Sunday, September 25, 2016

Disney Dairy - 093 The Disney Exchange

The Disney Exchange is Lisa, Dave and me, Nick!

Podcast: Play in new window | Download 

 Me and Barbie

We start off with shout outs and thank yous to our wonderful fans. All 98 of you! You DO have a listener number right? If you do, you are automatically entered in our 100th Episode Giveaway, which includes fabulous free stuff!

If you don't have one yet, all you need do is ask for one via our Facebook page, Twitter, or email. Links can be found below. Now on with the show!

As you have perhaps gathered from the title this episode is about Ice Cream at Walt Disney World. And cheese. Why cheese? Because Lisa does not have much of a sweet tooth, so she shares her favorite places to get cheese plates.

 Waffle Bowl Sundae and ice cream sandwich 
at The Plaza in the Magic Kingdom

Kitchen Sink and Banana Split at Beaches and Cream

In addition to Dave and my favorite places for ice cream, we share responses that we received from listeners and friends (which should NOT be mutually exclusive, yet are) as well! Thank you for all the feedback!

The Wheel of Distiny topic : Favorite place to watch a sunset at Walt Disney World.

If you have a show suggestion or Wheel of Distiny topic, or want to get a listener number : please let us know on Facebook:, Twitter:  or email us at: info@thedisneyexchange  

Thanks for listening to The Disney Exchange Podcast!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Best 1-Credit Table Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World

By Lisa Green  
Once again, in the interest of full disclosure – I’m not a picky eater.  This is, you know, my blog and thus, my opinion.  I get asked a lot about the Disney Dining Plan in general and table service restaurants in particular.  Disney Dining Plans can be a great value (even if you pay for them and don’t get the free dining promotion), but to maximize your investment, you kind of need to choose wisely (if you care about such things).  There are some terrific web sites and blog posts that work out the details on where you can actually get the best value (Here’s a highly detailed great article from 2014) .  I’m not really into that per se.  I’m more about the overall dining experience versus straight up where-is-the-most-expensive-place-I-can-eat-for-one-table-service-credit.

Bearing in mind that these choices are based on my own family’s experiences – unless otherwise noted, we’ve actually eaten in every restaurant listed.  To make the list, we had to like the food, the selection, the service, and the ambiance as a whole.  Oh, and we’d have to want to eat there again.  So, if we’re all on the same page (HA!) here we go!

Disney World Dining – Best 1-Credit Table Service Restaurants
Exterior Rooftops / Animal Kingdom Lodge 

Boma Dinner Buffet (Animal Kingdom Lodge) – Boma’s also available for breakfast, but we haven’t tried anything but dinner.  We’ve eaten here several times because the variety of foods on this amazing buffet is simply unbeatable.  Soups, salads, breads, meats, stews, casseroles, kid-friendly fare, unique desserts – it’s all available at Boma.  As an added bonus, arrive early or stay late and enjoy the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s gorgeous lobby and savannah overlook for animal-spotting, entertainment, and educational opportunities. (More about Animal Kingdom Lodge for an evening out here.)


Sanaa Dinner (Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village Section) – We recently ate at Sanaa for the first time and thought the atmosphere, service, and food were all excellent.  A bit more adult-oriented than Boma (our opinion), we adored the bread service starter and felt perfectly comfortable lingering over a leisurely dinner.  Romantic? Yes!

Olivia's at Disney's Old Key West 

Olivia’s Café (Old Key West Resort) – We discovered this unique restaurant mostly by accident.  We were staying at Old Key West, but honestly had no intention of eating there!  At the very end of our vacation, we found ourselves starving at supper-time with no ADR (Advance Dining Reservation) booked.  Olivia’s welcomed us with open arms.  Great service, broad selection (for all tastes and appetites), and cozy, welcoming atmosphere – Olivia’s won us over!  (Full review here.)

‘Ohana Dinner (Polynesian Village Resort) – This place has wide appeal for the entire family.  All you care to eat, great setting, tasty Brazilian-barbeque-style dinner, decent service – you won’t leave hungry!  If you’re tempted to give this place a try, you must book your ADR 180 days out.  You snooze, you lose…if you want to eat at this uber-popular restaurant.


