Disney Dining Review: Cape May Cafe

During our vacation in June, 2010, we decided to try out the Cape May Cafe for the first time!  I wanted a breakfast during our trip, so we booked a late breakfast time at the restaurant.  The Cape May Cafe is located over at the Beach Club Resort, over in the Boardwalk area of Disney.

We had so much fun at that meal!  Cape May Cafe is a character meal for breakfast only, and we met Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck during our breakfast!  Cape May Cafe is a buffet for breakfast, with Mickey Waffles, great fruit, awesome danishes, and much more.  The beauty of any character meal, though, is the interaction that you and your children have with the characters, and Sophie (and my niece Stephanie, for that matter) had a wonderful time with the Minnie, Goofy, and Donald!  Just look at these pictures to judge for yourself!




Although we have eaten at the Cape May Cafe only this one time, this is definitely a restaurant that we would eat at again!  The Cape May Cafe is a one table service dining credit on the Disney Dining Plan, and when paying out of pocket will run between $15 – $35.99 per person.  If you have any specific questions or comments about the Cape May Cafe, go ahead and leave them in the comments!  Thanks!

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Daisy Duck Schmid


Earning My Ears Mickey Mouse


Adventureland Daisy Duck

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My Favorite Disney memories

One of the things that really makes Disney our premier place to vacation is, without a doubt, the incredible memories that we make each and every time we visit.  I have touched on this subject in a roundabout way before, particularly with my post “Why we go to Disney World”, that I published back on February 10th, 2011, and also in my post “What Makes Disney, Disney”, published on September 20th, 2010.  However, this is certainly not just a rehash of old blog posts!  Read on and I hope you will learn why the memories I’m listing here are my favorite Disney memories!

Before I get started, I want to say that these memories are not in any order whatsoever, other than being in order of the ones that I think of first.  I guess that the case can be made that the ones I list first, since they were thought of first, could be my favorites.  However, I think it is just as safe to say that the memory I list first may have been chosen because it happened most recently!  Anyway, enough banter, let’s talk about memories!

Favorite Memory #1, Midnight at the Magic Kingdom.

Last June, during the trip when we took Stephanie to Disney with us, we spent all day at the parks.  First we started at Animal Kingdom, then we went over to Epcot for dinner at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, then we went back to our resort, changed out of the wet clothes we had been in, and went back to the Magic Kingdom for the Main Street Electrical Parade and evening EMH.  Even though we had been at it all day, that little break at our resort, even though it was only for an hour, really rejuvenated us, and we were ready to tackle the rest of the evening.  We had never stayed out that late with Sophie before, so this was almost like a right of passage for her, and we had a great time.  The highlights of the night were many, with the best being when we were able to get some great late night shots of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse riding with some park Guests on the Dumbo ride.  Even though they weren’t riding with us, just seeing them make some children excited beyond their wildest dreams really made it a memory that all of us will treasure for years to come.

In addition to that awesome memory, there was really something tranquil about being in the parks past the witching hour.  There had been rain during the day, so the ground was wet, but the rain had stopped by that time, and I think the bonus was that the crowds were lighter than they normally would have been.  Sophie and Stephanie were inseparable, it was almost like Sophie had a big sister for the trip, even though there is 11 years between them, and as a result, Cindy and I were able to enjoy our own company, even as we walked with them.  All of those reasons add up to one of my favorite Disney memories.

Favorite Memory #2, Sophie’s Reaction

Another memory that I have is one that didn’t actually take place in a park.  In 2009, we gave serious consideration towards not taking a Disney World vacation that year.  We were concerned about the state of the economy, and whether there would be any job cuts that we need to worry about.  However, by mid summer, we decided that things were okay, and that we could take a trip, so we planned one for August of that year.  The best part about it was that we decided that we would surprise Sophie with the trip, and that she wouldn’t know about it until the day we left.  When we did get in the car and start to leave, we recorded Sophie’s reaction to our trip, and here it is for you to enjoy.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gveXkYyV6Ww

Favorite Memory #3, Sharing Secrets with Princess Jasmine

In 2008, we were over at the World Showcase walking through the Morocco Pavilion.  As we rounded the corner, who should we see but Princess Jasmine and the Genie!  Better yet, there was NO LINE to see them.  Sophie had been talking all vacation that the only souvenir that she wanted was a Jasmine costume that she could wear for Halloween.  So to round the corner and see Princess Jasmine with no line to wait in was a truly memorable occasion.   Sophie was able to spend about 10 minutes talking with Princess Jasmine and the Genie, and we were able to grab that memorable photo to remember the visit by.  In the photo, Sophie is whispering to Princess Jasmine that she is going to be getting her costume later on in the trip!

