Left around 8 p.m. to drive to the Comfort Inn at the SLC airport. Nice place! We stayed there because they let us leave the car and that was cheaper and more convenient because our flight left so early.
Got up at 4:00 a.m. to catch flight. To our great relief the plane left on time (American Airlines had been in the news with some problems). Made our connection in Dallas no problem and arrived in Orlando only 20 min late. Disney's Magical Express is the best thing ever.
We took the bus to Hollywood Studios where we met Ruth, who gave us one of her passes, took a bus to the Contemporary again, then the monorail to the Magic Kingdom!
As you'll see, food is a MAJOR theme throughout this whole trip. I've listed quite a bit, but believe me, it's nowhere near the amount we really ate. I love this picture from the Buss Lightyear queue. It pretty much sums up how we felt about what we ate.
Slept in. Catherine got us into EPCOT and then had to go to work.
From Austrailia we had lamb with pesto; Scandinavia, swedish meatballs with lingonberries; China, Mongolian beef in a steamed bun; Africa, spinach and paneer cheese pocket--this was the best deal for the money and was delicious, but it was 90 degrees outside, and this came straight out of the deep fryer. Next was the CHEESE stand, my favorite.
We went back to Soaring with our fastpass, then Spaceship earth, and Mission Space. Our friends from Iowa happened to be there and we met up with them at the Lotus Blossom Cafe in China where we had dinner. We roade the Maelstrom with Elaine and Bill
Catherine had to work so we were on our own. We took the Disney bus to the Disney car care center (of course Disney has it's own car care center, to pick up our rental car. We also rented the GPS which was a very smart move. Drove to Universal Islands of Adventure and went immediatley to the Hogwarts area.
Here's a tape-measure cat from Madame Malkin's. Went on Posidon's Fury, which has a heck of a ride front.
Back to Universal--Catherine had the day off and could come with us. On our way to Hogsmeade we met Spiderman.
A word about breakfast. The plan was to take breakfast food with us and eat at the hotel to save money. It worked great in Aruba, but not quite so well this time. Disney resorts (at least the cheap ones) don't have coffee makers! We brought along our own little electric kettle to heat water for oatmeal,as well as some bagels and peanut butter, Catherine brought fruit and juice. It would have been ok, except Dave bought the wrong kind of oatmeal that needed to be microwaved. Using the hotwater gave us a marginal result. As a result our breakfasts tended to be on the light side, which was ok, because that meant we were always ready for an early lunch which is good theme park strategy line-wise.
Anyway, Catherine and I rode the smaller rollercoaster--Flight of the Higgogriff. Then we all shared some cauldron cake and pumpkin torte. Next was the Cat in the Hat ride,
"Sure, I'm a litte teapot short and stout, I don't have a handle, I don't have a spout.."
we finished the day with one last trip on Journey through Hogwarts and then ate dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, which was just right there and is advertised as the world's largest.
This was a semi-day off. We slept in and then packed up to move to the Pop Century resort.
For dinner we went to downtown Disney and ate at the T-Rex restaurant which is exactly the same as the Rainforest Cafe only with dinosaurs.
Afterward, we browsed around downtown disney in a leisurley way and ate huge ice-cream sundaes at Giradellis.
We returned the rental car then picked up Catherine who had slept in, and went to EPCOT.
A word about the Disneyworld mousekeeping staff. What wonderful people! They often did cute things like this:
Hollywood Studios, where Catherine's working today! We finally got to see the shows where she's working and has seen 1000 times. First stop was Disney Junior. Catherine wouldn't watch it with us. I can't say I blame her. It was a darling show--I loved all the things that fell down on the audience--bubbles, shiny paper gold doubloons and streamers. Terrific show and it was great to see all the little kids reactions, but 500 times through the show is probably enough. Catherine did join us for the Little Mermaid show.
