I am going to work on my procrastination. I'll start first thing tomorrow morning.

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Cinema Too's picture
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I am going to work on my procrastination. I'll start first thing tomorrow morning.

Let me begin with a heartfelt Thank You.

I discovered this site in January as I was planning a 30th Anniversary trip for my wife and I. Your ideas, suggestions (and food photos) were frequently used and certainly appreciated.

It was our 9th trip to WDW in the last 18 years. It was our first without the boys. (From that first trip, my wife has always said,"One day we do this with just the two of us"). I am always the one that has done the planning, and this was no exception.

In our previous trips I have always managed to include a surprise or two, so right up to the morning that we were leaving, the boys thought that I was going to pull out some hidden airline tickets. I guess that their surprise was that we really went without them.

And now, the heartfelt apology. I fully intended to return and write a sparkling trip report, but here we are 6 months later and, well, here we are.

With your permission, I would like to write a recap of what we did, rather than a detailed trip report. (OK, let's be honest. If you are old enough to be married 30 years, you can't recall what you ate yesterday [I believe it was turkey], let alone what you ate 6 months ago).

The recap will be written in 5 chapters:

Chapter One: Where we stayed. Subtitled "Damn you, Magical Express".
Chapter Two: Where we ate. Subtitled "Everything's better on a flatbread".
Chapter Three: What we did. Subtitled "No kiddin', no kids".
Chapter Four: The Anniversary. Subtitled "Badges! We don't need.....".
Chapter Five: Post-deParting Depression. Subtitled "Doctor, I see hidden Mickey's in those inkblots".

Again, Thanks for all your help. More to follow.

Vettelover's picture
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Looking forward to your recap, and with your apparent sense of humor you will fit right in.

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Lizzy_B's picture
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Welcome, Cinema Too! I am really looking forward to reading your TR - I love your writing style already! I'm so glad that we could help you plan your special trip.

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Fantastic! I can't wait to read it all!

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Welcome... And looks like it's going to be an awesome trip report

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Bella's picture
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Awesome, can't wait to read it! Glad to see you're going to stop lurking and start posting!!

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Cinema Too's picture
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I was not lurking!

I was just standing off to the side, observing, not commenting.......

You're right. I was lurking.

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Welcome Cinema Too, glad you decided to stop "observing" and join the party. And i know what you mean about remembering what you ate yesterday, been married 32 years here! I'm still trying to finish my last trip report.

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Can't wait to hear all about you trip. Sounds like its going to be a good story!

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Looking forward to hearing about your trip.

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Maybe I can follow your general guideline. I've never written a trip report and will probably be very short and sweet. Glad you're here!

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I love the humor! Welcome to the land of the posting as well!

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Cinema Too wrote:
I was not lurking!

I was just standing off to the side, observing, not commenting.......

You're right. I was lurking.

laugh I guess "lurking" does make it sound a little more like a peeping Tom hiding in the bushes rather than "overhearing" someones conversation. Either way we are GLAD you are speaking up now!

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mickey Bella


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Welcome! We will gladly take trip reports from whenever!

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- 2013 Trip Report!
- My Int3ractiv3 Trip R3port '12 - CLICK HERE!
[url='http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/forum/pick-mases-dinner-disney']- My Interactive Trip Report '11[/url]

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Hi,

I have been a member here since August, 2009; and while I haven't posted much lately because I haven't been to WDW since 2007, I wanted to catch up and also to welcome all the new members. CinemaTwo, I look forward to reading your trip report.

Jim

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Welcome Cinema too. The Lurkers usually end up joining us eventually, you get to a point where you just have to add your two cents! Glad we could help plan your trip! There's a wealth of Disney Knowledge here!

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Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust

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Chapter One: Where we stayed. Subtitled "Damn you, Magical Express".

As I mentioned, I do the planning. My wife trusts me to plan a great trip. (Or she just doesn't want the pressure of planning a trip like this).

So the first step was to select where we would stay. I set 3 criteria for this:
1) A deluxe resort so that the stay would be special.
2) Romantic, to celebrate the 30 years.
3) Unique. We did not want to stay somewhere we had stayed before. (This eliminated AKL).

So I began researching where we would stay. I used the Disney website (thank God they don't charge by the minute, or we wouldn't have been able to afford any trip), and several others, including 'lurking' around here.

After several days of this, I reduced the choices to the Poly and WL. I decided that the upcoming weekend, I would make a final decision and book the trip. But I didn't. (Refer to the previously mentioned procrastination).

So after kicking myself for not booking, I vowed that I would do it the following weekend. But I didn't.

