Two Germans Dine Deluxe Again ... (FINISHED!)

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by annichan, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    Hello everyone who may be reading this,

    As some of you may possibly remember (even though with the abundance of wonderful dining reports here on the DIS, I don’t delude myself thinking that many of you will), these two Germans in question spent their slightly belated honeymoon :lovestruc in Walt Disney World in 2009, eating their merry way through 34 meals on the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan and writing a report about it :surfweb:.

    Even though they enjoyed themselves tremendously, they both agreed that the Deluxe Dining Plan was just way too much food, and that they would never book it again. Ever. Under any circumstances.

    Now, the time came when the two Germans wanted to return to Disney World. Fortunately for them, they didn’t have to wait too long, it was only 18 months after their previous visit: in October 2010. They planned and researched, and finally they booked their 11-night stay at WDW, to be gloriously preceded by their first ever Disney cruise. :cloud9:

    It will not come as a surprise to most of you that these two Germans are in fact myself and my husband (after all, this little narrative trick is not exactly novel): DH is 34 and a software consultant, and I am 37 and work in a book publishing house. What may come as a surprise to you, however, is that we went and booked the Deluxe Dining Plan all over again. I know. Don’t ask me, it must be something in the water in Germany.

    The result was a wonderful trip with lots of wonderful food and quite a few nice photos – and I had been meaning to make a dining report out of it from the start. Due to unforeseen circumstances (plain old laziness also playing a part in there :rolleyes1) I didn’t get around to ever write that dining report once we returned.

    "Better late than never" being an ever-popular saying in Germany just as it is in the States, however, I shall endeavour to remedy that now: So here it is, my all-new dining report, probably briefer and less detailed – after all, I don’t remember all that perfectly what I ate six months ago -, but since the new DIS guidelines say this report will have to be finished within three months, at least I won’t be able to make you wait too long for upgrades as I did last time! :thumbsup2

    Oh, and before I forget: I am not a native speaker of English, so please take that into account if I'm making no sense at all (great excuse, isn't it? :lmao:)

    So, here come the restaurants I will be reporting on, in order of appearance:

    A very incomplete dining report of a week’s dining on the Disney Magic
    The Coral Reef (lunch)
    The Dole Whip (a premiere)
    The Yachtsman Steakhouse (dinner)
    The Crystal Palace (breakfast)
    Tony’s Town Square (lunch)
    Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
    Beaches and Cream (early lunch)
    Le Cellier (late lunch)
    Mama Melrose's (lunch)
    Narcoossee's (dinner)
    Tusker House (breakfast)
    Yak & Yeti (lunch)
    Jiko (dinner)
    Kona Café (breakfast)
    Lombard's at Universal Studios (lunch)
    California Grill (dinner)
    Captain's Grille (breakfast)
    Trails' End (lunch)
    Ghirardelli (as three meals a day are simply not enough ;))
    Raglan Road (dinner)
    Kouzzina (breakfast)
    Citricos (dinner)
    Fireworks Dessert Party
    Kouzzina (back for more breakfast)
    The Hollywood Brown Derby (dinner)
    Boma (breakfast)
    Sanaa (lunch)
    Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue (dinner)
    Kouzzina (breakfast yet again)
    Flying Fish Café (dinner)
    Cape May Café (breakfast)
    Marrakesh (lunch)
    Epcot Food & Wine Festival booths (shockingly even more lunch)
    Final thoughts (the Best and the Worst)


    Oh, and one more thing: Next time we won't book the Deluxe Dining Plan again, for sure. But you already knew that.
     
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  3. GoofySon'sMom

    GoofySon'sMom DIS Veteran

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    Love it! :thumbsup2 I am in!

    Difference with us is that we say we would never go to WDW without Deluxe Dining! :upsidedow
     
  4. DisneyMamato4

    DisneyMamato4 Disney Obsessed!

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    Can't wait! I'm in!
     
  5. teachermommy78

    teachermommy78 DIS Veteran

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    Joining in!!! I'm a newbie to your reports. Pleased to meet you!!!
     
  6. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    A Disney cruise is an absolutely wonderful experience. It is relaxing, it is magical, you get pampered, meet great people and see exciting new places.
    It’s the best thing there is, next to a holiday at WDW, and DH and I were immensely happy to be able to experience this. However, as this report is all about the food, I shall say no more about the glories of cruising with the Mouse – there are lots of great trip reports on the subject.

