Leaky Cauldron – Diagon Alley review

Leaky Cauldron – Diagon Alley review – by Chuck Blades

The Leaky Cauldron is a “Quick or Counter Service” restaurant located in the brand new Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. The Leaky Cauldron really excels with good food and incredible theming! From an authentic English Pub Menu to the details of he pub everything was top notch! To be quite honest the overall theming of Diagon Alley was truly breathtaking and the reveal from the London Waterfront into Diagon Alley was absolutely Jaw Dropping by far the best “reveal” in any theme park that I’ve ever been in!

Everything in the Leaky Cauldron was executed perfectly! As a Harry Potter fan I couldn’t help but wander around in awe! We spend an hour in the restaurant and I still didn’t take in all of the details!

Inside the Leaky Cauldron:

Diagon Alley Like Be Our Guest at the Magic Kingdom takes advantage of RFID technology… Instead of ordering at a counter and waiting for your food you order and are then taken to a table once seated you are given a Candle Stick – several minutes later your food “Magically” arrives at your table!

Our View from our table was really fantastic! One of the best views in any theme park period! I really felt like I was a wizard sitting right outside of Diagon Alley in the middle of London!

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In keeping with the Wizarding World Theme Diagon Alley only offers “Wizards Drinks” In my opinion you have to order the ButterBeer! This is one of the most famous things from all of the Harry Potter Books and being able to try it was an extremely awesome experience! The Butterbeer was excellent something that I really enjoyed – It was really sweet and creamy it honestly reminded me of a frozen creme soda!

Food:

Toad in the Hole – overall this dish was pretty good – the sausage and breading were both flavorful and the vegetables seemed to be fairly fresh.

Beef Lamb and Guinness Stew – This dish was really unique – I loved the steak it was extremely tender – the Stew reminded me of a pot roast in a bread bowl – a little heavy for 85 and sunny but it would be perfect in January or February.

Fish and Chips – the fish and chips were on par with the best I have ever had! They were very flavorful, quite honestly the breading was good enough you didn’t even need any tartar sauce. This was by far the best dish of the day!

Rating:

I will rate the Quick Service restaurants a little differently than the Table Service Restaurants

Atmosphere: 10/10 As a Harry Potter fan this restaurant was one of my favorite things in all of Diagon Alley! I can remember being a little boy reading the first Harry Potter and wanting to visit the Leaky Cauldron and Visit Diagon Alley! This restaurant does a fantastic job of bringing me into one of my favorite worlds!

Service: 10/10 I normally would not rate the service at a counter service restaurant however it was very efficient and everyone was very friendly so therefore I will rate this a perfect 10 it was top notch!

Food: 8/10 Each of us ordered something different and everything was pretty good – I do not think the food was as good as Be Our Guest at the Magic Kingdom however the British are not really known for their excellent culinary creations! Everything was fresh and well done and I loved the ButterBeer so therefore I scored this an 8.

Overall Score: 10/10 This is one of my favorite restaurants in all of Orlando! Counter Service or Table service! The food was above average and the theming was extraordinary!

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Top 5 Snacks of Food and Wine Festival – by Chuck Blades

Top 5 Snacks of Food and Wine Festival – by Chuck Blades

#5 Desserts & Champagne: Trio of Desserts Chocolate Orange Cupcake – Hazelnut Chocolate

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Cheesecake – Morello Cherry Pistachio Mousse

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#4 Brazil: Seared Scallop with Ragout of Tomatoes, Peppers, Hearts of Palm and Steamed Rice

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#3 Australia: Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies

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#2 South Korea: Kimchi Dog with Spicy Mustard Sauce

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#1 France: Escargots Persillade en Brioche (Garlic and Parsley Snails in Brioche Boeuf Bourguignon (Braised Short Ribs in Cabernet with Mashed Potatoes) Crème Brûlée au Chocolat au Lait (Chocolate Milk Crème Brûlée topped with Caramelized Sugar)

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Be Our Guest Restaurant Lunch Review – by Chuck Blades

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Our Guest Lunch -

Top 5 Disney World Dessert’s – By Chuck Blades

Top 5 Disney World Desserts

One of the best parts about any dining experience is the Dessert! The desserts in Walt Disney World are no exception from creme brûlée to soufflé and everything in between Disney World has some amazing dessert options! When I tried to narrow down my list I kept going back and forth and honestly this list could change tomorrow depending on my mood however right this moment these are my Top 5 Walt Disney World Desserts!

