OK, I decided at almost the last minute to add in the 30th, mostly so I could see the MK’s Midnight fireworks twice. I booked a room at the Pop for one night, we’re already booked at WL for 31-2.
I was able to make a 7 PM dinner reservation at Tokyo Dining for that night, so here we go.
Or not. For whatever reason, we weren’t able to leave on time, and didn’t get on the road until something like 3:10. This means things are going to be tight.
Lucky Pop Century is the first thing in WDW we pass when we come in on Osceola Parkway from the Turnpike. We arrived around 6:20 and it took about 20 minutes to get checked in. No time to go to the room. I pull my camera stuff out before we leave Pop.
Now, you’ll all love this next move. We went to Boardwalk and valet parked. There was a really long line, so I jumped out and left DW to give the car to a valet and off I went to Japan to get us checked in at Tokyo Dining. DW was about 12 minutes in back of me and we were seated fairly quickly after.
DW had the sushi appetizer and I had the tempura appetizer.
For dinner, I had a bunch of ala carte sushi and DW had the shrimp and scallop tempura combo.
There were a couple speed bumps. For some reason, they had to be reminded to bring out the sushi appetizer after they brought my tempura. For the main course speed bump, they sent out salmon roe instead of the shad roe I’d ordered. The difference, for those who have no idea what I’m talking about, is the size of the fish egg. Shad eggs are like caviar. Salmon eggs are bigger. The eggs are placed on top of a small ball of rice and wrapped with the same seaweed wrap they use for California rolls.
My sushi was fresh and clean tasting. DW liked the tempura combo. We decided to pass on dessert. It’s a little after 8 and I want to get a spot for Illuminations.
(To be added to later)
OK, I decided at almost the last minute to add in the 30th, mostly so I could see the MK’s Midnight fireworks twice. I booked a room at the Pop for one night, we’re already booked at WL for 31-2.
Me, too. :laugh: But, as soon as you said EGGS I ran away.
You’ve never had caviar? Ever? Not at some fancy schmancy wedding or over the top corporate banquet?
Anyway, they look kind of like this, only the top is filled with red caviar(looking stuff)
I made a slight mistake, it’s smelt roe, not shad roe. Anyway, it’s like caviar on rice.
These are salmon eggs or as they call it at Tokyo Dining, salmon roe. I like the smelt a lot better because they are a lot smaller. Like I said, caviar.
I love to pop them against my teeth :laugh: (I hope nobody hurls :eek: :blow: )
Well, let’s continue this thing instead of editing.
I found a spot to the right of lantern 3. Sadly, I was too late to get to the rail, so I had to stand back and have bodies in front of me. It was so bad, I took the camera off the tripod and held it slightly above my head. After the show we headed for the monorail and the MK. We had plenty of time so we didn’t rush. We killed time in the shops on Main Street and eventually I set up over by Crystal Palace and waited for 11:50. Fantasy itself is short and just OK, although I think they’ve added burst to the main show. Then comes the New Year’s Countdown, and I do mean countdown. The numbers are up in the sky. Also, the entire show is mirrored on Seven Seas Lagoon and the main show in the MK is extra wide too. After Fantasy in the Sky, I got a locker so I wouldn’t have to carry around all my garbage. We headed for Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and Big Thunder. We also stopped at the MK’s Christmas Shop so I could get some extras of the Mousicles and the color changer castle. I wound up getting a free Goofy. I put the toy with the rest of the purchases and somehow the CM must have not scanned it and still put it in the bag. We had the bag sent on to WL, and knew we wouldn’t see it until New Year’s Day. While we were heading for Main Street, I pulled out the receipt because I thought the amount was lower than it should have been. It was, because there was no Goofy. So, I assumed Goofy didn’t make it in the bag, and decided I didn’t need it. Anyway, it was getting late, MK was open until 1 and then there was an EMH until 4, I think it was something like 2 by this point. We grabbed a bus for the Boardwalk to claim our car. We wound up not getting charged for parking, I guess it’s because they were just parking so many people who were dining, they just assumed. Back to the Poop Century. Oh God, NO!!! It’s a hike to the room from the car and I’ve got to bring the cooler in so I can make a sandwich.
