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Old 09-07-2012, 08:35 PM   #46
nanienamou
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Your daughter is such a cutie! Love her dress and her tiara!

I'm happy you had a great meal in the castle!
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:43 PM   #47
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I am loving your TR so far. The pics are gorgeous...you are a very talented photographer, and Emme looks like she is having a blast! I love the picture of Piglet kissing her head!
thanks ann for customizing & creating emme's "little mermaid" inspired shirt! it was a big hit & one of her favorites. if anyone needs any special shirts for their upcoming disney trips, i highly recommend ann!!

and thanks everyone for the very kind comments. i appreciate it.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:39 PM   #48
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Your daughter is absolutely beautiful and I'm glad she had such a magical time! Those pictures are precious!!!

Can't wait to read the rest of your reviews!
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:46 PM   #49
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MAMA MELROSE F! PACKAGE

after our amazing breakfast at CRT & spending the hot morning at magic kingdom, we headed back to the hotel as my daughter passed out & we needed a little break.

we headed over to hollywood studios as we had a F! dinner reservation @ MAMA MELROSE at 2:30 pm.

upon arrival at the podium, i let the check in person know that we had 2 adults and one infant in our party. one adult (me) was on the dining plan & the second adult was not. my seating ticket said 2 adults, 1 child (which caused a huge headache later on).

the place itself was charming. the place was quite busy and we waited 10 minutes to be seated. our server was very frazzled from the get go. i also explained to her that one adult was on the dining plan & the second was not but that he would also like the F! package.


sangria ordered by my friend.

we ordered two appetizers as part of the package (1 appetizer, 1 entree, 1 dessert, 1 non-alcoholic drink per adult)

our cm brought our drinks in addition to warm bread (looked like mini loaves) & olive oil with cracked pepper to dip the bread in. my daughter ate just the insides out of about 5 pieces.


Clams Oreganatta - oak fried Clams cooked in oregano butter and italian sausage over toasted foccacia


Clams Oreganatta - oak fried Clams cooked in oregano butter and italian sausage over toasted foccacia

the clams were very small but had great flavor. there was one unopened clam (which is a big no no) on the dish. the foccacia was sliced thin and i made the mistake of eating the middle which soaked up the butter & flavorings. it was very very salty & not what i had anticipated. i love dipping my bread into steamed mussels and i was expecting a similar taste but boy was i wrong. despite my mouth being violated by the saltiness of the bread, the clams were good. the sausage was pretty good too.


Mozzarella and Tomatoes - Served with marinated sweet onions, balsamic drizzle, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh sweet basil

this is a take on a caprese salad. the cheese was very cold & there was not enough balsamic vinegar for the thick slices of tomato & mozzarella cheese ratio. the tomato slices were large & thick which i found a bit unusual. something was just a bit "off" with this appetizer. not my favorite.

for our entrees, i wanted the most bang for my buck, so i ordered:


Charred Strip Steak - Italian roasted potatoes with carmelized sweet onions, aged Balsamic shallot butter and Chianti Wine reduction



i ordered my steak medium & it was cooked perfectly. the steak was a bit tough. the macaroni & cheese was very good. the fat was not trimmed off one of the sides of my steak but i just trimmed it off before eating. it wasn't the best steak of my life but it wasn't terrible. i thought my entree was just "ok".


Chicken Campanelle - Wood grilled chicken and campanelle pasta tossed with broccoflower, sun dried tomatoes, fresh spinach and sweet onions.

my friend ordered this entree and after having a bite of his, i wish i had ordered this meal instead. the pasta and creamy sauce was delicious and very satisfying! the chicken had a smokey flavor from the wood grill and the pasta wasn't over cooked.

the finale to our meal was a shared dessert.





both desserts were very pretty but very underwhelming. my friend is a total dessert person and he commented that the desserts were pretty terrible. maybe they forgot to add the sugar to the mix but one bite was enough for me. the best part of the dessert was the thin wafer on top of the black chocolate dessert. it tasted like a very crispy ice cream cone.

