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Old 06-04-2012, 11:12 PM   #16
gabzee
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I'm in! Your ADR list looks great and I can't wait to hear all about it! Congrats on your daughter's graduation!
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
I wanna hear all about it!! So excited for you for a girls trip! Enjoy your 10 days!

And I want to hear about the BWV - we'll be there in less than 3 months.

I know this is the Disney Dining and not the Disney Resort board, but I wanted to address your question and tell you a little about the Boardwalk Villas.

We had a wonderful 10 night stay in a one-bedroom villa at the Boardwalk. I had debated about whether to again stay in a regular room on the Inn side at the Boardwalk (currently my favorite Disney resort) or spend a little more money for a villa. I can now honestly say that the extra space we had at the villa was worth every penny. Ten nights was the longest we had ever stayed at one hotel, and I'm certain that there would have been many more fights had we been limited to the space of a regular hotel room. I had been concerned about the common complaint that the walking distance from the lobby to the rooms at the Boardwalk Villas could be quite far. When I did the online check-in the only request regarding our room location that could be made was that it was close to transportation. So I check marked this request and hoped for the best. When we arrived we were told our room was #2026 and on the 2nd level, which is the same floor as the lobby. Encouraged by this, we happily began our walk down the hallway to locate our room...but then we walked and walked (with the hallway splitting off in different directions a few times) until we finally found our room at the very end of one of the hallways. Since I had no idea where we were at this point, I decided to reserve judgement until we figured out the lay of the land. Upon entering the room, the first thing we did of course was to check out the view from our balcony...




The View from the Boardwalk Villas Room# 2026








Now, I'm sure there are some here that would be less than thrilled to have a room with a direct view of the clown slide at the Boardwalk pool. But for me it was actually quite a nice view, much better than the parking lot views I've had at many hotels. After unpacking, our next task was trying to find a shorter route to the Boardwalk. We took the EXIT door right next to our room, walked down one flight of stairs and out the door, where we found ourselves on the walkway to Disney Studios, right next to the pool area...just a short walk away from just about everything. We could walk through the pool area for a short cut to the bus stop or the bakery/walkway to Epcot. We could make the walk over the bridge to the Swan & Dolphin in about 5 minutes, which we did twice for dinners at their restaurants, as well as a couple of times when riding the bus. When returning on the bus from Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney too (I believe), the Boardwalk was the last bus stop but the Swan was the first. So getting off at the Swan was a much faster way back to our room. And of course, being right next to the walkway...walking to Hollywood Studios was a breeze. I would therefore say that in terms of room location and view, we SCORED with this one! So here's to standard view Room# 2026...YOU ROCK!

Ok, now I'm ready to bring on the food...lots of food!

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

List of DISers with Upcoming Trips - and - Aug./Sept. Game - and - June/July Game

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 06-06-2012, 09:22 PM   #18
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Day 1 - May 15th

Dinner at Il Mulino New York Trattoria

NOTE: See my Post# 26 for the explanation of our ratings system

Background: When deciding on our first night dinner, I considered eating at the Flying Fish Cafe right there at our hotel, the Boardwalk. However, with a 6:15 p.m. flight arrival time and the new reservation cancellation policy, I thought it wise not to take a chance on missing our ADR and being charged the $10/pp fee. The good news though is that there are many other dining options available in the area of the Boardwalk/Epcot Resorts which do not follow the new policy. Some of these are the restaurants at the Swan & Dolphin hotels. After discussing these options, we decided to try Il Mulino at the Swan for dinner on our first night. Not only was I looking forward to trying a new restaurant, but I thought it would be a safe bet for us food-wise since we all like Italian food...I am half Italian so I think it's in our blood. An added bonus was that I learned that Il Mulino specializes in food from Italy's Abruzzi region, the area of Italy where my grandparents were from. Three years ago the three of us plus my sister and niece did a Food & Wine Tour in this area and absolutely loved the food.



