Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tony's Town Square Restaurant - Magic Kingdom

A couple of days ago we visited Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  The crowds were moderate and we managed to see almost everything by 7:00 pm after which pass customers were escorted out and Mickey's Very Special Christmas began.  We made reservations (407-WDW-DINE) at Tony's Town Square which is a casual Italian restaurant just inside the park next to the train station.

The dining room is styled like a turn of the century restaurant such as the one in Lady and the Tramp.  Dinner for us was spaghetti, Shrimp Scampi, and Chicken Parmigiana.  Individual plates range from $15 to $35 but I think the most expensive on the menu was the New York Strip steak at $29.99.

Service was good but could have been better.  Wait time after arriving prior to our reservation time was over 20 minutes and it took another 10 minutes for a server to arrive.  Our server was affable and efficient but we didn't get anything but "cookie cutter" service.

Minus a few points I look for in a restaurant my family enjoyed the dinner.  I give the place a "B" overall.  It was very nice but I'm a little critical of theme park restaurants because I believe their standards are high.  I can't help but notice the dinners and service I experience at Epcot are much higher that at Magic Kingdom or any of the other Disney parks.  This may my perception but it's a consistent perception.  Nonetheless, it was a nice experience but I'm not in a hurry to return.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Caribe Royale

One of the Disney area hotels that can be overlooked is the Caribe Royale.  A sprawling 50+ acre arrangements of towers and villas, this resort is well worth your stay.  Set a few blocks off the mainstream hotel locations of Lake Buena Vista, Caribe Royale is a great place for families and business types to stay for surprisingly reasonable rates.

Enter the spacious lobby with tropical appeal and be greeted by a professional front desk staff who aim to please. Check in is quick and painless.  Once you get your room walk down the majestic staircase and out to the pool area surrounded by three towers hosting over 1, 200 one room suites ranging from $109 - $129/night during this season.

Caribe Royale has casual dining and a 24 hour deli where you can walk down in your pajamas and get whatever you want.  Wander past the towers and view the Convention Center located adjacent the 2 bedroom villas raging from $134 - $149/night.

Spend some time at the pool and have a drink at the poolside bar.  You can enjoy the 2 Jacuzzis and there is a kiddie pool/playground for the kids.  They also have a fitness center (see picture to the left).

Say "Hi" to some of our Florida wildlife.  I met these red-crested cranes ambling through the parking lot.

We've stayed here many times over the years and always enjoy the stay.   It's close to the parks and shuttle service is available. Visit their website at www.CaribeRoyale.com and take the virtual tour. You won't be disappointed. Thank you for reading.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Raglan Road Irish Restaurant- Downtown Disney

Stopped by here last Saturday night.  The place was rocking with every table and chair full and people standing in the aisles. There is no other way to enjoy an Irish Pub.  The service and food was fantastic.  They do a stellar job of keeping up with a Saturday night crowd.

The dancers and musicians began about 8:00 pm and were still going strong several  hours later when we left.  we started with an appetizer called Dalkey Duo, (breaded sausages on forks). Dinner for us was lamb, burgers, Bangers & Booze, and chicken.

Needless to say you can have any drink you like or make something up.  Reservations come highly recommended because there is no room after 7:00 pm.  Call 1-407-WDW-DINE or go on line at www.disney.go.com.

Gaylord Palms Resort - Orlando

Gaylord Palms Resort just off the Osceola Parkway near the gates to Walt Disney World is a world class hotel and convention center with a lot going on this fall.  To step into the majestic corridors and gardens of this hotel will amaze even the most critical traveler.  The grounds and amenities appeal to the business traveler and families looking for a great place to stay while visiting the parks.

Visitors can choose from Sunset Guest Rooms, Emerald Guest Rooms, or Luxury Suites and Presidential Guest Suites that range in price from $199-$850/night.  They also have rates for Florida residents, seniors, AARP, military, and more.  Remember to bounce their deals against the travel sites.  Believe it or not, you may find a better rate at another site.

I thought it would be good to display the layout of the place. It's that big!

This fall there are several events that will attract folks from up north and Floridians alike.  Christmas at Gaylord's is a decorative celebration of the season that includes a 54 foot tall tree and over 2 million lights inside and out of the resort.  There are Dream Works characters from films like Shrek, Madagascar, and KungFu Panda which also accompany the character dining events.

The incredibly popular "ICE" premiers from Nov 10-Jan 31.  This one appeals especially to Floridians whose kids never get to see ice and snow. They can play on and slide on a 2 million pound ice sculpture. Packages start at $189 per night but you can also attend the event separately starting at 13.99/Child and $22.95 /Adult Visit the website for more information, tickets and reservations:



We certainly plan to attend this year and hope if you do that you will enjoy it!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rain Forest Cafe - Animal Kingdom

It's always a great experience to visit the Rain Forest Cafe in Disney World.  We usually go to the one at Downtown Disney but last week we stopped in to see the one at Animal Kingdom.  The experience was just as fun.

The menu can be viewed on the Disney web site or off Google.  We had the spinach dip appetizer followed by the  chicken finger plate and Pastalaya which I always seem to get.  Not as good as the Jambalaya at the Cheese Steak Factory but very good nonetheless.

                                               Then there's the ever present gift shop!

You can make reservations at Disney.go.com or visit RainForestCafe.com to see the menu. I have never had a bad lunch or dinner and the atmosphere is spectacular. Our service was great and although the prices are up there ($58.00 for two of us) it's a memorable place to go especially when you go to Animal Kingdom.

They accept the Disney dining plan but what they don't tell you is that you get discounts for your annual pass as well.  I had to ask. Also ask if they give military discounts because the restaurants at the theme parks do at various times and it seems to me they do it sporadically.