Back to back Disney trips, OH MY! 'OHANA BREAKFAST! [updated 3/3/13]
hello again! :woohoo:
originally, i had booked a quick thanksgiving holiday trip with my daughter on 11/23-11/25. this reservation has a dinner reservation at BOG. :cool1:
during my attempt at acquiring a passholder preview for fantasyland, the website crashed. i had flashbacks of my time trying to get a BOG reservation so i never made another attempt. :crazy2: a few days ago, i did enter the "sweepstakes" for the passholder preview & didn't think anything of it.
yesterday, i received an email from disney stating, "You have been selected to participate in the New Fantasyland® of Magic Kingdom® Park Preview Sweepstakes for Walt Disney World® Resort Annual Passholders." :thumbsup2 but i'm pretty sure everyone who entered got a time slot! :lmao:
so i decided to take back to back trips down to disney. call me crazy or kind of obsessed but i'm so excited! my daughter is a huge little mermaid fan & she is going to LOVE the "under the sea" ride. she's seen videos on youtube from DL & watches it on repeat.
a little introduction of the two of us:
me & my DD emme (age 2).
i am a single mother working as a nurse in florida. my daughter & i both LOVE disney. i really enjoy our trips to disney together as we get in so much quality time. we have an absolute blast together!
photo taken during our last trip... MNSSHP 2012 DINING & TRIP REVIEW can be found here.
this is my DD daughter, emme. she LOVES the disney princesses! a lot of our meals are character driven meals because of her age but needless to say, we love any chance to see the characters up close & personal while also stuffing our faces. :rotfl:
now onto the PTR! :banana:
TRIP 1: 11/17/12 - 11/18/12
on this trip, i will be paying OOP & using my TIW card where accepted. we are also staying off property for this short trip as i got a great deal at a disney good neighbor hotel.
DAY 1: AP Fantasyland Preview
LUNCH: Be Our Guest
DINNER: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
my daughter was pretty miserable at 1900 park fare during our last trip during MNSSHP as all the wind from superstorm sandy finally caught up to her & she acquired a cold. i booked again in hoping she will have a better time & get her princess fix.
our preview is scheduled from 12:30-4!
DAY 2: SeaWorld
we have never been to seaworld together & i think she will really enjoy it. she loves "the seas" & the georgia aquarium is one of her most favorite places ever.
BREAKFAST: The Crystal Palace
TRIP 2: 11/23/12 - 11/25/12
we will be staying at AOA - LM for this trip. we stayed here in october & absolutely loved the hotel!
we are also on the deluxe dining plan for this trip. we will have 6 TS credits and 4 snacks. i also have a TIW card for adult beverages. :p
fantasyland will also be under soft openings so i'm hoping to check it out again.
LUNCH: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
DINNER: California Grill
DINNER: Be Our Guest
LUNCH: Cinderella's Royal Table
thank you for reading & i will be updating soon!! pixiedust:
Changed our holiday ADR & added narcoossee's!
We will have perfect dining ressies to view wishes. I'm hoping we get a great view.
Also booked a le cellier lunch during our AP fantasyland preview but I may not keep it.
9 more days! :)
How exciting! Cannot wait to read all about it
i got an ADR for breakfast @ crystal palace on our departing day. this is great!
4 more sleeps!!! :cool1:
so i'm thinking of cancelling our lunch adr on saturday as i'm hoping to have lunch at BOG during our fantasyland passholder preview.
decisions, decisions! :eek:
being persistent indeed pays off when it comes to ADR's. i've been really wanting to try california grill. i also really wanted to dine at california grill during wishes.
i've had some bad luck trying to get a reservation there. but lo & behold...the perfect reservation time was staring back at me tonight. 8:45 ADR with wishes at 10pm! i am so excited!!!:yay:
i cancelled narcoossee's (i can eat a 2 pound lobster another time :rotfl:) & confirmed california grill!
soooo excited!!! :cheer2:
we leave on saturday for the ap fantasyland preview. i think i'm canceling our arrival lunch & going to just wing it (maybe we'll get to dine at BOG during our tour).
