Galactic Grill at Disneyland

Enjoy some fun new Star Wars themed dining at Disneyland at the Galactic Grill. The Grill is located in Tomorrowland near the Jedi Training stage and is serving up a specialty menu as part of the Season of the Force, a new themed experience celebrating the characters and moments from the Star Wars saga. this new dining location offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, and kids and parents will love the menu!

Jedi-Order-Chicken-Sandwich

The Jedi-Ordered Grilled Sandwich (above) features five-spice chicken breast, fried green beans, pickled red onions, purple watercress and wasabi mayonnaise. So delicious!

First-Order-Specialty-Burger

The First Order Specialty Burger (above) gives guests a taste of the dark side, with an Angus beef and chorizo patty topped with fried cherry peppers and a spicy-lime aioli on a dark burger. Both the Jedi-Ordered Sandwich and First Order Burger can add a commemorate Hans Solo Carbonite Bucket for an additional cost.

Dark-Side-Chicken-Curry-Specialty-Pizza

This pizza creation is the Dark Side Chicken Curry Specialty Pizza. Lunch and dinner menu also includes a Chopper Salad and a Cheese- 3PO Burger.

Darth-Tamale

This unique dish is part of the breakfast menu and it is the Darth Tamale. Other breakfast items include scrambled eggs, french toast and breakfast potatoes.

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Star Wars dessert? How awesome is the chocolate Darth? That is the Darth by Chocolate that is red velvet cake and chocolate sponge. The Pastry Menace is an eclair filled with spicy chocolate and toasted almonds.

The Galactic Grill also offers kids meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kids meal breakfast includes scrambled eggs and bacon, or french toast. Lunch and dinner kids meals include a turkey sandwich, chicken nuggets, hamburger or power pack–all Star Wars themed of course!

Star Wars fans will love eating the new specialty meals at Galactic Grill!

The Character Dining You Shouldn’t Miss!

Our family loves to do Character Dining at Disney World and we have just about done all of them! On our last vacation, we decided to try some new dining and even though we always skipped this one, we decided to give it a try. We are so glad we did because it is now one of our favorites! My guess is that you have skipped over this one too. There wasn’t a huge crowd when we reached the restaurant and we didn’t have trouble adding the reservation pretty close to when we left for our trip.

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At 1900 Park Fare, there are two Character Dining experiences: one at breakfast and one at dinner. They are completely different experiences! And this was our first time at Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner.

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There are really only 4 characters at this dining: Cinderella, Prince Charming, Anastasia and Driscella Tremaine. But these 4 characters were so fun and enchanting, it made the whole night so memorable.

First, the food is served buffet. The fare is somewhat of a mix of many different dishes which they describe as from “different kingdoms”. If you enjoy buffets with lots of options without a specific theme, you will enjoy this buffet. Our kids thought the buffet was great because it offered so much variety, like dumplings and pasta and mac and cheese. They actually said it was the best.

Second, and this is really what makes this character dine better than the rest, is the characters. They interact at your table for quite awhile. They act their character! They are mingling all around the room and playing with each other the whole time. The sisters are yelling at each other around the room and talking with Cinderella. It was loads of fun! Part way through the meal, they do a dance where Cinderella dances with a little boy and the Prince dances with a little girl. It was all very entertaining and believe it or not, relaxing. It didn’t have this rushed feeling that a lot of the character dines do.

Cinderella spent time with all my kids and gave them all lovely hugs.

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Princesses always love the little princes!

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Prince Charming talked with my kids for quite awhile and my boys loved meeting a boy character. They get a lot of “princess” in our house!

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The boys were excited to take a “boys” picture with the prince!

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And the best characters were the stepsisters! We have met them before at Disneyland, and we loved them there too. But they were even better here!

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My littlest wasn’t into Anastasia, but it made for a fabulous picture.

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And the stepsisters do not like mice!

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And Driscella was so much fun with the kids! She missed our table and they made a special stop back for us which was even more fun!

