$5 A Day Means Disney MY Way: 17 nights, 26 ADRs, 165 TS credits, 4 Disney events

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by meggiebeth, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Hi there! :goodvibes Thank you for joining in! I hope you enjoy the upcoming updates. ::yes::

    Oh my goodness- what a small world! I think my mum might have spoken to you. While we were eating, only two tables ordered the kitchen sink- you and a table at the bar. I am astonished as I actually remember you! We certainly admire your bravery in tackling such a huge dessert! :worship:

    I am glad someone else agrees with me! I'm still traumatised from my first ride, and despite numerous attempts to persuade me from my family, I do regret a little not riding it again.

    On the bright side, I know the gift shop inside out now! :rotfl:

    Hi there- thank you so much for joining in. :cool1:

    That sounds exciting but distant at the same time! Is your daughter in year 12? (As I am- A Levels are certainly hard work!). We missed two weeks of school for this trip, which none of our schools were happy about.

    I'd love for my mum to plan with me like you do with your DD! :artist:

    It certainly is! :cool1:
     
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  3. Sam1

    Sam1 Mouseketeer

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    It is. It's a small world after all. lol

    Yes, I remember you and your family and thought you looked familiar at the time. I don't remember which one of you went up to get a photo of the kitchen sink at the bar, but I remember it happening. We didn't manage much of the kitchen sink - it was huge!

    It's strange because while I was reading your trip report I kept thinking you all looked very familiar, but just put it down to having read bits of your pre trip report.

    It turns out I caught you and your family on video while I was videoing the kitchen sink arriving (I can post it if you like). It really is a small world. :rotfl:

    Great trip report by the way!
     
  4. DisneyJo

    DisneyJo Missing my tags!

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    Awww bless him but I have to agree it is pretty short, mind you I'm not sure my tummy could handle it being much longer :rotfl:

    I know you've probably been told this many a time but you really will enjoy looking young when you're older :thumbsup2

    I have 2 girls, one in year 11 the other year 13 so a big year!!! I'm doing lots of nagging :rotfl2: WDW is there treat for working hard.

    She doesn't get a choice, I was on the Moms Panel so I'm an uber planner :lmao:
     
  5. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Flying Fish Café

    After an exciting afternoon at DHS we went over to the Boardwalk for our first dinner on the DDP: none less than the Flying Fish Café. I chose this restaurant because my mum is incredibly fond of fish dishes. When, several years ago, we were eating in a restaurant in Sardinia (near to Italy), she refrained from ordering the seafood platter she really wanted because it was simply so expensive. I booked this restaurant to give her a taste of seafood without worrying about the cost!

    We caught the end of a street performing act as we walked on the Boardwalk, and headed right into the restaurant.

    PHEW! It absolutely stank of fish! And really not in a good way, either. It was pretty overwhelming and slightly unpleasant.

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    Its a very unusual restaurant, and it has a very upmarket feel to it. Mainly adults were dining- it is certainly one of the least child friendly signature restaurants in WDW. My dad felt quite uncomfortable- he didnt understand much on the menu, and the prices and general vibe of the place put him off. He isnt used to such upmarket restaurants. If Im honest, I didnt feel comfortable either.

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    Our waitress, Tracy, was absolutely lovely. She was friendly, and leant her glasses to my parents when they couldnt see their menus (they forgot their glasses- and left them at the villa). She started off by bringing out some drinks and fresh bread.

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    The fresh bread was certainly very tasty. We then moved onto appetizers, with my dad ordering the...

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    Yellowfin Tuna Tartare and Crispy Tempura Tuna-Vegetable Sushi Roll

    Hijiki and Wakame Seaweed, Yuzu Tobiko, and Wasabi Foam with a Sweet-and-Spicy Sauce

    Cost: $18.00

    My parents arent big fans of sushi (note my mums experience of sushi at California Grill in 2011) but my dad really enjoyed this. He actually finished it, which probably says a lot.

    My mum ordered the...

