21st Anniversary Trip Report- The much delayed, little anticipated Day 3 NOW AVAILABLE

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BarbaraB's picture
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21st Anniversary Trip Report- The much delayed, little anticipated Day 3 NOW AVAILABLE

First, I want to apologize for this Trip Report being so late. I thank everyone that does their TR's while at The World, but I just can't do it. (I probably should...I'd remember more. laugh ) I completely unplug when I'm on vacation, except for my little 2G "dumbphone" cellphone.

For a little background, you can find my Pre-Trip Report HERE.

DAY 0

This is the day before we leave, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. Hubby and I both work at the same place, but we had to drive to work separately that day because he had a late afternoon meeting about 5 minutes from home. We work about an hour away from home so it didn't make sense for him to leave the office to go to the meeting, then come back to the office to pick me up, then drive us back home. Anyway, I left work 30 minutes early so we could start on vacation early, but on my drive home from work, my "Check Engine" light comes on and the car will not shift out of first gear. Lovely. Well, I was thankful that at least it was still moving...not very fast, but still moving none the less. I pulled into a parking lot and called Hubby (his name's Brian, by the way) to see if he just wanted to meet me at the mechanic and we'd leave for Atlantic City from there. He told me it might just be a computer problem and to turn the car off and turn it back on again, then drive home. We'll worry about the car when we get back. I did that. The engine light was still on, but the car was shifting again. I took all back roads home so I didn't have to drive too fast and finally made it home around 6:00, which is when I normally get home. So much for leaving early.

When I get home, I discover Hubby has already put the luggage in the car, so I just check the mail then walk out the door and get in the car. Atlantic City here we come! Vacation has officially begun! yay Traffic was surprisingly light and we were making record time. Of course, this is going too smoothly, so we decide to get pulled over on the Atlantic City Expressway for doing 82mph in a 65 mph zone. (OK...we didn't decide that, but that's what happened anyway.) The state trooper was actually very nice, and when Hubby said he was a volunteer fireman, the trooper said he was going to cut him a break anyway, but he'll definitely take that into consideration. He goes to his car to run Hubby's license and comes back about 5 minutes later. He gave Hubby a warning for reckless driving and a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. (Please note that Hubby was wearing a seatbelt.) He said it was the cheapest ticket he could think of. (Fines are doubled in a 65 Zone.) Hubby thanked him for his kindness, and we were on our way again. Hubby set the cruise control for 65mph, and we stayed in the right-hand lane for the rest of the trip.

We arrive at Harrah's, check in, drop the luggage in our room, and head right to the casino floor. We each had a voucher for a free bet. We went to the roulette table to use it. We both lost. I stayed at the roulette table while Hubby went to a 3-card Poker table. We gambled for a couple hours and had a few "free" adult beverages. Hubby lost about $300 and I broke even. See...I told you the money we saved on airfare by flying out of AC instead of Philly would be lost at the tables. We grabbed a couple slices of pizza at Walt's Original Primo Pizza in the food court then headed up to the room and called it a night.

To Be Continued...

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No worries! I have one of those "dumb phones" too!
I may check into WDWFG in the evening at bedtime, while in the world, via my Nook Tablet, but I enjoy waiting until I get home to do a TR. It helps me organize my thoughts and relive vacation one more time..plus I can add cliffhanger entries to torment all you Big smile Tongue (devil horns)

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Iam the same..I'll have my trip report done ( with photos correct way up ) when I get home...My I Pad will stay in my room and I'll type in my day on my calendar at night.. awesome

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I'm the same way, I love reading people's reports that post live from the World but I just can't force myself to do it when I'm there. I'm way to go go go and am at the parks from open to close so it doesn't leave a lot of time for TR updates.

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BarbaraB wrote:
First, I want to apologize for this Trip Report being so late.

No worries! I still haven't been able to bring myself to write more of my post San Diego report from July. I sit down to try and do it and I'm just all "Nope. Nothin' In The Noggin."

