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View Full Version : A Very Mickey Christmas Trip Report: ***DAY FIVE JUST ADDED ***


Viki
12-12-2005, 06:26 PM
I am going to have photos - really, lots and lots of them. In fact my partner, Gwen, was up at 4:30 AM on Black Friday and on her way to Best Buy by 5:00 AM so that she could "steal," for only $39.00, a 1 GB memory card for her new toy - a digital camera that she bought special for this trip. So there will be photos, really, just as soon as I figure out how to wrestle them out of her camera and on to this board.

In the meantime, here is the cast of characters:

Viki: that's me, a 47 year old consultant who grew up in Florida, endlessly shepherding northern family and friends through the Magic Kingdom as they visited in June, July, and August, loving those 100 degree days and those 90 minute waits. The only relief in sight was the "free" (this was back in the days of E-tickets) Eastern Airlines continuous load ride. I loved that airline. For years afterwards, I flew that airline no matter what. I didn't even compare fares. If Eastern flew where I was going, I flew it there. That's product loyalty, but they had earned it, saving me from more than one summer swelter!

Gwen: My partner of nearly years, a research scientist who came late to her Disney addiction, but with my determined enabling, she has blossomed into a proud DVC owner who even allows - sometimes even encourages- cash-based supplemental trips, when my TA and I can come up with some great group rates.

DD (17) and DS (16): Let's sum up their relationship with disney with this story- we've raised them since birth, but when their adoptions finally came through five years later we left the courthouse promising that we'd book the first trip to disneyworld that we could find. We've been booking such trips ever since.

Danny and John: two long time "menz" friends who we've been attempting to tempt to disney for years. John's been good to go, but Danny (the adorable snob), was more than reluctant. Finally, 15 months ago I assured him that while they were always invited to join us, I was never going to invite them (beg them) again. Of course that promise immediately elicited his conviction that he was coming with us on our next trip no matter what. Oh my, how's that for contrarian?

We were also joined 8 nights in by my sister, BIL, and Dear Neice, all of whom still live in the Orlando area where we grew up, for a festive night at Ohana. As an aside let me add that although I'll write up dining reviews, complete with photos of course, at some point in the near future, I will also mention the quality of our meals in passing here in this thread and I'll do this because we are all total food addicts and for us good eating is good vacationing.

NIGHT ONE: LET'S TALK WITH THE ANIMALS

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/P1000042.jpg

OK, this trip was always conceived as a Beach Club Villas vacation, at least from the point at which I asked Danny which he would prefer: the rock and roll experience of life perched on the edge of the BW or the more laid back Cape May experience of BCV. Being an adorable snob we all know which he chose. But here's the kicker: Gwen and I had to fly out one night earlier. Yup. We HAD to, no choice in the matter, and that's because we could not find a decent fare for a trip out on a Saturday, so if we were going to spend the money anyway, we reasoned, let's spend it on disney and not the airlines (Easter airlines went backrupt years ago, now prices matter). So, given that we have already booked a 10-night disney stay for August 2007 at AKL in celebration of our 20th anniversary, we decided to spend one night at AKL concierge just for the pure heck of it.

Now understand, we have never resort hopped. We are much more likely to nest and root than hop and skip. But we love animals and we knew, from all of my research, that we would love concierge, so there we were, flying in for one very short, late night stay.

Later, as it turned out, than we anticipated. Our flight landed before 7 PM, but it was well after 9 PM before we landed at AKL. We love disney transportation. We never complain about the in-house buses. We wait when waiting is called for and we like it. No driving, no parking, no worries. But this Magial Express is something else. I guess we're pampered, used to hiring a small van that takes us and only us from airport to resort and back again. I was prepared for our luggage arriving hours after touchdown; I was not prepared for us arriving at our resort hours after touchdown. But that was the case. First there were the waits for the bus to leave, and then there was Pop Century, Coronado Springs, and finally AKL.

But that was the bottom and really not such a low one and it was all up, up, and away after that. A very nice cast member whisked us up to the 6th floor concierge lounge, even giving us a brief but informative tour of the resort on our way up. An attentive staff checked us in, offered us refreshments, and took care of several items for us at check in. After that we quickly checked out our room on the 5th floor, quite a hike away, but worth it for the stunning Savannah view. The room was nice, but we didn't dally, thinking there's got to be a meal here somewhere and headed - we thought - straight towards Mara to find out exactly, after months of wondering, what a zebra dome actually tastes like.

Well here's where things really go UP! Bottoming out on the first floor, where I knew all the good eats, Jiko, Boma, and Mara were, I was struck giddy when turning the corner from the elevators, I realized we were standing in Boma and I could spy EMPTY tables. I jumped. I didn't even ask the kids and barely asked Gwen. I just jumped and then begged the lovely CM staffing the counter, "Is there any chance we could eat here?" She must have seen the gleam in my eyes, because she smiled brightly, pulled out a beeper, and said with such a sweet smile, "I think something can be arranged." Wow. And it was, just like that. And it was great. It was nearly 10 PM and there's no way we should have eaten spicy food at that hour, but we did. And it was great and what the heck the zebra outside our room kept me and my reflux company the rest of the evening, right up until to dawn.

Yum, yum. After dinner we continued our tour of the beautiful pool with its aqua waters and two satellite hot tubs. The kids got right into the swing of things by hitting the arcade; we checked out the firepits, further savannahs, and good times were had by all until we collapsed into bed, exhausted from travel and a wonderful arrival.

Let me wrap this up by saying that AKL draws you right in. I can easily imagine arriving at this resort in August and never even making it to Vicky and AL's for that anniversary dinner.

More to come, but probably not until Wednesday!

:sunny: :sunny: :sunny:

johnsonet
12-12-2005, 06:38 PM
Welcome home!
AKL is my absolute favorite resort. Concierge, in particular, is Heaven! So glad you had a great trip! Looking fwd. to reading more. You obviously enjoyed it since I see from your countdown that you're going back for your Anniversary. CONGRATULATIONS!!

Valentine
12-12-2005, 09:40 PM
Welcome home Vicki :) Wow.. you really are making me feel back about lack of trip report now!! LOL!! Sounds like you made lemonade out of those lemons!! Glad you were able to have a good first night!! Can't wait to hear the rest .. although I do have in inside bit of info re: the evening at Rose & Crown!! Can't wait to hear it from your point of view though!! LOL!!


Kathy

Viki
12-14-2005, 10:40 AM
Well, as you all can see, I'm in the process of adding pictures, but I can't seem to get them any smaller than the one above. I'm using photobucket and I've reduced it to 25% of its original size, but frankly, I'm not seeing the difference. Anyway, I'll keep trying!

:sunny: :sunny: :sunny:

Viki
12-14-2005, 06:40 PM
This is the view we had when we woke up on our full first day, Saturday Dec 3rd:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000018.jpg

And here's another just a wee bit later in the morning:http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000045.jpg

I know there's always debate on whether disney concierge is "worth" it or not, and by the usual standards of the debate we'd have to be found crazy for spending only 14 hours under it's auspices, a full eight of which we were sleeping. Still, we did have a great group rate, we did want to see what we might expect for our anniversary trip in August, the IPO staff obligingly made a surprising (to me) number of last minute changes to ADRs that I thought were set in stone for at least 90 days, and we had the following two experiences:

Experience #1: Gwen and I are sitting in the concierge lounge while the teen kidlets are still dreaming of sugarplums dancing in their heads (and I'm sure that's exactly what they were dreaming about!),enjoying more breakfast than we usually partake of because breakfast is the only "full" meal concierge service and it's the only real concierge serving we're going to get, having missed the evening offerings the night before (as we enjoyed on the Magical Express's complimentary and lengthy tour of Pop and CSR) and being well on our way to the BCV before the gummy bears and pretzals make their noon appearance. Anyway, there we are enjoying our meal and the spectacular view of the lobby (really! beautiful) when I comment to Gwen that I looked for but did not find Kalahara red herbal tea in the selection of offerings. Friends, no sooner were those words out of mouth then a voice behind my left ear leaned over ever so gently and asked, "What didn't we have?" After lifting my jaw off my chest, I handed the inquiring CM the empty tea bag cover, which she received as if it were gold all the while assuring me that they would do their very best to have it in stock by August. Oh my, I guess I'm easy, but really, I just fell in love right then and there.

I don't have a picture of my new lady love (sorry, Gwen!), but here's some nice pics of AKL concierge:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000046.jpg http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000047.jpghttp://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000048.jpg

And here's me standing on a suspension bridge that spans the AKL lobby:http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000041.jpg

Viki
12-14-2005, 06:52 PM
I am still trying to shrink these photos!

Well, you can see how long this report might get when I have to cover 10 days and I'm still messing around with the first 14 hours. Sheesh. And we haven't even gotten to what happens when I drink anything stronger than this:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000051.jpg

That's the red tea incident. Here's some "hot" concierge offerings:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000049.jpg

And here's one gorgeous family:http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000057.jpg if I do say do myself... and, YES, we are finally on our way out midmorning, but that brings me to

Experience #2: On our way out, as our bellman collected our luggage to transfer it to BCV, he said, and I quote, "I know you're moving to the BVC and I know you only spent one night here, but if you all need anything for the rest of your stay, please do not hesitate to call us, because you started your trip here and we'll take care of you!"

OK, now it's bigamy for sure. I've really got to toughen up. I had tears in my eyes!

Next installment: BCV here we come!
And, as you can see, the photos are shrinking. Big sigh of relief!

disneynutt1225
12-14-2005, 07:43 PM
Vicki, I feel as though I was there with you! The comment about the reflux and the zebra had me :rotfl:. Sorry about the discomfort, but it was really funny. Can't wait to read more!

Valentine
12-14-2005, 07:59 PM
Great update and GREAT JOB WITH THE PICS!!!! Your kids are just gorgeous!!!! WOW...What a sweet family!! Aren't the concierge CM's just the best at the AK?? They are.. in my opinion.. the best of the best on property. My 2 faves being Juanita and Don... they are like family to me.. .I haven't stayed there in a while since I usually stay DVC now.. but I always make it a point to stop there at least once during my visit to say hi!