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    Mozzarella di Bufala alla Caprese

    Florida Yellow Beefsteak, UgliRipe and Tiny Tomatoes, Aged Balsamico, Exotic Peppercorns, Petite Basil, and Sicilian Olio Verde

    Cost: $15.00

    My mum enjoyed this, although it wasnt exceptional. Tasting an $15 appetizer was pleasing in itself- we dont usually order appetizers at restaurants but the Disney dining plan allowed us to for no extra cost.

    Willum, Rory and I didnt really want an appetizer so just went on to order the main courses. William ordered the...

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    Strozzapreti Pasta d'Abruzzo

    Little Ear Pasta with Rustic Five-Meat Ragú, Sun-dried and fresh Tiny Tomatoes, Arugula, and Pecorino Romano. Also offered as a Vegetarian and Lacto-ovo friendly dish with Pesto-laced Vegetable Primavera

    Cost: $22.00

    William thought this was OK, but the taste was very strong and the meal fairly substantial. He couldnt finish it, and it certainly wasnt his favourite meal of the trip.

    I also ordered this meal, but as a vegetarian option. I requested a tomato sauce instead of pesto, which I dont particularly like. Here is mine:

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    It was OK, but had an incredibly strong and relatively spicy flavour. Im not too familiar with spicy foods so this was a shock. The taste was incredibly powerful, and whilst it was nice, I couldnt eat too much without my mouth burning a little.

    My dad had the:

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    Char-crusted Angus New York Strip Steak

    Yellow Wax Beans, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, and Fall-crop Root Vegetables with Classic Sauce Foyot

    Cost: $43.00

    He liked this, but it wasnt nearly as good as a steak that he tasted at another Disney restaurant (more to come on that!) He managed to eat a good deal of it.

    I havent got a photo of my mums entrée, so either she didnt get one or I just forgot to take a picture. Oops!

    Rory would have had this:

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    Romaine Hearts

    Crisp Veggies, Ranch Dressing, and Little Croutons

    Cost: $4.00

    My mum ate this, and thought it was fine. Its just a plain kids salad though- nothing exceptional.

    He then had this for his entrée entitlement of the DDP:

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    Bowl of Mickey Pasta

    Your choice of Tomato Sauce and Parmesan, Creamy Alfredo, or Creamy Cheddar Sauce. Served with choice of Small Lowfat Milk, Small Dasani® Water, or Small Minute Maid® Apple Juice

    Cost: $8.00

    However we also asked if he could have some salmon, as he is a huge fan of it. Tracey kindly brought some salmon with his Mickey pasta. (Which he requested plain with butter).

    Rory was actually asleep when his meal was brought over- the poor little guy was very tired! We woke him up and he grumpily ate his meal, but he did enjoy it. It was a treat for him having such tasty salmon.

    We were tired and decided to skip dessert. Of course, I couldnt miss out completely. I ended up getting a HUGE two-scoop bowl of chocolate ice cream, which was delicious, on the DDP as a snack credit. Unfortunately I didnt get a photograph- but take my word for it- it was absolutely huge! In the UK, a scoop of ice cream is the size of the ice cream scoop. In WDW, a scoop of ice cream is probably three times the size of the ice cream scoop. If you arent on the DDP and want an ice cream, one scoop is totally sufficient.

    Anyway, back to Flying Fish Café- we got ready to leave somewhat disappointed. The food was just OK- and one would certainly expect more than OK when paying so much for a meal. Overall, my dad was particularly disappointed- he just didnt feel like he fit in!

    Can you tell we look tired?! Tired, but happy to be back home at WDW.

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    Overall Ratings

    Atmosphere: 5
    Food: 5
    Service: 7
    Value: 4

    Overall Rating: 5

    Tune in again soon for more! :dance3:
     
  6. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    We also remember seeing you and your little daughter! My dad ran up to the bar to get a photo of the kitchen sink and then I followed to get my own, but apparently my mum spoke to you at some point. Weird that we came so close and only just realized! :)

    I'd love to see the video if you have time to post it. Thanks for getting in touch and letting me know- it's a great surprise!

    Thanks for the compliment too! It means a lot!

    I'm not sure about that either! The upside down bits make me shake a bit! I have been told that about looking younger all the time, so I take it as a compliment! It works to my advantage a lot of the time, so I am grateful.

