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Old 10-22-2013, 01:50 PM   #46
missangelalexis
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Enjoying so far!!
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A trip of firsts- starting with my first PTR for October 2013!
Did Someone Say Adventure?! An Oct '13 TR!
I Think We Should Go Again! A Nov '14 PTR
"Smile like you're massaging my feet!" A Nov '14 TR!

WDW Visits: 1993, 1997
Disneyland/California Adventure Visit: 6/26/12
Pop Century with DBF: 1/4/13-1/12/13 - MNSSHP/F&W trip with Mom & Dad: 10/5/13-10/12/13 - An Early Christmas with Mom & Dad: 11/8/14-11/15/14
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:03 AM   #47
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I offer up my sincerest ooohhhs and ahhhhs for your AP and TiW.

I haven't purchased baby gear in over 17 years but I would think "free" would be less than $62. Goodness, I hope they threw in a nanny or something.

According to my superior math skills I see that you are at approximately 2.4% of the way to the $414 target. Excellent job with the $9.89 start. That's actually a great discount for a CS meal in Disney World.

Great start to your trip!
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:23 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norybell View Post
Welcome back! Glad to hear all your travel to FL was relatively uneventful (which, really, is the most one can ask when traveling nowadays, isn't it?).
yeah, other than Peter being trying on the plane (which he also was on the way back up ) it wasn't really to bad. Some ways the trip down always is easier than the one back as you know that Disney is awaiting you

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Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
Cute pics!
Thanks! ... and definitely more cute pictures to come

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Originally Posted by herb102211 View Post
Glad you had an awesome trip and arrived safely.

Congrats on getting your first Annual Pass. They get quite addicting

Looking forward to more updates!
Thanks Herb and welcome! I have a feeling this won't be my last, even if we won't be able to swing them every year

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Originally Posted by missangelalexis View Post
Enjoying so far!!
Thanks! Definitely more to come

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
I offer up my sincerest ooohhhs and ahhhhs for your AP and TiW.

I haven't purchased baby gear in over 17 years but I would think "free" would be less than $62. Goodness, I hope they threw in a nanny or something.

According to my superior math skills I see that you are at approximately 2.4% of the way to the $414 target. Excellent job with the $9.89 start. That's actually a great discount for a CS meal in Disney World.

Great start to your trip!
Ah, I knew I could count on you for some "oohs" and "aaahs"

Yeah, I was pretty committed to finding a place to use the AP or TIW for our first meal ... and as your quick math informs me, only 97.6% more to go!
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**In Progress** It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Disney World with a 1 month old - A Trip Report: 08/25-08-29/14
Wait, weren't you just at Disney World? An August '14 Pre-Trip Report - A Pre-Trip Report: 8/25 - 8/29
Ooh-de-lally! A dining heavy October '13 Trip Report - A Trip Report: 10/11-10/18/13
Faint hearts never won fair lady - or got all the ADRs you wanted. - A Dining Review 10/8/11 - 10/15/11
"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" - A Dining Review 10/24/09 - 10/31/09
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:58 PM   #49
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Day 1 - Part 1: Orlando errands and Downtown Disney (2 of 2)


Day 1 - Part 1: Orlando errands and Downtown Disney (2 of 2)


Friday October 11th

So after finishing our lunch we were fortified for our next stop:




At this point you are probably saying to yourself: "Self, didn't they just eat lunch? Why are they going to another restaurant?"

Well, that would be appropriate pondering, but we weren't going to eat. Rather, Olivia really wanted to "see the dinosaurs" ... so to see them we went.

We explored the shop area and the Olivia had a ton of fun in the bone yard. Which was actually a pretty cool thing, and free - so something to consider if you are looking to kill some time with kids. Of note, it isn't actual sand, but fine gravel so it doesn't get in clothes like real sand does.




