Disney Trip Summary

We have quite a bit of experience going to Disney World and Universal Studies in Orlando, Florida.  We’ve also branched out to do a Disney Cruise and Disneyland in California.  This section is intended to provide some historical perspective on our experiences. We’ve experienced Disney with our kids, with our extended family of 24 people, and as a romantic getaway with just Mark and Jeanne.

AnimMonorail

DisneyWorld Disneyland Disney Cruise
Mark 19 2 1
Jeanne 17 2 1
Ty 11 1 1

Continue reading Disney Trip Summary

Our Favorite Disney Restaurants

Over the years we’ve developed a passion for planning our days around a relaxing dinner at one of the tremendous restaurants at Disney World.  In the picture above the entire extended family is enjoying a great meal at the Yak and Yetti Restaurant in Animal Kingdom in 2008.

Here is a list of our favorite restaurants, in order of preference and showing where the restaurant is located and the dates we ate there.  Most of the restaurants also have links to the Disney web page where you can get a better description and an idea of the menu and price range.

In order of preference

Restaurant Description Location/Date
Narcoossee’s This is likely the best restaurant in Orlando.  Its much more upscale than other Disney restaurants Grand Floridian

2000

Yachtsman Steakhouse Our new favorite steak place, but just by a little bit.  Much easier to get a reservation, and its included in the Dining Plan while Le Cellier has been dropped from the Dining Plan Yacht Club Resort

2013 & 2014

Le Cellier Outstanding steak!  It was a memorable meal, and even the kids said it was one of the best. EPCOT – Canada
2010 & 2011
Teppan Edo Outstanding food and we had a terrific time.  Japanese hibachi cooking, and we had the best chef ever.  None of the other tables appeared to be having as much fun as we were having. EPCOT – Japan

2006

Boma Excellent food with some surprising flavors Animal Kingdom Lodge
2011
Yak & Yetti Located in Animal Kingdom, this restaurant has very good food.  Since Animal Kingdom often closes at 5pm, its usually easy to get reservations for 4:30pm – and its neat being the last people to leave the park. Animal Kingdom
2008
Tusker House Excellent food.  They had a pork shoulder that was very good and the sweet and spicy mustard sauce was fantastic.  This is a character dining location, so it was a bit loud, but the food was terrific Animal Kingdom

2017

Tokyo Dining Excellent quality.  One word of caution – don’t over-order.  We had a lot of food left over. EPCOT – Japan
2010
Cafe Cape May Great seafood buffet.  Excellent quality crab legs and clams.  Excellent desserts. Beach Club2013, 2014, 2017
‘Ohana Very good grilled food that they bring right to the table and serve off the skewers.  The food is very good, and the bread pudding dessert is awesome.  We were able to see the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the table, with the soundtrack playing in perfect timing with the fireworks.  Excellent!! Polynesian Resort

1978, 1997, 2004, 2010, 2014

Crystal Palace Excellent buffet with the added benefit of character visits for the kids Magic Kingdom 2014, 2017
Hollywood & Vine A surprisingly delicious buffet with an unusually high quality and broad range of food choices.  We highly recommend this. Disney Studios
2008, 2010, 2011
Coral Reef Located in the Living Sea’s pavilion at EPCOT.  Great food.  Terrific underwater view of the fish tank, including watching divers and sharks. EPCOT – Living Seas

2007

Whispering Canyon Cafe Great food and tons of it!  They really engage the diners with fun antics, games, and lots of hootin and hollerin Wilderness Lodge

2007, 2008

Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano Outstanding food and a terrific time Disney Studios

2002, 2004, 2006

Chefs de France I was disappointed in the food during our 2017 trip and have downgraded this restaurant France in EPCOT

2013, 2017

San Angel Inn Very good Mexican food, though the service was a little slow. EPCOT – Mexico
2008
Restaurant Marrakesh Excellent experience in 2011.  The chicken and the lamb were excellent EPCOT – Morocco
2000, 2011, 2014
Polynesian Luau Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.  This show hasn’t changed much in the past 40 years.  The food is okay, but not great.  The entertainment is just so-so – with one exception.  The fire twirler is awesome, and its worth doing this once just to see that act.  Incredible. Polynesian Resort

1976, 2007

The Plaza Restaurant Main St restaurant is slightly upscale, and has good food, but not my favorite.
Magic Kingdom2006, 2007
Rainforest Cafe This is the franchise and is a lot of fun for the kids Animal Kingdom1997, 2002, 2017
Nine Dragons I was a bit disappointed in the food quality.  I was expecting a flavorful Chinese experience and the food was actually a bit bland EPCOT – China
2000
50’s Prime Time Cafe A fun time, but the food was pedestrian and institutional (meatloaf, fried chicken).  The waitresses are fun – yelling at you for having you elbows on the table .  The decor is 1950’s kitchen – including the counter and old style kitchen chairs. Disney Studios

2007

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall We haven’t been here in a while and I suspect we’ll be happier today than we were in 1997.  EPCOT – Norway

1997

Liberty Tree Tavern
Just burgers – nothing special EPCOT American Adventure
Captain’s Grille Poor service and mediocre food. Stay away (This restaurant closed in 2017) Yacht Club

2013

Shutters Awful food.  There was nothing here that any of us liked.  Stay away.  This restaurant closed in 2017. Carribean Beach Resort
2010

Disney Resorts

Where To Stay

In 2002 we got a great deal staying at Homewood Suites right outside Disneyworld.  This should have been terrific – a nice suite including kitchenette, a Jacuzzi, a nice pool and free breakfast every morning.  But something didn’t feel right.  While the price was terrific, we found ourselves with people who didn’t seem to share our same values.  I don’t know how else to state this – it just wasn’t comfortable.  After a few nights we decided to call DisneyWorld to see if we could move to an onsite resort.  We cancelled the rest of our stay at the Homewood Suites and spent the remainder of the week at Port Orleans Riverside.  The difference was amazing and Port Orleans became our most favorite resort – at least up to the point that we tried another resort.  I don’t know what magic makes the in-park resorts so much more delightful, but this experience proved it yet again. Continue reading Disney Resorts

Recipe Index

You will find 30 posts in the category Recipes on this blog.