3 more sleeps!!! pixiedust:
LUNCH @ BE OUR GUEST!
i just returned from my quick trip to disney for the ap fantasyland preview. disney was very crowded & despite the ominous weather, my daughter & i had an absolute blast! it's sad to be home but we are headed back on friday.
after touring the new fantasyland (we primarily focused on ariel related items), we waited in line for BOG. the line was pretty long to enter the castle to order and it took us 20 minutes to make it through the castle door.
during the soft openings, you can either eat in the castle or just tour the castle. there are two different entrances inside.
this little guy was hanging out with us as we were waiting.
my disney partner in crime, emme.
this is above the entrance to the castle.
castle entrance minus the electric wheelchair.
after entering the castle, you are herded into a line. as you are waiting, you are surrounded by knights on each side. the knights caught me off guard as they speak. my daughter got kind of spooked out by it. ha ha.
there is a menu that revolves right smack in the middle of the wait area so that you can familiarize yourself with the menu. it was finally our turn to approach the order area. there is cm at a podium with an order area flanked on each side. there are also menu screens that revolve so that you can again, see what you will be ordering. there are so many menus posted in this place that you will practically have it memorized before you leave.
i noticed that mashed potatoes were served with a particular lunch entree. i asked if i could just order it as a side. the surly cm said "nope". then i asked if i could get just cheese on the kids macaroni instead of the red sauce (my daughter loathes red sauce) & once again, she said "nope". if your child is a picky eater, this may not be the place for you. it's a take it as it is or don't eat kind of place.
i ordered my food & then was given a "rose". i was told to place the rose & the receipt in the middle of my table once i decided where i wanted to sit. the "rose" has a gps tracker inside so the cm can find you & bring you your lunch. the cm taps the rose before she places your order as well i guess to activate it.
the rose tracker.
the drink station is pretty nice but the free for all quality brings out the ugly in some people. after getting my drink my daughter & i took a quick peek at the areas and decided to settle on the main area. i sat at a 4 top so that emme could sit next to me. it was actually snowing in the background. i thought that was very neat. unfortunately, i was right next to the disney researchers that wanted to survey everyone about their lunch experience. one researcher was very aggressive & a customer actually came back & told the man that he was very rude & should look for another job. oops.
the beautiful chandeliers & mosaic.
after about 20 minutes, the cm finds us & has our food on a antique looking food cart. she checks our receipt before placing the food on our table.
Carved Turkey Sandwich - served on a warm baguette with Dijon mayonnaise and Pomme Frites
the sandwich was HUGE. it could easily be shared by two people. the baguette was warm (i wish it was a little crusty) & inside was a generous portion of moist turkey. there was some lettuce & red onions inside which provided the prefect crunch with each bite. the dijon mayonnaise wasn't over powering and went well with the sandwich. i only finished half and emme ate the turkey off of the other half. the fries were nothing special. they were kind of soggy by the time they got to me. i enjoyed the sandwich very much.
French Onion Soup
the french onion soup looked the part but it was not very good. the cheese was a bit hard as i began to eat it. it wasn't gooey or "melty" which tells me it was sitting in the window for a little bit. i love me some french onion soup but this version was pretty bad. the broth had no flavor and was very thin. the onions weren't caramelized...in fact, there weren't many onions in my soup at all. and the crouton or bread in the bottom of my bowl was very sad. i ate the cheese off the top but left most of the soup & crouton still in the bowl. they should be ashamed of themselves for serving this soup & then charging $4.99 for it!
Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake
the cupcake was very yummy. the wrapper was difficult to remove & essentially, i crushed the actual cake trying to remove the wrapper. emme enjoyed it very much.
with my soda, my meal cost me $24.00. i was not on a dining plan & TIW is only accepted for dinner. i think it was a great alternative to other QS places at magic kingdom. the prices are increasing i've read since they initially opened. i don't think my meal tasted like a $24.00 meal but we were eating inside of a castle with our closest friends, right?
also, remember to grab your silverware AND napkins when getting your drinks. i had to get up twice to first get my silverware & then my napkins. it may not seem to be a big deal but when you have an almost 3 year old with you, it was a bit tricky! they are located in one specific area as well. you also leave your plates on the tables and a cm immediately comes over & clears your area.
after finishing our meal, i took a few picture of the castle.
overall, after some time, i know the kinks will be gone. as mentioned prior, BOG is a great alternative to the other QS options. it's also a good value on the dining plan as most entrees cost over $10.00. the atmosphere is truly unique & disney really out did themselves with the theming. even the cm speak french, "bonjour bonjour!" the turkey sandwich saved the day while the french onion soup was very very lackluster & disappointing.
we have a BOG ressie for dinner next saturday & i'm hoping we will have an awesome experience especially since beer & wine are offered as well.
up next, AP FANTASYLAND PREVIEW!
happy thanksgiving everyone!!! :banana:
we have so many things to be grateful for. hug everyone around you as i cannot hug my brother as he is deployed to afghanistan. :(
two more sleeps & disney bound! :jumping1:
Awesome Be Our Guest pics!! Have fun on your next trip.
Emme's pigtails are soo cute. She is adorable.
