May 2013 Walt Disney World Trip – Can't resist Magic Kingdom and a little more Epcot World Showcase (we're so close after all)

This day of our trip had originally been set aside for more time at Hollywood Studios, but with so little for LJ to do there we decided to head back to the Magic Kingdom and tackle some more attractions since we spent so much time on our first day exploring the new Fantasyland (and the Baby Care Center). We thankfully were running a little more on schedule this morning and I was able to catch the opening of the Magic Kingdom, singing the Good Morning song is really my favourite way to start a day!

Good Mornin', Good Mornin', it's great to stay up late. Good Mornin', Good Mornin' to you!

Our first task was to grab a FastPass for Space Mountain. I waited at the hub while Jim went to collect these (these FastPasses are now a thing of the past at Magic Kingdom, so no more need for running across the park all day) and I was amazed at the number of people who were taking photos of the castle and partners statue. I made a mental note to not come near the hub at that time of the day again – a pre-park breakfast reservation for photo taking in an empty park just became a lot more appealing!

Once Jim found us again in the swarm of people we hightailed it to the empty Frontierland for a spin on the wildest ride in the wilderness – Big Thunder Mountain!

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Walt Disney World Dining Review - Le Cellier Steakhouse - Dinner

Le Cellier Steakhouse is a signature restaurant found in the cellar of the chateau in Epcot's Canada Pavilion. As one of the smallest restaurants on property reservations here can be difficult to get, although the switch to a signature restaurant a few years ago has relaxed demand a little. Whilst you may be lucky enough to snag a reservation a few days in advance on occasion, walk-ups are consistently turned away.

Walking through Victoria Gardens towards Le Cellier Steakhouse

Checking InThe weather took a turn for the worst while we were exploring some of the World Showcase pavilions, so we headed into Le Cellier at about 5:00pm to see if we could be seated early for our 5:35pm reservation. Thankfully they were accommodating since the sky opened up just as we got inside.

The waiting area here is very small and had it been peak dining time I imagine it would have been very crowded with waiting guests trying to escape the rain. As it was, another couple arrived just after us to try and check in an hour early for their reservation and were turned away with the recommendation of going to watch the film available in the Canada Pavilion to get out of the rain while they waited. There isn't a bar or lounge to wait at.

We overhead the guests in front of us trying to secure a reservation for later in the evening while we were waiting our turn to check in. They were informed that the restaurant was completely booked and to try Nine Dragons in China or Restaurant Marrakesh in Morocco. As mentioned above, walk-ups here are most often turned away.

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Walt Disney World Quick-Service Dining Review - Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Pecos Bill is a quick-service restaurant in Magic Kingdom's Frontierland. Pecos Bill is a a heroic cowboy from the Old West in Texas, his tale is told in Disney's Melody Time, a feature film from 1948 that is made up of several short stories. This Old West Saloon features a few nods to the cowboy himself and serves up hamburgers, sandwiches and its famous taco salad.

Theming and DécorThe themed like an Old West Saloon and it is quite dark and oh so cool for a nice break from the Florida sun. The tables are round with stools for seating, not the most comfortable option, but good at saving space. The dining area is broken up into some smaller rooms, with the ones in the back corner (furthest from the fixing bar) a bit quieter when crowds are not at their peak. You can also find seating out on the patio, which would be nice in the slightly cooler months when the sun is more welcome.

The ordering area is found in the centre of the restaurant and can become very crowded, especially when they're holding people back from seats.

FoodThe popularity of Pecos Bill can be attributed largely to its fixings bar (which I didn't take a photo of – sorry), where you can load up your burger or salad with onions, mushrooms, sauces, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, salsa, dressings and croutons. The food isn't fantastic but it's quick and you can't go too wrong with the deluxe angus cheeseburger (our default choice). The Taco Salad is also very popular; you'll get a fried flour tortilla bowl with seasoned beef to load up at the fixings bar.

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May 2013 Walt Disney World Trip - Disney's Hollywood Studios Star Wars Weekend (and a little more Epcot World Showcase)

The BoardWalk Villas are nicely positioned to allow you to walk comfortably to Disney's Hollywood Studios, so that's exactly what we did. It was actually a rather nice walk and a lovely way to start the day. Since this was a Star Wars Weekend day the park opened at 8am and when we arrived at 7:50am (we couldn't get here any earlier with LJ) the park was already open – score! No queuing at the entrance or mass of people stampeding to Toy Story Midway Mania, it was a lot more civil and relaxed than our past experiences here.

I was expecting queues back to the ticket window with our late arrival but if was smooth sailing

I will preface this trip report entry by saying that I am not a Star Wars fanatic (I only watched the original trilogy when Disney bought Lucas Films) and I would normally avoid this park on a Star Wars Weekend day due to the crowds. However, we didn't have a huge list of things we wanted to get through since the offerings for LJ are limited and we thought it would be fun to check it out.

Not something you see every day!

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Walt Disney World Dining Review - Teppan Edo - Dinner

Teppan Edo is one of the table-service restaurants located in Epcot's Japan Pavilion that serves lunch and dinner. The teppanyaki restaurant is part meal, part show, as you sit around a grill and watch your chef cook your food in front of you. It is one of our favourite Walt Disney World restaurants – we have visited here every trip and not had a bad experience yet.

Welcome to Teppan Edo

Checking InWe were a little early for our 5:30pm reservation, so headed up to check in, anticipating a short wait in the least (I don't think we've ever been seated before our reservation time here). Check in for both Teppan Edo and the adjacent Tokyo Dining are at the same desk, so be sure to line up in the correct queue if there are a few people around. We were given a buzzer that worked in the gift shop below and decided to head down in the hopes of walking LJ to sleep. The Mitsukoshi Department Store is a dangerous place if you have Pokemon or Hello Kitty fans in your party (consider yourself warned) but also a terrific place to wait for your table since there is so much to see, you can even pick a pearl (although the line will probably be too long to do while you're waiting).

After wandering the store and getting LJ to sleep we headed back up to the restaurant waiting area and had another 5 minute wait until we were seated.

Theming and DécorThe restaurant is made up of a number of small dining rooms branching off a long hallway. Each of the dining rooms has four communal tables that seat eight guests, so if you're party consists of less than eight people you will be seated with others – which we find to be part of the fun.

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