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Old 11-20-2013, 04:30 PM   #151
TheMaxRebo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missangelalexis View Post
So nice that you guys got to have a night to yourselves! The food looks exquisite. How amazing that the harpist played your wedding song! That's definitely some pixie dust After dessert desserts? Wowza they really like to go all out! Sorry about the mixup with the flowers, but it sounds like overall it was a perfect night!
Overall it was such a great night! Like I knew I would like it going in but it exceeded my expectations - and the harpist playing our song is definitely something we will remember forever


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Originally Posted by IheartDDuck View Post
Okay, I have to comment that I loved your A) 2) iii) reasons for loving the picture. I snorted laughing, because it makes me think about people listing things out and not remembering what they start with.

I'm glad that you really didn't need that urgent care location! Because:

A) Not finding it would stink.
2) No one wants to need urgent care and not find it.
iii) Wouldn't want a trip to be really ruined.

The food looks good at Landscapes of Flavor. Haven't been there yet, but definitely want to swing by and check it out.

Ooohhh, fancy pants anniversary dinner!

Wow, a water menu. That is fancy stuff.

They serve the Grand Marnier soufflé at Chef Paul (formerly The Bistro), and it's amazing!

That stinks about the flowers! Such a shame that they were lost. I'm glad they refunded you with no problem, but it still doesn't make it any better.
Thankfully the "urgent care" wasn't super urgent, but still annoying.

We liked Landscape of Flavor a lot - worked out really well going there on one of our off days.

Have to remember that they have the Grand Marnier Souffle at Chef Pual's as well - it really was amazing!

I was bummed about the flowers - it was the one thing I actually made a point of calling the week before the trip to check and confirm that everything was set - and of course super awkward to sit there during dessert and just waiting for them to come out with the flowers and it not happen and have to ask, etc.


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Originally Posted by DisneyKid4Life View Post
Hmmm, I'm not sure I'm even classy enough to READ a report on Victoria & Albert's. I feel so under-dressed just commenting. (Don't worry, I'm still dressed, just not at a Victoria & Albert's level. I felt the need to clarify.)

Customized menus, now that IS classy and what a lovely momemto.

So I have to ask, was the Amuse-bouche "amuse-ing"? (Yeah I had to get a Friends reference in here somewhere.)

Wow, to have "Your Song" playing during this experience must have just been amazing. So wonderful and pixie dust-ish.
first off, thanks for clarifying about your state of dress

One of the things I loved about V&A was not pretentious at all. Living/working near NYC I have gone to some fancy-smancy restaurants and always hate the ones that are full of themselves and find we go back to the ones that were more down to earth and the staff at V&A was really great.

ok, really glad I am not the only one that thinks of Chandler whenever hearding/reading "Amouse-bouche"

Definitely a moment ... was funny in that it just took us a while to convince ourselves that it actually was that song she was playing since it just seemed so made up that it would happen.
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:25 PM   #152
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WOW your meal at V&A looks amazing. I think I would have just stuffed myself on the truffle bread and butter and called it a day. And the tiw discount to boot, perfect anniversary.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:46 PM   #153
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Day 4 - Part 1: MGM Studios ... Breakfast and Characters Dinner


Monday was another park day which meant it was another early, pre-park opening breakfast. In this case our destination was:




And we were off to Hollywood & Vine for the Dine & Plan breakfast. We had to wait a little bit for them to call our names and we were seated at a pretty good table on the left side as you come in, close to where they do the dace party parts.

Right after drink orders were taken and before we even had a chance to go up for any food OSO (the unique, stuffed bear) was at our table to greet us.






This morning Olivia had to warm up to the characters being mostly into the autographs and Peter was very into spotting them from afar but wanted nothing to do with them when they came to the table.