the cm brought over the check. the first check had both our meals together as well as charging my daughter for a child's F! meal. after explaining (again) that i was on the dining plan & that my friend was not but would pay for the F! meal & that my daughter is only 2 & should not pay for a F! seat (i just asked to pay the $8.99 for her meal and not the $11.99 for the F! price which i even regret ordering her anything as she had one bite of the pasta & that was it) she left to correct the ticket. on her second try, she made a mistake again and went to correct it for the third time. on her third attempt, things were still wrong. on the fourth attempt, she still charged me for the children's F! package and i was too tired to get her attention again. it's only $3 but out of principle, i was just trying to get a correct check.

after a disappointing meal & service at MAMA MELROSE, we left to conquer hollywood studios. toy story mania had a wait time of 80 minutes & no more fast passes were available. we then watched the little mermaid, had a blast at the disney junior live on stage & met woody & buzz (again).


i'm so happy emme got to meet jake. i chose mama melrose over hollywood & vine for the F! package & after my experience, i almost wish i chose h&v despite the negative reviews i've read.


handy manny was very sweet to emme.

we got to experience toy story mania in april so i was ok with missing it this trip. we waited about 15 minutes in air conditioning to meet woody & buzz. they are such fun character greets! i really appreciate their energy & entertaining us (it must be so hot in those costumes). emme loves toy story but she was very shy this time around with woody & buzz. i think she was just tired as she passed out right after the pictures.


woody & emme shooting buzz with her wand from CRT. so cute.


of course, the one time i'm in a picture, she refuses to look at the camera. ha

after emme fell asleep, we found a quite table & indulged in a adult beverage. i got the frozen margarita & he got a very weird strawberry daquiri. it was pepto-bismal in color.


very good frozen margarita. there was definitely tequila in that. my stomach hated me after i drank it.

i think it was just a day of disappointment at hollywood studios today. i really wanted a cream cheese stuffed pretzel. we arrive at the pretzel cart and there were no more cream cheese stuffed pretzels. *le sigh* i settled for a regular pretzel but it was just a very sad pretzel.

it was finally time to head over to get our seats for F!. we arrived 45 minutes before show time. people were already starting to line up but the line was moving quickly for the regular line & reserved seating. we parked our stroller by the light post so we could easily retrieve it later.

the reserved seating is to the right of the stage but it really was not a bad view. we sat at the top (right below wheelchair seating) to give us easy access for potty breaks & hopefully for a quick exit after the show.


finally, a happy snack moment at hollywood studios!

emme & i watched F! online but i have never seen it in person. i was really excited to see the show live. it was finally time for the show!


this is a non-zoom picture of the stage from our seat. not too bad & emme was able to stand to see better as there was a very tall person in our view & no one was behind her.


this moment was very amazing to see live! emme ooooooh'ed when she saw mickey and the sparkles. she was jumping up & down & cheering mickey on.


snow white!


emme was very scared for mickey. she told him to "watch out for the snake."


this sequence was so beautiful. i loved every minute of it.


go mickey!


black & white mickey was very neat.


everyone clapped & cheered during this moment. it was awesome.


mama melrose was not my favorite meal of the trip. there was nothing memorable or remarkable about my meal. the pasta was delicious and my biggest regret was not going with my instinct. instead, i tried to get the most bang for my buck & ordered the steak. the desserts were memorable in the fact that they were not very good. how does a dessert look sweet but not be sweet? i felt tricked. (ha ha). the confusion with the server also added to the overall experience.

if i had a do over, i would have picked hollywood & vine for lunch as at least my daughter could have seen the characters. if i didn't like something on the buffet, i'm sure i could have found something else to eat. but i'm glad i got to try mama melrose. i will not be giving this place another shot. i don't like writing a bad review as i love to eat but i think i'm better off at my local italian eatery.