Looking forward to your next installment.. I know you are quite busy catching up with your life... But give me some must sees for the holiday stuff since I am now heading down the first week in January and will be there for the holiday decorations! A plus I was not considering!

Kathy :earboy2:

True North
12-14-2005, 09:17 PM
Viki! I love your report so far! I can dream of my family beeing right their beside you. I can't wait to hear about the days inside the park, and of course, when you have something to drink a bit stronger then the tea. ;)

Looking at the posters on this thread is starting to remind me of another thread I visit often. :) Can't wait for more updates!

icebrat001
12-14-2005, 10:07 PM
Wow great pics. Man, that makes me not want to take my first trip to WDW until I can stay there. Beautiful.

It's so hard to give up a cruise and convince SO to go to WDW though. Hmm...

Valentine
12-14-2005, 10:09 PM
Viki! I love your report so far! I can dream of my family beeing right their beside you. I can't wait to hear about the days inside the park, and of course, when you have something to drink a bit stronger then the tea. ;)

Looking at the posters on this thread is starting to remind me of another thread I visit often. :) Can't wait for more updates!


:smooth: Don't I know you from somewhere??? LOL!!! :rotfl2:

THE HAT
12-14-2005, 10:42 PM
MORE MORE MORE!!!!! :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc

bubie2.5
12-15-2005, 06:17 AM
Great trip report!!!! We want more!

T&KHayes
12-15-2005, 10:03 AM
So far so good Viki! After reading just the beginning I am thoroughly jealous! :teeth: And to me that means one great trip report.

And my my you have quite a following! These names look vaguely familiar to me....maybe it was in a dream...no wait it's all coming back to me now. I think somehow we are related? :rotfl2: I will be coming back later for more!

joanjett1976
12-15-2005, 10:36 AM
Well, here we all are!

Great first report, great family pic :earsgirl:
Such a cute family!

More, more, more...

Cinerama
12-15-2005, 12:47 PM
Great report so far---and I love the pics!! I'll be looking for more--the longer and more detailed the better! Thanks!

Viki
12-15-2005, 05:57 PM
In case you were wondering, there a lot of animals at AKL! :rotfl2: No, really, there are. Recently I read a post where someone booked a Savannah room and didn't see any animals. Bummer! They (the animals) must have been visiting me, as I had full-scale, all-night chaperones, with at least one zebra, usually standing stock still, like a good horse dozing on its feet, as a constant companion. Here they are by the light of day:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000038.jpg

Well, finally time to say goodbye. My gosh it was so hard to extract ourselves from this resort after only 14 hours. What are we going to do in August after 10 days? You all are going to have send search parties into the jungle to find us!

So, it's with some trepidation that we finally manage to begin the transition to our much beloved BCV, though honestly that anxiety is a mixture of multiple factors, not all of which have anything to do with AKL. In short, here are a few others:

We've never resort hopped. Will our luggage really hop with us? (Answer: Yes, indeedy. In fact it will hop a lot faster than disney magic can make it express - oops, sensing a theme here).

In the last few years, as we've aged and wisened (more the latter than the former of course!), we've narrowed our trips to the World down to September and January. So, all holiday-inspired propaganda aside, how crowded are the parks the first week in December? (Answer: Very!!! And don't let anyone tell you otherwise! In fact, since my return, this is beginning to become a real pet peave with me. I keep reading posts where folk are practically begging to be told the truth - yes, Virginia there are LINES for RIDES in December - while well meaning, but very confused, people keep responding, "No worries. We were there the week after Thanksgiving and walked on to everything while eating around the world with no ADRs." And I keep thinking, how is the week after Thanksgiving DECEMBER??? When did that happen? On whose calendar? I am perfectly willing to believe that after Thanksgiving people fly home. But folks, believe me, they are running a relay race with other people, passing the holidays-at-disney baton to whole other sqauds of runners who, by the beginning of the REAL Decemeber - when we arrived - are picking up speed and headed straight for the same parks and restaurants you are. That's their goal and they will not be slowed. In the real December there are 90 minute waits for Test Track. I'm sorry, that's not right. Not even my teenagers think that's right. It's a nice ride. Some might even consider it a thrill ride. But come on, be honest, it's mostly vaguely uncomfortable and not worth a ninety minute wait - EVER. OK - breathing calmly again, but don't mistake that for closure. I'm not done; this subject will resurface!).

December is crowded. Early December is crowded. But, to be fair, on the upside, it's not going to be quite as warm as September. So, the question is, will it be cool enough to look really good? I'm not into shoes, not like some people I know (you know who you are, and yes I'm reading your posts, if not having the time to respond, back there, over the rainbow); I'm into jackets. Nice jackets. Fun jackets. Big, bold, splashy jackets, that say, "Big, Beautiful, and Bold, so Bring it!" You can't wear those in September. I can't. No one can. It's not a matter of suffering for fashion (good thing). In the Fla heat, it becomes a matter of dying for fashion (not a good thing - No, really, come on!, you know it's true, NOT a good thing, repeat after me, boys - and girls - NOT a good thing). So, I wondered, with some small degree of trepidation, after packing four gorgeous jackets, is it cold enough to wear these, not only at night, but maybe even during the day, dare I hop? Or, am I going to have to listen to Gwen repeatedly mention that there is half a closet going unworn? (Sheepish Answer: It's not cold enough. Not during the day. Not during the night. Almost not ever. Though, finally, I did squeeze in a genuine wearable moment on the very last night as we watched Wishes from the observation deck of California Grill. Nice moment. I looked good. But that's it. Sigh.)

And then there is the final trepidation. The real trepidation. The giant trepidation against which all of the others are mere projections, and that is the pressing question: Can SCROOGE be redeemed - one more time? A Classic Christmas Carol in black and white, a Star Trek flavored Christmas Carol with that French captain, a Bill Murray Scrooged as full blown and over the top as only Bill can manage. All good. All the same theme. Can someone that grouchy, that mean-spirited, that crummugety, towards all things good, be redeemed from the sure and certain fate towards which he is headed? The question presses because although I love him as surely as Tiny Tim somehow managed to spy the loveable in dear old Scrooge, my dear life long friend Danny, by refusing for decades to succomb to the blessings of the Land of the Sacred Mouse (and my continual begging, ah, invitations), was surely forging the same weighty chains that Marley bore from this world to the next. Just as we're transitioning from AKL to BCV, Danny and his partner John, are journeying toward this one last chance to see the light (Danny swore this would be his one and only trip for an entire lifetime) and I'm holding my breathe to see whether or not they get the faith.

Let me give you a hint. This is my boy. The BEFORE picture:



http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000067.jpg

Note: no hat, no pins, no joy.

And here's the AFTER picture:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000145.jpg

Enough said.

Saxton
12-15-2005, 07:06 PM
Hey, haven't I met some of you before? Viki - I'm loving the trip report, the family picture is great! I can't believe you converted him ... well, actually I can believe it because who could not love WDW? So when are you planning your next trip with the guys? By the way, remember that we all behaved ourselves at the Rose and Crown!

Valentine
12-15-2005, 08:38 PM
Another great installment Vik!!!! Getting me all excited now as I sit here all bundled up in FREEZING NY... Just a few more days and off to see the Mouse!! YAY!! Keep em coming!!! MOre Pics.. I want to see the one of you looking Stunning at the CA Grill!! :)

kathy

fizz13
12-16-2005, 03:56 AM
Well those pics say it all really, he has been officially pixiedusted!

Claire xx

lookingforward
12-17-2005, 08:03 PM
I love your trip reports! You have a great sense of humor, can't wait to read more!

LukenDC
12-17-2005, 09:21 PM
Thanks for the great report, Viki! Your neat pictures of AKL are tempting me to give it a second chance.

swankybeth
12-17-2005, 10:04 PM
Great report, can't wait for more! I am LOL at the "after" picture. :rotfl:

T&KHayes
12-18-2005, 01:16 AM
That before and after pic should be sent to Disney for marketing purposes! :rotfl: I mean seriously, how great is that!? My DP was kind of like that too. She had never been, and I had been to Disneyland more times than I can count and have the Disney fever. Now she can't wait to go back!

Minerva
12-18-2005, 04:44 PM
I LOVE the before and after pictures! Your report is so much fun. I can't wait for the rest!

PennyW
12-19-2005, 03:56 PM
Well, hello there ... I feel like I've located my not-so-long-lost relatives :wave2:

Great report so far! Keep it coming :earsboy:

Viki
12-19-2005, 04:05 PM
Forget TGM. Forget Touringplans.com. Forget hanging out on the Disboards for the sole purpose of perfecting a path through the World that encompasses all four parks in one day, with room to spare for an afternoon siesta back at the resort. After decades of WDW trips, here's the only plan I really tolerate: Go to WDW the one week of the year when you can walk on any ride any time you want. Sleep in. Play. Eat. Swim. Eat. Play some more. Eat. Oh, and, right, don't forget the dirty martinis - apparently the only drink you can order anywhere in the World that really has alcohol in it (though I'm betting they probably have to put a wee bit of alcohol in a Manhattan; I'll have to try that next time). Now there's a plan I can live with, over and over again.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the plan for this trip. The plan for this trip involved seducing two long time friends into a life-long love affair with a Mouse. That means we actually had to go to the parks. That means we actually had to wait in lines (but not too many and not too long - at a time of year that is supposed to be "low," but which, after this trip, I've come to believe rivals the worst of what June and July has to offer - not that I actually know anymore what crowds look like in July and August - it's been two decades since I've treated myself to that pleasure!). That means I had to actually visit all those planyourwaythroughtheworld.com sites, sift through it all based on my years of mouse touring, and devise a plan so that they could "feel the love" as efficiently and effectively as possible. And if I do say so myself, I accomplished this task so effectively that, for example, I actually got six adults through every major attraction in MK on a MVMCP night, while enjoying all the shows (save one), Holiday Wishes, the Parade, and dinner at the Crystal Palace. Sheesh. But that's another day.

