I have nothing new to report about Disney, per se. Yes it’s still the pinnacle of customer service. Yes the rides were just as fun. Yes, Stacey was the first person you saw when you turned on the hotel TV. It was all the same yet the familiarity was like going to a friend’s house who has 1000% better home electronics than you do.
Not much has changed since my last vacation there, except for a few tweaks (for the better) to their services and a couple new rides. I won’t repeat myself for the sake of old time readers. Know that while there wasn’t any bed-jumping videos of excitement, the emotion of being there was just as strong.
Collectively between three cameras (not including the Photopass service Disney provides), I estimate we took close to 2500 pictures. I’ll be posting some here but the brunt of them from my camera will be on Flickr for your perusal. Don’t expect captions for all!
Now, on to the subject at hand: Food!
Know that we had absolutely NO bad meals on any of the Disney properties (including third party chain eateries). That isn’t to say all our meals were perfect: when we discovered that Oh Boys! on Colonial Drive in Orlando had been closed for a while (update your website you dicks! That includes you, Google Earth!), we motored back to Downtown Disney and still managed to have a great meal – at twice the price, unfortunately. My only complaint is that all manner of food at Disney World is shockingly expensive. While we were eating in moderate to “classy” places like Coral Reef Restaurant at EPCOT (blackened catfish!) or The Crystal Palace (Character Breakfast with Eyore!) at Magic Kingdom, I still dreaded the bill at the end of the meal.
The only time I noticed a staff, err… Cast Member not entirely in tune with a high level of good service output was at the Beaches And Cream Ice Cream Parlour. See video below. I think this was her one thousand time serving up this kind of sundae just on this day, to screaming over-sugared children, made evident by the robotic delivery of the room-stopping announcement (but she does save herself at the end with the “young” comment, blessherheart):
The most surreal meal we had was at The Grand Floridian – Afternoon Tea in the Garden View Room. The room was Mary Poppins Perfect: vaulted ceilings, Victorian styling and proper china tea pots. No fart jokes here. I found the atmosphere a bit intimidating, like walking into a $100/plate restaurant wearing Old Navy. Actually, that’s exactly what I did. But the waitress never made me felt like I had. Her timing was infallible and her service top notch.
The other patrons made me think of bored, rich housewives having to actually socially interact with their immaculately dressed children while the husbands were off avoiding their kids playing golf and the nanny had the day off. Oh no, no rides for these tykes! They had to enjoy liver sandwiches with no crusts and were ordered to sit on their hands until the meal was finished.
At least that’s what I imagined going on at the table beside us.
At one point Sharkboy decided to let loose with a bawdy, off colour joke and proceeded to laugh heartily. Suddenly he stops and says in his best educated voice: “Pardon me. Ha. Ha. Ha.” We all snickered like kids in school.
Our last meal was a pizza on our hotel bed, tired out of our minds from 9 days of walking, riding, laughing and just having fun. It was the perfect last meal for all the sensory overloading.