ADP Live From Disney World
Posted 03 August 2009 - 08:07 AM
We are headed out the door to EPCOT this morning. We want to stroll around World Showcase later today and take another whirl on the Kim Possible adventure.
Tonight we are going to the Polynesian beach to meet with fellow Polynesian enthusiasts. We plan on having Dole Whips. I'm sure it will remind me a lot of our May experience before the podcast cruise.
Last night we had our dinner at Boma. I must say, it was very good. The food, as you would expect, was very spicey. Kim and Anna loved the Mac & Cheese served at the restaurant. Quite honestly, so did I. Don't get me wrong, the other food was very good as well.
After we left Steve, Tara, Darby, and Kai (our friends) we headed for the Magic Kingdom. The Magic Kingdom had evening Extra Magic Hours last night. They were open until 2:00AM, but we only made it until Midnight.
I took a couple pictures of Cinderella Castle last night. They are a little dark.
They did turn out rather spooky though.
One of the things we did last night was visit the character tent. Anna wanted to see the Princesses. We decided since the parade was going on we would see how long the wait would be. We only waited about 5 minutes. Since so many people were watching the Spectromagic parade we were able to breeze right through the line. If you ever want to experience an attraction with a long wait time just do it during a parade or fireworks. The lines are much, much shorter.
We may not be back to the resort this afternoon considering today's schedule. I'll have pictures and more from EPCOT and the Polynesian beach tonight.
Posted 03 August 2009 - 08:08 AM
That's perfectly fine Maureen. Feel free to use any of them.
Posted 03 August 2009 - 10:55 AM
Posted 03 August 2009 - 10:22 PM
It was good seeing you guys Matt. My chicken salad wasn't too bad. There were a lot of chicken strips in it. It was a very good portion. When I go back I'll probably get it again.
Posted 03 August 2009 - 10:38 PM
We are back from a very long day at EPCOT and the Polynesian resort. It was a great day despite some rain we encountered later in the afternoon.
The crowds at EPCOT were moderate today for early August. By 1:00PM the heat and humidity started to reer it's ugly head. Typically, we would have headed back to our resort for an afternoon break, but because we had an informal meet planned at the Polynesian we wanted to just head over there after we left EPCOT.
We started our day in the club lounge where we enjoyed our breakfast. I got a few photos of the club lounge. I'll post the food offerings later this week.
After breakfast we took the bus from AKV to EPCOT. We arrived around 9:45 and immediately went to get fastpasses for Soarin. The return time was already at 1:25PM. No problem though, since we were going to be around EPCOT most of the day.
As I mentioned earlier, I felt the crowds at EPCOT were pretty moderate for this time of year. Here were a few of the posted wait times around Noon. The 100 minute wait time for Test Track is rather high.
While we were in the Land pavillion today I took notice of the hot air balloons at the top center of the pavillion. Have you ever noticed how they represent each season of the year Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. A very nice detail.
After we rode Soarin, Figment, and Nemo and got cooled off we headed to World Showcase to play Kim Possible. Our mission started in China. We did 3 missions in 3 different countires; China, Germany, and France. I thought Germany had the best mission of all the missions we've done in the past. I won't spoil it for you, so don't ask.
Here's where we picked up our Kimunnicator in the Norway pavillion.
On our way around World Showcase I had to stop in the France bakery for a Napoleon. It tasted just as good as the last time I had one in May.
This dessert is the bomb. I love them.
It started to rain so we decided to head for the front of the park. On our way past the International Gateway I snapped this photo of the landscaped spider near the back entrance of EPCOT.
We needed to catch the monorail from EPCOT to the TTC and transfer to the Magic Kingdom resort monorail. This was our way to the Polynesian. We love the monorail ride from EPCOT to the TTC. It's one of the best rides in all of Disney World.
