Saving Mr. Banks at AMC Fork and Screen

The AMC Theater at Downtown Disney!

The AMC Theater at Downtown Disney!

I’ve always wanted to see a movie in the AMC Theater at Downtown Disney (also known as the Fork and Screen because you can eat while you watch the movie!), but there was never anything playing that I wanted to see when I was there. But Saving Mr. Banks is only playing in limited release in Canada right now, so when I learned that AMC was screening it during my current visit to Florida, attending was a no-brainer!

And what better movie to pair with a review of the Fork and Screen seating arrangement? So you get two reviews in one here, folks! First, I’ll discuss the dining experience (gluten-free options included) and then a brief look at the film itself.

First off, the theatre was excellent. Small enough to be intimate but with a screen big enough to do the movie justice. However, if you were watching a mega blockbuster action movie, one might wish for something bigger. But for a film like Saving Mr. Banks, it felt just right.

Saving Mr Banks

We went on Monday, December 30th, at 12:00 noon for the Fork and Screen presentation. You can see the little symbol just above the time I attended in the picture above. And here is a screen capture of the auditorium from the official AMC site, as taking pictures in the actual theatre is forbidden, and Disney even mentions that rule with the word ‘prosecution’ not-so subtly included:

Theatre Seating

The seating was very comfortable for the movie, but for eating, you had to sit on the edge of your seat so as not to spill on yourself. The picture above shows trays at each seat, but we had a counter at bar height. The trays would have been a bit better, but this is a minor point.

The food was fantastic! My in-laws had the Mushroom Swiss Burger ($10.49 – Sautéed mushrooms and Swiss cheese top an all-American beef burger with lettuce and tomato on a toasted brioche-style Kaiser roll served with fries). I had the Double-Decker Club ($10.99 – Shaved ham, turkey, and crisp Applewood-smoked bacon piled high on Texas toast with fresh lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and Parmesan peppercorn aioli with fries, instead of the chips). The portions were generous and well-priced for what you got. The full menu can be seen, with prices, on the DTD AMC website.

On the downside were the drinks: $4.50 for a diet coke! My complaint about this, beyond the obvious, is that the price was not marked on the menu. So it was quite a surprise when I got the cheque! I only had one glass with no refills so as to not need to make a pit stop during the movie. But if I had have known what I was paying, I would have drunk refills until I wet myself!

DD Club   Shrimp Tacos

Now on to the gluten-free options. My wife had about five things to choose from, which anyone with Celiac Disease will tell you, is copious for Disney at one location. She had the Thai Bang Shrimp Tacos ($10.99 – White corn tortillas layered together with southwest sauce and Cheddar Jack cheese, then topped with sweet and sour slaw and crunchy breaded shrimp drizzled with Thai bang sauce. Served with fresh tortilla chips and house-made salsa). For the gluten-free option, the shrimp were grilled instead of breaded. My wife said the helping of shrimp was very generous and the whole meal was tasty indeed. And she didn’t have any reaction afterwards, so a good job was done with the food preparation to avoid cross-contamination, which is always a concern. So kudos to the kitchen staff and also to our servers, who were all top-rate!

And now to conclude with a very brief review of the film. We all thought it was wonderful. Only die-hard Disney fans will worry about the inaccuracies of the events being depicted. Tom Hanks did a credible Walt, but yes, he didn’t look like him. But mere minutes into the film, you completely forget about that and buy into Tom’s interpretation. This I will attribute to the genius of Tom Hanks, one of my favorite actors! We laughed, we cried, and everyone agreed it was, again, a wonderful movie.

A tip to those who have been jaded by people claiming the film misrepresents ‘known’ facts about the events depicted: Give your amateur Disney Historian the night off and just enjoy the film for what it is. Seriously. Take this tip to heart!

I will give the dining experience and the theatre itself a combined score of 4.75 stars out of 5, simply because of the exorbitant price of the drinks! The movie gets a 5 out of 5 stars. But if I had to pick on something, I’d have to say I’d have liked it to be longer. Not bad if that’s all one can complain about!

Final say: Go see this movie wherever you can! And when you do, have your say in the comments below, please.

P. S. – Don’t forget to save your tickets and enter them into your Disney Movie Rewards account for points!

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia – La Nouba

La Nouba

La Nouba, at Downtown Disney, opened on December 23, 1998.

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia!  Before I get started, I want to take a moment and with you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday!  I am joined today by my wonderful co-hosts, Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse (the founder of this series and the one that lets me join in out of pity…), Jenn from Disney Babies Blog, and Heidi from Heidi’s Head!  This is a special anniversary of a show that I’ve never seen before, but here you go!

La Nouba

December 23, 1998 – La Nouba opens at Downtown Disney!

Today marks the 15th anniversary of La Nouba, the Cirque du Soleil spectacular at Downtown Disney West Side, Florida. (A special ceremony with Mickey & Minnie took place at the December 18 performance to mark the milestone.)

Thank you for stopping by to visit with us here at My Dreams of Disney!  We’ve been blessed to have you visit, and we look forward to a whole bunch of great stuff in the coming year!  However, we’re not done with 2013 yet, so please keep stopping by, and remember, here at My Dreams of Disney, it’s our goal to help you turn My Dreams of Disney into Your Dreams of Disney!

Now, please check out the rest of the entries today, and make it a Disney Day everyone!

