Category: Disney World

Today I’ll be commenting on one of my family’s favorite Disney restaurants, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. Located in Hollywood Studios, it is positioned very near Muppet Vision 3D, another favorite of ours (post on that coming soon is right here!).
As you’ve probably figured out from name, Mama Melrose is an Italian style restaurant. “Hollywood meets Italy” is its little gimmick. It is filled with memorabilia of movie stars long and other performers, along with other decorations calling to mind both California and Italy.
It is a greet place take the family; also, it is a good idea to get reservations! As for the food, hardly anything in Disney can best it (maybe the juice at Ohana or the dessert at Be Our Guest Restaurant), but with Italian food one cannot go wrong here.
Mama Melrose offers a Kid’s Menu, but more adventurous children, might want to try one of the various pasta or seafood dishes from the adult menu. I’ve honestly had nothing but positive experiences here as far as I can remember, whether I’ve gone for lunch or dinner (it doesn’t serve breakfast).


Harmony Barber Shop

Tucked away in a little corner of Main Street, U.S.A., Harmony Barber Shop is one of Disney’s best hidden gems. It’s got a quaint, homey feeling complete with potbelly stove and old fashioned telephone. The barbers themselves are some of the sweetest people on Main Street, always happy to chat with their customers.
Harmony Barber Shop is great for all ages and genders. At three years old, I got my first ever haircut there, and I often see fully grown men stopping in for a trim. The services they offer include haircuts, trims, hairstyling, and pixie dusting. If you want, they’ll even give you a Mickey Mouse shape on the back of your head with pixie dust and Mickey shaped sparkles.
You will LOVE Harmony Barber Shop! If you want a personal, old fashioned barber shop experience, get yourself over to Main Street. Even if you don’t want a haircut, head over for some pixie dust- you’ll be glad you did.

If you’re looking for a family dinner with awesome food (which is surprisingly hard to come by in themed restaurants in Disney World), the Be Our Guest Restaurant, located inside the Beast’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom, is the place to be! Don’t worry, it’s not scary if you have younger children (Though if you are traveling with children, you probably don’t want to ask to be seated in the forbidden west wing: See below). But all in all, it is a delightful dining experience – especially the deserts!

The Beast’s Castle is divided into two rooms- the forbidden west wing and the great hall. The forbidden west wing is dimly lit with lots of creepy torn tapestries of unicorns and stains (which look suspiciously like blood) on the walls. On the plus side you can view the enchanted rose (It’s a fantastic photo op!). On the down side it’s freezing in there (!) – when you walk in from the great hall, the temperature seems to drop ten degrees! Either imagineers were trying to make it extra creepy or the Beast went overboard with his air conditioning. Both are likely.


The Main Hall

On the opposite side of the spectrum you have the great hall. Honestly, it’s probably one of the prettiest places in Disney, and that is saying something. With cherubs painted on the high ceiling, gilded moldings all over the place, and just-right lighting, I absolutely love this room. Perhaps my favorite part are the fake windows that show a snowy forest when, in reality, it’s 80+ degrees outside.

Most of the food is French, but don’t let the fancy names scare you. If you haven’t a clue what something is, just ask your server; they’re very helpful that way. I must have asked a zillion questions when I ate there, and I ended up with a sea food soup in a pastry bowl. It was delightful. For the less adventurous (A.K.A. my sister Chrissy), there is a kid’s menu.

As confusing (though they are amazing) as the entrees might be, the desserts require no explanation. They are wheeled to your table in a pretty display case, and your choices include a variety of cream puffs, a lemon meringue cupcake, and the BEST triple chocolate cupcake EVER.

Finally, few words about the themed aspect of the restaurant: it is held in the Beast’s castle,and every once in a while a loud voice says, “Presenting your host, the Beast!” Then the Beast walks across the room, turns around, and leaves. He doesn’t go from table to table or anything, but you can get a picture with him on the way out.



Living With the Land

Inside the fish farms

Inside the fish farms

Living With the Land is located near Soarin’ in “The Land” building (there’s also a Sea building). This ride features a boat ride through Disney’s greenhouses. You learn about innovative processes for growing food that are being pioneered.

There are no drops and the boats move quite slowly, so anyone should be able to ride. It’s wheelchair accessible,

Living with the Land

Living with the Land

too, although those in scooters will have to transfer to conventional wheelchairs. Other than a brief period in which the lights are dimmed, and a simulated thunder crack or two, it is fine for most children.