When we arrived at the Polynesian we grabbed a quick bite to eat. We relaxed in the Great Ceremonial House until 8:00PM when our informal gathering would start behind the Hawaii longhouse on the Polynesian beach. The gathering was for fans of Disney's Polynesian resort called Tikifest hosted by Steve Seifert. We enjoyed having dinner with Steve and his family at Boma last night. It was one of the highlights of our trip. This Thursday night we will have an Illuminations dessert party at EPCOT. Tonight there were several give-a-ways and we got to meet several friends and new people.
The Polynesian is my favorite resort on Disney property. Despite the rain earlier today the clouds started to part and made way for a beautiful sunset from the Polynesian beach.
I was very fortunate tonight. I won one of the grand prizes. A hand carved wooden tiki almost half the size of me. It was carved by the same person who carved many of the tikis you'll find at the Polynesian Resort. It's something I'll treasure forever. Everytime I look at it I'll be reminded of Steve's family, Tikifest, and our 2009 trip to Walt Disney World. Thanks a million Steve!
Now...How do I get it home?
Today was a long and exciting day. Tomorrow we plan on taking it easy and staying close to the resort. Our plan is to sleep in, go over to the Kidani Village fitness center and workout, and then spend some time at the pool. Tomorrow night we are going over to the Boardwalk to eat, shop and take in some of the free entertainment along the way. It should be a relaxing day.
I hope to do a lot of this.
The Kidani Village fitness center
Photos of the Kilimanjaro Club food offerings
Posted 04 August 2009 - 04:00 PM
We are back from our day. We took the walking path from Jambo House to Kidani Village. We used the fitness center, locker rooms, and spent a good chunk of the afternoon at the Kidani Village pool complex. The weather was pretty good today. The sun was in and out most of the afternoon, but we still got a lot of sun.
We slept in and then walked down to the club lounge for some breakfast. Afterwards we came back to our room, changed for the fitness center, and packed our pool bags.
We took the walking path between the two AKV resorts. Something new I noticed the other day during my run was new signage directing you to Kidani Village and Jambo House. On the signs there are questions about animals. When you get to the next sign you will find the answer. Pretty cool!
We arrived at the fitness center at around 11:30AM. The center has quite a few lifting machines and a decent amount of cardio equipment. There's also rows of barbells which we used to do some free weight lifting. The one thing we really enjoyed about the fitness center was the floor to near ceiling windows most of the way around the room.
Here are some photos of the fitness center
The locker rooms are located across from the fitness center. They are very nice; however, there's only 1 very large shower in each room.
After we finsihed our workout we changed and headed down to the pool area. We really enjoy this pool. It was crowded today. Kidani Village is only half open. I'm afraid when the entire resort opens this pool is going to be crowded all the time. There may not be enough personal space in the actual pool for everyone.
Water play area
At 2:00PM pool activities start. Some pretty nice prizes are awarded. Activities included hula hooping, chicken dancing, and bingo.
We left the pool around 3:45. We walked back to Jambo House. We are headed down to the club lounge for a quick bite to eat. Afterwards we are going to the Boardwalk. We'll probably stop over at Beaches and Cream for some ice cream later provided the weather cooperates.
More to come!
Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:59 PM
We had a change of plans tonight. Instead of heading to the Boardwalk Kim and Anna decided they wanted to see G-Force. So we headed to Downtown Disney. I had my eyes on a few things I needed to pick-up for our Labor Day meet in Indy. I picked up what I needed in the Marketplace.
Before we left for Downtown Disney we ate in the club lounge. The food offerings change each night, but are on a 7 day schedule. Here are some photos of the hot and cold food offerings served between 5:00 and 7:00PM.
Beer, pop, and milk are available in a small refrigerator around the corner. There is Bud Light, 2 African beer selections, and Heiniken.
One of the benefits of staying club level is daily maid service and evening turndown service. Even though DVC members are not supposed to get daily maid service and evening turndown service you get these benefits when you stay club level at AKV as a DVC member on points.
Here's our view from the 6th floor club lounge overlooking the AKL lobby.
I actually walked over to the West Side tonight. I had not been over there for a few years. It's changed a bit. During my walk from the Marketplace through Pleasure Island I saw a close-up of the new Characters in Flight balloon.
