Walt Disney World & World Travels

Posts Tagged ‘Advanced Dining Reservation

Dinner at Olivia’s at Old Key West

The kids went on Kali River Rapids twice, first time they came thru pretty good.   The 2nd time, not so much.  They were pretty soaked, so as the sun went down they got colder and of course DH still wasn’t feeling well.  We decided to skip going to Flame Tree since all the seating is outdoors and go back to the villa to change.   We had hoped to try Olivia’s at some point and this seemed like a good time.

We walked in around 7:15pm (without an Advanced Dining Reservation) and were seated right away. It was probably 15-20 minutes before anyone came by our table.   The restaurant was busy, but not packed and there were quite a few servers working so I’m really not sure why the service was so slow.

We ordered our drinks and shortly after those came out our waitress Cari brought out Pina Colada bread:

Oooh, this was yummy! Pineapple & coconut inside and it smelled like a pina colada

Since he was sick, DH wanted soup and chose the Conch chowder.

Our waitress told him when he ordered that it was Manhattan style and that was fine with him. He loved this soup!   Full of chunks of conch & potatoes & veggies. Very flavorful & very good. He’s still raving about it this morning. 

DD went with the specials of the day. Loaded potato soup & the Members Meatloaf special with mashed potatoes, green beans & carrots.

I’m guessing the soup was pretty good, because it disappeared really fast.  The meatloaf was good, but she wasn’t happy with the cabernet mushrooms that were on it.   She really liked the mashed potatoes & veggies. She only ate about half her meal but it was a very large serving and the soup had filled her up pretty well too.

DS went with the kids cheeseburger meal:

He was happy it came on a Mickey plate.  I noticed that it was a whole wheat bun, but he didn’t seem to notice. He ate most of it, so it must have been pretty good and the french fries were really good. Hot and crispy outside and soft inside, perfectly salted. Yum! I’m glad he “made” me try one/

I figured we were in the Keys, so I went with the Carribean Barbeque Grouper, pan-seared with mango glaze, chimichurri, mashed sweet potatoes.

This was really good and looked pretty too.  Cari said it was marinated in the chimichurri sauce over night and then pan seared. I don’t know if it was from the sauce or when they cooked it, but I thought it almost had a salt crust that was really really good! I behaved myself and didn’t lick the plate clean, but there wasn’t anything left on it when I was done. 

Did I mention the bread was really good? It was so good that we asked for more and a second loaf of bread was brought out quickly! 

DH thought the soup was so good, that he got a 2nd bowl and enjoyed that as much as the first one!

We ordered 3 desserts “to go”.   DH got the Key Lime tart, I got the chocolate cake with raspberry sauce & DS got the cheesecake with berries.   DD still had her chocolate whiskey cake from LeCellier in the fridge.   I’ll post pics & reviews of dessert after everyone eats them.

Overall, this was a really good meal.   It’s not gourmet, has a very laid back Key West vibe (maybe that’s why the service was slow?)   I can definitely see us coming back here.

Total for 3 entrees, 3 soups (DHx2 & DD), 3 drinks (2 coffee, 1 soda, 1 water), 3 desserts after DDE/TiW discount plus tax & tip was $86.05.

Planet Hollywood

After a day of mostly lounging around the villa and pool time for crazy DS (it was 59 degrees ) we headed over to DTD.   First stop at the Happy Holidays set up at Marketplace:

Then a stop in the Christmas Shop so I could get a 2008 ornament.   I get a new ornament every time we come in December.   We walked slowly thru the Marketplace and a very sad/empty/depressing PI.    The only thing of interest was the drink stands (there are several).   Grey Goose Slushy was available and the other drink that caught my eye was the SoCo Hurricane. I love Hurricanes & I love Southern Comfort, so I’m thinking I’ll have to go back and try one. 

We walked up to Planet Hollywood without an Advanced Dining Reservation and were told to walk right in.   Had the required picture taken and then we were seated within minutes.   Our waitress for the evening was Amber, she was nice but not the brightest bulb if ya know what I mean.   I know Planet Hollywood gets a bad rap,   but we’ve eaten here several times now without a bad experience.    Experience is what told us to skip the appetizers so we would have room for dinner & dessert.

