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Old 11-20-2008, 07:52 PM   #31
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Wow! It looks like you guys had such a great time! I'm right there with you on Brown Derby! Love it there! And think I had the same host when I was there in October! I'm thinking I'm going to have to try whatever drink you had -- that looked delish!

I'm also a Cali Grill fan. Yummy!

Oh and the photos of your kids are precious. What beautiful families you have!!

Looking forward to more!
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Old 11-22-2008, 08:02 PM   #32
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Definately California Grill for us too. We are going back there next trip since we took a break from there the last 2 years. The food really is excellent! CRT would have to be my next favorite place to eat.
Ha, ha! What a coincidence! I am one of the few people on here who also loves CRT! We are definitely on the same page for dining Nichole!

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Ohh, that did look good. I think I'll go check out the menu on allears now and think about trying it out for my next trip.
You won't be disappointed!

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Wow those are fabulous views from CG. So far you've chosen great restaurants. Good to take advantage of those w/o the kiddos I bet.
Absolutely!

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Hmm... best ever Disney meal? Probably Tutto Italia at Epcot; our entree's, wine and desserts were PERFECT and I had so much fun with my fiancee.
I've never yet been to Tutto Italia...definitely on my to-do list! There are so many great places to eat at Epcot!

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Wow! It looks like you guys had such a great time! I'm right there with you on Brown Derby! Love it there! And think I had the same host when I was there in October! I'm thinking I'm going to have to try whatever drink you had -- that looked delish!

I'm also a Cali Grill fan. Yummy!

Oh and the photos of your kids are precious. What beautiful families you have!!

Looking forward to more!
Great to have you along! I hope to have another update and get this TR finished shortly!
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:36 AM   #33
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Day 2 - Part Three

After leaving California Grill, we took the monorail to Epcot for opening night of the Food & Wine Festival and Extra Magic Hours.

We got there just in time for Illuminations. This is one of my favourite events at WDW. I love the excitement and anticipation that fills the air in the moments leading up to the start and hush that goes over the crowds.

Unfortunately, because we were rather late leaving dinner, we only arrived at Epcot just before 9 o'clock.

We quickly made our way through Futureworld and towards Showcase Plaza just as Illuminations was starting.

I was a little disappointed as I always like to watch Illuminations around Italy and we obviously would not have time to get there. I assumed that the view from Showcase Plaza at the end of Futureworld would not be as good. I assumed wrong. It was excellent! There was a clear, unobstructed view without trees. However, it *was* crowded!

Andrea saw her first ever Illuminations and even though we missed the first couple minutes, she loved it.

After Illuminations we headed over to World Showcase to partake in the Food & Wine Festival.

While the cheddar cheese soup from Canada was tempting, we were both still full from dinner. Plus, we knew we would be back the next day for lunch at LeCellier.

So we passed Canada, and also passed the UK and headed over to France. We stayed here awhile. We enjoyed our first wine from the Festival and then made our way inside the lovely shops. We purchased a fair bit here, including some French books for our daughters who are just learning French.

I also purchased some cute latte cups and saucers:





I had also purchased the plates with the various dresses on them on my previous trip 3 months earlier.





Of course transporting plates home from WDW on 2 plane rides is not a lot of fun. But I really wanted those plates. I had seen them the year before along with some other plates with eiffel towers on them and didn't buy them. By the time I returned to get them, the eiffel tower ones were gone so I decided to get the ones with the dresses for sure.

About 2 weeks after getting back home from my trip I found the plates with the little dresses selling at a small giftstore 5 minutes from my home. And cheaper than what I paid!

Oh well! I still haven't seen the pink latte cups and saucers anywhere, so I am still happy that I bought those.

Next we just happened to be walking through one of the perfumeries when we met a very charming gentleman who was giving out samples of perfume sprayed onto pieces of paper.

Now if we were asked if we wanted to have a sample sprayed on us, we both would have declined. Neither of us wear perfume. We live in a city with a strict scent-free environment policy.

However, just to be polite more than anything else we took the paper samples that were held out to us.

Well.....after taking a short wiff of the paper before I intended to discard it, I had to double back. It was seriously one of the best smells ever! I had to have it!!!

The thing that I liked most about it was that it was such a light scent. And citrusy. Not a heavy perfume-like smell at all.

Andrea was hooked too. Both of us (each of whom do NOT wear perfume) ended up making a purchase.

I purchased Petite Cherie by Annick Goutal and Andrea purchased a similar scent whose name I can't recall.

I wear mine everyday, and love it. It is very, very light. In fact, so much so that I actually wish it was a bit stronger. I am now hooked on the stuff and will now have to keep picking it up each trip!

