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Old 02-06-2013, 09:17 AM   #46
DLFan123
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Well I finally had a chance to read through your whole report and look at all your pics! Thanks for doing this. You got some great pictures and sounds like you had a wonderful time!
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:34 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by sbprincess View Post
It can be a graduation trip for Brian!!! And maybe a job hunting trip too That would be amazing!

I had the baklava from the Morocco F&W stand and it was good there too. I'm not really an expert on baklava but I love it. I wonder if there's a difference between Greek and Moroccan?

I need to go catch up on your TR now too since you've updated recently!
Yes! Graduation and birthday season! Lots of reasons to celebrate for all of us next yearÖ Now someone give us the winning lotto numbers!

I'm sure they are similar. At Marrakesh, my dessert was an assortment of baklavasÖ Honestly- they all tasted really similar, but they were shaped differently. I'm sure there were different fillings- but I couldn't tell you any different! They were allllll delicious though!
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:42 PM   #48
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Mmmmm....your breakfast(s) at Kouzzina look yummy! Especially that sweet potato hash. May have to add it to the list!
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:28 AM   #49
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You will love the Boardwalk even more if you have dinner at Flying Fish. We love everything about our home resort, so glad y'all love it too!
We should try FF sometime. There are just so many yummy places to choose from - it's so hard!

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Well I finally had a chance to read through your whole report and look at all your pics! Thanks for doing this. You got some great pictures and sounds like you had a wonderful time!
We did have a wonderful time. I'm glad you're all caught up!

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Mmmmm....your breakfast(s) at Kouzzina look yummy! Especially that sweet potato hash. May have to add it to the list!
Kouzzina really was so good! We have a local restaurant we love for breakfast that would rival Kouzzina for our top spot. Luckily, we don't have to choose between the two! I can fully support that decision - the hash was wonderful!!
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:21 AM   #50
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Monday Ė November 5th (Lunch/Snack)

After breakfast, we went to Downtown Disney to do a little shopping. Brian wanted to collect as many Vinylmation villains as he could that appear in the Kingdom Hearts video game series. We spent quite a bit of time on this over our 9 days. This day we were in the Vinylmation store mainly. He really wanted either the Queen of Hearts or Frollo from Hunchback of Notre Dame. Frollo has a large hat so Brian figured his box would be slightly heavier. We went through the case and he handed me different ones asking which was heaviest. Two of the guys that worked at the store were watching us from behind the counter. When we came up to pay they were curious which one Brian was wanting. He was so nervous to open it! My balance or something must have been working that day because this what he found when he finally opened the box! The store associates were impressed! They said that they had assumed he was looking for either Frollo or the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland since those are heaviest. Maybe it was sheer luck but this box did feel heaviest to me



I mainly told you all of that so I at least had one picture to post!

Okay, back to the food! We have a tradition of seeing a movie at the DTD movie theater every time we come down. I know weíre not alone in this because I have read several other TRs of others saying they do this too. If we were only there 4 or 5 days we might not fit it in. But for such a long trip though, itís a nice break. Plus, we LOVE the Fork & Screen option. I had originally cancelled the dinner part of our movie in my planning as it just didnít quite fit with the new restaurants I wanted to try. We thought weíd do an earlier movie on this day and get a snack instead. When we were looking at movie times though, the one we wanted was a Fork & Screen showing. So we just went with it and thought weíd order lighter snacks/appetizers instead. (In case anyone is wondering, we saw Wreck-It Ralph. This was not my choice at all but Brian REALLY wanted to see it. I wanted to see it, but just later. However, it far exceeded my expectations! We both loved it. )

I hate to say that I donít have pictures of our food! We had people sitting right beside us and I didnít want to bother them since the food came after the movie had started. But both things were delicious! We split the Crab Rangoon Dip - hot white cheddar, cream cheese and crab, seasoned with herbs and spices served with a plate of wonton chips and Thai coconut sauce and an appetizer portion of grilled shrimp (that I can't find on the online menu). The crab Rangoon dip is basically a deconstructed crab wonton. Just like the description says, they give you wonton strips to dip into a hot, cheesy crab dip thatís just like the filling youíd get with an order of traditional crab Rangoon wontons. So YUMMY! The shrimp was good too. That was Brianís selection and I think I had one. He just wished there were more; I think there were only 6-8 in the order.