After the movie we caught the AKL bus from the Pleasure Island bus depot. When we got back to our room a package we had delivered from EPCOT yesterday was waiting for us. It was the poster we had made for Anna in the Kodak Imagination Labs.
Tomorrow morning we are headed over to the Animal Kingdom. We want to watch the Finding Nemo stage show and take a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris. Tomorrow night Kim and I are headed to Narcoosees for dinner. Anna will be in the AKL kids club.
More to come!
Photos in and around the Animal Kingdom Lodge
Dinner at Narcoosees
Posted 05 August 2009 - 07:49 AM
We are headed out the door for the Animal Kingdom. We hope to catch the Nemo show, ride the safari, and catch a ride on Expedition Everest.
I'll be back later with more.
Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:32 PM
We are back from our morning/afternoon at the Animal Kingdom. We were able to travel to Rafiki's Planet Watch, ride on Kilimanjaro Safari, and experience the Finding Nemo show.
Our day started in the AKL club lounge. We enjoyed our breakfast in the lounge. The offerings include oatmeal, Quinoa, fruit, pastries, bagels, cereal, and drinks. Here are some photos of the food offerings for breakfast.
We arrived at the Animal Kingdom around 9:30AM. The crowds weren't too bad, but you could tell things would get crowded quickly.
We tried out the new centralized fastpass system. It's located next to the entrance to "It's Tough to be a Bug". We got fastpasses for Kilimanjaro Safari at the new fastpass station. Currently, you can only get Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, and Kilimanjaro Safari at the new fastpass station. There are signs telling you which attaction goes to which fastpass machine.
Matt, you guys should consider doing a WDW Today show about the new centralized fastpass system. It seems to have it's pluses and minuses. I wonder if Disney has some other reason for trying to implement a system like this.
Here's a photo of the new centralized fastpass station.
After we got our fastpasses we headed back to Africa where we caught the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch. Anna wanted to see some characters and experience the petting zoo. One of the things you will see while on the train to Rafiki's is a lot of the backstage area of the animal holding areas.
We caught up with the characters at Conservation Station. Rafiki, Jimminy Cricket, and Poccohontis were out.
We made our way outside to the petting zoo where we saw something kind of strange, but amazing at the same time. Some of the goats had hidden Mickey's and Minnie's cut out of their fur.
We left Rafiki's and it was time to use our fastpasses for Kilimanjaro Safari. Our wait was only 5 minutes.
During our safari we got very close to a few giraffes.
After the safari we walked over to the Theater in the Wild where the Finding Nemo show takes place. This show is worth the price of admission into the Animal Kingdom. It's very well done and very creative.
On our way over to the theater I snapped a photo of Expedition Everest in the distance.
After the Finding Nemo show it began to rain. We were planning on leaving the park anyway so we high-tailed it back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We made our way over to the club lounge where I was surprised to see how extensive the afternoon snack offerings were in the lounge. There were 2 kinds of warm cookies, rice krispy treats, potato chips, trail mix, goldfish crackers, dried fruit, and drinks. The lounge also offers something called an African Smoothie; which I must tell you is very, very, very sweet. It's so sweet I can't even drink it. If you want a quick sugar rush go have a glass, otherwise avoid it all together.
Here's a photo of the afternoon offerings at the club lounge.
We are now back in our room. Tonight Kim and I are headed to the Grand Floridian for dinner at Narcoosees. This will be the first time we've ever dined there. We are really looking forward to it. Anna is going to be spending this time in the Animal Kingdom Lodge kid's club called Simba's Clubhouse. I'll have more about our experience later.
More to come!
Posted 05 August 2009 - 10:20 PM
We are back from our evening at Narcoosees. We had an incredible evening. Let me just say there are certain things that can happen at Walt Disney World that you will never forget, and for us tonight was one of them.