#5 Banana Napoleon – Flying Fish Cafe – Boardwalk Inn

When I think of great Disney Desserts the Signature Flying Fish Banana Napoleon always comes to mind! My first time dining at Flying Fish I ordered off of a Pre Fixe Menu that showcased all of Flying Fish’s signature dishes. The one dessert on the menu was the Banana Napoleon, I don’t think that I had ever had Banana Napoleon so I was excited to try it seeing as I love bananas! This dish was everything I had hoped sweet, flaky, a little crunchy really excellent! I now order this dessert every time I come to Flying Fish! I love sitting at the Chefs Counter looking over the kitchen every once in a while looking out on the Boardwalk while enjoying a nice Tea and Banana Napoleon.

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#4 Ohana Bread Pudding – served a la mode with Bananas and Caramel Sauce – The Polynesian Village Resort

If you have ever been to Ohana you KNOW about the incredible Bread Pudding! Honestly I would consider going to Ohana just for this dessert! Its always warm, sweet, moist overall its delicious! I have been so spoiled with this Bread Pudding that I can never find another that I enjoy I always compare it to this amazing dessert!

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#3 Chia Cream Dessert – Sanaa Dessert Trio – Tanzanian Chocolate Mousse, Coconut Cheesecake and Chai Cream

The Chai Cream Dessert used to come on its own at Sanaa unfortunately it was taken off of the menu a few years ago and added as a trio, I always ask for multiple Chai Creams because its honestly amazing! Generally it isn’t a problem at all to get the Chia Creams. On top of the cool, sweet, cinnamon Chia Cream I always order a press pot tea. Sanaa has a great selection of loose leaf teas! The thing that makes the entire experience better is sitting sipping on tea and watching the Animals roam around the Savanna outside. Sanaa is a unique experience that I think everyone must have when going to Walt Disney World!

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#2 Chocolate Souffle’ – Shula’s Steakhouse – Dolphin

The Soufflé is absolutely outstanding, chocolatey, light!, warm, overall its simply exquisite! It has to bake for 45 minutes before you can eat it so its always excellent! I wholeheartedly suggest ordering the soufflé on ever trip to Shula’s! This is one of the best desserts in Walt Disney World I would stop in and order it even if I wasn’t eating at Shula’s!

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#1 Almond Crusted Cheesecake and Press Pot Tea – finished with Lambert Cherry Sauce – Narcoossee’s – Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Naming my favorite desserts was a difficult decision until it came to my #1 dessert the Almond Cheesecake at Narcoossee’s. This dessert is always excellent and paired with a press pot tea while watching Wishes makes it my #1 dessert in Walt Disney World! This really is a full sensory experience from the taste of the sweet cheesecake to the touch of the warm cup of tea, the sounds and sights of Wishes and the smell of the wonderful kitchen in the air makes this the best Dessert in Walt Disney World!

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Do you agree or do you disagree?? Comment Below or on any of these links!

We would really appreciate your feedback please comment on our blog Facebook page or any of the other options below!

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My Top 5 Attractions in Walt Disney World – by Chuck Blades

My Top 5 Attractions in Walt Disney World – by Chuck Blades

#5 Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth is an absolutely Disney Classic and one of Disney’s most recognizable attractions in the world! Starting at the beginning of time and then traveling into the future Spaceship Earth showcases some of the most interesting moments in human history! From the Roman empire to the Renaissance and the Industrial revolution. Between the audio animatronics the narration and the fantastic smells Spaceship Earth is a must do on every trip to Epcot!

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#4 Kilimanjaro Safari’s

I truly believe Walt Disney’s Favorite Attraction would be Kilimanjaro Safaris it has a great queue, you can ride it over and over again and never have the same ride and its always a thrilling experience.

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#3 Expedition Everest

Opening on April 7th, 2006 Expedition Everest is the best attraction that Walt Disney Imagineering has created in Walt Disney World in over a decade. Expedition Everest was a much needed attraction in a park that really needed a second E – Ticket attraction. The Attraction excels on all levels from the fantastic exterior of the attraction, beautiful views on the ride, awesome thrills and even an outstanding gift shop Everest is one of my favorite attraction in any theme park PERIOD!

