A: One happy family.
It was mid-week and our “rest” day which wasn’t quite as restful as planned. We had ADRs for a character breakfast, planned lunch in our DVC unit, and a quick-service meal at Epcot in the evening – probably fish and chips from the United Kingdom Pavilion. Uncooperative weather mid-day meant we took refuge in a restaurant for lunch and had our second table-service meal of the day. Any parents who have determined how many more bites must be eaten before dessert, cut food into small pieces, and taken a potty-training toddler to the restaurant restroom more times than they can count can tell you eating at a restaurant with small children isn’t as relaxing as it ought to be, no matter how well-behaved the kids are.
To sum it all up, we needed a break from the parks, from restaurant dining, from the hustle and bustle of Disney World, and from the resort room. It sounds like an impossible mission, right? Enter the sand bucket meal. It’s a simple but very effective concept, really. The children’s meal is served in a small sand pail with a shovel. Think of it as dinner and entertainment all in one. These meals are available at Hurricane Hanna’s at the Yacht and Beach Club Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort’s Old Port Royale Food Court, and Restaurantosaurus in Animal Kingdom.
We ordered sand pail meals for the children at Hurricane Hannna’s by the Yacht and Beach Club and staked our claim to a quiet piece of beach. It was positively idyllic to sit on the beach having an open-air picnic while the kids contently played together in the sand with their buckets and shovels. There were no crowds, no waiting for food to be served, no reminding the kids to sit still and keep their voices down. What we did have were two very happy boys burning off a little energy in the time-honored tradition of digging holes in the sand while my husband and I sat quietly with an adult beverage and savored the simple pleasure of our children playing together. It was the most peaceful and relaxing meal of the trip.
Next time you’re looking for a little break inside Walt Disney World, try a picnic on the beach with a sand bucket meal; it just may be the perfect way to spend an evening.
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Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers. When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe. You can follow her on Twitter @DisneyExplorer or become a fan of Beyond the Attractions on Facebook.Share