Afternoon Tea At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Afternoon Tea Table MenuAfternoon tea at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort was something that I always wanted to try.  I love a good cup of tea, I love finger sandwiches and I think anyone reading my blog knows – I LOVE dessert.  What a perfect afternoon activity this would be for me!

We made reservations the day before and were lucky they were able to take us.  We arrived at the Garden Tea Room and were seated right away.  They led us to our table and I was immediately struck by how pretty and relaxing it looked.

We looked at the menu to decide what each of us would order (there were 3 of us).  Two of us had The Bedfordshire ($35) and one had the Cheshire Tea ($50) that included a Fruit and Cheese plate.

Afternoon Tea Table

Our Table For Afternoon Tea

My biggest problem with the menu was that I wanted more than 1 dessert (of course!).  Our host was happy to tell me that I could order an extra dessert for an additional charge.  Since I knew I would be writing a blog for this experience, I thought it was a good idea to try more things (that’s my story anyway!).

I have found that it’s difficult to get a good steeped cup of tea in the US, so I was really looking forward to my tea.  I chose the 2nd Flush Darjeeling tea, I love Orange Pekoe tea with milk and sugar.  My sister and friend both wanted to try something different and less traditional – and went with the Superfruity and Mango Ginger.  We were all very happy with our selections.

Tea Pots Afternoon Tea Grand Floridian

Tea Pot and Cosy

When our tea pots arrived we each had our own tea cosy that was perfect for keeping our tea hot throughout our entire experience.  I have lots of them at home, but this cosy was GOOD!  The pots were a good size and I think I probably filled my cup 6 or 7 times with it.

Afternoon Tea Cheese Plate

Fruit and Cheese Plate

When they brought out our tiers of plates, my first thought was “those sandwiches aren’t going to fill me”.  I was hungry that day (we had skipped breakfast) and was glad I had ordered the extra dessert.  I’m not a big fan of scones or tarts so I figured I wouldn’t eat much off of the second plate anyway.  I’m a bit of a picky eater, and assumed I’d mainly just eat the dessert!

Afternoon Tea Tier

All the plates of goodness!

Boy was I wrong!

First the sandwiches – I ate every one, and every bite!  I was so surprised that I enjoyed them all – the Sweet Curry Chicken had a little kick, I almost wish there had been two of them.   You can’t go wrong with Egg Salad or Cucumber, but the Roasted Tomato was perfect too.  Onion tart?  Sounded weird to me – but I liked it!

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

Cucumber, Sweet Curry Chicken, Egg Salad, Fire Roasted Tomato With Oregano Goat Cheese, Onion Tart

The second course was the scone and tart.  I don’t like raisins as a rule, but there were only a few in the scone that I could pick out.  I loved the lemon curd (did I just say that?) and the creme – I ate all of it and moved on to the Strawberry Tart.  Tarts aren’t my favourite – but this one was light with just the right amount of strawberry flavour.

Afternoon Tea Scone and Tart

Raisin Scone with clotted creme, lemon curd and apricot jam. Strawberry Tart.

I took a deep breath at that point and wondered why I ordered the extra dessert, I was already getting full!  Good thing I’m sure I won’t like the Macaroons!  (I had a bite, not my favourite – I don’t like them normally anyway).

Afternoon Tea Dessert Tier Grand Floridian

Mousse filled swan, French Macaroon, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Strawberries and whipped creme.

At this point I’ve had about 4 cups of tea and I’m thoroughly enjoying the relaxing afternoon.  I sat for a minute before trying to decide what delicious part of the dessert I would eat first.

Chocolate Strawberries have to be chilled with the right amount of sweetness… and the one I got was perfect.  The mousse filled swan was light and tasty – but my absolute favourite was the strawberries topped with whipped creme.   As much as I thought I was full, I almost finished the bowl it was so good.

