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Old 04-10-2013, 10:12 AM   #406
AGPrincess
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Yesterday at Kohl's I found an adorable pair of summer-y crocs on sale. That's a sign that there must be a Disney World trip on the horizon, right??

Actually, we are hoping to head down to Florida sometime this summer - Mama Snob has been looking at everybody's activity and work schedules to find a time when we could all go. So I'd better get this TR finished up before the new Disney trip rolls around!! New update later today.

(The crocs were in a leopard print. Could that be a sign too?? AKL? Maybe? )
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:24 AM   #407
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Magic Kingdom in the Afternoon

After our leisurely breakfast and sketching session at Art of Animation, we made our way to the park du jour – the Magic Kingdom.



Somehow we end up going to the Magic Kingdom more than any other park. I have no complaints, though!



We strolled down Main Street and stopped to get some photopass pics. Tonight was dinner at OHANA’S, so we were all dressed up in our tropical finest!



The crowds actually weren’t too bad, but the heat was. On a hot summer day, by the time you’ve reached the hub, you’re ready to find some air conditioning! We turned into Frontierland and decided on the Hall of Presidents.

If you’ve ever wandered around the outside of Liberty Square, you may have noticed that there’s a little doll in one of the windows. Well, as we were waiting for the next show, we discovered a curtain that was slightly askew, and there behind it was the doll!



Somehow I never realized that the inside of those windows was the HoP waiting area – I would have thought it was some closed off room/office. We decided to put a little pep into the doll…



She could be saying “Hooray! I’m at Disney World!” or she could be saying “Help! I’m stuck in the Hall of Presidents!” lol.



The Hall of Presidents was about as interesting as it always is, which is to say, pretty deadly dull. When they were reciting off the list of all the presidents at the end, Athos and I kept up a whispered commentary. “Oh, oh is it my turn? I should stand up now!” or “Hey, how’s it goin, guys. I’ll be here all week.” So that kept us amused!

Dinner was still a fair ways off, so we decided to get a snack lunch in Liberty Square. The second floor of Columbia Harbor House is one of our favorite places to escape to on a hot day. I love that you can look down on the walkway and watch the crowds go by...

I’ve heard people complain about counter service food at Disney, but I think there are some pretty stellar CS options and healthy ones too. At CHH you can get a side of steamed broccoli - and their broccoli peppercorn salad is amazing as well. We got the salad and a few sides to split. Athos wanted to try the waffle sandwich from Shady Hollow, so you might be able to spot that on the table too!





I love all the décor in Columbia Harbour House. These naval officers look just like they might be the Captains Wentworth, Harville, and Bennick, straight out of Jane Austen’s Persuasion!

Storybook Circus was next on the agenda. We had remembered to get fastpasses for Dumbo, and Dart wanted to ride the barnstormer as well.



I cannot walk by Cinderella Castle without taking a picture of it. I try, but then I just can’t do it. I consequently have more photos of the castle than I know what to do with.



The barnstormer line always looks long but moves fairly quickly, so we did that first. I love how you can see the train station – it makes waiting more interesting to be able to watch the engine go by!





I see Space Mountain! Sorry about the cell phone photo bombing.



I find these overhead trampolines amusing. They make you feel like you should be bouncing up through the line.

Dart liked Barnstormer, although he felt it was a little too short. I still remember the first time he went on the old barnstormer and was SO excited. And now he’s almost ten years old and thinks he knows roller coasters in and out!



Dart may be getting bigger, but we were still going to drag him on Dumbo. Mom has a tradition of Dumbo photos, and the photo traditions must always be honored! This would be the first time riding the new and improved Dumbo.



We’ve got the fastpasses ready!



There’s a short wait outside, then you enter the big tent...



If you were doing the standby line, you would get a pager (just like at a restaurant) that would ring when it’s your turn, so that way the kids can use the time to play...



As we had the fastpasses we zipped right by; just had time for one quick picture.



We came out, surprisingly, but the opposite dumbo carousel from the one we had come in by. I guess there isn’t a way to tell which carousel you’ll ride on when you get in line, so if you have someone waiting outside to do photos, make sure they’re keeping an eye on both. Luckily Mama spotted us.



I don’t know if it’s the new paint, but Dumbo sure is looking spiffy!







I liked the sign over the exit: “Believe & Soar!” Ok, I will!

As you may have noticed from our fastpass window, it was already getting on in the afternoon, and our ADR at Ohana’s was for 5:30. We turned our steps back towards the front of the park.

Cutting through the Tomorrowland Noodle Terrace to take advantage of the shade. I love how it’s cool and dark, and there’s the futuristic music playing in there; then as you come into the sunshine and all the bustle and color near the Plaza, the music transitions perfectly to the cheery tunes of Main St. Love how subtle but how powerful that music can be!