Take your time, write it as it comes - we'll be here! mickey

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Day 1

Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014- Woke up around 6:00am to shower and dress for our 8:30am flight. Check in at the airport was surprisingly easy. I guess Spirit straightened out their scheduling issues so everyone's not arriving at the same time. Spirit recently changed their checked bag weight from 50 lbs. to 40 lbs. Any bag 41 -50 lbs now cost $25 extra. Hubby was worried about his golf clubs, so he took some stuff out of his golf bag before we left. They only weighed 30 lbs. My bag, on the other hand, weighed 43 lbs. The lady checking us in either didn't notice or didn't care because she didn't charge us the extra $25. Since check in went so smoothly, we had some extra time to kill. So we found the bar. (It wasn't that difficult. It's a very small airport. You take the escalator to the 2nd floor; there are 5 gates to the right, 5 gates to the left and the restaurant/bar straight ahead.) Hubby ordered a bloody mary. I had a Coke. (I like my caffeine carbonated.)

Our plane:

Boarding started around 8:00. We were in the last group to board. We had a window and center seat so, of course, the man with the aisle seat in our row was already seated. I'll never understand the airlines' boarding procedures. Back to front, window to aisle makes the most sense to me, but they never seem to do it that way. *shrug*

The flight was uneventful. I watched an episode of "Sherlock," and by the time it was over, we were making our final approach. We landed around 11:00am, picked up our luggage, and found our way to the rental car line. Hubby has a Hertz Gold card which means we usually just go right to the car, but we booked the car as part of a package with the airfare so we weren't sure what to do. He had checked his Hertz account before we left, and the ressie wasn't there. So we just stood in line with about 40 other people waiting for the 2 Hertz employees checking in all the people in front of us. We finally got to the front of the line waiting for one of the groups at the desk to finish up. This is when a 3rd employee decides to come assure the people in line that they will be taken care of soon. He noticed that Brian had his gold card out. He told us gold card members can go right to the lot, and if his name isn't on the board, there's a special gold card desk at the lot that will help him. Wish we had known this 30 minutes ago. Oh well...live and learn. We make our way over to the Hertz lot, and Brian's name isn't on the board. Luckily, we're the only ones there so we don't have to wait to check in. For some unknown reason, they had his reservation, but none of his information other than his name. So the attendant had to type in his address, drivers license number, credit card number, whether or not he wanted insurance, a GPS or a car seat. She gets to the very end, right before she prints out the agreement, and her computer screen goes blank. UGH!!! She has to reboot her computer and re-type everything she just typed in. Next time, we'll just book the rental car separately. Finally, around 12:30, we get the car, and we're on our way!! clapping clapping

Absolutely no problem driving to Wilderness Lodge. We didn't check in online, so we go to the front desk. We were greeted right away and started checking in immediately. NO LINE!! The CM told us our room was ready. Then she noticed that we had requested a king bed. She told us the king bed rooms are usually reserved for guest with disabilities, are all on the first floor, and only have a walk in shower (no tub). If we were ok with all of that, she'd check to see if a king room was available. We were ok with that, so she called someone else (don't know who), and they said there wouldn't be a king room available until the 19th. I didn't want to move in the middle of our vacation so we took the 2 "queen" bed room that was available.

6th floor, woods view (if you look real closely, you can just make out the top of the Contemporary through the woods):

Hubby checking the weather while waiting for our bags:

I got to shower with these lovely creatures every morning:

After the bellhop brings up our bags, we head to the dock to catch the boat to the Magic Kingdom. First things first...I'm starving. By this time it's about 2:30, and I haven't eaten a thing all day. We're not big on TS for lunch so we just grab a quick bite at Cosmic Ray's. Hubby had a bacon cheeseburger. I had a pulled pork sandwich. Typical counter service food...nothing special. Our FP+ for Big Thunder Mountain had already expired, but the window for 7DMT was now open. We head to Fantasyland and hop aboard. I enjoyed the ride. It's not the best roller coaster I've ever been on, but it's Disney. I know their coaster are pretty tame. Because we went through the FP line, we didn't get to do any of the cool interactive stuff in the queue that I've read about. Sad

We then go straight for Haunted Mansion (my favorite ride). Stand-by line said it was 30 minutes, but it didn't seem that long. We were just about to board our doom buggy when the ride stopped. Found out from a CM that they were loading a person from a scooter into a doom buggy so they had to stop the ride in order for her to get on. Two minutes later the ride was moving again.

Haunted Mansion Pics:


Since flash photography is not allowed, this is the only image from inside the Haunted Mansion that I was able to get:

This post is already pretty long so I'll stop here and continue Day 1 later.