Strawberry and creme inside

I had read a review online for the Afternoon Tea and almost didn’t book it, I am so glad that we decided to try it anyway.  This is something that I will make sure to do again.

Reviews online may have been mixed, but my experience was wonderful.  We had a leisurely afternoon with great food and a excellent cups of tea!  It was the perfect way to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the parks and just sit back and relax.  There were some little ones at the next table who seemed to be enjoying their Mrs. Potts Tea as well – there was something for everyone!

Have you tried afternoon tea?  What was your experience like?

 

Top 5 Reasons To Stay At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World has to be one of the most beautiful and elegant resorts on property.  When it first opened, I assumed I would never stay there.  Princess Diana had stayed at the Grand Floridian, would I even fit in with the ‘posh people’?

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a place that everyone should have on their bucket list.  It’s bright, classy and inviting.

Here are my 5 favourite reasons for staying here.

1.  The Disney theming is a little less obvious than it is at the Value resorts, but it’s there.

Take a look at the marble floors, you’ll find all sorts of Disney characters.

Grand Floridian Chip

 

2.  Shopping

While the stores don’t thrill me that much, Bain is a MUST for me every trip.  They have some great lotions and bath salts, but the Basin White scent is my favourite.  The scent reminds me of the Grand Floridian and when I wear it everyday – I have a little piece of it with me.

Basin

Full list of shops can be found here

3.  Monorail Access

There is something special about being able to take the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom.  It’s the perfect way to arrive!  It also makes it really convenient to get to the Ticket and Transportation Centre to go to Epcot too.

Grand Floridian Monorail

Having the Contemporary Resort and the Polynesian on the monorail loop gives you a convenient way to resort hop for different dining and shopping without having to take a bus or drive.

 

4.  The Rooms

The rooms at the Grand Floridian are large and some offer amazing views of the Seven Seas Lagoon or the Magic Kingdom.  I have stayed in the regular rooms and the villas and was thrilled with all of them.

Grand Floridian 2 Bedroom

Master Bedroom – 2 Bedroom Villa

No matter which room, which view – they were incredible.   All rooms come with a mini fridge, in room safe, ceiling fan, and coffee maker.  In the main resort, there is turn down service – but not in the Disney Vacation Club villas.

Grand Floridian Turn Down

Turn Down Service – Complete With Chocolates!

 

5.  Dining Options

There are many great dining options at the Grand Floridian.

The quick service at Gasparilla Island Grill is worth visiting, we have enjoyed pizza and sandwiches here.  The dessert was delicious too!

For table service you can’t go wrong with either the Grand Floridian Cafe or Narcoossee’s.  I haven’t tried Victoria & Albert’s yet – that’s on my bucket list!

For a full list of dining options, see Disney’s official list here

The video below has a full walk through of a Deluxe Studio Room!

What do you think of the resort?

 

Irma Preparations At Disney Resorts

Disney Notification IrmaWith Hurricane Irma approaching Walt Disney World, all Disney parks are closed September 10th and 11th.

Communication has been great from Disney.  Updates left in our room and alerts on My Disney Experience has made sure that we all know what to expect as we ride out the storm.

At the Contemporary Resort, you can see one of the Monorails parked inside.

Monorail Parked Irma

The tug (the thing that pulls the Monorail if it breaks down) is also parked inside.

Monorail Tug Irma

Disney has many activities for the kids on the second floor all set up.  I didn’t take pictures of that because there were children there – but they had bean bag toss, giant Jenga, Connect Four, and a bunch of others.  The kids looked like they were having a good time.

Recreation Irma

They had a make-shift movie theatre – equipped with free popcorn and water machines.

Disney Movies

And of course – the characters were out meeting guests.  We saw Mickey, Pluto, Goofy and Donald.  The Cast Member told us they were having a contest with some of the other resorts – sharing the magic!  So they asked us to Hashtag our pics #IrmaContemporaryResort

Irma Contemporary Resort

My Sister (who is celebrating her birthday this trip) was THRILLED that she got to see Donald.  He really is #1!