Jump to A, C, E, F, G, H, I, M, P, R, S, T

Scallop Potatoes (Eric’s favorite)

This is an easy and delicious recipe that uses frozen hash browns to create a wonderfully cheesy dish

Scallop Potatoes (Eric's favorite)
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Servings Prep Time
8 servings 45 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 45 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Scallop Potatoes (Eric's favorite)
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 45 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 45 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Put potatoes in pan. Sprinkle with onion.
  2. Put butter slices on top and let set for 1/2 hour
  3. Mix sour cream, soup and cheese. Pour over tip of potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle corn flakes on top
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
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2019 Memorial Day Camp Out

Planning is underway up for the 2019 49th annual Phillips Family Memorial Day Camping Trip at World’s End State Park.  We are rapidly evolving with another generation of campers.  We’ll be looking for some help to make sure we pass along some of the old traditions and create some new ones for the next generation.  What are some of the traditions that you remember, and what traditions need more attention or need to emerge?

Camp out dates are Thursday, May 23rd through Monday, May 27th, 2019. However, Mark and Brian are probably going up on Tuesday and would welcome anyone who’d like to stay an additional night or two.  Please arrange this ahead of time so we can make sure to reserve your campsite.

Continue reading 2019 Memorial Day Camp Out

2018 Memorial Day Camp Out

Planning is underway up for the 2018 48th annual Phillips Family Memorial Day Camping Trip at World’s End State Park.  We are rapidly evolving with another generation of campers.  We’ll be looking for some help to make sure we pass along some of the old traditions and create some new ones for the next generation.  What are some of the traditions that you remember, and what traditions need more attention or need to emerge?

Camp out dates are Thursday, May 24th through Monday, May 28th, 2018. However, Mark and Brian are probably going up on Wednesday and would welcome anyone who’d like to stay an additional night.  Actually, we had so much fun last year that we might go up on Tuesday. Continue reading 2018 Memorial Day Camp Out

2018 Virginia Beach Planning

2018 Majestic
2018 “Majestic” by Seibert Realty

We’ve reserved a beautiful house for the 2018 Virginia Beach trip.

See Majestic

This gorgeous semi-oceanfront beach home offers over 4000 square feet of space with room for the entire family.  Beach access is just across the street. The huge 3rd floor Great Room offers plenty of leather seating as well as a 52″ Flat Panel TV and open access to the dining area with multiple tables to seat our whole family. The Kitchen is a chef’s dream with Granite Countertops, 2 Ovens, 2 Dishwashers and plenty of space to create those gourmet delights! There’s a total of 13 Bedrooms and 13 full baths (2 with Jetted Tubs) and two half baths including 10 King Master Suites and One Queen Suite.

The first floor Recreation Room features a Theater area with a 72″ Flat Panel TV, Blu-ray Disc player and Surround Sound – plus a Pool Table, Air Hockey Table and Foosball Table. There’s also a Wetbar with a full size refrigerator that’s conveniently located by the pool for easy access to snacks and beverages. Multi – level decking on both East and West sides of the house offer you many options for soaking up the sun or just relaxing in the shade plus views of both the beach and the bay. After a day on the beach or sight-seeing, you can even enjoy the luxury of riding the elevator to your room – great for carrying in groceries and luggage too! Best of all, you even have your own Private Outdoor Swimming Pool to cool off after a day of fun in the summer sun.

Final Payments are Due by May 1st

The following table shows the amount you have paid to date and the remaining amount due.

Payment Options

These computer/smartphone applications work great when connected to your debit or credit card.  This is the easiest way to send money, and it is actually safer since you don’t have to worry about checks getting lost.

  • Click here to pay via PayPal -> PayPal.me/MDavisUS
  • Pay via the Cash App to $mdavis17d or mdavisus@comcast.net
  • Pay via Google Wallet to mdavis17d@gmail.com
  • Pay via Apple Pay to my cellphone
  • Pay via Facebook private message. There is a dollar sign in the message window that can be connected to your debit card and the payment is applied to my debit card.

We had some confusion last year on alcohol purchases.  The rule was that people are responsible for their own alcohol and occasionally the cost got mixed in with family food expense.  We will keep these expenses completely separated for 2018.

Hot Cross Buns

This is Grandma Davis’ famous Hot Cross bun recipe.  I remember her making these by the dozen every year around Easter.  She’d often get together with Great-grandma Heiser and Aunt Hyet Swartz and bake all day long.  One year, probably in the late 1960’s, they made over 120 dozen.  I found a card in Grandma’s recipe file that did all the ingredient extensions for multiplying the volume.

Hot Cross Buns
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Hot Cross Buns
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Add shortening, sugar, salt to milk. When milk has cooled to lukewarm, add yeast that has been dissolved in water. Add beaten eggs
  3. Add flour and cinnamon and beat well.
  4. Add currants (floured with a portion of the flour)
  5. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  6. Shape in the form of biscuits and place in a greased pan. Cover and let rise for another hour.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Let cool. Make an icing cross on the tops and coat lightly with powdered sugar (optional).
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Pineapple Casserole

Pineapple Casserole
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Pineapple Casserole
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream and beat together the butter, sugar and eggs
  3. Fold in the pineapple.
  4. Fold in the cubed bread
  5. Use a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. No lid is needed
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 60 mins
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