Prepare to be transported back to mom's kitchen! (Or grandma's, depending on your age.) We dined at 50's Prime Time Cafe on our most recent trip, and I'm here to break it all down for you!
When you arrive, you'll notice that there's a waiting area that looks just like a living room, complete with couches and a retro TV! There's also the Tune In Lounge, which is a bar full of adult selections! If you can find seating (good luck!) you can also order from the full 50's Prime Time Cafe menu. If you're part of an adults-only party, I strongly recommend being seated in the restaurant. The experience is the big draw for this place, and the restaurant is where the real magic happens!
The atmosphere in this restaurant can't be beat. We were lucky enough to be seated at a TV table for the full experience. Our "cousin" (server) told us that we were allowed to watch a little TV since we'd been good. She handed us a basket of utensils and told us our chore was to set the table ourselves.
The staff here stays in character the entire time. Our cousin played it up with us, since we enjoyed having the full experience. Most other tables around us were really into it, too and played along with the cast members. However, I did notice one table nearby that didn't seem to be as into the theming. Cast Members will follow suit and will let those tables eat their meals without "playing along".
All of your comfort food favorites are here! Whether you're craving pot roast, fried chicken, or the famous meatloaf, this restaurant has it all. We both opted for the meatloaf, which is served with green beans and the most heavenly mashed potatoes. The onion rings and peanut and jelly milkshake are both amazing, too. They also have a great dessert selection, but I've always been so full after my meal that I haven't tried any of them for myself! Adults can also order something from Dad's Liquor Cabinet!
We loved our meal at 50's Prime Time Cafe. We love to eat on our Disney trips, and this definitely checked all of the boxes for us. Is it right for your family?
This is a must-dine if:
You may want to pass, please if:
"In Napoli where love is king, when boy meets girl, here's what they say."
It's definitely "amore" at first sight at Via Napoli. This restaurant and pizzeria is the perfect tour of Southern Italy, right in the heart of EPCOT!
We visited Via Napoli in September for an early dinner. After just a few hours in EPCOT, we were already hot, thirsty, and had worked up a bit of an appetite. After checking in, we were seated right away.
The restaurant is actually much larger than it looks, but we were fortunate to sit inside with a perfect view of the wood burning ovens. If you haven't visited Via Napoli, it's worth a reservation just to check these out! The ovens are named after the 3 active volcanoes in Italy: Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius, and Stromboli.
Via Napoli features traditional Neapolitan pizza. The thin-crust pizzas are made with fresh mozzarella cheese, San Marzano tomatoes and real Caputo flour imported from Southern Italy. (Water for the dough is even sourced from a spring similar to Italy's Campania region!) Restaurateur Nick Valenti actually spent time in Naples studying the art of dough, crust, sauce and oven temperatures before creating the menu at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria. Talk about attention to detail!
We decided to share a Piccante pizza, and added pepperoni at the suggestion of our waitress. It. Was. Heavenly. I'm self-admittedly not a pepperoni pizza girl, but this was perfect!
(On previous trips, I've also enjoyed the prosciutto e melone and the margherita pizzas. I've also had the chance to try their heavenly sangrias and tiramisu!)
I strongly recommend Via Napoli to guests of all ages and groups of all sizes. They are easily able to accommodate large groups. (I once personally visited with a group of 19!) Via Napoli has a kid-pleasing menu, very shareable pizzas, a wide variety of drinks, and is a lovely reprieve from the parks. Find it at the back of the Italy pavilion.
Advanced Dining Reservations are recommended for Via Napoli. All of my clients receive my personalized dining recommendations. Click here to be added as a concierge-level client!
I recently had the opportunity to visit Universal Orlando Resort to experience their health and safety measures in place firsthand! From hand sanitizer to face coverings to physical distancing...here's the real scoop!
Guests and team members are required to wear face coverings, plain and simple. Everyone, ages 2+, needs to wear a face covering that covers your nose, mouth, and chin. They must be secured with ear loops or be secured around your head. This means that, unlike Disney, Universal does allow neck gaiters. Bandanas are not permitted. On our trip, we noticed mask compliance 99% of the time. (A woman in line for Hagrid's removed hers multiple times while in line, as well as for the duration of the ride. She was stopped after the end of the ride by a Team Member. Cameras are everywhere.) Of course, removing face coverings is allowed while eating/drinking, as long as you're stationary and distanced from others. There are also relaxation areas, where mask breaks are permitted. (Find my face coverings infographic here!)
Temperature checks are performed daily, and corresponding colored wristbands are issued upon completion of that temperature check. One of the absolute best perks to staying on-site at a Universal Orlando Resort Hotel (we stayed at Endless Summer - Surfside Inn and Suites) was the fact that we were able to have our temperature checked at the hotel, rather than at the parks. This saved us a ton of time! Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater after 3 checks would be asked to seek medical attention and get medical clearance prior to being permitted to enter. I encourage all clients to pack a thermometer to keep in the room. That way, if anyone does register a fever, it isn't a surprise and you can seek medical attention immediately.
