Trip Report in brief

We got back on Saturday. For context, we are middle-aged childless misanthropes from the west coast. My husband has been to Disneyland a few times and this was his first trip to Disney World. I have been to Disneyland once a year-ish for since I was 7, and visited Disney World several times when I lived in Florida about 15 years ago.


  • We were unexpectedly upgraded to Club Level at the Beach Club (thanks to those who helped me figure out that we were allowed to use the lounge!). I ended up bringing home a lot of granola bars and instant coffee packets that had been intended for breakfasts. And also two dozen Ghiradelli pillow chocolates.

  • Tiffins. OMG. Best Disney meal I have ever had and one of the best meals ever, period. I’m a baker and plan to do some Tiffins-inspired experimentation with spices in savory breads.

  • Expedition Everest is now my favorite coaster, with Slinky Dog a close second. Husband balked at Slinky Dog, so I got to ride four times with Fastpass. Toy Story Land in general is darling and detailed.

  • Animal Kingdom, in general, was much better than I expected. I was last there in 2004; they were building EE and I think Rainforest Cafe was the only sit-down restaurant. I don’t like the movie Avatar, at all, but loved Pandora, and we were there on a cool day so the safari was amazing even at 11:30 a.m.


  • I’m really sorry to say I was a bit disappointed in the Beach Club. The mattresses in our room badly needed replacing and our room was very noisy. Beeping from Skyliner construction, trucks outside, and ECVs in the halls, and we could basically hear every word from the adjoining room. I eventually downloaded a white noise app and we slept better using that. I didn’t complain because we certainly didn’t want to pack up and move, and were already getting a free upgrade.

  • Also, Stormalong Bay, IMO, was not special enough to justify picking that resort for the sake of the pool. This is the standard I am measuring against, so I admit that I am spoiled. We are also probably looking for a more adult-oriented pool experience than many people (the shallow sand pool wasn’t something we were interested in, the noisy loudspeaker activities mid-afternoon were really irritating, etc), so it’s probably just something that is more in the “not-for-me” column than the “bad” column.

  • Our worst meal was Liberty Tree Tavern. Maybe we just ordered poorly. We didn’t want the big platter because that’s just too much food, especially in the middle of a hot day. I had the Turkey Pot Pie, which I think is new, and it was like a can of extremely salty Campbell’s Chunky soup with a few limpid pieces of puff pastry on top. Husband’s burger was better but he said it was not that great. The cheese dip was grainy and luke-warm and didn’t taste good with the sweet brown bread they served with it.

Better than expected

  • Okay. Tony’s. Was it the best meal ever? No. But it was pretty good, much better than Liberty Tree OR our entrees at Beaches and Cream. My appetizer (butternut squash soup) and dessert (pumpkin cheesecake) were wonderful, and my entree (chicken parm/meatball/alfredo trio) was just fine. And while we probably didn’t need the special parade seating, it was pretty awesome to waltz out and have perfect seats on the curb 10 minutes before the parade.

  • Dinner for fireworks at California Grill. I had seen some disappointments about this place but we had a very nice experience. We’d had a big lunch that day at SciFi and I liked that the menu here allowed us to order something a little lighter (sushi for me, a little pizza for my husband, a shared cheese plate, and dessert) but still linger over a nice meal. We were in the south end of the restaurant, which meant we couldn’t see MK from our table, but we could see the electric water parade, and fireworks from Fantasmic! and IllumiNations. We finished coffee and dessert right in time to head out to the deck for a beautiful fireworks view that I enjoyed much more than watching from Main Street.

  • Skipper Canteen: Why isn’t this place harder to get into? We loved it. The food was a really welcome change from standard theme-park fare/expensive fancy meals, it’s darling inside, and my husband, King of the Dad Jokes, was in heaven.

  • Sunshine Tree Terrace: I have a confession–I don’t really like Dole Whip that much. But the orange whip swirled with ice cream, before lunch, in a quiet corner of Adventureland on a hotter-than-expected day? Pure heaven.

  • Bus transportation: We only had a couple of times where we waited longer than we thought reasonable for a bus or were on an SRO only bus. And one of those was was our own fault for taking too long over breakfast and then trying to catch a bus to MK too close to opening time.

Otherwise noteworthy

  • We did the VIP dessert for Fantasmic! and were rained out. We got DRENCHED sitting there waiting to hear if the performance would be cancelled. We actually had a lot of fun because we’re weirdos and it was such a novelty for us to be rained on so hard but not be cold. We sat there clinking our light-up-mug-drinks and singing along to the pre-show music. However, unless you are going at a crowded time and really want the reserved seats, I guess I would not recommend the package. We could have gotten a pass to go back for seating in the reserved area a different night, but it didn’t work out with our plans. We’ve seen Fantasmic! at Disneyland so we weren’t too disappointed, YMMV. Also, we’d been planning to have the dessert boxes serve as a light dinner and they didn’t have as much cheese and crackers in them as pictured online. So basically we ended up drenched, drunk, and hopped up on sugar, which was fun for us but maybe not the experience most people would be hoping for.

