A very merry, friend filled, unexpected unbirthday trip (report) August/September 2019 - updated Dec 31


Mommy to Claire
Oct 28, 2006
The Cast Member who had rung up our bill the last few days had been “promoted” to wipe the tables.
Don’t be fooled, she took some time to do that as well.
That is so hilarious. I just bursted out laughing when I read that.


I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
Nov 15, 2009
I got several updates behind there!

I can't believe you both had appetizers, entrees and desserts at Tony's. We split one of each and left there quite full!

I was afraid when you started to show the parade pictures that they were going to run the rainy day parade instead of the regular one!

Nice to have a fun evening with Michelle and her family! And you have got a good start to your current day. I always want to eat at Wolfgang Puck's Cafe but our trips are not nearly as ling as yours and we seem to run out of places to eat!

Yay for seeing Pam again!
  • dizneeat

    DIS Veteran
    Apr 9, 2006
    Karin, please refresh my old Disney memory : where is “ToTWL and CG”, please?
    ToTWL = Top of the World Lounge on top of Bay Lake Tower, and CG = California Grill, but Jill (thank you, Jill) already told you!

    How nice to meet friends...timing was perfect to Pamela! 💖
    It's one of the best parts of being at Disney, meeting friends and the timing to get to the park was perfect with Pamela.

    Looking forward to reading about your afternoon and evening with Pamela, Michelle, Angelina, and Vito! :lovestruc
    More coming up in a bit. ;)

    That is so hilarious. I just bursted out laughing when I read that.
    :thumbsup2:rotfl2:She definitely was something else. And she didn't hurry up ANY job she had. I wonder if she is still there.

    A family of hedgehogs! That sounds adorable.
    This is the second year they have come to visit us every evening. Doesn't hurt that we feed them ..... ;)

    Joining in
    Thank you for joining! We love to have you here.


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 9, 2006
    Both of those sound delicious!
    They were. WPE is definitely a hidden (or maybe not so hidden) gem. The food is always really good and being served at a Counter Service is such a nice touch.

    I was afraid when you started to show the parade pictures that they were going to run the rainy day parade instead of the regular one!
    We were quite worried ourselves, but one of the Cast Members had told us earlier that they were planning for the regular parade, so that was reassuring.

    Nice to have a fun evening with Michelle and her family! And you have got a good start to your current day. I always want to eat at Wolfgang Puck's Cafe but our trips are not nearly as ling as yours and we seem to run out of places to eat!
    The fireworks cruise with Michelle was so much fun. They are such a wonderful family and I am still sad they were not able to make it on our cruise in 2018. You all would have loved them.

    I always want to eat at Wolfgang Puck's Cafe but our trips are not nearly as ling as yours and we seem to run out of places to eat!
    You really have to plan it in one of the times you are in Orlando. Hey, and while you never stay as long as we do ...... you do go more often. ;)

    Yay for seeing Pam again!
  • dizneeat

    DIS Veteran
    Apr 9, 2006

    Day 4, August 17

    It’s another friend filled day - Part 2

    We stood and chatted for a few minutes and then made our way over to Test Track to meet up with Michelle, Angelina and Vito.
    We waited at the exit for them and it did not take long and they were walking towards us.
    All of us had Fastpasses for Living With The Land and we slowly strolled over to The Land Pavillion, and down to the ride.

    The regular line was pretty long, so, thank god for Fastpass.
    We needed to wait a boat or two until we could get on one that could accommodate Angie’s wheelchair, but then we were off. All of us love this ride, it never gets old.

    Once we got off the idea of going to the DVC lounge was thrown in, but they were to close in a few minutes, so, after Michelle’s son and her daughter in law, Hannah, had said their goodbyes the rest of us walked over to Journey into Imagination to spend some time with Figment.

    But when we got off it was time for Pamela and us to head towards France as we had a reservation at Chef de France, while Michelle and Vito wanted to stroll around World Showcase with Angie and then find a spot to watch Illuminations and we would find them to watch it with them. But there was still time to have a few Photopass Photos taken along the way!

    When we arrived at the restaurant they had a long line of people waiting, so we found a bench and sat down.
    We were surprised when after about 5 minutes a castmember asked us to follow her.

    And follow her we did.

