A Private, Romantic 30th Anniversary Trip- Just Ask My Friends! Last Afternoon: EP p. 37 9/19

natebenma

Beach Club Dee
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Soarin' With Friends


Following our traditional Disney start at the MK, we boarded the monorail for the trip to EPCOT.






I love the views on this ride, especially the preview of EPCOT as you travel above the park.










Food & Wine











The picture above is the backstage area of The Seas. I wouldn’t have realized that if I hadn’t participated in the marine biology program during the 8th grade class trip.


We had these Fast Passes booked for the afternoon:

1:35-2:35 Spaceship Earth

2:45-3:45 Living with the Land

3:55-4:55 Soarin’



We didn’t stop for photos on the way in, but we would have more opportunities later.

The standby for SE looked like it was 10-15 minutes, but we walked right on with our FP.

Our picture was taken at the beginning of the ride, but as reported, they were not included in the building your future ending of the ride.

:(



We were not sure what to do before it was time for our next FP, but since this was our first time at Food & Wine Festival, we decided to visit the Festival Center:








Demonstration wrapping up?


I pointed out the Ghiardelli exhibition. I have seen pictures of the awesome chocolate sculptures so I wanted to check out the displays.


Mark asked “Will I get chocolate?”


When we got there, they were offering samples. Score!


The chocolate creations did not disappoint, but my photos did. There is a purple reflection from something in all of the pictures.





















Wow!!! The artwork is absolutely amazing. Almost too good to eat. Almost.



We grabbed a couple of F&W passports and then headed back to Future World.

We had a few minutes before our next FP window was opening, so I suggested something we hadn’t done with ages: The Seas with Nemo.

I thought of a friend as I took these pictures on the way to the ride:






"Just Keep Swimming!"


:fish:


There was no wait, so we sped through the queue. Which is a little bit of a shame, because I love the beachy theme of this line and some of the clever props.


The ride is colorful and fun, and I especially love the aquariums with the real fish. But we didn’t have time to stick around to explore. Maybe we would be back. Maybe not.


We continued on to The Land for our FP on LWtL.

I was so excited to be going on this attraction- for a variety of reasons, it had been several years since I have had the chance to ride. We almost did it with the 8th graders, but we went too late. After our dinner at Sunshine Seasons, our group went over at 8:30 pm (June) and it was closed down for the night

:(

I finally did the Behind the Seeds tour in January of this year. Loved it! Took a ton of pictures. So many, in fact, that I didn’t feel the need to take any this time on the ride.





You didn’t believe that for a second, did you???




“We’re living with the land. We’re living with the land. We’re living with the laaaaaannnd. Living with the land”- sing along (and clap your hands) if you know the tune.















It was great to ride again!!!



We had about half an hour before our next Fast Pass, which was conveniently located right there in The Land. Although we had dinner reservations at 6:30, we really hadn’t had much to eat that day- breakfast at the airport and the order of corn dog nuggets that we split at MK when we first arrived.

We decided to have a light snack at one of our go to counter service places- Sunshine Seasons.


Mark said “What about that salad you love?”


This time, I gave “the look”. The one that said “I know that you listen to me but sometimes you just don’t HEAR me”


Most of you probably know that I was devastated on the class trip when I discovered Sunshine Seasons discontinued offering the Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese salad with Candied Pecans and a honey vinaigrette.

It was my second favorite thing to eat in the World (for the record, the Macadamia Freakin’ Pineapple Pancakes from Kona Café take the top spot)

Heck, there is even a video of me ranting and eulogizing the salad during the Orange Banded Monkey trip.


“They don’t have it any more”

“Oh”


So we settled on this, Seared Tuna on Asian Noodles.




Which was actually really good. It was light and the perfect portion for a before dinner snack.


But it is no Hall of Fame salad!


When we were done eating, it was time to do something I was really excited about.

No, it was not Soarin’

It was meeting two of my friends for Soarin’!

Nannette and Janet happened to have FP at the same time we did, so we met them for our first time on this new version of the attraction.

We met up with them and got into the FP line.

We talked.

We laughed.

We rode.


Following the sage advice of our ~Ninja friend, we sat in the place she suggested to minimize screen distortion.

Right, girls?


We all loved the new version of Soarin’

It was so great to see them both.

But if there is no picture, it didn’t happen…





We parted ways for now, but we would be seeing them and a few others for dinner the following night at Kona.