All I had to do on this day was get us from AKL to Epcot, so that we could redeem our AP vouchers for the real thing, get us through Epcot (and those god-awful crowds, bah humbug!), safe to the international gate, from which we could then exit to the Epcot resorts, check in at BCV, pray for Danny and John to arrive without incident from their experience of Magical Express, freshen everybody up, get back over to Rose and Crown for one mini-friends-of-disney meet, have a wonderful meal in faux Britian with our British friend (I thought this was brilliant; as we'll learn later - not so much), meet up with another disboard friend, closely monitor the alcohol intake so that we actually survive the carefully crafted itinerary, and call it a night. Well, OK, that was the plan.

Here's how it actually went: We arrived at Epcot without incident at around 12 noon and were immediately thrown into one hell of a line - with a Pirate, a pirate wearing more pins that I own - and I own a few. He was a convivial pirate, but he was still a pirate and I was trying very hard to be appropriately sympathetic to his recent experiences of Hurricane Katrina, which include having his home destroyed and his life turned upside down, while he's dressed as a pirate. Welcome Home! At some point, as he was sharing some of what he's been through, a manager came out and assured my family and the Pirate that if we moved all the way to the other end of the gate, we could find a window that would accomplish our purposes with absolutely no line.

NO LINES, you say? I'm so gullible. We moved. I'm quite sure he didn't mean to lie. But, believe me, friends, there were lines - all week, all of the time, and when we finally do manage to get to the front of the line, my DP (dear partner) is told that her AP voucher is void, at which point I am opening my carrying case and am reaching for a folder, which I am loudly proclaiming has all of the Disney correspondence I have meticulously collected over the past 15 months and I am sure that if he gives me just one minute I can find all of the supporting documentation for that VERY active AP voucher he is holding in his hand. At some point in the space of that little spiel, my DP's so-called impotent AP voucher found its potency, without the additional assistance of my supporting documentation. Big smile, big sigh.

So now I'm feeling a rush of pure self-satisfaction and in a moment of largesse I loudly proclaimed, "OK, I give in, let's go ride the Ball!" I say give in because, as we all could see, there was a LINE! But, I assured everyone, it's a constant load, how bad it could be? Twenty minutes later we were loaded (and, no, not in a good way). But, hey, I'm nothing if not flexible! (Oh, stuff it, I am too and, btw, isn't it about time for that long rumored update to the ball? Really, it wouldn't be too soon.)

At this point my very pampered family, having stood in TWO lines in the space of one hour, loudly clamors for a quick sprint to the international gate, do not pass go, do not spend $200.00, just get through the park (See! It's not just me!). We do just that, but my every fear of what's in store is confirmed by the wait times for the "thrill" rides that we spy along the way - Test Track 90 minutes, Soarin - 120 minutes, Ellen's Energy Adventure - 190 minutes (OK, not really, not on the last one - but it should be, and the others are the god's honest truth).

Well, I don't actually have photos of any of that, so here's what's coming up in the next installment:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000164.jpg

(Folks, I am very glad you're enjoying this and I very much appreciate the friends who are traveling over to this board from more distant ports, but do all sit back and have a cold one, for this is obviously going to on a bit. In fact, having originally planned to wrap up this report well before Christmas, my new hope is that we'll get it done before the next trip - in August!)

Viki
12-19-2005, 10:07 PM
BCV - FINALLY

Finally, we wind our way through the maddening crowds (I'm sorry - NOT letting this go), and come out to paradise on the other side - the Epcot Resorts, Crescent Lake, Surrey City, Water sport wonders, a foretaste of heaven, well, you get the idea. Good times, as one of our more favorite posters would phrase it, and being derivative is the equivalent of flattery.

At this point, it's only 12:30 or so, so we have no hope of actually being able to access our room (not with those crowds), but we'd at least like to have the check-in process handled so that life's as simple as Simon for Danny and John.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but we felt our prospects rise when we were greeted at the BCV by a cast member who was clearly "family." Quelle surprise! Such a very nice, middle aged man (who looked much, much younger if he's reading this!!!), who was all pleasantries, and smiles, while also being quick with the small personal anecdotes that really make the magic come alive, even as he had to carefully explain to us that we would also have to check in with the lobby concierge so that our room cards would carry charging privileges. Was this result of DP and I having PAPS (my word, this sounds so GYN!). Frankly, I can't remember. It could be the drambuies.

Memory fails me, so here are some photos of our beloved BCV:

What I can remember is that at the end of our check-in process things were going so pleasantly I almost hated to risk breaking the festive mood, but I simply had to ask, somewhat sheepishly (and, folks, I'm more wolf than sheep), "Do you mean our rooms are ready?" To which our lovely CM responded, "Absolutely." Woo-Hoo! Good times, indeed!

Here I go kind of blank, but I think what happened is that we were so loopy with joy that we had actually scored our rooms before 4 PM, that we thought what the hell, let's fly by Beaches and Cream, which is scheduled for a one-week closure during our stay, starting two days from now. Since luck is being a lady, I think we honestly thought why not press the babe and see if we can slip in for burgers and shakes. I don't know what we were thinking, we must have been high, but there I was asking the sweet and clueless CM, "manning" B&C's lectern, if there might in the near future be a booth for a party of 6 that wasn't yet complete (OK, I didn't mention that very last part, but it was sure at the back of my mind). Surprisingly, her answer was "Yes, in about 45 minutes," at which point I did the math, flipped open my cell phone, placed a call to Danny and John, learned that they were at that very moment enjoying WDW's latest mind-bending DVD presentation, as they enjoyed their multiple stops en route to BCV on the Magical Express (Danny shared that their Magical Express was stuck behind another Magical Express at CSR and that their driver had shared that this condition might last for as long as another twenty minutes), did the math, and determined that 45 minutes was perfect, at which point we made a mad dash to our rooms, only to discover they were absolutely perfect, exactly what we had ordered (not that I had ordered much, just that the menz friends would have their own small kitchen, and sofa area, rather than the two bed arrangement).

The only snag was that midway on our trek to the room, the beeper went off. About 10 minutes in. That couldn't be right. But there it was, flashing away. That added a bit of zest to securing our rooms. So after placing the de rigueur phone call to maintenance to allow both of our thermostats to dip below 68 degrees, all the way down to ooh-la-la 62 degrees, we dashed back to the B&C lectern, only to learn that confusion prevailed. Let's make a very long story short, cut to the chase, assure the dear reader that I did have to assert myself a bit, but only a bit, all the while being perfectly honest about the fact that two members of our party were on WDW property, but were currently the property of that oh-so-unmagical Magical Express. The bottom line: at almost exactly the same moment, a table for six became available at exactly the same time as the magic carpet delivered our dear friends to us. My goodness. Good times, indeed.

And here's what we ate:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000059.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000061.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000065.jpg

My boy (at a later meal that evening, at Rose and Crown).

I don't care. I don’t care that I've never enjoyed a burger at B&C. I don't care that I always order the veggie burger and then remember I hate it. I don't care about all the bad press. The truth? This burger rocked! Maybe it was their two-days-before-closing-swan-song, but this burger was great. Simply lish, and I don't even like red meat, unless it's fan-friggin-tastic. This was. The gold standard. Yummy good times. Dessert wasn't bad either.


And here are some more photos of our beloved BCV:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000163.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000164.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000166.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000169.jpg


Well, friends, that's two installments in one day and we're 2/3rds of the way through the first full day. One-third of a day to go. Unfortunately that day isn't very flattering. In fact, I really messed up. We'll get to it and I'll come clean, but that's for another day!

WDW Poly Princess
12-20-2005, 12:27 AM
Loving the report and pictures so far! I was there at about the same time, and the crowds were crazy!

Glad that I'm not the only one who takes two pages of a thread to get through the first day!! :)

T&KHayes
12-20-2005, 01:03 AM
Hang in there Viki! You are doing a great job & we WILL be patient.....won't we folks? :teeth:

MazdaUK
12-20-2005, 08:56 AM
Loving your report - what happens next?

bubie2.5
12-20-2005, 08:59 AM
More, more, more!!!!

It's that carrousel made of chcocolate?

Viki
12-20-2005, 09:28 AM
More, more, more!!!!

It's that carrousel made of chcocolate?

It is indeed! And did you see one of six hidden mickeys?

More to come, but not until tomorrow at the earliest. I have to shop today and teach tonight!

Thanks for all of the support!


:sunny: :sunny: :sunny:

cannp123165
12-20-2005, 10:44 AM
Brilliant..... I am looking forward to the next installment :-))))).

tubachick
12-20-2005, 12:03 PM
Keep the story coming!!! :flower:

True North
12-20-2005, 11:36 PM
Viki! I loved to read your report! I love the fact you seem to have little adventures every day, (such as a visit with a pirate.) It reminds me of my family and every trip we take. I'm looking forward to reading more!

Valentine
12-21-2005, 12:09 AM
Great update Vicki!! had to pop on over before going to bed!! Can't wait to read the rest!!

kathy

pumpkinfish
12-21-2005, 10:34 AM
Wow! You have a way of words Miss Vicki :) I always enjoy getting caught up in other's trip reports and I thank you for allowing me to take a journey on yours :)


BTW, I LOVE the "converted Scrooge to Lover" photo! It brought tears to my eyes :)

Minerva
12-24-2005, 09:08 AM
More to come, but not until tomorrow at the earliest. I have to shop today and teach tonight!


:::glancing at calendar::: It's now way past tomorrow. <g>

Viki
12-24-2005, 09:31 AM
I'm so sorry for the delay, guys. I certainly intended to post at least one additional segment before now, but three events have conspired to prevent that. First our dear friend Danny (of the redemptive events mentioned above) flew into town, as he almost always does for the holidays, and we're having a very Merry time, believe it or not, right here in PA. The other even more significant problem is that upon the night of his arrival, while I was showing him his new glam status on the disboards, my Powerbook went crashing into the floor, destroying the screen, and severly limiting my ability to get on line. Right now I'm on my old laptop, via dial up (sloooowwwww). The third problem is that I am a religious professional and "'Tis the Season," so I am very busy.