Be Our Guest Dinner (Magic Kingdom) – Out of pocket, I thought this was an expensive dinner (review here), but for one table-service credit?  Absolutely I’d book an ADR at Be Our Guest.  It’s gorgeous, the service is great, and the food is fine.  Best, most gorgeous dining room(s) in Magic Kingdom.  Let’s put it like this – if you must book a table service restaurant in Magic Kingdom, make it Be Our Guest where, no matter your opinion on the food or atmosphere, you can at least enjoy an adult beverage with your meal if you like. (Full review here.)


Rose & Crown Restaurant (UK Pavilion, Epcot) – We loved this place.  When we ate there (once so far), we were outside on a lovely evening with a great water view.  The service and food were both great.  We love the UK pavilion – enjoying dinner there is just one more great way to immerse ourselves in its awesomeness.

50’s Prime Time Café (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) – This place is so cool!  The “props”, the atmosphere, the humorous servers, the comfort-food-based menu – it all adds up to a fun place for the whole family.  A good experience and value for one table-service credit.  I’m a notorious anti-fan of the Studio’s restaurants in general, but this place is a winner in my book.

Character Dining:

 Meeting Minnie at Chef Mickey's 

Chef Mickey’s (Breakfast or Dinner Buffet / Contemporary Resort) – For years (and years!) we ate at Chef Mickey’s on every single Disney World visit.  First for dinner, then when the kids were older, for breakfast.  We’d eat there again – and probably will next time we’re all together on vacation.  The Fab Five and a decent buffet – especially during the summer, this combination at an indoor venue, for a meal, just a monorail stop from Magic Kingdom is a pretty good deal!  (Review here.)

1900 Park Fare / Drizella and Anastasia 

1900 Park Fare Dinner (Buffet / Grand Floridian Resort and Spa) – We loved meeting Cinderella and her Prince, but Lady Tremaine and the Step Sisters steal the show.  What this restaurant lacks in atmosphere, it makes up for in character-meeting experiences and a good variety of tasty food.  We saw families of all ages there and our family of four adults had a great time! (Check out all the details here.)

Honorable Mentions:  Places we haven’t tried, but are on our to-try list because we’ve heard great things:
  • Kona Café (Polynesian Village Resort)
  • Whispering Canyon Café (Wilderness Lodge)
  • Cape May Café Dinner (Buffet)
  • Tusker House Dinner (Buffet)
Your turn!  Which table service restaurants would you recommend?

This article was originally posted on Lisa's Living a Disney Life Blog.
She can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Please be sure to check out Lisa along with me and David Hodges on The Disney Exchange Podcast!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Throwback Thursday : Our First Trip to Walt Disney World, Part 2

By Nick

Sun 9/17 2006

We were up early and took a walk around the beautiful lake at Coronado Springs before getting to Animal Kingdom for rope drop.

They had a wonderful opening show with the fab 5 at the time.

Lunch was at Tusker House, back when it was a counter service restaurant.

This was our first time at the AK, and we spent a good portion of the day there before heading to the Magic Kingdom.

After riding a few rides, we hopped the monorail to the Polynesian for dinner at O’hana.

Before the very tragic accident in 2009, guests were allowed to ride in the front.

Following a delicious dinner, we went back for a few more rides at the MK before calling it a night.

Mon 9/18

Rope drop at Epcot, and another opening show that is a distant memory.

Over to Mission Space, where my wife rode the green and I rode orange. Even the non spinning side made me ill, while the green side threw her hip out! Someone that was on with her was out in front of the ride visibly ill! Never again for either of us!

We took a boat over to MGM (yes, Disney's Hollywood Studios was still Disney MGM Studios in 2006) for dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby, which until this day is my favorite restaurant in WDW.

Part 1 can be found here. Please stop back next Thursday for part 3.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Upcoming WDW Trip Plans - The Disney Exchange Podcast Episode 92

The Disney Exchange is Lisa (the brains), Dave (the tech guy) , and me, Nick (the talent). 

Podcast: Play in new window | Download  

This week we talk about our upcoming trips to Walt Disney World where the 3 of us will be converging for a meet-up at Epcot's Germany Pavilion Friday October 7th at 3PM! If you are in the parks that day please stop by and say hello!

We all discuss our plans and things that we are looking forward to most! So many new things since we visited last. Well, Dave is fairly local, but Lisa and I are super excited to see the new attractions and experiences!

The Wheel of Distiny: Do you order a new Magic Band for every trip or do you reuse your old ones?

