Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Walt Disney World - October 2010

We stayed at the Caribbean Resort. 
We spent most of the first day including lunch and dinner at the Magic Kingdom.  Bryan rode Space Mountain.  We had lunch at Cosmic Rays (counter service) and dinner at The Liberty Tavern (table service). 
This is the Tree of Life at the Animal Kingdom park.

We spent a day at Kennedy Space Center / NASA. This is the space shuttle Discovery that was set to launch on November 1, 2010 and has now been postponed.

The three of us as astronauts.

Bryan trying to stay cool while getting his photo taken with a real astronaut.

EPCOT - We spent the least time here because two parks in one day is just plain overload. 

The Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios park.  Scot rode this.  Bryan and I enjoyed some sitting in the shade during this time.

We had a really nice time at Walt Disney World.  A lot has changed since I was there last. You won't find pictures of me here because apparently I had been in denial about how large I have let myself get!!  We went to all of the parks and spent the least time at Epcot.  With a day spent traveling to KSC/NASA, we were somewhat limited on how much we could actually do. We learned to navigate the monorail, buses, and boats for transportation and we realized we NEVER want to go in the summer months after a visit in October.  We had sweat dripping from us at all times and I don't want to even imagine how much worse it would have been with crowds of people.  We only has to use one fastpass the entire trip. Wait times for rides ranged from one minute to twenty five minutes.  I think the wait time for Expedition Everest and Tower of Terror was listed as 30 minutes, but Scot was finished with both in under that time period.

We ate more than we should have.  I am listing the information about meals below to help me with future planning if we do this again. The dining plan is a must!  We has a snack, quick service meal, and table service meal for each day.  We ended up being so frugal with our snacks that we had to buy FIVE before leaving to take with us on the ride home. 

Night 1 - Whispering Canyon at the Wilderness Lodge - Very nice meal in a wonderful resort.  The food was all you could eat.
Menu item: Includes mixed greens with apple vinaigrette and fresh baked cornbread, smoked pork ribs, pulled pork, oven-roasted chicken, pork sausage, mashed potatoes, creamy coleslaw, beans, and corn on the cob. Priced per person. - $26.99
Bryan didn't want their signature skillet meal so he had steak- poor baby.

Day 2
Cosmic Rays - Burgers and fries
Dinner - The Liberty Tavern - another all you can eat with Salad, Roasted Turkey Breast, Carved Beef, and Smoked Ham with Mashed Potatoes, seasonal Vegetables, Herb Bread Stuffing,
and Macaroni & Cheese.  Apple crisp and ice cream for desert.

Day 3
Lunch at NASA- worst chicken sandwich of my life- not kidding.  Lunch was terrible and cost about $35-40
Dinner- EPCOT- Sunshine seasons.  This meal was okay, but I really wanted to eat at the Garden Grill and I could not get reservations so nothing was going to make me happy that night.   This is really a food court with some unusual items.  I had rotisserie chicken. Scot had a sandwich and Bryan ate Chinese.

Day 4
Hollywood Studios - 50's prime time cafe.  I had reservations but of course they would not locate them.  (This happened twice during our trip.) This is a neat place set up like a 1950's home. The waitress is supposed to be mom making sure you mind your manners.  Here is their entree items:
Aunt Liz's Golden Fried Chicken - Served with Mashed Potatoes, Chicken gravy, and Southern greens - $15.99   Bryan and I had this and it was really good.
Cousin Eric's Char-grilled Chicken Sandwich - Marinated chicken breast topped with cheddar, grilled onions, BBQ sauce, lettuce, and tomato on a Kaiser roll served with a House salad or French fries. - $13.49
(Scot had the grilled chicken sandwich)
Dad's Traditional Meatloaf - A blend of beef and pork topped with tomato glaze served with mashed potatoes, and green beans. - $14.99
Fish Sandwich - Fried beer-battered haddock on a crusty roll with lettuce, tomato, and tartar sauce served with a House salad or French fries. - $12.49
Mom's Old-Fashioned Pot Roast - Slow-cooked 'til fork tender served with mashed potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions. - $16.99
Stacked Sandwich - Your choice of smoked turkey or ham on multigrain bread with lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese and mayonnaise, served with a House salad or potato chips. 

Again everything has dessert included!!!
Dinner- Ohanas at the Polynesion Resort.  Scot ranked this as the all time best meal there.  All you can eat- again. They just keep bringing skewers of grilled meat until you cannot eat another bite.
Starters: Pork fried dumplings, Corriander chicken wings, and Mixed Greens with Honey-Lime dressing. Skewers (prepared over an oak fire): Marinated sirloin steak, Asian BBQ pork loin, Mesquite grilled turkey, and non-peeled shrimp. Accompaniments: broccoli and green peas and pad Thai noodles. Sauces: peanut, chimichurri and sweet-and-sour. Dessert: 'Ohana bread pudding a la mode with Banana Foster sauce. Includes coffee, tea and soda. - $30.99  *
Day 5 
Lunch - Tusker House in Animal Kingdom - All you can eat buffet, but this seemed to remind us to much of Golden Corral with some weird foods added in, but you won't leave hungry.
Lunch Buffet - Appetizers: Spicy South African preserves, Tabbouleh, Hummus and Baba Ghanoush, Endive/Apple/Walnut salad, Caesar salad, Mixed Greens salad, Tomato & Cucumber salad, Sliced Turkey/Ham/Cheese, Tunisian Couscous salad, Green bean & onion salad, Curried rice salad and Fresh fruit. Vegetarian Table: Marrakech couscous, Vegetable samaosa, Spiced Tandoori Tofu, Jollaf rice, and Pearl couscous with sweet basil essence. Kids Selections: PB&J sandwich, Corn dog nuggets, Mac & Cheese, Corn medley, Chicken Drumsticks, Green beans, and Mashed potatoes. Adult Selections: Salmon filet, Root veggies, Seafood stew, Orzo pasta, green bean medley, Rotisserie chicken, potato wedges, mashed potatoes, Carved top sirloin and pork loin, Cape Malay curry chicken, and Basmati rice with almonds. Dessert Selections: Fruit cobbler, Warm banana-cinnamon bread pudding with vanilla sauce, and assorted pastries. - $21.99  *
Dinner- Rainforest Cafe- Downtown Disney (NOT ON DINING PLAN)
We went to this restaurant for the atmosphere of animals and thunderstorms in the restaurant. We ate burgers and onion rings. Dinner was $60.

Note- we did use two counter service meals for breakfast at the resort for convenience and because we had extra since we went to NASA.

As you can see the dining plan saves you a ton of money.  We went when we had the dining plan included in our stay which was great because dinner ran about $120 a night and lunches were usually about $50.  We ate breakfast in the room because we discovered we would be stuffed later.  With the dining plan you only have to (suggested) leave 18-20% tip which is printed out for you.  I cannot imagine eating there without the plan nor would I want the hassle of leaving their enormous property to get to some place more reasonable. 

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