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Disney Series | WHAT TO EAT (PART ONE)

“Feasting is closely related to memory.
We eat certain things in a particular way in order
to remember who we are.”

(Jeff Smith)

After brain-dumping, and going back through all my notes and old Disney pictures, I had quite a list of food to share. I decided that I would break the food posts up into four posts, covering both the Disney Parks (Disneyland and Disney World).

Part One will be Magic Kingdom and Disneyland.
Part Two will be Epcot and Animal Kingdom.
Part Three will be Hollywood Studios and California Adventure.
Part Four will be Downtown Disney and Disney Springs.

I decided to do it in this order to 1) compare the similar parks and 2) have information available for people who would be going to either. Also, everything listed here is food that I have personally eaten, unless otherwise noted. I included a few notes about foods we don't like, as well as some we've heard much about but haven't had yet. It's hard to beat the Disney Food Blog for this category, but it's almost too much information for even me! So I'm hoping this bite-sized (*ka-doosh*) version of Disney food recommendations is helpful and functional! Happy Memories!


Mickey Pretzels

The "top-tier" expesnive restaurants that are hard to get into... they are all outstanding.
(Carts around the park)

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PC: Oh My Disney

PC: Oh My Disney

MAGIC KINGDOM (The "Castle Park" in Florida)

Starting center, with Main Street, and working in counter-clockwise order: TomorrowLand, FantasyLand, Liberty Square, FrontierLand, AdventureLand.


Crystal Palace

  • This is an expensive meal, but truly delicious. The options of the buffet are salivating and adrenaline-producing. The characters also roam around and greet tables, so the experience is hard to beat! If you time it right you can actually stand on the front porch and watch the fireworks with no crowd-pushing or lots of waiting around! I like the kill two birds with one stone like that.

- "Specials" from Casey's
- Foot-Long Hot Dog

(Casey’s Corner)

  • Casey's foot-long is one of the best deals in the park, and they have a rotation of "featured dogs" that are usually top notch. This last time I had an Asian-inspired dog with slaw, chili sauce, and egg roll noodles. 
  • If you're getting a hot dog for your child just go to Liberty Market... they have them there for a few dollars less.

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich
(Plaza Ice Cream Parlor)

  • Not much too say other than: do this, preferably when you're overheated and need a blood sugar boost... ;)


Pulled Pork Banh Mi
Smoked Sausage Sandwich
Coconut Tres Leches.

(Tomorrowland Terrace)

  • The buns are too big, but I solved this by removing one half of the bun and having an "open-faced" sandwich. The insides are both delicious!
  • That coconut cake is one of those things I'll crave at a time when it's not remotely possible to get into the Magic Kingdom and buy one... and it stays with me until I get it!

Iced Espresso Latte
(Auntie Gravity's)

  • Caleb discovered this one and would like to remind you to get the espresso flavor WITH an extra shot of ice cream, and ask for soft serve on top. (He's always making up his own drink recipes...)


Warm Cinnamon Roll
(Gaston’s Tavern)

  • Hard to beat once the chill of nighttime sets in! Warm, ooey, gooey, wonderful.


New England Clam Chowder
Broccoli Peppercorn Salad

(Columbia Harbor House)

  • Another Caleb find! I'm not a seafood person... but I am a cream and cheese and good-seasoning person. This chowder really is outstanding.
  • I loved the salad too... just ask for extra dressing. It's a little on the "lots of chewing" side.

Raspberry Lemonade Frozen Slush
(Liberty Tree Market)

  • I'm not a super sweet-tooth and other than water I almost exclusively drink kombucha and... wine. But there is something about this slush that makes me a maniac. Maybe I'm always so hot when I get it anything would taste good, but I swear it has this addictive element to it! I drink it in two minutes, tops! Haha

Family Style Traditional Dinner
(Liberty Tree Tavern)

  • If you can only eat "one nice/expensive meal" at Disney... eat here. Salad, warm rolls and honey butter, pork, turkey, roast, green beans, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac-and-cheese, cherry crumble, ice cream... bottomless family style. It's one of our all-time favorite meals and MUST be eaten late in the day so you can fill up, and go crawling back to your hotel bed and sleep. It's a Thanksgiving meal. Obsessed. 

Baked Potato
Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich

(Sleepy Hollow)

  • These both are very satisfying and "sit" in your stomach... we love to get one and share bites of it! A great pick-me-up and keep-me-going kind of snack! The flavors of the sandwich, especially, are a great mix of comfort food with "Hm, that's a little different!"