Now we just wait and watch the weather to see what happens next.

 

Complimentary Toiletries Replaced With Pump Dispensers At Disney

Disney H2O SoapThere are indications that Disney may be getting rid of the cute little toiletry bottles of H2O that we have grown to love and replacing them with refillable dispensers.

It has been reported by many fan sites that Port Orleans Riverside recently had pump dispensers of the H2O products rather than the individual travel sized bottles.

The little bottles were a small treat in your room, some terrific products in sample sizes for you to try.  Obviously the thought was that it would encourage you to buy the product in the gift shop so that you could take a little bit of Disney home with you.

Is this a cost cutting measure?  Or Disney’s attempt to be more green and reduce the amount of waste and plastic bottles?

Many guests are not happy about the changes with one fan even making a ‘save the soap’ video!

 

 

And if you REALLY wanted some – of course they are for sale on eBay!

 

 

It is not clear yet if this will be rolled out across all resorts and resort categories.

What do you think of the potential changes?

 

All Star Movies Resort Review

Disneys All Star Movies HerbieAfter all of my visits to Walt Disney World, this was my first time staying at the All Star Movies.  I had toured the resort at length, but it’s a very different experience when you’re staying there.

 

When we arrived at the resort, there was a rather long line for check in.  I don’t know if this is normal (as I said, this was my first visit here) – but the line was long.  I assumed that a Magical Express bus had just arrived (we drove) and that was why there were so many people.  We decided to go grab a quick bite in the food court and let the line subside.  When we returned after dinner, it was a little shorter – but not by much.

Disneys All Star Movies Check In

There were only 2 of us staying in the room, and we were comfortable with the space, the rooms are 260 square feet in size.  There were two double beds so we each had our own.  The All Star Resorts sleep up to 4 people in a room, but I think if it were 4 adults it would have been a little crowded.

Disneys All Star Movies Beds

The bathroom was a bit small, but I had expected that.  The vanity area was a decent size for the two of us.

Disneys All Star Movies Bathroom

Storage space was not in abundance, but was enough for 2 women to unpack everything.  The closet area next to the vanity is big enough to hold your suitcases.  If you have 4 people unpacking, you might not fit it all in the drawer spaces (if you pack like we do!).

Disneys All Star Movies Vanity

When we went for dinner at the World Premier Food Court we were happy with the variety of selections.  The Majestic Shop had pizza, mac and cheese, and flatbreads.  I opted for the Roxy Shop that had burgers, hot dogs and chicken nuggets, although the pot roast at the Lyric Shop looked good too!  I of course finished my meal with a treat from the Rialto Shop where they had some pretty cool desserts.

Disneys All Star Movies Food

While we didn’t have time to enjoy the pools (we were leaving on a Disney Cruise the next day) I did have a chance to take a look around and soak in the atmosphere.  There are two pools for the All Star Movies, the Duck Pond Pool and Fantasia.  The Duck Pond Pool is a Mighty Ducks theme and the Fantasia pool is of course themed after Fantasia with a big Sorcerer Mickey fountain.  The pools are very cute and have life jackets are available for the little ones who aren’t strong swimmers yet.

Disneys All Star Movies Fantasia Pool

I had heard stories that the All Star Resorts were often the place for larger groups of kids to stay on school events or cheerleading competitions due to the affordability of them.  Once I was settled in my room I went to go to get some ice from the machine and I saw them pull up – 3 large buses of teenagers!   It turned out that they were well behaved and were not loud at all that evening, so I can safely say my experience at the resort was not impacted.

All Star Movies Scene

Would I stay at the All Star Movies again?  It depends.  If I’m looking for an economy trip – absolutely.  It had all the amenities of staying on Disney property, it was clean, it was cheerful and the cast members were great.  That being said, I like to relax a little at my resort and this just had a little too much hustle and bustle for me.

