Sept 10, 2010




And where the heck is the Magic Kingdom?


We slept in just a little today and after having showered and snacked on doughnuts and leftover goodies out of the fridge, before we walked to the car and drove over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Since we had missed the rope drop and the mad dash to Toy Story Mania Fastpasses, all the passes with reasonable times were gone, so we jumped into the regular line and had a 30 minute wait.

After that we went right over to the Tower of Terror and picked up a Fast Pass for that. The wait time said 13 minutes so we jumped in line right away and walked right into the library. Two of the elevators were closed and there still was no line. We got off the ride and walked around and saw that there still was a 13 minute wait, so we got in line again right away. There were a few more people in line now and it took us about 10 minutes to get into the library.

Again only two elevators were working and now they had built up a line. But nevertheless it was a pretty short wait. Again the right was a lot of fun and we had a little time to kill before our fastpass kicked in. Rock’n’Rollercoaster came to mind and we walked over, but we could see from afar that it was down. So we walked down over to the shops and browsed for a short while. Then we hurried back to the Fastpass entrance for Tower of Terror. By that time there was quite a long queue outside and we were happy to be able to bypass them all in the Fastpass line. After that third ride on the Tower of Terror it had become considerably crowded so we decided to leave the park and have some lunch. Once we were in the car we decided to drive to Downtown Disney and have lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s Express.

We still had to hand out a few gifts, so we went back to the villa and chilled for a while, then picked up our gifts and went to Downtown Disney hoping we would be able to deliver them. And we were in luck, once we entered the restaurant we saw CJ and after we had placed our order we handed him our presents. He couldn’t believe it, and thanked us over and over again. We then went in search for a table, found one and waited for our entrees to come out. It took only a little time until they were delivered. Tom had ordered the Meatball & Peppers Wood Fired Pizza - house-made meatballs, mozzarella, fontina and tomato basil-garlic sauce. A very "unusual" combination for us Europeans, but he had had it before and had really liked it, and this time it did not disappoint either. I wanted to try something new, the Crispy Chicken Tenders & French Fries. Well, not really something new to me, but a first ordering it at WPE.

We were just starting to dig in when Mariza arrived, came over to greet us and offered to get some dipping sauces for the chicken tenders. While she went to get the sauces we pulled out her presents and once she got back we handed them to her. She just could not believe that we had actually brought her presents. She hugged both of us and showed us a photo of her little son, who would get some of the cookies we had brought her and she would share the rum cake with her husband. We were having a fun conversation but after a while she insisted we finish our meals and chat a little later, so our meals would not get cold. We did as we were told to and finished our lunch. Mariza was quick to take away the lunch plates and serve the Crème Brulee that was still on order, refill the drinks and then stayed a while to chat some more. Once we were ready to leave she came over and handed us one of WPE’s chewy brownies as a return.

She was just so sweet and hugged us again when we left. We then walked over to the Once Upon A Toy store to do some more browsing and when we were done window shopping we saw some of the Fairy Godmothers in training of the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique lead a load of fresh little princesses to the carousel. They all rode it together and had the greatest fun. We had never seen anything like it before and it was really special and sweet.

We wanted to join Mary Ellen and Joe at the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon, but before that we had some mail we needed to get to the Post office, so we drove over to Crossroads and posted everything. After that we thought we would take a shortcut to the MK, but realized to late that we had missed the actual road.

So we looked for a spot where we could stop, stopped, programmed the GPS and off we went. We had been driving for a while and the distance to the Magic Kingdom seemed large, but the GPS will be right. So we drove and drove and drove and ended up at the Cast Member Entrance right BEHIND the Magic Kingdom. Once we realized how lost we had gotten we stopped again and this time used the Contemporary Resort as our point of interest.

It took us about 45 minutes to get back to the Contemporary and during the drive we asked ourselves more than once, “Where the heck is the Magic Kingdom”. It became a running gag and once we were back on “known” Disney property we followed the overhead signs. We had called Mary Ellen and Joe to let them know we were on our way, but we had gone REALLY wrong. Once we were back at the Magic Kingdom we parked the car and hurried over to meet with our friends.

We were really thirsty so we picked up a Raspberry Lemonade Slush and some water and headed inside Cosmic Ray’s. There we sat for a while, enjoyed our drinks and each others company and since the park was pretty crowded around mid afternoon we decided to pack up and leave the park and drive over to our villa for some coffee, drinks and cookies. Nearly everything was packed by then and we still had a few yummy treats which we wanted to share.

