Tusker House

Tusker House – January 7th, 2016 – Lunch
On this morning, we didn’t eat breakfast – we just snacked on a few of the things we had ordered from Amazon and had shipped to our hotel. Our first meal of the day was supposed to be at Tusker House at 1:10pm, however after going on a few rides I was not feeling very well. We decided to head over to the restaurant to see if we could get in early, and they were able to seat us around 12:30.
I was so excited to eat here – it was our first character meal of the trip! I quickly ordered a glass of water, and headed straight to the buffet. I really wasn’t feeling good, so my main focus was on getting something into my body – therefore there are no pictures of our first plates of food. I do know that my first plate was mainly salad, and it wasn’t even close to being a full plate.
We did not have to wait long before the first character approached our table – I had already drank an entire glass of water by this point so I was feeling slightly better (nothing, not even my Crohn’s was going to stop me from getting pictures with the characters!).
I ended up going back to the buffet two more times for food, and I actually remembered to take a picture of one of them:
Starting at the top center and going right, that’s mashed potatoes and gravy, caesar salad, plantains, some kind of bread, a potato and pea samosa, basmati rice and carved pork (I think it’s the Kenyan BBQ pork if you look at the sauce between the rice and meat). As I mentioned before, I’m not an overly adventurous eater so my plate looks a little boring. There are so many options here, so both picky eaters (like me) and adventurous eaters (like Luke) can find a ton of things to satisfy! I know I had green beans from the kid’s section at one point, and more of the carved meat options.
When I went up for dessert, I couldn’t decide on what I wanted, so I think I grabbed a full plate and then split everything with Luke.
Again, starting at the top in the center and going right, I want to say it was some kind of lemon bread?, pecan chocolate squre, fruit tart, coconut macaroon, chocolate brownie, and two other types of squares (I don’t remember exactly what they were). Luke ate the bread and the fruit tart. We split everything else. The pecan chocolate thing was so good, it was chewy and dense and just all around amazing. I’m a big fan of coconut macaroons, and this one did not disappoint. Everything else was good, but forgettable.
There were 4 characters in total who visited our table during our meal, all of whom were dressed in Safari outfits – Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy. Since the restaurant was not even close to being full, we ended up seeing a couple of the characters 2 or 3 times.
I somehow missed getting a picture with Goofy… At one point during the meal, Goofy actually came into the room where we were and tried to gather all of the kids to join him in a little parade, clapping their hands and dancing around the room. There were only like 3 kids who actually went up, and Luke felt bad, so he went and joined them. He followed Goofy around the room twice clapping his hands and laughing. It was really cute!
The food was amazing here, Luke is still talking about it and it is already on our wishlist of ADR’s for our next trip to WDW in January 2017. I managed to eat a lot of food, but I still was not feeling well at all. I actually had to make 3 trips to the bathroom during our meal :( Stupid Crohn’s :(
After scanning our magic bands for a table service credit each, and paying the tip out of pocket we left. If we were paying out of pocket, it would have cost $41.99/each or $89.44 for both of us after tax (before tip).
The theming of this restaurant is incredible! The main area where the buffet is located is set up to look like an open air market, the Safari gear costumes the characters wear are adorable and there are so many tiny details throughout the entire building tying it all together. I wish I wasn’t so sick that day, otherwise I would have taken more pictures! There’s always next time :)