i am glad to have had the F! dinner package. it was great seats, no wait and we exited pretty quickly & painlessly. it was very nice to just be able to relax & sit without having to wait despite it being very humid & hot. we were close the bathrooms & food + drinks (hooray cold beer!). the view was good and we had a total blast during the show.


minnie dressed as the little mermaid was a great find at hollywood studios!

up next, breakfast at CAPE MAY CAFE!!!
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:20 PM   #50
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CAPE MAY CAFE breakfast

we woke up famished this morning. i was very excited to try CAPE MAY CAFE as this would be our first visit & emme's only time to see minnie mouse during this trip.


photo op at our hotel. andy's room!


loved the toy story section & was so happy to be staying in this section.

we took our own car and arrived 20 minutes early for our adr. we literally were not seating until 5 minutes after our adr. by this time, my stomach was grumbling and i was so ready to eat.

we were seated in the main dining area and were the first table to be greeted whenever the characters would start their rounds. this was both good and bad as our table was in a very heavy traffic area. the tables were covered in paper & emme went to town with her crayons.

our luck continued with another frazzled cm. after forgetting to bring our drinks, when she finally did, she poured hot coffee all over my friends leg. it was as if the moment happened in slow motion. he was not too happy, his leg was hurt (he applied ice) & we were still hungry.


emme's first plate of food.

the mickey waffle was so cute. i just wish she liked waffles. she loves pancakes but has issues with waffles. needless to say, i devoured her waffle.

the buffet was really laid out well with amazing choices. there were very scrumptious options including chorizo scrambled eggs, delicious egg frittatas, creamy cheese grits (two thumbs up from me), two types of smoked salmon including capers, red onions & tomatoes. yummy!!


sausage, potato hash, cheese grits, chorizo scrambled eggs & a flaky croissant.

there was a side of fresh pastries, toasters for the bagels, yogurt with toppings, 2 choices for cereal, fresh fruit & oatmeal.

my daughter had 2 helpings of the yogurt & watermelon. i had three helpings of the cheese grits (*hangs head in shame*) & i really loved the smoked salmon.

the characters were very cute in their beach outfits. we had the characters visit us twice during our one hour breakfast.


she was so excited to see minnie mouse. our table was to the right and as you can see, the entry way and the main aisle was right in front of our table.


surprising to me, she was the most excited to see donald.


goofy seemed less rushed the second time

the cm brought over a really lovely birthday cupcake & started to sing happy birthday. it wasn't a very enthusiastic happy birthday & i said she could stop if she wanted too. she stopped and said, "you don't like my singing" & then walked off. then i felt guilty so my daughter finished the happy birthday song.


really pretty & different birthday cupcake.


one last shot with donald duck.


hooray for minnie mouse.

i took a self portrait with minnie mouse with my iphone.


i really enjoyed my breakfast at cape may cafe. it was relaxing although emme decided to run around like a maniac for a few minutes (i blame the yogurt!) & there were 2 babies that were petrified of all the characters during the meal & screamed if the characters stopped at their table. ha ha.

the food was very fresh & well prepared. i especially loved all the variety. the characters were sweet and made their rounds throughout the meal. the place was busy but i did not feel rushed at any point during my meal.

i would definitely return to cape may cafe!

after breakfast, we headed over to animal kingdom to spend the day & needed to walk off all the food before dinner at GARDEN GRILL.

with a fast pass, i was finally able to ride kilimanjaro safaris. my friend was recently in africa and went on official safaris but he enjoyed the ride. he was worried about the white rhino that was very close to our jeep but i think the white rhino liked us...he left us alone.


kilimanjaro safaris!


my first time seeing a hippo let alone a family of hippos!


the very large (and friendly) white rhino.


i loved this tree very much.


this is my best friend, brian. [just noticed the tree on brian's shirt matches the tree pictured above]

we spent a few more hours at animal kingdom before departing to the hotel.

we snapped a picture with rafiki & picked up a chicken fried rice at YAK & YETI using a snack credit.


rafiki time!


this was a great value for a snack credit. i don't have much of a sweet tooth and this was perfect for my daughter. this was the closest we got to asian food during the entire trip and my daughter ate 3/4 of the fried rice on the car ride back to the hotel. two thumbs up from emme!

up next, dinner @ THE GARDEN GRILL.