How about you?  Have you stayed at an All Star Resort?  Leave us a comment below!

Disneys All Star Movies TV Fridge and dresser

Fridge, Dresser and TV

Disneys All Star Movies Table

Table

Disneys All Star Movies Coat Rack

Coat Hanger

Disneys All Star Movies Pool Bar

Pool Bar

Disneys All Star Movies

One Of The Buildings

Disneys All Star Movies World Premier Food Court

Food Court Seating Area

 

 

California Grill Brunch Review

Charcutterie at California GrillBunch at Disney’s California Grill was on my wish list of new things to do. On a recent trip I had the opportunity to book reservations, so I knew I had to try it.

Dinner at California Grill is one of my favorites. Since I had such a good experience having brunch at Narcoosee’s – I figured this one had to be equally as good.

When we arrived, there was an entire section of the bar with mimosas waiting. Little did we know that these were bottomless and soon found out that our waiter would be bringing us new ones before the first one was done.

Mimosa at California Grill

There was a bloody mary bar available for an additional cost if that was your choice of drink. While they looked delicious, we decided to stick with our mimosas.

Bloody Mary Bar at California Grill Brunch

Bloody Mary Bar

We reviewed the menu to make our entree selections.  My sister Becky selected the Chef’s Frittata and I chose the Grilled Hanger Steak.

Once our entrée order was placed, we were able to visit the self-serve stations. There was real variety of things to choose from.

Becky’s self-serve selections

I’m not a fan of seafood, so I tasted everything that I thought I might like. The food was good, really flavorful and visually appealing.

California Grill Self Serve Plate

My first plate from the self-serve options

When our entrees arrived, I was regretting having the second helping of bread and mimosas, but I powered through. My steak was delicious, cooked exactly as I had asked with no pink in it.

Grilled Hanger Steak at California Grill

Grilled Hanger Steak – Two Eggs-Any Style, Chimichurri, Marble Potato Hash, Charred Red Onion

Becky enjoyed her frittata and said the potatoes were exceptional.

Frittata at California Grill

Frittata – Three Lake Meadow Farms Eggs, Heirloom Tomatoes, Roasted Poblanos, Chorizo, creamy Goat Cheese, and Marble Potato Hash

We took a small break before ordering tea and waited for our dessert plate to come. If you’ve read my blog before, you know I’m a huge fan of dessert – but I have to admit, I was underwhelmed.

Brunch Dessert at California Grill

The plate didn’t look as yummy as the dinner dessert does. While I tasted everything on the plate, there was nothing that made me say “wow, I need to have that again”.

When the bill arrived our total for brunch was $165 USD including our Tables in Wonderland discount.

Since I’m a gal who is all about dessert, Narcoosee’s was my favorite of the two, based solely on the desserts.  I think on my next trip I’ll save California Grill for dinner so that I can enjoy the Chocolate Pudding Cake.

Check out the video below for a walk through of Brunch at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

 

Have you tried brunch at California Grill?  Leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought!

 

Disney’s Beaches and Cream Review

Pixie Dust Fan Kitchen SinkTucked away behind the spectacular pool at Disney’s Beach Club resort is Beaches and Cream Soda Shop.

This very small location is home to the very big dessert – the Kitchen Sink. While many people visit just for the ice cream, my travel companions and I decided to have lunch as well.

Beaches and Cream Milk ShakeWhen we arrived I was shocked at how small it was inside. I had walked past it before, but had never gone in. The tables were quite close together and we were seated at what I thought was a pretty small table for the 4 of us. Since we’re good friends, this wasn’t an issue, but it was a bit snug when our food came.
Ron started things off by ordering a milk shake while the rest had pop and water. The milkshake looked so good that we knew this was the place to be for anything ice cream related. He was pretty happy with it.

A couple of us had burgers while the other two had beef melts.   I have to say that for an Ice Cream/Soda Shop I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed my burger and fries. But let’s be serious, we were there for one mission, to defeat the kitchen sink.