Here we are posing with the CM from the perfumerie in France who was so charming he sold perfume to two people who don't use it!






Just as we were finishing our shopping, we ran into a brigade of young French bartenders serving champagne. Sold!





After all of our shopping and drinking in France, it was time to move on. First we had to stop for the traditional pose in front of the fountain:






We made our way briefly through Morroco and stopped to look into restaurant Marrakesh as I had never seen it before.

We then went onto Japan and spent a fair bit of time there shopping. We also stopped to speak with one of the CMs there who gave us a brief education on pearls:





Unfortunately the American Adventure was closed, and most of the various Food & Wine carts were either closed or starting to shutdown.

We passed by Italy and Germany as there was not a lot going on and pressed on to China. We spent some time here walking through the buildings and displays and then moved on to Norway. I can't walk by Norway without stopping at Kringla bakery to buy one of their cloud horns. They are my absolute favourite snack in all of WDW. Andrea purchased some Schoolbread.
As we were both too full, we just got them to go.

While it was very tempting, we passed by the margaritta hut in Mexico. That was hard, but I think we had each hit our limit.

By this point it was about 11:30pm and we decided to head back to the Poly.
On our way out I made a surprise discovery. I honestly had no idea that Futureworld opens back up for Extra Magic Hours at night.

So....we of course had to go on Test Track. With basically no wait.





Then, we went on Misson SPACE. Again no wait. This was a first time for both of us. We of course picked the easy ride due to all of the food and wine we had consumed! We were both pleasantly surprised by this ride. I will definitely be back to do this one again!

Then, on our way out we stopped off at Soarin'. I am sure we didn't enter the Land Pavillion until 11:55pm. Surprisingly, all of the CMs here were in an awesome mood. We asked for front and center and got it.

After our ride it had to be at 5 minutes after midnite, but do you know what those CMs did? They announced that anyone on the ride who wanted to stay for another flight could. I think the whole crowd of 15 or so people all stayed for round two and we of course all gave the CMs a big round of applause. What a way to end the night - back to back Soarin's!

We then made our way home to the Poly on the monorail very content and happy. After we got back we sat out on the balcony taking in the sights and relaxing. I think a Kringla cloud horn and schoolbread were also consumed.

Pure heaven!





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Old 11-23-2008, 12:40 PM   #34
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Old 11-23-2008, 01:11 PM   #35
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I'm subscribing too......I've enjoyed your trip report so far, and I'm hoping to get some ideas for someday when I get to go with my best friend.
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Old 11-23-2008, 01:31 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by cdotla View Post
Day 2 - Part Three


Now if we were asked if we wanted to have a sample sprayed on us, we both would have declined. Neither of us wear perfume. We live in a city with a strict scent-free environment policy.

Just as we were finishing our shopping, we ran into a brigade of young French bartenders serving champagne. Sold!



While it was very tempting, we passed by the margaritta hut in Mexico. That was hard, but I think we had each hit our limit.

By this point it was about 11:30pm and we decided to head back to the Poly.
On our way out I made a surprise discovery. I honestly had no idea that Futureworld opens back up for Extra Magic Hours at night.
So....we of course had to go on Test Track. With basically no wait.



Then, we went on Misson SPACE. Again no wait. This was a first time for both of us. We of course picked the easy ride due to all of the food and wine we had consumed! We were both pleasantly surprised by this ride. I will definitely be back to do this one again!

Then, on our way out we stopped off at Soarin'. I am sure we didn't enter the Land Pavillion until 11:55pm. Surprisingly, all of the CMs here were in an awesome mood. We asked for front and center and got it.

After our ride it had to be at 5 minutes after midnite, but do you know what those CMs did? They announced that anyone on the ride who wanted to stay for another flight could. I think the whole crowd of 15 or so people all stayed for round two and we of course all gave the CMs a big round of applause. What a way to end the night - back to back Soarin's!

We then made our way home to the Poly on the monorail very content and happy. After we got back we sat out on the balcony taking in the sights and relaxing. I think a Kringla cloud horn and schoolbread were also consumed. Pure heaven!
What is a strict scent free environment???

I hate mission space, I always go on it for Josh and I always feel green after (but we go on orange). TT is the best though!!!

Soarin' CMs were amzing, I'm so jealous. I can't wait to go!!!! I love hte Norway bake shop, but I am surprised you didn't get something from France. I love their treats even more than Norways!!!!

When you say we made ourway home to the Poly on the monorail I get so jealous. I can't wait to stay at the poly sometime.

Did you get the champagne with the blackberry brandy in it? It's delicious. I love the Mexico margs, I couldn't have passed them up.

Doesn't seem like you hit much of the food & wine booths... Are they any good? I've never been!