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#2 Haunted Mansion

Having just celebrated its 45th Anniversary Haunted Mansion has stood the test of time as well or better than any attraction in any theme park! Haunted Mansion is my favorite attraction in the Magic Kingdom bar none! From the fantastic queue, cast members, narration and now even a gift shop Haunted Mansion has something for everyone. —

On a side note during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Parties this attraction steps up another level! The cast members really go all out to get you into the halloween mood! I would honestly pay the 70+ dollars for the Halloween Party just to ride the Haunted Mansion!!!!!

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#1 Tower of Terror

I think I have said a time or two on this Blog that Tower of Terror is my favorite attraction in all of Walt Disney World so it should come as no surprise to see it here! If you want to read my whole review click here.

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These are my Top 5 Walt Disney World Attractions!!!

Do you agree or do you disagree?? Comment Below or on any of these links!

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Cruising Concierge: Disney Magic – by Chuck Blades

Cruising Concierge on Disney Cruise Line provides many amazing benefits from beautiful rooms —–to some awesome opportunities such as concierge receptions special check in areas and even more. Here is my overview of Cruising Concierge! If you want to see our room photos you can by clicking here.

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Shoreside Concierge

The best place to start when talking about sailing Concierge on Disney Cruise Line is Shoreside Concierge – They are a small group of consultants who help you with every need before you sail from making dinner reservations to planing shore excursions they are your go to resource! You can contact them by calling 1-866-784-1654  or you can have your Goofy Getaways Travel Planner call them for you ;)

Special Concierge chcek-in

The next part of sailing Concierge is your special check in process at Port Canaveral. As a Concierge guest you have a special waiting area before you board as well as a special check in desk! This is extremely convenient especially when there is a long line you just breeze right though. After waiting for the ship to get ready for sail away the concierge guests are the first to board the ship. It was a really awesome feeling to be on the ship with essentially just the crew!!!

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Special waiting area in Port

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Concierge Receptions

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Once boarded Concierge guests are invited to meet they’re Concierge for the sailing at a concierge reception – On the Dream and Fantasy they have an actual Concierge lounge and on the Classic Ships the reception is held in one of the Clubs – ours was in the Beautiful Keys! At the reception your concierge will have your entire itinerary set for you as well as free drinks (literally they have an entire open bar!) As well as hot d’oeuvres and other special offerings! We were able to adjust Palo reservations (which is an absolutely must do!) As well as spa appointments and a shore excursion.

Throughout your cruise you are also invited to different receptions that include free alcohol, special meet and greets with the captain and characters! These really add to your overall cruise experience and I really recommend going. We built a fantastic relationship with our wonderful concierge that really added to our cruise!

Below are photos from the receptions —

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Sailing Concierge is an absolutely incredible experience that I recommend to ANYONE! This is one of my favorite Disney Experiences that I have ever had! I have not YET had the pleasure of staying Club level at Walt Disney World however on an upcoming trip the Grand Floridian I will stay Concierge I will write a full review as well as a comparison to sailing concierge on Disney Cruise Line!

We would really appreciate your feedback please comment on our blog Facebook page or any of the other options below!

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If you have any questions about traveling to Disney feel free to email me anytime Chuck@goofygetaways.com

Goofy Getaways LLC

Contempo Cafe Review – Chuck Blades

Contempo Cafe Review – Chuck Blades

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The Contempo Cafe is located in the main atrium of The Contemporary Resort. Contempo Cafe has wonderful views of the entire Walt Disney World Resort as well as the Monorail going through The Contemporary and the beautiful Mary Blair artwork covering the main wall of The Contemporary.

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Food:

Contempo has a wide variety of options but the thing that stuck out to me the most was the Marinated Beef Flatbread. I love flatbreads I was a little unsure about ordering one at a quick service restaurant…. This Flatbread was…. Outstanding! Quite honestly I would rate it right with the flatbreads at Jiko and a notch above flatbreads at California Grill and Bluezoo both of which are signature restaurants! The Beef was tender flavorful, goat cheese was great as well honestly I was in shock with how incredibly good this flatbread was!

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Marinated Beef Flatbread – with Goat Cheese Spread, Oven-roasted Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, and Arugul

Generally Desserts at the Quick Service restaurants in Walt Disney World leave quite a lot to be desired so my expectations were quite low… However I tried both the Rootbeer Float Cupcake and the Red Velvet Cupcake! Both of them were moist, fresh, the frosting on both were excellent honestly I was in shock by how good both the flatbread and these cupcakes were!

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Rating:

I will rate the Quick Service restaurants a little differently than the Table Service Restaurants

Atmosphere: How can you beat the atmosphere here! Between the monorail going overhead, Walt Disney World views really its hard to beat!