    This, like I said, is all about the food – and yet sadly lacking in that department. I had originally planned to start my dining report only after the cruise, at WDW. Later, when the idea came to me to include the cruise portion of our trip in the report, I was much too excited and overwhelmed with all the new experiences most of the time that I forgot to take any pictures.

    At dinner, there was another thing that prevented me from taking too many food porn pictures: We had met a dozen extremely nice people on the cruise whose dinner table we were lucky to share every evening, and I didn’t want them to think I was totally crazy. :lmao:
    So I only took a picture every now and then, almost never including DH’s food. So, there. It’s not my fault that you get to read so little – complain to our tablemates if you like. :thumbsup2

    The first food I photographed was the sailaway gift I had delivered to our stateroom for DH (and, well, myself :rolleyes1) to enjoy: the Bon Voyage package consisting of a bottle of champagne, some petits fours and chocolate-covered strawberries.

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    Here is a piece of advice to all first-time cruisers who are toying with the idea of ordering this: Do by all means order the champagne, but leave out the food! On a Disney cruise you can have yummy food anytime and from lots of different locations, and if you go hungry, "you are not trying hard enough" (to quote the Passporter Guide on Disney Cruise Line).

    That said, the petits fours were really nice! The name suggests a bit much, maybe, but they were very tasty biscuits. The strawberries, on the other hand, were a bit dry. Still definitely a pretty sight to behold on entering our stateroom for the first time, though.

    This report continues on our second evening onboard, at Lumiére’s restaurant. We were thoroughly happy to be there, to sit with our new-found friends (not to mention the best servers in the world – here’s to Hilash and Nergis!).

    This is what I had:

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    Avocado-Citrus Salad with Iceberg and Radicchio Leaves and an Orange Vinaigrette

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    Aged Angus Grilled Beef Tenderloin on Olive-Oil covered Potatoes, Bacon-wrapped Green Beans, and a Mustard Madeira Sauce (said potatoes already having been vicously attacked by my cutlery at the time the pic was taken - sorry, gluttonous German here! ;))

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    Lumiére's Sweet Temptations (A Trio of Crème Brulée, Chocolate Mousse, and Praline Petit Choux). The Crème Brulée was my favourite!
     
  7. GovieMom

    GovieMom DIS Veteran

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    Your reports and pictures are awesome! Thanks for sharing with us; looking forward to the rest.
     
  8. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    The next food I photographed was during the Champagne Brunch at Palo. For all who haven't cruised with Disney before - Palo is the signature dining experience on the ship, a Northern Italian cuisine-influenced restaurant that costs a little extra charge (unlike all the other food which is included in the price of the cruise), but it is definitely so worth it. And here come the pictures to prove it:

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    Just to set things straight from the start: This is a CHAMPAGNE brunch. Not a juice or coffee brunch. ;)

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    Continuing with the other most important things: The dessert buffet.

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    And closer - for those of you who still don't seem to smell the glorious fumes of chocolate wafting up from the buffet :lovestruc

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    Seafood.

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    More seafood.

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    Mmmmhh ...

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    My first plate was decidedly fishy. (So was my second, by the way - I love my seafood!)

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    The view from our table did a lot to enhance our dining experience even further - picture-perfect beautiful! :love:

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    Next, we ordered some hot food: eggs benedict for me, some chicken dish for DH and an additional plate of oysters for me :love:

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    And sadly, only one plate of dessert! Must eat more ... must exercise stomach to want more food ...

    It is a real pity you can normally only book one Palo brunch per cruise - I could have eaten there every day! (I admit that I did eat there twice as our friends kindly invited us over for their group brunch in a private room - thanks so much folks!)

    Later that day, we went to a Martini tasting, by the way - does that count as food? ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  9. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    The next evening was reserved for Prince & Princess Dinner, one of the special dinner themes on Disney ships. Please don't ask me why (for alas you shall not get answers :thumbsup2), but I have only photographed and conscripted to memory what I had as an appetizer, the Roasted Roma Tomatoes and Herb Flavoured Goat Cheese on Mixed Greens with Aged Balsamic Vinegar Dressing.

