Walt Disney World & World Travels

Posts Tagged ‘Illuminations


After waking up way too early in the morning, I threw my luggage into the truck and got on the road around 5:45am.  It was a pretty easy/relaxing drive.  OK, it was really boring after awhile.  I made great time (only stopped twice) and pulled up to Animal Kingdom Lodge around 2pm.

Check-in was quick and simple.  While I was waiting in line a manager came up and asked if I was a travel agent.  Guess I stood out being all by myself.  He led me to the concierge check in where I was treated very well.  My room was ready and off I went to find it.

I was never real excited about the savanna rooms, just thought they’d be “eh” and it would get boring after a few minutes.   All right, here it is in print (cyberspace): I was wrong.  I stood on my balcony and watched a baby giraffe run by and then get something to eat with its parents.  Looked back out and saw a zebra.  It really was amazing!  I actually hated to leave, but it was time to meet up with the group for our afternoon of training.

We met in the lobby of AKL Jambo House and boarded a private bus to take us around for the evening.  Our first stop was to check out the brand new AKL Kidani Village.  Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House & Kidani Village are Deluxe resorts and also Deluxe Villa resorts.   While there are obviously similarities between the two, there are differences as well.  Jambo House is more muted & neutral while Kidani is much more colorful & vibrant.  The whole resort seemed much brighter, less dark than Jambo House.  Some of my favorite things at Kidani: The lobby has incredible lights/art sculptures that look like torches & flames.   The 2BR villas are beautiful and “The Lion King” artwork on the shower tiles is that detail work that no one does as well as Disney!  We took a quick walk thru the new restaurant Sanaa and saw the Community Hall before going out to see the pool area.  Since we were just touring, we didn’t get to try the water slide, but I asked a few people as we went through the pool area and they all gave it 2 thumbs up.

Back on the bus and our next stop was Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.  CBR is a Moderate resort.   Rooms are a little smaller than at the Deluxe resorts, but so are the prices.  Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is the very 1st moderate resort Disney built and one of the oldest resorts.   Each area of the resort is named & themed after different islands in….you guessed it, the Caribbean.  CBR has recently gone under a major refurbishment.  There are now “Pirate” rooms that can be booked (these are a booking category) and the rest of the rooms at the resort are down in a Nemo theme.  Again, Disney with their attention to detail!  In the Pirate bathroom, there is an “engraving” of the Flying Dutchman on the shower wall.  The tables & dressers all look like wooden crates from a ship & the beds look like pirate ships!  The Nemo rooms are themed like…… Finding Nemo.  Tropical & Ocean/Beachy themes throughout the room.  There is a playground on the beach and the pool area looks like a lot of fun!  Again the tropical & pirate themes take you away and you forget that you’re in Central Florida.

Our “work” session was done.  Now it was time to get to know each other and enjoy a good dinner & Illuminations.  We boarded our bus and were taken backstage at Epcot (no pictures allowed).  We parked behind China and were led by a tour guide to Norway, thru a secret door and upstairs for a buffet dinner.  We were greeted with complimentary wine & soda and then helped ourselves to a very nice buffet.  —I have to mention here, that unlike previous reports, I don’t have a lot of detail on the meals or pictures of the food 😦   We were a group of 26, 25 women and 1 poor/lucky gentleman.  It was too hard to get pics of food when 8 women sat down at a table!–  Dinner included a very good salad, broiled fish, beef tips with gravy, sliced turkey, macaroni & cheese, pork and several other items.  Dinner was supposed to be followed by an Illuminations Dessert Party on the UK terrace, the weather had other plans.  It worked out all right.  Dessert was served after dinner.  There were wonderful little treats: mini cheesecakes, éclairs, tarts.  They were all delicious and yes, I tried them all 😉 While we had our coffee (Nescrape as MickeyNicki calls it) and dessert, we worked a little and then followed our tour guide around the World Showcase over to the UK terrace.  Shortly after we took our seats, we were handed rain ponchos and then it started raining.   Hmmmmm, would it have rained if they hadn’t passed out the ponchos?  Thankfully it didn’t rain too hard and we still enjoyed Illuminations from a wonderful viewing area.  When it was over, we followed our tour guide out the back of the United Kingdom where our bus was now waiting for us.

