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Old 07-22-2013, 12:51 PM   #436
lurkyloo
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No Update This Week

I'm sorry to report that there will be no trip report update this week, on account of Comic Con. But if you'd like to see all the cool Disney-related panels and merchandise we saw at the Con, check out my Twitter feed!

We attended the Roger Rabbit 25th Anniversary panel and the Disney Afternoon panel, plus we got to meet Lilo & Stitch writer/co-director Dean DeBlois at a "How to Train Your Dragon" poster signing (with Drew Struzan!). I was also sure to snap pix of all the neat Disney collectibles we encountered. Hope that kinda makes up for the missing update...

Here's a rare shot of Robert Zemeckis with Charles Fleischer in the costume used for reference on the set of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. (Overheard in the studio cafeteria, "Have you seen that guy's rabbit costume? This movie is gonna be TERRIBLE!")

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Old 07-22-2013, 01:30 PM   #437
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I think your Comic Con Twitter report more than makes up for missing an update this week! Visiting San Diego during the weekend of Comic Con is one of the things I hope to experience in the next few years. In fact, after religiously following Entertainment Weekly's report and updates from Comic Con, I was just telling DW last night that we should try to make this happen in a couple of years when the kids are a bit older!

I hadn't thought about Disney's representation (and I mean non-Marvel and non-Star Wards rep) at the Con but it makes total sense and now I have extra incentive to try to make this happen (not that I didn't have enough to start off with.) Hope you had a great time!
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:48 PM   #438
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Originally Posted by lurkyloo View Post

Love it!
Oh, good. After I posted I was trying to decide if it sounded snarky. (Humor doesn't always type well.)

I've spent some cold, rainy February days at Disney World and my only consolation is walking through the gift shops willing people to spend money.
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:01 PM   #439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
I hadn't thought about Disney's representation (and I mean non-Marvel and non-Star Wards rep) at the Con but it makes total sense and now I have extra incentive to try to make this happen (not that I didn't have enough to start off with.) Hope you had a great time!
I was sorta blasé about it before we got there, but of course we ended up having a ton of fun. I was surprised how many Disney-related things there were to tweet about. I hope you guys get to go soon—I think you'll have a blast!


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Originally Posted by aboveH20 View Post
Oh, good. After I posted I was trying to decide if it sounded snarky. (Humor doesn't always type well.)

I've spent some cold, rainy February days at Disney World and my only consolation is walking through the gift shops willing people to spend money.
OK, maybe I'd better buy some stock too. It sounds like it could change my whole perspective on the parks!
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:07 AM   #440
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Rest o' Day 9!

After the bridal showcase, we dashed back to our room to freshen up and then headed out to Old Key West for our first-ever boat ride to Downtown Disney, something Patrick had been wanting to try for ages cuz he’s so curious about the Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs.

















I love all the leftover reminders that Old Key West used to be THE Disney Vacation Club Resort—like, there weren’t any others and there never would be. Who knew that one day that would be all Disney built?





















Don’t even THINK about racing this girl in a ferry. She will SMOKE you!






We had a pleasant-enough trip, but I think maybe we should have taken the ferry from Port Orleans to Downtown Disney instead for a better view of the Treehouse Villas. Patrick was bummed that this was all we could see.























The back side of Downtown Disney












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Old 07-29-2013, 11:14 AM   #441
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We pretty much never go to this part of Downtown Disney, and we didn’t that day either. Instead we just stayed on the boat (which earned us the stink-eye from our crusty skipper, for some reason) and rode back to Old Key West.







I’ve never had any interest in staying in the boonies of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, but it looks downright idyllic from the water.











“Pssst! Hey, buddy! Wanna know Disney’s best-kept secret?”










Oooh! More treehouse!




















I dunno... maybe it was foolish to waste a couple hours of a three-day trip floating to Downtown Disney and back, but at least we were knocking another thing off the list of Things I Never Let Patrick Do!











OK, so when we got back to the hotel, we got all dolled up for our anniversary party in Epcot. Ever since I’d learned you can do events at the tiny Italy Overlook, I’d been desperate for an excuse to hold one there. Why not re-celebrate our anniversary while we were at WDW? The catch is, you can’t have food there cuz they think there’s no room to set it up (I disagree—surely one guy and a TV tray would fit on the wrap-around part of the balcony!). On the other hand, this makes it THE cheapest private viewing area for IllumiNations—all you pay is the $150 venue fee. ... On the third hand, $150 is kind of a lot to pay to stand around watching a show everyone else is seeing for free... Hmmmm....

ANYWAY, to round out the evening, I added a reservation at the brand-new Monsieur Paul (née Bistro de Paris) and town car service to and from Epcot—just to make it seem more like an event and less like we were paying one hundred and fifty clams to stand around watching a show everyone else was seeing for free... Plus, we got to ride around backstage!

We met the town car down at the Contemporary’s valet stand and were whisked backstage at Epcot to the France gate. Our event guide met us and escorted us to the restaurant, then took a powder while we had dinner. Patrick was good and didn’t sneak any shots backstage, so the first thing you get to see is this:













I wasn’t sure I’d like the new decor at Monsieur Paul, just cuz I kinda like how late-’70s/early-’80s the restaurant used to feel. It was practically like stepping back in time. But they used a very light hand in the makeover.









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Old 07-29-2013, 11:18 AM   #442
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We’ve watched IllumiNations from our table at this restaurant before, and it’s a neat perspective. But we were excited to have a new viewing spot to look forward to that night.




Our server was super-gregarious—like, way friendlier than even LA servers, and that’s the town where they’ll practically sit in your lap while taking your order! Maybe he was trying to single-handedly obliterate the stereotype of French rudeness?

