Sunday, 29 January 2017

Disneyland trip report - Surfs Up! breakfast and Disney California Adventure

Oops! I forgot to post a link to day five of our Disneyland trip!

Meanie Mouse x

Disney dreaming


It's 2017 and it's been a long time since posting. I've had the post-Disney blues since returning from California, so haven't been doing as many Disney related things as it gives me the grumps. We had a short trip to Disneyland Paris just before Christmas, but unfortunately that just made me miss Walt Disney World and Disneyland even more :( Even seeing everyone's lovely holiday photos on Instagram and the Dibb have made me a bit sad. Boo!

I made Mickey waffles :)

A few days ago I made Mickey waffles to try and cheer myself up, but they made me a bit sad too as they just aren't as good as in Disney!

All I can think about at the moment, is being able to plan our next trip! And we cant book anything for ages yet. Harrumph. I've looked a few times at doing a cheapy week either in Florida or California, but without special deals like the free dining and the money we often save on Old Key West, it doesn't work out that cheap! I wrote out a sort-of-sensible plan of our next few trips and text it to Gareth the other day. I'd love to take more trips than that, but a combination of needing to save enough money and planning to expand the family, means we don't know if all of these will be possible!

As much as I'd like to squeeze in a holiday to Florida every two years, when we booked our last trip in April last year we agreed we'd wait until April 2019 to go back. Mainly so possible second child wouldn't be too little. But as that has been pushed back by a variety of things, little one might be little-r than we planned! I'm also hoping I'll be graduated from uni by then, so can celebrate while we are there!

The trip to California before that is definitely a head in the clouds item on the list, as we'll be busy paying for a Florida trip! But I long to be back in Disneyland so badly, that I'm hoping we can squeeze a little one in! I absolutely loved being there for Halloween, so hoping to go again a little later in October so we can see the change over to Christmas :)

Then the next planned Florida trip is so we can be there for the 50th anniversary! We were there for the 25th, so it would be so magical to be there for the 50th! I'm fully anticipating it'll be rammed, but it would be worth it. Maybe we'll try a different hotel for a week, too. I'm not sure we can stretch to the Polynesian, but I'd love to try Saratoga Springs or the Wilderness Lodge!

And then the last one of the list of "have you won the lottery then, Sam?" holidays is to visit Tokyo Disneyland. I'd absolutely love to visit the Eastern parks and hadn't planned to go until we've finished having kids and they are much older. But I can't wait! So as G will be 40 at the end of 2021, I figured I might be able to trick him to go over in the guise of a 40th birthday trip ;) Tokyo is one of his favourite places and he can't wait to go back. So while we are there, we may as well hop on over to Hong Kong and Shanghai! (I haven't mentioned that bit of the plan yet though haha!)

I've cheered up my grumpy Disney boots the last few days though as I've been watching lots of videos by TheTimTracker with Alice, and talking about my favourite rides with her :) She's enjoyed seeing the parades and the characters and is excited about going again. I've also enjoyed following the Harding family on their current trip, as we might have a little one not much older the next time we go :)

And because I'm absolutely mad, I've already listed how I plan to spend our table service credits on our next trip :D Lots of character dining (for Alice, of course. Absolutely not for me. Nope.) and less schlepping about than we did last time.

Anyway, I should probably leave it there for now! But I'll try and get back into the swing of posting regularly soon :)

Meanie Mouse x

Monday, 21 November 2016

Disneyland trip report - Disneyland, Plaza Inn, Walk in Walt's Footsteps and Blue Bayou

Hello again :)

I've written up the next instalment of my trip report on The Dibb. 

Halloween, Haunted Mansion Holiday and Happy Birthday! - day 3 Disneyland & Walk in Walt's Footsteps

There's a lot of pictures from Plaza Inn and the Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour - I hope you'll find it interesting :)

Meanie Mouse x

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Disneyland trip report - travel days

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Hey! :)

I've finally made a start writing up my trip report for Disneyland. We've been home almost a month now, so time I get going!

Halloween, Haunted Mansion Holiday and Happy Birthday! Days 1+2, travel days

Hope you enjoy, I'd love to read your comments :)

Meanie Mouse x

Friday, 11 November 2016

Eating vegan at WDW - Epcot

Ooops, went longer without posting than I planned! I’ve been a bit of a slug since coming back from Disneyland, so need to get back into the swing of regular writing :)

Well, Epcot is an absolute treat for vegans! There are so many wonderful things to eat, in so many wonderful places. I absolutely love Epcot, it’s a very close second favourite park behind Magic Kingdom. And all the great places to eat only makes me love it more.