We arrived back at AKL Jambo House just after 9:30pm.  My roommate & I decided to try out the pool.  This is a research trip after all 😉    Pool was a very comfortable temperature and the hot tub was perfect! It was just what the Dr. ordered!  All of the tension from the long day just melted away.  We returned to the room around 11pm, packed our bags & put our cruise tags on them; then drifted off to sleep. 

Tomorrow is a big day.  We’ll start with breakfast at Cape May Café, followed by a site inspection of the Beach Club and then it’s off to the port for our cruise on the Disney Wonder.


This is an Agent Education Program (sort of a continuing education program) the unusual thing with this trip is that I’m not planning it.  It’s not just unusual, it’s downright weird!  No ADR’s, no deciding on which resort or when to go.  Disney made all the decisions, I just had to sign up for the program.

On Wednesday I will get up early (yuck!) and drive to Disney (YAY!)  Why drive to Orlando? Charlotte is a great place to fly through, but too expensive to fly out of most of the time.   8-8 1/2 hours later I’ll check into Animal Kingdom Lodge where we will stay for the night.  A couple of site visits/training in the afternoon,  then a Welcome dinner at Epcot followed by an Illuminations Dessert Party at the United Kingdom terrace!   — I love Illuminations and I love dessert, so I’m pretty excited about this part of the evening!  If I’m lucky, I might be able to grab a Grand Marnier Slushie before the night is over!! 

 Thursday we’ll have breakfast at Cape May Cafe and tour the Beach Club Resort before heading to the port.  The next 3 nights we’ll be on the Disney Wonder, with stops in Nassau & Castaway Cay!  I’m looking forward to trying all of the restaurants (except Palo, I have promised Jon that I’ll wait to go there with him) and of course reporting back here on the food!  I’m excited about the shows, and the pools and Castaway Cay……and everything

After we pull back in on Sunday morning, I’ll go back to Animal Kingdom Lodge and then drive home–unless I can catch up with MickeyNicki.  Then I’ll be having breakfast at Boma or trying a frozen Chai at Animal Kingdom.

That’s the plan.

Change of plans

It was a rough night last night for DD.   She really wanted to see Neil Patrick Harris at Candlelight Processional, so she toughed it out till the show ended. Her little brother took her “home” as soon as the show was over and let DH & I stay for Illuminations.

I swore to myself that I was not going to miss the slushies in France this trip, so DH & I got ourselves a little treat to have during Illuminations.   He got the Grey Goose slushy & I got the Grand Marnier slushy. Yummy Yummy Yummy!   I can’t believe I’ve missed this all these years!!   If you haven’t tried it, the Grey Goose limon lemonade slushy tastes like a slightly melted lemon italian ice with vodka.   The Grand Marnier slushy tastes like a spiked melted orange sherbert! 

$8.45 each plus tax, total for 2 drinks $18.00 and so worth it! 

The kids reported in when they got to the villa and DD was sound asleep by the time we got back. Unfortunately she was up a few hours later.   By this morning she was feeling better.   Whatever it was, it seems to have left her system  (rather violently)

We decided to take it easy today (just in case) which is how I got caught up on my reports.   After big meals the last two nights and DD still not being really hungry we decided to cancel Chefs de France and just head over to Downtown Disney for the evening.

Tuesday is golf day, 1 of 2 actually on this trip.  All of us were going to go to Magnolia today, DD was going to be our photographer and part time cart driver  but she was still really tired and we decided it would be better for her to go back to bed and rest.

DH, DS & I headed up to Artist Palette  for breakfast before the cab picked us up to take us to the golf course. Here’s DS at breakfast–looking like your typical golfer.  He was actually a little nervous about showing up at the golf course with a blue mohawk, thinking they might not let him play. Let me just say that the staff at Magnolia was incredible and they told him he was the coolest, baddest guy out on the course that day!

