Archive | Vacation RSS for this section

Halal Food at Disney World

It’s taken a few visits and some trial and error, but we had such a great experience with halal food throughout Disney when we went back to Disney World this past August (and with relatively minor hiccups).


First and foremost, it is very important to research and plan ahead of time what restaurants on the Disney property you are going to eat at, and make a reservation ahead of time. A lot of the reservations at the Disney restaurants fill up quickly months in advance, so plan ahead… and if it’s a last minute trip — keep looking — reservations do open up.


Most Walt Disney Parks and Resorts table service restaurants that accept reservations can accommodate Halal meals if requested at least 24 to 72 hours in advance. I would just suggest doing it about two weeks prior to your trip if possible, so you have time to go back and forth with any questions you may have. To request it, there is a Special Diets form you fill out and email to special.diets@disneyworld.com. In the form, be sure to include the restaurant names, reservation number(s), number of people in your party, and dates & times of your dining reservations. 


In my experience from August 2019, at each of the restaurants where I had made a prior reservation, as soon as I alerted a staff member upon arrival, I was told that the Chef would come out and speak to me and my guests so they could be sure to accommodate what we were looking for.


Here’s a few places we ate at during our most recent trip in August 2019:


At Chef Mickey’s, not only do you get to enjoy a variety of items in their buffet including things like guava pastries and Mickey Mouse waffles, but the halal steak and grilled chicken were absolutely delicious!

At Spice Road Table in Epcot, we enjoyed their steak

At Cosmic Ray’s in Magic Kingdom (this is a quick service restaurant, with no reservation required ahead of time). we had chicken and beef burgers that were served in a Mickey Mouse bun:

The best part is that the halal options are not just limited to the restaurants that require prior reservations — not only have I had halal meals delivered to my resort through room service, but I was told that halal meals are readily available at the following Theme Park Food & Beverage quick service locations with no advance notice needed:

Disney’s Animal Kin
gdom Theme Park:

  • Satu’li Canteen

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

  • ABC Commissary
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant


  • Sunshine Seasons
  • Restaurant Marrakesh and Spice Road Table (can vouch for this one – see above)

Magic Kingdom Park:

  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe  (can vouch for this one – see above) 
  • Tony’s Town Square

Texas Trip

Texas. What can I say about our trip? It was disgustingly hot. That pretty much summarizes the trip for me.

While our five day stay earlier this month was a lot of month, the heat and humidity more than took over the trip.

My brother Faraz and I have been there once before a couple of years ago to visit our uncle and his family; last time we went, it was May so we didn’t have to face the heat that time. Instead, we had to face their crazy, random, and unpredictable thunderstorms that year.

The night we got there, we had a BBQ. It was like 11 PM and it was around 100 degrees. If I lived in Texas (which would NEVER happen), I doubt I’d leave my air-conditioned house!

Last time my brother and I went, we went to the Sixth Floor Museum (from where JFK was shot). The musuem is really neat (for those interested in history and politics like we are), and I knew the rest of my family would like it too and so we made another trip. It was like the only tourist thing we got to do because everyday was packed with wedding festivities. I don’t know what else there is to see in Dallas, Texas anyways. Anyhow, the museum was a neat experience even the second time around. They did make changes this time around and now it comes with an audio tour.

Highlight of the trip? My cousin’s wedding.
Best food? Had the best bihari kababs (probably ever).
The downer? humidity.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

On Our Way to Texas

After months and months of planning, our trip to Texas is finally here!
Ironically, my uncle lived in Dallas for years, and always called all of our extended family to visit… and my brother, one of my cousins, and I were the only ones to go visit him now. My uncle just moved from there last month, and the WHOLE family is going to Dallas now.
It’s a family reunion of sorts… in a completely random area… because my cousin is getting married! Sitting here, at Newark airport, because yes, we arrived way too early anticipating both traffic on the way and long lines inside. Luckily, we got neither.
For the longest time, we weren’t sure who from our family would end up going because my mom just didn’t want to fly while my brothers and I didn’t want to drive (it’s TWO LONG DAYS WORTH OF DRIVING to get there). I was put to ease a few months ago when we finally booked our flights, etc.
I gotta say, I know the media over dramatizes everything… but boy did they do so for airport check-points. I don’t know if it was just a random occurrence (I’ll have to update after our trip back home), but it was like when we traveled before in the past. Take your shoes off, put your stuff through the scanners, walk through the metal detector. Simple, and easy. The only different thing was that the lady told me she would need to pat my hair down because I wore a hijab. Before I even put my stuff down though, she told me, so it wasn’t a big deal. Then she told ME to pat MYSELF down. Like come on, WHY are people complaining and making such a big deal out of nothing? If anything, people should be willing to go through extra security to ensure a safe flight, no?
Anyhow, back to our trip… besides all the wedding events and festivities of course, I am looking forward to going back to the Sixth Floor Museum and hopefully some other tourist spots. Not sure what there is exactly to see there, but if you have suggestions – I’d love to hear them!
Will update later, about to board for our flight! Most likely, I won’t update until at least our flight back home.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