We dropped Anna off at Simba's Clubhouse around 5:45PM. We headed for the AKL bus depot and took the bus to the Magic Kingdom. We decided it was such a nice night we would take the boat over to the Grand Floridian. While waiting for the boat I snapped this picture of the Grand Floridian from afar.
We took the boat over to the Grand Floridian where it dropped us off right by Narcoosees. Actually, it was Kim's idea to take the boat. It was a great idea and saved us a lot of time. We checked in 5 minutes before our ADR time and we were seated within 3 minutes. We had a seat right by the window with a beautiful view of the Contemporary, BLT, and the Magic Kingdom.
We both ordered a glass of house white Chardonay. We started with an appetizer of fried calamari. Narcoosees specializes in fish selections so the calamari didn't disappoint. It was delicious!
For our main dishes Kim ordered the free range chicken with mashed potatoes and spinach greens on the side. I ordered the filet mignon with scalloped potatoes and green beans.
Here's a photo of my entree.
After we finished our entree we decided we would split a dessert. We both agreed the strawberry shortcake sounded refreshing so we gave it a try.
We finished our dessert and received our bill. The total bill with the 20% Tables in Wonderland discount and 18% grauity came to $107. I felt the meal was worth the price; especially the company.
As we left Narcoosees Kim suggested we take the walking path from the Grand Floridian to the Polynesian. So we took a leisurly stroll along the walking path. Some of you may know along this walking path is Disney's Wedding Pavillion. We decided to stop along the way and look at the pavillion from the outside. We were surprised to see the gate was open so we decided to go inside the gate. We looked inside the main entrance and unbelievably the front door was open and the lights were on in the chapel. No one was there and the theme song to Beauty and the Beast was playing through the speakers. I was literally overwhelmed. Here we were inside Disney's wedding pavillion with no one there and great music in the background. We shared some words inside the pavillion I'll never say on these boards, but they were very special to us. It was something I'll never forget for the rest of my life.
Here are some photos from inside the wedding pavillion.
After we left the wedding pavillion we finished our walk to the Polynesian. We took the resort monorail to the Magic Kingdom where we caught the bus back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We had a great night. I couldn't imagine a better setting for our evening.
Anna had a great time at Simba's Clubhouse. The best compliment I can make for Simba's Clubhouse is Anna wants to go back tomorrow. I don't think that will happen, but it was nice to hear she had such a good time.
Tomorrow we plan to head back to EPCOT later in the day. Tomorrow night we have an Illuminations Dessert party planned in the Italy pavillion. We are looking forward to seeing many of our friends there.
More to come!
Illumnations Dessert Party
Posted 06 August 2009 - 11:37 AM
We are about ready to head out the door for today. We are going to EPCOT for the day. Tonight we are going to experience an Illuminations dessert party of the Italy pavillion. We are going to have a great viewing spot.
Tomorrow we are checking out of AKL and checking in over at Bay Lake Tower. Tomorrow night we are going to try the dessert party at the Magic Kingdom. Between the desserts tonight and tomorrow night we should be on a sugar high come Saturday. :lmao:
Our hope is to take our time walking around World Showcase today.
More to come!
Posted 07 August 2009 - 08:59 AM
We got back late last night so I'm writing yesterday's experiences this morning. We stayed at EPCOT for EMH until 11:30AM.
Before we left yesterday to head to EPCOT we walked around AKL to see some of the animals and African art. AKL has the most extensive African art collection in North America. The centerpiece of the art collection is the head dress or mask. It's the largest in the world.
AKL also does a lot with story. Here's one example.
One of the centerpieces of activitiy at AKL is this firepit located out back. African storytelling can be found here each night with an African guide.
We left for EPCOT around 1:30PM. When we arrived we made a stop in the Art of Disney. I noticed a new experience guests can take advantage of in the store. You can have an artist sketch your favorite character and add a photopass picture next to it, have it framed, and matted. The frame and mat is $80 and the sketch is $35.
Here is the artist sketching Tow Mater.
Here's a look at the finished product from a different order.