Favorite Memory #4, Celebrating Sophie’s Birthday with Riley

In 2008 we were down at Disney during Sophie’s birthday, and for this birthday, Sophie’s best friend Riley was at Daytona Beach.  We were able to arrange for Riley to come to the park with us on Sophie’s birthday, so the two of them were able to enjoy the Magic Kingdom together for Sophie’s special day.  For that day, we didn’t really do a whole lot that required fast paced action, we kept that day casual and leisurely.  We spent some time at the Park, then we went back to our room to go to the pool for a spell during the hot afternoon, and then went back to the Magic Kingdom for dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern.  That visit was when they still had character’s at the Tavern, and we were able to get this memory preserved with this photo (and others that aren’t shown here).  In addition to dining at the Liberty Tree Tavern, we also took in the Haunted Mansion (Sophie didn’t like it then, but does now!), watched the parades, got locked in the stockade out in Liberty Square, went on all of the rides we would normally ride, such as it’s a small world, and really just had a great time, with all of us just enjoying the Park in a relaxed way.

Favorite Memory #5, The Animal Kingdom Nighttime Block Party

Our first trip to Disney World where we stayed at a Disney resort was in August, 2007, when we stayed at Coronado Springs for the first time.  During that trip, we spent one day at the Animal Kingdom, and it was a day that had evening EMH.  It was during those extra magic hours that we got to enjoy the block party over in Dinoland, U.S.A.  Sophie had so much fun with the characters that were there!  There was Goofy, being his normal Goofy self.  There were Chip & Dale, making all sorts of mischief.  And there was Sophie, putting herself right in the middle of the party, along with all the other kids and their families that were there.  The block party produced some good photos, but these are the best, I think.

One of my primary reasons for starting My Dreams of Disney was so that I could keep all of the memories I have of our trips to Disney available for anyone that wanted to read them, and also so that I wouldn’t forget them myself.  I hope you have enjoyed my trip down memory lane, as I remember my favorite Disney memories!

My Top 10 places to eat at Disney World

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to eat at a lot of restaurants that are part of Disney World.  There are so many places to eat, you really can’t go wrong.  As impossible as my title seems, I’m going to give it my best effort and give you my top ten places to eat.  I’m going to count down from ten.

At number ten, I give you … The Pinocchio Village Haus

Magic Kingdom's Pinocchio Village Haus Quick Service

This quick service restaurant serves up standard fare — pizza, chicken nuggets, sandwiches, etc., but what makes this place good to me is the location.  Situated behind Cinderella’s Castle, right next to it’s a small world, this location even has windows that look down into the launch area for the popular attraction.  Couple that with it’s Old World charm, and it becomes a place for us to eat at least once per trip.

Sitting at number nine is the Liberty Inn

Located over at the American Adventure pavilion on the World Showcase at Epcot, this quick service restaurant, like Pinocchio Village Haus before, serves standard American food such as hot dogs and hamburgers.  However, what makes this place a really great place to eat is the large, open courtyard seating — which holds probably 200 people (although I don’t have exact numbers).  Additionally, there is an old style military band that plays periodically in the courtyard, and they are well worth the wait if you decide to stay and listen to them.

 At number eight in my list is the Flame Tree Barbeque, located over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The Flame Tree is one of the best quick service restaurants in all of Disney.  This restaurant serves up a lot of great food at a good price.  We don’t eat here every year because some trips we only make one trip over to Animal Kingdom, and often we have a big dinner planned somewhere else that day, so we don’t want to overeat.  However, if you ever have the chance, check out the Flame Tree!

 Sitting at number seven is ‘Ohana, located at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Ohana is Hawaiian for family, and as a result, a meal at ‘Ohana is served family style.  We ate there in 2009 for breakfast, and had a wonderful selection of sausages, waffles, eggs, fruits, biscuits, and other delightful dishes.  The character breakfast also included visits by Lilo, Stitch, Mickey Mouse, and Pluto, with numerous photo opportunities and autograph sessions.  It was a great meal breakfast, and we enjoyed it immensely.

At number six in my countdown, we come to one of the true institutions of Disney — the Main Street Bakery

If you want a quick place to grab some good food, this is the place.  Serving everything from yummy breakfast items like cinnamon rolls, sandwiches, and even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for picky eaters like Sophie, this is the place to be.  One step inside the shop and you are inundated with all sorts of sweet smelling treats, just begging you to try one out.  It was here where one of our Disney memories was created when Sophie was presented with her huge chocolate chip cookie, courtesy of Cinderella.