Usually we drive to the golf courses, but for this trip we decided to drop our clubs at Lake Buena Vista’s club house this time and let them transfer the clubs and take the free taxi to the courses.  Taxi came in no time flat and when we got to Magnolia our clubs were waiting for us, already on the carts.  Just gotta mention how much we love our Disney Vacation Club Golf Membership! We got it last June (where it paid for itself the first day), used it again in December and now on this trip. I can’t play for my home course for $39 after 10am, so to play a resort course as beautiful as Magnolia for that price is just amazing!   It was a very warm round of golf;   Ok, it was darn right hot, but it was a beautiful day.  Just wish I could say the same about my golf game.  DS actually played very well and managed to hit perfectly into the famous Mickey bunker on #6

A beautiful sandshot out of Mickey’s ear

I was surprised that we didn’t see as much wildlife as we usually do. As sunny & hot as it was, we didn’t see a single gator.  Lot’s of wild turkeys roaming around though.  All in all it was a great day out playing golf .   We headed back to the villa to shower & change before our dinner Advanced Dining Reservation at Planet Hollywood.

After a great day playing golf we got ready for our dinner at Planet Hollywood, and then we’ll catch a bus to the Beach Club Resort  to walk over to Epcot.   Again, the road to ….is paved with my plans, lol.

Advanced Dining Reservation  is at 4:45, we can catch a bus,  take the boat or walk.  Looking at the sky, we decide the bus is the safest plan.  By the time the bus got to Congress Park it was getting dark, when we got to the Market Place bus stop it was starting to rain. I kept hoping that it wasn’t raining at West Side yet, but no luck with that!  We get off the bus and seek shelter in the bus stop.  It’s not raining, it’s a full out monsoon!  We look at the sky to see if it’s going to stop soon, uh huh, this is one big storm.  Allright, everyone ready set run.  That didn’t work.   To say that we were drenched, would be an understatement. We waited outside under the PH roof, hoping to dry off a little before going inside the freezer known as Planet Hollywood.  The wind was blowing so much that we were still getting wet, so we braved the A/C and went in. We were seated immediately (right on time for our ADR).  We had a pretty good dinner.  DH loves the LA Lasagna, DD decided to try salmon (even though she hasn’t liked salmon any other time she’s had it), so I played safe and got the fettucinne alfredo (that I knew she’d like) DS got the kids pizza.  Meals were pretty good, only issue was the rice with the salmon was waaaay over cooked, dry & crunchy.  Other than that, I enjoyed DD’s salmon very much and she enjoyed “my” fettucine.   The boy’s both got the banana split creme brulee, and DD & I shared the brownie sundae.  Those are good desserts!   By the time we finished dinner, the rain had finally stopped.  We all needed to go back to the room and change before heading to Epcot for Extra Magic Hours. We almost decided to skip the park, but figured after the storm we just had that everyone would’ve left.  Wrong again.

Crowds were pretty heavy when we got to Epcot. We rode Figment, then went to watch Illuminations.  We watched from between the boat dock & Mexico.  As soon as it was over we booked it over to Test Track. WOW the wait was ridiculous and no Fast Passes. We hopped in the single rider line real quick while that wait was still at 20min.  After that we saw Honey I shrunk the Audience and then wandered around World Showcase  for awhile.  We stopped in Norway and I finally got to get schoolbread!  We were still to full to eat so we got 3 schoolbreads and a couple other things to take back to the room. The crowds had not thinned out, and it wasn’t even relaxing to stroll around, so we headed out.  No sense getting frustrated with the waits when everyone is tired and DD was wearing out.

Didn’t get much done, but I did get to see Illuminations (my favorite) and we got school bread!

Plans (here we go again) for tomorrow are Boma breakfast, Brown Derby Dinner and Studios EMH. Wish us luck!

Our last night at the World

All freshened up after our afternoon in the pool, we head over to the Beach Club Resort  for our dinner at Cape May’s Clam Bake.  Our ADR was for 6:50, but we went early and were seated within 15 minutes. While we waited we listened to a choir group perform in the lobby.

