Monday, June 13, 2011

Back from Florida

Well we made it back. Of course we came home a little Disney-Tired.

After landing I drove directly to Downtown Disney.
While I was at my conference, I was lucky to find my manager wanted to leave property the first day for lunch and dinner. Good thing I rented that car.
For lunch we went to Sanaa at Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge. We shared the bread appetizer and I had the Durban Shrimp and Curry Chicken combo. Good option for lunch. We had a great window table and watched the caretaker feed the zebras.

Later that night we headed over to The Swan for dinner at Il Mulino. I had a tortellini in cream sauce and gelatos of the day (cappuccino and nutella).

Next day was Thursday. Full day conferencing. Our gala event was at Universal City Walk. Good thing for my boss I was happy to go to this since it was my birthday and she originally promised to take me out. I have expensive taste when it comes to food. They blocked a portion off for a private party. We hangout at Bob Marley's and Pat O'Briens. Afterwards we had a snack in the hotel sports bar.

Friday: conference ends at 11:15 and I am in the car by 11:30. Off to Downtown Disney for a couple of items. Some baked goods from Babycakes NYC and the Confetti Cupcake Vinylmation. Next off to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for pre-check-in and drop off the luggage. Then a trip to the Animal Kingdom Park. Lunch at Flame Tree, walked The Boneyard, rode Dinosaur, rode Tricerotop Spin, watched The Tropicals and the parade, then watched Tough to Be a Bug. I also visited the Dawa Bar and Thumper! Got some fun video of Guit Tar Dan and Miss Bunny.

Back to the room to unpack and then picked Holly up from the airport. We had a drink at Sanaa, dinner at Jiko, and then some drinks at Victoria Falls Lounge.


Saturday: Epcot all day. We arrived early enough but stood at a turnstile they decided not to open. Once moving lines put us way back. We missed the opening show and were far back for the Soarin' herding. We still made it on relatively quickly. Rode Test Track, hit the Mission Space store, Mousegears, Art of Disney, Nemo ride, and Journey to Imagination.

It was creeping up on noon so we had to start heading to Mexico. On the way we stopped at one of the gateway stores and took in all the Duffy merchandise. You don't say it "Duffy" though. You say it kinda gravelly like this "Duffffffaaaaaayyy". We got our drinks from La Cava de Tequilia. I went classic margarita and Holly picked cucumber. Lunch was 45 minutes away so we strolled with our drinks. Lunch was at Via Napoli where we had La Rossa beer (great beer), the risotto balls, and pizzas. Holly's Quattro Fromage was way better than my sausage and peppers pie. holly indicated it was he birthday so she got a little dessert and a serenade.

After lunch, we decided to take a walk back to Duffy (now say it right in your head). I told him I'd like to see him in his other outfits and that made him feel sad. Duffy: your sailor outfit is very nice. For some reason Holly wanted a photo of his butt. For some reason, I took it.
We then went around WS again clockwise. On our way around we stopped at each Kidcot Stop for a Duffy stamp. We also made stops at the outpost, Karmel Kuche, Mitsukoshi, and The Rose and Crown. We made a lap between Off-Kilter and the new UK band. They were good, but they looked like they just rolled out of bed and didn't even try to fake an English accent.

Dinner was at La Hacienda. We got a window table 1:45 before Illuminations. Our waiter was very cooperative and let us linger. The food was actually very good and I enjoyed my rose margarita. Complete with petal. Holly's drink was not as tasty. I think it was called Orange Fire. We had a great view of Illuminations from this vantage point. After dinner we did some damage in Mousegears and left the park for Animal Kingdom Lodge and a visit to the Victoria Falls Lounge.

Sunday: Big day! Star Wars Weekend at The Studios and evening EMH at Magic Kingdom. Holly had a hunch that they'd open the Studios an hour earlier like they did the day before. Our bus got us to the turnstiles 2 minutes before the gates opened at 8. We casually walked onto Toy Story Mania. We were in the 2nd cycle of cars. Very luxurious. We headed over to Star Tours for our first of 4 rides that day. Without spoiling anything we had a lot of repeat experiences. It is a great improvement and can't wait to go back. We made our way to the merchandise tent and bought almost nothing. DVC an AP pins were sold out. Holly bought the R2-D2 popcorn bucket and threw out the stale caramel corn inside. We made a new friend via Facebook, but I'll save that story for another post.

Lunch was at The Brown Derby. We both had the soup. Holly ordered the crab cake appy as her entree and proclaimed it the best crab cake ever! I had the biggest piece of grouper ever cooked. I also had another pink drink (it's a rum runner by a different name). Holly had another birthday treat coming.

We did a few more things around the park including getting a Stormtrooper to harass Stunt Duffy. We headed over to The Magic Kingdom and immediately got Peter Pan fast passes. We walked around a bit and then visited the new Mickey meet and greet. 5 minute wait.

It was time to get dinner so we hopped a boat to the Polynesian Resort. We ate at the sushi bar outside of Kona Cafe. We both had Lapu Lapus (a drink server in a pineapple), wings, and shrimp tempura rolls. Back to the Magic Kingdom via monorail. We visited the new Princess meet and greet and saw Aurora, Belle, and Cinderella. I think they all sensed my "don't talk to me" vibe and did not go too much into their spiel. We hit a few attractions, watched all the night time spectaculars, then kept an eye on the clock for midnight. Holly was turning 40 at midnight and our plan was to ride Peter Pan as she turned 40. We got on the FP line a bit early so we let folks ahead of us until it was time. Our plan worked and Holly got one of her birthday wishes. Afterwards we hit a couple more rides then left the park about 12:45.

Monday: Slept in a bit and went to Boma for breakfast. Since we had to come back and change for dinner we were not going to spend a ton of time in the parks today. We drove to Epcot. We went to Test Track first. After that we went to the World Showcase and rode Maelstrom (skipping the film). We then tooled around a bit until La Cava de Tequila opened. we got our walking beverages and made our way around the showcase again. We tried a napoleon from the French bakery and did not think it was that good. After some more strolling and a break in Rose and Crown we left Epcot to go get ready for dinner. We had a 5pm seating at Victoria and Albert's Chef's Table.
To be continued....

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