Nannette and Janet had dinner reservations at Biergarten with ~Ninja. Missy and Franklin joined them at some point during the dinner. I believe accounts of that spectacle have already been documented here.


Mark and I headed back to the Yacht Club to settle into our room and get ready for our much-anticipated dinner.


Next Up: Do I FINALLY dine at Beaches & Cream? No Way, Jose! (Yes, Way)
 
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PCFriar80

BCV/CT
Joined
Dec 19, 2004
Quite the first day with MK and EPCOT and you haven't even eaten dinner yet. On travel days with an early flight that's when I either hit the wall or get a second wind....more like a breeze! Gotta love those Ghirardelli samples at the Festival Center! Looking forward to the "scoop" on the no way, Jose!
 
  • amazingact21

    Upendi
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2010
    It is fun to get a glimpse of Epcot before you get off the monorail. Like a preview of coming attractions...

    Those chocolate sculptures look amazing. But, then again, I'm always surprised that people have the strength to do anything with chocolate other than shove it in their face. I severely lack that willpower.


    The Seas queue is pretty neat. I just wish it wasn't so blasted dark in there!


    Always a bummer to be reminded that a favorite Disney dish is no longer around.


    How fun to meet up with friends and ride the new version of Soarin' together. I'm also glad to hear it was good!

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a Beaches and Cream ice cream happened!
     

    Wood Nymph

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2012
    I love the pictures that you took from the monorail. They look professional.

    We never made it to the Festival Center during our last trip. We usually stop by to check out the amazing chocolate sculptures and get our free chocolate.

    The picture above is the backstage area of The Seas. I wouldn’t have realized that if I hadn’t participated in the marine biology program during the 8th grade class trip.
    I read a trip report from a college program CM who talked about the aquarium tank and how big it was. Now that I know that the tank is there I can see it easily in your picture.

    Following the sage advice of our ~Ninja friend, we sat in the place she suggested to minimize screen distortion.
    I loved the new Soarin' ride and I have two fastpasses to ride it on our next trip. Unfortunately there aren't any golf balls flying around on this version. Ninja will have to think of a new trick. ;)
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    It's been so long since I've ridden the Epcot monorail. You got some great photos.

    Those chocolate displays are amazing.

    See not take any pictures? Yeah right. Living with the land is a must do for me.

    I can't wait to check out the new soarin.
     
  • wdwnut61

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2002
    Another great installment and your pictures from the monorail are wonderful!
    The chocolate creations are incredible I love the Star Wars ones :darth:

    That's so great you were able to ride with fellow DIS friends.
     

    Ninja Mom

    Attention People of Earth, I come in Peace...
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2012
    I love the pictures that you took from the monorail. They look professional.
    Agreed!

    I loved the new Soarin' ride and I have two fastpasses to ride it on our next trip. Unfortunately there aren't any golf balls flying around on this version. Ninja will have to think of a new trick. ;)
    Yeah, sadly for this trickster of small children and the unsuspecting there is no more golf ball scene. I used to be able to pretend I caught it and then produce an actual ball to the unbeliever. There was once a time at Disney parks where the show was so good one could believe that Disney actually was moving a real golf ball past the guests.

    I suppose for my next trick I am left with trying to straighten the Eiffel Tower :sad2:. I wonder how many guests are aware that these days Disney is just providing the cheapest crap that the low bidders submit. Who ever failed to quality control this Soarin Disney disaster deserves to be fired. And yes... the distortion is that bad.

    ~NM

    PS. I stole that golf ball trick from Dee. God knows who she stole it from...
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Quite the first day with MK and EPCOT and you haven't even eaten dinner yet. On travel days with an early flight that's when I either hit the wall or get a second wind....more like a breeze! Gotta love those Ghirardelli samples at the Festival Center! Looking forward to the "scoop" on the no way, Jose!
    We were pretty happy with what we had done so far that day. We still had a couple more things to do. I am usually ok as long as I keep moving. If I sit or stay in one place for too long on a long day like that, I am toast!

    The Ghiardelli samples were good. Then we ended up getting a ton at turndown every night. The mousekeeper left 10-12 on each visit. Score!!!

    Review of Beaches & Cream coming up soon.

    ::yes::


    It is fun to get a glimpse of Epcot before you get off the monorail. Like a preview of coming attractions...