All we really did at the Pop was sleep and shower in the morning. We got up and moving pretty fast in the morning.
Hey, I knew what you were talking about! Only because my dh is an avid salmon fisherman, though.
So far so good! I can’t wait for more.
Count me in as someone who has never had fish eggs (and never will).
mmmmm, I loves me some, any caviar. That picture mad my mouth water, yummmm.
EMH until 4 am? :ohmy: how I wish I was there :crying:
Yeah! Soundgod report! I love your trip reports because you are always honest and blunt. LOVE IT!
Here’s another person who has never and will never touch anything that has fish and eggs near it…:laugh:
So, it’s December 31, kind of cloudy, temps are around 70 or so. I go to swipe a luggage cart so I car make one trip to the car and not carry the cooler. We’ve done the express checkout, so all we have to do is leave.
We have 10 AM reservations for Cape May. Off we drive to the Beach Club. There’s little to say about Cape May that I haven’t said before, so I won’t. However, you can have eggs and omelets made to order and I ordered a ham and cheese omelet. When it arrived, it was huge! This was a four egg omelet, and heavily stuffed with cheese blend (cheddar, jack, Italian cheeses, and probably some Swiss) and ham.
A word about Mickey waffles- since I have a Mickey waffler at home and use Bisquik as my flour, mine are softer, and also thinner and have more flavor. It’s the one 6 inch round version that you can get at DTD or from Disney Shopping and I really love the thing.
So, now stuffed, we wander to the Yacht to look at their Christmas stuff, having looked around the Beach while waiting for our table. Yacht has their train set diorama again this year and Beach has their gingerbread carousel (8 hidden Mickey’s). We didn’t have to pay extra to valet park at Beach because we’re DDE members eating at one of their restaurants.
Get the car and it’s off to check in at Wilderness. Traffic is pretty bad at the MK toll plaza and there are signs up saying the MK lot is full. It’s around noon.
Takes a little while to clear the toll plaza and we finish our drive. We’re staying concierge at WL and as always, there was a parking pass waiting for us at the gatehouse. Pull into the car port and start the dance. Valets and bellmen come to the car, keys are swapped, claim tickets are written, bags placed on cart, dollar bills given to valet, into the hotel, do not pass go, go directly to elevator and seventh floor. Now, we’ve done an express check in over the phone the day before, so all I have to do is sign my name once. Our keys were waiting for us downstairs and the bellman gave us them. We’re taken with our baggage to our room, 7050. Even numbered rooms on the north side of the hotel look north, towards the Contemporary and MK. Yes, we had a fairly unobstructed view of the castle (the Christmas castle which was lit all night the first night and until around 4 AM on the second). Too bad if we looked directly down, we looked into the loading dock and service area for the hotel and the smokehouse for the barbeque (didn’t smell the smoke though). I had planned to take a Sea Raycer out on Seven Seas Lagoon, but the weather was pretty not good for boating. Rain kept coming in and I’d hate to be all the way over by the GF when the sky opened up. Gail took a nap, I started drinking cappuccino from the concierge lounge. I grabbed a nap too. Around 6 we started making our way to the Contemporary by boat. The temps are falling. I’ve got on jeans and I’ve got my hooded sweatshirt, as temps are supposed to only fall to around 60. I’ve also got shower caps for rain protection for both camcorders, more later. Our boat had to go to Ft. Wilderness first, but we still arrived at the Contemporary Steakhouse around 6:50 for 7 PM reservations. I asked if we could be seated a little faster and was told we’d be seated in about 20 minutes. I mentioned we were on a bit of a schedule and needed to be finished with our meal by 8. Well, we wound up not getting seated until close to 7:30. I’m a little panicked, but dealing. We’d already looked at the menu so we knew what we wanted. We told our waitress that we needed to be done by 8 and she suggested the prime rib, which they can pretty much just bring our. I had already decided on this and Gail did as well, although at first she was getting the filet mignon. I also had a bowl of lobster bisque, same as always, both my choice and the soup itself. No desserts. And happily we were done by 8 and had plenty of time to stroll over to the MK and get a spot in time for Holiday Wishes. For the first time, I managed to get the whole Dec 31 show on tape as I had problems last year and the year before. I was standing just in front of the Christmas tree. I then staked out a spot for the later fireworks on the Exhibition Hall side of the tree where I could see down Main Street and look back at the station. This is very important and also where the two camcorders come in.