Beaches and Cream Patty Melt Beaches and Cream Burger

Being a Disney ‘foodie’ who loves desserts, I had researched this dessert many times. I had seen the pictures and videos and figured that the 4 of us could handle it.

Maybe it was because we were sitting at a little table, but I could not believe how big this sink was! It was overflowing with ice cream, cake, whipped cream, sprinkles, and chocolate, even Oreo cookies!   The spoon that they gave us to scoop it out to our plates was huge and when you dove in, you weren’t sure what goodness you find in it.

Beaches and Cream Kitchen Sink.

We dug in, and we gave it our best effort, but in the end – the kitchen sink beat us. We just couldn’t do it, we probably all ate more than we should have, but we couldn’t finish it.  It really doesn’t look so appetizing at the end.

Kitchen Sink After

After that we took a leisurely stroll back to our room at the Beach Club to relax and let our tummies settle. I think we all agreed that Beaches and Cream was a new favorite for when we’re in the mood for ice cream.

Would I try it again? Absolutely!  Would I assume that we could finish it? Not a chance! I think next time I go I’ll have more realistic expectations of how much ice cream 4 people can consume!

 

 

Contempo Cafe Review – Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Contempo Cafe Contemporary Resort
The Contemporary Resort is one of my favorites, the atmosphere, the location, the theming, the restaraunts – everything is just perfect.

One of the hidden gems that doesn’t seem to get much credit though is the quick service!  Everyone is so busy trying to get reservations at Chef Mickey or California Grill that they overlook the fact that the Contempo Café is a great quick service option!

Here are my top 3 reasons I love the Contempo Café:

  1. Location

Being in the Contemporary resort you are on the monorail line.  It’s a great place to stop in on your way in or out of the Magic Kingdom.  Sometimes in the afternoon during the hustle and bustle, we jump on the monorail or walk over for a quick snack.

  1. The View

Contemporary Resort Mary Blair MuralWho doesn’t want to sit and watch monorails go by?  I could sit there for hours watching them come and go.  The other benefit is to stare in awe at the 90 foot mural that is a tribute to the Grand Canyon.  The mural was created by Disney legend Mary Blair who was also responsible for many different creative projects including It’s a Small World.   Legend has it that Mary Blair put a 5 legged goat in the mural because nothing is perfect.  See if you can spot it!  It took me years to find it!

  1. The Food!

The ordering system is fairly quick at the Contempo Café.  You select your desserts, bottled drinks and premade salads and take them with you to the counter.  You order your meal and are given a small pager to put on your table (or a big A shaped thing if they run out of the pagers).   When your food is ready, it is brought to your table.  The seating area is always clean with cast members tidying up as people leave.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, we have always been happy with the food here.  It’s reasonably priced, decent variety and quite yummy!    We have done both dine in and take out and never been disappointed.  They have great desserts and adult beverages (beer and wine) if you fancied.

It’s a terrific spot to cool down and relax a little outside of the parks.  You can check out the menu here for a full list of what’s available.

Have you eaten at the Contempo Cafe?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

Disney’s Polynesian Resort Bungalows – 3 Reasons I Want To Stay In One

Poly Bungalow Living Room
I had the opportunity to tour one of the bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Resort on my last visit.  Being like everyone else, I had drooled over the pictures online and wanted to see them in person.  I wondered if they were as nice as they appeared online and knew that the only way to tell was to walk inside one.

After my tour, I had 3 reasons that I really want to stay in one of the bungalows, and 1 reason why I don’t!

1.  The bungalows are big.

2 bedrooms, a pull down couch and two trundle beds – you can sleep 8 people in one of these.  Would I?  No – I think that might be a little bit crowded.  I think our family would be comfortable with 6 of us in there.