    We went all through the restaurant to the very back, where she looked around, shook her head and motioned us to follow her again.
    We went right back to where we had come from.
    The castmember talked to the greeter, then came back, told us to stay put and walked through the restaurant again in search of a table for us. She finally found one and we walked through the restaurant again.
    We were seated towards the back of the restaurant, handed a menu and we were on our own.
    Even though we all had studied the menu beforehand, it still took us a while to decide on what we wanted to order. Pamela had asked for an allergy menu and since she does not eat meat either, the server had to go back and ask the chef if what she wanted to order was okay for her.
    When he came back he finally took our order and soon after he brought our drinks, water for all of us and two glasses of

    Pinot Blanc for Tom and myself and some freshly baked

    baguette and some butter. Tom and I weren’t overly hungry so we just tasted the baguette, but didn’t eat too much of it.
    It took a little while for our main courses to be served, but we had so much to catch up on that time just flew by.
    And then our food was served.
    Tom had ordered the

    Canard a l'orange, duck breast and leg confit, sweet potato puree, zucchini and sauce a l'orange. I had wanted to try the

    Filet de boeuf grille, Grilled tenderloin of beef with green peppercorn sauce potato au gratin and green beans.
    It didn’t quite look like what I had expected, but it was really nice, so no complaints.
    Since we were on the Disney Dining Plan we were treated to some dessert as well and there was something that looked interesting, the

    Gateau au chocolat, chocolate layer cake with chocolate mousse, chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. It was chocolate overload and I was not able to finish it. Tom had ordered the

    Creme Brulee, which he really enjoyed.
    It took a while until we received our bill, but once it was paid we got in touch with Michelle and started walking towards them. They had found an empty bench between Japan and Morocco, so it was just a short walk.
    Tom and I were stuffed and after sitting on the bench for a while I started to become pretty sleepy.
    And while we still waited for the fireworks to go off, Su-Lynn (chunkymonkey), who was at WDW for the Annual Passholder Preview of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, came by and we chatted for a short while until she had to leave to meet up with her husband again.

    A short while later Illuminations started and we all enjoyed the show.

    Little did we know then, that it would be the last time we saw the complete show.

    We very slowly followed the masses to the exit and when we got there we said goodbye to Michelle and Vito and Pamela showed us a nice little shortcut to our car as she was parked just two rows away from us.
    Instead of going to the right, then left and along the parking lot and then all the way down to our car, she showed us a path that went straight ahead to the right, then a sharp left and we were at the back end of the parking lot.
    We marched all the way down to our cars and when we had gotten to our row we said goodbye to Pamela and walked to our car.

    And then we tried to leave the parking lot.

    It was a madhouse and it took us about 20 minutes to finally leave Epcot, and it had taken us more than an hour from where we had watched the fireworks to our resort.
    Needless to say that all the parking spots close to the resort was full and we needed to park further away.

    When we got back to the room Tom pulled down his bed and soon we were ready for bed.
    Another beautiful day at Walt Disney World had come to an end.

    To be continued .......


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 9, 2006

    Day 5, August 18

    Sundays are for eating - Part 1

    Again, we were able to sleep in.

    Our ADR was only for 10.50, so we had a very lazy early morning, before we got dressed and headed down to the car to drive over to the Contemporary Resort.
    It’s just a short 15 minute drive and soon we made it past the main entrance and over to the hotels. Since Valet parking is included in the price of Brunch at the Top, we drove right up and had a valet park our ride.
    We then went up to the second floor and checked in.
    We were a little early, but were immediately taken up to the restaurant, where we were pretty sure we would have to wait a while until our ADR time, but no such thing.
    When we got off the elevator a greeter was already waiting and took us to our table. And while we passed the bar, we were invited to pick up a glass of

    Sparkling Wine with some orange pearls in it and we happily obliged. We had just made ourselves comfortable at our table when our server introduced himself and asked what we wanted to drink.
    And very soon we were served

    coffee and

    tea and told to serve ourselves at the buffet, but not before we had put in our order for our main course.
    Since we pretty much knew what we wanted we placed our order and then walked over to the buffet. I took some photos, then went back and picked up a plate. There are so many yummy options, like the

    House-made Charcuterie, which includes orange-honey ham, bison and sweetbread terrine, pork belly rillettes, whole-grain mustard,


    Zellwood pickles, pickled Pero Farms peppers, sweet onion jam,

    Deviled Lake Meadow Farms Eggs, with crispy lardons, spiced aioli,

    Greek yogurt, with cocoa quinoa granola, mixed berries, honeycomb,

    Scotch Cured Salmon and Smoked Fish Dip, capers, egg, red onion, Soba Noodle Saladamazu-ginger vinaigrette,

    Bacon and Egg Salad, greens, frisee, quinoa, avocado, cherry wood bacon lardon, pecorino romano,

    Peach Salad, California peaches, field greens, pickled onions, roasted cherry vinaigrette,

    California rolls ,with jumbo lump crabmeat,

    Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp Nigiri selections, Spicy tuna Tekka Maki rolls ,

    Shrimp tempura with orange drizzle and mango,

    Bacon and Onion Quiche arugula, gruyere, truffle vinaigrette but I went for the old favourites, which I so had been looking forward to.
    Soon we both had a plate full of food and headed back to our table.