After OSO left for another special assignment we had our own special assignment - basically to go get food. Below is a shot of my plate, then Olivia's plate, and then Peters:







The food is pretty standard - my plate (starting at the top, going clockwise) had a bagel with butter, some grapes, a blueberry muffin, veggie fritata, cheesy potatoes (that were not as good at as Akershus), sausage patty, and a biscuit with sausage gravy. Overall it was fine - not terrible, but not the best either.

We then were visited by June from Little Einsteins, Jake (who was very fun - saw a lot of good interaction with kids), and Handy Manny.







Prior to Manny getting there they brought out a birthday cupcake for Bob which had captured Peter's full attention (you can see him basically ignoring Manny above). I think the cupcake was Peter's favorite part of breakfast:




As the meal went on Olivia did warm up to the characters some more and even got up for one of the dance parties and had fun (sorry, didn't have any pictures of her dancing that didn't have other kids in it whose parents may or may not want their images on the internet)

Before we left Olivia made it known quite clearly that she wanted a picture against the backdrop they have set up:




Overall I would rate the Hollywood & Vine breakfast as just OK. Definitely not bad and the character interractions are very good - but of the 4 breakfasts we did this week I would rank it last and the next trip we take, unless one of the kids is dying to meet one of the characters and that is the only way to see him/her I think we will pass.

We were able to use TIW and saved $22.79. This brings our total TIW savings to $258.42 and, with the parking savings at MGM that morning, that brings our AP savings to $43.97, and a grand total of $279.60 ... so about 2/3rds of the way to breaking even!


One thing I should note is that at around 8:50 we noticed that people had been let into the park so Bob took off with our tickets to get fast passes for Toy Story Mania. He got ones with return times for 2:35-3:35. After we finished breakfast we walked by to see what standby time was (this was at around 9:15) and it was already at 70 mins and all the fast passes we gone for the rest of the day. This trip showed me pretty clearly that FP+ is definitely lessening the availability for FP-.


After this we decided to head to Animation Courtyard and saw that Sophia the First was already out, so Olivia the First definitely had to meet her. She was great and gave tons of hugs and just seemed excited to meet all her friends ... even if Peter wasn't super into it just yet.






I wanted to do the drawing class but we had just missed the cut-off for the next class so decided to go meet Minnie at her new location in her new dress. This was a really nicely set up area - loved all the Disney-fied movie posters - and Minnie was super sweet really trying to get Peter to engage her. He found her ottoman really interesting and she went over to it to see if that would help ... not so much








After this we did go to the next drawing class which I found a lot of fun. Only issue was they took a vote to draw either Dopey or Daisy and Olivia really wanted to do Daisy but Dopey one. She was fine at first but once she realized that they weren't going to do Daisy too she kinda got upset and it took a bit to get her to come around.

Anyway, here is my take - think it came out pretty good ... you can at least tell who it is




next up -> more fun at MGM including the Disney Jr. Show and an experience that seems to be a real rarity for DISers

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Old 11-21-2013, 06:54 PM   #154
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Have to ask

So do you get to keep the menu as a keepsake? Just curious....Very lovely dinner........But not my style for our anniversary we plan on Fultons crab house...
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:44 AM   #155
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Disney's MGM... NICE!!!!!!

Wow, I had heard stories in October about FP's disappearing quickly. Unreal that all TSMM were gone by 9:15. I guess that helps explain why the FP tiering came into play. You were lucky to get any at all. Just wow.

I can't really explain it, but I think Sophia creeps me out a little. I think it's because most "real people" characters appear in face form, so it just throws me when they're in fur form. Her head is so BIG!!
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:52 AM   #156
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Great update. I've contemplated doing H&V mainly for the Disney Jr aspect but after reading this think we will hold off. I'm actually surprised they haven't updated the characters. Nor sure about your kids but only Jake is in the upper echelon of characters at our house. I don't think my daughter would care too much about June, Oso, or Manny. Now if Sophia and Doc joined Jake that would be a different story ; )
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:38 AM   #157
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Lots of characters this morning, awesome! So jealous that you got to draw Dopey, I think you did a great job!!
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:27 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by kastoney View Post
WOW your meal at V&A looks amazing. I think I would have just stuffed myself on the truffle bread and butter and called it a day. And the tiw discount to boot, perfect anniversary.
That bread was ridiculously good even though we were getting full we had to finish our slices

Unfortunately next year they will stop accepting TIW there, but we were glad to get in there in time.

