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  • Mini (business) trip report

    OK - So the Common Ground Alliance is holding their annual trade show in Orlando thie year - about a mile from WDW. Makes attending seminars about protecting subsurface utilites all the better.

    So I did get some time to zip over to WDW.

    First - Since I booked late, all the rooms in the Caribe Royal Resort where the trade show was, were booked, so I ended up in the Residence Inn Orlando - 11450 Marbella Palms Ct. - it's about 15 from there to PO-R resort.

    I got our corporate rate of $99 a night here. All I can say is if I can get anywhere near that rate on my own, I may have to re-think staying on property. Two bedrooms (one two twin, one a queen), two bathrooms, living room, dining area, and full kitchen. Pool. hot tub, game room, DVD rentals, DVD player in room, and you even get to watch the top 7 must sees in your room. And, get this, a free HOT breakfast buffet - yes, hot - eggs, waffles, french toast, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, grits, etc. and it runs until 10:30 in the AM. - very comfy beds too.





    I got down there fairly early and got to Epcot in time for a late lunch at Le Chefs de France. After the talk of Monte Cristo's here and me mentioning the croque monsuer, I felt obliged to sample it



    Not quite what I was expecting. The ones I have had are more fried and less toasted, also a lot more cheese most of the time. However that is not to say it was not good. It was a lot lighter than the ones I have had and quite tasty. The salad was also good, with just some simple balsamic on it. My waiter made a strange comment. He asked me if I was on the Dining Plan - I said yes just out of reaction, and then said, "no wait, not on the plan you think", and I showed he my DDE card. Then he says "Oh, what, you though that if I thought you were on the Dining Plan then I would not give you good service?". I said no, but does that happen? and he said he would not do it, but some servers would, and some guests also think it happens - interesting comment. The "chefs wine" was good. Nothing to write home about, but plesant. Overall an enjoyable meal.

    Because I was still technicaly "at work" I then had to take an hour conference call, so I found a fairly quiet spot over behind Innoventions where I could take the call. Sitting in the spot for an hour, I noticed this tree seems to be on deaths door.



    Conference call over, and since I was right there, I did the Living with the land and the behind the seeds tour - and ate some cucumbers.

    Make

    Make your own hydroponics tank at home. Also where they store the cucumber samples (in a fridge, not in the tank)



    Now thats what I call a shrimp. Mmmmmm


    I then wandered over to the world showcase (again) and stopped in Mexico to see how the ride was comming along. The wall was still up, and nobody I talked to knew anything about a soft opening.



    When I left I noticed that Donald and Panchito were out in their Three Caballeros glory - however there was no sign of Jose.



    I wandered around for a bit and then had an al fresco dinner (since I did not have reservations) at Alfredos. Since it was closing I felt obliged (once again) to try the "signature" items.

    The Cobb Salad



    Not bad. A tad bit over dressed for my tastes, I don't like my salads swimming in dressing, but still not bad. The "thin crouton" was good.

    I had the alfredo - which I did not take a picture of - It was a dish of pasta alfredo - no spectacular plating. The pasta itself was very good. Home made noodles, very nice, and cooked correctly. The sauce - not my cup of tea. They make it with butter and cheese - no cream. It is sooooo cheesy and rich, that it is too rich. It's not balanced. I could not eat it all - which for me is a big deal. The waitress was very nice. We talked for a great bit about the sauce, and how its made, and how hard it would be to make it at home and the possiblity of adding something (maybe lemon, or better yet capers) to cut some of the richness. After that it was tirimisu and coffee - again no pictures. Run of the mill dessert. Tasty, good, but not spectacular. I will be sorry this place is closing (but not because of the alfredo)

    After that it was Illuminations (and yes the globe was out) and then back to the hotel in order to be at the seminars at 7:30.

    Tomorrow - Magic Kingdom (after a day of damage prevention)

    -dave
    "I'm gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers!" - Bender
    "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

  • #2
    Re: Mini (business) trip report

    $99 for all that? Daaaaaang.
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...


    sigpic

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Mini (business) trip report

      Great pics so far! It seems that Donald appears with only one other character at a time as I have yet to see or hear of all three of them being out at once. Maybe that will change once the attraction opens? Or this summer with an increase of Brazil tourists/groups?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Mini (business) trip report

        I have a question for ya'll trip reporters (boy THAT didn't sound country, right?)...don't you get weird looks when you take pictures of your food???



        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Mini (business) trip report

          Originally posted by Stitchy-poo View Post
          I have a question for ya'll trip reporters (boy THAT didn't sound country, right?)...don't you get weird looks when you take pictures of your food???

          Not really. You just do it sort of quickly. I have a small camera. Its not like I am dragging out the Cannon EOS, tripod, bounce flash, and backdrops

          Sometimes people do notice theugh. I did have one waiter ask if I was doing it for a book or magazine.

          -dave
          "I'm gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers!" - Bender
          "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Mini (business) trip report

            Originally posted by Stitchy-poo View Post
            I have a question for ya'll trip reporters (boy THAT didn't sound country, right?)...don't you get weird looks when you take pictures of your food???

