A Post-Thanksgiving 2019 Mother/Daughter WDW TR * Completed 6/16: Boma Breakfast and Farewell WDW

Disneyhanna

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
I LOVE the Halloween Decorations!!! :love: I think those are my favorite, I love all the Fall colors and those Mickey Jack o' Lanterns are too adorable. I have been twice at that time of year and I would definitely go back during that time, A Bonus is that the Food and Wine Festival is that time of year as well.




They really ramp up the busses during really busy times., like park closing Usually hate standing on the bus and will sometimes let people go in front of me and I will wait for the next bus.
I was really hoping this would be the year I'd finally go in October, but that is looking very unlikely. :sad1: Perhaps next year for the 50th! Me and everyone else who is missing out on trips this year :laughing:.

I'd also rather stand a little longer waiting in line if it means a seat on the bus! They need more of those double buses, I never see those as often anymore!
 

disneyAndi14

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
The dessert party is the way to go!
I am spoiled by it now. I really loved the egg rolls, I think the sauce was the winner in that combo.
I would say the Star Wars dessert party has been my favorite of the 2.
I love PPF, such a fun and nostalgic ride!
 


Disneyhanna

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
The dessert party is the way to go!
I am spoiled by it now. I really loved the egg rolls, I think the sauce was the winner in that combo.
I would say the Star Wars dessert party has been my favorite of the 2.
I love PPF, such a fun and nostalgic ride!
I think the egg rolls sat around too long, I'll have to do one of the earlier parties to give a better opinion! :laughing: I hear pretty much all of the non-HEA dessert parties have better and more unique desserts, I've looked into the RoL one and the food looks good...the show however, I'm not sure I'd pay extra for :hyper:
 
  • Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Day Seven - Part One: A Ride-Packed MK Day

    Omg you guys! I posted the wrong update, I got ahead of myself 😆 . Here's the correct update, oops!

    We had a slow start to our last full day at WDW! Some giraffes kissed outside our room.

    500308

    Mom wasn’t feeling too great (too many sweets?) and I would have skipped breakfast completely, but she wanted some toast, so off to the Mara we went at around 9AM.

    We had a PPF FP but switched it to Pooh, since we had already ridden PPF the night before. We didn’t get in line for the bus to MK until 9:20, which was later than I’d hoped, so I was a bit cranky. At least I’m self-aware. :rolleyes1

    Two buses came at the same time at 9:30 so we got a seat, awesome! We were in MK by 10AM and the lines were still pretty low since it was a MVMCP day.

    Our Pirates FP went to anytime since it was down, boohoo! We hadn’t ridden it yet this trip and were hoping it would go back up at some point. I rearranged our FPs so I could use our two anytimes for BTMR and Space Mountain, and was actually able to make another Pirates FP which I assumed would turn into an anytime FP again.

    Pro Tip: When one of your FPs becomes anytime, you can make a new FP to replace it, even if you haven’t used your first three FPs. Basically the anytime FP doesn’t count towards your FP count, if that makes sense. Of course, it doesn't matter at all if they get rid of FPs!

    Here’s a daytime glimpse of where we entered to check in for the dessert party the previous night.

    500309

    It had been roped off with CMs standing there to direct people, but they let us through! Much better than fighting your way through the hub.

    I used one of our anytime FPs on Space Mountain, the standby line was only 25 minutes. I was on in about 10 minutes. I like the track better than at Disneyland because it’s less predictable, but the seating makes it so much jerkier!

    Apparently our second Pirates FP also turned into an anytime, so I made yet another morning Pirates FP. I guess I was gaming the system a bit...

    We walked onto the Carousel of Progress around 10:30 and I picked up some more FPs to replace the Pirates FPs that turned to anytime. I snagged a 7DMT at 3! According to my notes, at 10:50 I had four sets of anytime FPs for us. That’s eight rides, in addition to our original FPs! At that point I think they realized Pirates would be down for a long time, because they removed the ability to make any more Pirates FPs that day. Glad I caught on early, we felt like we won the lottery with all our FPs!

    We went on Buzz next, which I must say is better in Disneyland because you can actually pick up and aim your shooter. Mom gets so frustrated because she stinks at this ride! :rotfl:

    500310

    Looks like we both managed to hit a secret 100k target this time! My notes said we were “Planetary Pirates” but I looked it up and the correct title is “Planetary Pilot.” Looks like all I could think about was Pirates that morning :laughing:.

    We were hungry for some real breakfast, so we got in the long line for Sleepy Hollow. I wanted a fruit waffle but we decided to share the breakfast waffle for something more substantial. We waited about 15 minutes.

    500311

    The waffle sandwich was quite good, it’s only offered in the morning and was a good amount to share. It was nice and savory and really hit the spot since we were sugar-ed out. A pair of ducks roaming for crumbs kept us entertained during our breakfast.

    500312

    The MK was really empty that morning, here is the walkway by Sleepy Hollow.