That all said, I can't say when exactly I'll get my baby back (she's in the shop), but if it's not soon I'll brave this very slow system again and post another trip report ASAP early next week.

Have a good one.

WDW Poly Princess
12-24-2005, 10:30 PM
Oh no, poor Powerbook! I hope it recovers quickly! I need good reports to read so I can procrastinate finishing my own! :)

fizz13
12-30-2005, 03:12 PM
So sorry this had to happen now (and not in a selfish way at all ;) ) Hope it gets sorted and will look out for more. Happy New Year for when you come back,

Claire xx

Alysa
12-31-2005, 12:42 AM
love your report! gorgeous family too!

budbeerlady
01-05-2006, 03:44 PM
Cannot wait to read the end!!!

Princess Mommy
01-05-2006, 08:51 PM
Hi Viki!
I am LOVING your report!
I am so sorry about your computer :(

Your pic's of the BC are GREAT! I am so sorry we missed it this trip- we'll be there this August, I am so looking forward to the rest of your report!

Viki
01-07-2006, 05:42 PM
NOTE: There will be photos, many, but the problem that caused the delay still lingers. My Powerbook is in the shop and the guys at the local computer store didn’t think transferring my 700 WDW photos over on to the loaner was the best idea they’d heard. So, photos, coming soon…



Well, if you’re even half paying attention you have surely noted that I am less than enthused about the “magical” part of Magical Express. One of many reasons is that Danny and John failed to have their luggage delivered anywhere near the time we had arranged to have a mini-Dis meet with a few friends from the Gay-Friendly Thread (formerly residing on the Adults and Solo travelers board, but recently moved to our new Gays and Lesbians at Disney board - come by and visit!). Fortunately, both boys are a lot less fashion conscience than our brothers from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Perhaps it’s because they are both naturally gorgeous; clothes are almost beside the point (Don’t you hate them? Me, as previously mentioned, I need all the clothes I can stand to wear). So it was with great equanimity that both of them waived off my dismay, freshened up, and prepared with the rest of us to wander over to the Rose and Crown at Epcot for the twin purposes of meeting up with the aforementioned gaggle and for giving our British buddy Danny – who, for a variety of reasons, can’t make a return visit to Britain - a taste of the Mother country, this last goal even knowing, as I do, that the food at our dear R&C is less than stellar, but thinking the true magic (and copious amounts of liquor) of Epcot might cover a multitude of sins.



So our boys were up for it, but, as events would demonstrate, I wasn’t and I’m still stumped as to why not. We all left the room in plenty of time, even with the horrendous crowds (remember, anytime I can see other people anywhere near me at WDW – that to me is a crowd), to make our 5:30 pm meet. But here’s the thing. I left the room without my cell phone. That’s right. I’m about to attempt to meet six people I have never met before in my life – and don’t even have a good enough photo of – at a restaurant and bar jammed inside and out with complete strangers from many nations, all people-watching, and I’m convinced that I am somehow going to divine these six would-be friends from all the rest. Well, let’s just say I could have done it in SEPTEMBER - when there REALLY are NO crowds, but then we’ve already established, haven’t we, that December is NOT SEPTEMBER (No matter what the bloody charts say. Btw, Danny tells me that the word “bloody” really is a very bad word that his mother would have washed his mouth out for using back in the Mother country).



Sigh. Even though I am quite sure that you all have justifiably high opinions of my ability to rise to the occasion (and I still think my plan should have worked, how many families are there out there made of up four Caucasian adults and two African-American teens?), the dreadful truth is that I must confess that because I forgot my cell phone we never did meet up with Orlando Mike. He came. He called (five times!). But he did not see. And he left. Mea, mea culpa. We did chat the next morning, a conversation during which he was the definition of gracious, but that really only makes it worse, don’t you think?



Well the whole meet would have been a disaster, a complete and total bust, and it looked well on its way to meeting that goal, if not for the fact that thirty minutes past the scheduled meet time, during which time I released the teens to go off and do whatever the teens do (don’t tell me), and the four adults comforted ourselves with everything from lager to dirty martinis (that last would be me), my dear partner Gwen turned to me and said, “I don’t want to go out on to big a limb here Vik, but do you think there’s any chance that the those five women, with VERY SHORT hair, sitting all together at a table, looking like they are having a fabulous time, on the OTHER SIDE of the bar, near the nottagayguy playing the piano, MIGHT be the five women we were supposed to meet up with?”



Well that’s it then, isn’t it? Brilliant. I don’t know how she ever figured it out and, NO, at that point in the evening I’d only had ONE, count ‘er, ONE dirty martini. In fact, at that point, I was still working on the old (dirty) girl. Nevertheless, there’s the truth of it. Gwen picked out our would-be lady friends across the room and we finally managed to hook up (so to speak), with five really fun folk who looked like they were having a smashing time before got there and after we left, because, of course, by the time we had actually identified them (OK, by the time Gwen had actually identified them), we were thirty minutes into a fifty minute wait for our 6:20 Rose and Crown ADR (and this with no crowds!), and only had about twenty minutes for fun and frivolity before being called away.



Another big sigh… really big, because aside from looking like they were having a really smashing time, all five of them - before we ever got there - had already planned a joint return trip to the World for May – a trip we can’t possibly make at that time of year because we’ve got kids who can only be yanked out of school for the educational experience of WDW so many times in a school career before their teachers lose their pleasing personalities and start talking truancy. But, no worries. I’ve gotten them back. Of the 700 photos my girl took at WDW that week? Not one of them. Enough said.



And I wish enough was already said about the dinner that followed. At the risk of being labeled as a dreaded “Anglophobe,” let me ask the simple question, “How bad can BAD English food be?” And the answer? Yorkshire pudding capable of a big bounce. Now, there’s enough said. You get my drift. Put another way, the Rose and Crown dining experience was NOT getting Danny all warm and fuzzy, with thoughts of Mum’s own home cooking dancing in his head. But, dear friends, fear not, we WERE getting Danny all warm and fuzzy. It only took two bottles of wine, two dirty martinis, two gin and tonics, and multiple pints. Or something like that. I wasn’t taking notes. Did I mention that Yorkshire pudding bounces? Like a ball?



At any rate, how could we go wrong? We couldn’t. Because bouncing puddings or no bouncing puddings, two hours and forty-five minutes later, as we were still dining (and drinking), on the patio of the Rose and Crown (and, yes, we left her a HUGE tip – and lots about which to gossip with the girls), with two great kids, and our two best friends, we were treated to the still breathtaking spectacle of Illuminations, complete with the holiday rendition of “Let there be Peace on Earth.” At that last? I stood. Really, you had to. It was that moving. Really, well done. Bravo.



And then, dear friends, we went to sleep. Perchance to dream. More to come (yup, 8 more days to come – this could take awhile).

MsSpinShady
01-07-2006, 06:31 PM
Great trip report Viki, but shame on you for leaving me at Day 2!!! Now I'll have to keep checking back, and I'm sure I must have some work to do... :cool1:

More, more...

MsSpinShady princess:

joanjett1976
01-09-2006, 09:44 AM
my dear partner Gwen turned to me and said, “I don’t want to go out on to big a limb here Vik, but do you think there’s any chance that the those five women, with VERY SHORT hair, sitting all together at a table, looking like they are having a fabulous time, on the OTHER SIDE of the bar, near the nottagayguy playing the piano, MIGHT be the five women we were supposed to meet up with?”[/size][/font]

:rotfl2:

That is too funny! I guess none of us are having any chance with our meetings, huh?

TinkerChelle
01-10-2006, 06:54 PM
Viki love the report so far!!! AKL is my favorite resort. My partner, Amy and I, spent our honeymoon there in 2001. The pics brought back fabulous memories. I am sure you'll really enjoy your anniversary trip there.
I can't wait to read the rest of your report.

glass slipper girl
01-21-2006, 02:23 PM
Just wondering what happened on day 3 and beyond! ;)

Viki
01-21-2006, 06:03 PM
Just wondering what happened on day 3 and beyond! ;)

I can't believe it but Apple still has my powerbook - four weeks and counting! In the mean time I'm working on a loaner, but I don't want to download 700 WDW on to it, so I'm waiting... patiently.

Thank you so much for going to the trouble of digging this poor little report off the back pages.

I promise, I'm going to get this done with all due speed just as soon as I get my baby back!

Princess Mommy
01-27-2006, 10:44 PM
Oh No Vickie!
I am so looking forward to the rest of your report when you can finally post it!

Viki
01-28-2006, 08:04 AM
Thank you, Mommy! And I do intend it. It's now four weeks and counting an sign of my powerbook. I think they're trying to convert me to the dark side (PC-ville).

THE HAT
01-28-2006, 04:10 PM
looking fwd to the rest and the pics that are soon to be (hopefully)!!! such an enjoyable report!! tks for sharing. loved the family pic you posted, indeed beautiful :)

Belle23
01-28-2006, 09:35 PM
I can't wait until your next report. I loved what you posted so far and love the photos. :woohoo:

Viki
03-23-2006, 03:28 PM
Hey, guys, after all of the activity on the Trip Reports board I've decided to move this poor little trip report over to our home board. I WILL be finishing sometime within this century.

PennyW
03-24-2006, 08:13 AM
...five women, with VERY SHORT hair, sitting all together at a table, looking like they are having a fabulous time
LOL!! The five of us did manage to spot each other in record time! ;) But (thanks to Gwen :) ) we did get to have some fun conversation with you too!

Princess Mommy
03-24-2006, 08:27 PM
Viki~ I have been watching this for updates!
Can't wait 'til you can post more! :)

Grammyof2
03-27-2006, 06:22 PM
I was wondering if you were ever going to finish. I've been looking forward to more pics of your great jackets. :thumbsup2

So much drama lately, have to run all around to find all the unfinished TR. Can't wait for more.