Two tiny cheese puffs as an amuse bouche...



Patrick had never had escargot before, so we started with the ravioli.

Raviole d'escargots, creme au persil - Escargot raviole, cream of parsley



It was nice! You could barely tell it had escargot in it, but depending on where you stand on the whole snails-in-your-food thing, that might be a bonus! For our main course, we split the filet with mushroom crust and mashed potatoes. I think even if you’re not a mushroom fan you’d like this, cuz they’re so finely minced that the topping is more “crust” than mushroom.

Filet de boeuf grille forestier, puree de pomme de terre, sauce Bordelaise - Grilled beef tenderloin with mushroom crust, mashed potatoes, Bordelaise sauce



The mashed potatoes came in a bowl on the side and were practically like soup, but they sure tasted good!




We decided to pass on $13 dessert cuz we still had cake back in the room, but here’s the menu for you:



They also brought us this cute little basically empty plate to celebrate our anniversary.

Happy 5th birthday to our marriage!




After dinner, we made our own way to Italy Overlook. Our guide was waiting to open the gate for us and let us climb the stairs.























It’s a pretty neat view even without the fireworks! Great for people watching, although a bunch of them watched us right back, pointing and staring. Our guide hung out next to the streetlight most of the time, but occasionally he wandered off. At one point, some official-looking person bustled over and made like she was going to climb the stairs to tell us to get down, but then our event guide reappeared and set her straight. I asked him about it later, and he said she’d wanted to use the spot for “guest recovery” (i.e., to placate some angry guests with a nifty fireworks viewing spot. Guess I know how to get up there for free next time!)











See, you could TOTALLY fit a dessert table back here ...Or at least a peanut vendor!



I’d considered bringing our cake up there in a Tupperware, or maybe getting gelato on the way over, and I still think that would be the way to make Italy Overlook the perfect anniversary spot. But in the end, we just stood around taking photos til the show started.


We weren’t the only ones having a party in Italy that night!















Oh my gosh that tree’s on FIRE!!! Oh, wait...
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:20 AM   #443
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And then fireworks happened! By the looks of it, I wasn’t quite ready with the camera when they started, hopefully because Patrick was distracting me with anniversary smooches!






















That’s Wishes going off at the Magic Kingdom—Italy Overlook is a great spot for seeing both shows simultaneously!






Wishes in the background again!













































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Old 07-29-2013, 11:22 AM   #444
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I feel like my silhouette should be playing the saxophone in this shot...






















I gotta, say, man... I know I’m always on about being as close to the water as possible for IllumiNations, but I loved the perspective we got on the show from up that high. I think that if you are a hobby photographer, it would be worth the venue fee just for the amazing shots you can get from up there.








We stayed up there as long as we could, and our event guide didn’t rush us. But eventually we knew we had to go down and meet our town car, which picked us up behind American Adventure. Then it was back home to polish off our cake, watch the Electrical Water Pageant, and take six bazillion of Patricia LeJeune’s bobby pins outta my hair.

Up Next: Last Day at Disney!
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:39 PM   #445
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Hi Lurkyloo... I've loved reading all of your trip reports over the years, but this is the first time I'm popping in to post on one. We have always loved the Illuminations view from Italy... we try to stake out a spot there on every trip, but this spot takes it to a whole new level, quite literally!

How would one go about making a reservation for this spot? As you can see we're celebrating our anniversary in a couple of weeks, and this would be a wonderful surprise for DH.

TIA!!
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:48 PM   #446
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Hey, thanks for posting! OK, so to book an event you need to go through Disney Catered Events (321-939-7278), who will assign you a planner at the resort where you're staying. Yours may have to look up Italy Overlook, as many of them don't even know it's an option. Let me know if you have any trouble with them, and I'll give you some tips for getting through. Sometimes they try to discourage small groups from booking events, but this will be SO easy for them to plan, there's no reason they can't help you out.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:16 PM   #447
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Thank you so much for the info! I am waiting to hear from the one of the salespersons from my resort area, but the person I spoke with told me that it would be $500, since the minimum charge is for 10 people. I told them my understanding was that it was rented for $150... they said they would check further into it and get back with me later today or tomorrow. Hopefully it will work out!

Regardless, thank you for the info!
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:59 PM   #448
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This hidden dragon shot reminds me of the dragon from the now defunct BraviSEAmo! show at TDS
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:19 PM   #449
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Thank you so much for the info! I am waiting to hear from the one of the salespersons from my resort area, but the person I spoke with told me that it would be $500, since the minimum charge is for 10 people. I told them my understanding was that it was rented for $150... they said they would check further into it and get back with me later today or tomorrow. Hopefully it will work out!
Yeah, the per-person charges are for food and viewing fees. Since no food may be served at that location, you won't have to worry about that $500, just the $150 venue-rental fee. And if you'll have park tickets or APs, you won't have to pay the $12.95/person viewing fee either.

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This hidden dragon shot reminds me of the dragon from the now defunct BraviSEAmo! show at TDS
Whoa... I didn't even see the dragon til you mentioned it! Cool!
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:50 PM   #450
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I stayed in this exact treehouse. How do I know? Because that darn tree was in all my view shots!

The weird thing about the treehouses is the immediate surroundings are not all that pretty. It really does look like an upscale camp ground. There is no view, but the inside of the treehouses are just lovely.

I love OKW. It's got such a great vibe. Glad you crossed something off your....er, I mean Patrick's bucket list.

The remodel on the bistro looks lovely. I was there last summer and had a fab seat by the window for Illuminations. Loved it. I like the makeover "light". The light fixtures look lovely.

Nice spot for Illuminations. You really need get a very unique view.

Service recovery, eh? I wonder how I can get myself in need of some service recovery?
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