    500313

    We had a Small World FP at noon, standby was 20 minutes so crowds were still quite low. PPF standby was only 40 minutes, where was everyone? Maybe too tired from braving MK EMH the night before.

    Apparently tossing coins and trying to land them in the walls is a thing?

    500314

    We were on in under 10 minutes and I had to stop my mom from using flash, she had no clue! :sad2:

    I got a picture of my favorite dolls of course.

    500315

    I always have extra magic bands in my bag, so my name showed up twice and my mom’s showed up once. Sorry to everyone else who wanted their special moment!

    500316


    500317

    Oh no, the feelings of saying goodbye to WDW were starting to sink in. Anyone else start feeling sad even halfway through their trip? Leaving is so hard, it’s even harder now that I’m out of school and working full-time with real responsibilities. :sad:

    Continued in next post.
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    We decided to watch PhilharMagic at 12:30, always a fun show! The magic carpet ride scene is my favorite!

    I had on my Splash mountain shirt, so I had to get a picture of course.

    500319

    It was so nice and sunny and was finally warming up, we always seem to get a mix of hot and cold weather at WDW!

    We decided to watch the Country Bears for the first time ever, let’s just say I almost regretted that decision. After a few minutes we got into it and thought it was really funny. I imagine most of it goes over the heads of all the little kids. :hyper:

    500320

    Pirates was still down, darn, but we did get a 5th anytime FP. We almost had too many options now!

    500321

    The lines were all so short, at 1PM the wait times were only 60 minutes for 7DMT and 35 for Jungle Cruise and Space Mountain. I definitely recommend going to MK for the day when there is a party that evening!

    The FP line was super long for HM, standby was surprisingly up to 55 so maybe it had been down.

    500322

    There were so many line jumpers, ugh! We waited about 15 minutes with a FP. A least we had time to read some of the funny gravestones.

    500323

    I do love HM, I wish they had the hatbox ghost like in Disneyland. The room with the bride is my favorite, I’d like to get stuck in that room so I can hear all of her lines!

    500324

    We headed to BTMR next, and were trapped by the parade. At least I got to see Minnie and Mickey! Oh, what I would give to be “trapped” by a parade again :guilty:

    500325

    As soon as the parade passed, I beelined to BTMR before the lines grew again post-parade.

    500326

    Standby was listed as 10 and I waited that long in the FP line, classic! That FP line always seems so long. It was a very wild ride, I do prefer the DL version but both are great! Someday I hope to catch the fireworks from BTMR, if I can get myself to skip HEA.

    We decided on good ol’ Pecos Bill’s for a late lunch at 2:30. A family in line was fighting about guacamole since they were on the dining plan, and it’s considered a snack credit despite being only $2. The wife was like “don’t waste a credit” and the husband was like “but I want guac…” :rotfl: Another reason I will never do the dining plan, I want to eat what I want to when I want to!

    We shared the beef nachos with a side of guac (lol!), I recommend getting the queso on the side so the chips don’t get soggy. They gave us so much queso!

    500327

    We went crazy on the toppings and ended up needing to get an extra plain order of chips to finish our toppings. $5 for this sad dish of chips!

    500328

    After a quite filling meal, what better thing to do than ride a rollercoaster? :hyper: It was time for my 7DMT FP, so we headed back to Fantasyland.

    Continued in next post.
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Standby for 7DMT was 85 minutes, so not terrible. I was on in under 10 minutes with my FP that I had picked up earlier that morning. I would like to see the rest of the normal queue, but not enough to wait in that line. :laughing:

    500329

    I was in the back row, I'm not sure if that makes it more or less exciting. It’s a cute little coaster, great for kids who are not yet brave enough for Space Mountain. It grows on me every time I ride it!

    I have no clue where the ride cameras are on any ride, so I just kept my hands up for the entire ride. Somehow I managed to look at the camera too, wherever it was! Look at all us adults having fun on the kiddie coaster.

    500330

    We had our last ride on WtP, waiting only a few minutes with our FP. I miss this willy nilly silly old bear! :lovestruc

    500331

    After we got off the ride, Pooh was leaving the M&G. I got a creeper shot of course!

    500332

    We picked up another HM FP and headed over to the PeopleMover, which was a walk-on! What a day we were having! The secret of the PM is out, the line is usually so long these days!

    500333

    We had a nice pleasant ride, a bit happy and sad as our last park day was coming quickly to an end.

    We headed to HM one last time around 4:30, party crowds were definitely starting to descend upon MK at this point. The CM bumped up the standby wait from 35 to 55 as we got in the FP line. It was an interesting ride, we stopped at least six times! At least there is plenty to look at in there.

    Pirates was still down, what a bummer. We used our last anytime FP on Buzz again, the standby wait was 25 and the FP line was quite long. My hand really hurt after riding, I did about the same as our first ride that day and my mom did worse, and of course she complained about that. :hyper:

    500334

    We made our way to Main Street and the shops were so crowded! We browsed a bit but didn’t get anything, we are getting lazy at finding souvenirs these days.

