February 18, 2010




Eat and drink around the World and a dinner with a view!


We were up early and had some in room breakfast. Tom had some bread, ham and Boursin, while I had a little of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, we had bought the day before. Tom had made some coffee, so we were ready to head out within an hour.

We wanted to go to Disney Hollywood Studios and needless to say we hit the “let’s start a new row” madness. We didn’t want to hike the parking lot and just left, drove around and got in line again, this time we were halfway down the parking lot and that’s okay with me in the morning. We made it into the park rather quickly and set out to pick up a Fast Pass for Toy Story Mania.

Once we made it there we were surprised with a line that started at the One Man’s Dream attraction! We got in the line which moved quickly and enjoyed the “green soldier” entertainment that was provided. Once we made it to the Fast Pass machines we were surprised by a Cast Member who handed out the Fast Passes. Now that was super lucky since it meant that we would be able to pick up another Fast Pass as well.

We walked over to the New York and San Francisco sets, walked past Sci-Fi Dine In and over to Tower of Terror. We picked up a Fast Pass and tried to get in the Standby line, but it was too long so we went over to Rock’n’Roller Coaster to have a look if there was a shorter line – it was 45 minutes as well, so we went back and got in line for the Great Movie Ride. We still had about an hour an a half to kill until our first Fast Pass so we decided to leave the park and take a boat over to Epcot.

 When we walked out of the park we saw the boat leaving, so we were in no hurry, but within a few minutes another boat came and we were allowed to board. Since it was nice and sunny we just sat at the back of the ship, on the outside, enjoying the sun. The boatride itself was relaxing and fun and we arrived at the International Gateway in about 25 minutes. We went through the Security Check and the turnstiles and were inside an empty park.

World Showcase was not open by then and we walked towards England, which was nice to see, without all the people which usually walk around there. After taking some photos and checking out some of the buildings we noticed a little coffee stand right between England and Canada. Since we both just had had a tiny breakfast we decided on getting some hot drinks to get us going. Tom got a Double Espresso, while I had some Hot Chocolate. We walked over to the “Off Kilter” stage and sat and enjoyed our drinks.

Since it was way before 11am we went into Future World and checked the tip board behind Spaceship Earth for wait times. They were all long, so we went to check out Mouse Gear before we headed towards Mexico at 11am. We checked out the Mexican Pavillion in search of La Cave de Tequila, the new Tequila bar. It was not open yet, so we looked at all the shop, and the bar was still not open, so we decided to do the little boatride in the pavilion to kill some time.

When we got off, the bar was still not open. We decided to check back later in the day and went on our quest around the world. We didn’t feel like a sandwich in Norway and we had had some mediocre food in China. No, we do not eat in Germany and were not happy they had now “borrowed” one of our Austrian trains for their train garden, but there was the Liberty Inn, the American Pavilion’s restaurant. We had never been in there before to eat, just once at Christmas we had gone inside to take a look at their gingerbread house. Now we checked the menu, found it appetizing and went inside to order. We decided to share an entrée and try something else along the way too. So we ordered the Barbecue Pork Sandwich, which was served with coleslaw, we ordered a side of Chili, that came with Crackers and the Rocky Road Chocolate Brownie Mousse.

There were lots of tables inside the restaurant and we found one by a window, set up camp and had the first of our lunches. While we were there we decided that it would be more fun to just keep eating around the world than go back to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Grand Floridian for afternoon tea. We wanted to stay at Epcot and have fun in World Showcase. After we had finished our meal we went over to the Japan Pavillion.

We strolled around their store and went over to Yakitori House for another shared lunch. There was no line and there was one open table so we got a Spicy Tuna Roll - tuna mixed with chili pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil and reverse rolled in sushi rice and seaweed and a bottle of water. We sat for a while and enjoyed our snack before we gave up our table as there were some people coming in and looking for a place to eat. We then walked over to the huge store and watched the Candy Lady making some candy for kids in the crowd that had gathered all around her. After a while we walked on, but only to stop at Morocco for yet another snack at the Tangerine Café. Once inside we looked at the food on display and discussed for quite some time what we wanted to try. In the end we decided to just get the Mediteranean Sliders Combo - three pita pockets - lamb, chicken and falafel with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumber and Tahini sauce served with Lentils, Hummus and Tabouleh.

