Monday, November 15, 2010

The Dining Experience

As a therapist, one thing I've noticed about so many people (sometimes myself included) is that we are too busy and too stressed out to really experience anything.  What do you think of when I say the word "experience"?  To me, to truly experience something is to take it all in with as many of your senses as possible.  See it, hear it, touch it, taste it, smell it.  Then use your senses to take all that information within yourself and create a memory or an experience.  So often, we rush through our lives and miss out on some amazing experiences.  One that we do this so often with is eating.  How often do you eat on the run?  My family does it way to much.  We are in a hurry to get somewhere or move on to the next thing on our agenda, so we grab a quick bite and really don't experience our food at all.  Sometimes I think that if we did that more often, we would realize that what we eat in a rush isn't that good! 

Disney truly gets the dining experience.  If you take the time to have a sit down table service meal in a Disney park or resort, you will find that if you allow yourself to have the experience, it will create lasting memories.  The sights, sounds, smells, texture and taste of the food is all enhanced by Disney magic as well as all the hard work of Imagineers who take the time to find a way to immerse you in your dining experience, just like they do in your park/ride experience. 

Take for example our recent visit to the newly opened Via Napoli, in the Italian pavilion of Epcot's World Showcase.  It is tucked into the back of the pavilion and looks like it has been there all along, even though it only opened late this year.  The building is beautiful, with some amazing details both inside and out, including a gorgeous outdoor patio seating area.  Inside you find beautiful decor and the amazing wood burning stoves used to prepare their wonderful pizza.

The whole atmosphere really added to the experience of a different kind of Italian eatery.  The Italian wait staff were wonderful, some speaking heavily accented English, others very little English at all.  They made you feel at home, were very attentive, and wanted you to have a great experience.  Then of course, there was the food.  We are pizza lovers in my family, and I have to say, this had to be one of the absolute best pizzas I've had in a very long time.  The salad had an incredible flavor, and dessert was not planned but once we read about it, we had to try it! 

As Remy, from Disney & Pixar's Ratatouille suggests, I savored every bite, eating as slowly as possible and really taking it all in.  And it was worth the time to have the experience. 
There are so many amazing Disney dining experiences, and I will definitely share more with you in future posts, particularly when talking about how Disney nourishes the mind, body and spirit.
So do you have a favorite dining experience?  If so, please share in the comments.  Thanks for reading and don't forget to take the time to experience your life!


  1. And to get more Disney dining experiences vicariously every day, check out the Disney Food Blog at !

  2. you guys go every year, right? at what age do you think the little ones enjoy it best? we want to go sometime soon we think. :)


  3. We do try to go every year, and have done that for the past several years. Actually, Payton's first trip to Disney was when he was 2! And he really enjoyed it and we had a good time. If you take a little one that age, it's definitely a good idea to stay on property so you can go back and take naps and still be able to enjoy evening activities. After his first trip, we didn't go back until his 5th birthday which was a blast!