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WDW Radio # 672 – Listener Email: Secret Menu Items, Teachable Moments, Obscure Memorabilia, Lots of food, and more!

I open up the inbox again this week and answer your questions about secret menu items, teachable moments in WDW, the Swan and Dolphin, obscure memorabilia, the best holiday season to visit, learning about Imagineering, lots of food, and more!

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Thanks to Beci Mahnken from Mouse Fan Travel for joining me again this week!

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Click Here To Read The Full Podcast Episode Transcript

Lou Mongello: [00:00:00] One of the things that I love doing on the show is helping you plan, prepare for, and really get the most out of your Walt Disney world or Disney cruise line or Disneyland vacations. And I think one of the best ways to doing that is by answering your questions about where to go, what to do, where to eat, how and when to snack, et cetera.

And joining me once again, as I open up the email inbox, fresh offer journey. Not just into space on the galactic star cruiser, but her journey further into the dark side is of course, Mickey man from MEI and mouse's family

Beci Mahnken: travel. The dark side is this, this is really how we're starting this seriously. So I've been to space.

I've been to see you've been to snow. So we're, we're just all bringing it back together. Now into back to the world Disney

Lou Mongello: world, we are. And there are a, uh, there's a ton of really great questions that I wanna get to this week. I say it all the time. We're gonna try our best to get . It's like the lightning lane of the inbox, Becky, we're gonna try and get to as many as we can, uh, as quickly as we can, but also good luck with that as thoroughly.

So let's, uh, let's go ahead and get right into it. Uh, as I quick and, and I don't, we Don. Sort of read these ahead of time. I'm literally opening up the inbox and I'm, and


Beci Mahnken: scares me so much. I'm

Lou Mongello: so terrified, but I'm the first one I'm picking is because it says, Hey, Lou, And Becky, of course. Ah, there you go.

I've got a question for you guys. You talk a lot about the best Suson property, the best burger on property, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But I don't hear much about the best Greek food on property. It's my favorite type of food. And I was wondering where you would recommend if I wanted to get some.

Love what you do so happy. My friend sent me this podcast. It's kept my spirits up during these very strange times and has renewed my love for Disney. Yay. Can't wait for the top 10 lounge show. You must. Yes. Love Michael. Me too. Promise Becky is going to be, um, part of it, of course. So it's interesting.

Greek food on property. [00:02:00] When you said that the first thing that came to mind cuisine on Disney's boardwalk made rest in peace. That was the restaurant owned and operated by iron chef KA Cora. And that was about from like 2009 or so to 2000, I think 14 before it was replaced by tr Al Forno. Um, and I, and I really, I like to add like Greek and Mediterranean food.

It's actually one of the reasons why we've talked about it in the past. I really would love to see a grease pavilion someday in world showcase, but in terms of actually finding Greek food on property, the first really thing that comes to mind, I think your, your best bet is to look to the festivals in Epcot.

And now that there's really almost a festival going on almost throughout, out the entire year. There's a good chance. You may find some Greek or at least Mediterranean food. I remember back at, um, food and wine festival. They have the taste of grease kiosk and there's Soloki and, and feta and, um, Hispanic Koo, which is like this delicious Greek spinach pie and sort of a, like a, a filo dough, I think, was it maybe last year they had.

Greek nachos. Um, but there is unfortunately no single grease pavilion all year round. I would love to see something like that. I will say that if, if you're willing to go off property, there's a few locations. Um, Bosphorus, uh, little Greek, which is about 15 minutes from Walt Disney world. Uh, but I think for are right now that, I mean, just off the top of my head, Becky, I think the festivals is really where you're gonna find not just the best selection, but really Greek specific food.


Beci Mahnken: I agree with the first thing I thought of was food and wine festival, where they had the Greece, uh, pavilion set up. And that's the only Greek food I can even think of off the top of my head, but I'm, haven't had a lot of Greek food personally. It's one of those, um, Those [00:04:00] cuisines that I haven't, uh, really jumped into.

So I was trying to think the, the Mediterranean market, obviously over at Swan dolphin wouldn't have that. Or

Lou Mongello: do you, I mean, it's called fresh Mediterranean market, but I think it's, I think right now it's only open for breakfast and lunch. So I don't know that, um, I, I don't know that you're gonna find necessarily quote, unquote Greek.

Yeah. Food there. Um, there are some places in Orlando, um, which are, are near some of like universal some of the more tourist areas. I think there's a place called, uh, Taverna OPPA, which is a, a Greek restaurant, like a very themed Greek restaurant, but nothing specifically in Wal world, that's probably a 25 minute ride.

Beci Mahnken: I was gonna say, and if you're going, if you're gonna do that, might as well get a grease adventurous by Disney and just, you know, go all

Lou Mongello: in. I, I mean, if add it to the list, just, I mean, I think we're planning out to 20, 25 at this point. So just, yes, we are a list for, um, Greece and look, forget about Greece.

Just coming to Walt Disney world. Greece is the word is grease. Is the word,

Beci Mahnken: it's the word? It's the word? Or just, just saying to move on

Lou Mongello: from, I wanna to my, hopefully

Beci Mahnken: to see if you would like burst

Lou Mongello: into song. No. No. Uh, the next email comes from Katie. And if I'm pronouncing your name correctly, Sheika. C Z a I J K a.

Forgive me if I butchered it. Uh, I would love a show blog, anything specifically about teachers? I'm a Chicago public school teacher. Thank you for what you do. And my love for Wal Disney world definitely shows in my high school history classroom. I was thinking maybe like a top 10 teachable moments in Wal Disney world type show.

I know I. AP us history. I use tons of Disney knowledge in my class, which makes you an awesome teacher, by the way, Liberty square, the history of tourism entertainment. And more recently this week, we're talking about how businesses expanded in the Giled age. And I use the gala galactic star cruiser as an example, to explain some basic [00:06:00] economic principles.