We were soon to find out that it was not a good decision. The bread was very dry and the meats and falafel cold and rather tasteless. It was good we weren’t all that hungry after all, as this seemed to be our least favourite meal. We still had one more chore to do before we were to head back to Future World. There was still the reservation at the Garden View Tea room and I wanted to make sure it got cancelled in time.

So we left Epcot through the International Gateway and just went up to the Guest Relations Window outside the park and cancelled it. Then we went right back to the park. We stopped for a few minutes to watch Mary Ellen’s “boys” – Off Kilter.

We were stunned to find out that her favourite, Jamie, wasn’t performing! After a few minutes we walked on, but not far, just up to the pop-corn cart in Canada and got a Moose Head Beer for Tom.After that we thought that we would try if there was anything to ride and yes, the line for Mission Space was “short” enough for us to get in. Within 20 minutes we were in our capsule with two complete newbies, who forgot to push any buttons. No wonder we crash landed!

After that we walked over to Mission Space and were pleasantly surprised to see even more topiaries being put up! We had seen plants being planted during our stay and there were already some really neat things to look at even before the official start of Flower and Garden, and since the line for Spaceship Earth was rather short we just got on that as well. There was just one thing left we had wanted to do and try at World Showcase, La Cava del Tequila.

So after a quick visit to Mouse Gear we gave the Mexican Pavilion one more chance and to our utter surprise there was a table for two! So we headed there and made ourselves at home, looking over the menu. Soon after the server arrived and we both ordered Diet Cokes and Tom chose the Margarita Flight, Prickly Pear, Cucumber, Avocado, Wild Passion Fruit and Jalapeno. I had no idea what to try but in the end settled for the Blood Orange Margarita.

Needless to say you can’t have a Margarita and not have something to snack on. So we ordered Tostadas de Jaiba, seasoned blue crab meat tostadas, white chipotle mayo and Valentina Sauce and an order of Guacamole, with a side of fried flour chicharrons, drizzled with Valentina Sauce. Both were very tasty and I really enjoyed the Guacamole. My drink was huge and we sat for a while until we had finished both, the drinks and the food.

Once we were done we very slowly walked back to the International Gateway and caught another Friendship back to Hollywood Studios. We were able to get another seat on the outside to enjoy the  sunshine. We thought about re-entering the Studios, but there were far too many people so we decided that it was time for us to have some downtime, so we went back to our resort and crashed on our beds.

We had quite some time left before our reservation at the California Grill, so we rested a little, then walked to the store in El Centro and picked up a few more goodies before we headed back to our room again to get ready for our reservation. So by 7pm we drove over to the Contemporary, parked the car and went upstairs to check out the shop. Then we walked over to the Magic Kingdom.

Wishes was at 8pm and we wanted to watch it from Main Street before our dinner reservation. After going through the turnstiles there was still some time left to walk through the shops before we hit Main Street about 5 minutes before Wishes started. We enjoyed Wishes, then left the Magic Kingdom and leisurely strolled back to the Contemporary with time to take another look at the stores before we headed downstairs to check in for the California Grill. We were handed a buzzer and were taken up to the restaurant where we walked outside on the observation deck for a while, then went to find a seat inside. After about 20 minutes we were taken to our table in the Wine Room, right on time to watch a good portion of the Epcot fireworks from our table. 

Our server brought out some water and two Diet Cokes for both of us to make sure we had enough to drink, some Sourdough bread and Butter with Rock Salt and then took our order for our starter. We decided to share a flatbread, the Tamarind Braised Beef with Thai Coconut Curry, Mango Pickles, Bok Choy, Sesame and Triple Cheese Flatbread. It was really nice. For our main courses Tom had chosen the Pan Roasted Striped Wild Bass Fillet with Stir Fry Vegetables, Sticky Rice and Ginger Soy Hijiki Broth. I ordered the Pan Seared Loch Duart Salmon with Citrus Couscous, Marcona Almonds, Sundried Tomatoes and Citrus Nage. Both did not only look wonderful, but they tasted good as well. We decided on skipping dessert, but since it was noted on the reservation that this was Tom’s birthday trip, the waiter insisted on Tom having a piece of the California Grill’s special chocolate birthday cake. After we had done our best to finish off the cake we settled our bill and went down to our car. It was a nice drive back to the resort, where we enjoyed some time in front of the TV and started to do some packing. Only one full day left before we had to go home again.