Sunday, January 31, 2016

Episode 59 of The Disney Exchange Podcast: Table Service at the Parks on the Disney Dining Plan

By Nick

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

The Disney Exchange is Lisa Green, David Hodges, and me, Nicholas Maglio.

This week we take a look at Table Service restaurants in the parks in Walt Disney World that are one credit on The Disney Dining Plan: Details of the 2016 plan can be found here:

We discuss personal experiences as well as our opinions as to the value of each of the restaurants compared to the cost of the DDP.

 "The A Team" of Disney Princesses at Akershus in Epcot's Norway Pavilion

Wheel of Distiny topic : Favorite Disney animated movie post 1989.

Thank you for listening to The Disney Exchange Podcast.
If you have a show or a Wheel of Distiny topic, please let us know on on our Facebook Page:, on Twitter at  or email us at: info@thedisneyexchang

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Breakfast at Be Our Guest

Like last week's edition of Saturday's with Lisa, this article is being presented for a couple of reasons. Again, it's great, and it says a lot of what I have to say on this topic, as I ate there the week after she did. I do differ in opinion on breakfast being the best meal, as I have enjoyed lunch and dinner here very much, but I do agree strongly with it being the best time of day to visit. I'll have more notes at the end of Lisa's post.- Nick

By Lisa Green 

Thinking about dining at Be Our Guest?  Can’t decide which meal to choose?  Here are FIVE reasons why…
Breakfast is BEST at Be Our Guest

1. The Perfect way to start the day in Magic Kingdom – You’re fresh, wide awake, looking your best, AND you can get into Magic Kingdom early!  Think of the possibilities for great pictures!  You can eat before getting a jump on the day with your favorite rides and attractions.

2. Experience the incredible atmosphere at your leisure – Early breakfast not only means a less-crowded Magic Kingdom, you can also tour Beast’s Castle on your own while waiting for your food to arrive (or after you finish eating). 

The details and theming are well-worth at least one visit to this very unique and magical restaurant.  Feeling rushed would certainly diminish the overall experience.

3. The Food is good!  Compared to lunch and dinner, we enjoyed breakfast the most.    Raymond ordered the Croque Madame “Open-faced Ham Sandwich topped with a Fried Egg, Gruyere Cheese, and B├ęchamel served with Fresh Fruit and a selection of pastries.” 

I opted for the Scrambled Egg Whites “Scrambled Egg Whites with Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken Apple Sausage, Fresh Fruit, and a selection of pastries”   

The flavor, preparation, serving sizes along with the “selection of pastries” was very filling and tasty! (We felt obligated to try some of each pastry selection for research purposes.)

4. Relatively reasonable price for two adults – Breakfast for two totaled about $44 before tax. 

Our lunch was about $50 for the two of us (one soup, two entrees and two desserts plus soft drinks).  Dinner was WAY more expensive (we added a bottle of wine) and dinner involves adding a gratuity.  Preview the menu here.

5. Convenience – We booked our ADR and took advantage of the option to pre-order our food. 

Upon arrival, we checked in outside and were directed right on in.  Once inside, we checked in again, paid for breakfast and received our “rose” (looks like a yellow hockey puck).  Then we grabbed our drinks at the self-service beverage station and were free to sit in whichever room we liked.  That magical hockey puck rose directed a Cast Member right to our table with our food when our order was ready.   

On this visit we chose the Grand Ballroom having already dined in the other two rooms (the Castle Gallery and the West Wing, both shown in the next two pictures).  

FYI – that West Wing is kinda creepy and very dark for an entire meal.  You’re welcome to roam the rooms and take pictures, so don’t worry about missing out on all the cool details.

Yes, you should definitely eat at Be Our Guest!  It’s pricey but the experience is fantastic.  Which meal you choose will depend on your plans and the amount of time you have available, but now that we’ve tried all three meal options, we both unanimously recommend breakfast as the best option.

Have you eaten at Be Our Guest?  What did you think about it?

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!

 My breakfast at Be Our Guest was very tasty, the Open-Faced Bacon and Egg Sandwich - Poached Eggs*, Applewood Bacon, Brie Cheese, and Arugula on a toasted Baguette served with Fresh Fruit and a selection of pastries.

*I was at first not sure what I was going to order, as I am not a poached egg fan. Then the guest ahead of me asked for scrambled eggs on his open face sandwich. It turns out that you can request how your eggs are prepared on the open face sandwiches! 

Also, I was alone, so I asked for a to go container for some of the pastries, which I had for breakfast the next day.

And I agree with Lisa on the West Wing being too dark to really enjoy one's meal! I ate there because my wife always refuses to, and I wanted to try it! - Nick



Friday, January 29, 2016

Pineapple Lanai at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

By Nick

Back when I was a kid, and by kid, I mean in my early 40's, you could not only get a Dole Whip at the Magic Kingdom, you could also get one at Captain Cook's at the Polynesian. Not only that, but it was self serve! So, of course, people would tower their pineapple treat as high as gravity would allow!

That is no longer the case, but you can still get Dole Whips and Dole Whip Floats at the Poly, at Pineapple Lanai.

