Disney’s California Adventure Park, World of Colour

On our previous trips to Disneyland our first nights always involved booking a Dining Package with a special viewing area at World of Colour.

World of Colour is California Adventure Parks amazing night time celebration.

It uses a combination of water, lights, fire, Colour, music and images to really make the dream of Walt Disney come alive.

We where heartbroken to hear of its extended shutdown after maintenance plans went wrong.

Back in April 2018 it was to be shutdown for six weeks with the theming of Pixar Pier and the incredicoaster. But it’s reopen date came and went…..

It was pushed back to Fall, and that too came and went…

Then it was going to ready by Christmas, but our recent trip came and went and it was still shut down.

There where still amazing things to see at nighttime but we definitely missed our Disney tradition

I was very excited to hear that the World of Colour is back operating tonight.

We might have missed it on our last trip to Disneyland however we enjoyed it and videoed it so like to watch it on YouTube.

Now it is back operational we will make sure we do it next time.

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Walt Disney World’s – The Kiss Goodnight

Have you ever wondered how the Magic Kingdom says Goodnight of an evening?

the best kept secret in Magic Kingdom

Thirty minutes after the park has closed for the evening, Magic Kingdom has a great 2 minute way they say Goodnight.

I first heard about this little known tradition in the park on a facebook thread on one of my favorite Disney groups. I was instantly interested in it. I was not sure that I would get to experience it as it is not listed on any official times. It runs at a different time each night. But I thought it would be worth the wait to try.

So on one of our nights, I stayed back with our older two children to make it until the end of the night.

We had a brilliant day and made sure we jumped in line for our last ride a couple minutes before closing, then headed to main street and waited.

The Kiss Goodnight takes just on two minutes, and it is a special way to say Goodnight after a great day of fun.

The night we stayed back the park was still packed when we watched, it was only about twenty minutes after closing. People were still milling around, looking at the shops, taking photos in front of the castle, and then it started.

As soon as the deep voice came over the speakers, Ladies, and Gentlemen, boys and girls, I was transfixed. Whilst people continued to talk around us, we stood and we watched, so thankful that we had spent our day at the most magical place on earth.

The Kiss goodnight doesn’t run every night, it doesn’t run on a set schedule. But if you are lucky to see it, it is worth the wait.

To see it, you need to be on Main Street, as it all revolves around the Castle. The castle lights up when you wish upon a Star plays and you are further engulfed in the magic of Disneyworld.

 

Have you ever wondered what happens when Magic Kingdom is finished for the night? Have you ever wondered what happens when Magic Kingdom is finished for the night? Have you ever wondered what happens when Magic Kingdom is finished for the night? Just on two minutes, Walt Disney World The Kiss Goodnight is the beautiful way that the Magic Kingdom Finishes up for the evening.

 

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Magic Castle Hotel – Hollywood

If you want to find a little bit of Magic in Hollywood then look no further than the Magic Castle Hotel.

The Magic Castle Hotel is a very popular hotel located within walking distance to popular tourist destinations like Grauman’s chinese theatre, (Mann’s Chinese Theatre), Madame Tassauds wax museum, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Don’t be put off by The Magic Castle Hotel 3 star rating, it’s service is 5 star.

What sets the hotel apart from all the others we have stayed at In Los Angeles are it’s staff, from the minute you arrive the service is amazing.

You are treated with a welcome drink, our children where offered some complimentary snacks.

They organised a booster seat for us so we could go on a Hollywood tour, and even helped us to our room with our bags. Nothing is a problem for them.

Probably the highlight for busy families though is the laundry service. You drop off your dirty washing to reception and they clean, dry and fold it for you free of charge.

They do say to allow 24 hours for it, however we dropped ours off just after lunch on our way to Santa Monica Pier and it was back in our room that night before we returned home.

At the Magic Castle Hotel it is all about the little things, they offer a continental breakfast each morning, free snack foods at reception, complimentary soda (soft drink), a popsicle hotline, where your kids can order a popsicle anytime of the day and will be delivered out to them near the pool.

They have games for the kids out at the table to keep them amused.

When I say they offer complimentary snack foods the list is quite extensive from Potato Chips, Doritos, Cheetos, peanuts, Pretzels, microwave popcorn, Grabola Bars, Kit Kats, Snickers, Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, Reece Cups, Hershey’s Chocolate, Choc chip cookies, the list goes on.

The rooms have been renovated and are very clean and comfortable.

Their is a selection of either single rooms, one bedroom or two bedroom suites.

We stayed in the 2 bedroom suite and it had a King size bed in one room, 2 single beds in the other and a large fold out couch in the lounge room.

It has a seperate dining room that had a table for eating dinner on, then a kitchen which had another smaller table that could fit two people.

For those of you who want to cook, they have a full kitchen available, and a supermarket also within walking distance.

