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INTERCOT > Interactive > INTERCOT Insider Archive > November 2011


November 2011

Brought to you by INTERCOT's network of sites:
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Take a break from the leftovers, another edition of the INTERCOT Insider has arrived in your mailbox. As we head past Thanksgiving and into the Holiday Season, many Guests have Holiday feasts on their mind. Whether you spend the Holidays hanging ten at Disney's Aulani resort, chowing-down at Disney World, or making memories at home; this edition will give you great dining tips. Plus, we take a look at the latest deals and checkout the latest Disney Park hours released. Hang on to them hats and glasses, cause this here's the most informative ride on the internet!

<<Disney Deals>>

with Magical Journeys Travel Agency


--Disney Visa New Year Savings --

Save when you stay at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for stays most nights in a standard room 1/2/12 to 2/20/12. Must be booked by 12/21/11. Save 20% at All Star Movies and up to 25% at other Value Resorts. Save 25% at Port Orleans French Quarter and up to 30% at other Moderate Resorts. Save 30% at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Polynesian resorts and up to 35% at other Deluxe resorts. Save up to 35% select Disney Villas. For details contact INTERCOT's Official Travel Agency, Magical Journeys at 1-570-785-3283, or visit their web site and fill out a quote form.

-Passholder New Year Savings --

Disney has released Annual Passholder rates for dates of 1/2-3/8/12. Must be booked by 3/8/12, but book before 12/3/11 for best rates.

Book Before 12/3/2011
Select Disney Value Resort Hotels: Save 35%
Select Disney Moderate Resort Hotels: Save 35%
Select Disney Deluxe Resort Hotels: Save 40%
Select Disney Deluxe Villa Resort Hotels: Save 40%

Book Between 12/4/2011 and 3/8/2012
Select Disney Value Resort Hotels Save: 30%
Select Disney Moderate Resort Hotels: Save 35%
Select Disney Deluxe Resort Hotels: Save 35%
Select Disney Deluxe Villa Resort Hotels: Save 35%.

For details contact INTERCOT's Official Travel Agency, Magical Journeys at 1-570-785-3283, or visit their web site and fill out a quote form.

>> Contact Magical Journeys Today!

<<Aulani Offers Quick-Dining for All Tastes >>

Using the finest local ingredients, the chefs at Disney’s Aulani Resort have created a variety of dining options for Guests. In addition to signature full-service restaurants, the Oahu Island Resort also offers fantastic quick-service dining options. Whether Guests are searching for a fast mid-afternoon snack, a cozy breakfast or lunchtime fare, everyone can find the perfect meal for their vacation.

One Paddle, Two Paddle – Located adjacent to ‘AMA‘AMA, the signature restaurant at Aulani, One Paddle, Two Paddle is open daily and serves a variety of quick-service favorites. From freshly-made sandwiches, tasty wraps and house-made desserts to a tasty keiki (children’s) menu, this casual dining location offers good food fast … at affordable prices.

The Lava Shack – Located near the Rainbow Reef snorkel lagoon, The Lava Shack is the perfect place to pick up a Hawaii-inspired plate lunch, which generally consists of a main entrée, rice and a side. Here Guests can choose from complete meals featuring entrees like Cold Fried Chicken, Cured Meats, Cheeses, and Chilled Miso-glazed Salmon, as well as grab and go snacks.

Papalua Shave Ice – Conveniently located next to the pool deck, Papalua Shave Ice offers the chance for Guests to cool off with fruity and refreshing shave ice. Choose from a variety of tropical flavors.

Rip Swirl – This yogurt bar, located in Painted Sky (teen spa), provides yummy, healthy treats: tangy yogurt with fresh fruit and toppings.

For those Guests looking for a full, hearty breakfast each morning they can also purchase a breakfast add-on package at Makahiki, Bounty of the Island, buffet-style restaurant. This package includes breakfast each day of their stay, including a full buffet and one non-specialty beverage for each member of their traveling party.


<<A Taste of the World with Mickey'sGirl >>


--Part One of Two --


We were less than enthused by our Dining experiences in May of 2010, so we opted to minimize our Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) for this year’s holiday. This proved to be a very good idea, both in terms of how we spent our vacation time, and in terms of how we ate. We rarely eat dessert at restaurants in favour of for the boys when we are out and about.

Sanaa – Dinner
Food 5/5 Service 5/5 Atmosphere 5/5 Overall 5/5

Sanaa was a last minute addition that my husband made to our itinerary based on where we were staying (AKL), and the kind of food we like to eat (we like spice). We had a table near the window overlooking the Savannah (and our room across the way!). The boys enjoyed watching the antics of the Cranes (who really like shiny things such as cutlery). I am allergic to tree-nuts, so shortly after being seated, our server brought Chef Jenn over to discuss options with me. I had already decided on the Vegetarian sampler, and she recommended the Paneer and Spinach on it, and let me know it was a safe bet for me. So here’s what we had:

We shared Samosas to start. They were very good, but not as good as what we get locally at home (we live in a very South Asian community), and we ordered some Naan to have with our meals.
Vegetarian Sampler – Paneer and Spinach and Spicy Cauliflower, Onions, Tomatoes, and Mint with Basmati Rice. It was served in three little dishes. Portions were moderate and appropriate (though I could greedily have eaten more for sure!) Everything was fabulous, especially the Paneer and Spinach (it even made my carnivorous husband jealous!)