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Originally Posted by spiritsim View Post
So do you get to keep the menu as a keepsake? Just curious....Very lovely dinner........But not my style for our anniversary we plan on Fultons crab house...
We did get to keep the menus - they put them in a nice folder/envelope for us

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Disney's MGM... NICE!!!!!!

Wow, I had heard stories in October about FP's disappearing quickly. Unreal that all TSMM were gone by 9:15. I guess that helps explain why the FP tiering came into play. You were lucky to get any at all. Just wow.

I can't really explain it, but I think Sophia creeps me out a little. I think it's because most "real people" characters appear in face form, so it just throws me when they're in fur form. Her head is so BIG!!
It will always be MGM to me

We are glad we got FP for TSM. Didn't mention specifically in the report but the McNamees didn't join us for breakfast but did meet us in the park a little later and by the time they got there there were no FP and they weren't waiting over an hour for it so they didn't get to go on the ride. I am looking forward to the future when the whole FP+/MB thing is fully rolled out and all the kinks are worked out (ok, I get that I am an optimist) but there are definitely some issues during this "testing" phase

yeah, here head is pretty huge, but I think they captured the character pretty well and she was super energetic and definitely one Olivia was looking forward to and was excited about.

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Great update. I've contemplated doing H&V mainly for the Disney Jr aspect but after reading this think we will hold off. I'm actually surprised they haven't updated the characters. Nor sure about your kids but only Jake is in the upper echelon of characters at our house. I don't think my daughter would care too much about June, Oso, or Manny. Now if Sophia and Doc joined Jake that would be a different story ; )
It is a fun breakfast and a lot of kids seem to enjoy it - and the food isn't *bad* but it isn't the best and like you said, a lot of the characters aren't the most popular. Also, it is slightly more epensive that Crystal Palace (when we went, an aduly was $2 more at H&V vs. CP) which I find to be a superior breakfast (food and characters) so makes it even harder to justify

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Lots of characters this morning, awesome! So jealous that you got to draw Dopey, I think you did a great job!!
yeah, we really hit up a bunch at MGM that day - some more to come as well! Thanks - they do make it pretty easy, but was pretty happy with my work ... plus you get to keep them so kind of a free souvenir
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:06 AM   #159
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I really enjoyed reading about your experience at V&A. I would really like to have dinner there one day. I mentioned the possibility to DH but he wasn't as keen on the idea. I figure we'd pay that much to go on a whale watching tour or a kayak trip, why not for 3.5 hours of eating? Maybe one day. Until then I'll just live vicariously through those of you who have been and are willing to share your experience.
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Old 11-23-2013, 07:48 AM   #160
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It was around this point in the meal that we thought a song she was playing sounded familiar. After a bit of "no, it can't be" we determined that she was in fact playing "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds which happens to be the song that we danced to at our wedding reception as our first song. It is just about the sweetest, most romantic song we know - but in an unconventional and odd way ... kinda like us. We mentioned this fact to our wait staff who, must have mentioned it to the harpist as she wound up playing it again. Then on her break she came over to our table to introduce herself and to tell us how excited and happy she was to hear that was our wedding song as she too thinks it is the most romantic song ever. She also gave us a copy of her CD that features that song on it, and posed for a picture:

That's one of the coolest things I've ever read!

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Hmmm, I'm not sure I'm even classy enough to READ a report on Victoria & Albert's.
That totally made me laugh, because I was thinking the exact same thing about myself!! LOL.