Inside the Greenhouses

Inside the Greenhouses

The only qualms you may have about bringing the kids on Living With the Land is whether they will be sufficiently entertained. There isn’t much action in this ride – no pirates or cursed mummies here. Most of the ride is composed of a trip through varied ecosystems, including a desert and a rain forest, a tour of the greenhouses, and a look inside Disney’s fish farm. It is very interesting, but smaller, more hyper children may find it difficult to sit still through the entire thing.

Disney’s new movie, Monsters University, is coming out in theaters June 2013. It’s sort of a prequel to Monsters Inc., that movie with the lovable fuzzy Sully, witty one-eyed Mike Wazowski, and the adorable human girl Boo. They stole our hearts years ago, and now they’re coming back! (Well, Sully and Mike are, I don’t think Boo is in this movie.) The movie explains how Mike and Sully came to be best friends during their time in college.

To promote the movie, Disney made a highly amusing spoof of a college website for Monsters University. Complete with a message from the dean, MU merchandise to show your school spirit, and an event calendar, the site is super fun to explore. Check it out for yourself here!

The Festival of the Lion King is a live entertainment show which takes place once an hour in camp Mickey-Minnie. You are advised to get there a half hour early, because it fills up fast. The show is 25 minutes long, indoors, and interactive.

When the show starts, Timone, Pumba, and Simba arrive on floats to start the festivities. Though there is no overall story line, there are displays of acrobatics, ballet, and a man who dances with fire. Though it gets dark sometimes, the show should be ok for most small children. If you are looking for amazing entertainment, this is the show to see.

If you love movies, you will love the Great Movie Ride in Hollywood Studios. The waiting area is decorated with various props and costumes from famous Disney movies. Unlike most rides, it features a combination of live actors and animatronics.You climb into an enormous car which seats (an estimated) fifty people each.

The cars take you into scenes from such movies as The Wizard Of Oz, Alien, Public Enemy, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and one (whose name escapes me) that involving a cursed Egyptian tomb.

During the action, you witness a bank robbery, lose your tour guide, a bandit comes aboard your car, then you get to see the curse of the Pharaoh’s tomb in action, and finally find your tour guide again.

There are some dark and spooky parts which could frighten little kids. There are also some skeletons, loud noises and an alien (from the movie Alien). However, it doesn’t go too fast and there aren’t any drops.


Posing with the giant coke bottle in Hollywood Studios.

My New Mobile App!

QR Code

This is the QR code that will take you to my app.

I am a beta tester for, and I got my own mobile web app!  Here’s the link:  In my app, this is what you will find: directions to the Magic Kingdom, a beautiful video of the parks at Christmas (I did not make this video; it came from youtube),  a few pictures, newsfeed from my blog, and ‘like’ and ‘share’ options.  I hope you like it!

Pirates PiratesOne of my all-time favorite rides in Disney World is Pirates of the Caribbean.  This ride wasn’t inspired by the movies – it inspired the movies!  Later, specific characters from the  Pirates of the Caribbean movies were added, namely, Captain Jack Sparrow.

You enter the ride to a spooky but beautiful building.  The line weaves through a series of rooms decorated like those of  a pirate ship.  You can look down into pits filled with cannons and cannonballs and peek through grates into hidden or locked rooms.  You board boats in the main room and glide into darkness.  Among the scenes you will soon pass through are a deserted island populated by long dead pirates, and a cursed ship being steered by a skeleton.  All the while, ‘Dead men tell no tales’ is invoked in a spooky mantra in the backround.  Also, you will  pass through a scuffle between ships involving much cannonfire and through a town being pillaged by pirates.  Several more scenes pass, culminating with one of Jack Sparrow surrounded by treasure and singing that iconic song, “A Pirate’s Life For Me.”

Much of the ride is in total or semi-darkness.  Also, smaller children might be frightened by the multiple skeletons, fake fires, and cannonballs (Don’t worry, no one’s ever gotten hit with a cannonball- that we know of, that is.).  You might get a little wet on this ride, but not nearly as much as on Splash Mountain.  Though you will not get soaked on this ride, there is a very short drop, a screen of mist the boat goes through, and the splashes from those cannonballs.  I would recommend this ride for ages four and up, but it really depends on the child.  My cousin was 2 when she went on this ride and she just smiled and waved at the pirates and skeletons (But she wailed when she saw the Tinkerbell and the fairies.  How did that happen?).  Guests in wheelchairs can ride, but those on scooters need to transfer to standard wheelchairs before boarding.

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