    Oh wow, that is a big year! Year 13 is really daunting, and my brother William is in year ten currently preparing for GCSEs (although not very well!) ;)

    That's fantastic you're on the Moms Panel- it must be great giving advice. I thought it was pretty hard to get onto! :)

    Meg~ Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  7. Sam1

    Sam1 Mouseketeer

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    I remember two people came up to me while we had the kitchen sink. One was the lady at the table in front, so the other must've been your mum. It is very weird!

    The clip is only really tiny. I don't think I can embed videos on the forum, but here's the link ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vyBbPp1TYY

    I'll be following along with your trip report. Your food pictures are excellent! It'll give us an idea of where to eat and where not to eat later this year.
     
  8. DisneyTeacher2

    DisneyTeacher2 Earning My Ears

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    Joining in! Loving your trip report and dining report so far! :yay: I've really enjoyed reading how the Florida area/Disney is seen through the eyes of a family from the UK! :) I have ALWAYS dreamed of living in the UK!! Looking forward to reading more! ::yes::
     
  9. DisneyJo

    DisneyJo Missing my tags!

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    What a pity you were disappointed with the Flying Fish, at least you were on the DDP so it didn't cost you but as a 2 credit meal it should be enjoyable!

    I was on the panel in 2009, I was the first ever Brit to be on it and yes it is hard to get on to :rotfl:
     
  10. I_Luv_Stitch

    I_Luv_Stitch Mouseketeer

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    Joining in and all caught up :goodvibes

    Looks like your first disney day was lots of fun especially with that family giving you their FP's!!
    That's a shame you were disappointed with the Flying Fish especially as it's worth 2 credits!

    I love that you have planned this holiday practically all by yourself! And well done to you for saving the money to upgrade to the Deluxe Dining Plan! :thumbsup2
     
  11. ougrad86

    ougrad86 OU Sooners Football Fan!

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    So funny someone reading the trip report showed up in your trip report :cool1:!

    Would love to go to Beaches and Cream and try the Kitchen Sink someday. Just have never had time, and need to go with some ice cream loving folks, which does not describe DH and DS at all!! Someday...:goodvibes

    Loving your report, but I think I will go with you and not bother with the Flying Fish. I am a jeans and T-shirt kinda girl, don't like to get dressed up fancy that often - even wear I work is casual dress code - everyone is wearing jeans and T-shirts.

    We are looking forward to DHS, trying to figure out when to schedule our FP+, since we are driving in that day. They have instituted tiering as well, so cannot FP both RnR and TSM :sad2:! We love both those rides, trying to figure out which line we want to wait in! We probably want to ride RnR more than once though.
     
  12. Jesobelle

    Jesobelle Earning My Ears

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    Hi - just joining. Bit late, I'm sorry. I'm really enjoying your reports - although pics aren't showing up for me, for some reason.

    It's a shame you didn't enjoy Flying Fish. It was one of my favourite meals back in August. We didn't dress up - we'd had a whole park day beforehand - but we did have an early ADR (around 5.15pm) and the restaurant wasn't very full. I had the Signature Flying Fish Cafe Entree Duo: Char-crusted Angus NY Strip Steak and Potato-wrapped Red Snapper and it was incredible. Not best steak (that was Yachtsman) but top 3 definitely. And fish was wow. Shame your experience wasn't as nice.

    I'm very envious of the DxDP - food we had was one of my favourite parts of the experience. I'm just waiting for the lotto win to fund it - and Upper Class flights! A girl can dream... Well done for saving up for it, though. That kind of determination will put you in good stead for the future. I'm hoping that one day I'll have saved enough to return to WDW myself. 2016 here I come!

    I empathise about the looking young thing. I'm 5'1" and have had similar issues for a while. I turn 29 on Friday though, and sadly it has stopped now. I used to be the same as you, and get really tired of being treated like a kid, and wish I looked older. That is no longer the case!
     
  13. tdashgirl

    tdashgirl DIS Veteran

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    Oh bummer, photobucket is not letting me see the photos from last 2 entries :(

    I agree with everyone, you will LOVE looking younger someday :) I used to hate it, now I love it! Of course I had the double whammy of being naturally young looking and having a late November birthday, which meant that I was the last in my class to get a drivers license, turn 18, etc...
     