That sandwich actually looks pretty good! I love red onions on sandwiches.
AP FANTASYLAND PREVIEW
i was picked randomly to attend the AP fantasyland preview. i think everyone who entered the sweepstakes was picked as the park was full of people with fantasyland wristbands. regardless, i was so excited to attend the preview. my daughter LOVES the little mermaid & i could not wait for her to ride the little mermaid ride with little to no wait. this alone was worth me making back to back trips to disney!
our wristbands we picked up at the ticketing center. we also got free parking for attending the event.
magic kingdom was so beautifully decorated.
we made a stop at storybook treats for a vanilla ice cream.
the park was SLAMMED. there were people everywhere! it was kind of a mad house & i was getting a bit scared turning the corner to enter fantasyland after finishing the ice cream. my fears turned into a reality as the new fantasyland was overflowing with people. everything was so busy.
the line to BOG was super long so we headed over to the "under the sea" ride. the wait time was 60 minutes. then i saw some people with pink bands entering the fast pass lane. so the bands did have purpose now! we were allowed in the fast pass lane during the AP preview.
we waited less than 3 minutes to get on the ride. despite the short wait, other pass holders were becoming very angry that they had to wait. maybe they thought it was suppose to be an exclusive event. people were getting ugly & it was very sad to see.
the ride was really well done. i'd seen videos for the disneyland ride & this was even better in person. we rode the ride 4 times, back to back to back to back. my daughter enjoyed it that much. we waited less than 5 minutes each time.
afterwards, we headed to the grotto to meet ariel in mermaid form. we visited her twice as emme could not wrap her head around ariel in mermaid form the first time around. ha ha.
our first visit with ariel was unsuccessful. emme was shell shocked.
OMG, it's ARIEL!
ariel was so pretty!
it was a different ariel on our second visit. she was very sweet to emme. a smile like this from emme made being miserable at work on monday worthwhile (ha ha).
emme's still in disbelief.
we spent the bulk of time with all things little mermaid related. we skipped enchanted tour with belle as emme is a much bigger ariel fan. that's her favorite princess.
gaston was out & about but there was no line for him even though he had a handler who was speaking very loudly that there is no line for gaston while people were basically having a free for all to get a picture. again, people were being ugly so we quickly passed and headed to the beasts castle to make an attempt at lunch.
after lunch at BOG, we rode a few more rides in fantasyland & then checked into our hotel.
the new fantasyland is amazing & i'm so glad we got to do the preview with little wait for under the sea & getting a photo with ariel. i can't wait until everything is completed!
up next, dinner at akershus!! :banana:
PRINCESS STORYBOOK DINNER @ AKERSHUS
we had a very busy day during our preview of fantasyland. i've learned from our past trips that breakfast or an early lunch is the best time for emme to enjoy character interactions. however, i thought she needed a princess fix during this trip & it was our only opportunity to see the princesses. by the time we had reached akershus, she was slightly grumpy & tired.
i was actually impressed with this photopass photographer. i always have my camera set to "auto" when the photopass photogs use my camera to snap a picture just to make things quick & easy. he actually shot this in manual mode (that's how i shoot) & took multiple shots until he got one he liked. i thought that was very nice of him & we got a great picture.
i really wished this photog could have centered emme & i. but with some clever cropping & editing, i'm using this picture for our holiday cards. we waited 20 minutes in line for this picture (this added to emme's crankiness).
we arrive to akershus & were 20 minutes early. she could not check me in until i was 10 minutes to our ADR. so we waited in the cold, checked in & herded like cattle. our name was finally called & we entered the line to take a photo with belle.
emme & belle.
we were seated along the main aisle on a tiny two top. is it me or do the tables seem to be getting smaller & smaller?? our server had numerous tables & she was very busy. one of her tables had 14 guests so needless to say, she didn't stop by our table too much.
my plate from the cold buffet.
the smoked salad was delicious. i'm a sucker for smoked salmon, capers & red onions. the fruit was fresh & the bread was warm. emme feasted on the bread & fruits.
i took advantage of the full bar and ordered a vodka dirty martini. my favorite drink as of late.
