That’s what Nicholas says when something is wrong … “Oh Pickles!” I think it’s incredibly cute, and certainly fitting for our vacation. Although a short one (we just got back today), it was not without its excitement. The Husband had to come home early on Saturday (his dad ended up in the hospital), and Nicholas sprained his arm (also on Saturday), so it definitely had its low points. On the bright side, I’m fairly certain the kids still had a great time, and that’s what it is really all about, isn’t it?
We managed to squeeze an awful lot into 3-1/2 days … two visits to the Magic Kingdom, a short jaunt to Epcot, fireworks, Disney Marketplace, the light parade and many, many character meals, which is what, I think, was the highlight for them. Nicholas fell in love … hard … for Cinderella. On Friday, we had lunch in Cinderella’s castle with her, the Fairy Godmother, Jasmine, Belle, and Snow White, and then last night, managed to squeeze in another meal with Cinderella, this time dinner, and Prince Charming, the Fairy Godmother and the two mice. He was beyond thrilled, which was only capped off by getting to walk through her castle last night. He is over the moon, and it really is quite cute. I’m glad he had plenty of highlights, because I feel terrible about his arm, but this too shall pass.
Food was a particular highlight this trip as well. When we arrived Thursday night, we started with dinner at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. A bustling, noisy, energetic place, it was a nice start to kickoff our trip. A good array of African food, my only complaint is that I think the food tags need to have definitions explaining what the items were. I might have been more inclined to taste Fufu, for example, had I known what the heck it was. Our favorites, hands down, was their trio of hummus … Sun Dried Tomato, White Bean and Black Olive, along with a Watercress Salad with Coriander Dressing, all of which we requested recipes for.
Friday morning, we had a character meal at Ohana (which means “family” for the educational part of this post), and everyone loved it. Lilo and Stitch were there, along with Mickey, Pluto and Goofy. The food is served family style, all brought to your table, and all you can eat. Certainly a perfect set-up with young kids, and considering the simple fare it was (sausages, eggs, pineapple bread, fresh fruit, potatoes, Mickey waffles of course, and bacon), it was really good. The kids loved their special Lilo & Stitch Punch and we will definitely be recreating it at home.
Friday lunch was at Cinderella’s Royal Table, and a highlight with both kids. The food, honestly, was not that exciting, so it’s definitely a go-for-the-experience type of place. The kids were tickled with table visits from the characters, chocolate crowns on their sundaes and the magic wands and swords they received. It was not the first or last time we received pleas of “no more pictures!”
Dinner was back at Ohana, for what I think we would all agree was another big highlight food-wise for the grown-ups. Again served family-style at the table and all you can eat, it featured meat served rodizio-style (on hot skewers until you tell them to stop bringing it), and had a scalloped potato casserole, stir-fried veggies, Sweet and Sour Shrimp, and fried wonton chips with a trio of dipping sauces (peanut satay, roasted red pepper and I can’t for the life of me remember the third), to round out the meal. We all ooohed and aaahed over the Peanut Dipping Sauce and the Scalloped Potatoes, and got the recipes for both, along with the to-die-for Bread Pudding with Bananas Foster sauce. The entertainment was a live Hawaiian singer, the limbo, hula lessons and a parade through the restaurant, loved by all.
Saturday we hit Chef Mickeys to get in a meal with Mickey and Minnie, Donald Duck, Pluto, and Goofy. A light, bright, all-you-can-eat buffet in the Contemporary resort, the kids had a great time, and it was a fun way to start the day. For lunch, we just grabbed something quick at Mexico in Epcot, and for dinner, we stayed close and had a meal at one of hotel’s restaurants, the Grand Floridian Cafe. Very much comfort food, I had a delicious roast chicken with a reduction sauce, red bliss mashed potatoes and The Neighbors loved a Spinach Artichoke Dip that they are deeming the best ever … and we got the recipe for that one too. The kids got drinks with light-up Captain Hooks, and really … what more do you need after that?
Sunday, we did breakfast at the hotel and just chilled. We spent some time at the Disney Marketplace and bought a few must-haves, and then relaxed in the room a bit. For dinner, we stayed in the hotel again, managing to snag a last-minute reservation at 1900 Park Fare for another character meal. This one’s a buffet and had a great selection of food for adults and kids alike … prime rib, shrimp cocktail, pastas, fish, the requisite PB&J and much more. The kids were enthralled with the characters visiting them and their Cinderella and Prince Charming drinks, this time with light-up ice cubes.
All in all, a good whirlwind trip. A few downers, but nothing that we can’t recover from. It’s always nice to get away, but it’s always nice to come home too. Tomorrow, it’s back to the ARF/5-A-Day roundup. C’mon and join in the fun. Wednesday, The Neighbor Wife takes over Sweetnicks, and Thursday, vacation pictures. Until then …