Disney Springs “Dining”

1 of 3 Part Series

DS4

Downtown Disney has transformed itself into an idyllic, wondrous town, right out of a storybook. The change has definitely been for the better, as it offers more dining, shopping and entertainment venues and fantastical theming to go along with it. The shoe finally fits; Disney Springs harmonizes perfectly with Walt Disney World Resort’s whimsical theme.

This post is the first of a three part series on Disney Springs. I will dissect them into Dining, Shopping and Entertainment locales. This makes it easier to digest and a gentle read. I will begin with Dining at Disney Springs and divide it into categories by restaurant style- Casual dining, Fast food and Counter service. That way, it’s not overwhelming and you can skim over the style of restaurant you’re interested in visiting. Are you hungry yet? I am, munch on this…..

DS1

Casual Dining:
*The Dining Room at Wolfgang Puck® Grand Café (American/Steakhouse/Sushi)
~*Wolfgang Puck® Grand Café (American, Steakhouse, Sushi)
~*Morimoto Asia (Seafood, Sushi, Asian, Japanese cuisine)
*STK Orlando (American/Steakhouse)
~*The Boathouse (American/Seafood/Steakhouse)
Bongos Cuban Café (Cuban)
Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming (American)
Frontera Cocina (American/Mexican)
House of Blues Restaurant & Bar (American)
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar
~Paradiso 37, Taste of the Americas (American/Steakhouse/Latin)
Portobello Country Italian Trattoria (Seafood/Italian)
Raglan Road™ Irish Pub and Restaurant (Irish)
Rainforest Cafe – Lava Lounge (American)
Splitsville™ Dining Room (American)
T-REX™ (American)

Fast Food
Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza (American)
Amorette’s Patisserie (Bakery)
D-Luxe Burger (American)
The Daily Poutine (American/Canadian)
~Earl Of Sandwich® (American) One of my all-time favorite’s and very inexpensive.
~The Express at Wolfgang Puck® Grand Café (American/Sushi)
~Morimoto Asia Street Food (Asian)
~House of Blues – The Smokehouse (American)
Ghirardelli® Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop (American)
Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s (American)
Vivoli il Gelato (Italian)

Counter Service
B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co.
Aristocrepes (American)
Bongos Cuban Café™ Express (Cuban)
Cookes of Dublin (American, Irish)
Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC (Bakery)
Food Truck – Fantasy Fare (American)
Food Truck – Namaste Café (Asian)
Food Truck – Superstar Catering (American)
Food Truck – World Showcase of Flavors (American)
FoodQuest (American)
House of Blues – The Front Porch (Cocktails/Bar)
Häagen-Dazs®
Florida Snow Company
~Dockside Margaritas
Joffrey’s Handcrafted Smoothies
STARBUCKS® at Disney Springs™ Marketplace (American, Bakery)
~Sprinkles (Bakery) My family loves Sprinkles Cupcakes!
Wetzel’s Pretzels
YeSake (Asian/Japanese)

* Fine/Signature Dining
~My Favorites

DS3

They have a variety of cuisine for the pickiest of foodies, if you don’t agree; you might be a Diva. Food allergies, no problem, they have you covered, check for current menu items here- https://www.disneysprings.com/dining/. No matter what you’re craving, your tummy will growl a great big THANK you, I promise or my name isn’t Dawn the Great! Happy pigging out my friends….

Not So Hidden Costs with Cruising

Cruise 1

A common misconception with cruises is that once you pay for the cruise, it’s paid in full, all-inclusive if you will, wrongo! This is NOT the case; everything depends on the cruise line and/or add-ons you may have pre-purchased.

When pricing a cruise, make sure you compare apples to apples or in this case; cruise amenities to cruise amenities. There’s always a catch and I CAN guarantee you will spend extra moola, dinero, coins on every single cruise line someway, somehow… Here are extra costs you may or may not know about and some of them are optional:

Gratuites- unless you prepaid gratuities when booking your cruise, you will pay at cruise end for your shipboard staff. Cruise lines have different amounts they bill, so check with your specific cruise line. Remember you can alter the amount up or down depending on their service. FYI, it is frowned upon when altering less than minimum tip, as the Servers, Wait Staff & Room Steward rely on these tips. Also, prepaid gratuities don’t cover ALL your tips, you still have: room service tip, porter and anything extra you would like to give.

Alcohol- if you drink alcohol onboard your cruise- cheers to you! Your Sail & Sign Card (Cruise Card) will be charged and it will include an 18% gratuity automatically, so don’t double tip unless you have money to make it rain. Exclusions- if you pre-purchased a special liquor package but even still there are hidden costs, read the fine print peeps.