(Pecos Bill)

  • Alright. This is the recommendation that probably comes with the most cautions. The food isn't "aaamazing" but... you get a LOT (at least in Disney measurements). We like the fajitas and salad the best, but everything needs a little doctoring: squeeze some fresh limes, add salt and pepper, etc. It's a bit bland on its own. The part that wins us, though, is the huge toppings bar (basically self-serve Chipotle style) where you can get lots of extra protein, flavor, and veggies. We can order one fajita platter, load up on toppings, and be very satisfied! So, take with a grain of salt... literally.
PC: Easy WDW

PC: Easy WDW

Spring Rolls
Egg Rolls

(Egg Roll Wagon)

  • $4.50 for two, relatively not messy, easy to eat, crunchy, and delicious! One of the best little snacks in the park!

Items we aren't fans of (sorry to those who are! Just being honest!)
- Pineapple Dole Whip (makes us question our sanity, but we just.. don't... like... it. Too sweet.)
- Turkey Legs (Too dry, but I'm sure this can vary piece to piece. I may have just had bad luck.)
- The Chicken Pot Pie at Columbia Harbor House (the chowder was SO much better in comparison)
- Pinocchio Village Haus... everything. We've never really enjoyed anything from here. And it's in one of the most crowded locations in the park.

DISNEYLAND (The "Castle Park" in California)

It's a close race for "First Place" in my book... but Disneyland and Epcot are neck-in-neck, with Disneyland maybe having a slight lead for "Best Food" in all the Disney parks. I swear just about everything is really, really good here. I've never had anything remotely bad New Orleans Square, in fact... it's almost always been "Wow. Amazing." They just nail the food. So, it's hard to pick favorites. The confectionary shops on Main Street, the tucked-away restaurants, the fine-dining spots... it's just all good in our opinion! Aside from the cheddar bagel twists. I think that's the only treat I can think of I was dissapointed by. How do you mess up cheese and bagel?! Haha! (Also, skip the Pizza Planet restaurant in Tomorrowland. Not worth it.)

Same order as before: Main Street, and working counter-clockwise: TomorrowLand, FantasyLand, New Orleans Square, FrontierLand, AdventureLand.


Fried Pickles
(Carnation Cafe)

  • I'm obsessed with both pickles and breaded-fried-foods. This does NOT disappoint. We ordered a second batch the first time we had them!

Corn Dog
(Main Street Cart)

  • These corn dogs are legendary... and they shouldn't be! I heard a story once, in a Disney documentary, that the Disney staff had been hearing so many raving reviews about "these incredible corn dogs!!" A bit confused by it, Walt was pleased! The corndog batter was made from a regular bag of cornmeal/etc and was just the cheapest stuff they could find. He wanted to do his dear customers a service and decided to make the corn dogs worth their reviews! He hired a world-class chef we prepared a secret recipe that included whole corn kernel being ground while fresh. They launched his new, gourmet, actually-prize-winning corndogs... and they have never had so many complaints in a single day in the park's history! People were livid! So the original, boring, well-loved corndogs came back, and they have been here ever since. And they ARE so good! I get one every single time I'm in Disneyland!

Fried Chicken Platter
(Plaza Inn)

  • We were surprised at how much we loved this meal! The chicken wasn't soggy or dry, the gravy was outstanding, the vegetables were crisp and well-seasoned... and there was a LOT! Three chicken pieces with one order! We made Rowdy a little "chicken biscuit sandwich" out of one piece, then Caleb and I each had one ourselves, sharing the green beans and potatoes. It was hearty! And very good. It's nice to feed the family lunch for less than $20!

Boysen Apple Freeze
Chocolate Twists

(Maurice’s Treats)

  • Tart, not too sweet, crisp, foamy... this iced drink is an all-time favorite (ask for only one pump of syrup. Two is too much!) The flaky, warm, chocolate twists are killer too!

Chocolate Dipped Pineapple
(Candy Palace or Pooh's Corner)

  • While I'm not a Dole Whip fan, I  AM a pineapple lover. It's a simple treat that could be made at home... but the cold fruit with the crunch of dark chocolate... hmmm... it gets me.

Pomme Frites
Fried Green Tomato Sandwich,

Cafe Orleans (sandwich used to be at Hungry Bear Restaurant)

  • If you eat anything in Disneyland, you have to have this meal. It's unique, flavor-full, filling, and fits the atmosphere and expereince perfectly. 
PC: Foodspotting

PC: Foodspotting

Mickey Beignets
(The Mint Julep)

  • There is a little order window in the back where you can walk up to order beignets (instead of standing in line at the restaurant). One of our favorite things to do: get an iced coffee and piping hot Mickey beignets! They are cloud-soft and puffs of steam fizzle up when you bite into them. Gah.

