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Old 05-23-2012, 11:30 PM   #181
shan23877
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Originally Posted by kmedina View Post
You're pretty busy too. Seems to be a theme with all of us. I am here anytime the next update is ready. Crap was just asking me if Xander was going to have a preschool graduations, but I have not heard anything. to Maddie's. They are getting so big! My nieces put on a play too that was adorable. I thought of Maddie, since she likes plays so much. I know your last day at work must have been hard. I was at my job for over 11 years and my friend almost made me lose it when she cried. She was there 5 years longer than I was. I miss her so much. Glad you're moving on though.
It's been crazy! I can't believe how quickly they grow. Kindergarten next year? She's ready, but Mommy isn't

Maddie does love plays, I'll bet that your niece's play was adorable.

I still have 4 shifts left at work, but we did the going away party last weekend. I'm really going to miss some of the wonderful ladies that I work with, I've been there 12 years! It's tough. I totally understand missing your work friends, some times we spend more time with them than our families!

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Originally Posted by megan511 View Post
Congrats on your new appliances and house! So exciting!

I will look forward to updates whenever you have the time or when we get back from our trip
Thanks! It's exciting.

I decided to suck it up and quit whining. Update coming right up! Have a wonderful trip, can't wait to read the TR! If you do one, you're welcome to post the link here!

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Originally Posted by wendy3 View Post
I was intrigued by your TR title, and am now hooked by your delightful writing and lovely daughter. What a great report so far! Just yesterday my DD (who is now 20 and a junior in college) asked me if I ever missed the stage when she was little. I said not really, because every stage is wonderful in it's own way. However, reading your trip report and enjoying the sweet photos makes me a little sad that my days with a little princess are over. It's nice to be able to enjoy them vicariously through your trip report!

Someday I will be a MiL with a beautiful granddaughter and I will invite myself on every WDW trip they take I'll try to stay out of the photos, tho!
Welcome! Thanks so much for joining in, and for the nice words!

I've loved every age with Maddie as well, but it's bittersweet that she's getting so big. I am so glad that we decided to capitalize on her princess phase, it was such fun.

Get in the pictures, just offer to take one of just them when you're done!!
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:08 AM   #182
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The One With the Tremaines

Since we did the DxDP, I’d like to devote a whole update to each Table Service restaurant that we tried. I’ve always found reviews on the DIS to be extremely helpful when making ADRs, so I hope that our experiences will help some of you! If you feel that I'm taking too much time with each restaurant, let me know. I'd be happy to include less detail.

**********************************************

As we started out of the park, MiL declared that she needed to pop into the Emporium again, and she didn’t buy anything again. We were officially running late due to her need to browse some more (it is physically impossible to get in and out of the Emporium quickly) so to keep myself from focusing on my annoyance, I took some photos.







Finally, we made our way through the trunstiles and out of the park. We went straight to the boat dock and watched as a boat sailed away without us. We sat down to wait, and Bryan commented that the boat drivers must have the best job in the world, and the boat captain at the dock readily agreed. They chatted for the duration of the wait, and we all agreed that you couldn’t beat the view from the CM’s “office”.




Once our boat arrived, it was already 5:15. I am a person who really, really hates to be late, so I was a little on edge. Again, I busied myself with the camera to keep from getting upset. I’m not sure when I’ll ever need the 400 pictures that I took of the Contemporary Resort or of the Grand Floridian, but I have them so I’ll share a few with you.













We arrived at the Grand Floridian a short time later and made our way across the grounds to the main building. It’s lovely there, but I just don’t think that it’s the resort for me. I can’t imagine running down to the front desk in my PJs (which I seem to do often at hotels)—it’s so fancy!











At the check-in desk for 1900 Park Fare, I had my first nervous moment of adding a fourth person to our reservation. MiL was so late in deciding to join us that I chose not to change our ADRs. I figured that if she couldn’t get in somewhere, she’d have to fend for herself. Luckily (I think) it was no problem for us to become a party of 4. We weren’t even given a buzzer, just told to get in line to have our photo taken. While we were in line a lovely young CM took a shine to Maddie, and they chatted about the really important things in life (princesses, sparkly things, princess gowns, dance moves) until it was our turn. The CM was really great, and she made Maddie feel incredibly special. It was a nice moment, and one of the things that makes Disney so special.




