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Old 11-30-2012, 09:41 PM   #1
TinkerBelle_325
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**UPDATED Jun 7** ~Chestnuts Roasting on an open fire~ A Christmas Dining Review

~Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...jack frost nipping at your nose...yuletide carols being sung by a choir~

Welcome to my Christmas Dining Report
Going **LIVE** Dec 14-21


Photo Credit: Matt Pasant (http://www.flickriver.com/photos/pasant/3120050254/)

Imagine "The Christmas Song" as sung by Nat King Cole and that is my perfect Christmas feeling

How did this trip come about? Over the summer we were discussing Christmas (yup, we are weird like that) and both DMom & I lamented about last Christmas where we spent hours and hours in malls and wrapping gifts.

We are a traditionalist family and we have certain things we like to do around Christmas - but we decided shopping & wrapping were not among them.

In the 30 years we have been going to WDW we have never been there around the holidays. We flew in on Dec 30th a few years ago and spent New Years Eve at Epcot but it was a last minute trip and we didn't see many of the festive sights, mainly because I was very sick and it was very crowded!

So...this year, in lieu of gifts, our family decided to take a trip to WDW for Christmas! Well....not exactly FOR Christmas....BEFORE Christmas.


WHEN?

Friday, December 14th - Friday, December 21st

WHERE?

Disney's Polynesian Resort - Garden View Club Level CHANGED: Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

DINING ITINERARY

Friday, December 14th
LUNCH - Red Lobster - NO REVIEW
DINNER - Jiko

Saturday, December 15th
LUNCH - Be Our Guest - Using Club Level Advanced Reservation System
DINNER - Chefs de France - NO REVIEW

Sunday, December 16th
LUNCH - Le Cellier - NO REVIEW
DINNER - Kona Cafe

Monday, December 17th
LUNCH - 50's Primetime Cafe
DINNER - California Grill

Tuesday, December 18th
LUNCH - Garden View Afternoon Tea
DINNER - Rose & Crown - NO REVIEW

Wednesday, December 19th
DINNER - Jiko
Thursday, December 20th
DINNER - Monsieur Paul
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UPCOMING TRIP REPORT: What's this? What's this? A Halloween AND Christmas TR? Oct/Nov 2014
UPCOMING DINING REPORT: ~First we eat, then we do everything else! Oct/Nov 2014~

Last edited by TinkerBelle_325; 06-07-2013 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:56 PM   #2
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I'm so excited for your trip! We went to Disney World in December a couple of years ago and I'm dying to go back during the Christmas season. Its my favorite time of year! I hope you have tons of fun!
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:46 AM   #3
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sounds great to me too..
Have a great trip and enjoy all the excitement that is there during this time of the year...
We have gone to Disney a few times during December and it was amazing...
PLUS a few times COLD...so make sure you bring your NY jackets...
Have fun
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:16 PM   #4
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Have a great time! We haven't seen the Christmas decorations in a few years and really miss it so we've pushed our usual early October food & wine trip for 2013 back to early November.

Can't wait to read your live reports!
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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i have a feeling this report is going to be awesome....we arrive dec 30 can NOT wait!
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:29 PM   #6
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I am joining along! Can't wait to read more...
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butiflfeet View Post
I'm so excited for your trip! We went to Disney World in December a couple of years ago and I'm dying to go back during the Christmas season. Its my favorite time of year! I hope you have tons of fun!
We are so excited to go in December We can't wait to see all the decorations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pumba View Post
sounds great to me too..
Have a great trip and enjoy all the excitement that is there during this time of the year...
We have gone to Disney a few times during December and it was amazing...
PLUS a few times COLD...so make sure you bring your NY jackets...
Have fun
We have been in January before, we will definitely bring jackets & gloves! Just in case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerKat View Post
Have a great time! We haven't seen the Christmas decorations in a few years and really miss it so we've pushed our usual early October food & wine trip for 2013 back to early November.

Can't wait to read your live reports!
Awesome! We are really looking forward to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party!

Quote:
Originally Posted by suburbiatexas View Post
i have a feeling this report is going to be awesome....we arrive dec 30 can NOT wait!
Thanks for reading!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWaddictt View Post
I am joining along! Can't wait to read more...
Thanks
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Upcoming...October/November 2014 - AKL
Blog: WDW Destination Blog Twitter:@thedisneyfoodie Instagram: WDWDestination
UPCOMING TRIP REPORT: What's this? What's this? A Halloween AND Christmas TR? Oct/Nov 2014
UPCOMING DINING REPORT: ~First we eat, then we do everything else! Oct/Nov 2014~
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:17 PM   #8
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SINGLE DIGITS!!
Yay! 9 days until we leave for WDW

I'm stuck in the middle of exams right now (1 down, 3 to go) and I honestly cannot wait until this is all over! I am probably studying 10-12 hours a day, so a trip to WDW is looking like paradise even more than usual right now!