As we where only staying for a couple of days and wanted to explore we didn’t make use of the kitchen, however we did appreciate the extra space.

Another great way the Magic Castle goes above and beyond is through their take away service.

Instead of having to order it yourself, you just tell the reception staff what you are after and they will order it for you.

We get like pizza and the girls at the front desk recommended the restaurant Asparagus, and we where impressed with not just the taste, but the size of the pizza’s.

We ordered 2 of their pizzas, and had some left over.

For is the Magic Castle Hotel really was a magical place to stay.

When we head to Hollywood next we will be heading back to the Magic Castle Hotel as it really was a pleasure to stay there.

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Top 9 things to do in Toy Story Land, Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.

Since we decided we were heading to Orlando to visit Walt Disney World, our youngest has been so excited about their new land “Toy Story Land” in Hollywood studios. Toy Story Land did not disappoint, it is a fun, cheerful land with decorations and rides that are larger than life.

Everywhere you go in Toy Story Land you will be greeted as if you are a toy playing in Andy’s backyard.

We have put together our top 9 things to do in Toy Story Land, they are not in any particular order.

Slinky Dog Dash

One of the most popular new rides in the park is the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster. The ride is great for younger children that like thrill rides as you only have to be 97cm or taller to ride it. Like all of Toy Story Land, the theming is on point, with lots of fun starting in the queue. The queue has great sketches of the ride that “Andy has drawn in crayon”.

Slinky Dog dash is still the most popular ride in Hollywood studios with wait times often hitting 2-3 hours, like all the rides in Toy Story Land it has Fastpass, so if you can make sure you put this as a priority when booking your fastpasses. But if you not lucky enough to get one, grab your phone, log in to Disney Play and wait, its worth it.

 

Green Army Men

The Green Army men are great new entertainment in Toy Story Land, The Green Army Patrol come out at random time during the days, and sometimes play their drum patrol, other times they take photos with the guests. It is such a fun part of the Land.

Green Army Men, Toy Story Land

Like all the things in Toy Story Land, the theming is on point, even down to the way their shoes have large plastic bases. From the minute we went into the Land our kids were on the lookout for the familiar sounds of the drums.

 

Alien Swirling Saucers

The other new ride in Toy Story Land is Alien Swirling Saucers, this fun ride is very similar to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree in Disneyland, just different themed, for guests 32 inches (81 cm) and above. You climb in your alien swirling saucer and you swing around listening to some fun themed music.

Character meet and Greets

If you want a chance to take a photo with Buzz, Woody, Jessie then make sure you head down to Toy Story Land.

Search for hidden Mickeys

Our children love searching for Hidden Mickeys around the Parks and resorts, and there are a couple of great ones to find in Toy Story Land.

Our children’s favorite where the one Hidden in the queue for Alien Swirling saucers. A welcome distraction in the line. Also in the dock of slinky dog dash, is a hidden mickey in the clouds.

Green Army Men Toy Story Land hidden Mickey

Toy Story Mania

Whilst Toy Story Mania has been at Hollywood Studios for over ten years, with Toy Story Land it got a new fun entrance. Toy Story Mania, is one of my favorite rides in Disney World (and Disneyland). There is no height requirement to go on this 4D adventure.

You wear fun oversized yellow 3D glasses aboard spinning vehicles that travel through virtual environments all based on classic carnival midway games as the name suggests.

Woody’s Lunchbox

Now a stop at Toy storyland would not be complete without visiting Woody’s lunchbox. Woody’s lunchbox is such a cute area, however, seating is limited, it is themed as if Andy has turned his own lunchbox into a fun walk-up window for his toys to eat at.

The menu is pretty limited with Sandwiches, melts and soda’s are the main choices. The portion sizes are really quite large.

Soak in the ambiance of Toy Story Land

Part of the wonder of Toy Story Land is in all the details. The Imagineers have gone all out in the land, from the hidden easter eggs located all around the land. A Disneyland Viewmaster slide in the queue for Toy Story Mania, the blocks that spell out dates that are important to Pixar, the larger than life statues of all your favorite characters.

Look down and you can see Andy’s footprints etched into the concrete. Once in Toy Story Land, you really will begin to feel like a toy in an oversized world

An icy pole on a themed seat

Finally make sure you grab yourself a nice cool icy treat, sit down on one of the popsicle chairs and really appreciate the fact that you are in Disneyworld.

Toy Story Land is only a small part of the Larger Hollywood studios, home to Disney Junior Dance Party, The Incredibles, Hollywood Tower of terror, and a great variety of Star Wars shows. It surely is a must do on your next trip to Florida.

 

Have you been to Toy Story Land? Hollywood studios? Let us know in the comments below.

Make sure you keep reading all about our epic Disney Trip, where we went to Disneyland, a Disney Cruise, and Walt Disney World.

