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Disney Dining

Tonga Toast at Home

I’m a foodie. I’ll admit it. I’m that crazy woman that collects (and reads!) culinary school textbooks. My kitchen is overflowing with cookbooks. And since Lisa of Babes in Disneyland showed the view from her kitchen, I thought I’d give you a peek into mine as well: When it came time to choose a souvenir from our first trip to Walt Disney World, the choice was pretty easy…especially with a certain husband practically shoving me toward the kitchen display at our resort’s gift shop! When I saw that today’s Blog Hop theme was food, I knew it was time to unveil the first in a new post series I’ve been working on: Disney Inspired Recipes! Today’s post: Tonga Toast at Home. There are only four ingredients for this recipe – just sourdough bread, bananas, cinnamon, and sugar. First, slice the bananas in fourths. First slice crosswise, then lengthwise to produce relatively...
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Autism and ADHD

Character Dining with Autistic Kids

Character dining is one of the most memorable activities offered at Disney resorts, but for children with autism, the experience can be stressful and overwhelming. Many autistic kids, including ours, also have sensory processing or sensory integration disorder. Simply put, they are either over- or under-sensitive to sensory input – sounds, visual stimulation, touch, even scents can be overwhelming. We attended two character dining events during our first trip to Disney World. Our first character dining experience was the safari breakfast at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom.   It was a very calm, relatively orderly affair — maybe because it was early in the morning! Everyone enjoyed the experience, although we did learn that our little Princess has a deathly fear of Goofy. Donald got a big kiss though! Our second character dining experience was completely the opposite. We went to Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort. The theme for...
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Budgeting

Disney Dining Plan or Pay With Cash?

I’ve seen a lot of blog posts out there criticizing the Disney Dining Plan on the grounds that it may or may not offer a significant cost savings depending on the restaurants you choose and what you order. Ok, that’s fair. But I’d like to share why our family wouldn’t do Disney World without the dining plan: It’s a vacation. Maybe some people enjoy budgeting. Not me. I don’t want to think about money when I’m on vacation. That doesn’t mean I go nuts and buy everything in the gift shop. It does mean that I don’t want to have to keep a running total in my head of how much each meal is going to cost, whether we’re over or under budget. I don’t want to stress about being broke by the end of the week because I didn’t pay close enough attention to prices at the beginning....
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How much is this going to cost?

Last time we went to Walt Disney World, we got to the resort late Monday night, and left mid-day Friday. That gave us basically three and a half days there. By lunchtime each day, the kids were exhausted, overheated, and overstimulated so we went back to our hotel for nap and quiet time until dinner.  This time, we would like to be at the resort for a full five days, so we’re going to try to arrive late Sunday and leave early Saturday. We want to stay at a moderate resort, but due to our family size we’ll need two rooms. Hopefully I can get connected ones. For this trip, we’re hoping to travel with another family. If we can add just two more people to our party, we’ll have the 8 required for a Grand Gathering, and all the perks that go along with that. We’ll also be...
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Disney Dining

Walt Disney World – Expectations Exceeded

Before we went to Walt Disney World, I made the assumption that it would be a lot like every other theme park I’d ever been to. The glossy marketing photos are beautiful, of course, but the actual place never looks quite as pretty. Except that Disney World does!  I remember riding the monorail, looking out over the lake at the Grand Floridian, and thinking “It really does look like the postcards!” This is a photo I took while we were in Magic Kingdom, because I thought I might want to sketch the most famous castle in the world. And I’ll admit, I insisted on the Deluxe meal plan. I’ve eaten theme park food before, thanks. Greasy burgers and cold fries are not my idea of a good time. I thought if we had three sit-down meals per day, the food might be at least as good as Denny’s, and we...
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