Viki
04-14-2006, 05:37 PM
Note: OK, I already reported our first full day once, but it's been a good, long time, I forgot I did it (you really have to embrace your own dementia), and in my first new installment in forever, I wrote it up again. Sheesh. I can't even believe it. But, hey, having both versions side by side should provide a good opportunity for some literary criticism. :rotfl2: And, hey, at the very least, this new version has PHOTOS! So, here we go!


It’s been four months, but it’s finally Monday night, the occasion of our first ever, tres historic, mini-Gay and Lesbian Disboards mini-meet – this when we were still a thread, without a dream of being a board!

If you recall – God Bless You if you do – things up to now were going pretty well. Gwen, the kids, and I had arrived the night before and checked into AKL for a one-night concierge stay, a planned foretaste of the AKL concierge feast to come in August, when my girl and I celebrate 20 years of “nonlegal” marital bliss (the nonlegal part took place twenty years ago this June on a camping trip, three years into our relationship, under a canopy of stars, back dropped by thousands of lighting bugs flashing in synch; the bliss part happened then too – and before and after, for a total of 23 years and counting – life is good). Danny and John, on their very first, and much resisted (on Danny’s part), trip to the World, had arrived just that afternoon, lunched at Beaches and Cream, seen their room as part of the 2-bedroom that we had rented on points at BCV, wished diligently, but politely, that Magical Express had sufficiently supplied both enough Magic and Express to deliver their luggage within four hours of their arrival so that they could freshen for dinner (we never did learn when the luggage arrived, but it was in the room by the time we returned very much later that evening). In any event, they’re gay. They looked good.

So, off we go, all prepared – I think – to meet as many as seven or eight people, who had been chatting on our “Gay-Friendly” thread for months, and who all just happened to be at the World at the same time, at the Rose and Crown for drinks. We – Danny, John, Gwen, the kids, and I – had ADRs – I thought - for dinner at 6:50 PM, but the date with the dis-buddies was “just” for drinks. Sight unseen we were all being politely cautious. No dinner plans. No moving vans. Just drinks – and, really, we only managed to just pull that off, mostly, because as I was feeling gleefully confident that this was all going really, really well, we all walked out of the resort and over to Epcot, only to discover that I had forgotten my cell phone.

Let’s review – my plan is to meet with 8 or 9 people - WHOM I HAVE NEVER MET AND OF WHOM I HAVE NO PHOTOS - at one of the largest theme parks in the world and I forgot my cell phone. No problem, I think. I’ll know them. And better yet – they’ll know us, because how many families that evening, in that place, will consist of two (lesbian) women, two (gay) men, all of whom are Caucasian, and two African-American teens? Apparently too many because no one recognized anyone, at least not during the first hour or so, during which we later learned OrlandoMike called me – on my cell phone – five times. Not easily daunted, he even came by at the exact time we were nestled on the balcony between dinner and Illuminations, confident of his imminent arrival, because we had even instructed our straight-from-Britain server to be on the look out for him (not that any of us knew or still knows what he looks like). He came. He sat at the bar. He had a drink. He left. Ships passing in the night. So close and, yet, so far. We missed him. More, we missed the bleu cheese stuffed olives he brought for my dirty martini drinking pleasure. We’ve since heard from Mike. We’ve never heard another word of those olives. It’s a mystery.

The other mystery is how we all missed each other. Well, OK, not exactly, ALL of us. Five of the group managed to recognize each other, find a table, sit down, start drinking, and get close enough in less than hour that they were already planning their next trip together. Did I mention that they’d known each other less than sixty minutes? Thank God they were only meeting for drinks. Did I mention that they were all lesbians? But, and I have to emphasize this, there were absolutely no moving vans!

So there they were, five beautiful lesbian women, sitting on one side of the Rose and Crown, perched right next to the worst piano player in the world, while our party of six was not thirty feet away, standing near the bar, easily in eyesight. We were even looking for them. Or at the very least Gwen was. I was thinking my dirty martini would be much improved with a bleu cheese stuffed olive. That wasn’t happening. But dinner was and soon and I was quickly losing heart that in the middle of a very crowded bar – hey, thank God this was a low season at the World! – we were ever going to meet up with our friends, when Gwen suddenly nudged me and said the following, “Hey, Vik, I don’t know, but weren’t we looking for lesbians?” “Yes,” I said cautiously, recognizing a certain smug edge to her voice. Hey, it doesn’t take me more than twenty-three years to learn how to read my partner’s subtle tonal inflections. “Well,” she said, “maybe it’s just me, but do you think it’s in the least possible that those five women, sitting at that table, right next to the piano player, thoroughly engaged in one heck of an animated conversation, all with VERY SHORT HAIR, might be the girls your looking for?”

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. Al-le-lu-ia.

Well, you get the idea, which is all you're going to get, because not one of us geniuses took a photo. Finally, there we all were. Together at last. And the only problem was that in all of my compulsive planning somehow the Rose and Crown wound up with a slight discrepancy in our understanding of when dinner was. I thought it was at 6:50. They thought it was at 6:20. So, after 75 minutes of searching and 12 minutes of meeting, our first ever, tres historic mini-meet was drawing to a close. But, it was good. Very, very good.

Very unlike the dinner that followed.

Danny and John on balcony:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000062.jpg

I know. I know. We’re hardly Disney neophytes and not even those folk expect good food from England, let alone from an England transplanted to the USA. But here was our thinking: Danny is British and Danny can go home to Britain any time he wants. But for a complex set of reasons he hasn’t in a very, very, very long time, so I thought if we can’t take Danny to Britain Disney can, at the very least, bring Britain to Danny. Good thought. Bad food. Apparently, British pudding isn’t supposed to bounce.

But if this saga proves nothing else – we are survivors. And survive we did. The kids had cokes with very fun flashing cubes. The adults had many adult drinks for when Illuminations started flashing. I remember multiple bottles of wine, many pints of beer, a couple dirty martinis, and the best rendition of Illuminations we have ever seen – it was the Xmas version, and by the time they got to, “Let there be Peace on Earth,” I was on my feet – at least for a moment or two, and then I sat back down.

My son on Rose and Crown's balcony, watching Illuminations:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000065.jpg

And then we all went home – to our second home – BCV, to try and get a sufficient amount of sleep so that we could manage MGM commando style in the morning! So that’s it. One full 24-hour period at the World. Imagine the joy we will all share in coming years if at this pace I continue to relate this riveting tale!

Our Christmas:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000001.jpg


And Winston:http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000017.jpg

Viki
04-16-2006, 03:45 PM
DAY THREE: Leprechauns


Let’s remember: One of the key factors forming much of this particular trip is that I am desperately trying to make WDW as palatable as possible to Danny. He doesn’t have to love it, he doesn’t have to come back, he doesn’t have to buy into DVC, yearn for anonymous people to call him upon check in and cheerily welcome him home, or calculate the cost of a 50 point add on at Saratoga Springs. What he does have to do is lose his holier -than-thou, I-vacation-in-real places, I was born in a mouse-free Britain - which is more than we can now say for France - smugness.

Magical Express wasn’t nearly magical enough to pull that off. Rose and Crown’s cuisine was perhaps too authentic (ooh, he hates that), but I knew as we briskly made our way to the YC’s marina, in order to catch the boat to MGM in time for the 9 AM rope drop, that one WDW offering sure to impress was its easy, multifaceted mode of internal transportation, especially with all the modes available at the Epcot resorts. So it was with a deep sense of satisfaction that I noted the boat already easing its way to Epcot and spoke with some assurety that it would be soon be picking us up on its way back.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000066.jpg

So, we waited. And waited. And waited. And there’s one thing I knew for sure. It was too early for a dirty. Apparently, it was also too early for the boats. There were no boats. For fifteen minutes we waited. Here we are: Waiting.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000069.jpg

And Waiting …

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000068.jpg

And Waiting …

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000066.jpg

And (scary) waiting ...

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000083.jpg

Finally, we walked. If we waited any longer we were going to miss the rope drop. We were probably going to miss it if we walked, but at least if we walked there was a chance. All the boats on Crescent Lake had sunk. And, listen that you can walk from BC/YC to MGM has to be a plus, right? That’s impressive, right? Right. That’s what I thought. So, we walked, and walked, and chatted and walked and just as we turned the curve and saw MGM rising in the distance what comes right up in back of us? That’s right. A boat. A boat that caused me to suddenly switch goals. We weren’t going to reach MGM before the rope drop, but we could, if we kicked up our pace just a notch, beat the DARN BOAT to the dock. Which we did. I’m still not sure what that proves. But we did it. Just because it was a victory without a goal doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.

It’s 9:15. We missed the rope drop. We’ve already walked too much and it’s too early for a dirty. But, at the very, very least, we have arrived.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000082.jpg

And we know our way around.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000071.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000070.jpg

So we walk straight up to the corner, make a right, sprint forward, and arrive at the foot of the Tower of Terror, which we proceed to ride twice, never waiting in line. Now that’s the way to do it! Even fifteen minutes off schedule. No lines, that’s my second goal. And that’s the way we kept it going through Rock N Roll Roller Coaster; we even picked up fast passes, but never made it back that way, the reason which will become clear right around lunch time.

At this point we’ve satisfied everyone’s morning tolerance for thrill rides and follow Gwen’s lead to her most favorite of all WDW’s attractions: Millionaire.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000072.jpg

So, let’s get this out of the way. We are an overeducated group. Gwen and I have three undergraduate, 2 graduate, and a professional degree between us. Danny has a PhD. John doesn’t need as many degrees – he’s got big, big toys. He’s a well equipped cameraman back in OK and folk from all over the country stop him all week in WDW to ask him how he likes his big toys, where he got his big toys, and if they can hold his big toys. So, we’re all just the sort of suckers to be sucked back into this attraction, over and over again. In fact, Gwen has explicitly voiced the desire to some day spend one whole day there, and no doubt she would because not only is she smart, she’s quick. That’s the thing about Millionaire; if you want to sit in the big chair you have to be both, smart and quick. Gwen’s quick.