What I Missed in Orlando, Florida

This is probably the last of my blog posts for the florida trip.

Here’s what i wanted to see/do, that i didn’t get to:

buzz lightyear (at magic kingdom)
spiderman (at universal studios)
cat in the hat (at universal studios)
ariel (magic kingdom)
the shuttle launch from a closer vicinity.

take a picture with:
snow white (i did see her from far though at magic kingdom)
winnie the pooh and tigger (stood in line forever, and then gave up)

men in black – stood in line forever, and had to leave because we were running late. we had to leave the park early that day to drive down to see the shuttle launch attempt (that was canceled).
simpsons – left park early cause of the shuttle launch attempt.

i heard neither were very good though.

eat at: the halal dairy queen (minutes away from our hotel)

oh, well… there’s always next time. 🙂

Orlando Favorites

I figured I’d do a separate post of favorites from the trip.

Favorite Meal:

My favorite meal was at “Adam’s Philly Steak & Gyros”, where we had lunch the afternoon of our flight. It served halal food, which was of course a plus… but best of all, the food was absolutely delicious… and the portions were large! Anyone in that area should definitely dine there. The only thing i was disappointed about was the fact that we didn’t get to go there until our last day… even though i had looked it before our trip.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many halal restaurants were near our hotel.

Favorite Theme Park:

my favorite theme park from the ones we saw was epcot (magic kingdom came a close second)… because of the shows we saw (the shuttle launch and soarin were my favorite!)

the part of epcot that features different countries was quite amazing as well – each country was very well represented!

also, considering the amount of people in the park that day – the restrooms were immaculate! i was definitely pleasantly surprised and quite happy (magic kingdom was the total opposite).

Favorite Ride:

from epcot – soarin
from magic kingdom – splash mountain

Favorite Show:

from universal studios – shrek, twister (my god, it was SO realistic!)
from magic kingdom – mickey’s musical

Favorite Picture:

My favorite picture would be the one of all sixteen of us at epcot right outside of the character spot (where i got a picture taken with mickey, minnie, goofy, donald duck, and goofy).

Favorite Character:

My favorite characters that i saw would have to be minnie mouse and cinderella!

Florida, Continued.

Monday, bright and early (8 AM), we went to epcot. This was the only day that all sixteen of us went to the same park. Epcot was probably my favorite park overall because of all the shows we watched.

at epcot, my favorite two rides were soarin’ and this other one (that i can’t remember the name of) where it simulated a shuttle launch and we end up at mars. in soarin’, we literally we’re soaring over los angeles – it was so cool!

Tuesday, we spent ALL day at magic kingdom (got to the park before 9 AM and got back to our hotel after midnight). The parades and fireworks at magic kingdom were beyond amazing… of all the fireworks i’ve seen, the fireworks at magic kingdom were beyond spectacular… a definite must-see!

The only major dissapointment from magic kingdom was that i didn’t get to take a picture with snow white or winnie the pooh/tigger. i saw snow white from far, and after waiting in line forever to take a picture with winnie the pooh and tigger – my brother faraz and i gave up to move on and do other things.

Wednesday was our day to sleep in (by which i mean waking up at 8:30 AM). We went out to eat lunch at “Adam’s Philly Steak & Gyros“, and it was my absolute favorite meal from our trip. the portions were large, the taste was delicious… and it served halal food!

from there, we went to the “Florida Mall” to go to the M&M’s World, which was really cool.

at that point we still had some time to kill before our flight, but we decided to go to the airport anyways so we could try to see the shuttle launch (that had been delayed AGAIN)… fortunately, that paid off because we finally saw it happen! there were a lot of people gathered towards the east of the airport (and we could see a lot of the workers gathering through the windows down by the planes as well).. and it was awesome to see the shuttle launch and follow the orange glowing streak as it headed up… it was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity!

soon after, we boarded our jetblue flights… not knowing of the crazy storm heading our way (and the tornado just south of us). after an over 2 hour flight delay, we were finally on our way. the first half hour or so of the flight was pretty scary as the lightening was still pretty strong (i was definitely concerned about flying in it). i mean if they were going to delay the flight over two hours because of the storm… what was another half hour or so? even worse, the pilot announces that we would be the first to take off after the storm (um, thanks? that makes me feel better… NOT!). Fortunately, everything went fine.