Our ADR at Il Mulino was not until 9:15 on a Tuesday night. There weren't many people in the lounge, which you walk through to get to the restaurant. And there were even less people dining in the restaurant, so we were seated immediately upon check-in. A common complaint in the reviews I'd read about Il Mulino was that it was very loud, but this was not an issue since there were only a few other diners and none were seated near our table.

Here are a few of our pictures of the nearly empty restaurant:







As you can maybe tell from the pictures, Il Mulino has a pretty, but casual atmosphere with light-colored wood floors and dark colored tables and chairs. A long wall (shown in the picture) with frosted glass windows is the only barrier between the dining room and the kitchen.


And here are a couple of snapshots showing parts of their current menu:










Our server soon brought us these...




Bread Basket and Complimentary Antipasti Dish


The bread basket contained slices of ordinary Italian bread, but also had focaccia bread with red pepper flakes (which gave it some spiciness). The antipasti was a tasty mixture of roasted eggplant and I think I remember tomatoes and parmesan cheese (my notes just say eggplant). Also on the plate with the eggplant appetizer were a few slices of Italian salami.


DD1 and I looked over the wine list but couldn't decide which to order so took the easy way out and both had one of these...




Bellinis

The Il Mulino Bellinis were a mixture of fresh Peach Puree, Prosecco, Peach schnapps and Bacardi rum and were quite good.



For an additional appetizer, DD1 and I shared an order of calamari.



Calamari Fritti - Lightly Fried Calamari with a Spicy Marinara Sauce

This contained both rings and tentacles, which were lighted breaded and fried. DD2 will not touch any kind of seafood and thought this was especially disgusting when we told her what it was, however DD1 and I enjoyed it very much.



So far so good...but now for the entrees.


For her main course, DD1 had one of their pizzas.




Margherita Pizza with Tomato Sauce, Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella

This was good, however would have been better with a little less garlic. It seemed to overpower all the other ingredients of the pizza.




I chose a pasta dish, and following the advice of several reviews I've read I just got a 1/2 order.




1/2 Order of Manicotti - Baked Pasta stuffed with Ricotta and spinach with a tomato sauce


Unfortunately this did not taste nearly as good as it looked. Although the cheese and spinach filling was very good, most of the pasta shell was hard and chewy. Very disappointing! And in case you were wondering, a full order of manicotti was $24, while the 1/2 order was $14. For me, this was definitely not even worth $14.

NOTE: Initially I would have given this a Mr. Smee rating, but after looking at my receipt and seeing that I paid $14 for it I downgraded it to the evil Captain. ARGH!!!



DD2 also chose to have pasta for her entree, and followed my lead and got a 1/2 order.




1/2 Order of Gnocchi Bolognese - Potato Dumplings with Meat Sauce

This was probably the best of the three entrees, however we would only give it a GOOD rating. The gnocchi were well-cooked (not mushy) and the meat sauce was fine. So yes this dish was good, but we have had better. Oh and this was $15.00 for a 1/2 order, or $24 for a full order.


So at this point of our meal, our entrees had been rather underwhelming and we were all feeling a little disappointed by our first meal of the trip. I thought we would just cut our losses and call it a night but when our server offered dessert, DD2 asked what kind of gelato they had. DD2 is a big, big fan of gelato ever since she tried it for the first time during our trip to Italy. Not being able to pass up a chance to have gelato, she ordered this...




Gianduja Gelato (aka Hazelnut and Chocolate)

This got a solid GOOD rating from DD2.


So of course, DD1 and I couldn't just sit there and watch her eat her gelato, so we decided to share this dessert...




Tiramisu - Layered Espresso and Coffee Liqueur infused Lady Fingers coated with Marscapone Cream


And I'm so glad that we did because it was delicious...the highlight of our meal! So thankfully our meal ended on a high note.




Oh, I almost forgot this one last thing...