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I am another firmly in the write it up when you get home camp.It prolongs the holiday and makes you realise exactly how much you did actually fit into the time.I write everything down each evening (with reminders from DW) in a notebook (old skool) and use that when i get back.

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It's worth the wait - great start tot the report biggrin awesome biggrin

Mrferret wrote:
I am another firmly in the write it up when you get home camp.It prolongs the holiday and makes you realise exactly how much you did actually fit into the time.I write everything down each evening (with reminders from DW) in a notebook (old skool) and use that when i get back.

I'm with you Mrferret my planning notebook will hold my trip report notes., then when I get back I can also turn it into a memory book.

Can't wait to read more BarbaraB mickey

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Thanks for the photos of WL..The room looks great,especially with a balcony..We've requested a high floor but we were given a woods view on our booking..Not sure what direction that is facing..

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The Watchmaker wrote:
Thanks for the photos of WL..The room looks great,especially with a balcony..We've requested a high floor but we were given a woods view on our booking..Not sure what direction that is facing..

The woods! rolling rolling

Sorry I had to.

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MrHub wrote:
The Watchmaker wrote:
Thanks for the photos of WL..The room looks great,especially with a balcony..We've requested a high floor but we were given a woods view on our booking..Not sure what direction that is facing..

The woods! rolling rolling

Sorry I had to.

Touche.. laugh

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MrHub wrote:
The Watchmaker wrote:
Thanks for the photos of WL..The room looks great,especially with a balcony..We've requested a high floor but we were given a woods view on our booking..Not sure what direction that is facing..

The woods! rolling rolling

Sorry I had to.

awesome I doff my cap to you good sir awesome

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I think there was only one more floor above us, Watchmaker. We were in the main building, not in the Villas, so I don't know what it's like over there. The balcony was really small. It only had room for 2 chairs and 1 small table. The railing was solid wooden walls that came up to my chest , there was an eave that hung out over top of it. There was only about 3 feet (about a meter, for you metric types) of open space between the top of the railing and the bottom of the eave so that made it feel even smaller. We didn't spend a whole lot of time in the room so it didn't bother us that much. We could see the MK fireworks from our room, though so that was pretty cool, but they didn't pipe in the music like they do at Cali Grill.

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Day1, part 2

After HM we had some time to kill before our Space Mountain FP+ opened up. We rode Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid (cute ride) and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.

Here's my pitiful score for Buzz Lightyear (I was too slow and couldn't snap a pic of Hubby's score, which was at least 3 times more than mine):

Still had some time before Space Mountain, but the standby time was only 20 minutes so we got in line. After riding standby our FP+ window was now open so we rode it again. Since we only used 2 FP+, we were able to re-book Big Thunder Mountain on the MDE app. So we headed over to ride.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:

Then it was time to head back to WL, shower and get ready for dinner. Took the boat to the Contemporary, up the escalator to the check in desk for California Grill, then up the elevator to CG, got one of those little red light up buzzer things that tell you when they're ready to seat you and headed to the bar. Hubby ordered a Jack Daniels on the rocks, and I had absolutely zero time to check out the cocktail menu so I had no idea what I wanted. The bartender asked what I liked and I said fruit girly martini type drinks. He said, "Let me make you something, and if you don't like it, we can just throw it away." He made me this lovely thing:

Found out later it's called a Sake Martini.

We didn't have to wait too long until our buzzer went off. We had asked for a table by the window, and this was our view:

The picture doesn't do it justice. The view was wonderful. We could see Cinderella's Castle in the distance. Just breathtaking.

For appetizers, Hubby ordered sushi for the first time in his life. I don't really remember what it was, but after reading the menu online, I think it was the Spicy Kazan Roll. I had the Heirloom Tomato BLT Flatbread. For entrees, Hubby got the Bison Tenderloin, and I opted to stick with the tomato theme and got the Oak-Fired Filet of Beef which was served with heirloom tomato risotto, baby tomatoes and tomato butter. For dessert, he got another JD on the rocks, and I got the Backyard BBQ Tasting consisting of S'mores, Strawberry Shortcake and Cherry-Lime Mojito:

Everything was absolutely delicious. Could not complain about a thing. The waiter was wonderful. When I sat down, there was Mickey confetti on the table. I said to my husband that I was going to put some in my purse to take home. The waiter heard me say that and gave me a little envelope to put some in. I guess people take the confetti on a regular basis. We took our time eating dinner so we could be around when Wishes started. We went out onto the viewing deck. It was a little windy and we were standing right in front of a speaker so it was quite loud, but it was truly magical.

