Do Disney Your Way -- Part II

Do Disney Your Way, pg. 5

Best Splurge Restaurants (With or Without the Kids)

California Grill: On the top floor of the Contemporary, with great views of the Kingdom and inventive California cuisine from one of WDW's top chefs.

Flying Fish Caf?: On the Boardwalk, a lively (loud), colorful restaurant with innovative "New American" seafood.

Citricos: Light, flavorful Provencal cuisine at The Grand Floridian, with an open kitchen and views of the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Jiko: New restaurant in the Animal Kingdom with a decor inspired by The Lion King, featuring wood-burning ovens and grills, international fusion cooking, and wines from South Africa.

Quick Lunch Stops

In general, the fast food at Disney is pretty pathetic, especially in the Magic Kingdom. On the other hand, who wants to waste time on a sit-down lunch when there are rides to be conquered? Look for the best of the bunch for quick eats.

In the Magic Kingdom: Aunt Polly's Dockside Inn, a nice, shady escape on Tom Sawyer Island with basic sandwiches (PB&J) and root beer floats; Columbia Harbour House, in Liberty Square, a shipshape spot with fish, chowder, and sandwiches.

In the Animal Kingdom: Tusker House, with savory rotisserie chicken; Flame Tree Barbecue.

In Epcot: Sunshine Season Food Fair, a food court with a refreshing amount of variety; Pure and Simple, if you're looking for hard-to-find healthful fare; Ice Station Cool in Future World, where the kids can cool off and try out all kinds of weird flavors of Coca Cola inside an ice tunnel. At World Showcase, try Tangierine Cafe for good Middle Eastern food or Yakitori House for Japanese grilled chicken skewers.

At Disney-MGM: Backlot Express, an off-the-beaten-track cafeteria disguised as a prop shop, which serves up decent basics without the crowds.

Where to Find Out More

Among the mountain of guidebooks out there, here are some favorites:

  • The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids by Bob Sehlinger. This guy understands what it's like to travel with kids and offers great advice with humor and warmth. There's no detailed information on resorts and restaurants, however.
  • Birnbaum's Walt Disney World: The Official guide. Lots of info, color pictures, and maps.
  • Passporter Walt Disney World 2002 by Jennifer Watson, Dave Marx, and Allison C. Marx. For organized people who like lots of lists, this has very detailed info and envelope pockets to help you plan and record your trip.
  • The official Disney Web site is www.disneyworld.com, but there's actually more detailed information on www.wdwig.com (Walt Disney World Information Guide) and www.wdwinfo.com (Unofficial Guide to Disney World). You can even download a WDW guide to your Palm organizer at www.eguidestogo.com. To request travel brochures and a free vacation-planning video from Disney, call 407-WDISNEY.

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