Sept 7, 2010




A royal invitation for dinner


We got up around 8am, had some breakfast sandwiches made up with things out of our fridge and then headed over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We arrived there shortly after rope drop, and made our way over to Toy Story Mania.

Tom got in line for the Fast Pass and I walked up to have a look at the current return time. It looked good, but changed rapidly while I waited and once it was Tom’s turn our return time was between 1 and 2pm! The standby wait was just half an hour so we got in line and rode right away. We still had some time left before our lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby, so we strolled over to the Great Movie Ride.

 We walked inside, just to walk right out again. The line was out the building. So we walked through the stores and over to the Tower of Terror. The wait at the Tower said 20 minutes so we hopped in line. It took us about 20 minutes to get inside the famed hotel and another 10 to get on the elevator.

The ride was fun and before we walked over to the restaurant we walked through the stores, watched the street artists and had a lot of Photopass photos taken. Then it was time to check in at the restaurant for lunch. Our ADR was shortly after they opened and the place was empty! We were seated immediately at a small table to the side of the restaurant. Our server was at hand quickly and introduced himself. And even though he was very nice and accommodating, it was a bit of an awkward feeling, sitting there in your theme park clothes and these overly overdressed waiters waiting on you hand and foot! We ordered Diet Cokes, but since the server insisted we had a bottle of water included with our meal we ordered a bottle of Pellegrino as well. There was a wine list and on it there was something that caught our eye!

A glass of Silverado Vineyards, Chardonnay, Napa Valley ‘08. The Silverado Vineyards belong to Diane Disney Miller and this is as close to Disney as it gets. We visited the Silverado Vineyards in 2006 and tasted some wines, and really loved them. So whenever we can lay our hands on them we get some! Shortly after our drinks were delivered our starters came out. Tom ordered the spicy Sashimi-grade Tuna Tartare with cucumber, daikon and Pepper Salad, Avocado Wasabi Sauce, and crisp Lotus Root Chips, which he really liked. I ordered the Famous Cobb Salad with finely-chopped greens, turkey breast, bacon, egg, tomatoes, crumbled Blue Cheese, avocado, chives, and Cobb Dressing. I didn't like it and I DO like ALL of the ingredients in it! It was badly mixed (tableside) and I had to do some more mixing myself, but it was very salty and tasted like there was WAY too much blue cheese and bacon in it.

Tom had a bit, but most of it was left on the plate. While we were still eating appetizers we were brought some warm rolls, which were very pale and your standard little Bread rolls, which came with Whipped butter. For my entrée I ordered the char-grilled Filet of Beef over White Truffle Whipped Potatoes, topped with Julienne root vegetables and a tomato/red wine reduction, while Tom had the Sterling Silver Pork Chop topped with Smoked Gouda and Apricot Preserve served over Napa Cabbage, Bacon, and Potato Hash with Apple Cider Jus, which he really enjoyed. Up next was dessert. Tom had the Double Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée with Dark Chocolate-dipped Biscotti and I had ordered the Chocolate Three Ways – Dark Almond-Buttermilk Cake Layered with Milk Chocolate Truffle Crème and White Chocolate Chambord. This was a new addition to the menu according to the server and it sounded good - it was outstanding.

After finishing our desserts and drinks we settled the bill and walked over to the Toy Story Mania ride. Our Fastpasses were good by then and we walked ride onto it. After the ride we decided to leave the park as it had gotten rather crowded and drove offsite to shop at Publix. We needed a few more groceries and a few more drinks and there were lots of other things to check out. When we had finished shopping we drove back to Old Key West, hauled everything up to our villa and crashed on the sofa for a while. Once we felt a bit rested I started putting things into the suitcases, as there were only a few more days of our vacation left. All too soon it was time to leave Old Key West again and drive over to the Magic Kingdom to meet Mary Ellen and Joe. We made a stop at the Contemporary Resort to pick up some goodies we had seen there and had them shipped to our resort.

