How To Have A Custom Cake Made At Disney World

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A few years ago it worked out that we would be at Disney during my daughter’s birthday. I had heard about having a custom cake made but had no idea where to start. After hours online, I finally found the The Cake Thread on DisBoards, which turned out to be a wealth of information! I could spend hours looking at all the pictures of cakes and reading everyone’s tips. In the end, I decided to go through the Grand Floridian’s bakery and dealt directly with the pastry chef Pat, who was amazing! She actually called me at home to go over all the details…sooo nice!!

DisBoard’s Official Cake Chatter Thread – All you’ll need to know!

I wanted an Alice In Wonderland cake for her (of course), and Pat went out of her way to create a cake that was PERFECT. To have the cake delivered to your table, you do have to dine at Grand Floridian Cafe, which can be as simple as ordering an appetizer and coffee. As far as I know, you can also pick it up from the bakery. That may have changed, so be sure to check the DisBoards forum. It’s the most up-to-date- resource I know of.

Our cake ending up costing just $78…shockingly affordable for what she created and the beautiful way they set it up at our table! My daughter is like me and very hard to surprise, so I had to enlist the help of my sister to pull it off. We told her that “Aunt Lisa” wanted to have tea at Grand Floridian, and we were going to meet her before having dinner. The bakery team went overboard and had set the table up with balloons, flowers, and the cake – it was beautiful! She actually loved the cake so much she didn’t want to eat it haha!

Disney loves to help you celebrate special occasions, so be sure to get a birthday or celebration pin from the front desk of your resort or the main gate of the park. And don’t be shy about reminding them either. I think everyone in the park knew it was my daughter’s “birthday WEEK” :-) We’ve received free desserts, cards, buttons and more.

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Our Favorite Lunchtime Meals at Walt Disney World

lunchtime at walt disney world

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lunchtime at walt disney world

One of my favorite things about Disney restaurants is that many of them have different lunch and dinner menus. This doubles my trying options, which I am always game for, ha! Before any Disney vacation, my mom and I look at all the menus and decide when and where we are going to eat. I have found that we tend to like the lunch options more. And what is great about this is the fact that lunch entrees are generally less expensive, especially at Disney restaurants! Great food and a fraction of the dinner cost? Yes please! =)

Favorite Lunch: House Burger
Where: Le Cellier located at Epcot

I’m not usually a burger person, so the fact that this one made the list tells you how yummy it is! The Le Cellier house burger is kind of a fancy sandwich, with maple barbecue sauce, fried onion strips, artisan cheddar, and pancetta. (Is your mouth watering?! =P) It also comes with sautéed mushrooms, but I had them leave those off. The burger was super moist and flavorful! Unfortunately, last time I looked at the Le Cellier menu, the burger wasn’t there! But I know the menu rotates a lot, so fingers crossed it comes back!

Burger at Le Cellier Epcot

My second favorite would be the Baby Back Ribs at Yak & Yeti located at Animal Kingdom. They are slow-roasted pork ribs, with hoisin BBQ sauce, chicken fried rice and sweet chili slaw! My Mom and I usually aren’t rib people, but these are melt in your mouth delicious. My Dad and brother always get them!

Baby Back Ribs at Yak & Yeti Animal Kingdom

And here are a few of my family’s favorites:

My Mom loves the burger and toppings bar at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn Cafe
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and the Pulled Beef Sandwich At Tamu Tamu Refreshments…
Pulled Beef Sandwich At Tamu Tamu Refreshments Inside Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

and everyone in our family loves both Columbia Harbor House and Earl of Sandwich.
Disney's Columbia Harbor House

It’s tradition that we go to Earl’s the first night of our trip!
earl of sandwich downtown disney

What are some of your favorite Disney foods?

Written by my daughter, Brittany! Be sure you’re following her Disney blog too! She is doing a professional internship there for the rest of the year and posts all kinds of fun, informative things…and lots of pictures!

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Working At Disney | Favorite Guest Questions

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One of the things I quickly learned while working for the Mouse is that you are going to be asked a LOT of questions and no question is unimaginable. I of course got asked on a daily basis standard questions like, “Where is the closet bathroom?” and “How do I get to the front of the park?” However, I also got asked some of the craziest things during my time at the Wildlife Express Train and it was my job to somehow answer them, ha!

I will never forget when I was training and one of the higher-up managers asked how I felt about my question-answer abilities. I naively told him I felt pretty confident and I truly did, because I had been to Animal Kingdom so many times and thought I was pretty knowledgeable about the park. He then drilled me, asking questions like: “Which is the better show to see: Finding Nemo or Festival of the Lion King?” I didn’t know; I hadn’t seen either. Shameful, I know!; “Where can I find the princesses?” I didn’t think there were any princesses. Wrong. Pocahontas, duh!; “Where was the old Festival of the Lion King location?” Really, come on?! So, after fumbling through his questions, I realized that all my vacation to WDW really didn’t prepare as well as I had thought.

