Tiffins at Animal Kingdom Now Offering New Lunch Dining Package

Tiffins Concept ArtThe new signature restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, Tiffins, has just started offering a new lunch dining package called “Taste of Tiffins”. This new lunch menu is meant to offer guests smaller portion sizes of some of the most popular items on the menu. The lunch is being offered from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM each day and comes at a cost of $28 per person. For the price of the package guests get to choose two entrees off of the list and will also receive Jada Rice on the side. The list of offerings is below:

  • Sustainable Seasonal Fish Crudo, Roasted Corn Salsa, Finger Lime, Smoked Sea Salt
  • Crispy Yellowtail Snapper, Som Tam, Black Bean Sauce
  • Marinated Grilled Octopus, Artichoke Barigoule, Saffron Aioli, Lemon-Caper Olive Oil
  • 72-Hour Beef Short Rib, Carrots, Chimichurri
  • Market Vegetable Curry, Coconut-Red Curry, Poppadum, Lime Chutney
  • Black-Eyed Pea Fritters, Zhough Yogurt, Peppadew Puree
  • Masa and Pulled Pork Tamale, Hominy Succotash, Red Mole Sauce
  • Salad of Roasted Baby Beets, Goat Cheese Crema, Walnut Granola, Sun-dried Cherry Vinaigrett
  • Flash Fried Icy Blue Mussels, Za’atar Butter, Confit Tomato, Persian Cucumber
  • Chermoula Rubbed Chicken, Dried Fruits, Olives, Couscous, Harissa Yogurt

Have you tried lunch or dinner at the new Tiffins? Let us know your thoughts below.

Major Changes to the Disney Dining Plan in 2017

Crystal Palace SignWhen Disney released package reservations for 2017 a few days ago that mean they were also releasing some details of the dining plan and there is a fairly major change coming. For several years now all meals, both quick service and table service have included 1 entree, 1 non-alcoholic drink, and 1 dessert. In 2017 there will be no dessert included with quick service meals, but guests will receive an extra snack each day of their plan. This change affects both the quick service dining plan and the table service plan. For table service meals a dessert is still included. See the full details of the 2017 plan below:

2017 Quick Service Dining Plan

  • 2 Quick Service Meals (Include an entree and a non-alcoholic drink)
  • 2 Snacks
  • 1 Resort Refillable Mug per person

2017 Disney Dining Plan

  • 1 Quick Service Meal (Include an entree and a non-alcoholic drink)
  • 1 Table Service Meal (Includes an entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic drink or full meal at buffet)
  • 2 Snacks
  • 1 Resort Refillable Mug per person

2017 Deluxe Disney Dining Plan

  • 3 Meals – Meal can be either quick service or table service (Table Service meals on the Deluxe Plan includes an appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage)
  • 2 Snacks
  • 1 Resort Refillable Mug per person

You can find the full details on the 2017 Dining Plan by visiting that section of the Disney website HERE. Keep in mind not all restaurants may be included on the list yet, but most will continue to be added as we get closer to 2017. Many restaurants on property are not directly owned and/or operated by Disney so it take a little longer to negotiate the dining plan contracts. Leave a comment below if you have any questions on the 2017 plan and we’ll do our best to get an answer.

Top Five Quick Service Food Items at Animal Kingdom – Episode 9

In this week’s episode, for June 20, 2016 we will be continuing our series on top quick service menu items in the parks as we visit Animal Kingdom.

Please send any questions about the show to host@mousedreamsblog.com and visit our website, www.MouseDreamsBlog.com for more information. Also, like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/MouseDreamsblog and follow us on Twitter @MouseDreamsBlog.

Finally, thanks to our sponsors and friends at Big Dreams Travel, an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. Visit them at www.bigdreamstravelusa.com to help with your next vacation.

You can submit Disney trip planning questions for us to answer on the show by e-mailing us at podcast@MouseDreamsBlog.com, by tweeting your question to @MouseDreamsBlog on Twitter, or by visiting the listener questions page on our website at www.MouseDreamsBlog.com/podcastquestions. We would love to answer your questions on travel including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise Line. Have a great week everyone and thanks for listening!

Subscribe to the Podcast:     Podbean      iTunes      RSS Feed

Top Five Quick Service Food Items at Epcot – Episode 7

cropped-NEW-Icon-Edit-A.jpgIn this week’s episode, for March 7, 2016, we are continuing our series of top quick service food items at Disney World and we will be visiting Epcot.

Please send any questions about the show to host@mousedreamsblog.com and visit our website, www.MouseDreamsBlog.com for more information. Also, like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/MouseDreamsblog and follow us on Twitter @MouseDreamsBlog.

Finally, thanks to our sponsors and friends at Big Dreams Travel, an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. Visit them at www.bigdreamstravelusa.com to help with your next vacation.

