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Old 26 Oct 18, 07:05 PM  
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sha9
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Oh I feel for you about the Early Morning Magic! Iíd have been raging! Like you I assume people head for breakfast at park opening. It did look a nice breakfast though.

I do like Columbia Harbour House but we havenít been for ages. Iím a bit annoyed at myself that we chose to eat TS at MK when there are so many good QS choices!

Thatís such a shame about Artists Point. We had originally hoped to add it to our signature list next year and was disappointed it had changed to character. Now with your review Iím less disappointed but itís rubbish for you when itís somewhere youíve loved.
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Old 26 Oct 18, 07:46 PM  
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Originally Posted by GezzasGem View Post
Artist Point definitely sounds a let down- we have never been but don't think I will rush to try it. Can I ask a dumb question - what are hush puppies?! 😁
That's not a dumb question! I'm only vaguely sure what they are, I think they are basically fried corn bread. I don't like them at all, which annoys me, as I want to love everything I associate with America

Thank you for reading!

Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
I'd have been chomping at the bit to get on the rides too, but you know I don't understand leisurely breakfasts when there is an empty park. Heading in at 9.30 would have been perfect...yes the buffet would have looked like a school canteen serving area but at least you'd have had your fill of 7dmt.

I am so keen to try out the new character dining with Snow White and the Evil Queen and some dwarves! This is pretty much top of my list for next year. I dont know how I'm going to squeeze in all the signatures I want, I'd pretty much written off Narcoossees until your review reminded me why I wanted to go there originally! Aah this is going to be tough.

Back to your meal...I knew you'd pick the charcuterie, when I was right I went back and decided you would pick either the salmon or scallops for the main course. And hurrah I was right, but what a shame the salmon was overcooked. This summer when we went to WCC Kate had the salmon and you said hers looked a bit dry like it had been overcooked. What is it with Wilderness Lodge and not being able to cook salmon properly?

Oh and I'm glad you rebooked your Tony's lunch so you could see the parade. I can't wait to find out whether it stood the test of time or fell by the wayside again.
I am already excited to hear your thoughts on the Snow White meal, even though it's months away. It won't be too long until the first reviews start coming through.

Going by the luck I had last year, I think Disney on the whole doesn't seem to be able to cook salmon, unless it's the buffet at Hollywood & Vine

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by DollyDimples View Post
Just made my train journey home a bit more enjoyable reading your latest update. Thank you.

Breakfast did end up being expensive!

Looking forward to reading what you thought of Tony's if you did make it. It is in my list of potentials but I have read a few bad reviews. The parade viewing area is a huge draw though.
We had dinner at Tony's quite a few years ago, when it was universally panned, and it turned into one of our favourite meals. I always think if you like the look of somewhere you should go, regardless of what everyone else thinks, unless it's Diamond Horseshoe

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by sha9 View Post
Oh I feel for you about the Early Morning Magic! Iíd have been raging! Like you I assume people head for breakfast at park opening. It did look a nice breakfast though.

I do like Columbia Harbour House but we havenít been for ages. Iím a bit annoyed at myself that we chose to eat TS at MK when there are so many good QS choices!

Thatís such a shame about Artists Point. We had originally hoped to add it to our signature list next year and was disappointed it had changed to character. Now with your review Iím less disappointed but itís rubbish for you when itís somewhere youíve loved.
I really was raging, I was being a brat and kept asking them if they enjoyed their $200 breakfast but they didn't seem to get the hint

We have the opposite problem with MK, we like the QS so much that we'll forego TS for it! It's why we're yet to eat at Skipper Canteen, that's somewhere that would be a gamble for Nik, but he knows he loves Pecos Bills etc.

I wasn't too disappointed in Artist Point as part of me felt like the staff were probably feeling a bit de-motivated with the change so expected it.

Thank you for reading
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Old 26 Oct 18, 09:32 PM  
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Caught up!

Seems like a bit of a mixed bag so far meals wise, do you have a favourite so far?

Disappointed we never got to try Artist Point but your latest experience helps sooth that a bit.