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Toy Story Land did not disappoint, it is a fun, cheerful land with decorations and rides that are larger than life. Everywhere you go in Toy Story Land you will be greeted as if you are a toy playing in Andy's backyard.  We have put together our top 9 things to do in Toy Story Land, they are not in any particular order. Toy Story Land did not disappoint, it is a fun, cheerful land with decorations and rides that are larger than life. Everywhere you go in Toy Story Land you will be greeted as if you are a toy playing in Andy's backyard.  We have put together our top 9 things to do in Toy Story Land, they are not in any particular order. Toy Story Land did not disappoint, it is a fun, cheerful land with decorations and rides that are larger than life. Everywhere you go in Toy Story Land you will be greeted as if you are a toy playing in Andy's backyard.  We have put together our top 9 things to do in Toy Story Land, they are not in any particular order.

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Dinner at Blue Bayou in Disneyland

On our recent trip to Disneyland, we were very lucky to get a dinner reservation at Blue Bayou. This restaurant has been on my to-do list the last few times we went to Disneyland but it is quite hard to get into and you really need to book in advance.

The Blue Bayou has been open for over 50 years opening back on March 18th, 1967.

The Blue Bayou is located within the same building as the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Whilst you are seated inside the building, It is themed like you are outside at night out on the bayou.

As you sit overlooking the start of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, you hear crickets, frogs, you see the glow of fireflies in the background and it all adds to the atmosphere.

The menu is themed as well, you can order a Mint Julep or a Louisiana Lemonade. Our children loved the Louisiana Lemonade and would have gone back here every day just to order this lemonade.

The Mint Julep was great however is incredibly strong so only order it if you like a lot of mint.

Blue Bayou Disneyland Blue Bayou Disneyland Blue Bayou Disneyland

Now to make the most of your dining reservation, make sure you request a table by the water. It might mean waiting a few more minutes for your table, but it is well worth the wait.

 

Menu (As of January 2019)

Starters
Fried Calamari – $14.00

Crab Hush Puppies – $12.00

Golden Beet Salad – $12.00

House Salad – $6.00

N’awlins Gumbo – $7.00

Entrées

Surf & Turf – $50.00

Herb-crusted Rack of Lamb – $44.00

Bone-In Rib-Eye – $46.00

Catch of the Day – $39.00

Roasted Chicken Maison – $35.00

Seafood Pasta – $35.00

Bone-In Pork Loin – $35.00

Vegetable Pasta – $30.00

Desserts

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée – $9.00

8-Layer Chocolate Hazelnut Cake – $10.00

Kids Meals

Served with Seasonal Vegetables and Fruit with a choice of Small Lowfat Milk or Small Dasani® Water

Sustainable Fish – $12.00
Pan-seared and served with Pasta topped with Marinara

Chicken Breast – $10.00
Pan-seared and served with Pasta topped with Marinara

Mickey’s Cheesy Macaroni – $9.00

Chef’s Beef Specialty – $13.00

Non-Alcoholic Specialty Beverage

Louisiana Lemonade – $7.75
Minute Maid® Lemonade, Sprite®, Mango, Raspberry, served with a souvenir glow cube

Mint Julep – $5.00

Mint Julep with Souvenir Glow Cube – $8.00

 

The Blue Bayou really is a must see restaurant at Disneyland the Herb-crusted Rack of Lamb was divine. Probably my favorite meal of the whole trip to Disneyland. (Unfortunately hard to take photos due to the dark nature of the restaurant).

Blue Bayou Disneyland

Have you ever been to the Blue Bayou?

Did you order the Mint Julep, what did you think?

Make sure you keep reading all about our epic Disney Trip, where we went to Disneyland, a Disney Cruise, and Walt Disney World.

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On our recent trip to Disneyland, we were very lucky to get a dinner reservation at Blue Bayou. This restaurant has been on my to-do list the last few times we went to Disneyland but it is quite hard to get into and you really need to book in advance. On our recent trip to Disneyland, we were very lucky to get a dinner reservation at Blue Bayou. This restaurant has been on my to-do list the last few times we went to Disneyland but it is quite hard to get into and you really need to book in advance.

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Snorkeling at Castaway Cay

Imagine snorkeling out into the clear blue waters of the Bahamas, the water temperature a beautiful 25℃, the water crystal clear, the sand a glistening white color.

You swim around looking at the amazing fish and then you see it heading towards you. A Magnificent Sea turtle. You then spend the next two-three minutes swimming with the majestic sea animal.

This was our experience when we recently went on an amazing Disney Cruise on the Disney Dream and snorkeled at Disney’s Castaway Cay.

Disney’s Castaway Cay is Disney’s own private island, located in the Bahamas, near the Great Aboca Island. Back in 1999, Disney signed a 99-year lease from the Bahamian Government which allows it to be an exclusive port for the Disney Cruise line. And like all things Disney they quickly invested in the island to make it a tropical oasis.

