Free Disney Dining and My Favorite WDW Restaurants and Treats

My favorite Walt Disney World promotion is back!  Free dining!

I have to say, this is so very, very tempting to me.  We’ve been to WDW several times on the free dining promotion.  A couple of years ago, Jim and I went on a long weekend trip together to celebrate our 25th anniversary.  We had free dining on that trip.

I have a hard time justifying eating at very many of the table service restaurants when we go without free dining.  It can cause the cost of the trip to really add up.  But it’s so very fun to be able to book restaurants that we’d never eat in ordinarily.  And snack credits are included too.

Today, I’m going to share a few of my favorite WDW treats and restaurants.  But first, if you’re as tempted by the free dining promo as I am, check out the details from our site sponsor, The Magic for Less Travel.  They’ll give you a free, no-obligation quote so you can decide if it’s in your budget or not.

Hungry for a great vacation?  Fall FREE Dining has been announced for Walt Disney World!  FREE Dining is offered on non-discounted room and ticket packages at select Disney resorts and is available August 31-December 23, 2014 (Blackout dates apply).  Are you ready to plan that Magical vacation during FREE Dining?  Contact The Magic For Less Travel for your FREE no-obligation quote!  Don’t forget to ask about their Disney Gift Card offer with select Walt Disney World packages!

Magic Kingdom Treats and Restaurants

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One of my favorite places in all the world is the Magic Kingdom Confectionary.  I love walking in here just to absorb the sweet scent.  But I do have a few favorite treats that can be found here.   [Read more…]

Planning a Disney Trip for a Big Family- Resources to Use

Main Street Confectionary

If I could be transported right into Disney World, I would choose that spot right there in the middle of the Main Street Confectionery.  One sniff of that beautiful, sweet smell and the magic begins!

Our next Disney trip is getting closer and I’ve started into planning mode.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned when traveling to the happiest place in the world with 13 people, it’s this –  have a plan!

Not having one would mean all of us getting hot, tired and hungry looking at each other asking, “What next?”  That’s just frustrating and time wasting.

To make sure that doesn’t happen hardly at all, we go with a plan.  We stick to the plan.  We don’t second guess the plan.  And we have a blast!

(When we travel with fewer people, we have less of a plan.  And when we’ve gone with just two of us, we go with no plan at all.)

In the past, I’ve put together small booklets with our itinerary for each day listed out.  I add other useful info to the booklets too.  Each family gets a copy (my parents, my sister’s family and my family).

This year, I thought about doing the whole thing as a digital version to use on our phones, but I think I’m going to stick with the physical copies.  Not everyone in the family has a smart phone.  And I honestly think I like using the physical copy better anyway.

Once I have ours put together, I’ll share them here on the blog.  Just in case anyone else out there is as much of a planning nut as I am!

Below, I’ve added a few resources I use for planning Disney trips.   [Read more…]

Slow Cooker Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

I am so excited with how this Slow Cooker Bananas Foster Bread Pudding turned out!

Several years ago, we ate at ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort in Walt Disney World. They have a dessert there that is amazing.  It’s warm bread pudding, topped with bananas foster sauce with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream over the top of it all.   I love anything with bananas foster, so I knew I would love their bread pudding.

Slow Cooker Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

 

I think this turned out very close in taste to the original.  Like I said, it has been a few years since I’ve eaten there but this does taste like I remember.

That’s one reason that I’m excited about this recipe.  I always love anything that reminds me of Disney!  Another reason to love this is that it’s so easy to make.

You can find the original recipe that ‘Ohana uses here.  I not only changed it for the slow cooker, but I simplified it and, I think, made it even better.

Instead of using ‘Ohana breakfast bread, I used French bread.  I still wanted the flavor of coconut and pineapple to come through (which comes from the breakfast bread in the original recipe).  To accomplish this, I changed part of the milk out for coconut milk and used crushed pineapple, along with the juice.

Also, instead of buying rum and attempting to flambé it, I used rum extract.  It’s simple and makes the sauce taste fantastic.

The other thing I’m very happy with in this recipe is the cook time.  This one can cook on low for 6-8 hours.  That sets it apart from many other slow cooker desserts, which have a much shorter cooking time.

The sauce does get cooked separately on the stove top, but it’s very quick to make.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:   [Read more…]

9 Walt Disney World Recipes to Make at Home and Sponsor Spotlight

7 disney world recipes to make at home

 

I shared this post of 7 Disney World Recipes to Make at Home a while back.  (Look how little my baby is!)  This photo was taken in Minnie’s House in the old Tune Town section of Magic Kingdom.  Can you even tour Minnie and Mickey’s houses anymore?  I’ve lost track of what happened to them when they started the Fantasyland expansion.

Since this post in May of last year, I’ve added two other taste of Disney recipes.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshakes from 50s Prime Time Cafe are a new favorite for us.  Yum!

Strawberry Soup is super delish!

