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Old 08-08-2011, 08:18 PM   #151
jabead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolMN View Post
Thanks again for the great reviews - the pictures add so much!

I really appreciated the TiW vs DxDP comparison, as well.
Thanks Carol! Please stay tuned for the reviews from our last two days of the trip (sans Dining Plan)...including two sit-down breakfasts, lunch at Le Cellier, Tea at the Grand Floridian, two more Signature dinners, and our last day of Eating & Drinking around the World. Much more delicious food and adult beverages yet to come, and of course the pics too!



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Originally Posted by queenmichelle View Post


Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcake

OMG I NEED this!!!!
Looks like it won't be long until you can have it. ENJOY!



Quote:
Originally Posted by stubb View Post
Hi
I have really enjoyed reading your dining review. I am suprised at how expensive the glasses of wine were in the restaurants. In the UK I would expect to pay that price for a bottle!
Another question how were you able to eat that amount of food!!! I know that there is a lot of walking to be done on a disney holiday but I dont think I would be able to!!!
Thanks again for such a readable trip report
Michelle

Unfortunately the wine is rather expensive at all of the restaurants at Disney World. I'm sure you could buy a bottle of decent wine for the price of one glass if you have a car and go off-property to a liquor store or even a grocery store. But if you are like me and enjoy having a glass of wine with your meal, then you are forced to pay the premium price for it.

As for the amount of food we ate...reading back through my reviews I would have to agree that we did eat A LOT OF FOOD! But at the time we were eating it, it didn't seem like that much. We never stuffed ourselves until we were miserable. We ate very little for breakfast and then had early lunches and later dinners, with several hours in between. Also we often shared a dessert rather than both ordering one. So anyway, it all seemed to work out okay for us. But as you will soon see, during our meals for our last two days (not on Dining Plan) we do a lot of sharing.


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Originally Posted by disney_princess_85 View Post
Fantastic reviews!
Thanks for reading! More reviews coming soon.



Quote:
Originally Posted by nocruisecontrol View Post
Awesome reviews! I always think I'm going to remember to write down our dining experiences and then never do. Generally we'd be headed to Disney in September but we've opted for Hilton Head instead this year so I'm sort of going through Disney withdrawal, and it's too early to make spring break dining ADR's (but not too early to plan!).

Thanks for sharing.

Thanks nocrusiecontrol! Spring break will be here before you know it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphoria027 View Post
Just now catching up on your dining report! You're not alone in your feelings for California Grill's signature pork dish! I didn't love it either. Nothing was BAD, I just didn't care all that much for the way the flavors tasted together, I guess! Loving all the photos... It seems like you had a great trip!
I'm so relieved to hear I'm not the only one who isn't wild about the pork.


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Originally Posted by ocdisney08 View Post
I go to school in Austin and have been to Uchiko and think it's amazing! But I still really liked the Spicy Kazan Roll when I had it. Uchiko and California Grill are both great restaurants and make wonderful sushi, but to me they seem to have different styles, you know what I mean? But then again, I have the hardest time picking favorites

btw, I have been loving your reviews!
My daughter would be so jealous. She loves Austin! She has spent the last two summers there doing an internship at the University of Texas and would love to live there someday.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda67 View Post
You are really doing a wonderful job of these reviews

Thanks for the Dining Plan/TIW analysis, really interesting

Thanks Linda!
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Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread #1 - and - Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - Take 2

Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - #3
- and - APRIL 2014 REVIEW - My Solo Birthday Trip


MAY 2012 REVIEW - DD's Graduation Celebration -and- NOV. 2011 REVIEW - Let them eat steak!