Churro Funnel Cake
(Hungry Bear Restaurant)

  • The churro is a must-try... but this churro-funnel cake is the next best thing!

Meat Skewers
(Bengal BBQ)

  • Caleb and I agree that these skewers are probably our favorite snack in the whole park. We tend to get some in the late afternoon when light protein is just what you need. The little shack they are made in is open air, so when you come around the golden-hour corner of Adventureland with tiki island music playing... and the smells of fire and smoke and meat wafts through... it's impossible to resist. And they are GOOD. Load up!

Carne Asade and Enchiladas
Rancho del Zocalo

  • If this place wasn't at Disney and was just a restaurant nearby, we'd go for dinner all the time! 

To-Try List
I have a few items in the park that I've really, really wanted to try and haven't yet:

- Creamy Corn Chowder from The French Market
- Monte Carlo Sandwich from Cafe Orleans
- Peanut Butter Sandwich from Pooh's Corner (according to the internet it was gone but now is back?)

Hopefully this is helpful! And for other Disney-lovers, feel free to leave your favorite food and drinks in the comments... it's hard to get to everything! It takes a village!

Part Two: Coming Soon!

Post 67 | New York City Part 2

“One belongs to New York instantly,
one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”
― Tom Wolfe


We discovered the happiness of Wafels and Dinges at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Day a few years ago, and we (Caleb especially) has been hooked ever since. Caleb's favorite is "deBom": a warm Belgian waffle, scoop of creamy vanilla, drizzled in chocolate. So simple, but perfectly ooey-gooey, savory-and-sweet, warm-and-cold GOOD.

I've heard, seen, and read SO MUCH about Ladurée for years. And I'm bummed at myself that I didn't make sure we got there before this... because WOW. What an EXPERIENCE. From start to finish every quarter-inch of Ladurée is considered, handled with utmost care, and beautiful. Lap of luxury, to say the least. I have more of a Nigella Lawson Philosophy on food, but this really was splendor. And I see how everyone who goes is addicted! Being here made me really want to go to Paris (Disneyland Paris, Rowdy memorizing Madeline - my childhood favorite book, and Ladurée! Sounds perfect! Hah!)

I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I don't even know what this cake-masterpiece is called. But it was the best dessert either of us have ever had. About 9-10 thin layers of different flavors and textures, but soft and delicate to eat, with moth-wing soft crunch. It was absolute art to every sense. Rowdy had (and loved) the macaroons and Caleb also moaned over a chocolate croissant!


We spent the morning walking around Central Park (trying to build up an appetite after our pizza evening hahah). It might have been my favorite memory of this trip. There was hardly anyone else that we passed, adding to the already serene, quiet presence of the place. Rowdy had a ball crunching snow, finding sludge puddles, and being free to run around with darling rosy cheeks and frost-kissed nose. Caleb commented that it reminded him of Narnia... snow and lampposts and brass statues of animals very quiet. Enchanting, even for us "summer people."


Though sandwiches and deli food is some of my all-time favorite, I haven't had nearly enough sandwiches in New York as I should have! I wanted to grab an easy lunch before we headed to the airport... so I researched diligently to find the "perfect" well-reviewed, great-atmosphere, grab-and-go, affordable lunch spot. Alidoro was the winner! Caleb got a steak/cheese/Italian melt and I got a tuna salad (remembering WHY I haven't gotten many sandwiches here hahah I was so full still!). We will definitely go back here! The decor reminded me of my mom so much. She always sought to make her kitchen have that European country feel. Terra Cotta tile floors, blue and yellow mosaic tile, the EXACT same barstools we had growing up, butcher block counters, blue and white damask wall paper, wood farm-style table. I kept thinking of what I would be texting her and how much she'd light up if she was here. So special. 




Our entire (short) trip we didn't use a shuttle bus, subway, cab, Uber, or rental car! We "discovered" that the Newark AirTrain drops off right in Penn Station. We flew into Newark, NJ and took the 30 minute train into the city, walked walked walked walked, and then got back on the train to go to the airport! If we are flying in, this is ALWAYS how we'll do it from now on!  Plus, Rowdy thought we were on a "lightning fast ride" and grinned the whole time. So cute. It was $5.50 each way, and kids under 11 are free! Hope that little tip is as helpful for someone else as it was us :)

Any and all tips or reccomendations are SO welcome!
I'll add them to my list for future visits!

Post 60 | Freezer Meals

“[Original, in French:] La bonne cuisine est la base du véritable bonheur.
[Translated in English: Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.]”
― Auguste Escoffier

(My dear little Bottomless Pit who starts the day accessorized and clean, and is a ragamuffin by lunch time... and shrieks and claps at the smell of food, acting all dramatic by gnawing her arm if I don't present a meal to her fast enough. Can't get enough of this one.)