Be Our Guest – Dinner

Be Our Guest – January 6th, 2016 – Supper
After an amazing day afternoon at Magic Kingdom, it was finally time for our supper ADR – at Be Our Guest! I was so excited for this one, and felt so lucky to have even managed to book us in . When we booked this trip, we were already well within the 180 day window for making dining reservations, but I refused to give up on this place! I kept checking, and I finally managed to find a single opening, for 6:20 on our first full day at Disney! I had to juggle a few of our other ADR’s around to make this fit, but we did it!
We checked in, and then walked over the bridge to sit outside. Within 5 minutes our names were called and we were being led into the Beast’s castle! We were led to a table at the very back of the main room, right beside the Christmas tree! Sorry this picture is kind of blurry, the room was really dark and I hadn’t quite figured out my new camera yet…
I loved the red napkins at each place setting, rolled into a rose. So simple, yet it added a nice touch.
I went a little crazy in the planning stages of my trip, and had read all of the menus posted online for the restaurants we knew we’d be visiting, so I knew exactly what I wanted before I even sat down – the grilled strip steak (cooked well done of course!) with green beans and fries. After reading over the menu, Luke decided to get the same thing, only with his steak cooked medium (gross!). I ordered a glass of water and a glass of root beer to go with my meal. I thought about a glass of wine, but I knew we weren’t finished going on rides for the night, and with my Crohn’s I really have to be careful of alcohol. Luke ordered a glass of water, a coffee and a bottle of Kronenberg beer (he’s not a huge drinker, but you have to take advantage of being in the only licensed area of Magic Kingdom!).
I wish I could remember our waiter’s name – he was excellent! Very attentive, friendly and personable without being too intrusive. Our meals came out perfect – my steak was actually cooked well done properly (which a lot of places seem to struggle with). It was cooked fully, but still juicy. And the beans – Oh. My. God. Those beans. According to the menu, they were cooked in truffle oil (which I had never had before – I’m an extremely fussy eater so we don’t usually go to very many fancy restaurants), and I couldn’t get enough of them. I ate every last one, while picking out the onions and red peppers which came mixed in with them and shoving them onto Luke’s plate haha. Like I said, I’m really fussy. Here’s a picture of my amazing meal (the plating wasn’t the prettiest):
I ended up eating only a few of my fries. I was not a fan of the sauce they were served with, and I prefer shoestring-style fries to thick cut ones like these. It was fine though, the beans and the steak were so fantastic I didn’t mind not eating everything on my plate – plus it was more than enough food for me. The steak was huge – I think the menu said it was 10 ounces? I typically struggle just to finish an 8 ounce steak at a restaurant, but I was impressed by how much I was able to eat. Luke of course finished all of his, because he’s a man and that’s what they do.
We knew we would be using credits from the dining plan on this meal, so dessert was included. I already knew what I wanted – I had to try the grey stuff! Luke ordered the orange eclair. Here are our desserts in all their glory:
The grey stuff was a grey coloured mousse that tasted like cookies n’ cream tucked inside a chocolate tart. The tart was harder than I was expecting, I ended up scooping the grey stuff out with my spoon. Luke declared his eclair was “great!” I tried a bite, and I’d have to agree!
Our amazing waiter had actually noticed my birthday pin stuck to my backpack, which I had put on the floor beside me and brought me a Happy Birthday card signed by Belle and the Beast, and a plate of grey stuff mousse sprinkled with Mickey sprinkles and a candle stuck in it. I thought this was such a nice little touch – some really great Disney magic! It was nice to begin celebrating my birthday a week early :)
The cost of our meal: $35/each for our steaks, $5 for each dessert, $3.50 for my root beer, $3 for Luke’s coffee and $13 for two beer. We swiped our Magic Bands and used 2 table service credits, leaving us with a bill for $13 for the beer, plus tip (and we tipped well – we loved that waiter!).
We stopped to meet the Beast on our way out. I don’t know why Luke was cut out of this picture…
Overall we had a fantastic experience with great food, atmosphere and waiter. The steak is by far the most expensive item on the menu, and in my opinion the only thing worth using a table service credit on if you care about breaking even on the dining plan. I would not hesitate to return for supper, but I don’t think it’s going to make it into our plans for our next trip.

Anaheim, California – April 16-20, 2015

         Luke was born and raised in Winnipeg, so he has always been a Jets fan. In 2015 when they made the playoffs (for the first time in 19 years) he was so excited – he started looking at ticket prices, but of course StubHub prices for the games in Winnipeg were ridiculous – like I’m talking $500+ per ticket per game. He jokingly sent me a text saying we should go to California to watch the two games being played in Anaheim, as tickets could be had for a fraction of the cost. I immediately went to talk to a co-worker, who is a travel agent on the side and after her initial shock at my request, got back to me quickly with prices. Despite the fact we had only been living in our new house for 6 weeks, we felt the cost of the flights and hotel was something we could afford, so we went ahead and booked it (after Luke and I talked to our bosses and got approval to take short-notice vacation). That happened on a Monday afternoon. Thursday morning we woke up, drove to the airport bright and early and flew to the John Wayne airport in Santa Ana, California.

We knew we wanted to avoid LAX, so John Wayne was a much smaller and closer option (and only cost us about $30 more than flying into LAX – the hour we saved getting from the airport to our hotel is worth way more than that!). I booked transportation from the airport to our hotel with SuperShuttle – it was cheap and easy. The ride to our hotel was quick too!