    I put my plate on the table and went to get some

    cheesy roll, chocolate croissants and

    butter, while Tom sat down and poured the tea and coffee. I had just sat down, when a food runner came by to serve our main courses.

    Well, no, I haven’t had my buffet food yet and for $90+ dollars a head I won’t be rushed.

    So I had to tell her to hold the mains until we were finished with the plate in front of us.
    Didn’t take long for our server to come by and apologize for the early mains and they would make new entrees once we were done with our first course.
    t did take us a little while to work through our first plates, but as soon as we were done, they were whisked away and within a few minutes, new delicious entrees were served.
    Tom had ordered the

    Bison Burger, house-made brioche bun, Neuske's bacon, fried egg, truffle onion jam and dill pickle-seasoned waffle fries. It was a huge portion, but it was delicious. Being a creature of habit, I had ordered my all time favourite, the

    Lobster Eggs Benedict, two soft-poached eggs, toasted English muffin, classic Hollandaise; also and butter poached Maine lobster. What’s not to like, especially when more glasses of the bubbly kept arriving.
    The restaurant was pretty busy and it looked fully booked, with tables being filled again as soon as guests left, but we still needed a little more time as there is a dessert station where they prepare a dessert to order.
    We have never been able to try as we were always way too full, but today we were determined to try.
    So as soon as we both were finished we walked over and got the

    Bourbon Baba, yummy cake soaked in hot Bourbon, served with Vanilla ice-cream and a cornflake, walnut crumble.
    Boy, this was yummy, but we were getting way too full.

    So, when the

    Mini-desserts were brought out, we asked for them to be boxed up, so we could take them with us.
    And with the boxed desserts the server brought out the bill. We paid with some of our Disney Dining Plan credits and left a cash tip before we wobbled towards the elevator.
    We went down to the forth floor as we wanted to look around the shops.
    There were a lot of fun things to look at, so it took us quite some time until we were finally able to head down to Valet to pick up our car again.

    It took a while and while we were waiting we saw the cutest DVC van waiting for some guests.

    And soon after we got into our own car and off we went back to Pop Century. Got into some more comfortable clothes and rested for a while, especially since it was now raining cats and dogs.

    To be continued .......


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 9, 2006

    Day 5, August 18

    Sundays are for eating - Part 2

    Got into some more comfortable clothes and rested for a while, especially since it was now raining cats and dogs.
    When it finally stopped we got ready to head out again for a little while.
    We needed to pick up a few things from Walgreen and once we had everything we decided to drive over to the Vineland Outlets to have a look around. When we arrived there was a line of cars going in and we talked about how hard it might be to find parking.
    But we tried.
    We drove all around the parking lot without much luck. Whenever we saw someone walking to their car someone else was already waiting. In the end we decided to just fork over some money and park at the covered parking area.
    Drove up to the booth and they only take credit cards.
    Now, here in Austria we don’t use our credit cards that often, cash and debit are still king, so we decided not to park there, as I try to be careful with who we hand our credit cards to. In the end we just went back to Pop Century,

    but it took quite a long time as there was a traffic jam all around the area.
    We got back to the resort and were pretty done after being out all the time in the heat, so we took another break and I cancelled our Kilimanjaro Safari Fastpass, so we had a little longer until we had to leave our resort again.
    We had another dining reservation at the Animal Kingdom, and I had made some Fastpasses, but there was no way we would make it to the Safari without having to leave in the next few minutes. Without the Fastpass we had another hour to just lie around watching TV.
    But all too soon it was time to leave again and soon we had made it to the Animal Kingdom.

    They were no longer assigning parking spots, so we found one really close to where the tram started, parked the car and walked over to the tram. Since we didn’t know if the tram was going to stop on our side, we crossed the track and got on on the opposite site. Turns out they did stop on “our” side and when we didn’t get off the castmember at the back came to tell us that this was the last stop before they headed back to the entrance.
    Yip, that was exactly where we wanted to go.
    And in no time at all we were at the entrance, hopped off and went through bagcheck and on to the turnstiles.
    And we were on our way to dinner.

