Day1 Part 2 - We came, we saw, we ate some more!

Beth E. (NJ)

<font color=red>Disney obsessed<br><font color=blu
Sep 27, 1999
We came, we saw, we ate some more! -- a better late than never trip report.

The vital statistics:


Beth E. – the mom, Disney fanatic, trip planner

EE– the dad, just following mom’s well planned out footsteps

Sophie – DD 5 1/2, first trip to WDW, very outgoing child, loves the princesses, has no idea what went in to planning this trip and that anything we do is “out of the ordinary”

Dates of trip: Tuesday December 5th to Friday December 15th

Accommodations: All Star Sports Hotel

Weather: Cold in NJ, cool in Florida – clothing for day: long pants, tee shirts and sweatshirts or light jackets.

When last we saw our travelers they had arrived in Florida and gone food shopping.

Finally, (I want to get to WDW!) we packed the groceries into the car and set off to the World. DH dropped me off at the front door to the All Star Sports Hotel (hereby referred to as ASSH) just in case there was a line for check in. There was no line! I checked us in and was given a room that met almost all of my qualifications. I had faxed my requests to the room controller a couple of days before we were due to arrive. I had asked for a non-smoking room in the Touchdown building. I also had asked for a room in a certain area of the building since DH and I had stayed in that building in 1997 and knew it to be a quiet section. I got non-smoking and the building I wanted, but the room was not particularly close to the previous room. I was slightly worried because this room was now a corner room and just around the corner was the smaller pool. I thought this might be a noisy place to be, but honestly I never heard any noise after 10pm.

While I was taking care of check in my DH got the luggage unloaded and my DD sat down in the lobby to watch the movie they were playing. When I turned from checking in I was so happy to see her sitting there, with this big grin on her face. She was so excited to be there and couldn’t believe that she could see Disney movies in the lobby of the hotel.

My next order of business was to try to get us the Fantasmic dinner package for the next night. We had tentative plans to meet friends and do the dinner and show with them. Since they had gotten to WDW a few days before us I had given my friend all the information about making the plans. When I spoke to her the previous day, she told me that she tried to make them, but the cast member she spoke to dissuaded her, telling her that she would have to eat early and that she should just eat on her own and then go to the show! I was shocked that a cast member would tell her this. So I went to guest services and spoke to a gentleman there about booking the package. My first choice was Mama Melrose. My parents had had dinner there in September and told me that they really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, it was all booked up. Then I tried to book the remaining two restaurants, but they were full too. I thought we would have to get to Fantasmic a couple of hours early and do the wait. Boo Hoo. I popped into the ASSH gift shop and got Sophie an autograph book so we would be all set for the rest of the trip. Then, since she was itching to get to the parks and we weren’t going there until the next day, we went to the playground instead.

Our plans for that evening were to go to the Contemporary Hotel and have dinner at Chef Mickey. We drove to the Contemporary, which was easy to do. I have to say that navigating WDW was much easier than I expected. The first few times we got in the car I had my trusty map at the ready, but then I realized that signs were everywhere and we only got confused once the whole trip when we missed a turn. We got to the Contemporary and valet parked our car. Sophie was entranced by the large figures of Disney characters playing in fake snow in the lobby. She had to stop and take a picture with her own camera. Aside: I had purchases some “one time use” cameras for Sophie to use during the trip. She loved to take her own pictures!

We went upstairs and checked in at Chef Mickey’s. When we were standing outside Sophie had her first character sighting. Goofy and Pluto were in the lobby area of the restaurant signing autographs. Sophie was so amazed I don’t even think she noticed that there were other people around! We were able to contain her and we went to take our picture (which came out awful!). Soon after we were seated. Sophie was so eager – she had her autograph book and pen at the ready. The minute she saw a character enter the room she stopped what she was doing and picked up her book to wait for the character to get to our table. I tried to explain to her that the character would go to these other tables first, but she wouldn’t have any of it. She didn’t want to take a chance and not be ready when they got there. Luckily she did eat some food (and she loved the dessert bar.) She saw Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale. The thing that struck my DH and I the most was the fact that Sophie is usually a very outgoing child. She has never been shy and does not have a problem starting conversations with strangers. She made more “friends” during our trip than anyone I’ve ever known, but the characters rendered her completely speechless. She would stare at them with big giant pie eyes and grin the biggest grin I have ever seen, but she could barely speak at all. My Dh was taking pictures with his new digital camera and they came out amazing. I have never seen her smile like that!

Now I know DH wasn’t expecting much food-wise at this meal. When he and I went to WDW without kiddies in 1997 we made PS for the kinds of restaurants that we would want to eat in. We didn’t do any character meals. That trip we ate dinner at Maya Grill, California Grill, Flying Fish, Spoodles, and O’Hana’s (which was our biggest disappointment.) This trip was for our DD and we planned our meal selections accordingly. We had character meals and less formal meals. But I have to say that the dinner at Chef Mickey’s was very good. Some of the things served that night include: Penne with seafood and spinach in a white sauce, leg of lamb, peel and eat shrimp, and the famous Parmesan potatoes. The children’s bar had macaroni and cheese (which my daughter didn’t like as well as some of the Mac and cheese she ate later in the trip) pizza, hot dogs and chicken nuggets. The dessert bar had a variety of cakes, pies and cookies, but the highlight of the dessert area was the ice cream served with a ton of toppings. DH and I enjoyed that as much as if not more than Sophie.

We spent long enough in Chef Mickey’s to visit with all the characters and twirl our napkins. Finally, we paid, left the Contemporary Hotel and drove back to the ASSH. At this point I went back to guest services to see if there had been any cancellations for the Fantasmic dinner package (or to see if this CM was anymore knowledgeable than the CM who helped me the first time, but didn’t really seem to understand what I was looking for). Once back in the room we all settled in and went to sleep. The next day was going to be a busy one and we wanted Sophie to get some rest.

Coming Soon: Day 2 Can we get the Fantasmic Dinner Package? How brave will Sophie be? And other imponderables.
and yummy penne with a cream still my stomach


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