SKYY VODKA DIRTY MARTINI
i noticed that all the restaurants have their own special skewer/sword/toothpick with their symbol.
i was very surprised that cinderella was there. i've read that cinderella is at akershus on occasion & i was so happy she was there. i originally had a ressie to 1900 park fare but switched last minute to akershus.
cinderella noticed that emme was a bit shy so she twirled emme a few times. it was very sweet!
emme doing her weird shoulder move, signaling she's "shy". so weird!
finally, a smile.
up next, snow white!
now, it's ariel time!
she's semi-warmed up for pictures.
akershus does a princess processional during the meal. aurora picked emme & they walked with other kids around the restaurant. after the processional stopped, aurora twirled each girl. they all felt so special. it was very cute. hectic but very cute.
aurora & emme.
after the processional, aurora made her visit to our table. i don't know what it is about aurora, but every sleeping beauty i've met in the parks has been super nice. they are extremely attentive to emme, take a lot of time with her & absolutely amazing. i wish all characters were like sleeping beauty in the parks. they REALLY love their jobs.
our meals finally arrived.
Mushroom-stuffed Pasta - with Swiss Chard, Oven-roasted Shiitakes, and Parmesan Cream
Mushroom-stuffed Pasta - with Swiss Chard, Oven-roasted Shiitakes, and Parmesan Cream
the cm recommended this dish and indeed it was very tasty. quite delicious actually. the mushrooms had great flavor. the sauce looked heavy but it was not too heavy. the dish was very comforting especially in the cold, drizzly weather. i could have easily eaten seconds. in fact, i would have traded dessert for another plate of pasta!
the cm said that emme would get a free meal from the children's menu. the chicken was a bit tough, the corn was canned corn and the mashed potatoes were decent. she lost interest in food by the time the princesses finished. she managed a few bites of corn and potatoes but that was it.
and now to dessert
Royal Chef's Dessert Plate - Served family style
Sweet and Savory Chocolate Mousse, Traditional Rice Cream - topped with Strawberry Sauce, Flaky Puff Pastry - filled with Mascarpone Mousse topped with fresh Berries
i'm not a fan of this dessert. this was my second taste of it & i just didn't like any of it. the rice cream confused me (again), the pastry was tough and the mousse wasn't very good. the fresh berries was the best part of the dessert.
the meal, with my TIW card cost me about $60.00. that included 18% gratuity & a dirty martini plus pictures. it was pretty expensive but for the most part, emme had a decent time. the food definitely wasn't the best i've bad but it wasn't the worst. akershus is definitely a princess experience for the princess lovers in your family.
up next, breakfast at CRYSTAL PALACE.
LOL at the shoulder move!! I see a lot of kids do that when they are shy! She is soo soo cute!!!
just posted my review of akershus breakfast. hoping this dinner review will help as well! :cool1:
BREAKFAST @ CRYSTAL PALACE.
i was pretty happy to stumble upon a last minute ADR to crystal palace. my ressie was for 9:30 and this gave us a few more hours in the park before we headed to sea world & eventually have to head back home.
i've had lunch at cp before & it was a very underwhelming experience. i did not have high hopes for breakfast because of our lunch experience but my daughter loves pooh & friends & i was sure we would like something at breakfast.
mk was an absolute mad house on this morning. it was EMH & there were people everywhere. the monorail was packed, the line to get in was super long, the bag check was even longer & i happen to pick the ticket line where things were moving exceptionally slow. needless to say, we were late for our ADR. however, after checking in, we were seated less than 5 minutes of waiting.
we were seated to the right of the buffet. i was sitting on the long bench & emme was seated on a chair. i had ample room to my right & left on the bench for my backpack & camera. even though our table itself was small, i was really happy to have the extra space.
our server john was really really good. he never let our drinks run dry & cleared our plates promptly. he was very sweet to emme & we liked him a lot. he really helped my frustrations of the morning dissipate with great disney service.
the buffet is laid out really well. the made to order omelet station is in the center and the hot/cold items are on each side. everything is identical on each side. there is a kids section as well where you can find the puffed french toast.
the famous puffed french toast.
in the front middle section is where you can find some sweets & the breakfast lasagna.
i'm not going to lie...this thing kind of scared me. i'm not much of a sweets person but this was a very popular item during breakfast. i could not muster up the courage to try it & i also hate to waste food.
my first plate of food had cheesy potatoes (nowhere near as good as the cheesy potato casserole @ akershus), grits, mickey waffle & very sad, sad limpy bacon.
emme's first plate of food consisted of this:
i was so happy to see pancakes. emme loves pancakes but has issues with waffles. we later got some honeydew & canteloupe which she devoured.
emme enjoyed her breakfast.
next up, the made to order omelet station with REAL EGGS! never pass up an opportunity of real eggs while eating at disney.
my omelet had mushrooms, green bell peppers, onions, ham & cheese. i also had a side of salsa. it was a very scrumptious omelet.
onwards to some character photos of our favorite friends:
my favorite, eeyore!
there's also a parade that the children participate in with the characters. it's really cute but kind of chaotic. i'm happy piglet grabbed emme's hand so emme wouldn't get lost in the massive amount of kids that participate.
