The end of a Disney trip is always sad, that’s a given. The only thing that alleviates the slight depression of that inevitability is the hope that someday, even years in the future, we’ll be back again. You can imagine my pure joy, when while we were yet still in the middle of our epic nine day October trip, Jeff suggested that we plan another trip just six months in the future! This however, would be a much different situation. Neither my mom or Jeff’s had ever been to Disney World. We decided there and then that this was the time to do it, even if it put us into debt (it didn’t). We also decided that this would be a Girl’s Only Trip. Sorry, Jeff. We got my daughter Meghan on board and as soon as we returned home I began to make plans for a three day jaunt down to the most Magical Place on Earth!
I broke from my usual Pop Century Resort and instead went with Port Orleans Riverside. The rooms are slightly bigger and have queen beds as opposed to full. It also has pretty grounds that I felt the moms would prefer over the cartoonish Pop theming.
Some pretty plantings.
Grand Reception Area
Moderate resort=fake flowers. We’ll see real ones later.
My mother-in-law has been struggling with bad knees for sometime now. Surgery is in the future, but for this trip we arranged for a scooter.
Is she not the cutest?
Our flight was in the wee hours of the morning, so we were at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom before 11:30 am.
I got some buttons hoping the moms would get some special attention.
Main Street looking fine as ever.
We got to see a bit of the Trolley Show.
The new garden areas are such a nice addition.
We headed over to Adventureland for our first attraction of the day.
I wanted to do something classic right out of the gate, so I chose the “Jungle Cruise”.
We got such a great skipper!!!
“Let me point out some of my favorite plants. Those over there, that one, this other one.”
“Anyone know what kind of snake this is? Starts with a P? Yup, plastic.”
“This head hunter’s business is shrinking.”
“The backside of water!!!”
This guy loves all the corny jokes.
The moms seemed to enjoy this one. Whew. I was really impressed by my first experience touring with someone in a scooter. With all the times I’ve been here, I really hadn’t taken notice of the logistics of these situations. The cast members were great every step of the way. Each attraction was a little different. Sometimes there was a completely different entrance, other rides just required a helping hand. Fortunately Arlene was able to transfer off and on the scooter, but they even have contingencies for those who can’t. We quickly learned what worked and didn’t for us in particular. Low light in winding queues proved too much of a challenge so we simply avoid them. All in all the scooter was such a blessing!
Next up was one that I thought the moms might bail on, Splash Mountain. We stood in front and let them see the big drop and decide for themselves.
The big drop!
I was kinda surprised that they both decided to go for it!
We got to enter through the exit on this one.
We got totally soaked and they loved it!
A quick castle pic.
We moseyed back to Main Street because we had other business to attend to.
Main Street, gorgeous from any angle.
Look at her go!
Ok, now she’s just leaving us in the dust.
We made our way to the stunning Grand Floridian Resort where we would be having High Tea. Please reread that sentence in your best Buckingham Palace accent.
Couldn’t you spend all afternoon on one of those couches?
I have never experienced tea and the Grand Floridian. Frankly, it really didn’t interest me. I’m more of a cocktails kinda gal (loyal readers just uttered a collective “yeah, you are!”) and it’s pretty pricey to boot. Anyhoo, Meghan adores tea and I knew the moms would be smitten with this gorgeous resort.
Mrs. Potts greeted us at the Garden View Tearoom.
More pretty designs.
We arrived for the first seating and scored a window table over looking the fabulous grounds.
Look closely, friends. Thats Cinderella’s coach right there.
Weddings frequently take place at a pavilion here at the resort. If you are interested in getting married here, I suggest you elope. It’s crazy expensive. Case in point:
Arrival in Cinderella’s coach complete with miniature white ponies and costumed footmen costs a mere $2,950.
Back to our tea. The tables were set beautifully.
Beautiful, fresh flowers.
Elegant little touches.
Oh, I guess I did have a tipple too.
Veuve Clicquot Champagne. A good value at $15 a glass considering a bottle ranges from $40-$80.
The tea service consists of different packages including sandwiches, desserts, scones etc. You can go all out with champagne and caviar or just do the bare minimum, but everyone at the table is required to order a set selection. I wish you could share, because even the barest package is too much food.
My mother-in-law chose a set that included a fruit and cheese plate. It looked lovely and she really enjoyed it. The only trouble was that our server waited until she was completely though with that extra course before presenting our teeny sandwiches. At this point, we had only eaten the crackers that they give you on the plane, so we were all pretty dang hungry.
Selection of exotic fruits and imported cheeses.