If you have a show suggestion or Wheel of Distiny topic, please let us know on Facebook:, Twitter:  or email us at: info@thedisneyexchange  

Thanks for listening to The Disney Exchange Podcast!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Are You a Disney Geek?

Walt, Mickey, and Me

By Lisa Green  

We go by many names – Disney Geek, Disney Nerd, Disney Maniac even – but we all have one thing in common:  Disney is more to us than a man, a theme park, or a movie-making company.  Disney is a way of life.  We are the Disney-addicted and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Are you a Disney Geek?  Take this quiz to find out.  Give yourself one point for every true statement.
  1. You have a Disney vacation planned.
  2. You’re using a countdown calendar or app to keep track of the number of days until that vacation.
  3. You have a Disney collection of some sort (pins, vinylmation, figurines, etc.). 
  4.  Your car shows off your DisneySide with an antenna-topper, magnet, or window cling.
  5. You are wearing a something Disney-related right now.
  6. You have at least one framed Disney picture hanging in your home.
  7. You listen to a Disney playlist while working out or cleaning house.
  8. You have ever cooked a Disney restaurant recipe at home.
  9. Your pet has a Disney name.
  10. You know the meaning of all of the following:  FP+, MDE, ME, MM+, TOT, BTMRR, EE, TSMWM, ADR, and SSE.
  11. You can say “Por favor manténganse alejado de las puertas.” perfectly and you know what it means.
  12. You regularly check the Orlando weather and you don’t live in Florida.
  13. Your morning coffee or tea is consumed from a Disney mug.
  14. You’ve been emotional (and unashamed) on Main Street U.S.A.
  15. You have cravings for Dole Whips, Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars, or Churros.
  16. You have at least one Magic Band and will keep it forever.
  17. You purchase at least one new Disney guide book every year.
  18. You have a treasured photo of yourself (as an adult) with your favorite Disney character.
  19. You read Disney blogs or listen to Disney podcasts.
  20. You write for a Disney blog or host a Disney podcast.
5-10:  You like Disney vacations and some Disney merchandise, but you’re not obsessive.
11-15: You’re a real Disney fan and it shows!
16 or more:  You are a certified Disney addict.
Leave a comment!  What kind of Disney fan are you?

This article was originally posted on Lisa's Living a Disney Life Blog.
She can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Please be sure to check out Lisa along with me and David Hodges on The Disney Exchange Podcast!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Throwback Thursday : Our First Trip to Walt Disney World, Part 1

By Nick 

10 years ago today, my wife and I took our first trip to Walt Disney World together.

Barbie was not keen to go to WDW, and she will admit it.
I finally convinced her by telling her of the free dining, as well as assuring her that Stitch would be found all over the parks. And I promised I would not take her to Country Bears, as she had a traumatic experience as a child.

As it's been 10 years, details are fuzzy in some respects, which is why I do trip reports now.
They are more for me and a way to remember than anything else.

One thing I do recall, it was HOT. And HUMID. And Lovebugs were everywhere! Okay, more than one thing.

Friday 9/15/2006

We checked into Coronado Springs Resort sometime around mid afternoon, and took the loooong walk to our room. CS is a large, spread out resort, but the grounds are absolutely beautiful, with hammocks spread out along the lake.

After dropping off our bags we had dinner at the Pepper Market. It was (is?) a different type of  quick service whereas you visit different food stations and check off what you want on a order sheet, hand it to the chef at that station, and your meal is prepared. A Cast Member brings drinks and clears plates. We had a CM named May who was so wonderful that it got our trip off to a magical start. And the food was great too!

We then went to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. We didn't dress up that year, but every time we've gone since we have.

Despite the occasional light drizzle, it was an great evening. The crowds were almost non-existent after the fireworks, Hallowishes, and we enjoyed both Boo to You Parades from different spots.

Saturday 9/16/2006 

We were up early and hopped a bus for Disney-MGM Studios, now Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Several of the attractions were either new or changed since my last visit, which was 1996, and it was all new to Barbie.

We had lunch at Mama Melrose's, which was our go to restaurant from that day on for many trips thereafter.

Later that day we hopped a boat to Epcot.

Dinner that evening was at Chefs de France. It was, sadly, a disappointment, despite having a fun couple next to us, and we haven't been back since.

I have no photos of Illuminations, and don't recall if we watched them that night, but these photos clearly show we left after dark.

Please stop back next Thursday for Part 2.