After that we did have another stop to make:




Other than getting a bit of a Disney fix in, we had two things to accomplish here:

1. We wanted to get a stuffed animal for Peter. We didn't bring any for him, and as we had gotten a Minnie for Olivia last trip we thought it made sense to let him pick something out. Only thing was, as soon as he found something he liked he would find something else and have no further interest in the first item and at the end he said he didn't want anything. Oh well.

2. We agreed with Olivia to do the whole autograph thing for the first time this trip. I was planning to make a book for her but couldn't settle on how to do it and then ran out of time so did nothing. Yeah. So we needed to get her one. I thought it would be good to get the official 2013 one, but she got set on this over-the-top princess one, so of course we got it:




I have to admit it is pretty cool and worked out really well for us. There are a ton of blank pages in the back, but towards the front there are pages for each of the "main" princesses with a little back story and then a spot for a photo, and autograph, and a description of your meeting with each:


(images obviously taken after the trip ... it didn't come pre-signed by Rapunzel)


Of course this now meant that it was Olivia's (and thus all of our) mission to meet each of the 7 featured princesses (Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, Ariel, Jasmine, Tiana, and Rapunzel).

So for those of you keeping score at home, we are now tracking how much I will save with my AP/TIW and which of the 7 princesses we meet.

And speaking of those savings, with the 10% off at the World of Disney with the AP, we saved another $2.00 bringing the total to $11.89


After that we all needed a little something, something - so to Ghiradelli we went. Between us we split a Sea Salt Caramel Banana Shake, a Strawberry Shake, and Mint Chocolate Chip with *new* Spicy Hot Fudge:



It was all very good. Everything tasted like very intense versions of what their name was. I mostly ate the mint chocolate chip with spicy hot fudge - I loved it but the spicy hot fudge is definitely spicy ... doesn't get you right away but lingers.

Oh, and another 10% on the ice cream ($2.08) with the AP brings the new total saved to $13.97.

We then left after a little more time with the Lego statues:




We then went to our resort, but our rooms weren't ready so we went to Super Target to do some grocery shopping (unfortunately no AP or TIW savings there). We did, however, pick up a number of cans of colored glittery hair spray (Halloween section) so that we could turn our hotel unit into a mini (and slightly cheaper) Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

While we were there we got a call that our rooms were ready so we headed back. We were checking in for both our room and the McNamees who would be coming later that evening.

We were staying at Silver Lakes and we really liked it. Plenty to do, three pools (including a zero entry one that was right by our building and great for the kids), and they didn't bug us too much about the tour/sales pitch (once we said we weren't interested they never asked again). We had a three bedroom unit and the McNamees a 2 bedroom - and they wound up being right across the hall from each other. Really nice quality to the rooms too. Only negative was no free wifi in the room (either had to pay for it or go to a common area) but that seems to be the norm for most of these timeshare places.

Below is a few pictures of our unit:





As well as of Olivia's closet ... I think she is ready:




Oh, and we were super close to Disney World. Below is exhibit A which was taken from the balcony from our unit. See if you notice anything in the circled area:




Nothing? What if I take the same shot but zoomed in:




Yeah, we were that close to Animal Kingdom. Also, one evening we were able to see the fireworks from Illumination. So, all in all, we were very happy with the units.


We then got ready for our evening activities - some South Pacific fun at the Polynesian and dinner at Kona Cafe ... but that will wait for the next post.

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**In Progress** It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Disney World with a 1 month old - A Trip Report: 08/25-08-29/14
Wait, weren't you just at Disney World? An August '14 Pre-Trip Report - A Pre-Trip Report: 8/25 - 8/29
Ooh-de-lally! A dining heavy October '13 Trip Report - A Trip Report: 10/11-10/18/13
Faint hearts never won fair lady - or got all the ADRs you wanted. - A Dining Review 10/8/11 - 10/15/11
"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" - A Dining Review 10/24/09 - 10/31/09
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:20 PM   #50
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Welcome to the AP club! Tables in Wonderland is the best, for real.

That's a great autograph book! I like the sparkles.

I really need to get over to Ghiradelli soon. I always skip it in favor of Goofy's Candy Co. but it looks so good.