Soda Package- Depending on which cruise line you choose and how much you love your soda pop. Check with your specific cruise line for available pricing, specific rules with this too.

Coffee/Bakery- specialty coffees, desserts, fancy insulated “Cruise” cups aren’t free. So ask yourself, “Do you really need that salted-caramel-white- chocolate-mocha-frappe-latte-cappuccino? Regular coffee is free, if you want something special; add some whip cream off one of your free desserts to it, shoot just add the entire dessert, yum…

Specialty Restaurants- You will pay extra for unique, ethnic, high-end gourmet restaurants backed by Michelin-starred chefs or casual eateries like Johnny Rockets. The extra cost $25+ per person for upscale dining and casual dining like Johnny Rockets somewhere around $6+ per person and usually all-you-can-eat.

Port Excursions- do you plan on just wandering around the port? If so, you still need money; especially if you want to purchase souvenirs, entertainment, or a meal. Your smile as lovely as it may be won’t get you a hamburger, but it might get you slapped….Port Excursions can be booked by you or the cruise line in advance of the cruise, onboard the cruise or if you’re brave when you arrive at the port.

Internet usage- want to stay connected to your love ones or brag to your friends on social media while cruising, then that costs a pretty penny. Internet plans vary depending on cruise line.

Gambling- you know by now what I’m going to tell you, don’t hate the messenger. It costs money to gamble, surprise! Positive and negative to gambling, you could win BIG or lose BIGGER…. Think like a WINNER!

Cruise 4 (2)

Spa/Salon Services- I love to be touched…my back, feet, head, hands and face……by masseuses, unfortunately they cost, cost, cost. So try to wait towards the end of the cruise and get a half off deal for Spa and Salon. Woot!

Arcade- usually priced more than the normal arcade, some ship arcades will take cash, sail & sign (cruise card) and/or reloadable arcade cards. It is a fun, competitive family thing to enjoy while cruising. Air hockey is our family fave.

Gift Shop and Onboard Purchases- Souvenir, Jewelry, Liquor Store and Candy Shop all cost additional, but I think that’s obvious….or at least I hope that is obvious to you, lol….

Bingo- a fun way to spend money on a cruise with the opportunity to win more! Good Luck…

Art Auction- if you are a collector of art and would like a good deal, here’s your chance. I hate to sound like a broken record, but you’ll have to cough up some dough and I don’t mean double stuffed Oreo’s!

Laundry/Dry Cleaning Services- this is actually one service that is exceedingly reasonable in value. TIP- be mindful of the date you need them. Prices vary per cruise line.

Photograph Services- you want that glamour shot with your family to look back on or to show your friends you really took a cruise on the Pacific Princess March 5th, 2016. Buy a photo or snag 50 and hand them out at Christmas or NOT. Fees vary by cruise line, size of photo and package purchased. Lots of folks love taking them, my family not so much.

T.V. Movies- Some cruise lines offer newly released movies for an extra charge in your stateroom.

Ship to Shore Phone Calls- It’s very expensive to use your cell phone when cruising, roaming costs alone are astronomical, now factor in another country’s roaming- ridiculousness. There are times when you need to check on loved ones at home and ship-to-shore is actually cheaper. Again, cruise lines prices vary.

Remember not all of these are required fees, like I mentioned earlier, some are optional. Find what works for your family and happy cruising!

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Let the sea set you free, Bon Voyage!

“Must Do’s” at Walt Disney World Resort!

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wdw

Some authentically “Disneyesque” things to do during your first or your twentieth trip the most magical place on earth. My hubby threw in a few pearls of wisdom in the mix; so make sure you notice his goodwill gestures, lol!

*Ride the Walt Disney World Monorail- It’s a uniquely magical experience. How many monorails have you ridden?

*Visit all four theme parks- They’re creative marvels!

*Get your photo taken with the Disney Characters- Alright, maybe not all of them, but at least you or your child’s favorite.

*Get the Disney Characters autographs- If you have young children or you want them for yourself, no judgement here, go get em’.

*Use the Walt Disney World “Water Taxi” Transportation- It’s an attraction of its own and free. Enjoy

*My hubby said to play golf at Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course. He especially loves the Mickey shaped sand trap.

*Walt Disney World Resort Hop- Get a feel for a different themed and priced resort. Maybe next time you will stay at one of them.

poly

*Try Walt Disney World Popcorn- It’s better than movie theater popcorn, I promise. Just call me a popcorn connoisseur.