Why is it expensive, et cetera, et. So, Katie again, thank you for being a teacher. You are often undervalued. Underpaid and underappreciated. I, I love the fact that you want to incorporate Disney into what you do, especially APU history. I think it, it would really sort of resonate with people. Um, one of these days I'll talk about the, the, the Disney, uh, education project that I worked on for a long time.

And I never actually ended up really leasing. But besides that, um, I actually did a show on this. It's been a while, but it might actually be helpful. Um, I did the top 10 educational opportunities in Walt Disney world, uh, back on show 1 92. So this is, this is October of 2010 it's. Um, it's. It's a little old ish, but, um, I think for the most part, it is still applicable and relevant.

And when I did it, I remember I, I wanted to specifically make sure it wasn't just for kids or it wasn't just for kids, students, or teachers, because there's countless opportunities to learn in the Disney parks and enhance your experience and help educate others about, uh, a lot of different things in, in different ways.

And I think it allows you to look at the parks. In a fun way, from a unique perspective that will, I think, open up some fun creative opportunity. So I would love Katie for you from a teacher's perspective to have you go back, take a listen and let me know what you think. Becky, I have been rambling to try and give you time to think about where in Walt Disney world, or if you think about educational opportunities in Disney, the world.

What's the first thing that comes to mind. Well, I'm gonna go

Beci Mahnken: totally on a tangent and completely off the mark. And you're going to roll your eyes at me, but

Lou Mongello: just so you know, these are kids. You can't say, I know here's the top 10 educational bars of Wal Disney world.

Beci Mahnken: When, when we were kids, I don't know about you and your family, but my family.

It was so much different way back when, and it wasn't as far back as [00:08:00] you are gonna tell people it was because it just wasn't, but you could easily take two weeks off or a month off and do your homework as you were traveling. And my dad would take me to a, a, a state. We would cover an entire state and learn things.

So. And I know it's different now, which I'm kind of sad about in a way, because a lot of the best education I ever got was being with my family on the road in different places, learning about different states and different, um, historical sites in, in different, uh, you know, places to be rather than sitting in a classroom.

And I think Disney world in particular has a lot of educational opportunities available to it. Not just from, um, Hey, There's physics and roller coasters, right? there's in, in all kinds of, of ways to, to learn about science and learn about nature. I mean, just even going to, uh, animal kingdom for an entire day, you could go out to Rai's planet watch and, and observe animals are taken care of in a veterinarians, um, uh, set up.

So I think that. There's all kinds of ways for people to learn, not just from books, but to actually be there in person and witnessing it. So Walt Disney world has a ton of educational opportunities, and I sure wish that, uh, that our, the systems now were like they were, when we were kids and our families could help us enjoy and learn from the places we go.

Lou Mongello: So I'm like you, uh, as a kid and even as a relatively young adult, my parents, and I'm not saying to do this, but you know, there were times my parents would take me outta school. My parents would give, uh, my teachers would give me work, not to give teachers additional work. I understand, but I would do the work in the car cuz we drove everywhere and, and you're right.

Sort of traveling the country I think is the best way to learn. But in terms of in Walt Disney [00:10:00] world, even sort of, as you were talking, I think that there's a lot of places and ways and depending on. What you as a teacher, as a parent, as a student, want to sort of pull from where you are. So obviously you can go to the American adventure and whether it is wandering the rotunda, looking at the different exhibits in the gallery, or watching the American adventure, uh, film itself.

There is there are educational opportunities there. And a lot of the cast members there too, I highly recommend talking to them cuz they are very, very knowledgeable, not just about the show, but about the art, the architecture, the people, the history that the pavilion discusses. But I think too, Becky, you can go to Porter's French quarter or Riverside mm-hmm or uh, old key west or the Polynesian, a lot of different places and learn about.

Different parts of America mm-hmm and where they took their Polynesian. Um, especially in rest in peace. Antiqua like you could go there and learn a lot about the culture. In places like Hawaii, from people who live there, who used to, you know, and Deua used to give, um, hula lessons, which sadly for all of our sake, I was never able to, to do slash videotape me doing.

But even again, just learning about different parts of the country based on where some of the themed hotels. And I look, I also think that there's a great way to learn about. History and culture from the food that we eat. See, I, I can always tie everything back food

Beci Mahnken: back to food. Mm-hmm exactly. But that's kinda, what I was getting at is that, well, Disney, an Epcot alone is set up from an educational standpoint to make education fun.

So I think that there's a lot of opportunity for that. And, and you know, how would a, a child really know America without understanding the river poo? Seriously.

Lou Mongello: I will say just very quickly, and this is not meant to be a shameless plug, but it's going to be anyway. When I [00:12:00] did research for my Liberty square audio tour.

I learned more about real American history, and this is not an, a knock on my teachers growing up, but I learned more about real American history in researching that tour than I ever could have imagined. And I think Liberty square is probably, and we obviously, I'm sure we talked about it in that show.

Liberty square is probably the same angle, greatest, condensed opportunity to learn about that period and that even literally square through frontier land. Through American history. And there are some things I know over time that have sort of been lost small details that help tell the stories. Over example in frontier land, there used to be on one of the buildings.

There was a painted sign for a Chinese laundry. I loved explaining why that was there and the Chinese impact and influence that was present in the expansion and the. Of America as it moved west. Um, but yeah, go back and, and certainly check out that episode and check out the audio tour to Liberty square if you want to available everywhere.

Um, alright, next question says, Hey Lou, uh, I am a nurse very much. Thank you for what you do. And I was looking at possibly staying at the Swan and dolphin with the nurse discount. I love the fact that you know about the nurse discount, Swan dolphin have a lot of discounts like that. Have you ever stated the Swan dolphin before?