  14. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Breakfast at Akershus

    After a somewhat disappointing experience at Flying Fish Cafe we got up bright and early the next morning to eat out first breakfast of the trip. Our reservation at Akershus was at 9:40am so we got a decent amount of sleep!

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    We've visited Akershus before on our first trip to WDW in 2011. It was our very first Disney restaurant ever, and my parents were sceptical to say the least. I had begged them to take us to Florida and they reluctantly spent the great sum of money it cost to visit WDW. What many UK visitors do it stay in a rental property offsite and commute into the parks on a daily basis, for a much cheaper price. I persuaded my parents to pay extra so we could stay on site. Entering Epcot on our first park day ever and heading into Akershus was an awe inspiring moment for sure. The restaurant is beautiful; the decor is elegant and the food is delicious.

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    As you can guess, Akershus has now become a family tradition of sorts for our first Disney breakfast.

    We arrived right on time and checked in. We had to wait about ten to fifteen minutes for our table. We took in the Norwegian view as we waited, whilst I snapped a family photograph.

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    We were seated, and our server was friendly but not that impressive. I had read that you could order Mickey waffles separately from the buffet. When I asked, she told me they normally only do them for people with allergies, but she'd ask. Clearly it wasn't a problem as I got a plate of them (but only really got two as my family ate the rest!)

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    The buffet was fairly varied, with lots of fresh fruit, fish and some meats, but all cold. They then bring you a big platter of cooked food, including a wonderful potato casserole that I highly recommend. It's nice to choose cold food whilst getting a variety of hot food that is fresh and hasn't been sitting out on the buffet table.

    Here's my cold plate...

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    Followed by Rory's...

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    And I have two other photographs of plates but am not entirely sure about who they belonged to...

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    Here's the tasty hot platter they bring out!

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    The food at this place is really fresh and tasty, but another attraction. Is of course the princesses. We met Belle just before being seated. There was a Photo Pass photographer there but the great thing is that you get a special photo and folder included in the buffet price.

    The princesses visiting the tables do vary, so the ones we met were...

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    I was disappointed Mulan wasn't there (for the second time in a row) as I have heard that she often is present. Mulan is one of mine and Rory's favourite Disney characters, but we didn't find the time to meet her in China.

    The princesses also do an adorable procession where little girls (and boys!) can get up and parade around the restaurant with the princesses.

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    Many people ask the question 'Cinderella's Royal Table or Akershus?' I have to say, both are very different, and we ate at both this trip. Cinderella's Royal Table can't be beaten for location- and nothing quite tops being inside the castle. However there isn't the choice of food you get at Akershus, and the service tends to be not as good as Akershus... I'm presuming because gratuity is already included at CRT. Both restaurants allow you to meet the princesses, but for us, Akershus is cheaper than CRT but still a very expensive TS restaurant. For this reason, it's fabulous value on the DDP at just one credit.

    Overall, Akershus remains one of my favourite restaurants and will be a 'must do' for all our trips at WDW. In fact I always recommend Akershus and Chef Mickey's as the quintessential Disney character meals.

    It will always have a special place in our heart as the first Disney restaurant we ever ate at. I fondly remember that first trip to Akershus when my parents were in absolute awe of what WDW offered.

    Overall Ratings

    Atmosphere: 8
    Value: 5 (OOP) and 9 (DDP)
    Food: 8
    Service: 7

    Overall rating: 8 out of 10

    Thank you Akershus for a magical start to the trip!
     