Oh my. This was a special treat for Catherine. The restaurant had been pumping scent into the park the whole time she's been working here, but is so expensive that she'd never been able to eat there. The Brown Derby is modeled after the famous Hollywood Brown Derby and the prices ARE amazing. We went all out each getting an appetizer (about $15 each), main dish (about $35) and dessert (about $8). Luckily, Catherine had a 50% off coupon which saved us $85 on the meal!!! The only problem with the restaurant, was that instead of being filled with glamourous diners, it was filled with tourists dressed like us. I wrote down what we ate, because there is no way I would ever remember it--and I still don't really know what we ate, but trust me it was good. Here's the menu:
Dave--Cobb Salad. This was invented at the Derby. They chopped all ingredients very fine.
Me--Brie, Midnight Moon and proscuitto cake w/ Tete de Moine petals and an olive-roasted vegetable salad.
Catherine--Crispy phyllo Napoleon of Bleu Affinee, Wild mushroom Duxelles, grilled portobello, golden chanterelles and a fig reduction.
Dave--Sterling Silver Pan-seared Mojo Marinated Pork chop, Carmaelized Manchego cheese and a Mango-tomatillo Salsa over a bed or crispy Boniato, applewood smoked bacon, sweet pepper and apple cider jus.
Me--Duck two ways. Duck Pastrami over a pear and melon salad w/ white balsamic, honey, and a vanilla reduction. Duck Confit w/ Farro Risotto and spicy onion and citrus jam.
Catherine--spit roasted American Bison w sauteed beets tossed in an herb-shallot vinagrette,,forest mushroom, white truffle croquette, and a cocoa espresso BBQ sauce.
Dessert--I don't have the fancy descriptions here. Dave had the famous grapefruit cake, Catherine had one of the most delicious berry cobblers I've ever seen, and I had a creme brulee with chocolate dipped biscotti.
We came out full, but not overly so. Time for more rides!
We went on the Great Movie Ride, then Dave and C saw the Indiana Jones stunt spectacular. I made a valient effort, but just could not stay awake. Then Star Tours, Muppet 3-D, then the Lights, Motors Action Show--a car show that I enjoyed much more than I expected to.
Oct 25 Magic Kingdom! and Mickey's Halloween Party We knew it was going to be a big day so we planned for sleep. Slept till 8. Catherine wanted to check on getting hair glitter. It cost more time and money than we wanted to spend, but the lady asked if we might like some free pixie dust? SURE!!!
A Day off. At least for me and Dave. Catherine had to work, but we all slept in and the Catherine and I explored the resort
Animal Kingdom Catherine had to work during the day alas. So we used the Unoffical Guide plan for AK. First stop though was to go with C to Hollywood so she could get us in the park and then we park hopped to AK.
(Check out this "Bloat" of hippos"
Hollywood was great too that night. We saw the Art of Animation and did the little Art class while we waited for Catherine. Then we saw the Walt Disney "one Man's dream" which I loved. Then Toy Story of course (it really is a stupendous ride) Me: 118,200, Catherine 137,200 and Dave 124,900. We took a minute to look at the handprints at the Chinese Theater then finished our whole trip with dinner at the Sci-fi diner (we had reservations this time). HILARIOUS!! One of the highlights of the trip for me. We ate in an old car at a "drive in" under the stars where trailers for all kinds of B monster movies and commercials from the 40's and 50's were playing. It was a wonderful way to end our trip.
Home again. Slept in, but felt that I could sleep for a week and not properly catch up. The packing went pretty well--it's always a little nerve wracking to see if everything will fit (it did--sort of). We ate at the food court and got our luggage--with magical bell-hop help-- to the magic express area in the nick of time. I really hate the ends of vacations. It was doubly hard to say goodbye to Catherine. The only glitch on the way home was that I lost our camera. This wasn't as much of a tragedy as it could have been--luckily, I'd been using Catherine's camera almost the whole time, but there were some video's of mom that I'm sick about losing. But the flights went well, the car was fine and the cats were happy to see us. I had taken the next day off which was a very smart thing to have done. I don't know when I've ever been so tired! Looking back, I think it took me a full two weeks to feel fully normal. I can't wait to go back.