Wishes:

After Wishes, we were both pretty tired. It had been a long day. So we hopped a boat back to WL and called it a night.

Day 2 coming up.

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The Watchmaker wrote:
Thanks for the photos of WL..The room looks great,especially with a balcony..We've requested a high floor but we were given a woods view on our booking..Not sure what direction that is facing..

It could really be one of may directions with a WL Woods View room. The only place you can be sure that category wouldn't be is Silver Springs the feature pool courtyard. You may or may not be able to view the fireworks from your room.

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Barbara, the Sake Martini looks so pretty mickey
I can't wait to hear more!

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sounds like a great first day. looking forward to reading more

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Mrferret wrote:
MrHub wrote:
The Watchmaker wrote:
Thanks for the photos of WL..The room looks great,especially with a balcony..We've requested a high floor but we were given a woods view on our booking..Not sure what direction that is facing..

The woods! rolling rolling

Sorry I had to.

awesome I doff my cap to you good sir awesome

biggrin

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So glad you had a great experience at California Grill, we loved it there! Can't wait for more TR!

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Cali Grill is a favorite of mine. Glad you liked it. My favorite part is when your table is not ready, so you have an excuse to go to the bar and have a drink. They make good ones.

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Very good one! awesome

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Just catching up great report so far Barbara!!!! All these good reports of Cali grill its on the list for next year!!!!

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Day 2- Thur, Sept. 18, 2014

This is the day of our actual 21st anniversary. Hubby got up early to golf at Disney's Magnolia golf course. Me...I wandered over to Epcot for rope drop. Since I'm a blue-eyed redhead, I don't go to the park without my sunscreen. However, the bottle that I had was too big to fit into my tiny, little fanny pack. So the first thing I did was rent a locker for $12, and the only thing I put in there was my sunscreen. I thought it might have been cheaper to just buy a new bottle of sunscreen at the park, but then I thought, "Nah...this is Disney. There's no way I can get a bottle of sunscreen for less than $12." (I did get $5 back when I returned the key.) After that, I decided to give Spaceship Earth a try. I'd never ridden it before. It was cute, but I didn't put it on my must do list. Then I trekked over to The Land Pavilion and walked right on to Soarin'. I couldn't get the first row so the feet dangling in front of my face ruined the feel of actually flying, but I knew that going in so I wasn't disappointed. Then I watched The Circle of Life and wondered about the hypocrisy of a company that bought and filled thousands of acres of swampland preaching conservation. After that, I did the Living with the Land ride.

Then I headed over to The Seas with Nemo & Friends.

Mine! Mine! Mine!

I rode The Seas with Nemo & Friends ride and saw these beautiful creatures when I got off:

I saw this Quote from Walt Disney that absolutely applies to my husband:

I then decided to make my way to World Showcase. It wasn't quite time for Food & Wine, but all the booths were set up, and as I made my way around WS, some of them were having soft openings. My first stop in WS was the Mexico Pavilion to ride the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring these guys:

By this time, I was getting a little hungry, but I didn't want to eat too much because I'd be having lunch when hubby arrived. I went to Norway and stopped in the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe. I got a fruit cup and bottle of water using 2 snack credits and continued my meandering around WS. I've never noticed the trains in Germany before. I'm fascinated by miniatures so I just had to stop and take a picture.

At the American Adventure Pavilion, I got to see the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps and the Voices of Liberty. I decided to beat the heat by watching The American Adventure show. Literally, as soon as it started, Hubby called. He's done golfing. Luckily, I had put my phone on vibrate, but I still had to crawl over everyone in my row and make my way to the exit to answer the call. I felt like such a schmuck. sad Since it was just about time for our Mission:Space FP+, he said he'd just meet me there. I could NOT have been farther away. It took me about 20 minutes to get there. We rode it twice- once on Orange with the FP+, once on Green through stand-by. Then we started to look for a place to eat lunch. We tried The Coral Reef, but since we didn't have a reservation, the wait would be about 45 minutes. Sorry...I don't wait 45 minutes for lunch. We finally wound up at Electric Umbrella for quick serve. I got the bacon cheeseburger, and Hubby got the sausage, pepper, and onion sandwich. After lunch and slathering on more sunscreen, we used our remaining FP+s for Test Track and Maelstrom. We actually did Test Track a second time on our way out of the park.