Only our first time through, as we sit perched in our seats all ready to impress Danny and John with our prowess, we never even make it on the board. You know the board I mean. The board that recalls intermittently throughout the festivities the scores of those audience members who are over performing, but not outstanding. The board that reflects the scores of those performing almost good enough for a little reflected glory from just being so near the top. Not one of us - big brains, decisive digits, or big toys, not withstanding - had earned a bit of that glory, reflected or otherwise. However, after we exited, waited in line again, and shored up our egos, the tide turned. Gwen’s brains and lightening quick digits never did achieve the success she so richly deserved, but despite my legendary lack of dexterity, the questions the guest in the hot seat was entertaining were all popping my way. I mean, I was in the zone. Not only did I know all of the answers, I knew them quick. Real quick. So quick that when they got down to the final question the players would entertain, “In March the traditional holiday pairing is of corned beef and …?” my fingers flew right to D, do not stop, do not pass go, I-bet-I’m-the next-audience-member-in-that-seat, corned beef and ... leprechauns. You bet. Corned Beef and Leprechauns. I could hardly wait to hear, “Viki, come on down.” OK, wrong show, but you get the idea. Only, just as I’m entertaining that fantasy, reality hits me upside my inflated head and says, “What they heck did you just say? Corned beef and leprechauns? What frigging leprechauns? Cabbage. The answer was corned beef and CAGGAGE." "Right," I said, "Corned beef and CABBAGE. I make it every year. That’s what I just pushed,” I said. Only self answered back and that sinking sick feel rose, “You answered leprechauns. Corned beef and leprechauns. You’re cooked.”

Well, not cooked exactly. I did end up on the board, reflected glory and all. I finished eighth. Really, for me, the original technophobe, not bad. Seriously, I was thrilled. Crowing thrilled. But, between you and me. I won that game. I had it all sown up. Corned beef and leprechauns, indeed.

It was time for a drink.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000075.jpg

Aren’t they perty? I don’t know how many times quick-as-lightening-Gwen tried to redeem herself from her non-winning performance at Millionaire by trying to capture the pretty lights of both the red and green cubes flashing at exactly the same nanosecond. She tried lots of times. She – and I - went through a lot of photos, a lot of cubes, and a lot of drinks. It was a sacrifice. And we didn’t win the rewards of that one, either. Except we had sooooo much fun trying! I don’t remember exactly what was in those perty drinks, and it wasn’t olives, but I think that’s the point. We were thirsty, we had worked hard all morning, and we were sitting in one of my most favorite WDW restaurants.



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http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000081.jpg

Yes, boys and girls, we lunched at the world famous Sci-Fi Café, sitting right up front in a perty yellow car.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000073.jpg

I don’t get it. I don’t get all the bad press this place gets. We love it. We adore it. And we have this bit of advice so that you can enjoy it too: KEEP IT SIMPLE. To really enjoy this attraction, the ambiance and the food, DON’T OPEN THE MENU. That’s right, don’t open the menu, just order the following: onion rings (yum), a Martha’s Martian with red flashing cubes (double yum), a cheeseburger (yum), another Martian with green flashing lights (double yum). And for dessert? You guessed it. A Martha’s Martian. But this time, don’t bother with the cubes. Get one of them Martians filled to the very top, sip off the first inch real quick and then put all the cubes – red and green – back in (really, really yum).

Viki
04-16-2006, 04:04 PM
That was our day at MGM. Yup, that was our whole day. We’d be back, but not that day. We had other fish to fry that day. And the next item on that menu was a boat ride back to BCV – yes, we rode the boat, and by that point, with the help of a few Martha’s Martians – we liked the boat a lot better. In fact, we loved that boat. What a really, really nice boat. And what a really, really nice nap we took – for two long hours. I don’t know what the teens did, but all four adults took a really, really nice long nap.

And when we all woke up to keep our 7 PM dinner appointment at the Flying Fish? Not one of us was hungry, not even a little bit. But since when did that stop anyone at WDW? So off to eat we went. The background here is that our first and only visit to the Flying Fish was about five years previous when my Orlando-based architect sister and BIL took us there for dinner to admire the architecture. We did. What we didn’t admire was the food (And, hey, how high do you think we set the bar? We like the food at Sci-Fi Café and our first meal was at Rose and Crown). But we’re good sports and after reading so many great reviews we decided it was time to give the place another go. How could we possibly know that that very evening onion rings, cheeseburgers, and Martians would be sitting like rocks in our stomachs?

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000098.jpg

I don’t even remember what all this food and drink was, but it was all really, really good. I do remember I had the steak and the figs and both were to die for.

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And after all the fun and frivolity of the day, what better way to celebrate than tossing a few lobsters? It’s a gift. A weird gift, but a gift, and I have the teeny tiny stuffed animals to prove it.

And, of course, we're gay, so we toured the BW to ooh and ahh at all the decorations.

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Look at that jacket!

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Mama Twinkles
04-16-2006, 06:20 PM
Fabulous write-up and pictures, Viki! I was cracking up at the description of racing against the boat, as if having to prove that you had made a good decision not to wait for it, or perhaps in retaliation because it had let you down. The picture of the giant drinks with lit-up cubes was also really funny in context. You have a great sense of comedic timing and a way with words. The leprechaun incident and your and Gwen's trying to regain your self-esteem by photographing the synchronously lit cubes over and over again rang true in a hilarious way. It sounds as if you guys are destined for the hot seat some day. And congrats on tossing a mean lobster.

StormTigger
04-16-2006, 10:15 PM
Corned Beef and Leprechauns

:rotfl2: Okay, I laughed so hard it hurt.. it really hurt! It's a good thing laughter is suppsoe to be the best medicine, cuz I think I just pulled something.

Thank you Viki! Loving the report, loving the pictures, and really needed the laugh! :lmao:

Can't wait for more ... actually I can.. I need my sides to stop hurting first! :rotfl:

T&KHayes
04-17-2006, 09:43 AM
Awesome Viki! :thumbsup2 Can't wait to hear the rest, and so far how are your menz friends enjoying themselves??? Can't wait to hear their impressions! And, I totally get the icecube thing....the other day dp and I were going somewhere with a good friend of ours and when we got into her car I looked up at the sunroof and there was this really neat almost leopard print to the water (it was raining earlier) and decided I wanted to snap a pic with my phone. Well she decided to as well and mine didn't look as cool as hers so I made her wait while I took several more shots. Dp was in the back, laughing and wanting to know if we could go yet! LOL All for leopard print water drops!!!

wallyb
04-17-2006, 01:03 PM
Viki - I L O V E your trip report.
So funny.

Viki
04-17-2006, 01:21 PM
DAY 4: Soarin

What’s the saying, “I believe thou dost protest too much?” Or, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall?” Or, “A stitch in time saves nine?” No, not that last one. But the first two, I believe they apply. Fifteen years ago, when we first met Danny, he was fresh off the boat from Britain. I believe I served him, in our home, over twenty home-cooked gourmet meals, over which one of his cultured dates, a professor of music at Temple University, once said, “You prepare the finest food I have ever eaten outside of a five star restaurant” (I believe that particular meal began with almond crusted deep fried brie, progressed towards bleu-cheese stuffed pork chops, and was capped by a light-as-air chocolate mousse), and it still took dear Danny at least another year before he commented, after one meal, “Nicely done.” I remember thinking at the time, such effusiveness, long hoped for! I just about fell off my chair – and this, high praise indeed, over shrimp, feta, and scallions in Asian red curry paste over a Boboli pizza crust (my own recipe, which he still makes me make). :thumbsup2

He’s come a long way. In fact, he’s come all the way to WDW, kicking and screaming – with all due decorum, but please remember the “after” picture from page one. He’s getting the hang of it – literally. For today, what had become, at the very least, palatable, is about to be born as a full-blown obsession. First thing, we rouse ourselves from our epicurean bloat and are, this morning, the first in line for the International Gate rope drop. Yeah! Success. No toting that barge or lifting that bale, we did it the old fashioned way: we walked and we made it and it was only 8 AM. Yes, the dreaded EMH, but I don’t care what propaganda you’ve read on these boards, those babies are worth their weight in gold. You get me to any park by 8 AM (7:45 actually) and I have done everything worth doing in that park by 11:00 AM, just in time for a Martian. That’s right, when you know what you’re doing, they’re all half-day parks. :drinking1 :drinking1 :drinking1

Clearly, we know what we’re doing – and, really, what an accomplishment in life, to have mastered the mechanics of navigating a theme park. So, when that rope drops, we’re off. It’s the authentic Amazing Race. It’s the ability to race not only the mob of lemurs (in December???) you’re currently traveling with, but the unseen – but nevertheless very real – hordes of barbarians bearing down on your destination from the other, bigger and better well-known source, otherwise known as the FRONT GATE, while at the same time looking as if you are on vacation. We all know where we are headed. There really is only one place to head. Yes, you can play that beat the crowds, go get the fast pass, and then travel cross-country to where the crowds aren’t game, but that’s cold. The thrill is that you beat the crowds and are smugly standing at the head of the line for the first ride of the day, a feat which you enjoy with a deep seeded satisfaction as you turn your head back to gaze upon the crowds behind you, who are precisely behind you to witness to your victory. :yay: :yay: :yay:

As a direct result of this sort of ruthlessness, er … sorry, trip planning, we did, indeed achieve our objective of being one of the first in line to ride Soarin for our very first very time ever and without any additional effort on our parts also achieved our goal of riding in the front row, the joys of which were further confirmed not only by our experience but by a woman, a solo traveler, who appeared seemingly out of thin air, relating that she had enjoyed the Soarin adventure over thirty-five times in merely three recent visits. There must be an attractor force at work. Something which literally draws those of us who grasp the possibilities to the same place at the same time. Eerie, isn’t it? pixiedust: pixiedust: pixiedust:

In truth, it could be that the six of us, five of us and the very special one of her, were all occupying the same vaulted position because of the time and place, but that’s capitulating a bit too much to a scientific mindset in a such a magical setting. I think she was the universe’s way of providing us prologue. She was the champagne on our maiden (dare of I say virgin?) Soarin adventure. With the glorious result that by the time we were buckled into our front row seats, gazing with childlike awe at the enormous proportions of the screen in front of us, even before the first lift had raised us over the bucolic vistas of sunny California, we were already transported to never, never land. It was a fertile journey that would give birth to three successive bouts of “ride, fast pass,” “ride, fast pass,” “ride, fast pass” for all five of us and which would, for Danny, continue to birth the same festive cycle over the course of the entire week. In fact, he is winging his way back to the World, on the pretense of a conference, in three short weeks but I know where he can be found. :worship: :worship: :worship:

Truly, it was magical, but there ARE a few other things to do in Epcot, and remember I set the bar high: done by 11 AM, because, really, who by then isn’t thirsty? So, eventually, with great moaning and gnashing of teeth we did, somehow, manage to tear ourselves away and visit, in order: Ellen’s Energy Adventure (still very gay, very nice), the Epcot Ball (needs an update, the new folk don’t get it, not one little bit, no charm, no good, the WAND is the best part!), and Test Track (it’s nice, but it’s no Soarin). pirate:

At length we have done everything worth doing in Future World. It is now time to show Mr. European the rest of World Showcase. But can it come as any great surprise that we make it no further than Mexico? Frankly, no guilt, no shame. I wrote this one right into the schedule (Yes, there is a schedule, drawn out in exquisite detail, with columns, rows, ADR confirmation numbers, and bordered with holiday illustrations), “on Monday, December 5th we will have a lost afternoon in Mexico.” We could debate on how lost it is when it’s right on the itinerary, but believe me we got lost and here were the culprits:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000128.jpg

Yes, we also ate. Quell surprise! In addition to the chips, guacamole, and multiple marguerites, of every color from many sources, we fell in love with the combo plate, especially whatever it is those little crispy things that they are calling quesadillas really are! Yummy times. If I remember correctly, Danny and John skipped over to Germany to bring back Brackworst and sauerkraut (Yes, go right ahead, I said, margarita in hand, walk right around the world, sampling whatever it is your hearts desire!), while the teens had sushi (we’ve raised very cosmopolitan youth).

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000127.jpg

PennyW
04-17-2006, 01:23 PM
More more more! :)

(I can't believe that not one of us thought to take a picture of our R&C gathering!)

joanjett1976
04-17-2006, 02:25 PM
More pics :thumbsup2

Loving it!

On our last visit to Flying Fish, we were stood up by our men-friends who were completely depleted after our hard day of Tower Of Terror dropping. The poor waitress seemed completely shattered that we had been stood up by our 'dates'. We drowned our sorrows in a few rounds of the champagne sampler and the Chocolate Soufflé was on her :love:

k8x
04-17-2006, 04:04 PM
Wow! O WOW. Hi Viki. I'm a newbie (ex-lurker). Here's a tip o' the brim to ya. I've been reading with glee your fine, fine writings about your epic adventures... but today's ~~ Today's is priceless! "Nicely done!" as they say...
(I'll leave it at that!!!)
cheers,
k8

Viki
04-17-2006, 05:19 PM
BAH HUMBUG!

It may not be the Mexican Riviera, but there are few sights in the World more whimsical than one you can spy when you float down the Beach Club’s Sand-Bottomed pool’s lazy river, with the sharp Atlantic City hues of the recreated Boardwalk, the playground of my youth, rising in the distance, as you come around the bend. Somehow, and of this I am true - I have no memory of the how - we gaily sauntered from Mexico to Cape May, donned our swimwear and siestaed our way through the remains of the day on our very own nautical adventure. It was pure bliss and the end came much too soon. :boat: :boat: :boat:

Soon enough, however, it was time to pretty up and dress for dinner. On the verge of our evening’s adventures, let me say two things. First, of all the sit down restaurants in World Showcase, I’ve always believed that Marrakesh was the most undervalued. So much so, in fact, that when you couldn’t get a sit down meal anywhere else in WS, most of the time you could walk up to the doors of Marrakesh, be promptly seated, and enjoy both a very good meal and a lovely show (a really lov-er-ly show!). Second, as I’ve mentioned, for all of our many visits to the World, we had never visited during the holidays, so it was with a certain degree of real expectation that we looked forward to our evening dinner package of a sumptuous Moroccan meal followed by Cicely Tyson, one grand dame, presiding at our very first experience of the Candlelight Processional. party:

With all of this in mind, we set forth, feeling surprisingly good and – wonder of wonders – authentically hungry. Unfortunately, that’s where the authenticity of the evening reached its limit. I don’t know what in the World has happened since last we dined there, but the meal we were served at Marrakesh was the most warmed-over parody of Middle Eastern food I have ever experienced. Despite our expectations, we were not counting on the quality of food or ambiance that we can enjoy by traveling to Center City Philadelphia and indulging in the cuisine of a restaurant by the same name, but with all those added touches you know you’re not going to get in WDW: a tight, dark and dusty womb-like space fully capable of affording the occasion for all sorts of frivolities, overflowing with pillowed sofas set in semicircles, complete with servers carrying trays of food up and down secret passageways and whisking them, with a final flourish, through draperied doorways, with not one plate or eating utensil in sight from the beginning of the feast to the end. It’s all done in close-knit gatherings and it’s all done by hand. Lovely. Not so at WDW’s Marrakesh, and not expected. Still, stripped of all that is truly Moroccan, its offense wasn’t that it was awful, but instead that it was so middle-of-the-road, hey-mom-look-at-me-I’m-eating-something-fancy, mediocre. :confused3

Still, I can say, Danny did enjoy his meal:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000138.jpg

There must have been some of this pixiedust: being sprinkled in the kitchen to make that so.

Here were the rest of our meals:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000134.jpg
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This very simple dessert was surprisingly sumptuous (or, perhaps, I was still just that hungry):

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000154.jpg

We did have one heck of a good time ordering native Moroccan wines (who knew?) off the menu.

Here's John. looking very Moroccan!

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000143.jpg

And the belly dancer? She was the most sumptuous of all, but of course I failed to snap that photo. Given a clear choice between preserving mediocre food or the fleeting beauty of a woman, I shot the food. I should be flogged.

In the meantime, dinner wined its way to an end, we acquired new secret gnosis about which line to stand in for the Candlelight Processional when you have tickets, grieved for the folk who did not - but nevertheless stood in long, two-hour lines because they lived in hope, and finally found ourselves seated on the left hand side of the outdoor auditorium, near where the stately trumpeters would soon take up their guard. Disappointed in our food – though, of course, not the meal; the meal included friends, family, wine, and beautiful women – we were hungry for what might come next. All of which leads me to wonder, “What shall we say to these things?” Perhaps Danny, the musical aficionado who travels throughout the country to enjoy good opera and once stood at the Met for three hours to listen to Wagner’s Ring cycle, says it best when he says, “Go to Disney for what Disney does bet.” Well said. :wizard: :wizard: :wizard:


Disney does many things well. Apparently, what Disney does not do well is choral music. The evening started promisingly enough when choir after choir, from all over the state and from among many gifted WDW employees, filed in. And who could not enjoy it when Cicely Tyson, stately, regal, and humble, all at the same time, took the stage. And the narrative, well the narrative is the timeless piece that it is and “One Solitary Life,” whether read in church, Rockefeller center, or WDW never fails to move me. And the trumpeters. My goodness what a grand display of ornamental bravado. I’m a sucker for ornamental bravado. But, please, and this is the core of it, if I wanted to listen to four professional singers who sing for a living at WDW I would camp out at the American pavilion. Forgive me. Please! But I came to hear choral singers. I came to hear complex groups of altos laying the musical base from which many soprano voices would courageously soar the vibrato heights. I came to hear a choir of tenor voices cutting through the thick of the night crisp, clean, and haunting. And it didn’t have to be “good.” None of it had to be good. But it had to be THAT. It had to be what was advertised: CHOIRS. Horribly, disappointingly, dishonestly, what it was, instead, was four professional singers WITH MICROPHONES standing in front of 100 choral singers rendered MUTE by the 4 singers WITH MICROPHONES. :rockband:

Big Sigh.

Did I mention that after the CP we once again perched ourselves in England and thoroughly enjoyed Illuminations, for the second night in a row? Did I mention that? Because we did and it was really, really fine. Brilliant, in fact. Really, really nice. Especially the last part: Let there be Peace on Earth. I am ALL about Peace. Bring the Peace! :charac2:

True North
04-17-2006, 06:23 PM
Oh my! It took me a while to catch up, and I have stuff I want to say, but I think first I need to run to the kitchen. Your pictures of all the food have made me too hungery to type! :)

Viki
04-17-2006, 06:55 PM
Oh my! It took me a while to catch up, and I have stuff I want to say, but I think first I need to run to the kitchen. Your pictures of all the food have made me too hungery to type! :)


:lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

Friend, you are sooooo predictable! I KNEW the food would get you!!!
:rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

Grammyof2
04-18-2006, 08:02 AM
I am so glad you have started to finish this report. Did that even make sense?

