooms are boldly decorated, consistent with the theme of its building. The large food court serves all meals and is extremely convenient. Everyone will find something that they like t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 8, 2005

Disney's All-Star Sports Resort
1701 West Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
407-939-5000

Disney's Pop Century Resort

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Hotel

Disney's Pop Century Resort Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Disney's Pop Century Resort is the newest Disney resort to open. It is the latest in Disney's value resorts, averaging $99/night depending on the season. Pop Century is an over-the-top, but fun, homage to American pop culture throughout the 20th century. In the lobby you will find encased "artifacts" from various decades. Currently, only Phase I of the resort is complete, the "Classic Years" half. This includes the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. The "early years", the ‘00, ‘10s, ‘20s, ‘30s, and ‘40s, are hopefully coming soon. Each building in the classic years is dedicated to a specific decade. With almost 2,900 rooms, these decorations are quite large. I stayed in the ‘50s ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 31, 2005

Disney's Pop Century Resort
1050 Century Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
(407) 824-2222

50's Prime Time Café

Restaurant | "50's Prime Time Café - MGM Studios"

Quote:
This is one of the best-themed restaurants in WDW. It is located in Disney/MGM Studios. Like all great Disney attractions, this restaurant has a story to tell. You are treated like a guest to a big family reunion. Your waiter/waitress is your cousin, and Mom is in the back cooking. You are seated at a kitchen table with a small TV playing clips from old shows. Your waiter/waitress will nag you to clean your plate and possibly make a public spectacle of it. (Note that some people don't enjoy this interaction and find it annoying.) The menu has home-cooking (i.e. meatloaf, pasta, etc.). The food is not outstanding, but it is decent. This restaurant is a lot of fun for families...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 7, 2005

50's Prime Time Café
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 939-3463

Chef Mickey's Restaurant

Restaurant | "Chef Mickey's "

Quote:
Chef Mickey's is located in the Contemporary Resort and is easily accessible by monorail from the Magic Kingdom. Chef Mickey's offers a character breakfast and dinner, both of which are buffets. The characters are of the classic kind: Goofy, Donald, Pluto, Minnie, and the main mouse himself, Mickey. I have never eaten the dinner buffet, but I can tell you that the breakfast buffet is fantastic. There are MANY delicious options, and you can fill up on as many as you like! There is absolutely something for everyone here. For obvious reasons, kids will absolutely LOVE this place. It is one of the best character dining experiences in WDW. Definitely make reservations for this one....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 7, 2005

Chef Mickey's Restaurant
Disney's Contemporary Resort
Orlando, Florida
(407) WDW-DINE

Brown Derby Restaurant

Restaurant | "Hollywood Brown Derby"

Quote:
The Hollywood Brown Derby is located in Disney/MGM Studios. It is the priciest of restaurants in this park.

As it is fine dining, the menu is very small. I recall five meal options. The portions were above average, and the food itself was excellent (I had the half rotisserie chicken). The atmosphere leaves a bit to be desired.

I don't recommend this restaurant to families, as kids won't have many menu items to choose from and it is expensive. It is, however, a good place for adults.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 7, 2005

Brown Derby Restaurant
MGM Studios
Orlando, Florida

L'Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Alfredo's is located at the Italian Pavilion in the World Showcase at Epcot.

The atmosphere here is intimate and the menu options are plentiful. I have admittedly eaten much better Italian food than this, but it was still enjoyable.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 7, 2005

L'Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante
Italy Pavilion Epcot - World Showcase
Orlando, Florida

San Angel Inn

Restaurant

Quote:
San Angel Inn is the table-service restaurant in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. This is one of my favorite restaurants in all of WDW. I believe that it has THE best atmosphere of any restaurant. Although it is indoors, you feel as though you are at an outdoor restaurant with the El Rio de Tiempo (The River of Time) flowing nearby. The music and the lighting add to the intimate/romantic/relaxing ambience. The food here is outstanding. The portions were large and the quality was excellent. I believe that I had a dish of enchiladas. I just remember it being delicious. As I said, this restaurant is set for relaxation and even romance. That is not to say that it is also not grea...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 7, 2005

San Angel Inn
Mexico Pavilion, Epcot
Walt Disney World, Florida 32830
(407) 939-3463

Biergarten Restaurant

Restaurant | "Biergarten"

Quote:
Biergarten is located in the German Pavilion at Epcot. It is a buffet consisting of various German foods. There were various types of wursts, potatoes, and breads. This is a great place if you enjoy German food. If you are a picky eater, you may not find much that you want to eat, even though it is a buffet. The setting is that of Oktoberfest, and every hour or so, there is live entertainment on the stage.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 11, 2005

Biergarten Restaurant
Bavarian Village, Epcot, Walt Disney World
Orlando, Florida
(407) 939-3463

Le Cellier Steakhouse

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Restaurant

Le Cellier Steakhouse Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Dinner at Le Cellier is possibly the greatest dining experience I have ever had. The theme here is Canadian, steaks and the like. The decor is intimate, making you feel as though you are dining in a beautiful wine cellar. We had reservations (highly recommended) and were seated within minutes. Our hostess told us we would be dining in Alberta, Canada, and proceeded to give us some trivia facts about that area, which was neat. Our server, Claude, came over to introduce himself. Let me tell you, he was an outstanding server that made our experience at least twice as great. See if you can get one of Claude's tables if he's still around (he's on the International College Program). Cl...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 31, 2005