MAY 2011 REVIEW - My 50th Birthday -and- NOV. 2010 REVIEW - Our 25th Anniversary



DISNEY TRIPS: Aug. 2000 - BWV, CR, DTD Hilton (First Family Trip), Dec. 2000 -WLV,Dolphin, July 2001 - BC, AKL - CL, BWV, Poly, May 2002 - BWI, GF, AKL-CL, June 2002 - DLR's Grand Californian, March 2003 - Poly, BCV, March 2004 - POR, Dolphin, March 2006 - WL, Dolphin, Nov. 2006 - Poly, Nov. 2007 - YC, Poly, March 2008 - CR, YC, March 2010, Nov. 2010, May 2011 - BWI, Poly, Nov. 2011 - BWI, May 2012 - BWV, March 2013 - WL, Swan

Last edited by jabead; 08-08-2011 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:44 AM   #152
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LIFE AFTER THE DINING PLAN

We were up early today and took a short ride on the Resort Monorail from our resort, the Polynesian, to the next stop, the Grand Floridian, for our 8:00 a.m. …

Breakfast at the GRAND FLORIDIAN CAFÉ






THE SHORT VERSION

Highlights – French Toast

Disappointments – None

Would We Return? – Yes



THE LONG VERSION

DD rarely eats breakfast so I was very happy when she agreed to join me for breakfast at the Grand Floridian Café. I did have to make one concession though… we had to share. So although I could have probably eaten an entire order of the delicious Maple Vanilla French Toast, I had to settle for ½ an order. This was brought to us already split between our two plates. The Maple Vanilla French Toast is described on the menu as…Challah Bread dipped in Maple and Vanilla flavored Batter with Bacon or Sausage (we chose bacon). I really like this version of French Toast and would highly recommend it to any French Toast aficionados out there.




Maple Vanilla French Toast with Bacon (1/2 Order)




I also had a cappuccino and DD had a Café au Lait. You have the option here of adding chocolate, caramel, or vanilla flavoring to your coffee drinks for an additional $.50. We both had vanilla added. I think this was my third cappuccino of the trip and was my favorite, probably because of the addition of the vanilla flavoring.




Cappuccino with Vanilla flavoring added



The Grand Floridian Café is very bright and cheery, with many windows that overlook the lovely gardens and quiet pool of the Grand Floridian Resort.






And I love the red roses which adorn all of the tables here.






Our server was friendly and efficient and had served our food and presented us with a check in about 30 minutes time. This was perfect for us, as we wanted to make the Magic Kingdom rope drop at 9:00. A great start to our first day of dining without the Dining Plan!


And so I can calculate my total savings with Tables in Wonderland…


20% TIW Discount - $4.75



NEXT UP: Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Lounge
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Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread #1 - and - Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - Take 2

Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - #3
- and - APRIL 2014 REVIEW - My Solo Birthday Trip


MAY 2012 REVIEW - DD's Graduation Celebration -and- NOV. 2011 REVIEW - Let them eat steak!

MAY 2011 REVIEW - My 50th Birthday -and- NOV. 2010 REVIEW - Our 25th Anniversary



DISNEY TRIPS: Aug. 2000 - BWV, CR, DTD Hilton (First Family Trip), Dec. 2000 -WLV,Dolphin, July 2001 - BC, AKL - CL, BWV, Poly, May 2002 - BWI, GF, AKL-CL, June 2002 - DLR's Grand Californian, March 2003 - Poly, BCV, March 2004 - POR, Dolphin, March 2006 - WL, Dolphin, Nov. 2006 - Poly, Nov. 2007 - YC, Poly, March 2008 - CR, YC, March 2010, Nov. 2010, May 2011 - BWI, Poly, Nov. 2011 - BWI, May 2012 - BWV, March 2013 - WL, Swan
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:43 PM   #153
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I have been following along and enjoying your reviews, just not posting. The GF Cafe looks so beautiful! It is definitely on my list of places to try, for every meal, someday!

Your system of using a short version and a long version has inspired me to write my DR that way. I think I will do the short version LIVE and then edit to add the long version with pics when I return.

I'm curious how you enjoyed the Poly vs. BW?