Hmm lobster bisque - sounds delicious xx
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Old 27 Oct 18, 03:29 PM  
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Enjoying your report

I feel for you having to cancel the lunch adrs, hope some make it back.
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Old 27 Oct 18, 10:01 PM  
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Shame about Artists point. I'm staying at wilderness lodge nxt year and can't wait to try the snow white and dwarfs character meal.
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Old 27 Oct 18, 10:47 PM  
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Such a pity about the salmon. Interestingly I had the salmon from Columbia Harbour House and it was really good, plain but very tasty.
I would have been cross about having to change your ADRís too.
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Old 28 Oct 18, 04:28 PM  
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Oh dear, it seems like Early Morning Magic was a bit of a letdown. I would have been annoyed at paying out for that and not getting much done.
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Old 28 Oct 18, 09:09 PM  
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Excellent first few days Colette, lots of great reviews so far. What a shame you had to change your plans so early into the holiday. And I would have been very annoyed at the early morning event too.

I love that dish at mama Melrose too, that was my favourite in 2013 and I really did want to go back in 2015.

So glad you like the pasta recipe.

Looking forward to reading more x x
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Old 29 Oct 18, 11:16 PM  
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Originally Posted by sheluk View Post
Caught up!

Seems like a bit of a mixed bag so far meals wise, do you have a favourite so far?

Disappointed we never got to try Artist Point but your latest experience helps sooth that a bit.

Hmm lobster bisque - sounds delicious xx
Hi Michelle,

Mama Melrose was definitely a favourite, I kind of regretted doing it on the first day, I definitely felt like we peaked a bit early!

It is a shame that you didn't get to try out Artist Point as a Signature, but maybe Charlie will be a Snow White fan!?

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by dixonsontour View Post
Enjoying your report

I feel for you having to cancel the lunch adrs, hope some make it back.
Hi Stephanie,

It was such a silly thing to do, I really regret it

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by Pinkpeoney View Post
Shame about Artists point. I'm staying at wilderness lodge nxt year and can't wait to try the snow white and dwarfs character meal.
Wilderness Lodge will be wonderful, it's my favourite resort. I am really excited for the first reviews of the new meal to start coming out.

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by rosiebun3 View Post
Such a pity about the salmon. Interestingly I had the salmon from Columbia Harbour House and it was really good, plain but very tasty.
I would have been cross about having to change your ADRís too.
That's so interesting about the QS salmon, I've always just automatically written it off but I'll make a point to try next time! I'll swap my cous cous for fries though haha.

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
Oh dear, it seems like Early Morning Magic was a bit of a letdown. I would have been annoyed at paying out for that and not getting much done.
I'd kept quite quiet about EMM as I thought it would be a nice surprise for my mum but in hindsight I probably should have explained it a bit better!

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by Lisa29 View Post
Excellent first few days Colette, lots of great reviews so far. What a shame you had to change your plans so early into the holiday. And I would have been very annoyed at the early morning event too.

I love that dish at mama Melrose too, that was my favourite in 2013 and I really did want to go back in 2015.

So glad you like the pasta recipe.

Looking forward to reading more x x
Hi Lisa,

You are so lucky that your family are really easy going on holiday!

We love the pasta, every time Nik comes home and there's pasta on the hob he asks if it's his favourite haha. We really have to go and try the real thing sometime.

Thank you for reading!
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Old 29 Oct 18, 11:43 PM  
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Sorry for the delay on getting the next day to you guys, it's been a super busy weekend in Chicken Land

DAY 5

Another day, another cancelled ADR. I was feeling really down this morning; we were badly missing our cats , and Mum wasnít enjoying Disney, I needed something to perk me up so I decided we should go on an adventure. I feel like this is an enormous confession, butÖ we ate offsite and cancelled our 9.25 am ADR at Trattoria al Forno, which coincidentally was the hardest of all our ADRs to get!

One of my favourite films is
'I Am Sam', and iHop features as Sean Pennís characterís favourite restaurant, ever since I first saw the film (over 15 years ago!), Iíve wanted to eat there as it just seemed so quintessentially American.

iHop

Honestly, I was hugely excited about iHop, we have been to Florida seven times, yet never been. You can see the menu here. I practically danced into the restaurant.

I knew what I wanted before I even opened the menu. Smokehouse Combo - Smoky and savory, our combo comes with two smoked sausage links, two eggs ade your way, hash browns and two fluffy buttermilk pancakes



This was as good as it looks, the smoked sausages are delicious, I had my eggs scrambled and they were hot, fluffy and creamy, and the hash browns, which arenít usually my favourite of things, were tasty.