Over the years I've eyed and occasionally tried some simple meal-planning (especially freezer meal prep)... but I always get overwhelmed with the blog posts detailing "35 meals for $116 in Four Hours!" I get past the grocery list diagram and need a break. I was in a very "Work With What You Have" household so I can always make something out of anything... but there has always been an interest to figure out a "system" that worked for me that did save money, make life easier, and free up time.

Given that we travel so much, and, let's be honest, I've been sick-pregnant so much, I haven't had a lot of time to indulge myself in this little challenge. But the combination of New Years, a new (spacious, bright, happy!) kitchen in our current AirBNB, and the couple of months to settle in, I was motivated to move.

Inspired by the Carrabba's/Maggiano's style of "Two For One Pasta" (one to eat now for dinner, and another boxed up to take home for "the price of one) I simply made a meal at dinner time... and froze half of it! So at the end of the week, my whole freezer was filled with a week's worth of meals. My thought was that if I could do this system on weeks I know I have the time, I'll always have a meal available when I just have to "throw something on."

For grocery shopping I just went through the recipes I wanted to make, added an item to the list, if I saw a repeat item I noted the quantity I would need (ie: canned tomato sauce was in two recipes, shredded cheese was in three, etc). I ended up buying eight chicken breasts, three pounds of ground beef, and potatoes as the base for the meals. And I went from there!

This worked so nicely because it truly wasn't ever any more work, and there was no "extra time" set aside to do it. If you're browning ground beef, you're browning ground beef. Doesn't matter if you're cooking half a pound or two pounds. It's the same process/mess/time. I stored the extra meat cooked in Ziploc bags in the fridge until I needed to use them for their next recipe.

It was so fun! And I'm excited to do round two next week and add more to the stock!

Shredded Chicken

  • Pack of eight chicken breasts (could cook by boiling, grilling, baking, or in the crock-pot -- or even just use rotisserie chicken that's pre-cooked). 
  • I shredded the chicken and set aside 1/3 for tortilla soup, 1/3 for me to throw into salads, and 1/3 for teriyaki chicken bowls. 
  • Tortilla Soup Recipe (roughly, I always mix and match and add. But this is close.)
  • Teriyaki Bowl is basically chicken marinated in Trader Joe's Island Soyaki Sauce atop a mix of sesame oil, coconut oil, tons of lime juice, cilantro, green onions, red peppers, cucumbers, and carrots.

Ground Beef

  • 2-3 pounds of ground beef, browned on the stove with onions and salt and pepper
  • After cooking 1/2 was set aside for fajita enchiladas, and 1/2 used for ragù sauce.
  • Fajita Enchilada Recipe (Again, roughly. Added fajita seasoning and beans to the meat, etc. But worked off this recipe. Caleb loved it! And said it was almost as good as his mom's enchiladas ;)
  • Ragù sauce was diced tomatoes, can of marinara, basil, onions, ground beef, a few hot italian sausage links (also used in roast recipe below), garlic, garlic powder, and probably a dash of wine or parsley or something else I can't remember simmered for a few hours.


  • Three bags of the "fingerling" style potatoes
  • Half-or-so used for Broccoli Cheddar Soup, half-or-so used for chicken bake
  • Seared Broccoli Soup Recipe (shocker: added my own twist! Mainly carrots and cream. But this recipe was a huge winner. Searing is the trick!) Served with Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits from a box 'cause mama don't bake from scratch unless it's a holiday. And all the stores are closed.
  • Roast Chicken & Sausage Tray Recipe This fellow here is going to be a fall/winter staple for us. SO easy. SO fast. SO full of flavor (new flavor, at that. Have never quite tasted the sauce before and we all loved it.)


  • This has nothing to do with freezer meals! Ha! But we're trying to really focus on taking those small steps and awarenesses to take care of ourselves. Our minds, bodies, and energy have the capacity to work so well and are equally able to struggle so hard. As we're learning from life lessons, we're trying keep in mind that everything is better when we're eating well, moving/sweating our bodies, and spending time outside every day. And it's easy for us to both skip breakfast... solution? Make breakfast darn good!

  • Also, this is random, but gosh. Have you had Dave's Killer Bread yet?! If you haven't get some immediately. Organic, healthy, whole and so good. This bread is soft when it's supposed to be, but has a good crunch when toasted, and has flavor and it's the only bread I buy now. It's worth the extra money for stuff so great!

Any recipes that are favorites in your meal rotation or must-trys for our next week?! Do you have any time/money saving meal planning and freezing tricks? Do you eat half of the ragù out of the pot with a wooden spoon like I do?