Disney Dining – Epcot’s Tangierine Café

I’d heard for years about the great food in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion.  Aside from that single, ill-fated attempt to eat at Spice Road Table, we’d never put dining in Morocco on our to-do list.  On the Quick Service Dining Plan for our June vacation, Megan and I decided to give Tangierine Café a try.  It was a good value on the plan and the food and service were both great!

Disney Dining – Epcot’s Tangierine Café

It’s not that we don’t like the Morocco Pavilion…We do!  It’s got a lot going for it.  The architectural details, tile work, shopping, and live music all work together to create an especially exotic oasis in World Showcase.  We’ve passed on the food simply because there are so many other choices in Epcot.  Also, a couple of us are picky-ish, so we tend to go places we know everyone will like.  Raymond loves the coffee served at the Morocco Pavilion and has stopped on many occasions to enjoy a cup while the rest of us look around in the gift shop.Tile Closeup / Morocco Pavilion / Epcot's World Showcase Morocco in Epcot's World Showcase

Hopping to Epcot from a busy morning at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Megan and I were hungry!  The weather was gorgeous and we headed straight for Morocco and the Tangierine Café for lunch.  Everything on the menu sounded good to us, but we both decided on the gigantic Shawarma Chicken and Lamb Platter “served with a side of Hummus, Tabouleh, and Tangierine Couscous Salad with fresh Moroccan Bread“.

Everything on our plates was delicious.  (Pictures don’t do it justice!)  We loved the consistency of the bread and how fresh all the flavors were.  Perfectly seasoned, each generous portion was flavorful and satisfying without being heavy.  As I mentioned, lunch was also a good value on the dining plan (out-of-pocket price for just the Shawarma Chicken and Lamb Platter is currently $14.99).

Megan and I were so happy we tried Tangierine Café!  If you’re looking for a filling lunch in Epcot and haven’t yet tried this quick service restaurant in Morocco, we highly recommend it.

What are your favorite go-to dining spots in Epcot for lunch?



Disney World Attractions For Mature People

Kona-Coffee-To-GoWhen I say “mature people” it’s my nice way of saying older-and-slowing-down people.  Like me.  Raymond and I have reached the age where we don’t have to keep up with our kids or make concessions for nap times (that aren’t our own).  We can do what we want, when we want to and now that we’ve arrived at this part of our lives, we find we do want to slow down and take it easy.  Where Disney vacations were once about seeing and doing as much as humanly possible for 15+ hours a day, we’ve earned this time of soaking in the little details, meandering, leisurely exploring, going to bed early and sometimes getting a late start on the day.

Don’t get me wrong – we are thrill ride junkies and book FastPasses for our favorites.  Today’s list is more about the attractions we enjoy when we’re between FastPasses or have an unscheduled half-day for going with the flow.

Disney World Attractions For Mature People


Mickey’s PhilharMagic – It’s a fantastic show.  Plus the queue’s short and indoors where it’s nice and cool.  All our favorite Disney songs, a 3D movie, smell-a-vision and a comfy seat.  Yup, this one’s a perennial favorite. RM-PeopleMover-Cruising

The PeopleMover – So underappreciated by young whippersnappers!  This thing’s the bombdiggety.  Sure, it’s outdoors, but there’s no ride in the World more relaxing to me than this gem of an Omni-mover taking me on a Tomorrowland tour.  No thrills, no water, no animatronics, no worries.  (BTW – The tunnel-of-love aspect should not be ignored!)RM-Carousel-of-Progress-Dad

Carrousel of Progress – An attraction as old as I am!  The awesome theme song and the unforgettable moments through American history make this classic…well, classic.  Campy?  Cheesy?  That may be your opinion.  I think it’s perfect.Epcot-Manatee-at-Surface

The Seas With Nemo and Friends – No, I’m not talking about the ride, but the Seas pavilion itself – although there is something to be said for a nice relaxing ride in a clam-mobile.   It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Epcot’s manatees and their home in the Seas.  Indoors with multi-level viewing areas, this Future World pavilion is a great place to chill during a hot summer afternoon and soak up the surroundings.Epcot's World Showcase

World Showcase Shops – Maybe not an “attraction” in the strictest sense, but a very fun way to spend an afternoon.  I don’t care if we start in Canada or Mexico, wandering through the pavilions’ shops never fails to delight.  Even if I don’t buy anything (oh, who am I kidding…I always buy something!), the shops are interesting and the Cast Members, if not too busy, are full of awesome information about each country along the way.The Great Movie Ride

