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Category Archives: theme parks

Daffy Stardust’s Rather Incomplete Ranking of Walt Disney World Restaurants


A big part of planning any trip to Walt Disney World is choosing how and where you want to eat. After all, even if you’re in your absolute favorite place with all of your favorite things, eventually you’ll have to put something into your stomach. There are plenty of people who intentionally sidestep making set in stone dining plans on their Walt Disney World trip. These people either only go to whatever counter service spots are nearby or they just take the pressure off and try finding walk-ins at appealing table service locations. They sit at the bar without any qualms and they shrug and move on if there aren’t any seats to be had. But those people are decidedly in the minority, and there are certainly likely to be few of them reading an article like this. Most of us enjoy the planning and the anticipation that goes into our vacation and one thing we’re looking forward to is that well-chosen table service reservation.

After my long Labor Day weekend trip to Walt Disney World I’m still pretty far from having tried all of Walt Disney World’s table service restaurants. There are something like sixty different table service restaurants in the Walt Disney World theme parks and resort hotels. These are places where you either are being served by a member of the wait staff who will bring your food to you at your table or where you get to carry your plate up to a buffet and select your own meal from everything there. These are the restaurants I’ll be covering here. The places where you order at a window and carry your food on a tray while you look for an available table are called counter service restaurants and won’t be included in this list. I’m also leaving out Disney Springs places because there is so much new there that I haven’t had a chance to sample (and it makes my list seem a little less feeble that way). I’ll have more to say at the end of the rankings, but for now here are my personal rankings of the 23 Walt Disney World table service restaurants where I have dined.
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A Very Disney Morning! – Daffy Does Disney


Come join my brother, sister-in-law and I for breakfast at Chef Mickey’s and the new Magic Kingdom entry. This past December I was at Disney Springs when I found out that Walt Disney World was discontinuing the Magic Kingdom’s welcome show and letting guests onto Main Street for the hour prior to the ‘official’ opening of the park that comes with its many attractions beginning operations for the day. I didn’t really get to experience this new routine during my April trip because every day I went to the Magic Kingdom was an extra magic hour day, which meant a couple of the park’s lands would be opening at the same time as the first guests entered (If you remember, I was a little confused about how this all would be handled). Meanwhile, the underwhelming new castle welcome show has made the rounds on the internet and has generally been met with shrugs. So what would a standard Magic Kingdom morning actually be like? You’ll have to watch to get that answer.

A Friday in Epcot! – Daffy Does Disney


Well, I’m mostly moved into my new place and now you’ll get a chance to see a little of my recent Labor Day weekend trip to Walt Disney World with my brother and sister-in-law. We pretty much skip the travel part of the first day this time around and get right into the fun! Join me as I take a dash through most of the top attractions from the second Florida Disney park.

Daffy Does Disney – Happily Ever After!


Much like I’ve been doing over the past calendar year, I carried some lightweight cameras with me on my recent trip to Walt Disney World vacation over labor day weekend.
Unlike with my previous trips, the video I took while in Florida will be leaking out at a much more measured pace for a little while. This is mostly because I’m moving in just three days. For now, please enjoy this full video I captured of the relatively new fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom, called “Happily Ever After.” While I have nitpicks about there not being enough “classic” Disney material from the first 50 years of the company’s legendary animation output, the show is undeniably amazing, with fantastic visuals and some real emotional high points. It was one of the highlights of the trip.

Walt Disney World: First Time, Last Time, First Time in a Long Time (Fall 2017)


Yes, I was just there less than five months ago, but believe it or not, there are still more than enough Walt Disney World experiences that fit the bill here in my typical trip preview article. If you paid any attention to this year’s Disney convention, called D23, you’re probably pretty aware that the whole Walt Disney World complex is in massive flux. After constant expansion between 1982 (Epcot opened) and 1998 (Animal Kingdom opened), the complex fell into a bit of stagnation for a while. Despite this, you’ll notice that I’ve been able to fill this article pretty well each time I’ve written it over the last few years, and as long as I keep showing up in Orlando over the next five years, I’ll continue to be able to do so. Preparations in hopes of having Walt Disney World in a beautiful and exciting state when the place turns 50 years old in 2021 will see to it.

