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February 2009 Archives

February 8, 2009

Walt Disney World This and That

I recently returned from a wonderful vacation that included 3 nights at Old Key West in Walt Disney World. Here are some random thoughts and observations:

Old Key West:
I really do love this resort. The villas are very spacious and 4 of us had more than ample room in the 2 bedroom.

We dined at Olivia's (sit down restaurant at Old Key West) twice for breakfast and once for lunch. Food was very good and service good as well. Only one issue in 3 meals, breakfast potatoes were cold. Once we told the server we soon had pipping hot cheesy potatoes... Yumm!

Old Key West DVC Resort

Old Key West DVC Resort

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Owners Locker:
My two purple lockers were waiting for me at Old Key West when I arrived. I love having so many items in storage that I no longer have to bring back and forth each trip. Particularly useful this time were: coffee and coffee filters, Umbrellas, Ponchos, electric toothbrush, quart size storage bags, hats, bottled water from last trip, snack bars, gum .. well I could go on and on.

Owners Locker John and Brian

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Epcot Extra Magic Hour Evening:
On January 30th we did the Extra Magic Hour. We tried to begin at Soarin' but at 8:30pm it already posted a 40 minute wait. So, we walked over to Spaceship Earth. The Cast Member there did NOT check resort IDs. The line was average... not sure how many of those folks were resort guests or not. Next we walked to the Living Seas where resort IDs were checked. No wait as we walked through the long queue to get on the Clammobiles. The only wait for Crush was for the next show. Back to Soarin (resort IDs checked) which had a 35 minute wait posted and that was exactly what it was. All that took about 2.5 hours.

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Wandering around the Animal Kingdom is always a favorite activity of mine. On a cool raining morning, there were plenty of animals and birds out and about.

Saddlebill Stork:

Animal Kingdom

Galapagos Tortoise:

Animal Kingdom


Animal Kingdom

Elds Deer (male):

Animal Kingdom

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Tusker House Lunch with Reserved Seating for Finding Nemo The Musical
While I am usually not a lunch buffet fan (way too much food for me), I was curious as to how the reserved seating was working for Finding Nemo. When I called WDW-Dine I said I wanted this feature and they gave me a lunch reservation for 1:20pm. The Finding Nemo show would start at 3:15pm. Upon checking in at Tusker House, we (party of 10) were seated right away. The hostess asked if I wanted our priority seating ticket, uh - yes please. She instructed us to get there at 2:30. With 10 folks, one hour was a bit short for lunch so it was around 2:40 when we headed over to Finding Nemo. Fortunately for us, the seating was not yet released to the general public and was still reserved. We were directed to an area in the front right most section. For the most part, this was a good view (although we were a bit too close to the stage for me). Once the seating was open to everyone it filled quickly. It was nice to have prime seating and not have to stand over an hour in line waiting for it!

TIP: For shows such as this, use the "sports" mode on your digital camera (if it has one). Steady the camera against your body (or on a railing if you have one in front of you) and wait for that pause in the actor/ress and SNAP! You can get some good pics this way. My camera is the Canon S5 IS. The photos below were only reduced in size to fit in the blog. No other modifications were made to them.

Animal Kingdom Finding Nemo the Musical

Animal Kingdom Finding Nemo the Musical

Animal Kingdom Finding Nemo the Musical

Animal Kingdom Finding Nemo the Musical

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Misc Dining Bites

We also ate at the Brown Derby for lunch. Prices seem to keep creeping up but the Cobb Salad is still worth the $15 lunch price to me!!!

Dinner at Jiko was exquisite. From the moment we arrived, from the wine to appetizers to our entrees to dessert - everything was perfect. Special special thanks to Chef David, our server Nassar, Michelle for stopping by, manager Alvin (I hope I remember you name correctly) and manager Vickie for making the evening so incredibly special.

The photo below is the special appetizer sampler that Chef David prepared for us (from left to right): Duck Confit and Fig Salad with comice pears, black mission figs, and goat cheese crouton; Curried Samosas - Crispy Pockets with Potato, Sweet Corn, and Tamarind Sauce; Spiced Briouats - Pulled beef rolled in Naan with tomato-date jam; Pokanoket Farm Seared Ostrich Filet - with creamed sweet potatoes and pomegranate gastrique.

Jiko Appetizers

On our last evening we dined at Tutto Italia in Italy in Epcot. First time for all of us since the change from Alfredo's. Our server was so wonderful, he really made the evening bright!!! I would rate the food average theme park food. I recommend you stick to the basics. Appetizers of Caesar Salad and Tomato and Mozzarella were very good. For entrees, most of the pasta dishes were good. Although, 2 of us ordered the Pumpkin Ravioli. I was disappointed in mind, but the other person enjoyed theirs. The filet of sole was a tad on the dry side and could have used more flavor.

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Oh - almost forgot! One of the few attractions we rode, Toy Story Mania, was a huge hit with everyone!!!

Toy Story Mania

All in all a quick, but enjoyable time in Walt Disney World!

February 10, 2009

Adventures are Always Better with Friends!

Sound familiar? Yes, you've heard me say that before. And it's True.

Adventures by Disney

I'm talking about Adventures by Disney trips - and they are awesome!

Perhaps you read my Southwest Splendors blog from 2007.....

or perhaps you tried to sign up for our August 2009 Quest for the West to Yellowstone Adventure by Disney which sold out in 72 hours.

I have another great offer for you. Here's the official announcement:

Adventures are Better with Friends

Special Guest Deb Wills of AllEars.net joins host Beci Mahnken of MEI and MouseFanTravel on the Backstage Magic Adventures by Disney!

Dates: October 13 - 18, 2009 6 days and 5 nights in Los Angeles, Hollywood and the Disneyland Resort.

Adventures by Disney

Special Experiences:
Tour the Jim Henson Company Studio
Private tour of Walt Disney Imagineering
Private tour of the Walt Disney Studios
Backstage at Jimmy Kimmel Live
Behind the Scenes tour of Disneyland
VIP Experience at Disneyland Park and California Adventure.

This tour is open to all!!

Prices are lower than Adventure by Disney's regular rate:
$2,169 per adult / $1,909 per child (4-11) double occupancy
$3,037 per adult for single occupancy

The price includes:
2 nights at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel
3 nights at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel
Most meals - 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners
Guides, tours, activities per the Adventure itinerary
Gratuities for the bellman, housekeeping and drivers
All Taxes and Fees

What do you pay for?
Gratuities for the 2 Adventure Guides
Meals not covered be the Itinerary
Transportation to and from California

For more details visit: MouseFanTravel.com

Read All Ears Team Member Glo's Backstage Magic Trip Report!

I've been wanting to do this trip since it was first announced and I"m glad I finally can.

Come and join the fun before this one sells out too!

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About February 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in February 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2009 is the previous archive.

March 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.