I kind of regret that we didnít get to do dinner here. The set up is so nice. And, you can order drinks from the bar! Weíve done the full Fork & Screen twice and loved it both times. I would highly recommend it if youíre taking a longer trip and donít have one of these near your house.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:02 AM   #51
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Monday Ė November 5th (Dinner)

Our dinner ADR at Via Napoli wasnít until 8:30 on this night! I had done some last minute rearranging and had to move VN and 8:30 was the best I could do. But I really wanted to try it again. Our first experience was just okay, but I suspected (and now know) that I just didnít order the right thing that time.

We were seated pretty quickly after we gave them our names. Tonight I knew I wanted the Sangria so that is just what I ordered! In our pitcher were Granny Smith Apples and lemons. This was so good! Since Brian was driving, I only let him have one glass (and his driving really was my only reason...right... ). Say what you will, but I had every last drop from the rest of the pitcher. Needless to say, I had a fun evening!



I also was once again craving vegetables. So we decided to get the Family Style House Salad. Itís only served with the pizzas for $7 per person. It contains leaf lettuces, roasted red peppers, marinated mushrooms, olives, pepperoncini, and a red wine vinaigrette (according to allears). I donít remember nor see red peppers in our picture but I do see tomatoes. We ate every bit of this salad. It was very tasty!



Brian ordered the Piccante - Italian spicy sausage pizza. He really enjoyed this!



I ordered the vegetable pizza. It had zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions. This was also very tasty.



My only issue with Via Napoli is that they donít allow you to add toppings to the selections nor make substitutions, aside from the build your own option. Like, Brian wanted to have both pepperoni and sausage on his pizza but they wouldnít let him add pepperoni. The sausage pizza is $19. To add pepperoni (for $3.50) would have made it $22.50. The build your own starts at $17. To add both sausage and pepperoni it would have made it $24. $1.50 isnít a huge deal, I know. But mine would have been ridiculous. I would have liked to sub the onions for olives but thatís not allowed. And to build mine with zucchini, mushrooms, olives, and tomatoes, would have been $31. Kind of silly. And to build my own with the toppings I really wanted would have been even more! Thatís really my only complaint with Via Napoli. I donít understand why they wonít do stuff like that.

Anyway, for dessert Brian ordered the tiramisu. Very yummy!



I had my beloved Zeppole di Ricotta - Ricotta cheese fritters, served with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. These are just to-die-for. Iím not a huge fan of the chocolate sauce with them. But the whipped cream isnít too sweet and the zeppole are perfect little clouds of fried dough. I think the serving size is just perfect too. Not too many but just enough!



Aside from my issues with the menu ďrulesĒ, Via Napoli was definitely a winner this time! We left just in time for the finale of Illuminations so our walk back to the car was just perfect!

Up Next: Kona Cafe
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:26 AM   #52
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Tuesday Ė November 6th (Breakfast)

I have been trying to make it to Kona Cafť for breakfast on almost every trip weíve had to try the Tonga Toast. I usually do have an ADR somewhere but it just always gets dropped at some point during the trip. I was determined to make it this time (tonga toast?...we'll see). When we woke up this morning, it was drizzling and cold. We were supposed to play miniature golf today (one of Brianís few requests) but thought that we might have to change plans.



We did make it on this trip to Kona, finally! Maybe it was the rain, but we heard a couple try to do a walk up before us and they were told it would be a 45 minute wait! We had changed our ADR to 10:30 the night before. Despite the empty tables in the below picture, it was pretty busy!



Of course we ordered the Kona French press pot (2 actually, as is our normal!). Something I just remembered about this though. I think Disney needs to teach their servers to do a course grind on the beans if theyíre doing it themselves (which I kind of doubt, actually). There was quite a bit of sediment in our glasses every time we ordered the French press. It still tasted great though.



