Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A daunting task

How do I do a post covering 9 days at Disney World with our family of 6, Holly's family of 5, and Sunny's family of 3.5? I do not know. I didn't keep track of each day's events like they did.
Where to start? Maybe here...
Hee hee :)

Actually I should start here- our very own family Fast Pass compliments of Jackson.
It's part of Disney's Guest Assistance Pass. Holly suggested that we look into this for Jackson because of his low muscle tone. They gave us a pass and this sticker for his stroller. We were able to go in the FastPass lines or wheelchair entrance on all the rides and attractions. This meant we could take the stroller through the lines, we got in fast, and even got front row seats in many shows. We had a much better experience overall with Jackson on this trip than on
others. Part of that better experience had to do with the fact that we avoided characters. He only managed a few pictures with them.
When he was frustrated with us for getting in lines for rides he didn't think he'd like, he was able to communicate better about his feelings than just screaming and throwing himself on the ground like the last trip. This time he'd sit in his stroller and tell us that he was mad at us and say, "I want to make you little!! I want to be a big giant!!" We figured out he was just trying to get across how powerless he felt and that he wanted to be in control of us for a change.

OK, so now on to the next most important part of our trip...
The FOOD! :)

We ate some seriously delicious food. A big perk from this trip was the Disney Dining Plan deal we got. Free food- every day. 1 table service, 1 quick service and a snack every day for each of us. We ate well.

Our first and probably favorite dining experience was at Epcot.

Our family enjoys hibachi restaurants, but Jackson was nervous when we were seated and he wanted to get out. It only took until our super sweet chef arrived that he was comfortable and so happy to be there. Thank Heavens for Disney cast members!
She was so cute, entertained us while she cooked, and made us delicious meals!

Another favorite was Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios. Greg and Kobe both had the Grilled Atlantic Salmon - with baby spinach, Cannellini beans, Ugli tomato, warm bacon vinaigrette, and lemon aioli.
Jillie and I enjoyed the Char-grilled Rib-Eye Steak - with herb-roasted fingerling potatoes, Cremini mushrooms, Cippolini onions and Cabernet syrup.
Reagan and Kobe ate off the children's menu- hot dog and grilled cheese. Good food and a nice quiet break from the hustle and noise outside in Hollywood Studios.
I do have to record a note about dessert there. We always seem to pick the wrong thing, like "Grapefruit Cake - A Brown Derby Original! Light Layers of Yellow Cake with fresh Grapefruit Cream Cheese Icing." I do not like grapefruit that much.
Jillie got it right though and I have to record it so we all remember to get this next time.
"Banana White Chocolate Toffee Tower on cocoa almond cookie and bananas 'foster'"

**This post is really getting me hungry!**

Other winners were Le Cellier in "Canada" at Epcot. Yummy bread sticks (the kids seemed to like the pretzel bread sticks the most), good steaks, delicious Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, and cute desserts like apple tarts
and chocolate "moose".
We ate breakfast one morning at The Wave at the Contemporary Resort. Nice place, but I guess I only took a picture of the fun salt and pepper shakers.
The meals were excellent- all of them so healthy. We need to remember to do this one more often!

Can't go wrong at Pizza Planet, straight out of Toy Story. Something quick and easy for the whole family. Pizzas and delicious salads while surrounded by video games and LGMs hanging from the ceiling.

Tusker House in "Africa" at Animal Kingdom has a huge buffet that Greg loves almost as much as Brown Derby. Lots of ethnic foods along with more familiar ones, plus lots of miniature desserts so you can try them all!

Can't forget the snacks either- especially Dole Whips (only found near the Tiki Room at WDW & Disneyland, and Oahu, Hawaii). They are pineapple but you can see on Jillie's that they turned them green to be festive for the holidays.
And of course churros and popcorn that you can never seem to find when you are craving it late at night!

Enough about food though that doesn't really scratch the surface. Obviously it's good that we were walking all day long because of the way we ate!