By now, it was time to head back to WL and get ready for our anniversary dinner at Victoria and Albert's. This is, by far, my favorite place to eat in WDW. We were running a little late to use Disney transportation so we decided to take a cab to the Grand Floridian. I don't know if it was the way we were dressed or what, but everyone we met asked if we were going to Victoria & Albert's. You tell me. Do these clothes just scream V&A?

From the moment we entered V&A's, I felt special. Always do. They sure know how to treat a guest. We were seated, and our server attached a little hook to the table from which to hang my purse. No purses sitting haphazardly on the floor. Not here. No siree, bob. The menus are personalized. Ours said, "Victoria & Albert's welcome Brian & Barbara Binney. Happy 21st Anniversary, 18 September, 2014." Our server told us a little about each item on the menu and about the wine pairing and then gave us some time to decide. We placed our order, and waited for the gastronomical extravaganza to begin.

The first thing presented was the Amuse-Bouche. This night's offering was a tiny little piece of seared octopus. I've never eaten octopus before in my life. It was delicious! I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed it. Hubby got the wine pairing so his was served with a glass of champagne...Jacquart Mosaique Brut NV Reims, to be exact. (I'm just copying this from the menu. I have no clue when it comes to wines. I've only ever had one wine that doesn't make my face pucker up. yuck )

Our next course was Poussin with Pickled and Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes for me, and Hubby had Jumbo Lump Crab with Cucumber Gelee served with Panther Creek Pinot Gris. Yummy! (Poussin is apparently chicken.)

Next came Wild Turbot with Toasted Capers and Preserved Lemon (to die for!) for me and Masago Crusted Maine Scallop with Coconut Curry Broth served with Domaines Schlumberger Gewurztraminer for him. Delish! I told Brian about the time my mother went to visit her brother in California. She's not a big wine person either, but she had a Gewurztraminer just because she laughed when my uncle pronounced the name of it. She loved it. He offered me a sip, and I must admit, it wasn't too bad.

Our main course consisted on Onion Ash Crusted Niman Ranch Lamb with Soubise Sauce for me and Japanese Kobe Beef for Hubby with Chateau Lasseque Bordeaux Blend. By this time, I was about to have a food-gasm. Everything was so exquisite.

Next up was gelato for me and a cheese plate for him. To be exact- Roasted White Chocolate Gelato with Candied Fig for me and Flagship Reserve (cheddar), Comte St. Antoine Wyngaard Chevre Affine (I have know idea what kind of cheese this is) and Colston Bassett Stilton (blue cheese) served with Quinta do Crasto Porto. Now, I'm usually a cheese plate kind of gal, but that Gelato was just calling my name. Hubby let me try some of his Stilton, and I gotta tell ya...it was the best blue cheese I've ever had in my life.

Finally, time for dessert. If there's Creme Brulee on the menu, I'm having it. There was a Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee on the menu! By this time, I was in a food coma. I don't even remember what Brian had. He's not a dessert person at all (see Day 1 dinner), and I can't even try to guess what he had by looking at the menu.

Sorry there are no pictures of dinner. I didn't see anyone else taking pictures so I thought it might be frowned upon. Between courses, we sat back and enjoyed the lovely sounds of showtunes and classic rock played on a harp. I know I heard a song from Les Miserable and some Billy Joel and Queen, but I don't remember what they were. They sound very different on a harp, that's for sure.

After dinner, we waddled out of the restaurant and decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator. (We needed the exercise after that meal.) I broke a strap on one of my shoes. I knew we should have taken the elevator! This was the second time the strap had broken. I had gotten it fixed once just so I could wear them in WDW. I loved those shoes. They're so cute, and the heel isn't very high so they're quite comfortable. As soon as we got back to the room, they went right in the trash, and Hubby and I passed out from our food coma.

Coming up...Day 3.

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WOW!!! Dinner sounded amazing. Next trip I am skipping everything else and going to V&A!