2.  The view is incredible!

Being on the Seven Seas Lagoon facing the Magic Kingdom – you don’t get a better view than that.  There are speakers on the deck so that you can play the music to go with the fireworks you’ll watch from your private plunge pool at night!  Okay – the plunge pool is pretty small, but they couldn’t really have made it any bigger or they would have used up too much of the deck.  How about those chairs?  Yes – I could spend an afternoon relaxing there!

3.  The décor

The decor in the bungalows is a throw back to the original Polynesian Resort décor, especially in the living room.  I love that they incorporated the history of the resort, but still kept them modern with all of the bells and whistles. The kitchen looks like a place I would like to cook in – but of course you probably wouldn’t do much cooking on vacation.  The dining room table though is the perfect place to eat your Ohana’s dinner that you order from room service!

So if these are so great – why don’t I want to stay in one??  The answer is simple – price.  These bungalows are the height of luxury at around $3,000 USD per night.  This is not something I can see myself splurging on anytime in the near future.  It’s always fun to dream though, you never know what will happen.  Maybe one day I’ll be sipping a cocktail on that deck, watching the fireworks and thinking saying “remember when I said I would never stay in one of these?”.

Check out the pictures – would you pay to stay there?

Polynesian Bungalow Deck Chairs Polynesian Bungalow Lounge Chairs Polynesian Bungalow Hanging Chairs Polynesian Bungalow Water Parade Bed Polynesian Bungalow Kitchen Polynesian Bungalow Bathroom TV Polynesian Bungalow Bedroom Polynesian Bungalow Bedroom 2 Polynesian Bungalow At Night

 

 

 

 

 

Disney’s Polynesian Resort Villas Were Not What I Expected

Polynesian Resort Studio Bed
Going to Walt Disney World in the 70’s, my Mum had something against the Polynesian Resort.  She always said there were too many trees and that would attract the bugs – we had to stay at the Contemporary instead.

For years this notion of mosquitos and ants was stuck in my head, and I never had the desire to stay there.  It’s funny how those thoughts stay with you!  I knew it was a deluxe Disney resort, but it was just not appealing to me.

Now that I have a blog dedicated to all things Disney, I knew I had to book a few nights at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.  I couldn’t afford the bungalows, so I opted for a few nights at the villas.

When we arrived, we walked down to Moorea longhouse where our room would be.  It didn’t seem like a long walk, but it did feel a little Polynesian Resort Mooreafar at the end of a long day.  We didn’t take the opportunity to walk over from the Ticket and Transportation Centre – in fact I suspect that would have been a shorter walk for us!

Up to the second floor and in to our room.

The views were spectacular.  I couldn’t believe it, I was looking out over the Seven Seas Lagoon and could see the castle in the distance!  This meant that I could watch the fireworks from my bed – wow!

The part that was so impressive to me was the SIZE of the room!  I would have gladly stayed in this room with 4 adults and not felt crowded.  A full bathroom with a tub and shower plus a separate stand up shower, what a great idea for families when you’re all trying to get ready in the morning.

The sitting area was big enough and the couch was comfy.  I didn’t get a chance to try the pull out couch, but I did sleepOhana Room Service in the murphy bed and was pleasantly surprised.  I’m by no means a ‘light weight’ – but it suited me just fine and I had no issues.

I was really impressed with my stay at the Polynesian Resort villas, but I think the cherry on the cake was room service!  On our last night
we were pretty tired and decided to order room service for dinner.  What do you get when you order room service??  You can order from O’hana!  Yes… Ohana food brought right to your room where you can eat it in your pyjamas and avoid cutting off your ability to breathe when you’ve eaten too much.

It wasn’t long in my stay before I realized that the ‘bugs’ my Mum had worried about were not an issue.  In fact, I can say that I didn’t notice any.  Would I stay here again?  Absolutely!!

Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve stayed here!

 

Polynesian Villa Couch Polynesian Villa Trundle Bed Polynesian Villa TV Polynesian Villa Shower Polynesian Villa Art Polynesian Villa Balcony

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