Welcome back! I’m glad you decided to come back for part 2 of my Disney adventure!
If you missed part one, you can go back and check it out HERE. I discussed our chosen dining plan as well as shared our experiences at several popular Disney World restaurants including Chef Mickey’s and Be Our Guest Restaurant.
Today we start off with day 3 which was a very busy day as we hit not one but TWO parks!
Our morning began bright and early in Animal Kingdom. They had extra magic hours that day so the park opened an hour earlier for guests who were staying at a Disney hotel/resort. Since we qualified we were sure to get on an early bus to take advantage of this time as we knew it would be a little quieter before the rest of the guests were allowed in.
Since this was such an early morning for us, we didn’t stop for a long breakfast anywhere, we just ate granola bars on our way to the park. I highly recommend packing some good snacks for your trip for mornings like this!
The first part of the morning was spent exploring. A huge advantage to Extra Magic Hours in the morning is that you can often just walk on to the rides rather than waiting which is exactly what Chad did with Kali River Rapids! Once that was finished we explored the park a little including a self guided walk through Maharajah Jungle Trek, and Harambe market. We then got to go for a Kilimanjaro Safari which has been at the top of my list since I was a little kid. We were lucky and got to see giraffes, rhinos, elephants and lions!
We then grabbed ourself a popcorn with a snack credit and headed to Festival of the Lion King – a must see in Animal Kingdom! By this point we were hungry and ready for lunch so we made our way over to Pandora – The World of Avatar which is the newest addition to Animal Kingdom.
The Imagineers really nailed it with this one. The theme and attention to detail are both incredible. Floating mountains and everything, just like the movie!
We decided to once again split a quick service meal and went to Satu’li Canteen which is the main restaurant in this part of the park. I’m not going to lie, I was really unsure about eating here. It sounded weird and I didn’t know if I was going to like the food but I was hungry and figured I should give it a try.
We opted for the “build your own bowl” option. You pick your protein (4 options), you pick your base (4 options) and you pick your sauce (3 options). We went with grilled chicken on a sweet potato hash base and the creamy herb dressing (kinda like ranch but better). The bowl then gets topped with some slaw and a few bobas. I’m going to be honest. I think this ended up being one of my favorite quick service meals! Y’all have to eat here next time you’re in Animal Kingdom. The dressing was delicious and the sweet potato hash reminded us of one of our favorite dishes that I make at home. You get PLENTY of food but it isn’t at all greasy and doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and sluggish.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of this meal so I apologize! Good news is that Katie, the Fairytale Foodie, has a review for this restaurant over on her blog too! Check it out HERE!
Our second park for the day was Hollywood Studios! Pairing Animal Kingdom with Hollywood Studios made perfect sense for our schedule. With our “to-do list” we only needed about a half day in each park. Now with all of the changes happening to HS in the next couple of years, this might not be an option on our next trip.
We didn’t do a lot of eating at this park, I’ll be honest. We went to Backlot Express first and shared a quick service hot dog meal and fries. Now don’t let our lame choice fool you, this restaurant has some pretty good options! Right now it has a bit of a Star Wars theme including chicken and Darth Vader waffles and a Royal Guard burger.
We spent the afternoon taking in some of the Star Wars shows, meeting a few characters and just exploring around. Our dinner reservation was at 50’s Prime Time Cafe so we just hung out until it was time to eat!
I was really looking forward to experiencing this restaurant. It is set up like a home in the 50’s. The furniture, decor, even the TV’s! The cast members here are absolutely HILARIOUS! It makes for such a fun and interactive experience. The servers are your “cousins” and treat you like family throughout the whole meal. Be careful to keep your elbows off the table! You don’t want to get yelled at. And be sure to check the color of the soap when you go to the bathroom, your cousin will test you to make sure you washed your hands!
The food here is all homestyle cookin, straight from mama’s kitchen. From pot roast to stuffed pork chops. Meatloaf to fried chicken. And don’t forget all the fixin’s! Mashed potatoes, gravy and vegetables. Make sure you eat those veggies or else you just might be served by your cousin “airplane style” so that you can earn your sticker and a place in the “clean plate club”!