If, so, which one do you prefer? Does it still there's a lot of questions coming. Becky, have I ever stayed there? Does it still feel like a Disney hotel? How do you get to the hotel? If you can't use magical express, how is dining make you more than ever for providing Disney magic during this time? It lifts my spirits to and from work Meg again, first and foremost.

Thank you for what you do. You literally help change and save lives every single day. Becky, you are gonna hit these questions one at a time. Have you ever stayed at the Wal world, Swan and dolphin before? And if so, which one do I prefer? Uh, yes, I've stayed there as a local, but. When I used to [00:14:00] live in New Jersey, it was one of my favorite places to stay for a few reasons.

One, you could usually get a room there, uh, they often had, and still continue to have, like you mentioned, not just nurse discounts, but a lot of other discounts throughout the year, the beds are still, I believe the most comfortable beds on the, their Western bed that they use. The, the heavenly beds. I they're so comfortable.

Um, and, and so I have a preference one or the other, um, Not really like, I, I would lean towards the dolphin. Um, it's a little bit larger. The, um, I, I like, there's a, there's a few more restaurants in there, although in the Swan, that's where some of my favorite restaurants exist. It there's really not much of a difference in between the two.

The only difference you might. Potentially see or feel is if there is a large convention there. Um, the dolphin is where the convention space is. So sometimes places like the lobby bar or some of the restaurants might be a little bit more crowded than usual, but I think that's really sort of the only difference.

Um, the Swan is a little bit closer to the pool, but again, Causeway in between is, is a very short, very nice walk over water. Anyway.

Beci Mahnken: I love the location. It it's one of those hidden gems. People don't think a lot about Swan and dolphin, but it's right there in that Epcot resort area. So it's an easy walk to get to yacht club.

It's easy walk to get over to, uh, boardwalk. You can easily walk to Epcot. You can easily get to, um, O over to Hollywood studio. So the location's great. Both of them now are under the Marriot family. So if you do Marriot rewards points, or if you have points, you can use them there. Um, I have not stayed at either of them in many.

I know, I know. I know, but, um, you're right. The beds are wonderful. From what I hear, I have toured it. I have looked at it. The rooms are very comfortable. Um, [00:16:00] they've got some great views and now you also have the reserve, which is right across the street too. So you've got a brand new resort that's tied into it.

Um, they do have great discounts. Like you spoke about for EMTs, for police, for firefighters, for nurses, which I, I think is amazing. But to have that location, the, the prices are still really relatively good when you compare them to some of the Disney resorts, but you get a lot of the Disney benefits too.

So you can use the, um, the water taxis. You can use the, um, the best system. So. There's some things that are different about it, which a lot of people might like, but there's some things that are a lot the same about being on property at Wal Disney world. So I would highly recommend looking at it if it's something that, uh, if you can't find availability, some of the other resorts which is happening or if you wanna be in that resort area and pay a little less, I agree with you though that it can feel a little less Disney at times when you do have those larger conventions in play.

Um, but. When you're not spending a lot of time in the resort anyway, you're gonna spend it in the parks. It really shouldn't matter. So that's highly recommended.

Lou Mongello: Right. And so that's a goes to the question. Does it quote, unquote, feel like a Disney hotel and I think, feel I put in air quotes because that's a subjective question.

Right? What makes something feel right? If you are looking for something for maybe your young kids and there is a. An overlay of Disney characters or inspiration. Does it feel like the Polynesian? Does it feel like the grand floor, the end or animal kingdom lodge? No. Does it have the whimsical animation and theming of something like a pop century or art of animation?

Of course not. Does it feel like a Disney hotel in terms of. Quality of service location. Cleanliness will get to the food in a second. Some of those aspects. Absolutely. Uh, in fact, some of the rooms are even larger than what you might find [00:18:00] in other resorts, uh, especially for if you're sort of matching dollar for dollar.

In terms of feeling like a Disney hotel. Again, you have to sort of weigh what that means, how much time you spend in your room. I think it feels very much like a Disney hotel because of location, location, location mm-hmm . And when we get to dining, there is, there is actually Disney character dining, which a lot of people don't know about, uh, in the Gar hard and Grove restaurant in the morning for breakfast.

So you do get a little bit of that feel without the crowds, but you also. If, if you considered a sacrifice, you will sacrifice. Some of the Disney overlay in Wimsey, although do keep in mind, there is a small, uh, Disney owned and operator operated store in, um, both the Swan and the dolphin.

Beci Mahnken: Right. And one thing too, that I really actually enjoy about the location, some of the differences, for example, they have, uh, an Avis car rental right inside the, the resort too.

So you can easily rent a car for a day and return it to your hotel. So I, I that feel, yeah, you're not gonna have. Theming, I guess there's the best way to, to put it for me. It's not gonna feel like the Polynesian. It's not gonna have a theme specific to, um, to the resort. It's just a Marriot resort and in a great location with really good rates, really good discounts and yeah, really good food, which is where you're going next.


Lou Mongello: look, I only ask, answer the question that are asked of me, me asked how was the dining Meg? I'm not kidding when, and maybe, maybe I will actually do. It's been a while. I'm going to do either a top 10 dining experiences at the Swan. Maybe like I'll do like a top five live from the Swan dolphin because Meg.

My friend, there are not one, not two, not three. There are 16 different dining options in these two very close resort hotels. I will quickly go through [00:20:00] because they, they range from higher end signature, delicious dining to quick and cash. So in terms of fine dining shoeless steakhouse, yeah. May or may not have the best steak on property.

Is the best Italian food possibly in the area. Ooh komodos is it the best sushi on property? There's only one way to find, I mean, I've been to there several times. I'm gonna tell you, Todd English's blue zoo was for many, many years. My favorite restaurant in Walt Disney world by far, and then boathouse came, uh, and then Amari is new restaurant over at the reserve.