DH had his favorite, the LA Lasagna.   From allears: A California twist to a classic lasagna! Fresh pasta tubes filled with ricotta cheese and bolognese meat sauce fried to a golden brown and covered with garlic cream sauce and tomato basil sauce.
I can’t imagine anyone in LA eating this;  sounds like more of a Southern food.   We like our food rich & fried 

DH did share a little with me and it was really good! Crisp/crunchy outside and really rich inside. I like heavy rich foods, but I don’t think I could eat a whole order of it. DH really enjoyed it. 

After asking Amber’s opinion on a few choices, I went with the Crab Cakes, served with mashed potatoes & fresh vegetables.

The crab cakes were smaller than I expected, but they were full of crab meat with very little filler and the outside had a nice breading that was very crunchy.
Not half eaten, cut open to show all the crab meat.

 
Mashed potatoes were good, veggies were good. Broccoli was just right and the zuchini & squash were very good. I shared with DH and he was thrilled that they weren’t over seasoned, that you could actually taste the squash & zuchini. Crisp, not squishy, perfectly cooked.

DS is an 11 year old boy who really likes his pizza. He orders it at Planet Hollywood everytime and loves it.

Very cheesey and quite large.   He was a happy boy! 

DD wasn’t very hungry so she ordered the potato skin appy.

Not much to say about these, they were potato skins. They were good skins but nothing amazing.

We like dessert here, as a matter of fact DS had to ask our waitress before we ordered if his favorite dessert was still available.   I think we would have left if it wasn’t.

DS & DH shared the Banana Split Creme Brulee

It’s creme brulee on the bottom covered with a banana split!  They ate every last bite, so I’m pretty sure it was good! 

DD & I shared the Double Chocolate Brownie Sundae

Huge Ghiradelli chocolate brownie with chocolate icecream & vanilla icecream, chocolate sauce and more whipped cream than you can imagine topped with shaved chocolate & a cherry …. I love chocolate, I mean LOVE chocolate! So this is perfect for me!!!  DD & I finished this and enjoyed every single bite! 

Total for the meal after DDE/TiW discount was $88.52

It wasn’t a gourmet meal, but it really hit the spot and everyone was full & happy afterwards.

It was a bit chilly out after dinner, so we headed to the bus stop instead of stopping for a drink.   I’ll try to get back over there for that SoCo Hurricane later this week.

DD started started feeling blah again before bed and unfortunately I woke up with the upset tummy and DH woke up with the chills/fever/muscle aches.   I’m feeling better now, DH is getting there slowly and DD is hibernating in her room so who knows.   This is where I say Thank goodness for DVC!   I am so glad that we’re in a 2BR villa with lots of room to spread out (and 2 bathrooms )

Plan for today is to eventually head out to AK for the afternoon & evening EMH. I’m sure we’ll have Flame Tree BBQ at some point today and who knows what else.

Hollywood Brown Derby

Sunday 11/30

This is probably our favorite restaurant and has become a 1st night tradition for us.

We had a 7pm Advanced Dining Reservation at Hollywood Brown Derby.   After riding a few rides & avoiding as many raindrops as possible we made our way to Hollywood Brown Derby, starving & anticipating a wonderful meal. We were not disappointed!

We started with cocktails: DH ordered the Manhattan (just seems like the kind of drink you should have here)

I couldn’t decide what I wanted.  Our server Laura suggested the Pumpkin martini but I wasn’t real sure about that (especially before dinner) I asked how the Candy Cane martini was and she said “awful!” She said that while it sounded like a good idea, in reality it looks and tastes like Pepto Bismol. 

I decided to go with her other suggestion of the Hollywood.
It took awhile for my drink to come. Laura informed us that they had a new bartender that night and he was still getting used to things.  She admitted that my drink was the 3rd attempt and she still wasn’t sure it was quite right. It tasted fine to me, but I was pretty sure it had a lot more Chambord in it than it was supposed to.   I don’t remember what else was in it, but it was Yummy!
We started with the Cobb Salad. This is why DH loves  Hollywood Brown Derby.