Once we had finished shopping we walked over to the Magic Kingdom and once we had gone through security and the turnstiles we called Mary Ellen and Joe and they promised to meet us in just a few minutes. While we waited for them I picked up a box of fresh Popcorn. There is nothing that says Walt Disney World like that freshly popped corn. We watched the Celebrate Parade. Soon after Mary Ellen and Joe had arrived and we could start our adventures together.

First off we had some photopass photos taken and then we were off to help Buzz Lightyear fight the evil emperor Zurg. Tom was far more successful than I am and we left the battlefield to walk over to the Carousel of Progress. There is nothing better to relax than an airconditioned ride in the Carousel of Progress. So this is what we did and some of us were even able to catch up on some sleep.

Our next ride was the Peoplemover. We all love this ride, so nice to just people watch and take a lot of fun photos from an unusual angle. We then parted ways for a little time, as Tom and I wanted to ride Space Mountain and Mary Ellen and Joe don’t ride that. After the ride we strolled over to Toon Town, using the pathway that goes along the railroad tracks. We visited Mickey’s House and the Judge’s tent before it was time to head over to the castle.

We had a royal invitation. An invitation to dinner! We met Mary Ellen and Joe outside the castle, checked in and were told to wait outside for about 10 more minutes. Then we were allowed inside and were waiting to have our photo taken with Cinderella. While we sat and waited for the princess we watched the many children, all dressed up as princesses and waiting for their opportunity to have a photo with Cinderella taken. After a few minutes Cinderella appeared and it didn’t take long for us to be called and have our picture taken.

Then we were taken upstairs to the dining room and seated on the upper level of the restaurant. Our server appeared and handed the guys some swords and the girls some wishing wands! We all had a good laugh and some fun with our new toys. We ordered our drinks right away and went to have a look at the menu. Our server was quick to bring out some nice warm Rolls with butter and took our order for starters and main courses. Joe had decided on the Soup of the Day, which was Beef and Barley, Mary Ellen and Tom had the Rock Shrimp Cocktail - rock shrimp with tomato marmalade and I actually surprised myself by ordering the Royal Tasting of Cheese - a trio of cheeses with accompaniments, which was commented by the server that at least two of the cheeses were quite good!

After we had finished our starters it did not take long for our main courses to appear. Mary Ellen and Joe both ordered the Roasted Beef Tenderloin - sliced roasted beef tenderloin with Duchess potatoes, asparagus, and Hollandaise. Tom had the Duck Confit - duck confit with savory mushroom bread pudding and Hollandaise sauce and my choice of the day was the Braised Cobia - braised on Pomodorro sauce served with vegetables over angel hair pasta.

And then it was time to meet Cinderella’s Royal Friends. Our first royal visitor was The Sleeping Beauty, Aurora, and next was her friend, Miss White. They all had a few comments to make and were gone again fast. Last to visit our table was Belle. She commented on how honoured she felt with all those people wanting to have their photo taken with her. Joe commented that they would all too soon end up on Facebook, to which she answered, with a very serious face, “Oh, you mean there is a book full of faces?” We all nearly fell over backwards laughing, but the cute little French Miss perfectly stayed in character. We said our goodbyes to her, as our server was bringing out our desserts. Mary Ellen, Joe and Tom all chose the same dessert, the Seasonal No Sugar Added Sorbet - with berries, while I needed to have something different.

I had the Créme Caramel - caramel topped with vanilla custard, which I was told, was not a dessert that was ordered often, but it was very good. We tipped the server a little extra for making us laugh a few times and then left the castle. There were only a few minutes of park time left, so we hurried to the photoshop to have the Dinner package photos added to our photopass account.

It took quite a while to have it done and by the time they were added, the park had officially closed and we left the park. Our friends walked over to the boat landing again, while Tom and I made our way over to the parking lot, to pick up our car. We drove back to our villa, watched a little more TV and then called it a day.