Thanks for taking the time to write this excellent report! And Happy Belated Birthday!!
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:20 PM   #154
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I'm joining in late, but I'm loving your food review! My honeymoon to WDW is in less than a month and there are a few places you went to that we are doing as well

So glad you shared the wine passport! I hadn't heard of it before and now I am so excited to try it on our upcoming trip!

Also, I can completely sympathize with your daughter about the wine glass. I'm 23 but look very young for my age (I have occasionally been asked if I'm under 18!), so I really hate it when people just assume my age. For a waiter I feel like it's common courtesy not to make any assumptions like that, but I would guess he wasn't even thinking when he did it!
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:30 AM   #155
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Ooh that French Toast looks good

I have read many good reviews of the Grand Floridian Cafe, I must try it sometime, especially as I love a good breakfast
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:20 AM   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iloveeeyore View Post
I have been following along and enjoying your reviews, just not posting. The GF Cafe looks so beautiful! It is definitely on my list of places to try, for every meal, someday!

Your system of using a short version and a long version has inspired me to write my DR that way. I think I will do the short version LIVE and then edit to add the long version with pics when I return.

I'm curious how you enjoyed the Poly vs. BW?

Thanks for taking the time to write this excellent report! And Happy Belated Birthday!!

That sounds like a great idea! I really enjoy reading live reports and look forward to reading yours.

As for the Poly vs. BWI, that's a difficult question. The Poly has long been our family favorite (we have stayed there more than any other resort) because of the theming and being on the monorail. However our favorite park is Epcot so we love the convenience of staying at one of the Epcot resorts and being able to walk in the back door of Epcot. That is why we almost always do a split stay. We have stayed at all of the Epcot resorts (except for the Swan) and prefer the BWI over the others. I would have to say that after our recent trips, the BWI may even be our overall favorite resort now. The rooms that we have had on our last two stays at the Poly were showing much more wear and tear than the ones at the BWI. Also the Poly still does not have the sink area separate from (outside of) the toilet/shower room, unlike all the other Deluxe Resorts. And now I have heard that they have cut back the hours that the monorail runs, making that advantage a little less attractive. So all these things plus the fact that the Poly is more expensive is definitely tipping the scales in favor of the BWI.



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Originally Posted by librarygeek View Post
I'm joining in late, but I'm loving your food review! My honeymoon to WDW is in less than a month and there are a few places you went to that we are doing as well

So glad you shared the wine passport! I hadn't heard of it before and now I am so excited to try it on our upcoming trip!

Also, I can completely sympathize with your daughter about the wine glass. I'm 23 but look very young for my age (I have occasionally been asked if I'm under 18!), so I really hate it when people just assume my age. For a waiter I feel like it's common courtesy not to make any assumptions like that, but I would guess he wasn't even thinking when he did it!
Thanks librarygeek! And best wishes on your upcoming marriage. Hope you have a great honeymoon trip to WDW!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda67 View Post
Ooh that French Toast looks good

I have read many good reviews of the Grand Floridian Cafe, I must try it sometime, especially as I love a good breakfast

Both the Grand Floridian Cafe and the Kona Cafe are great places to have breakfast before spending a day at Magic Kingdom. I too love a good breakfast, but sadly the rest of my family would rather skip breakfast and have the extra time to sleep.
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Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread #1 - and - Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - Take 2

Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - #3
- and - APRIL 2014 REVIEW - My Solo Birthday Trip


MAY 2012 REVIEW - DD's Graduation Celebration -and- NOV. 2011 REVIEW - Let them eat steak!