    Those chocolate sculptures look amazing. But, then again, I'm always surprised that people have the strength to do anything with chocolate other than shove it in their face. I severely lack that willpower.


    The Seas queue is pretty neat. I just wish it wasn't so blasted dark in there!


    Always a bummer to be reminded that a favorite Disney dish is no longer around.


    How fun to meet up with friends and ride the new version of Soarin' together. I'm also glad to hear it was good!

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a Beaches and Cream ice cream happened!
    I love that monorail ride between MK and EPCOT. First you get the resort views on the way to the TTC, then you get to see all of the attractions and the World Showcase when you get to EPCOT.

    I'm with you on the chocolate. The sculptures are amazing and all but the real beauty of chocolate is the taste.

    Oh, man, I miss that salad! :(

    Soarin' was awesome and it was great when we all experienced our first time on the new version together.

    Well, I hate to give too much away, but you might end up being disappointed.

    :eek:

    You are right. When there is no line at Nemo, and you are moving quickly, you have to watch your step since it is so dark in there.
    All the cool kids sit in B1 on Soarin'. :D

    :fish:
    Of course!

    :rotfl2:


    I love the pictures that you took from the monorail. They look professional.

    We never made it to the Festival Center during our last trip. We usually stop by to check out the amazing chocolate sculptures and get our free chocolate.

    I read a trip report from a college program CM who talked about the aquarium tank and how big it was. Now that I know that the tank is there I can see it easily in your picture.

    I loved the new Soarin' ride and I have two fastpasses to ride it on our next trip. Unfortunately there aren't any golf balls flying around on this version. Ninja will have to think of a new trick. ;)
    Oh my gosh, thank you so much! What a nice thing to say!

    That was my first time seeing those sculptures in person. You wouldn't be able to tell they were made of chocolate if you didn't know. Can't go wrong with free chocolate!

    I can't remember the exact details, but I think when EPCOT first opened, the tank was the largest or second largest salt water aquarium (in the US)?

    I was trying to think of a new trick, but the only thing I could come up with involved a squirt bottle of water. Don't tell ~Ninja!

    :goodvibes
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    It's been so long since I've ridden the Epcot monorail. You got some great photos.

    Those chocolate displays are amazing.

    Dee not take any pictures? Yeah right. Living with the land is a must do for me.

    I can't wait to check out the new soarin.
    When we go to the MK in the morning, we typically take the monorail to EPCOT on the way back to the Beach or Yacht Club. We will hop over to that park and do a few things before returning to the resort.

    I have no creative talent, so I admire artists in any medium- paint. Legos. chocolate. The sculptures were awesome!

    I know! Of course I took pictures!

    I think you will like the new Soarin!

    :thumbsup2


    Another great installment and your pictures from the monorail are wonderful!
    The chocolate creations are incredible I love the Star Wars ones :darth:

    That's so great you were able to ride with fellow DIS friends.
    Awwww! Thanks for the kind words.

    I loved the Star Wars chocolate figures. They were actually the hardest ones to photograph. I have 4-5 totally blurry pictures or ones with horrendous reflections.

    I have been so lucky to be able to sometimes take trips with friends and to travel at the same time as them on occasion.

    :grouphug:


    Agreed!


    Yeah, sadly for this trickster of small children and the unsuspecting there is no more golf ball scene. I used to be able to pretend I caught it and then produce an actual ball to the unbeliever. There was once a time at Disney parks where the show was so good one could believe that Disney actually was moving a real golf ball past the guests.

    I suppose for my next trick I am left with trying to straighten the Eiffel Tower :sad2:. I wonder how many guests are aware that these days Disney is just providing the cheapest crap that the low bidders submit. Who ever failed to quality control this Soarin Disney disaster deserves to be fired. And yes... the distortion is that bad.

    ~NM

    PS. I stole that golf ball trick from Dee. God knows who she stole it from...
    Wow! Thanks for the compliment on the monorail photos. That means a lot to me.

    I did not know you got the golf ball thing from me. I read it in a couple of trip reports, prior to the first class trip I took in June 2012. That was the first (and only) time I ever executed the trick. One gullible friend of Nate. As some of you may recall, I did bring golfballs on the class trip in 2015, and I had the perfect mark- one of Ben's friends is very gullible. And I forgot to pack the golf ball the day we went to EPCOT and rode Soarin'

    :headache:

    I loved what you did on our August trip- passing along the ball to a family with young kids.