Last edited by PrincessNewsie; 11-23-2008 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:41 PM   #37
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I'm subscribing too......I've enjoyed your trip report so far, and I'm hoping to get some ideas for someday when I get to go with my best friend.
Glad to have you along!

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Did you get the champagne with the blackberry brandy in it?

Doesn't seem like you hit much of the food & wine booths... Are they any good? I've never been!
Not sure if we had the blackberry brandy....things got a little fuzzy that nite if you know what I mean!

Unfortunately due to arriving late and completely stuffed from dinner at CG, we did not eat that much at Food & Wine. But we did drink!
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:48 PM   #38
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Wow, you really know how to get a lot done in w/ the time you are given. No better way to end an evening at Epcot that two back to back rides on Soarin!
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Old 11-24-2008, 09:30 AM   #39
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I've heard of the school bread but not the cloud horns. Will have to look into that one.

That perfume salesman must be one slick fellow to be able to sell you both perfumes. Who knows what kind of sales he could scrunge up on ladies that are actually perfume wearers.
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:23 AM   #40
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Smile Way to go!

Hey Tricia, you rock!

While I agree that some flexibility is important while traveling...preparation is PARAMOUNT. Tricia had our trip immaculately planned ahead of time. Otherwise we would not have had even half of the fantastic fun and dining experiences that we did. All this on a few hours sleep and with business meetings in between. Oh yes, we'd get back to the Poly with a whole 6 minutes for Tricia to suit up for a business meeting! Then after her meeting, a quick 4 minute change of clothes and out the door for a few more rides!
You are a terrific travel mate, Tricia!
I'm having a fun time reading your TR....

Andrea
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:22 PM   #41
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Day 3 - Part One

The sun had barely broken on our third day in Disney and I was already up and ready to go. Despite the fact that we had yet another late night the evening before. And despite the fact that I most certainly am *not* a morning person.

For whatever reason it is impossible for me to sleep in at Disney. Or go to bed early for that matter.

Perhaps if I ever take the 2-3 week trips that you see alot of people from Europe and the UK doing I would feel okay about taking off a couple of days to sleep in and lounge about. To date the longest amount of time I have spent at Disney is 7 days. Most of my trips (including this one) are much shorter. So for me, sleep is highly overrated when there are a million things I want to see, eat, experience and accomplish in such limited time.

I would be lying if I didn't confess to something else which gets me up and moving in the mornings at Disney. A little thing called an ADR. In other words, F-O-O-D people! Yes, food! And breakfast food in particular. Gets me everytime.

The fact that some people pack Pop Tarts, granola bars, cereal, ect. to eat in their rooms in the morning just absolutely blows my mind! To think that they are just footsteps away from some of the best breakfast dining experiences in Disney and willingly choose to stay put in their room eating packaged food that you could literally eat anywhere - well, I just don't get it. Is it to save time? Save money? Either way, I don't see the point.

One of the highlights of every trip for me is the Dining. And given that I am normally fighting people off for certain reservations at the 180-day mark proves that I can't be alone on this. In fact, I am so big on dining at Disney that on short little trips like this my challenge is fitting all of the places I wish to dine into just 3 meals a day!

So if I want to sleep more - I'll catch up on the zzzz's when I get home. If I want to save money - I'll brown bag it and cut down (not out) the Starbucks before I leave. But give up Dining??? No way Jose!!!

Today we were heading to my absolute favourite place to eat Breakfast in all of Walt Disney World. A little known place called the Kona Cafe.





Now Kona is, of course, well known on the DIS. But certainly not to the Disney masses. Which in my mind only increases its appeal. And chances are, even if you are calling at the last minute, you will be able to get a 7:30am Breakfast reservation at Kona; perfect timing for making rope drop at 9am.

If you have read any amount of Trip Reports on the DIS, or spent any amount of time on the Poly Resort thread, you will have heard of the cult-like following of a certain Kona house specialty. A little thing described as Tonga Toast. Actually, little it is not. It is HUGE!!!






Although I had heard about it, saw pictures of it, and even watched fellow diners chowing down on the stuff beside me, I had yet to give into the hype. Yes, up until this Trip I had never even sampled the infamous Tonga Toast. Well, that was about to change. Today was the day. I was going to try it.

Problem was...Andrea was still sleeping.

It was 7:30am and precious time was ticking away. Now I know that she heard the alarm. And I know she must have heard me getting ready. I also know that, like me, she has two toddlers and likely hasn't spent a morning in bed past 7am in the past 5 years. However, for whatever reason, she wasn't budging. Apparently the Kona pull wasn't as strong for her.