What I did do was pop in the Disney planning DVD and watch with my wife to try a get a little signal of where she would like to stay. As we went through the resorts, I got very little feedback. Comment on Wilderness was that it looked like AKL. Comment on the Poly was, "that's nice". Note to the younger gentlemen in the audience! The female phrase, "that's nice" has several meanings and the ability to interpret which meaning applies to the current conversation will go a long way to getting you to the 30 year mark. Possible meanings for the phrase "that's nice" include "that's not nice", "try again", " there's no way" and the always popular "Really?" I decided to move on and play the last resort. The Contemporary.

Her comment. "That's really cool". I said, "Yep, wait, what? Huh?" The Contemporary was never even on my radar. So it was back to researching (and lurking). I decided it was going to be the Poly and I would book first thing tomorrow.

But before I did I opened my email to find a note from the Walt Disney Company. An offer of some discounts on deluxe resorts (It's events like this that make us procrastinators think we don't have a problem, we are just smart).

The best offer was..... The Contemporary. And so, I booked it.

More to follow.

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Hey Cinema Too!

Sounded like a number. Sorry.

Good start. Thanks for the primer on the female use of Old Sanskrit. "Let's just be friends" won't get you to the 30-second mark.

Jim

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Cinema Too wrote:
Chapter One: Where we stayed. Subtitled "Damn you, Magical Express".

As I mentioned, I do the planning. My wife trusts me to plan a great trip. (Or she just doesn't want the pressure of planning a trip like this).

So the first step was to select where we would stay. I set 3 criteria for this:
1) A deluxe resort so that the stay would be special.
2) Romantic, to celebrate the 30 years.
3) Unique. We did not want to stay somewhere we had stayed before. (This eliminated AKL).

So I began researching where we would stay. I used the Disney website (thank God they don't charge by the minute, or we wouldn't have been able to afford any trip), and several others, including 'lurking' around here.

After several days of this, I reduced the choices to the Poly and WL. I decided that the upcoming weekend, I would make a final decision and book the trip. But I didn't. (Refer to the previously mentioned procrastination).

So after kicking myself for not booking, I vowed that I would do it the following weekend. But I didn't.

What I did do was pop in the Disney planning DVD and watch with my wife to try a get a little signal of where she would like to stay. As we went through the resorts, I got very little feedback. Comment on Wilderness was that it looked like AKL. Comment on the Poly was, "that's nice". Note to the younger gentlemen in the audience! The female phrase, "that's nice" has several meanings and the ability to interpret which meaning applies to the current conversation will go a long way to getting you to the 30 year mark. Possible meanings for the phrase "that's nice" include "that's not nice", "try again", " there's no way" and the always popular "Really?" I decided to move on and play the last resort. The Contemporary.

Her comment. "That's really cool". I said, "Yep, wait, what? Huh?" The Contemporary was never even on my radar. So it was back to researching (and lurking). I decided it was going to be the Poly and I would book first thing tomorrow.

But before I did I opened my email to find a note from the Walt Disney Company. An offer of some discounts on deluxe resorts (It's events like this that make us procrastinators think we don't have a problem, we are just smart).

The best offer was..... The Contemporary. And so, I booked it.

More to follow.

That's fantastic! I can't WAIT to here about your experience. I worked at the Contempo for two years, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

And kudos for the "that's nice" primer. Spot on. Smile

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I have (what I think is) a unique thought about the place. I'll be interested in seeing if you, with your background, feel the same.

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Cinema Too wrote:
Note to the younger gentlemen in the audience! The female phrase, "that's nice" has several meanings and the ability to interpret which meaning applies to the current conversation will go a long way to getting you to the 30 year mark. Possible meanings for the phrase "that's nice" include "that's not nice", "try again", " there's no way" and the always popular "Really?"

Yeah , good luck with that one! I'm going on 33 years married, and you think I even have a hint on which is which yet? Not on your life. waiting

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Chapter One: Where we stayed. Subtitled "Damn you, Magical Express"

Continued.

As we were approaching Orlando, she still had no idea where we were staying. I had managed to put the Magical Express tags on at the ticket counter when she was distracted.

As we headed to board our bus, she got her first clue. According to the sign for the line we were in, we would be staying at either Poly, WL, GF or the Contemporary.

As it turned out, that was the order that the bus stopped.

We pull into the drive at the Poly. Winding past sidewalks lined with perfect landscaping and foliage, the place looks amazing. She said "Wow, this is beautiful". Great! Where was that reaction 3 months ago. She looks at me like, "Are we getting off here?" I'm starting to feel bad about my choice.