Curry Sampler – Spicy Chicken Durban and Coconut-Curry Lamb with Basmati Rice (served in the same fashion as the Vegetarian Sampler). Portions were a little less than moderate, but very tasty and seasoned more on the mild side. My husband was very happy with his choice.

Coho Salmon with Shrimp and Scallops served with seasonal Vegetables in a light Curry Broth. My fish loving son talked about this meal all week long. He said the Coho was the best fish he had ever had (and he’s had a LOT of fish).

Kid’s Pizza with Carrots. The pizza was made on Naan like crust (which made my youngest son very happy), and the server brought him only carrots when he said that he didn’t really like celery. He ate it all, so it had to have been good!

Overall, this was our favourite dining experience during our stay.

Kouzzina - Dinner
Food 3/5 Service 5/5 Atmosphere 4/5 Overall 3/5

Kouzzina was my 13 Year old Son’s choice. It is his proclaimed favourite restaurant anywhere. We were seated quickly, and had a fabulous server who made sure we didn’t go thirsty, or need anything. Here’s what we had:

My son had Ouzo Mussels to start. He really enjoys seafood, and appreciates good food, so he was free to order what he wanted. He really enjoyed them and the broth. My husband ordered some Saganaki (you can never go wrong with hot cheese!), and it was good. The complimentary bread is now served with the black sea salt on it, which we enjoyed, but was too much for our youngest.
I had the Kouzzina Trio, which is tasting size portions of Pastitsio, Char-grilled Lamb Burger, and Cinnamon-stewed Chicken with Orzo . I ordered this last year, and dreamt about it for the 15 months until I could have it again. Now I don’t know if I was overheated or what, but this time it was just alright. It was still very good, but not very good in a way that I felt someone had prepared a very awesome meal for me. It seemed rather assembly line to me.

Brian had the Saffron Pasta, which is basically a Lamb Ragu over pasta. Again it was very good, but it did not scream “Celebrated Chef prepared this for your enjoyment”.

Our 13 Year old had the Traditional Whole Fish (which was Snapper, a favourite of his) - Pan-roasted with Braised Greens, Greek Olives, Fennel, and Smoked Chili. Harry always orders this, and he can debone a fish with the best of them, and get all the good meat from places we didn’t even know about … but he did not especially enjoy his dinner. He did not like the consistency of the fish, or the flavour of the greens.

Our youngest stuck with his Pizza and “carrots only” regime, and had no complaints. His meal came with an ice-cream sundae, and our terrific server also brought one out for our big boy too. It was very thoughtful of her.

Our server was terrific and attentive, and even gave us cold drinks to go. We were seated next to a family who were nattering at their child at full volume the whole time (poor kid), which detracted from the atmosphere. While this was a disappointing meal, we will still go back another time.

The Brown Derby – Dinner
Food 4/5 Service 4/5 Atmosphere 5/5 Overall 4.5/5

We have always enjoyed the food and the restaurant in the past, so The Brown Derby was the natural choice for us when booking the Fantasmic! Dinner Package. The package includes appetizers, entrees and desserts, so there was a lot of eating going on!! Here’s what we ate:

To start my husband had Brie, Midnight Moon and Prosciutto Cakewith Tete de Moine Petals, and an olive-roasted vegetable salad, then the Filet of Beef - with Costwold Butter over fingerling potatoes, asparagus, Ugly ripe tomatoes, and a broken cabernet shallot vinaigrette and Banana White Chocolate Toffee Tower - on Cocoa-Almond Cookie and Bananas Foster for dessert (hey if you are only having dessert one time, you may as well really go for it!). The whole meal was fantastic, but he especially enjoyed the Filet (we don’t eat a lot of meat at home, so this was a real treat for him).

I had the Cremini Mushroom Chévre Tortelloni - with Tomato-Fennel Sauce and Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, which was ok, but I would not order it again (bland and dry), then Coriander Dusted Grouper - cauliflower risotto, fresh English peas, crunchy sunchokes, and a yellow tomato coulis (it was awesome and the risotto was fresh and creamy) with Crème Brule for dessert. A really lovely meal.

To start, our 13 year old had the Blue Lump Crab Cake - with Potato Crust, Green Cabbage Slaw, Cognac-Mustard Sauce, and Rémoulade (ate every crumb and didn’t share!), then the Grouper (he did not enjoy the lumpy-from-the-cauliflower risotto, but agreed that the Grouper was fantastic) and a Chocolate Sundae for dessert.
Our youngest strayed from his pizza diet in favour of the Chicken Noodle soup to start, a hot-dog with home made chips and carrots, and the Hidden Treasures for dessert. There was too much “stuff” in the Chicken soup for his liking, so his brother ate the soup, otherwise, a very successful meal!