            Yeah a few times, but I guess I really never gave it much though. :lol: I suppose they think I'm corny or something but I'm not there for their entertainment, I'm there for mine. :lol:



            Great trip report! Glad you were able to experience Alfredos.

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            • #7
              Re: Mini (business) trip report

              That's some room. Cool start of TR. Can't wait for more!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Mini (business) trip report

                That's an awesome deal on the room.

                I figured people were going to stare at me too much if I took pictures of the food...so I didn't. Plus, my boyfriend thought it was weird that I was even thinking about it. Sheesh! :P
                - Larisa

                Everybody neat and pretty? Then, on with the show! -MMC

                :ap:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Mini (business) trip report

                  Nice report! I love the residence inn as a chain - I've never been to WDW - but may have to consider it. How far is it?
                  sigpic
                  Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Mini (business) trip report

                    The cob salad looked better than I thought it might. Thanks for taking food pictures! It helps me decide what to order
                    "First of all I would like to make one thing perfectly clear.
                    I never explain anything." Mary Poppins
                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/26132873@N00/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Mini (business) trip report

                      Originally posted by BFJen View Post
                      Nice report! I love the residence inn as a chain - I've never been to WDW - but may have to consider it. How far is it?

                      Its about 15 minutes from property. You come in the back way. No driving under the arch, you come in by the Buena Vista Construction Company buildings on the back end of the property, then go past Port Orleans. Its close, just not over on the "normal" side of things. There are plenty of things around the hotel though - food stores, fast food, other attractions (its about a mile or two from Sea World)

                      -dave
                      "I'm gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers!" - Bender
                      "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Mini (business) trip report

                        Originally posted by ragrobyn View Post
                        The cob salad looked better than I thought it might. Thanks for taking food pictures! It helps me decide what to order

                        Your welcome. To me the food is a big decision because of two reasons. one, it is costing me extra, and two, eating one thing means I am not eating something else.

                        If I go on an el-stinko ride, all I do is waste some time. I did not pay extra cash, and going on the attraction does not prevent me from going on another. But eating bad food wastes my money, and means I had to give up something that may have been quite tasty.

                        -dave
                        "I'm gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers!" - Bender
                        "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Mini (business) trip report

                          Do they have a shuttle?
                          sigpic
                          Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Mini (business) trip report

                            OK

                            Day two - and really not much

                            Today was a long day of work, I didn't make it over to WDW untill around 6:00 PM - and MK closed at 8:00 - yeah I could have gone to Epcot and stayed till 9:00, but I had some VMK stuff to take care of

                            This is the second day in a row I did not have to pay for parking. Yesteday I told the CM at the kiosk that I was going in to renew my AP, and he said - no problem, no charge. Today the CM just said, "Go on in, no charge" - I didn't even have time to get my AP out. Very nice I thought.

                            I walked over to the Poly first with the idea of going to Ohana, but then decided against it. I have no problem eating alone in a restaruant, but there is just something about eating alone at a table service all you can eat place that just seems odd to me. Makes me want to call out "Bring me a bucket! I have to barf". What really gets me is that my job would have paid for the meal - If I am in travel status I get dinner. So it was over to MK.

                            First I did the VMK stuff I had to do, then it was food time. Harbor House was closed, and Liberty Tree Tavern posed the same problem as Ohana did (but with characters) so it was over to the Pinocchio Village Haus. (yeah, not much in the way of fine or even semi-fine dining today)

                            I opted for an antipasto salad and some figaro fries. Figaro fries are in my opinion one of the best bang for the buck snack type foods in the park. They are a good size and value for the money.

                            Here is the "Antipasto salad" - I have had it before so I knew what to expect.



                            For those who don't know what to expect, it's lettuce with some olives thrown in and a roll of deli meats on top. Mortadella, boiled ham, virginia ham, erzats cappocola that was called "cappy ham" when I used to get paid to slice it, some suprisingly decent genoa salami, and a slice of provolone.

                            For those who may not know, Figaro fries are french fries with bacon bits, lettuce, tomato, and a mayo based sauce.

                            So after eating this stuff, it was just about time for Wishes. Took some nice pictures of the castle on my way to the front.



                            Park attendance was SO light you could get great spots 10 minutes before the show started. Watched Wishes, get my kids some stuff, and rode the ferry to the TTC. We blocked the Electric Water Pagent, so it sat there blinking away for a while as we passed. That was neat.



                            Then it was back to the hotel, and up early the next moring for more Utility Damage Prevention fun. I have to say, going to WDW in the evening and being on a business trip during the day is a little strange.

                            -dave
                            "I'm gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers!" - Bender
                            "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Mini (business) trip report

                              Originally posted by BFJen View Post
                              Do they have a shuttle?

                              Yes, they do, a free one - but I did not use it. They are a "Disney good neighbor" (or whatever its called) hotel. LIke I said before, they also have that "top 7 must see" channel on the TV's
                              "I'm gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers!" - Bender
                              "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

                              Comment

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