For casual dining. There's the garden Grove, the cabana bar, the fountain, which has one of the best burgers on property and an also so very delicious Buffalo chicken salad. Uh, I know I said the word salad, but it's true. the splash pool bar. And grill. Um, they actually have a delicious T of poque out there, which is phenomenal.

We mentioned fresh Mediterranean market. Uh, Tangerine is over at, um, the reserve. And then for quick service, they've got peekaboo fuel chill, Java ground. So whether it's coffee grab and go quick meal snacks, uh, and then Becky like this too, there's also a number of lounges, Shula, Minos, kimonos, blue zoo, all have lounges.

And then the fins lounge. In the lobby of the dolphin is really, really nice, right? In that, in that huge, uh, open Atium area on Sundays, I believe they're back. They have this, uh, amazing bloody Mary selection. There's like four or five different right. Bloody marries that are themed to and inspired by the signature restaurants.

Uh, and then, uh, stir is the new one over at the reserve. So. I wanted to quickly mention it, but I, I'm not kidding that when I say that the Swan and dolphin have arguably some of, if not the very best ho [00:22:00] uh, um, dining, certainly from a resort perspective, like there's a lot of options and they're all really like really, especially the signature dining is very, very good.

Beci Mahnken: There's a ton of selection and, and ton of choice, which I love that for families who just need a, a quick service or a casual, uh, option, they've got a ton. And like you said, the signature dining Shula's oh, I haven't been there so long now I wanna go to Shula's if only there was somebody, if only there was somebody I swear seriously now I'm, I'm looking.

I remember you used to say, we gotta go to blue zoo all the time, gotta go to blue zoo. And then, you know, you kind of stop dating blue zoo for boathouse. So that means you kind of have to go back there to make up her

Lou Mongello: open relationships.

Beci Mahnken: uh, Amar looks really good. I have obviously not been over there yet.

I wonder, you know, hint, hint. Maybe we should try that next time. We're there. Yeah, we should make that happen. It's and you know what I think sometime too, we need to maybe revisit Japan a little bit and hit kimonos because just because,

Lou Mongello: but I love the fact we quickly go. I just realized going back to a previous question mm-hmm Amari has is, is Mediterranean inspired food.

So there may be the Greek connection there. Ooh, we will go one, do the research for you and find out.

Beci Mahnken: If you volunteer, I don't think that's gonna be, you know, too, too tough of a duty, but I do love the fact that there's so many options and so many choices for different families' needs and

Lou Mongello: budgets.

Absolutely. And I would love to know from you who's listening. Do you have a favorite. Dining location or secret little spot or menu item from the Walt Des world Swan and dolphin. Let me know, put it in the comments, uh, over in the WW clubhouse at WW radio.com/clubhouse or call the voicemail, share it with us that way.[00:24:00]

And if you're doing it while you're eating there it's even better. All right. uh, GA says, hello, I'm searching from memorabilia from. The Plaza, rose garden in magic kingdom. That's awesome. Wow. I would love to find something like a preserved flower from the garden, but hours of searching on the web has amounted to nothing.

I'm hoping to give this as a gift to my wife, ah, for a wedding anniversary, as we were engaged there. Do you know if any memorabilia dealers, other than those online, it easy to find that may have something like, like Michael, I've never been asked this question before, and I think this is a really.

Interesting and unique takeaway souvenir item, um, that you're looking for, for those of you just to, to quickly give history lessons. This is the dream defense, um, Plaza rose garden. Opened, um, I think around 1980 or so. And if you're standing on main streets, you said, if you're standing in the hub and looking at the castle, the Plaza rose garden would be off to your right.

Uh, it was located between Cinderella castle and the entrance to Tomorrowland, um, and had a, a. Uh, this winding pathway, this, this sort of circuitous, winding pathway down to the loading area for the Plaza Swan boats, which I know we've talked about in, um, prior shows, but along that pathway and actually around the exterior railing were these amazingly beautifully manicured roses, um, that were gorgeous.

And depending on the time of year that you went and the colors that were there, they were, um, They were spectacular, like literally award winning. Like I, I remember it won some, like in, in the mid eighties, it won like this all American rose garden of the year award. Like, because it, because the, the garden itself contributed to.

The interest [00:26:00] in roses and rose gardening because of just how beautiful and well manicured they were, uh, when they expanded and redesigned the hub and magic kingdom around 2014, um, the rose garden, which was also a beautiful picture spot as well. A lot of times you could have a dizzy photographer, you can ring to a Disney photographer to, um, Do a photo shoot in that garden area, or they'd also do shoot a lot of commercials and stuff in there.

Um, but was sort about 1980 to 2014 in terms of merchandise. Um, that's really interesting. I, I don't remember ever seeing any sort of specific merchandise, the only thing I think that you might potentially be a able to find and I would have to do a search for this is maybe there is a pin. That, um, Disney did a lot of like legacy pins and, and sort of retro pins that may reference the Plaza rose garden.

But I don't recall. And a quick search did not reveal anything in terms of Plaza, rose, garden merchandise. This is, this is sort of a, um, uh, an interesting sort of group question for you listening. If you have ever seen anything, um, Help me help Michael out and share that in the clubhouse. But, um, I've never seen anything, Becky.

I dunno if you've ever seen any merch or if you even remember the Plaza rose garden or the Swan boats.

Beci Mahnken: Well, not the Swan boats. I think those were before my time, uh, visiting with Walt Disney world, but I have definitely been in the rose garden. It was one of our favorite places to hold old, uh, meetups to watch the fireworks together because that little path was out of the way in, in a really nice location.

But. I've kind of been doing a little Googling on the side as you've been talking. I can't find any pins. I can't find any merchandise. Uh it's. It definitely is one of those things that is a. Um, a unicorn because I don't know anything about that, but I, I do miss the location.