I am completely intrigued by the concept of a water flight. I'm perfectly happy drinking tap water, and drink plenty of it. But I think that's kind of a cool idea! I'm just too cheap to pay money for something I can get for free .

This 41 and childless girl cannot wait to meet Sophia the First. I'd be lying if I said I didn't record that show. Haha. And my nephew loves Jake, so I'm hoping I can meet him on my trip!
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:09 PM   #161
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I really enjoyed reading about your experience at V&A. I would really like to have dinner there one day. I mentioned the possibility to DH but he wasn't as keen on the idea. I figure we'd pay that much to go on a whale watching tour or a kayak trip, why not for 3.5 hours of eating? Maybe one day. Until then I'll just live vicariously through those of you who have been and are willing to share your experience.
I've been interested for a while but we held off due to the cost and that is why we decided to not do anything really on our Anniversary and kinda combine that with "date night" during vacation - so if you think of it as spending on 2 special nights it's not too crazy.

While I did start breathing a little heavy when the bill came I can absolutely say that the cost is justified based on the level of service and quality of the food and definitely didn't feel like I got ripped off or anything.

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That's one of the coolest things I've ever read!
Thank you - it was a very surreal moment. It took us a few minutes to believe that we were hearing what we were hearing. Definitely made the night even more magical!

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That totally made me laugh, because I was thinking the exact same thing about myself!! LOL.

I am completely intrigued by the concept of a water flight. I'm perfectly happy drinking tap water, and drink plenty of it. But I think that's kind of a cool idea! I'm just too cheap to pay money for something I can get for free .

This 41 and childless girl cannot wait to meet Sophia the First. I'd be lying if I said I didn't record that show. Haha. And my nephew loves Jake, so I'm hoping I can meet him on my trip!
I would be really intrigued by like a mail with a water pairing or doing a water flight so you can really see the differences. But I am like you, unless it is a corporate event or something regular water is fine by me.

Sophia really was a great meet-and-greet and Olivia loves that show. We had to record the special episode that premiered last night since it was on after her bed time.
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:26 PM   #162
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quick note: Apparently I am over my bandwidth for the month for my main photo hosting site, so using an alternative for this post. Let me know if you have any issues.

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


Day 4 - Part 2: MGM Studios ... Is it? Yes it is! *squee!*


I forgot to post our park entrance family photopass pic in the last post, so here it is for your perusal:




While we were doing Meet & Greets and drawing Dopey, The McNamees arrived at MGM:




Just in time to spot someone up to no good:




They also went to visit some of their favorite vehicles (love Tara's pose):




We all met up at the Disney Jr. show. This is the first time we had seen it since they added Jake, Sophia the First, and Doc McStuffins, so the kids were pretty excited. I have to say that this is a pretty good show and they really draw the kids in. There aren't a *ton* of rides for little kids at MGM so I am glad they have this show.






After this we split up at the McNamees had made table service lunch plans.

Our original plan was to head up to EPCOT to grab food from the F&WF kiosks but with the return time for our Toy Story Mania passes we just didn't think we could make it or at least it would be super rushed and not worth it.

So we spent a lot of time debating where to eat lunch. All of the table service places indicated they had no seating and we couldn't agree on what counter service would have the best options/best quality.

Ultimately we just went to one of the closest locations which was ABC Commissary.

On the positive side, it was air conditioned and at least they had a decent amount of options, also the staff there was trying their best and was being very friendly despite the crazy crowd levels that pushed the lines practically to the door.

The food itself was not great. (I didn't even bother to take pictures). I got a chicken sandwhich, parts of which were rubbery. The carrot sticks in Olivia's lunch meal were all gross - mushy and slimey. They exchanged them for new ones, but still. Long of the short - ABC Commissary is definitely not on our "must do" next trip.

After lunch I ran to Tower of Terror to get Fastpasses while everyone else did restroom trips and then we met up at Star Tours.