You can upgrade the pancakes that come with the combo to any on the menu, it was so hard for me to choose but in the end I went for Belgian Dark Chocolate Mousse Pancakes - Chocolate pancakes will with chocolate chips and layered with creamy Belgian dark chocolate mousse, then topped with more mousse & chocolate chops, dusted with cocoa powder and crowned with whipped topping.



I chose wrong! I love chocolate, but I donít really like chocolate flavoured things, so I donít really know what I was thinking with these. They were just too chocolatey! The promises of chocolate chips was what had swayed me towards these as I regretted not trying the ones at Boma, but the chocolate chips had melted into the pancakes so they were just like extra mousse!

Mum had the Seasonal Pancake Combo -Choose a two stack of one of our seasonal pancakes and make it a combo with eggs, hash browns and more!



She had eggs and sausages. She loved this, said it was the best breakfast so far, and iHopís coffee was much, much better than Disneyís

She chose the Pumpkin Spice Pancakes - Two pumpkin pancakes made with real pumpkin and seasonal spices, crowned with creamy whipped topping to go with her combo.



These look delicious, and they were! I think the sweet potato pancakes at The Wave were better but these are really nice, and it was fun to try one of the seasonal offerings. I really wanted mum to try the Cinna-A-Stack ones with cinnamon bun flavouring but she said she Ďdidnít want any bunsí

Nik had the Create Your Own Melt - [i]Grilled artisan sourdough filled with scrambled eggs, Swiss, American and your choice of sliced ham, hickory-smoked bacon, shredded corned beef or fire-roasted poblano peppers and onions.



He opted for the bacon, this also comes with your choice of pancakes or hash browns. He loved this, he said he felt like he was in heaven eating it

I also added a side of Turkey Sausage Patties

I thought these might taste like my beloved sausage patties from Tusker House (which I presume are pork), but they didnít, they tasted like turkey, dry!



This meal came to $44.20. Now, Iíve read enough trip reports to know it is cheaper to eat offsite, but seeing it in front of me was a bit of a game changer. We loved our meals, the server was fantastic; our glasses were never empty, she offered us drinks to go, helped my mum out when she wasnít sure how she wanted her eggs cooked, and she filled us in on seasonal offers, including sharing her own favourites, she seemed genuine when she did this, not like she was being a salesperson. Breakfast for 3 people cost less than the (undeserved) tip at Artist Point. I loved The Wave and Boma, but were they better than iHop?! No.

The thing that struck me most about off-site eating was the difference in the tips. I know I am probably taking too simple a view of this, serving is an art in the US, and the servers that work at Disney have likely worked hard to get there, but it just seems wrong that there are excellent servers in offsite restaurants doing the same job but earning only a percentage of the tips Disney servers do.

***

Stuffed from breakfast we headed to Epcot, the plan for today had been valet parking at the Boardwalk and then strolling to World Showcase after breakfast just in time for it opening. Now we were offsite, we decided just to park normally and finish off the Future World attractions weíd missed the other day.

Nik and I shared our favourite Vanilla Bean CrŤme Frappuccino from Fountain View



Mum had an Iced Strawberry Green Tea. She liked this, I thought it was horrible, another thing I thought tasted like medicine.



***

Lunch was supposed to be Chefs de France but stuffed from breakfast we changed our plans again. I had planned a late lunch as we were going to the Happily Ever After Dessert Party in the evening so wanted to save room for it, we switched our plans to an early dinner instead.

Before we left Epcot we stopped at Electric Umbrella for something to drink. I got a Frozen Strawberry Slushy which was again more like a smoothie than a slushy.



Whilst we were at Electric Umbrella we had a look at the menu and Nik said he would quite like to eat there, he had tried some of my nuggets at Columbia Harbor House and he wanted some more. He really doesnít ask for much so I said we could change our plans for the following day so we could try it. It was EMH at Magic Kingdom that evening so I said we could stay later than planned, skip our Crystal Palace breakfast in the morning, have a lie-in instead, then head back to Epcot for lunch then do some World Showcase.

***

The Plaza

By the time our dinner ADR arrived we were all absolutely starving and skipping lunch seemed like a bad idea! We were so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of the menu, which you can see here/.

Thereís not much on offer in the way of appetizers here, loaded fries, wedge salad (which I hate, itís just lazy, chop it up!), or seasonal soup. I had the Loaded Fries - French Fries topped with Melted Cheese, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomatoes and Ranch Dressing.



These were really good! Hot and crispy fries with just the right amount of dressing that meant they didnít go soggy. We shared them and cleared the plate.