I really like your suite/villa, and the closet of princess dresses is adorable
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:46 AM   #51
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Can't wait to hear how your mission to meet each of the 7 featured princesses works out! I also love the pic of all of Olivia's princess dresses - so cute!!
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A trip of firsts- starting with my first PTR for October 2013!
Did Someone Say Adventure?! An Oct '13 TR!
I Think We Should Go Again! A Nov '14 PTR
"Smile like you're massaging my feet!" A Nov '14 TR!

WDW Visits: 1993, 1997
Disneyland/California Adventure Visit: 6/26/12
Pop Century with DBF: 1/4/13-1/12/13 - MNSSHP/F&W trip with Mom & Dad: 10/5/13-10/12/13 - An Early Christmas with Mom & Dad: 11/8/14-11/15/14
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:27 PM   #52
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Haha, I actually WAS wondering why you were going to another restaurant. Now get out of my head!!

Awww, Olivia matches up perfectly with Cindy! Too cute.

Ahh, I know exactly where you were staying. Great location.

I LOVE that you are tracking the AP/TiW savings. It helps me "justify" the added expense as well. But don't forget to add in at some point the intangible I HAVE AN ANNUAL PASS!!! SO SUCK IT LOSERS! benefit as well. Of course that one's priceless!
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:40 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by courtneybelle View Post
Welcome to the AP club! Tables in Wonderland is the best, for real.

That's a great autograph book! I like the sparkles.

I really need to get over to Ghiradelli soon. I always skip it in favor of Goofy's Candy Co. but it looks so good.

I really like your suite/villa, and the closet of princess dresses is adorable
Yeah, we found the dining plan doesn't work the best for us as often like to share entrees and sometimes just get a bunch of apps or get no apps or whatever. Also, as mentioned, we enjoy adult beverages so the fact that TIW applies to that as well, it just really made a ton of sense for us.

I think you an Olivia have a similar mind set - she also often choosing things based on the level of sparkles

We are big ice cream fans so we try to get to Ghiradelli - really good options and everything is big enough to share.

We were quite happy with units - good quality in everything and plenty of room

Quote:
Originally Posted by missangelalexis View Post
Can't wait to hear how your mission to meet each of the 7 featured princesses works out! I also love the pic of all of Olivia's princess dresses - so cute!!
Thanks! We did have a breakfast booked at Akershus so that helped a lot with the mission .... but didn't cover everyone - but it led to some of the best character interactions I / we have ever had!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyKid4Life View Post
Haha, I actually WAS wondering why you were going to another restaurant. Now get out of my head!!

Awww, Olivia matches up perfectly with Cindy! Too cute.

Ahh, I know exactly where you were staying. Great location.

I LOVE that you are tracking the AP/TiW savings. It helps me "justify" the added expense as well. But don't forget to add in at some point the intangible I HAVE AN ANNUAL PASS!!! SO SUCK IT LOSERS! benefit as well. Of course that one's priceless!
Hey, I try to anticipate comments before they come! That is Olivia's standard pose, you will see it again at times

We were very happy with the location - I mean, not the same as staying on site but basically the next best thing.

Saving 10% at the World of Disney on a princess autograph book ... $2.00
Saving 10% at Ghiradelli on ice cream ... $2.08
Saving 20% at Kona Cafe ... [savings to be revealed next update]
Being able to say I HAVE AN ANNUAL PASS!!! SO SUCK IT LOSERS! ... priceless!
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**In Progress** It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Disney World with a 1 month old - A Trip Report: 08/25-08-29/14
Wait, weren't you just at Disney World? An August '14 Pre-Trip Report - A Pre-Trip Report: 8/25 - 8/29
Ooh-de-lally! A dining heavy October '13 Trip Report - A Trip Report: 10/11-10/18/13
Faint hearts never won fair lady - or got all the ADRs you wanted. - A Dining Review 10/8/11 - 10/15/11
"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" - A Dining Review 10/24/09 - 10/31/09
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:29 AM   #54
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Really enjoying the report so far! And your kids are absolutely adorable. Can't wait for the next update
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Old 10-25-2013, 03:07 PM   #55
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Day 1 - Part 2: Fun at the Polynesian including dinner at Kona Cafe (1 of 2)


Day 1 - Part 2: Fun at the Polynesian including dinner at Kona Cafe (1 of 2)


Friday October 11th

After getting settled in our units we got changed for our evening activities.