MAY 2011 REVIEW - My 50th Birthday -and- NOV. 2010 REVIEW - Our 25th Anniversary



DISNEY TRIPS: Aug. 2000 - BWV, CR, DTD Hilton (First Family Trip), Dec. 2000 -WLV,Dolphin, July 2001 - BC, AKL - CL, BWV, Poly, May 2002 - BWI, GF, AKL-CL, June 2002 - DLR's Grand Californian, March 2003 - Poly, BCV, March 2004 - POR, Dolphin, March 2006 - WL, Dolphin, Nov. 2006 - Poly, Nov. 2007 - YC, Poly, March 2008 - CR, YC, March 2010, Nov. 2010, May 2011 - BWI, Poly, Nov. 2011 - BWI, May 2012 - BWV, March 2013 - WL, Swan
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:14 PM   #157
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I'm just now finding your reviews and I love them! You give some good critiques of the meals and overall experience. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:54 PM   #158
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Thumbs up Enjoyed your reviews!!

I am doing the dining plan for the first time next year and have really enjoyed reading your report and the pictures have made my mouth water. I am also from central Illinois about 50 miles from Bloominton so can get some great flights to Orlando!!! Disney has always been one of my favorite places to visit and it seemed like i was ther reading your review...thanks for taking the time!!!
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:57 PM   #159
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TIW vs. DDP comparison

Thank you so much for your reviews and in- depth descriptions. I am curious as to the cost analysis in post #142? Where does the tip get added in your total cost of the Deluxe DDP? Would you not have to add 18 - 20 % tip from each of the meals and add that on top of the cost of the plan to get your total??? I am trying to figure out what is best for myself and 2 college- age children. We will be there next week.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:38 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by butiflfeet View Post
I'm just now finding your reviews and I love them! You give some good critiques of the meals and overall experience. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks butiflfeet! I hope to have more reviews up soon, so stay tuned.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sandyj55 View Post
I am doing the dining plan for the first time next year and have really enjoyed reading your report and the pictures have made my mouth water. I am also from central Illinois about 50 miles from Bloominton so can get some great flights to Orlando!!! Disney has always been one of my favorite places to visit and it seemed like i was ther reading your review...thanks for taking the time!!!

Hello neighbor!!! I live about 20 miles north of Bloomington and I love to fly to Orlando from the Bloomington airport. You gotta love free parking.


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Originally Posted by njphmom View Post
Thank you so much for your reviews and in- depth descriptions. I am curious as to the cost analysis in post #142? Where does the tip get added in your total cost of the Deluxe DDP? Would you not have to add 18 - 20 % tip from each of the meals and add that on top of the cost of the plan to get your total??? I am trying to figure out what is best for myself and 2 college- age children. We will be there next week.

When comparing the two (TIW vs. DDP) I didn't include the tip because it would be the same amount either way. With TIW the tip is calulated on the pre-discounted total at the rate of 18% and automatically added to your bill. In other words, you are required to pay a tip of at least 18% when using the TIW card. With the Dining Plans the tip amount is left up to you (unless there are 6 or more in your group, then you again are automatically charged 18%). So when comparing the two the tip is not really relevant, however in order to get an idea of what your total dining expenses will be for budget purposes you would need to include the tip. Does that answer your question?

I hope you have a great trip!
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Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread #1 - and - Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - Take 2

Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - #3
- and - APRIL 2014 REVIEW - My Solo Birthday Trip


MAY 2012 REVIEW - DD's Graduation Celebration -and- NOV. 2011 REVIEW - Let them eat steak!

