Aug 20, 2011





The march around the world ends in a visit to Africa


We slept in and got up just in time to drive over to the Yacht Club Resort for our late breakfast at the Captain's Grill. On the way there we talked about the fact that spending a Table Service Credit was a waste of the credit for breakfast and we still had a few Counter Service Credits to spend. So instead of having breakfast at the Yacht Club we just walked up to the restaurant and told them to cancel the reservation and after a short stroll around the resort we walked outside to enjoy the landscaping. Around 11am we walked over to Epcot. We walked towards France, explored the shop and then on to Morocco.

The Tangerine Cafe had just opened its doors, so we decided to spend the first of our Counter Service credits there. We got in line and ordered a Chicken & Lamb Shawarma Platter, served with a side of Hummus, Tabouleh and a Tangierine Couscous Salad with fresh Moroccan bread which we shared and a piece of Baklava for dessert. We found a nice table towards the back of the restaurant and sat down and enjoyed our meal. Once we had finished it, we slowly walked further along World Showcase, stopping in Japan to check out the store. There were lots of things to explore and when we left the Candy Lady was showing her art and we stayed and watched for a while.

Our next stop was America, where we had a good look around the heritage store and watched the flag retreat. We were just standing in the sun and were hot and tired, so we could only imagine how hot these Cast Members must have been in their uniforms. Our next stop was Germany where we searched for the hidden Mickeys in the train garden and instead of finding a hidden Mickey we found a not so hidden Austrian train running the tracks.

 We needed to get out of the sun, so we headed inside the store and took a good look around. The cucumber tree still cracks me up and after getting over it we walked towards the Karamell Kueche. We had a good look at the wonderful treats and were sure to come back once we had finished our walk around the world.  After a "long" walk we made it to China and then on to Norway. We had considered spending another Counter Service Credit at the Kringla Bakery, but the seating area was so full that we decided against it. But the wait for the Maelstrom was just five minutes so we got in line and walked right on.

 The ride is nice and slow and air conditioned and we enjoyed it, even though we skipped the movie at the end again. And again, there were some hats to be tried on and swords to be crossed. Then it was time to leave again and head over to Mexico. We quickly made our mind up and knew this was where we wanted to spend another Counter Service credit. We got in line, didn't wait too long and went to pick up our food. We had to wait a little and then a Cast Member put the entree in front of me, no sign of the drink or the dessert. We kept waiting, thinking it would not take long. In the meantime they handed out lots of other food to other guests, we were just stuck there.

The Cast Member who had half filled my tray kept his distance and after a while I flagged down a manager and asked about the rest of our food. He apologized, then went and got us the missing food, unfortunately the main had gotten cold in the meantime, so we asked to have that replaced as well. It was replaced without the blink of an eye and we finally were able to walk inside the restaurant to find a table. There were several empty tables and booths and we chose a booth. Tom went to the condiments bar to get a few sauces, napkins and forks while I took photos of the food. Again we shared the food, an order of Tacos de Carne - smoked beef brisket tacos served on fresh handmade corn tortillas with Pico de Gallo, lime and Corn Tortilla Chips.

For dessert we had ordered the Churros con Cajeta - Churros with Milk Caramel, and when we were finally finished we placed our trash in the bin and walked outside into the blazing sun again. We walked over to Futureworld and had a look at the tip board, but wait times were long for all the rides that interested us, so we decided to just check out Mousegear. The shop is huge and we spent quite some time in there, exploring and finding new and fun articles. Once we were done window shopping we went back to our walk around the world. This time we didn't have any rides in mind, just picking up a few more food items, we still had snack credits to spend. So our first stop was the Karamell Kueche, where we were served by a Cast Member from Munich and we had a nice chat in German. We then ordered a bag of Karamell Popcorn which we wanted to pay cash for and a chocolate and Caramel Covered Chocolate Strawberry and a Caramel and Marshmallow Roll which were both snack credits. At the register we had another short chat with the Cast Member, who was from Northern Germany and had been at Disney for 8 months and was looking forward to going back home to Germany again. We paid, picked up our goodies and since there was no way we could take the strawberry back to the villa we found a bench outside the store and sat down and I enjoyed the yummy treat.