    We were in line for the bus back to AKL around 5:40PM and somehow were on a bus and leaving MK within 15 minutes. Luckily our long wait two nights prior was not the norm!

    We were back to Jambo House a bit before 6:30 and spent some time packing our luggage so we didn’t have to do much in the morning before check out. We had a 10:45 Boma breakfast reservation the next day, so we planned on sleeping in as long as we could!


    As a quick summary, in under eight hours at the MK we managed to see three shows, have two meals, and ride 10 rides. What an awesome day with our anytime FPs!

    Side note, I'm working on organizing photos from my solo trip for my next TR, and I have over twice as many photos as I took on this trip :hyper: .


    Continued in Part Two: California Grill with MVMCP Fireworks
     
    Last edited:
  • Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Day Seven - Part Two: California Grill with MVMCP Fireworks

    Hello all! It's me again with a quick update! Let's just say I'm excited to wrap up this TR and move on the the more recent one while I still remember it :hyper: . I moved my 4th of July trip to post-Thanksgiving, if that trip happens it will be my 3rd year in a row going that week! Unfortunately I could not modify the length of stay and am now reserved at the Riviera at a rack rate (NOT happening), but I just wanted something in MDE. The rate is over twice what my Gran Destino rate was, no thanks! Since Disney is giving priority to people with existing reservations during all of this, I just wanted something in the system in case.

    Back to AKL! We called an Uber at 7:30PM and it arrived in just a few minutes. It was about a 20 minute ride to the Contemporary and only $9 with my 25% discount! We have done the two-bus route for going to different resort for dinner, but it’s just not worth the time to us anymore. Uber/Lyft all the way!

    We were early for our 8:45 reservation, so we explored the shops at the Contemporary. My mom found an ornament in MK that she liked but didn’t buy at the time, and we were hoping to find it in a gift shop. No such luck!
    :sad1:


    To check in to California Grill, you go up the escalators in the lobby and there’s a check in desk. It’s hard to miss but we still missed it somehow and were wandering around confused a bit.

    Our table was already ready when we checked in at 8:30, so we went up the elevators with a CM and were shown to our table almost immediately. My first impression was that the restaurant is really loud. The ceilings are super high, and it kind of feels like a wedding reception in a hotel. Definitely not an intimate setting in my opinion, if you’re looking for a quiet date night I’d go somewhere else.

    They start you off with a fresh loaf of sourdough bread with some olive oil and sundried tomato for dipping. This was so delicious, very salty and I could have eaten two loaves of this stuff. Better not though, if you want room for your food!
    :hyper:


    500752

    Spoiler alert, but the bread starter was probably the best part of the meal.

    We were seated at a two person table with a long booth on one side, which is shared with many tables. My mom is on the left side, and that arm on the right is someone from the family seated next to us...
    :bitelip:


    500753

    Now you see why this might not be an ideal date spot, unless you want to basically have dinner with the people next to you! The observation deck in this picture as well, I think there might have been two decks but everyone seemed to go to this one.

    CA Grill is a much more upscale restaurant than we usually dine at, I do quite a bit of fine dining with my job but someone else is paying the bill so it’s more fun that way
    :laughing:
    .

    I decided to order the crudo appetizer, which is basically fancied up sashimi (raw fish). My mom is not interested in raw seafood, so this was just for me. I originally wanted to get a sushi roll, but I saw a few go by and they looked really tiny, so my eyes-bigger-than-my-stomach self went with the crudo instead. It arrived very quickly after the bread.

    500754

    It looks like the crudo is no longer on the menu, but I found an old menu description: Yellowfin Tuna, Aji Panca, Candied Ginger Salmon, Coconut-Citrus, Sweet Potato, Hamachi, Popcorn, Shishito Vinaigrette, Escolar, Leche de Tigre, Habanero Tobiko

    Starting from the top left and going clockwise, I believe it is the salmon, escolar (“white tuna”), hamachi (yellowtail), and yellowfin (ahi) tuna.

    I don’t have a ton to say about this dish, it was actually a pretty big appetizer and could easily be shared between two. Ahi tuna and salmon are my favorite types of sashimi, but the sauce on the salmon was overpowering and a lot of the garnishes were definitely lost in the sauces and just for show. I think the fish could have been in smaller/thinner cuts to be more bite sized. Overall it was just okay, not memorable and the fish didn’t taste any fresher than what I could get at my local AYCE sushi restaurants here in MN. ~$25 seemed a bit steep, and maybe it’s off the menu because it didn’t sell well.

    Our entrees came about 25 minutes after my appetizer. Mom ordered the grilled pork tenderloin: Goat Cheese Polenta, Mushrooms, Kalettes, Bacon, Dried Cherries, Zinfandel Glaze. She swapped the goat cheese polenta for roasted potatoes, as neither of us like goat cheese. Kalettes are a cross between kale and brussel sprouts, FYI!