Now we have reached the top five in our list.  Starting us off is the Liberty Tree Tavern at number five.

 Located in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom, this restaurant was one of the ones that Cindy and I ate at when we were “eating our way through Disney” in January of 2001.  At that time, and again when we took Sophie and Riley there for Sophie’s birthday, the Liberty Tree served dinner and also had character greetings with Chip and Dale, Minnie Mouse, and Pluto.  At this point, though, looking at the page linked above, it doesn’t appear that there are any characters at the Liberty Tree.  If that is the case, I might have to bump this down on the list some.  However, the food is still delightful, and the deserts are really awesome!

Coming in at number four we have Cinderella’s Royal Table.

The beauty of Cinderella’s Royal Table is in the details.  A picture with Cinderella herself, with prints included in your meal.  Going up the stairs of the Castle to a site in the dining room overlooking Fantasyland.  A delicious meal, served with a Princess Wand for your little girl to make wishes with.  Character greetings with other Disney characters (the list varies from time to time).  It all adds up to a top five restaurant in my book.  I imagine that I will receive some criticism that it is ranked “only” number four in my list, but the top three I have I believe are better.

Sitting at number three in my countdown, The Crystal Palace

 The Crystal Palace continues to be on our list of restaurants to eat at every year.  The place has it all:  a fantastic building, an all-you-can-eat buffet, and best of all, character greetings from Winnie the Pooh and his friends Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore.  What is better in your opinion — having Tigger ham it up for the camera, sticking his big snout closer to the camera, or getting a great one-on-one with Eeyore? Wait, I know what’s better — sharing the moment with your Cousin Stephanie, that’s what!

And coming in at number two…Akerhus Royal Banquet Hall located in the Norway Pavilion of Epcot!

This restaurant is listed at number two on my list for several reasons:  First, it all starts with a family picture with Belle — and the prints are included in the cost.  Secondly, the Royal Banquet Hall is an incredible room, take a look at the link above to get an idea — but you’ve got to see it in person also!  Third, the meal starts with a traditional Norwegian buffet of cheeses, meats, breads, and salad to get you started — this is so good I could almost just stick with that and call it good.  However, then you get to choose one of several traditional dishes.  You can check out the dinner menu here.  The last time we ate, which was in June, I had the Traditional Kjottkake, and it was delicious!  In addition to all of this, the meal we had in June included visits with Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White (that was the first time we had ever seen her here, so that was a big treat!), and Ariel.  If you have never eaten here, try it out — you will be happy you did!

And finally, my number one restaurant in all of Disney World to eat at…The Garden Grill Restaurant, located in The Land Pavilion at Epcot!

What makes this restaurant unique, and my (as well as Sophie’s) favorite is the circular nature of the restaurant.  The restaurant itself spins ever so slightly, taking you in a 360 degree view of the Land Boat ride below.  In addition to the coolness of that, you also will enjoy a family style dinner of flank steak, roast turkey, and sustainable fish (that varies), along with all of the fixings, and a delicious desert afterwards.  To top it all off, you will be greeted by some of Sophie’s (and my) favorite characters:  Chip and Dale, Mickey Mouse, and Pluto.  This restaurant is such a favorite of Sophie’s that she has already told us that she plans on taking her date there when she is old enough to date!  How’s that for planning ahead!

That, my friends, is my list of my top ten restaurants to eat at Disney World.  In addition to my top ten, I am also including my honorable mentions here.  These are restaurants that I have enjoyed, but not enough to visit them every year or two.  If you haven’t tried these out, I recommend them as well!  There really isn’t a bad restaurant in all of Disney!

  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe
  • Cape May Cafe
  • Captain’s Grille
  • Chef Mickey’s
  • Pepper Market
  • Sassagoula Float Works and Factory Food Court

All of these restaurants are quite good for various reasons, whether it be for the cuisine, culture, selection, or location, but just not good enough to make my top ten.

Before I leave you, I think I should point out that most of these restaurants would not have been enjoyed by us except that we choose to take advantage of the Disney Dining Plan.  If you can do it, I recommend it.  Some people claim that it isn’t as good a deal as it used to be, but I disagree.  In a future post, I’ll talk up the plan.

Thank you for reading, and feel free to post any comments, or even your own top ten list!