Imagine snorkeling out into the clear blue waters of the Bahamas, the water temperature a beautiful 25℃, the water crystal clear, the sand a glistening white color.

The real advantage of Castaway Cay is the fact that the Cruise ships can dock on the island which makes disembarking a very quick and easy process. In the past, most cruise ships would have to tender off whatever island they are stopping at, and you would have to catch a smaller boat over to the island. But not at Castaway Cay. Instead, you just wander down to the main level and walk off the boat. Using your Drivers license (Or passport) as ID, and your key to the world card.

Disney cruise line - dream Castaway Cay

Castaway is a beautiful island to visit and has so much to do, you can hire a bike, go on waterslides, shop, swim, eat. There are kids clubs for your children and even adult only areas. There is also a huge list of activities you can participate in, including glass bottom boats. So with so much to do, you might decide that snorkeling isn’t high on your list. If that’s the case I suggest you reconsider as it really was a beautiful place to snorkel.

Now you can bring your own snorkeling gear on the Cruise ship, but if space is an issue you can hire it on Castaway Cay, and I have to admit it’s not cheap. But it’s one of those times you think to yourself. I have spent all this money getting here, surely I can pay $34.00 to hire an adult sized mask, a snorkel, a snorkel vest (mandatory) you blow these up to add extra buoyancy and a pair of fins. Kids aged 5-9 can hire children sized ones for only $18.00

Initially, I wasn’t going to head out in the water, the boys were just going to head out whilst I relaxed on the beach, but I am so glad I went out. These experiences, like the Rainbow Reef in Disney Aulani resort, are moments in time that I will remember for a very long time, and now thanks to youtube, you can too.

Make sure you keep reading all about our epic Disney Trip, where we went to Disneyland, a Disney Cruise, and Walt Disney World.

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Imagine snorkeling out into the clear blue waters of the Bahamas, the water temperature a warm 25℃, the crystal clear water. Imagine snorkeling out into the clear blue waters of the Bahamas, the water temperature a warm 25℃, the crystal clear water.   See why you should go snorkeling at Castaway Cay Imagine snorkeling out into the clear blue waters of the Bahamas, the water temperature a warm 25℃, the crystal clear water.   See why you should go snorkeling at Castaway Cay

Have you ever been snorkeling before?

 

 

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Celebrating Christmas when away from home.

This year we are doing something different we are packing up our four children and celebrating Christmas on holiday. It’s nice to get away from the normality of life and go on an Adventure. With less stuff about there is less to clean, and your days can be spent exploring, relaxing and making the most of our wonderful world.

Our time is going to be spent in Queensland before we embark on our Disney trip. Heading to both Los Angeles and Florida. so make sure you keep an eye on our youtube channel as we will be posting lots of great videos over the next six weeks.

Christmas is a great time to get away, however, when traveling at Christmas time there is a little bit of extra planning to do.

10 Tips to celebrate Christmas on holidays

1 – Organise a house sitter.

For us, this was the most important but also the easiest one as we had a family member that also wanted to get away for the holidays so is happily looking after our pets and our house. Means you have an extra level of comfort that all will still be ok when you get back. Also means that you don’t have to worry about your pets feeling left out this Christmas season.

2 – Food.

Work out what you are going to eat on Christmas Day. If Christmas is normally filled with lots of food, celebration then staying away at Christmas can be a little strange but don’t despair. Find yourself your favorite restaurant in the area and prebook early a table for lunch or dinner. Make sure though you still head to the shops and by the essentials. Make sure you search out your favorite Christmas treats. If it’s not Christmas without your Rocky Road, then go buy the ingredients and make yourself one anyway.

3 – Presents.

  • For Others – Make sure that you have all your presents, not only wrapped and purchased before you leave but with ample time to actually drop off. There is nothing worse than going to all the effort to purchase a lovely present for someone and realising that it is still sitting under the tree at home.
  • Your own presents – When traveling space becomes a problem, and with four children making sure they not only get what they want but it is still manageable to get the presents home in your luggage is a real issue you need to think of. One way we get around it is by purchasing experiences for your family. Instead of huge lego sets, maybe you could buy a family pass to a local wildlife park or the zoo

4 – Explore the local holiday decorations.

Make sure you go take a walk and see what the local place has to offer this Christmas. If you are visiting Melbourne for Christmas their is always the iconic Myer windows or ArtVo instillation in Crown. Take a drive around and see the Magical Christmas lights. Ballarat has a great iconic art trail this year. Maybe you are heading over to New York and can experience a White Christmas. make the most of it. Maybe you are in Sydney and can experience the Fireworks on New Year’s Eve. We have been twice and they really are breathtaking.

10 Ways to celebrate christmas away from home 10 Ways to celebrate christmas away from home

5 – Facetime. 

The hardest thing about being away from Christmas is not seeing your loved ones, so make sure you have internet available and Facetime with those nearest and dearest to you. Then everyone can still be involved in the magic of seeing the presents being unwrapped.