Of course, MiL decided to join us for our family photo. We probably weren’t going to buy it anyway, but I had begun to wonder if we’d have any photos of the 3 of us from the first 3 days of the trip.

After photos were taken, we were ushered into the restaurant. This time our table was in the middle part of the dining room, against the wall. The restaurant is decorated in a "classic" style, and there are carousel horses near the buffet. It's pretty, but the themeing is not outstanding.

Our waiter came by quickly, and unlike our last visit this waiter didn’t seem annoyed that we ordered soda instead of cocktails. We had just enough time to fill our plates before the first character arrived.

First up was the man who had stolen our young daughter’s heart on her first visit to 1900 Park Fare. Sadly, Prince Charming wasn’t nearly as charming this time around. He was pleasant, but Maddie didn’t fall in love. It’s probably for the best, she is only 5.







Next was Cinderella. She was very nice and complimented Maddie’s dress. Maddie did the obligatory pirouette and they had a photo taken. Nothing special, but the Tremaine girls are the main event at this meal anyway.








Lady Tremaine happened by next. She admired Maddie’s necklace and asked if she was getting married that day. Maddie of course said no, and Lady Tremaine responded "Good, I don't want you stealing away all of the princes like that Cinderella". Then, she proclaimed that Maddie was “As well behaved as my daughters”. As she was walking away, she doubled back looking at Bryan. You see, Maddie’s Rapunzel dress has a lot of gold glitter detail on it. If you are the parent of a child wearing one of these dresses, and you sweat even a little, you too will be covered in the stuff. Anyway, Lady T looked long and hard at Bryan and said to Maddie, “Your father is covered in sparkle. How strange.” And then she pivoted on her heel and walked off. It was hilarious.











Drizella and Anastasia made their way by next. They were funny and friendly, but moved quickly. A few minutes later, we heard loud laughter from a few tables down. I looked up just in time to see Drizella lay one on a little boy who had turned 5 shades of red and yell “YOU SEE! IT REALLY IS THE PLACE WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE”. Later I happened to be in the ladies’ room at the same time as the boy’s mother (really, where else do you talk to strangers while in line for the loo?) and got the full story. He’d been boasting to his family that he’d tell the stepsisters that he was the real prince charming. He didn’t realize that Drizella was standing right behind him and would call his bluff. It was very funny.











At 1900 Park Fare, the stars of the show are definitely the Tremaines. They are so funny and stay in character so well-they aren’t to be missed. IMO this is a meal that children of all ages would enjoy. You have Cindy and Prince C. for the littler princess lovers, and the comedy of Drizella, Anastasia, and their mom for the older kids (and parents). On this visit, the characters moved around the room pretty quickly, but to be fair (or Fare!) Maddie had very little to say to the Evil Stepsisers, and Stepmother, so that’s probably why we didn’t spend too much time with them. It’s certainly a meal that we’d do again.

And, how was the food, you might ask? Since we gave it a scathing review in Always Let Your Preschooler Be Your Guide, I’m happy to report that the food was….


Much better. Everything that we tried was hot (or cold) and fresh. I had Caesar Salad, Tomato Florentine soup (this was the only exception—the soup was lukewarm but tasted fantastic. I’d have eaten 2 bowls if it was hot), beef stir fry (sadly, the rice was really al dente), and chicken marsala. Everything was pretty good- better than your standard buffet.

Bryan had pizza from the kids’ area (he made it a habit to test out all of the kids’ pizza options from the various buffets, claiming that he wanted to help me out with the TR), roast beef, salad, mashed potatoes, and dinner rolls. He enjoyed the meal much more than he had on our previous visit. Maddie had her usual buffet stuff—plain noodles, strawberries, grapes, watermelon, and rolls. The watermelon was really over-ripe, but she didn’t notice and enjoyed her meal. MiL had most of the same things I did, and pretty much felt the same way that I had. The meal was “pretty good”.

The buffet also offered sushi, ham, steamed fish, roasted potatoes, and several other types of bread. The kid’s area included the aforementioned noodles and marinara, pizza, and macaroni and cheese.


