Memorable meals – Cape May Cafe

Taken at Cape May Cafe

Taken at Cape May Cafe

Hello everyone, sorry I’ve been silent but I am back and ready to share again! When I think about memorable meals at Disney, I often think about the dinner my daughter Kym and I had at Cafe May Cafe. Normally I wouldn’t spend the money to eat seafood while I vacation (living in New England, we have fresh seafood, we don’t need to travel for seafood) but as this was a birthday trip for Kym and we were on the Disney Dining Plan, I made a reservation.

Cape May Cafe is located at Disney’s Beach Club resort. We spent the earlier part of our day at Epcot; we left Epcot via the International Gateway and followed the walking path over to the Beach Club (you can also take a water taxi from the International Gateway; the pathway also links to the Boardwalk Inn and Disney’s Yacht Club). We looked around the hotel until it was time to check in. (They have a beautiful pool area and walking trails).

A shot of the pool area at the Beach Club

A shot of the pool area at the Beach Club

This restaurant feels like a New England restaurant. The tables are covered in butcher paper; which is great for the theme, in New England clam bakes include melted or “drawn” butter. Butter spilled on a cloth tablecloth would be really hard to clean up plus there is a lot of sea water from the shellfish which makes a paper tablecloth ideal. Plus there are crayons on the table so the kids (or the kids at heart) can draw and color at the table.

The meal itself is a buffet; always tasty. There is a great variety of cold dishes as well as tasty hot foods. The cold foods included salads and peel and eat shrimp. The hot foods included steamed potatoes, corn on the cob, clams and crab legs. There were plenty of dessert options as well.

The biggest surprise for me was when the check came. As we were using our dining plan, the cost of the meal ($72.00 plus tax) was covered in the Disney dining plan. I only had to pay the tip. I must say that this meal alone made the dining package a worthwhile expenditure. Have you eaten at Cafe May Cafe? If you did, what are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you.

  • Which is better Tables in Wonderland or the Disney Dining Plan?

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

This rose was on the walk way leading towards World Showcase past the Imagination! Pavilion

This rose was close to his yellow buddy above

Hello friends, usually today would be about memorable meals but while looking through my Disney pictures (as I often do when I have free time and am looking for a Disney fix), I was reminded that one of the things Mickey had mentioned was that he hadn’t been to Disney World during the flower show (to save time and typing, for the rest of this post I will be referring to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival as the flower show). Plus I figure that maybe this may help people “on the fence” decide if they want to go during the flower show (in 2013, it runs from March 6 through May 19. I have shared more pictures then I usually do but these are some of my favorite Disney pictures I have taken. For more information, you can head over to the Disney World site.

As you may have guessed, this guy was over near The Seas with Nemo and Friends

I am a big fan of the landscapers of Disney and the topiary work never fails to impress but during the flower show, the work is over the top amazing. There are special presentations such as flower arranging demonstrations as well as the Flower Power concerts (featuring performances by 1960s and 1970s acts. The one I specifically remember was Davy Jones when I was there). I hadn’t specifically set out to journey to Disney World for the flower show; my daughter Kym and I were headed there to celebrate Kym’s birthday (as it’s in March, it just happened to work out nicely).

If you can’t place the location, the building in the back is the American Adventure (this topiary was placed at the entrance of World Showcase)

Disney World is never for doing things on a small scale and the flower show is no exception. In addition to the flowers and topiary sculptures, there was a section set up as Princess Tiana’s garden. There was also a pixie garden (for Tinkerbell and her friends) and lots of unexpected surprises. While I still probably wouldn’t plan a trip just for the flower show, if my Disney vacation is at the same time as the flower show I know I would enjoy myself while there.

These little guys from Fantasia looked so life like, I almost expected them to start dancing

I expected this lady to join in a dance with our mushroom buddies above

I have to say that this Lady and the Tramp was probably one of the best topiary scenes I have seen in Epcot

My Favorite Disney Ride or Why You Don’t Want to Miss Pirates of the Caribbean

One of my many favorite Pirates, I snap a picture of him every time I float under him.

“Dead men tell no tales,” the words alone bring a smile to my face and longing in my heart. No Disney World trip is complete without a ride on “Pirates of the Caribbean.” This fun-filled dark ride sets the scene before you even board your boat. The ride is set inside a re-creation of a Caribbean fort. You will see cannons and other scenery that helps set the stage.

A canon in the queue line for Pirates of the Caribbean

After you wind your way through the waiting area (which can be a welcome relief as the waiting area is cool and dark, a nice break on a hot Florida day) you reach the boarding area and get on the boat. At the start of your adventure, you get to hear it (“Dead men tell no tales,” if you’ve ridden this ride, I bet you are hearing it with that very specific voice and the intonation of the ride.)