6 – Decorations.

One of the most magical things about Christmas is decorating the Christmas tree, and even though we were leaving two weeks before Christmas we made sure we decorated our tree at home. We continue this by purchasing a cheap tree from K-mart and having it set up in our hotel room, that way the children can still wake up on Christmas morning and sit under the tree and open their presents.

10 Ways to celebrate christmas away from home

7 – Christmas Music

We love music in our house especially Christmas music, so I make sure that we continue to play our Christmas music on holidays. We can’t miss out on our Mariah Carey, Human Nature Christmas playlist.

8. Find a way to continue some Christmas traditions.

No matter where we are our children loves to watch both the Carols in the domain and Carls by candlelight. Many a days traveling has been cut short to make sure we are at our hotel or caravan park in time to sit and sing along to the Christmas carols. Now thanks to catch up tv, we get to relive the magic of the carols for days afterward as well.

9. Create some new ones

If you are away for Christmas there will be some traditions that you might find hard to continue. Maybe it was a big roast dinner, however, the hotel you are staying at doesn’t have an oven. Maybe you always went to your local carols. Instead, create a new one, maybe buy a Christmas ornament from the town you are staying in, so you will forever have the memory of where you were?

10. Relax.

Christmas will be different if you aren’t at home, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Create new traditions, enjoy the fact you won’t be running from one event to the next.

10 Ways to celebrate christmas away from home 10 Ways to celebrate christmas away from home

Have you ever been away at Christmas time before? How did you cope?

What are your plans for Christmas?

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Feeding the Kangaroo’s at Ballarat Wildlife Park.

When you think about Australian Animals, a few instantly come to mind.

Think about it? What would be the first animals you think of?

Kangaroo’s, Koala’s, Emus and Platypus would have to be the iconic Australian Animals that tourist coming to the country are keen to see.

If you want to find a great hands-on experience then look no further than Ballarat Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with the local animals.

Ballarat Wildlife Park is only one hour and twenty minutes from Melbourne CBD, and is open 364 days a year, from 9 am – 5 pm.

Admission

  • Adults $35
  • Concession $29
  • Children $19.50
  • Family (2A & up to 4C) $95.00

Yearly Pass Cost

  • Family Membership (2A & up to 4C) $170
  • Sole Parent Yearly Membership $120
  • Individual Yearly Membership $65

Every day Ballarat Wildlife Park holds Complimentary Guided tours, Animals shows, and Presentation.

There are also opportunities for you to pay extra for special Animal Encounters, including gorgeous photos.

Ballarat Wildlife Park - Animal Encounter

Ballarat Wildlife Park has a shop, and a nice cafe so you can have a nice drink and bite to eat before you head down to help feed the locals.

That is why so many people flock to the Park, Whilst animals like the Meerkats, Dingos, Crocodiles, Alligators, and Wombats are popular it’s the free-roaming kangaroos that you find all over the Wildlife Park that have everyone excited.

If you want to feed the Kangaroo’s all you need is to grab some Kangaroo Food at the front and wander around the Park. If you are lucky you might even get to feed a gorgeous little joey or see one nestled in its mum’s pouch.

Ballarat Wildlife Park is definitely on our list of top ten things to do in Ballarat.

What iconic Australian Animals do you think of?

Linking up with Feet do travel

Have you ever wanted to feed a Kangaroo?

When you think about Australian Animals, a few instantly come to mind. Think about it? What would be the first animals you think of? Kangaroo’s, Koala’s, Emus and Platypus would have to be the iconic Australian Animals that tourist coming to the country are keen to see. If you want to find a great hands-on experience then look no further than Ballarat Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with the local animals.

When you think about Australian Animals, a few instantly come to mind. Think about it? What would be the first animals you think of? Kangaroo’s, Koala’s, Emus and Platypus would have to be the iconic Australian Animals that tourist coming to the country are keen to see. If you want to find a great hands-on experience then look no further than Ballarat Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with the local animals.

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Knife Fork Spoon Kitchen – Ballarat

Knife Fork Spoon in Ballarat is a gorgeous little cafe that is open 7 days a week in Ballarat.

Those local to Ballarat know it as a place to get the Instagram favorite “Freakshakes” as well as some other delicious sweet and savory foods.

Located in Lydiard Street within a short walk of the Regent cinemas, Ballarat Art Gallery it is a lovely place to sit and relax when you are in Ballarat.