On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, I had the opportunity to experience the enhanced health and safety measures in place. From face coverings to physical distancing and everything in between, here is everything that you need to know about the phased reopening and the truth about what all of that really feels like!
I can say, without a doubt, that I saw countless Cast Members continuously cleaning high-touch areas throughout our entire stay. Handrails, ride vehicles, elevators, tables, and more were constantly cleaned and disinfected. Additionally, we noticed hand sanitizer and hand washing stations everywhere we looked at Disney Resort hotels, as well as in the parks.
Physical distancing was easy to maintain throughout the Resort hotels and the parks. Signage and ground markings were abundant and easy to follow. We did notice excellent compliance with guests following these. Physical barriers are in place where physical distancing isn't possible. This includes areas around cash registers or hotel desks. Cashless payments are preferred throughout hotels and parks.
A while back, I highlighted quite a few Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort hotels on my social media pages. Check out part 2 of those resorts here! (You can always find those posts on my Facebook or Instagram pages to see them individually!)
November 17th - Old Key West Resort (Walt Disney World)
Disney's Old Key West Resort has some of the most affordable villas of any Deluxe Villa Resort! This Florida Keys-inspired resort offers a laid back oasis for any guests. It features studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom villas, boat transportation to Disney Springs, and has one of the coolest pools around, complete with a sandcastle water slide. (Can you spot the Hidden Mickey?)
November 19th - Bay Lake Tower (Walt Disney World)
Bay Lake Tower is a true superstar! This Deluxe Villa resort is connected to Disney's Contemporary Resort via the stunning Sky Way Bridge or by walkway. A stay here grants you access to not only the Contemporary's amenities, but its own exclusive pool, too! It features studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom villas and has both a Monorail and a walking path to the Magic Kingdom! There are even Castle view rooms available!
November 19th - Boulder Ridge Villas and Copper Creek Villas and Cabins (Walt Disney World)
It's no secret that Wilderness Lodge is my all-time favorite resort, but did you know that there are 2 other resorts within its property? The Boulder Ridge Villas and Copper Creek Villas and Cabins both provide that stunning rustic elegance, in addition to some very cool amenities. Boulder Ridge Villas are a Deluxe Villa resort where you can stay in a studio, 1, or 2 bedroom villa. Copper Creek Villas and Cabins is another Deluxe Villa resort that feature studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom villas in addition to luxury cabins. (Did I mention that those cabins come with a private screened porch with built-in hot tub?? That's my kind of cabin!) Both of these resorts offer boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom.
November 23rd - BoardWalk Villas (Walt Disney World)
Step right up to the BoardWalk! Disney's BoardWalk Villas are located on the entertainment-packed BoardWalk. This charming, fun-filled Deluxe Villa resort features studio, 1, 2, or 3 bedroom villas. The BoardWalk is adjacent to, and within walking distance, to Epcot. It's also a short walk over to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Don't want to walk? You can take a boat to either of those parks, or hop on the Skyliner, which is located right between Epcot and the BoardWalk! Talk about convenience!
November 23rd - Disney's Coronado Springs Resort (Walt Disney World)
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is a stunning oasis...and as a Moderate Resort, it's totally affordable! The all-new addition of the Gran Destino Tower gives it an extra luxurious feel. What makes this resort even more unique is that Club Level rooms are available...the only Moderate Resort to offer this! There are also suites available!
November 23rd - Cabana Bay Beach Resort (Universal Orlando Resort)
Cabana Bay Beach Resort is the perfect spot to relax! This retro-style hotel is one of the coolest on property! It falls into the Prime Value category, meaning it's very affordable for families! Plus, it features family suites in addition to standard rooms, so families can stay comfortably! Cabana Bay is within walking distance to Volcano Bay water theme park. At the resort, your family can also enjoy 2 pools, a lazy river, and a bowling alley onsite!
November 24th - Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort (Walt Disney World)
Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort is a beautiful lakeside resort inspired by the famous New York retreat. This Deluxe Villa resort features studio, 1, 2, or 3 bedroom villas in addition to its one-of-a-kind Treehouse Villas! You can also enjoy boat transportation or a walking path to Disney Springs.
November 24th - Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort (Walt Disney World)
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is a tropical paradise right in the middle of Walt Disney World! This bright, airy resort is one of my personal favorites. A Moderate Resort, it features sandy beaches throughout and a 45 acre lake. Pirate-themed rooms are available. My favorite feature of this resort is that it houses the main hub of the Skyliner! This relaxing island resort needs to be on your family's must-stay list!
November 24th - Disney's Riviera Resort (Walt Disney World)
Holy moly. To say that Disney's Riviera Resort is stunning is a serious understatement. A newer resort, which opened December 2019, this quickly grew to be among my favorites on property. This Deluxe Villa resort features tower, studio, 1, 2, or 3 bedroom villas. It's also home to Topolino's Terrace, a signature rooftop restaurant. This elegant, European-inspired resort is also on the Skyliner route, making it ultra convenient!