I figured if I was taking the time to fly all the way to California to cheer on the Jets, I could spend the $140 and buy a jersey for myself before I went. Luke of course already owned his.

Whenever we travel, we tend to always book fairly cheap hotels, we typically don’t spend much time in our room anyways. For this trip, we stayed at the Super 8 on Katella Ave, which wasn’t the fanciest, but it did the trick. Plus, they had availability on our short-notice schedule!

Thursday after arriving at our hotel and checking in, we left our luggage with the front desk since our room was not yet ready, and went for a walk. We were right beside the Anaheim Gardenwalk so we stopped at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. 


That night we went to game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs between the Anaheim Ducks and the Winnipeg Jets. It was a great game, but unfortunately the Jets lost 🙁 Our seats were in the nosebleeds, but we were still in the arena for an NHL playoff game – check that off my bucket list!



Friday we spent the entire day at Disney’s California Adventure Park (I’ll link to the report for that day once I have it up).

Saturday we did some shopping at the Outlets at Orange, ate lunch at In N’ Out burger (I don’t understand the hype about that place at all, it was just ok) and then went back to the Honda Centre to watch game 2 of the series. In the few days we had between booking the trip and actually flying to California, I had done a bit of research and managed to get us a reservation at the Standing O’ restaurant located inside the arena prior to the game.



The game was another great one, but it also ended in another heartbreaking loss for the Jets.




Sunday we spent the day at Disneyland (again, the trip report link will be posted once I have it up).

Monday morning we woke up and had a bit of time before we needed to catch the SuperShuttle, so we walked back over to the Gardenwalk and went to Bubba Gump’s for lunch.



After eating, it was time to head back to the airport and head home. We both had to be back to work on Tuesday morning.


It was a very quick trip, but so worth it (despite the Jets losing both games). We both really loved the city of Anaheim, and we fell in love with Disney while we were there – we came home and almost immediately booked a trip to Orlando to visit Walt Disney World. Plus, hockey tickets are so cheap in Anaheim! It’s too bad the Angels were on the road, I would have loved to have caught a baseball game while we were there as well! Oh well, save that for another trip (perhaps plan it when the Blue Jays are visiting the Angels?)

Peco’s Bills – Lunch

Peco’s Bills – January 6th, 2016 – Lunch
After the race expo, the first park we headed to on our trip was Magic Kingdom! After our first Fastpass for Splash Mountain, we decided it was time for lunch and decided to give Peco’s Bills a try.
After looking over the small menu, we made the decision to share a single meal. We had a supper reservation at Be Our Guest, and we knew we’d be having a large meal there, and we wanted to fully enjoy it without being too full.
From all of my research on the dining plan before we left for our trip, I knew that each quick service credit was good for one entree, one non-alcoholic drink and one dessert. We agreed to go with the build-your-own fajita platter with beef, black beans, cilantro rice, grilled onions/green peppers and three flour tortillas, with a coke and the churro bites and chocolate sauce for dessert.
I was impressed by the “fixin’s bar” here, where you could load up on a variety of items to pile on your fajitas. Between us we picked up some shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, jalapeno peppers, guacamole, banana peppers, hot sauce and pico de gallo. All of these toppings are free with the purchase of a meal, and they really elevated our fajitas!
Three tortillas might not sound like much, but once you pile on your fixin’s, meat, grilled veggies, etc, they became difficult to even close! I only ate one, and it was so full of meat, rice, sour cream, salsa and shredded cheese it was messy! I definitely enjoyed it though! Obviously, don’t order this expecting the meat to be comparable to a filet mignon from a fancy steakhouse or anything haha.
We were both skeptical of churros – the only ones we’d ever had were hard and dry and gross, but we’d heard so much about Disney churros. After one bite, we realized what all the fuss was about – these were so much better than any churro we’d ever had before! I wasn’t crazy over the chocolate sauce these ones were served with, but the churros didn’t need them, there was plenty of cinnamon sugar to go around!
It ended up being more than enough food for us to share and hold us over until supper. While we were eating, I noticed a large bird walking around. I’m actually terrified of birds, and this guy walked right up to us with no shame, and stole a mouthful of beef off our tray before we even realized what had happened. I had my phone out just to take a picture of him, he was a couple feet away from us when I started raising my phone up for a picture – this guy was fast! But there you go – the meat is Disney wild-bird approved as well!
Had we paid for this meal ourselves, it would have cost $14.99 for the fajita platter, $4.99 for the churros and $3.69 for the Coke. That’s a pretty good use of a quick service credit!