Later in the day we decided to try and get into Chef's De France to see Remy and have dinner. When we walked up to the check-in desk at Chef's De France around 3:00PM they said they were booked for the day. No more ADRs were available. I decided to call Disney Dining. I was able to get the reservation we wanted for 5:10PM for a party of 3.
Here are some pictures from Chef's De France.
I had 2 appetizers. One was the french onion soup and a bleu cheese salad.
Kim had a baked macaroni and cheese dish
At 5:20PM Remy came around to greet guests dining at the restaurant. He is fully animatronic. He interacts with guests and is very cool.
Our meal was very good. I really enjoyed the french onion soup. Our total bill with the 20% discount and 18% gratuity came to $52. Not bad for dinner. We left Chef's De France very satisfied.
After dinner we walked around World Showcase and headed for Test Track. We had fastpasses to use. We also brought a change of clothes with for the evening dessert party and Illuminations viewing. The dessert party was very good. It was nice to see so many friends we haven't seen in a year or so. The desserts were very good. Unfortunately, because it rainied a bit earlier in the evening the dessert party was moved inside on the second floor in Norway. We ate dessert for about 45 minutes and walked to the Italy pavillion later to view illuminations.\
Sorry, this picture came out a bit blurry.
We stayed at EPCOT until 11:30PM. We did get to catch up with friends and take another spin on Test Track.
This morning we are checking out of AKL and moving over to Bay Lake Tower for 2 nights. We can't wait to check out the resort. This evening we are meeting a group of friends to have a Dole Whip at the Magic Kingdom.
More to come!
Checking into Bay Lake Tower
Dole Whip Meet
Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:52 PM
We've checked into Bay Lake Tower. This place is pretty nice. There are certain aspects of it I don't like, but to each their own.
They did a really nice job with the pool area; although I believe the actual pool is too small for a resort of this size. The other pool amenities are very nice.
We walked around the resort earlier and took some photos.
Here is a shot of our room. We are in a studio, and unfortunately ended up on the 1st floor with a view of Bay Lake.
I love the Mickey art over the bed.
We made a stop in Community Hall. It's a small Community Hall, but it has some nice things to do for kids and adults.
We made a stop at the founders fountain outside the back of the resort near the pool. Founding members are listed on the fountain base.
The pool area is very nice; especially the water slide.
The Cove Pool Bar
Water play area for kids
Finally, here is a shot from the 5th floor walkway leading to the Contemporary resort.
We are headed out the door for the Magic Kingdom. We are going to grab a bite to eat, have our Dole Whip meet with several friends. Later on tonight we are attending the Wishes dessert party over at the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station. I'll pictures of our evening later.
More to come!
Posted 08 August 2009 - 12:21 AM
We are back from our evening at the Magic Kingdom. We met our friends at Aloha Isle for a Dole Whip. We hung out for a good 2 hours catching up with our lives. It was great seeing everyone again.
When we arrived at the Magic Kingdom we were a little hungry so we stopped at Pecos Bills. We noticed the new chairs inside the restaurant without the backs. The only good I saw from the new chairs were they take up less space and the tops of the chairs have cushions so at least your bottom is comfortable. By the way, the fixings bar at Pecos Bills is still as good as ever.
We left Pecos Bills and met up with our friends at Aloha Isle. Kim, Anna and I were so happy to see everyone again. Kathy, Alicia, Jen, Kim, Shelly, and Liz thanks for coming out and seeing us.
Liz (Iwishfordisney) was missing from the picture. I took the photo after she had left. Sorry Liz.
We left Aloha Isle at 8:15 and headed for the Tomorrland Terrace where our Wishes dessert party would take place. This is a great spot to watch the fireworks; however, I think charging people for a premium spot maybe wrong. I know you get dessert, but it just seems Disney is manufacturing experiences based on location.
When we arrived the line was already about 30 people deep. We were given a wristband and section letter while we waited in line by a cast member. We were section A. They started letting people into the dessert area at 9:00PM. When we walked in our table was waiting for us with our name on a tag. We had 1 hour to enjoy our desserts. Once Wishes started at 10:00PM they pulled the desserts, but left the drinks out for guests to enjoy.