We had to ride in the standby queue which was about 25 mins (this ride more than others seems to have a standby time that fluctuates more than any other - while waiting for everyone else I saw the time start at 20 mins, dip to 15 mins, then up to 20 and finally 25 - just kinda odd).




Anyway, it's at least an interesting queue to walk through / wait in. Olivia was willing to go on the ride by she is not exactly well versed with Star Wars as we had this exchange while waiting in the outside portion of the queue:

Olivia: I don't like this, it's scary here
Me: This? This is just where the Ewoks live
Olivia: Are the Ewoks good guys or bad guys?

So yeah, Olivia ultimately did enjoy the ride, but not any of the queue as she was just overwhelmed and not knowing who anyone is just kinda got her agitated. On the plus side she looked cute in her 3D glasses:




After our ride in a galaxy far, far away in a time long, long ago we decided to head through another trip back in time and headed towards:




I totally get that this ride could use a bit of an update, but it is still a must do for us and just reminds us of some of the highlights of movies long past - and actually allows us to share some of these with the kids considering they haven't seen many of them.





During the ride I got a little confused as we passed through the ganster scene without stopping. Then it hit me - WE GOT THE COWBOY VERSION!!!

I think Judi was a little thrown by how excited I was but, hey, it is definitely not something you get to see every day.





The storyline itself is pretty much the same - just with a different accent




Ultimately everyone is safe and after visiting some different locals, we are reminded that there is no place like home




up next: Some more meet & greets, a terrifying ride in a tower, a play featuring a beauty and a beast .... and our first ever viewing of Fantastmic!

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Old 11-25-2013, 03:11 PM   #163
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Just to get this out of the way right off the bat... "Squee" is an awesome word!!!

Haha, there aren't a "ton" of rides for the big kids either, lol, but I do get your point.

ABC Commissary seems to be really hit or miss. Last trip it was great, but the time before that, not so much.

OK Phil, so your Disboard name is MaxRebo and your daughter is not well versed in the Star Wars universe? For shame.

SQUEE You got the cowboy version! I've only seen it once, but I'm asking for it next time.
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:07 PM   #164
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Cowboy Scene?? Lucky!!!

I have to agree, ABC Commissary was definitely a miss for me as well when I ate there.

Glad the Disney Jr show was a hit!
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:43 PM   #165
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Just to get this out of the way right off the bat... "Squee" is an awesome word!!!

Haha, there aren't a "ton" of rides for the big kids either, lol, but I do get your point.

ABC Commissary seems to be really hit or miss. Last trip it was great, but the time before that, not so much.

OK Phil, so your Disboard name is MaxRebo and your daughter is not well versed in the Star Wars universe? For shame.

SQUEE You got the cowboy version! I've only seen it once, but I'm asking for it next time.
The somewhat sad thing is when I realized it was the Cowboy scene I literally turned to my wife and said "Squee!"

The lag of kid/family rides at MGM is I think one of the main reasons the demands on TSM are so extreme. Hopefully the add some more pixar/star wars stuff that is family friendly to help the park out

Yeah, I do need to work on that - though Olivia is at a stage where she doesn't really like conflict and just wants the "happy ending" part. Maybe this holiday season I can show her the Star Wars Holiday Special since we all know what a cinematic masterpiece that was

Best of luck in your search for the Cowboy scene - I do think that the rarity of it makes it such a sought after event

Quote:
Originally Posted by missangelalexis View Post
Cowboy Scene?? Lucky!!!

I have to agree, ABC Commissary was definitely a miss for me as well when I ate there.

Glad the Disney Jr show was a hit!
yeah, pretty disappointed with ABC commissary. Hopefully any expansion they do to MGM will include more restaurants. At least the outside lounge area of Brown Derby is a step in the right direction

Not sure if I would go out of my way to see it if I didn't have kids but all the kids in the audience seemed to really love the Disney Jr. Show
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dads, dining, f&wf, kids, october 2013



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