MAY 2011 REVIEW - My 50th Birthday -and- NOV. 2010 REVIEW - Our 25th Anniversary



DISNEY TRIPS: Aug. 2000 - BWV, CR, DTD Hilton (First Family Trip), Dec. 2000 -WLV,Dolphin, July 2001 - BC, AKL - CL, BWV, Poly, May 2002 - BWI, GF, AKL-CL, June 2002 - DLR's Grand Californian, March 2003 - Poly, BCV, March 2004 - POR, Dolphin, March 2006 - WL, Dolphin, Nov. 2006 - Poly, Nov. 2007 - YC, Poly, March 2008 - CR, YC, March 2010, Nov. 2010, May 2011 - BWI, Poly, Nov. 2011 - BWI, May 2012 - BWV, March 2013 - WL, Swan
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:59 PM   #161
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i want to see your afternoon tea pix!!! i'm anxious!! great reviews as always
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Old 08-11-2011, 03:22 PM   #162
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Wow, your pictures and reviews are just wonderful. I have been reading along and loved the comparison you wrote about the DDP vs TIW. Thanks for such great reviews! I look forward to reading the rest of them.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:45 PM   #163
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i want to see your afternoon tea pix!!! i'm anxious!! great reviews as always
Thanks Deena! I'm so sorry that I am so slow with posting my reviews...stupid little things like work just keep getting in the way of my DIS time. The good news is, I'm almost done with my Tea Review so should have it posted soon.


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Originally Posted by nicole0992 View Post
Wow, your pictures and reviews are just wonderful. I have been reading along and loved the comparison you wrote about the DDP vs TIW. Thanks for such great reviews! I look forward to reading the rest of them.
Thanks for reading nicole!
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Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread #1 - and - Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - Take 2

Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - #3
- and - APRIL 2014 REVIEW - My Solo Birthday Trip


MAY 2012 REVIEW - DD's Graduation Celebration -and- NOV. 2011 REVIEW - Let them eat steak!

MAY 2011 REVIEW - My 50th Birthday -and- NOV. 2010 REVIEW - Our 25th Anniversary



DISNEY TRIPS: Aug. 2000 - BWV, CR, DTD Hilton (First Family Trip), Dec. 2000 -WLV,Dolphin, July 2001 - BC, AKL - CL, BWV, Poly, May 2002 - BWI, GF, AKL-CL, June 2002 - DLR's Grand Californian, March 2003 - Poly, BCV, March 2004 - POR, Dolphin, March 2006 - WL, Dolphin, Nov. 2006 - Poly, Nov. 2007 - YC, Poly, March 2008 - CR, YC, March 2010, Nov. 2010, May 2011 - BWI, Poly, Nov. 2011 - BWI, May 2012 - BWV, March 2013 - WL, Swan
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:28 PM   #164
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After spending four hours at a busy Magic Kingdom in the hot Florida sun, we were quite ready to head back to the beautiful Grand Floridian Resort for the quiet, coolness, and relaxation that were awaiting us at our 2:10…


Afternoon Tea at the GARDEN VIEW LOUNGE







SHORT VERSION

Highlights – The Grand Tea

Disappointments – Price Increase

Would we return? - Yes


LONG VERSION

Having afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian has become a tradition for DD and me. This began 4 years ago when I took her here (just the two of us, apart from the rest of our family) as a special celebration of her 18th birthday. I remember they gave her a birthday tiara (which she still has now), a rose and sang Happy Birthday. Needless to say, they made her feel like a princess and we were both forever hooked on this place. In fact, I was so hooked that I even persuaded DH to have tea with me here on our Anniversary trip last November.




The Garden View Tea Room is located on the first floor of the Grand Floridian, just off of the lobby. And just like the Grand Floridian Café, it has many windows which overlook the beautiful landscaping of the resort.




View of the Garden View Lounge from the 2nd Floor




View from the Outside





View from the Inside



Afternoon tea is served here from 2:00 – 5:00 every day and reservations can now be made on-line (previous to this trip, we had to call Disney Dining for a reservation). We had an early reservation for 2:10 with the intention of making this our lunch. Since we had had an early (shared) breakfast, we were both quite hungry so each ordered The Grand Tea. According to their menu, this is described as the classic English tradition of Afternoon Tea, Grand Floridian style. We offer you a variety of tea sandwiches, scones and jam tarts, followed by your choice of our freshly baked tea pastries or English trifle, accompanied by a glass of Domaine Ste.-Michelle sparkling wine and your choice of tea. At that time (May 17) the cost of The Grand Tea was $25.50, however in looking at an updated menu from July I see that the cost is now $29.00 (a nearly 14% price increase).