Nik and Mum both had the Seasonal Soup, which was tomato bisque.



They both really liked this, I thought it tasted like Heinz Tomato Soup.

Mum and Nik ordered the same main too, I told them they were spoiling my trip report! Baked Honey-Barbecued Brisket Mac & Cheese - Baked Pasta in Cheddar Cheese Sauce sprinkled with Crispy-Fried Onions and Scallions topped with a Savory Barbecued Beef Brisket



Mum said she liked this, and did speak about it a few days afterwards, so I think she was telling the truth, but she left a lot of it! Nik liked it too but he thought the brisket and the mac and cheese should have been two different dishes.

I had the Angus Chuck Cheeseburger - Served on a Brioche Bun with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion and choice of Toppings Ė Bacon, Cheddar, American Cheese, Grilled Mushrooms, or Grilled Onions. Served with your choice of Seasonal Vegetables, Homemade Chips, or French Fries



I had cheddar on my burger, and fries as the side, I donít know why I ordered more fries! When we ate here in 2013 I wasnít asked how I wanted my burger cooked leading me to think they served QS burgers in here, this year it was freshly cooked to order, which was a good improvement. It was a simple dish, but perfectly done.



Mum had the Plaza Restaurant Sundae - [i]Ice Cream of your choice topped with choice of Hot Fudge, Strawberry Sauce, Crushed Pineapple, Chopped Nuts, Whipped Cream, and a Cherry]/i].



She said ĎIím going to have the sundae, that will be smallí She chose strawberry ice cream, but had already had a strawberry shake as her drink, ice cream overload!

More in tune with Disney portion sizes I asked for the Mickeylodeon.



This is the kidsí dessert with mint chocolate chip ice cream, it was just the right size. I love that in America anything goes, restaurants will give you anything you want, the server didn't even flinch when I asked for the kids' dessert.

Nik had an All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Milk Shake - Hand-dipped Milk Shake topped with Whipped Cream and a Cherry.



Cookies and cream wasnít listed as one of the available shake flavours but Nik asked anyway and they were able to do it for him. He enjoyed this. I don't know what is going on with this picture, I think I'd gone too long without having anything to eat, and by the end of this meal I felt a bit sick.

We were all really happy with our meals here, and I would have happily returned another day in the same trip as several items on the menu appealed to me. Prior to now, Nik and I hadnít returned after our 2013 visit as we had a poor experience then (cold food, cold restaurant), but we are really happy we gave The Plaza another chance. The service here was very quick, we were still on the bus to MK at 5.10 and our receipt says we had finished our three courses by 6.07! There's lots of things on the menu that appealed to us and if we'd have the time we'd have probably returned another day in the same trip.

CREDITS USED 45
TOTAL IN $$ 1,259.14

***

Fireworks Dessert Party Ė Plaza Garden Viewing

We headed straight from The Plaza to check in for the dessert party, we had no intention of eating any desserts, I had simply paid for the viewing area. We were given our wrist bands and taken to a table, then I popped off to take some buffet photos.

New this year, was a Símores Action Station. I saw the finished article on a few peoplesí tables and they looked really nice.











These are the infamous cheeseburger spring rolls, this is the only thing I tried, these were on my must-do snack list and I didnít like them! They were really greasy, and didnít taste like McDonaldsí cheeseburgers like it was promised they would



I am sure this spinach dip tasted nicer than it looked



This was our view from the Plaza Gardens, still pretty good considering we showed up 10 minutes prior to the show starting.



I think the view from the gardens is so much better than the Tomorrowland Terrace.

The one disappointing thing about our Dessert Party experience was that number of people in the Plaza Gardens had increased dramatically. Since last year Disney have introduced an after fireworks dessert party which allows guests access to the Plaza Gardens for Happily Ever After viewing, afterwards they head to the terrace for desserts. Disney claimed that the number of people in the Gardens would remain the same despite two different dessert parties running, they were lying, it was far more crowded than last year. Furthermore, last year everyone sat down on the grass to watch, this year everyone stood up, it was like some kind of Mexican wave, the people at the front started it, then everyone else had to follow. The family in front of us actually apologised, the dad was annoyed, as he said we had all paid to be able to sit and watch. Nevertheless, we were still happy with our view, and will pay for the party again next year, probably the after party just to see how it compares.

The Plaza Gardens version of the dessert party costs $69 per adult.



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