Friday, September 10, 2010

Start the day off right -- Great Orlando Breakfast options

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially if that day is going to be spent running non-stop at theme parks in the Florida heat. Gearing up for a good day means filling up with a good meal before you even get started. Most hotels have gerat options for breakfast and there's always the fast food option, if you're in a hurry. Some travelers also swear by stocking their rooms with non-perishable breakfast on the go, such as granola bars, bottled water, fresh and dried fruits, even cereal (grab a pint of milk from the convenience store and use your travel mug as a bowl).

But just like anywhere else in the world, people do have their favorites. I'm a big fan of The Village Inn, just down the street from Sea World on International Drive and Westwood Boulevard -- come for the breakfast, stay for the pie. In fact, treat yourself to pie for breakfast! It's vacation, after all.

Another fantastic breakfast place is East Lake Fish Camp. This is off the beaten track yet still close to the major attractions -- "minutes from area attractions, yet worlds apart," on beautiful on East Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee. The restaurant here is a hidden gem, especially for the budget-conscious. After breakfast, you can also go on an airboat ride with Boggy Creek Airboat Rides or try your hand at the local bass fishing with Jay's Bass Bustin'.

Blog reader Bob M., from New Jersey, has his favorites, too. Bob, a frequent Walt Disney World visitor, is a big fan of Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Boma's breakfast buffet is extensive and it's truly a fan fave -- nearly everyone I spoke to recommended it. Frankly, so do I -- even at $15 per person, it's aboslutely worth it. Bob loves the extra Disney magic that often comes with breakfast at Boma:

"I had a great experience at Boma. I had my heart set on mango, but there was none set out at the fruit station that morning. I commented in passing to the CMs behind the counter that I was looking forward to mango, but alas, 'twas not to be, so I sucked it up & went back to my table, prepared to do without. A few minutes later, a lady from the kitchen staff approached my table & asked "Are you the guest who was asking about mango?" I said "Yes" and from behind her back she produced a huge mango & placed it in front of me. Even my waitress looked surprised, just before offering to take it in back & slice it up for me. The extra mile!"

In park, Bob recommends Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom -- though he warns that long lines can be expected, thanks to the delicious scents of fresh-baked pastries that waft from the shop's open doors -- and The Lunching Pad in Tomorrowland. The Lunchig Pad is a great place to grab coffee and a muffin and "sit in relative peace (aside from a few avian beggars, perhaps) at one of their outdoor tables as the hordes pass by en route to Space Mountain."

Next up is Amy W., also from New Jersey. Amy and her family go to Orlando every year. They have three particular breakfast favorites, including one unusual choice -- Chan's Chinese for authentic Chinese dim sum. "If you are willing to wait a little later for brunch instead of breakfast," she says, "there is Chan's Chinese Restaurant on Colonial Drive (SR 50) that serves dim sum. The dim sum there is as good as the food you get in NYC."

If you're up for a little more adventure in search of breakfast, Amy's family also loves The Old Spanish Sugar Mill restaurant, located in DeLeon Springs State Park, about 45 minutes north of Orlando. "You make pancakes on a griddle in the middle of your table!" Amy says -- her kids love it and the pancakes taste good enough to make the drive worthwhile.

In park, Amy and family head to EPCOT's World Showcase and The Princess Storybook Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion.

"We love getting into the park early. The interaction with the Princesses is great, it is only 1 table service credit if you are on the disney dining plan. The hot food includes eggs, bacon, and a potato casserole that my husband literally dreams about. The hot food is served family style and you can get as much of it as you want. There is also a cold buffet with fruits, cheeses and pastries."
Any more picks for great Orlando breakfasts? Leave your favorites in the comments!


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