  15. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Just to let you all know I am working on getting the photographs to come back up, and it should be sorted by tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience! :happytv:

    Thanks for posting the clip! It is hilarious- me and my dad look really grumpy! We must have been engrossed in watching the delivery of the kitchen sink. We aren't normally like that! :rotfl:

    Thank you! How lucky you are going back so soon... I'd love to but my parents aren't so keen. :badpc:

    Thanks for joining in! The whole 'American experience' is superb for Britons to get, and honestly, I just can't wait to return. That's funny you've always dreamed of living in the UK... it really is beautiful in places. Have you ever visited? :rolleyes1 :goodvibes

    Yes, it is a shame, but I guess we learnt our lesson. :cool1: Wow, that is impressive- I just saw the link to your TR so I'm off to read... :surfweb:

    Thanks for joining in! The first Disney day was super, although FFC did add a slight dampener. I guess my family isn't very sophisticated! :rotfl2:

    Thank you! All the saving really did pay off! :woohoo:

    I know, what a lovely surprise! ::yes::

    You certainly should visit Beaches and Cream. I think it's a great idea to go and eat before getting the boat to DHS. It's a pretty affordable TS restaurant (and probably a lot cheaper than what is offered in DHS... and Epcot...)

    I'm glad someone else is with me regarding the Flying Fish Café. I like wearing pretty dresses, etc, but it just felt a little uncomfortable because it was so upmarket, and we aren't big fine dining fans.

    Tiered FP+ really does suck- that is the major disadvantage for me. When we went, FP+ wasn't tiered, so I can't imagine going with just one headliner a day. :furious: I'd go for Rock n' Roller Coaster- Rory's favourite! That said, TSM gets pretty busy. :confused3

    Thanks for joining in!

    So sorry about the photos not showing up... it should be sorted by tomorrow. :confused3 How frustrating!

    I'm glad you did enjoy the Flying Fish Café- your entrée sounds fabulous! I think we might have made the wrong entrée choices. We can always try it another time! I'm glad to hear Yachtsman Steakhouse is consistently good- it was superb for us too!

    Thanks for the compliments. :goodvibes I too dream of a lottery win... my dad has entered the lotto for years but the price hike of tickets has put us off a bit! :rotfl2: As for the upper class flights- that's an ambition I share too! I agree, for us, the food totally makes the holiday. Half the experience is the dining, which is plentiful at WDW! The DDP allows us to experience so much without worrying about the price.

    That's a shame you no longer look as young for your age! My cousin is in her mid thirties and still gets mistaken for a teenager, so I am not getting my hopes up. :rotfl:

    Sorry about the photo issue- it should be resolved by tomorrow. :goodvibes

    I am sure I will love it, so won't complain too much! It certainly works to my advantage sometimes now. That's funny- here you'd have been considered old for your class! It goes from those born in September one year to August the next. popcorn::
     
  16. tdashgirl

    tdashgirl DIS Veteran

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    What a nice tradition to have your first WDW breakfast at the same place :) Nice review and yay I got to see the photos! Mulan rotates in at the princess character meals at Disneyland also - I really like her too.
     
  17. mommajo143

    mommajo143 Mouseketeer

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    It's never really occurred to me to do a princess meal for breakfast . . . DH, DS2 & DS6 & I always are hot sweaty & tired in our pictures with Cinderella and other royalty after spending the afternoon in the park. We usually have a BFast @ AK & one before parks open in MK but this will definitely be on my mind in the fall. Our ADRs for next month are set and we will try Akershus for an early dinner directly after naps at hotel about midway through the trip. Since I'm the only girl I can only convince the boys to let me have one princess meal per trip. Glad you had fun & I am so very much enjoying reading along on this report. I keep thinking of all the fun we will have next month! Yay!!
     
  18. partyof2

    partyof2 Colette

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    Hi Megan,

    I am so sorry, I am terrible and have missed so much of your report! I've been kind of MIA from the boards since we got back from our trip; Christmas came around so quickly, then I was away for the New Year, then I was poorly and since then I have been very busy with work.

    We saw you in the photo queue at CRT but I was too shy to come and say hi!

    Your report so far is fantastic, I really appreciate all the detail and your honest reviews.
     
  19. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Noodles, Haggis and Exploring World Showcase

    After a filling breakfast at Akershus we decided to head over to Soarin’ to use our first Fastpass+ of the day. We took a few scenic photographs as we went along...

    One of the Food and Wine Festival posters...

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    My family looking around in awe...

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    We reached Future World and took a few family photos...

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    Before admiring what was ahead of us...