On all of our previous visits to the Tea Room, we had ordered the Princess Breakfast Tea - A sweet custom blend of South African organic rooibos flavored with vanilla bean and a hint of strawberries. However this time, after having discovered the Vanilla Rooibos tea earlier on this trip, we both ordered it when we saw it on the menu here. This tea is described as rich and full bodied with a creamy vanilla finish. We each were served our tea in a pretty china teapot, which was covered by a velvet tea cozie to keep it warm.




Vanilla Rooibos Tea served in a Cozie Covered Teapot


We were also each served a glass of Domaine Ste.-Michelle sparkling wine adorned with a strawberry. DD was very excited to be able to have the sparkling wine with her tea, as this was the first time she was old enough to do so.




Domaine Ste.-Michelle Sparkling Wine



Next we were each served a plate of 5 different finger sandwiches along with duck pate and a sweet onion tartlet. I believe the sandwiches were watercress and cucumber, pear and gorgonzola, shrimp salad, chicken salad (with almonds, I think), and egg salad, each served on different breads. Everything was delicious as usual and we both cleaned our plates.




Tea Sandwiches, Duck Pate, & Onion Tartlet



We were then each brought a plate containing a strawberry jam tart and a warm scone, along with an individual-size jar of strawberry preserves and a side dish with a (way too) small portion of Devonshire cream. Oh, how I love these sweet little biscuits slathered with delicious clotted cream and strawberry jam!





Strawberry Jam Tart and Scone with Devonshire Cream & Preserves



For our last course we were given the choice of: English trifle, two freshly baked pastries, or strawberries topped with whipped cream. In the past we have always ordered the strawberries and DD did so again this time.





Strawberries & Whipped Cream



I decided to change it up this time and went with the English trifle. This delicious dessert contained layers of strawberries, chantilly cream, and sponge cake, topped with a big dollop of whipped cream. YUM!





English Trifle


So our Tea for Two was again “Practically Perfect in Every Way.” With our stomachs pleasantly full, we took a leisurely stroll back to the Polynesian along the walkway between the two resorts…past the beautiful Wedding Pavilion. DD proclaimed that she would like to get married there someday. This would be perfectly fine with me, but as for her dad…well that’s a different story. But a girl can dream, can’t she?




The Wedding Pavilion



And so I can calculate my total savings with Tables in Wonderland…

20% TIW Discount - $10.20


NEXT UP: Dinner at JIKO
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Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread #1 - and - Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - Take 2

Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - #3
- and - APRIL 2014 REVIEW - My Solo Birthday Trip


MAY 2012 REVIEW - DD's Graduation Celebration -and- NOV. 2011 REVIEW - Let them eat steak!

MAY 2011 REVIEW - My 50th Birthday -and- NOV. 2010 REVIEW - Our 25th Anniversary



DISNEY TRIPS: Aug. 2000 - BWV, CR, DTD Hilton (First Family Trip), Dec. 2000 -WLV,Dolphin, July 2001 - BC, AKL - CL, BWV, Poly, May 2002 - BWI, GF, AKL-CL, June 2002 - DLR's Grand Californian, March 2003 - Poly, BCV, March 2004 - POR, Dolphin, March 2006 - WL, Dolphin, Nov. 2006 - Poly, Nov. 2007 - YC, Poly, March 2008 - CR, YC, March 2010, Nov. 2010, May 2011 - BWI, Poly, Nov. 2011 - BWI, May 2012 - BWV, March 2013 - WL, Swan

Last edited by jabead; 02-15-2014 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:02 AM   #165
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Great review, and yay for rooibos tea! I absolutely love that stuff. Healthy, flavorful, and good for the South African economy. I'm so happy to see it becoming more and more popular in the US

Honestly, I want to go to the Garden View Lounge just to try the princess blend tea - I think rooibos with strawberry and vanilla sounds amazing.
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