They were very good!  I love all the “extra” stuff Disney does during the Holidays!

Our server was Mary. I remember her name only because she has waited on us 3-4 times over the last 6 years. On our very 1st trip she taught DS to color on the mussel shells (after DH was done with them). I do miss the buckets they used to have for the clams & mussels, but they still tasted fantastic!  DD & DS made out just fine with the non-seafood options.  They had ribs, chicken w/pasta -from the adult buffet- and pizza, chicken strips, hot dogs & mac and cheese from the kiddie buffet.  DH & I enjoyed the clams, mussels, clam chowder, peel & eat shrimp and more that I can’t remember.  Of course we also had the oreo bon bons off the dessert buffet  and maybe a few other desserts.  After a very good dinner, we decided to go back to the room & change. The temps were dropping more than we had expected.  By the time we were ready to walk back out the door, DS decided he was just too tired to go anywhere and he just wanted to go to sleep.  We set up the beds (the kids don’t/won’t share a bed, so we had the sleeper sofa & a twin size aerobed in the living room) I gave DS my cell phone and told him to call us if he needed anything, then the 3 of us left to go watch Illuminations one more time, and see what else we were up to doing. It was Extra Magic Hours at Epcot that night.  It was strange having 3 of us, with DD as the 3rd.  Usually she’s the one off on her own, but DS looked like he’d be asleep before we got to the elevator. We made our way to Epcot and found a spot near Canada to watch Ilumminations.

As soon as it was over (so sad) we went to Canada to check out the new movie.  It had been on our “to do” list, but we hadn’t gotten to it until now. While we waited, we talked about calling DS and checking on him, but didn’t want to wake him up, so we head in to watch Martin Short tell us about Canada. Don’t you know that’s when the cell phone rings.  He’s fine, just wants to know what we’re doing.  We’ll call you back after the movie! Gotta say, this was a huge improvement over the old movie.   DD decides she’s just to cold & too tired to stay. She heads back to go “relax” in the hot tub.  Ok, we call DS back and he say’s great, he’ll put his suit on and wait for his sister.  DH & I decide to stay and walk around the World Showcase.  I don’t really know what possesed us, I’m so tired and my legs are killing me, but we go walk. From Canada we head towards Mexico. Stop in Norway to ride Maelstrom, then just wander for awhile. It’s so nice to just be a couple.   DS calls and asks where his sister is.  DH calls her, oh she had her suit on under her clothes and went straight to the hot tub!  Called DS back, he goes to meet her.  DH & I continue to walk (no other choice at this point!)  We get to check out the shops in Germany and Italy.   We slowly make it back to the International Gateway and catch a Friendship home. It’s midnight (somehow we did the whole EMH time we were so tired, we obviously weren’t moving fast)  Got back to the villa, and no children.  Call DD again and watch from our balcony as she got up to check her phone.    She wants to know if we’re gonna join them;  It’s 12:15am are you nuts??!! Oh my aching body. Ok, maybe the hot tub doesn’t sound too bad,  DS really should have gone to sleep hours ago, he’s babbling incoherent statements, but happy as can be.   After soaking for a little bit it’s time to go to bed. Gotta pack in the morning.  

Next up:check out and spend the day


I planned our Candle Light Pocessional dinner package at Garden Grill for a few reasons. We’ve had several good meals there in the past and the food was pretty “safe” for Dad.  For those that haven’t been, you don’t order (other than your drinks) there is a set meal that is brought out family style.  Biscuits & rolls (no more orange honey butter ) salad and the main course: Turkey w/cranberry relish, Flank Steak w/Mushroom Cabernet au Jus, and Fried Catfish, served with homestyle potato casserole and selected fresh vegetables.  We had a good meal, our server was allright, but not great.  We never got biscuits (the table next to us did) the kids food I requested took awhile to come out (kids menu is also all you can eat, chicken strips, fries & stouffers mac&cheese)  This is a character meal, Farmer Mickey, Pluto, Chip & Dale. We had a lot of time with the characters, saw each of them twice and got great pictures!  Dale swiped DS’s hat right off his head and took off with it,  then held it up higher than DS could reach.  Pluto seemed quite taken with Jackie, and seemed to be trying to take her away from Dad.  The funny part of the meal was when  DD spilled her whole glass of Coke on Dad & Chip. Funnier for me than DD, Chip or Dad.    We finished dinner with a caramel apple dish. I don’t remember the exact name, but it was good. DS could have had a cupcake, but decided he was full. It was a pretty fun meal!