Here you are “trapped” between a pirate ship and the safety of the fort in town

Disney has incorporated characters from the movies into the ride (you will see Davy Jones  as well as Jack Sparrow. I have heard that they have also added mermaid references but I haven’t been since they were added so I don’t want to say that it’s true until I see it for myself. {Editor’s Note: I read about this on Chip & Company. Click the link if you haven’t seen that information yet.}) After a short drop and a small “splash” you find yourself in danger as you are trapped between a pirate ship and a port town in the Caribbean. The remainder of the ride is scenes of the pirates raiding and pillaging the town before the pirates are finally reigned in to end the ride.

Captain Jack is looking for new pirates

If you are lucky, you may see Captain Jack outside the ride as he recruits new pirates to join him.  Did I miss something you especially enjoy on the Pirates of the Caribbean? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this classic ride.

 

Resort Wednesday – Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Keister Coaster at BoardWalk Inn

I know that last week I discussed Pop Century which is at the other end of the scale from the BoardWalk Inn but the BoardWalk Inn is a beautiful hotel that I truly enjoyed staying in and I would love to stay there again.

When I stayed at the BoardWalk, the trip was actually booked to stay off property but after the hotel I had checked into was disappointing (to say the least), my mom and I decided that we would stay in a Disney hotel. We narrowed it down to the Grand Floridian or the BoardWalk. I decided I didn’t want to walk through the opulent lobby of the Grand Floridian in my bathing suit so the BoardWalk was our new accommodations.

The BoardWalk Inn is themed as a 1940’s Atlantic City and they carry the theme throughout the hotel without being overly kitschy. The hotel is on the water between Epcot and Hollywood Studios (you can take a boat between the hotel and the two theme parks). There is a boardwalk area with restaurants, shopping and seaside entertainment. Interestingly, you can see Tower of Terror from the BoardWalk’s parking lot and when I listened closely, I swear I could hear screams from the riders of Tower of Terror.

The Miss America crown, cape and scepter.

The Miss America pageant originated in Atlantic City which clearly matches the theme of the hotel.

Our room had two queen-sized beds along with a small balcony which held a table and 2 chairs. The best part to me was that from our balcony, I could see the Moroccan prayer tower at Epcot which also afforded views of Illuminations nightly. As Illuminations has some of the best fireworks I have ever seen, this was an extra bonus.

The hotel’s main swimming pool includes a great water slide which is made to look like a roller coaster. In addition, there are 2 “quiet” pools which lived up to their name. I didn’t see any children at the quiet pools and found it very relaxing.

As I said before, I would stay here again in a heartbeat. Have you stayed at the BoardWalk Inn? If you did, what did you think of it?  Tell us in the comments below!

 

Memorial Meals Monday – Crystal Palace

Pooh and I at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom

For many families with daughters, Disney World is all about the DIsney princesses and the easiest way to ensure a meet and greet is to eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table. This is not the case for my daughters and I, for my girls, Disney World is all about Winnie the Pooh and friends. The best way to ensure a meet and greet with Pooh and friends is to have a meal at The Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom.

Located at the end of Main Street USA, the Crystal Palace serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. All the meals are buffet style; I enjoy a buffet as I think many choices at a meal allows everyone to eat what they like. There is even a special section for kid-friendly foods (think chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and pizza) which ensures something for everyone. Of course no buffet would be complete without dessert and Crystal Palace certainly has tasty desserts. Beverages are served by your waitstaff.

I can’t point to any specific food that was better than any other. What I remember most from all the times I have eaten there is how much my daughters and I look forward to visiting with Pooh and his friends. The typical cast of characters is Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. While diners eat, Pooh and his friends travel around the restaurant (separately) stopping at each table to pose for pictures and sign autographs.

We discovered the Crystal Palace by accident. On a trip with my mother and my daughters, we decided we wanted a “good” sit down lunch. We were walking by the Crystal Palace and noticed people standing by the door and walked over to check it out. When we heard that Winnie the Pooh and friends were “in there”, my daughters practically begged to eat there. As the wait was only about 15 minutes we waited. After 5 minutes, we were shown to our table and a new tradition began.

If you decide to go to the Crystal Palace, I suggest booking an advance dining reservation. This restaurant is in the Disney Dining Plan so if you are using the dining plan, you will only be responsible for the tip;  otherwise, expect to pay between $35 and $60 per person. (Prices can be confirmed via the Walt Disney World website). If you (or the kiddies) are Winnie the Pooh fans, this meal is worth the price!