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She liked to tease my son that she had a crush on him. She actually planted a big kiss on him and he just turned bright red. It was hilarious!

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If you are planning a trip to Disney World and making character dining choices, please don’t pass this one up! I would do this one again for sure! It was the best night we had and your kids will love it too!

Akershus Royal Banquet VS Cinderella’s Royal Table

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At Disney World, there are two main choices of character dining with the princess: Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom and Norway’s Akershus Royal Banquet at Epcot. If your little princess or prince is dying to meet a lot of princesses and you want to try a character dining experience, the big question is – Which one do we choose?

We are asked all the time which princess character dining is better? Or which should we pick? If you haven’t experienced either, it is hard to know which to choose. Luckily, we have been to both with our crew and we will compare them for you. Then you can decide which is right for your Disney experience.

Keep in mind one thing: Cinderella’s Royal Table is a much smaller restaurant than Akershus Royal Banquet. Royal Table has much less tables and thus has fewer reservations. It is much harder to get into this restaurant, not because it is better, but because it is smaller. You may not be able to get a reservation depending on the time of year as well.

Atmosphere

Royal Table

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The entrance to the restaurant is actually on the first floor and it is designed like a castle with armor and flags. This is where you will meet Cinderella and take a picture with her. From there, you will climb stairs to the dining room. This room is, again, decorated like a castle with crests, flags and lots of wood and stone. It has amazing views out into the park. These views, unfortunately, are only enjoyed by the families seated right in the center or in front of the windows. If you have more than 4 in your party, you will not be sitting near these areas. The tables are dark, thick wood and the chairs are thick wood with medieval-style fabrics. The dining area is somewhat of a circle shape. The stain-glass windows looking out into the park are beautiful.

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Stain-glass windows that look out into Fantasyland

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Akershus

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Main dining room at Akershus

The entrance to this restaurant is somewhat like a restaurant waiting area, and you will take a photo with a princess in a small inlet area. The decoration is designed to feel like a castle with somewhat similar decoration to Royal Table – flags, crests, wood and stone. Inside the dining halls, there are many wood tables and wood chairs. The tables and chairs are less fancy than Royal Table. Stained glass windows and regular windows surround the dining areas. The dining areas are much larger than Royal Table and there are about 3 different rooms of dining tables.

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Overall: The overall atmosphere at Royal Table wins out only by a hair – the design of Akershus is still delightful and royal. But being inside the actual castle makes Cinderella’s just a smidge better.

Food

Royal Table

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Stuffed French Toast

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Kids meal breakfast

Cinderella’s Royal Table is served as a sit-down style where you order from the menu and it is brought to your table. The food is very good and the selections should appeal to most people. The menu is somewhat European/American style fare. The service is very good and prompt. The servers are very good with small children. Our kids always enjoy the food at this restaurant! This restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you are using the dining plan, this table-serve counts as two table-serves.

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Steak and potatoes breakfast

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Vegetarian quiche

Akershus

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Breakfast fare served family-style at table

Akershus is served as both a buffet/family style and a sit-down style. They serve Norwegian/American style fare food. Breakfast offers a buffet as well as family-style breakfast offerings brought to your table. Lunch and dinner have family style appetizers and desserts as well as menu-ordered entrees. They offer some different fare like fish, but we found the food was delicious and our kids enjoyed the food a lot, and even tried some new dishes.

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Breakfast fare from buffet

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Buffet at Akershus

Overall: It is pretty even on the food unless your family is extremely picky and Norwegian fare scares you (but it shouldn’t). Our family enjoyed meals at both restaurants evenly.

Princess Meet & Greets

Royal Table

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Cinderella greet before you enter the dining room

Cinderella meets guests at the entrance and takes photos there. There is a PhotoPass photographer there and the photos can be added to your PhotoPass account or on your MagicBand. All other princesses will do meet and greets in the dining room and come straight to your table. If you are there at the beginning of the “session”, each princess is announced individually and then begins a set pattern through the dining hall stopping at each table to say hello, interact, sign books and take photos. They also will do a wishing star portion with all the princesses and each child gets a plastic wishing star to make their wish. They used to give princesses wands and princes swords but that may have changed.