The Great Movie Ride – While parts of this kill me (Tarzan, I’m talking to you!) with their need for an update, I enjoy the experience.Gorilla at Animal Kingdom WDW

Pangani Forrest Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek – Sure, during the warmer months the entirety of Animal Kingdom is almost unbearably hot, but these two trails are irresistible to me!  So much to see and if we go when we’re not pressed for time, the experience is so much better!  To get the most of both the Pangani Forrest and Maharajah Jungle, you need to have plenty of time and patience.Rhino on Kilimanjaro Safari

Kilimanjaro Safari – I’m crazy stupid on this attraction no matter how many times I experience it.  Every. Single. Time.  I take a bajillion pictures and am captivated by each and every animal we encounter.  Added bonus – I can rest my feet from walking the trails.

How about YOU?  Have you reached the older-and-slowing-down people phase yet?  Which attractions do you love the most for their relaxation factor?

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Ranking World Showcase Pavilions

View of World ShowcaseI’m thinking Disney thoughts (aren’t I always?) and today they’re about World Showcase.  I know it has to do with the latest episode of the Mighty Men of Mouse Podcast – which I always listen to on the day it comes out.  I started thinking about my experiences in Epcot’s World Showcase over the years, how I feel about the different pavilions at this particular time in my life.  And if those feelings differ if the pavilions belong to countries I’ve actually visited versus the ones I only dream of visiting (or not).

So the meandering thought process goes, and thus the decision to rank the World Showcase pavilions – just for fun. When this is over – I really, sincerely want to know how your own ranking compares to mine.  I’ve put a lot of thought into my feelings and reasoning.  Mostly, my decision was based not on general appeal, or even logic, but how much I want to visit a particular pavilion and how much time I spend there.   Please comment what you’d change and why.  Let’s get started!

Ranking World Showcase Pavilions

11.  Morocco:  (I have never visited the actual country)  I walk by.  If there’s entertainment, I walk by more slowly.  Epcot's Morocco Pavilion / Spice Road TableRaymond likes to grab a cup of coffee there sometimes, but the dining choices don’t appeal to the picky eaters in my family.  Sometimes we browse the shops and once, Megan and Joseph got henna tattoos there.  It’s nothing negative, this pavilion is generally off our radar.IMG_7118

10.  Norway:  (I just got back from the actual country and my vacation was amazing.)  I used to love this pavilion and would, in the past, have put it much higher in the rankings, but in its current condition, sans ride, unappealing (to me, right now) princess dining buffet at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, lack of entertainment…it doesn’t do justice to the incredible beauty and culture of the country it represents.

9.  China (Never been there):  I love the way this pavilion looks.  I love the entertainment I’ve seen there through the years and the merchandise is always novel and fun to check out.  We’ve never chosen to eat there, but high marks for atmosphere and flair.

8.  Mexico:  (I have visited Mexico and enjoyed it very much.) It’s just ME – the place is awesome, but I’m married to a man who categorically dislikes the taste of Mexican food (unless you count Taco Tuesday at our house as Mexican food).  Great food has a serious impact on pavilion rank placement and sadly, I’ve not had a meal other than a quick counter service lunch.  Mexico PavilionI adore Donald Duck and Fiesta Donald is fun, sweet, and adorable!  The ride, shops, and musical entertainment (Mariachi Cobre) are all great!

7.  Canada:  (I’ve been to Vancouver and, very briefly, Toronto)  The beauty and grandeur of this pavilion evokes the beauty and grandeur of the actual country.RM-Le-CellierClean, beautiful and breathtaking – Canada (the pavilion and the country) brings back many happy memories.  (I may hate the Lumberjack Show, but don’t hold it against the pavilion…or the country.)

6.  America – I live here and I am very patriotic.  I just don’t get much out of the pavilion except for the Voices of Liberty!  I can’t say enough about what a great show they put on and how I love listening to them echo in the pavilion’s atrium.Voices-of-Liberty

5. France (I have been to France and it was wonderful):  Great restaurants, beautiful buildings, this pavilion is an enchanting place to spend time.  What I saw of France is well reflected here.  Epcot's France / Window DisplayI especially love it during Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival – they pull out all the stops.

4.  Germany (I’ve not been there, but am half German):  I love the pavilion itself – it is so warm and welcoming to me!  IMG_7112I love Sommerfest and any kind of beer they’re serving at the beer kiosks (by strapping young men in lederhosen).  I love the shops there and, if I can find a seat in the courtyard, am happy to spend quite a while soaking up the atmosphere.  Makes me want to go to Germany!