What can I say other than I’m glad the kids don’t like it.  It was wonderful as always.


The rolls were warm, crusty on the outside & soft on the inside. Delicious  Butter is served as a slab on a plate. DS “embellished” his:

Dinner:
DH & I both had the Grilled Atlantic Salmon on soft mascarpone polenta with gorgonzola, balsamic glaze and Sicillan olive tapenade.  I’ve had this several times now and it’s always incredible.   The salmon is good enough that they can cook/serve it medium rare or even rare.   The marscapone polenta is creamy goodness with bits of gorgonzola to add a little bite to it. The olive tapenade is good, but I prefer black olives to green. For those that like green olives, you’d probably think the tapenade was to die for.

DD had the Roasted Sterling Silver Pork Rib Chop with mustard spaetzle, white cheddar, rainbow chard, vinegar onions and pan juices. She fell in love with the pork at Hollywood Brown Derby last December. It’s been a little different each time since, but she’s loved every last bite of it. The pork was melt in your mouth, cut it with a butter knife tender. She probably wouldn’t eat most of the sides on their own, but said they worked really well together. 

DS had his usual, what he calls “the best hotdog on property”

It’s an all beef hot dog, served with chips. Laura told DS he could have french fries instead, even recommending them because the chips are a “healthy” chip. He gladly took her recommendation. 

We were pretty full, but couldn’t miss out on dessert. DH & DD ordered the famous Grapefruit cake, I changed things up and tried the Pumpkin cheesecake with pumpkin seed brittle. DS had the Hidden Treasure from the kids menu.

They love this, light and fluffy with a bit of tartness from the grapefruit.

DD had this last year, so I had to try it this time. OMG this was good!!! The pumpkin seed brittle was incredible (and was covered in chocolate on the back of it  ) The cheesecake was just pumpkin, cinamonny nutmeg creamy goodness.

DS’s Hidden Treasures: Vanilla ice cream, Oreo cookie crumbles and gummy snakes with a Tollhouse cookie

We had coffee with dessert and DH decided it was time for me to try Port, so we shared a glass of the Fereira 10 year Port. It was good, very sweet but very strong. I’m glad we shared it because I’m not sure I could have drank the whole glass by myself.

Using our Disney Dining Experience/Tables in Wonderland discount dinner (including tax & 18% gratuity) came to $176.12. Since Laura was so good (I love a server that will tell you the truth) we did bump the tip up a little.

a family pic from our dinner at HBD

 

Day 6 -Friday

We wake up Friday morning–ok, DH & I wake up Friday morning, the kids are still out cold. The plan is to go to Typhoon Lagoon today, come back to change and then dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse (a new one for us )

Again, I love this 2BR villa! We get up, make the coffee, shower/dress, sit on the couch watch the news while we drink our coffee….and the kids continue to sleep. The weather forecast is calling for a greater chance of storms this afternoon. Do we go wake the kids up and get moving? Should we let them sleep? What if we just wake up DS, since he’s the one that really wants to go to Typhoon Lagoon?  Maybe we should just have DH & DS go?  Too many questions without enough coffee!  Dinner is at 6:30pm, maybe we should push that back to later so we’ll have time to go to Typhoon Lagoon.   No problem, called and changed our Advanced Dining Reservation to 8pm. DS finally got up after 10am and wasn’t really ready to get moving.  We finally decided that it’s unlikely we would get enough time to enjoy Typhoon Lagoon and that we would save it (and the money ) for the next trip.  Unfortunately, Typhoon Lagoon is always closed for refurb when we come down in December, so it might need to wait till next June. The one thing that we have decided is that it will be scheduled for the first day (or so) of the trip and not the last, so we won’t be too tired.

DD finally woke up, but just wanted to read her book, so DH, DS & I headed to High Rock Springs pool. DH & I enjoyed a cocktail and read our books by the pool while DS had fun going down the slide. We grabbed lunch from Artist Palette  and ate by the pool. DS had the cheese flatbread and I had the roasted vegetable flatbread, both were very good! It started to rain while we were at the pool (good thing we had a table with an umbrella) we played in the pool in the rain for a bit, I even went down the slide. The sky started to look a little scarier, so we thought it would be a good time to head over closer to our room. Told DD to meet us at the Grandstand Pool, by the time she was ready, we were walking back to the room.   We all changed and headed to Downtown Disney  to do some shopping before going to dinner.