Break before I hit the post character limit.
I believe I’ve posted that the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks are mirrored outside the park. It was my plan to leave my camcorder on the tripod shooting towards the castle while I shot handheld looking backwards over the station. I borrowed an older analog camcorder from a friend so I could do this. I had my spot for a good long time. I stand and wait, Gail goes shopping. Anyway I’m standing to the right of the tree as you look towards the castle, just off the railing. About a half hour before the show, a woman stands just to the left of my shot, but is wearing ears. Then she switches to the stupid New Year’s hat they were giving out. And her head is blocking part of my shot. About 15 minutes before the show starts, I asked her if she could take the ha off during the fireworks because it was in my shot. Well, if that didn’t set her off. Who am I to tell her anything? Why don’t I move if I don’t like it?
Sad to say, she was the embodiment of a certain racial stereotype. I explain to her that I’d been standing in this spot for close to 3 hours and was there long before her. The challenge? Do you own this place?! (Well, technically, as Disney is a publicly traded company and we own stock in the Disney Company, yes we do. But I’m not going to waste that on her, I just want this resolved) I give up and shift my camera a couple inches to the right and got most of her fat head out of the shot.
So, 11:50, show starts on time. I’ve got an acceptable shot down Main St. and the hand held is running. Except it has a hair trigger and I didn’t notice the tape had stopped running just as the first bursts were exploding. I did get the last few minutes of Fantasy and all of the New Year’s countdown. Show ends and we get the heck out of there.
I was originally entertaining thoughts of going to MGM because they were open until 3, but by the time we got back to WL, I was pretty tired from standing in one place all night. I think we were lucky and got the first boat out. Good thing they carry 120 people. I decided to not leave the room and instead made a sandwich.
Have I mentioned that WL have upgraded all their TVs to LG flat panels? Well, they have, and the concierge rooms also have DVD players attached. Still no movie channel in WDW, but we brought plenty of movies.
And that woman? Well, her head is kind of in the shot, but so are other fat heads who showed up later that I had no control over.
I swear, I’m sleeping worse and worse these days. I was awake half the night.
So I start off early and get some breakfast bread and a double cappuccino. No paper this morning, guess the delivery boy takes off the last morning of the year. Gail’s still sleeping. I had been entertaining notions of hitting Epcot for EMH at 8 AM, but I guess I’m starting to slow down in my old age. This morning looks a lot better than yesterday, but the temperature is starting to drop fast. This will not be a day to take out a Sea Raycer. Again. We took the car over to the GF around 10 for our 10:30 reservations at 1900 Park Fair. This is our first time here since their refurb last year. The service area really did need freshening bad. The new version isn’t much different, just completely rebuilt and opened up to the dining room a little better.
Over the years, I’ve come to really enjoy the Mad Hatter. At first I didn’t care much for face actor characters, as it’s strange at first conversing with them in character. The Hatter is really very good and he’s the same one for at least the last 3 years, and there aren’t all that many Hatters on property, so he and Alice also help populate the treat trail at Halloween. I digress. As a gift for years of dining enjoyment, I thought I’d give him a copy of my fireworks DVD. Well, he wound up sitting with us for a good 15 minutes, during which time, Alice sat down as well for 5 minutes, joining the Hatter. He kept to character the whole time, but this was a normal conversation. There’s an oxymoron, an normal conversation with the Mad Hatter. But it really was. Alice however, was really hard to understand as she spoke rather fast with an English accent. With her, we just nodded and agreed I’m sorry to say.