Now remember back to Wednesday morning and I was confused about Dad & Jackie having breakfast at the Studios?  Well they admitted later that day that they thought they “might have screwed up”. They had breakfast at Hollywood & Vine with Dora the Explorer .  No, that wasn’t Dora, wrong park/COMPANY you actually had breakfast with the Little Einsteins;  and well, yes, you screwed up. Now you’ll have to pay out of pocket for dinner tonight (which if they had really wanted that Hollywood & Vine breakfast, I’d have told them to pay out of pocket for that since it was cheaper  ) Oh well, not my fault.  They’re grownups, although I spent the week feeling like they needed more supervision than my 14 yr old, lol. 

We got our passes for the Candle Light Processional from our server and then walked around World Showcase  to work off dinner.  I have always heard wonderful things about Candlelight Processional and how it’s a “don’t miss” event. I’ve always wanted to go, but the kids were so much younger on our past Christmas trips that I didn’t think they’d sit through it. I know our passes guarantee us seats, but OMG the line is sooo long!  I really didn’t know how they were going to get everyone into the the theater, but once they started, everyone was in in no time flat.  Disney is certainly the King of crowd control!  We’ve got good seats, a really nice gentleman in front of us telling us what to what/look for (sign language interpreter is in front of us and amazing to watch!)  Our Narrator tonight is Edward James Olmos (Lt Castillo in Miami Vice, Justice Mendosa, West Wing, Commander Adama in BSG)  Wow! Wow! Wow! This was truly an amazing experience. The choirs were fantastic, the orchestra & Conductor were amazing and the Signer, you could feel the music in his signing.  He emoted every bit of every piece of music. It was beautiful. If I lived nearby, this would be my Christmas Eve tradition. Since I don’t, it’ll just be a “must do” every Christmas trip from now on.

9:15pm, only 15 minutes till Holiday Illuminations. Our time with Dad & Jackie is just about over. We walk towards Germany and get a great spot for the fireworks. “Dad, stand here with the kids. The show starts in a few minutes and we’ll be right back”. I’m telling you, ADHD.  He starts walking off. UGH! STAY! My kids follow directions better!    DH & I go for a beer from Germany.  The line is slow and Illuminations is about to start, so I walk back to Dad & the kids and now Jackie is missing.  Dad said she went to the ladies room and hasn’t made it back.  Well, we are directly in front of the restrooms in Germany.  She couldn’t have come out and not seen us.  DH makes it back, but still no Jackie.  Good thing I know Illuminations by heart, I go check the ladies room, no one there.  Come back and a few minutes later Jackie appears. Seems she spotted a shop and had to have a quick look.  The weather is beautiful, DS is “conducting” the fireworks (hilarious picture) the holiday ending is a magical ending to our evening. We say our good-byes, (bell services will be picking Dad & Jackie up at 4:15 am )  Wow, I can’t believe it’s over. I really hope/think they enjoyed their trip. Thankfully we still have another day left.
It’s a shame this isn’t video, just imagine his arms moving all over the place!

Lot’s of eating scheduled, I hope Dad & Jackie find their way!

It’s now Monday morning, the first full day of the trip for Dad & Jackie. Oh, and it’s really cold! 38 degrees!!! I thought we were in Orlando, but apparently we were at the North Pole. Todays plan is to “show” dad the value of the DDP. Breakfast at Cape May Cafe (BC), day at Epcot and Les Chefs de France for dinner immediately followed by the holiday Illuminations.