We sat and talked for quite a while and then we got ready for our dinner at Flying Fish. It was a late dinner and we wanted to head over to Epcot for Extra Magic Hours. When we arrived at the restaurant we were told they were running behind and we had to wait for about 20 minutes. I tried to reach Sophia, whom I met from the DISboards and who we wanted to meet after dinner. I couldn’t reach her first time around, but I would try later.

We had waited for about 20 minutes when we were called inside and seated towards the back of the restaurant. Our server introduced himself and talked us through the menu.While we were still trying to decide on what to order our server brought a basket of slightly warm Bread and some Butter. All of us tried it and deemed it very nice. Then it was time to order appetizers. Since we knew it was so much food, we shared with Mary Ellen and Joe again.

So we ordered the Flying Fish Cafe "Crispy Maine Coast Jonah Crab Cake" - Savory Vegetable Slaw, Roasted Red Pepper Coulis, and Ancho Chile Rémoulade and the Special Thunder Appetizer - Herb and Fennel Pollen-roasted Maine Lobster Salad, Fennel, Cucumber, Asian Greens, Yuzu Essence, Lobster Vinaigrette, with Fennel and Dill Emulsion, which was delicious. And right after we had ordered our starters I was able to reach Sophia and we decided to meet after our dinner. For their main course Mary Ellen and Joe both ordered the Flying Fish Café "Char-crusted Certified Black Angus New York Strip Steak" - Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Root Vegetables, and Pole Beans, with Classic Sauce Foyot. Tom had decided on the Oak-grilled Maine Diver Scallops - Artichoke, Fresh and Sun-dried Tomato, Basil, Pecorino Romano and Mascarpone-laced Risotto di Carnarolli,with Proscuitto di Parma Cracklins while I ordered the Citrus Pepper crusted Yellowfin Tuna "a la Nicoise". Fingerling Potatoes, Haricot Verts, Nicoise Olives, Artichokes, Fennel and Tiny Tomatoes, and a rich Vegetable Nage. When it came to dessert our friends chose the Trio of Seasonal House-made Sorbets - with Fresh Plant City Berries, and Vanilla-laced Cookies for dessert. It reminded me very much of various other sorbets.

Tom surprised me with his choice. He ordered the White Chocolate-Bing Cherry Creme Brulee. Cherry and candied Fennel Compote, Housemade Maraschino Cherries and Anise Biscotti while I wanted to try the Sinful Flourless Dark Chocolate Creation, Fresh Summer Crop Raspberries, Raspberry Coulis, and Riesling and Cherry Gelee with Chocolate Accentuations. We thoroughly enjoyed our last dinner at Walt Disney World and once we had finished it, we slowly made our way over to the International Gateway. Extra Magic Hours were in full swing by then and we had to show our room keys in order to get in. Once inside the park we called Sophia and she and her family were in line to ride Test Track so this was where we were to meet. All of us tried to get over there as fast as possible and we only waited a few minutes and then they left the ride. There is something really amazing about meeting DISfriends, there is an instant bond and feeling of friendship with them.

We all introduced ourselves, then chatted and hugged and all too soon our ways parted again. By then it was getting late and we wanted to at least fit in a few rides but lines were long, so we walked around, went to visit Nemo and finally went on Spaceship Earth. When we got off the ride it was time to leave the park and since we were at the front of the park everyone thought that we would just take a but to the resorts we wanted to go to.

Mary Ellen and Joe easily found their bus to Wilderness Lodge and we hugged and said goodbye as we did not know if we would see them again this vacation and we went on to find a bus back to the Boardwalk. We were pointed to a bus stop that served “all other resorts” and waited. And waited and waited some more. It was way past midnight and we were getting nervous when out of the blue a bus drove up and asked where we wanted to go. We told him that we wanted to go to the Boardwalk and he told us to hop in. There was another five minute wait to see if there would be any other passengers and then we were off. We had the whole bus all to ourselves and a fun and chatty driver. Once we got off at the Boardwalk we handed him a tip, which he refused at first, but then accepted as we told him this had been the largest taxi we had ever ridden in. A quick walk over to our car and by 1am we were back at our villa. We were far too tired to do the rest of the packing and left it for the next morning.