More Disney World coming soon including Disney's Christmas festivities, celebrity sightings and super fun extended family togetherness.


Jill said...

Wow, how long did it take you all to plan and save for such a trip? It would be so much fun to have all the cousins together at Disneyworld like that! Was it chaotic at all? Probably yes, but did you all deal with it well? I fear I'd be grumpy from the chaos and group think of so many people even though I love the thought of everyone being there together.

The food pass sounds like a good idea, especially since you were able to eat so well. The grapefruit cake looks a little frightening!

Abby said...

Reading this gives me butterflies for our trip! :) How fun to go with it all decorated for Christmas! We really need to plan to go together sometime!!

I can't wait to read more about it!!

Greg Garrick said...

It's easy to deal with group think -- you plan ahead and do what you want. If all want in they join -- no stress at all. We actually never ate together.

Nikki said Holly's going in November and I said let's go. That's how it happens -- not much planning. Don't believe the hype on LeCellier and the Christmas Processional.

Greg Garrick said...

Also, I love Mexican Food -- San Angel is disappointing. I gave it a second chance this trip and it failed. It was fun to eat at different restaurants from the cousins and meet up later and hear about what they had.

Robyn said...

Wow, what an amazing trip. 9 days sounds like a marathon- were you sick of it by then or did you just relax and take your time every day? The food looks absolutely amazing. I am impressed by how adventurous you guys are! Those desserts look amazing. That's great that Holly thought to suggest the special pass for you to use- sounds like it made the trip alot easier. What a fun Christmas vacation!

rachel said...

I have to admit, I never understood all the mania about WDW, at least until October when we went and I LOVED IT! We were only at the Magic Kingdom one day and at a water park another, but still, it was amazing!

Love the pics, keep them coming! But sheesh, I want all that food right now!

Jasmin said...

Hi Nikki! How long have you been following my blog? I never checked my followers before... It's so fun to hear from you and find your blog(s)! Your Disney trip looks like so much fun! I love the chances I get to get together with all of my siblings and letting all the little cousins bond. It just can't happen often enough!

How long have you been living in New York? Where do you live? The Sabbath here is on Friday, so the Church goes along with that. The weekend is Friday and Saturday and it is hard to get used to the workweek beginning and going shopping etc. on Sundays. Apparently Bahrian just changed thier weekend from Thu/Fri to Fri/Sat in 2006 to have another workday in common with most of the world.

Shan said...

I am so hungry now! It all looks and sounds amazing-other than the salmon of course. :)
How great that the trip was much better for Jackson! That fast pass is such a blessing.
Can't wait to hear more and still wishing I could go with you guys!

Shan said...

Oh and I love the picture of Greg...that hat is great!

Leanne said...

Wow...I'm sooooooo hungry for that Toffee Tower now! How fun. I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip! I'm going to have WDW fever though! Poor Rick. He will be "forced" to go! haha

Amanda :-) said...

Hello stranger! What a fantastic trip. It's bliss to just sit back and 'live it' through you without having to do all the running around and queuing up (have I completely misspelled that??). I love that you photographed the food. That's something I started to do only when I started blogging, and it made me feel super-self-conscious at first, but it's so worth it. Stellar post, Nikki!

Holly said...

Ok- Nathan said, "So I see Nikki has started blogging about Disney, and we are still at Halloween. When are you goning to get around to blogging again?" I say- read Nikki's blog. :)

YUM this blog makes me want to go back to WDW just to EAT! Such good food. We had really good reservations this time around.

Need to blog.

Angie said...

I'm glad Jackson was able to communicate better, that had to be a nice change. And way cool that you got a fast pass because of him! And I would type more but all your food posts made me want to go to the kitchen for a snack!!

Sunny said...

Hey Why did you hold out on the good quality pictures? I totally planned on making you guys a book like I made for Holly and crew and wanted to use some of your pictures but the ones you sent me where not this high quality! Soo bummed!