Lou Mongello: Yeah. If you go to WW [00:28:00] radio.com and search Plaza, rose garden, um, Felicia and Sean did actually a really nice, um, Inor blog post about it with some photos of the PLA the, the Plaza rose garden, uh, entrance, and a few of the different.

Rose bushes in some stories in there as well. That's a great question. All right, move on. Hello, Lou. And hopefully Becky, hopefully

Beci Mahnken: this is getting better.

Lou Mongello: Love the show, especially when you guys answer listener emails. Aw, planning a trip, uh, back to Walt Disney world. I've been many times, but always an April.

My question is if you could go, if you can go during Christmas or Halloween, Which do you think would be more fun? We would definitely spring for either not so scary parties or the Christmas parties, if they're going on in addition to any more, any early morning or extras that are happening during that season, we are a huge Christmas family.

We also heard Halloween's good too. We're flexible on when we can go in a season. Would love any insights you have. I appreciate all that you guys do. And hopefully you can take Becky to the boathouse soon or any lounge. Yes. Who sent this? Did you write this advance Becky man? Um, no. Thanks in advance Liz.

Um, I'm just so you know, Liz, I, I have taken Becky to the old house, not once, not multiple times, but more importantly, without going too deep down this rabbit hole, if you had to sort of. Quickly recommend one or the other Becky. And I know there's pros and cons to both and both is the right answer here.

But if you could only pick one, which would it be and why what's not, what is the compelling reason for the one that you choose? Well, the

Beci Mahnken: right play is to go during the time where they just do the changeover from Halloween to Christmas and you get them both that's, that is the play. Uh, but if I had to choose one or the other, and this is just me, because I personally.

Yeah, I adore Christmas. [00:30:00] Christmas is my season. That's the, that's the time where I have the most, um, wonderful memories with my family and my father and, um, and my friends. So I equate Christmas to such a joyful, happy time and all of the beautiful decorations that are up and the music and the extra holiday entertainment that they have there.

If I had to pick one or the other, I would go with Christmas because of that and the food. I mean, just everything about Christmas. And of course the weather's a little bit better too for, at points for me because I, I kind of like the cold because the cold doesn't bother me anyway. Um, however, The play is to find the week where you can do them both.

And you see the changeover.

Lou Mongello: That is the ideal situation. Uh, I agree with everything you said, and there's something wonderfully emotional about Christmas time. There there's something about the music and the snow falling on main street and the, the parades and just everybody dressed for the a season. And it, yes, it not being 400 degrees with 97% humidity.

I could very easily. Um, go down the Christmas path, but just for sake of argument, it's also very easy for me to argue for Christmas, uh, for, for Halloween, because I love that time of year. I love the fall. It's just starting to change and there's something wonderfully fun. And. Little bit spooky about Halloween in Walt Disney world.

And everybody comes in in costumes and I love the fall decor and the, the glowing pumpkins and the flickering lights. And there is this sort of transformation that happens in magic kingdom from day to night during those hollow parties, specifically the. It's themed that way all year long. But I think if you, I think if you're gonna go during Halloween, you almost have to do a, not so scary Halloween party [00:32:00] to get the full Halloween experience.

I'll sort of argue it that way. If you want the full experience, you can go to Christmas during Christmas time and get a lot of it. You will miss the parades and some of the shows and things like that. But for Halloween, as long as you're going to be able to do the Halloween party, Believe it or not, it's not about the trick or treating for candy.

It's the overlays and it's the projections. And it's, you know, Madame Carlota outside the haunted mansion and that wonderfully fun and spooky aspect. The music is the, is amazing. It's one of, if not my favorite parade anywhere mm-hmm , and I'm not the huge parade guy, but you can sort of hold the Halloween parade and the Christmas parade, you know, uh, head to head.

And that's a tough choice.

Beci Mahnken: That's true, but you know what I would almost do. And I, I know that this is hard for a lot of people, but I'd almost argue Christmas and Walt Disney world in Halloween and Disneyland.

Lou Mongello: Oh, okay.

Beci Mahnken: Because all of the different approaches that they take to the Halloween parties in Disneyland are amazing.

I, I, I really enjoy way. I think I enjoy being in Disneyland more for Halloween, just because of the. The different entertainment that they take on at that location.

Lou Mongello: Yeah. It's suffice it to say that Disneyland and Walton world, while they're they're they're their brothers and sisters, they can sometimes feel like very different experiences, especially in terms of you're right.

How they approach the holidays. So it might not the, the solution for everybody but it is something to consider. If you're looking to go to one of the parks during the holidays. All right. Moving on. Uh, first of all, I love your podcast. Thank you. My family and I have been listening for years now. I have a question.

My family is considering dining. I swear these are not happening on purpose. I think you picked them by

Beci Mahnken: dining I'm starving. You went, you would, you would find dining

Lou Mongello: at tops terrace. Oh yes. [00:34:00] For breakfast. Ooh, this I'm gonna tell you in. 17 plus years of podcasting. This may be my favorite question ever.

Hmm. Because Sean stubs asks simply. Are you allowed to order more than one entree

so the answer Sean, uh, is yes, of course you can. You're you're going to have to pay for it. But, um, they do so the way Polis terrace works, uh, it's called flavors of the Riviera, which is on top of the Riviera, which I love Soso very much. I believe we did a Riviera resort report show, not. Too long ago. Um, and the, the way it works is it is sort of a, um, a prefixed menu.

And I think adults now are $42. I think kids are, um, 27, somewhere around there. There's probably eight or nine different entrees that you can choose. I, I, I do believe and yes, Breck. Becky, they have breakfast cocktails both with yes, they do. Yeah. Actually they have normally breakfast cocktails with, and without alcohol they actually have, excuse me, a huge allergy friendly menu.