I thought the desserts were fantastic. There was a huge assortmant of desserts. Coffee, lemonade, iced tea, and milk were served with dessert. The party was totally worth it in my opinion. Good food and we didn't have to fight for a viewing spot of Wishes. We really didn't want to watch the Spectromagic parade because we were too busy eating dessert during the parade. Hearing the music was nice though.
Here are a couple photos from the dessert party.
The dessert table
The drink station
Here is what the Spectromagic parade looked like from our vantage point.
The view of Wishes was specutacular as you would imagine from the Tomorrowland Terrace.
We stayed at the Magic Kingdom until 12:30. It was very nice knowing we had a short walk or monorail ride back to our resort at Bay Lake Tower. We decided to take the resort monorail, get off at the Contemporary and walk across the sky bridge. A very nice way to get back. It took us about 15 to 20 minutes to get to our room.
Another great day in the books. Tomorrow we don't have much planned. We're hoping to enjoy our resort most of the day and possibly head to Hollywood Studios. We also plan on going up to the Top of the World Lounge tomorrow night. I'll have pictures from the 15th floor and the lounge tomorrow night.
More to come!
Our day at Bay Lake Tower
Top of the World Lounge
Posted 08 August 2009 - 03:00 PM
We are back from the pool. We were pretty wiped out this morning so we decided to sleep in. When we finally got up we walked over to the Contemporary for a bite to eat at the Contempo Grab and Go. We then headed out to the pool and spent some time in Community Hall.
Anna showed me a thing or two on the foozball table.
One thing about the room we have at BLT. The shower has tremendous water pressure. It's too much pressure really. If you ever saw the Seinfeld episode where the Super replaces the shower heads in Jerry and Kramer's apartment building with low flow shower heads you know what I mean. Jerry and Kramer go out and buy a black market shower head used in the circus to wash elephants. The shower head in our room is very similar to their circus shower head. :lmao:
Here is a photo of the bathroom in our studio.
One other small quirk about our villa is the bathroom sink is located outside the bathroom around the corner near the kitchen area. You need to leave the bathroom in order to wash your hands or brush your teeth. all of that is done near the kitchenette.
Here's a photo of the kitchen/sink area.
Tonight we plan on heading up to the Top of the World Lounge. We're hopeful to see Wishes from the observation deck and enjoy some of the food offerings.
More to come!
Posted 08 August 2009 - 11:28 PM
We are back from our evening. We decided to walk up to Chef Mickey's and try and dine there. Although we waited longer than we wanted we were glad we did it. Chef Mickey's was good as usual. We got to see several characters and enjoyed the festive atmosphere the restaurant offers. The food was above average; although we were pretty hungry so everything probably would have tasted good.
After we dined at Chef Mickey's we headed straight for the 1st floor of Bay Lake tower where we needed to check-in to be escorted up to the Top of the World Lounge. It's located on the 16th floor of Bay Lake Tower. They serve light appetizers and have a full bar.
Let me just preface what I'm about to say by telling you this place is pretty exclusive and has an upscale feel to it. There are 2 observation decks; one on the Magic Kingdom side which is pretty large and the other on the Bay Lake side which is not so large. You get a great view of Bay Lake and the pool from the smaller deck.
We arrived at the lounge around 9:45, 15 minutes before the start of Wishes. The lounge was suprisingly not crowded at all. I was shocked to see only 30 or so people viewing the fireworks from the observation deck. We felt pretty fortunate to be up there with so few people. I'm not sure why more people were not up there, but maybe not enough people know about it since the resort is only 1 week old.
Here are some photos of the lounge. It is very elegant, exclusive, and has an upscale feel to it.
The center chandelier is very unique and different
The bar area. The background of the bar has a beautiful monorail mural that you can't see in this picture, but during the day it is lit up by the daylight.