    500755

    She really enjoyed the pork, it was very tender and served with a tiny hint of pink. It was more than she could eat, they use such big plates that the serving sizes seem small but are actually quite hearty. The mushrooms, cherries, and glaze paired nicely with the pork. I snuck a bite of course!
    :thumbsup2


    I ordered the oak-fired filet of beef, which at the time was: Aged Gouda Mac & Cheese, Grilled Sweet Onions, Sauteed Ice Spinach, 27 Steak Sauce. I’ve seen people rave about this, I don’t typically order filets but I thought I’d give it a try.

    500756

    I ordered it medium-rare, and as soon as I cut into it I knew it was wrong. It was almost well-done! I tried a bite because I was hungry and I hate sending food back, but it was literally inedible.
    :crazy2:
    Sorry to people who like their steak this way, but for $60 it better melt in my mouth!

    I gathered my courage and caught the waiter’s attention and explained what happened, he took one look and was like “oh my” and whisked it away and said they would bring out a new one. No apology or anything, I felt like I was being a bit of an inconvenience.
    :confused3
    While I waited I finished off the bread, probably a mistake.

    It took about 15 minutes for my second filet to come out, this time it was closer to rare than medium-rare but that wasn’t a big deal to me so I was fine with it. At least it was edible this time! It was about 9:30 at this point, with 10PM fireworks, so I felt a bit rushed. Our fault, I would make an earlier reservation next time! We are usually quick eaters but I should have left us more wiggle room.

    500757

    A few thoughts: I don’t know why I ordered such a plain menu item. I love trying unique flavors and adventurous cuisines! There’s nothing wrong with a good steak and mac and cheese, but this was incredibly boring and bland and missed the mark for me. The filet was not tender or melt in your mouth at all, it tasted like the cheap steaks you buy at the supermarket and just toss on the grill. If anything, I thought it was a bit tough and dry. (Even though it was hardly cooked??) It was basically steak with steak sauce and fancy mac and cheese. I'm not sure what I was expecting, thinking back on it. I think I let the hype of the filet get in the way of me ordering what I actually wanted!

    The spinach was unappetizing and there were maybe two onions for garnish. I should not have eaten so much bread or an appetizer, maybe if I was hungrier I would have enjoyed this meal more!
    :laughing:
    The steak was a small cut, but I only finished half of it. I didn’t even take any notes on the mac, it was fine but I’m not a huge mac and cheese person so I only ate a few bites. This was way too big of a portion if you eat an entire appetizer and half a loaf of bread like I did. Is this what the deluxe dining plan is like? I'd waste so much food if I did that! You'd have to roll me out after every meal!
    :rotfl:


    The fireworks were approaching and we couldn’t find our waiter, finally we caught his attention to let him know we were going out to see the fireworks and would settle the bill after. I think they expect that, but we didn’t want to just ditch without letting him know!

    The view from the deck is excellent, we were worried about getting outside early enough for a good spot but you can see the castle from pretty much anywhere along the deck. People didn’t start going out until about 5-10 minutes prior to the fireworks. I think only a few tables are lucky enough to have a view from inside the restaurant, so most go outside.

    500758

    I didn’t dress warm enough, forgetting we’d be outside for the fireworks. I seemed to be making a lot of poor choices that evening!
    :scratchin
    The trip-almost-over blues must have been getting to me.

    500759

    The fireworks were really spectacular from the observation deck, you can’t see the projections but they do pipe in the music. The show was new this year for MVMCP, I remember loving the fireworks from Holiday Wishes last year so I sort of wish they had kept that. This show was cute but didn’t seem that special from afar, perhaps it makes more of an impact in the parks.

    500760

    If you love fireworks, you'll love this view. I enjoy the story as much as the fireworks themselves, so I think we missed a bit without having the projections.

    I would like to see HEA from CA Grill to give a better review, I was impressed but not wowed by the MVMCP fireworks so I’m not sure if it was the show itself or the distance from the park. If you don’t want to deal with crowds, this is a good option. The dessert party absolutely wowed us with the immersion, so maybe I just prefer being in the park!

    Our bill, with the AP discount, was just over what we paid for the dessert party. I’d 100% do another dessert party and have a QS meal rather than go back to CA Grill. I honestly think they could do with a big menu overhaul, we rarely do signature dining but I just don't think what they have to offer compares to other fine dining I have experienced, and the menu is sort of all over the place! The food did not live up to the price for me, it really depends on how highly you value the fireworks view. I'd gladly go back if someone else footed the bill though
    :laughing:
    . I think brunch might be more my style, the price is frankly ridiculous, but I'd consider doing it as a OMAD or something, ha!

    Our waiter was polite, but he introduced himself as a sommelier, and we rarely have drinks with dinner so he mostly kept himself busy with his bigger tables. There was also no explanation of our food, which was brought out by CMs from the kitchen. It would have been nice to get a quick summary of the ingredients to remind us what we were eating. Stuff like that would just make it feel more like a fine dining experience rather than a show with dinner being more of an afterthought.