  • I saw some pajamas I wanted at World of Disney in Disney Springs and did not buy them immediately. If you’re not already smarter than I am, learn from my mistake. By the time we made a special trip back to get them two days later they only had XS left even though the app pointed us there for my size.


You sound like you had a great time! Sorry about the room noise, though. We were thinking about Skipper Canteen, but didn’t make the short list for our next trip.

They seemed to have walk-up availability if you change your mind spur-of-the moment.

I wish we could do that. Due to our complicated dietary allergies, intolerances, and restrictions we have to submit a dietary form to Special Diets every time we make a change to our schedule. I feel bad doing that, and I’ve had to do it at least 5 times. They request that you submit within 30 days of the trip; and they need at least 2 weeks notice. We are now at 11 days. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the detailed report.

I would like to try the Skipper Canteen, but it’s not convenient to where we are around lunchtime. I should look at our plan again and see if we can swing it. It does look tasty, and fun.

How long was your meal at Tiffins? That’s another one on my list, but I’ve heard it can take a couple of hours and really didn’t want to dedicate that much time. Were you there for lunch or dinner and were you seated pretty close to your ADR time?

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Tiffins did take a couple of hours. We had a 2:05 ADR (we were seated almost immediately) and a 3:30 fastpass for Festival of the Lion King that I ended up bumping to the next show while we were waiting for dessert. We ended up leaving the restaurant close to 4:00. It was a very nice meal to linger over, though, in a very nice setting for lingering, and I wouldn’t say the long time was a drawback. The only things we had left to do were Festival of the Lion King and Rivers of Light, and the only thing we missed that we would have done if we’d had more time was Maharajah Jungle Trek. If it works for your schedule I think I’d recommend a late lunch ADR time.


That would be when we would go. We typically take a long break in the afternoon anyway. But… would be worse- showing up a bit damp or getting drenched on a full stomach? :grin: I had KRR planned as the last thing we did that morning…

I would not want to sit there wet. I think it would be uncomfortable, and it is also a very nice restaurant even though it’s in a theme park so I would feel a little bad about showing up looking like a drowned rat.

It depends on what you order, but it’s not the heaviest meal. We were doing the ROL package so we we each had three courses. We shared the cheese plate (about 4 kinds of cheese in portions that were probably about an ounce of each) and bread service. I got the steak and lobster, which was a small steak, a very large (delicious) lobster tail, and fairly small accompaniments (like a couple tablespoons of potato and a few artfully placed veggies), husband got the short rib, which was a similar portion. The desserts were small and what we got was relatively light (I had guava mousse, husband had deconstructed cheesecake). We left plenty satisfied and just had a small evening snack instead of dinner, but we weren’t uncomfortably full, either.

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I feel the same. The salad and bread basket were excellent any my entrée (spaghetti and meatballs) was certainly satisfactory; not as good as Tutto Italia, but I certainly enjoyed it. I think the restaurant gets an undeserved bad rap. My only complaint was being seated 25 min after my ADR time.

I wonder if things have changed since the reopening, because the several times that I’ve had a burger there it was very good, and cooked the way I like it - RARE. The only better that I’ve had in any park was the angus burger at HBD in DHS.

I think you answered your own question; most people in the MK have kids with them and they want standard theme park fare. I haven’t been yet, but it’s on my must-do list for my next trip. Same with Tiffins.

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Honestly, it looked pretty good to me and he was kind of grouchy that day, so maybe it was objectively fine. We both enjoyed our SciFi burgers a lot, and split a delicious one at the Crew’s Cup Lounge. We don’t do burgers rarer than medium-well, though–I was close to one of the kids who almost died during the Jack in the Box e-coli scare in the '90s and I’m a bit scarred. (Steak’s different.)

Yeah. Burgers should never be rare, or even really medium rare. It is different from steaks. But if a restaurant is serving burgers rare, they are putting themselves (and their customers) at risk. The process of grinding the meat introduces the bacteria throughout, which is why steak it isn’t generally an issue…only the outside is exposed to bacteria, which is cooked enough to kill anything.

Sure, you manage to get lucky and not have an issue most of the time, but it is a definite risk.

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Citrus swirl!!! I have fond memories of having one and then visiting the SFRTreehouse. When I was at DL got a Dole Whip which was good but I prefer the orange.


My sentiment exactly, although I’m also pleased that it’s so easy to get into. It’s easily our favorite TS meal at MK! :+1:t2:


I love Skipper canteen as well. And now I’m questioning it not being on our list…


Y’all got me curious now. I’ve never really even heard of it (except vaguely) until now. I’ll have to investigate!

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Me too, Skipper canteen was on my preliminary list but it hasn’t made the cut again,

Thanks for the trip report @dresslera we are staying at BC next April. All the restaurants you liked just missed my ADR list, I am contemplating dropping Cape May in favor of Skippers Canteen or Cali Grill


Loved Skipper Canteen on our last trip! One of our favorite meals of the trip!

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