We had to get Mickey rice crispy treats, pretzels, and marshmallows at Goofys Candy store. I got my Christmas ornaments (learned last December to get them before they run out) and wandered around for a little while. We were all getting hungry and tired and decided to catch a bus for Yacht Club. Wouldn’t you know we arrive at the Yacht Club around 6:20.   Good thing we moved our dinner ADR to 8pm!   We walk up to Yachtsman and tell them our little story, the girl looks at us and then gives us a pager.  DD notices that she writes “long story” next to our name on the reservation book. 

We were seated right after our 1st ADR time. Sadly, I really wasn’t in the mood for a drink, so we all ordered sodas. We started by sharing 2 appetizers: the Seared Maine Diver Scallops and the assortment of artisan cheeses.  The scallops were incredible!  they were huge, cooked perfectly! They came on a frisee & Shtake mushroom salad with a warm bacon vinagrette. I could have licked the plate it was so good.   I don’t remember which cheeses were on the cheese plate, but they were very good. The bread came out about the same time as the appy’s. I love good bread and it came with a little dish of incredible whole cloves of roasted garlic. Ohhhh, yum! A little butter and a clove of garlic spread on the bread.   Then it was time to order our entrees. DS had known for months that he was having the filet (we ordered it with the winesauce on the side) DD decided to try the NY Strip served with peppercorn brandy sauce and potato gratin with Diamond white cheddar. DH decided to go with the Ribeye served with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes and Red Wine Butter and I couldn’t make up my mind.   I love ribeyes, but that’s what I always order when we go out for steak, so I decided to have the filet mignon with mashed potatoes and a red wine sauce. All were fantastic! DD loved hers, and the potato gratin was very very good.   She ate every last bite and then helped her brother finish his mashed potatos.   DH seemed to enjoy his meal, all I know for sure is his plate was pretty clean.  DS & I both enjoyed our filets.  The redwine sauce was very good, but a good thing that we ordered it on the side for DS since it was a little too strong for his taste.  DH & I ordered coffee after dinner while we decided what we wanted for dessert. Nothing on the dessert menu was really hitting us since we were so full.

 
 Gotta say, love Disney Dining Experience! This was a very good, but pricey meal.  My only complaint was that our server just wasn’t very attentive. I don’t like my drink to go empty at Applebee’s, I certainly expect more service at a restaurant like Yachtsman. Fantastic meal and I’m sure we’ll go back.
After dinner we walked around the Beach Club  for a bit and walked over to Beach Club Villas to look around there.  We decided to go to Beaches & Cream for dessert.  I was really looking forward to my No Way Jose  sundae.  Chocolate & peanut butter, yummy!   Again, those plans don’t always go the way you think. DH decided we should just go ahead and get the kitchen sink.   The kids have wanted to try this for a long time, and really it’s cheaper than ordering 4 sundaes.  For the unintiated, here is the menu description of the Kitchen Sink:
Quote:
Kitchen Sink – 8 scoops of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee and mint chocolate chip, smothered in every topping we have $21.99
When they say every topping, they mean EVERY TOPPING! When they bring it out, they turn on these flashing lights and announce that a family is about to “take on the Kitchen Sink”, describes it to all and then delivers it to the table.
Oh Dear Lord, here it comes!

Up close as we dive in

This is good!

We did pretty good

Wow, this was something! 8 scoops of icecream with 4 people doesn’t sound too ridiculous, it’s when you put the whole can of whipped cream; jar of marachino cherries; marshmallow topping; strawberry; pineapple; peanut butter; hot fudge; butterscotch; chocolate syrup; bananas; sprinkles; anglefood cake; oreos; candied orange slice; bundt cake and chocolate & peanut butter morsels.  YIKES!