November 25th - Disney's Polynesian Villas and Bungalows (Walt Disney World)
Disney's Polynesian Villas and Bungalows are what vacation dreams are made of! This classic Deluxe Villa resort features studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom villas. It also features over-the-water bungalows that each have a private deck and plunge pool. Talk about paradise! The resort provides boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom and is within walking distance of the Transportation and Ticket Center. (Normally, there is a Monorail station right in the middle of the resort, but that is temporarily suspended due to construction!)
November 25th - Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and the Villas at Grand Floridian (Walt Disney World)
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, as well as the Villas at Grand Floridian are the epitome of elegance. This lavish Victorian resort features two resorts in one. The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a Deluxe resort, while the Villas are a Deluxe Villa Resort. The Villas feature studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom villas. Both have Monorail and boat transportation, as well as an all-new walkway, to the Magic Kingdom! There is a full-service spa and salon on-site. Grand Floridian is also home to Victoria and Albert's, a AAA Five Diamond Award recipient! This timeless resort is calling your name!
Catching a wave...in Orlando? I had the opportunity to stay at Endless Summer: Surfside Inn and Suites at Universal Orlando Resort in December! This value resort has totally stolen my heart! It's part of the Endless Summer Resort, with Dockside Inn and Suites rounding out the complex.
Upon arriving at Surfside, I immediately noticed the health and safety measures being taken to keep everyone safe. (More on that later!) The front desk was staffed, but distanced, and I did not have to wait for a team member to greet me. We received our keys, and headed straight to the Vacation Planning Desk to grab our tickets.
We stayed in a Standard 2 Queen room. One thing that I really loved about the elevators is that, to get to guest floors, you had to scan your room key before the elevator took you to your room. Elevators were also limited to just your travel party, so no sharing a small space with strangers! Our room was spacious and clean. One touch that I really loved was the bottle of hand sanitizer in our room. While I had multiple bottles that we'd packed, I definitely took this one as a souvenir! (And may have already used it once or twice since then!) The resort also features 2 bedroom suites, which is a fantastic option for larger parties or for families who prefer to spread out a bit!
A video of our room tour can be found on IGTV. Watch that here!
Surfside featured a few different dining options that we experienced: Starbucks, Beach Break Cafe, Sand Bar, and resort pizza delivery. Starbucks was located in the lobby, and had your traditional Starbucks fare. Beach Break Cafe was the quick-service location. We ordered two burgers and fries. This was socially distanced, fast, and the food was fresh. That evening, we stopped in at the Sand Bar, which is the pool bar. Seats were distanced, service was fast and friendly, and drink prices were very reasonable. Later in the evening, we ordered pizza delivery from the resort. We had a gluten-free cheese pizza, fruit & cheese appetizer, and two (GIANT) waters. Again, the food was fresh and delicious, and service was much faster than we expected!
Health and Safety
The health and safety guidelines at Universal Orlando were unparalleled. At our resort, we noticed hand sanitizer stations near the front desk, Vacation Planning Desk, near every entrance/exit, and at elevator bays. We also noticed social distancing markers and signage throughout the resort. One feature that I loved was having our temperature checked at the resort before heading to the parks. Guests were issued a colored wristband daily after their temperature screening. (Colors changed by the day.) These wristbands are required for entering the parks, and saved tons of time at park arrival time since we already had this done! We never had to wait in a line for a temperature check. The shuttle (which we also never waited for!) had assigned seating areas for each party to encourage social distancing. Face coverings, of course, are required unless you are actively eating and drinking in a stationary location.
*Please note: temperature checks were phased out as of May 19th, 2021 and Face Coverings were not required indoors or outdoors for vaccinated travelers as of May 29th, 2021.
My overall experience at Endless Summer: Surfside Inn and Suites was FANTASTIC. I would recommend Endless Summer to any clients visiting Universal Orlando Resort. It's a fantastic budget-friendly option without feeling like a "value" resort. Remember, any stay at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel includes Early Park Admission, free shuttles, resort-wide charging privileges, complimentary merchandise delivery to hotel, and Club-to-Club access at CityWalk!
Click here for more information or to book your next stay at Universal Orlando Resort!
Calypso music and island life...in Walt Disney World? You heard that right! We had the opportunity to stay at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort recently, and I couldn't have been happier with our stay!
We opted to check in on My Disney Experience ahead of time, so we were able to bypass the front desk and had our room number texted right to us before we even arrived! The front desk was available and staffed should anyone need any assistance, but we were able to stay a little more distanced and skip this part.
We were in the Jamaica section in building 41. I had requested a room near bus and Skyliner transportation and we were very pleased with the location of these. It was a short walk to both a bus stop and the main Skyliner hub. (We didn't utilize the buses while we were in Walt Disney World this time around, since we were staying for such a short time. However, this would have been incredibly convenient. We did use the Skyliner multiple times, and I was thrilled at how convenient it was!) Our room was a standard 5th sleeper room. It was spacious, clean, and comfortable. We had 2 queen beds, a 5th pull down single sleeper bed, mini-fridge, and seating area. It was more than enough space for us and would fit a family of 4 or 5 comfortably.