On their menu, they had a seasonal pumpkin spice pancakes entrťe. The pancakes came with a special pecan butter and your choice of meat. Since Iím not a huge fan of sweet breakfasts usually, I wasnít sure what I wanted but this sounded so tempting! I LOVE almost everything pumpkin. Brian decided to get the regular pancakes but with the pecan butter instead of regular. I went for it and got the pumpkin pancakes and was very glad I did! As you can see, I got the bacon.



Brianís looked almost identical but his pancakes were a little less orange/brown. We both enjoyed these. I didnít really use syrup, which I normally donít on waffles/pancakes. Brian, on the other hand, drowned his in syrup. The pecan butter was amazing!

I have still yet to try the tonga toast. I know I wouldnít want just the toast but it seemed way too big to order on the side. Especially with our already carb-heavy pancakes. I know you can get it at the counter service downstairs. Maybe one dayÖ

Up Next: Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #53
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Tuesday Ė November 6th (Lunch)

We did get to go play miniature golf after all! After Kona we rode the monorail over to the Grand Floridian and walked around there. I was doubtful but still hoping they had at least started the gingerbread house. No such luck. The GF has always been my dream resort though and we had never really walked outside of the main building. We got to on this day since the drizzling stopped! I still want to stay there but Iím not sure I could ever pay the prices. I donít think I would want to stay outside of the main building but those are all club level rooms. And the cheapest starting prices are mind-boggling to me. The Boardwalk may be more realistic for us, which is fine by me!

Brian wanted to try Fantasia Gardens this time instead of the easier courses at the Winter/Summerland outside of Blizzard Beach. Fantasia Gardens is much less kiddie and the holes are kind of difficult. But he really enjoyed it! If the holes hadnít had so much debris I think I would have liked it better. We did play two rounds though. He won the first but I won the second!

After mini golf, I really wanted to go look around Art of Animation. Everything was so new and pretty! The theming is just amazing. Brian spent a LOT of time playing in their arcade. He was very jealous of theirs over Caribbean Beachís. With everything so new, it was very cool in there, I'll admit.

We hung around long enough, like I had planned, to eat lunch in their food court. All of the workers were so friendly. I had heard this beforehand but was skeptical. In our experience, the rumors were absolutely true! Every single cast member we encountered was super friendly and helpful!

I thought the selections were amazing for a food court and the value on the dining plan can't be beat. I ordered the Mongolian Grill Beef Stir Fry - with basmati or multigrain rice and choice of one side. As my side I got Spinach and Paneer cheese with Naan bread. The acorn squash looked really good but the CM recommended the spinach. He was so nice! When I ordered the beef, there was really enough on the bar to give me. But he said they were just finishing a fresh batch so if I wanted to wait heíd give me the fresh. This meal was just wonderful!



Brian went to the custom hamburger station. He got bacon and cheese and BBQ sauce. He enjoyed this but he later said he was upset with himself that he didnít try something new. He said he just didnít think until it was too late. Poor guy!



Brian really didnít want dessert but picked out a chocolate chip cookie since it was included. I'm sure it wasn't spectacular nor gross.



I got the fruit tart. This was also wonderful!



Overall, I was HIGHLY impressed with AoA. If you have some free time and are looking for a tasty counter service, especially on the dining plan, I donít think anyone would be disappointed with Landscape of Flavors.

Up Next: California Grill
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:31 PM   #54
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Yum that fruit tart from AoA looks so good! I need to try Kona breakfast.

I am sooo with you on the chocolate sauce with the zeppole. It is sooo rich and almost bitter!. I don't like the chocolate sauce but like the whipped cream!
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:14 PM   #55
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Kona is one of my favorites...both breakfast and dinner. The food at AoA looks yummy....would love to check it and the resort out in August.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:27 PM   #56
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When we go on our "girl's trip" I will get the tonga toast for you. I'm all about some carbs!!!!!

I want to try Via Napoli!! Those zeppoles look SO yummyÖ But I'm not sure about the rest of the menu since I can't eat pork.

You know I loved AoA- and the food court was really great!! We loved staying there!!
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:35 AM   #57
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Yum that fruit tart from AoA looks so good! I need to try Kona breakfast.

I am sooo with you on the chocolate sauce with the zeppole. It is sooo rich and almost bitter!. I don't like the chocolate sauce but like the whipped cream!
The fruit tart really was good! A more refreshing dessert than some.