I had watched the weather for weeks, up to the day we left and never were 30’s in the forecast, so all I packed were a few sweatshirts and a golf windbreaker for myself. Talked to Dad and told him that breakfast was at 10:20, so they should leave SSR by 9:20. Take a bus to the Studios and then get on the boat that we rode on yesterday to Boardwalk Villas and we’ll meet you there. Well, in their defense it had been really dark when we were on the boat Sunday and they were tired. At 10am Dad calls and says they can’t find the boat  they’ve looked all around in the park and can’t find it.  “Ok, Dad where are you now?  Outside the gate, good, facing the gate look to your right and you’ll see the boat dock.” OMG, it’s gonna be a long day!  We tell them to just stay on the boat till it gets to the beach club and we meet them there.   When they show up Dad is wearing a new hat, that he bought in the Studios that morning. Guess it’s a really good thing they got those park hoppers after all! Now the Beach Club is one of my favorite places, especially at holiday time. The gingerbread carousel with the chocolate horses is unbelieveable!

  It smells sooooo good! We check that out while waiting for our table (we were only about 10 minutes late). Breakfast is great, DS can eat a breakfast buffet like an adult with no problem, so he was very happy.  Dad & Jackie both loved all the food and then were surprised with the characters. Did I forget to mention that it’s a character breakfast?? Goofy coming up behind my dad was pretty funny! DD is not a morning person or a breakfast person and was very disappointed that the hashbrowns they used to serve weren’t on the buffet.  Her mood is slipping fast (as teenagers are known to do) so when she asked to go back to the room for awhile and meet up with us later it sounded like a good idea. So she got her 1st taste of freedom of the trip. She had her room key (with charging privileges) and her AP. Bye! The rest of us finished a very good breakfast and left feeling very full. Won’t be riding Mission Space anytime soon.

We walked over to Epcot and once inside, DH collected all the passes (except DD’s) and he & DS ran over to Soarin to get fp’s. Dad Jackie & I strolled through the World Traveller, and most of the shops in England and some of Canada. We then met up with DH & DS and headed over to Test Track & Mission Space.  Test Track had a long wait (shocking, I know) so we went to Mission Space.  DD called and was on her way to meet us, so I waited for her while DH, DS, Dad & Jackie went on Mission Space.  We decided it would be safer for dad to go on the green version. I waited for DD, who arrived just after the others went into Mission Space.  She loves Test Trace, so she took off to ride the single rider line real quick. Here I am, all by myself.   Oh well, I sit in the sun and try to stay warm.  DD is back from Test Trace and we’re still waiting on the rest of the group.  There they are!  Dad looks a little green, oops forgot that he’s very claustrophobic. He liked the ride, just not the capsule closing around him.   DH had warned Jackie to look straight ahead at all times, and she did fine. Thought it was pretty cool. Now we make our way to Innoventions, DS plays some robot building game that takes forever, Dad wanders off to who knows where, so Jackie, DD & I go see the house of tomorrow. Pretty cool, but doesn’t seem as groundbreaking as it has in the past. When we finish with the house, Dad, DH & DS are just walking by so we all head out and head to the Living Seas with Nemo.

DD is now hungry because she didn’t eat breakfast, so she & DH go to find a snack and will meet us in Living Seas. I see the clam shells only have a 5 minute wait, so we go in that way. It’s not a bad ride for a 5 minute wait. I know that Dad likes aquariums & animals, so I figured this would be right up his alley and it was. We saw the dolphins and the sharks and the manatee experiment and all sorts of fish.

Next up The Land. It’s not quite fast pass time so we go on Living with the Land.  I actually really like this. I love to garden, so to see all the stuff they grow and how they grow it is really neat. Everyone else enjoyed it too. Now it’s time to go Soarin! Jackie is getting a little nervous, but we tell her it’ll be ok and keep moving. Thank Goodness! They get off the ride and are glowing, gushing, raving about it .  It was so not what they expected and they were absolutely wowed! Now DH grabs all the passes again and goes across the park to get Test Track  fast passes. We’ve debated this quite a bit, whether dad could do it or not with his back and he decides to give it a try. While we wait for the fp’s we wander a bit, go thru Mouse Gears (love this store!) work our way up front and Yay! Space Ship Earth is open for previews (we did see it Sat, but had to go again). DS & I go 1st (he likes to ride with me to snuggle, thrill rides he goes with his daddy), DH & DD, then Dad & Jackie. Halfway up, Jackie yells to DH and asks “this isn’t a roller coaster, is it?” Nope, but that would be really cool! The update is good, but I miss the American boy “talking” to the girl in Japan scene. It’s getting to be a long day and certain people are starting to get grumpy. Do we go ride Test Track or back to the room to rest? I’m leaning towards the room, but DH doesn’t want to have to come back to Future World  later in the week for Test Track so we push through and go to TT.