Then we walked past Italy and in America we picked up a Jalapeno Cheese Stuffed Pretzel and a Cream Cheese Stuffed Pretzel for Tom. We asked for a bag for take away and off we went. It was hot and we slowly crawled back to the car, got in, put the top down and started driving towards Old Key West. The clouds above us didn't look promising and we were lucky we made it to Old Key West with the open top. We weren't back in the room for 2 minutes before a huge Florida downpour started. So we just took it easy and chilled for a while. Tom used the Jacuzzi and I checked the internet. Once Tom was got out of the Jacuzzi again we snacked a little on the Pretzels we had bought and I had the caramel roll and there were still some salads in the fridge.

We packed up most of our stuff that afternoon as well, since we were heading for Port Canaveral the next morning. By early evening we got changed again and then headed over to the the Animal Kingdom Lodge to spend the last of our Table Service Credits at the Jiko. We had cancelled a reservation there a few days earlier and were pleasantly surprised to be scoring a reservation at Jiko the day of. We arrived a short while later, parked the car and walked over to the resort. The lobby is amazing and even though we had been there a few days earlier, it looked completely different during the evening. Since we were early anyway we took our time and slowly proceeded towards the restaurant to sign in.

They told us there would be a 5 minute wait and we took a seat and waited. There was not much time for us to relax and take in the sights as we were quickly were called and led to our table.

The host handed us the menus and let us know that our server would be right over to greet us too. Again, she was right as it took only a minute for our server to appear and introduce herself. She asked if we had any questions concerning the menu or if we had any food allergies, but we had not even had time to look at the menu. So she disappeared and promised to be right back with our Diet Cokes. About 5 minutes later our drinks were served. We took a sip or two and our server appeared again with some nice hot towels to clean our hands. What a nice gesture! Once she had taken the towels away again we placed our order and she was quickly back with a basket full of Housemade Breads and some nice, whipped, Spiced Butter.

The bread was soft and very nice with the butter and we kept nibbling, even though we knew we needed to leave room for our dinner. It took about 10 minutes until our entrees were served. Tom had ordered the Braised Beef Short Rib, served Truffled Potato Puree, Pearl Onions, Baby Carrots, and Cabernet-Tamarind Sauce. My choice was the Grilled-marinated Berkshire Pork Loin with Tanzanian "grits", wilted heirloom mustard greens, tomato preserves, mustard jus, which were both wonderful. We both cleaned our plates and were already pretty full, but at least we needed to have a look at the dessert menu. Well, a look was not enough, we ended up ordering dessert. I knew what I wanted right away when I saw the menu, I ordered the Coconut Bread Pudding - Warm bread pudding with caramel rum sauce, toasted coconut and caramel ice cream, which was heaven on earth. Tom decided on One Last Cup, Tanzanian Chocolate and Kenya Coffee Mousse with cinnamon mascarpone, Nutty Chocolates and "Hot Chocolate", which not only looked pretty on the plate, but tasted heavenly.

We were both so full when we had finished our dinner and slowly left the restaurant and the resort. On the way to the car we spoke about the one thing that was still left to do. Reward the guards at the resort with a box of doughnuts and since we were already close to Kissimmee as there is a street that leads down there right when you leave the resort, we were determined to go to Krispy Kreme and get them a dozen doughnuts. We arrived at the shop a short while later and the "Hot Now" sign was on and in a spur of the moment decision we came up with the idea of not only awarding the guards, but also getting some for the the Cast Members working the night shift at the resort. So in we went and we picked up 2 1/2 dozen, still hot, glazed doughnuts.

Who was the half dozen for? Us of course. We both had one right when we got back in the car, even though we still felt pretty full from dinner, but these are just too good, to not have them hot. The we rode back to the resort with the top down. Our first stop was the guard house at Old Key West. One of our favourite guards was on duty and he must have already recognized us, as he just waved and wanted to let us through. Tom handed him the box of doughnuts and he was stunned, then told us that very seldom someone acknowledged their work and he was very grateful. We told him, how much their friendly waves and "Welcome Home" made us feel and when someone pulled up behind us, we had to leave. Next stop was the front desk.

A few Cast Members were working and checking people in, but within a minute another Cast Member came over and asked what he could help us with. We told him that we only wanted to leave the doughnuts for the Cast Member and how welcome we had felt at the resort and he started telling some other Cast Members about the doughnuts. They all thanked us and he said, they wouldn't have a long lifetime once he got them to the staff room. So now that all our jobs for the day were done, we drove back to our villa, packed the last few items and took most of our stuff over towards the door, so we wouldn't have to much work to do the next morning. Around midnight we decided to call it a day and went to bed.