I agree! I like dark chocolate but that sauce is too bitter. They could simply give me the zeppole though and I'd be a very happy girl!

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Kona is one of my favorites...both breakfast and dinner. The food at AoA looks yummy....would love to check it and the resort out in August.
We've been to Kona for dinner and we enjoyed that too. I'd like to do Kona again and give one of their signature dishes a try for breakfast.

I don't think you'll be disappointed. AoA's foodcourt was just so fresh and different. Especially compared to the All Stars and POP.

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When we go on our "girl's trip" I will get the tonga toast for you. I'm all about some carbs!!!!!

I want to try Via Napoli!! Those zeppoles look SO yummyÖ But I'm not sure about the rest of the menu since I can't eat pork.

You know I loved AoA- and the food court was really great!! We loved staying there!!
Okay - I'll hold you to that!

I've heard the cheese pizza at VN is really good. I'm sure you could work around your allergy!
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:38 PM   #58
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Subbing. I'm lovin' this. Keep it coming! I like your writing style, humour and pictures to die for! You must be a food blogger, and if not, you should be! I mean it.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:29 AM   #59
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Subbing. I'm lovin' this. Keep it coming! I like your writing style, humour and pictures to die for! You must be a food blogger, and if not, you should be! I mean it.
Wow! First - Welcome! I'm so glad you're enjoying it.

Second - That is such a compliment! Thank you! I'm not a food blogger, but I read a lot of food blogs! I would love to write one but I'm not sure I could keep it up long-term. Believe me, I've considered it. Maybe one day...
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:50 AM   #60
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Tuesday Ė November 6th (Dinner)

Alright folks - here's the post I've been dreading/looking forward to since I started this dining report. I knew it would be long but I wanted to do it justice (hence the dread) and share what a great meal this was (the good part!)!!

Oh California Grill Ė how I love thee. This is one of my absolute favorite restaurantsÖin the world. No, not World. I mean, world/earth/planet/globe/sphere. (Okay, I admit, those were the only synonyms offered in MS Word and I couldnít think of anything more original.) Seriously though, this was our fourth and last time dining at the ďoldĒ California Grill. In the beginning stages of planning, I didnít include it. I only wanted a couple of repeats. But the closer the trip got the more I knew I really wanted to go one last time before its refurb. Weíve always had a good meal here and I love the view. At first I had to switch several ADRs around to even get in at 9:30 one night! But as we got down to the last 2-3 weeks, I guess people started cancelling and I was able to book us at 8:30 on a 10:00 Wishes night. Pretty darn perfect.

When we first checked in, we asked for a table by the windows with a view of the castle. We said weíd wait if necessary. Not long after we took the special elevator up, our names were called. The host said we were being seated in the wine room (I think itís called the Rose Room but canít remember). I politely told her of our request (the opposite of "wine room") and said at the very least we wanted to sit in the main dining room. I usually wouldnít be picky but I had made the ADR specifically knowing this would be our last meal here for a while and I definitely didnít want to sit somewhere without a view at all. She was great! She asked if we could hold tight and she would see what she could do. Long story short, THIS was our view! (Sorry for the reflection!)



I was ecstatic! It was perfect and the time was just now 8:30. It was looking like we would have our meal timed perfectly with Wishes. But you will have to wait and seeÖ

First order of business, drinks! Brian is not much into wine. But he was in a mood to try something new so he asked our server her opinion. She was great! For one, weíve had ďprofessionalĒ servers (here in particular) before that are polite but standoffish. Iím sure you know what I mean. They take their job very seriously; theyíre polite and helpful and proper, but they just donít connect. Maybe itís the southerner in me but I prefer friendly. This lady was everything you wanted. Friendly, helpful, quick, disappeared when we didnít need her, but suddenly reappeared when we wanted her. Magical. Brian told her he wasnít into white wine (he knew from many tastings of my orders), he didnít want it too dry, maybe a little fruity, but not cocktail sweet. I didnít say it but I was so afraid she was going to recommend a $30 glass of wine. Not at all. I think her recommendation was around $9. And he LOVED it! He took a picture of the name on his phone but I donít have that with me. And he got a second glass at some point! I know this picture could be grape juice for all you know, but here it is



I was in a cider mood again. And I was driving so I had to play it safe. The hard pumpkin cider interested me a lot. Has anyone had the pumpkin juice at Wizarding World of HP? I wasnít a huge fan of it (butterbeer, though, will be served in heaven, Iím sure ) so I was reluctant. But went with it anyway. This was really good!