We were heading to Disney's Polynesian Resort. Judi's parents dropped the rest of us off at the resort and headed to Shades of Green as we had one more ticket that we needed to by (needed 8 total, got the max 6 military salute tickets plus my annual pass already). The reason they dropped us off rather than all of us going was that I really wanted to watch the Torch Lighting Ceremony and we were afraid we would miss it.

.... but first some pics around the beautiful center display in the Grand Ceremonial House:





We were all then called to the Torch Lighting Ceremony by one of the performers from the Luau show on a conch shell:




Then brought outside for a drum performance:




And then the actual lighting of the torches followed by a ~5min torch twirling show. This included the performer lighting the other end of the torch via first lighting his tongue on fire! (sorry, didn't get a good picture of this)




When he was done I looked at Olivia and told her "ok, now it's your turn" to which she loudly announced "I DON'T WANT TO LICK FIRE!!!!!" which got a good reaction from the CMs around us.

After this we hung around the lobby for a bit and then headed up to check in for our ADR at Kona Cafe. The McNamees had not yet arrived but did text us that they had just gotten into the rental car and were on their way from the airport.

At this point Olivia knew someone was coming (there were 4 empty seats at the table) but not who - and she was very eager for them to arrive:




They were texting us that they were getting close, but not here yet. So we started by orderings drinks:

Judi and I split a bottle of the Spy Valley Savignon Blanc - which was very good. Crisp and refreshing with some citrus notes without being over the top. Went with the food quite well.




Kathy got a Magic Star coctail because a) she thinks they are very tasty and b) we have to get one of the color change glow cubes each trip.

Magical Star Cocktail: X-Fusion Organic Mango and Passion Fruit Liqueur, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, Pineapple Juice, and a souvenir Multicolored Glow Cube



Bob got a Kona Longboard Lager but for some reason I don't have a picture of it *whoops*. We also ordered some appetizers:

Sticky Wings: Glazed Chicken Wings with tangy Mustard Drizzle and Toasted Sesame Seeds


Fried Rock Shrimp: with Passion Fruit-Mustard Sauce


The wings were a-maz-ing, one of the best things we had all trip. The mustard added a different component (though some wings wound up with a bit too much of the mustard so was best when we spread it around). Peter (and Owen after he got there) loved these too. We enjoyed them so much we wound up odering a second batch.

The shrimp were good as well. The shrimp themselves were kinda plain but the dipping sauce was very good and made them more interesting.

At this point we also go the famous Sweet Bread and Macadamia Nut Butter:



Wow! This stuff is soooooo good. We wound up going through 4 orders of it between the 10 of us. And the bread dipped in the wing sauce was dang tasty as well.



The McNamees kept texting us updates but it was taking them a while to get into the resort and parked, etc. and finally Olivia just had to go to the bathroom ... which is of course when they showed up. So the big reveal that we were planning for months didn't exactly go off as planned, but the girls were definitely excited to be reunited:




After everyone got settled, the kids all ordered choclate milks (except for Owen who had a lemonade), Bridget got a Coke, and Mike got a Coors draft. Again, no pictures - the kids drinks and the Coke because I figure you know what they look like and the Coors because of principles.

We then got our entrees:

Pan-Asian Noodles: Yakisoba Noodles, Wok-seared with Vegetables and your choice of Chicken or Tofu in a Ginger-Garlic Sauce


Kathy got this with the chicken and thought it was good but found it too spicy. The rest of us tried it and didn't get much spice at all. I think it was just heavily seasoned and she interpreted it as too spicy.


