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The Week of Christmas:

#1 User is offline   Mr. Disney 

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 05:33 PM

From the week of Christmas:

Nine Dragons Epcot

The newly refurbished Nine Dragons restaurant at Epcot is a decent change. The dťcor is more contemporary and far from overdone. However, the tables are very close together, about 5 or 6 inches apart. It feels as though youíre sitting with your neighbors. A privet conversation is practically impossible.

The food has improved slightly. Gone are the dishes with unusually hard chick peas and peanuts. Portions wonít disappoint but some will find the menu limited, especially with desserts. One interesting menu item is the sesame chicken. Itís the exact same dish thatís served at Lotus Blossom, except the Nine Dragonís portion is smaller, and the price is $15.95 compared to $7.95 next door.

Like many Epcot restaurants, the dessert menu is limited. Ginger cake, cheesecake, or strawberry ice cream are your choices. As our server explained, ginger cake isnít typically found in China. I had the strawberry ice cream. Itís not that I donít like ginger. I like ginger bread, ginger snaps, ginger ale even. Ginger ale comes from Canada of course, sometimes England. But I just donít make the connection to a Chinese cake.

Crowds During Christmas Week:

As New Yearís Eve approached, so did the crowds. During Spectromagic and Wishes, the backstage area behind Main St. USA was opened. Gates by Tonyís Town Sq. restaurant, The Plaza restaurant, and Buzz Light Year were opened to guests. Several cast members were there assisting. Managers were on hand forbidding anyone from taking pictures of the backstage area. I was caught taking a picture of a backstage sign. A manager came charging at me like the cop from the Termintor II movie. (the last pic in the set attached below is the one I got in trouble for taking)

A smart move on Disneyís part was holding extra magic hours for all the parks on Dec. 29 and 30. By having all the parks opened to resort guests, crowds were low at opening since guests were spread out among the 4 parks. We chose the Magic Kingdom. FastPass machines were not operational until mid-morning to prevent ticket distribution during non-crowded times. Although this was a little upsetting, I certainly understand why it was done. Until about 10:30a, the most we waited for an attraction was 20 minutes. I know itís an expense issue, but Disney should consider having extra magic hours for all four parks rather than just one. The massive flood of guests incorrectly thinking they will have the parks to themselves for an hour never made any sense to me.

The Spa at Saratoga Springs

The spa at Saratoga springs falls short of other hotel spas and itís expensive. With fees equal to Bellagio in Las Vegas, the spa is small, lacks amenities of similarly priced spas. The robes were scratchy and cheap, and the towels are the same ones given out at the guest pools. Only bottled water was available to drink, no juice etc., and refreshments were limited. No spa attendant is on duty. Should you need something, youíll need to pick up a house phone and contact the front desk. Overall, itís not terrible, but itís prices are the same as full service, destination spas.[/img][img][img][/img]
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#2 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 10:53 AM

Thanks for the report :lol:

#3 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 09:16 PM

Thanks for the report. I've heard good things about the Spat at Saratoga Springs. In fact, I believe it is highly rated among the other spas onsite.

#4 User is offline   MaxiBarns 

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:37 AM

I'm a bit of a spa junkie. I had the same reaction to Saratoga Springs. I have been to both GF and SS they both are decent, the service is kind, but the thing that bothered me most about Saratoga was the waiting area. You sit in a room that people use as a hallway to go to and from the exercise not relaxing. I have also been in there when kids (under 12) were in the waiting room w/their parents. This one little boy kept saying, "Daddy, I can't believe you are NAKED, under that robe." I thought it was funny, but not what I envision when I am going to a spa to relax.

Thanks for the trip details.


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