Intermission Food Court – Breakfast

Intermission Food Court – January 6th, 2016 – Breakfast
On our first morning at Disney, we decided to grab some food in the food court of our hotel again, before heading out to the Marathon Weekend Race Expo.
I’m not much of a breakfast person. My first meal of the day usually involves some sort of junk food if I’m being honest, but I decided to go with some banana bread on this morning.  The cost was $3.79, but I used our first dining plan credit of our trip – a single snack credit. This was fine, nothing really special. It was enough food for me to take my Crohn’s medication, and to hold me over until lunch later in the day. I prefer my banana bread to have chocolate chips in it, like I said I like my junk food :rotfl2:. Would I buy this again? Probably. It was cheap and good enough for me.
Luke on the other hand, eats breakfast every morning. Most mornings when I come downstairs I find him sitting at the kitchen table sharing pieces of bacon with our two dogs and two cats haha.  He decided to go with the Bounty Platter, which contained scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, a Mickey waffle, a biscuit, bacon and a sausage link. He also picked up a banana to go with his meal. I ended up snacking on the breakfast potatoes, I liked them a lot. In Luke’s words – “the bacon was standard restaurant bacon – it’s still good but just not great. The sausage was surprisingly really good! The Mickey waffle was way better than I expected it to be. The eggs were just basic, but fine. I can’t remember if I ate the biscuit or not?” We paid out of pocket for this one and it came to $11.97 – and $1.69 of that was for the single banana. The platter was a decent amount of food, especially for the price.

Intermission Food Court – Late Night

Intermission Food Court – January 5th, 2016
After hours of flying and 2 layovers, we finally landed in Orlando and hopped onto the Magical Express! We were the third stop out of four on our bus, but it didn’t take long before we were checking in! Once we received our MagicBands and room assignment, we decided it was time for our first Disney meal of the trip! It was late, so Intermission Food Court was offering a reduced menu but we had no trouble finding items to order.
We activated our refillable mugs – I chose blue and Luke grabbed a green one for himself. These were included in our dining plan :)
Luke ordered the chicken nuggets with salad. I was not expecting these for the nuggets! I figured he’d have a plate with some pressed meat blobs similar to what they serve at McDonald’s, not real white meat chunks! I stole one of these from his plate and was really impressed by them! I didn’t try the salad, it looked disgusting to me but Luke said it was really nice, and he enjoyed the fact that he had an option to eat vegetables even if his main meal was deep-fried…
I had the make-your-own pasta with penne, a chicken breast (it’s buried under that sauce!) and marinara sauce with a breadstick and salad on the side. The pasta was nothing special, but it’s a food I really enjoy (I was gluten free for 4 years, from the age of 21 until my Crohn’s diagnosis at the age of 25, so I have an appreciation for the taste of refined flour now :rotfl:) The penne didn’t seem to be normal white pasta, but it wasn’t quite whole wheat either – is there some hybrid of the two? Or am I just that terrible at judging food? Either way, I ate it all. The chicken breast was good and a decent size, the sauce had flavour (I’ve had much better, but I’ve also had much worse) and the breadstick was just a classic breadstick that had some salt on it. I ate everything, even a little bit of the side salad (you’ll notice as you read my food reviews that I’m not a huge vegetable person haha). The dressing was some sort of balsamic, which I am not a fan of, and there were a lot of things in the salad I didn’t like (like tomatoes, gross!). But, I ate a few pieces of lettuce and then let Luke finish it off – he was happy with that – he loves his veggies!
We didn’t buy drinks with this meal, we just used our refillable mugs. I want to say we both had Coke (which is so much better in the States – Canada doesn’t allow high-fructose corn syrup, our Coke/Pepsi products are sweetened with glucose-fructose and I find they have completely different flavours). For this meal we decided to pay out of pocket as we didn’t want dessert that late at night, and it didn’t cross our minds that we could save it for the morning as a snack. The total cost for both meals came to $20.10 – which really isn’t terrible for what we got.