Orlando Journals

Newbie Trip to Walt Disney World

An October 2005 trip to Orlando by anneckhart

Quote: After watching all of the Disney shows on the Travel Channel and Food Network, my dad and I began to seriously consider a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida.

Newbie Trip to Walt Disney World

Overview

Quote:
Walt Disney World is a well-oil machine - the ease of the onsite transportation (buses, monorail and boats) eliminates the traditional travel concerns of getting from point A to B. We stayed at a deluxe resort, the Beach Club, and received an upgrade to the concierge floor! The resort was amazing, comfortable and full of amenities. We also took advantage of the dining plan, which allowed for sit-down meals, counter-service meals, and snacks every day - we ate at places we never would have due to cost.Quick Tips: I did a ton of research for this trip through Frommer’s and Unofficial Guide books and the DIS Boards and AllEars.net, plus I tried to catch as many shows as I could on Travel Chan...Read More

Disney's Beach Club Resort

Hotel | "Disney's Beach Club"

Quote:
Upon check-in, we were UPGRADED to concierge - definitely not worth an extra $150 per night, but great free! Rooms were spacious and airy, and beds were SOOOO comfortable. The bathrooms at Disney have a room for the shower and toilet (very small), and deluxe resorts have two double sinks outside the bathroom. There was no door or curtain, so you have to tell others in the room to stay around the corner if you are changing. The concierge floor rooms have balconies, turn-down service, and robes, plus a lounge with continental breakfast and snacks all day. The Stormalong Pool is a 3-acre water park with sand bottom, slide, and lazy river.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Disney's Beach Club Resort
1800 Epcot Resorts Blvd
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
407-934-8000

Wolfgang Puck Cafe: Downtown Disney

Restaurant | "Wolfgang Puck"

Quote:
We had 6pm reservations at Wolfgang Puck’s Café the third night of our stay. We were early, but that got us a seat outside, which was perfect, as it had cooled off and there was a nice breeze coming from the water. I had the Caesar salad (yum!), three-cheese ravioli (the best I’ve EVER had!!), and warm dark chocolate soufflé cake (very disappointing – just plain chocolate cake with a scoop of chocolate ice cream). Dad had a hard time here. He tried the Asian-style vegetable spring rolls (too spicy), Adventure’s in the Kitchen meatloaf (he hated it), and Chef Marian’s carrot cake (which he thought was wonderful – fortunately, that filled him up). I had a Coke and Dad had the mango ice tea (which h...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Wolfgang Puck Cafe: Downtown Disney
1482 E Buena Vista Dr
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 938-9653

Boma-Flavors of Africa

Restaurant | "Boma"

Quote:
We ate at Boma the second night of our trip. It took a while for our server to take our drink order, and even longer to actually get the drinks. I’d heard such great things about Boma and was really excited to try it. While I’m glad we did try it, I would definitely never go again. I wasn’t expecting it to be so LOUD! I’d read all about the little "pod" areas for food--whatever, the "pods" are all in a line so I didn’t see how it was really different from other buffets. Anyhow, I was still looking forward to trying the food…but it just wasn’t appealing to us. I tried a number of different dishes, taking a little of each. Other than the "Potatoes with Afritude" and some of the breads, there was...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Boma-Flavors of Africa
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 939-3463

Cape May Cafe

Restaurant | "Character Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner"

Quote:
We had 8am reservations at Cape May Café (located inside the Beach Club Resort) for their breakfast, which also happens to have characters. Dad loves breakfast foods, so I wanted him to have a nice breakfast on the trip. I was dreading the character part but figured I could suck it up for one meal. People in costumes make me… uncomfortable!! There was plenty on the buffet: Mickey waffles, Krispy Kreme donuts, bagels, croissants, two types of eggs, bacon, sausage, fruits, potatoes… plus we each got drinks. The characters were Goofy, Minnie, and Dale (minus Chip for some reason), and we did take a few pics of each other with the characters. I didn’t want to, but the CHARACTERS insisted!!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Cape May Cafe
Disney's Beach Club Resort
Orlando, Florida
(407) WDW-DINE

Liberty Tree Tavern

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
We ate here for lunch, inside the Magic Kingdom. Our server was less than pleasant – not rude, but clearly not enjoying her job. This was by far the worst meal we had! For appetizers, I had the Tavern Fried Cheese (mozzarella cheese sticks with marinara sauce – strangely, half the plate were "sticks" and the other half "nuggets" – these were your typical mozzarella sticks, although a bit too greasy) and dad had the New England clam chowder (he said that it was very good). For entrées, I had "The Sandwich Heard Around the World," grilled turkey panini with Swiss cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and avocado tartar served on multigrain bread with arugula and mache salad. YUCK!!! The avocado tartar w...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Liberty Tree Tavern
Walt Disney World Resort, Magic Kingdom
Orlando, Florida 32830
(470) WDW- Dine