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    Sadly, the tomatoes were as lacking in taste as those here at home in Germany - typical "greenhouse tomatoes" with not a lot of flavour. On the other hand, I am a big fan of goat cheese, and as this little dish was also very nicely presented it gets a thumbs up.

    Moving on from royalty to cartoon characters, the following evening saw us at Show Dinner at Animators Palate, a restaurant all in black & white decorated in black & white Disney cartoon sketches, where … something pretty happens during dinner (no, I’m not going to spoil it for those of you who still have their first Disney cruise in front of them and don't already know from these boards anyway!).

    This was my appetizer:

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    The Ahi Tuna Tartare with Caviar, Chives and Wasabi Cream. And bad photographic lighting. But it was delicious! I’m a fan of tuna tartare, so you will probably never hear me saying a bad word about it unless it really really deserves it. But this was truly good.

    With dinner, I also had a cocktail, fittingly as badly lit as the food:

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    True Colours (Captain Morgan, Crème de Banana, and Orange Juice, topped with Strawberry Puree).
    Was this truly the one? I admit that I am not sure, I am not very good with cocktails, I just seem to remember this name from the menu. So please correct me, oh ye cocktail experts, if what I am writing makes absolutely no sense.

    The main course:

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    The Asian Marinated Beef Tenderloin on Wasabi Mashed Potatoes with Bok Choy and a Tamarind-Barbecue Reduction.

    Well, this picture is not entirely appetizing, I realize – my apologies to everybody who is now never going to order this dish despite its mouth-watering description. In all honesty, I don’t even remember if it tasted as great as it sounds, or as ho-hum as it looks. For my own sake, I hope for the former to be true.

    And on to dessert:
    (You do realize that I was starting to become bolder and photograph all my courses regardless of what my tablemates were thinking of me, right?)

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    Strawberry Sable with Passionfruit Cream. I think. Once again, please correct me if I’m wrong. And yes, I do realize that this report would be much better if I had any actual descriptions of taste instead of just pictures and confusion. I will try to do better in the future …

    Now, who knows but there may still be those among you who are afraid they may go hungry on a Disney ship :thumbsup2. The time has therefore come to mention the midnight dessert buffet :lmao::

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    No, I really truly only took pictures and did not eat a single bite. But this is not because I was a better person than my fellow cruise ship guests standing in line - oh no! I was just totally unable to eat anything ever again due to the wonderful meal I had only just finished:

    Dinner at Palo!

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    Yes, they don't just do brunch of course, but dinner as well, and this was their little plate of bread with spreads and Italian antipasti amuse-bouches to start off the dining experience.

    As with brunch, you are never constricted to just one entree or just one appetizer, but are free to order several to try from if you are so inclined. I had several wonderful pizzas which I sadly failed to photograph, and then this:

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    Tuna Carpaccio and Lemon Oil Dressing: thin slices of Ahi Grade Tuna brushed with our Chef's special Lemon Oil. Won-der-ful!

    Meanwhile, DH feasted on this:

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    Fritto di Calamari: Lightly-crusted Calamari served with Deep-Fried Cherry Peppers. I tried them - very nice, even though no match to my beloved tuna! :thumbsup2

    We both decided on the same entree, and neither of us regretted it:

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    Beef Tenderloin "Palo", served with Palo Signature Barolo Red Wine Sauce (could have had Gorgonzola Sauce instead if we wanted, but this was perfect together.)

    On to desserts - Palo's signature dessert is a very rich chocolate soufflé with chocolate sauce which you have to order 30 minutes in advance as it takes that long to lovingly prepare. Even though tempted, I knew it would have been too much for me, so I settled on this instead:

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    The Panna Cotta with fresh berries, an excellent choice! This is what DH had for dessert:

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    Palo's homemade Tiramisù. I tried it, it was absolutely delicious!

    After this feast, we waddled out of the restaurant to view above-mentioned dessert buffet. I hope you will all understand why we couldn't eat anymore ...

    Anyway, there is probably one more installment to the Disney Cruise Line dining portion of this report, but I shall have to leave that for another time as it is getting late.

    Coming up next, then ... wrapping up a magical week of Disney Cruise Line dining!
     