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Princesses love little princes!

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Wishing star and wand that girl receive at Cinderella’s – boys get a sword

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Akershus

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Belle greet before you enter the dining room

One of the princesses meets guests at the entrance and takes photos there. There is a Photopass photographer there and the photos can be added to your PhotoPass account or on your MagicBand. All other princesses will do meet and greets in the dining room and come straight to your table. Princess are announced individually and then they begin a set pattern through the dining rooms stopping at each table to say hello, interact, sign books and take photos. They also do a princess parade, where all the kids get in a line with the princesses and walk through the dining hall. They do this several times while guests are there.

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Princesses love little princes!

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Cinderella leading the Royal Parade

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Overall: The experience of meeting the princess at each restaurant is completely the same. They interact at your table and with your kids the same. It takes the same amount of time for them to get to your table. There is really no edge given to either restaurant for this one.

Keep in mind: All photos taken inside the restaurant are with your personal camera and not PhotoPass photographers. Also, the princesses NOT included in these dining experiences are: Anna, Elsa, Rapunzel, Merida and Tiana. Princesses usually included in these experiences: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Ariel, Jasmine, Mulan and Belle. Belle is typically NOT included at Cinderella’s because she has her own greet at Enchanted Tales with Belle in New Fantasyland.

Price

Cinderella’s Royal Table is more in price than Akershus. Both are expensive and prices vary based on time of year so we can’t give you a set price. It can cost anywhere from $130-$160 for a family of four. Akershus counts as one table serve on the Disney Dining Plan. Cinderella’s Royal Table is more expensive – it is roughly $180-$210 for a family of four. It also uses two table-serve credits from the Disney Dining Plan. At both restaurants, breakfast is less expensive than lunch and dinner. At Royal Table, tax AND gratuity are included in your price. At Akershus, only tax is included. Also, Table of Wonderland discount cards are accepted at both locations.

Overall: If you are simply looking for the cheapest princess dining, then breakfast at Akershus is the least expensive.

Those are the four most important things to look at when deciding which princess dining experience you want to do with your family. Our family has dined at Cinderella’s Royal Table many times and recently wanted to try something different with Akershus, and we were pleasantly surprised with how much we enjoyed it and how similar it really was to the other restaurant.

We hope this comparison has helped you decided where your royal crew will dine with Disney royalty!

Disney Jr Play & Dine Update

At Disney World, there is only one restaurant that hosts a Disney Jr. character dining experience for all the “smaller” fans. This is the Disney Jr. Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood & Vine. Starting January 26th, Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins will be joining the characters for breakfast and lunch. The other Disney Jr. characters are Handy Manny and Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. This is a great addition to this fun character dining experience. Reservations are highly recommended for this restaurant.

DocSofia

If you aren’t able to do the character dining, you can also get pictures with Sofia and Doc near the Disney Jr. Live show at Hollywood Studios. Don’t miss the Disney Jr Live on Stage show as well, that features Sofia, Doc, Jake and Mickey and friends!

Top 10 Disney World Quick-Serves

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While on vacation in Walt Disney World, families will most likely visit a lot of the resort’s quick-serve restaurants for family meals. While typically, amusement park fare sticks to hot dogs, hamburgers, fries and all the fried, greasy menus of the like, Disney World really breaks out of the mold and offers families many different options that are healthy and delicious. In fact, some of our favorite places to eat are quick-serve restaurants because of the outstanding food that we had.

With that said, here is our list of top 10 quick-serve spots at Disney World, that we think your family will enjoy visiting. And we wouldn’t recommend it if we didn’t love it!

