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  • Writer's pictureJohn Dostaler

John's Travel Update October 21, 2022

This weekend our family will be heading to our downtown Trick-or-Treat and enjoying the mild midwest weather! Here are some fun things I'm excited about this week:


Walt Disney World
News Roundup

  • Last week I told you that Fantasmic! was returning to Disney's Hollywood Studios and now it's confirmed that the show will return on November 3! There is also a new sequence in the show - so if you've seen it before - you need to see it again!

Restaurant News!

Three restaurants have some exciting changes in store!

  • Beginning November 1 - Tusker House at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park will go back to an "all-you-care-to-eat" buffet. I love this restaurant for many reasons: the characters are dressed in "Safariwear" and they usually spend tons of time at your table! Plus: they have both "traditional" and more ethnic food so it exposes my own kids to something they might normally not eat!

  • Kona Cafe is reopening after a remodel at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort! Kona Cafe will feature American cuisine with that Asian flare. John's Pro Tip: Don't miss Tonga Toast and Pineapple Macadamia Nut Pancakes served at breakfast.

  • But MOST exciting is the return of Akershus at EPCOT! This favorite is reopening November 4 and it's famous for the Storybook Dining featuring the Disney Princesses. We've met Mulan, Ariel, Snow White and Princess Aurora here (among others!). Again - there is a mix of traditional American favorites but the Norwegian buffet is fun to try!


First Class Air Offer

I've taken an Alaskan cruise-tour and it was so amazing and fantastic - but it was on a larger ship. As wonderful as it was - it lacked intimacy and I knew I wanted to return: but with a smaller ship.


Regent Seven Seas utilizes smaller ships and is basically an all-inclusive vacation PLUS it includes select excursions. Check it out:


  • 2-FOR-1 All-Inclusive Fares

  • FREE Roundtrip Air* on Domestic Flights

  • FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions

  • FREE Unlimited Beverages, Including Fine Wines and Spirits

  • FREE Open Bars and Lounges Plus In-Suite Mini-Bar Replenished Daily

  • FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities

  • FREE Specialty Restaurants

  • FREE Transfers Between Airport and Ship*

  • FREE Unlimited WiFi*

  • FREE Valet Laundry Service*

  • CONCIERGE SUITES AND HIGHER INCLUDE: FREE 1-Night Pre-Cruise Hotel Package* and more

  • PENTHOUSE SUITES AND HIGHER INCLUDE: FREE Personal Butler and more

*Terms & Conditions Apply



Toast to your travels from the comfort of your First Class seat, as you anticipate your luxurious exploration of Alaska, the Caribbean or Canada & New England. Or take advantage of an Enhanced Air Credit of up to $1,600 when you book your own air. Whether you’re looking forward to enjoying our all-inclusive fares while witnessing the magnificent Hubbard Glacier, the beauty of St. Lucia’s coast or the historical landmarks of Boston, you will arrive rested and ready to immerse yourself in these fascinating destinations when you take advantage of this limited-time offer before October 31, 2022.


These ships are smaller - under 1,000 passengers and you won't "fight the crowds" while onboard or during ports of call. These cruises are also "kid friendly" and children sail from only $999 per person on select cruises!


CLICK HERE for more information and we can get started!


Destination Spotlight:
Must-Try Street Food in Brussels

Belgium is one of those travel destinations you can’t help but get excited about. With so much to pay attention to, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by a wealth of options.

As the street food movement is Brussels explodes, a new focus on high-quality street food is inspiring a generation of healthier, locally sourced, creative dishes. While you wander through the capital of Belgium, keep your peepers peeled for these delicious treats!


Waffles

Obviously. It’s not a trip to Brussels until you’re wolfin’ down some waffles! All you have to do is follow the cartoonish scent trail in the air to the nearest food truck to discover a wonderland of toppings you can paint over a piping hot, irresistibly fresh, golden brown waffle. Whipped cream? Sure! Fruit? Pile it on! Nutella? Maple syrup? Powdered sugar? More melted Belgian chocolate? The world is your waffle.


Caricoles

There’s no better time to expand your culinary experience than when you’re in a new country! For only a few euros, you can get a steaming bowlful of de-shelled escargot, known as caricoles, from Belgians pushing rolling carts around the streets. As long as you don’t mind a texture adventure, you may uncover a new favorite!


Pommes Frites

I would be remiss not to include a Belgian original on the list! Crispy and crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, what’s not to love?! Drizzle some mayo over the top to enjoy them like a local, or find a friterie that offers a bevy of interesting dipping sauces to choose from!


Mitraillette

If you’re looking for something more substantial than just frites, you can opt for a more without sacrificing your fry experience. A mitraillette is a sandwich typically made from a baguette piled with fried meat, pommes frites, and a sauce of choice. This tasty sandwich is considered to be invented in Brussels, so don’t think of it as chowing down on a fry sandwich, think of it as taking a bite out of the local culture.


Meatballs

Meatballs are a favorite for locals and tourists alike, and boy does Brussels do ‘em right! You might wonder what’s so exciting about beef and pork mixtures smashed into a ball, but only until you sink your teeth into the first bite! Sure, a hand-rolled ball of delicious meat, herbs, and whatever else they pack in there can be delightful on its own, but the sauce they are covered with can be a game changer.


Sausage

You can’t visit Belgium and ignore all the sausages! With just about every market selling sausages, you can grab a black or white sausage (the difference being whether it was made with or without animal blood) in a warm bun and pile it with mustard, onions, sauerkraut, or whatever tickles your fancy.

Grey Shrimp Croquettes

When you’re eating your way through Brussels, there’s a high chance these yummy little guys will find their way into your meal one way or another. Another part of Belgium’s cultural heritage, these shrimp are harvested about an hour before and after low tide by fishermen on horseback. Though they are cooked all sorts of wonderful ways, one of the best is in a shrimp croquette. A fresh croquette made from scratch will have a thin, crispy crust on the outside and a creamy, molten inside.


Speculoos

Originally made as a Christmas cookie, these spiced shortbread biscuits are so well-loved, you can and will find them all around the city. While not strictly a street food, they are too delicious to ignore! Chances are good that you’ll get a few on the side if you order a drink in a café, but if not, be sure to pop into a store for a package. If you find any, grab some speculoos spread while you’re there – you’ll never want toast without the Brussels version of cookie butter again.


Smoutebollen

These hot dough balls are usually fried in animal fat, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and often served in a paper cone. Not exactly a donut, not exactly funnel cake, these puffy balls are so popular, you’ll have no trouble locating them as you walk through town.


Dame Blanche

All aboard the treat train! Though the name does translate to “white lady,” this important snack wasn’t named after your favorite Golden Girl. A Dame Blanche is actually huge scoops of vanilla ice cream covered in melted Belgian dark chocolate. “So it’s an ice cream sundae,” you ask? No. It’s a Dame Blanche, which is much classier.


Beer!

Of course, as you’re snacking your way through Brussels’ colorful street food scene, you’ll need to follow all that delicious food with delicious beer! Since the world of Belgian beer is so wide and varied, you might want to make a game plan so you don’t miss the best of the offerings of Brussels’ bar culture. You can take beer tours, ask around for suggestions, or just listen in on locals while they order their favorites.


Hope everyone had a WONDERFUL week! Halloween is just a week away - get ready for those little ghouls and goblins!


- John



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