  10. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    Annichan, great to see you posting again! I am just subscribing now, will need to read later since you already posted so much!! I am looking forward to reading your reviews. :goodvibes
     
  11. JessLovesDisney

    JessLovesDisney The DISney Girl formerly known as VeganRazzleDazzl

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    Great start! Can't wait to read more!!! We are thinking of a Disney Cruise for next year and have 2 WDW trips planned for this year.
     
  12. princessallegra

    princessallegra They call me Mrs. Disney

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    HALLO!!!!! HIIIIII!!!!!! YOU'RE BACK!!!!! GLORIOUS DAY!!!!!! Can't wait to read more!!! AND how exciting, a Disney Cruise!!! :goodvibes:goodvibes:goodvibes:goodvibes
     
  13. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    Yay to my first reader! :banana:

    Pleased to meet you too, thank you for coming along for the report!

    Thank you! I will have the next instalment up sometime tonight.

    Flossbolna, great to hear from you! As you can see, I am trying to move in your footsteps by scheduling at least one Disney-related holiday a year. Not sure I will ever really fill those footsteps of yours though! :worship:

    Welcome to my report! I am sure you will love a Disney cruise, I've become a real fan.

    Wow, what a welcome - how flattering, thank you! I shall try to live up to these high expectations, lose lots of sleep about it and fail dismally. Not. Hopefully. :thumbsup2
     
  14. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    Wow, I never knew that people were thinking that I am a role model to follow! :lmao: But regular Disney vacations appear to be in my future since I decided to splurge on a few BWV DVC points last November - I thought a lot about renting but then realized that I would be much happier owning them. :rolleyes1 The trip you are writing about now is the one where you rented the DVC points, I guess? It sounds like that did work out? :goodvibes
     
  15. Ela1972

    Ela1972 Mouseketeer

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    Hello,
    Hope I am not too late joining in. Have just found your dining review. You make me want to go on a cruise I think it was the dessert table:rotfl:.

    You are also visiting a lot of the places we are hoping to try this October (and MNSSHP!).
    Looking forward to reading more.
     
  16. mstmp

    mstmp So excited for my next Magical Trip!

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    Signing up!! looking forward to your review and WOW that is a lot of Restaurants!
     
  17. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    When I left off, I just said that after our sumptuous Palo dinner there was no way I could have eaten anything at the midnight buffet. Little did you know, however, that I sneaked off to visit our friends at our regular dinner table (which we had skipped for Palo) that night to see how there were doing ... And there I was attacked by a vicious little no-sugar-added dessert which threatened horrible things if I didn't eat it, no matter how full I already felt.

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    So who's to argue with that ...?

    --------------

    Anyway, one of the following nights was the Captains Gala dinner – another occasion to dress up (if you like) and eat to your heart’s (and to your report readers’) content. This evening brought me one of my favourite appetizers once more:

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    Oysters Rockefeller on the Half Shell, stuffed with Spinach, Onions and Butter. Mmmh! I should have ordered another plate of those … (Contemplated it, but chickened out.)

    This was followed by my main course:

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    Gingered Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Shiitake Mushrooms in a spiced Broth.
    I am so sorry I blundered and wolfed down about half the contents of my plate before finally remembering my dining reporter obligations. I actually thought about leaving the picture out of this report, but I couldn't bring myself to do it, as this was so yummy. This picture does not do the dish justice at all – it was really, really delicious! Not as spicy as I would have liked it, but still very good. I would definitely order it again (and hope that I’ll manage to take a proper photo before stuffing my face next time).

    Dessert was this:

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    Captain’s Sweet Temptations (A Trio of Amaretto Cheesecake, Banana Crème Brulée, and a Coconut Macaroon). That was yummy, especially the crème brulée – I just couldn’t help wondering exactly how many different sweet temptations the poor captain has to withstand all the time, as so many different desserts were called thus …


    On this evening, I also got a chance to look at a birthday cake that our waiters presented to one of our tablemates:

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    Don’t get me wrong, I could have tasted it instead of just looking at it had I wanted to – our tablemate wasn’t mean like that :rotfl2:. After having given in to several of poor old captain’s temptations, though, I decided to skip it.

    --------------

    The last full day on the ship brought us to Disney’s own private island in the Bahamas, every Disney cruise guest’s paradise: Castaway Cay. And since you gotta eat even in paradise, a nice buffet awaited us at lunchtime:

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    No, there was more food than just these four salads, it’s just the angle of the picture that somehow suggests there was nothing else to be had.