It was around 10pm by the time we rolled out of Beaches & Cream.  We made our way to the boat dock figuring it would be easiest to catch a boat to Disney’s Hollywood Studios  and then a bus to Saratoga Springs Resort.  It was a pretty good plan, except that since Epcot had been closed for an hour there were very few boats running, so we had to wait for a bit.  Still completely full from dinner & dessert, we made it back to our villa without incident.

To make life a little easier when we get to our real world home, I finished up some laundry.  Tomorrow is the sad day that we pack and head home.  Tomorrows plan is to pack and load the truck up. Maybe play some mini golf and get on the road late afternoon. We’re not planning to get home until Sunday.

Wow, it’s Wednesday allready.  Halfway point of the trip.  Today is our big food day.   After reading a wonderful food review from MickeyNicki on the disboards, we are trying Boma breakfast this morning and then our favorite Brown Derby for dinner tonight.

Since we’re not morning people, we have a 10:45am Advanced Dining Reservation at Boma.  We are going to drive over to make it easy.  My truck (Ford Expedition) acts a little strange when DH starts it, but then seems fine. With DVC member card/Disney Dining Experience card we get free valet parking and were walking into Animal Kingdom Lodge and seated at Boma in no time flat.  DS11 loves  breakfast buffets (so do I )  DD14 is not a breakfast person, does not like most breakfast foods even, but when she read & saw the pics on MickeyNicki’s review she wanted to try Boma.  Wow, this is an amazing breakfast!   DD was all set between the Corned Beef on the carving station and all the wonderful muffins.  The carved meats, mini omelets, muffins, fruits, and the OMG incredible sticky buns won us all over. Then we tried the jungle juice, YUM!  Great coffee, yummy juice, and all that food.  We all could’ve rolled out of there.  We love dinner at Boma and now breakfast is a must do as well! 

We walk outside and and wait for the valet to pull my truck around.  We wait…..and wait some more……I see a management type person run down with what looks like a charger, and we continue to wait. Someone finally asks if we’ve been helped, and we say yes, they were supposed to be pulling a blue expedition up.  The girl has no idea and asks the other valet and he says something about it not starting and they’re trying to jump it now.  Manager comes back and then DH goes down to the valet lot with him.  They get it started and pull up for us.  Our only guess is that the kids left stuff on in the back (I’ve got outlets that DD uses for her laptop and DS uses for his playstation).  All seems fine now, so back to Saratoga Springs Resort we go for a relaxing afternoon.

We spend the afternoon at the Grandstand pool with a couple of those fabulous Mai Tai’s and our books.  It was hot & sunny, perfect pool weather!

After showering and changing, we head to the Studio’s for dinner at the Brown Derby.  This is our 3rd trip in a row eating here, it has become our favorite restaurant.  We got to the Studios and went to check times on Tower of Terror  and Rockin Rollercoaster. Got Fast Passes and then wandered around watching the Streetmosphere.  I love walking and watching at the Studio’s, the atmoshpere is great.

