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Favorite Disney Restaurants

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Favorite Disney Restaurants

Ahhhhh, Disney. The most magical place on earth! At the time this blog will go live, my husband and I will be on our seventh trip to Disney together, and you can be sure we’re already planning on going back soon! As much as we love the parks, resorts, and shopping areas, one of our favorite parts about Disney is the food!

One of the most frequently asked questions we get when people find out our unrelenting love for Disney is: where are your favorite places to eat? Eating in Disney can sometimes be hit or miss, and it’s never fun to “waste” a meal on a not-so-great dining experience!

So in honor of our trip, today, I’m sharing our four favorite restaurants on Disney property, why we love them, and what you can expect pricing and experience-wise when eating there!

1. Trattoria al Forno

Photo source:  Easy WDW

Photo source: Easy WDW

Whether you dine for Brunch, lunch, or dinner, expect your food and service to be outstanding! Nestled on the corner of Disney’s Boardwalk, Trattoria al Forno serves Italian cuisine and features an open kitchen design. Here, you’ll discover the diversity of Italian food, with well-known favorites and authentic dishes.

We first tried this restaurant on our honeymoon, and every time we’ve visited Disney since, we’ve always made plans to eat here! Everything we’ve eaten there for both breakfast and lunch has been outstanding. We especially love their artisan pizzas!

Location: Disney’s Boardwalk

Cuisine: Italian

Price: Moderate

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

2. California Grill

Photo Source: Orlando  Sentinel

Photo Source: Orlando Sentinel

If you’re looking for a location at Disney to celebrate a special occasion, look no further than Disney’s California Grill! Located at the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the California Grill overlooks Magic Kingdom, giving guests a unique view of a Disney classic. This restaurant features a wide variety of cuisine from around the world, with American Seafood, and Sushi staples. Included any reservation is the exclusive opportunity to watch Magic Kingdom’s fireworks and light show from the rooftop!

We’ve only dined at Disney’s California Grill once, on our honeymoon, and we had an amazing experience! When we arrived (early) for our reservation, we were seated in a cocktail area and brought drinks and ordered some hoerderves. We were seated (early!) at our table, and experienced one of the best meals we’ve ever had. We both opted for a mango chicken dish, which was cooked to perfection! It was a little small portion-wise, but it left us room for a complimentary crème Brule, which they kindly gave us as a celebration of our honeymoon!

Location: Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Cuisine: American, Seafood, Sushi, and other rotating global cuisine

Price: High

Meals: Brunch, Dinner

3. Nine Dragons Restaurant

Photo Source:  Meal Trip

Photo Source: Meal Trip

The Nine Dragons Restaurant is a large restaurant located in the heart of Epcot, China that features Pan-Chinese cuisine in an authentically decorated space! You can expect traditional favorites, along with new dishes and flavor combinations.

This restaurant had some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had, and I know for SURE that it was THE best Chinese food Nick has ever had! He literally checks their online menu every few weeks to make sure they have his favorite dish: “Typhoon Shelter Shrimp.”

Location: Epcot China

Cuisine: Pan-Chinese

Price: Moderate

Meals: Lunch, Dinner


4. Whispering Canyon Café

Photo Source:  Mission Food

Photo Source: Mission Food

Don’t let the name fool you: there’s anything but whispering happening here! This family friendly restaurant is located inside Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge Resort and has all sorts of antics going on! Yelling, hollering, running, and ketchup corralling are just a few of the noteworthy items you might expect here.

This is my favorite restaurant when it comes to experience! It’s super casual, so fun, and the food is delicious too!

Location: Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Cuisine: American & Barbeque

Price: Moderate

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Have you been to Disney? What restaurants would you recommend? Leave a comment below!

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Wedding Photography Bucket List

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Wedding Photography Bucket List

We all have those crazy, far fetched dreams - bucket list items, if you will - that don’t seem real until you put them out into the world. The more I’m alive the more I realize how much of a team sport life is - I’m learning over and over that I can’t do it all on my own. Sure, that might seem obvious to some who are naturally awesome team players, but the control-freak inside of me wants to do it all on my own. I think starting a business points to the fact that, sometimes, you have to be willing to do it all on your own.

But that doesn’t mean you have to stay there.

And it doesn’t mean I have to stay there.

So today, I want to share one of my huge wedding photography dreams with you! If you’ve been following along on the blog or over on Instagram, you might’ve caught onto the fact that my husband and I are BIG Disney fans. We’ve gone a total of three times since we’ve been married (don’t worry, we’re still big time killing our debt!), and we’ll have only been married for three years in August. We talk about going other places for vacation, but somehow, we always seem to end up asking each other, “what if we just went to Disney?!?”

You might be wondering, what does Disney have to do with your wedding photography dream?