Mm-hmm I think there's an equal number of allergy friendly items on the. Allergy friendly menu that there are, I think there's eight or nine on both the entree menu for adults and the allergy friendly MI uh, menu as well. That being said, I do believe you can, for an additional fee, you can order a second breakfast.

I, I don't know offhand because. Um, I haven't done it yet. I will go and do the research for you. Um, if only Becky would just, oh my gosh, practice with me at the Riviera. I'm on my way. We'll try this. But if, and, and Sean, if you need help, like if you just need somebody else to order a second menu, white I'm, I'm just a phone call and, and a very short ride away.

Beci Mahnken: [00:36:00] Tops in the morning for breakfast is in my opinion for me and for my flavor palette, the best breakfast on property for me. Wow. And I know I, I try to go there every time I'm there and I'm when I come back, we'll have to do breakfast over there because it's been a while that

Lou Mongello: spice sausage hash is so the

Beci Mahnken: ke I am in love with the KCHE, but they, the bread service, the, the big thing of.

Bread is amazing and well pastries, I should say, it's not just bread it's pastries, but they also have, like you said, that the hash is, is big, but they have a wild mushroom scramble that I have. It's hard to move away from the KCHE because I get that every time. But the scrambles really good. Um, the sour cream waffle is yummy.

If you like some sweetness to your breakfast, that's the, the play. Um, but they do have. Like you said a lot of choices for allergy friendly, which we're seeing more and more of lately, but, uh, you know that, um, the cocktails are really good. for breakfast. They have mimosas that are really yummy. So again, my favorite place to go, I also love and adore the characters that are up there and how they're presented the, um, the costumes are so unique and brilliant.

I, I really do enjoy that location. Good choice.

Lou Mongello: Uh, I'm looking at the menu and I'm, I I'm having heart palpitations. Like I need to like, I'm sweating. Like I'm so excited to go eat for you to go for you to take me to tops terrace for .

Beci Mahnken: I'm sure

Lou Mongello: we can work something out. Moving on. I said this was lightning lane, uh, without, without the extra cost.

Hey, for turtles. My name for turtles is Matt Botello turtles.

Beci Mahnken: Yeah, lightning late for turtles where

Lou Mongello: it's about, I'm a fan of all things, Disney, including what you do. Thank you. I'm writing because I have a seven year old son, Jackson, Hey Jackson, who has taken up an interest in Disney, that goes much deeper than what a normal seven year old [00:38:00] has.

We've been fortunate enough to take him three times in his life. So far your parent incorrectly and every night, oh, every night we read your Disney trivia book. Well forget what I said before. This is my favorite question ever. He is fascinated in big, bold letters, fascinated by imagin. He tells me there is no Disney magic, only the people who make Disney magic.

And I want to do that. Jackson, if you're listening, that may be the greatest I have ever heard. There is no Disney magic, only the people who make Disney magic. And I wanna do that. I love it. He asked me what my favorite mirror illusions in Disney are. I had to look up what he meant. He searches YouTube, not for ride videos, but behind the scenes videos on how to build the rides.

So long story short, too late. If he had any advice for a dad trying to get his son in touch with an imaginary or learn about imagin, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much, Matt. Excuse me. I love this. I love Jackson already. I love that your son is so interested at such a young age in imagin.

And as I was reading this, the first thing that came to mind is something that you can not only do from home. But it's free. And Khan academy has this free imaginary in a box course, you can search for it. I'll link to it in the show notes, as well as over in the clubhouse. That is this simple course for kids that takes them through the process of learning about imaginary and helps them sort of create their own using imagining techniques sort of.

Create their own projects. Um, and it is something that is, is from Disney through, um, excuse me, con academy. I would also suggest if you haven't done this already to fire up the old Disney plus and together or on his own, let him watch things like. Behind the attraction. Um, one day at Disney, uh, the [00:40:00] imagin story, all this there's a lot, even some great, uh, interviews in imagined story that I think you would like if you can find it.

And I have to believe it exists on YouTube or maybe even on a, a streaming service, um, back in. God, it's gotta be like 2005, 2007. Uh, if you remember that the history channel show modern marvels, they did this amazing. Um, I think it was a single episode about Walt Disney world and it had a really good detailed look at Imagineering, the imaginary process, maybe even some inspiration from, um, For, for those people who want to become Imagineers, uh, I will share that, uh, I have done a number of imaginary interviews on the podcast over the past 17 years.

If you go to WW radio.com or even your, your podcast player, uh, pull up w radio and search for Imagineer and on a few of 'em. And I can't remember off the top of my head, we talk about how to be an Imagineer and it's questions and, and I, and I really try and ask every Imagineer, um, current or, or former. A question similar to that.

What kind of advice would you give to someone young or old who wants to go into imagin and the a hundred plus disciplines that make it up? Um, there are also a number of incredible books, many of them on the shelves behind me. Uh, I know Jeff Curtis's, uh, Imagineering legends book is one there's the imagining field guides, which are the small compact, very colorful, easy to read books, um, that are by the Imagineers.

Um, Walt Disney, a engineering, I think it's a, a, um, a behind the dreams look at, at making the magic. I I'll, you know what I'll do, I'll put a link. I know I've, I've referenced some of these books in prior podcasts as well, but I will do a quick list. Um, maybe I'll put it on the blog and then link to it in the, um, [00:42:00] in the clubhouse, some imagining related books that.

Would either be appropriate for your son and for anyone who's listening, who's interested in the process of imagin or possibly wants to go into imagining in the future.

Beci Mahnken: Yeah. And I was just kind of, as you were saying that going, I haven't heard of some of these things, especially the first one you mentioned with the course, that's incredibly cool, but Martin Mar marvels is season 11, episode 59, and you can find it on history.com.

