Christmas in Disney - 2019 - 2 weeks, no dining plan

elaine amj

DIS Veteran
Jan 26, 2012
Enjoying your reviews :) I was there for two weeks at the Fort over Christmas too. We did do the deluxe plan for one night though so had a food extravaganza for Christmas Day and Boxing Day!

Looking forward to seeing where else you eat as DH and I have APs this year and most of our trips will be sans dining plan.


DIS Veteran
Jun 1, 2011
Great reviews...following along!

Great update!
Thank you!

Does the Trails End buffet have mashed potatoes?

Dirty food porn made me laugh. Totally get the difference between that and sexy plated food pics!
I can't recall 100%, but I'm pretty confident they do have mashed potatoes. I was more interested in loading up one of their baked potatoes though - yum yum!

I love your reviews! Keep 'em coming. We were there at the same time and it was really crowded!
It truly was! We've done Christmas before, 2 years ago, and we felt 2019 was WAY busier than 2017

Love your reviews, along with your touring tidbits! Keep it up!
Thanks for joining!

Enjoying your reviews :) I was there for two weeks at the Fort over Christmas too. We did do the deluxe plan for one night though so had a food extravaganza for Christmas Day and Boxing Day!

Looking forward to seeing where else you eat as DH and I have APs this year and most of our trips will be sans dining plan.
The one night dining plan is an awesome idea! We'd thought about it, but we were staying on rented DVC points so it wouldn't be possible to split up a stay :(. Ah well - one day!


DIS Veteran
Jun 1, 2011
I've been driving myself crazy trying to figure out how to write this part of my review. Lets just call it "the good, the bad, and the ugly....and the kids meals"

So we went over to Universal Orlando for one night. We got a great rate for one night at Royal Pacific, so we booked that for the express pass access over 2 days. I have a UO annual pass, and we got my husband a free ticket with AirMiles. I WISH I could show you lots of great food from there. But. Ugh. Ok we had one good day, had a good lunch at the Three Broomsticks and a fun dinner at Antojitos and then around 1am I had the most ungodly case of food poisoning. I was so sick - it took almost 3 days for me to be back to normal.

I guarantee it was the chicken and salad I got at Three Broomsticks. It was bad enough I almost went to the hospital on day 2. I can't even look at photos of the food from Universal without feeling flashbacky - so you'll have to do without. Sorry guys!

I went back to Old Key West and my husband stayed at Universal (he's not a jerk, I just insisted he stay there so I could go back to the room and barf in peace). He had a fun day, I didn't ask about the food lol.

So back to Disney Dining Programming!

The day after, I was still feeling a little worse for wear, so I went easy on the meals. We were in Animal Kingdom for lunch, and went to Harambe Market because I knew they'd have grilled chicken (smoked chicken with BBQ sauce, or pizza, were not on my list of things to attempt).

He got:
Beef and Lamb Gyro
Thin-sliced Gyro Meats served open-faced on Naan topped with Cucumber and Tomato Salad and Tzatziki Sauce and served with African Coleslaw


I was surprised, not only that he ordered this but also that he liked it. I was super jealous of it because it smelled amazing, but even just thinking about attempting a bite made me nauseated again. So I stuck with my:

Chicken Bowl
Grilled Chicken and White Rice served with choice of Apple Slices or Carrot Sticks with choice of Small Lowfat Milk or Small DASANI® Water


This is why I love Disney. I can get a kids meal and nobody makes me feel badly for it. There's no way I could have had an adult meal, this was my first food in two days, and wanted something bland. Chicken and rice is bland. It was actually really good, and super easy on my stomach. I was glad I did this and honestly would probably order it again as a snack - it may be because I was starved but it was delicious!

For dinner, tragically we went to my fave, Sanaa. I say "tragically" because I was not in my regular Sanaa-Ship-Shape where I can obliterate a three course meal there. It is my absolute fave place on property, hands down. I was determined not to cancel it though, and planned on using my Kids Meal trick again.

He had soup to start. No idea why, but he claims it was the best tomato soup he's ever had. It was a tomato soup with Paneer cheese in it


We also split the:
Indian-style Bread Service
Choice of Five Breads and with all Nine Accompaniments - Traditional Naan, Garlic-Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kulcha, or Paneer Paratha. Accompaniments - Cucumber Raita, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Mango Chutney, Tomato-Date Jam, Tamarind Chutney, Coriander Chutney, Garlic Pickle, Red Chile Sambal, or Spicy Jalapeño-Lime Pickle


I made a valiant attempt at this - he did most of the damage though. I love this appetizer so much, and even if you're not into "different" food, this is a good way to dip your toes into a lot of different flavours.

For our mains, we actually both got kids meals. The butter chicken is a 3oz portion with rice and steamed veg.

Butter Chicken

Served with choice of two (2) Selections and choice of Small Lowfat Milk, Small Dasani® Water, or Small Minute Maid® Apple Juice

It was not as much as I WANTED to eat, but it was truly all I could manage still. I was glad to be able to get a delicious meal, but not be wasteful and leave a plate full of uneaten food.