Now since the Canberra Cafe Patissez, started the Freak shake back in 2015, all around Australia Cafe’s have begun making these amazing calorie loaded milkshakes. So many times though they look amazing, but the taste of the milkshakes is obviously an afterthought and the milkshakes lack flavor.  But not at Knife Fork and Spoon, their milkshake flavour is amazing.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Salted Caramel Freakshake, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

No matter your age you can enjoy the Freakshake, with a small kids version also available, that comes with a little bit of fairy floss (cotton candy) and decorated with sprinkles around the edge. It also has colored popcorn and some lollies/lollypops as decoration.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Children’s Freakshake, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

Knife fork Spoon caters for everyone, and if you do bring your children there they have coloring in for the kids to do, Bags of wipes (Well needed after all these sticky treats). But the favorite place for kids is located outside the back a great blackboard wall.

To keep you warm in Ballarat’s often cooler weather is a nice Gas heater.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

Knife Fork and Spoon is so much more than the freakshakes they also have a great collection of sweet and savory food. My favorite is the amazing Pulled Pulled Tacos.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Pulled Pork Taco, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

Whereas my children love the Ham and Cheese Toastie that comes with some delicious Tomato Relish.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Ham and Cheese Toastie, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

There are cakes, waffles and so much more. A quick search of the #knifeforkspoon on Instagram and you can see all the amazing food, so beautifully presented.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Kids Waffles by Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

To go there and have amazing food is one thing, but the thing that makes Knife Fork and Spoon stand out from other local cafes is the service. We went in recently for our daughters birthday, and one of the staff overheard one of the guests wish her a Happy Birthday. When her freakshake came out they had added a sparkler and another lollypop for her.

It made her day.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
S’more Freakshake, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Caramello Freakshake, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Willy Wonka Freakshake, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

So if you are ever in Ballarat, make sure that you pop into 16 Lydiard Street Ballarat, and find Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat.

 

Have you ever tried a “Freakshake” before? What is your favorite flavor?

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Hamilton Island Dining guide

Enjoying a spectacular location in the heart of the Whitsundays is the beautiful Hamilton Island. It is the largest inhabited island in the Whitsundays. The only island in the Whitsundays with its own commercial airport, now with direct flights from Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Cairns.

It is one of the easiest islands to get to when choosing your Whitsunday adventure. However due to its size and amenities even when at full capacity it is still an amazing place to visit.

Hamilton Island has such a large choice of dining options for all budgets and tastes, so we put together a Hamilton Island Dining guide to showcase all the Dining choices.

Hamilton Island Dining Guide

Bommie Restaurant (Yacht Club)

  • (12 Years and over)
  • Set menus.
  • Fully Licensed
  • Open Tuesday – Saturday
  • 6pm – late
  • Smart casual (No Thongs, swimwear, board shorts or singlets)
  • $$$

If you decide to go to Bommie restaurant, you can expect an amazing menu, knowledgeable staff that take their jobs very seriously. They have a specialised menu that is either three, four courses or the chef tasting menu. If you choose the three or four-course meal you will be given a choice of about three meals per course. The food is exquisite.

When we went we choose the Chef tasting menu and paired it with the speciality wine offering. Every meal was paired with a wine that was chosen to highlight the meal.

Manta Ray

  • Marina Side
  • Reservation or walk up
  • Lunch / Dinner
  • Takeaway Pizza available between 6pm-9pm
  • Fully Licensed (Bar and meals 12 noon – 10 pm)
  • Part of the Kids Stay Eat free offer (Children 12 years and under, eat a free kids meal with a purchase of an adults meal if staying at Reef View Hotel, Palm Bungalows, or a Hamilton Island Holiday Home)

Located on the Marina side, this casual restaurant has a great view of the marina, just watch out for the cheeky cockatoo’s they like to steal your food if you don’t keep an eye on them. This is more of a problem with the tables located up against the water as they sit in the trees above and if you leave your food unattended they try to swoop in for a meal.

Falafels at Mana Ray, Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island in the whitsundays, you are spoilt for choice with the dining options available. Our dining guide gives you all the information you need to know when making your dining choices on Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island in the whitsundays, you are spoilt for choice with the dining options available. Our dining guide gives you all the information you need to know when making your dining choices on Hamilton Island

 

Coca Chu

  • Resort side
  • Reservation recommended
  • Dinner
  • 5:30pm – late
  • Fully Licensed
  • Part of the Kids Stay Eat free offer
  • $$$

Located on the Resort side, with a stunning view of Catseye beach is the South East Asian inspired Coca Chu. The meals are made to be shared so when going in a group expect to order a few different items for the table.

The food is amazing with very strong flavours, the service is great.

Located on the Resort side, with a stunning view of Catseye beach is the South East Asian inspired Coca Chu. The meals are made to be shared so when going in a group expect to order a few different items for the table.  Located on the Resort side, with a stunning view of Catseye beach is the South East Asian inspired Coca Chu. The meals are made to be shared so when going in a group expect to order a few different items for the table. 

Sunset cruise and dine

  • A boat trip over the amazing Whitsunday waters
  • The cruise takes about 3 hours
  • Minimum age – 6
  • Fully Licensed
  • Leave either 4:45 pm or 5:45 pm depending on sunset time.