If you’re dreaming of a trip to WDW, The Magic for Less can help you get there and save money.  Here’s info on one of the deals going on right now:

Save up to 30% on Walt Disney World Resort hotel stays, most nights from 8/15/13 to 9/28/13. Disney’s Dining Plans and Tickets can be added to this offer making it a package. Packages for this offer can be combined with The Magic for Less Travel’s exclusive Pixie Dust, Deluxe Pixie Dust Pack and Grand Pixie Dust Pack offers. Must be booked by07/31/13. You can see the details at The Magic for Less Specials. To be notified when new Disney Parks discounts are released, sign up for TheMouseForLess Discounts Newsletter .

Are you planning a Disney trip or have you just gotten back?  I’d love to hear about it!  Leave me a comment.  I can never get enough of Disney!

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake Recipe from Disney World

I have wanted to try PB&J milkshakes forever.  Of course, I’d like to have a chance to try them in their “home” at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios.  But since that hasn’t happened, making them at home is a great way to get a little taste of Disney.

If you’ve read this blog very long at all, you know I love all things peanut butter and jelly.  Even so, these milkshakes do sound a little strange.  But they don’t taste like blending a sandwich into your shake (which is a bit what they sound like).

They taste like a vanilla shake with a good amount of peanut butter smoothed in and a hint of jelly.  I think the amount of jelly could even be increased for my taste.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

Weekend Links and Sponsor Shout-Out

Last month, Jim and I got to spend a long weekend in Disney World.  Just the two of us.  (And about a gazillion other people, too of course.)

We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary a little early.  It was our first trip without kids and we had a great time.  The Magic Kingdom was decorated for Christmas.  We also got to go to Hollywood Studios to see the Osborne Festival of Lights.  If you ever have the chance to do that, you’ll want to grab the opportunity.  It is incredible!

I’ve got several fun links for you.  And yes, they are Disney related.  As always, whenever we go to Disney it makes me want to go back!

If you’ve got Disney fever or are planning a first trip to Disney World, Disneyland or even a cruise, you’ll want to check out The Magic for Less.  Their travel agents can help you with all the planning and with finding the best deals.  I’m very happy that The Magic for Less is a sponsor of this site.

A few weeks ago, I read about candy cane making at Disneyland on the Disney Food Blog.  Here’s a video of the process.  So cool!

While we were in Disney this time, we tried the caramel apples for the first time. They had put some out to sample in a Fantasyland shop while we were browsing. I’d always thought they were just for looks, but the are truly scrumptious! We ended up buying 3 to bring home with us. Here’s a video of how they make the apples.

And if you’d like to get a taste of the Osborne Festival of Lights, here’s a video for you.

I’ve got Christmas baking and shopping to do this weekend. How about you? I hope you’re getting in the Christmas spirit!

African Pulled Beef Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker with Yogurt-Mint Sauce

Part of my family is heading to Disney World in a couple weeks.  Because I’m in the group going, I can’t seem to stay away from the Disney stuff.  That means I’ve been avidly reading the Disney Food Blog.  Disney and food are two of my favorite things.

The other day, I ran across this review of a new sandwich found in Animal Kingdom.  I knew I had to try to create this!  Of course, I have no idea what it tastes like, other than the way it is described in the post.  Maybe I’ll get to sample the real deal while I’m there, so I can compare my version and Disney’s.

However, I have to say that the review was a great inspiration.  My version turned out full of flavor and tender.  My family loved it too.  And the fact that it uses the slow cooker is a bonus.  There’s just enough spice to make it interesting and give the meat a lot of flavor, yet it’s not burn-your-tongue hot.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these sandwiches:  [Read more…]

What I’ve Been Reading in the Blogosphere

I thought I’d share a few of my non-food blog reads, just for something different this weekend.

I’ve been missing Disney.  We went at the end of May and that seems like a long time ago now.

Can you guess where I am with my kids in this picture?  Pixie dust for the person who gets it right!

kids and me animal kingdom gas pumps

[Read more…]

Weekend Links and a Few More Disney Pics

tomato tree epcot

You can see this tomato tree on the Living with the Land ride in Epcot.  The ride takes you on a tour of green houses where they are doing some amazing things with growing plants and even fish and alligators.  This tomato tree blows my mind.  I think they said they harvest something like 40 bazillion cherry tomatoes off of it.

Take a look at the bell pepper plants:

[Read more…]

Vacation Food – What We Ate and How We Packed It to Disney World

disney candy apples

Aren’t those the cutest candy apples?  We chose other things in this bakery, but I couldn’t resist taking a picture of these.

We were blessed to be able to take a family vacation to Disney World a few weeks ago.  The first part of our trip was spent with just the 6 of us in a rented townhouse.  For the second half, my parents and sister’s family joined us and we moved to an off-site pool home.  Renting the homes is one of the ways we keep the costs down.  (It also makes for a relaxing vacation.)

Another way we keep the budget under control is by taking our own food.

[Read more…]

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