You can submit Disney trip planning questions for us to answer on the show by e-mailing us at podcast@MouseDreamsBlog.com, by tweeting your question to @MouseDreamsBlog on Twitter, or by visiting the listener questions page on our website at www.MouseDreamsBlog.com/podcastquestions. We would love to answer your questions on travel including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise Line. Have a great week everyone and thanks for listening!

Subscribe to the Podcast:    Podbean          iTunes          RSS Feed

The Basics of the Disney Dining Plan

Steak at YachtsmanOnce you have decided on a resort and park tickets you need to decide if you want to add the Disney Dining Plan to your package. Remember, the dining plan can only be added if staying on-site in a Disney resort. The Disney Dining Plan, as described by Disney “offers you a convenient and affordable way to enjoy snacks and meals throughout the Walt Disney World resort, including those located in the Downtown Disney area”. The two key words in that statement are “convenient” and “affordable”. We will look at each of those factors and give you a brief overview of each of the different types of dining plans available at Disney World.

The Dining Plan is Affordable
Disney used to advertise really hard that the Dining plan would save you money, sometimes up to 20% on your dining. Well in recent years the cost of the dining plan has gone up and the price of food has not increased as much so that savings is pretty negligible now. Now, the dining plan usually doesn’t cost you more money, so it is affordable, but you do need to be aware of what you are getting and “paying for” upfront. Every meal on the dining plan includes a dessert and drink for every member of your family. So, if everyone doesn’t eat dessert with each meal or drink something other than water with each meal you are paying for something you might not use otherwise. Now, there are certainly creative ways to use those desserts and beverages, such as taking a pre-packaged dessert and using it as a snack later on in the day. So, it may not be a total loss, but you certainly need to decide if the eating habits of your family will make the dining plan beneficial or not.

The Dining Plan is Convenient
This is probably the biggest positive for most of the people who love using the dining plan. The convenience of having the dining for your entire trip paid for in advance is something a lot of people like. It gives you a nice peace of mind that you aren’t going to go home with hundreds of dollars in credit card charges. It also gives you peace of mind that your family will have plenty of food as the dining plan is notorious for always including more than enough to feed any family. The convenience of the plan is certainly the top reason we would recommend you to add the dining plan to your package.

How the Dining Plan Credits Work
The Disney Dining Plan includes credits for each night of your trip in different meal/snack types. For instance, if you are on a 6 night trip on the regular dining plan each member of your family will get 6 table service credits, 6 quick service credits, and 6 snacks. You are not limited to one of each type each day, instead you would simply have a bank of everyone’s credits in your party and you get to use them however you want. So if you want to split a meal that is do-able and then you can use the other meal at another time. Also, all dining plans include a resort refillable mug for each person that can be refilled at certain locations in your resort hotel.

Disney Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan includes each of the following for each night of your hotel stay.

  • 1 Table Service Meal Per Person – Includes 1 entree, 1 dessert (lunch or dinner only), and 1 non-alcoholic beverage –OR– 1 Full Buffet
  • 1 Quick Service Meal Per Person – Includes 1 entree or combo meal, 1 dessert (lunch or dinner only), and 1 non-alcoholic beverage
  • 1 Snack (Indicated by the snack symbol on boards at quick service locations)

Deluxe Disney Dining Plan
The Deluxe Disney Dining Plan includes 3 meal per person for each night of your hotel stay and 2 snacks per person per day. The meals for each day can be any combination of the following:

  • Table Service Meal – Includes 1 appetizer (lunch or dinner only), 1 entree, 1 dessert (lunch or dinner only), and 1 non-alcoholic beverage –OR– 1 Full Buffet
  • Quick Service Meal – Includes 1 entree or combo meal, 1 dessert (lunch or dinner only), and 1 non-alcoholic beverage

Quick Service Disney Dining Plan
The Quick Service Disney Dining Plan includes each of the following for each night of your hotel stay.

  • 2 Quick Service Meals Per Person – Includes 1 entree or combo meal, 1 dessert (lunch or dinner only), and 1 non-alcoholic beverage
  • 1 Snack (Indicated by the snack symbol on boards at quick service locations)

Let us know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below and we’ll be back to help you as soon as we can.

Via Napoli Review

For today’s Saturday Review article I want to highlight a very popular restaurant in the Epcot World Showcase, Via Napoli. This restaurant is not only a favorite of ours, but it is a favorite of a large number of Disney World visitors. The large restaurant with the open kitchen and pizza oven is a fantastic option for families, especially those with large groups. The atmosphere is festive, the smells are divine, and the pizzas are authentic.

We arrived at around 11:20 AM for our 11:30 reservation time and the small lobby was already bursting at the seams as the restaurant didn’t open until 11:30. We could still see them having their staff meeting inside the restaurant, and some of them were still meeting even after we were seated at about 11:35.

 photo IMG_0771_zpsif2xfwi9.jpg

We decided to try and appetizer we haven’t had before in our previous visits and as you can tell from my picture we wasted no time jumping right in and trying the Arancini which is described as fried risotto balls with mozzarella and meat ragu.

 photo IMG_0775_zpssv3gwvbl.jpg

It was so good I was honestly considering getting another order. The flavor was great and the texture of the risotto after being fried was absolutely perfect. Even our three year old son loved his portion!