No 4 egg omelet today, just a normal sized ham and cheese omelet. Did I mention that Mary Poppins was also making the rounds to the tables. In past visits, I seem to remember he acting more as a hostess in the lobby. Pooh and Tigger were also here as usual.
After we finished our meal we looked around the GF’s lobby a little and then picked our car up and went back to the Wilderness to kill the afternoon by doing nothing. Well, napping, drinking cappuccino, and at shopping in the WL’s lobby store. Dinner had been a question mark until I decided to make reservations for Artist Point after Wishes. Eventually we got ourselves in gear and grabbed the boat for the MK around 6:30. There was a guest with a scooter who was going to the Contemporary. Scooters don’t go on the launches, so they rerouted the MK-WL boat to the Contemporary because the big boats allow guests to roll on and off.
We arrive at the MK. The park is definitely fuller than it was last year. We’ve got plenty of time before Wishes and I’m not shooting video. I decided I’d finished Wishes last year. Now I’m starting to take still pictures and I’m not lugging the tripod. We head over to Space Mountain, it’s around 8:00, SpectroMagic is starting and there’s a 90 minute wait. Good thing we still have one of the yellow multi person fast passes. Still, it was 15 a minute wait. Although it looked like the wait would be longer, but they were feeding the fast pass riders into the queue at a different point than usual. I can’t really describe it, just the FP riders were put in the queue closer to the load platform than usual. We finished with plenty of time to grab a place on Main Street to watch.
Which reminds me, between Holiday Wishes and Fantasy, there was a SpectroMagic parade on Dec 31 and IF I had been taping, I was in a really good spot, right where the parade rounds the flagpole circle by the candy store and turns up Main Street.
For Wishes, we were standing in front of the ice cream parlor. Boy is it getting cold. Good thing we have heavier jackets. WDW jackets from 2 years ago, and it seems like they didn’t make that many because we don’t recall seeing other people wearing them and had several people come up to us and ask where we’d gotten them.
So, Wishes. I’ve got nothing else to say. I guess I took 83 pictures, so some came out good.
After, back to the boat and hope we don’t return to the WL much later than 9:35 as our reservations are for 9:30.
We did make it in time. Dinner in the next post.
I know why you’re not sleeping. Too many cappuccinos late in the day :closedeye
I am interested in your Artist’s Point review
I agree with Dopey…cut back on those cappuccinos and you might sleep better mister!
Enjoying the TR so far, can’t wait for more! (And your next post will be 5,000 - congrats! :biggrin:)
I’m enjoying reading your TR. I look forward to reading more.
It’s really not the cappuccino girls. They shut down the coffee makers and lock the lounge after 10 PM and my last cappie was never later than 6:30 and no coffee with dinner. I’ve always had trouble sleeping to one degree or another since I was a child. It’s not the iced tea either. There’s probably a sleep study in my future.
I’ve been holding off all day on posting because 5,000 had to be a video announcement and I’ve been trying to render and convert a file all day and only just downloaded a copy of the file before I could publish the links.
This is post 5,001.
Thanks for the report SG - I’m enjoying it…:happy:
OK, there isn’t much left.
A few years ago, we ate at Artist Point. I remember having the buffalo and Gail had the salmon. She mentioned that she thought she hadn’t liked the salmon, which I didn’t understand, because I’ve grilled on cedar planks at home and she’s liked it. As we’re looking over the menu, it dawns on her that she wasn’t feeling well the last time we’d been there and nothing tasted good for a couple days. So we both got the salmon, only Gail asked for them to omit the pear glaze and any aggressive spices. As an appetizer, I tried the venison spring rolls. They were good. Light outer covering. But hotter’n he11 because they were straight out of the fryer. Pretty enjoyable. Next was the salmon. Again pretty good, but the pork belly hash it was served over didn’t do much for either of us. The hash was composed of a bunch of root vegetables, and not much pork belly (bacon). If I’d known, I would have had them switch it out for a different side/vegi, but it did sound interesting. For dessert, I had the coffee two ways (vanilla latte’ creme brulee and mochaccino bread pudding). Loved the creme brulee and liked the bread pudding. No coffee with dessert, that is, no cappuccino or brewed coffee. Just some iced tea. As it’s Jan 1, we weren’t able to get our DDE discount. This pretty much closes out the day.