What helped me the most were two things: 1 Ask your fellow cast members. Most likely, they have probably worked there much longer than you have, therefore are pretty knowledgeable people. In my experience, a cast member is more than happy to help a newbie and teach them everything they know. 2 Study your park map and know it like the back of your hand. Guests are going to expect you to know everything about the park you work at, even if you never leave your attraction area like I did. Typically question topics include how to get to point A to point B the quickest, what attractions are better suited for the younger kiddos, the locations for beer and ice cream, etc, etc.

As I said earlier, I got some pretty interesting/hilarious questions while working at the Trains. Sometimes it was hard not to laugh or be like, “Really?” You just have to remind yourself that: A they may have never been to WDW before and are truly unaware of seemingly obvious things or B are in what we call “vacation fog”, where all common sense goes out the window. No matter how trivial, obvious, or laughable the question was, I also did my best to answer it correctly and with a smile.

Here are some of my favorite questions, along with their answers by the way, some are a tad bit more snarky compared to how I would have normally answered them to the guests, ha!:

“Does this train take you to Epcot?”

Answer: Nope, the train brings you to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, which is – and always will be – located in Animal Kingdom.

“Can I bring my drink/food with me?”

Answer: Yes you may! PS: I always loved answering this one, because guests would get so excited, like you told them they just won a $100, haha!

“Can I leave my child with you?”

Answer: As much as I love kids, your children must accompany you.

“What tree/bird/flower is this?”

Answer: I have no idea. I am not a botanist, ha!

“Where is the monorail?”

Answer: I’m sorry, but Animal Kingdom does not have a monorail.

“Wasn’t there a boat ride here?

Answer: Unfortunately, not anymore. But there is a water ride located in Asia called Kali River Rapids. PS: Brownie points goes to the guests that ask this question, because YES there actually was a boat ride in Animal Kingdom years ago, which is something I did not know until I worked there.

“Who is Rafiki?”

Answer: He is the monkey from the Lion King. If that answer didn’t suffice, I would then do the raising-Simba-to-the-heavens move and that usually did the trick, ahaha!

“WHERE AM I?!!! HOW DO I GET BACK TO THE PARK? WHY DO I HAVE TO TAKE A TRAIN?!”

Answer: You are at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and the only way to and from this location is via the train, which arrives every 5-7 minutes. Don’t worry, you won’t be stranded here. =D

“What time is the 3:30 parade?”

Answer: The parade starts at 3:30, beginning and ending at Pizza Safari.

Written by: Brittany Madden – Follow Brittany’s blog Britty Loves Disney

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Goofy’s Candy Shop Treats At Downtown Disney

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Goofy’s Candy Shop at Downtown Disney is the place to be if you’ve got a sweet tooth! It’s located on the Marketplace side close to Rainforest Cafe and is a candy lovers dream!!

You’ll find a plethora of sweet treats such as caramel apples, cookies, fudge, rice crispy treats and more. Many are part of the “create you own” menu, which means you can have them dipped in your choice of white, milk or dark chocolate, nuts, sprinkles, mini M&Ms, crushed Oreos, coconut and more!

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We chose the (3) pretzel rods for $9.99, which I thought was a great deal! If you’ve got a large family with several kids, this is a fun and affordable treat. The pretzels were surprisingly delicious – and filling! I had mine dipped in dark chocolate and coated with pecans (far right in the pic) and loved it. It wasn’t overly sweet , and the combination of salty pretzel with the semi-sweet chocolate was perfect!

Have you eaten here? If so, what did you think?

Enjoying our treats ♥
Goofy's Candy Shop at Downtown Disney

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Over Half off this Disney Frozen Olaf Umbrella +3D Handle

Disney Frozen Umbrella

I was browsing the Disney shop over at Amazon and spotted this Disney Frozen Olaf Toddler Umbrella with 3D Handle for over half off! Since it rains nearly every day in Florida, an umbrella is must! I can’t tell you how much money we’ve wasted on those crappy plastic ponchos and wished we had an umbrella!

Get FREE shipping when you spend $35 or more or with Amazon Prime or Amazon Mom. If you need help getting to the $35 threshold to qualify for free shipping, check out our add-on items deals that we updated as we find them!

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The Disney Look – All the Way to Your Fingertips

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Disney is big on “the show”, meaning the iconic atmosphere that the theme parks, resorts, and restaurants are known for. Every detail is considered to help convey a story, and image is a huge part of this process. I’m talking anything from where a bathroom is located (Fun fact: there are no bathrooms in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square because they didn’t exist during colonial times!) to what shade of blue to paint a wall. The cast members’ appearances are too scrutinized to perfectly blend in with their location’s theming.

