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Old 09-18-2010, 12:10 PM   #121
mamaboogie
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Thursday 19th August - Universal day!

Just a short review of our eating adventures at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. I didn't take many food pictures here - it's just not Disney!

We had a fantastic day at US - it was hot but quite quiet so we got on lots of things quite quickly.

By lunchtime we were very hungry so we made a stop at Mel's Drive in:



We had the usual counter service fare, burgers and chicken nuggets - all good and tasty, but nothing out of the ordinary. They played good music in there too! Here's a video of us enjoying the Beatles!:



In the afternoon we went to IOA to check out the Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter - I'll write a full review of this amazing place in my Trip report.

After going on the Forbidden Journey we decided we had to try some butterbeer. We found a lovely courtyard around the back of the Three Broomsticks/ Hog's Head:





Simon had a pint of Hog's Head beer:



The butterbeer was very sweet and frothy - we were glad that we had tried it but we couldn't finish it and probably wouldn't get it again. Simon liked his beer though.

Sorry today was light on food and light on food photos!

But coming up - a stressful breakfast experience and an amazing evening meal!
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:07 PM   #122
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Liking the onion ring bangle!

Just managed to finish my Trip Report from last year today, I felt like you were putting me to shame being so efficient!
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:36 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by meryll83 View Post
Liking the onion ring bangle!

Just managed to finish my Trip Report from last year today, I felt like you were putting me to shame being so efficient!
Ha! I didn't even notice the onion bangle - what eagle eyes you have Meryll!

I'll have to go and check out the end of your trip report - you'll be writing a new one soon!

xx
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:41 PM   #124
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I think I'm looking forward to butterbeer most of all! I can't wait for our trip!!!
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:58 AM   #125
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Quote:
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Ha! I didn't even notice the onion bangle - what eagle eyes you have Meryll!

I'll have to go and check out the end of your trip report - you'll be writing a new one soon!

xx
I don't think I can bring myself to do another, I just don't have the patience for it!
I really wanted to finish this last one before we went again though, just sneaked in before the deadline!
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:30 AM   #126
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Hi there! Really enjoying all your reviews, that butterbear looks amazing! We had a Harry Potter party last year and attempted to make our own (melted butter and Fosters, anyone?) Needless to say that yours looks much more appetising!
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:42 AM   #127
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I think I'm looking forward to butterbeer most of all! I can't wait for our trip!!!
It was so coooool to be in Hogsmeade - Sarah and Kate are jaded teenagers and they were so excited - they couldn't keep still.

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I don't think I can bring myself to do another, I just don't have the patience for it!
I really wanted to finish this last one before we went again though, just sneaked in before the deadline!
As we speak, Simon is pricing up Disney Cruises (for about ten years time before we can afford it!)

A potter tip - the back of the pub seating area was really nice and quiet to sit and have a drink in. I don't think many people had discovered it and it was a respite from the huge crowds!

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Hi there! Really enjoying all your reviews, that butterbear looks amazing! We had a Harry Potter party last year and attempted to make our own (melted butter and Fosters, anyone?) Needless to say that yours looks much more appetising!
It really wasn't that appetising! It tasted unlike anything I'd had before - but it was just great to try it in those surroundings!
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:56 PM   #128
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Loving your review! We are planning a trip to US next time too...kids love Harry Potter of course! I know a lot of people stay on Universal property to get their versionn of a fast pass. We are going next August (like you ) and I was just wondering how you found the crowds at US and IOA. Were the lines super long waits? I am thinking of maybe staying on US property for a night to get the spcial ride pass if its worth it. If the crowds are manageable I would rather just stay the whole time at the Poly. Thanks for the info
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:44 PM   #129
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Loving your review! We are planning a trip to US next time too...kids love Harry Potter of course! I know a lot of people stay on Universal property to get their versionn of a fast pass. We are going next August (like you ) and I was just wondering how you found the crowds at US and IOA. Were the lines super long waits? I am thinking of maybe staying on US property for a night to get the spcial ride pass if its worth it. If the crowds are manageable I would rather just stay the whole time at the Poly. Thanks for the info
Hi~ We went to WWOHP 8/19-8/22 there definately were big crowds and staying onsite to get that extra early time helped alot. That said next summer is a long time from now. Who knows if the crowds will keep up or if they will sharply decline. I'd keep an eye on the crowd levels in the spring (spring break in particular) to see if the huge crowds are still a factor and try to make a decision then. But go WWOHP is amazing.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:44 PM   #130
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Friday 20th August

Today was supposed to be a relaxing day but it didn't start off that way!

We had a 10am ADR booked at Ohana for breakfast. Bearing in mind that most days we were in the park by 8:45am we thought we had the Disney transport system sussed.

Not so on this day. We had to wait ages for an MK bus from OKW and then, I swear, the bus driver drove so slowly.....! We got to MK and it was hugely busy as we tried to fight our way from the bus terminal to the monorail station - I think one of the ferry boats had just docked and we were trying to cut across the queues of people waiting to get into MK.

We just missed one monorail and had to wait for another. Eventually, we arrived at the Polynesian ten minutes after our ADR time.

We needn't have rushed. We apologised profusely for being ten minutes late but the bar was full of families waiting to get into Ohana. They gave us a buzzer and we didn't get buzzed through until almost 11am - nearly an hour after our ADR time. Luckily, we found some comfy chairs to sit on:



It's not a telephone Kate! Fortunately, we hadn't got anything in particular planned for after breakfast. It was still a bit of a pain having to wait so long.