DD1 with her Complimentary Glass of Limoncello


We had tried limoncello during our Italy trip and had not liked it. Which brings to mind a funny story. We were all served a small shot-size glass of limoncello at the conclusion of our first dinner in Italy. Being unfamiliar with limoncello, we each picked up our glass and took a small taste-testing sip. Well, except for DD1 that is (she had just finished her first year at college so was familiar with drinking shots ), who picked up her glass of limoncello and downed it in one gulp! The looks on all our faces (both hers and ours) was priceless...something we will always remember. But anyway, since this was a freebie we decided to give it another shot...so to speak. Well, I can now confirm that we are not fans of limoncello, too sweet for DD and too lemony for me. But it was fun to try it again and it brought back a wonderful memory of our first taste of limoncello.

So our overall rating for this meal was: GOOD, BUT NOTHING SPECIAL

Though we are glad that we tried it, we probably won't be returning any time soon. There are just too many other options in the Epcot Resort area that we like better.


NEXT UP: Breakfast from Boardwalk Bakery

Last edited by jabead; 06-27-2012 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabead View Post
I know this is the Disney Dining and not the Disney Resort board, but I wanted to address your question and tell you a little about the Boardwalk Villas.

We had a wonderful 10 night stay in a one-bedroom villa at the Boardwalk. I had debated about whether to again stay in a regular room on the Inn side at the Boardwalk (currently my favorite Disney resort) or spend a little more money for a villa. I can now honestly say that the extra space we had at the villa was worth every penny. Ten nights was the longest we had ever stayed at one hotel, and I'm certain that there would have been many more fights had we been limited to the space of a regular hotel room. I had been concerned about the common complaint that the walking distance from the lobby to the rooms at the Boardwalk Villas could be quite far. When I did the online check-in the only request regarding our room location that could be made was that it was close to transportation. So I check marked this request and hoped for the best. When we arrived we were told our room was #2026 and on the 2nd level, which is the same floor as the lobby. Encouraged by this, we happily began our walk down the hallway to locate our room...but then we walked and walked (with the hallway splitting off in different directions a few times) until we finally found our room at the very end of one of the hallways. Since I had no idea where we were at this point, I decided to reserve judgement until we figured out the lay of the land. Upon entering the room, the first thing we did of course was to check out the view from our terrace...


Now, I'm sure there are some here that would be less than thrilled to have a room with a direct view of the clown slide at the Boardwalk pool. But for me it was actually quite a nice view, much better than the parking lot views I've had at many hotels. After unpacking, our next task was trying to find a shorter route to the Boardwalk. We took the EXIT door right next to our room, walked down one flight of stairs and out the door, where we found ourselves on the walkway to Disney Studios, right next to the pool area...just a short walk away from just about everything. We could walk through the pool area for a short cut to the bus stop or the bakery/walkway to Epcot. We could make the walk over the bridge to the Swan & Dolphin in about 5 minutes, which we did twice for dinners at their restaurants, as well as a couple of times when riding the bus. When returning on the bus from Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney too (I believe), the Boardwalk was the last bus stop but the Swan was the first. So getting off at the Swan was a much faster way back to our room. And of course, being right next to the walkway...walking to Hollywood Studios was a breeze. I would therefore say that in terms of room location and view, we SCORED with this one! So here's to standard view Room# 2026...YOU ROCK!

Ok, now I'm ready to bring on the food...lots of food!

NEXT UP: Dinner at Il Mulino
Thank You, thank you, thank you for sharing that for me!!! I'm so glad that you had a great time!! Excited to read more about your trip.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:37 AM   #20
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That was weird.. I must have posted when you were doing your dining review because I didn't see it! Anyway..... the food at Il Mulino looks really tasty. Too bad it wasn't as good as it looks because you had me kinda excited about perhaps ditching my plan to have a casual meal the first night and try a sit down. You do have a few more ADRs that I am looking forward to reading but you are off to a wonderful start.

How wonderful that you got to celebrate your DD's college grad with a girl trip!! Thanks again for the BW Villas info.

One question... Are the villas closer to the DHS side of the property or the Epcot side or am I confused and they are somewhere else?
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:49 AM   #21
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I'm very happy to read your Il Mulino review - I thought maybe we were missing out by staying away from the pizzas and pastas, but your review has convinced me otherwise. The limoncello story was hilarious, so at least you'll always have that memory now.