    :goodvibes
     
  • ddluvsdisney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2010
    Looks like a great day! I love love love the new soarin!
    The chocolate sculptures always amaze me.
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Looks like a great day! I love love love the new soarin!
    The chocolate sculptures always amaze me.

    The day was fun so far and it's not over yet!

    We really loved the new Soarin'. I have to admit we had started to get a little bit "over" the previous version- we saw it a lot in our 4 days at Disneyland.

    The chocolate sculptures were incredible. I had seen pictures from past years, but there is nothing like seeing them in person!

    ::yes::
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Settling In, Yacht Club Regatta Lounge

    After Soarin’ with friends, we returned to the Yacht Club. Although I have already posted pictures of our room in this report, this was our first time actually seeing the room. Our checked luggage had magically appeared in our room and we took a few minutes to unpack and get settled.

    I plugged in my point and shoot camera to charge and hoped for the best.

    We had dinner reservations at Beaches & Cream at 6:30, but that didn’t stop us from visiting the Regatta Club Lounge when it opened for appetizers at 5.

    For research purposes, of course!


    The couple of things we sampled were tasty.

    Sunday October 16



    Beet and Goat Cheese with Spiced Pecans

    Not quite my salad... :(



    Salmon Rosettes with Cucumber











    Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Triangles





    I posted an extensive set of pictures of the club lounge and the offerings throughout the day. If you are interested, click on the links. If not, go to the next post for the Beaches & Cream update.


    Yacht Club Regatta Lounge


    Breakfast


    Light Snacks


    Evening Appetizers, Beer & Wine


    Desserts and Cordials



    Next up: Do I FINALLY dine at Beaches & Cream? No Way, Jose! (Yes, Way)- posted on next post
     
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    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Do I FINALLY dine at Beaches & Cream? No Way, Jose! (Yes, Way)


    Everyone knows Beaches & Cream is a popular casual dining spot specializing in burgers, sandwiches and especially ICE CREAM. Two of the iconic treats available there are the Kitchen Sink (something like 6 kinds of ice cream and all sorts of add-ins and “A WHOLE CAN OF WHIPPED CREAM)!” and the No Way Jose, a huge peanut butter and chocolate sundae.

    The restaurant is small and has very limited seating. For a long time, reservations were not taken there, so guests would have long waits for a table. For the past few years, reservations have been accepted and in fact are pretty much required.

    Many of you have probably dined there.

    It is a first day tradition for some of the regulars at the Yacht & Beach Club Resort. It is a go-to destination for visitors staying at other places.

    As the manager of the Yacht & Beach Club FAQ thread on the DIS, it would surprise people when I revealed that I had never had a meal there. My family had one breakfast there, when they were testing a quick-serve option. I shared a takeout ice cream with friends in August 2015. But I had never had a burger and ice cream while seated in one of the very cute booths that are a throw-back to a 1950’s soda shop.

    I have had a couple of reservations to dine there solo- in August 2015 I was going to eat there the night my family dropped me off after our Universal trip and before meeting up with friends. But then my friends invited me along to dine at bluezoo instead. In January 2016, on my trip with Teena, I considered eating there and I had a reservation, but I changed that to a reservation to dine with Teena and my friend Mike and his family at the Cape May Cafe.

    So when it came time to make reservations for the anniversary trip, I decided it was time to right the wrong of never having dined there.

    However, Mark did not understand my compulsion to eat there.

    He made fun of me for months that we had reservations at a place where the specialties were burgers, grilled cheese, tomato soup and ice cream when there were so many other choices at Disney.

    The day we made our reservations in April was also the day we met our DIS friends Missy and Franklin for dinner and when we were discussing the dining plans we had during the same week they would be there, Mark mocked the choice. Of course, Beaches and Cream was a tradition for our friends, but Mark was still unswayed by the choice.

    Although I endured months of teasing, Mark was resigned to the fact we were eating there.

    I hope it delivers!


    It did not start out well, when we checked in about 10 minutes early and were given a buzzer. The host at the stand said we would be seated right at our scheduled time. When 6:30 came and went and we were not called, we went back to the stand. The host said “We can seat you now” and Mark wondered why we were not called.

    We were brought to a booth and looked around at the empty tables.

    Strike one.