    Sorry for being so long-winded, I just mostly see glowing reviews of California Grill so I wanted to offer my perspective!

    We took an Uber back to AKL and crashed that evening, I think we were back around 11PM. There was a notice about power going out at 4AM, we didn’t think anything of this but my white noise machine stopped playing, we didn’t think about that!

    18k steps for our final park day of the trip. We had a rather laid back trip I think, usually we are pushing 25k a day. A "lazy" trip.
    :rotfl:


    I can't believe it's been over six months since this trip!

    Continued/Completed in Day Eight: Boma Breakfast and Farewell WDW
     
    Last edited:

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    Day Eight: Boma Breakfast and Farewell WDW

    Alas, this TR is coming to an end! I hear the NBA players will be staying at Gran Destino tower. Of course they get to stay there before I do!!! :sad:

    We slept in a bit on our last day, since breakfast wasn’t until 10:45. There were some zebras just barely in view from our room for the first time.

    501598

    We got one last look at the giraffes as well, I sure do miss waking up to this!

    501599

    The airline check in and bell services are right next to each other, so we sent our checked bags off with the airline check in and left our carry-ons with bell services. So handy!

    We checked into Boma a few minutes early, no problem. Breakfast seating ends at 11, but there were still a lot of people just sitting down to eat. The host gave us a tour of the buffet and pointed out that the pastries shouldn’t be put in the toaster or they’d light on fire! Spoken from experience it seems. :hyper:

    The line was quite long for the buffet, and there was plenty of fresh food. Don’t worry about getting a late reservation!

    I tried the famous goat cheese and chive scrambled eggs, turns out I still don’t like goat cheese. :crazy2: You can't blame me for not trying! I added a bit of the sweet quinoa to my oatmeal, it was interesting but I wouldn’t want a whole bowlful of it.

    501600

    There are a few repeats from the dinner buffet, such as the delicious asparagus and tomato stew. I was getting quite full just from my first trip to the buffet! I had POG juice of course, my mom had OJ. Drinks are included with the buffet, not sure if this is true with all buffets or not?

    My mom’s plate featured quite a bit of traditional breakfast fare.

    501601

    The bacon was so good, made up for all of the limp QS bacon we’d been having for breakfast. :thumbsup2 It’s crazy how they can churn out such well-cooked breakfast food in mass quantities like this!

    We somehow squeezed in another round including a few treats.

    501602

    I had a Simba waffle since the Mickey waffles were out, still yummy and crispy in a way that I can’t replicate at home. The apple pocket pastry was so good, and my mom loved the pecan bun. The glazed donuts were out sadly, so maybe start with dessert if you have a later reservation like we did! And of course I had to have some fruit to finish off my meal.

    Boma was clearing out by the time we left around 11:30, but there were still a lot of families enjoying a leisurely breakfast. All of the hot foods were still being replenished when we left.

    Our Magical Express wasn’t until 1:40, so we had some time to explores. We ended up walking over to Kidani to check it out. The walk only takes about 10 minutes! There was a lot of construction there, and the lobby is very small compared to at Jambo. The shop is also absolutely tiny compared to the Jambo shop, it’s like an airport gift shop vs. a real store!

    There was an area to sit down and watch the animals, so we enjoyed one last look at the beautiful giraffes on the savanna.

    501603

    I’d say our standard room view at Jambo was just as good!

    We headed back to Jambo and hung out in the lobby until the bus arrived at 1:40. Ugh, the worst part of the trip! The Tragical Express, as I’ve heard it called. We didn’t even get a Disney themed bus, and it didn’t have wifi!

    501604

    Our bus stopped at AoA and Pop, though not many people got on. We were to the airport by 2:45 so it was a fairly quick trip. Security was fairly fast and we were off the tram and to our gate by 3:20.

    Man, the food really stinks at MCO! The menu at Outback to Go has been the same since the beginning of time, I swear! They could use some healthier options, I think there’s a salad bar now but it’s not very popular so I’m not sure I trust it. :laughing: Something like a sweetgreen would be awesome!

    We ended up getting a jumbo sized jet on the way home, and ended up not sitting together since we booked separately and couldn’t choose seats together due to our cheapo basic economy tickets. I had a middle seat, but it was a 2 x 3 x 2 seating, so the people next to me could get up without disturbing me. We were in the air by 5PM!

    501605

    I finished watching the Game of Thrones special, The Last Watch, which I had started on the flight out. I didn’t feel like watching another movie, so I just watched some episodes of House that I had downloaded to my phone in the airport.

    I was sitting between a husband and wife, which was rather annoying. They kept leaning across me to talk, honestly rude! :mad: We landed around 7:20, so overall 3:20 in flight. The flight home is always longer than the flight out for us. I complain about flights over three hours but we have it pretty good being in the middle of both coasts!