Since I remember how you feel about Shula's, I hope bluezoo was able to better represent the Swan/Dolphin signature restaurant trio.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:41 AM   #22
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I think "good but not special" summed up our meal at Il Mulino in 2009 as well. We did enjoy everything we had but it isn't some place that we will rush back to. Thinking back though I don't know that any of us had any of the pasta with red sauce dishes.

I did enjoy the limoncello! Love your daughter's story!
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:56 AM   #23
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Great room at BWIVillas! We had our longest stay at the BWI this past Oct, 10 nights as well, and we had the time of our lives! So nice not to change rooms or resorts mid stay.

Il Mulino...well I am torn on that one. First time we ate there it was wonderful, second time I loved it (had the chicken and escarole) but DH wasnt too happy (pizza) and they didnt bring us the meat and eggplant dish or the complimentary Limoncello!

Needless to say I do have it on our Oct schedule but they better bring out the lemon juice this time!
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:57 AM   #24
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I'm really surprised to hear sub par reviews of Il Mulino! We've eaten there twice a year since 2009 and have always had superb meals.

We love that lemon juice too, Nick!
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:19 PM   #25
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nice to see a rare review of Il Mulino - looking forward to more
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:19 PM   #26
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After reading and critiquing my first review, DD1 said that I needed to make our rating system more fun. She suggested that I incorporate a Disney theme into our ratings. So since she was the guest of honor on this trip, I allowed her to choose our theme. Peter Pan is currently her favorite Disney movie and Tinkerbell her favorite character, so Peter Pan theme it is.






Here is our rating system:

Argh! This food was pretty bad (luckily Captain Hook will rarely appear in these reviews).


I don't believe that Mr. Smee was truly bad, he just dutifully obeyed his evil captain. And just like Mr. Smee, this food has the potential to be good, but is not quite there yet. For now, it's just okay.


Just like Wendy this food is good, but not particularly imaginative or memorable.


Like Peter, this food is a star...very good!


This food was excellent, maybe even magical like Tinkerbell.


Ok, I'll go back and edit my first review now to include our Peter Pan themed rating system.
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Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread #1 - and - Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - Take 2

List of DISers with Upcoming Trips - and - Aug./Sept. Game - and - June/July Game

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 06-07-2012, 03:13 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
Thank You, thank you, thank you for sharing that for me!!! I'm so glad that you had a great time!! Excited to read more about your trip.
You are very, very, very welcome! Hope you also have a great time at the BWV.



Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
One question... Are the villas closer to the DHS side of the property or the Epcot side or am I confused and they are somewhere else?
Well just in case you are like me and find it much easier to understand things like this if you can see a picture/map of it, here is a link that might be of help.

Epcot Resort Area Map

The Villas side of the Boardwalk Resort is on the right (yellow and red buildings) and is close to the Swan Resort. The Inn side (with regular rooms and is also where the Boardwalk Resort's CL rooms are all located) is the one on the left (white buildings) and is closest to Epcot. The walkway to Hollywood Studios is actually located behind the resort and follows the waterway that you can see the beginning of on the map. Hopefully this answers your question, but if not or if you have any other questions about the Boardwalk...please feel free to ask away.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldDoleWhip View Post
Since I remember how you feel about Shula's, I hope bluezoo was able to better represent the Swan/Dolphin signature restaurant trio.

I won't go into any details yet (don't want to steal my own thunder, so to speak ), but for the most part we were pleased with our dinner at bluezoo.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofySon'sMom View Post
I think "good but not special" summed up our meal at Il Mulino in 2009 as well. We did enjoy everything we had but it isn't some place that we will rush back to.

I guess that makes three of us here with the same opinion of Il Mulino...you, me, and Donald. Anyone else out there??? Now's your chance to come clean.




Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyNicki View Post
Il Mulino...well I am torn on that one. First time we ate there it was wonderful, second time I loved it (had the chicken and escarole) but DH wasnt too happy (pizza) and they didnt bring us the meat and eggplant dish or the complimentary Limoncello!