Soon some tropical tunes would be greeting our ears – dinner at Ohana’s is next!
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:13 PM   #408
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I've never noticed that doll before. Interesting! Ya learn something new every day. Hahah yeah, I mean I enjoyed HoP the one time I saw it, but I feel like it'll be an attraction I only visit, oh I don't know... every four to eight years or so.

Gotta love that new Dumbo! Love it! I can't wait to hear about 'Ohana. My favorite (so far)!
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:19 AM   #409
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I've never noticed that doll before. Interesting! Ya learn something new every day. Hahah yeah, I mean I enjoyed HoP the one time I saw it, but I feel like it'll be an attraction I only visit, oh I don't know... every four to eight years or so.

Gotta love that new Dumbo! Love it! I can't wait to hear about 'Ohana. My favorite (so far)!
LOL - poor Hall of Presidents. It is pretty boring though, especially when there are so many other Disney things to do. It's almost but not quite as bad as Ellen's Universe of Energy - that is the biggest and longest snoozefest at WDW I think.

Can't wait to post about Ohana - it was AMAZING!
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:50 PM   #410
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We have never eaten anywhere at the Poly other than breakfast at the Kona Café. We need to try some of the other places and meals!
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:02 AM   #411
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We have never eaten anywhere at the Poly other than breakfast at the Kona Café. We need to try some of the other places and meals!
Thanks for posting!! The Kona is delicious, but dinner at Ohana's just blew us away! (I have to say, we weren't that impressed with breakfast at Ohana the last time we were there, sadly. ). Captain Cook's is delish as well - lots of great options at the Poly!
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:43 PM   #412
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Oooh - I can't wait to hear about Ohana!
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:23 PM   #413
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Oooh - I can't wait to hear about Ohana!
I can't wait to post about it! It was our first time, and we absolutely loved it - and I took so many pics. Should have the Ohana update on Monday!
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:04 PM   #414
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Love the Persuasion reference! I'm going to look for that poster of Captain Wentworth and friends next time I'm back at Columbia Harbour House.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:05 AM   #415
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Hahaha I love that the doll is now cheerful or stuck in the HoP! Too cute!!

I've always wanted to go to CHH! The food there looks really good!
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:15 AM   #416
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Love the Persuasion reference! I'm going to look for that poster of Captain Wentworth and friends next time I'm back at Columbia Harbour House.
Thanks! Next time I'll have to look around more and see if there's a hidden portrait of Anne somewhere!

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Hahaha I love that the doll is now cheerful or stuck in the HoP! Too cute!!

I've always wanted to go to CHH! The food there looks really good!
lol...it had us cracking up. Now I can't wait to go back and see if it's still that way! CHH is one of my favorites - such tasty food and SUCH a relaxed seating area, especially upstairs!
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:09 AM   #417
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Life is Better with Ice Cream...and Bread Pudding...

I was somewhat nervous about our dinner at Ohana.

You see, I've read all the glowing reviews on here, and while I was pretty excited to at last be entering that Polynesian sanctum at supper time, I didn't want to get my hopes up too too high.

High expectations are almost certain of failing to satisfy in the end. I'm sure there's a Jane Austen quote somewhere to this effect.

In all our years of Disney-going, my family had never yet been to Ohana until last summer. It was the price and the menu that kept us away - most of my family would be content with toast and mashed potatoes for dinner (can you tell we're Irish?), so we didn't want to spend all that money for a meal some of us wouldn't eat. We have been to Ohana for breakfast, but on our most recent visit we had been disappointed in the service and the food.

It was with only moderate expectations, therefore, that we approached the Polynesian for our very first OHANA experience.



ALOOOOOOOOOHA!

We checked in at the podium around 5:30. I think we meant to arrive at 5, when they opened, but we ran a little late. It didn't matter, though - we got our photopass picture taken and didn't have long to wait for the table. It was nice to have the whole family along - Aramis wasn't working that night so he was with us. He also had one of his holiday CM coupons along (sweet!).



Lots of grilling going on - looks delicious! Our "cousin" grabbed some bread from the bar and took us to our table. We had seen them clearing off a six-top in the corner by the window and asked if they could squeeze in one more chair so we could sit there, and they did. Yay!





Family foot photo! LOL.



Ahhhh...I love the ambiance of Ohana. Outside is tropical wonderfulness, inside is tropical wonderfulness. You really just can't lose.



So many people are attired in tropical patterns - it makes it feel more festive!



The fun and games part of an Ohana dinner, led by the same Hawaiin lady who does the torch lighting ceremony, was just starting as we were seated. We actually didn't see much of it since our table was behind the grill, but Athos got up to look and said she was teaching everyone to hula by making them walk around the room and wave their hands like surfers. lol - I'm sure the "show" part of the meal was more fun than that. I was a little sad that we missed the coconut races (I think they must've done those right before we arrived), but otherwise it was kinda nice to have our quiet table in the corner.