On our first day in Epcot, we had lunch at Akershus. It wasn’t part of our original plans, but I was really lucky and found a late lunch reservation a few weeks before our trip. This was one of the reservations I was a little more worried about, as the menu is Norwegian and I wasn’t sure what kind of food I’d be offered. I’d read some reports of great salads at the salad bar, but not so much about great entrees.

I told our server I was vegan and she told me what was suitable on the buffet. There was a lot of fish, but plenty of tasty salad items. I had mixed lettuce leaves, mini carrots, cucumber salad (which was really good!), balsamic grilled asparagus and a bread roll. Eating asparagus cold was odd, but everything was very tasty.

When I asked about my main, the server referred to it as “a vegetable dish”. I asked what it was, but she just repeated “a vegetable dish”. I wasn't expecting much, but I had the most amazing meal. I had roasted beetroot and golden beetroot, a spicy red pepper sauce, wilted rocket and a mini mountain of roasted potato, peppers and courgette. It was absolutely gorgeous and I all but licked the plate clean!

Dessert was coconut rice cream and it was really delicious. I struggled to finish it all, but everything was so insanely good. I’d definitely eat at Akershus again - gorgeous food and princesses. What could be better?

For dinner that night, we ate at San Angel Inn. I love this restaurant for the atmosphere, but we had really bad experience on this visit. We we seated a whole 50 minutes after our reservation time and our server was infuriatingly slow. We had the delicious chips on our tables while we waited for our food (which took forever!).

My only option for an entree was a veggie tortilla bowl, with veggies and black beans on a tiny tortilla. The food was really bland and I couldn’t even wrap anything in the tortilla as it was buried under all the toppings. So I ate it with a knife and fork. I was really disappointed as there are so many exciting things you can do with mexican food. I didn’t really want to ask to speak to the chef on this occasion, as we were already so delayed, our server was crap and I wanted to get going so we could see the Illuminations. They weren’t able to offer me dessert at this dinner either, so it was a very disappointing experience.

I really love this restaurant though, so will give it another try on our next trip before I write it off.

In our second week, we made another visit to Epcot. We grabbed lunch in Sunshine Seasons, as they always have loads of gorgeous vegan options. Also, The Land pavilion is a beautiful place to sit and chill for a while.

We got two different meals to share between the three of us - a Gardein chik’n korma, tabbouleh pinwheels and sides of grapes with both meals. The korma came with jasmine rice and was a pretty decent sized portion. The rice was very tasty, but the curry wasn’t to my tastes. I’m not a fan of korma anyway, but this one was very sweet as if it’d had sugar added to it. It was edible though and was full of veggies and lots of chik’n pieces.

The pinwheels didn’t taste like an awful lot, but were edible. On our last trip, I’d had a really good roasted veggie and houmous wrap, so was sad to see it wasn’t available this time. But there are lots of lovely salads and sandwiches that are vegan, with no modifications. So Sunshine Seasons is always on my must visit list. I was chatting to my lovely friend Natalie a few days ago and she said she actually took a break from other parks to catch the bus to Epcot for lunch, as Sunshine Seasons was so great.

We had a reservation at Teppan Edo the same evening. I was really excited to eat there as I’d seen lots of pictures of videos and the dining experience looked so fun.

The server told the chef I was vegan when he came out, and he told me he’d cook my food first. Yaaaay! He cooked a huge pile of veggies and added some big fat noodles, which he assured me didn’t contain egg. He also cooked some tofu for me, to add to my dinner. He served up my plate of veggies tofu and noodles, and then moved the rest to the side to keep warm for everyone else while he cooked the meat.

The servers brought out rice and I asked for boiled rice, as the standard rice served contains beef stock. I shared my rice with Alice and we got through 2 or 3 bowls - they keep bringing more out. My veggies and noodles were gorgeous and I can’t wait to eat there again. I thought it’d be weird sharing a table with other people, but it was fine. If you’re not ok with watching meat and fish be cooked right in front of you, I’d give this one a miss. But it’s really fun and really delicious, so try and get a reservation if you can deal with the meat.

Towards the end of the trip, we ate at Coral Reef. I wasn’t sure how I felt about a restaurant where you dine alongside beautiful fish, while people are that there munching on the fishies’ cousins. However, it was an incredibly beautiful setting and the vegan meal there was INCREDIBLE.

