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December 2011 Archives

December 1, 2011

December to Remember at Walt Disney World - Begins in 7 Days

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In January 2011, AllEars® reached an important milestone - 15 years online!! To thank everyone who has supported us over the years, we decided to have a year long celebration. All Ears has had meets in Walt Disney World, Disneyland, on the Disney Wonder cruise ship, and in New York City. The grand finale of our yearlong anniversary celebration is "A December to Remember", December 8-11, 2011 -- a long weekend full of special events held at various locations in the Walt Disney World Resort.

One week from today is the official beginning of our special celebration -- December to Remember

While some events are sold out, many others are open to all - no RSVP necessary. We have lots of new AllEars Trading Cards to hand out and team members now have their own individual cards as well! Be sure to see how many you can collect during December to Remember.

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On Thursday December 8th, we focus on the Magic Kingdom/Resort area.

5pm Magic Kingdom. Closing in on almost 10 years, Mike Scopa has hosted his December Dole Whip Meet as a venue for all December guests to meet up, get reacquainted, and just share the joy of Walt Disney World, and of course, that delight know as Dole Whip. Join Mike as he celebrates yet another signature meet at Magic Kingdom's Aloha Isle in Adventureland.

Fort Wilderness Holiday Lights Tour! 6:30pm - 8:00pm. - Ft. Wilderness Campground - Hosted by Erin Blackwell. The Fort Wilderness resort's holiday decorations are becoming famous, featured on the Travel Channel and Orlando Attractions and a favorite with photographers. Now we're giving a tour of some of the greatest guest displays, ending with watching the Wishes fireworks! It's a great opportunity to enjoy spirit, the holidays, and the unique community planned by Walt Disney himself.

Meet at Pioneer Hall (where the Hoop Dee Doo is performed) at 6:30pm. We will wait fifteen minutes for everyone to join us while Erin Blackwell gives history and details that make Fort Wilderness unique. This is an easy walking tour, but Erin will also have an electric (golf) cart for up to 5 people to ride if they prefer. And, of course, Fort Wilderness is ECV friendly.

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Friday, December 9th is Disney's Hollywood Studios Day.

AllEars® Meet and Greet at Rosie's All American Cafe on Sunset Blvd.
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. We held this meet in 2010 and it was such a great success we decided to do it again!!! Just head down Sunset Blvd towards the Tower of Terror. Rosie's is on the left side.

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Saturday, December 10th is Animal Kingdom Day!

Smile and Say Jambo at Animal Kingdom 8:15 a.m.
Meet AllEars® Picture This! Photo Bloggers Scott Thomas and Barrie Brewer for a morning at Animal Kingdom. Early risers (or those wanting coffee) should meet outside the Rainforest Cafe. No tickets required.

Once the park opens AT 9AM, the group will get Kilimanjaro Safari FastPasses and then walk the Pagani Exploration Trail.

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Sunday December 11th is Epcot/Resort Area Day


Team AllEars® Run/Walk/Wog Yer Buns Off
- 7 a.m. Join Team AllEars® Co-Captains Michelle Scribner-MacLean and Mike Scopa as they go for a leisurely run/walk/wog (weather permitting) from the Boardwalk Bakery to Disney's Hollywood Studios and back. This enjoyable 5K+ route will take us past Storm-a-Long bay, along the path to Disney's Hollywood Studios, and a return back to Boardwalk. We will meet at the Boardwalk Bakery and be ready to run by about 7 a.m. Will the Osborne Lights be on? You never know...

The Around the World CHOCOLATE Challenge from 2:00pm -4:00pm

2:00pm at Epcot's World Showcase -- The French Arm, that quiet little spot that's located down the stairs along the water in the France pavilion.

Join your AllEars.Net co-hosts Laura Gilbreath and Deb Koma, as we go "in search of"...
CHOCOLATE! We have devised a scavenger hunt/game that will send AllEars.Net readers out into the World to answer questions and gather clues from those country pavilions in an effort to win prizes -- all involving CHOCOLATE, of course! The mission? Complete an assortment of CHOCOLATE challenges, to be revealed closer to the mission date.

Prizes will be awarded; all will involve CHOCOLATE in some way!
Special gift to the first 50 participants at the meet -- gift only available while limited quantities last.

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So as you can see, there are lots of fun activities planned. We hope you'll join us for our December to Remember 15th Anniversary Celebration!

For More Information visit the December to Remember Area!


December 4, 2011

Beach Club and Yacht Club Holiday Decorations at Walt Disney World

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On our way to the RADP 16th annual meet and greet (more on RADP at the end) we stopped by the Yacht and Beach Club to see the holiday displays.

The lamposts were wound with garland, balls and lights - I'll have to swing by one evening to see how pretty the entrance way looks.

Disney's Beach Club Resort

In the lobby there is garland all around and the centerpieces are the holiday tree and gingerbread display.


Disney's Beach Club Resort

I love looking closely at the various tree ornaments. See how many you can find like the Seahorse, and starfish.....