There are lots of Do’s and Don’t’s when it comes to looking the Disney cast member part. I was aware of a lot of these rules: no “unnatural” hair color (A girl during my program had to re-dye her hair because it was “too blonde”); no visible tattoos; only ears are to be pierced (While I was there, a guy was sent back home because he gauged his ear lobes too large; I heard another story about a girl who had reconstructive surgery to fix her gauged ears to meet the “Disney Look.”); etc, etc.

One rule that took me by surprise was regarding nail polish. Ladies who paint their nails have to choose colors that are neutral or traditional. That means no bright colors, no neons, no patterns, and (the worst of them all) no glitter! Being a lover of the new adventurous nail trend going on right now, this especially bummed me out.

At first, I did not think they would really be that strict about someone’s nail color. And I really didn’t want to give up my glitter nail polish haha! (It is my FAVORITE!) However, I was proved how serious the Disney Company is about their nail polish rules when one of my roommates got written up for wearing GREY nail polish.

So alas, I decided that basic nails were a pretty fair trade to be able to live, work, and learn at Disney. Plus, between opening train doors, switching the train tracks, loading/unloading ECVs ad wheelchairs, and other Wildlife Express Train duties, my nails constantly got broken, chipped, and bumped. I did get lucky though that my location was kind of lax on the whole nail polish rule. One of my coworkers was always rocking cute (but definitely not traditional) finger tips. I even took a risk one day by wearing coral nail polish with a gem accent nail. (Scandalous! =P)

Written by: Brittany Madden – Follow Brittany’s blog Britty Loves Disney

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Gourmet Hot Dogs at Disney’s Fairfax Fare!

Gourmet Hot Dogs at Disney's Hollywood Studios!

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Gourmet Hot Dogs at Disney's Hollywood Studios!

It dawned on me yesterday that I never posted the pictures of the hot dogs we sampled at Fairfax Fare in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

My daughter is a hot dog aficionado. Growing up, she regularly requested them in her macaroni and cheese and was always excited to see them being served for dinner. My husband and son…not so much. They like hot dogs, but not enough to get excited when they’re served for dinner.

That being said, we’re all up for trying something new and different and were excited to try the specialty hot dogs now being served at Fairfax Fare. They’re actually not new. They’ve been on the menu for a couple of years. But we just got around to trying them.

First up is the barbecued pork and coleslaw dog. I already have a thing for coleslaw on my pork sandwiches, so I thought this would be my favorite…and it was.

Let’s start with the dog itself. It’s a perfectly cooked, all-beef dog with a nice “snap” when you bite into it…the way God intended all hot dogs to be.

The slaw was surprisingly tasty with a perfect balance of sweet and tangy. It also had just the right amount of mayo, which is a huge pet peeve of mine when it comes to coleslaw. Some are just swimming in sauce, so I was pleasantly surprised this wasn’t and ended up eating all that fell off too!

The bun was soft, fresh and just right size. It was big enough to hold all the ingredients nicely without being too much bread.

The pork was tender and had just the right amount of sauce, which was on the sweeter side without being too sweet. The meat was done just right and free from fat and gristle. Don’t you just hate when you take a big bite of BBQ or smoked meat and get a mouthful of fat or tough gristle? Not good! Kuddos to Disney for doing pulled pork right!

Overall, we loved this! I actually still think about this hot dog and can’t wait to have another one!

Barbecued Pork Coleslaw Hot Dog at Disney's Fairfax FareBarbecued Pork and Coleslaw Gourmet Hot Dog (served with chips) – $8.99

Barbecued Pork & Coleslaw Hot Dog at Disney's Fairfax Fare

Now onto the Macaroni & Cheese and Truffle Oil hot dog.

I wanted to love this. We all did, and it was the one we were the most excited about trying.

Sadly, we were more than underwhelmed. It starts with the same all-beef dog, which is good, but that’s where things just start to go wrong.

The macaroni and cheese itself left a lot to be desired. The noodles were overcooked and swimming in what I like to call “plastic cheese”, which resembles cheese sauce but doesn’t quite taste like it. Just not good. Then it’s topped off with bacon bits, which weren’t terrible but not great either. And the truffle oil was almost nowhere to be found. I think we actually forgot it was supposed to be on there.