He got some dessert, which is not normal for him at all. Two little pyramids of gelato type icecream

If you're on the fence about Sanaa - PLEASE try it....or don't, one less person for me to have to complete for a reservation against ;)

Total saved at Sanaa and for the day using TIW : $13.46

elaine amj

DIS Veteran
Jan 26, 2012
One of the major advantages of no DDP is the freedom to order kids meals or skip meals when under the weather. I was grateful for that on my last trip too.


DIS Veteran
Jun 1, 2011
Ok. Nobodys in Disney right now. I'm not going back anytime soon. I'm sure a lot of Christmas trips are getting what better time than now to update (and maybe even finish out?) my report?

I realized in squandering perfectly good quarantine time by not updating this - I'm sorry!

Today was an Epcot day, which means Via Napoli and Nine Dragons!

At Via Napoli, we always just split a pizza. We recently learned, however, that the Caesar salad is not only fantastic but also easily shared. As is the bread. So it was a meal for splitsies
Up first:
Focaccia (not sure why I'm not seeing it on the Disney menu - maybe it was on a table sign?) According to my receipt, it was $4.55

Very good and fluffy with a good density. The garlic ratio was great and I'm fairly confident we made this disappear

romaine lettuce, shaved parmesan, savory bread crumbs

For $19.00 I will say, size wise, it's a little underwhelming. However, it's a very flavourful salad and great for sharing. It's got a great dressing-to-greens ratio and the giant flakes of parm. We both really like the salad, I think real world we'd pay about $15.00 for it, so Disney inflation I guess the price is about right

And we get the individual pizza

Pepperoni Pizza - Individual

tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni
Individual Serving


This pizza is plenty to share. It's enough for each of you to have 2 large slices of pizza (and really, do you need much more when you're gonna be walking around sweaty, humid Florida?). I really like the crust on this pizza, but I know it's not everyones favourite. Do you really need to rush to eat pizza at Epcot? No, not really. There's lots of other choices. BUT that doesn't mean you won't want to eat pizza at Epcot. Plus, this is a far better life choice than getting something at PizzaRizzo in Hollywood Studios.

We saved $9.96 with TIW this meal

We went to Nine Dragons for dinner. I know there's lots of people out there that say they get better Chinese food at home, or they're not going to Disney for Chinese food....but these are often the same people that rave about pizza at Via Napoli lol so I guess to each their own? We like Nine Dragons because there's never a problem getting a table, the food isn't overly rich, and the service is usually quite friendly in our experience. I did one of the dinner sets, and he did a bunch of appetizers. His meal first:
Ginger Zinger - Ginger Liqueur, Light Rum, Ginger Ale, Lemon Twist

Hot & Sour Chicken Soup - with Shredded Chicken

Pot Stickers - Pan-fried Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings served with Soy Dipping Sauce

Vegetable Spring Rolls - Sweet Chili Aïoli - $5.00

If I recall correctly, he was having a day of vacation burn-out, so didn't love the meal but didn't hate it. I definitely remember him saying the soup was considerably spicier than he remembered. The pot stickers here are very good, and I definitely stole one.

I got the dinner set because I think it's one of the best deals on Disney property. Soup, main, ice cream for $26.00. That's only $4.00 more than our INDIVIDUAL pizza at Via Napoli. If you are being very budget conscious, you can get a lot of meal for a small amount of vacation dollar here. I had the
  • Chicken Dumpling Consommé
  • Honey-Sesame Chicken
  • Ice Cream - Strawberry-Red Bean

If you've never had strawberry-red bean ice cream, it's not bean tasting. There's a slight texture to it, but overall it's unnoticeable and if you like strawberry ice cream you'll likely enjoy this. All this food was $46.00. So I'll say it again, Nine Dragons is a great choice if you're budget conscious on your vacation. I promise you I did not leave hungry.

TIW savings at Nine Dragons (meal plus drink savings) $10.80

Total saved today with TIW - $20.76


DIS Veteran
Nov 5, 2014
Thanks for updating, it's nice to have a distraction! Glad you were able to bounce back and enjoy some good Disney food. Via Napoli is always on our must-do list! Not personally a big fan of Chinese but your dinner at Nine Dragons looked very enjoyable.


Magic Begins With Me
Sep 13, 1999
Enjoying your report, and I feel like we have the same tastes in food! Love Sanaa so so much, and love Via Napoli. My husband and I ordered almost exactly the same meal the last time just he and I went there, the cesare salad, foccacia bread, and pizza, except we got the Carciofi. We haven't been to Tutto Italia in years, but your meals looked amazing. Definitely putting that back on the list! So sorry to hear you were sick! That happened to me several years ago while we were staying at SSR. I sent my husband to the park for the day. The last thing I wanted was him sitting and staring at me while I was running back and forth to the bathroom.
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