I also wanted to try the cheese plate. We like cheese. Weíre not cheese connoisseurs though, by any stretch. Again though, we wanted to branch out a little. I'm more into it than Brian but he indulged me.







I hate to say but we accidentally started before I took the picture Ė sorry! I didnít take notes and my memory fails me. I do know that I enjoyed them all quite a lot except for the second from the left with the orange rind. It was one of the worst things Iíve ever tasted in my life. I can almost still imagine it and it grosses me out. Iím also imagining Brianís face when he tried it and canít stop chuckling about it.

Of course, everyone gets some bread to stave off hunger since you probably havenít indulged in ohÖ2 or 3 hours. You canít go wrong with butter though.



Brian feeling very grown up with his red wine.



He went with good old faithful for his meal though. Heís never ordered anything different. Of course I mean the Oak-Fired Filet of Beef with Teriyaki barbecue sauce. The sides change seasonally. I think on this night it came with scalloped potatoes, potato chips (with some fancy name though) and brussel sprouts. Surprisingly, he enjoyed the sprouts. Iím sure it was the buttery sauce. And the steak was top notch too. Heís only been disappointed in the cut once. He said it was really good this time.



For my main course, I had to go with the Grilled Pork Tenderloin - with Goat Cheese Polenta, Roasted Mushrooms, Zinfandel Glaze, and Sage. Two reasons: I donít know if it will be back on the new menu when they reopen; and also, I chose differently the last time we went to CG and have regretted it ever since. This was perfect. The pork may or may not look like a lot to you. Trust me Ė itís a very generous portion. The goat cheese polenta, mushrooms, and sage go so well together. Everything about this is perfect to me.



We just ate and drank and enjoyed our meal immensely!



This was the dessert menu. Keep in mind, this changes seasonally and with the refurb, who knows what the menu will look like. But here it is, nonetheless.





Brian has had the bananas and caramel a couple of times, as itís a regular on the menu. This time he went with another staple that he hasnít had from CG, the Valrhona Chocolate Cake. He really enjoyed this.



I had to get the Caramel Corn CrŤme Brulee. The custard part and the ice cream were amazing! It did have a popcorn-ish taste with caramel. The caramel corn brittle laying across the side was too hard for me. I thought I might break a tooth trying to eat it!



About 1 minute after our server brought the desserts, the lights dimmed and Wishes started! It was absolutely magical! I know the angle is a little weird at the tables to watch. But for us, itís about as close to perfect as you can get. After finishing our dessert, we did go out on the ledge so I could take a few pictures. But it was windy and cold so we didnít last long.



One thing I just remembered. Our server didn't charge us for the cheese plate! She said we were such a nice couple and her easiest table of the night! Not sure if she meant it or what but it was super sweet to say! If her strategy was to get a bigger tip, it worked!

I am SO SO glad we were able to eat at California Grill one last time before they change it. Iím hoping itís even better when it opens again. Iíll admit the dťcor was a little dated. And the menu may have gotten stale for those who eat there more often. Iím hopeful that theyíll do a great job and canít wait to visit when it opens!

Up Next: Sunshine Seasons breakfast
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dh, 31 and me, 30

1984 - 2002 Many visits with family (off site) * May 2005 Girls' Trip - POP Century * March 2008 Honeymoon - All Star Movies * May 2010 - Contemporary Resort (Trip Report) * December 2010 - POP Century * October 2011 - Contemporary Resort & Universal Studios (WWOHP!) * November 2012 - Caribbean Beach Resort (Dining Report) * March 2014 - Coronado Springs Resort * May 2014 - Boardwalk Inn & Contemporary Theme Park View * July 2014 - Grand Floridian Girls Trip!!!!**
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