It was a Gardein chick’n breast with black rice, pine nuts, mushrooms and onions. It was gorgeeeeeous! Even two of the meat eaters in my party ordered it and loved it too. It’s been taken off the menu now though, which is a shame. It’s been replaced with crabless cakes, so not sure I’d visit again - not a fan of faux fish :(

I’d love to visit Epcot during the food and wine festival one day, as I’ve heard there are lots of exciting things to eat.

Where’s your favourite place to eat in Epcot?

Sam x

Monday, 3 October 2016

Eating vegan at WDW - Magic Kingdom

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Pineapple juice and dole whip

I wanted to write a post about my experience of eating vegan at Walt Disney World in April 2016, in the hope it’ll help others when planning their trips :)

WDW is pretty much the dream for vegans. Nowhere else in the world do you get fed so well and get treated like a special, magical vegetable eating princess :)

I try not to stress too much about what I’m eating when I’m away and trust the Disney staff when they say something is vegan. I did a bit of research before this trip of where to go and what to eat, but found there were some differences. While it’s great to get recommendations online first, always check with the staff at any outlet as they should have the most up to date information.

There are so many great places to eat in Magic Kingdom! On our first morning, we had breakfast with Poohbear and friends at Crystal Palace.

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Mickey waffles!

A chef took me around the buffet, but there wasn’t a huge amount of choice - just breakfast potatoes and fruit. I also had allergy Mickey waffles and a special vegan carrot cake! :) That was more than enough delicious goodness for me!

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Delicious carrot cake from Crystal Palace

We had dinner on the first night in Tony’s Town Square. I hadn’t eaten there before, but I’d definitely go back. There was a vegan dish on the allergy menu, of pasta with sauteed veggies and a balsamic glaze. I switched the pasta for rice pasta. It was really, really good. The server also brought me bread and olive oil for dipping. The portions were huge and I managed to eat it all because I am a champ. Dessert was a beautifully tangy raspberry sorbet. Such a treat to have 3 courses in a restaurant! :)

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Pasta primavera - Tony's Town Square

Day two, we had lunch at Pecos Bill because I heard the veggie rice bowl was good. And it was! You have to sub the cilantro rice for plain boiled rice and it comes with veggies, black beans and corn chips. The toppings bar has loads of vegan options (I think everything is vegan actually, but double check! I had a big plate of guacamole, sweetcorn salad and pico de gallo with mine and it was all delicious. I didn’t think it’d be very filling, but with all the extra toppings, I struggled to finish it all!

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Veggie rice bowl - Pecos Bill

I didn’t take a photo of my dinner at Be Our Guest, but the vegetarian option on the menu is also vegan :) It’s layered ratatouille with quinoa. I had it when we dined there on honeymoon three years ago and wasn’t a fan. This time it was absolutely delicious! I think I had raspberry sorbet again for dessert - it’s the same across all WDW restaurants :)

On our last day, we had a reservation for breakfast at Be Our Guest. We had a bit of a faff with getting food ordered. I’d researched what was vegan there, so felt informed before I arrived. Then I seemed to confuse the poor girl taking the orders and she called the chef to come down, who I also confused. I knew that people who’ve been before got served a little basket of cakes from Erin McKenna’s bakery. So I asked if I could get those. The server and the chef both had no idea what I was talking about. I explained that they were vegan, gluten free, allergy friendly items from the bakery at Disney Springs. Nope, no clue. Fine, ok, so I asked what I could have. The chef said I could have steel cut oats and brown sugar. Erm, no thanks. I like porridge and all, but I didn’t want to use a meal credit on porridge! I asked if I could have allergy Mickey waffles instead and the chef seemed to remember waffles were an option and agreed to do those. Hurrah!

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On our final night we ate at Cinderella’s Royal Table, which is starting to become a Clews family tradition :) CRT is a wonderful dining experience. It’s so amazingly special to be inside the castle and it’s always nice to see the princesses! The food is pretty good too!

My starter was an apple and walnut salad, modified from the vegetarian option on the menu.

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Apple and walnut salad - Cinderella's Royal Table

For such a simple little salad, it was really, really tasty. I should try and recreate it at home!

I didn’t get a photo of my main meal, as my phone died :( It didn’t look like much, but it was a tasty vegetable and rice dish which was a modified version of the vegetarian gnocchi dish. The menu looks like it’s been updated since and there’s now a tofu couscous dish that sounds delicious!

Dessert was raspberry sorbet again, but I didn’t mind having it so many times as it is delicious!

Magic Kingdom has loads of great options for vegans and plenty of great snacks (look out for a snack post soon!). It's rare a day goes by when I don't dream of the food in Magic Kingdom!

If you have any questions, or want to share your experience with me, please leave me a comment :)

Sam x