Plus all the thrills & spills that make Walt’s world a real scream
THE smiling chef tosses 10 fresh shrimp theatrically on to the super-hot hob in front of us.
Sizzling and smoking, they turn pink and a delicious aroma fills the room.
Less than three minutes later, they’re on my plate and I’m devouring them with lip-smacking udon noodles, vegetables and sukiyaki beef rice.
Ebi is one of the specially selected dishes on offer at the show cooking station at Teppan Edo, the authentic Japanese restaurant at Epcot, part of Walt Disney World, Florida.
Being entertained by the charismatic chefs as they create their magic is all part of the fun.
Exciting restaurant experiences like this one are now as important as thrill rides and character parades at Disney theme parks, and you can eat your way around the globe at World Showcase with Italian, Moroccan and Chinese restaurants all within a short walk.
Another must-do diner at Walt Disney World is The Boathouse, which towers over Disney Springs, the shopping and nightlife hotspot.
Knowledgeable waiting staff will talk you through the menu which includes hoisin chilli calamari, firecracker shrimp and shrimp mac ‘n’ cheese.
Gluten intolerant? They’ll produce a list of specialist dishes.
Fancy the lobster but hate the mess? Ask the staff to serve it without the shell. Nothing is too much trouble.
And you don’t need to bust the budget to enjoy fancy dinners at Disney thanks to some great new deals.
Booking the Disney Dining Plan includes meals at both The Boathouse at Teppan Edo – as well as every other meal you’ll have during your stay.
Other recommended restaurants include The Hollywood Brown Derby, a classic American diner in the Hollywood Studios park. And you’d be mad to miss Boma – Flavours of Africa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a mountainous breakfast buffet.
The CANARIES CRUISE: A four-night Canarian Escape cruise on board Thomson Dream is £469. You’ll depart from Malaga and visit Cadiz (for Seville), Lanzarote and Tenerife. Flights from Bristol and Gatwick on November 13. More details at thomson.co.uk/cruise or by calling 0871 230 2800. little ones, meanwhile, will love the Be Our Guest restaurant, themed around Beauty and the Beast, in the Magic Kingdom.
Anyone who knows the lyrics to the song will be excited to know you can try “the grey stuff ”, which is delicious. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes.
When not enjoying mouth-watering meals, there’s plenty to entertain across Walt Disney World’s four parks.
Magic Kingdom is a great first stop to tick off rides themed around classic Disney films. There’s Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Those who fancy bigger thrills and spills should head for Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain.
The highlight of every afternoon, COSTA BLANCA: Bag a break with five nights’ all-inclusive at the four-star Sandos Monaco Beach Hotel & Spa in Benidorm for £227. Leaves Stansted on November 4. Check out teletextholidays.co.uk. NORFOLK BROADS: Two people can hire Garnet Emblem, a cruiser moored at Horning, for though, is Disney’s Festival of Fantasy parade, which includes characters from recent hits such as Frozen and Tangled as well as a giant dragon from Sleeping Beauty, all singing and dancing their way through the park.
Over in Hollywood Studios there’s plenty of Star Wars fun including the Star Tours simulator which changes its story every time you ride.
And at the Launch Bay you can come face to face with Chewbacca himself and even get a snap with him.
A fab ride for groups is Toy Story Mania where riders compete to hit the most targets and get the highest score.
Hollywood Studios also boasts the best night-time show of all, Fantasmic! It has stunts, fire, fountains and fireworks – and, of course, plenty of favourite Disney characters.
At Epcot you can see the wonders of the world from a great height on flight simulator ride Soarin’, then enjoy the high-speed chase on race car ride Test Track.
Animal Kingdom is fast becoming the most exciting park in Walt Disney World thanks to the newly-opened Pandora. The area themed around YORKSHIRE: sci-fi hit Avatar takes you to a different solar system, and has the Flight of Passage, a 3D motion simulator which whisks riders on an aerial tour. Animal Kingdom also lives up to its name with its fantastic Kilimanjaro Safaris where you can get up close to giraffes and spot lions, zebras and elephants.
Another unmissable ride is the Kali River Rapids, where it’s a lot of fun getting wet…but even more hilarious watching everyone else get even wetter.
New advances in technology mean the Disney Memory Maker service, included in dining plan offers, sends your ride photos straight to your phone.
Simply scan your Magic Band, which also acts as your park ticket, after each ride and the photos will appear on your My Disney Experience app.
These can be easily downloaded onto your device to keep forever.
A video of me riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was sent to me within hours and was ready to post online.
If only I hadn’t embarrassed myself by screaming…
four-nights for £459. Arrive October
16. See waterwaysholidays.com. A four-night half term midweek holiday at Primrose Valley Holiday park near Filey is £298. Price based on a family of up to six sharing deluxe accommodation. Arrive on October
23. Book at haven.com.
TALL ORDER: Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom and, below, the Kali River Rapids
TAKE HAT: Chef at Teppan Edo. Right, Ed at brekkie with The Mad Hatter