Chestnuts may be roasting on
an open fire, but another edition of the INTERCOT Insider has
arrived in your mailbox. With Christmas and the Holiday season upon
us, Guests can often want to get away from all the hustle and
bustle. In this edition we learn why the "off season" is an "on"
time to go, check out a great last-minute gift you can make
yourself, take a peek at this year's Very Merry Christmas Party, and
wrap up our series of dining reviews. Hang on to them hats and
glasses, cause this here's the most informative ride on the
at Home with Patricia >>
you're looking for a great gift idea to bring Disney home; I have
some Do It Yourself EARspiration!
Hidden Mickey Chalkboard
You’ll need: Black foam core board, chalkboard paint (spray is
easiest), an x-acto knife, some kind of hanger or magnetic tape if
it’s made for the fridge.
You can use this for a trip countdown or just hang it up for general
notes every day. You can use any size piece of foam core board,
depending how large you want it.. Use some plates (large for head,
smaller for ears) to draw a Mickey shape on the board. Cut this out
carefully with an x-acto knife. Trim up any edges to make it smooth.
Paint it with two coats of Chalkboard paint, following the
directions (if it warps, after drying, leave under some heavy books
for awhile.) I like the spray paint by Rust-oleum if you can find
it. Add a hanger on the back and Voila! An alternative would be to
use light weight wood and a jigsaw, if your handy with power tools.
Rub the entire board with chalk and erase it to “season” the board.
Did you know, if you have a very dirty chalkboard you can wipe it
with cola to get it back to it’s glorious self.
<<A Taste of the
World with Mickey'sGirl>>--Part Two of
Two --Biergarten – Dinner
Food 4/5 Service 3/5 Atmosphere 5/5 Overall 4/5
We had only been to Biergarten once before, on a fellow
INTERCOTTEE’s good advice. My German husband really enjoyed that
experience (as did the rest of us), and when we found out our
friend, the other INTERCOTTEE was going to be at WDW with his family
at the same time as us, we made a reservation for the whole gang of
us – 9 adults and 1 child.
The buffet is made up of many German staples including Rouladen and
Sourbraten as well as sausages, dumplings, chicken, salads, breads
and cheeses. Overall, the food is very good and we all got our fill,
even the fussy younger two (his son and my youngest), who both found
items like schnitzel and pretzel rolls to fill the hole! The men
enjoyed huge steins of Schöfferhofer Weizen, and the ladies had the
wine flight. My only negative comment is on the service. Our plates
were not cleared in a timely fashion and soft drinks were not
readily offered, but he was a nice guy. The atmosphere is fantastic
when the band starts up, and people go to dance (including our
friend’s youngest son). I think the Biergarten is a fabulous place
to go with a large group …. There is no shortage of food, good
drinks available, entertainment to enjoy as well as a good
opportunity to have a good visit at the long tables. We will
definitely be making a return visit!!
Sci-Fi Dine In – Lunch
Food 4/5 Service 5/5 Atmosphere 5/5 Overall 4.5/5
Ok, this place is not the Ritz or gourmet cooking or anything, but
you know what you are getting. We had not planned on eating here,
but one day at lunch time we were just so darned hot, and nothing
was turning the kid’s cranks at the Backlot, and I really wanted to
sit in the cool and drink gallons of iced tea, so we asked, and we
got a picnic table at the back of the Sci-Fi at lunchtime. Here’s
what we had:
Brian got the Italian Grilled Chicken Sandwich - With provolone and
bruschetta topping served on a Kaiser Roll with fries, and I got the
Smoked Turkey Sandwich - smoked turkey, crispy bacon, lettuce,
tomato with avocado mayonnaise on multigrain bread served with
cucumber salad, then we traded off half of our sandwich. Both were
very good, but we agreed that the Turkey Sandwich is a very very
very good sandwich, and could easily be shared if you were looking
for a lighter meal.
Harry had a Bacon Cheeseburger with Fries (though he doesn’t eat the
fries, so I don’t know why he orders them) which was
ketchup-on-his-face terrific, and Euan had a hamburger and fries.
The food was not fancy, nor was it spectacular, but it was very
good, and the service was very good, and the cold drinks were
flowing while we watched the horrible B-Movies on the Drive In
screen. This was one of the best decisions we made during our entire
holiday. It was an awesome cool Oasis providing just what we needed
in the August heat.
Chef Mickey’s - Dinner
Food 3/5 Service 4/5 Atmosphere 5/5 Overall 4/5
Chef Mickey’s is much maligned for it’s food, but honestly, you
don’t go there for fine dining. You go there to get well fed while
your kids have a chance to meet the Mouse in a comfortable,
controlled setting. We were there because it was our youngest son’s
We arrived along with the throngs of other people at 5pm for dinner.