*Enjoy at Disney Resorts “Movies under the Stars” (Free)

* Enjoy your Disney Resort themed swimming pool.

*Try a Pineapple Dole Whip- Not my favorite treat in the world of treats, but lots of folks love them and you might too! You can find them at a variety of places throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

*Get a MagicBand and enjoy all its perks.

magigbands
My family with our MagicBands
*My hubby said to drink a beer in every country of World Showcase at EPCOT!

*Mickey Bar- Now we’re talkin’, yummy in every sense of the word!

*Visit Disney Springs- An outdoor Shopping, Dining and Entertainment district, full of amazing Disney extras, you have to see to experience. ***Preferably not on a weekend, I would recommend morning or evening.

Disney Springs

*Visit Fort Wilderness Campground- Great place to spend the afternoon with family; riding Ponies, Bike Rentals, Archery, Carriage Rides, Golf  Cart, etc.

*Eat at a Character Meal- My fave is Chef Mickey’s for breakfast, located at the Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

*Try a Turkey Leg at the parks- If you want to look like a caveman/cavewoman, join the crowd, lots of others do. I personally don’t like boned meat. I wrote a rap about my distain for the Turkey Legs~ http://wp.me/p1Uk8b-4kO.

*Drink LaFou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern at New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom, before you get too excited; it’s non-alcoholic.

*Visit Character Spot at World Showcase in EPCOT.

me and Mickey
Me with Minnie Mouse
*Explore Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom- Search through the caves (if you are not claustrophobic, I am-shh) and forts. Your children and most the dads will find their inner childhood bursting to come out.

*My hubby said to visit Pocahontas; she’s hot (LOL)

*Rent a personal Sea Raycer Watercraft at most of the Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World.

disney marina
Marina Prices at Polynesian Village Resort
“Must Do” Rides at each Park

Magic Kingdom Park
Splash Mountain
Space Mountain
Thunder Mountain Railroad
Haunted Mansion
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Pirates of the Caribbean
Tomorrowland Transit Authority

Disney Hollywood Studios
Tower of Terror
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
The Great Movie Ride
Toy Story Mania
Star Tours- Makes me sick personally but lots of folks love it

Me at WDW
Me Overlooking New Fantasyland
EPCOT
(New Theme) Soarin’
Test Track
Spaceship Earth
NEW Frozen Ever After
Mission Space

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
DINOSAUR
Expedition Everest
Kali River Rapids
Kilimanjaro Safaris
Primeval Whirl

MS

“Must Do” Shows/Entertainment:

Magic Kingdom Park
Wishes Nightime Spectacular
Mickey’s PhilharMagic
The Dapper Dans on Main Street, U.S.A.
Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater
Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party

EPCOT
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
Rose & Crown Pub Musician
JAMMitors at Future World East
Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot

Epcot

Disney H0llywood Studios
Fantasmic
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage- One of my daughters all time faves
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Festival of the Lion King
Finding Nemo- The Musical
The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic
Rivers of Light- Coming Soon

From our family to yours, have a magical Disney vacation!

Flashback Friday


March 2012 Disney’s Aulani Resort, Hawaii!

Wordless Wednesday!

Flashback Friday


My little Native American, Logan (5 years old) – Kindergarten at Bellaire Elementary School

Give me your~ Bad Mom-ism’s

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We all have those days where we just aren’t feeling Mommy-ish. I will preface this by saying; I love my sweet, kind, funny family and cherish being a stay-at-home mom. But in “real life” most days, I and I’m sure you, if you’re being truly honest want to grab your children by their toes and swing them around till they throw-up and then, this is the real kicker, make them the target of a neighborhood water balloon fight. Yes, I’ve given this much fictional, yet personal amusement.

Let me justify this with an explanation; I’m mom to an intelligent 16 year old son whom loves to sass and as of yesterday had dyed hair that resembled a raccoon, blonde on top, natural brown on both sides; need I say more, oh but I will. I’m also mom to a beautiful nineteen year old daughter whom thinks she’s grown and loves to give me grief about anything and everything with a splash of side eye. Duh, doesn’t she realize moms have eyes in the back of their heads, so we see that shit!