Last edited by emmebear; 09-10-2012 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:30 PM   #51
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Chorizo scrambled eggs? I've never seen those mentioned in a Cape May review - they sound great!

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surprising to me, she was the most excited to see donald.
Emme has very good taste - Donald is the best
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:01 PM   #52
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Love all the pics of your DD posing with the characters. So cute

Our first onsite stay with my DD aged 3 was toy story section at all star movies - great photo opportunities.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:40 PM   #53
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THE GARDEN GRILL

this was our first time eating at GARDEN GRILL. it was located in the land @ epcot and we were 5 minutes early for our ADR. we were handed a pager (that never buzzed) and 10 minutes later, the hostess found us and said that our table was ready.

it was kind of awkward to see the booths on the first row. if you were seated in the first row, you see into the foyer area and passer-by's stare at you as you are stuffing your face while you slowly rotate. we were seated in this row & at first, i felt a bit awkward but nothing a cold beer didn't fix.

mickey was already making his rounds & he reached our table before our cm did. i've noticed that all the mickey's we met on this trip (tusker house, garden grill) were very rushed. good thing he made it three times to our table during dinner.


she couldn't believe it was mickey.

luis, our cm, was the most efficient & friendliest cm's on this trip. we told him that i was on the dining plan & that my friend was not. my daughter still qualifies as an infant & i told him that she would just eat with me. he said that she could get the entire kids meal for free & that there would be no charge for her. i thought that was pretty awesome!


the bread was very yummy as was the butter with maple syrup drizzled on top. my daughter ate 2 of these & wanted a third. the meal was off to a great start.


the salad was very refreshing & lightly dressed. there was an egg on top of the salad (who doesn't love an egg?!) & the salad also had BACON in it. YES! i had half a serving as i didn't want to fill up before our platter was served.


dale came around next & signed my daughter's autograph book. chip & dale were the best characters of the trip. they were very interactive, adorable & were probably the happiest characters we met on the trip. my daughter loved their tails & pulled on them both. ha ha. they didn't mind at all...in fact, when they came around the second & third time, they encouraged for her to grab their tail.

luis then brought out my daughter's scrumptious meal.


Child's Entree Platter - Oven roasted chicken Drumstick, Baked Mac and Cheese, Broccoli and crispy Sweet potato sticks

i was so happy to see the nuclear orange macaroni & cheese again. soooo good! my daughter devoured her meal & this was probably the most she ate on the entire trip.


Family style Dinner - Farmers Salad, Char Grilled Beef Strip Loin, Roasted Turkey Breast, Fish of the Day, Garden Fresh Vegetables, Smashed Potatoes, and Turkey Dressing, Strawberry/Rhubarb Crisp, with Vanilla Ice Cream

the meat was perfectly cooked & was so very moist & tender! the smashed potatoes reminded me of my own & felt very homey. i loved the fact that the potatoes were not completely smooth. the smashed potatoes were very buttery. mmmmmmm!


i forgot what fish this was but it was my favorite protein on the platter. moist, fleshy, non-fish tasting, very flavorful & light. we asked for seconds on the fish. two thumbs up (way up!) from me.


the roasted turkey breast was very juicy! this batch of stuffing was a little dry but the second batch was perfect.


my awesome plate of food.


pluto!


my daughter kind of flung herself at mickey this time & he could not easily escape!


family portrait.