For dessert, DH had ice cream and Rice Krispy Treats that MiL and I both forced on him. He’s not a fan of the soft serve at Disney, but he said the Rice Krispie Treats were really fresh and very good. MiL, Maddie, and I all had the key lime tart with chocolate crust (not good), and mini carrot cakes (very good).

We were done meeting characters and eating within 45 minutes. When the bill came, we explained to MiL how to write in the tip so that it could be charged to her room. She pretended to be confused by this (the woman travels for a living, this is not new to her) and said we should leave the whole tip and she’d give us cash for her portion. We did, and she slipped us her “share” of the tip. She’d given us $4. Now, this is a $40 dinner for adults, and she’s generally a good tipper so I was shocked and annoyed (obviously, this portion of the “review” won’t affect your trip to 1900 Park Fare unless you plan to travel with my MiL). I chose not to confront her and we headed out of the restaurant.

Up next, we’ll be headed back to the Magic Kingdom where we might finally ride some rides!!!!
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:15 AM   #183
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There's definitely never too much dining review for me!! I love hearing about restaurant experiences just as much as the parks and everything else!!

I'm glad to hear that your 1900 Park Fare meal was better this time around! The character interaction there sounds really fun.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:03 AM   #184
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I love a good dining review, so thank you for taking the time to post such a detailed one! Glad to hear that the Tremaine ladies were just as fun as always and that the food was better than last time.

The only ADR I made for our Sept trip was 1900 park faire for breakfast, you guys have had so much fun there, I had to try it for myself!

Yikes, I can't believe that your MIL stiffed you on the tip, that would just drive me crazy! You are way nicer than I am, I would have said something.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:14 AM   #185
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I tried to post last night but the website acted up on me. Anyway, let me try again:

Sounds like y'all had a great meal! I've heard soooo many great things about the interaction with Lady Tremaine & the stepsisters. I would love to try it out but I know Reid would not be into it. That's great that you thought the food was much better this year!

As for MIL & the tip..... I mean really! From pretending to not understand how to leave the tip to giving you hardly anything to cover her part of the tip. Yeah, I definitely don't want to go to dinner with her. I have a feeling you were pretty relieved when it was time for her to go & it just be your little family.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:44 AM   #186
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Oh, MIL's. . . mine is a real treat sometimes too. Love her dearly, but the thought of spending all weekend with her this weekend makes me anxious.

Loved the review. I'm still on the fence about 1900 Park Fare, Eli's not super familiar with the Cinderella story, so I think a lot of it would be lost on him....we'll see
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:21 AM   #187
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You include as much detail as you want! Hahah it's really nice hearing about the different restaurants!

Princey looks like he has a bit too much blush on... this is awkward. Lady Tremaine sounds hilarious!

Glad to hear the food was better this time! It seems like a really fun place.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:42 AM   #188
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Awesome review! I agree with the PP, the more detail in a review the better for me. The Tremaine sisters and the stepmother look like they are fabulous. I love when CMs really enjoy their jobs. I am sure it is not the easiest job again, but it seems that the ones that really get into it have a better time and give guests the best experience.
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:52 PM   #189
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Great TR! I started reading your first one, fell behind, and never caught up. I'll try to keep that from happening again!

Maddie and my daughter are a lot alike in their love of Princesses and fashion, though Maddie seems much, much nicer I loved, “I’m scared of pirates Mommy. I think that they should be Princess Pools”.

Our first trip to WDW as a family was with my Mother-in-Law, so I can sympathize. It's always tricky touring with people beyond your immediate family unit. I don't get how people are able to pull of these "party of 15" trips. I think I would end up ditching everyone and going off on my own anyway.

CBR looks great! How was the bussing? That was the determining factor in our decision of Coronado Springs over CBR. We'd heard horror stories about the transportation from CBR, so I'd love to hear another opinion.

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:58 PM   #190
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I'm looking forward to the dining reviews. There are a lot of places I've never eaten, but would love to try... this being one of them. I've never really felt like it would be something my family would really get into, but the stepsisters sound like a lot of fun and it might be worth it just for the entertainment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shan23877 View Post
I can’t imagine running down to the front desk in my PJs (which I seem to do often at hotels)—it’s so fancy!
I can't see myself staying at GF, just because the lobby feels a little bit stuffy to me. Yes, it is beautiful, but just doesn't feel all that welcoming to me. I would almost be tempted to lounge around the lobby in my pajamas just to make everyone else uncomfortable.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:27 PM   #191
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That was a really great review! I agree that it IS all about the Tremaine's. They were so great when we went there. One of the best character interactions ever!

