Saturday, March 10, 2012

Disney Dining

My house
Just so you know, I am Snow White. Dark hair, snow white skin, red lips. My parents always called me Snow White when I was little, and I grew up with seven dwarfs plastic figurines and Snow White halloween costumes. When my parents announced several months back that we would be taking a family trip to Disney World I was elated. I have a 5 year old nephew and knew it would be as fun for him as it would be for me (Ok fine, I knew it would be MORE fun for me as an adult to enjoy and appreciate everything.) I was even more excited when I saw in my Runner's World Magazine (aka my running bible) that there would be a Disney Princess Half Marathon that same weekend. The only thing I love more than eating and running, is running some sort of race that has a fun gimmick to it (like running all over the Magic Kingdom and taking pictures with Disney characters.)

Sorry Jonno! Looks like a VERY excited 5 yr. old dining in Morroco; he also did some belly dancing after dinner!
Our four-day family adventure in Orlando brought together my parents from Ohio, my sister, brother-in-law and excitable nephew from New York, my BF from LA and of course me, my brother and his GF from Chicago. I of course planned out all of the meal options, because let's face it trying to get into places at the last minute with a party of 9 is tough (note to future Disney travelers - make reservations in advance for the restaurants!) I'm not proud of all the reservation choices I made, but I think we made the most out of the dining aspect in all four of the Disney parks. The race (and endless walking) gave me a reason to have fun and let loose a little with the food options.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater - I think we all liked this one the best!
Probably everyone's favorite meal was at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater in Hollywood Studios. Diners sit in replicas of 1950s convertibles and watch clips of black and white sci-fi movies. It's dark inside the restaurant and they do an awesome job of recreating the experience of being outside at an old-time drive-in theater. Of course there are burgers, fries and milkshakes galore on the menu (all were pretty tasty), but really it was about the fun scenery.

Look at al those fun noodle options!
Another favorite meal was in Epcot at Nine Dragons Restaurant. If you haven't been to Disney before, you might not know that workers in all the countries housed in Epcot are citizens of those nations. It's a very cool thing to walk into France and speak French with someone selling croissants who hails from Aix-en-Provence or go on the Viking Ship with a Norwegian person guiding you on and off the ride. I think Disney might be missing the mark a bit because all though they have restaurants and food vendors in all of the countries represented in Epcot, the food isn't necessarily all that authentic. Case in point, in Morocco we were served mint chocolate chip ice cream with fruit and when I tried to ask about authentic Moroccan iced desserts (because I like to ask these things) our waiter merely offered that there were "many types of ice cream in Morocco". I do love authentic Chinese food (I'm happy when I am only one of a handful of non-Chinese diners in a restaurant) which this wasn't, but it was still very tasty. I can only imagine that Americanized taste buds are at the forefront of Disney dining gurus so there was lots of fried appetizers and other menu items you'd see in your local Chinese restaurant. I loved my noodle sampler which gave me a chance to mix and match different meats and veggies together for the perfect salty dinner.

Best part of the race was all the fabulous photo opps! When else would I dress-up like this?!
And that little race I ran? There were about 20,000 runners! It was grueling having to get up at 3:30 am to make it to the shuttle and my corral on time, but considering I had only 4 hours of sleep and had walked around the parks the day before I did pretty well. Of course I reverted back to my childhood icon and took the opportunity to dress like my favorite princess...Snow White you got it.


  1. love all the pics! i like how you say "dark hair":) def. not black hair! heehee:) sorry i couldn't resist pushing your buttons!

  2. Dreamy! So glad you enjoyed the Disney magic!

  3. Oh Robyn, you have truly captured our family trip in this blog entry! Maybe Disney will bring you on to assist in authenticating their Epcot food options, as well as to improve their general food plan!

  4. Those noodle options look delish! Loving the snow white running outfit;)