Come along and we’ll take a look at some of my plans this time around which are unique or new.
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Daffy Does Disney – MagicBand Unboxing and Advice


Every time you visit Walt Disney World and decide to stay on property at one of their resort hotels, the mouse and company will offer you a brand new MagicBand. This wrist strap has technology inside it which identifies you and allows you to enter your room, enter the parks, and take advantage of your FastPass reservations. Some people visit the parks enough that they have a bunch of these things just lying around the house. Should you refuse a new MagicBand and just carry along your favorite? Join me as I unbox my newest band and talk about why having more than one might be ideal.

D23 Announcements Confirm Many Disney World Rumors


This past weekend Disney held their D23 Expo, a fan biennial event which Disney uses to make make announcements and promote upcoming products.  It’s kind of like the company’s own private Comic-Con.  The last couple of events have been light on Disney World news, but the 2017 expo was packed with goodies for fans of the Orlando resort.

If you have been following Disney World rumors, none of these announcements were all that surprising.  We’ve been talking about Star Wars for years now and last year we were buzzing about a Guardians of the Galaxy project and a replacement for the Great Movie Ride.  But the Expo provided additional details as well as confirmation that these things are happening.

Let’s take a closer look at all of this year’s announcements.

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Lebeau Family Trip Report 2017: Universal Orlando Resort Part 4


Up to this point, we faced some challenges during our Orlando getaway.  After a long drought, central Florida was getting such much-needed rain.  Unfortunately for us, we arrived just in time for daily thunderstorms.  My youngest daughter’s ankle was on the mend which limited her mobility and our oldest wasn’t going to be able to partake in any pool-related activities.  We were just past the half-way point on our trip and we had weathered the storms reasonably well.  So of course when I woke up on the morning of the fourth day of our vacation, I had a sore throat.

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Daffy Stardust in Busch Gardens – 2017


Can it possibly have been four years since the summer of multiple Busch Gardens visits which I shared through blog posts here? Well, it doesn’t seem like it, but that’s how long it’s been. A week ago my family and I decided to take my nephew on his first trip to the theme park I grew up with and this time I was able to squeeze in a little bit of vlogging in the process. This certainly isn’t a complete tour of the place, but it should give any viewers who aren’t familiar with the park an idea of what the place is like. Come along for the ride, won’t you?

Lebeau Family Trip Report 2017: Universal Orlando Resort Day Three


Our first two days at Universal Orlando were cut short due to rain and thunderstorms.  We still had three days left to tour the parks, but the weather forecast continued to be gloomy.  The girls really wanted to spend some time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter trying out their new wands.  But that was difficult during the busy afternoon hours and the evening was likely to be rained out.  So I set out to get an early start on our third day to take advantage of the early admission perk offered to guests at Loews Royal Pacific.

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Lebeau Family Trip Report 2017: Universal Orlando Resort Day Two


Today was the first full day of our vacation at Universal Orlando (Read about Day One here.).  One of my goals for this trip was to slow down and take it easy.  Usually on a Disney World vacation, we are racing around in an effort to get the most out of our time there.  But Universal is small enough that we should be able to get our fill in six days without driving ourselves crazy.  Especially since we were staying on property at Loews Royal Pacific which is both conveniently located and includes free Express Pass.  There was no reason for us to rush.  The question was, could I slow myself down?

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Lebeau Family Trip Report 2017: Universal Orlando Resort Day One


My family and I have recently returned from our latest theme park vacation.  When the kids were little, we made regular visits to Walt Disney World in Orlando.  Following our last trip in 2014, we decided it was time for us to explore some other options.  The following year, prior to embarking on our first family cruise (with Disney of course), we spent a day at Universal Studios.  This year, we settled on an extended visit at Universal Orlando.  I’ll tell you all about it after the jump.

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Spring Break at Walt Disney World: Last Day in the Kingdom – Daffy Does Disney


Well, here we are at the end of my Spring Break journey to Walt Disney World. While each of my previous videos has been just a portion of one of my vacation days, today’s final video will cover pretty much all of my park activities from my last day in the parks. Since my flight back home was set for late afternoon that day, I would have only from rope drop until around lunchtime to squeeze just a little more enjoyment out of my visit. That manifested itself in one more chance at favorite attractions like the Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, and the PeopleMover, last-minute opportunities at experiencing things I hadn’t yet on this trip, and trying a long-delayed food item that I’ve seen plenty of love for elsewhere. Unfortunately, it also meant dealing with a potentially inconvenient event that struck very early on. Come along and experience my eventful last day at the Magic Kingdom!

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