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Favorite Walt Disney World Resort Activities

The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

When it comes to Walt Disney World, or, for that matter, Disneyland Resort, not all of your activities need to be done at the actual theme parks.  There are plenty of great things to do just at the resorts and surrounding areas, and you know what the best thing about them is?  Most of them are free or low cost activities that your whole family can enjoy!  Here is my list of my favorite Walt Disney World Resort activities, let me know what you think and thanks for stopping by!

Activity #1: Enjoying the Pool!

The Pool at Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort

The Pool at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

When the weather is hot and the Florida summer is draining the energy out of you, taking a dip in the pool is a great alternative and a fun activity that you can do at your resort!  In the case of the Bay Lake Tower pool, the pool itself doesn’t do a whole lot for me, it’s nice, but not spectacular.  However, the water slide is a lot of fun, and is something I like to do over and over again!  Other great pools I’ve enjoyed at Walt Disney World are the pool at Coronado Springs Resort and the pool at Port Orleans French Quarter.  If you are staying there, go check them out!

Activity #2: Take a Water Taxi Ride to Downtown Disney

The Sassagoula River flows from Port Orleans Resort (both Riverside and French Quarter) to Downtown Disney!

The Sassagoula River flows from Port Orleans Resort (both Riverside and French Quarter) to Downtown Disney!

Speaking of Port Orleans French Quarter, one of the distinct advantages you have is the ability to take the water taxi ride from your resort to Downtown Disney.  This relaxing 10-15 minute boat ride down the Sassagoula River is a great way to see some of the Disney that you don’t really think about, and a good way to get off your feet too!  Of course, Downtown Disney has great shopping, food, and other activities, so this becomes a win-win decision!

Activity #3: Check out the sites from Characters in Flight

Saratoga Springs Resort as seen from Characters in Flight

Saratoga Springs Resort as seen from Characters in Flight

One of my favorite pictures is this one that my wife took when she, my daughter, and my niece went up in Characters in Flight, the helium balloon ride at Downtown Disney.  I haven’t been up in it yet, but I do have plans to do so, it’s a question of when rather than if.  This shot of Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa really shares the unique architecture and groundskeeping that a lot of the resorts have, and I really like to look at this photo.  Characters in Flight is only $18 per person for adults, and $12 per person for children ages 3-9.

Activity #4: Check out the Boardwalk!

The street shows at Disney's Boardwalk are fun to watch for all ages!

The street shows at Disney’s Boardwalk are fun to watch for all ages!

Over at Disney’s Boardwalk area, you can see street performers, take a romantic walk with your special someone, enjoy some great music and food, or do some shopping.  There’s something here for almost everyone!

Activity #5: Meet some of your favorite Characters!

What better thing to do than enjoy good food and see your favorite characters at the same time!

What better thing to do than enjoy good food and see your favorite characters at the same time!

Lastly, one other great thing to do is to get your picture with some of your favorite Disney characters.  While this picture was taken over at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, and is certainly something that you would pay for, there are other options available also.  Take a look around, you never know who you’ll see!

Thank you all for taking the time to stop by and see all of the great things you can do away from the parks.  What are some of your favorite things to do outside of the parks?  Let me know in the comments below, and thanks!  Also, our Disney Gift Card giveaway just started today, so click the picture below to head over to the post and enter.  Good luck everyone!

1000 Disney Gift Card Giveaway-Red

 

Let’s Take a Virtual Disney Tour!

IMG_3564-tilt-shift

Hello everyone, what better thing to do on a cold Tuesday morning than to take a few minutes and enjoy some shots taken at Walt Disney World?!  Since we can’t be there in person — at least, my family can’t be — we’ll take a virtual Disney tour of some of the great things we can find at the Walt Disney World resorts!  The picture above is looking at Saratoga Springs Resort from the Characters in Flight balloon back in 2010!  Tell me, what do you think of the shot?  My wife took the picture, and I added a tilt shift to it to make it look like a small miniature version of the resort.  I hope you like it!

The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa beckons to us from the Seven Seas Lagoon!

The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa beckons to us from the Seven Seas Lagoon!

If you haven't stayed here, go visit Pop Century one day -- a great resort with a great price!

If you haven’t stayed here, go visit Pop Century one day — a great resort with a great price!

As luck would have it, we were in the 1990 section -- which was Stephanie's decade!

As luck would have it, we were in the 1990 section — which was Stephanie’s decade!

Over at Port Orleans French Quarter, the Sassaguola River takes you north to Port Orleans Riverside or south to Downtown Disney!

Over at Port Orleans French Quarter, the Sassagoula River takes you north to Port Orleans Riverside or south to Downtown Disney!

The Swimming Pool is shaped like a Hidden Mickey over at Bay Lake Tower!

The Swimming Pool is shaped like a Hidden Mickey over at Bay Lake Tower!

Lastly, the Big Dig pool site at Coronado Springs Resort is a great place for a nighttime swim!

Lastly, the Big Dig pool site at Coronado Springs Resort is a great place for a nighttime swim!

I hope you have enjoyed your virtual tour of some of the resorts at Walt Disney World!  What is your favorite Disney resort?  Please let me know in the comments, as well as why it is your favorite, and thanks for stopping by! Make it a Disney Day, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

23 Days til Disneyland – Ridemakerz!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

Ridemakerz is a store located in Downtown Disney where you can purchase and make your own tricked out cars, with hundreds of options, including remote control capability.  It is our choice for Day 23 in our countdown to Disneyland!  I would imagine that the cost you could spend in this store could skyrocket if you weren’t careful, so while we will likely go into the store, don’t be surprised if we don’t buy anything! Have you ever been to the RideMakerz store at Downtown Disney?  If so, what did you think of it?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!