now, back to the food!
the puffed french toast, grits, & "corned beef hash". the puffed french toast was sweet but not as sweet as i had anticipated. the inside was doughy and good. the corned beef hash was interesting. the bell peppers brought a level of sweetness to the hash.
this was my last plate of food. cp had ginourmous strawberries on the buffet. they were delicious. they also had pastrami smoked salmon. i am a sucker for smoked salmon, capers & red onions. it was divine!
emme loved her strawberries!
here is a picture of the breakfast pizza. again, i could not muster up the courage to taste this.
with my TIW discount + gratuity, the meal cost about $27.00. that included milk for emme, coffee & orange juice for me. i left an extra tip for John as well with cash.
overall, we had an awesome breakfast at crystal palace. it really exceeded my expectations. maybe i should just not have any expectations of places now! i'm learning that breakfast seems to be the best meal at most of the buffets that i have been too. it's not my favorite meal of the day but the buffets that i've been to have been really good & tasty.
up next, LUNCH @ AKERSHUS!
and continuing my b2b trips to disney!
LUNCH @ AKERSHUS
we made our way to epcot & saw duffy in his very cute festive costume. we had to make a pit stop.
we started this trip with lunch @ akershus. as of this point, i have completed the akershus trifecta having eaten breakfast, lunch & dinner. my daughter loves the princesses & the bonus with akershus is that you get "complimentary pictures" which is included with your meal. the meal isn't 2 credits and with my TIW discount, it's an even better deal. we aren't in cinderella's castle but this experience is really fun & the cold buffet is an added bonus.
emme & belle.
after our picture with belle, we were seated at our table. we were waiting for about 20 minutes when we still were not greeted by our CM. emme was hungry so we went to the cold bar so she could get some food in her tummy. while were at the cold bar, the CM finally decides to show up & my friend said that the CM was really put off & quite perturbed that we went up to the cold bar without his permission.
so after the chilly reception, we figured it would be a good idea to start lunch with a few adult beverages.
skyy vodka dirty martini
each eatery has their own symbol on the toothpicks for the garnishes.
here is my plate from the cold bar:
as we started to eat, the princess processional was beginning. all the princesses walk with the children in a small parade. it's very cute and the kids feel so special.
emme & sleeping beauty
sleeping beauty walked emme back to our table & we snapped a photo.
and here comes snow white.
and finally, cinderella! cinderella is VERY VERY sweet at akershus. besides belle, cinderella's costume is the most ornate & she's really into character. emme had such an awesome time with her. interactions like this make the pricey meals worthwhile. it almost made me forget about our lackluster service...almost.
one of my most favorite pictures. they were twirling together!
finally, our lunches arrived. my friend had the meatballs. he said they were "good" but "nothing special".
KIDS MEAL - HOT DOG W/ MASHED POTATOES (SUBBED FOR CORN)
emme is still considered an infant so she was given this meal for "free". however, if i had to pay for this meal for her (and the kids meals are pricey), i would've been upset. it was a pretty sad hot dog but the mashed potatoes were decent. the hot dog came out pre-sliced like that.
OVEN ROASTED CORNISH HEN w/ CREAMY TARRAGON POTATOES & CHICKEN JUS
my entree also had really delicious brussel sprouts & carrots. the cornish hen was very good! it was moist and the skin was crispy. i did feel like a major carnivore as i was eating the little leg & wing! i recommend this entree.
the dessert sampler is just not a winner in my book. my friend didn't care for it either. i'm just not a fan. i've given it 3 tries & i just don't like it.
we were on the dining plan for this trip. the meal is one TS credit. if you can't get an ADR for CRT, i recommend getting any ADR for akershus. dinner is the most bang for your dining plan credit but breakfast is my favorite meal here (and i'm not even a breakfast food fan but the cheesy potatoes are epic).
also, i did email disney customer service about my issues with our service at akershus. i really hate complaining & i'm pretty easy to please but our CM was terrible. he was very aloof, not welcoming, his service was at a snail's pace & i think he just hates his job. it's not how i wanted to start our trip which is why i emailed. surprisingly enough, disney contacted me back within 2 days and after speaking with me and addressing my issues, they actually credited me back the cost of lunch on a disney gift card & had it waiting for me at the resort for my next trip. it was unexpected & much appreciated. now that's disney service!
we spent a few more hours at epcot.
ADULT SLUSHIES FROM FRANCE
has anyone seen these "ducks" at epcot? the webbed feet were so unusual and amazing!
up next, dinner @ CALIFORNIA GRILL.
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