It was noisy and chaotic, but that’s what we have come to expect.
Here’s what we ate:
The buffet consists of many old standards, but the highlights at
this dinner were the roast turkey (neither my husband nor I are
particularly fond of roasted poultry, but this turkey was so good,
we both went back for seconds), the stroganoff and the goat cheese
fresh pasta. Harry enjoyed the ravioli (the sauce was way too bland
for my liking), Euan really enjoyed the peel and eat shrimp, the
bananas and the ice cream machine. We all left feeling well fed, and
that we enjoyed our food.
We had lots of good character interaction. The guys were all into
their roles as Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minnie and Pluto, and it was a
lot of fun.
We had originally planned to go to 1900 Park Fare on our last
morning, but changed our minds in favour of Boma since we were
staying at AKL. This way, also, we could just go there when we were
packed up and ready to go instead of being bound by an ADR.
We were seated quickly and got some fabulous juice and some coffee.
The coffee pot was only enough for one cup each, but neither of us
cared because it was that Nesca-yuck (I wish I had known that we
could have gotten a press of Kenyan). The juice was very good
The set up for this buffet needs to be reworked. There was a line up
50 people long at the “start” of the buffet because of the Omelet
station. It was only after a passing server told all of us to just
go and get what we want from the buffet if we weren’t omletting that
things improved. The highlight of the buffet was again the turkey (I
don’t eat very much meat, and especially not much poultry, but this
was sooo good). It was served with a chile paste that was really
fabulous (and the chef recommended trying it with eggs, so Brian
did). I didn’t care for the Bobotie (it was undercooked in my
opinion), but loved the selection of fruits. This was a nice way to
finish off our holiday, and to say farewell to the Animal Kingdom
Lodge, but I don’t think we’ll rush back there unless we are staying
<<A Good Time to Go
Why travel off season to Walt
Disney World? Parks close early, less special events, not as warm -
why would anyone go then? Well I have grown to enjoy January trips.
It can be cold but it is usually way warmer than at home. And given
how busy Disney is nowadays it can be much quieter and easier to get
round the parks I also like sitting down to a nice leisurely meal in
the evening and not worrying about missing park time. It can also be
easier to get into the hotel or Disney Vacation Club property you
want and certainly cheaper on cash or points. So there are pluses
but you just have to decide if they outweigh the negatives. I am
traveling next January and my only worry is whether the airports in
London will be shut due to snow - that had never happened before
this years' closures!
Christmas Party Points>>
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas
Party is a perennial event at the Magic Kingdom. With decorations,
hot chocolate, a Christmas parade, and Holiday fireworks; the event
adds some extra Christmas magic to many Guests' vacations. Although
this year's event is wrapping up, there's no better time to plan for
next year's party while you at the height of Christmas cheer. To
help you put your vacation planning hat on, two of our INTERCOT
Staff members are here to share their experiences at the 2011 event.
When we entered the park, folks
were already camped out for the parade. There really weren’t any
places on Main Street at all though many of the folks who were
waiting for the parade were without wrist bands so likely were day
guests who were overstaying for the party. We were not allowed past
Main Street without showing our bands. There were plenty of places
to stake out for the parade once we were in Frontierland and we
found a nice place just by the Country Bears. In fact, Donna took
Sam into the show to help pass the time while we were waiting. At
one point, I headed over to the rest room to find the entrance
manned by cast members who asked to see my wrist band before
allowing me into the rest room – interesting place to put a
checkpoint but potentially quite effective, I suppose.
The parade was wonderful! I always love the toy soldiers! I also
enjoyed seeing my nephew’s excitement – especially when he saw
Mickey Mouse!! Following the parade, we moved over to another
section of the park to watch the Castle show and the fireworks. We
had a great view of both and watched Tinker Bell fly overhead. We
wandered into Tomorrowland and took a spin on the People Mover. It
was getting closer to the start of the second parade which, in the
past, we have often stayed to see but decided not to this evening.
As we left, I could see that the park crowds had really thinned and,
if we had wanted, we could have gotten prime parade viewing right
near the train station without any problems.
I had said I wasn't going to do this again, but we did and I'm glad.
We went on Tuesday night, Dec 13. Crowds were low, the weather was
great (pleasantly cool), and Holiday Wishes and the parade were
awesome. Loved the snow on Main St and the cookies and cocoa. It
really was a great experience. I will also say that the Holiday
version of the Memories & You laser light show was AWESOME. I think
that laser light show is one of the best new things at Disney in a
long time, but the holiday version took it up a couple of notches.
Well worth seeing.
The staff of
INTERCOT would like to wish the best to you and yours this Christmas
and Holiday Season. From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to
thank each and every one of you for the more than 16,500
subscriptions to INTERCOT Insider. We’ll be back in the New Year
with more great tips and news. See ya real soon!
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