Lou Mongello: Cool. Cool. Um, yeah, I remember that was one of my favorite and I, I think there's an old DVD set that Disney might have put out. Uh, wow. It was called like imaginary in, in a B um, it wasn't imagining in a box. That's the con I'll I'll link to all these things in, um, and even some of the older books might not be imagin specific, but, um, Have stories from Imagineers.

And, and if you're older, there's some great sort of, um, uh, books by people like George McGinnis and Kevin Rafferty. And, um, Marty SLAR has a couple of, of great books as well. Those.

Beci Mahnken: One of my favorite things is if you're a D 23, you get a chance to actually meet some of the Imagineers. And I I've spent a lot of time hanging out in the pavilion in the, uh, Parson resorts pavilion.

There's Imagineers, just wandering around, ready to answer any questions that people have. So if you ever wanna talk to one directly, that's a good resource.

Lou Mongello: All right. Couple more lightning ish. Yeah. Right questions. the first one says, and, and as I was quickly scrolling through, I, I saw one word and then it led to a second word, which is reason why I pulled this out.

You'll be able to figure it out what those are. I heard that there is a secret menu, two of my favorite words, secrets at skipper canteen and Adventureland, and at yakkin Yeti and animal kingdom. Can you confirm what's on those menus and how do you [00:44:00] ask a server for those menus? Thank you, Nick Lucas, Nick.

My first word is it won't remain a secret. If you, the first rule about secret menus is you don't talk about secret menus, but we're gonna talk about secret menus because there are actually a lot and not just in skipper canteen. And I love the fact that you mentioned the yakkin one as well. And sometimes how do you ask a server?

Is just by asking a server except in one fun case that I will give you and actually did an article for. People magazine a couple of years ago where I talked about some of the secret menu items, I will, um, I will link to it in the show notes at, on the, the podcast@wwradio.com and in the clubhouse where there is over at, um, it's all star.

Movies resort has a, uh, it's a cinnamon bun and candid bacon cheeseburger. Oh, you kidding me world? don't dismiss it because I was like, ah, that's good. That doesn't, it's actually delicious and savory and sweet and a little bit messy, like in the best possible way. Uh, you mentioned skipper canteen. It that's one of the best they have this.

It's sort of like a Brazilian cheese. I'm closing my eyes. Cause I'm picturing, it's sort like this Brazilian cheese bread and they have these porks skewers, but he's right. Yak and Yeti is not the only other place that you can find it. In fact, if you go to places like restaurant de SOS in Disney, these animal kingdom, it's not just sit down locations, you can say, Hey, uh, is there this secret menu item?

And they'll give you. Hopefully it's still there. They actually have a scotch egg and it's like this big dinosaur egg, but scotch eggs, which is usually something you'd find like in, um, United Kingdom is delicious. You can actually [00:46:00] find, uh, secret menu items in Galaxy's edge. And yeah, I'll give you one of 'em in a place that you'd never think of.

If you go to KA sake's kettle. In Galaxy's edge, where they have the different flavored popcorn, you can get a special secret popcorn mix, but you have to know the secret question.

Beci Mahnken: okay. What's the secret

Lou Mongello: question? Have you seen a mouse? Seriously? I'm not kidding. And you'll find out what means when you go and do it.

If you go to jock Lindsay's paddlefish LaCava in Mexico has this secret guacamole with Chile's like it doesn't hurt to ask and try everywhere, but I want to give you like the secret secret one and one of the newest and instantly most popular anywhere in Walt Disney world is Gideons. In Disney Springs, the lines for the cookies and the cues for the cookies.

I'm not kidding. Are ours. Is it quote, unquote worth it? That's up to you. I'm not saying that I haven't done it before, and I'm not a sweet guy, but Ove those cookies are good. So there's a way for you to get a secret slice of cake and the way that you have to do it. It's by following Gideons, Bakehouse.

This is not sponsored by or endorse by Gideon, but if you follow Gideons on Instagram or Facebook and sign up for their newsletter, they'll send you a password for the extremely limited secret case cake slices. If, and when they're available, it's the only way to find out the of people inside. Won't tell you, you've gotta give them the password and that's the only way to get it, which is so fun.

So cool. Brilliant. From a purely marketing perspective is brilliant.

Beci Mahnken: And you get a lot of new followers on Instagram, if you do it, that direct it [00:48:00] pretty brilliant on their part. Um, when you mentioned skipper canteen, they also have a secret sangria. I have to go back to the alcohol drinks because you know me.

Lou Mongello: It's called staying in your lane, Becky it's. Well,

Beci Mahnken: exactly. I, I know my strengths here and it's, it's yummy.

Lou Mongello: Yeah. And a lot of the places will have not just secret food menu items, but there are secret drinks as well. And don't hesitate to ask. And when I say drinks, I mean, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic or in Becky's case.

Alcoholic, you can ask for secret menu items. Um, have some fun with it. A lot of times the servers will, um, will enjoy it. And don't be afraid to ask bullet, sit down and at counter service, sometimes even quick service, little quick service locations might have a secret menu item as well.

Beci Mahnken: Maybe we should go, just take a day and find all the secret menu items.


Lou Mongello: gonna be a long, I know that's a L day like this I need those chairs. I need those like chairs in Wally where I just sort of float around and just food comes right to me. If I had something like that, I would, this is a, maybe we'll do wooo Lu and a MOU . It's sort of what I wear. Um, maybe I'll have to do.

A top, top five live or a top a top. Maybe I'll do a top five live on an upcoming Wednesday night live show on Facebook. I'll do my top. I'll do a little bit of research. My top five secret menu items in Walt Disney world. That sounds fun. Or maybe I'll pick a wait, maybe I'll pick a park and I'll go to that park and see if I can find five secret menu items.

That's kinda where

Beci Mahnken: I was going, but now you gotta wait till I get there because no, listen, I can't wait that if only what

Lou Mongello: I can't wait that long. Nick is, Nick has a question and he needs answers plus IM famished. All right, last one. And I'm gonna answer this one purely because it starts off by saying dear Becky.