Le Cellier Steakhouse
Canada Pavilion at Epcot
Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Cinderella's Royal Table at Cinderella Castle

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Restaurant | "Cinderella's Royal Table"

Cinderella's Royal Table at Cinderella Castle Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Finally! I made it to Cinderella's Royal Table for a meal with the princess characters! For a long while, only the uber-popular character breakfast was offered, but recently, they have made lunch a character dining experience also. While I was there, we saw Mary Poppins, Aurora, Snow White, Belle, and Cinderella. Lunch is $23.99, which includes a tasting plate appetizer, an entrée, and a pre-selected dessert. I ordered Major Domo's Favorite Pie, which was "Prime Rib of beef simmered in rich cabernet sauce, served with mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables, crowning a light pastry." It was a good portion, and delicious to boot. I wasn't crazy about the dessert, "Blueberry Buckle C...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 31, 2005

Cinderella's Royal Table at Cinderella Castle
Magic Kingdom
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 824-4321

Boma-Flavors of Africa

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Restaurant | "Boma"

Boma-Flavors of Africa Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Boma - Flavors of Africa is a restaurant like no other, so don't let the buffet fool you. Located in the gorgeous Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boma is decorated by a thatched roof, warm lighting, and vibrant ceiling tapestries. The decor is as colorful, as the various African tastes that beckon you to sample them. Our VERY knowledgeable dinner server, Maureen, was able to describe the various food options in great detail. When asked about the large selection of African wines, and she suggested I order a "wine flight." Not being an expert on libations, she explained that this would include 3-ounce pours from three various wines. I ordered the "red wine flight," which was only $9 and added...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 31, 2005

Boma-Flavors of Africa
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 939-3463

California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

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Restaurant | "California Grill"

California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
For many, California Grill is the pinnacle of fine dining in Walt Disney World. Located on the 15th level of Disney's Contemporary Resort, California Grill offers a priceless view of the Magic Kingdom. I made reservations at 8:20pm, as the "Wishes" fireworks show would be visible from the large restaurant windows at 9pm. We checked in at 7:30pm and requested a window table. We were told that a window table would be a wait of 1.5 hours after our scheduled reservation. We were also told that just being seated would take 40 minutes beyond our reservation time. I was in too good a mood to be upset. The hostess suggested that we check out the view on the observation deck. My ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 2, 2005

California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort
4600 North World Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
(407) 934-7639

Hoop Dee Doo Review

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Restaurant | "Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue"

Quote:
The Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review takes place at Pioneer Hall at the Fort Wilderness Resort. Simply take any bus to FW from any park or take the boat from Magic Kingdom.Hoop Dee Doo is way too much fun, I only wish I had gone long ago. The Pioneer Players put on a really fun and entertaining show, singing interactive songs such as "Oh Susanna!" and "Davy Crocket." This is a fantastic choice for families, as the musical numbers will have everyone on their feet. I was most impressed with the tongue-in-cheek comedy that had the adults in the audience in stitches.During the show, you are served all-you-care-to-eat grub. This includes cornbread, salad, fried chicken, BBQ rib...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 22, 2006

Hoop Dee Doo Review
Wilderness Lodge
Walt Disney World, Florida
(407) WDW–DINE

Magic Kingdom

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Story/Tip

Frontierland Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
The Magic Kingdom is quintessential Disney. As soon as you step through the gates and onto Main Street USA, you are instantly transported to charming early America via magic and fantasy. Main Street USA Strolling down Main Street USA, you will find quaint shops (chock-full of all those fun and overpriced souvenirs). My favorite stop on the street is The Confectionery candy shop. I challenge you to NOT go inside after walking by and smelling the sweet fragrance outside the door. The Exposition Hall directly to your right after entering the gates often has a lot of character meet and greets inside, so be on the lookout there. For a quick b...Read More

EPCOT

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Story/Tip

Mission: SPACE Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
EPCOT, Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, is a unique park dedicated to discovery, technology, and the unity of nations around the world. In the past few years, Epcot has received some of the best attraction additions, using unparalleled technology. Future World Future World is the area located around Spaceship Earth (the big golf ball) and consists of various pavilions. The following are the attractions you should not miss. Soarin’ - This recent addition to Epcot comes from Disney’s California Adventure. It is located in The Land pavilion. In Soarin’, you are seated in a hang-glider-type swing and are raised up abou...Read More

Disney/MGM Studios

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Story/Tip

Rock 'n' Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Enter the world of show business at Disney/MGM Studios. Here you can stroll down nostalgic Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd. This park has some of the best stage shows on property and is home to two of the best thrill rides. This is my favorite park for nostalgic reasons (I used to work at Fantasmic!). I love the set-up of the various streets, especially Sunset Blvd with that nostalgic Hollywood Babylon feel. The attention to detail at this park is some of Disney’s best. Here are your ‘must-see’ attractions at the Studios. The Great Movie Ride - Being a major film buff, this is my favorite attraction in all of WDW. This ride takes you on a jo...Read More
Disney's Animal Kingdom Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Go on a wild adventure through Asia, Africa and the Jurassic period at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. DAK has some of the best theming in WDW. Who else besides Disney can recreate the African Savannah? Africa Kilimanjaro Safaris - Hop aboard an open-air all-terrain safari vehicle and spot a multitude of African wildlife living in their "natural" habitat. Your safari guide will point out and tell you about all the various wildlife. Watch out, there are a lot of bumps! DinoLand U.S.A. Dinosaur - One of Disney’s best thrill rides, this ride is...Read More

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 824-4321