For our pizza selection we ended up getting a large pizza and splitting two of our favorite flavors, Quattro Formaggi and Piccante. I’ll also take this opportunity to say that our main waitress was awesome throughout the meal as she wanted to make sure we had everything we need. She even served us all a piece of pizza when it arrived, which kept me from getting a nice picture of the entire “pie”, but it was a great gesture nonetheless. I did the best I could!

 photo IMG_0778_zpsoqph6nlf.jpg

The Quattro Formaggi was fantastic as always and our three year old naturally loves it because it is all cheese and my wife would agree. My personal favorite is the Piccante.

 photo IMG_0776_zpshkxijc10.jpg

The Piccante is described as tomato sauce, mozzarella, and Italian spicy sausage, and it has been great each time I have ordered it. The sausage has a nice amount of spice to it, but not to much to make it in-edible. I also tend to enjoy that their pizzas don’t have a lot of tomato sauce, which is a big positive for me. Overall we were satisfied once again with our meal at Via Napoli and will most certainly be making a return trip in the future.

The Plaza Restaurant Review

Plaza Club SandwichIt’s Trip Review Saturday and in this article I’m going to review our latest visit to The Plaza Restaurant. The Plaza, located at the end of Main Street U.S.A. is one of our favorite dinner spots when we are looking for a simple table service meal. This restaurant has been one of our favorites over the past couple of years because it is one of the best value table service meals on property. There are several menu items available for between $12 and $16 which by Disney standards is a great value for a table service restaurant.

The Plaza Restaurant is located on the end of Main Street U.S.A., facing the castle. It is a small restaurant once you are inside, but the theming is fantastic. You certainly feel like you have just walked off of Main Street and that this is a place you would most definitely find on Main Street in small town America. One of the other big benefits for us is that you can order dessert from the Main Street Ice Cream Parlour when dining here. More on that later!

We had a dinner reservation for this evening and checked in about 10 minutes before our reservation time. Unfortunately, we were not seated for about 45 minutes, which is very rare for Disney dining reservations and especially rare based on our past trips to The Plaza. I’m not sure if they were just over-booked or there was some impending severe weather so people may have been hanging around inside the restaurant longer than usual. We were seated eventually though and our waiter was very quick and efficient. We usually do not liked to be rushed and he was fast, but we did have some FP+ reservations later on in the evening and the delay in getting seated had us closer to our windows, so this time we appreciated the quick pace.

As far as the food we have always enjoyed what we have ordered at The Plaza. There are no appetizers on the menu, but since we knew we would be ordering dessert that was not a problem for us. I should mention that they do offer a soup of the day and side salad even though there is no appetizer menu. The first thing we tried was the Turkey Sandwich: smoked turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise layered on toasted multi-grain bread. The cost of this sandwich was $12.49 and it comes with chips.

 photo IMG_0602_zpsmliwzipn.jpg

All in all this sandwich is a great bargain. As you can see in the picture above there is a large amount of meat and other toppings. Also, the multi-grain bread it was served on was fantastic. We didn’t finish the entire sandwich, but we certainly finished the bread! The other entree we tried as the Plaza Club: smoked ham, turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on toasted sourdough bread for $12.49.

 photo IMG_0603_zpsxtsuyrcd.jpg

The signature club left a little to be desired in our opinion. It had plenty of meat and toppings, but we found the bread to be very hard. Actually if I had it to do over again I would probably ask if they could make the club sandwich with the multi-grain bread, now that would be a fantastic club! Don’t get me wrong the club was good, just not my favorite thing on the menu. I have also ordered Beef Brisket Onion Burger before here and remember it being very good. Overall we were satisfied with the entrees, especially considering they cost $12.49 at a sit down restaurant. Also, you get a large serving of the chips with each sandwich and we are big fans of those. That is one food item we think Disney does really well and it is a nice changeup from having fries as a side with a lot of meals.

Of course after our entrees we had to save room for one of our favorites, a brownie sundae from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlour.

 photo IMG_0604_zpskzyhh7e9.jpg

This dessert was huge and extremely tasty. It is so nice to just sit back, relax, enjoy your ice cream, and look out the large windows and observe all of the action taking place on Main Street and in the hub. The setting of this meal is almost perfect and the food is pretty good to compliment that. Overall, we highly recommend The Plaza Restaurant. Like we said earlier this place is a great value if paying cash. It is not a great value if on the dining plan as you aren’t getting much value for your dining credits, so if you are on the dining plan you might just consider paying cash here and using your table service credits elsewhere. That will do it for our review of The Plaza, thanks for reading and happy trip planning!