I could do without the blacktop though in June, it really holds the heat in.  We made our way back to Brown Derby and checked in.  A lot of people seemed to be trying to walk in, but they were all being turned away.  We were seated within minutes, taken to what we were told was the “Chefs Table”.  It’s the big table in front of the bar, overlooking the rest of the restaurant. I don’t know if it really is a special table or not, but we felt special.  Our server was fantastic (I feel bad, I didn’t write down his name) he was very helpful with suggestions, refills, etc. He always seemed to be there if we needed anything, but not overbearing/hovering. We (DH & I) started with cocktails and shared the Cobb salad. Yum!  The menu had changed slightly from our last 2 visits.  The filet has been replaced with a NY Strip (our server said that it’s excellent and they were having difficulty getting the filet), the grouper was gone (loved that) and the pork had a different name and slightly different description. DD fell in love  with the Roasted Hatfield Pork Rib Chop in December, she swears it’s the best thing she ever put in her mouth.  So she was a little worried about the changes and also asked about switching the sides, but our server told her that the new one is fantastic and to try the sides that come with it.  He promised that if she didn’t like them, he would get her replacements.  Since she’s trying to “grow” and become a foodie, she agreed to try the new pork dish with the sides. Our server told DH to try the Ahi Tuna, since he’s had several of the other items on the menu previously and I had the Salmon with the marscapone polenta with gorgonzola and balsamic glaze & olive tapenade. DS11 ordered his favorite, the hotdog on the kids menu.  He told our waiter that they have the best hot dogs on property.  Our waiter told DS he would tell the Chef that.  Dinner came out and as always was fantastic! I can only assume that DD’s pork was good, because it was gone before I could even get a taste.  She even liked the sides. DH was glad that he got the Ahi Tuna, and it didn’t take long to clear his plate .  The salmon was perfectly cooked and that polenta is wonderful!  The only thing left on my plate was the Sicilian olive tapenade, which is too salty for me.  DH laughed at me, because I didn’t like it last time either.  I prefer black olives, the green ones just aren’t my thing.  Then there’s DS, who ate his entire hot dog and asked our server if he had told the Chef what he said.  A few minutes later, the Chef comes out to introduce himself to us and said that he was very glad to hear that DS loves the hot dogs so much.  Here we are having a 4/5 star dinner and my son is complimenting the Chef on the Ballparks!!!!   We finished dinner with coffee (good coffee, not Disney coffee) and dessert. DH & DD had their grapefruit cake, DS had the creme brulee and the chocolate lover that I am, had the flourless chocolate cake. Another fantastic meal at Brown Derby.

 

After dinner we walked down to check out TSM. The wait was 120 minutes  I don’t think so! We went and walked around the backlot and Streets of America and finally found:

The Singin in the Rain umbrella!

DD impersonating Mary Tyler Moore on the Streets of America

DS impersonating Darth Vader

The skies started to look a little scary, so we figured it would be a good time to go to Muppet Vision. If you normally go straight in and hurry to get into the next show, don’t. There is sooooo much to look at in this attraction. We’ve seen this sign many times:

We took our time and this is what we found

The show was funny as always and when we came out the sky had cleared. We rode Star Tours real quick and then we went back up to see if there were Fast Passes for EMH at Toy Story Midway Mania. Nope and the wait was 100 minutes. We were starting to walk away when DS saw the single rider line.  We waited about 20 minutes (much better than 100) and had a great time.  I thought it was a lot of fun but DH said he would have been disappointed if he’d waited 2 hours for it.  After that we went and saw Indy and then went to Great Movie Ride.  I wasn’t feeling real well at this point, full tummy and the heat had me feeling a little green.   DD was worn out as well, and she doesn’t like the thrill rides and wanted to leave.  I really didn’t want to miss Rockin Rollercoaster and since we had the Fast Passe I figured I was either going to feel alot better or alot worse.  DD waited while the rest of us rode.  That was the best I had felt in hours!  I thought about trying Tower of Terror, but figured I’d be pushing my luck. Maybe next time,  The “boys” stayed and used their Fast Passes for Tower of Terror and DD & I caught a bus back to SSR.

It was a good night. Got a little frustrating at times with lines and with our dear children who don’t mind waiting for the things they like but want to leave as soon as they get what they want.  If you saw a family having words about kids being selfish on Sunset Blvd, it wasn’t us.

Tomorrow DH & I have a golf date and then we’ll have dinner with the Princesses.

Coaster boy strikes again!

Dad & Jackie want to do their own thing this morning.  That’s fine, we’ll meet in the United Kingdom at 1pm.  That should give us time to do “the world” before our 5:30pm Advanced Dining Reservation.

So we head to the Studios.  A few years ago, DS had a brave moment and wanted to ride Rockin Rollercoaster.  He wasn’t quite big enough, so the CM gave him a “Limo Pass” that said when he was tall enough to ride, bring the pass back for front of the line privileges.  We’ve brought the Limo Pass back several times, and he even tried to use it once but the ride broke down while we were waiting.  This time he’s going to use it!  DH grabs 4 fast passes (all of our tickets) for Tower of Terror  and then we walk over to Rockin Rollercoaster.  DD isn’t in the mood to ride, so the 3 of us head in.  The limo pass worked as a fast pass for our whole party.  Good thing the kid loves Aerosmith, the line is moving pretty fast.  Love the pre-show!  I haven’t been on this in years (usually sitting outside with DS)  Allright, want to ride with me?  I didn’t think so. —- 3,2,1 “Dude looks like a lady!”   Wow!  I’m singing and laughing (and hoping that my baby) is ok.   He’s never done corkscrews before … It’s over so fast, how’d he do? “Can we get in the single rider line?”   My baby isn’t a baby anymore.