    We took the light rail back to my apartment, and I accidentally bought two tickets so I gave one to a kid trying to buy a ticket with coins. He seemed shocked I was giving it to him for free, even though they’re under $2. My good deed of the trip since paper FPs are relics of the past!

    501606

    Look at my sad face in the reflection! Nothing like the monorail. We were back to my apartment a little after 8:30, so overall we lost about eight hours between getting on the Magical Express and getting home. Travel days are the worst, but getting in super late is awful too so we usually take afternoon flights home. Never forget my midnight trip from LAX, where I landed after 6AM with the time difference :faint:.

    We picked up my mom’s car and headed back to her house. This is the one thing I love about getting home from vacation, getting to see my kitty again

    501607

    She was thrilled to see us, just look at that face! She wouldn’t stop rubbing her face against our suitcases. Given her age (getting close to 20), we were so happy she ate really well while we were gone. It is a big worry for us, and we feel terribly guilty being away. We had to drag our suitcases through a foot of snow when we got home, as we always do because it snows every time we are in WDW!

    Somehow we managed 10k steps on our last day of the trip, probably from pacing around the airport while waiting for our flight! What a blast this trip was. So many new restaurants, resorts, and experiences. I cherish these trips with my mom, the two of us love spending time together and Disney has become such a memorable place for us now!

    Thank you all for following along during the five months it took for me to finish this week-long trip report! I had no idea it would take so long, my apologies! I feel like I've aged multiple years since the start of this TR :laughing:. I have had so much fun writing about this trip and I hope you have had fun reading! (This entire TR was about 33,000 words, so you have read an entire novella!)

    I did my first solo trip in late February through early March, right before all of the virus craziness became a concern here in the US. I took a ridiculous amount of notes along with close to a thousand pictures (with a better phone camera), and I am so excited to share my experiences! I think I will try hosting the photos on another site to make longer posts with more pictures. I’ll post a link here once I get everything sorted for the new TR.

    Trip Report Complete! :yay:

    New TR link coming soon!
     

    disneyAndi14

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2014
    I hear mixed reviews about CG dinner. I loved the brunch on the epic trip, it was wonderful! I have hesitated to do a dinner with Andi. We both are small eaters and she is picky! The view is awesome for the fireworks.
    Thumbs up to Boma breakfast, love it 😍
    I have enjoyed reading your trip report and look forward to the next one.
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    I hear mixed reviews about CG dinner. I loved the brunch on the epic trip, it was wonderful! I have hesitated to do a dinner with Andi. We both are small eaters and she is picky! The view is awesome for the fireworks.
    Thumbs up to Boma breakfast, love it 😍
    I have enjoyed reading your trip report and look forward to the next one.
    Brunch sounds like so much fun with a big group, especially if you take advantage of the mimosas! :hyper:
    Boma breakfast might have to become a departure day tradition, it kept us full almost the entire day! Thank you so much for following along Caroline, it's been a lot of fun having you here! :cool1:
     
  • dorospin

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2016
    Day Seven - Part Two: California Grill with MVMCP Fireworks

    Hello all! It's me again with a quick update! Let's just say I'm excited to wrap up this TR and move on the the more recent one while I still remember it :hyper: . I moved my 4th of July trip to post-Thanksgiving, if that trip happens it will be my 3rd year in a row going that week! Unfortunately I could not modify the length of stay and am now reserved at the Riviera at a rack rate (NOT happening), but I just wanted something in MDE. The rate is over twice what my Gran Destino rate was, no thanks! Since Disney is giving priority to people with existing reservations during all of this, I just wanted something in the system in case.

    Back to AKL! We called an Uber at 7:30PM and it arrived in just a few minutes. It was about a 20 minute ride to the Contemporary and only $9 with my 25% discount! We have done the two-bus route for going to different resort for dinner, but it’s just not worth the time to us anymore. Uber/Lyft all the way!

    We were early for our 8:45 reservation, so we explored the shops at the Contemporary. My mom found an ornament in MK that she liked but didn’t buy at the time, and we were hoping to find it in a gift shop. No such luck!
    :sad1:


    To check in to California Grill, you go up the escalators in the lobby and there’s a check in desk. It’s hard to miss but we still missed it somehow and were wandering around confused a bit.

    Our table was already ready when we checked in at 8:30, so we went up the elevators with a CM and were shown to our table almost immediately. My first impression was that the restaurant is really loud. The ceilings are super high, and it kind of feels like a wedding reception in a hotel. Definitely not an intimate setting in my opinion, if you’re looking for a quiet date night I’d go somewhere else.

    They start you off with a fresh loaf of sourdough bread with some olive oil and sundried tomato for dipping. This was so delicious, very salty and I could have eaten two loaves of this stuff. Better not though, if you want room for your food!
    :hyper:


    View attachment 500752

    Spoiler alert, but the bread starter was probably the best part of the meal.