Service: N/A

Food: Both the flatbreads and the cupcakes were outstanding! Others in my group ordered different entrees and everything was very good!

Overall Score: 10 / 10 Contempo Cafe is one of my favorite counter service restaurants in Walt Disney World from the outstanding food and atmosphere Contempo Cafe is honestly better than most of the table service restaurants in Disney an absolute must if you are staying at the Contemporary or if you want to take a break from the overcrowded Magic Kingdom!

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If you have any questions about traveling to Disney feel free to email me anytime Chuck@goofygetaways.com

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Castaway Cay 5k Overview – by Chuck Blades

Castaway Cay 5k Overview – by Chuck Blades

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Castaway Cay is one of my favorite places in the world! From the beautiful beaches and awesome excursions the Island has something for everyone! One of my favorite things to do on the Island is the Castaway Cay 5k! The Castaway Cay 5k has become incredibly popular over the last few years as Run Disney has become an absolutely huge success creating different running events across the country. The Castaway Cay 5k is a really fun event that is a great and unique way to experience Run Disney.

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Castaway Cay 5k Tips and Tricks -

Since the 5k has become more popular over the years I thought I would post my tips to make running the 5k a little easier (well maybe not easier on the course but getting there) I’ll post several tips in order to make the process of getting to the race easier!

  1. Sign up for the Race ahead of time! Don’t wait until race day to sign up as it has become more popular more people are running therefore the logistics of the race have become more difficult by signing up early you are assuring a spot in the 5k!
  2. Get to the meet up early! The morning of the Race there is a 5k meet up with registration and Course information – The meet is generally in one of the Bars / Lounges depending on the Ship – When arriving make sure to bring your Key to the World Card  and if under 18 a permission slip signed by parents or guardians – The 5k runners are the FIRST people off of the ship so as soon as the meet is over its time to head off the ship and onto the island for the start!
  3. The 5k is a RUN not a morning stroll on the island to take pictures! The Disney Cruise Line Staff was very set on the fact that this was not a walk you had to finish the 5k in 45 minutes for you to get your finish medal!
  4. Have some of the group get off the ship ASAP! Then go onto the island to get a spot on the beach for the day – (This tip varies depending on the Ship you are on because the Classic ships do not fill up the island quite like the Dream class ships) however I still recommend having at least one person in your party skip the 5k and grab a spot on the beach – They can then put the towels down and come and watch you finish the 5k
  5. Hydrate during the race! It is run though the middle of the island so it can get a little warm – There are a couple of water stations set up so I recommend drinking when you pass them to make sure you feel great for the day ahead!
  6. HAVE FUN!!!!

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Life can’t get much better than running a 5k in the middle of the ocean on a private island! During the race I kept having to pinch myself because it felt like a “Dream” I mean how blessed am I?? I’m running in the middle of paradise! I am incredibly thankful that I have had the opportunity to run the Castaway Cay 5k and encourage anyone who visits Castaway Cay to do the Same!

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We would really appreciate your feedback please comment on our blog Facebook page or any of the other options below!

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If you have any questions about traveling to Disney feel free to email me anytime Chuck@goofygetaways.com

Goofy Getaways LLC

Kelly Fales – Disney Favorites!!!

To help everyone get to know our Goofy Getaways Agents better we thought it would be fun to put a list together of all of our favorite things about Walt Disney World!

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Favorite park: Magic Kingdom,

Attraction: Soarin

Show: Wishes Nighttime Spectacular

Hotel: Port Orleans – Riverside,

Quick-service restaurant: Be Our Guest

Table service: Le Cellier Steakhouse

Parade: Main Street Electrical

Character: Belle

Movie: Frozen,

Last visit: Disney World in June 2014

Next visit : ?? Hopefully SOON!!

Stacie VanZandt – Disney Favorites!!!

To help everyone get to know our Goofy Getaways Agents better we thought it would be fun to put a list together of all of our favorite things about Walt Disney World!

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Fav. Park: Hollywood Studios,

Attraction: Rock-n-Roller

Show: Illuminations

Hotel: Wilderness Lodge

Quick Service Rest: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

Table Service: California Grill

Parade: Main Street Electrical

Character: Ariel

 Movie: Beauty and the Beast

Last visit: I have been many times but my last visit to DW was 9 years ago

DL was about 15 years ago

My first DCL will be in October