  1. Be Our Guest – Lunch. At Magic Kingdom in New Fantasyland, this is one of the newest restaurants at Disney World. The lunch menu is different from the dinner menu, and lunch is a quick-serve while dinner is a table serve. Sounds confusing, right? Think of it this way: for dinner, you need a reservation; for lunch, you don’t! The lunch at Be Our Guest is truly delicious and unique. I had one of my favorite meals here and I couldn’t believe it was a quick-serve. The atmosphere is magical with the design of Beast’s castle inside. And meals are served on nice dishes with real silverware, and brought right to your table. Magnifique!
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  2. Columbia Harbor House at Magic Kingdom in Liberty Square. This restaurant has a great menu and some of the most delicious dishes. While they serve traditional fish and chips dishes, there new sandwiches are outstanding and we loved the grilled salmon. Kids will love the traditional menu although it could use a few more healthy options for kids.
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  3. Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary Resort. This little quick serve inside the hotel has quite an extensive menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, making it a great stop for hotel guests. But it is open for all visitors and we put it high on the list because of how delicious their dishes are. Their sandwiches and flatbreads are great – we particularly loved their unique Hot Turkey Sandwich. And their kids menu has many choices, which is great for picky eaters. And this quick-serve offers Take-Out as an option, which is nice if you want to take it back to your room.
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  4. FlameTree Barbecue in Discovery Island at Animal Kingdom. This restaurant offers traditional barbecue fare: smoked chicken, ribs and pulled pork. If you like barbecue, this is the place to visit for a delicious quick meal. Kids will enjoy the Mickey Check Meals as well as some usual kid’s menu items. Seating is all outside but offers nice shaded areas as well as quiet views of the water.
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  5. Katsura Grill in Japan Pavilion at Epcot. This quick-serve offers a variety of Japanese dishes from noodles to stir-fry to sushi. All dishes are delicious and healthy. Cast Members are very friendly and helpful, and seating inside and outside is pleasant. We particularly enjoy the outside seating that sits up a bit and overlooks Japanese gardens and Koi fish, as well as the Seven Seas Lagoon.
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  6. La Cantina de San Angel in Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. Authentic Mexican food in a beautiful location at Epcot. We love the menu and the food is great. Our kids loved their empanadas. There could be a bit more veggies offered with everything, but that would be my suggestion at all quick serves. Dining is either outside, overlook the water, or inside a lovely dining are that is shared with  La Hacienda.
    LaCantina
  7. Sunshine Seasons in The Land Pavilion at Epcot. The food court style quick-serve offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. The nicest part about this spot is that there are many different choices for everyone in your family. We have enjoyed both lunch and breakfast at this restaurant, and we have enjoyed everything we have tried. The kids can pick from a variety of choices. There is a lot of seating although this is a very popular dining spot so at peak dining times, the seating can be full.
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  8. Pinocchio Village Haus in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. We chose this restaurant because the food is quite good, although it lacks a bit on the healthy food side. Their new flatbread pizzas are delicious and the pasta is great. Only choices for kids are mac-n-cheese or pizza. But parents will enjoy the other dishes they offer. One suggestion: split an order, because their portion size is quite large.
  9. Backlot Express in Echo Lake at Hollywood Studios. Menu offers hamburgers, sandwiches and salads. The food is well done and the kid’s menu has some good healthy options they will enjoy eating. The atmosphere is fun with movie set props and decorations. Seating is available inside and outside (shaded).
  10. The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge offers a blend of African and American flavors. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. Kids will love the choices – one favorite is the kid’s salad with chicken. Their flatbreads are great as well. If you are staying at or visiting the Animal Kingdom Lodge, this is a great option for quick-serve dining.

Those are our top 10 choices for quick meals at the World. While we still think more healthy options need to be offered for kids, we think Disney has come a long way with their quick-serve choices and really offer guests some fabulous food for fast dining. As always, Disney restaurants are willing to make changes for dietary restrictions or allergies, or even picky eaters (like ones who don’t want sauce on their noodles!) Don’t ever be afraid to ask!

What is one of your favorite quick-serve restaurants at Disney World?

Top 10 Disneyland Quick-Serve Restaurants

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