After quietly stalling and killing time in the room until 7:30am, I was getting antsy. I knew we weren't going to make our 7:35am ADR so I crossed that one off the list. I decided to head out for a walk with the camera and take some pictures of the Resort. That is when I took all of the pictures I posted on the Check-In post from our first day. I took my time and walked all around the Resort and pool area. I even did some shopping at the Giftshop and stopped in at Kona to advise them that we were not going to make our ADR. Fortunately I don't think anyone lost out on a table on account of us. There may have been 4 occupied tables in the whole place. Meanwhile that "circus" down the hall had people lined up for miles.

By the time I made it back to the room it was almost 8:30am. As I was opening the door I was all set to apologize to Andrea for taking so long with my walk, photos and shopping, thinking she would be dressed, ready to go and waiting for me. Not quite. I opened the door to total darkness. She was still down for the count.

Hmmm....what's a girl to do? I was starving. And excited to get the day underway. Maybe I would just do this one solo.

Fortunately I was easily able to slide into a table right away at 8:30am. Like I said, it is WDW's best kept secret for Breakfast dining. (Let's keep it that way, K? )

The other really important thing about Kona is the coffee. Mmmmmm, coffee. Fellow java snobs take note: Yes, I agree that an on property Starbucks would be a great addition to the Parks. However, you can't go wrong with a Kona Press. Pricey, especially for just one, but worth it! And even if you don't feel like splurging for the Press, their brewed coffee is almost just as good.

Now for all you folks out there who have never heard of Tonga Toast, let me explain. How does thick slices of French bread stuffed with bananas, which is fried and rolled in sugar sound to you?

To me.....honestly? Not so much.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE French Toast. It is one of my favourite foods. I like a good banana just as well as anyone. And sugar? Well, hello! What's not to love about that?

However, for whatever reason, the combination of all that together just wasn't doing it for me. So up until today, I had always steered clear of it.

My Breakfast of Choice at Kona - The Big Kahuna. Oh yes. It is all that. And more. To the day I die, this will be my most favourite breakfast.





Comes with:

2 eggs - any style you want them.

Bacon, ham, *and* sausage. (I always get all bacon.)

Fruit

French Toast (not Tonga, just regular)

And the Kicker - Macadamia Nut Pancakes!!!

Now I like pancakes. The thin, homemade kind my Dad makes. Some may call them crepes. I am not a lover of 99% of restaurant pancakes as I generally find them too thick and heavy. So I wasn't expecting much from these pancakes when I first ordered them. I was so wrong!

Kona's Macadamia Nut Pancakes are absolute Heaven!!! They are so light and fluffy and come with chopped pineapple and amazing macadamia nut whipped butter - Yum! Simply to die for!

Despite my love and affection for the Big Kahuna, I think DISboard hype finally got the best of me. I decided that I simply could not complete my stay at the Poly without sampling the Tonga Toast.








So, did it live up to the hype? Well....although this may be considered blasphemy, especially on the Poly thread, it did not. At least for me.

First of all, even for me, Ms. Sweet Tooth, I found this way, way, way too sweet. And the mushy bananas packed in the middle of the bread didn't do too much for me either. Definitely won't be ordering this again. I literally forced myself to eat about 1/4 of it and that was that.

So it's definitely back to the good ole Big Kahuna for me. Each to their own!


Last edited by cdotla; 11-29-2008 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:27 AM   #42
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I love your updates! I've never had the Tonga toast either, but your photos of breakfast are making me very hungry! In two weeks, DH and I go for a short stay. I hope we do half as much as you guys did. I agree with the sleep part - I can never sleep there. Stay up late and then up again early. I actually like the early mornings the best. They are so quiet and such a fun time to explore!
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:38 AM   #43
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I read your other report and just loved it, and this one is great. Mom and daughter trips are great, but then so are BFF trips.

So I am not the only Canadian that does lots of on line shopping, last year I did all my Christmas shopping on line and sent to my hotel in the states, the poor girl at the Front desk thought I was nuts, but it was great.

Just an FYI for anyone, you can get Tonga Toast at Captain Cooks.

Thanks for taking the time to write a report.

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Old 11-29-2008, 07:13 AM   #44
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Hi there!

All caught up! I'm another one who doesn't see giving in to the temptation/hype of the Tonga Toast. It doesn't sound at all appetizing to me. Now the temptation of French bartenders pouring champagne... that's another story!! There are certainly some cute ones and the champagne isn't too bad either! Sounds like you had a great night at Epcot. The 2nd bonus ride on Soarin is awesome!!
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:19 AM   #45
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What a great time . I really like the pics everything looks so good. I love the plates in France I love all their stuff in that store. The wine flight in there is one of my faves.
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