What would be nicer than taking a sunset cruise whilst eating a gorgeous three-course meal? As you depart on the Hamilton star you are served a yummy cocktail and some appetisers. Later you a served a gorgeous three-course meal that includes, Entree, main and Dessert.

Sails

  • Resort side
  • Reservation for groups 10 or more
  • Breakfast 6am -10:30am
  • Lunch 11:30am – 9pm
  • Fully Licensed
  • Part of the Kids Stay Eat free offer

Located on the Resort side, with a stunning view of Catseye beach Sails is the perfect casual spot to have breakfast or lunch. Breakfast is your typical buffet with a collection of cold and hot food. You can also get an omelette prepared for you fresh from the chef. The lunch menu is reasonably varied serving a variety of foods from salads, burgers, curries, steak, lamb cutlets, fish and other seafood. The Moreton bay bug was perfectly cooked and was a favourite of mine this trip.

Located on the Resort side, with a stunning view of Catseye beach Sails is the perfect casual spot to have breakfast or lunch. 

Located on the Resort side, with a stunning view of Catseye beach Sails is the perfect casual spot to have breakfast or lunch. 

Marina Tavern

  • Marina side
  • Pub Meal
  • 11:30am – 9pm
  • Fully Licensed

Located on the Marina side, the Marina tavern is the perfect casual place to grab a great pub meal, a cold drink and relax with friends. The Tavern has a great variety of indoor/outdoor seating and has a great relaxed atmosphere perfect for families or to meet up with friends.

Marina Cafe

  • Cafe style Food / ready-made food
  • 6:30 am – 3 pm

Located within walking distance to where the ferry comes in is the Marina Cafe, serving delicious smoothies, fresh juices, and coffee its the perfect place to grab a quick drink. If you are after breakfast or a snack its also a great place to get toasted sandwiches, foccacias and wraps. Perfect to pack in a picnic for one of the walks on the Island.

TAKO

  • Marina side
  • Walk up no bookings for groups under ten
  • Reservation for groups 10 or more
  • Open 7 days
  • 5:30pm – late
  • Fully Licensed
  • Part of the Kids Stay Eat free offer

Located on the Marina side, on the top level gives it an amazing view over Hamilton Island’s marina. Tako is a fun, family-friendly dining experience that offers fresh tasty Mexican dinner and dessert. When ordering the food at Tako it is best enjoyed getting a variety to share. The kids have a choice of a quesadilla or a make your own taco. Our children loved TAKO it was one of the favourite restaurants for the trip and we ended up going back on multiple occasions.

Located on the Marina side, on the top level gives it an amazing view over Hamilton Island's marina. Tako is a fun, family-friendly dining experience that offers fresh tasty Mexican dinner and dessert. When ordering the food at Tako it is best enjoyed getting a variety to share.  Located on the Marina side, on the top level gives it an amazing view over Hamilton Island's marina. Tako is a fun, family-friendly dining experience that offers fresh tasty Mexican dinner and dessert. When ordering the food at Tako it is best enjoyed getting a variety to share. 

The kids’ meal comes with three wraps, however, was such a favourite that I could never take a photo with all three as soon as the plate was served they started eating.

Located on the Marina side, on the top level gives it an amazing view over Hamilton Island's marina. Tako is a fun, family-friendly dining experience that offers fresh tasty Mexican dinner and dessert. When ordering the food at Tako it is best enjoyed getting a variety to share. 

The pulled pork tacos had just the right amount of spice to coleslaw and avocado to make it a perfectly balanced taste.

Romano’s

  • Marina side
  • Pre-booking is recommended
  • Contemporary Italian food
  • Alfresco 3 pm – Late
  • Dinner – 6 pm – Late
  • Fully Licensed
  • NO Kids Stay Eat free – Kids menu $15

Located on the Marina side, on the water side. Romano’s is a lovely spot for a family meal or for large group bookings. Serving a gorgeous range of pasta, risottos, and other mains. Romano’s doesn’t disappoint. It is not part of the kids stay eat free promotion, however, the kid’s meal are very generous and only $15.

Mariners Seafood Restaurant

  • Marina side
  • Pre-booking is recommended
  • Smart Casual
  • Dinner – 6pm – Late
  • Fully Licensed
  • NO Kids Stay Eat free – Kids menu $20

Located on the Marina side, high on the second level next to TAKO overlooking the marina is Mariners Seafood restaurant. It is always very popular so reservations are strongly recommended. If you love seafood then Mariners is for you with a great variety of fish, prawns, and other seafood.

Wild Life Hamilton Island – Koolah Cafe

  • Resort side
  • 7:30 am -10 am (breakfast)
  • Buffet
  • Lunch / Light meals available
  • Fully Licensed
  • NO Kids Stay Eat free
  • Family friendly

The best place on the island to get up close and personal with the wildlife. Wildlife Hamilton Island hosts a great buffet breakfast where you can sit and eat whilst watching the koala’s snack on gum leaves beside you, with gorgeous rosella’s flying all around.  A great family friendly restaurant. Once you are finished at the cafe, grab a pass to head to the Wild Life park to see more Australian wildlife, crocodiles, snakes and so much more.