PL, as I just now started calling it, is located right off the main lobby of The Great Ceremonial House.
It has a souvenir bowl and sipper, but that isn't what makes this my new favorite spot to get a Dole Whip.

My favorite Dole Whip option is the Pineapple and Vanilla Swirl, and that is no longer offered at the Magic Kingdom, so this is the only spot to get that tasty snack!

Have you been to Pineapple Lanai?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Star Wars Smuggler's Bounty : The Resistance

By Nick

A few months ago I signed up for the Star Wars mystery box offered by Funko Pop and Lucasfilm.

Each box contains Pop vinyl, apparel, accessories, collectibles and more, all exclusive and a $50 value!

I liked my first shipment, which was themed around The First Order, but, to be honest, I'm a light side of the Force kind of guy, and I sold everything on eBay except for the Kylo Ren pin (yes, I realize he's a baddie, but I liked the pin) and the Stormtrooper tee (I tell myself it's the hero Finn under that mask).

Well, I have loved everything from my latest shipment, themed around The Resistance, and I'm keeping all of it!

There is this awesome BB-8 patch! I plan on buying a nice black polo shirt to put this on.

A pin featuring Poe Dameron.

A C-3PO mug.

The mug's red handle has to be a reference to 3PO's temporary replacement arm from The Force Awakens!

An awesome tee shirt featuring Chewbacca, Han Solo, BB-8, Finn, Poe and Rey. And, oh yea, the Millennium Falcon.

And, last but not least, a Chewie Pop Bobble Head! All this for $25!

Loving the Smuggler's Bounty, it's like Christmas every other month.

Next shipment is going to be themed after the Star Wars Cantina! Can't wait!

Each box contains pop! Vinyl, apparel,
accessories, collectibles and more! - See more at:
Each box contains pop! Vinyl, apparel,
accessories, collectibles and more! - See more at:
Each box contains pop! Vinyl, apparel,
accessories, collectibles and more! - See more at:
Each box contains pop! Vinyl, apparel,
accessories, collectibles and more! - See more at:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My First Solo Walt Disney World Trip : Day 6

By Nick

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 

I got up early and headed to Disney's Hollywood Studios and headed straight for Star Wars Launch Bay upon park opening. As almost everyone headed towards various rides, I was first in line to meet Chewbacca.

Afterwards, I walked around taking photos of all of the props before leaving. I attracted the attention of a couple of First Order Stormtroopers who where apparently tipped off that I was spotted associating with known Rebels!

Next up, The Great Movie Ride. I really like the small changes.
I then headed to Disney Springs for lunch at Jock Lindsey's.

I had dessert across the way from Jock's at Vivoli il Gelato, and then walked around the shops as it had started raining pretty steadily.

After the rain stopped I went back to DHS and met up with several Facebook friends,  and we visited The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

Jennifer, Judy, Rebecca, Patty and Derek

As I waited among the crowd, I turned around and spotted another FB friend, Melissa, and her husband right behind me!

We were there to see the very last time the Lights would be turned on. They will be greatly missed, they were a beautiful addition to several of our holiday seasons.

Afterwards I rode Toy Story Midway Mania, and returned to the lights to say hello to 2 more friends.

 Kelly and Karen

I had a FastPass for Star Tours, because I really wanted to see the new Force Awakens scene. It was great, but, oh boy, does that ride get me motion sick now! Afterwards I headed over to Hollywood Boulevard to watch Symphony in the Stars, which is even better than it was during Star Wars Weekends!

At the suggestion of my Disney Exchange Podcast co-host Dave, I had the ribs at Fairfax Fair before heading out for the evening.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Episode 58 of The Disney Exchange Podcast: More From Our Recent Trips to Walt Disney World

By Nick 

Podcast: Play in new window | Download 

The Disney Exchange is David Hodges, Lisa Green, and me, Nicholas Maglio

We talk about Princess Marathon prep, as all 3 of us will be there at the same time, February 19th-21st, and we'll have more details as to meet ups on our Facebook page as well as on Twitter, so if one of you 10 people reading this will be in Walt Disney World at that time, please say hello.

Our FastPasses (well, mine, Lisa's and Dave's are around the same time frame) for the Magic Kingdom on Saturday the 20th:

I confess that I don't pay attention to anyone's photos, because, well, I have mine to look at.

Dave gets a cramp because he is training so intently! Or was it because I'm so dang funny, what with my witty repartee.

We discuss more from our recent trips to Walt Disney World, both good and not so great, but mostly great!

For example, my excellent meal at The Wave at Disney's Contemporary Resort.

How do you pronounce schedule?

We digress. Again.

Lisa had a great experience at the sake bar at the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Epcot's Japanese Pavilion.

I also talk about my experience at the AMC Fork and Dine in Disney Springs.

Lisa and I both agree that breakfast at Be Our Guest is a MUST!

The Wheel of Distiny topic: What is your favorite Disney dog?

Photo: Lisa's Roly teapot

Thank you for listening to The Disney Exchange Podcast, where Lisa takes us out and Dave pushes the wrong button again.

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