I found the food good, with a few mehs.


Too bad your MIL chose to short tip, 3 days can't be that long.........can it
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:47 PM   #192
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Another great update! We love 1900 Park Fare...but mainly for the characters too!

Ah, MIL's...I totally feel for you....when we go to Disney we end up paying for them...meals, using our DVC points etc bc they don't have the money....yet when DH's siblings go to Disney with his parents, his parents pay for them and their families????
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:11 PM   #193
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DD4 is also a Princess fanatic. This will be her first EVER trip to Disney. Could you please ask Maddie what tips she would have for her from one preschooler to another?
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:12 PM   #194
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I'm loving your trip report and your daughter is just adorable.

I have a suggestion as to the pictures and your MIL taking part. When I fo to Disney with my son and DIL I always let them have a picture by themselves and one with me included. They might do that at at Park Faire if you asked. I do that with all the photopass pictures as well. Just an idea.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:15 PM   #195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
There's definitely never too much dining review for me!! I love hearing about restaurant experiences just as much as the parks and everything else!!

I'm glad to hear that your 1900 Park Fare meal was better this time around! The character interaction there sounds really fun.
Thank you! I appreciate the feedback! I agree, and I've gotten so many ideas for ADR from the DIS, so I wanted to help others if I could. Don't worry--we did branch out from character meals

1900 was soooo much better this time. The Tremaines are fantastic. They are actually probably much more fun for grown ups than kids which is a nice change as character meals go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CandleontheWater View Post
I love a good dining review, so thank you for taking the time to post such a detailed one! Glad to hear that the Tremaine ladies were just as fun as always and that the food was better than last time.

The only ADR I made for our Sept trip was 1900 park faire for breakfast, you guys have had so much fun there, I had to try it for myself!

Yikes, I can't believe that your MIL stiffed you on the tip, that would just drive me crazy! You are way nicer than I am, I would have said something.

Thanks for the feedback. I wasn't sure if all the vets would appreciate it, but I'm glad to hear that you ladies are on board. The food was so much better! It was actually a relief because MiL considers herself the WDW expert, but I planned the whole trip. I'd never have lived it down if the meal sucked.

We went to 1900 for breakfast on Day 3 (hopefully I'll get to that before September ). It was great, and I'll bet Everett will enjoy the characters more than at dinner. The food was better too! Probably our 2nd favorite breakfast!

Oh MiL.... I was tired and kept trying to figure out if I was being sensitive or she was being crazy. Now that I've gotten some perspective, I know that she was being crazy. She's usually such a generous person! It was the strangest thing, and it wasn't the only time that it happened...

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Originally Posted by amandaw View Post
I tried to post last night but the website acted up on me. Anyway, let me try again:

Sounds like y'all had a great meal! I've heard soooo many great things about the interaction with Lady Tremaine & the stepsisters. I would love to try it out but I know Reid would not be into it. That's great that you thought the food was much better this year!

As for MIL & the tip..... I mean really! From pretending to not understand how to leave the tip to giving you hardly anything to cover her part of the tip. Yeah, I definitely don't want to go to dinner with her. I have a feeling you were pretty relieved when it was time for her to go & it just be your little family.
I had some problems commenting last night too, it's irritating when that happens.

The meal was lots of fun! Those ladies are hilarious. Reed might not love it, but the stepsisters make a HUGE fuss over "single men" so maybe when he's older and you want to embarrass him?

Seriously! MiL travels sooo much, she understood. I still don't get why she did that, she's usually really generous. I am still annoyed by it. I would not suggest that you invite my MiL along on your next trip. It was a relief when her portion of the trip was over. It's just easier with the 3 of us, you know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysideup3 View Post
Oh, MIL's. . . mine is a real treat sometimes too. Love her dearly, but the thought of spending all weekend with her this weekend makes me anxious.