    We were seated at a two person table with a long booth on one side, which is shared with many tables. My mom is on the left side, and that arm on the right is someone from the family seated next to us...
    :bitelip:


    View attachment 500753

    Now you see why this might not be an ideal date spot, unless you want to basically have dinner with the people next to you! The observation deck in this picture as well, I think there might have been two decks but everyone seemed to go to this one.

    CA Grill is a much more upscale restaurant than we usually dine at, I do quite a bit of fine dining with my job but someone else is paying the bill so it’s more fun that way
    :laughing:
    .

    I decided to order the crudo appetizer, which is basically fancied up sashimi (raw fish). My mom is not interested in raw seafood, so this was just for me. I originally wanted to get a sushi roll, but I saw a few go by and they looked really tiny, so my eyes-bigger-than-my-stomach self went with the crudo instead. It arrived very quickly after the bread.

    View attachment 500754

    It looks like the crudo is no longer on the menu, but I found an old menu description: Yellowfin Tuna, Aji Panca, Candied Ginger Salmon, Coconut-Citrus, Sweet Potato, Hamachi, Popcorn, Shishito Vinaigrette, Escolar, Leche de Tigre, Habanero Tobiko

    Starting from the top left and going clockwise, I believe it is the salmon, escolar (“white tuna”), hamachi (yellowtail), and yellowfin (ahi) tuna.

    I don’t have a ton to say about this dish, it was actually a pretty big appetizer and could easily be shared between two. Ahi tuna and salmon are my favorite types of sashimi, but the sauce on the salmon was overpowering and a lot of the garnishes were definitely lost in the sauces and just for show. I think the fish could have been in smaller/thinner cuts to be more bite sized. Overall it was just okay, not memorable and the fish didn’t taste any fresher than what I could get at my local AYCE sushi restaurants here in MN. ~$25 seemed a bit steep, and maybe it’s off the menu because it didn’t sell well.

    Our entrees came about 25 minutes after my appetizer. Mom ordered the grilled pork tenderloin: Goat Cheese Polenta, Mushrooms, Kalettes, Bacon, Dried Cherries, Zinfandel Glaze. She swapped the goat cheese polenta for roasted potatoes, as neither of us like goat cheese. Kalettes are a cross between kale and brussel sprouts, FYI!

    View attachment 500755

    She really enjoyed the pork, it was very tender and served with a tiny hint of pink. It was more than she could eat, they use such big plates that the serving sizes seem small but are actually quite hearty. The mushrooms, cherries, and glaze paired nicely with the pork. I snuck a bite of course!
    :thumbsup2


    I ordered the oak-fired filet of beef, which at the time was: Aged Gouda Mac & Cheese, Grilled Sweet Onions, Sauteed Ice Spinach, 27 Steak Sauce. I’ve seen people rave about this, I don’t typically order filets but I thought I’d give it a try.

    View attachment 500756

    I ordered it medium-rare, and as soon as I cut into it I knew it was wrong. It was almost well-done! I tried a bite because I was hungry and I hate sending food back, but it was literally inedible.
    :crazy2:
    Sorry to people who like their steak this way, but for $60 it better melt in my mouth!

    I gathered my courage and caught the waiter’s attention and explained what happened, he took one look and was like “oh my” and whisked it away and said they would bring out a new one. No apology or anything, I felt like I was being a bit of an inconvenience.
    :confused3
    While I waited I finished off the bread, probably a mistake.

    It took about 15 minutes for my second filet to come out, this time it was closer to rare than medium-rare but that wasn’t a big deal to me so I was fine with it. At least it was edible this time! It was about 9:30 at this point, with 10PM fireworks, so I felt a bit rushed. Our fault, I would make an earlier reservation next time! We are usually quick eaters but I should have left us more wiggle room.

    View attachment 500757

    A few thoughts: I don’t know why I ordered such a plain menu item. I love trying unique flavors and adventurous cuisines! There’s nothing wrong with a good steak and mac and cheese, but this was incredibly boring and bland and missed the mark for me. The filet was not tender or melt in your mouth at all, it tasted like the cheap steaks you buy at the supermarket and just toss on the grill. If anything, I thought it was a bit tough and dry. (Even though it was hardly cooked??) It was basically steak with steak sauce and fancy mac and cheese. I'm not sure what I was expecting, thinking back on it. I think I let the hype of the filet get in the way of me ordering what I actually wanted!

    The spinach was unappetizing and there were maybe two onions for garnish. I should not have eaten so much bread or an appetizer, maybe if I was hungrier I would have enjoyed this meal more!
    :laughing:
    The steak was a small cut, but I only finished half of it. I didn’t even take any notes on the mac, it was fine but I’m not a huge mac and cheese person so I only ate a few bites. This was way too big of a portion if you eat an entire appetizer and half a loaf of bread like I did. Is this what the deluxe dining plan is like? I'd waste so much food if I did that! You'd have to roll me out after every meal!
    :rotfl:


    The fireworks were approaching and we couldn’t find our waiter, finally we caught his attention to let him know we were going out to see the fireworks and would settle the bill after. I think they expect that, but we didn’t want to just ditch without letting him know!