Earl of Sandwich

Restaurant

Quote:
We ate at this counter-service restaurant twice - it was excellent! Sandwiches are made to order on hot baguettes. The first time my dad had a barbeque beef sandwich, drink, and cookie; I had the Le Frenchy sandwich (ham, brie, and dejonaise), a drink, and a brownie. The second time I had the Earl’s Club (turkey) and Dad had the tuna melt. We also got cookies and drinks. It’s a very busy place – the servers aren't too friendly – but the food is great!!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Earl of Sandwich
Downtown Disney
Orlando, Florida

Pizzafari

Restaurant

Quote:
Pizzafari is a counter-service restaurant located within the Animal Kingdom park at Walt Disney World. Dad had the cheese pizza, apple tart, and drink; I had the hot Italian deli sandwich (came with a bag of Lay’s chips), chocolate cake, and drink. Everything was really good! I was a little worried about the pesto tomatoes on my sandwich, but I was able to pick them off easily enough. The cake was to-die-for!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Pizzafari
Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom
Orlando, Florida 32830

Quote:
This is a counter-service bakery located in the France section of Epcot. We ate lunch here and got two ham-and-cheese croissants, the cake of the day (chocolate!!), a strawberry tart, and two drinks. The croissants were amazing – I actually had one and a half, as Dad couldn’t finish his. My chocolate cake was so good, and dad liked his tart.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Boulangerie Patisserie
France World Showcase in Epcot
Orlando, Florida

Main Street Bakery

Restaurant

Quote:
A counter-service bakery inside the Magic Kingdom. Low prices and long lines - plus very little seating. We had a blueberry muffin, apple turnover, and chocolate milk. Both pastries were excellent! Chocolate milk was Nesquik – yuck!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Main Street Bakery
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Orlando, Florida

Quote:
The counter-service version of the cafe - what you save in money you make up for by having to eat with plastic utensils. I had the Caesar salad, a brownie, and a Coke. I only ate about half the salad and took the brownie with me – I was trying to use up a dining-plan credit. It was too hard to eat the salad with plastic utensils and I ate the brownie later that night, but it was rather bland.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Wolfgang Puck Express
1482 East Buena Vista Drive
Orlando, Florida 32830
+1 407 938 9653

Big River Grille and Brewing Works

Restaurant | "Big River Grille & Brewing Works "

Quote:
What an overlooked gem! The view, the service and the food were outstanding! I got the classic Caesar salad (really good!) and the Big Brew burger (with added bacon and Swiss cheese) with homemade kettle chips (awesome); Dad got the clam chowder (loved it) and a BBQ (sweet sauce) pork sandwich with the chips (loved it, too). I had a Coke, dad had the lemonade, and we each had the Chocolate Confusion Cake (to-die-for!) for dessert. This was probably the best meal of the trip.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Big River Grille and Brewing Works
Disney's Boardwalk
Orlando, Florida 32830
407/560-0253

Quote:
Had "buy-one, get-one-free" coupon. I ordered the warm brownie sundae (plus a bottle of water), and Dad got the Very Berry Sundae; we sat down to wait for them to be brought out. They certainly LOOKED amazing, but after digging in and getting to the ice cream at the bottom of the 5 inches of whipped cream, well, there wasn’t much there. There was hardly any hot fudge in mine, and quite frankly, the whole sundae was rather bland – the brownie was pretty dry and not even warm. Dad said his was "okay", but nothing great. Neither of us bothered finishing – although it would have been easy to, as in the end, there just wasn’t much to them. Definitely not worth the $7 each, even with the coupon!

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain
Downtown Disney Marketplace
Orlando, Florida
(407) 934-8855

Cirque du Soleil La Nouba

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Cirque Du Soleil, La Nouba,"

Quote:
While in line on the balcony, I turned to take a picture of the street down the West Side. The ticket taking lady immediately jumped on me and said, "You can’t take pictures inside the show!" Was I taking pictures inside? NO! We were shown to our seats, and as I went to put my camera away, the usher attacks me, "You can’t take pictures in here!" Good grief! I fully understand why they don’t allow pictures, but ease up! This was a half and hour before the show even began, and I wasn’t even taking pictures! I hopped in line to get a drink – and witnessed another sales campaign as they were selling "souvenir" mugs (more like JUGS). It took forever to get through the line, but I finally got ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Cirque du Soleil La Nouba
Downtown Disney
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 939-7600

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Attraction | "Animal Kingdom"

Quote:
Crowded and extremely hot!! Good luck seeing any actual animals here - the focus is on the Disney cartoon characters. The "safari" was a joke - lame storyline and very few animals. Kali River Rapids was a nice water-raft ride, but you have to walk a long time just to get through the waiting area. We only saw about half the park before the heat and humidity did us in.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 824-4321

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom

Attraction | "Disney World - Magic Kingdom- Adventureland"

Quote:
I quickly found out that Magic Kingdom lacked the signage of the other three parks, and with it being pretty crowded, we struggled to figure out which path to take to get to Adventureland. We were going to do Jungle Cruise, but it didn’t open until 10am, so we got right on the Pirates of the Caribbean. Maybe you have to see the movie for this to make sense, as I just didn’t get it. It was loud and somewhat violent, so I wasn’t impressed.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom
Interstate 4 At U.S. Highway 192
Orlando, Florida
(407) 824-4321