Togarashi Spiced Ahi Tuna: served with Tempura Fried Vegetable Maki Roll and Red Wine Reduction


Judi got this and loved it - the tuna was cooked very well, seared just enough. It was also a very large portion.


Lava Roll: Togarashi spiced tempura shrimp, bay scallops, spicy mayo and chives


I decided to get a sushi roll from the Kona Island Sushi Bar menu and chose the Lava Roll. It was very good but if anything a little too spicy. I've had the Spicy Kazan roll from the California Grill and this was definitely more spicy than that. It too was quite large and plenty as my entree (especially with the additional order of sticky wings )


Sustainable Fish: served with Swiss Chard, Forbidden Rice, and Hibiscus-Beurre Rouge


Bob got the fish which was Mahi Mahi. While fe found the fish itself to be good, but nothing special, the star of the dish was definitely the "forbidden rice" which was basically fought over by Judi and her mother.


Teriyaki-style New York Strip: Sirloin Strip grilled with Pineapple Teriyaki Glaze served with Sticky Rice and Stir-fried Broccolini


Mike got the NY Strip steak and really enjoyed it. It was cooked exactly how he wanted it and he just loved the tariyaki glaze. I tried a piece of it as I had read very good reviews on the DIS boards and agreed that it was quite tasty - the pineapple topping really added another layer of flavor without overtaking the dish.


Pan-roasted Chicken: with Roasted Pumpkin, Purple Potatoes, and Coconut-Curry Sauce


Bridgett got the chicken entree and very much enjoyed it! She especially loved the sauce that was on the bottom.


Kids Grilled Chicken Breast: grilled chicken breast over mixed greens with fruit and almonds and steamed vegetables; fruit salad


Both girls got the kids grilled chicken. This was fairly plain but cooked well and tasted good. I was glad to see they had some different options for the kids.


Both boys just ate portions of what everyone else got - and I had mentioned how much they enjoyed the wings:




so I am apparently at my image limit for a post, so I will break this into two posts ... and you will definitely want to see the next picture (ooooh, dessert tease)

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**In Progress** It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Disney World with a 1 month old - A Trip Report: 08/25-08-29/14
Wait, weren't you just at Disney World? An August '14 Pre-Trip Report - A Pre-Trip Report: 8/25 - 8/29
Ooh-de-lally! A dining heavy October '13 Trip Report - A Trip Report: 10/11-10/18/13
Faint hearts never won fair lady - or got all the ADRs you wanted. - A Dining Review 10/8/11 - 10/15/11
"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" - A Dining Review 10/24/09 - 10/31/09
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:10 PM   #56
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Love all the pictures in this update! And I'm glad the girls had a nice reunion even if it wasn't as planned!
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A trip of firsts- starting with my first PTR for October 2013!
Did Someone Say Adventure?! An Oct '13 TR!
I Think We Should Go Again! A Nov '14 PTR
"Smile like you're massaging my feet!" A Nov '14 TR!

WDW Visits: 1993, 1997
Disneyland/California Adventure Visit: 6/26/12
Pop Century with DBF: 1/4/13-1/12/13 - MNSSHP/F&W trip with Mom & Dad: 10/5/13-10/12/13 - An Early Christmas with Mom & Dad: 11/8/14-11/15/14
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:08 PM   #57
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Backing up a couple updates...

Olivia definitely has the princess pose down with the faux characters at DTD. That deluxe autograph book doesn't have Belle? I thought she was in the in-crowd, guess not. Oh, and now I have to keep track of all 7 princesses autographs? That's asking a lot don't ya think? The problem is that if you put that challenge out there I've got to accept.

I'd say that even if you didn't get a TiW or AP discount with your grocery purchases, there's the implicit savings just by not eating all your meals on Disney property.

Very nice timeshare. Truly! So spacious and that kitchen looks like it is just waiting for someone to cook you dinner!