Even though this wasn’t our favorite, I’d still encourage you to try it at least once. Maybe do what we did, order one of each and share. A lot of people love this dog, but it just wasn’t our thing…

Have you tried these dogs? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Macaroni & Cheese and Truffle Oil Hot Dog at Disney's Fairfax FareMacaroni & Cheese and Truffle Oil Gourmet Hot Dog (served with chips) – $8.99

Macaroni & Cheese & Truffle Oil Hot Dog at Disney's Fairfax FareFairfax Fare at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Menu

Menu at Fairfax Fare in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Fairfax Fare

  • Where: Hollywood Studios
  • How much: Entrees range from $7.99 – $15.99
  • Dining Plan: Yes and uses (1) counter service credit
  • Quick review: Fairfax is a hidden gem! We’ve never had a bad meal, and make a point to stop anytime we’re at Hollywood Studios. My hubby always gets his turkey leg and I love the burgers and BBQ pork hot dog. It’s also a great place to grab a beer and relax if rest of your family is on Tower of Terror 😉

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What To Wear To Disney | Ode to Minnie Mouse

Disney Minnie Outfit

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Disney Minnie Outfit

Welcome to the very first edition of Disney Fashion Friday, where we’ll be bringing you a new Disney-inspired look-for-less every Friday! I’ve been excited about this for a while and have to thank my awesome helper Kim for getting it going! Kim has worked for me on and off for about two years now, and she’s amazing! We ♥ Kim!

I don’t care how old you are, dressing up at Disney is just fun! Whether we’re going out to a nice restaurant or touring the parks, my family is always sporting the Disney look! I even wear Disney shoes! We pack and plan for months leading up to our trip and grab good deals anytime we see them.

It’s easy to get sucked into buying pricey apparel and souvenirs once you’re in the Disney “bubble”, so the more you buy in advance, the more you’ll save on your trip, and that includes apparel. I paid over $50 for a jacket the year that crazy cold spell hit Florida and said never – ever – again!

My favorite go-to sites for all things Disney are DisneyStore.com, Target , Amazon and Kohl’s. Be sure to bookmark our Disney page or sign up for our newsletter, so you don’t miss anything!

This week’s look is stylish but casual with an ode to Minnie Mouse! I love the black and white with the rose gold jewelry!

  1. Neff Disney Collection Minnie Bandana Tee — $27.99 (use code RMNSUMMER to save 20%)
  2. Briggs Pull On Pants, Black — $39.99
  3. Vertical Stripes Straw Tote — $29.99
  4. Post Paris Leather Flats — $34.99
  5. Mickey Icon Bangle Bracelet — $19.99 (go here to check for current offers and coupons)
  6. Stainless Steel Rose Gold Hoop Earrings — $14.99

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Mickey and Minnie Aren’t the Only Lovers at Disney!

lovers at disney

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lovers at disney
Walt Disney World is well known as “the most magical place on Earth.” If it were up to me however, I would rename it the “Land of Love” because lovebirds are all over that place, ha! Couples vacation to Disney to celebrate weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries, or simply their adoration for one another. Disney even offers several pins celebrating a wide range of lovey-dovey occasions, and cast members are encouraged to congratulate them on their love.

And guests aren’t the only ones basking in the glow of love. Cast members get caught up in the act too! Several of my coworkers found their significant other while working for “The World.”

This is especially true for college program interns. While I was there, so many of my friends found a lover (or two). I often joked that Disney was surrounded in a love bubble, which sped up time and instantly made people fall in love.

These relationships range from fun flings (like mine) to full-on romance to even marriage! To illustrate, two of my roommates found their current boyfriends during the internship. One of them just moved in with her man, and the other talks openly about marriage with her boo. Being someone who just LOVES love, I am just so happy for them and feel like they make the cutest love stories.

Plus, what better place to date someone than Walt Disney World?! I mean, HELLO, you have an awesome free date location at your continual disposable! While I was there, my Disney boyfriend (that’s what I liked to call him) went to the parks together several times a week. Not bashing dinner-and-a-movie (because that is super fun too), but spending all day riding attractions, watching parades and fireworks, and eating Disney goodies is about as good as dating can get!

As you can see from the pictures, my very own parents have had a few romantic Disney moments themselves! My Dad spent weeks planning a 10th anniversary surprise for my Mom and even enlisted the help of the staff at Artist Point. They served her a ring for dessert!

Here are a few more ideas for all you Disney lovebirds out there:

Written by my daughter, Brittany! Be sure you’re following her Disney blog too! She is doing a professional internship there for the rest of the year and posts all kinds of fun, informative things…and lots of pictures!

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romance at disney

romance at disney

Disney Cakes & Sweets Magazine Bundle $1.00 SHIPPED

disney cakes and sweets

I’ve got a awesome offer for you to try the new Disney Cakes & Sweets Magazine!! For a limited time, you’ll get the premiere issue, a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter & Winnie the Pooh silicone molds for $1.00 SHIPPED!! That’s over a $30 value!

Whether you enjoy making special birthday cakes or simply want to create sweet treats to give as gifts, this collection of molds, cutters and cake decorating equipment will help you produce professional results that will delight your friends and family.

  • Packed with delicious recipes
  • Easy-to-follow techniques
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  • Comes with specially designed baking tools to add to your Disney kit

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