I thought I should post a rough Itinerary as well, because I will likely report on Christmas events and decorations as well!

December 14th
No Parks
Polynesian in the afternoon & evening
Possible late night drink at Wilderness Lodge

December 15th
Magic Kingdom in the morning
Hollywood Studios in the early evening for Osborne Lights!
Epcot in the late evening

December 16th
Epcot in the morning
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the evening

December 17th
Hotel Tour Day
Downtown Disney
Contemporary in the evening (California Grill)

December 18th
Hollywood Studios in the morning
Epcot in the evening for Candlelight Processional

December 19th
Hotel Tour Day
Grand Floridian in the afternoon (Tea)
Animal Kingdom Lodge in the evening (Jiko)

December 20th
Animal Kingdom in the morning
Epcot in the evening

December 21st
Magic Kingdom in the morning

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Upcoming...October/November 2014 - AKL
Blog: WDW Destination Blog Twitter:@thedisneyfoodie Instagram: WDWDestination
UPCOMING TRIP REPORT: What's this? What's this? A Halloween AND Christmas TR? Oct/Nov 2014
UPCOMING DINING REPORT: ~First we eat, then we do everything else! Oct/Nov 2014~
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:48 PM   #9
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LESS THAN 48 HOURS!


We leave for Buffalo in less than 48 hours, and then we are off to Florida at 7am on Friday. AND I have finalized our dining itinerary I was able to get a reservation at Monsieur Paul on December 20th and I am SO excited! See below for the rest of the changes in blue. Now I just need to finish my HR Final Assignment and pack!

DINING ITINERARY

Friday, December 14th
BREAKFAST - Buffalo Airport
LUNCH - Wolfgang Puck Express
DINNER - Raglan Road

Saturday, December 15th
BREAKFAST - King Kamehameha Club
LUNCH - Liberty Tree Tavern
DINNER - Chefs de France

Sunday, December 16th
BREAKFAST - King Kamehameha Club
LUNCH - Via Napoli
DINNER - Kona Cafe

Monday, December 17th
BREAKFAST - King Kamehameha Club
LUNCH - Undecided
DINNER - California Grill

Tuesday, December 18th
BREAKFAST - King Kamehameha Club
LUNCH - Brown Derby
DINNER - Rose & Crown

Wednesday, December 19th
BREAKFAST - King Kamehameha Club
LUNCH - Garden View Tea
DINNER - Jiko

Thursday, December 20th
BREAKFAST - King Kamehameha Club
LUNCH - Flame Tree BBQ
DINNER - Monsieur Paul

Friday, December 21st
BREAKFAST - King Kamehameha Club
LUNCH - Be Our Guest
DINNER - Orlando Airport
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Past Trips to the World....CSR (18) CBR (8) POLY (5) WL (4) BC (3) YC (2) AKL (1) BWI (1) POR (1) Offsite (4)
Upcoming...October/November 2014 - AKL
Blog: WDW Destination Blog Twitter:@thedisneyfoodie Instagram: WDWDestination
UPCOMING TRIP REPORT: What's this? What's this? A Halloween AND Christmas TR? Oct/Nov 2014
UPCOMING DINING REPORT: ~First we eat, then we do everything else! Oct/Nov 2014~
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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will look forward to your report! looks amazing (but there are no naps scheduled!)...

have a great time!
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suburbiatexas View Post
will look forward to your report! looks amazing (but there are no naps scheduled!)...

have a great time!
LOL There will definitely be naps Most afternoons we are used to hitting the pool, but it looks like it will be a touch too cold for that - so naps will do instead
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Past Trips to the World....CSR (18) CBR (8) POLY (5) WL (4) BC (3) YC (2) AKL (1) BWI (1) POR (1) Offsite (4)
Upcoming...October/November 2014 - AKL
Blog: WDW Destination Blog Twitter:@thedisneyfoodie Instagram: WDWDestination
UPCOMING TRIP REPORT: What's this? What's this? A Halloween AND Christmas TR? Oct/Nov 2014
UPCOMING DINING REPORT: ~First we eat, then we do everything else! Oct/Nov 2014~
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:50 PM   #12
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How funny!! I am leaving out of the Buffalo airport for the World on the 13th!!!
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:00 PM   #13
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We are here!