And Lou,

Beci Mahnken: I love this person. I, I don't [00:50:00] know this person, but I love this person, our

Lou Mongello: last Disney cruise. It's also the reason why I like this question. Our last Disney cruise, we bought a placeholder for our next future cruise. Would we still be able to use a travel agency? Oh, let's say mouse fan travel. To book our next crews in flights, or are we on our own?

Also, our last cruise was star wars and we're hoping to do a Marvel one this time, which do you like better and why we've done the wonder and the fantasy so far, both really loved them. Love the fantasy, both Western Caribbean. And that is from Becky's new best friend, Darren from Maine. So Becky summarized, booked a placeholder on a cruise.

Can they still use a travel agency? Oh, let's say travel.

Beci Mahnken: Yes. However you have to book transfer it to that travel agency within 30 days of actually booking. So Disney cruise line does have this little rule that you cannot transfer outside of 30 days, or if you've paid in full. So a placeholder is going to be just a deposit.

So as long as you. Find that travel agency, like, you know, mouse, van travel, and you want to transfer to the control of that travel agency to help you and be your advocate through your travel. You gotta do it within 30 days.

Lou Mongello: And the other part of the question is, uh, they've done star wars. They're hoping to do Marvel, which do you like better?

And why now? We've just, this made me unfair. Cause it just came off of Marvel day at sea cruise. Um, I, I will an give yours and then I'll give mine. I, I mean it's no, there, there's not even a contest. Um, we've done. I've done. This is my second Marvel day at sea cruise. I've done the, we've done a star wars, a at sea group cruise back in 20 16, 17, 18 summer between 2016 and 2018.

Um, admittedly was one of the first ones, but I am. Certainly more of a Marvel fan. I think the Marvel one is just it's executed better. Um, and as a Marvel fan, it, it just [00:52:00] resonated with me all across the board. Um, other than Alaska, I think the Marvel day at sea cruise is, is the best cruise Disney has to offer.

Beci Mahnken: Yeah, I'm gonna agree with you. Um, I, I did enjoy the star wars date C, and that let's give them a little fair point here that it was a while ago and it was one of the very first ones that they did. So I'm not exactly sure if they've punched it up and I'll tell you if baby Yoda shows up on one of those star wars date.

See, that might completely change my mind. Although the Marvel day at sea does have Thor, but I'm digress. So what I really enjoyed about the Marvel day at sea was. The, the entertainment, the food, more of the entertainment, the, the roaming characters are not roaming. They were for us because we were there during the pandemic.

Uh, you did get to go and take pictures with the various characters. Um, I really enjoyed that, but I'm with you that if it last ever comes back on our to-do list, that's still my number

Lou Mongello: one. And just to sort of throw something else into the mix, if you're looking for a themed cruise, remember that Pixar day at sea is coming to the Disney fantasy.

In 2023. So that's gonna another two, we talked about that. Have we but what I can tell you, the only thing better than going on a Marvel day at sea or a star wars day at sea cruise by yourself, or with your family is doing one together with us as a group. Um, we actually do have not one, not two but three group cruises coming up.

We have our inaugural cruise on the Disney wish on August 1st, which I believe Becky is sold out, but you can still add your name to the wait list. We have our December 5th, very maritime cruise on the Disney wish. Yay. Which I am. Ridiculously insanely excited to do a maritime cruise on the new ship. And then you mentioned the fantasy.

Uh, we're doing an eight night with an overnight in Bermuda, which I've waited for for a long [00:54:00] time, as well as going to The Bahamas. Uh, April 15th, 2023, we have meetups, uh, hotel, group events, dining excursions. A lot of surprises, things like that. So if you've never done a group cruise before, I will not.

So shamelessly plug, um, encouraging you to come and do with one with us as well.

Beci Mahnken: And a group cruise is the best way to travel because you can do as much or as little of our events and things that we're doing, but you'll always have somebody that has something in common with you. And it really is a fun time to connect with people.

I have now seen people that have, have met on our group cruises that four or five down the line. They travel together now and they want to sit together at dinner. And it's just a great way of, um, of meeting people that love all things Disney

Lou Mongello: and you can find out more and get a free new obligation quote from our one and only exclusive travel provider, MEI and mouse fan travel.

Why thank you by visiting WW radio.com/events or going to the facebookPage@facebook.com slash WW radio. Becky, that's gonna close up the inbox for this week. Uh, if you have a question that you'd like us to answer on a future show, please email me Lou WDW, radio.com. And if you are looking to go anywhere in not just the Disney universe, Or the Marvel star wars universe, including the gala galactic star cruiser, or anywhere on this big blue, beautiful world of ours, you can visit Becky and her incredible team of agents over@mousevantravel.com.

Beci Mahnken: It's great being back again. And you know, you just said blue. So I thought a blue shrimp, all of sudden blue, blue zoo. I mean, all of a sudden there's all these kind of

Lou Mongello: eat anywhere opportunities. Now go, I'll take you right now.

Beci Mahnken: Oh, you'll take, gonna pay for the, um, um, two's.

Lou Mongello: It's in the afternoon. [00:56:00]

Beci Mahnken: Well, no, it's well,

Lou Mongello: heres worse.

Get bang for her buck at, at this point she's like, wear's something expensive that I can, blue pie really, really expensive flying Y at, because

Beci Mahnken: it's, it's like 10 41 where I am in the morning.

Lou Mongello: So I was hoping like, oh, I would love to eggs, have a roaster with you or something.

Beci Mahnken: Oh no, no, no. That list of things that we have to do together now in dining and lounge reviews is getting really long.

Lou Mongello: It's a, it's a good problem to

Beci Mahnken: have it is a good problem to have. Ooh, key sounds good. My Moses.