So we started our meal with "Ohana welcome bread." I feel like I read somewhere that it's a pineapple bread - or is that breakfast? The bread wasn't a huge hit with us; it was good but tasted like rather ordinary white bread to me.



I can't remember if the sauces were for the bread or the salad. They were: peanut sauce, chimichurri sauce, and pineapple sweet and sour.



They also bring out a big bowl of salad. Some of us dutifully ate a small plate. lol. I wanted to be hungry for what was to come...like all of THIS:



It was when all these huge, gorgeous plates arrived that the party really seemed to start. You see before you a ginormous skillet filled with noodles and broccoli and two bowls brimming with chicken wings (VERY yummy) and pork dumplings (like pot stickers and SUPER tasty. I could've just eaten those all evening). There was so much food it made you feel giddy and slightly guilty all at the same time.



My plate! I was trying to go slow, because believe it or not, these were just the APPETIZERS.

Soon the skewers, prepared over that big oak fire, came to the table. Alas, I was so excited I never got a good picture of this; basically your servers come to your table with three-foot long skewers completely covered in pork or shrimp or chicken or beef, fresh from the grill, and they slide off whatever you'd like.

We had two servers taking care of us, and they were absolutely fantastic. They explained what everything they brought out was and were constantly offering more - they came back frequently to refill drinks too. This was the polar opposite from our last breakfast at Ohana, where our server came back maybe twice, and we were only begrudgingly allowed to have a second mickey waffle. At dinner they just couldn't seem to bare the sight of ANY empty space on your plate!

"2, 3, 4?" The server would ask. Then when you asked for two, he'd give you four!





Can you tell I've never eaten peel-n-eat shrimp before?



This was the marinated sirloin steak. The oak grilled chicken was my favorite, with the asian barbequed pork loin coming in a close second.



Now Mama Snob is not a big meat-eater, so she asked if she could have the vegetarian option for dinner. So for the appetizers, she got some tasty breads and hummus:



This was pita bread with various kinds of hummus. I don't remember what they were, but I think they were good!



As her main entree she got a big bowl of potatoes and tofu and veggies.

Everyone really enjoyed the food, and just when we were starting to feel ridiculously full, it was time for the BEST DESSERT EVER.

I know I have formerly given that title to the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern, and I wouldn't take it away from the toffee cake. But from now on it may have to share the top Disney sweet spot with Ohana's Bread Pudding...



Not one but two enormous slabs of bread pudding were set before us, along with two little jugs of that heavenly, warm banana caramel sauce. Then, to crown it all off, our server says: "Life is better with ice cream, friends." and adds a bowl full of ice cream to the table.



Life IS better with ice cream. That's a truth universally acknowledged right there.

And it was DELICIOUS ice cream too. Just ever-so-slightly melty and creamy and it could not have been a more perfect accompaniment to the sauce and the bread pudding.



Bread is one of my first loves, so I guess it should not be surprising that I adored this bread pudding. But I did not expect to love it so much - it just was that perfect medium of sweet without being too sweet and soft and chewy while still having a little bit of bite and crunch



And then the sauce. You CANNOT forget the sauce. It is integral to the amazingness of this dessert. When you read in ancient greek plays about the nectar of the gods, I'm pretty sure this is exactly what they were talking about. Literally. That sauce. Must've been made on Mount Olympus. There's no other explanation for it. AHHH. I wrote in my Disney Diary: "SO INCREDIBLE!" And that's what it was.

Let's enjoy one more picture of this beauteous thing:



We did our level best to finish, but it was just not going to happen...



OH, you last few bites of bread pudding...if only I could eat you now...

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Old 04-15-2013, 11:47 AM   #418
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The bread was one of my favorite parts! Soooo good. I honestly would prefer 'Ohana without all the games and the lady singing into her microphone the entire time... but it's still an awesome place. The food MORE than makes up for it.

YUM YUM YUM YUM. Such a wonderful meal! Great review!
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:17 PM   #419
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We have yet to experience the wonder that is Ohana too - and I fear the exact same thing! I have read too much about it! It can't possibly live up!
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:05 PM   #420
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The bread was one of my favorite parts! Soooo good. I honestly would prefer 'Ohana without all the games and the lady singing into her microphone the entire time... but it's still an awesome place. The food MORE than makes up for it.

YUM YUM YUM YUM. Such a wonderful meal! Great review!
Aww - I wonder if we got a bad loaf. I was expecting there to be bits of pineapple in it, so maybe that was what threw me off! Yeah - we didn't feel we lost much by being a little bit out of the way of all the shenanigans. And it is such an amazing meal!!

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We have yet to experience the wonder that is Ohana too - and I fear the exact same thing! I have read too much about it! It can't possibly live up!
Haha...I know! That's the problem with the DIS, it gets your hopes up to these epic proportions that even Disney sometimes has trouble meeting. I convinced myself that dinner at Ohana was going to be just ok, which made it all the more fun when I discovered it was amazing!
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