It was a day of unexpected occurrences! We are now staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge in a room with a view of the sunset savannah! Long sorry lol.

And! We ate at Jiko tonight

AND! We were selected to be part of the Be Our Guest fastpass test! We are eating lunch there tomorrow at 11:30. All our food is pre-ordered, we skip the line and proceed directly to a table!

Right now I am operating off of barely any sleep so I am off to bed! I will have lots of interesting things to report tomorrow!
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Past Trips to the World....CSR (18) CBR (8) POLY (5) WL (4) BC (3) YC (2) AKL (1) BWI (1) POR (1) Offsite (4)
Upcoming...October/November 2014 - AKL
Blog: WDW Destination Blog Twitter:@thedisneyfoodie Instagram: WDWDestination
UPCOMING TRIP REPORT: What's this? What's this? A Halloween AND Christmas TR? Oct/Nov 2014
UPCOMING DINING REPORT: ~First we eat, then we do everything else! Oct/Nov 2014~
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:29 PM   #14
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Wow! Sounds like an exciting trip so far. Rest up, I can't wait to hear more!
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:26 PM   #15
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Oh my goodness this has been a busy trip full of changes!!

I'm so sorry for not updating but I promise I will complete this review We have had some interesting and outstanding experiences this week.

We switched from Poly CL to AKL Savanna View and we have fallen head over heels in love with AKL. As I type this I just watched an antelope chase two zebra around the sunset savanna. How cool is that??

We have had 2 meals at Jiko, one at California Grill and tonight we are off to Monsieur Paul.

We got to test drive the Be Our Guest lunch fastpass system and BOY are we glad we did! The lunch line was easily 500-600 people!!!

So, I will do 1 review for now, but there is LOTS to come!


Friday, December 14th
Jiko

After a very long day and some miscommunications and frustrations, we ended up in a lovely savanna view room at AKL and decided to try for a late night dinner at Jiko.

Here is a beautiful pic of the AKL lobby decked out for the holidays


Luckily there was a slot available at 9pm. We started with a few pre-dinner drinks at the Victoria Falls lounge (Scotch for DDad, Shiraz for DMom and a Sparkling Rose for me). Our pager went off at 8:40 and we were walked to a lovely table by the window.

Oscar was our server for the evening and was fantastic!



We decided on a meal of appetizers and to share a dessert. DMom & DDad shared a bottle of Rudi Schultz Syrah and I had a glass of Jam Jar Shiraz.

We began with the cheese selection and the Taste of Africa.





The cheeses were a french cow's milk double cream, a goat cheddar from Canada, a french washed rind cow's milk, a pecorino toscano from Italy and a smokey blue from the U.S.

The pairings were a stone fruit chutney, a fig and almond cake, a honeycomb candy, a peach jelee and some crisps.



The dips were: Kalamata Hummus (the pale tan one), A spinach and lentil dip with garlic and chilis (the green one), a tomato and coconut based curry (the deep red one) and a moroccan dip of tomatoes, garlic, cilnatro, chili and preserved lemons (the red with green flecks).

The breads were: House-made Naan (with flax seed and yogurt), Papadaam (made with lentil flour, the round thin ones), and Lavash (with poppyseed and onion).

Both offerings were outstanding!

For the next round we had


Tibs Watt with Apple Slaw and Curry Dressing. These were stuffed with mushrooms and spinach.


Crispy Bobotie Rolls - seasoned meat in crispy shells with cucumber raita, mango atjar and groundnuts. One of our favorites!



Pork Belly Salad with Micro Greens, Almond Crisps, Zellwood Corn, Pickled Red Onions and Snap Peas. Absolutely delicious! Pork Belly just melts in your mouth.

To finish the meal we had

The seasonal dessert offering: Peppermint Creme Brulee. This was divine, with a perfect brulee top, silky custard and a thick ganache bottom.


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Past Trips to the World....CSR (18) CBR (8) POLY (5) WL (4) BC (3) YC (2) AKL (1) BWI (1) POR (1) Offsite (4)
Upcoming...October/November 2014 - AKL
Blog: WDW Destination Blog Twitter:@thedisneyfoodie Instagram: WDWDestination
UPCOMING TRIP REPORT: What's this? What's this? A Halloween AND Christmas TR? Oct/Nov 2014
UPCOMING DINING REPORT: ~First we eat, then we do everything else! Oct/Nov 2014~
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