    We looked at the menu. I knew for months what I was getting… the grilled cheese with tomato bisque has been rated favorably in many reviews and in comments from friends of mine.

    Mark did not know what he wanted. The menu is not huge and I don’t think he wanted to get a burger. We both love seafood and the description of the Seafood Salad sandwich was intriguing and light, so he ordered that.







    Shrimp and Crab Salad with avocado vinaigrette with pickled cucumber and onion


    Mark and I split our meals.


    My entrée did not blow me away. The tomato bisque was ok. The grilled cheese was very good, but too rich. Even just having half of the sandwich it was still too much.

    Then there was the seafood sandwich. I took a bite. It was tangy.

    That’s unique.

    I had a couple more bites, but that is all I could really eat. I couldn’t taste the crab or shrimp or avocado. All I could taste was the pickled vegetables.

    It was weird.

    Strike two.


    The service we had was not great. The waitress was not very friendly and not very attentive.


    Strike three.


    When she came over to ask us about dessert, we decided to pass.


    Maybe a sundae would have saved the meal for us. Maybe not.


    I wanted to love it and even more, I wanted Mark to love it, but he remains unimpressed by this dining spot, so I doubt I will be back with him.


    Next Up: The Night Ends with a Near Miss and a Bang!
     
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    PCFriar80

    BCV/CT
    Joined
    Dec 19, 2004
    Too bad about your experience at Beaches and Cream. We have never eaten there, probably because it reminds me too much of my early "career" working at Friendlys during High School and College. We have had a cone or two from takeout but that's about it. Nice to have the lounge to fallback on though!
     

    ddluvsdisney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2010
    Dee, I had a delicious beet and goat cheese salad at F&W but cannot remember which booth it was. Wondering if you saw it.
    I can't find my passport to look it up. I think I left it in Florida.
    My DH is taking me back to Disney the weekend before Christmas. I am excited and stressed about the timing. I guess more excited. We tried to change the flight but everything else was too expensive. Ugh!!! I guess I need to suck it up.
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Too bad about your experience at Beaches and Cream. We have never eaten there, probably because it reminds me too much of my early "career" working at Friendlys during High School and College. We have had a cone or two from takeout but that's about it. Nice to have the lounge to fallback on though!
    I don't think we made the best choices for meals. And then we weren't really hungry enough for an ice cream.

    Ha, thanks for sharing your "Friendly's Flashback"

    My high school/college job was Dunkin Donuts. Mark was a cook and then manager at Weathervane Seafood, then I joined him there as a waitress after we got married and before we got "real jobs".

    :goodvibes


    Dee, I had a delicious beet and goat cheese salad at F&W but cannot remember which booth it was. Wondering if you saw it.
    I can't find my passport to look it up. I think I left it in Florida.
    My DH is taking me back to Disney the weekend before Christmas. I am excited and stressed about the timing. I guess more excited. We tried to change the flight but everything else was too expensive. Ugh!!! I guess I need to suck it up.
    We sure did see it! In fact I think that was the only thing we got twice. It was awesome. It was at the place that had the loaded mac & cheese and the chicken & dumplings- Farm Fresh in the World Showcase Plaza. It was funny, the couple of times we were in line to order it, we were the only ones getting the salad.

    ::yes::
     

    Katesdad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2002
    Dee,any chance that the snacking before dinner might have tainted things a bit? I'm sorry you didn't finish with the desert. The No Way Jose is great but I think we're going for the Mickey's Pants this trip. I've always wanted the Kitchen Sink but never have had enough people to join me in eating it. I think DW and I (okay, maybe just me) can do a Mickey's Pants. Need that container to bring home for the grandkids to eat out of. I have always done the hamburger but was going fo the grilled cheese and soup on this trip.
    Katesdad
     

    JanetMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 8, 2006
    Those CL dishes look delicious. Too bad about B&C. Sometimes no matter how hard we wish, an experience cannot be saved. We have a soft spot for B&C because on our first trip there we decided to go in just for burgers but no ice cream. The waitress seemed surprised that we weren't having dessert and then the manager came over and gave us a No Way Jose to share since they had someone training to learn how to make it. It was such a nice surprise, that we always walk by with a smile. That said, I still don't think of it as a meal place but rather a place to share a great dessert. We've been known to stop by for a banana split from the take out window on a couple of trips. (Yum!)
     


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