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    Soarin’ was the first ride we ever experienced at WDW and my family were in absolute awe. My dad certainly didn’t expect such a world-class ride at what he thought would be a tacky place. After riding Soarin’ this time, we got a FP to return for later in the day. Our next FP+ was for the Nemo and Friends ride- needless to say none of us were impressed!

    Afterwards, we split up. My dad and brothers went off to ride Test Track without a FP and my mum and I went back around World Showcase. We had a look in the Food and Wine Festival centre, with seminars currently taking place. I imagine it’d be any food lover’s paradise.

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    We walked back through the UK Pavilion and discussed our less-than-stellar experience at the Rose and Crown Pub in 2011. If you are considering it and looking forward to trying British food- don’t try it! The food is absolutely not authentic and tastes pretty processed- unlike fresh yet simple British food.
    We saw Mary Poppins greeting guests as we walked through the area...

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    We looked through Morocco, which we loved!

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    The bustling little markets and beautiful streets made it one of my favourite World Showcase countries. It’s just a shame about the prices- ridiculously high...!

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    And then... onto my absolute favourite pavilion- JAPAN! The Mistukoshi department store is absolutely amazing and fantastic for shopping. It is pricey, but some of the products not so much. They have some beautiful bags, hair accessories and more traditional Japanese products. They also have Mario and Hello Kitty merchandise alongside other things- although they are VERY pricey, especially when they are readily available elsewhere in the US for a far cheaper price.

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    Also in Japan’s Mitsukoshi shop is Pick-a-Pearl. This is such a unique thing to do and I would highly recommend it for a more unusual souvenir. I’ll go into it in more detail when we do it later in the trip. All I must say is NEVER attempt to do Pick-a-Pearl during Veteran’s Day weekend. It is an absolute nightmare! I regret not doing it earlier in the trip when it was far less busy.

    Anyway, my mum was taking photos of me in front of the Japan pavilion when a lady accidentally blocked me out by walking in front of me. When she realised, she was incredibly sweet and apologetic and she and her husband offered to take a photo of my mum and I together. We were very grateful!

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    We caught the end of the candy art demonstration which was entertaining...

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    Before heading over to the American pavilion to meet my dad and brothers. I love this photo of my mum by the fountain...

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    And the ducks were rather entertaining too...

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    After meeting up with the rest of the family, my dad went to the China booth for the F&W Festival and got some noodles, but sadly I didn’t get a photo. He got annoyed later because we passed by the India booth offering chicken curry... which he greatly prefers! We loved the Food and Wine Festival because all the food items could be bought with a snack credit.

    I went over to Scotland and got the vegetarian haggis. I wasn’t expecting it to be authentic, but it tasted just like its Scottish counterpart! Absolutely delicious! (Yet ironic that we travelled thousands of miles across the world and chose to taste haggis in Florida...!)

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    Coming up... our dinner at Garden Grill Restaurant!
     
  20. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Sorry about the photo mishap! :rolleyes: Eating at Akershus is a nice tradition, and always gives us some good memories to reflect on. :cloud9:

    Good to know she does at Disneyland too. My parents are considering going to California and that would of course mean Disneyland. :rolleyes1

    You definitely should consider a princess meal for breakfast! It's a great way to start a fun Disney day! :rotfl: Breakfasts make for less sweaty pictures too! :rotfl2:

    We almost booked a dinner at Akershus, so it'll be interesting to hear how you get on. I have read you get to visit the buffet for cold 'starters' and then can order a hot meal for your entrée. That sounded really neat to me! popcorn::

    If you've been to CRT, I would say that Akershus has a slightly more 'grown-up' vibe that your boys might like. We found CRT to be a bit like a daycare centre with all the screaming children! Akershus was a lot calmer. :upsidedow

    Hi! How great to hear from you! :banana:

    I can understand being MIA from the boards- I don't frequent the trip planning forums much anymore because it just depresses me. :sad1: :rotfl:

    Oh no! You should have come and said hi! I looked out for you but didn't know what to look for, and couldn't hear any Dundonian accents. :rolleyes1

    Thank you for coming over and joining in, and I am very glad to hear from you! :dance3:
     
  21. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Dinner at Garden Grill

    After a long morning at Epcot we were all a little tired, thirsty and hot. We decided to go back to Saratoga Springs to relax by the pool and get changed ready for a much anticipated meal- Garden Grill!