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JMed wrote:
WOW!!! Dinner sounded amazing. Next trip I am skipping everything else and going to V&A!

Be prepared to pay BIG TIME! It's a prix-fixe menu of $150 per person, with up charges on selected items (Hubby's Kobe beef cost $100 extra). If you want the wine pairing, it's $65 extra. (Actually, the wine pairing is pretty economical...5 glasses of top-notch wine for $65 isn't too bad.) I'm still waiting for them to add this to the DDP. laugh

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Someday I WILL do V&A! Someday.....

Awesome TR so far! awesome

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Barbara, I have a strange question since it sounds like you've done V&A more than once. We're going there on my upcoming trip and one of my friends is treating me to this meal in the main dining room for my birthday. I'm very excited but also conscious that someone else is paying for this very expensive meal! Does the menu make it clear which of the selections would be an upcharge? I just want to make sure I don't order something unknowingly that might make the bill even higher, as I'm sure the regular menu items will be amazing enough. Thank you!

Wonderful trip report!

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Emmalee wrote:
Barbara, I have a strange question since it sounds like you've done V&A more than once. We're going there on my upcoming trip and one of my friends is treating me to this meal in the main dining room for my birthday. I'm very excited but also conscious that someone else is paying for this very expensive meal! Does the menu make it clear which of the selections would be an upcharge? I just want to make sure I don't order something unknowingly that might make the bill even higher, as I'm sure the regular menu items will be amazing enough. Thank you!

Wonderful trip report!

Yes, Emmalee. It's printed right on the menu which dishes cost extra. When I get home, I'll take a picture of my menu and post it.

You will absolutely LOVE it! It truly is a magical dining experience.

Edited to add photo:

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Amazing TR Barbara! You have me really considering V&A for a future trip - the meal sounds sensational. awesome

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Thank you for the info! I love that they put what you were celebrating on the menu; what a small touch that will make a great keepsake!

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Day 3- Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

This was our Universal day. We had received vouchers since we booked through a TA so we had to turn in our vouchers to get actual tickets. Since it was the first night of Halloween Horror Nights, I asked at the ticket window if we decided to stay for Halloween Horror, could we turn in our regular tickets and get the discounted HHN tickets? Full price for HHN was about $100, but if you added it on to a regular admission, it was only $54 for this particular night (the price varies depending on which night you go). She told me that I could go to Guest Services in the park, show them my regular admission, and purchase HHN tix at the discount. Great! We still weren't sure if we would be staying for HHN, but it was nice to know we didn't have to pay full price if we did. My friend, Kim, and her daughter, Katharine, were driving up from Seminole that night to do HHN. I had told her that if we decided to stay, we'd see her there. If not, we'd see her the next day at Animal Kingdom.

First things first, run to Diagon Alley:

to ride:

My reasoning was that the wait time would only get longer throughout the day, and I was determined to ride it at least once. As it was, the ride time was already posted at 30 minutes. Here are a few pics from inside Gringott's:

Elevator down to the vaults:

I love anything and everything Harry Potter so, of course, I loved this ride. We were at the very end of the ride (literally 20 feet from the unloading platform), and the ride broke down. We were stuck for less than 5 minutes, but when we got off, the attendant said if we wanted to ride again, we could go through the child swap or get an Express Pass to come back later. We went through the child swap and rode again. awesome

We then wandered around Diagon Alley for a while (quite a long while, actually). I got the obligatory picture of the fire breathing dragon and emailed it to my co-worker who is also a HP fanatic.

It was nice to see Ollivander's Wand Shop in Diagon Alley, where it belongs. I found out later that they didn't move it from Hogsmeade; they just added another one in Diagon Alley. confused

Weasley's Wizard Wheezes (one of only 2 shops that I went into):

Borgin & Burke's (the other shop I went into):

Hubby and I on Hagrid's/Sirius Black's flying motorcycle:

Me with the Knight Bus driver (I was disappointed his name wasn't Stan):

Well, alas, it was time to leave Diagon Alley and check out the rest of the park. I wasn't too sad, though, because I knew we'd be returning to take the Hogwart's Express from Platform 9 3/4 over to Hogsmeade.