Finally the sandwiches arrived!! All of these were quite tasty. Loved the onion tart.
Tasty selection of tea sandwiches included: Egg salad, Curried Chicken, cucumber with cream cheese, goat cheese and roasted tomato, and a lovely little onion tart.
A fluffy, warm scone served with lemon curd, clotted cream, and apricot jam and a side car of a jam tart.
I lapped up that curd even after the scone was gone. So good!
Desserts! Make note of the Macrons, that’s my only shot of them even though they were my favorite.
A cream puff swan along with a juicy chocolate dipped strawberry.
The desserts were by far our least favorite. All the other girls ordered the trifle pictured above, so there were three of those! I chose the plate with the macron, swan and strawberry. The trifle just tasted like jello pudding. Not worth the calories, though the presentation was beautiful. The strawberry was a strawberry, fine. The swan was chewy, obviously filled way ahead of time and refrigerated, not good for cream puffs. However, the two tiny macrons were just perfect. Crispy outside with a nice soft chew. If I ever do this again, I may try to trade the lot for a half dozen macrons.
We were stuffed. We lingered in the lobby for a bit enjoying some live piano music.
I’d hate to cross paths with the bird that escaped this cage.
These are real. That’s what you get when you go deluxe.
A teensy sitting area for the kiddos.
We made our way back to the Magic Kingdom for a few more attractions.
The clouds start a rollin’ in.
We started in Tomorrowland. Keeping it classic, we went right to the Carousel of Progress. Some yahoo stood up during the show so they had to reset it. This meant we got to watch a very long show scene twice through. I’m two for two on fails at C.O.P.
Tomorrowland. The least of the lands.
We also hit Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. No pics, sorry. This show is always a hoot. It got a bit squirmy when one of the character actors in the show innocently asked a gentleman how he knew the lady next to him. His response? “She’s my lover.” EEEWWW!!!! You’re in Disney for Pete’s sake.
Tomorrowland Speedway, still open.
The Little Mermaid attraction. This is where we discovered that dark and windy queues were our enemy.
Believe it or not, it was time to get ourselves to our dinner destination.
The sky was starting to look pretty ominous.
We stopped for a little ragtime piano. Support live music!
We hopped on a boat for a pleasant ride over to the Wilderness Lodge.
Beautiful sunset happening.
Oh my. Those clouds.
My goal here was to show the moms as many of the deluxe resorts as possible. This resort is just as impressive as the Grand but with a wholly opposite design esthetic.
The rugged landscape of Wilderness Lodge.
A lovely spot to perch yourself on a late spring afternoon.
I hoped we’d have time for a cocktail in the lounge but we were just on time for our dinner reservation at Artist Point.
Artist Point Entrance
The art deco design is warm, yet elegant.
As soon as we were seated comfortably at our table, the heavens ripped open with the most intense rainstorm. We dodged disaster by mere minutes. On to dinner!
Signature restaurants at Disney have been nailing the bread.
And salted butter.
Meghan ordered herself an Old Fashioned. I thought that was a capitol idea!
A perfectly crafted cocktail.
I’ll tell you right off the bat that our dinner was superb. Even beyond that, our server was simply delightful. She was warm and attentive yet gave us our space. As usual, I neglected to take a photo of this cutie pie. She was a doll.
I was not yet super hungry so I ordered and appetizer. This turned out to be wise as it turned out to be an entrée size portion. The Israeli Cous-Cous, not listed on the menu description, made it quite hearty.
Steamed Mussels and Clams Lemon, Huille d’Olive, Spring Herbs, Artisan Bread
Both moms had these scallops. Raves all around.
Seared Diver Sea Scallops Charred Broccoli, Petit Potato, Hibiscus, Blooms
Meghan went the appetizer route too, a soup and salad to beat the band. Look at the glorious composition of these Land Greens! The smoky mushroom soup is an Artist Point classic.
Land Greens: Florida Peaches, Radish, Seed Granola, Goat’s Milk Cheese, Peach Vinaigrette. Smoked Mushroom Bisque Wild Nettle Pistou, Sunflower Seed, Salsify
What phenomenal meal! Perhaps we should end with a cognac?
Let’s make it a beer. Bear Republic Racer 5.
He made our way back to the dock to catch our boat and begin our journey back to Port Orleans. We had a sprinkle or two but no real damage considering the Typhoon that occurred during dinner! We even caught a bit of the new Happily Ever After fireworks. It was an exhausting, but a good first day.
A good day indeed.
Up Next: Flower (Food) & Garden at Epcot!