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INTERCOT > Interactive > INTERCOT Insider Archive > March 2014: Edition One

March 2014

Brought to you by INTERCOT's network of sites:
INTERCOT - Walt Disney World Inside & Out
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Although Valentines Day is past and February is through, love is still lingering in the air.  In this edition of the INTERCOT Insider, we take a look at things INTERCOTee's love!  From gourmet meals to great deals; from seasonal celebrations to great accommodations; there's lots to love on a Disney trip!   Hang on to them hats and glasses, cause this here's the most informative ride on the internet!

<<Disney Deals>>

with Magical Journeys Travel Agency

-- Savings to Love --

Save up to 30% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, for stays most nights March 14 – April 12 and April 20 – June 15, 2014. Save up to 30% at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Disney's BoardWalk Inn & Villas, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge (standard/pool view rooms), Disney's Polynesian Resort, Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney's Old Key West Resort and Disney's Wilderness Lodge (standard/woods view). Save up to 25% at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Port Orleans - Riverside and Disney's Fort Wilderness Cabins. Save up to 20% at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Beach Club Resort Villas, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge (savanna/club rooms) & Villas, Disney's Wilderness Lodge (courtyard/club rooms) & Villas, Disney's All-Star Sports Resort, Disney's All-Star Music and Disney's Pop Century Resort. Also, ask about great rates for stays most nights Feb. 24 – March 5, 2014. Book before March 31, 2014. For details on these, and other specials, contact INTERCOT's Official Travel Agency, Magical Journeys at 1-570-785-3283, or visit their web site.

>>Contact Magical Journeys Today!

<<Taste of the World with Mikki>>

Last October when I was travelling alone I tried two fantastic eating experiences at Walt Disney World. The first was a dinner at Victoria and Albert's. I had been concerned that there would be way too much food for me but with some careful choices and small portions it was almost perfect. The room you are ushered into at the Grand Floridian is fairly small and dimly lit with candles or lights on each table. At times a live harpist plays but live or piped the music is always soothing.

The base price for the menu was $135 and wine pairing added another $65. Perhaps surprisingly Tables in Wonderland is accepted here and 20% discount makes a big difference on these prices. There were six courses and then coffee. I was amused to see that the cheese option included Colston Bassett Stilton which is made down the road from where I live (I went for the scoop of white chocolate ice cream instead – a much smaller option and utterly delicious). Each course had between 2 and 6 options so there was something to suit every taste. My various courses included duck, scallop, lobster, oxtail, veal tenderloin and crème brulee (the only overly large serving). My request that the wine pairings only be red (apart from the champagne of course!) caused no problems. Presentation was exquisite and the food was delicious. I was very glad to have finally experienced it.

My second gourmet experiment was the Flying Fish Café Chefs Tasting Wine experience. This came in at somewhere over $150 and I seem to recall that there was no Tables in Wonderland discount. A very different experience! You are seated at the bar where you can see the chefs at work (sadly not much to see from where I was sat). The restaurant is quite noisy (and busy!) The menu is chosen by the chef so you don’t have to make any choices. Again there is wine chosen for each course (and again no problem with red only). Presentation is good but very different from Victoria and Albert's. It was quite fun at times as there were Halloween touches like broomsticks and so on. Whilst there were only four courses I would say that the portions were significantly bigger and overall there was more food to eat. The same goes for the wine – it seemed to be generous sized glasses given. The highlight for me was the main course of Juniper, Thyme and Wild mushroom scented Elk Striploin. Dessert was not to my taste and where I wouldn’t have minded a choice. Another dinner I was very glad to have tried.

Would I do either again? If I could persuade my husband I think I would like a return visit to Victoria and Albert's. It would be a lovely romantic meal!

<<The Comforts of Home>>

with  All Star Vacation Homes

--Stay Just South of Disneyland--

All Star Vacation Homes announces expansion into Southern California with the acquisition of Southern California Vacation Rentals. All Star Vacation Homes, that expanded operations into Captiva and Sanibel Island, Fla. in 2012, has a long-established history in the competitive Orlando, Fla. market. In its 16 years as a professional management company, All Star has emerged as an innovative visionary in the vacation rental industry. Southern California Vacation Rentals was established in 1999 by Heather Weiermann, and over the past 15 years has built a solid reputation in the La Jolla and Southern California area. All Star Vacation Homes – San Diego will launch with an inventory of luxury vacation homes in the La Jolla / San Diego market through the acquisition.

>>Learn More about All Star Vacation Homes in San Diego

<<INTCOTee Approved>>

Experience the villa difference at new INTERCOT sponsor Sheraton Vistana Resort, a Walt Disney World Good Neighbor® Hotel, in Lake Buena Vista. All accommodations feature just-like-home amenities, including in-villa washer dryers, fully equipped kitchens and kitchenettes, spacious living and dining areas, private bedrooms, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Resort guests have access to complimentary shuttle transportation to the Walt Disney World® Resort theme parks. Explore the multitude of facilities, including 7 pools, 8 whirpool spas, 13 tennis courts, 3 fitness centers, 16 hole mini-golf course, 4 game rooms, and more.

>> More Information & Reservations

<< Christmastime with Christine and alongfortheride>>

Walt Disney World was kind enough to invite INTERCOT to the 2013 kickoff of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party! And John (alongfortheride) and I were happy to attend on its behalf!