luis refilled our drinks quickly. we saw different sceneries as the restaurant revolves. i will admit that i felt a little dizzy from the rotation at first. but i'm not sure if this was from being super hungry (our only meal was breakfast) or from the actual rotation. i felt better after having some food though.

our second platter, we ordered everything but the red meat. i've had my fill of red meat by this point and the fish was so delicious! i did notice that other families ordered mac & cheese as well so that is an option. we cleared our second platter of food in no time flat. my daughter ate everything but the sweet potato fries from her platter. she even had some smashed potatoes.


chip was great! we loved him very much.


dale received a more enthusiastic hug!


back to the scenes as we were rotating, it was different landscapes of america. it definitely kept my daughter occupied during the meal. i also loved the booths as you had a ton of privacy as the seat backs are high & you really can't see the tables next to you or the tables on the second level unless you stood up.


this is one of my favorite moments/pictures of the trip. my daughter could not get enough of dale. chip & dale spent so much time at our table & they never rushed or scurried off like mickey did. my daughter really felt special with them & their interactions were incredible. they definitely deserve a raise.


another precious moment with dale.

after luis cleared our clean plates, he brought out a really pretty birthday cake with a candle. they sang me happy birthday as well. the cake was pretty & good.


birthday cake/cupcake hybrid.


she blew out the candle & i'm not impressed. ha ha.

luis also brings out my daughters dessert. it was called "a bugs life" and was very cute. red velvet yummy-ness!


how cute is this dessert??


Strawberry/Rhubarb Crisp, with Vanilla Ice Cream

i did not like this dessert. i'm not a rhubarb fan. the crisp was like a cornbread and it was just a little weird for me. my friend ate the entire thing and loved it so i guess it was good. just not for me.

THE GARDEN GRILL was one of my favorite meals of the trip & will be a must do on our next trips. the food was flavorful & plentiful, the character interaction was one of the best of the trip & the atmosphere was very relaxed. i would definitely recommend THE GARDEN GRILL to everyone who is looking for a new place to try. luis was a great server. we had a blast!


we left epcot and headed to MK for emh. unfortunately, sunday night was the hottest & most humid night of the trip. it was disgustingly humid & made me very miserable.


i took this shot on the rampway of the monorail.

we made it to mk to see wishes. mk was PACKED and the heat made me miserable. my daughter typically was asleep midnight or later on our vacation but this was the night that she passed out during wishes! we did ride buzz lightyear with her passed out in my arms but i wish she was awake a few more hours but i think the heat was too much for her too.


this was soooo beautiful!

we finally departed mk by taking the resort monorail to the ticketing center.



two thumbs way up for THE GARDEN GRILL!!

up next, TUSKER HOUSE for breakfast.

Last edited by emmebear; 09-13-2012 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:15 AM   #54
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I'm soo happy you enjoyed GG.Especially the fish. It looks good & I'm glad it's not fishy-fish or fried. We wanted to try this last year but we cancelled for Citrico's. So this year it's a must for MM! Your daughter is such a little doll!!!
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:22 AM   #55
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Garden Grill looks great! I haven't been there in years, but it used to be my favorite character meal. I really need to try it again eventually.

Beautiful shots of Spaceship Earth, by the way
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:38 AM   #56
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Thanks for the great review of Garden Grill. I don't see too many reviews here for it, but it looks fantastic. It will definitely be on the list for our next trip after the one we have planned, when DD will be older and understand who the characters are.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:27 AM   #57
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Great review of GG - we are eating there in october for the first time
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:04 PM   #58
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Garden Grill looks great! I haven't been there in years, but it used to be my favorite character meal. I really need to try it again eventually.

Beautiful shots of Spaceship Earth, by the way
thank you!

thanks everyone for reading my reviews. i'm really hoping it helps some people out.

i'm beginning to run out of descriptive words...good thing i only have two reviews left until my october trip.