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom

Attraction | "Disney World - Magic Kingdom- Frontierland"

Quote:
Again, the lack of signs messed us up, and we ended up going through Liberty Square to get there! We got in line for Splash Mountain (sign said 20 minutes, but it was more like 5). The drops on this were much more intense than I was expecting – I screamed my way through every one!! We were in the back, so we only got a little water on us. The interior of the ride, however, is really cute. Next we got in line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – sign said 10 minutes but it was less than 5. I LOVED this ride! I can handle the twists and turns – I’ve learned I’m getting too old for the drops…although I screamed throughout much of this ride, too!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom
Interstate 4 At U.S. Highway 192
Orlando, Florida
(407) 824-4321

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom

Attraction | "Disney World - Magic Kingdom- Tommorrowland"

Quote:
We headed into Tomorrowland and hit the crowd! Yikes, it was PACKED!! We hoped on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority – seats, yea! My poor dad about fell over when he got on the moving platform – despite all the warnings to be careful. We made it into our car and enjoyed the ride – I especially liked seeing the inside of Space Mountain. We then went to the Carousel of Progress, which was mildly entertaining – if not a bit hokey. Again, air-conditioning and seats made it a “must-see” attraction!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom
Interstate 4 At U.S. Highway 192
Orlando, Florida
(407) 824-4321

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom

Attraction | "Magic Kingdom - Liberty Square"

Quote:
There was only a 10-minute wait for The Haunted Mansion, and after reading about it being a must-do, we got in the line, which ended up being less than a few minutes. Again, maybe you have to see the movie to get this, but I just wasn’t scared or impressed. I also have a habit of not paying attention to the attraction itself, but instead looking around me – and I quickly spotted how some of the effects were run. The ride also stalled twice, which kind of took the momentum out of it. Still, it was interesting to do, I guess, and killed more time before lunch. We finished lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern just in time to catch the next showing in the Hall of Presidents. We both loved this, and...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom
Interstate 4 At U.S. Highway 192
Orlando, Florida
(407) 824-4321

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Attraction | "Disney's MGM Studios"

Quote:
There were only three attractions I wanted to see at MGM, and we did them all in about 2 hours. Neither my Dad nor I are movie watchers, so I was unfamiliar with most of what was in the park. First we did The Great Movie Ride – an okay attraction made GREAT by the air-conditioning and sitting down!! The little skit, however, was so lame, although the cast members were genuinely trying. The only movie I’d seen in the attraction was The Wizard of Oz. Next was the Muppet Vision 3-D, which I LOVED!! Afterwards we stopped in the gift shop and I bought a Kermit and a couple of magnets. I love my Muppets! Then it was off to the Backlot Tour. The little pre-show was okay, and the earthquake part was ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Disney's Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 824-4321

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park

Attraction | "Epcot - Future World"

Quote:
We took a boat to Epcot and entered through the International Gateway. We rushed to The Land Pavilion and got in line for Soarin', which makes you feel like you are flying over California (complete with smell and wind). The ride was amazing, although too short! Living with the Land was a waste of 30 minutes - a boat ride through the evolution of farming, including a steaming greenhouse... boring!! The Spaceship Earth ride was a walk-on and kind-of interesting. We then hiked over to Test Track, my other must-do. The sign said that there was a 40-minute wait, but I dismissed that since we hadn’t had to wait anywhere near what signs had said on other rides. Big mistake! The line stalled twice, an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park

Orlando, Florida

Epcot World Showcase

Attraction | "Epcot - World Showcase - Part I"

Quote:
By the time we finished with the front of Epcot, we were hot and exhausted - I knew there was no way we’d make it around World Showcase, but I thought we’d at least try to get lunch in France. We ate at the Boulangerie Patisserie - so good!! After lunch, I felt better and we decided to at least try to make it to America. We just walked past the countries in between, although the character bus was out so I stopped to take some pictures of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Pluto. We finally made it to America for the American Adventure – what a great show!! Plus, with air- conditioning and chairs, what’s not to like?! After the show, however, we were DONE with Epcot! We made our way bac...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Epcot World Showcase
World Showcase Lagoon
Orlando 32830
(407) 939-8687

Downtown Disney

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Downtown Disney Marketplace"

Quote:
We went to World of Disney first. Good grief, who came up with all of the Disney merchandise! The store was HUGE! We had a 10% coupon from AAA Travel, and we used it to buy a few magnets, postcards (as I was sending postcards to some friend’s kids back home), stuffed Mickey’s, Mickey Ears, and a photo album. We quickly realized that we wouldn’t be getting anyone souvenirs, as the prices were insane! If we bought one person something, we’d have to buy for all – and it was out of the budget. We stopped in to Goofy’s Candy Company (I wasn’t impressed with this – a lot of candy you can get at home but with "Disney" packaging – and the prices were insane), Mickey’s Mart (I didn’t see any bargain...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2005

Downtown Disney
Walt Disney World Resort
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32821
+1 407 828 3056