Disney's Beach Club Resort

The Gingerbread Carousel has returned.

Disney's Beach Club Resort

Disney's Beach Club Resort

And if you look closely you'll see the QR codes around to learn more about the display. The QR codes require a reader app that you can get for your cell phone. (Make a note to get one of those :)

Disney's Beach Club Resort

Ariel has a special horse too!

Disney's Beach Club Resort

Snow White has a revolving castle

Disney's Beach Club Resort

And the Gingerbread Shop is open evenings, Monday-Thursday 6-8pm and Friday and Saturday 4-8pm. The shop didn't need to be open to enjoy the smell of gingerbread. If you want a Gingerbread House to purchase, head over to the Beach Club Marketplace.

Disney's Beach Club Resort

Next stop, Disney's Yacht Club. The lampposts here have the same garland and lights adornments.

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

And as you walk closer there is a beautiful floral display of red and white poinsettias and impatience.

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

The holiday tree has a nautical theme with boats and lighthouses.

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

A wonderful Dickens aka Dept 56 display complete with a train, highlight the shops and restaurants of the Yacht and Beach club resorts.

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

See if you can spot the Hidden Mickey in this photo!

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Soon it was time for the RADP meet at the International Gateway. RADP (rec.arts.disney.parks) is where I got my start online and was the only type of message board that existed back in the early days.

The strangers who met those first few years in December have become dear friends and family. Each year they continue to gather at WDW to celebrate the holidays and their friendships.

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December 6, 2011

Disney Cruise Line Reveals New Fantasy Entertainment

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The Disney Fantasy, the fourth ship in the Disney Cruise Line Fleet will set sail March 31, 2012.

As the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder are sister ships, each with their own character, so too are the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

The Disney Cruise Line has slowly been releasing information about the Fantasy highlighing its differences from the Dream.

I am in Toronto Canada to attend a special media "Behind the Curtain" event. Later this morning we will learn more about the entainment coming to the new Disney Fantasy Cruise ship.

Previously, DCL announced that Believe (which debuted on the Disney Dream) and a new Aladdin show would be part of the Fantasy's entertainment.

Last night I spoke with David Duffy, Creative Director for Disney Cruise Line Entertainment and Port Adventures. When asked if the Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular would be similar to the smash hit currently in Disney California Adventure, David smiled and said YES! There wll be some small differences and he hopes the Walt Disney Theatre provides a more intimate setting for the show.

Having seen the Aladdin show in California, cruisers on the Fantasy are in for a real treat. This show is a broadway class and a fantastic production.

Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular

Stay tuned for more information later this morning. Follow me on Twitter @allearsdeb for announcements!

December 16, 2011

Step Back in Time to 1971

This entry of Step Back in time is courtesy of AllEars reader Steve Gorman who sent photos of his 1971 visit to the Magic Kingdom.

" I am getting ready to leave for another Christmas Disney trip and this will put me at the 45th time I have visited Disney. I guess I was hooked at the early age of 7...... "


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Thanks for sharing Steve!


December 17, 2011

River Country - Step Back in Time

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Today we journey back to May 1976 and a special "Family Edition" of the Cast Member Eyes and Ears of Walt Disney World.

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Cast members were invited to a "Splash" Preview of River Country! The "Splash" party takes place May 29-June 3rd, 1976.

And near the end of the article there is another attraction to visit: "Transporation will be in operation each day until dusk to take everyone to view the brand new Treasure Island (later renamed Discovery Island)! There are new birds, a walk through cage, refreshment area and much more!"

There is even a scrapbook page of past May events. Here is an interesting one:

May 12 1967 Reedy Creek became a Public Corporation in the State of Florida.

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December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays from AllEars to all of You!!

December 25, 2011

Neil Patrick Harris Narrates Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional is one of the holiday traditions that takes place each season at Walt Disney World.

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

The Christmas story is told by a celebrity narrator and accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra, the Voices of Liberty, Cast Member Choir and guest choirs. A guest conductor leads the orchestration of this moving tribute.

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional


I love the Candlelight Processional, but the lines have gotten so long for every show, that I only manage to see it every few years. I was fortunate last week to see Neil Patrick Harris narrate the Candlelight Processional.

From the moment it began, I sat mesmerized in my seat watching and listening to the beautiful sounds of the Christmas season. The 6 year old sitting in front of me barely moved during the entire performance.

In addition to Neal Patrick Harris, the guest conductor was Dr. William Powell, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Auburn University. I can't recall another conductor so animated that he became part of the show. There were times, I wasn't sure where to train my eyes. It was all so fascinating to watch.


Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional


THE PROGRAM

Shout for Joy
O Come All Ye Faithful


Voices of Liberty Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Voices of Liberty Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Voices of Liberty Epcot's Candlelight Processional


Il Est Ne
O Holy Night

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Angels from the Realms of Glory

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Away in a Manger
Rejoice with Exceeding Great Joy
What Child is This
Do You Hear What I Hear

Dr. William Powell Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Dr. William Powell Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Dr. William Powell Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Dr. William Powell Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Dr. William Powell Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Dr. William Powell Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Dr. William Powell Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Dr. William Powell Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Dr. William Powell Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Silent Night
Joy to the World
The Hallelujah Chorus

Neil Patrick Harris Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Neil Patrick Harris Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Neil Patrick Harris Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Neil Patrick Harris Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Neil Patrick Harris Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Neil Patrick Harris Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Neil Patrick Harris Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Neil Patrick Harris Epcot's Candlelight Processional

December 29, 2011

Walt Disney World Dining Bits and Bites

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It is time for another Walt Disney World Dining Bits and Bites. Hopefully, now that we live in Florida, I'll be able to do these more often.

Last week Linda and I stayed two nights at the Contemporary Garden Wing (AP Rate which we got just 10 days prior) and spent both days in the Magic Kingdom and MK resort area.

This segment contains a quick service, theme park full service and signature dining.


CONTEMPO CAFE - CONTEMPORARY

Chicken Chop Salad $7.69
Deb: I have not been a fan of the Contempo Cafe, my previous 2 dining experiences were not so great. However I must say the Chicken Chop Salad was very fresh and perfect for lunch. It had the right balance of veggies, protein and carbs! I always ask for dressing on the side and was glad I did. The mayo based dressing really had little flavor and the vegis more than made up for it! I would have this again and would also recommend it to you!

Contempo Cafe


Chicken Spinach and Artichoke Flatbread $8.79
Linda: This was disappointing as the description of the flatbread did not jive with what I received. The spinach and artichoke appeared to be a creamy dip spread on the flatbread - not a chicken, spinach and artichoke flatbread that was advertised. There were VERY little actual spinach or artichokes. Plus the sauce was VERY thick and not at all appetizing. I was expecting fresh spinach and chopped artichoke therefore would not order again nor recommend it.

Contempo Cafe

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CALIFORNIA GRILL - CONTEMPORARY

Heirloom Apple Salad - winter greens, aged Gouda, dried cranberries, pumpkin-apple dressing $14
Deb: I love when greens means something other than Romaine or Iceburg lettuce and I would expect nothing less from a signature restaurant. The selection of greens were crunchy and did remind me of "winter". I loved the aged Gouda sprinkled on the top. If there was a slight disappointment with the salad it was the dressing. I felt the pumpkin-apple dressing was on the bland side and did not have the flavors I expected. That said, it was still a great salad and I would order it again!

California Grill


Creamy Parsnip and Sunchoke Soup - apple gastrique, truffled goat cheese gougere $11
Linda:
Yum Yum! Sunchoke was described as a cross of the edible parts of a sunflower and an artichoke. Seasoned perfectly, not over salted, and had a savory and sweet flavor (sweet coming from the small bits of apple). The goat cheese was in a puff pastry you can see on the side of the soup in the photo. I highly recommend and I'd order again!

California Grill


Triple Cheese Flatbread - pecorino, asiago, and provolone, sun-dried tomato and arugula pesto $12
Deb: I didn't want a full, heavy dinner and so opted for the salad above and this flatbread. I'm not much of an adventurous eater so this fit the bill for me perfectly. I'm a big fan of flatbreads from the signature restaurants with Jiko and California Grill making some of my most favorites!

California Grill

Dragon Roll - spicy and tataki tuna, shrimp tempura, bell pepper, avocado, chili soy glaze $28
Linda: Another Yoshi (Sushi Chef Extraordinare) Winner! A superb and very filling entree. If shared would make a great appetizer for 2. The only thing I didn't care from was the red bell pepper. Highly recommend and I'd order again.

California Grill

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LIBERTY TREE TAVERN - LUNCH - MAGIC KINGDOM

Colony Salad - Washington apples, sweet pecans and applewood smoked cheddar, dried cranberries Craisins, and grilled chicken tossed with field greens in honey shallot vinaigrette $14.49
Deb: I love lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern. The Colony salad is a wonderful blend of flavors accented with the apples. I forgot to order the dressing on the side so it was a bit "soupy" for me, but that was my error. I've had this salad before and I'll have it again - try it next time!

Liberty Tree Tavern


Pilgrims' Feast - traditional roast turkey with herb bread dressing, mashed potatoes and a garden vegetable $14.99
Linda: This hit the spot. I debated between this and the Tri-Corner sandwich and the server recommended the turkey - Spot on! Some of the most moist and tender turkey breast I've had in a long time. Green beans cooked just right, dressing was yummy - I joined the Clean Plate club for this one! Highly recommend!

Liberty Tree Tavern



Post Your Reviews and Read what Others Say about:

Contempo Cafe
California Grill
Liberty Tree Tavern Lunch

That's it for this edition of WDW Dining Bits and Bites!


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About December 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in December 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2011 is the previous archive.

January 2012 is the next archive.

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