Loving the pics. The food looks really good. Especially the drinks :teeth:

True North
04-18-2006, 12:03 PM
:rotfl:

Okay Viki, I am the only one who admited it, but when you posted 10 pictures of wonderful food in a row I'm sure a lot of readers ran to their kitchens like me. I now have to add the Flying Fish to my list of places to check out. If I keep reading these threads I think I will be doing nothing but travel from restuarant to restaurant the entire trip. (Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just think DH and DS would not be impressed. :) )

I know you said you don't remember all the meals, but do you know what this one was? For some reason I want it, despite the fact all I see is black with a random yellow-spotted sauce. :teeth:


http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000108.jpg

Viki
04-18-2006, 12:42 PM
:rotfl:

Okay Viki, I am the only one who admited it, but when you posted 10 pictures of wonderful food in a row I'm sure a lot of readers ran to their kitchens like me. I now have to add the Flying Fish to my list of places to check out. If I keep reading these threads I think I will be doing nothing but travel from restuarant to restaurant the entire trip. (Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just think DH and DS would not be impressed. :) )

I know you said you don't remember all the meals, but do you know what this one was? For some reason I want it, despite the fact all I see is black with a random yellow-spotted sauce. :teeth:

Oh, friend, we are soulmates for sure :3dglasses THAT photo is my steak and THAT sauce is to die for. The entire dish was simply the best steak I have ever eaten in my whole life and I don't it's any secret that I love to eat and make a fine hobby of it in some of the very best places.
pirate: pirate: pirate:

BTW, the fresh figs were also simply the best.

wallyb
04-18-2006, 01:17 PM
I'm a bit of a foodie as well.
Alway try to hit the Flying Fish.
And I agree Sci-Fi Café gets so "dised" and I don't get it.
We alway go there for lunch on MGM day. O-rings yum!
This next trip Jiko for the first time!

Viki
04-18-2006, 01:54 PM
I'm a bit of a foodie as well.
Alway try to hit the Flying Fish.
And I agree Sci-Fi Café gets so "dised" and I don't get it.
We alway go there for lunch on MGM day. O-rings yum!
This next trip Jiko for the first time!

Yes, we'll be dining at Jiko for the first (few!) times in August - can't wait!

Viki
04-19-2006, 04:59 PM
DAY 5: Bonjour Paris, Bonsoir Magic Kingdom!
(This title is for you Gen; it’s meant to show off my four high school years of parlez vous-ing Francais)

Not with your calculator, slide rule, abacus, or supercharged particle accelerator could you better measure or dissect the sheer brilliance of this day more precisely; this day was science and art, welded and wielded, as only someone who has achieved the glorious goal of mastering the mechanics of NAVIGATING A THEME PARK could craft and exercise. All WDW parks are half-day parks and to put this principle to the ultimate test I devised today’s schedule to accomplish ALL of the following: REST after last evening’s excursions (admittedly not that strenuous, but the larger than life daily excesses of the World do accumulate), INTRODUCE the boys to another adventure in WS haute culture counter service dining, PRESENT the charms of Magic Kingdom to Danny in such as way as to forever win his allegiance to the jewel in the crown of the Land of the Sacred Mouse, EXPERIENCE every single attraction worth experiencing in the MK in one, brief evening, and ENJOY every single special MVMCP event in a leisurely fashion as we trip the holiday light fantastic through the Magic Kingdom.

I’m a big girl. Easily bored and not easily daunted. I need a challenge. It’s a disease. This was a challenge, because the real issue was this: how to present WDW over an 8-day span in the most ADULT light possible. I knew this was the only way I was ever going to win Danny over, SO over that we might, despite his uncharacteristically – and very non-British - boisterous protestations to the contrary, get him to some day COME BACK. In fact, I was so driven by the correctness of this strategy that for months ahead of time I was e-mailing him every Food and Wine festival “special event” menu that I could cull, all with the small print disclaimer, “We won’t actually be there during that time of year but SEE what WDW can do when it wants!” Very persuasive. He never even responded. I’m sure it was that British reserve. Still, I am not easily daunted and so I continued to vigorously pursue my “Package WDW as the – family friendly – Babylon of that Small Southern piece of Tropical Real Estate that was once Connected to the Continent of Africa” strategy and here – day 5 – was the greatest challenge of all.

My goal was the Ultimate Seduction by way of World Domination. We were vacationing in Cape May. Our first evening we dined in Britain. The first theme park we visited was Epcot and the second was MGM. The meal we shared at Flying Fish would prove to be the peak culinary experience we shared that week. And for all that Morocco and the Candlelight Processional were a wee bit “off,” they were still ADULT. All of which is to say, it was no coincidence that our first visit to the Magic Kingdom came no sooner than day 5! The Grand Unified Theory of the Universe should be so well thought out (in fact, if it was, it might exist!). In a nutshell it all came down to: Don’t show the boy the Magic Kingdom too soon and when you do show him the Magic Kingdom show him at night, when it’s all aglow, even though he isn’t (the MK is dry, very, very dry).

In the interests of pursuing an adult day at the magic Kingdom – the most “family-friendly” of the four parks - what better way to break our fast than in Paris?

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000160.jpg

My favorite French Sailors, just off the Boat:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000161.jpg

For all of our rings around the rosiness of the many delectable food offerings of WS, we had never eaten in at the outdoor cafe. The Bistro De Paris? Oui. The Chefs de France? Twice. But the Boulangerie Patisserie, around the corner, perched on the curb? Non. With the result that we could not think of a more adult way to begin the day than at an outdoor Parisian café, a setting so refined that the women of the REAL Paris are not even allowed to be fat; the secret of which is that those dear souls eat everything under the sun - supremely rich sauces, cream filled pastries, buttered scones - but they eat them in such miniscule portion sizes that you can’t even see them. Really, the recommended serving size for all of these delectables is such that if the women in question hold them oh sooooo close to the body heat emanating from their puckered little lips, the food itself merely evaporates, transitioning from solid straight to vapor, passing a few molecules of flavor oh sooooo judiciously immediately over their oh sooooo disciplined taste buds. No pain, no gain. We thought we’d give it a go.

What did we order? Well, just like the highly touted ladies of Paris, we ordered everything in sight. No, really. We ordered everything on the menu. Here is what we ordered:

Apple Tart, Peach Tart, Strawberry Tart, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Mickey Mouse Cookie, Elephant Ears, Croissant Plain, Croissant Chocolate, Chocolate Éclair, Chocolate Mousse, Fruit Bavarois, Raspberry Schuss, Apple Turnover, Pralineige, Napoleon Cream Puff, Cheesecake, Coconut Pyramid, Caramel Soufflé, Ham and Cheese Croissant, Ham and Cheese Quiche, Ham and Cheese Sandwich, French Baguette Bread, Cheese Plate

That is the whole menu.

Six of us. No, really, we did, and if I remember correctly we went back and reordered a few of them.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/VikiLee/WDW2005/P1000157.jpg

Apparently, we got half the equation right: Parisians can eat anything. But here’s where I think we made a FATAL mistake. We proceeded to eat everything. No, really, we did. Yup. Everything. It was good and I think it held us a couple of hours.

I honestly don’t remember. More thoroughly than a pitcher of margaritas, I can honestly confess that following Babbette’s feast I lost at least three hours. Just gone. Puff! Or, was that (cream) puff! Somewhere in there I do remember that Danny bought his first holiday-themed WDW head gear. It was the one with a XMAS tree, complete with dangling gifts, hanging from its holiday hinges. With the reality of sugared plums taking up residence within, altogether he purchased seven and his first weekend back in OK he threw a party for his closest friends at which they each had to choose and wear one of them. From all of this, dear readers, I am forced to conclude that the Surgeon General is oh sooooo correct. It is excess food, not alcohol, which posses the greatest threat to our country’s health. But who, I ask, knew it was our mental health which was up for grabs?

I am sooooo glad we were all being sooooo adult.

joanjett1976
04-19-2006, 07:18 PM
Quel festin, Mademoiselle Viki!

Yeee-haaa, that's a lot of pastries ;)

I had a wisdom tooth removed this morning and looking at starchy, crunchy food with sharp edges that could hinder the healing process is downright cruel!!! Val had to go to work (does Urban Outfitters ever close? No.) and I am left to my own devices attempting to infuse flavor in apple sauce and yogurt.

And I am not even going to pretend I did not see your thick planning folder :lmao:

Viki
04-19-2006, 07:40 PM
Quel festin, Mademoiselle Viki!


And I am not even going to pretend I did not see your thick planning folder :lmao:

Oh, my, tu are sooooo totally on to moi!

joanjett1976
04-20-2006, 09:52 AM
Well, I doubt any of us are innocent in the planning department. I carry 4X6 flash cards (in ever so lovely hot pink and lime green) with typed park opening hours, tips, adr's, reservation numbers, etc...

wallyb
04-20-2006, 10:21 AM
Guilty as well!

Laminated (water proof for water rides) pocket size itineraries for everyone in my party with times - reservations - conf numbers- parade times etc. - and large ones for hotel room - special tip envelopes -Planed to the split second.

OCD!

This next trip is the first one with no real plan for how we’ll spend our days.
I hope I don’t freak out!

Viki
07-17-2006, 05:11 PM
Hi, friends, after a very lonnnnnggg respite I wanted to let you all know that I've finally continued this trip report over on the Trip Reports Board. Please come visit!

Saxton
07-17-2006, 08:26 PM
Hi, friends, after a very lonnnnnggg respite I wanted to let you all know that I've finally continued this trip report over on the Trip Reports Board. Please come visit!

Wow ... I guess the laptop is finally fixed! Good thing you're going to get it done before you have to start the next one. I think you deserve a dirty tonight.

Viki
07-18-2006, 07:08 AM
Wow ... I guess the laptop is finally fixed! Good thing you're going to get it done before you have to start the next one. I think you deserve a dirty tonight.

I am sooooo highly motivated to put this puppy to bed! I was actually trying to wrap it up last night but between downloading all the photos to photobucket (which takes 4-ever!) and writing up the activities I only made it from the end of day 5 through day 7. Still, that means only 2 days to go, which I do intend to write and post today. And at that point I won't have a dirty (trying to keep that to the weekends these days, in an attempt to shed a couple pounds before the anniversary trip), but I do expect to "hear" applause!

Viki
07-21-2006, 02:16 PM
OK, friends I finally wrapped up this report over on the Trip Reports board. I also changed the title over there because there's a lot more Gay than Mickey in it and I figured it'd be good to let folk know that "straight up," so to speak! Please come over and visit, except for a few more photos, I'm finally done!!! Thanks for all of your support and encouragement over these many months.