Sept 5, 2010




Shopping, reservation changes and Extra Magic Hours


We slept in a little as we had no definite plans for the day, so around 8 we got up, took showers and then headed out to have breakfast at Wolfgang Puck’s Express. We found a parking spot really close to the restaurant and there were not too many people in there, so it was very easy to find a table. Tom had ordered some coffee and I had some Earl Grey Tea, which is quite good quality for a Counter Service Restaurant. We had picked up two bottles of water as well, as a second beverage was included in our Dining Plan Credit. It did not take long for our breakfast to arrive. Tom had ordered Wolfgang's Breakfast Pocket - Scrambled eggs, peppers, Niman Ranch Bacon, onions, mushrooms, mozzarella and cheddar cheese baked into Wolfgang's pizza dough.

My choice for today was the same as I always have, the Smoked Bacon Pizza - scrambled eggs, tomatoes, mozzarella and cheddar cheese and Ranch Dressing. There is no better way to start the day than with those tasty treats. Once we had finished we walked back to the car and went on our merry ways to spend some money around Orlando. We headed towards the Florida Mall, but were sidetracked by a Mall on the way there.

There was a Petsmart and a huge Walmart and we stopped and shopped at both. Some time later we arrived at the Florida Mall, strolled around, stopped at the Disney Store, where else and picked up a few more items. There were lots of interesting stores there and we did a lot of window shopping. When we left we took the wrong exit and ended up going further away from Walt Disney World. But after a very short drive, what should we find than Aldi!

Aldi is the international brand of a shop that originated in Austria, called Hofer. Needless to say we had to stop and have a look around. It was the first time we found a shopping cart where we had to use a token to “free” it and the store was exactly as they are in Austria. Even some of the items they sold where the same as what we can get here. We picked up a few items, that they not usually sell in Austria and even bought one of their huge reusable shopping bags, which I very often use for shopping now. With all the shopping time had flown by and it was already afternoon when we arrived back at Old Key West. We hauled all our new goodies up into our villa and headed right back to the car to drive over to Downtown Disney to pick up a few “Make your own” goodies.

We got some Marshmallows dipped into dark chocolate and Reece's Pieces, drizzled with white chocolate and some Pretzel Rods, all dipped into dark chocolate and one dipped into Reece's Pieces, one dipped into shredded coconut, and one dipped into crushed butterfinger and all of them drizzled with white chocolate! They are as fun to watch being prepared as they later being nibbled. Once we had our goodies we hurried back to our villa as the heaven had become grey and we needed to get back before the rainstorm started. We made it just in time. So, back at the villa we unpacked everything and packed the things we would not need right into the suitcase. Then we prepared a little lunch and sat down in front of the TV to enjoy it.

Now, what was on TV when we turned it on? We could not believe it, but they were showing the “Sound of Music” which made us laugh out loud. Sitting here in Walt Disney World and being reminded of Austria. We sat out the rainstorm, Tom used the Jacuzzi, while I did some laundry and relaxed with my computer. Around 6pm we got ready to go out for dinner at Artist’s Point. We drove over to the Magic Kingdom and parked the car in the parking lot.

Then we used the Monorail to go to the Magic Kingdom and used the ferry boat from there to go to the Wilderness Lodge. Since we didn’t know if Mary Ellen and Joe would be at the lodge we stopped at the front desk to ask if they could find out if they were in. They were not and since we had brought a few presents for them we asked if we could leave them at the front desk and they were very helpful.

We then wandered over to the restaurant to sign in. Like at every other restaurant we were offered the usual buzzer and told we could go into the lobby while waiting. We explored the shop, enjoyed the lobby and after about 10 minutes we were called back to the restaurant. We were seated right towards the entrance at a nice little table for two and our server appeared at the table after just a minute or two.

She explained the menu and left us to think about what to order, while fetching our drinks, the usual Diet Cokes and a Raspberry Rapids, Frozen Coconut Cream and Pineapple Juice with Bacardi Silver and Chambord for me, while Tom ordered a Widmer Hefeweizen. We were both somewhat surprised at the way it was served. Usually a Weizen(beer) is served in a tall glass with a nice foam on top. Now you can see how this one was served! But Tom liked the taste anyway. While we were waiting for our starters, the server brought over some warm crusty Bread with butter and sea salt which we nibbled on until our starters arrived. I had the Heirloom Tomato Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Micro Basil and Tom had ordered the Pulled Hoisin Short Ribs with Asian Slaw, which came bitesize served on little spoons. Shortly after we had finished them we received our main courses. The Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Blue Lake Green Beans and Espresso Reduction was Tom's choice.

I ordered their signature dish, the Cedar Plank Roasted Wild King Salmon - with spring vegetables, Citrus-Miso Buerre Blanc, and parsley oil. This is served on a huge cedar plank and plated table side. Both portions were huge and very tasty. We still had dessert to conquer. I ordered the Valrhona Chocolate Terrine with Amarena Cherries and Salted Hazelnut Brittle, heaven for a chocolate lover.

Tom actually just wanted some coffee, but the server talked him into trying this dessert Coffee Trio. A dense brownie like chocolate cake with some coffee icing. Coffee mousse with a cream topping and coffee ice-cream. When we had finished our meal we walked over to the boat deck to wait for a boat to the Magic Kingdom. We waited for about 10 minutes, then got on the boat and went right to the Seven Seas Lagoon, where we had to stop as the Water Pageant was blocking our way. We waited for about 10 minutes and then we were off to the Magic Kingdom. When we arrived the Extra Magic Hours had already started and we phoned Mary Ellen and Joe to spend the rest of the evening with them. We met at the castle, then made our way over towards Liberty Square. The Haunted Mansion was our first ride that night, then we walked over the Pirates of the Caribbean, which had a pretty short line. Off we went on another one of our favourites, especially at night, the Jungle Cruise.

Most of the skippers crack a lot more corny jokes during Extra Magic Hours, so it is a lot more fun than usual. It was getting late and we went to ride Big Thunder Mountain, which Mary Ellen and Joe didn’t ride and then we were off to Splash Mountain. Once we got off the ride slightly wet, Extra Magic Hours were nearly over, so we slowly tracked towards the exit. We said goodbye to Mary Ellen and Joe at the boat deck and decided on a time at which to meet the next morning.

Tom and I made our way over to the parking lot, got into our car and off we went to Old Key West. We were pretty tired, so it didn’t take long until we found ourselves in bed, ready to fall asleep.