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Old 09-16-2012, 01:08 PM   #59
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TUSKER HOUSE breakfast

sadly, this day was our last day at disney.

i have only been to TUSKER HOUSE for lunch & i really enjoy their lunch menu. it's similar to how i eat at home & also a great variety. this trip, it was breakfast time. i'm not a big breakfast fan but my friend is. plus, starting the day with characters is a definite plus for my daughter.

we arrived 5 minutes early for our ADR. i checked in at the podium & was given the slip of paper with my name and guest party. we were then told to park the stroller & wait in line to take pictures with donald. for those who are not familiar with tusker house, donald does not circulate inside during your meal. he is only outside & this is the picture that the cm will try and sell during your meal.

the photopass photographer took his picture & then i took a picture of my daughter. donald's handler took the picture of my daughter & i.


emme loves donald & a rare occasion where she's looking at the camera.


our family portrait with donald.

we were taken inside as soon as our picture was taken. on my last trip, we were sat in the back corner area. it was very small & stuffy & an extremely tight fit to take pictures. this time, we were seated in the main dining area along the walkway. there was only one table next to us & behind us. there was plenty of room to maneuver for pictures & to get more food.

our cm was very sweet and brought this delicious juice concoction. we don't drink a lot of juice in our house but i liked it very much. my daughter even enjoyed it. we only finished half the glass between us.



as we were waiting for mickey (before we got our food as he was very close), my daughter decided to use her fork as a dinglehopper (her favorite princess is ariel). every place we went, she brushed her hair with the dinglehopper.




dinglehopper time!

i was so hungry but did not want to miss out on mickey mouse. he finally made it over to our table. as usual, mickey was very rushed but we managed to get pictures.


mickey gets a hug.


i think she noticed how rushed mickey was as she was over him pretty quickly.

the breakfast buffet was very plentiful and fresh. there is a pastries section full of yummy things included chocolate glazed donuts with sprinkles (even more sugar to amp up the kids!), bagels, cookies..you name it, they got it.

the carving station had ham and there also was the usual breakfast of eggs, very sad limpy bacon, sausage etc. there was also a twist on a few items. the grits had sweet corn in it (my mouth was tricked & i did not care for it). the corn beef hash was jazzed up with onions, bell peppers (was very delicious) and they also had savory cheese crepes with assorted fruit toppings.

this buffet had something for everyone!


iphone picture of my plate

i was very happy they had rice on the buffet. my daughter loves rice (we eat rice with every meal back home) & she also had a donut for her breakfast.

daisy made her rounds & my daughter loves daisy.



during breakfast, all the characters do a dance and a pseudo congo line forms. all the kids gather behind the characters and they dance, shake african instruments and have a fantastic time. it is very cute & lots of fun. it's also the perfect time to get the kids up & run off the sugar they just ingested!

goofy was the most interactive character of the bunch. he was a ton of fun and we managed to see him twice.




very sweet moment with goofy.

we had a 10:15 ADR but about 10:55 the lunch items started to come out. hooray!! i was almost full & i was very excited! i love the variety & different flavors...it's right up my alley. the breakfast was still available but they were replacing items slowly. we were allowed to indulge in the new foods.


cous cous, taboulleh, curry shrimp over basmati rice. yummy!

after breakfast, we spent a few more hours in animal kingdom & saw the finding nemo musical. my daughter enjoyed it & it was nicely air conditioned.









overall, it was a great breakfast at TUSKER HOUSE. i prefer lunch over breakfast but these is something for everyone here. it is very fresh, the service was outstanding & for the most part, the characters are pretty awesome. TUSKER HOUSE is a place that we return to on all our trips to disney.

next up, farewell lunch at SANAA.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:58 PM   #60
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Enjoying your reviews...your DD is adorable and so happy with all the characters
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Perfectly Princess Tea Party Review Disney Dining 2010 Review
Dining on a budget - $100 a day with coupons All new Dining on a Budget of $100 May 2012
Dixons go Deluxe Oct/Nov 12
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