Meet up with DD outside, and see the crowds in the street growing and moving this way.  She doesn’t really want to ride anything and decided to go to the room, maybe eat or catch up with my dad & Jackie. DH & DS go on what used to be their favorite ride, Tower of Terror.  I’ll just go sit and wait thank you very much.  I sat enjoying the sun, and had a great chat with a lady from Baltimore. It was really nice and before I knew it, the boys were back  and then they were gone to use the other 2 fast passes.   They really like Tower of Terro, I’m still thinking about it.   Maybe next trip I’ll be brave enough?   Now the boys are done, I say good bye to my new friend and head back to Rockin Rollercoaster.  The single rider line moved quick and the ride was even more fun this time.

12:30 already? Guess it’s time to head out of the Studios and make our way to Epcot.  OOH! Streetmoshpere! I love Streetmoshpere!   “The World’s most famous actress, Norma Desmond (?)” was needing a little attention, so DS posed for pictures with her.   Then we ran into “Jack Diamond, talent agent” and his assistant “Honey Darlin”.   “Jack” recognized DS’s talent immediately and then showed him some magic tricks.  That was so much fun!

— I have to stop and say that I know a lot of people don’t like the Studios, but it’s one of my favorite parks.  I suppose if you just rush from ride to ride you’re done in no time flat, but there’s so much to just “experience” here.  The Streetmoshphere characters and shows are hilarious.  We’re still quoting Honey Darlin a week later.  The detail on the shop windows, and all through the streets, the handprints outside GMR, there is so much to enjoy if you slow down to notice.–

Ooops, it’s almost 1 already. DD has picked up Counter Service  lunch for herself at Epcot and taken another ride on Test Track.  Now she’s catching up with Jackie & Dad (grandpa for her).

My plan is falling apart, and I don’t like that.  I like plans and schedules. We’re supposed to see World Showcase  & take a time out for the DVC Merry Mixer.  Deep breath, we’ll still have time to do everything.

Or maybe not. Dad Jackie & DD are already between Morocco & Japan!  We catch up only to find out that Dad & Jackie have spent the last few hours going through World Showcase themselves.  That was not the plan! DH grabs a quick lunch from Germany while DS & I get pretzels for lunch. We manage to finish just in time to catch the 3pm show at American Adventure.  Since they’ve already seen the rest of World Showcase (so they think, I’m pretty sure they missed a lot) we head towards the International Gateway to go out to the Merry Mixer.  Dad & Jackie are going to go with us, but at the last minute decide they need to stop in the World Traveler shop. Ok, we won’t be long.

This is our 1st trip as DVC members (Disney Vacation Club Members), and our 1st Merry Mixer. Outside the International Gateway, there is the party.  Music, dancing, games and sugar cookies that are unbelieveable. Pin trading, pictures with Mickey. It was pretty cool, but loud. Very loud. We didn’t stay long, got our ornaments and headed back into the park. Dad calls DH (again? I’m starting to get a complex!) He and Jackie are near The Land. They’ll meet us by the restaurant for dinner. Ok, we’ve got some time and the kids want to ride Test Track  again, so we walk over.  DH & I sit and rest d wait while the kids single rider line. Now, this is cool, as we’re sitting a guy comes up to me and says “So you listen to the DISunplugged?” I’m wearing my podsquad t-shirt that I won right before the trip We talked for a bit, about the show and our trips before he went back to find his family. How cool is that? Only in The World! The kids finish TT and we decide to cut through Mouse Gears on our way to the land. I look, and say hi to my dad Jackie likes to shop, so it wasn’t too surprising to find them there. So we wander through the store with them and then make our way to Garden Grill for our CLP package dinner.

Up next:I’ve waited years to see CLP


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