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    DH showing off his mad skills at making his own hamburger.

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    See, there WAS more food to be had …

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    … and I most certainly had lots of it!

    --------------

    That same evening, as our cruise was coming to an end, it was time for the Till We Meet Again dinner. A bit of a melancholic affair, as nobody wanted the cruise to end … But for DH and I, that also meant that we were about to be on our way to spend 11 glorious days at Disney World! As you can imagine, we were not overly sad that evening and were thus able to fully enjoy this final dinner.
    For you, my trusted readers (erm, you ARE still out there, are you?), this will also be known as “the dinner without entrees”. Don’t ask me why, but somehow I only took pictures of the first and last part of our meal. (Maybe I was overwhelmed by emotions after all …)

    So, here comes my wonderful appetizer:

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    Doesn’t it look great? Doesn’t it sound great? It tasted every bit as great! Agreed, I would not have minded having the tuna a bit more on the raw side, but I am thoroughly impressed how to keep it this degree of semi-raw anyway, with all the hundreds of meals they have to prepare simultaneously.

    Now - I don’t remember seeing it, tasting it or taking a photo of it, yet here it is:

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    DH’s first course, which the menu tells me is a salad of Romaine Leaves with Artichoke Chips, a Roasted Bacon-wrapped Date and Caesar Dressing. (Did I ever mention how the rules of capitalization in menus never cease to amaze me?). Anyway, the Artichoke Chips (heaven forbid I call them plain artichoke chips!) sound intriguing, I wish I had tried one of those.

    This less-exciting-looking, but yummy little soup was what I had next:

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    The Potato Leek Soup, garnished with Sour Cream, Chives, and Caviar.

    Next came the part where my emotions must have gotten the better of me, as the next photo I took was not of any entrées, but of this:

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    A waiter proudly presenting the signature dessert dish, apparently some American specialty going by the name of “Baked Alaska”. (Which I, European know-nothing that I am, found rather funny - what’s next, “Frozen Mexico” or something? :confused3).

    This was not what I ordered, however (this is typical – once I get the chance to try something really exotic, and I balk at it!). Instead I had these – and didn’t you know it:

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    Till We Meet Again Sweet Temptations: A Trio of Celebration Cake, Chocolate Decadence, and Cappuccino Mousse. Yes, yes, I was sweetly tempted yet again :)!

    --------------

    So, here ends the first part of my dining report: An all-too-brief overview of a week’s dining aboard the Disney Magic. I can’t wait to do it again – and in a month’s time, if nothing gets in the way of our upcoming trip, I will!

    Coming up next: Under the sea … Lunch at the Coral Reef!
     
  18. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    Wow, congrats on becoming a DVC owner, I wish I could do that! Yep, this trip was the one were we rented the points for 11 nights at Beach Club Villas, and it worked out really well. Would definitely do it again. We don't have a trip to WDW in the concrete planning stages at the moment (see my tickers if you want to know why ;)) - but when we get around to going to WDW again, we will try to rent points for the Wilderness Lodge Villas!

    Of course you are not too late, I still have about 90% of reviews ahead of me (you will wish you had arrived later to save you all that waiting around for lazy me :lmao:). And please don't expect too much from my MNSSHP report, we hardly ate anything there. (I might have to throw in a couple of general MNSSHP pictures for you!)

    I know, well, what can I say? It was a lot of days, and we like to eat :rolleyes1
     
  19. nodnol

    nodnol DIS Veteran

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    Hello Annichan, looking forward to you report, I tremendously enjoyed the first one!
     
  20. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    Hi nodnol, thank you for coming along! (I hope I'm not saying something silly here - but if I remember correctly, you are Flossbolna's sister, right?)
     
  21. DisneyMamato4

    DisneyMamato4 Disney Obsessed!

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    Love all of your pictures! They look fabulous! I really need to learn to not look at Dining Reports when I'm hungry because at this point a bowl of cereal is just not going to cut it.

    Baked Alaska - It's a dessert made with ice cream and sponge cake that is then covered in meringue and then they either put in in a broiler or as in your picture basically set it on fire to bake and crisp up the outside of the meringue. The ice cream is safe inside though and doesn't melt. It's yummy!
     

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