Speaking of dinner. I'm a new fan for Kona Café for dinner. I love that bread. In fact, I consider it a meal if you place a small sprig of parsley on it. I've had the steak last trip and enjoyed that as well. But those sticky wings look really good. BTW: My mother confuses overly highly seasoned food with "spicy" food.

Cute photos of your DD and you at the Poly. And when I say cute, let me clarify, Olivia was adorable, the two of you together were cute! Whew! I don't want to mess with your man card.

Awaiting the dessert photo... hmmm... what was it?
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:47 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missangelalexis View Post
Love all the pictures in this update! And I'm glad the girls had a nice reunion even if it wasn't as planned!
Thank you - they did have a nice reunion. I think they were both fairly over-excited by everything going on (the entire trip was a surprise for Tara) that they were almost in shock at that point

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
Backing up a couple updates...

Olivia definitely has the princess pose down with the faux characters at DTD. That deluxe autograph book doesn't have Belle? I thought she was in the in-crowd, guess not. Oh, and now I have to keep track of all 7 princesses autographs? That's asking a lot don't ya think? The problem is that if you put that challenge out there I've got to accept.
*ding* *ding* *ding* Congratulations! You just won Americas 4th favorite message board game show: What Princess is Missing?!?!?!?

Belle is in fact in the book, making it an even 8 we had to meet.

... and this is not because I just forgot, nope, definitely not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
I'd say that even if you didn't get a TiW or AP discount with your grocery purchases, there's the implicit savings just by not eating all your meals on Disney property.

Very nice timeshare. Truly! So spacious and that kitchen looks like it is just waiting for someone to cook you dinner!
that is true. We didn't wind up eating much in the room - some breakfasts and snacks. Where it really helped was getting a 24 pack of water for what like one bottle costs in the park and having those with us each day. With that and some snack food we actually did a pretty good job of minimizing snack purchases in the parks. Well, at least snack purchases just because we needed "something", we still bought necessities like Dole Whips and anything from the Food & Wine Festival

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
Speaking of dinner. I'm a new fan for Kona Café for dinner. I love that bread. In fact, I consider it a meal if you place a small sprig of parsley on it. I've had the steak last trip and enjoyed that as well. But those sticky wings look really good. BTW: My mother confuses overly highly seasoned food with "spicy" food.
It was our first time to Kona and we really enjoyed it ... I agree with you about the bread - does need the side salad you mentioned, then you would have the 4 main food groups covered: Salad, Bread, Butter, and Nuts

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Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
Cute photos of your DD and you at the Poly. And when I say cute, let me clarify, Olivia was adorable, the two of you together were cute! Whew! I don't want to mess with your man card.
no worries, I think I lost my man card a while ago ... I mean, I do have a 4 year old daughter who loves when people play dress up with her for tea parties. But thank you - it is sometimes hard to get her to take "nice" pictures but easy for her to take cute ones ... granted I might be a tad biased.

Quote:
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Awaiting the dessert photo... hmmm... what was it?
yes, what could it be?
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**In Progress** It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Disney World with a 1 month old - A Trip Report: 08/25-08-29/14
Wait, weren't you just at Disney World? An August '14 Pre-Trip Report - A Pre-Trip Report: 8/25 - 8/29
Ooh-de-lally! A dining heavy October '13 Trip Report - A Trip Report: 10/11-10/18/13
Faint hearts never won fair lady - or got all the ADRs you wanted. - A Dining Review 10/8/11 - 10/15/11
"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" - A Dining Review 10/24/09 - 10/31/09
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:14 AM   #59
DisneyKid4Life
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Awww Phil, such great photos of you all in the Grand Ceremonial House. What a lovely family you are.

Isn't it always the way? You plan and plan to a big reveal... and someone has to go to the bathroom. Seen it a million times.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:42 AM   #60
khaleesi
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I need to remember NOT to reading dining posts when I'm hungry! Probably a good thing (for me) that the dessert pics haven't been posted yet. Haha. Everything looks so good.
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