Temperature is still dropping.
Somewhere around 5 AM, I give up on tossing and turning and get dressed for a walk. Out to the dock. It’s freakin’ cold now, close to 40 and the wind really cuts through. I stay out here maybe 10 minutes before I can’t take the cold. I had considered bringing my winter coat, but figured I could make it with my heavier Disney jacket and Busch Gardens hooded zip front sweatshirt for all but the worst of it. Let’s not waste this though. The air was cold and the sky clear. I could see planes flying into MCO and there was an unidentified morning star, probably Mars, but I’m not sure. The lake is serene, the birds all huddling for warmth somewhere. I’m cold and still want to fall asleep, so I head inside and back to the room. Mercifully, I drift off for a couple hours sleep.
Well, time to pack up and leave the room. We’ve decided not to spend much time in the parks, if at all, so we called for a bellman and the car. We do have a 10:30 reservation at Kona Cafe. Again, we can valet park free because we’re DDE members, but also because our car has been valeted at WL, we still have an active valet ticket for the day.
Here’s a secret about Kona at breakfast. They used to have a shrimp omelet on the menu, but don’t anymore. However, you can still order it off menu and for some crazy reason, they don’t charge any more for a shrimp omelet than they do for ham and cheese! Time to pay the bill, and this is the first time we’ve had the automatic tip added to a DDE discounted meal. We’ve already seen last night that the check now includes a “guide” showing suggested tips at both 15 and 18%. This was an 18% automatic tip added to an OOP meal, not a pre-paid DDP meal.
I have my camera because I want to take pictures of the GF’s lobby before they tear out all the Christmas stuff. Well, that’s what the monorail’s for, isn’t it? Somewhere I’ve got a picture or two of them tearing apart the gingerbread house. It’s not really all gingerbread. It’s gingerbread siding and roof tiles on a wooden frame. I remembered I’d wanted to get some salt water taffy from the MK candy shop (They label what the flavors are! No surprises or mistakes.) While in MK, I took some daylight pictures of the Christmas tree and town square. Gail stopped a CM to look at her pins and wound up trading for a monorail pin for me. We got back on the monorail and picked up the car. Off to DTD for a look in World of Disney and Days of Christmas. Suddenly, Gail decides she wants one of the fleece throws that they’re bundling with $50 purchases all over WDW. Now, if she’d had this thought on Sunday, we could have done this when I bought all the ornaments. If I’d know yesterday when I bought some ornaments in the WL’s store, I could have dealt with this. I did spend over $50 at Days of Christmas, but they weren’t participating. At least she did find a Nightmare Before Christmas throw, but it cost a bit more than that snowman would have. I’d originally thought of getting an order or red beans and rice to go from HoB, but it was already getting pretty late and by the time we got home now, it would be time to make dinner. We stopped for gas at the Hess station across from DTD. Gas is much much cheaper than just outside WDW on Apopka-Vineland Road, by as much as $.60 a gallon and about $.15 a gallon less than in South Florida.
That’s pretty much it, except that when I got home and opened the refrigerator, I could smell something had gone bad. Yep, the ribs I was going to make for dinner, which were good for sale until today, had gone bad. I should have gotten a to go order at HoB. I called my favorite pizzeria and discovered they were closing early so they could have their holiday party. The nerve! I found some ravioli and made that instead. I was too tired to drive to the stand by pizza joint.
And that’s it. Pictures and other thoughts later.
This is from New Year’s Eve
These are all taken on 12/30 with my camcorder.