    Shortly before we went on this trip they had announced that Restaurantosaurus would start taking reservations for a Burgers and Ice-cream Sundaes meal and today was the first time they offered it. Needless to say I had jumped on the idea and here we were to try it.

    We were a bit unsure where to go to when we entered, but there were Castmembers directing us right to where we had to go to.

    They handed us a menu

    and we studied it, then got in line and ordered. And then we were handed a little chalkboard with our name on it

    and were taken to our table, but even before that we were taken to the toppings bar, which was in the middle of the room and the different sauces they offered for the burgers. There were crayons and stencils and they encouraged everyone to use them to decorate the paper tablecloth

    and we were handed two vouchers for the ice-cream bar as well. We sat down and pretty soon our drinks arrived. Tom had ordered the

    Safari Amber, Red Lager with toasted notes of Caramel, Malt and Hops, while I had decided on trying the Margarita, Jose Cuervo Tequila, Triple Sec and Lime Juice, which was really nice and we had used for some water as well.
    Tom went to get some sauces

    and I took pictures while we waited for our food to be served. Didn’t take long and our burgers were served, together with our sides. They offer fries and onion rings and I had initially ordered one of each and mentioned that we would share, and the cast member had then mentioned that she would make sure that we would receive mixed portions right away. We had decided on sharing our burgers and had ordered two that had interested us, the

    Pulled Pork Barbeque Burger, which had a thick burger patty, American cheese, lots of pulled pork, barbeque sauce and breaded onion rings on a Brioche Bun and the

    All American Burger, a thick burger patty, American Cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and red onions. Both were quite big and very tasty. We just both wished that we would have been hungrier as we had to work hard to finish that burger. When we had finally succeeded we sat for a few minutes, before we went to cash in our Build your own Sundae vouchers.

    They had an ice-cream counter where they had vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice-cream and some raspberry sherbet and you were able to pick two scoops of ice-cream.

    Tom had a scoop of vanilla and one of strawberry, while I had asked for strawberry and chocolate and then we headed to the toppings bar.

    There were so many choices and it was up to you how much or whatever you wanted to top your ice-cream with. Sundaes topped we sat down again and enjoyed our treats.

    It was really good value for money and we were very happy we had been able to try it and should it still be offered when we go back, we will definitely book it again.
    Neither of us was able to finish the ice-cream though.
    We then left the restaurant and sat down outside to post the meal on social media as we knew there would be people interested in this new offering, but it was such a pain as we were depending on Disney WiFi and it was aweful, took forever to upload. But we finally finished uploading and while we had been sitting there we both expressed that we were not feeling up to going on Flight of Passage, so we released our Fastpasses and instead walked over to Expedition Everest as that Fastpass time had already opened.

    It was just a short walk over and we scanned our Fastpasses, walked through the line, asked for front row and were seated on the next train out.

    The ride was as fun as always and as soon as we got off we walked around and had a look at the standby line, which was only 15 minutes and we got in line again. It was more or less a walk through until the very last room where the line slowed down a bit, but it was still moving and within just ten minutes we were off on our second visit to the Yeti.
    Once we had gotten off again we thought about trying to fit in another ride, but we were both tired and just decided to slowly stroll towards the exit. We walked through the shops and checked out the merchandise for a while and then proceeded to the exit, got on the tram and soon we were back in our car and on the way back to the resort.
    Once we had arrived at Pop Century we were able to find a parking spot close by and within a few minutes we were back in our room and ready for some rest. We watched a little TV and picked through the dessert box we had brought home from California Grill before we turned off the light.

    To be continued .......


    Mommy to Claire
    Oct 28, 2006
    What a great day! The food looks fabulous but I am full just reading all about it!

    Happy new Year!


    Dreams do come true!
    Feb 20, 2004
    Happy 2020, Karin and Tom! Loved the Christmas card...always so sweet of you to think of us. 💖. Hope ours made it to you...it was mailed a bit late because I couldn’t find your address...then I remembered where I had saved it and headed to the post office ASAP. 😁.

    Most of that food looks so yummy! Chef de France looked as delicious as always. I‘m thankful you posted the Brunch at the Top photos because we have been considering it but there isn’t a single thing I could eat, other than a bagel ...good to know!

    The Burgers and Ice Cream looks like so much fun...and delicious! If it is still around we will definitely make an ADR.

    Hope 2020 has started out nicely...not long and you will be in one of my favorite cities...oh, how I love London! Looking forward to reading all about your adventure. 💖

    (We started our Disney Girls Trip bank....$63.67 so far ...only a few thousand to go! 🤣 We are hoping for 2020, more likely 2021 since it will be a great year with lots of celebrations.)