I like Test Track, but don’t really consider it a thrill ride. Maybe it’s just that I’m in a car, going 60mph that my brain says “that’s slow compared to most days”   The “boys” rode in one car and the “girls” in another. Dad thought it was pretty cool and liked it. Jackie may have screamed a bit and yelled something about it being a roller coaster. I think it may have been more than she was expecting, but she was a really good sport about it. 

Now it’s time to go back to our room. That’s the great thing about staying at Boardwalk Villas, it’s right there.  Dad & Jackie came with us, we all stopped at the Bakery on the way to get a snack before our late dinner. Eclairs & cheesecake brownies are really yummy, and very rich. Most were finished for breakfast later in the week.

Resting is a good thing! By 7:30 we were warm and ready to go for our dinner in France at 8pm. Les Chefs de France is one of the few restaurants that we haven’t tried before, so we were really looking forward to it. This was also the reason we wanted Dad on the DDP because we knew he would look at the prices and say he wasn’t hungry. This is a really pretty place and the Christmas decorations were very nice. Our waitress was good, she seemed to be “playing” french (distant, snobby) more than the really was. DS had been practicing a few french phrases before the trip and he really won her over with that . Dad & I started with the french onion soup, very good. Too hot for me, but just the way Dad likes it. Jackie and DD tried the lobster bisque, it was ok. DD wasn’t impressed and decided that she just doesn’t like lobster. We told her not to judge lobster based on the soup, it was really bland and didn’t seem to have much lobster in it. DH got to have escargot. He liked it, I don’t do snails, but the garlic butter sauce was very good. DS wanting to be grown up decided to have the kids salad as his appy. It was a nice thought, but not for him.  I thought it was good though. DH, Dad & Jackie all the the filet of beef and liked it. Although DH said the filet at Le Cellier was much better. DD, who we thought would get her favorite food, roast chicken, decided trying new foods was pretty cool. She ordered the beef short ribs braised in Cabernet with polenta. She liked it, but didn’t finish it. The Cabernet was very strong, a little too much for her. The polenta was amazing, it was so smooth and creamy. Delicious! DD decided she really liked DH’s green beans (a green veggie? wow). I had the the sauteed scallops & black tiger shrimp with spinach flan and sorrel sauce. I cleaned my plate! I think I had the best meal of the night, the rest were good, buy mine was excellent. Of course with DDP we get dessert, and we were looking forward to it but it was getting late and we didn’t want to miss Illuminations. I had the profiterolles (yum) Dad & Jackie both had the chocolate torte w/banana & coconut (they liked it) DD & DH had the creme brulee, which DS also enjoyed.  We kindof rushed through our desserts and made it outside with a few minutes to spare. Now it was getting really cold again, especially after having been inside eating nice warm food. My family loves Illuminations, I have the CD, we know the music & words by heart, so we always sing along when we watch. It was really neat to watch Dad & Jackie though. This is their first time experiencing Disney fireworks. They were amazed! But it was so cold at that point that we didn’t really discuss it. We walked them part way through the park (to make sure they didn’t get lost) told them where to catch the bus and said see ya tomorrow!

Other than the transportation issue in the morning, and a little wandering off in Innoventions, it had been a pretty good day. I think they’re really enjoying it. I’m a little tired & stressed making sure everyone is happy (why do I try? It just drives me crazy ) Time to go warm up and rest. Tomorrow is the Christmas Party!

Next up: MVMCP

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