There is a private space for a large party to sit and relax with great pieces of Tomorrowland art on the wall
More seating areas
As I said we had the opportunity to view wishes from the observation deck. The view is incredible as you would imagine. Music for the fireworks is pumped in from the Magic Kingdom. Here are photos and video from our perspective of Wishes tonight. It was very special and very incredible!
Here are a couple videos of tonight's Wishes show from the observation deck.
I don't have the best camera for capturing video, but you'll get the idea of the view when you see these videos.
Tomorrow is our last day in Orlando. We've had such a great and memorable time. We are amazed how everytime we come here we seem to experience so many different and new things. This time there were so many special moments for us. I'll reflect on some of them in my final post, but for now we still have tomorrow. We plan on possibly hitting 1900 Park Fare for breakfast and then going over to the Magic Kingdom for a few last minute attractions.
Here is one last photo tonight of the chandelier as you walk off the elevator on the 16th floor of Bay Lake Tower. Another great piece that makes this resort special.
More to come!
Posted 10 August 2009 - 10:14 AM
I just wanted to let you know we are back home safe and sound. I haven't posted the final day of our trip yet, but will soon. Right now I'm getting caught up with work, sleep and life back home.
More to come!
Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:37 PM
Sorry this is a bit late, but it was our last day so we wanted to get as much in as possible before our Magical Express bus pulled away from the Contemporary Resort.
Our bus was scheduled to depart at 4:30PM from the Contemporary so we still had the day in front of us. We decided to end our trip at 1900 Park Fare for breakfast. This is a character breakfast with Alice in Wonderland characters, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Mary Poppins located on the 1st floor lobby of the Grand Floridian resort.
The Grand Floridian lobby
The loudest Mad Hatter I've ever heard!
The food on the buffet was very good. There was a station for made to order omlettes. My only complaint was there are apparent cutbacks in the food offerings. There was nothing to put on top of our scrambled eggs like cheese, and veggies.
The restaurant is very noisey; especially with the Mad Hatter running around yelling. The ceilings are very high so it seem to echo pretty heavily.
Our total bill with the 20% discount and 18% gratuity was $54 for 2 adults and 1 child. A little expensive for breakfast. Our service was ok, but this was the one time I regretted telling our server we had a Tables in Wonderland card. I really felt our service was affected when the server knew she would get the 18% gratuity.
We paid our bill and decided to head over to the Magic Kingdom. We arrived around 11:00AM and the crowds were starting to file in. The Magic Kingdom was crowded. Sundays seem to be a busier day in the week. On our way to Adventureland we saw the piano player (I forget his name) getting his piano ready to play near the entrance to Casey's Corner.
During our time at the Magic Kingdom we experienced Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear, the Laugh Floor, and our final ride of our trip was Splash Mountain. I was glad we got to experience it because we didn't get the chance the entire trip. It was a great way to end our vacation.
As we were exiting the park we discovered we had a little more time so we stopped for some soft serve ice cream. We tried the orange dole whip. It is very good, but the bottom line is it's orange soft serve ice cream. Maybe eating it at the Magic Kingdom makes it taste better. I'm not sure, but it tasted very good on a hot day.
Here's the menu at Aloha Isle. The orange soft serve is not listed specifically. You need to ask for it as orange soft serve.
We headed back to the Contemporary and caught our Magical Express bus out front at 4:30. Surprisingly we ran into another Kim when the Magical Express bus picked up guests at the Polynesian. She was on the same bus as us, so we were able to catch up on our trip as we rode to the airport.
As usual we had a great time. I can handle 2 weeks of Orlando theme parks anytime. The only problem now is getting back to real life. The last 2 days have been hard. I was getting so used to the parks I think I saw Captain Jack Sparrow in our break room at work.
I'll have some final thoughts about our trip in my final entry. Let me leave you with a few pictures we took during our trip I haven't posted yet.
Anna with a Morrocan fez hat
Doing the Chicken Dance at the Kidani Village pool
And finally, I say it's ok to exercise while on vacation! Core exercises.
More to come!