Eventually our buzzer buzzed and we were taken through to our table. The Polynesian gods really weren't upon us this day - we had the darkest, dingiest table near the entrance (we could hardly see the windows let alone have a good view out of them) and beside me, for the duration of the meal, was one of those fold away stands for trays of food - and it was full of un-cleared away breakfast debris. Luckily it was behind me, so I didn't have to look at it - but I knew it was there!!

Cousin Susan was our server for this meal and to be honest, she wasn't much cop. We didn't see much of her and she kept disappearing. We had to keep tracking her down to ask her for drinks refills.

The breakfast itself was as wonderful as last time. Stitch's breakfast juice was just addictive and the coffee was awesome. The fruit plate was very fresh (but a lot of melon and it's the one thing I don't eat!) and the lovely breads were just as delicious as I remembered.

The family style platter with sausages, eggs, bacon and buttermilk biscuits was wonderful and very filling:



The character interaction was also great. Even though we were hidden away in a dark corner the characters found us and spent plenty of time saying hi:





We would probably give Ohana a miss next time. We enjoyed it so much in 2008 but this time it had been so stressful getting then, plus a long wait to be seated and then a not great server. It just wasn't a great experience. We'd probably give Kona a try - just to compare.

We paid OOP for this meal and the cost was $105.00 for four adult breakfasts plus tip.

Crumble rating: 5 out of 10
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:54 PM   #131
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Oh my word, sorry I am sooooooo late

I have just read through your whole review and loved every minute

Great pictures, you have a lovely family

Looking forward to reading more, it looks like you had a wonderful trip
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:37 PM   #132
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Friday 20th August - continued!

Ok - you've had the bad about this day - let's get on with the good!

After a disappointing breakfast we headed to Downtown Disney for some retail therapy and fun at Disney Quest.

Then we headed back to OKW to get ready for our evening meal at Jiko. I'd read so many positive reviews of Jiko so we were really looking forward to it. Although, after the breakfast experience we were feeling slightly hesitant. Still, we'd had a lovely meal at Sanaa so maybe the AKL was a lucky eating place for us!

I must apologise in advance for the quality of my Jiko photos - it was quite dark in there and my camera is not equipped for such conditions!

We had no bad bus karma this evening and we soon arrived at Jambo House. We checked in and had a little wait in the beautiful bar area:



Pretty soon we were taken through to be seated. All the servers were full of interesting information about the restaurant - where the decor came from and what everything symbolised.

Jiko is such a beautiful restaurant - the lighting changed as the evening went on (representing an african sunset) and the atmosphere was very relaxing and laid back.

We were seated at a gorgeous table near the window (no dingey, dark corners for us this evening!):



Our server was yet another Lucius! He was excellent. Full of advice and information and VERY efficient. Everything that we needed appeared at our table even before we knew we needed it. He was totally brilliant. Lucius suggested a wonderful wine for me and Simon - we couldn't resist trying an African wine. It was so good that we went to the AKL shop after the meal and bought a different bottle of African wine to try at the villa - that was also delicious. Here's me enjoying the wine:



Simon and Kate shared a BBQ chicken flatbread for appetiser:



They absolutely loved this. I think Simon even preferred this to his beloved California Grill flatbreads.

Sarah and I shared the breads and dips:



These were soooooo good! Two of the dips were quite spicy - but the flavours were so amazing that I didn't even mind the heat.

The same went for my entree which was the shrimp curry:



Wow. Oh. Wow. How good does that look? It tasted even better! It was quite spicy for me, but I didn't care because the flavours of this dish were simply sublime. I loved every mouthful of it.

Simon ordered the duck entree:



He liked this dish very much and was pleased he had branched away from his usual steak.

Sarah and kate both had the chicken dish and they also loved this:



We had been worried about how Sarah would cope at Jiko with her dislike of anything spicy but she navigated around it very well and there was plenty for her to try.

The flavours at Jiko were just wonderful and vivid - we all cleared our plates!

For dessert, Sarah had a malva cake with custard:



And the rest of us had a chocolate mousse dessert:



Delicious!

Simon and I also enjoyed a liquer coffee each. I had a Cape Town coffee and Si had a Keoke coffee. A wonderful way to finish the meal:





After the meal we went to have a look in the shop and buy some African wine - we love the Zawadi store:



We were just so giddy after the Jiko meal - us girls went to the bathroom together (as ladies do) and we just giggled away at nothing in there. I wasn't even that tipsy!

We had all had such an amazing family meal at Jiko. Great service, wonderful atmosphere and delicious food. A brilliant, brilliant experience that I can't recommend too highly. Well worth the 8 TS credits (unlike Narcoossees!).

I have the full bill for Jiko. Without the dining plan it would have cost: $305.48
With the DDP we paid: $130.42 for the bottle of wine, bread and dips, chicken flatbread and 2 liquer coffees and the tip. And it was worth every cent.

Crumble Rating: 10 OUT OF 10!!!!!!!

(I toyed with the idea of giving it 9.5 so it had something to improve on - but you can't improve on perfection!)

Definitely at the top of our list for future visits.

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Old 09-19-2010, 03:41 PM   #133
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Oh my word, sorry I am sooooooo late

I have just read through your whole review and loved every minute

Great pictures, you have a lovely family

Looking forward to reading more, it looks like you had a wonderful trip
Linda! great to have you here! I enjoyed your food review so much. I thought of you lots whenever I had a cocktail - you inspired me to try so many new Disney drinks!
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:54 PM   #134
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Your Jiko review has me sad that I didn't book there!!! Everything looks absolutely wonderful!
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:08 PM   #135
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Your Jiko review has me sad that I didn't book there!!! Everything looks absolutely wonderful!
It was one of those meals where everything came together perfectly! Thanks for reading!
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