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    Garden Grill isn’t talked about nearly as much as some of the other restaurants in WDW, and yet for me, it was one of my favourites of the trip. It is unique in that the restaurant rotates around the ride below, Living with the Land, which makes for an interesting change in scenery throughout the meal, although it is a little squashed for those trying to move around the restaurant.

    We arrived and waited ten to fifteen minutes to be seated. Our waitress, Pam, was incredibly friendly and gave us a warm welcome. We had lovely conversations throughout the meal- although unsurprisingly Pam was surprised to hear I was 17. This theme was continued throughout the trip, although I am somewhat used to it anyway!

    My family loved the restaurant already. We had a lovely table in a self-contained booth, with lots of space. We enjoyed watching the changing scenes of the ride as it rotated, and the characters were certainly very exciting too!
    Pam started off the meal by bringing us out a big bowl of salad and fresh, warm bread.

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    Basket of Warm Bread with Maple Butter
    “Living with the Land” Harvest-inspired Farmer’s Salad


    Both were absolutely scrumptious yet simple. My dad said to me;

    “See, Meg. This is far better than the Flying Fish Cafe!”

    He felt more comfortable, and he understood the menu! Needless to say, he was relieved that this restaurant was so much more suited to our family than the FFC.

    We were then brought out an ‘all-you-can-eat’ platter, which was made up of...

    • Char-grilled Filet of Beef with Red Wine Sauce
    • Roasted All-Natural Turkey Breast with Lemon Caper Sauce
    • Sustainable Fish of the Day with Roasted Tomato and Pepper Compote
    • Garden Fresh Vegetables
    • Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes


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    All were simple but fresh. The mashed potatoes were really buttery and tasty. We requested more of the turkey and chicken, I believe, during the meal, and Pam was happy to oblige.

    Rory was brought out his own little kids’ platter, which was a nice touch. It included:

    • Oven-roasted Chicken Drumstick
    • Baked Macaroni & Cheese
    • Broccoli
    • Crispy Sweet Potato Sticks


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    He didn't like the crackers on the macaroni cheese, but I think that's because he's not used to them! We don't do that in England. :blush:

    Because I am vegetarian, I ordered a separate meal. Obviously the meaty platter the rest of my family ate wouldn’t be suitable for me! I can’t remember the name, but I had a barbequed vegetable entree. It was very flavourful and tasty, whilst being warming at the same time.

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    We then got given dessert, which both my parents thourougly enjoyed...

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    Fresh-baked Harvest Skillet Cake with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

    They ate most of it, as you can see. My dad asked me to take this photo of him eating it, which is quite funny to look back on!

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    Pam brought out some of the kids’ dessert as well, which was a clever idea...

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    Cupcake Cone with Crisp Pearls

    The cupcake was very fresh and the icing tasty too. I am not usually a fan of icing, though.

    I was wearing my birthday badge, of course, and so Pam was kind enough to bring me a card signed by the gang at Garden Grill, along with a sweet treat!
    The chocolate cake was very tasty, and I am a huge fan of chocolate so this really pleased me.

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    The characters we saw were very fun, with my dad particularly eager to meet Pluto. Chip and Dale liked being mischievous and we had some good moments with them too.

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    And this photo makes me laugh...

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    We left Garden Grill happy, full, and excited for what the next day of Disney dining would entail. Returning to WDW, Garden Grill would most certainly be at the top of my Disney dining list. You don’t hear much about it in relation to other character meals, but the food is simple yet tasty, the atmosphere is truly unique and the service (at least for us!) was also superb.

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    Our overall ratings for Garden Grill are as follows:

    Atmosphere: 9
    Value: 6 (OOP) and 9 (DDP)
    Food: 8
    Service: 9

    Overall Rating: 9

    As a short addition to this update, after our wonderful meal we split up again; my miserable brothers and dad refused to watch Illuminations, even though I'd reserved us places in a special viewing area. They went off to ride more rides and my mum and I watched the fireworks. It was extra magic hours afterwards so we returned to the Mitsukoshi shop in Japan! :cutie:

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