    The view from the deck is excellent, we were worried about getting outside early enough for a good spot but you can see the castle from pretty much anywhere along the deck. People didn’t start going out until about 5-10 minutes prior to the fireworks. I think only a few tables are lucky enough to have a view from inside the restaurant, so most go outside.

    View attachment 500758

    I didn’t dress warm enough, forgetting we’d be outside for the fireworks. I seemed to be making a lot of poor choices that evening!
    :scratchin
    The trip-almost-over blues must have been getting to me.

    View attachment 500759

    The fireworks were really spectacular from the observation deck, you can’t see the projections but they do pipe in the music. The show was new this year for MVMCP, I remember loving the fireworks from Holiday Wishes last year so I sort of wish they had kept that. This show was cute but didn’t seem that special from afar, perhaps it makes more of an impact in the parks.

    View attachment 500760

    If you love fireworks, you'll love this view. I enjoy the story as much as the fireworks themselves, so I think we missed a bit without having the projections.

    I would like to see HEA from CA Grill to give a better review, I was impressed but not wowed by the MVMCP fireworks so I’m not sure if it was the show itself or the distance from the park. If you don’t want to deal with crowds, this is a good option. The dessert party absolutely wowed us with the immersion, so maybe I just prefer being in the park!

    Our bill, with the AP discount, was just over what we paid for the dessert party. I’d 100% do another dessert party and have a QS meal rather than go back to CA Grill. I honestly think they could do with a big menu overhaul, we rarely do signature dining but I just don't think what they have to offer compares to other fine dining I have experienced, and the menu is sort of all over the place! The food did not live up to the price for me, it really depends on how highly you value the fireworks view. I'd gladly go back if someone else footed the bill though
    :laughing:
    . I think brunch might be more my style, the price is frankly ridiculous, but I'd consider doing it as a OMAD or something, ha!

    Our waiter was polite, but he introduced himself as a sommelier, and we rarely have drinks with dinner so he mostly kept himself busy with his bigger tables. There was also no explanation of our food, which was brought out by CMs from the kitchen. It would have been nice to get a quick summary of the ingredients to remind us what we were eating. Stuff like that would just make it feel more like a fine dining experience rather than a show with dinner being more of an afterthought.

    Sorry for being so long-winded, I just mostly see glowing reviews of California Grill so I wanted to offer my perspective!

    We took an Uber back to AKL and crashed that evening, I think we were back around 11PM. There was a notice about power going out at 4AM, we didn’t think anything of this but my white noise machine stopped playing, we didn’t think about that!

    18k steps for our final park day of the trip. We had a rather laid back trip I think, usually we are pushing 25k a day. A "lazy" trip.
    :rotfl:


    I can't believe it's been over six months since this trip!

    Continued/Completed in Day Eight: Boma Breakfast and Farewell WDW
    We love California Grill Brunch!! But yes the dinner is hit or miss. We love the fireworks view too! We are a white noise machine family!!
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    We love California Grill Brunch!! But yes the dinner is hit or miss. We love the fireworks view too! We are a white noise machine family!!
    I'm hoping I can get another girls trip planned in the next few years, and brunch would be fab! I like that we could go back to see the fireworks, I wouldn't feel so rushed if I was just returning rather than trying to time my dinner to the fireworks. White noises are a game changer, I can't believe I lived through college without one. I probably would have had less arguments with my roommates if I had one :rotfl:
     

    Isabelle12345

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2019
    I am late to the party but I really enjoyed your trip report!
    It must be amazing to spend time like this with your mom, Disney is the perfect place to create memories! I really hope to do a mother-daugther trip some day with my DD! (I hope she will still want to hang out with me then!) 😜
    It’s good to know the week after Thanksgiving is usually good crowds-wise (I was in WDW in February and it was packed!!!)
    Can’t wait to read about your solo February trip report! And I hope your November trip works out!
     

    Disneyhanna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2017
    I am late to the party but I really enjoyed your trip report!
    It must be amazing to spend time like this with your mom, Disney is the perfect place to create memories! I really hope to do a mother-daugther trip some day with my DD! (I hope she will still want to hang out with me then!) 😜
    It’s good to know the week after Thanksgiving is usually good crowds-wise (I was in WDW in February and it was packed!!!)
    Can’t wait to read about your solo February trip report! And I hope your November trip works out!
    Thank you so much for reading! It's so much fun spending time together in WDW, we only got annoyed at each other two or three times the entire trip :laughing: I heard January and Feb were crazy busy this year, it'll be interesting to see how the crowds are when things start opening up. I am organizing pictures from my solo trip and am getting so excited to start posting, I'm taking some extra time off work for the 4th so I hope to get the new TR going next weekend! :thumbsup2
     





    Connect

    Disney News and Updates





    SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DAILY EMAIL
    Subscribe and never miss out on Disney News, Deals and Updates.






    Top