**UPDATED Jun 7** ~Chestnuts Roasting on an open fire~ A Christmas Dining Review

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by TinkerBelle_325, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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

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


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

    Imagine "The Christmas Song" as sung by Nat King Cole and that is my perfect Christmas feeling :cloud9:

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

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

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

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


    WHEN?

    Friday, December 14th - Friday, December 21st

    WHERE?

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

    DINING ITINERARY

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

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

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

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

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

    Wednesday, December 19th
    DINNER - Jiko
    Thursday, December 20th
    DINNER - Monsieur Paul
     
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  3. butiflfeet

    butiflfeet DIS Veteran

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    I'm so excited for your trip! We went to Disney World in December a couple of years ago and I'm dying to go back during the Christmas season. Its my favorite time of year! I hope you have tons of fun!
     
  4. pumba

    pumba DIS PUMBARIZER Moderator

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    sounds great to me too..
    Have a great trip and enjoy all the excitement that is there during this time of the year...
    We have gone to Disney a few times during December and it was amazing...
    PLUS a few times COLD...so make sure you bring your NY jackets...
    Have fun
     
  5. TigerKat

    TigerKat DIS Veteran

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

    Can't wait to read your live reports!:cool1:
     
  6. suburbiatexas

    suburbiatexas Earning My Ears

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    i have a feeling this report is going to be awesome....we arrive dec 30 :) can NOT wait!
     
  7. WDWaddictt

    WDWaddictt DIS Veteran

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    I am joining along! Can't wait to read more...
     
  8. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    We are so excited to go in December :) We can't wait to see all the decorations.

    We have been in January before, we will definitely bring jackets & gloves! Just in case.

    Awesome! We are really looking forward to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party! :)

    Thanks for reading!

    Thanks :)
     
  9. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    SINGLE DIGITS!!
    Yay! 9 days until we leave for WDW :)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    December 21st
    Magic Kingdom in the morning​

     
  10. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    LESS THAN 48 HOURS!


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

    DINING ITINERARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Friday, December 21st
    BREAKFAST - King Kamehameha Club
    LUNCH - Be Our Guest
    DINNER - Orlando Airport
     
  11. suburbiatexas

    suburbiatexas Earning My Ears

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    will look forward to your report! looks amazing (but there are no naps scheduled!)...

    have a great time!
     
  12. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    LOL There will definitely be naps :) Most afternoons we are used to hitting the pool, but it looks like it will be a touch too cold for that - so naps will do instead :thumbsup2
     
  13. disneydreaminA115

    disneydreaminA115 Long time lurker - coming out to play!

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    How funny!! I am leaving out of the Buffalo airport for the World on the 13th!!! :cool1::cool1:
     
  14. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    We are here!


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

    And! We ate at Jiko tonight :)

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

    Right now I am operating off of barely any sleep so I am off to bed! I will have lots of interesting things to report tomorrow!
     
  15. butiflfeet

    butiflfeet DIS Veteran

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    Wow! Sounds like an exciting trip so far. Rest up, I can't wait to hear more!
     
  16. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    Oh my goodness this has been a busy trip full of changes!!

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

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

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

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

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


    Friday, December 14th
    Jiko

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

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

    Oscar was our server for the evening and was fantastic!

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Both offerings were outstanding!

    For the next round we had

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

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

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

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


     
  17. CaliBear

    CaliBear DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the Jiko apps review! We are also staying at AKL and have a Jiko reservation our first night. I've debated cancelling, but I think if I stick to appetizers and dessert I'll be happy. Plus my fiancee is going to love that pork belly salad. :)
     
  18. butiflfeet

    butiflfeet DIS Veteran

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    Jiko looks fantastic as always!

    I'm glad you're enjoying AKL. We stayed at Kidani about a year ago when we booked a last minute trip by DVC standards. It was about 2 months in advance and there was only availability at AKL so we took it. We loved it there. The theming is fantastic and being able to see the animals is awesome!
     
  19. MamaJessie

    MamaJessie DIS Veteran

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    Looking for holiday DDRs, hope there is more to come :)
     
  20. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    OK, once again I have been shameful and neglected my loyal readers! But I'm back to finish up this review and....

    ANNOUNCE ANOTHER TRIP!

    First things first. Why on earth did it take me so long? Well, when we got back from WDW I came down with pneumonia :scared1:

    Yeah, it was awful. It took a full month to recover and one of those weeks I was back to school to complete the Winter term of my MBA program. The program is incredibly labour intensive and I've literally just had time to come up for air in the past week or two.

    I am currently in my final term of the MBA program and working on my 40 page thesis :sad::scared::faint: I will definitely need our upcoming vacation.

    Speaking of which, my next trip is September 3rd - 12th at Coronado Springs! :thumbsup2pixiedust::cloud9::woohoo:

    I'll be starting that trip report soon, but for now I have lots of reviews coming your way ASAP!
     
  21. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    Be Our Guest Lunch
    Using Club Level Advanced Reservation System


    When we checked into the Polynesian we were offered the opportunity to take place in the Be Our Guest Advanced Reservation System program. It had just launched that week and is part of MyMagic+.

    During our Poly check-in we were handed an iPad and walked through Dates & Times available to participate in the trail. They explained that the time works like a FastPass allowing us to bypass the line waiting to enter Be Our Guest. We were also able to view the menu and place our orders in advance. The iPad had pictures and descriptions of each item on the menu.

    This is what our "FastPass" looked like:
    [​IMG]

    When we arrived at Be Our Guest the line was VERY long. It was about 5 people wide and stretched all the way across the bridge and out to the entrance of Enchanted Tales with Belle. We were instructed to head to the guard shack at the left side of the bridge. Here we handed in our FastPass and received a yellow rose. We also paid for our meal at this point. The roses handed to guests in the normal line are red.

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    We were escorted across the bridge and into the restaurant. Our CM asked where we wanted to sit and we selected the Rose Room. It was absolutely beautiful with the giant music box and portraits lining the walls. Once we arrived at our selected table the CM set down the yellow rose and told us our food should be along within a few minutes.

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    We ordered one of each soup to share, DDad had the Turkey Baguette, DMom the Vegetable Quiche and I had the Croque Monsieur. For dessert we got two chocolate creme puffs and a lemon meringue cupcake.

    The food looked delicious but sadly we all found it on the bland side. The potato and leek soup and the chocolate creme puff were the best items. DMom said the quiche was mostly egg with some cubed veggies tossed on top. It was disappointing. DDad said the turkey was a bit dry and the sandwich would have benefited from more sauce. The croque monsieur was ok. I have had much better.

    Overall we would give Be Our Guest a 6 out of 10 for food. But the experience and atmosphere were absolutely a 10! We were glad we tried it out.

     

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