Loved the review. I'm still on the fence about 1900 Park Fare, Eli's not super familiar with the Cinderella story, so I think a lot of it would be lost on him....we'll see
I wonder why MiLs are so crazy? Maybe because they think that they're the only ones who can take care of their sons? I was on edge the whole time she was with us.

1900 is tons of fun. Before our first trip, I made sure to let Maddie watch all of the movies and shows featuring characters that Maddie might encounter so that she'd be familiar (didn't think to have her watch Aristocats though, so when she saw Marie she was all "why is there a white kitty here?") For little kids, the Tremaines might be intimidating. In my experience there they are really good at picking up on the feelings of the kids and acting accordingly. Maybe when he's older and the girls can tease him?

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Originally Posted by marDgreen88 View Post
You include as much detail as you want! Hahah it's really nice hearing about the different restaurants!

Princey looks like he has a bit too much blush on... this is awkward. Lady Tremaine sounds hilarious!

Glad to hear the food was better this time! It seems like a really fun place.
Thanks for the feedback, I'll keep at it.

I thought so too! Wonder if he did his make up himself? He certainly wasn't the most "handsome" with all that war paint on

It's so much fun there! I'll bet that you'd have a blast there on a friends' trip, or even a family one! A lot of the humor is geared toward the grown ups/goes over the little ones' heads. It's great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RachVH View Post
Awesome review! I agree with the PP, the more detail in a review the better for me. The Tremaine sisters and the stepmother look like they are fabulous. I love when CMs really enjoy their jobs. I am sure it is not the easiest job again, but it seems that the ones that really get into it have a better time and give guests the best experience.
Thank you! I appreciate that, and I'll keep adding as much detail as I can.

They ARE fabulous! I've never seen a stepsister that didn't get really into character. You're right, it's easy to tell when they love their jobs, and makes it soooo much better. We'll keep going back to 1900 Park Fare as long as DD is into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilla View Post
Great TR! I started reading your first one, fell behind, and never caught up. I'll try to keep that from happening again!

Maddie and my daughter are a lot alike in their love of Princesses and fashion, though Maddie seems much, much nicer I loved, “I’m scared of pirates Mommy. I think that they should be Princess Pools”.

Our first trip to WDW as a family was with my Mother-in-Law, so I can sympathize. It's always tricky touring with people beyond your immediate family unit. I don't get how people are able to pull of these "party of 15" trips. I think I would end up ditching everyone and going off on my own anyway.

CBR looks great! How was the bussing? That was the determining factor in our decision of Coronado Springs over CBR. We'd heard horror stories about the transportation from CBR, so I'd love to hear another opinion.

Can't wait to read more!
Thank you! I'm moving pretty slow, so it shouldn't be hard to stay up to date!

You stop that! Emily seems like such a sweetie! And believe me, Maddie definitely has her moments. I used to wonder how I ended up with such a 'girly girl' but it's a lot of fun, and I wouldn't change a thing.

I think that she might be on to something with the "princess pool" idea. We'd stay at that resort!

So you know where I'm coming from! I'll not repeat the experience. However, I'll be stuck on one of the 15+ people trips in a few years when MiL turns 60. I fully intend to plan the thing so that we meet up for some meals (maybe breakfast and dinner?), but are on our own for most of the day. I would go crazy if I had to wait around for a group of 15-20 decide what to do. We'd end up doing nothing!

We loved everything about CBR. As for the bus situation-- Aruba 51--which was a fantastic location, I'd request it every time especially since it's a standard room price--we felt like the bus stop at OPR was actually closer than the Aruba bus stop. Now, that sounds bad, but it wasn't. We were usually going to OPR to fill mugs when we were coming or going anyway. I believe that Aruba is one of the last stops, and we figured that by getting on at OPR we'd have less chance of a bus being full by the time we got on. The OPR stop was literally a 5 minute walk. We never waited more than 20 minutes for a bus (and the 20 minute waits were usually in the afternoons, the slower times) and never had to stand. The ride to Epcot or DHS was only 10 minutes, AK didn't seem too long, and MK was the longest at 20 minutes (except after Wishes of course). Of course, this wasn't at peak crowd time, but your family travels during the same time frame right? I think that it's great, and I'll bet that Emily and Dylan would really like the pirate pool!

You'd think that CBR was paying me wouldn't you?
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