We were given Glow with the Show ears at check in. Now, I've been pretty clear I'm not a fan of these, but I was happy to give it a shot. More on that later...

First things first, we entered Main Street USA and were immediately swept up in the holiday spirit! It was "snoaping" , Christmas carols filled the air, and the lights and garlands were making spirits bright.

We stayed on Main Street USA for the first parade. This parade is a lot of fun, and the hits for my group were, as always, the toy soldiers. They're SO amazing to watch and hear marching down the street!

Next we made our way to the hub to watch Holiday Wishes. This was no small feat as the party was sold out and the crowds were thick! We donned our ears and the entire time I kept asking John, "am I doing it? are they blinking?" You are basically wearing them for other people's enjoyment, and they for you. There was only a small handful of folks wearing them, which leads me to believe my feelings on them are the opinion of a great many others: 1- they're expensive 2-they're heavy and 3- most folks don't want to carry them around all day until the night time extravaganzas. They do not fold/collapse like the others. The chin strap is necessary or else the top heavy battery makes them slide off. I don't know many people who want to wear something that is essentially "tied" to their heads all day and night. Just my two cents.

Next up, we headed to the Jingle Cruise. I've read many reviews saying they thought this was executed poorly, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it! I thought it was very well done and the holiday themed jokes were a great addition to the classic shtick. I for one, hope this becomes a recurring holiday event.

The characters were out and about all evening in their holiday attire, including the 7 Dwarves in New Fantasyland, whom I thought were adorable as they pointed to "their" ride under construction and clapped in excited happiness, Donald and Daisy in Storybook Circus, and even Bert and Mary Poppins at the carousel.

The holiday cookies and cocoa lines were hopping all night! We ate dinner at Cosmic Ray's and were seated by the cookie stand. I was stunned at people getting their two cookies and cocoa, lapping the line while they ate and drank, and getting more, some going back a 3rd time. My teenage daughter and her friend, who went their own way as John and I shot pictures and video for Twitter, etc, ate TEN cookies and drank 4 cups of cocoa! When on EARTH does someone do that? I guess free snickerdoodles make people do strange things!

We got our holiday Sorcerer's Apprentice cards. They gave us last year's as well, and this year and last year Halloween cards too! ???

Woody's dance party in Frontierland and Buzz's Totally Tomorrowland Show were a hit with the younger crowds. I don't know when I've seen them so well received.

All in all, we had a super time covering all of the holiday magic. The park looked great, the shows were top notch as usual, and the Cast Members were festive and very attentive. I cannot say what a great job they did at "working" the crowd to kindly remove the non-party people who were trying to linger a bit from the parks. It was very methodically and very politely done.

If you have not attended Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, consider looking into it. It's a fun event with plenty to do and see, and will help your family get in the holiday spirit. Or this may already be a tradition for your family that you do when in the World during the most wonderful time of the year.

Whatever the case, Mickey and Friends are bringing the joy of the season to young and the young at heart on select nights in November and December. So plan a trip to take in some holiday cheer, and try to go easy on the cookies!

>>Check out Photos from the Event

<<Conclusion >>

As cupid's last arrow hits its mark, this edition has hit its end. From shamrocks and Easter eggs to a grand new parade, Spring has a lot in-store for the Walt Disney World resort. We'll be back in a few weeks with more great tips, news and deals.  See ya real soon!

<< Thank You To Our Sponsors! >>

The INTERCOT Insider and INTERCOT.com are supported by the following sponsors who in turn, help us bring the Magic to you!

All Star Vacation Homes
Website: Vacation Home Details Here
Choose from the finest selection of vacation homes and condos in the closest locations to Walt Disney World.

Magical Journeys
Website: http://www.yourmagicaljourneys.com
INTERCOT's Official Travel Agency.  An unconventional Travel Agency for the unconventional client, Magical Journeys is dedicated to finding the best pricing for your next magical journey. We work hard to save you money, and still give you the quality service you deserve.

The Official Ticket Center
Website: Buy & Price Tickets Now!
The Official Ticket Center is Walt Disney World's, Universal Studios and Sea World's #1 guest service provider for the last 3 years. The Official Ticket Center sells tickets only, at a discount price.

Quicksilver Tours & Transportation
Website: http://www.quicksilver-tours.com
Our drivers are the first personal contact you have when you arrive in Orlando.  No other transportation company goes to the lengths we do to ensure that your trip is exactly how you imagined it. At Quicksilver, we truly believe there's no such thing as going "above and beyond" for our clients. Instead, it's all part of doing our jobs correctly.

Strollers And Groceries
Website: http://www.strollersandgroceries.com
Strollers and Groceries is an online stroller rental and grocery delivery service. They provide daily service to all Disney, Universal, and Sea World area resorts/hotels, vacation homes, and neighborhoods in the Orlando area. All groceries are purchased from local businesses and delivered fresh directly to you.

The Timeshare Store
Website: http://www.dvc-resales.com
This Disney Vacation Club resale site offers the largest selection of DVC Resale's anywhere!  They are the number one Disney Vacation Club Reseller in the world. See how easy and affordable it is to purchase your very own piece of the "MAGIC".

Universal Orlando® Resort
Website: Universal Orlando ResortAdvertisement
Universal Orlando® Resort is more than a theme park. It's an entire universe of action and thrills featuring TWO spectacular theme parks unlike anything else in Orlando.

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