Chad order the peanut butter and jam milkshake with the stuffed pork chop and strawberry cheesecake for dessert. I went with a traditional cherry coke, “Mom’s sample” which included meat loaf, pot roast and crispy, golden fried chicken with the apple crisp a la mode for dessert. We each used a table service credit for this meal which included the drinks (even the milkshake), the entrees and the desserts.
The food here was delicious, the milkshakes are incredible and the dessert is tasty and comforting. I would totally recommend this restaurant to anyone and everyone! Whether you are a family with young kids or a couple celebrating your anniversary. We truly had the best time and will be returning during out next visit!
We finished off our evening with FastPasses for Fantasmic. This is one show that I didn’t really know much about so it was pretty much a complete surprise for me! And what a delightful surprise it was! The entire show was absolutely incredible and truly captivating. It includes fireworks and pyro, laser lights, dancing water and projections. You follow Mickey along on a journey through his dreams (and nightmares!) where he uses his imagination to save the day.
Although we only had a half day, we really enjoyed our time at Hollywood Studios. We look forward to our next trip when we can check out the new additions including Toy Story Land and Star Wars land!
BONUS: ‘Ohanna Restaurant at the Disney Polynesian Resort. This will be a quick review. I don’t really have any photos because I didn’t bring my good camera and it was pretty dark.
We came to this restaurant for our very last Disney meal and to use our final table service credit before we made our way over to Universal for the last 2 days of our vacation. The restaurant is located in the Polynesian Resort and they pipe in the music from the fireworks show while you are eating. For this reason we made a late reservation and requested a window table so that we could view the fireworks one last time. The food is served “family style” and brought in large platters or on long skewers straight to your table.
Your meal starts with a pineapple-coconut bread and mixed green salad. The appetizers include pork dumplings and honey-coriander chicken wings. Teriyaki noodles and mixed vegetables accompany the meat skewers including shrimp, sirloin steak and sweet & sour chicken. It was all incredible but in my opinion the real star was dessert! The ‘Ohana bread pudding is topped with a sweet caramel and bananas foster and served with ice cream. It blew my mind. I still dream about it. If the fireworks hadn’t made me cry, this dessert probably would have done it. I did not want to leave! But sadly we had to … but i have already started planning the next trip!
With that being said, it’s time to talk snacks!
With our dining plan, we were each given 2 snack credits per day. With all the other food you are consuming, that’s a lot of snacks!
I think my top snack choices are probably Dole Whip (it’s hot in Florida and Dole Whip is refreshing!), the ginormous cinnamon roll from Gaston’s Tavern (so good y’all!) and the Mickey shaped pretzel.
Other great snack options are of course the Mickey ice cream bars, churros (duh!) and popcorn boxes. Now like I said before, with this dining plan there was PLENTY of food to go around. We were never hungry. In fact, at the end of the trip we took our left over quick service and snack credits and used them to pick up some treat to take home! This included things like character cake pops, rice crispy treats, cookies, fudge and brownies!
Fun Fact: I hate cake pops but had to get this because it was so cute. Turned out I LOVE Disney cake pops and will be getting every single one my next trip.
Now aside from your snack credit treats, there are a couple things I would definitely recommend purchasing. First up, Main Street Popcorn! This comes in few flavors including caramel, maple bacon, cheddar, and churro.
I also really enjoyed our candy apple. We got the Minnie one from Goofy’s Candy Company at Disney Springs.
We really did have the best time at Disney World. If you have never been, or it’s been while since your last trip, I would suggest looking into making it your next vacation destination. We absolutely LOVED staying at the Port Orleans Riverside resort. Again, look into the dining plans and see if one is right for you and your family. Take your time to do your research before your trip! There are so many incredible Disney vacation blogs out there so make use of those resources!
But thank you for coming along on this journey with me. I hope I was able to bring a little bit of magic to your day!
Y’all come back now.