I’m a total helicopter mom and I have been every single day of their life, poor kiddos. It’s the only way I know how to parent; it came naturally as I’m a smidgen OCD. That being said, it has been a long grind and has taken a lot out of me mentally and physically. Don’t get me wrong, I’m blessed and fortunate to have a healthy happy family life, a good mom is supposed to say that, right, lmao? BUT, sometimes, I just want to scream, pull my hair out, look intentionally nuts, so someone will take me off to Crazy-Town. I know other moms feel the same way, just by the expression on their face; it’s a cross between a blank stare and a half smirk, zombie like. It says to me they are on the verge of being: mentally deranged, demented or asylum bound, that look that only another mom has felt: defeated, shell-shocked, insane. I almost want to high-five her with Moscato and tell her it will all be o.k., with a few thousand more glasses, LOL. Woot!

The point of this awesome, highly intelligent article, it’s time to dish the dirt ladies, friends, sisters from another mister. The new movie “Bad Moms” looks hilarious and made me realize that most of us really do feel like we are on the cusp of delirium, so let’s shout from the roof tops our BAD Mom-ism’s. They happen, whether we keep them to ourselves or not, so don’t be shy, let them out, let them be free!

I’ll begin;

*I sometimes hide my favorite snacks from the kids and their friends, so they don’t inhale them before I have some. Doritos and Pistachios are mine…..
*I purposely hide in Target sometimes, just so I can drink my Venti, White Chocolate Mocha in peace. Woot!
*I have two Keurig machines in my home,  one in the kitchen and one in my Master Bathroom. Just so, I don’t wake the sleeping bears earlier and have to: listen, give advice or break up an argument before I’ve had my two cups of coffee. GUILTY!

GIVEAWAY ~ Cooking Up the Magic of Disney at Home ~ GIVEAWAY!

Disney Raffle
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OK ladies. Open to residents of U.S. only, 18 years of age and over. An Open Suitcase is responsible for shipment of prize. All entries will be verified. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize after notification. Starts on Sunday July 24 (actually at midnight on Saturday night) and runs for 2 weeks through midnight on August 7.

Click the link below to register:
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Nail Day!


Lavender Relieve – your ordinary spa becomes EXTRAORDINARY! 

My Hubby’s Annoying Addiction! 

Hubby leaving room

My hubby has a very bad habit, obsession, dare I say, an annoying addiction that we’ve never shared with anyone. I cannot, I will not keep his dirty secret any longer. He repeatedly, incessantly, literally nonstop shows us videos, memes or photos from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram (new fave). You’re probably thinking “Wow, the videos must be important, relevant or down right interesting!” Wrongo……. They are the most awful, display of imagery our family has ever laid our eyes on.

The subject matter is all over the place, he’s definitely not discriminatory; anything from Cats fully clothed floating in space, Raccoons playing basketball or the mainstay, good ole’ LSU Tigers! The topics range from absurd to disturbed! If It has something to do with: scores, teammates, animals, injured players, Dave Chappelle, politics, draft picks, weather phenomenon, cars, underwater sea life, music video’s, current or a 20 year old sporting events, Chris Rock, squirrels water skiing, we’ve probably seen it. It’s not just LSU centered; its also the New Orleans Saints. He is sport-neutral, not bias in the least; he doesn’t just love one sport, they are equal in his eyes and unfortunately now ours. NBA, MLB and now after practically 20 years of marriage, I found, he loves the NHL too, lord kill me now (not really)! It doesn’t have to be minor or major league either, peewee sports are also show worthy videos. I have found that NASCAR and MMA are not really his thing,,,,,,,,,,yet! I also realized that he loves initialisms, as much as I do. (WDW)

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It’s gotten to the point where our agenda doesn’t matter, if we are breathing, he’s a callin’; he loves us to watch with him, laugh, give feedback and really participate in his viewing pleasure. It’s so bad that he will try to show us something together or individually, while: swimming, cooking, church, washing the dog, vacuuming the car, cleaning the toilet, the other day he literally scared the shit out of me when I was, well doing what I just said, and he thought it the perfect time to show me some whack-ass video. About a week ago, he popped his head in the shower to show me something, you know “Psycho-esque,” I was terrified and knew without doubt that he needed major “anti-video” therapy or someone was going to get hurt and it wasn’t going to be me or the kids.

He’s cried wolf so many times, that no one comes when called anymore, they don’t want to subject their eyes to the unfortunate ridiculousness. I’d hate if a real-life emergency arose and my family wasn’t there because we were afraid, yet again, a preposterous image would be shown……Even still, he would show the EMT’s, Hospital Staff, Funeral Director, Ghosts and God the idiotic memes. The hubby that cried wolf!

P.S. I hope by “video shaming” him, I can change him! Woot😉

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