We pull into the drive at WL. Winding past sidewalks lined with perfect landscaping and foliage, the place looks amazing. She said "Wow, this is beautiful". Great! Where was that reaction 3 months ago. She looks at me like, "Are we getting off here"? I'm really feeling bad about my choice.

We pull into the drive at GF. Winding past sidewalks lined with perfect landscaping and foliage, the place looks amazing. She said "Wow, this is beautiful". Great! Where was that reaction 3 months ago. She looks at me like, "Are we getting off here"? OH, God. I blew it

We pull into the driveway of the Contemporary. Winding past concrete bordered by concrete lined with concrete. Gray on gray with gray. I begin wondering if I can change resorts.

As we enter we are greeted by a friendly young CM. He asks if we are checking in. I resist the temptation to tell him no. He instructs us to follow him and he will get us registered. As I look around, I begin to feel like this just might work. As we got off the elevator and rounded the corner to our room, we got our first high up view of the resort. I'm feeling much better now. We enter our room and are amazed. It is modern, but warm. Not an easy combination to pull off. (we had recently stayed at a modern hotel on South Beach and despite it's staggering price, it felt modern, cold and sterile).

It was when we walked on the balcony and got our first glimpse of Magic Kingdom, that I really began to relax.

For those of you thinking that I failed on the romance criteria, take your soaring pines and your billowing palms. We went to sleep with a 190ft., color changing castle for a nightlight. Romantic? Hell yes.

So, what was our final opinion of the place?

More to follow.

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Just. Wow. What an amazing account you're giving. I had never really thought about it. You know, it's kind of like how you don't "see" your hometown, but the first time you bring a new visitor to it, maybe a college friend, they point out things that you just never noticed. But you're right!

I'm so glad that it all turned out well. I hope you have pics of that view. Sounds stunning.

(PS - I know I'm repeating myself, but it is a pleasure to read your writing.)

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We're staying at the Contemporary (Bay Lake Tower) in June. I sure hope that my family feels the magic there! I'm very excited about it, but the kids had hoped for Beach Club because of the pool.

Can't wait to hear more of your story!

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Chapter One: Where we stayed. Subtitled "Damn you, Magical Express":

Continued.

So did we like The Contemporary?

Loved it!

And here are the Top 5 Reasons we did:

#5 It's a WDW Deluxe:
And that means service. And great service means a great staff. And The Contempo did not disappoint. Every CM we came in contact with was professional, thorough and enjoyed helping people. They were great.

#4 The Monorail:
I didn't think this was going to be such a big deal, but you get used to using it real quick. 5 days and we used busses only 4 times. (Not that there is anything wrong with busses. But riding above traffic sure beats riding in traffic).

#3 The energy:
If your room at AKL and WL is your country getaway, then the Contempo is your mid-town apartment. This place has people moving all the time. From the monorail traffic to families running to Chef Mickey's to dressed-up couples heading to the California Grill, this place has a hustle and bustle to it that others don't. And we liked it. (Especially watching it from 8 floors above).

#2 Walking to/from MK:
Thousands of people pouring out of MK, looking for their bus, train, boat or ferry! And we got to walk and beat them all home. And it's a pretty walk, as the gleaming, iconic Contemporary gets closer and closer.

And the #1 reason I loved the Contemporary!!!

This one is going to be a bit abstract, so bear with me while I try for the right words. (Lizzy_B, if it makes sense to you and you can help me describe it, please jump in).

#1 Walt:
Nowhere else on WDW property have I felt Walt's presence more than here. (CofP maybe second).We didn't stay at a Disney resort, we stayed at Walt's Place. Although it opened after his death, you get the feeling that it is exactly how he would have wanted it. A showplace, an icon, a cathedral honoring the future. The magic of Disney is throughout all of WDW, but the spirit of Walt is here.

Next up: Chapter Two: Where we ate. Subtitled "Everything's better on a flatbread".

More to follow.

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Cinema Too, my husband I stayed at the Contemporary for the very first time this past October. I also wanted to stay there because of its connection to Walt and its proximity to the MK. I whole heartedly agree that being able to walk to and from the MK is one of the best features of all! We loved the walk and the monorail to Epcot and the other resorts. And if you get a MK view room up high like we did (the 11th floor), it is truly magical. I'm so glad to hear you loved as much as we did. Keep that trip report coming!

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Chapter Two: Where we ate. Subtitled "Everything's better on a flatbread".

Let's eat. Again we set a couple of criteria.

#1 Somewhere we have never eaten before.
#2 Be adventurous. Not smoked snake feet kind of adventurous, but don't order the same old thing adventurous.