Service was very good, but our server was rather distant. He did not make recommendations, or ask how we were enjoying our meal etc. , but I do appreciate that he made my son a big sundae instead of the cakey desserts that he does not eat. This was our most expensive meal at $250 (including the tip), but we did not resent it. The food was fabulous, and the almost 2 hours we spent inside enjoying the restaurant and each other’s company was terrific. Getting the passes for Fantasmic! at the end was the icing on the cake. A great experience.

<<Making Magic at Home with Patricia >>


If your waiting for your next Disney trip, just came home, or have no trip planned and need a sweet fix... I've got a Disney Do It Yourself treat you can eat:

Mickey Oreo Pops!

What you'll need:

Double Stuff Oreo cookies
red candy melts
chocolate candy melts
lollipop sticks
tube of white decorator icing

First melt the red melts in the microwave or on top of a double boiler (do not get any water in your candy melt or it will seize.) I found that microwaving the Oreos for a 10-20 (don't over so it) seconds helps soften the creamy middle and prevents the cookies breaking when you need to get the stick in. Dip half the cookie in the red and lay on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. That red will be his shorts! Poke a lollipop stick into the red end and up through the creamy white center to almost the top. Pop in a fridge to set faster. If your dark chocolates are scratched from shipping, rub them smooth with your clean finger.. Now rub the edge of a dark chocolate onto a hot pot (I boiled water in my pot to heat it up safely.) When you have it slightly melted stick it in between the biscuits to make an ear. Repeat on the other side. Add two white button with drops of your white frosting tube on his red shorts for buttons. You can wrap these in small cellophane bags and a ribbon if using them for gifts or just stand them in a large lidded jar on the counter and eat at your own discretion.

Too much work?? Buy regular Oreos , Mini Oreos and chocolate chips. Melt the chips and use the chocolate as glue to make Hidden Mickey Oreos out of the two sized cookies. Add a small red bow, made with fruit leather or frosting, and you have Minnie Oreos!


>> See the finished Mickey Oreo Pops!


<<Calendar Corner>>


-- April, May, & June 2012 --


Extra Magic Hours, Operating, and Event schedules have been released through June 2012. For guests visiting during this time, you will want to visit the Park Hours and Events pages to aid in planning your trip. Remember, all times and schedules are subject to change, so check back often.

>> Current Park Hours

>> Extra Magic Hours Schedule and Info

>> Fireworks, Parades, & Event Schedules


<< Conclusion >>

That wraps up this extra stuffed edition of the INTERCOT insider. We hope its given you some great epicurean insights and inspired you to make some Disney magic at home this Holiday season. We'll be back in a few weeks with part two of our Disney World dining reviews and a look why an off-season trip to Disney World can be right-on-target. See ya real soon!

<< Thank You To Our Sponsors! >>

The INTERCOT Insider and INTERCOT.com are supported by the following sponsors who in turn, help us bring the Magic to you!

All Star Vacation Homes
Website: Vacation Home Details Here
Choose from the finest selection of vacation homes and condos in the closest locations to Walt Disney World.

The Official Ticket Center
Website: Buy & Price Tickets Now!
The Official Ticket Center is Walt Disney World's, Universal Studios and Sea World's #1 guest service provider for the last 3 years. The Official Ticket Center sells tickets only, at a discount price.

Magical Journeys
Website: http://www.yourmagicaljourneys.com
INTERCOT's Official Travel Agency.  An unconventional Travel Agency for the unconventional client, Magical Journeys is dedicated to finding the best pricing for your next magical journey. We work hard to save you money, and still give you the quality service you deserve.

Quicksilver Tours & Transportation
Website: http://www.quicksilver-tours.com
Our drivers are the first personal contact you have when you arrive in Orlando.  No other transportation company goes to the lengths we do to ensure that your trip is exactly how you imagined it. At Quicksilver, we truly believe there's no such thing as going "above and beyond" for our clients. Instead, it's all part of doing our jobs correctly.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
Website: http://www.swandolphin.com
In the heart of the Walt Disney World® Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is your gateway to Central Florida's greatest theme parks and attractions. Come discover our 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds®, the luxurious Mandara Spa, and many special Disney benefits.

The Timeshare Store
Website: http://www.dvc-resales.com
This Disney Vacation Club resale site offers the largest selection of DVC Resale's anywhere!  They are the number one Disney Vacation Club Reseller in the world. See how easy and affordable it is to purchase your very own piece of the "MAGIC".

Universal Orlando® Resort
Website: Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando® Resort is more than a theme park. It's an entire universe of action and thrills featuring TWO spectacular theme parks unlike anything else in Orlando.

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