I can’t believe how fast the five days flew by! Don’t you hate when that happens?

Home Sweet Home

I’m finally back home… after like three weeks! Boy, am I exhausted. These past five days, especially, have been amazing! It was, by far, the best family vacation ever. Tiring, but amazing. We got back home at 4:30 in the morning! Our flight from Orlando to D.C. was delayed two hours… and then we went to our mamoo’s house real quick to pick up my luggage that i had left there from my trip to VA… and then finally left for the four hour drive home. I slept for most of the drive home… and went right to sleep when we got home – and didn’t wake up until 11:30! which is so not like me! even with all that sleep, i’ve been tired all day.

We flew on Jetblue… and i was pleasantly surprised. for some reason, i had the negative things i’ve heard in the past about it in my head… but flying for the first time on jetblue – my experience was good. the seats were roomy and comfortable, and the attendants were friendly.

Orlando was, plain and simple, absolutely AMAZING! There’s just no other way to describe it. Fortunately, the weather cooperated throughout our trip – we were very lucky! A crazy storm ended just as we got to our hotel the first night… and a crazy storm (including a tornado nearby) began once we were already on the plane… so aside from a 2+ hour flight delay… our trip entailed pretty much hot weather (the last day, with heat index it was like 116 degrees). during the days we were there, it was rain for like a few minutes sometimes in the evening… and then immediately clear up.

The first night we got there, we didn’t do much – just went out to eat at a halal chinese place. the rest of the days, however, were jam packed. Sunday, we went to universal studios early in the morning – where my favorite thing was the shrek 4D show and twister (SO realistic!). we left around five o’clock to drive 45 minutes away to the kennedy space center to see the shuttle launch. the weather was great until about 5-10 minutes before it was too launch… and then the storm clouds came. even though, there was no storm there – lightening was apparently visible within 10 miles… which caused the launch to be delayed another 24 hours.

while we were disappointed, we had no idea how annoyed and restless we would be when the 40 minute drive back to orlando would turn into a 4+ hour drive because of the heavy volume. man, i’ve never been more restless in my life! we knew then, that there was no way we would be attempting to come back the next day.

More on our days in epcot and magic kingdom, and the shuttle launch tomorrow (hopefully). it’s 10:20 right now, and i’m already exhausted… but going to try and hold off trying to sleep for another hour or so to avoid waking up crazy early.

Did i mention it was the best trip ever?

Virginia Today, Florida Tomorrow

I can’t believe i have been in virginia for two weeks! i came june 28th… and later today, my family and my cousins are driving down here as well because tomorrow we all go to florida, inshallah. All sixteen of us! When i say I CAN’T WAIT… i mean I CAN’T WAIT!! this week has been the longest week of my life because it’s gone soooo slow!

I’ve hung out with ajmal mamoo’s family mostly here in virginia, and it’s been a lot of fun! i’m definitely gonna miss them a lot!

Tomorrow at this time, we will be at the airport… i’m SO excited!

Florida, here we come!

I can’t wait! Hotels and airfare are taken care of finally… and i can’t wait to go to florida next month! we’re going with some of our extended family… about fifteen of us will be going… and inshallah it should be a lot of fun!!!

We plan on going to Disney… and spend a day at the Kennedy Space Center as well.

Three-Fourths DONE!

I’m DONE! I had my last final this morning and now I’m unofficially a senior at Rutgers! I am three-fourths done undergrad… wow, that’s pretty weird.

Even weirder is the fact that i started receiving information about my graduation a couple of days ago… even though that is still a year away (but i’m sure it’ll fly by)!

anyways, summer vacation is FINALLY here!

I don’t really have many extensive plans so far for the summer, but I’m looking forward to going to Disney with some of my family from my mom’s side in june… and of course going to Canada as we always do… I am also definitely looking forward to enjoying some down time!

P.S. Happy Birthday Shakil Bhai and Popi Baji!