Needless to say I do have it on our Oct schedule but they better bring out the lemon juice this time!

I remember reading your last review of Il Mulino and you not receiving the complimentary limoncello at the end of your meal. I figured that they must have discontinued this, so I wasn't expecting it and didn't mention it to DD. Therefore, we were all happily surprised when our server came to our table with a bucket. So hopefully you will have better luck on your next visit. They should know who they are dealing with...MickeyNicki, one of the most popular and well-respected dining reviewers on the disboards. Not a good time for them to hold back on the lemon juice!

Anyway, I can't wait until October so I can read another one of your dining reviews. Love them!




Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerKat View Post
I'm really surprised to hear sub par reviews of Il Mulino! We've eaten there twice a year since 2009 and have always had superb meals.

We love that lemon juice too, Nick!

I thought we'd love it, I really wanted to love it, but sadly no...we didn't love it. But oh well, you win some you lose some. And we had many great meals on this trip.

Do you mind me asking though, what is it at Il Mulino that you find superb? Maybe we just didn't order the right things???



Quote:
Originally Posted by chocolateMinnie View Post
nice to see a rare review of Il Mulino - looking forward to more
Thanks for reading Minnie!
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Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread #1 - and - Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - Take 2

List of DISers with Upcoming Trips - and - Aug./Sept. Game - and - June/July Game

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 06-07-2012, 05:41 PM   #28
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Day 2 - May 16th

Our first morning didn't exactly go as I had planned...which will be a common theme for this trip. My plan was to be at the International Gateway entrance to Epcot by opening time, send DD1 (our fastest walker on this trip) on ahead to get fastpasses for Soarin' (my favorite Disney World ride and usually my first ride of every trip), ride Soarin' once we catch up to her, then have breakfast at Sunshine Seasons there in the Land Pavilion while we pass the time until we can ride again with our Fast Passes. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans???

This was the reality: As I am getting ready for bed, soon after returning from dinner at Il Mulino, DD1 informs me that she still has some online school work with a deadline of 7:00 a.m. the next day. What, I thought you graduated? Yes, I know you graduated, I was there and saw it with my own two tearfilled eyes. Well, it turns out that because she was an intern in a school research lab last year there was still some work that needed to be done. They had kindly extended the deadline until after finals week and graduation weekend and she had taken advantage of their kindness. Consequently, she was up until at least 2:00 a.m. working on her laptop in order to finish and submit her work. (Let me just add here...Kudos to the Disney resorts for now offering free wireless internet in their guest rooms!) So of course, being the kind mother that I am , I didn't make her get up early the next morning. While both daughters slept in, I had a pleasant walk down to the Boardwalk Bakery for coffee and a breakfast treat.





Now I have always had a blueberry muffin for breakfast from the Boardwalk Bakery, but this seemed like it was going to be a trip where traditions would be broken. So with that in mind, this is what I got...




Chocolate Croissant

Well, I just might have to start a new tradition because this was very good! I took my croissant and coffee back to our villa, popped it in the microwave for just a few seconds, and then enjoyed them while I sat out on the balcony and played on my IPad. So this turned out to be a very quiet and relaxing start of our first day for me and my daughters greatly enjoyed their extra hours of sleep. Yes, hours...we barely made it to Epcot in time for our 11:30 lunch ADR at Le Cellier!


NEXT UP: Lunch at Le Cellier
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Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread #1 - and - Our Live Updates from Disney World Thread - Take 2

List of DISers with Upcoming Trips - and - Aug./Sept. Game - and - June/July Game

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; 06-27-2012 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:18 PM   #29
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At least plan B looked good!! I'm sure I will have at least 1 morning that DH & DD will not want to get up and go to breakfast while we are at BWV. Glad to know the bakery is just downstairs!

Thanks for clarifying the location of BWV. Now I know from the map where the villas versus the inn are located on property.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:07 AM   #30
DonaldDoleWhip
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Every time I see pics from Boardwalk Bakery, I start feeling hungry. That looks like a very good chocolate croissant.

Looking forward to your Le Cellier lunch review (and I love the rating system)!
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