 

The best place on the island to get up close and personal with the wildlife. Wildlife Hamilton Island hosts a great buffet breakfast where you can sit and eat whilst watching the koala's snack on gum leaves beside you, with gorgeous rosella's flying all around.  A great family friendly restaurant. Once you are finished at the cafe, grab a pass to head to the Wild Life park to see more Australian wildlife, crocodiles, snakes and so much more.

The best place on the island to get up close and personal with the wildlife. Wildlife Hamilton Island hosts a great buffet breakfast where you can sit and eat whilst watching the koala's snack on gum leaves beside you, with gorgeous rosella's flying all around.  A great family friendly restaurant. Once you are finished at the cafe, grab a pass to head to the Wild Life park to see more Australian wildlife, crocodiles, snakes and so much more.

The best place on the island to get up close and personal with the wildlife. Wildlife Hamilton Island hosts a great buffet breakfast where you can sit and eat whilst watching the koala's snack on gum leaves beside you, with gorgeous rosella's flying all around.  A great family friendly restaurant. Once you are finished at the cafe, grab a pass to head to the Wild Life park to see more Australian wildlife, crocodiles, snakes and so much more.

The best place on the island to get up close and personal with the wildlife. Wildlife Hamilton Island hosts a great buffet breakfast where you can sit and eat whilst watching the koala's snack on gum leaves beside you, with gorgeous rosella's flying all around.  A great family friendly restaurant. Once you are finished at the cafe, grab a pass to head to the Wild Life park to see more Australian wildlife, crocodiles, snakes and so much more.

The best place on the island to get up close and personal with the wildlife. Wildlife Hamilton Island hosts a great buffet breakfast where you can sit and eat whilst watching the koala's snack on gum leaves beside you, with gorgeous rosella's flying all around.  A great family friendly restaurant. Once you are finished at the cafe, grab a pass to head to the Wild Life park to see more Australian wildlife, crocodiles, snakes and so much more.

Pool Terrace – Reef view hotel 

Only available to guests of Palm Bungalows and Reef View Hotel.

  • Open 7 days
  • Breakfast 6 am – 10:30 am (Only Reefview or Palm Bungalows)
  • Fully Licensed
  • Part of the Kids Stay Eat free offer (Palm Bungalows and Reef View Hotel)
  • Located in the Reef view hotel, this family-friendly restaurant is located on the pool’s edge. The Pool terrace is open for a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Long Pavilion – Qualia 

Only available to Qualia guests.

  • Australian Menu
  • Breakfast 6:30 am – 10:30 am
  • Evening 6 pm – aLate
  • Fully Licensed
  • Child Free (16 and over)

Pebble Beach – Qualia 

Only available to Qualia guests.

  • Poolside menu 10 am – 5 pm
  • Lunch 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • Evening 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
  • Fully Licensed
  • Child Free (16 and over)
  • Open Wednesday – Monday
  • Smart Casual/resort wear

Beach Club restaurant 

Only available to guests of Beach Club restaurant.

  • Open 7 days
  • Breakfast 6 am – 10:30 am (Only Reefview or
  • Fully Licensed
  • Part of the Kids Stay Eat free offer (Palm Bungalows and Reef View Hotel)
  • Located in the Reef view hotel, this family-friendly restaurant is located on the pool’s edge. The Pool terrace is open for a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Snacks and Bars

One Tree Hill 

  • Drinks and snacks
  • Family friendly

If you want the perfect spot to sit and have a light snack and drink then the bar at the top of One tree hill is well worth a visit. Whilst it has a steady stream of people, on sunset is when it gets very busy with everyone wanting to sit up the top with a drink in hand to watch the majestic Hamilton Island sunset.

The only food on offer is Antipasta plates, Turkish bread or other snacks.

If you want the perfect spot to sit and have a light snack and drink then the bar at the top of One tree hill is well worth a visit. Whilst it has a steady stream of people, on sunset is when it gets very busy with everyone wanting to sit up the top with a drink in hand to watch the majestic Hamilton Island sunset.

If you want the perfect spot to sit and have a light snack and drink then the bar at the top of One tree hill is well worth a visit. Whilst it has a steady stream of people, on sunset is when it gets very busy with everyone wanting to sit up the top with a drink in hand to watch the majestic Hamilton Island sunset.

If you want the perfect spot to sit and have a light snack and drink then the bar at the top of One tree hill is well worth a visit. Whilst it has a steady stream of people, on sunset is when it gets very busy with everyone wanting to sit up the top with a drink in hand to watch the majestic Hamilton Island sunset.

 

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