I'll put our meals into 4 categories:'
#1 The Misses
#2 The solid performers
#3 The surprising performers
#4 The spectacular performers

The Misses

Only one. Coral Reef

Food was great, Service was quirky but good, decor is great. So what went wrong?

Several parents with young kids decided that they were going to cool off with a cold one and let their little ones go up to the tank and watch the fish. Good for them, bad for those of us with a table by the tank. I want their kids to enjoy themselves, but I'm spending $100 to enjoy myself, not baby sit. Hard to enjoy your meal when mommy is chasing a shark with junior in one hand and a camera in the other trying to get a photo that never seems to work.

Sidenote: My wife believes each park should have one day a week with no strollers. Bear in mind she also thought on a hot, rainy day that they should put a sno-globe over MK and air-condition the place. I blamed it on sunstroke.

The solid performers

Kona

I wanted one good, real long breakfast. Something that you can't do with kids. I also wanted to try the Samoan. (It was delicious). Disappointed because I expected my wife to order Tonga toast. Still have to try it.

Columbia Harbour House
Confession #1. We had eaten here before! We were walking by, we were hungry and that's a great tuna sandwich.
Confession #2. We ate there again on our last day. It's the greatest tuna sandwich on the planet.

Mama Melrose's

We had no plans to eat here. A sudden downpour sent us running for cover. Mama was the first place we saw. When we entered the hostess said "table for two"? So we tried it. My wife still talks about the goat cheese ravioli. I loved my flatbread. (More on those later)

The surprising performers

The Wave

OK! How did I not know how cool this place is? We walked home from MK and realized that we hadn't had dinner and could use a cold one. Asked the CM in the lobby what he would suggest and he walked us to the blue tube entrance of The Wave. Cool decor. Sat at the bar. Bartender handed us a bar menu. I handed it back and told her to bring us her two favorite appetizers. One was a flatberead. And so began our love of all flatbreads. If we saw one on the menu we ordered it. Each one different, each one great.

Yak and Yeti

A last minute ADR. Got in a very long line to check in. We were behind a party of...........25. Took my check-in ticket to the hostess stand. A guy peeks around the corner.
"Sir, How many in your party?"
"Two".
"I've got 2 seats at the bar. Same menu, cold beer and the best waiter in the place, me!"
So we sat at the bar and had a wonderful meal. Two appetizers that he picked for us (I let waitstaff make my choices a lot). My wife had a great glazed chicken dish and I had a wonderful fish entree. Several cold ones and great service. We will be back.
On the downside, we never got to see the place. We were in the bar the entire time.

And now the two amazing meals of the trip...

More to follow.

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I ate at Yak & Yeti and loved it. When you go back, sit in the dining area. The decor is awesome.

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Chapter Two: Where we ate. Subtitled "Everything's better on a flatbread".

And that leaves the spectacular performers!

California Grill
It was everything we had heard, it was everything we expected.

A perfect window table. (decorated for our anniversary with Mickey confetti). The perfect time. (Dessert and fireworks arrived at the same time). Perfect service. (Our waiter was Brian, a fellow Buckeye from Cincinnati. I verified that he was from there , because he brought up Graeter's Ice cream and knew that the best flavor is Black Raspberry Chip).
Quick side-note. My business dictates that I eat out frequently (several times a week). I have experienced service around the world and Brian's performance ranks at the top of the list.
Perfect food. We started with a roasted corn chowder that was green (we were told it was made from a local corn that has a green tint). It was remarkable.
Followed by a flatbread, of course.
My wife had a beef dish and I had salmon. Again it was everything that we expected.

But it wasn't my most spectacular meal of the trip. That honor goes to......

Jiko

The room is incredible. From the color-changing walls to the birds soaring overhead. From the beautiful music to the romantic lighting. Everything exceeded our expectations. It was crowded but we never felt part of the crowd. There were waiters hustling here and there, but we never felt rushed. It felt like we were eating in a different country. We loved it.

And the food... sensational. I had read some comments about the unique flavors of Jiko and how some didn't like the food. Not us. We felt the flavors fit perfectly with the atmosphere of the place. From the opening flatbread ("If we saw one on the menu we ordered it. Each one different, each one great."), through our entrees (fish for her, short ribs for me), to dessert, we couldn't have enjoyed ourselves more. For a special romantic dinner, I'll take Jiko.

I know this recap is taking a long time. Sorry. But this is a crazy time of year for business.

I promise to complete the last 3 chapters in the next few days.

More to follow.

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Wow, I anxiously await your next installment

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We loved Jiko when we went on our honeymoon. We felt it was romantic and delicious. The services was spectacular and the ambience was just top notch.