Well… the current biggest item on my wedding photography bucket list is to photograph a wedding on Disney property. At one of the resorts, or in the parks - but, the ultimate dream would be to photograph a wedding at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort!

We recently went down to Orlando (February of 2018) and for the last few days of our trip, we treated ourselves to a few nights at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. It wasn’t the first time we had stayed there (actually, it was the third!) but every time we walk away loving it more and more. And GUESS WHAT:

One evening as we were strolling around on the Boardwalk at twilight, eating some free ice cream samples (we might be able to afford staying at the cheapest room at the Boardwalk by a hair but affording the food is a whole ‘nother story!) I saw a white vision out of the corner of my eye and whipped around to see a bride, a groom, and a photographer all walking towards the “Dance Hall” reception venue on the boardwalk. I immediately told Nick “we’re following them” and as he started to protest how much of a creep I was being (which, I totally admit, I was) I pulled him along with me and we walked behind the threesum all the way to their venue, watching as they stopped to take photos against the gorgeous Boardwalk Bay along the way.

I was being a little bit of a creep, but I realized something that night: how much I want to photograph a wedding at the Boardwalk. It seems a little silly to even type because I know how much of a long shot it is without family or friends in the area to pass along my name, but nonetheless - it’s still a dream, and if it’s meant to be, it will be!

I also thought this would be the perfect time to share a few of my favorite photos from our anniversary photo session at the Boardwalk for our first year of marriage (taken in November of 2016). Enjoy (and see some of the little reasons why we love the Boardwalk so much!)

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Kim & Darren: Myrtle Beach Couple Photography

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Kim & Darren: Myrtle Beach Couple Photography

Do you ever have one of those days (or... months?) where you just cannot wait to get away? February was one of those for me.

I have to admit, I'm not much of a beach person, but getting some sand between my toes in the off-season is one of my favorite ways to relax. While I'm not a big beach-sitter, I do love to walk on the beach and be reminded of my smallness (oceans will do that to you, I suppose). At any rate, Nick and I were extremely fortunate to be able to travel down to Myrtle with some of his co-workers and their spouses. We relaxed, walked, went the spa, hot tubbed (I think I made that up), and even had the chance to take some photos of Nick's coworker, Darren, and his beautiful wife Kim! You might recognize these two from their Geneva College engagement session last fall.

When Kim asked if I would be willing to snap some photos of her and Darren on our trip, I was THRILLED. If there's anything I know to be true about Kim, it's that she LOVES the beach. I'm not sure I know of anyone who loves the beach more than her, actually (quite a contrast to me!) - and I love the idea of taking photos of her with the person she loves most in one of the places she loves most. That's what it's all about!!!

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Outerbanks, NC

These photos have been put on the backburner for a while now. Who knew summer could be so busy (with awesome stuff, nonetheless)! As the saying goes - better late than never! 2013-08-07_0010.jpg 2013-08-07_0019.jpg 2013-08-07_0016.jpg 2013-08-07_0012.jpg 2013-08-07_0015.jpg 2013-08-07_0013.jpg 2013-08-07_0014.jpg 2013-08-07_0017.jpg 2013-08-07_0018.jpg 2013-08-07_0011.jpg

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Delaware & New York City

These past few months of summer have provided me with more travel opportunities than ever before in my short life! From Ireland to the Outer Banks to a family reunion in Deleware with a day trip to New York City – I have been more than blessed. And thank God I have had a camera at my side the entire time! Something I truly love about bringing my camera along on my adventures is capturing a place I’ve never been before from a unique perspective – my own. Sure, it’s one thing to look at photos of a place and dream of going there, but it’s another to actually go and photograph it for yourself. Somehow, it makes that place and the people you experienced it with a little closer to your heart.

So for that reason - here's to many more adventures.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="249,250,246,248,247,251,261,252,253,254,256,255,258,259,262,263,257,260"] ©Jenna Hidinger Photography

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Adventure is Necessary | Ireland

“Adventure is a need.” – Toba Beta A week ago today I returned from one of the greatest adventures of my life – a two-week trip through the beautiful country of Ireland.

And I hardly know where to begin.

Let me first start off by saying that I have never been a person who liked change. I have been known to be the type of person who craves a life of routine and stability, opposed to a life of uncertainty and adventure. (Lame, I know). Though I had been abroad once before (to Kenya), this was the first time I would be traveling outside of the country with a group of people I barely knew. And, to be honest – I was a little nervous. But after only a few days into the trip I knew that I had no reason to be. To be honest (again), I couldn’t have asked for a more awesome group of people to experience Ireland with. I love hanging out with people who have the same passion for photography as I do, and who inspire me to keep on shooting day after day. This trip has shown me that change is, in fact, not just good, but necessary. Change (and adventure, for that matter) gives life a bit of a new perspective, and helps us see things in a different light, or through a different lens, if you will. As Miriam Beard once said, “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

A few of my favorite moments:

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