Since we were in the area, we started with Men In Black- Alien Attack. I really suck at these shooting gallery type things. I don't remember what my score was, but I know it was pitiful. It wasn't the lowest score, though! We had a 9 year old girl in the car with us. It wasn't much better than hers, but I beat her! yay

We then headed back toward the front of the park. On the way, we stopped at Krusty Burger and grabbed a couple hot dogs for lunch. We rode Revenge of the Mummy a couple times, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.

I was excited to ride Rip Ride Rockit. It was closed for refurbishment the last time we were there. Hubby wasn't very happy that we were told to remove EVERYTHING from our pockets and put it in a locker. This "rule" seemed to be enforced intermittently. When we got to the loading platform, the attendant told one group in front of us to go use the lockers, but it was blatantly obvious the guy directly in front of us had a wallet in his back pocket, and he was able to ride with it. That pissed Hubby off even more. Supposedly, you could customize the music you wanted to listen to while you rode. Once you're seated, there's a screen in front of you that asks you some questions like what genre you like, what artist, and then what song. I got as far as genre (classic rock), and the ride started. I got to listen to rap music during the ride. yuck The ride itself wasn't that great. It was quite a bumpy, jarring ride. I will not be riding it again.

Minion Mayhem was just a re-theming of the old Jimmy Neutron ride. It was cute, though. I love minions! Got our picture taken with this guy:

And bought this T-shirt:

We then made our way back to Diagon Alley to take the train to Hogsmeade.

The train ride itself was pretty neat. On the one side of the train car is a "window" where you see images of the countryside rolling by. Hagrid flew past us on the way:

On the other side is a frosted glass door where you can see the "shadows" of the people in the hallway and hear them talking. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were looking for Scabbers. It seems that Emma Watson either did not want to be involved with this project or she had a horrible cold when they recorded it because the voice I heard sure didn't sound like her.

We finally arrived:

We rode Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Dragon Challenge while in Hogsmeade. Since we were "just" there about 4 years ago, I didn't take many pictures of Hogsmeade. The last time we were there, I tried:

and found it disgusting. Didn't try it again.

We left Hogsmeade to explore the rest of Islands of Adventure. We rode The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, and I think some sort of Jurassic Park dinosaur ride, but I might be getting that confused with Dinosaur at AK. We skipped right by The Incredible Hulk roller coaster. Too rough. One of the features of a great roller coaster is what I call "re-ridability." If I can't ride it multiple times in succession, it's not a good roller coaster. The Hulk is not a good roller coaster.

It had been overcast all day, and it finally started to rain. We decided we were a little thirsty so we stopped at The Watering Hole to quench our thirst with a couple adult beverages. While sitting there drinking, we decided we would not be staying for HHN. A little disappointing, but the weather forecast called for rain all night. I don't think I would have enjoyed HHN in the rain, and I KNOW my husband wouldn't have. He's not too keen on being scared to begin with. Add being wet...he would not have been a happy camper. I'm glad we didn't just buy HHN tix when we got there. So I texted Kim and told her we wouldn't be staying, but we'd see her tomorrow at AK.

After our adult beverages, we walk back to Hogsmeade and board the train back to Diagon Alley. On this trip, we spotted Fred & George Weasley:

I did some shopping:

And we left. On the way back to WL, I used the MDE app on Hubby's phone to make last minute dinner reservations at Artist Point. Surprisingly, there were quite a few times to choose from. I chose an 8:30 reservation to give us some time to relax, shower and change before dinner. I probably should have done 7:30 because we had plenty of time to do all those things. So we spent an hour in the Territory Lounge talking to the bartender, Tom. He was there every night of our stay. For dinner, I started with the Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad and hubby had the Smokey Portobello Soup. Both were delicious. For entrees, I had the Seared Diver Scallops with risotto, Serrano ham, Swiss chard and tomato nage (broth). Hubby had Char-crusted Filet Mignon with roasted squash and potatoes. Again, both were top notch. Hubby had a Jack Daniels for dessert so I used his dessert and ordered a cheese plate that featured a Truckle cheese, a Mt. Tam cheese and a Blue cheese. Not as good as the cheese plate at Victoria & Albert's, but still quite good. For my dessert, I had the Double Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee. OMG, this was soooooo good! It was actually better than the one at V&A.

After dinner, we stopped by to talk to Tom some more (and have a cocktail or two) and then called it a night and went to bed.

Next up...Day 4. Stay tuned.

__________________

~ Barb ~