3.  Italy (I have been to Italy and LOVED it!) – This pavilion does the best job (to me) of evoking the feeling of its home country.  IMG_7103The meal, snack, and beverage choices are plentiful.  The wine shop is a particular favorite of my – they’ll send my selections to the front of the park for me to pick up on my way out.

2.  United Kingdom (I’ve not been there…yet):  There’s such beauty and charm in this pavilion.  So much to take in, loads of details, great food and drink and wonderful entertainment (British Revolution).  RM-Rose-and-CrownI love the Rose & Crown – both the pub and the eatery (I highly recommend the pub’s Single Malt Scotch Flight, if you’re a Scotch fan).  I also adore Yorkshire County Fish Shoppe.  And the beer.  See?  This is why it made it to #2!

1.  Japan (Never been to the country):  What this pavilion lacks (to me) in outward appearance, it makes up for in holding my attention.  I like the food, while it’s not on my must-do list, I think it’s good.  The Matsuriza (drum performance) is very cool.  What makes this pavilion #1 to me right now?  IMG_3815The Mitsukoshi Department Store!  It’s not about shopping – it’s about seeing the incredible assortment of Japanese goods and cultural items.  I could stay in there all day and never see everything!  Swords, bonsai tree kits, chop sticks, kimonos, teas, saké, clothing, toys, books, the pick-a-pearl counter, and – best of all – the amazing candy/snack room full of an incredible assortment of Japanese treats.

There is no right or wrong – no definitive, absolute ranking of World Showcase Pavilions.  It’s a jumble of feelings, memories, interests, and priorities.  What makes one country’s pavilion “better” than another will be different for each of us – how would YOU rank the World Showcase pavilions?

Disney Drinking – Rose & Crown’s Scotch Flight

RM-Epcot-Food&Wine-Landscape2Back in 2014…When my husband, Raymond, and I were planning our 25th anniversary trip to Walt Disney World, mainly to enjoy Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, we had a nearly unobtainable to-try list.  We armed ourselves with lists of foods we wanted to try and dining experiences we’d reserved – mostly, we were going for the limited, special offerings only found during Food & Wine.  Except for one.

Thanks to my friends on the Mighty Men of Mouse Podcast (great, unique show for Disney World fans) I’d heard about an incredible deal and fantastic treat offered as part of the regular menu at the Rose & Crown Pub in Epcot’s United Kingdom pavilion.  It’s the Single Malt Scotch flight – an incredible experience for a relatively great price ($18 as of 1/15).  We are huge fans of single malt scotch and our absolute, hands-down favorite is Lagavulin.  When we heard the flight’s line-up, (Glenkinchie, Oban, Lagavulin) we knew we could not pass up the chance to give it a try.RM-Rose&Crown-Bar

First of all, we love the atmosphere in the Rose & Crown at any time, but during Food & Wine, the place is hopping!  And in a great way.  We were making our way around the World Showcase, having started with the first food booths closest to the Canada pavilion.  We were pacing ourselves, moving with purpose and knocking a bunch of dishes off our must-eat list.  Then – I said, “There’s the Rose & Crown – we’ve got to do the Scotch Flight!”.  We were grinning like crazy as we practically ran through the door.RM-Rose&Crown-Bar-Menu

We were able to step right up to the bar even though there was a big crowd of some pretty happy Epcot guests already there.  We didn’t have to wait long to place our order, but had enough time to strike up conversations with the Texans on our right and the friendly young couple on our left.  When the bar tender asked what he could bring us, we explained the draw was the scotch flight and the Lagavulin, in particular.  Like any well-trained bar tender during Food & Wine, he offered to bring us glasses of ice water to keep us hydrated.  Within a couple of minutes, the scotch flights arrived.RM-Rose&Crown-Scotch-Flight2

We took our time with our samples.  Sipping, savoring, we moved from left to right.  Each scotch had its own personality.  The Glenkinchie was the lightest in color and flavor and very smooth.  The Oban seemed richer, with a smokier aroma and taste, it had more complex layers of flavor to me than the Glenkinchie, but if you’ve ever fallen in love with Lagavulin, you’ll understand why it was our favorite part of this experience.  It’s not for everyone.  Lagavulin has a very strong aroma (or nose, if you prefer) and the smell and flavor of peat smoke (with subtle hints of many other flavors) is what we love about it.RM-Rose&Crown-Scotch-Flight

We stayed in the Rose & Crown for close to an hour chatting with our bar-mates and slowly sipping our scotch.  Yes, this stop did slow us down in our pursuit of the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Food & Wine Festival that day.  But we didn’t mind one bit.

Have you tried a beverage flight at Walt Disney World?  What was it and would you recommend it to us for our next visit?